What amazing weather we are having here in the UK (apologies to you if you are not in the UK, I hope you are also having amazing weather wherever you are!).
Can you believe it’s July already!
This month is prime holidaying time and while everyone is busy planning and buying their holiday outfits, one thing most people forget about is having a good book to read. They end up rushing around WH Smith at the airport trying to find one they could just about get their nose buried into for the next week or so. Some will not even bother at that point and will just assume their hotel will have a random book shelf of old dusty books that others have left after their holiday – god forbid!
So this summer, instead of running around WH Smith and picking up a book last minute that you probably won’t read or limiting yourself to those previous holidaymakers’ dusty leftover reads, plan ahead and read my latest reading pile of exciting books to get your teeth stuck into…
1). The Private Lives of the Impressionists by Sue Roe…
I am a huge art historian fan (having studied it at A-Level) and my favourite movement has always been Impressionism. I just love the freedom in the brushstrokes, the humbleness of the subjects and the vivid colours, this movement was a big game changer in art in the 19th century. So, when I stumbled across this book in my local Daunt Bookshop (always supporting local independent shops) I just couldn’t resist.
The author Sue Roe writes a very detailed and very well researched account into the lives of the artists (Renoir, Degas, Manet, Monet, Cezanne and many others). It’s incredibly interesting as these famous artists were all friends in 19th century Paris. It recalls in detail how these artists really struggled, earning next to nothing and trying to survive in this dramatically changing city (the time of the French Revolution). It explains how they were considered fools in the art world for their different style of painting, different use of colour and different choice of subjects. This seems incomprehensible to us in the 21st century as work by any of these artists would easily sell for millions of pounds now.
It’s truly inspiring to learn about these very hard working, dedicated and incredibly talented people from ordinary backgrounds and how they make it in the art industry.
So, to the people who don’t know much about art and want to learn; this book is easy to understand and enjoy. To the people who are brushed up on their general art knowledge but would like to know more about this movement; you will throughly enjoy this well researched read. Or to the people (like me) that have a passion for Impressionism and want to keep that passion alive; this book won’t disappoint you.
2). Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton…
Now I know this book has had a lot of hype this year so chances are you may have read it already or have it on your own reading pile ready and waiting. But if not then let me tell you, this book is AMAZING! I devoured it in only a couple of days and I could not put it down. Dolly Alderton made me laugh out loud and cry my eyes out with her own personal stories about love and relationships throughout her life and what she has learnt from each experience. I have since fallen in love with Dolly and also listen to her podcast (Love Stories) which is equally as amazing, hilarious, heartwarming and emotional.
I would recommend this book to ABSOLUTELY ANYONE! If you’re not a romantic, then this book is for you (it’s not all ‘lovey dovey’ and happy). I would also recommend this book if you are romantic, like me, as this book will warm your heart and may just break it a tiny bit too (only momentarily though I promise).
Can you tell I love this book and Dolly? HELLO, HUGE FAN OVER HERE!
3). Never Greener by Ruth Jones…
Any Gavin & Stacey fans in the house? Oh yeah, me! Ruth Jones is probably most famous for co-writing and starring (as Nessa) in the British favourite Gavin & Stacey. I found out about this book when listening to one of Dolly’s (can’t stop talking about her now) Love Stories podcast episode featuring Ruth Jones. This is the first book Ruth Jones has written and boy is it as good one. It’s a story about a woman called Kate, an actress, with a seemingly perfect life. However, Kate isn’t happy and one day all her buried feelings from the past suddenly start bubbling up to the surface. Should Kate ignore her feelings or should she follow her instincts and risk jeopardising the life she has built with her perfect family? The question behind this story; is the grass always greener on the other side and what would you risk to find out?
This book hooked me from the first page, heck probably the first words! The characters are so relatable and, some of them, loveable too.
The meaning behind this book really hit home for me; I am that classic culprit always thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. This book also highlights the topic on everybody’s mind this year, mental health. From the outside, we all seem like we have it all figured out but none of us know what’s going on behind the scenes of strangers on the tube, work colleagues or even loved ones. All we can do is be mindful that everybody has their own horrible thoughts to deal with and sometimes it’s best to just be honest and share your thoughts and worries with the people we love and trust.
So, whether you love a drama or a love story, this book has got you covered and trust me you won’t be able to put it down all holiday.
So I hope you have been inspired to head on down to your local book shop and buy one of these amazing reads and whether you’re going on holiday or not this summer, enjoy reading in the sun!
Lots of love, xxx