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Hmmm, very strange!
Baggage: My Childhood - Janet Street-Porter
Member Name: katyj10
Baggage: My Childhood - Janet Street-Porter
Advantages: quick read
Disadvantages: glossy pages felt wrong
This is a review of Baggage, my childhood by Janet Street-Porter the famous TV presenter and journalist. Whilst I wouldn't say I was a fan of JSP, I was intrigued to hear her voice through a book and see if she really is like she appears when you see her on TV.
The book describes Janet's parents and grandparents in the beginning, how they met and what secrets they had that they kept from their children. Her relationship with her parents is iffy to start with but it seems they just didn't understand Janet.
As she grew up she was a whizz at school and most subjects (apart from Latin) came easily to her. She was popular with the boys and used her long and lean frame to dress in the latest 60s fashions. Alongside her passion for fashion and talent as a seamstress, Janet studied architecture at University. Again, she was popular with the boys having a stream of unserious relationships which often overhung each other without a start and end point!
Some of the book is quite serious and harsh, Janet has two abortions and states she doesn't really like children but was quite unconcerned about finding and using contraception and 'risked it' frequently. I found this quite hard to swallow even though it's fair to say she is frank and honest in her account.
My favourite bit in the book is where Janet describes pushing her younger sister down the stairs for "getting tits first" (before her) ~ her jealousy towards her sister is quite amusing.
Through the book there are a number of pictures but some are poor in quality and hard to interpret. At the back of the book an index explains who and what's on the pictures but I didn't come to this until the end so stupidly ended up guessing who was on the pictures (I should have known better being a keen reader).
Usually in biographies, the middle pages are pictures and glossy and the rest are normal matte pages but all the pages in this hardback book were glossy and the words well spaced out. This meant it took me about 15 seconds to read each page and when turned they felt thick so I thought I had turned an extra page. Quite annoying really. I would prefer matte pages but I'm not sure whey they were all gloss.
You can see from reading this book that Janet has cut herself off from all her family following endless holidays in Wales and finding her family quite dreary. She states that she wanted fame and fortune for herself and enjoyed living outside London and travelling to the centre often to be with her friends, the trendy set. I also found out she had been cast in a number of 60s films for her on trend look and just had to hang around looking cool.
On a holiday in Jersey, Janet and her friend got tickets to see the Beatles and saw them driving around in her car. She was completely star struck and this shows underneath she really is quite real and normal I think!
Overall I'm sorry to say I didn't really get into this book, and I'm not desperate to recommend it to a friend to read like I am when I have enjoyed something. I found a lot of it quite boring although I am now a useless font of knowledge about JSP and her upbringing. Did you know she was a keen mod? Thought not! All well and good but perhaps the key here is to stick to reading books about those you admire and like!
My book is available on Read it swap it if anyone fancies a swapsie. Not sure I've sold it to you in this review though!!
Summary: not the best read for me
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