What We’ve Been Reading

While we’re all excitedly planning our reading goals for the new year and patiently waiting for those highly anticipated releases of 2022 its also great to look back on those last few reads of 2021, bringing one chapter to a close while the next is already eagerly waiting for us.

Here are the last reviews of 2021 from Willoughby staff- we hope you all also had some time to read some great books to finish out the year!

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New Year Reading Resolutions

We’ve packed away the Christmas decorations and we’re facing the cold dark months of January and February. This time of year can feel rather bleak, particularly as we’ve had a challenging time of it in the new, Covid-altered world. Nothing feels ‘normal’ anymore, and the world feels like a threatening place to be. We’re broke, sluggish from too many festive chocolates, and cold. But there are always new books, a new year and a new perspective.

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November Wrap Up: What We’ve Been Reading

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.”

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Re-thinking Christmas

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.

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Buddy Bag Foundation- an Introduction

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.

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September Wrap Up: What We’ve Been Reading

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!

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A Taste of Holidays

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!

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