Review: This Is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch- Tabitha Carvan

This is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch

Tabitha Carvan

Fourth Estate

Harper Collins

ISBN:  9781460760659

RRP $32.99


If you feel that sense that there is something missing from your life, some gap between who you are on the inside and who you are on the outside – then this is the book for you.

This is, as the title says, not actually a book about Benedict Cumberbatch.

In fact, it’s a book about women and what we love, about what happens to women’s passions after we leave adolescence and how the space for joy in our lives is squeezed ever smaller as we age, and why. More importantly, it’s about what happens if you subvert that narrative and simply love something like you used to.

Drawing upon her personal experience of unexpectedly falling for the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch while stuck at home with two young children, Carvan challenges the reader to stop instinctively resisting the possibility of experiencing pleasure. Hers is clarion rallying cry: find your thing, whatever it may be, and love it like your life depends on it.

Funny, intelligent, transporting and liberating, this book is a total joy.

Witty, erudite and fierce in its message – that women should seek joy and find fun. Happily, this book provides both in abundance. I loved it.‘ Jacqueline Maley

You know when you bite into a chocolate, and unexpectedly discover it’s filled with delectable cherry kirsch that explodes into your mouth and oozes everywhere? That’s this book. Original, highly entertaining, fast-paced, personal read that contains unexpected revelations at every corner. It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s compelling. But most of all, it’s a battle cry: sit up, pay attention and follow your heart and find joy. After all, our time on this earth is short. C’mon. The clock is ticking.‘ Ginger Gorman

‘Intimate, self-deprecating … like an Australian Caitlin Moran or Dolly Alderton … an easy, lighthearted read about serious subject matter: feminism, passion, relationships and creativity, and owning the strength of the passions felt in childhood and adolescence.’ Books+Publishing

My View:

Let’s start with 5 star read. Wonderful cover art. A surprising, evocative, provocative and thoroughly enjoyable read. In fact I might even read this again and again. And that says something.

I picked up this booked – for two reasons- I do love the cover art and I am a fan of Benedict Cumberbatch since I discovered this video. I love his voice. Check this out. He “reads” poetry, letters….I would listen to him read a shopping receipt. 🙂

But I digress. 🙂

The book, though it does rave and gush about the wonders of the man Benedict Cumberbatch (to illustrate a point 🙂 ) it is actually a book about finding passion, finding yourself, acceptance and love. It is about discovering or rediscovering feelings, rediscovering self, honoring your self.

It is a fun, witty, intelligent and thought provoking read.

I loved this book.

Reflections – The Importance of Self Love

Lately I have been thinking  a lot about relationships, the construct of “family” and how we find our place in the world. It is not easy. We don’t get a manual on how to live a good and full life, we have to try things out for ourselves – and hopefully along the way we do no damage and we learn and grow.

I suppose we have our peers to set examples- but often they are just trying to figure it out  for themselves. A good place to start developing into the adults we want to become is to practice the art of self love – and it is an art, something to practice and practice till it flows easily for without it we are stunted emotionally, we are unable to give freely of ourselves and our ability to love another is restricted. I think self happiness and selfishness are under rated, often these qualities are attached to negative images. Why?

I wish I knew. Why do we need quotes or references such as the one above to remind us to care for ourselves?  Is it because as children we were constantly reminded to share and not be selfish? To think of others before our selves? To put our needs last.  Is it because a lot of us baby boomers have parents who lived through a depression or war and experienced frugality, hardship and rations?  Sharing was necessary. Selflessness was expected as there were others worse off than you? Be grateful.

We need to make changes.

I am not suggesting that we become hedonistic creatures of  exaggerated self importance  but merely that we need balance in our life. The more we are happy with our own existence the more we can share with others, the more love we will attract – love begets love. In essence, you, your family, the community will be better for the sharing of love that starts at home – within yourself.

Give yourself a mental hug today.  You are worth it. You are great!

Tell someone you love, you love them.  Love you babe. Love you both my darling girls.


Feels better already doesn’t it?