Recent readings, and tips on how to read more

IMG_7485 ^^ These are the books I keep on my desk. Woodworking, some business-y stuff, design references and a random book about vernacular architecture.

It's been a good week on my bedside table. A bit of fiction, a bit of non-fiction, an anti-dieting book and a book basically written about my husband.

First up was Craft for the Soul by Pip Lincolne. LOVED IT. It's like a conversation with a chatty friend about how to be slightly more awesome, mostly involving tea and blankets and reading. I have a few of Pip's craft books and love her writing style, so was equally happy to read her first 'proper' non-crafty book.

I also just read Pretty Honest by UK beauty columnist Sali Hughes. I actually bought it accidentally, thinking it was another book, but I was surprised at how much I like it. It felt a bit like reading a grown-up version of the beauty pages of Cosmo. Lots of advice about skincare (my secret obsession), lipstick, doing your hair and girly stuff like that.

And last week, I read Anna Quindlen's Every Last One. Wow. There is a huge plot twist about halfway through which totally threw me. A very readable book. And god, I miss reading fiction. A good, rollicking story is like a holiday from your own brain.

Right now, I'm enjoying Quiet by Susan Cain. It's billed as a book about "the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking". As I am married to someone who is super introverted and gets easily overwhelmed by groups of people and social situations, it has been a bit of an eye-opener so far. Again, very readable and interesting.

And up next, Just Kids by Patti Smith. I think I am the last person on the planet to read this, despite it being recommended to me eleventy-billion times. I don't always love memoirs, especially ones by rock stars, but her prose is pretty freaking amazing, so I'm looking forward to it.

Also, if you are wondering how I get through a few books each week, despite having two young kids and a business and a husband, here is my advice:

1. Don't watch TV. It is all crap and will rot your brain. However, I will make exceptions for Girls, Orange is the New Black, anything by Louis Theroux and the very occasional movie.

2. Go to bed earlier. I am in bed at 9pm at the latest, which gives me at least an hour of reading time.

3. Keep a list of books. I have a list on my phone of books I want to read, and I make an effort to download or buy them so I always have stuff to read. I get lots of book recommendations through friends, the Kobo book-recommender thing (see below) and from podcasts like Chat 10 Looks 3.

4. Get an e-reader. Unless it's a particularly gorgeous book or a book that a friend has written, I read pretty much everything on my Kobo. I can buy books straight off the Kobo too, and have found lots of new authors that way. It also saves space, paper, energy and all that too.