From the bookshelf | summer reading

So I used to be an avid reader. I would devour books, never putting it down, opting to read above all else. Then social media came along. Suddenly my attention span is reduced and I can’t seem to go more than 5 minutes without checking Instagram. I’m heartily ashamed of myself. So in an attempt to recapture my love of the written word I’m setting myself a reading list of basically all the books I’ve bought and never gotten around to reading. However, I am a notoriously slow reader so this may take me longer than the summer but it’s a start! Also, always open to suggestions on good books!

Murder on the Home Front | Molly Lefebure

Murder On The Home Front

I love period books – in particular anything set during the Second World War – and if it’s a true story that is even better. Murder on the Home Front is both. It follows the life of the author Molly Lefebure and her career in the London morgue during the height of WWII. I’ve started reading it and from what I can tell each chapter addresses a different case. So far it’s fascinating. I think people so often view the home front during war time as this “make do and mend”, everyone helping each other out society but the reality of life in London during the Blitz seems far more grizzly. Apparently it’s been made into a TV series which I’d love to get my hands on.

Far From the Madding Crowd | Thomas Hardy


So I confess I saw the film and really loved it so have decided to read the book. Set in the 1800s it follows the life and loves of Bathsheba Everdene, a proud and head-strong young woman who inherits her Uncle’s farm and is determined to maintain her independence despite the three men who attempt to steal her heart.

Suite Française | Irène Némirovsky


Again, it’s a case of seeing the film first and then wanting to read the book. Part of what attracts me to this book it the amazing story of the writer.  Suite Française is the title of a planned sequence of five novels by the author, a French writer of Ukrainian-Jewish origin, but in July 1942, having just completed the first two of the series, Némirovsky was arrested as a Jew and detained at Pithiviers and then Auschwitz, where she died. The notebook containing the two novels was preserved by her daughters but not examined until 1998. They were published in a single volume entitled Suite Française in 2004. The novels depict life in France during German occupation in WWII.

Ten Hail Marys | Kate Howarth


I bought this book for my mother who thoroughly enjoyed it and insists I read it. It is set in the 1960s in Australia and examines the plight of unmarried mothers and forced adoptions. It is the true story of the author and her fight to keep her son.

The Fiery Cross | Diana Gabaldon


This is the fifth book in the Outlander series and while I struggled to put the first four down I’ve been finding it difficult to get into this one. But with the release of the television series based on the books I have a renewed determination to get through the whole series (there are seven books in total!) as I want to read the books before they’re made into a show. Each season of Outlander, on Soho, addresses one book and season two starts early 2016 – if you haven’t watched or read this series I strongly recommend it – and here’s a little blog post as to why.

How to be Parisian wherever you are | Caroline de Maigret, Anne Berest, Sophie Mas & Audrey Diwan


Now this one is just a bit more lighthearted and will hopefully help me to unlock the mysterious glamour of French women that I’ve always coveted. Or not. But it will be good for some fashion inspiration if nothing else!


What books will you be reading over the Christmas break? 

Happy reading!


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