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This is, as the title says, not a book about Benedict Cumberbatch. 

In fact, it’s a book about women and what we love.

Whip smart, witty, insightful and clever, it’s about what happens to women’s passions after we leave adolescence, about how the space for joy in our lives is squeezed ever smaller as we age, and why. More importantly, it’s about what happens if you subvert that narrative and simply love something like you used to.

Drawing upon her personal experience of unexpectedly falling for the British actor Benedict Cumberbatch while stuck at home with two young children, Carvan challenges the reader to stop instinctively resisting the possibility of experiencing pleasure. Hers is clarion rallying cry: find your thing, whatever it may be, and love it like your life depends on it.

Funny, intelligent, transporting and liberating, this book is a total joy.

READ an extract.

This is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch
Author: Tabitha Carvan
Publication: March 2022
Trade paperback: (9781460760659) $32.99


‘Witty, erudite and fierce in its message – that women should seek joy and find fun. Happily, this book provides both in abundance. I loved it.’
—Jacqueline Maley, author of The Truth About Her

‘You know when you bite into a chocolate, and unexpectedly discover it’s filled with delectable cherry kirsch that explodes into your mouth and oozes everywhere? That’s this book. Original, highly entertaining, fast-paced, a personal read that contains unexpected revelations at every corner. It’s funny, it’s smart, it’s compelling. But most of all, it’s a battle cry: sit up, pay attention and follow your heart and find joy. After all, our time on this earth is short. C’mon. The clock is ticking.’
—Ginger Gorman, author of Troll Hunting

‘Soulful, marvellous, I devoured it in one big gulp. Funny and surprising, yes, but also deep and unafraid to tackle big issues facing women at midlife. I read this and immediately wanted to send it to five friends.’
—Michelle Howry, GP Putnam’s Sons, Penguin Random House, US


Tabitha Carvan is a science writer for the Australian National University and a freelance features writer on the side, focusing on issues of identity, family and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in over a dozen different publications from Crikey to Junkee; Overland to Offbeat Home; Popula to MamaMia. She lives in Canberra and can be found at Tabitha Carvan.

LISTEN to Tabitha Carvan talk about This is Not a Book About Benedict Cumberbatch.


  • Interviews across ABC radio and news, including The Book Show
  • National interviews and review coverage across radio, TV, print and online media
  • Suite of digital assets including banners, animated cover, and author videos
  • Significant marketing spend across web, social and EDMs


For your chance to receive an advance copy of
This is Not A Book About Benedict Cumberbatch,  email with ‘Benedict Cumberbatch B+P Giveaway’ in the subject line. The first 10 people to respond will receive a copy.





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