chestnut book blog

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Five Favourite Things

Here are my favourite things this month:

1. The Bees by Laline Paull

Ever wondered what it is like to be a bee in a hive? Bizarrely, I actually have and now I have my answer! Not only does Paull have a beautiful and vivid imagination, but she has clearly done a lot of research into bee behaviour as well. The two together make this a brilliant story. I couldn’t put it down and, since finishing it, I have recommended it to everyone I talk to! Interesting fact: Laline was the name my brother called me when we were little, before he could pronounce Caroline…

2. Books and Quills

Since getting back from holiday, I’ve discovered ‘Book-Tubers’ on YouTube. I have read book blogs for many years, but had been a bit sceptical about how that would translate into videos. In general, I have to say that I still prefer my blogs, but Books and Quills is an exception. Sanne, the ‘YouTuber’ in question, has a varied and interesting taste in books. Her Dutch / American accent is very easy to listen to and her enthusiasm for books is infectious. Here is her wonderful book shelf tour, which sent me scurrying to the nearest book shop to check out her recommendations!

3. Quits

This is surprising as I am not much of a crafter. I am left-handed, which meant both my Grandma and Mum’s many attempts to teach me to knit have failed spectacularly over the years. If I am honest, I’d also just rather be reading a book, which is another reason I’ve not managed to learn basic sewing / knitting etc life skills. Despite this, on our recent holiday to the U.S, I became a little bit obsessed with quilts and quilting. It started with a tour of Louisa May Alcott’s home in Concord , Massachusetts (which was amazing and I will do a post on that soon), where a ‘Flying Geese’ quilt was pointed out as a potential sign that the Alcotts were part of the underground railroad. By the time we had reached Bar Harbour in Maine, by way of a few roadside quilt shops in New Hampshire, I was fascinated. Since then, I have purchased a few books on the history of quilting, which I will share with you shortly, and I am seriously considering booking myself on a sewing course!

4. Flat peaches

Have you tried flat peaches? I absolutely adore them. An even more delicate and delicious flavour than a normal peach, but also with a much more convenient design for eating!

5. London in the summer

I’ve also fallen a little bit back in love with London this summer. A country girl at heart, I often see only the negatives in this city I live in. However, I am back working in the very centre of London with my new job and as I walk up to Piccadilly Circus and through Trafalgar Square each evening, I do reflect on how lucky I am to live in this amazing place. With a trip to the Proms to hear Elgar’s beautiful Enigma Variations just behind us and a tour of the Virginia Woolf exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery planned, my renewed appreciation for London will continue.

So there are my favourite things from the last month. I am sorry my posting has been a bit sporadic. It is likely to continue to be so for the remainder of the summer, as life is a bit busy at the moment. In the Autumn I’ll return to my usual schedule of two posts a week though. In the meantime, I hope you are having a wonderful summer as well!

 


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Holiday Reading!

I’m being quite spoilt this week and am spending three days in Berlin with work before jetting off to the USA on a personal holiday. With globe-trotting in mind, I loaded up my Kindle this weekend with some exciting reading material to keep me company! My husband is very pleased that there is not a hardback in sight this year for him to carry!

1. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

Kent is from Adelaide, Australia and, as my husband has family in that city, I was prompted to read this debut novel. Burial Rites is set in Iceland, a place I’ve always found intriguing because of the saga tradition. ¬†Kent apparently draws on that tradition in this novel, which is a mix of historical fiction and crime writing – I can’t wait!

2. The Fault in our Stars by John Green

I’ve heard so many rave reviews about this and a film version is being released soon. I’ve always hesitated to pick it up because I suspect it is going to be very upsetting. However, I’ve bitten the bullet and downloaded it now at the bargain price of ¬£2.49; it might not be quite right to read on holiday, but I’ll see how I feel.

3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

In honour of a great lady who died recently…this autobiography has been on my ‘To read’ list for a long time.

4. The Bees by Laline Paull

What would it be like to be a bee in a hive? I can’t imagine so I am glad Paull has done the work for me here! I’ve chosen this book as it felt really unusual and a chance to step into a different world. I was also drawn in by the description of it being ‘a cross between Margaret Atwood and Watership Down’ – how could I resist?!

Have you read any of these books? What will you be reading on holiday this year?