Survival Lessons (Algonquin Books, 2013)
I have always said that books find you when you most need them haven’t I? And it was never so true as last night, when after a long three days of playing Nurse Mummy to a child with a peculiar bug he was kind enough to share with me, I switched on my Kindle Fire to find that it was recommending I read Survival Lessons by Alice Hoffman – a book that turned out to be a short, sweet masterclass in life affirmation.
So being the kind of lady who likes to do as she is told, I duly downloaded it for free with my Kindle Unlimited subscription (so very much worth signing up for if you have a Kindle!) and soon find myself in the company of this delightful writer, navigating her way through breast cancer by reminding herself of all the teeny tiny things that truly do make life worth living.
This is a Brocante book if ever there was one, resplendant with puttery treats, recipes and little to-do’s woven through a narrative that speaks at once of both joy and sorrow. Don’t miss this one. Especially on the days when life seem exhausting or unfair. Or the need to be brave seems all-encompassing.
Well if this isn’t the most wonderful title for a book then I don’t know what is. I downloaded this short Kindle Single last night and read it in no time at all, nodding my head past myself as novelist Linda Grant tells of what it is to dismantle your library, and choose to read on your Kindle thereafter. A lament for all our lost books, Grant’s feeling on her (indispensable) e-reader remain ambiguous until the very end when she is settling into a tiny flat after many a year in a rambling house, and finds herself with empty bookshelves…
Read it and weep for all those hardbacks lost for ever.
Do the Work (The Domino Project, 2011)
Over the weekend I signed up for a free trial of Kindle Unlimited ~ (US Amazon accounts only at the moment) and for absolutely nothing I have been going a little e-book crazy! You simply download your chosen book from the collection of over 600,0000 currently available, read it and then virtually “give it back”. What’s not to love??
Do the Work is a book I have been meaning to read for many a month now, and last night as I simultaneously painted my toenails and sipped from a long cool glass of cucumber water, I read it and found in among its pages all my creative demons. This then is for every artist, writer, entrepreneur, blogger or other creative who knows what it is to hit a wall…
It is short and sharp but it is absolutely key to understanding that our creative battles are never our own but simply part of the process of birthing something that matters.
Absolutely Now! (London: Bloomsbury, 2014)
I have long admired Lynne Franks – indeed her Seed Network books inspired me as I was starting my own business – but as I read this autobiography I feel even more admiration for her than ever before: not least because she is so willing to mark herself as ridiculous during some of her more extreme “phases” and to recognise when she has outgrown something and spiritually needs more room to grow.
Published next month “Absolutely Now” is true and real and occasionally silly: the story of our times for women of a certain age in search of something more…
Death Comes To Pemberley (London: Vintage, Random House, 2011)
Heck this is a treat and a half: a delicious combination of Jane Austen and an absorbing mystery by mistress of the genre, P.D.James. I only started this one in the wee small hours of last night (after acquiring it at the school fair), and I am already head over heels obsessed…
Thank heavens I didn’t see the BBC dramatised version this past Christmas. Don’t tell me whodunnit will you?
A Tangled Web (Sourcebooks Fire, 2014)
Oh my. I have downloaded a Lucy Maud Montgomery story I have not read before. I do believe all work will have to be halted this morning while I sit down with Lucy and a nice buttered scone…
The Vet’s Daughter (New York Review Books Classics)
Yesterday we travelled across the country to my Uncle’s 60th birthday party, and ignoring the flash of motorway I let myself be utterly transported into another of Barbara Comyn’s incredible early twentieth century worlds. Now half way through The Vet’s Daughter I simply want to stop the world so I can find out what becomes of poor, brave Alice…