Book review: Blank

My dear booklovers, tomorrow is the publication day for Blank, the companion book to the hit podcast of the same title by writer Giles Paley-Phillips and comedian Jim Daly.

What is it about?

Blank is an informal, insightful podcast in which well-known people from acting, writing, politics and sports chat about their lives and how they get through tough moments like public failure, writer's block, social anxiety, imposter syndrome, identity crisis, and how they deal with parenting, grief, social media, their careers and switching off.

The book is a compendium of the common experiences and lessons encountered while talking to guests such as Jon Ronson, Dawn French, Michael Rosen, Gary Lineker, Stephen Mangan, Dame Kelly Holmes, Reece Shearsmith, Mark Gatiss, Fiona Murden, Rufus Sewell and many more.

Blank moments allow us to reset and see things differently. Far from being setbacks, they can be the impetus for clarity and creativity. Identify your blank moments and jump in – you never know what you might find.

What did I think?

Well, at first I didn’t know what to think! I wasn’t aware of the podcast before I was contacted about a potential review of this book so I approached it with an open mind. After all, that’s the best way to approach most things.

What I did find is an informal look at all the ways that ‘blankness’ can manifest itself and what it means for different people. I could relate to a lot of the content and sympathise with what is not (yet) part of my experience. The anecdotes and the ‘chatty’ format make the topic more easily digestible, and the conclusions being drawn are bound to give some comfort.

I know that, personally, I loved being reminded that what I can perceive as a huge failure on my part might be barely, if at all, noticed by the others.

Plus, I know this might sound a little geeky but there is also something particularly pleasing about the simple act of holding and browsing this book. The shape, the cover, the font, the layout… it’s just such a beautifully crafted object!


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