Books for the fireside


Image credit : Alisa Anton

I will not lie, Winter is most definitely not my favourite season. I like to be outside, but I feel the cold badly and I really am not a fan of mud. However, Winter is ideal for curling up in front of the fire with a nice glass of Pinot Noir and a good book. It has to be a real book though, I have not made peace with reading on digital devices. I love books, the smell of the paper, the art on the cover. I keep them, I share them with friends. Tidying up queen Marie Kondo can think whatever she likes, I will never ever throw them away, and I most definitely have more than her recommended 30. Here are five of my favourites, to give you some reading inspiration over these colder months.

  1. ‘First, we make the Beast Beautiful’ – Sarah Wilson

Sarah Wilson, known has the ’I Quit Sugar lady’, has written a beautiful, eloquent and meandering book about her own journey with anxiety, suggesting ways to manage the condition, while offering up the idea that anxiety is not something that needs to be ‘fixed’, but rather if managed well, can actually be our super power.

‘One of the dear, dear things about getting older, is that it does eventually dawn on you that there is no guidebook. One day it suddenly emerges: No one bloody gets it! None of us knows what we're doing’.-Sarah Wilson

  1. ‘Practical Magic’, by Alice Hoffman

Made into a good (but not as good as the book) movie, ‘Practical Magic’ is about two sisters who rebel against their magical upbringing by the ‘Aunts”, wonderful witches who step away to let the grown up girls foray into the darker sides of magic teach them about love, loss and making peace with their own sense of self, even if that means embracing the unconventional. Hoffman writes in such a way that fantasy and reality intertwine unexpectedly and poetically.

‘“It doesn't matter what people tell you. It doesn't matter what they might say. Sometimes you have to leave home. Sometimes, running away means you're headed in the exact right direction.” ― Alice Hoffman,

  1. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ J.D Salinger

This is a classic, and if you haven’t read it, then do. Published in 1951, the story follows its protagonist, Holden Caulfield for two days as he wanders around Hollywood after being expelled from a very exclusive boarding school. A revolutionary book at the time of its publication, touching on subjects of promiscuity, teenage rebellion and alcohol abuse, “Catcher in the Rye” was the most censored book in America between 1961 and 1982. To this day, Holden Caulfield and his red hunting hat remain symbols of teenage angst, with one million copies still being sold every year.

“I am always saying "Glad to've met you" to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, though.” ― J.D. Salinger,

  1. ‘Lame Deer, Seeker of Visions’ – Richard Erdoes

Published in 1972, and based on hours of recorded interviews between Erdoes, a photographer, artist and author, and his friend Lakota Sioux holy man John Fire Lame Deer. The book chronicles Lame Deer’s life as healer, and an activist for Native American rights, as he relays his knowledge of traditional medicine and his unique perspective on the world. Lame Deer passed away in 1976, and this book remains as a priceless record of his life and beliefs. My cousin gave me this book when I was 14, and I have read and re-read it many times since.

“All Creatures exist for a purpose. Even an ant knows what that purpose is--not with its brain, but somehow it knows. Only human beings have come to a point where they no longer know why they exist.” ― John (Fire) Lame Deer

  1. ‘Love Warrior’ -by Glennon Doyle

Hailed as a ‘truth teller’, and author of the successful blog ‘Momastery’, ‘Love Warrior’ is the raw and honest story of Glennon’s marriage, betrayal, her struggle with addiction and her journey to find peace within herself. Selected for Oprahs book club, this book is full of wisdom, and is brave and refreshingly honest.

“Every girl must decide whether to be true to herself or true to the world. Every girl must decide whether to settle for adoration or fight for love.”

― Glennon Doyle Melton

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© 2016 Claire Inkson. All photographs copyright Claire Inkson

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