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?
September brought all the new term feelings, particularly heightened by something of a return to ‘normal’ following the many levels of lockdown we have all been through. Still, we treated ourselves to new stationery sets and made resolutions to face into Autumn with positivity in the face of everything.
Here’s what the Willoughby team have been reading this month.
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.”
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.
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.