Autumn is just around the corner, and as Summer sorrowfully comes to an end, I'm actually looking forward to the fresh start of September, getting prepared for the Winter months ahead, and getting into the cosy vibe we all need to embrace come October onwards in the UK... Since the academic year is still very much in my conscience, I love hitting the re-set button in September; setting new goals, new perspectives, and new adjustments in my surroundings. One of my (many) goals for this Autumn and beyond is to read more. I always forget about the 5 books I have on the go, and when I come around to reading them I find myself questioning why I don't read more. It's such a great way to get out of your head, relax and get cozy. As this week holds both Read a Book Day and International Literacy Day, what better time for some reading inspiration to get us into the mood for Autumn and the dark months ahead...
1. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
A thriller that sucks you in and doesn't let you go. I have yet to read this but it's next on the list as I've heard such great things about it. Gripping, exciting and edge-of-your-seat are all words and phrases that have been used to describe this new must-read novel.
2. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying by Marie Kondo
There is nothing that pleases me more than tidying or organising any aspect of my life. Whether that means simply tidying my bed, decluttering an entire room, or writing a to-do list. However, there is always room for improvement, and I am always open to new ways of working and tips to make it easier. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying is being raved about here there and everywhere online, and I definitely intend on reading this guide come September. The great thing about this book is that you can dip in and out of it, depending on how intensely you want to read it. The book is also broken up into sections so if you want to focus on a particular aspect, it's easy to find the section that will help you at that time.
3. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler
A story of family and tragedy, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves is a novel I was recently recommended, based on a true story of a little girl separated from her 'twin sister' who happens to be a monkey. Fowler touches on the psychology of human-animal behaviour and the emotional effects of the young girl's heart break.
4. The Gracekeepers by Kirsty Logan
If you like a story of fairytale and wonder, this one's for you. A novel of sadness and joy, this is a story of past present and future. Pick up this book to get you out of your head, and into the mystical worlds of North and Callanish, two characters living very separate lives, but that cross paths, and watch their story unfold.
5. After You by Jojo Moyes
If you have read or/and watched the prequel to this novel, Me Before You, you will be aware of the places of deep heart-felt emotion Jojo Moyes takes us to. Many have raved about the author, I and many have sat glued to the screen either laughing or probably crying at the scene unfolding in the film adaptation. As the film was probably one of the most emotional since The Notebook, I cannot wait for the 'what happens next' of this incredibly gripping story and Lou Clark's fate post Will Traynor.
6. Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert
I'd heard of Elizabeth Gilbert in podcasts and interviews, and of course through her best-selling novel Eat Pray Love which sold millions and was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. As a creative myself, I heard about this book and found myself immediately making my order. I personally prefer to read intensely fictional books, so I dip in and out of this one whenever I feel a need a spark of inspiration and motivation on creative living. I say this, but one doesn't have to be in the creative industry to appreciate this masterwork, as here guide to living life applies to all. Grab a copy now and bring more BIG MAGIC into your life.
7. The Architect's Apprentice by Elif Shakaf
I myself have a weak spot for any stories around culture and dreaming. I haven't as of yet read this one, but I sure do intend to. Pick up a copy of The Architect's Apprentice if you love culture from around the world, vivid imagination and dreaming, and a good moral in a story. This novel provides all, with sadness, friendship, pain and joy, a story of a boy and an elephant as his best friend and the morals of life they discover.
8. And the Mountains Echoed by Khalid Hosseini
This is a tale of family, war, pain, and hope. Set in Afghanistan a brother and sister joint at the hip get separated, and experience the war in very different ways. Presented with their own challenges, the pair are strongly linked throughout their lives. I read this book last, year and couldn't put it down, full of courage, choice, sacrifice and hope, this is a must-read.
9. The French Gardener by Santa Montefiore
Santa Montefiore keeps popping up, urging me to read one of her delightfully titled novels. I've acknowledged her in shops, online, my mother's bookshelf, but have not yet taken her up on the hint. The one that spoke out to me was The French Gardener, a story of family and conflict, and the restorative values of nature, love and the beautiful english countryside. What's not to love...
10. The Girls by Emma Cline
Set in the 1960s in North Carolina, this is a story of a girl with an innocent curiosity that leads to dangerous cult. I have heard this book being mentioned multiple times, and have only recently discovered what it is about. A novel of friendship, choice and danger, this book will definitely be added to my bed side table this Autumn.
So there you have it, a few of my recommendations as well as a few books that I'll be picking up in the next few months. A great way to get sharing and talking about books this Autumn is through a book club. Source out a local one to you, or start one up yourself among friends. It motivated us to get reading, and adds a whole other dimension to the book through discussion. There's also an online version through social media, where you can send and get sent books to other people around the world! Jessica here at Bay Tree sent this post out on Facebook, to which she received books from all over;
'We need at least 6 people to participate in a book exchange. You can be anywhere in the world, the further we get, the better. All you have to do is send a book you've enjoyed to one person. You will receive approximately 36 books back if this works. If you are interested click "Like" and I will tell you the details. #savetheculture'.
Start posting using the hashtag #savetheculture to get involved with books from around the globe.
What books are you planning on reading this Autumn? Tweet us at @baytreecleaning !