5 Books To Fill Your Summer with Mystery, Mindfullness ,and Magic
I've been obsessed with books since I was little. My mum is a writer, and my nana is an English teacher, so books have surrounded me for as long as I can remember. I'm mildly dyslexic though, so learning to read was tough at first. I always loved the idea of "being a reader" though, and when I was small I used to take books out of the library and pretend I'd read them, just so people would think I was cool. In reality, I never did.
The older I got, the more I began to find it easier to enjoy reading. If I got into a book, the speed of my reading would pick up faster and faster, and before I'd realised I was done. I'm not ashamed to admit that I devoured each the Twilight books in days! Now, reading books is very much part of my everyday life. I've made concious decisions to try to slow down more in the evenings (ie. no screens past 10pm), and reading books has helped me to do so. I'm proud of myself for reading the amount of books I have in 2016 already! In the past few weeks (helped by our holiday to Ibiza) I've read almost 5 books. They've all been very different kinds of books, but books I've loved none the less.
The Bones of You by Debbie Howells: A murder mystery about a young girl who goes missing, told in the perspective of a family friend, this book really gripped me by the end. I really connected with the characters, and Debbie Howells really knows how to make you hate some of her characters! The further I got in, the more I wanted to know what has happened to the victim, Rosie. An easy read, if you enjoy mystery stories with plot twists, I recommend giving "The Bones Of You" a go - It's a great poolside read!
Sweet Caress by William Boyd: I'd never read anything by William Boyd before, but I'm going to reading more of his novels in future, because Sweet Caress has become one of my all time favourite novels since finishing it. It's quite a long novel, but I read the entire thing in two days. Based on the story of Amory Clay, a pioneering female photography born in the 1900's, Boyd takes you on a journey through her life, photographing brothels in Berlin to the World Wars. I became totally obsessed with Amory's character, and I genuinely never wanted her story to end. I'll admit that the whole time I was reading this that I thought I was reading a biography about a real person, only to realise at the end that Amory had never existed and was pure fiction. It broke my heart a bit, but ultimately made me admire Boyd even more; he made me believe in Amory so much.
Essentialism by Greg Mckeown: I'll admit that while I'm writing this, I still haven't totally finished reading "Essentialism," but I'm almost there, and I love it. A non-fiction book about "the disciplined pursuit of less," in summary, this book is about eliminating from your life anything which is non essential. That could relate to work, hobbies, your personal life... anything! As someone who perpetually has a lot going on, sometimes I do get carried away and take on too much, or create too many projects for myself. I've been loving reading this because it's given me tips on how to say no to things, how to figure out what really matters to me, how to better manage my time, and how to be truly happy. If you're someone who has a tendency to feel overwhelmed, stressed or exhausted, I highly recommend reading this!
Pretty Happy by Kate Hudson: I'd never have bought this book myself had my mum not bought it for me for my birthday, but I'm so glad that she did. Kate Hudson is an amazing woman, but until recently I couldn't help but associate her with nothing but "How To Lose A Guy In Ten Days" (best movie ever - am I right?). I've seen stuff pop up here and there about her being into health and fitness, but then again so is EVERYONE. "Pretty Happy" is all about how to live a healthy and balanced life, even if you're a busy person. Kate discussed nutrition, fitness, mindfullness, and introduces you to Ayurvedic practices, something I didn't know much about but would love to look into further. It's a beautiful book, that's easy to read, not preachy in any way, and just feels really happy! If you're interested in health and fitness, but want something a bit more laid back, this book is really lovely.
The Magpie And The Wardrobe - A Curiosity of Folklore, Magic and Spells by Sam McKechnie and Alexandrine Portelli: Oh my goodness, this book is my current obsession. Whilst staying with my godmother in Ibiza, I noticed this book in Tom and I's room and became really intrigued by the title. I picked it up, flicked through the pages and before I knew it, I'd read almost half of it in a few hours. It's not a novel, it's more of a table book that you can pick up and flick through and read any page and find something interesting. The title is a bit of a giveaway, but "The Magpie And The Wardrobe" is filled with folklore stories, spells, little anecdotes, all split up by the months of the year. Not only is the text lovely to read and really quite fascinating, but the visuals of the entire book are beautiful. If you're a flat lay fan, you're going to LOVE this. It's a bit of a hidden fact that I'm curious about magic, myths and legends, and anything a bit "boho" like that. As soon as I got home, I headed to the local bookshop and bought myself a copy. It's going to be inspiration for countless photoshoots, I'm sure!