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.
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 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 @niki.at.the.cottage. 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.
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