Book Chatter: 5 Reasons You Should Read This Thirtysomething Life and This Family Life by Jon Rance


If you’re a regular reader of my blog you will know that two of my favourite books that I’ve read this year have been This Thirtysomething Life and This Family Life by Jon Rance. I picked up This Thirtysomething life completely by chance, thinking that it sounded like the kind of read that I would enjoy, but in no way was I expecting to love the story as much as I did.

I couldn’t get enough of Harry Spencer’s diaries, detailing his on-going battle against being a ‘grown-up’ as he navigates married life, work and then *gasp* fatherhood… As Harry swaps Match of the Day for Mothercare and, erm, sheds, you’ll cry both tears of laughter and sadness at these heart warming, all too familiar stories.

Rather than waffle on about why I love Jon’s books, I thought I would list the top 5 reasons as to why This Thirtysomething Life and This Family life are just so darn good…

BeFunky_NEW-JACKET-FOR-AMAZON.jpg1) The Characters. There’s such a mix of superb and downright wacky characters in these books. Harry makes for the perfect lead, loveable and funny, his heart is in the right place but he doesn’t always get it right. He’s only human after all. I guarantee that most readers will be able to identify with Harry in some way or another. Then there’s the excellent supporting cast, a few of which deserve a special mention are William (Harry’s Grandad), Deirdre St Cloud and the FANTASTIC Steve.

2) One of the things I love most about these books is that they are hugely realistic. The things that Harry and Emily deal with I can guarantee that everybody has encountered at some point in their lives. There’s perverted neighbours, the annoyance of pre-meeting meetings, in-laws misbehaving, the joys (!) of Monopoly, best friends deserting you to live in Australia, and of course, the biggie… having to grow up and not necessarily wanting to. Harry and Emily are a couple you can completely relate to and some of their everyday difficulties will have you nodding your head in recognition.

3) These books are completely multi-gender. If you’re a man you will no doubt identify (and possibly sympathise?) with Harry. I’m only guessing here but I’m sure that he is saying what most men are thinking (but aren’t brave or foolish enough to actually say themselves…) However these books will also appeal massively if you are a female reader too. They are the perfect  peek into a man’s mind *evil laugh*. In all seriousness, you may be rolling your eyes or open-mouthed in disbelief at some of Harry’s inner most thoughts but you can’t help but warm to him. And perhaps despair on Emily’s behalf…?

4) THEY’RE HILARIOUS! These books are laugh-a-page, and the perfect remedy to brighten up even the darkest mood. Harry is just such a funny guy (not always intentionally, perhaps) and the dialogue, the characters, the scenarios plus much, much more amount to comedy at its best. If Bridget Jones’ can get a film then by all means Harry Spencer should have one too, as Jon’s books would make for fantastically funny films. If these books were movies you’d be snorting popcorn through your nose with laughter. THAT’S how funny they are. I’m sat here laughing to myself just thinking back to some of the scenes in these novels (I’m not weird. Honest…)

5) The emotion. Yes, these books are laugh your socks off funny, but there’s quite a lot of unexpected emotion hidden between the pages. Jon achieves the perfect balance of comedy and sadness, something which I would imagine is very, very difficult to do and took me completely by surprise. In This Thirtysomething Life when Harry’s Grandad dies I was heartbroken, the man was a legend, but some of the scenes will have you crying your eyes out. The same goes for This Family Life when Harry’s Mum falls ill. They’re both very real and scary situations but Jon weaves them into the story so carefully without undermining the seriousness of what’s going on.


Get your copy of This Thirtysomething Life here and grab a copy of This Family Life which is ONLY 99P on a Kindle Countdown Deal here (ENDS TODAY!!)







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