Like most people, I tend to read waaaaay more in autumn and winter than I do in summer; in the warmer months I always like to squeeze in as much outdoor time as I can, soaking up as much sunshine as possible - whether that's pottering with the flowers and veg in the garden, or building a campfire with the kiddos on the beach at dusk. But as soon as the leaves start to change colour, it's game over - once 6.30 rolls around, the only place you'll find me is rolled in a blanket on a sofa looking a bit like a sausage roll, with a book in my hand.
My two most recent favourites were A Cat, A Hat and a Piece of String, which is a collection of short stories by Joanne Harris, and The Little Shop of Happy Ever After, a lovely, cosy read about a girl who moves to the wilds of Scotland and opens a mobile bookshop. Books, countryside, and a farm - what's not to love?! My 'to-read' pile is getting a bit out of control at the moment (I've been following lots of book-related accounts on IG recently, which means I probably won't surface until the Easter weekend 2017), so I thought I'd put a quick post together about what I'm going to be curled up with this winter.
Autumn and Winter, Edited by Melissa Harrison
If you love nature, the outdoors and the seasons, then you're going to love these brilliant little anthologies - I've almost finished Autumn, and I can't recommend it enough; packed full of poetry and prose from the last hundred years, it's a wholehearted celebration of the most colourful time of year. I've had a flick through Winter, and I can't wait to start it - I've seen Christmas mentioned on quite a few pages, and I LOVE reading about the festive season in the lead up to the big day!
Wild Island: A Year in the Hebrides, Jane Smith
I had this book on my reading wishlist for a while before I bought it; I don't tend to buy hardback books a lot, partly because they're heavy to hold in bed and partly because they're pretty pricey! This one was too beautiful to resist though; it's about a filmmaker who spends a year on Oronsay, a remote Hebridean island full of birds and animals, and is filled with her beautiful writing and artwork. I absolutely cannot wait to get stuck in.
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
I've had this book for years now, and still not got round to reading it - according to the back cover, it's about 'a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter and quite a lot of thievery', and received rave reviews when it was first published. I'm determined to get through it this winter!
A Week in Paris, Rachel Hore
I love Rachel Hore's books, and have never read a bad one; she writes stories about old family secrets and mysteries, which usually span a few centuries, and they're so easy to just curl up and get lost in. This one is set between 1937 and 1961, and follows a young musician trying to trace her past and find exactly where she belongs - I've skim read the first few pages (terrible habit, I know!) and it seems like it's going to be good.
As most of you know, I'm definitely not a cook or a foodie - the extent of my culinary adventures covers adding some sweet potato to the bolognese to bulk it out. But this book, oh, this book makes me want to buy a linen apron and spend my life in the kitchen. The recipes sound incredible, the photography is amazing, and there's a lot of text covering practicalities as well - I've only leafed through it so far, but I'm going to sit down with some paper and a pen, and make some notes. I might even bake something!
Christmas at Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop, Jenny Colgan
Jenny Colgan's books are like a big cuddle. That's literally the best way I can describe them. They're always easy to read, not too heavy-going... reading anything by her is like meeting up with an old friend who you know will make you feel happy. This one is the sequel to Rosie Hopkins Sweet Shop of Dreams, but I'm pretty sure you could read it as a standalone novel as well - it's the tale of a small rural village in the lead up to Christmas; so plenty of cosy cottages, snow, decorations.... a nice easy read for the festive season!
The Watcher in the Shadows, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I read The Shadow of the Wind years ago, and always meant to look up other novels by Zafon, but never got round to it. Then I spotted this one in Waterstones and snapped it up - it's the tale of a toymaker living in a old mansion, a mysterious figure that watches from behind the curtains, flickering lights and shadowy creatures lurking in the woods. One for reading in a nest of blankets, I think!
What are you reading? I'm always on the lookout for new books to add to the never-ending list, so do leave a comment!