Books Books Books! February’s Book Recommendations
Pictured above: My friend Laura going through my bookshelf one relaxing Sunday evening.
BOOKS I’VE READ THIS MONTH:
Leon: Fast Vegetarian – Jane Baxter & Henry Dimbleby
This is so brilliant. I’m not a huge fan of cooking, although I’m getting more into as I get older and spend more time making my flat homely. I’ve finally got nesting-fever, and so my cook book collection is really piling up. This book is full of gorgeous and EASY(!) recipes. I made a Spinach & Squash bake last night which went down a treat. It’s split out into Breakfast & Brunch, Pasta, Grains & Pulses, Pies & Bakes, Rice & Curry. YUM. All vegetarian with simple ingredients, yet nothing is boring.
Buy here. (Tip: I got mine from my local TK Maxx and it was half price.)
Poems That Make Grown Women Cry – edited by Anthony and Ben Holden
Following on from the AWESOME Poems That Make Grown Men Cry, Anthony and Ben Holden (a father and soon duo) collaborated with Amnesty International to release this new anthology of poetry that WILL MAKE YOU CRY. They asked the same question to 100 remarkable women. “What poem has moved you to tears?” They are all brilliant and so different. You really learn more about the individuals featured in this book through what they have chosen. My favourite selections are from Yoko Ono, Judi Dench and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. This is a book to keep forever and dip into every now and again.
Headscarves and Hymens – Mona Eltahawy
The full title of this book is “Headscarves and hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution”. This is an extremely powerful book that I urge everyone to read. It’s an uncomfortable read, full of stats that will really shock you. Eltahawy traveled across the Middle East and North Africa listening to women’s experiences and stories and included them in this book. You will probably be upset and angry reading it, because the numbers are horrific: at least 90% of married Egyptian women between the ages of 15 and 49 have undergone FGM, 47.2% of women have suffered domestic violence; in Egypt, 99.3% of women have experienced sexual harassment. This book is so important. A revolution is desperately needed.
More Letters of Note – Shaun Usher
This is the BEST. I am looking for a new coffee table just so that I can put the book on it. Is that a bit much? Well, who cares. It’s a beautiful book. The letters are sweet, funny and moving. Includes Richard Burton’s farewell note to Elizabeth Taylor, Helen Keller’s letter to The New York Symphony Orchestra about ‘hearing’ their concert through her fingers, David Bowie’s response to his first piece of fan mail from America and even Albus Dumbledore writing to a reader applying for the position of Defence Against the Dark Arts Professor at Hogwarts.
More recommendations next month!
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic