Amanda Holden, My New Favourite Brit

The British actress Amanda Holden is reading 20 Times a Lady right now. I'll be honest, I had no idea who she was until my British publicist told me about an interview she just did for the Daily Express, but she's my new favorite celeb in world. (Nothing personal Amanda; I'm just American.) She said, "At the moment, I'm reading Twenty Times A Lady which is about a woman who is trying to resist the urge to sleep with Man No 20. She is wondering whether it's possible to turn her life around - it's a really entertaining read."

Yay! Thanks Amanda!

It's so neat when someone famous reads your stuff, you know? I once got an email from an "anonymous TV actress in LA" who loved Save Karyn. She said, "It's been years since a book captivated me so. I spent last night reading 246 pages straight, and went back to Barnes & Noble today and bought seven more books to give as Christmas gifts to my girlfriends."

You know who else also sent me a letter saying she loved Save Karyn? Staci Keanan, the actress who played the daughter on My Two Dads. How cool is that???

Yes, I know I'm a total dork for getting excited about this, but YOU WOULD TOO!

Anyway, back to my favorite Brit. I believe I found the text to the full article online. She talks about how everyone should schedule some 'me' time into their day to read. Here it is in case you're interested:

Actor and Mother Who Enjoys Her 'Me' Time

Amanda Holden is one busy lady. Having become a mother for the first time in January this year, she has cleverly managed to balance her working life with her personal life. When she gets some valuable free time however, she likes a good read. So much so that Aero has made her the face of their latest campaign, the Aero Book Club.

"I was approached by Aero because I recently had a baby and they were looking for someone who had a busy lifestyle and who still had time to fit books into their lives," explains Amanda. "It's true that anyone can fit some 'me' time into their day - everyone has 30 minutes when they're not being a wife or a mother to have a quiet read. Anyone - married, single, working women - can find some 'me' time to relax every day."

"I like the girlie idea, and the Aero Book Club is predominantly a female initiative," says Amanda. "I'm always on the phone to my girlfriends asking whether they've read this or that book. The Aero Book Club has a website and a huge variety of books to choose from so that people can browse and select what they're interested in. I've chosen some of my favourites and I review one each month. It's great to be able to sit down and read a book, along with a choccy bar - who doesn't like that?"

Given that the amount of time she has to relax has decreased considerably since the birth of her daughter, Amanda makes the most of her time by reading light-hearted books. "I have been used to reading heavy weights in my time but, because I'm so busy, I've been reading a lot of chick-lit books," she admits. "My book is rather like my baby at the moment as I can pick it up and pop it down whenever I get busy, and then return to it when it's less stressful."

"At the moment, I'm reading Twenty Times A Lady which is about a woman who is trying to resist the urge to sleep with Man No 20," she says. "She is wondering whether it's possible to turn her life around - it's a really entertaining read."

So why is reading so important to the actor? "Reading is really, really relaxing and it's the escapism factor that I love," admits Amanda. "It's so easy to relax and forget the rest of the world when you're reading a good book. I also think that everyone within the book is frozen when I put it down, only to awaken when I pick it up again. It's also lovely to have time away from emails and phones."

Amanda is keen to encourage those of us who don't spend enough time buried in a good book, although statistics highlight we're turning into bookworms. "I think approximately 46 per cent of 25-40-year-olds have read a book within the last year and just under that figure have bought a book," she says. "It works out that a woman spends approximately £100/€144 a year on books, which is quite a lot. It's also about the importance of getting together with friends and sitting and chatting together. That sense of community is very important."

Amanda is also keen to develop a similar sense of unity with her young baby. "I read that you could read stories to babies over six months old," she explains, "but Lexi (Alexa) is only five months old. I told her the story of Cinderella, but it was a bit darker and more like a Grimm fairy tale. But she was looking at me and seemed to be listening at any rate!"

The Wild at Heart and Cutting It actor is a seasoned script reader but admits it's great to have a say in what she can read. "It's great to have a choice," she says. "You can get good and bad scripts, the same way you can get good and bad books. Having a choice is really encouraging."

BTW... how much do you love Brit Speak? A choccy bar? I'm going to say it every day.