The Reading List – January 2019

Presented for your amusement and intellectual enrichment: the best pieces of writing the Octopus Group copy team has read in the past month. Be inspired, disgusted, entertained, or a combination of the three.

Why I created the parody Twitter account Bougie London Literary Woman (Imogen West-Knights, New Statesman)

Bougie London Literary Woman has been amusing the copy team since it first appeared last year. After a good deal of speculation about who (or whom) might be behind it, BLLW unmasked herself this week. This article by Imogen West-Knights is both an entertaining read and an interesting take on social media culture. Read it now!

How running cured my anxiety – and a broken heart (Bella Mackie, The Guardian)

There’s no shortage of get fit, get happy, new year, new you articles in January. This one is a cut above. Based on her new book, Jog On, Bella Mackie writes with great honesty about mental health and how running helped her during dark times, and continues to do so. What makes this so nice to read is that it’s not an experienced ultra marathon runner telling you how to do things, but someone speaking on your level. Read it now!

Are These Bad Habits Creeping Into Your Writing? (Benjamin Dreyer, LitHub)

Benjamin Dreyer is the copy chief at Penguin Random House. So it’s fair to say he knows a thing or three about words and writing and that. Always suckers for a piece about the craft, we enjoyed this look at writing habits, how they emerge, and how to stamp bad ones out. Read it now!

White gold: the unstoppable rise of alternative milks (Oliver Franklin-Wallis, The Guardian)

Soy, rice, almond – if you’ve frequented a coffee shop any point in the last year, you’ll already know that plain old cow’s milk has got some serious competition. With veganism on the rise and dietary requirements in the spotlight, this Guardian long read is a thoughtful discussion of the rise of ‘white gold’. But are we fast approaching ‘peak plant milk’? (One third of the copy team has recently begun a dalliance with oat milk, so let’s hope not.) Read it now!