Three things…

  1. A date for your diaries! Join me this Thursday 9th July at 3pm for the #HQBookClub on Facebook to talk about The Summer We Ran Away, writing, reading and any other questions you have…

2. Win! Head over to HQStories Instagram for the chance to win a copy of The Summer We Ran Away by adding your favourite summer song in their comments. (And for an extra slice of summer, check out my summer Spotify playlist)

3. Finally, The Summer We Ran Away is STILL only 99p on Kindle/ Apple/ Kobo and other fab ereading devices! Enjoy.

See you at the HQ bookclub on Thursday!

Happy reading xx

It’s all about the books…

I’ve found reading one of the greatest escapes in these current times. My New Year’s resolution was to read as many books as I could from my bookshelf. Little did I realise I’d be granted the time to do so! Having never really read Orwell before – bar an attempt at 1984 when I was way too young – I read Keep The Aspidistra Flying and couldn’t quite believe how accessible it was. I’m guilty of shying away from anything I think is going to be hard work and it shamed me into realising my mistake! On that note, I read Pachinko which my mum gave me and has sat on my bookshelf unread for a while. But oh my god, I LOVED it. And still miss the characters now. Years ago, I bought The Thorn Birds from a car boot sale with the most amazing classic cover. TBH, I bought it for the cover rather than to read it, but I’m on the last few pages now and so pleased I didn’t let it sit on the shelf forgotten.

I haven’t stuck purely to the resolution, however. My shopaholic tendencies have been steered from browsing the TKMaxx and Hennes aisles to Waterstones.com, thehive.com and my lovely local bookshop, The Open Book, who are rustling me up a copy of Alexandra Shulman’s Clothes and Other Things That Matter. I love a book that’s hit the headlines, and I’ve just finished Such a Fun Age which had me gripped. As did American Dirt. And Daisy Jones and the Six was a refreshingly unique interlude. Yesterday a new box arrived on the doorstep packed with goodies including The Binding, Uprooted and a jigsaw (don’t get me started on my new OBSESSION with jigsaws!)

Lots of little things come together to create good things in troubled times. As well as reading, these have been mine:

The smell of Aesop geranium leaf body cleanser that I was given ages ago and saved for ‘best’. Well now seemed like a GREAT time for indulgence.

The family-walk ritual which is always to the same patch of parkland where we’ve flown a kite in the wind, fished unsuccessfully with a twig and a piece of nylon thread, collected too many pine cones and stared up at the clear blue sky.

Listening to Masterclass while doing the afore mentioned jigsaw and drinking a well-earned glass of post-homeschool wine.

Clapping on a Thursday for the wonderful NHS and seeing all the neighbours out on the road or on their balconies, the kids in their pyjamas bashing saucepans and drums. It’s amazing.

I’d love to hear what’s getting you through the day at the moment. What are you loving? What books are you reading?

Don’t forget, you can preorder THE SUMMER WE RAN AWAY now. It’s out in June. And CHELSEA HIGH, my debut young adult book, is out in August. Both perfect escapist reading 😉

Lots of love. Stay safe.

Jenny x

Loads of news today! 

 

IMG_0264For all those who were waiting with baited breath to see if anything grew in my new little garden, you’ll be VERY excited to find out that it did! There are flowers everywhere and I water them with a constant panicked watchful eye. More pics below.

IMG_0097

Secondly, The House We Called Home, my brand-new summer book has gone into the great Kindle Summer sale and is currently a bargainous 99p. You don’t even have to wait you’re on holiday to read it seeing as we’re living one long hot summer right now. Download, enjoy and be sure to let me know what you think!

Almost as exciting, loads of my other books are also currently 99p, so you can have a Jenny Oliver bingefest, if you so desire. It’s too hot to be inside watching TV anyway, much better to be sitting outside with a book 😉

Jenny xx

Here’s how the garden’s looking…

 

More than just a book!

It’s that time of year again when the sun is shining (when it isn’t raining) and there are barbecues planned for bank holiday weekends. I’m tentatively thinking about wearing shorts as the forecast says it’ll be 25 degrees by the weekend (but some fake tan is in order because these legs haven’t seen daylight for a long time!) And I’m dreaming about which book I will read as I’m sipping a gin and tonic in the garden. I have a four year old son so this last bit is most definitely a dream. Someone told me recently that when you buy a book what you’re buying is the time to read it. The hope of that time. Never has anything felt truer. I have a stack of time by my bed just ready and waiting! But, as the evenings get longer and holidays are on the horizon, those spare moments to read feel suddenly within grasp. My problem is that instead of reading what I already own, I’ll celebrate by slipping a paperback in with my Sainsbury’s shop or nipping into Waterstones for a book-sized treat. After all, you can never have too much time.

Here’s what’s on my bedside table at the mo… What’s on yours?

(And if you’re looking for a book to escape with then The Summerhouse by the Sea is only 99p at the moment on Amazon. In those pages, I promise, the sun is shining and the
waves are lapping and you’ll feel like you’ve got all the time in the world… )

99p…What a bargain!

The sun is shining. The birds aren’t singing, as far as I can tell. The aeroplanes are flying overhead. It’s officially summer. And to celebrate, The Summerhouse by the Sea is only 99p! Wow, what a bargain.

Download a copy, pretend you’re working and secretly have a read on your phone/ computer/ Kindle 😉 Enjoy the sunshine x

Summerhouse_Facebook1

This month I have been mostly reading and watching…

The first part of this year has involved a lot of reading and film watching! The desire for escapism is at its peak at the moment.

So here are my highlights…

perry-durrant

LIE WITH ME – Sabine Durrant.

Brilliant. Addictive. Clever and witty and sharp, like I was watching in real life. Not a word on the page wasted.

THE ESSEX SERPENT – Sarah Perry

I was given this to read. It wouldn’t have been my first choice because I’d have assumed it would take too long and I have very little time. But I was surprised by the pace and the quirks. You can actually whip through it and then go back and linger on the clever, beautiful bits. A bundle of unique characters all vividly still with you long after the book is finished.

20170213_122546THE NAKANO THRIFT SHOP – Hiromi Kawakami

I LOVED this! It was a present and I’ve never read any Japanese translated fiction before but I will now. I realised while reading this that there are some books you want to race through to the end and others that you just want to live inside. You go to bed half an hour early to be in the pages. This for me was that. I just adored being in the gentle, clever, sweet, interesting, intriguing world. A lovely book.

20170213_121258LA LA LAND

I’ve already written a whole piece about this. But I would say, it’s the only film I’ve been to the cinema to see twice. And the only film I’ve been to the cinema to see on my own! Shock horror. But the seal has been broken, I’m going to go solo way more often. It’s very mellow (once you’ve moved away from the people chatting over popcorn through all the emotional bits).

WESTWORLD (TV version)

This was a roller coaster for me. Brilliant at the beginning. Bit slow in the middle and a bit too focused on the violence. Excellent at the end.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

Completely not what I expected! I sat down thinking it would be all Wes Anderson kooky and then suddenly everyone is running around half-naked killing deer. But it’s really good! And Viggo’s great.

BRIDGET JONES’S BABY

So nice to be back in Bridget’s world. Fall-off-the-sofa funny at times. Best choice at the end but worried that Bridget would still be lonely once credits rolled.

digby-etc

And, in case you’re interested, in the Under 3s world I have enjoyed:

TOPSY AND TIM – massive nostalgia, so strong I can almost taste it.

TOR FREEMAN – Brilliant illustrator.

More SHIRLEY HUGHES – can’t get enough of Alfie and Lucy & Tom

TOY STORY 1, 2 & 3 – just get better every time you watch them (I may live to regret that statement).

 

 

Not a bad start to the year, as far as excellent escapism goes.

J x