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Your Own Kind of Girl

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  4,360 ratings  ·  441 reviews
"This is the story I promised myself, aged twenty-one, that I would one day be brave enough - and well enough - to write."

Clare Bowditch has always had a knack for telling stories. Through her music and performing, this beloved Australian artist has touched hundreds of thousands of lives. But what of the stories she used to tell herself? That 'real life' only begins once
Paperback, 324 pages
Published October 28th 2019 by Allen and Unwin
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  4,360 ratings  ·  441 reviews

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4.5★ [I've just added a link below to my review of "All Birds Have Anxiety" which has wonderful photographs that go well with Clare's story.]

“It’s the same thought, the same story that so many grieving children, and adults, tell themselves after someone they love has died — it was all my fault. For reasons that I didn’t then understand, there was a very bad feeling inside me. I didn’t know it was just a feeling. I thought it was who I was.”

Clare Bowditch was the baby of the family, three sisters
Sarah Stivens
Nov 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Every encounter I’ve had with Clare Bowditch has left me feeling more whole. At 18, after years of obsessively listening to her songs in my bedroom, I finally saw her live at The Corner Hotel. Clare met with fans afterwards, signing albums. I’ll never forget the moment she looked at me and said: “Hey lovely, great singing tonight. I could hear you in the crowd!”. I felt warm, valued. Liked she’d just invited me into a world that was more beautiful. More compassionate.

This book does exactly that
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews

4.5 stars

‘I was not born to be like other girls. I was going to be my own kind of girl.’

In this often overwhelming, busy and pressured world, it is hard to find the time to take stock and recognise that what you are feeling is normal. Clare Bowditch’s memoir, Your Own Kind of Girl, is incredibly frank and honest, but also universal, speaking for many of us around the country – of all ages and creeds.

At the formative age of just twenty one, Clare Bowditch, no
Claire Bowditch is a successful Australian folk singer. This memoir has been lauded by many, so I took the opportunity to check it out for myself.

It focuses primarily on Bowditch's struggles with anxiety and depression. The death of one of her older sisters when only seven years old, years of dieting, from when she was just eleven, relationship breakups, and probably a genetic disposition - accumulated to the point of a major nervous breakdown at only twenty-one when living in London.
What follo
Julie Garner
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biographies, arc
OUTSTANDING!!! This is an honest, open and raw memoir from an extremely talented Australian entertainer. In a week when mental health has come to the forefront in my home state, Clare’s book shares with us her experiences and helps us understand a little more how it is sometimes what is below the surface that is a person’s truth at that time.
Sitting in a cafe reading this book is a little embarrassing when there are tears falling down your cheeks in to your pie. There is such connection with her
Jackie McMillan
I picked up this book because ABC The Drum started a book club to help people cope with COVID-19. I had no idea who Clare Bowditch was, so am only reviewing based upon what I read, rather than from the perspective of a music fan predisposed to like the author. The book is poorly written and repetitive. Instead of an integrated story, Your Own Kind of Girl starts from childhood over and over again. The first nine chapters outline Bowditch's journey from child to adult from the perspective of ment ...more
Dec 13, 2019 rated it liked it
I was saving this for an easy read for a plane trip, but ended up reading it while sick in bed instead. Clare Bowditch seems like an incredibly lovely and kind woman who has worked hard to build a meaningful life after overcoming some challenging times, and never comes across as a victim of her circumstances. I related to a lot of her struggles and found myself unusually emotional while reading this book - my illness was definitely partly to blame there, but the way Bowditch writes about her fam ...more
M - The long hot spell
Clare Bowditch had a privileged life in some respects (and admits so in the book) with a supportive family and friends and a good education. She eventually met a partner she could rely on, had children and a music career. But right from her early years she was dealt some harsh blows. Around the time she started school, her family lost a child to illness. Clare developed a body image problem while still young. As an adult, she had a breakdown. She has worked hard to overcome continuing, if interm ...more
B Schrodinger
Jan 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For those who do not know Clare, she is mainly known as a singer/songwriter in the Australian alternative music scene and her most famous albums came in the 2000s. What first attracted me and my now wife to her music is her voice and message. Her songs were always heartfelt and unique.

'Your Own Kind of Girl' is Clare's autobiography and, like her music, is also heartfelt and unique. But the messages and situations the Clare has endured are some that are common to many. Clare's life has been eve
Oct 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Today, I think of the names we give mental illness more as a shorthand to describe the weather pattern our mind is stuck in at any one time. These names are not used to describe a sunny day; they are used to describe the storm... They say nothing of the strengths, or sunshine, the gold in them hills. They’re just here to predict the kind of weather pattern that might be ahead; which route we should take, and what we should pack if we want to stay dry.”

I had no idea just how cathartic of an expe
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A compelling memoir. I just want to squeeze that little girl on the cover in a huge hug and say, it will all be ok.
Clare Bowditch has been singing her heart out all her life, and writing songs to sing, and she's written something special here.
Her story could help a lot of people and I suspect it's already helped me. After all, don't we all have to remember to tell our inner doom and gloom voice to just shut the F*&K up :D
Reading this memoir is a great way to remind yourself of that.
Highly rec
Reannon Bowen
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not the story I was expecting but most definitely a story I needed.
Jul 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"But you weren't born to be 'some other girl'. You're gonna be your own kind of girl."

Baring her soul for all to see, Clare Bowditch shares the "stories we tell ourselves and what happens when we believe them". Growing up in Melbourne, Australia was bliss for Clare and her siblings until her big sister Rowena ("Rowie" as called affectionately by her family) fell ill and was admitted to hospital. Back in the early 1980s, MS was a difficult thing to diagnose and treat not to mention this was a
Renee Hermansen
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Clare Bowditch tells her story in the most honest way within this book.
In a candid and brutally honest way she describes the death of her older sister when she was young, her ongoing struggles with her weight and how she deals with an emotional breakdown while overseas.
It is a long road back for Clare but this book is so relevant to anyone who has suffered with anxiety, depression or the pressures of everyday life or even knows someone who has. It holds many hints to help with these times and s
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars. This book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. I thought the first two chapters were poetic in their description of childhood, memory and grief. They were moving and brave. The same goes for Clare’s description of her struggle with mental health, which did well to capture the nuance of anxiety and depressive thoughts and how they can consume a life. I loved the warmth and honesty that were brought to these parts. But I really struggled with the pacing of the rest of the book - it jumped a ...more
Nov 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fave
This is the book I needed when I was 15 years old and the book I need now. ❤️️ Clare is a goddamn national treasure and must be protected at all costs!!
Dear Clare,

Your memoir is a triumph - I have not been as ‘taken with’ or admired a book in such a deep and commendable way for far too long.

Before I read Your Own Kind of Girl I don’t think I had ever listened to one of your songs but that has now been put to rights. How could I not search out your music and songs when they are so much part of your life you described so powerfully, heartbreakingly, honestly,unflinchingly, tenderly, joyfully and oh! so wisely in your remarkable memoir.

I imag
I don't read a lot of non-fiction but given my disordered eating history a friend thought I'd like this and I did.

I could very much relate to a lot of the exhausting internal discussion Bowditch had to grapple with and continue to struggle with that myself; despite usually knowing 'my Frank' (inner critic) is not always right.

The only thing I usually have difficulty with in non-fiction is the logic of some of the chapter flow if not unfolding chronologically... and felt that way here, as we se
Theresa Smith
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: aww2019
I have never read a more meaningful memoir, nor a more spot on account of trauma, grief, and mental illness until now, with this book: Your Own Kind of Girl. From my reckoning, Clare and I are of a similar age, so there was a great deal of nostalgia and relatable moments throughout this book for me. As a teen in the 90s, I was heavily influenced by the skeletal super model movement, and while eating disorders are more complicated than simply emulating media impressions, this was, for me, where i ...more
I've enjoyed Ms. Bowditch's music over the years, and her occasional appearances on television shows such as Rockwiz, Spicks & Specks and Q&A. However, I'd never picked up much of her backstory until reading this memoire.
Bowditch's relation of her experience of lifelong grief over the childhood death of her elder sister (when Bowditch was 6), her protracted battles with body image issues, depression and anxiety, and a pretty mean case of negative self-talk, are honest and courageous. Although he
B Reads
Dec 02, 2020 rated it did not like it
I wanted to love this book, but I really couldn't. Clare Bowditch seems to be trying way too hard to please the reader that it comes across disingenuous. There is also a lot of repetition in the book - probably a failure in the editing department. The book just didn't offer anything original, although I did like the 'Fuck off Frank' phrase Clare used to say to 'Frank' whenever the bad feelings entered her head. It felt like a pretty average story about a girl who suffered with mental health and ...more
Megan Maurice
Jan 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I found this hard to read because of the mental health content, but it was beautifully written and such an interesting story of Clare Bowditch's life. Her music was so important to me when I was a uni student and it was lovely to find out some of the snippets behind her writing of some of the songs. ...more
I've always admired Clare Bowditch's music, particularly her fantastic lyrics so when I heard she had written a book, I knew I would want to read anything she penned. Like her lyrics, I expected openness, humour and some messaging about strong women in the music industry but boy did I get more than I bargained for!

Your Own Kind of Girl is a raw, warts and all journey through grief, disordered eating and mental ill-health counterbalanced with the love of friends, family, humour and (of course) mu
Nov 03, 2020 added it
Two of my dearest friends gave me a copy of this book, and I admit I put it on my shelf, feeling obliged to read it at some point, but not really seeing the appeal. I finally committed to it and BOOM! It's honestly one of the best books I've read this year. Bowditch writes both clearly and concisely but with a depth of detail that took me along with her.

It's also a lesson in being gentle with yourself and with others. Just a wonderful reminder of our complicated, tragic and wonderful humanity.

Oct 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a book for daughters sisters mothers grandmothers aunties and girlfriends. -this is a book for anyone who cares for, loves or is close to any of those women- this book is for everyone. Bowditch has a way of sharing the bitter sweet and hard as it is, laying it before you ready for you to identify yourself and others in her experience. With humility and humour she delves into her life and shares herself in a way that can help so many. Bowditch crafts words with the care and control of a w ...more
Kali Napier
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this memoir from the library but will need to buy it. I couldn't highlight, circle, annotate it as I really wanted to. Fuck off Frank is my new mantra. I am also listening to Clare Bowditch's free EP as I type this. I'm ashamed to say I've never heard of her or her music before, but it's wonderful. You definitely don't need to be a fan of her music or musician memoirs to read this book. You just need to be a human being. ...more
Dec 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
I wanted to like this, but I struggled to get past the second chapter. Too much "I remember when..." repeated over and over. Maybe you need to go into it knowing more about the author or as a fan of the author. I hadn't heard of her before I embarked on this but hadn't thought it would matter much. Apparently it does. ...more
Alan  Marr
Jul 08, 2020 rated it liked it
As a story this book is marvelous. As a book it is not as good. It seems to lose its way as she finds her way. A more rigorous edit might have helped. However it is worth reading. Bowditich is a person of great courage and integrity. I love her music too....and her mum.
Annalese Summerson
Dec 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberley Parrant
Jul 16, 2020 rated it it was ok
I wanted to like this but found it hard to read. For me it felt tedious. Parts were interesting and engaging and other parts feel long, drawn out, and difficult to attend to.
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Clare Bowditch is a story-teller who lives in Melbourne with her husband Marty, their three teenage children, a white groodle, and one lone surviving free-ranging guinea pig. In terms of 'the fancy stuff', Bowditch is a bestselling ARIA Award-winning musician (Best Female Artist), Rolling Stone Woman of the Year (Contribution to Culture), Logie-nominated actor (for her role as 'Rosanna' on hit TV ...more

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Here’s some trivia for your next vacation get-together: The concept of the summer “beach read” book goes all the way back to the Victorian...
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“When I am with him, my sensitivity does not feel like a liability - it just feels like the truth, sometimes inconvenient, but a truth that I'm allowed to speak without worrying that it will break us.” 0 likes
“Songs were homes for things that needed containing.” 0 likes
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