Books for These Blue Times

Spines of books
Illustration from The Boy The Mole The Fox and The Horse

The toddler is dragging me outside to play, the cat is threatening to attack if I don’t feed him for the twelfth time today, and the other half is signaling for quiet whilst he navigates an important conference call from home. All I want is ten minutes peace with my book, but, suddenly, our small house feels minute and there’s nowhere to hide!  However, some books are helping to ease my frustrations.  The Moth: This is a True Story is perfect for when you get just a few minutes to escape.  They are the best autobiographical stories from the StorySLAM events that have taken place all over the US and elsewhere in the world.  They are only a few pages long, but still have the ability to make you laugh, weep, and feel connected to strangers from the other side of the world.    

The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse is a work of great beauty.  Every morning, I admire the stunning illustrations by Charlie Mackesy and contemplate the simple accompanying text.  Each page feels like taking a big, meditative deep breath.  I follow him on Instagram too and it is amazing to see how someone can reflect the current thoughts of the world on one page.

Illustration from 100 Hugs

More wonderful illustrations are found in Chris Riddell’s 100 Hugs.  It is simply pictures of hugs, of which I am sending photos to friends and family.  It’s a small gesture that reminds us all of the physical contact we are missing right now.

Lastly, I’ve found some solace in poetry, which I wouldn’t normally look through.  Perhaps it’s the joy of finding something new, or simply because it’s short enough to read in the midst of a game of hide-and-seek.  I promise there is something for everyone to relate to in The Poetry Pharmacy Returns and leave you with these wise words from William Martin:

“Show them the infinite pleasure

In the touch of a hand.

And make the ordinary come alive for them.

The extraordinary will take care of itself.”

– William Martin

A bibliophile with more books than sense, and bookseller for over 10 years. When I'm not reading with my tyrannical toddler I escape with some literary fiction. I am also currently enjoying the fresh wave of autobiographical essays and thought-provoking non-fiction.

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