Bookish Hygge

Bookish Hygge || September 2016

bookish hygge

I lost my reading mojo. Somewhere between May and August. I knew it was just a blip but it bothered me. There is something comforting about driving the school run with a book in my bag, knowing, if I’m early, I get to read a few pages. Or, on an evening whilst my husband is flicking through the channels, I can put my feet up and immerse myself in someone else’s life for a bit.

But I didn’t have that desire to read. And it really bothered me.

I was in the final stages of editing my own novel, getting it ready to send to my agent. I like to think that’s why I lost my desire to read a book. Or maybe my habits were changing. I’d read short essays, articles, blog posts on my phone instead of the longer commitment needed for book reading.

Then September arrived. The mornings were a little cooler. The fire was lit in the evening. And the book reading urge hit me square between the eyes. But I’d been out of the loop so long where should I start?

So I sent out a plea for recommendations in the shape of an instagram hashtag.

And it worked. I’ve already bought three books directly as a result of the #bookishhygge hashtag. One, The Outrun, I’ve almost finished. Read this post to find out more about Bookish Hygge.

There are some fabulous recommendations on the hashtag. The following are just a few that caught my eye.


The Fish Ladder by Katharine Norbury recommended by Fi @finutbrown. It was Fi that first brought the Wainwright Prize to my attention (like I said, I’ve been out of the loop) a prize for the best nature, outdoors and UK travel writing. The Fish Ladder was on the shortlist. Fi said it was ‘in her top two’ from the shortlist so far.

the fish ladder


The Paper Garden by Molly Peacock recommended by Nic @dogwooddaysgardener. Mary Delany was seventy-two years old when she invented the art of collage in the 1700s. This was to become her life’s work and for the next ten years she completed nearly one thousand paper cut botanicals.



The Running Hare by John Lewis-Stempel recommended by Niki I think this has to be one of my favourite ever covers. It is utterly gorgeous and I love how Niki has paired it with the leaves. John Lewis-Stempel is the author of Meadowland (frustratingly I’ve lost my copy before reading) about the private life of an English field and The Running Hare is about the secret life of farmland. Cannot wait to read it. Though might have to re-buy Meadowland too.



The Outrun by Amy Liptrot recommended by @pwlldu. (Look at that gorgeous face peering over the top of the book.) Fi (@finutbrown) also recommended this as it is the winner of the Wainwright prize. Amy’s life is a mess. She candidly writes about her addiction to drink and her life in London. Deciding enough is enough she puts herself through re-hab and returns to the Orkney islands where she grew up and discovers a love of nature.



Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge as recommended by Cate @catebutler. I adore Cate’s instagram account. So many book recommendations and always with a cosy blanket, or a drink or flowers. It truly is Bookish Hygge.

I’ve read The Little White Horse by Elizabeth Goudge but not Towers in the Mist. Cate describes it as ‘a deliciously descriptive read about the city of Oxford during the Elizabethan time period. Goudge is a delightful author who describes nature, the bustle of Oxford and the every day lives of her characters in the most beautiful way.’ A brilliant review and the book is now on my list.



The Muse by Jessie Burton recommended by Alison @anniebobsblog. I’ve got The Miniaturist on my book shelf but have yet to read it. This book, Jessie’s second novel, looks gorgeous.


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  • Reply Stephie @ A Cup of Creative

    Oooo now I have several books to read and new instagram accounts to follow! I’ve been devouring Uprooted by Naomi Novik the last couple of days which was recommended to me by Lucy ( and it’s been the perfect read now the weathers turned, and my radiators are on! Stephie xx

    27th September 2016 at 1:00 pm
  • Reply Louise

    So many wonderful book recommendations. I find during the warmer days I rarely pick up a book, but now we’re approaching those longer, darker evenings it’s time to pick up books again.

    27th September 2016 at 3:27 pm
  • Reply Fi (@finutbrown)

    Oh yes, The Running Hare is great (I haven’t read Meadowlands yet, it’s on The Pile). I really must read the Elizabeth Goudge one (shes’ a new name to me)- if I can manage it, I’d like to read at least some of it cosied up in the oldest Oxford pub I can find (which is either the Bear or the Turf, they each claim the title!)

    27th September 2016 at 7:53 pm
  • Reply Gwen

    Oh, great suggestions!
    I go through phases of reading, sometimes all I want is to curl up, other times I just can’t concentrate. Great ideas to get cosy with here, thanks!

    27th September 2016 at 10:06 pm
  • Reply Nic Wilson

    Thanks for the recommendations – I definitely fancy reading Meadowland and The Running Hare for starters… Glad you liked the idea of The Paper Garden – I’ve nearly finished it now and it is excellent. I’m planning a blog post this weekend on it to encourage others to own more about this really remarkable character and her art.

    28th September 2016 at 6:10 pm
  • Reply Lexi

    I loved loved loved The Outrun. It may be my favourite book so far this year. I’ve just started Shakespeare and Company, Paris: A History of the Rag and Bone Shop of the Heart. So far it is fabulous. But now I shall add some of these to my list too. Thanks!

    3rd October 2016 at 2:02 pm
    • Reply Helen Redfern

      Ooh sounds intriguing, Lexi!

      5th October 2016 at 1:46 pm

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