she’s an untamed beast

Her claws are flexed in readiness,

Set free from captivity,

Fur bristling underneath a hostile sun,

And knowing that it was all wrong,

Her life of chain link fences

Clanging in the midnight dark,

And always whispering a dirty joke,

The punch line that is never dealt,

Because it never really should have been.

I’ve started listening to Glennon Doyle’s book Untamed and it opens with an anecdote about a cheetah that is kept in captivity and she asks whether the cheetah has any idea that it should be out in the wild. And the answer was probably.

I know that it’s all a bit obvious, and we can all see the analogy that she is trying to make between women and a caged animal; it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out the similarities.

But she does have a point that we actually need to remind ourselves of every now and then. As an educator, I hope that I am really encouraging all children to be the person they are supposed to be. I probably fail at times, but then I’ve been bombarded with the same messages, and I’m a product of that.

Interestingly, Glennon says that it is at about 10 years old that we realise we are supposed to fit into certain boxes, and from that age onward, doors are slowly closed, one after the other. And, of course, this is the age of the kids in my tutor group. The ones that I have to keep an eye on and encourage and discipline and all the other things that really parents should be doing.

It is an honour to have these kids look up to me, but there is also so much responsibility there. I would hate to think that we might lose an awesome female Prime Minister or inventor or footballer, just because I’ve said something prejudiced.

It has given me much to think about – exactly what a good book should do!

Much Love

Rachel xx

happy world book day

World Book Day is super special to English teachers the world over. It’s perhaps not as big a deal for us secondary teachers but those in the


the book club meeting

We have a staff book club at work and I absolutely love going to it. Obviously we don’t drink wine, but we do have snacks and chocolates


to buy or not to buy?

I’m debating whether or not to buy Prince Harry’s book that is being released on Tuesday here in the UK. On the one hand, I really want


it’s rachel’s round up time!

It’s that time of the year again, when everyone is writing about their favourites of the year. As part time book blogger, I only feel it’s right that I round up my favourite books of the year.

I have chosen five of my favourite books that I have read this year (not all of them were published this year). There have been numerous amazing books that I have read since January, so I could go on and on for ages. But we don’t have all day so, here goes…

5. I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

This is such a sad story and it shows just how traumatic it can be to be a child star. We watch these kids on Disney and Nickelodeon and I always think that they must have fantastic lives. They get out of school, and get to mess about on TV sets instead. But this book tells us there is a darker side and it’s well worth a read…. and that title!

4. The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

A proper family drama that has the seal of approval from the queen that is Reese Witherspoon. This one touched all sorts of nerves as it dealt with infidelity and I always get super angry over those story lines. Brilliantly written and so real that it feels you a part of that family. I would recommend for people who love Celeste Ng.

3. How To Kill Your Family by Bella Mackie

I loved this because I can’t get enough of the psychopaths. I’m an INFP so I feel everything, and I think this means that I’m always really intrigued by people who don’t seem to have that empathy. This main character is on a mission to kill everyone and I thought she was brilliant.

2. Maybe You Should Talk To Someone by Lori Gottlieb

I got this one in the £1 sale on audible and I am so glad I spotted it. This book is from the point of view of a therapist and I found that really interesting. When I was having therapy, I always wondered what mine was thinking and this answered some of those questions. It was very funny and helpful too.

1. Carrie Soto Is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

And numero uno had to be the Goddess herself – TJR. She can do no wrong in my humble opinion and this book was another shining example of her genius. I do love a book about an athlete because I have always been crazy about sport. This one is about a tennis star who is staging a comeback, and OMG, it made me want to dig out my tennis rackets and get out on the court – and no, I can’t play tennis, but I feel like I’m Serena Williams when I’m out there.

I had a goal of 52 books this year, and I comfortably hit that. There were so many highlights along the way and I can’t wait to see what great stories are coming out next year. I’d love to hear what other people have read and if you are aware of anything good coming out in the early part of next year.

Much Love

Rachel xx