Ambassador Book Buzz: Self-Contained by Emma John

Emma John's Self-Contained: Scenes from a single life is a witty and honest memoir that looks into what it really means to be single in a world that doesn't want you to be. 


There is a piece of cod-wisdom regularly dispensed to single women: romance will arrive when you least expect it. I had assumed it would also make its own travel arrangements too.

Emma John is in her 40s; she is neither married, nor partnered, with child or planning to be.

In her hilarious and unflinching memoir, Self Contained, she asks why the world only views a woman as complete when she is no longer a single figure and addresses what it means to be alone when everyone else isn't.

In her book, she captures what it is to be single in your forties, from sharing a twin room with someone you've never met on a group holiday (because the couples have all the doubles with ensuite) to coming to the realisation that maybe your singleness isn't a temporary arrangement, that maybe you aren't pre-married at all, and in fact you are self-contained.

The book is an exploration of being lifelong single and what happens if you don't meet the right person, don't settle down with the wrong person and realise the biggest commitment is to yourself.


Self-Contained is an oh-so-readable account of the dichotomy women face: delaying or choosing not to "settle down and have children" in favour of their independence; while managing the preconceived expectation that you're waiting around for the opportunity to do just that. This is a story that many may will relate to, an amusing tale told with heart that will have a wide appeal regardless of your age or relationship status. If you want to find out more, you can read an opening extract of this book through the book page, or by clicking here.

Emma John is an award-winning author and journalist who writes regularly for the Guardian and Observer and is known for writing on music, theatre, film, books and travel. Her previous books include Wayfaring Stranger and Following On. 

We're excited to shout about this brilliantly witty memoir and we hope that you'll love this book as much as we do.

Please find below the dates and details of our Ambassador Book Buzz, as well as the links to our ambassadors' blogs. Please show them some #BookLove and visit their website to see what they have to say about Self-Contained.

5TH JULY: The Writing Garnet

7TH JULY: Over The Rainbow Book Blog

9TH JULY: Rachel Read It

12TH JULY: Motley Reviews

14TH JULY: What Do I Read Now?

16TH JULY: LochanReads

If you enjoyed this, check out our other 'Book Chat' blogs.

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