The long winter nights of January can provide the perfect opportunity to go to bed early, put on our favourite pyjamas and read a chapter or two of a new book. After the busyness of Christmas; shopping, wrapping pressies, catching up with friends, what can seem more delightful than hunkering down under a blanket with a cuppa in one hand and book in the other? I have to admit that since welcoming my new addition into the World earlier in the year, it has felt like there has been little chance to find a moment to read but this last week as I've tried to listen to my body to take things slower; I have fallen in love again with putting my pyjamas on as early as possible and escaping upstairs to read a few pages before bed.
These were my favourite reads from last year:
Where the Crawdads Sing - Delia Owens
I was rather late to the party reading this treasure but I am so glad I did. I have to admit initially I was wondering what all the hype was about but once though the first few chapters I was engrossed in this beautiful yet sad novel. It is a wonderful mix of the portrait of loneliness, nature and love story woven through. Kya is a fascinating character who captivates you by her independence, strength and creativity.
The Diary of Losing Dad - Emily Bevan
I first discovered Emily and her debut book, The Diary of Losing Dad at The Henley Literary Festival. Her story resonated with mine and she spoke with such openness about the often taboo subject of grief that I bought her book. It describes hers and her family's journey with losing her Dad and there are many anecdotes that she shares which I found myself nodding along to to from my own experience of losing my Dad. There is wit, warmth and lots of sadness but Emily was clearly very fond of her Father and I would recommend this book to anyone who has lost someone special.
The Room - Hannah Adkins
Another debut novel. This is a thriller set in the not too distant future and is quite different to anything I've read before but truly gripping. It focuses on the character Jasmine who is offered a job at the mysterious Room. The Room is a place that allows you to experience perfection. An interesting concept and the book subtly questions how technology and its ability to control the human mind can affect life itself, and if it's even worth it?
The Company I Keep - Leonard Lauder
An inspiring memoir and business book opening up the World of The Estée Lauder companies written by their former CEO. It was fascinating to read how the family created such a successful business that it known all over the World and Leonard is also very generous with his advice and tips which I will certainly find useful.