Skip to content

Blog Tour Review! Self-Contained: Scenes From A Single Life by Emma John

Self-Contained: Scenes From A Single Life is an autobiographical collection of intelligently funny anecdotes about the life of Emma John, a single, childless woman approaching 40 years old. It is a sharp, witty book that reframes a life of singleness.

This review is brought to you in association with the LoveReading UK Ambassador Book Buzz Blog Tour that I am hosting along with some other bloggers in the community. See below or click the link for more information.

The clever title makes me think of tiny London flats with their extortionate rents, where you can reach the kitchen from the bed, usually requiring single occupancy. Whilst Emma’s John’s book shows only a diminutive understanding of this plight, I found her book overall, to be intuitively relatable and hilarious!

From stories about university life, workplace dissatisfaction, family, online dating and holiday-making, John takes us on a journey through the events in her life that have led to her eventual singledom. At times gut-busting in its hilarity and at times sombre, these recollections explore the dichotomy of loneliness and independence, synonymous with singleness. It is also probing in the way it considers how language associated with ‘growing up’ always seems to point to coupledom. I thought reflective moments such as this and others like it were perfect in terms of rethinking the societal norms of being single.

Self-Contained is a funny, intelligent and laid-back book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

You Might Also Like:

Books I’m Reading for Bisexual Visibility Week

As it’s currently Bisexual Visibility or Awareness week, an international celebration that is observed annually from 16 – 23 September, I’ve compiled a line-up of books with bi characters that I’m hoping to finish by the end of this month.

Book Review! BLACK JOY – An Essay Collection

From essays about revolutionising the way we perceive masculinity to Carnival to Caribbean food to creating spaces for Black people to enjoy cultural expression … these essays discuss how Black Joy can either be a deeply personal or collective experience.

Let’s Talk About Cancel Culture

To claim victimhood for simply having an opinion is a wilful act of ignorance that completely disregards the detrimental impact those opinions have on society’s most vulnerable people.

2 Comments »

  1. This sounds like a really interesting book. The point about language being associated with coupledom as we grow up has me thinking about Dr. Britney Cooper in “Eloquent Rage” saying that as we get older it’s rare that you get “celebrated” outside of being partnered or having a baby unless you pursue higher education or have a birthday. That’s stuck with me ever since.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: