Books, television, podcasts, staying up until midnight to comment that new Netflix series on Twitter…culture undoubtedly connects us in times where opportunities for jumping on a plane in search of escapism are, well, slim. Call us old-fashioned but reading, to us, remains the best form of self-care – it nourishes the soul, the mind and, unlike a Netflix binge (which also has its time and place, we know) leaves us a little more hopeful both towards ourselves and the world. As hope is something we would like to purchase by the bucket-load, we thought we would share our favourite reads for the weekend with a little something for everyone. From the critically acclaimed, to the up-lit (a genre we could all do with at the moment!) via the classic to the autobiography you may have missed, our weekend will certainly involve some reading and, if yours does too, we hope this article provides some inspiration.
Expectation by Anna Hope – Is it possible to read a novel and root for all the characters? We suppose it is if they’re as well-written, sharp and complex as Anna Hope’s. A tale of three women, three lives and three unique perspectives with female friendship as the leading, undiscussed protagonist. One to read if you’re in your 30s, about to enter your 30s or past your 30s – in other words, the coming of age story which, inevitably, resonates at every age.
Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney – With nothing to envy on her perhaps more widely known Normal People, Sally Rooney approaches an unusual ménage à quatre, chronic illness, jealousy and betrayal with the deceptive simplicity that distinguishes her unmistakable narrative. Light, surprisingly uplifting and hopeful – a reminder that we’re all human, doing our best.
Tales of the Jazz Age by Scott Fitzgerald – This was chosen partially because Fitzgerald’s shorter stories are nothing short of the delicious 20s narrative that characterises his more acclaimed works but also because, if we’re honest, we are dreaming of an era of debauchery, poor decisions and endless parties once this particularly trying time is over, even if it’s just at our local Vodka Revolution. Delightfully easy to accompany with a G&T in the garden and a symbol that we will get through this.
Self-Care for the Real World by Katia Narain Phillips and Nadia Narain – Self-help at its best, non-preachy self with useful tips to take, copy and adapt. Co-written by two sisters, this books feels like an invitation to join Katia and Nadia in their homes and learn from their experiences. One to dip in and out of, one for mothers, one for professionals and, surprisingly, even one for those who have made busy a lifestyle and have convinced themselves they have no time for self-care. Refreshingly straightforward.
Inside Vogue by Alexandra Shulman – Published in 2017, you may have missed this and, with a new editor-in-chief at the helm of Vogue, you may be forgiven for thinking you can do without it but a little journey through this diary, and as a result, the Vogue archives, is what you need if you’re after escapism, couture and glamour. With her sharp insights on life at Vogue during its 100th year, Shulman is simultaneously nothing and everything we expected from our days spent watching The Devil Wears Prada.
Our Stop by Laura Jane Williams – Reading this book will trick you into actively missing your morning commute. Saturated with millennial references, unashamedly hopeful and heart-warming, we love Williams’ complex characters and approach – Nadia chooses (or tries to!) her life every day and, inevitably, it chooses her right back. The Law of Attraction in the age of Instagram.
Keep Safe – lots of love,
The Squiggles Team X