For Emily by Katherine Slee is a warm and uplifting novel about Emily, who’s grandmother, a famous children’s author named Catriona Robinson, has died, and left her a trail of clues to a secret manuscript via her book dedications. If you enjoyed The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan, you would really like this one! Continue reading
It has been nice to get out and stomp through crunchy leaves and get out the snuggly jumpers and cardigans and light the inevitable scented candles: despite the troubles of the world the seasons are still turning as we move from autumn into winter.
The darker nights are also the ideal time to fit a bit more reading into our lives! After all, what could be nicer than settling down with a book and a cuppa when it’s chilly outside?
How have you been keeping this month, and what have you been reading?
I have been thinking a lot recently about fallow periods, and times of gathering-in and hibernating. This may have been forced upon us this year due to the lockdown, but there is a value in a time of quietitude and reflection. Sometimes if you sit with the silence, creativity and ideas may begin to flow again. As is so often the case, Tove Jannson can expresses this so beautifully in Moominvalley in November, a book I often turn to at this time of year:
“The quiet transition from autumn to winter is not a bad time at all. It’s a time for protecting and securing things and for making sure you’ve got in as many supplies as you can. It’s nice to gather together everything you possess as close to you as possible, to store up your warmth and your thoughts and burrow yourself into a deep hole inside, a core of safety where you can defend what is important and precious and your very own. Then the cold and the storms and the darkness can do their worst. They can grope their way up the walls looking for a way in, but they won’t find one, everything is shut, and you sit inside, laughing in your warmth and your solitude, for you have had foresight.”
Like a lot of people, ever so predictably, I love Christmas. I love the food, the smells, the ritual lethargy.
When I was younger, my Nan always stayed with us on Christmas Eve. At around seven the next day, I would wake her up with a timely ‘Cock-a-doodle-doo!’. We would traipse downstairs, en masse, feeling a mixture of jittery anticipation and familiarity.
One year, the highlight of the day was receiving the gift of a tent, which stayed up in the living room for at least a fortnight. I cannot recall it ever going outside, but it did provide a suitable hiding place for my chocolate stash. Another year, it was the walkie-talkie headset that had a range of approximately twenty metres. Phases came and went quickly, a reflection of the childhood crazes of the late nineties and early noughties.
We’re so happy to be able to introduce you to this great organisation.
Buddy Bags Foundation were established in the UK in 2015 when the founder, Karen Williams, realised the huge need of children in an emergency care setting or fleeing a dangerous situation.
A ‘Buddy Bag’ is a backpack containing all the essentials a child might need straight away, such as pyjamas, underwear and toiletries. They also contain a comforting item for the child, such as a book or a toy, tailored to the age of the child.
So November sees us once again entering into Lockdown, only this time the days are getting shorter and we’re facing into the bleakness of Winter. Nevertheless, as we can’t see friends and family, it’s a good chance to catch up on a bit of reading.
Can I confess to loving this time of year? The crisp air, the colours of the leaves, and the cosy evenings…
Well, this September has been packed with glorious new books, and we saw a Super Thursday like no other, with over 600 books published on the same day following lockdown publication delays across the industry. Just like that, it seems as though we’re on the run up to Christmas. Well, as a bookseller Super Thursday has always meant the start of Christmas for me!
I began my Bookshop Day in the pretty town of Kinsale in Cork, at the very start of the Wild Atlantic Way.