Happy Easter Weekend! I’m so pleased to be on holiday for a couple of weeks, and I can’t wait to spend time catching up on my TBR pile. In case you find a moment to put your feet up with a book, here are a few suggestions that will help you while away some enjoyable hours.
K E E P I T L I G H T
The Pursuit of Love, Nancy Mitford :: I am very pleased that Penguin have released some really attractive editions of Nancy Mitford’s timeless classics, and they’ve inspired me to reread them all. If you’re looking for a light, witty read, then you can’t go wrong with Nancy Mitford!
Elizabeth and her German Garden, Elizabeth von Armin :: This has to be one of my favourite novels of all time! It’s a largely autobiographical work that describes the joys of nature, solitude and a happy disposition. The landscape of Elizabeth’s contented, expressive inner world is brilliantly captured in diary-entry form, and there are many witty commentaries on the folly of human nature that are Jane Austen worthy. The Enchanted April, by the same author, is another must-read.
Offshore, Penelope Fitzgerald :: I recently read this for an Emily’s Walking Book Club event at Daunt Books. Offshore is set along the banks of the Thames and tells the story of the inter-connected lives of a small community of houseboat owners. Fitzgerald’s writing is sparse, but vivid and perfectly captures a bygone London. This book is slim and easy to read, but is the type of novel you find yourself still thinking about weeks after finishing it – perfect for the holidays!
All in Good Taste, Kate Spade :: If you want a book you can flick through like a magazine, picking up hints and tips on entertaining, from playlist to flower arranging suggestions, then this is an excellent volume to have on the coffee table.
Bright Lights Paris, Angie Niles :: I won’t be spending April in Paris, but I can still dream about it! Bright Lights Paris offers a beautiful guide to the best the City of Light has to offer.
F A S C I N A T I N G N O N – F I C T I O N
A House Full of Daughters, Juliet Nicolson :: This book has just been released, and I was so excited to get my hands on a copy straight away. The beautiful dust-jacket was fittingly designed by Cressida Bell (remember my interview?), as there is a Bloomsbury Group connection to the novel: Juliet Nicolson is the granddaughter of Vita Sackville-West (and spent her childhood at Sissinghurst). A House Full of Daughters traces back through 7 generations of women from Nicolson’s family tree, telling an enthralling story of family, history and love along the way. (Note: You may also enjoy the recent Vintage Books podcast interview with Juliet Nicolson.)
The Button Box, Lynn Knight :: Another interesting look at women’s social history. Its stimulus is the ordinary button box, which Knight proves offers an extraordinary glimpse into the domestic lives of women, as well as changes in fashion, throughout the past century.
Weatherland, Alexandra Harris :: I heard Alexandra Harris (author of the incredible Romantic Moderns) speak at the Daunt Books Literary Festival, and her talk was the highlight of the events I attended! I’ve rarely heard such a thought-provoking, gifted speaker, and it had me leaping to buy her latest work, Weatherland, which explores English culture in art and literature through a topic that is very dear to any Englishman’s soul: the weather.
Love in A Dish, M.F.K. Fisher :: I’ve been researching food writing recently, and M.F.K. Fisher is one of the best writers I have stumbled upon in this genre. The way she can describe a time, place and dish so vividly is captivating, and I can’t wait to read more of her work.
C E L E B R A T E C H A R L O T T E B R O N T E
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte :: To celebrate the 200th anniversary of Charlotte Bronte’s birth, I’ll be rereading my favourite of her novels.
Charlotte Bronte: A Life, Claire Harman :: Seeing the Bronte exhibition at The National Portrait Gallery has inspired me to learn more about the sisters’ lives, and this biography of Charlotte looks an excellent place to start.
C U R R E N T L Y R E A D I N G
My Brilliant Friend, Elena Ferrante :: I have heard so much about the Neapolitan Novels that I decided I simply had to give one a go. I’ve only just started the first novel in the series, so at the moment my opinion is undecided, but I’ve already been pulled into the story of Elena and Lila and their strong bond of friendship.
*** Want to save this list? Here’s a pretty pinable! ***
What books have you been reading lately that you’d recommend? Have I inspired you to try any from this list?