Welcome to The ECBC Book Club!
Every month we will be sharing a book we have found helpful- whether it has helped to lift us out of a dark place, build up our mental health toolkit, made us laugh or was simply too brilliant not to share. And we want you to get involved too! Let us know what you thought of this month’s book in the comments below or on social media (use the hashtag #ECBCBookClub).
Reading is proven to reduce stress, improve your mental and emotional health and is a great way to make time for yourself. Let’s do it together.
July’s book is introduced by our very own Jodie.
How to be Champion – Sarah Millican
“Champion means canny means pretty good means not bad means fair to middling means cracking on with life means nowt’s a bother. That’s what I want. To always be champion.”
I read How to be Champion whilst curled up in bed on a weekend away in the Peak District with my boyfriend with wodges of tissue stuffed up my nostrils to stem the river of snot from the worst colds I’ve ever had (sexy). Despite being a pile of self-pity and lemsip, this book really lifted my spirits and has since made me think about how I approach difficult times.
Somewhere between an autobiography and a self-help book, Sarah takes us from her challenging school days to how she felt turning forty with the honest Geordie wit that has made her an icon on our tellies. There’s funny anecdotes about her early jobs, lists of things she has been bullied for, men she has loved, and even a recipe for her favourite cake. At the end of nearly every chapter are little tips of how to be “champion”, ranging from how to deal with body image, your family and when is the best time to buy stationary (September FYI).
One of the main things I took away from this book was how Sarah used her creativity and hard-working nature to help her work through one of the toughest times of her life. She had just divorced her first husband, she had had to leave her flat and move back in with her parents, she was working six days a week “to kill every spare minute I could”.
And then one day, during a lunch break at work, she booked herself on a performance workshop. At the time, this was way out of her comfort zone. But as Sarah herself said, “the scariest thing in the world had already happened. I was at rock bottom”. This is a powerful lesson- being brave is scary but sometimes it can be an invaluable way to pick yourself up and start working back up to the top. And, of course, it can all go tits up, but what do you have to lose by trying? And what if it goes right? Look at how successful Sarah is now by taking that leap of faith.
“I went into the ladies’ loos after my set and jumped up and down in a cubicle. I’d done a thing I was terrified of and it felt amazing.”
Overall, I loved How to be Champion. It is touching, cheeky, and really, really normal– a rare quality in autobiographies. It is fun and easy-to-read, and the advice she dispenses is universal. It is also, as you would expect, hilarious. Her cheeky, often-dirty asides made laugh so hard I had to reload my tissue bullets (even sexier).
(If the above wasn’t reason enough to pick up this book, there’s also a picture of her dog in pants. GO! GO!)
Take Away Quote
“Life is not perfect or easy. But it can be amazing.”
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