Home » The Only Girl Guide #3 – The Unplugged Edit – Books, Audio Books, Podcasts and More

The Only Girl Guide #3 – The Unplugged Edit – Books, Audio Books, Podcasts and More

It might seem paradoxical at best, hypocritical at worst, for someone that makes a (meagre, supplementary) living from the online, plugged-in world to be harping on about what’s keeping me off the web! But in the post-Christmas-gooch, dare I say it, I just got a bit bored of scrolling, staring, lurking and double-clicking.  I’ve been craving tangible, wholesome goodness, something that doesn’t succumb to an algorithm – real books, actual newspapers, Sunday supplements and good TV dramas – so, have made it my, erm, perhaps ‘mission’ is a bit egocentric, my…. ‘goal’ for 2018 to enjoy these non-digital pursuits a little more and share them with you!

So here’s what’s been keeping me quiet and off the blue-lit screens for the past 49 (yes, I had to use a calculator to add 31+18!!) days of 2018.

Book review

An Actual Book!

Lullaby , by Leila Slimani.

Don’t be put off by the fact this is a French literary sensation, even winning the Prix Goncourt – easy to think it might all be a bit subtitle-y/art-house film-y and thus beyond my mainstream-happy mind. High-brow accolades aside, this book had me at “next day delivery with Amazon Prime”! Knowing the tragic ending from the outset gives a spine chilling edge to every move made in this fab thriller. And if, like me, you’re heading back into the literary world after a 12 year (yup, nothing’s been read post kids bar the Calpol dosing instructions) the 207 pages of Leila Slimani’s thriller is like a perfect bite-size mouthful to rekindle your love of books.

Someone Else Reading for Me – Audio Book

‘Cos time with kids is precious and car journeys are bountiful, audio books are the perfect answer for me. I almost hop, skip and jump into the car for the biweekly 1.5 hour trip to the boys’ Chelsea training if I’ve got a good book on the go!

I subscribe to Audible, partly because it’s so easy to use on my iPhone and it links to my Amazon account, but I’m sure there are other ways to listen too!

The Girlfriend, by Michelle Frances.

Initially I thought this one might hit a bit close to home, as the story follows a mother, her son and the new girlfriend. Like Lullaby, you’re given a teaser at the beginning as to what might happen – but what unfolds, as a mother of boys, is worrying, to say the least. Lies, deception and blackmail are the order of the day – and although quite slow in places, I wanted to give it a kick up the literary back-side, it built the story, setting and tension perfectly. I was just glad I didn’t have to actually read through those slow chapters in the middle!


I bloody love me a pod-cast, and was pretty late to this party – which means there’s plenty to catch up on! Here’s some of my faves:

Scummy Mummies (Not Child Friendly)

50 Things That Made the Modern Economy (Very Child Friendly)


My Dad Wrote a Porno (Definitely Not Child Friendly) .

I don’t feel any of these need more info – if they’re not might-just-wet-myself funny (hopefully obvious which ones might have you giggling to yourself at the traffic lights) they’re informative 9-minutes chunks of great, possibly completely useless, knowledge.


And, because I’m not perfect and still look forward to a night slobbing out on the sofa and giving my child-addled brain a chance to glaze over before bed, the TV!

Peaky Blinders

We’d tried before and given up, but in a post-Crown dry spell, we gave Tommy Shelby and his Brummy crew one last chance. Don’t be put off, as I was, by the weird 1918-1925 time-frame/fashion – not quite Victorian but not the modern world as we know it or, the Brummy accents (sorry, I’ve now come to love them and starring at Cillian Murphy’s face!). I’m now scrabbling to get my hands on more – I bloomin’ love it! Did I mention it’s worth it even if you just stare at Cillian Murphy’s face?!? Oh, and Tom Hardy! But male objectification aside, it had me in tears, on the edge of my seat and enthralled – even in a drab January!

What are you loving? If I’m to keep this up for a year I’m gonna need all the help I can get – books, pod-casts, audio books and TV recommendations – pop them in the comments!

Disclaimer: there are a couple of affiliate links above, so, if you buy one of the above books a little bit of wonga comes my way – it’s certainly not going to get the patio finished, but it might get me a cuppa on the footy sidelines!


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  1. Renata Oliveira
    February, 2018 / 11:16 am

    Hi! Peaky blinders is very intense, sometimes too dark, but I enjoyed it actually.
    Podcasts tips: Ctrl alt delete; Woman’s hour; The lively show.

    I’m Brazilian living in London and I really like following you. Xxx

  2. Nadine Nicholl
    February, 2018 / 10:28 pm

    Just to say Peaky Blinders brightened up my January too! I now have a board on my Pinterest for Cillian Murphy, pure yum! Sorry that’s my only tip, you can get loads of great pics of him on Pinterest lol

  3. Vicky
    February, 2018 / 11:55 pm

    The Sinner on Netflix
    Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom – such an easy read, I read it in a couple of hours. Had me laughing and crying. Highly recommend! Xx

  4. Clare
    February, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    Hi, Blind Spot or Madam Secretary on Netflix are great., oh & Gossip Girl before it disappears.
    I’ve just read The Foster Child by Jenny Blackberry, kept me gripped right through.
    Not tried podcasts so must give these a go!

  5. Nicky
    March, 2018 / 8:49 pm

    Definitely go with The Sinner and Designated Survivor too.

    Haven read in a while but The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans is my all time favourite.