Look January is rough. I’m skint, I can’t fit into most of my high-waisted jeans due to Christmas overindulgence and I have been accessorising all outfits with my floor length dressing gown. So I’ve been hitting the gym and eating healthily (way less fun than being permanently drunk with a roast tattie in one hand and chocolate in the other but hey), and I’m back into the swing of all things PhD. Other than my true crime obsession (everyone should listen to My Favourite Murder) my latest go-to thing to cheer myself up is 100 Nasty Women of History by Hannah Jewell (@hcjewell). Karen and I bought each other a copy for Christmas because we’re romantic like that and wow is it hilarious.
Jewell has written this book as a reaction to the now infamous T***p statement that Hilary Rodham Clinton was ‘such a nasty women.’ Leading to womankind to cry out in unison THEN SO AM I YOU TOOL. Jewell tells us in the introduction that we should ‘read these stories and bask in the warm, tingling sensation that comes from learning for the first time about a woman who gave zero fucks whatsoever.’ She’s not wrong, it’s incredibly cheering, as is Jewell’s writing style, which is profanity-laden, vulgar and absolutely hilarious. Highlights include Hildegarde von Bingen being described as ‘a 12th-century polymath, composer and dirty nun’, and Empress Wu as being ‘the only female sovereign in China’s long history to rule in their own right, under her own name, rather than being the regent for some shitty baby or as the ‘real’ power behind her crap husband.’ Like I said, hilarious, but potentially not child-friendly or for those who don’t enjoy liberal use of the phrase ‘SURPRISE BITCH’.
The 100 women selected by Jewell are divided into chapters pithily entitled things like ‘Women with impressive kill counts’, and ‘Women who knew how to have a good-ass time.’ It has actually had me laughing out loud, and as each entry is a maximum of 6 pages long it is a great book to dip into when you need a quick laugh. At around 400 pages overall it is a satisfying length, I hate when a book is too short, especially when it’s as funny and genuinely educational as this one. So what I’m really saying is, buy this book and read it with/to your pals and January will be over in the blink of an eye.