How to be Champion

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Oct 2017

Member Reviews

How to be Champion is a book that I wish had been written earlier, it's sort of like a manual for life as a young un, and reminds us that bullies don't always win. 
If you've ever seen Sarah Millican live then this book reads as though she were there on the sofa with you recounting the tales of her past.  You can hear her voice as she describes how vital it was to find out if you could wear glasses to disco dance, or how big her admiration is of her parents.  Don't get me wrong, it's not all sunshine in the garden, she does tell the reader about how rubbish life could be too, her warts and all frankness is refreshing and her sparkling wit shines though in her writing.

I found I was reading this aloud in sections to my husband and laughing so hard that I had tears rolling down my face, some sections of this are outrageously hilarious and this book proved to be just the "pick me up" that I needed after a stressful week.  I applaud her for her stance on body image, self-esteem, and mental health.  Millican has become an unofficial spokesperson for our generation and does so with great effect.  In at least two of her stage shows she has made a very clear point of mentioning that she has accepted her body image and no longer cares what others think (paraphrasing here), she is who she is and is happy with that and it's wonderful to see, there so many of us who can empathise with the sentiments and indeed she almost gives you the confidence to say "sod it, this is me, like it or bugger off".  We've all been there, in a changing room trying on clothes that don't fit and ended up buying a bag instead. 

Her brand of humour is stuffed into this book in spades and I for one love it.  As I mentioned above, it really does read as though you're sharing a cuppa and a cake with Sarah, it feels like she's telling her tales directly to you and only you despite the fact there are thousands of copies of this book out there in the hands of lucky readers. 

This is a book that I will treasure, and probably keep to pass on to my daughter once she's old enough.  A book that I wish I'd had in my teens to let me know that there  are some horrible people who will be bullies, there will be times when you wish the ground would swallow you up because of embarrassment but ultimately it's ok, you can still be champion at the end of it all. 

An uplifting and heart gladdening read that made me laugh, nod along in agreement and left me feeling bloody champion about it all!
Was this review helpful?
If you are fan of Saras then you will love this. She writs as she talks...hilarious,witty,feel like I know her personally. Laugh out loud humor.
Was this review helpful?
Just like having a cup of tea and a slab of cake with the lovely Sarah Millican. This book made me laugh and cry, and want to be nicer to all. Champion
Was this review helpful?
I listened to this book  on audiobook in  the car with three of us listening and it proved to be a great 'community listen'. I was always going to listen to this on audiobook because it is narrated by Sarah herself and so we get the true meaning of everything she is saying, straight from the authors mouth so to speak. She does mention pictures and photos attached in a PDF to the audiobook but I couldn't find them, so that was the only drawback of the audiobook!

The content of this book is great though. As the synopsis suggests, this is part memoir and part self-help because each of the chapters comes complete with the 'How to Be Champion' tip. I loved this aspect of the book. Amy book that has a call to action of some kind is a refreshing read and really stands out from the crowd. I also loved the fact that this author is so open and honest about things that have happened to her and the way they have made her feel. Her true feelings are sometimes not what you might expect them to be and she talks about the value of being honest and he value of therapy, which I really appreciated!

Of course, being Sarah Millican, this book has quite a lot of colourful language and graphic detail, so if swearing and a lot of talk of bodily functions isn't your thing then you might not enjoy this book. This book did make me laugh a lot and I was able to identify with some of the anecdotes too, always a good thing. As I said at the beginning, I think the audiobook was a great way to read this and would highly recommend if you are thinking of reading this book yourself. The hardback would make a great gift though, if you have some presents still left to buy!
Was this review helpful?
Brilliant book! Loved reading about Sarah’s life. So many laugh out loud moments.
Was this review helpful?
I’m a huge fan of Sarah Millican so when I heard she had a memoir coming out I was super excited. It was lovely to get an ARC to read ahead of publication and I’m so happy to say that this book was even better than I was expecting!

How to be Champion is part-memoir and part self-help book, and it’s just everything you’d want it to be. Sarah’s brilliant humour shines through in this book and so does her honesty and warmth.

I really loved reading this book. Sarah Millican is very open about her life and she shares personal stories alongside some advice on how to deal with similar situations that may crop up in your own life. It’s one of those books where you feel like the author is telling her story directly to you – you could be sat down with a cuppa having a chat.

This book covers everything from bad haircuts and clothing to periods to relationships and breakups. It felt like a really honest and open book that every woman will be able to relate to – I know it made me feel better about some of my own insecurities. It also made me laugh a lot as it reminded me of so many things that have happened in my own life. There are parts of this book that were moving too so it has such a great balance of how life really is. You know you’re reading a good book when it makes you feel all the feelings and this book definitely did that!

One of my favourite parts of the book was Sarah’s list of the men she’s loved in her life – Phillip Schofield is second on the list and it’s very amusing to find that the last man she fell in love with is not her husband! I could understand why the man who won her heart most recently did so though because he’s very cute (read the book to find out more!).

This is one of those books that I found I could really identify with at times; it made me laugh, it made me nod my head in agreement and it as I turned the last page I felt really uplifted. How to be Champion is a book I will hold on to and re-read but I’ll also be buying copies for my good friends.

This book is better than champion, and it will make you feel better than champion when you read it. I highly recommend it to everyone!

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

How to be Champion is out now!
Was this review helpful?
Really enjoyed this book/ funny thoughtful/ soul  going enjoyable  even if you don't know  if the comedie
Was this review helpful?
I enjoyed How To be Champion.  I like Sarah Millican's stand-up, and this, too, is funny (of course), human and thoughtful.

It may be worth beginning with a warning that there is a lot of very frank and intimate talk about sex and bodily functions of all kinds, often using what the TV continuity people would warn us is Very Strong Language.  Personally I find this refreshing and often very funny, but if it's not your thing then this definitely isn't a book for you.

It is a book for me, though.  I liked the account of her growing up and becoming a comedian; it's easy to read, it made me smile and sometimes laugh out loud.  There is also some sage advice based on her experiences, many of which are very recognisable to a lot of us.  However, the book really came alive for me in its last hundred pages or so, with some excellent, extended passages about the treatment of women by the media and social media, the difficulty of being a celebrity and how people feel free to say all manner of hurtful things ("If you're famous, people think you're not a real person") and so on.  Well, it's obvious from this that she is a real person, and a very fine one at that.  These are angry, witty and powerful pieces which are spot-on in their analysis and which everyone should read.  It is this which sets the book well above the run-of-the-mill celebrity autobiography for me.

Alongside this are some very funny takes on less world-changing aspects of everyday life.  As an example, having found a tin of marrowfat peas in her cupboard: "I'm quite new to peas.  They were one of the things I definitely didn’t like as a child without ever having tried them.  Turns out they're really nice, though.  I only dabble in garden peas. I've heard they are a gateway pea."  And the book ends with a wonderful extended riff on baking a cake, with a real recipe in there, too.

Overall, this gets 4.5 stars from me, but I've rounded it up because I thought the later sections were so good.  Oh, and she says early on in a slightly despairing tone about the shallowness of young men, "There are men who find wit sexy…"   You're right, Sarah – some of us do.  And more power to you.
Was this review helpful?
I quite like Sarah Millican but do not enjoy her type  of comedy, so unsurprisingly I did not enjoy all of her book.  However, putting aside her foul mouthed style, there is a lot to applaud.
Genuine common sense to help would be comics and general tips for empowerment.  
I personally find her dirty take on most things a bit infantile, but like her vocabulary, it has made her popular and is what fans will expect.  I think, it shows she has her finger on the pulse and knows exactly what works.
I find it very creditable that she launched an online magazine and then switched to podcasts rather than unethically take advertising from companies she disapproved of.  Here Twitter conversation for those alone at Christmas is a real tool for good and should be publicised more and earn her a humanitarian award;  @SarahmMllican75  is worth passing on for anyone likely to be alone.
Whatever her humour, she really does love her animals and it's a pleasure to read of this dog and cat !Man"
If you are a fan you will love it, if not, there are still a lot of good points.
Was this review helpful?
How to be Champion is Millican’s first book and is described as ‘part autobiography, part self-help, part confession, part celebration of being a common-or-garden woman, part collection of synonyms for nunny‘. For me this perfectly sums up what I love so much about this woman – she is refreshingly normal (complete with anxiety, weight issues and love-life traumas), a warm and nurturing human-being (she wants to help other women with their own anxiety, weight issues etc) and is hugely funny in a way that makes you wince at her honesty (as you also guffaw at her utterly filthy turn of phrase). She isn’t perfect (and the Geordie word ‘champion’ doesn’t mean being the best but rather it means being good enough…), and has never claimed to be, but she is learning to be happy in her own skin – this book is offering help to others in working out how to be happy in theirs.
Was this review helpful?
A cracking good book. I'm not one for autobiographies much but I needed a break from my usual genre and How To be Champiom  was the perfect book to choose. It was funny, witty and full of no fucks. 

I found myself laughing so much during the read of this book and I thought Sarah's ability to take the piss out of herself while not giving a rats arse was brilliant. We need more people who can do that - people who are so unbothered by other people's opinions. 

Hats off to you Sarah. Champion book.
Was this review helpful?
As much humourous self-help guide as autobiography. How much you enjoy this depends how funny you usually find the author's borderline obscene stand up act. Personally I think she's hilarious!!!
Was this review helpful?
This reads like it was knocked out by a ten-year-old with touerrets, but Sarah Millican's autobiography, "How to be Champion", has an endearing honesty that makes it very readable. She writes about her life, with each chapter appended by a few comic how-to-be-champion suggestions to get the book onto both the biography and self-help shelves.

If you're a fan of Sarah Millican's stage shows, which I am, then you won't be disappointed - the self-deprecating humour is there, as is enough references to willies and bodily fluids to keep the fans content. You do find yourself reading it in her Geordie accent. Worth a look for fans of comedy.
Was this review helpful?
This is a book that I will read again and again. I’m features all of Sarah Millican’s characteristic warmth coupled with her naughty humour. She is so honest and down to earth, sharing her love for her pets and husband (yes, I think I got those in the right order), her feelings about not wanting children and acceptance of her looks (she’s gorgeous by like a lot of women she doesn’t feel it). I enjoyed reading about  how Standard Issue came about. We need more people like her in the world. A terrific, heart warming read for everyone.
Was this review helpful?
I love Sarah Millican finally I woman I can identify with.  I just wish I'd known at school that it was ok just to be me.  This book had laughing to myself like a slightly madwoman.  Sarah Millican is indeed champion and is going to be my voice in my head from now on saying NO.  A great read but also a handbook for life in general
Was this review helpful?
I am currently sat here with my fur baby cat on my lap and a plate of cake to my right having just finished this book feeling uplifted feeling that I am not the only eccentric and I can feel proud for being so. Having just been made single i needed a pick me up and Sarah has brightened my world. Have always loved this lady and her positive attitude so expected to like this book but didn't realise how much. This book made me laugh, cry and feel like things will get better without being condescending and wishy washy. She has given me the go ahead just to be my quirky self and not be ashamed - comfortable in the knowledge that I am 'normal' and can make myself happy all by myself. On the agenda today is knicker shopping and a brand new notebook and sparkly pen...thank you Sarah
Was this review helpful?
No doubt many people are going to call this book Champion and it will become a well-worn plaudits - but that is quite simply because this book does exactly what it says on the cover. 

I have never been a fan of self-help books, but if they were all like this then I would be reading far more!

First of all, I read this because I am a fan of Sarah Millican. I have seen her live and watched many of her DVDs and wandered around YouTube listening to bits and pieces. There is something about what she talks about in her stand up and general day life that makes me smile, laugh out loud and totally relate to. 

This is obviously an autobiography taking us through her days at school, right up to the present day via various jobs, various friends, men, stand up tours and hotels. 

Of course there is some crossover in her stand up routines and this book. Clearly a lot of material came from real experiences. But if you laughed once, trust me you will laugh again and again. I did a lot of laughing out loud and it was a good job I was on my own in bed! 

But you do find out more about this lovely smasher of a woman! I certainly could relate to her chapters about children and about clothes that fit or don't fit. I was horrified about the world we live in when she recounts a review she read when she appeared in the programme Who Do You Think You Are? What she says makes perfect sense and it is amazing the world we women still live in. I have experienced many a similar thing at work and it is still shocking that such a thing exists in the twenty-first century. 

A book and an author who is not afraid to tackle sex, mental health, heavy periods, depression, divorce, confidence, cats, clothes and cake with equal aplomb. The subjects are wide and varied and the laughs are there but underneath it all there is plenty to make you think. 

If you are not a fan of Sarah Millican then this probably isn't your cup of tea. But if you are then, grab a large slab of cake, a mug of tea and find out how to be champion or in my case more champion than I already am!
Was this review helpful?
2.5 stars for this memoir/self-help book.

I have always liked Sarah Millican - I haven't been to any of her shows but I have enjoyed her tv appearances and I applaud what she set out to do with her Standard Issue magazine. So I was looking forward to reading this book. Unfortunately, I found I enjoyed How to be Champion less the more I read. As Sarah would say, it isn't my cup of tea.

I did laugh out loud at some parts of the book, and I very much like what she has to say about body image, self-esteem, mental health and the media. But I was rather confused as to the book's intended readership, to me a great deal of it seemed to be written very simply as though for children - but given her love of swearing and her pronouncement of what the popular girls at her school got up to, I don't think it can be for children! I also found there to be too much repetition and padding, and I was disappointed that her tolerance doesn't stretch to matters of faith. And when I closed the book I was left feeling sad: she has very obviously been asked to explain over and again why she has no children, and I'd have been happier for her if she could have retorted that it was none of our business but instead she felt compelled to explain at length why she doesn't want children. No woman owes anyone an explanation of why they do not have children.

I received this ebook free from NetGalley in return for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
A lighthearted romp through Millican's thoughts and past, similar to Caitlin Moran' s "How to be a woman" or Miranda Gary's memoir.
Was this review helpful?
Anyone who knows me knows I like comic autobiography, normally with a feminist bent. I like Sarah Millican and was looking forward to this. Unfortunately it's not especially funny and lacks and feminist argument, there's not even any comment upon women in panel shows or representation on bills. There are funny moments, normally a cleverly placed word at the end of a sentence. "A dishcloth that smelled of the past" nearly had me spit out my tea (in context, here it sounds a bit lit-fict!) It's also a little overlong for this sort of Xmas fare. That said, it's carefully inoffensive and bound to sell by the bucketload.
Was this review helpful?