helen redfern

Hello

Welcome to my online journal where I write about writing, creativity, building an online business, baking, reading and chicken & duck-keeping.

Books I've read over summer (and what I'm planning to read next)

Books I've read over summer (and what I'm planning to read next)

books I've read over summer and what I'm planning to read next

There's a lot of pressure on what to do with my down time. Do I read a book? Or catch up on my blog reading? Maybe I'll watch a YouTube video (my current obsession). Or I could watch TV with my family, play a board game, write, sew my daughter's labels on her uniform, do an online shop, wash up, tidy and so on and so on...

Sadly, for me, books have gone to the bottom of the pile this year. Which, for a former avid reader, is all a bit odd. And mildly disconcerting.

I've started a few books over the past few weeks - but, with my limited attention span (of late) nothing is grabbing me in those first few pages. And one even brought on feelings of lowness (not intentionally by the book - but I just felt a wave of despair and hopelessness sweep over me during the first chapter).

So, this summer, I've only managed to read two books:

Miss Boston and Miss Hargreaves by Rachel Malik - Obviously when I saw this book on Instagram I just had to buy it as it has a silhouette of a woman with three chickens around her.

It's a work of fiction but based on two real people (Rene was the author's maternal grandmother). Elsie Boston meets Rene for the first time when Rene is billeted, as a Land Girl, to Elsie's farm. And they've lived together ever since. This might have gone unnoticed in the depths of history if it wasn't for a person from Rene's past coming to live with them...

It's an enjoyable read and my frustrations that I didn't understand the characters well enough were swept away as I got caught up in the story,

Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton - In the past few years I've thoroughly enjoyed the foodie memoirs of Julia Child and Ruth Reichl. Around the same time I bought Blood, Bones & Butter. Again, there is a picture of a chicken on the front, albeit headless, which helped in my purchasing.

This memoir has been raved about by so many people, including Ruth Reichl, so I had high hopes. And I was encouraged as the opening chapter described the spring lamb roast.

Gabrielle goes into a very honest account of her formative years and how she came to be a chef. I really enjoyed reading it. I guess my hesitation is not just that I struggled to relate to her experiences, as I didn't always relate to Ruth or Julia either, but because I didn't understand why she made the choices she did. This, however, could be just me. 

What I'm reading next...

three books out this autumn.jpg

Autumn and winter is traditionally my favourite time for reading. There's less to do outside and cosy fires actively encourage you to sit down with a good book. 

These books (out soon) are on my list:

The History of Bees by Maja Lunde - described as dystopian (which isn't really my thing but I'm up for trying new things) I'm really intrigued by the story which follows three generations of beekeepers from the past, present, and future. 

The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake - books and hygge go together like butter and sugar so I'm incredibly excited to read this cosy romance. 

The Break by Marian Keyes - Amy's husband, Hugh, wants to take a break - from their marriage - to lose himself in South East Asia. What can Amy do about it? Nothing. But if he's on a break, then so is she... SO excited for a new Marian. Honestly, I think she just keeps getting better and better.

Do you have a book that you are bursting to recommend? If so, let me know in the comments, or on Twitter or Instagram.

what I've been reading this summer and what books I'm planning to read next
Why I Love to Create Video Montages for Instagram Stories

Why I Love to Create Video Montages for Instagram Stories

Failure to Moisturise

Failure to Moisturise