The bookshelf update

After some reading inspiration? We’ve rounded up some of the best titles to keep you busy in the last few weeks of the holidays.


The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead

This critically acclaimed book explores the brutality of slavery from the perspective of African slaves in 19th century America, who found themselves in the underground network of escape routes and safe houses in an attempt to flee the oppressive regime of their masters. Reaching the top of the New York Times Bestseller List, Whitehead provides a truly fascinating account of one of the most painful eras of America’s history.


The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well – Meik Wiking

To many of us, hygge is a somewhat strange and foreign concept. And, well, that’s because it is. Credited as one of the reasons why our Scandinavian neighbours consistently rank so highly in the happiness stakes, Wiking considers that the embodiment of hygge can lead to a more fulfilled life. This easy to read book explores the feel-good properties of living like the Danes, and may provide readers with some inspiration to create a cosier living environment. If you have some time to kill this summer, give it a shot.


All the Beloved Ghosts – Alison MacLeod

MacLeod’s collection of short stories, described as “compelling, fast-paced and powerful” by the Financial Times, provide an insight into the fragility of life and death, told through the experiences of a range of very different characters whose tales overlap in strikingly similar ways. Insightful and thought-provoking, this book is set to be a winner.


The Rosie Project – Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project follows the life of Don Tillman, a respected intellectual who believes that everything in life can be explained by science. What ensues is the witty, charming tale of Don’s determination to find a partner; a mission he dubs “The Wife Project”. But when Rosie comes along and throws the plan into disarray, Don is left scrambling to adapt. A clever, easy to read book which is bound to make you smile.


Into the Water – Paula Hawkins

Hawkins faces some feat in topping her first novel, The Girl on the Train, and while Into the Water may not reach the same lofty heights as its predecessor, she has offered up another deeply disturbing psychological thriller. Following a distressing chain of events taking place in a small town, the reader is taken on a journey documenting the town’s troubled past, and the fear that history may be repeating itself. If you love a thriller, you’ll love this book.


A Mindfulness Guide for the Frazzled – Ruby Wax

Comedienne-turned-psychologist Ruby Wax’s newest book explores the art of “de-frazzling” by means of a practical guide to stress management. Her light-hearted take on her own personal experiences makes the book thoroughly accessible and manages to provide some well-natured entertainment despite the book’s serious backdrop. If your aim is to make the most of some well-earned down time this summer, consider adding A Mindfulness Guide to your reading list.


The Missing Wife – Sheila O’Flanagan

What starts off as a well-worn tale of a disgruntled spouse upping sticks and abandoning her marriage, The Missing Wife quickly turns into an emotional account of how life can suddenly change beyond recognition. The story follows Imogen as she embarks upon a journey which may change her life forever. The question is, is she ready for that change? A well-written book which you’ll struggle to put down.


The Muse – Jessie Burton

If you enjoyed Burton’s first offering, The Miniaturist, you’ll love The Muse. Set in the 1930s, it follows the story of two families whose lives unexpectedly collide. A slow-burner, but a thoroughly enjoyable read.


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