Do you read different books in different seasons? I know I do. When the temperature dips, I like to lose myself in a cosy, welcoming read. Something that’ll still make my brain tick, but that’ll also soothe me when I need it.
What are my favourites right now?
If you want to lose yourself, try Man at the Helm by Nina Stibbe. This captivating novel is the best thing I’ve read in ages. It’s the story of being a divorcée in an English village in the 1970s – all told from the perspective of nine-year-old Lizzie. It’s funny, sad and and gently though-provoking. I couldn’t put it down.
In need of comfort? Discover the books of Rachael Lucas. Her romantic novels are great when you want an undemanding read, with a bit of pluck. I loved Sealed with a Kiss, and it’s mini sequel, Sealed with a Christmas Kiss. Kate runs away to work as odd-job girl on a remote Scottish island and meet a cast of charming, well-written characters. It reminds me of Katie Fforde, whose books I also love. I’m currently reading Wildflower Bay, which is proving just as good as the others. Perfect for a cosy weekend.
Rediscover a classic. Autumn is the perfect time to delve into an old favourite by a classic author. It’s been a while since I re-read a Jane Austen novel, so I’ve kicked things off with a beautiful new edition of Northanger Abbey by the Folio Society. I read a lot of e-books, and when I do buy a book I want it to be really special. This beautifully illustrated edition fits the bill. Northanger Abbey is one of Austen’s less popular novels, but give it a go. It’s a knowing pastiche on the gothic romance and gallops along at great pace. The thing I love about Austen is that her books always feel timelessly fresh and vibrant. Perfect for candle-lit nights.
If you want to laugh, try Hot Mess by Lucy Vine. I heard a podcast with Lucy and loved the concept of her debut novel. It’s billed as a new Bridget Jones for the Tinder generation. It was funny and had a pleasingly happy and satisfying ending,
Also worth a mention are the Cornish Café books by Philippa Ashley – a slightly silly modern interpretation of Poldark that kept me smiling while I was recovering from surgery. Perfect under-the-weather reading.
My love affair with Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series also continues. I’ve just finished book 7 – these long historical novels aren’t to everyone’s taste. If I’m honest, they’re bit of a slog at times – but I’m so invested with the characters that I can’t turn away now.
What have you been reading lately?
Thank you to the Folio Society for sending me a copy of Northanger Abbey to review.