What is it about Benedict Cumberbatch?

I have my preferences on books.  While some people enjoy nonfiction or memoirs; I prefer fiction.  I’m trying to escape; I want to be taken away by a book that is set in a fictional place with fictional people. 

That said, when I heard about this book: This is not a Book about Benedict Cumberbatch, I was interested.  Especially when the photos surfaced of Benedict Cumberbatch reading it. Poor Tabitha Carvan.  I’m sure she was having a small heart attack when those pictures appeared.

The subtitle of this book is “The joy of loving something—anything—like your life depends on it.”  I didn’t expect to both enjoy and be angry with his book as much as I did. 

While this book uses Benedict Cumberbatch as an effigy, the deeper meat of this book is how women are subtly pushed away from anything they might enjoy as early as their early teens. Tabitha talks about how she enjoyed music when she was a teen but she wasn’t one of those girls that liked boy bands, she was into more serious bands like U2 or INXS.  Even then, by the misfortune of her being born female, no matter how she tried, she was dismissed as being a “serious music lover”. We’ve all had that moment.  Where something we like is dismissed by men and some women who are trying to convince themselves they are “not one of those girls”.

 I am a Gen Xer and I fell hard for NKOTB in the late 80’s. I was much older than their “core fans”, meaning I was closer to the age of the guys in the band than I was of their fans. My favorite is three years older than me. I admit it, I went to this summer’s Mix Tape Tour and screamed right along with every other woman in that event center.

Tabitha talks about losing herself, the things she loved, the things she enjoyed when she was younger.  Putting them in a metaphorical box and pushed to the back of the closet when she got married and had children. How she just existed until one day she saw Benedict Cumberbatch, and everything just burst open. 

Girl, same.

This book, while it is about Benedict Cumberbatch, it’s more about how women should be able to have likes that aren’t “acceptable hobbies”.  While knitting groups and book clubs are good, (I’ve done both), so are going to conventions, and screaming at concerts where aging boy bands are playing.  So is getting exited about romance books and talking about the latest heartthrob.  This goes for all women, no matter the age.  This is a book about loving yourself and not listening to “You can’t”, instead saying “Yes I can”.

I could write so much more about this book, it affected me so much that, while I listened to it on audiobook, I immediately ordered two physical copies. One for me and one for a dear friend of mine who needed to read it as well.  And yes, she’s a Benedict Cumberbatch fan as well.

Go read it.  It’s worth it.  Because damn Tabitha.  Way to call us all out.

That’s it for this week friends.  Another week down and another week closer to those holidays coming up. 

Enjoy yourself my friends, and as always, relax and curl up with a good book.

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