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Find our top recommended reads here. We'll be listing five titles every month, so be sure to check back if you ever need any inspiration.
CSSC Staff's Favourite Books
On World Book Day 2020 we took a trip down a very nostalgic memory lane, sharing our favourite books from childhood right through to what's on our nightstands now. It was great to be reminded of titles we'd forgotten and remember fondly, as well as adding a few new discoveries to our reading lists. Now we just need the time to read them all!
We'll be recommending five different books each month to make sure you're never without inspiration for your next book.
We're continuing the theme of escapism this month, with five more titles for you to delve into.
Underland - Robert MacFarlane
‘Underland is an epic exploration of the earth’s underworlds as they exist in myth, literature, memory and the land itself’. A fascinating, unusual book charting the depths of planet earth. Macfarlane’s writing is evocative, lyrical and sure to carry you into the unknown …from the depths of your armchair.
Gingerbread - Helen Oyeyemi
Oyeyemi’s playful storytelling brings this remarkable family legend to life. Taking inspiration from fairy tales, Oyeyemi creates an unusual and magical world of her own, where a family’s inheritance centres around a recipe for Gingerbread. If you’re looking for something different, try this wild and twisty book!
Good Omens Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
The Apocalypse: But not how you’d imagine it! Pratchett and Gaiman, both masters in their genres, collaborated to create this irreverent fantasy world. If you’re a fan of either author or, indeed, a riotous, rollicking good read, pick this up and prepare to laugh.
The Enchanted April - Elizabeth von Arnim
A classic novel, extolling the transformative power of travel. Witty, charming- and drenched in Italian sunshine. Escapism that inspired an Oscar-nominated film. The perfect antidote to testing times.
The Man Who Didn't Call - Rosie Walsh
Ever waited for a call that never came? Sarah and Eddie meet, they spend seven heady days together, then Eddie disappears. Walsh’s is a love story with a difference; after the initial blaze of romance it unfurls to reveal an intricate mystery. A page-turner, brimming with warmth.
This month’s picks feature escapism in different forms, to help transport you from the daily hubbub. So, curl up with a book and venture into the unknown.
How to Cook a Wolf - M.F.K. Fisher
First published during the ration days of the Second World War, Fisher wrote this book as a guide to living happily through trying times. Conceived as an aide to cooking with meagre resources her brilliant writing manged to inspire readers to create and dream. Her books have recently been reissued and from this timely classic to the cheering Provence sunshine of her Map of Another Town her culinary writings are a treat.
Our Souls at Night - Kent Haruf
Two widowed neighbours Addie and Louis agree to spend their nights together, to quell the loneliness of sleeping alone. The nightly conversations that unfold between them prove comic, contemplative and revealing: “I want to live simply and pay attention to what’s happening each day”. A tranquil novel of late-in-life romance, beautifully written. Tender but ultimately uplifting.
Slow Horses - Mick Herron
A thriller of startling originality, to totally absorb you. We’re accustomed to spy novels featuring the brightest and the best but how about those consigned to the espionage scrap heap? Shot through with black humour and sharp dialogue, this is a highly entertaining read.
The Summer Book - Tove Jansson
‘An elderly artist and her six year old granddaughter while away the summer together, on a tiny island in the Gulf of Finland, their solitude disturbed only by migrating birds, sudden storms and an occasional passing boat.’ Simple, beautiful and wise. A book that you’ll give to friends.
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
What starts as just an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent, quickly spirals out of control and out of this world. Hilariously entertaining. If you haven’t read this pop-culture classic, or it’s been years since you have, re-read it and pep up your week.
Rootbound – Rewilding A Life – Alice Vincent
As nature writing increasingly makes its way onto the bestseller lists, why not try this new memoir that mixes the biographical with the botanical? A hopeful account of the ways in which nature can enrich our lives and help us find our feet in uncertain times.
Dissolution – C J Sansom
If you loved Hilary Mantel’s tales of the Tudor court, Sansom’s take on the intrigues of the era are well worth delving into. Blending history with crime, Dissolution is a compelling thriller with an unconventional detective at the helm.
Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo
Vibrant and inventive, this Booker Prize winner captures Britain in a unique way. With poetic style, Evaristo deftly weaves individual characters, time and place together. Whilst sparkling, highly readable and often funny this remains a novel that tackles deeper topics sharply.
The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse – Charlie Mackesy
A book to uplift! Contemplated alone or shared with family, Mackesy’s charming and beautifully illustrated book is one to cherish. Conversations between the boy and his animal friends warmly bring to life themes including love, compassion, courage and friendship.
The Guest List – Lucy Foley
A wedding on a remote island, an incoming storm and a guest who doesn’t make it to the wedding breakfast! With her debut novel, The Hunting Party, Foley proved she can wield gripping twists and turns masterfully. With this, her second novel, she strikes again bringing enough secrets, grudges and motives to keep you guessing right to the end. Incredibly tense, totally addictive.