I’m not really sure where to start with Born Lippy. I picked it up from my local library whilst waiting for the kids to make their audio book choices (seriously – if your kids love audio books make sure they check out their local library as their collections are wonderful!) and just assumed that I knew what it would be like. I was expecting a typical Jo Brand style journey through her life with amusing stories of the highs and lows of being a female from her, rather unique, viewpoint. That wasn’t quite what I got.
Born Lippy is far more of a self help style book than I was expecting. It’s a book that you dip in and out of, rather than one that you read straight through. In it Jo does pull on her own life experiences (which are incredibly varied and utterly fascinating) but it’s not done in a narrative fashion. Instead she jumps from topic to topic, dishing out wonderful advice that she wishes she had had or listened to earlier in life. As the mum of teenage girls, it’s also the sort of advice that she wants to give her teenage daughters about being a woman.
It’s a great read. An informative read. A really useful read, especially with a list of helplines and useful URLs at the back. An enjoyable read. But, just not the read I was expecting when I first picked the book up.
Some of what is said in Born Lippy is now out of date though. Then again, the extraordinary circumstances we find ourselves in with the current COVID-19 lockdown make much of our pre-coronavirus lives seem out of date. The sections of the book where she writes about health and how, for the sake of their mental health, people shouldn’t try to self-isolate obviously jar massively with today’s situation. But, none of us could have predicted quite what 2020 would bring. If Jo’s publishers (or Jo herself maybe) are reading, that might make a good extra chapter for any future version. How women should prepare themselves for any similar future pandemic and what women learnt from this one. Then again I’m pretty sure Jo’s advice would be something along the line of stocking up on cigarettes, alcohol and chocolate in advance and not following Joe Wicks on YouTube every morning!
Born Lippy by Jo Brand is available *online in various paper and digital formats. Or, if you’re reading this post lockdown, why not get a copy from your local library.
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