Book Club

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggests starting or joining a book club this August you can help bring more harmony to your everyday life.

She says that sharing a good book is as rewarding as reading one and suggests that you look at exploring plot twists and character development over food and drink with a like minded group of people once a month. Most of us don’t have enough intellectually stimulating conversations devoted to the exchange of ideas and can be a great antidote to watching to much TV.

Talk to your local library or bookstore for information on joining an existing club or starting your own based on a particular theme like woman’s fiction or classics or whatever else may really interest you.


Childhood Books

Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy suggests rediscovering the books you loved as a child in August to help bring more harmony to your everyday life.

She suggests to head off to a good library the older the better and wander into the children’s section, with or without your own little ones. Sit in the child sized chair and recall the moments of contentment curled up with a good book. She suggests the following books:

  • Little Women
  • Black Beauty
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • The Bobbsey Twins
  • The Little House On The Prairie
  • Nancy Drew: Secret in The Old Attic
  • Nancy Drew: Mystery At The Moss Covered Manson
  • The Betsy Tacy Series

Remember its never too late to have a happy childhood.

Trinny & Susannah in their book The Survival Guide: A Woman’s Secret Weapon For Getting Through The Year recommend the following classic children’s and teenagers books as the perfect collection.

  • Ha Ha Maisy by Lucy Cousins
  • Kipper by Mark Inkpen
  • Pants by Giles Andreae & Nick Sharratt
  • Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney & Anita Jeram
  • Thomas The Tank Engine by W Awdry
  • Babar by Laurent de Brunhoff
  • Winnie The Pooh by A A Milne
  • A Year Full Of Stories by Georgie Adams & Selina Young
  • The Cat In The Hat by Dr Seuss
  • A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond
  • Horrid Henry’s Nits by Francesca Simon & Tony Ross
  • The Three Little Witches Storybook by Georgie Adams & Emily Bolam
  • The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy
  • The Chronicles Of Narnia by C S Lewis
  • Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild
  • Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame
  • Arthur Trilogy by Kevin Crossley-Holland
  • Wolf Brother by Michelle Paver
  • The Roman Mysteries Series by Caroline Lawrence
  • Shadow Of The Minotaur by Alan Gibbons
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Lord Of The Rings by J R Tolkien
  • Watership Down by Richard Adams
  • The Scarecrows by Robert Westall
  • Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling
  • Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder
  • Little Woman by Louisa May Alcott
  • Junk by Melvin Burgess
  • Asterix by Albert Uderzo & Rene Goscinny
  • Catcher In The Rye by J D Salinger
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
  • The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time by Mark Haddon
  • Fat Is A Feminist Issue By Susie Orbach
  •  Beloved by Toni Morrison.

Catastrophe Memoirs

Gretchen Rubin in her book The Happiness Project dedicated August to Eternity:  contemplating the heavens by reading memoirs of catastrophe.

She suggests we go to the library and check out a selection of books about people grappling with any kind of catastrophe such as :

  • Serious illness:
  • Death:
  • Divorce:
  • Paralysis:
  • Addiction:

The hope is that it will be possible to benefit from the knowledge that these people had won with so much pain, without undergoing the same ordeals. There are some kinds of profound wisdom that you hope never to gain from your own experience. As a consequence of reading these accounts we should find ourselves with a greatly heightened appreciation for an ordinary existence. It should remind us that while everyday life seems so permanent and unshakable it can be destroyed by a single phone call. Reading these accounts should give us a new and intense appreciation for our obedient bodies, for the simple ability to eat or walk or even pee in the usual fashion. Instead of feeling perpetually dissatisfied with things like our weight , we should delight in feeling vital, healthy, pain free and fear free. As we become more aware of the preciousness of ordinary life we will hopeful become overwhelmed by the desire to capture the moments that pass practically unnoticed.

Don’t feel wrong to be reassured by reading about these sorrowful events. The feeling of happy relief of recognising your good fortune for the moment is something most of these writers have sought to create. Over and over again they emphasize cherishing and appreciating ordinary life.

I will pop in with updates of recommendations for books as I read them. Please feel free to add yours in the comments. It would be very much appreciated.