I’ve been making a concerted effort to read more this year and I feel I’ve really benefited from it so far. I know a lot of perfume people love a good book so here’s a run-down of what I added to my Kindle during the first couple of months of 2017.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
Big Magic is great for anyone who wants to inject more creativity into their life. It’s hugely motivating and not exclusively for those engaged in “The Arts”. It’s more about expressing yourself in whatever way excites you.
The Untethered Soul is a book I go back to whenever my negative thoughts are getting the better of me.
Making It Up As I Go Along by Marian Keyes
January needed some humour and this collection of non-fiction writing is nothing but a hoot. Many of us have a compulsive streak and we can see that taken to comic extremes in Marian.
My Name is Markham by Jodi Taylor
The New Year saw the release of another fun short story from The Chronicles of St Mary’s series. These keep fans like me going between the release of the full length of books, which now number seven. I know most perfume lovers are thriller fans, but fantasy is my poison. I love to escape to another world, however, this isn’t “high fantasy” as it’s very much rooted in England as we know it.
St. Mary’s is an academic institution where historians time-travel in order to investigate past historic events as they happen, often with disastrous consequences. The short stories are more light-hearted escapades, like this one.
A Darker Shade of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab and the All Souls trilogy by Deborah Harkness
Both these fantasy trilogies exhibit writing that is a considerable cut above the norm for this genre. The series A Darker Shade of Magic centres around Kell who can travel between several very different Londons. It’s a suspenseful adventure and also features a younger female character, Lila, who for once is far from saintly.
The All Souls trilogy revolves around the relationship between two Oxford academics, Diana and Matthew, who just happen to be a witch and a vampire. The plot centres on a mysterious lost manuscript and I found the historical aspects really interesting (Harkness is an historian). It was an enjoyable guilty pleasure which is definitely allowed in grim February.
Funnily enough, both Schwab and Harkness use olfactory signatures to help characterise people and places.
The Martian by Andy Weir
I’m not into Sci-Fi but 3,515 five-star reviews on Amazon can’t be wrong, can they? Hmmm. There were many passages working through solutions to problems faced by this astronaut stranded on Mars which involved a lot of science and maths. While the humour lightened the mood, it was rather juvenile for someone who appeared to be a particularly ingenious genius. I generally found it kept my attention, but overall found it a bit odd. No doubt it’s perfect if you’re a science geek. I’d give it a solid three stars.
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald and The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m trying to inject more classic literature into my reading. I have a fondness for the 1920s Jazz Age so Gatsby was great from that point of view and the writing really made an impression on me. I thought I’d struggle more with The Hobbit but it was a pleasant trip to a land of dwarves and other magical creatures, where I’m always at home. I’m steeling myself to attempt The Lord of The Rings series at some point this year.
What books have you been reading? Any you’d recommend?