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Why We Can’t Sleep meets Furiously Happy in this hilarious, heartfelt memoir about one woman’s midlife obsession with Benedict Cumberbatch, and the liberating power of reclaiming our passions as we age, whatever they may be.
Tabitha Carvan was a new mother, at home with two young children, when she fell for the actor Benedict Cumberbatch. You know the guy: strange name, alien face, made Sherlock so sexy that it became one of the most streamed shows in the world? The force of her fixation took everyone—especially Carvan herself—by surprise. But what she slowly realized was that her preoccupation was not about Benedict Cumberbatch at all, as dashing as he might be. It was about finally feeling passionate about something, anything, again at a point in her life when she had lost touch with her own identity and sense of self.
In This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch, Carvan explores what happens to women's desires after we leave adolescence…and why the space in our lives for pure, unadulterated joy is squeezed ever smaller as we age. She shines a light onto the hidden corners of fandom, from the passion of the online communities to the profound real-world connections forged between Cumberbatch devotees. But more importantly, she asks: what happens if we simply decide to follow our interests like we used to—unabashedly, audaciously, shamelessly? After all, Carvan realizes, there’s true, untapped power in finding your “thing” (even if that thing happens to be a British-born Marvel superhero) and loving it like your life depends on it.
About the Author
Tabitha Carvan has written for publications such as The New York Post, Australian Geographic, Overland, Offbeat Home, The Outline, AsiaLIFE, and MamaMia, focusing on issues of identity, family, and pop culture. This Is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch is her first book.
One of Good Housekeeping’s 20 New Books to Add to Your Summer 2022 Reading List
One of PureWow’s 20 Best Beach Reads of Summer 2022
“Part memoir, part self-help, this one will empower you to rediscover your own obsessions. And yes, Google image search the Sherlock actor, too." –Good Housekeeping
“A surprise midlife obsession with British actor Benedict Cumberbatch provides the occasion for musings on passion, aging, and identity in this spirited debut…Carvan’s self-aware approach wrings the absurdity out of her story to hilarious effect while touching on the realities of motherhood and fandom: “It’s not just about what we love, but how that love figures in our lives, and how it makes us feel.” The result is a weird-in-the-best-way account of self-discovery that brims with humor and insight.” –Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Quoting Brené Brown, Mary Oliver, and Gail Sheehy and referencing her own lifelong, complicated relationship with fandom, Carvan's loving but unapologetic manifesto is one to carry proudly on your next sojourn into the melee of backstage autograph seekers.” –Booklist, starred review
“This year’s most hilarious self-help book.” –Daily Mail
“Remember that feeling you had as a kid, when you loved things wholeheartedly, boldly, and loudly? If you feel a sense that there is something missing from your life, some gap between who you are on the inside and who you are on the outside, then this is the book for you.” –Eve Rodsky, author of Find Your Unicorn Space and Fair Play
"This really isn't a book about Benedict Cumberbatch. It's about so, so much more: Losing yourself and finding yourself, oppression and emancipation; sadness and joy. Tabitha Carvan's memoir will make you think and make you cackle. It's the most delightful book I've read in a long time." –Melinda Wenner Moyer, author of How to Raise Kids Who Aren't Assholes