Austenite

There is no enjoyment like reading…

Weekend Coffee Share: Hygge, Poetry, and Baths

Theoretically, if we were having coffee, we wouldn’t be having coffee at this time of night. It’s twenty-five minutes to midnight on a Sunday. Instead, we’d be drinking a relaxing hot drink – herbal tea, hot chocolate, or warm milk (or a glass of cold milk, if that’s more appealing). I’d tell you that I’ve…

Horror

Halloween has been and gone, and all we’ve got are the Pumpkins and the leftover sweets. In the UK, the next big thing is Bonfire Night on 5th November, so there are fireworks going on most evenings, somewhere. I’m a fan of Halloween, even though being a HSP (highly sensitive person) you’d think that I’d…

Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

There are a handful of books written about writing by people I consider mentors. Usually, it’s because their books get it right – for the writer beginning work, the writer in the middle, and the writer with more experience. They aren’t writing manuals or writing workbooks, but they speak to every part of the writing…

The Wander Society by Keri Smith

I’ve always believed that sometimes, books come into your life at exactly the right time, in order to challenge, inspire, and offer a different perspective. The Wander Society is one such book. I’m still digesting the messages in it, and the philosophy, and intend to begin my own practice of wandering. Keri Smith isn’t the…

Perfume by Patrick Suskind

Perfume, as the subtitle of the book proclaims, is the story of a murderer. Specifically, the story of a murderer, Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who is obsessed with scent. I decided to read Perfume because it’s my cousin’s favourite book, and she recommended it. I found it to be a wonderful, disturbing, and beautiful novel. It feels…

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

The Little Paris Bookshop has everything I like in a book. It has characters you can root for, an undeniably bookish theme with Jean Perdu’s wonderful book apothecary on a barge moored in the Seine, and enough depth and emotional wisdom to offset the potential twee-ness of the story. I realise that the English translation…

Men Explain Things to Me by Rebecca Solnit

Rebecca Solnit’s essays begin with the title essay, ‘Men Explain Things to Me’ which sets the tone for her collection of feminist essays. I haven’t read anything by Rebecca Solnit before, and maybe that just shows how much I need to get back in touch with feminist writing. They are interspersed with paintings by Ana…

Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

The first book of the year has been on my to-be-read list for a while. I haven’t read a feminist-focused book for a while – the last one I read was either Coal to Diamonds by Beth Ditto (a memoir, not overtly feminist) or How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, which whilst an…

The 5 Best Fiction Books of 2015

I haven’t read as much fiction as I usually read in a year, but there have been some stand-out novels and series this year. I read a few series that I’ve been meaning to read, such as A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, and I concluded A.G. Howard’s retelling of Alice in Wonderland with…

The 5 Best Non-fiction Books of 2015

It’s that time of the year when I take stock of all the wonderful books I’ve read in 2015 and choose a few to highlight. I’ve read many good books this year, some of which I’ve already highlighted and written about. This list is intended to spotlight the ones that truly made a difference to…