I began my Bookshop Day in the pretty town of Kinsale in Cork, at the very start of the Wild Atlantic Way.
The sky is bright and cloudless, the sun already making its presence known. Fresh coffee calls to sleepy people and glasses of fruit juice drip condensation onto the counter top. Strawberries, blueberries and raspberries piled high in a bowl next to bread, fresh from the bakery, and locally sourced butter. Breakfast Al Fresco beckons, and as I open the French doors onto the flower-scented patio, stretching and smiling at the prospect of another glorious day… at home!
What a month August has been. We’ve seen scorching days and storms, localised lockdowns and slight returns to ‘normality’. The crocosmia is in full flower in the hedgerows as a herald of the end of summer, and the evenings are beginning to get chilly.
In our July newsletter we asked you to suggest a good read for a staycation. Thanks so much to everyone who got in touch! We loved hearing about books you’ve enjoyed.
Read on to hear about a selection of these…
One of the few nice consequences of the pandemic was a chance to properly get to know my neighbour, singer songwriter Victoria Keating, without the stiff formalities of nodding hello on the morning commute. As she moved in just prior to lockdown I had the privilege of getting to know her in a strange isolation: we were meeting no family or friends and jumped at the chance to chat across the garden fence.
As the country began to emerge from lockdown, I sat down to chat with Victoria about her inspirations and her creative process, and how a year spent immersed in the works of Dickens inspired both a new song, and the title for her lockdown project: Little Rooms, Big Music.
I can’t believe we are at the beginning of August and already writing about what we read in July, it seems both a blink of an eye ago and another lifetime ago that the lockdown began and 2020 became Very Odd Indeed.
While I was browsing my shelves for reading inspiration or an old favourite to return to, I was struck by how many very short books I have collected over the years.
How has your month of reading been? Are you fully immersed in chunky books, or are you still struggling to concentrate and feeling a little scattered following the stress of the last few months?
Wherever you are at with your reading, we can all celebrate the re-opening of independent book shops again. What a delight to finally browse again, despite the distancing and masks…
June is Pride month, one of the most relevant moments to spotlight books that centre their narratives on the queer experience, and in particular, the experiences of black and minority LGBTQ+ voices. After all, it was predominantly trans people of colour protesting at the Stonewall Inn in New York, who began what we now know as ‘Pride’ in the first place.
We have created this blog post because we stand in solidarity with the black community, all over the world, and wanted to use our platform in a way that supports the Black Lives Matter movement. In the words of Angela Davis:
“In a racist society it is not enough to be non-racist, we must be anti-racist.” Continue reading