It’s Falmouth Book Festival Week and as proud sponsors of the event, we wanted to share what we are all reading at Heather & Lay HQ. Whether you’re looking for literary inspiration or if you love books as much as we do, here is what the team are curling up with this autumn and some of our all-time favourites.
At the moment I am reading Mortimer and Whitehouse Gone Fishing: Life, Death and The Thrill of the Catch I particularly enjoy books based in Cornwall and especially the Helford River. My favourite book is called Bass Fishing: On Shore and Sea by John Darling. I actually have a fishing rod belonging to the late Mr Darling. Can you sense a theme in the books on my shelf?
My son Harrison and I are currently reading Boy which is Roald Dahl’s childhood biography. These books were my childhood favourites. I’m so happy that Harrison loves them as much as me and we can share this experience.
I’m currently reading The Luminaries written by Eleanor Catton. I’m really enjoying it but it’s pretty epic at over 800 pages. She’s speaking at Falmouth Book Festival which I’m looking forward to. I’m also reading Gwen John Art and Life in London and Paris by Alicia Foster. My favourite book of all time is Jane Austen Persuasion, or anything by Jane Austin in fact. I also love The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte for the same reasons. It’s the ‘will they or won’t they get together’ romance.
Right now, I’m reading The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson. It’s a true story from 1625 when Barbary pirates arrived into Penzance and kidnapped a church congregation of 60 men, women and children, took them to Morocco and sold into the slave trade. The main character is Cat Tregenna. My favourite book of all time is Mists of Avalon by Marion Bradley. I’ve read it 3 times, it’s fascinating!
I am currently reading As the Crow Flies by Jeffrey Archer. It’s absolutely brilliant. Set in WW1 and the rise of Charlie Trumper. I won’t say anymore, or I’ll ruin it for you!
I’m reading The Salt Path by Raynor Winn which is a life-affirming memoir about a couple who decided to walk the South-West Coast Path. Ultimately, it’s about grief and the healing power of nature. My favourite holiday read was award-winning historical novel, The Island by Victoria Hislop.
At the moment I’m reading How Not to Be Wrong - The Art of Changing Your Mind. Written by James O’Brien, an award-winning broadcaster on LBC. Described as a tonic for a world more divided than ever and a personal manifesto for a better way of thinking and living. This book really makes me think of my actions and the effect my words may have on others. It really gives you courage to speak your truth and acknowledge when you are wrong. I would encourage anyone to give this book a go, it may just make us all slightly kinder.
My favourite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I first read this book at the age of 14 and was totally captivated by the love story. However, after reading it many times since, I see the bigger picture in this novel. The struggles of women to become relevant in society and how an advantageous birth can shape your entire life, is as relevant today as when it was written back in 1760 (although not published until 1813). The main characters, Bennett and Darcy, overcome their own pride and prejudices whilst going against society and family, to follow their hearts. A story I will be reading to my granddaughter in years to come.
This has been fascinating. We work with each other day in, day out, but you can learn a lot about one another by asking what people are reading. It opened up a lot of conversations as well - books really do bring people together. Heather & Lay Book Club anyone? Hopefully see you at the Falmouth Book Festival!