One of the putteriest treats of all in my list for September was to get thee to a library and borrow as many books as they will allow you to take home and then pile them by your bed in anticipation of snuggly September evenings…
And because I am a woman who loves being told what to do, I did what I was told and spent the hour between steaming hot coffee and the end of nursery prowling around the teeny local library in search, I suppose, of paradise. And so my Darlings I hereby present you with the long list of books that will be taking root upon my bedside and leaving their mark forever in my mind over the next few nights. Sixteen in all, because I couldn’t carry anymore. Why don’t libraries have shopping baskets?
1) Arlington Park by Rachel Cusk: Because Cusk is a writer of unique domestic insight (her tome on pregnancy and Motherhood is the only one that made any sense to me when I was carrying Finn) and this with it’s promising blurb.. "Arlington Park, a modern day English Suburb is a place devoted to the profitable ordinariness of life.", sounds like my kind of book.
2) Sunbathing In The Rain by Gwyneth Lewis: Because depression is a subject too close to my heart and a book promising to be "a cheerful book about depression", surely has something to teach all of us on even the palest blue of days.
3) Someone At A Distance by Dorothy Whipple: Because it has been chosen for re-print by Persephone. And though I know nothing about the story or indeed, really, the writer, being chosen for re-print by Persephone almost guarantees a story that will quietly sting my soul.
4) I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron: Because lately I feel bad about my forehead and I want somebody to sympathise with.
5) A Bit Of Earth by Rebecca Smith: Because I liked the cover and Barbara Trapido describes Smith as "the pefect English miniaturist" and I really rather like Barbara Trapido. (I never said there would be any rhyme nor reason to my choices now did I?)
6) What Do I Do When I Want To Do Everything? by Barbara Sher: Because me and self-help books go together like a matching set of Agent Provocoteur underwear and I simply couldn’t resist discovering whether I’m a scanner. Whatever one of those may be. (Bet ya I am one though).
7) + 8) Soul Food by Neil Astley: Because Astley edits collections of poems that speak to who I am and 101 Poems That Could Save Your Life by Daisy Goodwin, because no-one is working harder than Goodwin to make poetry accessible. Yey for little books of poems!
9) Second Helpings of Roast Chicken by Simon Hopkinson: Because some recipe books become a part of your kitchen and if this is as good as the book it follows it promises to be a sumptuous pairing of intelligent food writing with recipes to die for.
10) The Real Mrs Miniver by Ysenda Maxtone Graham: Because it is always astonishing to read the truth about authors upon whom we cannot help but to project the personalities of their most appealing charcters. That the woman who invented Mrs Miniver should be so very different to her, more complex, sensual, difficult, shouldn’t be a surprise and yet somehow it is. I can’t wait.
11) Ellie Pride by Annie Groves. Because no visit to the library would be complete without one of my much adored Liverpool sagas. Love em, love em, love em. Like a trashy, cosy, comfy, literary meal of buttery mashed potato and chocolate pudding. Together.
12) You Drive Me Crazy- Love Poems For Real Life by Mary d. Esselman: Yes more poetry, because clearly it is a beautiful, worthy addiction I prefer to call therapy. So sue me.
13) 1001 Little Ways To Save Our Planet by Esme Floyd: Because I truly am trying to be greener, but nibble sized portions are the only way I can manage it. One day at a time. 1000 days to go.
14) The Small Pleasures of Life by Phillipe Delerme: Because I adore this little ode to the ordinary. Because small pleasures matter and everytime I see this sitting on the shelf I am compelled to take it out and remind myself just why it is so very special all over again. Beg, borrow or steal a copy.
15) Led By The Nose by Jenny Joseph: Because literary gardening books are my latest bedtime crush and this, by a renowned British poet, describes the authors efforts to create a fragrant country garden.
16) The New English Kitchen by Rose Prince: Because I’ve been coveting this book for a Brocante lifetime and there it was minding it’s own business on the air and aviation shelf in the reading room.
So there you have it. Sixteen delectable books for the use of. But where to begin? Which one first? I will no doubt dally with them all at first before choosing my first victim…
What are you reading this Autumn? I’d love to know: there is nothing quite like book recommendations from friends, virtual or otherwise and there is an entire, cosy, gorgeous Winter ahead of us…