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My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress

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My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress

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I’m sure you’ve all heard of Anna Delvey, the twenty something con-artist who scammed the whole of New York City. When I read The Cut’s article about her, I was immediately gripped by her story and wanted to know more, because it just seemed so crazy to me that these things could happen IRL. One of the people who got personally affected by Delvey’s shenanigans was Rachel DeLoache Williams, ex-Vanity Fair picture researcher, and she wrote about it in her book titled My Friend Anna: The True Story of a Fake Heiress. I’m writing this just before reaching the end of it, but it’s taking me a little while because this book gives me serious anxiety.

In short, the author tells the story of how she was invited back then by Delvey to take part in a lavish Moroccan trip. When she got there, she had to assume the charges, which went above US $30K, because the pretended German heiress did not have functional cards. What followed is a series of stressful texts and fake hopes between the two so that DeLoache Williams could get her money back.

But I would not recommend the book. Not just for how it made me feel, but I think the story focused too much on this specific incident of Delvey crime (which I concede, is quite traumatic) when there is SO much more to say about it. I think the story was dragging a little bit. For what it’s worth, I would focus on reading the articles already available in the media. It wasn’t bad per say, but I think you need to be able to take a lot to digest it. I try not to share too much negative feedback on my blog, but since I’ve been so excited about it and mentioned it a few times, I thought I should be honest.

What have you been reading recently?


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The Summer Reading Pile

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The Summer Reading Pile

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Ok maybe not for the whole summer… At the pace that I’m reading now, I’ll probably be done with these books by the end of June. There’s something quite comforting yet stressful when having a large ‘to read pile’ next to your bed. On one hand, I know I have amazing reading material waiting for me. On the other, it’s somewhat stressful because I feel rushed to go through all of them quickly so I get read even more books. You get the idea haha… But here I am with the ultimate summer reading list to get you inspired this summer!

A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara

Many many many people have talked about this book and how emotional it made them feel. Perhaps the most striking review was the one posted by The Twenties Club. I’m going to have to wait to read this one because I think since it’s quite dramatic, I need to be in the right mood for it.

Atonement, Ian McEwan

When Pandora Sykes was asked about her favourite book by The Pound Project, she replied “Tough call. But I would say that Atonement made the most intense impression on me.” And this is why I picked it up when I saw it at the Oxfam bookshop.

The Mars Room, Rachel Kushner

I’ve seen this book many times on Instagram, and one of the reasons I wanted to read it was because it was shortlisted for the 2018 Man Booker Prize Award. Once again, this is a thrifted find!

One Day, David Nicholls

Another Pandora Sykes recommendation (sorry!) from her essay in the Comfort Zones anthology about the books she would want her daughter to read. I’ve seen the film a few years ago but I’m looking forward to reading it. Yesterday I also listened to David Nicholls’s interview on the How to Fail Podcast and his personal story was very compelling.

Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret, Craig Brown

This book is quite special because it combines facts with fiction about my favourite British royal: Princess Margaret. I have heard Craig Brown being interviewed about it in the Royally Obsessed podcast and it seemed like such a fun book to dip in and out of.

How to be Loved, Eva Hagberg Fisher

I brought this book to London with me and I have to be honest but I first noticed it because of its amazing cover! It’s a story about illness, friendship and so much more. I’m really looking forward to reading it.

What Red Was, Rosie Price

I just started this fantastic story by Rosie Prince after attending a panel with her last Wednesday. It’s her debut novel and she has received so much praise for it, notably because it discusses difficult themes like sexual assault. So far I am absolutely loving her tone of voice.

The Lido, Libby Page

Ending on a lighter note with another book about friendship, but this time an intergenerational friendship between two women swimming at the same Lido. Libby Page’s interview on the Let’s Discuss podcast will make you want to read it!


And the book I’ve just finished reading: ‘How To Fail’ by Elizabeth Day

Elizabeth Day is a force to be reckoned with. This is a heart-wrenching yet comforting novel about failing in different areas of your life. It is inspired by the journalist’s own failures from IVF, to a divorce, career failures, anger, etc. I’ve had the chance to see Elizabeth speak last week for a live version of her podcast with Zawe Ashton and she is one impressive woman (and so is Zawe)!

What are you planning to read this summer?

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