Claire speaks to Daisy Buchanan, who’s a prolific journalist, a former agony aunt, and the author of How to Be a Grown-Up, which is out now in paperback. They discuss how difficult the 20s years can be, their opposite experiences of family life, their shared ambivalence towards motherhood, and more.

You can listen to the episode here,

or Spotify, or iTunes,

or wherever else you get your podcasts.

Books Mentioned on the Podcast:

How to Be a Grown Up, by Daisy Buchanan

The Multi-Hyphen Method: Work less, create more, and design a career that works for you, by Emma Gannon

The Pursuit of Love, by Nancy Mitford

Love in a Cold Climate, by Nancy Mitford

The Blessing, by Nancy Mitford

Don’t Tell Alfred , by Nancy Mitford

Highland Fling, by Nancy Mitford

Noblesse Oblige: an enquiry into the identifiable characteristics of the English aristocracy, by Nancy Mitford

Everything I Know About Love, by Dolly Alderton

Pride & Prejudice, by Jane Austen

Sisterland, by Curtis Sittenfeld

Prep, by Curtis Sittenfeld

The Break, by Marian Keyes

The Art of Not Falling Apart, by Christina Patterson

Promising Young Women, by Caroline O’Donoghue

To Throw Away Unopened, by Viv Albertine

Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys.: A Memoir, by Viv Albertine

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, by Judith Kerr

The Lost Letters of William Woolf, by Helen Cullen

Useless Magic: Lyrics and Poetry, by Florence Welch

Eye Can Write: A memoir of a child’s silent soul emerging, by Jonathan Bryan

Slay In Your Lane: The Black Girl Bible, by Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené

Unscripted, by Claire Handscombe

(A note on my book links: they usually take you to Amazon, and I get a few pence per sale at no extra cost to you if you click them and buy from there, which will help me make this podcast viable long-term. But better than Amazon, who are, let’s be honest, not the greatest, is Blackwells or Waterstones, or, even better, your local independent bookshop. If you live in the US or elsewhere further afield, you can find UK books at Book Depository (also owned by Amazon) at a good price and with no postage cost, or sometimes at, or you can buy them from Amazon US, or, even better, an independent bookshop.)


Support Claire on Patreon to get bonus content and personalised book recommendations.

Buy Brit Lit Podcast merch to show your love for your podcast and help support it.

Pre-order Claire’s novel, Unscripted, help make the book happen, and get rewards too.

For daily news and views from British books and publishing, follow the Brit Lit Blog.

Questions? Comments? Need a book recommendation? Email Claire at


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Daisy Buchanan