When it comes to reading- seemingly unlike the majority of the Internet, I take things s l o w. I am a painfully slow reader, have a terrible habit of starting several books at once (I think I once saw someone say they had a book for the bath, bed and bus and naively said ‘GREAT IDEA!’) and often feel a little in over my head with even knowing where to start.
Even as someone who has written a bloody book, I sometimes worry I shouldn’t count as qualified because I’m just really really slow at reading (and don’t posses the impressive Good Reads ticked list at the end of every year).
Honestly- I wish I was a quicker reader (even when studying English Literature, I was someone who would savour lines and reread and underline- which doesn’t seem to have dissipated over the years), but I just can’t seem to do it. Over the last twelve months or so it feels like reading has become a little more of a sport, and unfortunately for me- my fitness levels have depleted even further. It’s an amazing thing to see so many shared suggestions for brilliant books, cult favourites, new authors and voices getting shared wider and wider- and I know, with a little break coming up, it’s a good time to try and start making a little dent in the overflowing pile that winks at me every time I walk past, and actually practise picking up pace and truly getting lost in another’s story.
Now, I’m under no illusion my mini maternity break will leave me with hours of leisurely reading time, sprawled on the sofa with a Zadie Smith in one hand and a new born in the next- but it’s nice to have a couple of suggestions to see me through- maybe I’ll even start sharing reviews and my Good Reads account if things get impressive (I’ll hold fire for a while though)… Anyway- here’s a few I’m excited to get cracking with (the list goes on. And on. And on) and I’d love to know the one book you’d recommend again and again too (just as long as you don’t expect me to get through it in less than a month)…
I have been so excited to inhale this since I picked this up in the summer. A book about grief, love, loss and cake- it marries rediscovering life from a new angle with some beautiful recipes peppering it’s pages too and I for one cannot wait to hole up on the sofa on a grey afternoon with this (providing we have egg whites to spare for any impulsive pavlova making cravings).
After receiving this for Christmas (from brilliant pen friend and avid reader Sophie), and also seeing my trusted reading extraordinaire friend Lizzy wax lyrical about it (and include it as part of her beautiful book box set)- I knew this would be a brilliant, easy-to-digest read. Touching and built from last years lockdown, I know there will be many elements that are still so sadly current, but am so excited to gobble this up in a morning.
A book I strangely remember flicking through whilst in New York last year in a bookshop (and vowing I’d eventually pick up), this again was a gorgeous Christmas gift from Sophie and one that sounds every bit as sparkly and dramatic as you’d hope. Despite being painfully behind on The Crown and a little out of touch with my royal history- I am so excited to tuck into this memoir by lady-in-waiting to Princess Margaret, Anne Glenconner (I’ve also heard this described as both ‘a romp’ and a ‘total hoot’ so will feed back very soon).
I mean, this isn’t your average recommendation (stay tuned for Pandora and Dolly below)- but having really enjoyed reading about all things pregnancy and birth (I feel like an ORACLE, truly)- I’ve been told this is truly excellent for the months that follow, and knowing what to expect in what can be quite an overwhelming, magical and surreal time. I’m not sure if people would be interested to know about the pregnancy reads I’d recommend, but if so let me know as there’s definitely been a few I’ll be passing down one day!
Because- DUH. I love Dolly. I love her writing- she’s bloody cool and this is meant to be an absolute feast too. Listing a Dolly Alderton book as top of your ‘to read’ list feels a bit like saying Abbey Road is your favourite ever album, but sometimes things are gorgeous clichés for a reason- and if anything, I’m definitely a bit late to the party here.
Pandora Sykes is bloody wise- and whether I’m listening to her on the High Low or sleuth-like saving Instagram posts for their sage captions and takeaways, I always feel she has some knowledge to share, or an otherwise unconsidered take on something that makes me feel incredibly wise and more well rounded afterwards (*inserts sunglasses emoji*). Anyway, this has been waiting to be read since it’s release, and I know will be the perfect partner to dip in and out of, fold pages and come back to again and again.
Okay, so this isn’t technically out yet (which might mean I’ll have a review by the time it is in March), but I was sent a proof copy of this and fell in love with the premise immediately. A book about enjoying spending time solo, enjoying your own company and thriving during time to yourself- it’s something I need to learn how to get better at (needy Purvis over here), and know this will be packed full of useful tips and takeaways. Watch this space!
Let me know anything marvellous you’ve picked up over the last year that I shouldn’t miss either- I know there’s a tonne, so absolute must reads to begin with (if you can! Thank you)!