Photo by Evangelina Silina on Unsplash showing a picnic on a white sheet

Woman and Home Summer Book Festival 2021

One of the things that people never tell you about putting a house up for sale is the amount of decluttering that needs to take place. I always thought I was quite sparse in my decoration, but after a conversation with our estate agent, I am evidently not! As we speak, items are in cupboards including my magazines, which is how I came to miss the Woman and Home Summer Book Festival Special featured in the July edition of the magazine. Doh!

Read my Review of The Familiars by Stacey Halls

As well as a lovely interview with Stacey Halls about her writing, short stories written by Fanny Blake and Clare Mackintosh they have asked authors to recommend what books THEY have helped them get away from it all. These included:

  • Taylor Jenkins Reid recommended Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • AJ Pearce recommended Chasing the Italian Dream by Jo Thomas
  • Jo Thomas recommended A Wedding in the Country by Katie Fforde
  • Sheila O'Flanagan recommended Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand (really want to read this!)
  • Libby Page recommended And Now You're Back by Jill Mansell
  • Maggie O'Farrell recommended Old Filth by Jane Gardam
Books to escape with article

What book has helped you to get away from it all? For me Backpack by Emily Barr has been a great re-read or any Karen Swan, but I am especially excited to read the latest Taylor Jenkins Reid novel, Malibu Rising, which I treated myself to at the weekend.

Malibu Rising Picture

Check out my review of Backpack by Emily Barr

Check out my review of Hidden Beach by Karen Swan

What really drew my eye was a Top 20 books of all time as voted by readers of Woman and Home. I thought it might be fun to have the list on the blog and you can see if you agree or not!

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  3. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  5. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  6. Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
  7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  8. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by JRR Tolkien
  9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  10. Birdsong by Sebastian Faulkes
  11. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  12. Wild Swans by Jung Chang
  13. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  14. Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres
  15. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  16. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tract Chevalier
  17. A Room with a View by EM Forster
  18. Atonement by Ian McEwan
  19. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  20. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

How many have you read of those on the list? Do you agree? What would be your number one title? I've managed to read 18 of them. (I've not read Atonement or The Handmaid's Tale). But please do let me know! And of course, please do check out my own personal challenge to re-read the BBC Big Read List from 2003. A lot of the books above are also on that list.

Check out the BBC Big Read Re-Read Challenge.

I'll be back on Friday, with one of the books mentioned above. All I can say is it will leave you craving ALL the pizza. (So not Great Expectations then!). Have a great day.