Less than one month till The Summer We Ran Away hits the shelves! I hope you’ll love it. And I hope it provides some much needed escapism. With summer holidays looking increasingly unlikely, what better way to take a break than with a book.
Early reviews have been fab:
‘The perfect summer escape whilst in lockdown.’ The World is a Book
‘Funny, warm, heartfelt and a lovely read. I actually think this is my favourite so far.’ Thispriceisusuallyright.com
‘It was a rollercoaster of ups and downs and I give it top marks. It kept me hooked all the way through. I absolutely loved this book.’ @healthandlifehappywife
‘Such a perfect summery read about being brave, taking chances and appreciating what you have. I loved it.’ overflowinglibrary.com
Don’t forget, you can preorder your copy online now, pop it in your trolley at the supermarket, or get in touch with your local bookstore to order it for you.
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 😉
In other news, THE SUMMER WE RAN AWAY is available for preorder and currently awaiting its gorgeously summery cover. I’ll update asap. It’s all about the perils of WhatsApp and fleeing your so-called perfect life under the worst circumstances! Join Julia and Amber on their Thelma and Louise-esque road trip across France in search of answers, forgiveness and themselves. Look out for it Spring/ Summer 2020
And last but not least, one of my all-time favourite books, THE HOUSE WE CALLED HOME, has been given a sparkling new make-over. Look out for it in bookshops/ supermarkets near you or buy now online…
I’m always really nosy when it comes to other people’s summer reading, so if you’re interested, here’s mine so far: An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (fascinating and a real conversation starter in terms of what-would-you-do?); One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson, the second Jackson Brodie novel. I love these books, I didn’t want this one to end!; The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker. I seem to be on a bit of a Greek myth binge because I’m also reading Stephen Fry’s Mythos; and now I’m just starting I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe which I started a few years ago and didn’t finish but I’m giving it another go, except the typeface in my copy is really tiny so I’m off to the library to see if there’s a newer version with a bigger font!
What have you loved this summer? Let me know. Whatever it is you’re enjoying, I wish you very happy reading!
The paperback of The House We Called Home has hit the shelves. So if you’re looking for something to read in the sunshine this weekend then head to Sainsbury’s to get your copy in their Recommended For You promotion.
To celebrate publication there’s a fab blog tour and a Twitter competition run by @HQStories. You have to say what makes a house a home and there have been such lovely answers so far. For me it’s all about family and all my knickknacks! Pop over to Twitter and let us know what you think makes a house a home.
As always, I’d love to know what you think when you’ve finished the book so do come back here and let me know your thoughts.
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… )
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