July is here, and hasn’t this year just flown by?! It’s a new month and that means that it’s time for a new theme, and this one is all about surviving the winter chill! Winter Warmers is all about keeping warm and finding some great ways to make the most of this not-so-great weather! For you lucky ones in the Northern Hemisphere, you might enjoy adapting these posts to your lovely summery days or just bank them for when the cold weather sets in again in a few months!
To kick this month off I thought I’d start with 3 great books to curl up with, as there’s nothing better than a blanket and some time spent reading on the couch. These three books also make a great summer reads too, though you might not need the blanket ;)
Notes From a Blue Bike – Tsh Oxenreider
I love a good non-fiction read and this one is no exception. This is a memoir of a much loved blogger who tells her story of living a more intentional life. I use memoir loosely because there’s so many more chapters to her awesome life to come, but she takes you through her time living in Turkey and moving back to the US and how she and her family grew and changed with her blog. Tsh is the founder of the very successful blog The Art of Simple (formally Simple Mom), and whilst I wasn’t a regular reader of her blog before buying the book, I found myself relating to so much of the intentional life that she is always working towards.
Because it’s such a personal story it feels strange to pin point a favourite moment or piece of the book, but I loved how it made me feel full of hope for my own future and I really loved hearing her back story (I’m a bit nosy like that! I love to hear how people ended up where they are, especially when they’re now doing something they love). Whilst it definitely has a lean towards lessons learned from parenting in parts, I didn’t feel that it lost me at all, even though I don’t have children at this stage.
I usually take a while to finish a book but this one I got through in just a few days. I enjoyed reading it so much that I was a little sad when it was finished – not something you always get from non-fiction (though the book I’m about to talk about was the same). It’s hard to get my attention and really suck me into a book, but this was one that succeeded. I highly recommend it.
Get a copy from Amazon here*
Running Like a Girl – Alexandra Heminsley
Alexandra Heminsley loved to sit on the couch and eat treats and watch as her flat mate left for a run. It wasn’t something that she felt that she would ever do, and then one day she decided to sign up for the London Marathon. A non runner threw herself in the deep end and even though her friends and family laughed and didn’t believe her, she taught herself to run found a love of running that’s never left her. This book is a hilariously funny account of learning to run and finding a love of running that has taken her to marathons all over the world.
If you’re a runner or someone who sits on the couch and sometimes thinks she might like to learn to run, then you will really enjoy this book. There were times I laughed so hard and times that I cried along with her. This book helped me to realise that running isn’t always about times and distances and being the best. Sometimes it’s about finding your way out of somewhere you don’t want to be. And even sometimes it’s about not getting injured but recovering and making a comeback.
She also includes some great tips about what gear you need and what gear you don’t and how you can get involved with raising money for charities and running races. This book feels more like you’re being told a great story by a good friend than a book about running form and ‘must-dos’ like so many running books out there. I highly recommend it if you’re looking to learn to run or if you are trying to get your mojo back. Warning: you may laugh out loud so loudly that people raise their eyebrows at you ;)
Get a copy from Amazon here*(Note: This is the US version) for the UK (British English) version try your favourite bookshop
Saving Francesca – Melina Marchetta
This book is an oldie but a goodie. This is my favourite novel and one I have probably read 100 times or more since it was released. It’s YA fiction but it’s also brilliant writing. Saving Francesca is set in Sydney, Australia and is about a girl who’s vibrant, full-of-life Mother is suddenly unable to get out of bed. It’s a beautifully told story about what goes on behind closed doors and how the friends that you think are the important ones might not be, but the ones you think are just passing through are the ones who are really there when you need them.
I re-read this a couple of times a year, and whilst at first (when I was 18) I really related to the main character who is 17, I now find myself relating more to the mother. For me it’s one of those Australian novels that I can relate to much more than the US and UK novels I read growing up. The sights and sounds are familiar and the characters on the edges could be you or me. Whilst I don’t know Sydney that well, it’s written so well that you feel you’re there with her. I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s a heartwarming story that always fills me with hope.
Whilst I don’t read all that much fiction I do love this one. It’s a quick read and so enjoyable. This is definitely back on my to read list.
Get a copy from your local bookshop or library or Get the US version on Amazon here(Kindle version also available)
Have you read any of these? What’s on your reading wishlist at the moment?
*These are Amazon Affiliate links. I will earn a small commission if you choose to buy through these links. This helps me to keep this blog running and sharing more awesome things I love with you. x