One of my favourite things about working is the fact that I actually have time to read what I want to read. When I'm a student, I'm constantly bogged down by what I have to do. I wake up at 8am and am sitting at my computer studying research papers within minutes. I stay like that until 10pm. I only leave my room to go to the toilet, eat lunch, go to lectures or go watch the shop for a couple of hours. There is no time to relax on the sofa with a novel or a bit of junk TV or even to go outside and enjoy the rare sunshine, there is only work.

So being able to leave work in the office is a bit of a novelty for me.

As a result, I've finally sat down and started working my way through those 80 kindle books I have accumulated. Yup, 80. There are even more on my bookshelves at home, bought circa 2011. I have a serious problem with buying. It's just too easy to waltz into Waterstones and grab a pile of deliciously fresh new texts. Even worse, on Amazon it doesn't even feel like you're spending money but then ping, there is a brand new title in your ever-expanding library and for as little as 50p (or even nothing at all) you have that gorgeous satisfaction of a new book.


Ok so admittedly, I haven't gotten through War and Peace quite yet (give me time, ok?) I thought I'd start with something a little easier to read, something I could trip through over the course of a few days.

Ladies and gentlemen (well ok, maybe just ladies for this one) I give you...

I Heart Paris by Lindsey Kelk

I'm not normally a chick lit reader but after harbouring a free magazine copy of I Heart NY for years, I finally settled down to read it last summer. Our protagonist Angela is incredibly likeable; she is clumsy, vulnerable, insecure but relentlessly upbeat and optimistic. She is flawed but she is also the kind of girl we can all relate to and the kind most of us would love to have as a best friend.

Compared to some other characters in this genre (Paige Toon's creation in Lucy In The Sky, I'm looking at you) she's someone you actually want to spend your free evenings with.

However in this, the third book of the series, I feel a little bit like Kelk has run out of steam. Some of the comedy came across as unbearably slapstick and try hard for my liking and some of the things Angela says just make me want to facepalm myself. There's too much talk of weddings and babies and complete dependence on the boyfriend and "I'm a girl, what am I supposed to do?" for me to be able to fully enjoy this light read. It drives me mad when people perpetuate this idea that girls are biologically programmed to want a big white fluffy wedding and hundreds of babies and a walk-in wardrobe to rival Carrie Bradshaw's. Seriously, no. It is not part of being a girl. It is just part of being a particular kind of girl with certain interests and desires. Stop branding us all with the same tired iron.

But anyway. Chick lit isn't exactly renowned for being thought provoking Pulitzer-winning literature so I should probably relax about the whole intelligence-insulting for a minute.

I still enjoyed the book, the story was a little predictable if you've read the other books i.e Angela manages to not realise what an amazing job she has and takes it far too casually to actually get off her arse and make it in the big time whilst being screwed over by people again, which seems to be a theme in her life. I was possibly a little irritated by this turn of events because I'm the kind of person who sprints towards life goals and doesn't trust anyone else to get the job done for me. But there you go. Perhaps if the next book is about how it totally isn't her fault she can't lose weight and can't work out what her diet and work-out routine should be then maybe I'll be feeling more sympathetic.

At one point, everything goes so so badly it's a little like emotional pornography. It drags you right back to those days where EVERYTHING in the world is so bad you can't even think of a single right. I kind of revelled in that bit. It made me feel like everything in my life was crap so it felt even better when everything sorted itself out again, almost like a detox.

Even though there were things that irritated me, I will keep reading to the end of the series. It's so light-hearted and easy-going and Kelk takes you to other places around the world whilst indulging in the details of this life that a lot of people will wish they had. I confess, it has made me start coveting a Marc Jacobs bag and I'm certainly more interested in the merits of American Apparel now (although I'd be way more interested if the details focused on food rather than clothes but that's just me.) I'm not a huge fan of Paris but the book made me feel as if I should give it a second chance even if it wasn't as well described as it is in Karen Swan's Christmas at Tiffany's (yep, I really am beginning to make my way around easy reads!)

Next up, I've got Flush by Virginia Wolf to read and then maybe I'll return to Game of Thrones again. Who knows but whatever it is, I will be reporting back!