Books I have read and would recommend this month.
In my recent survey, a few of you asked for photos of our house. This is our upstairs sofa and glass coffee table. We have a spiral staircase leading up to our very light and spacious living space. We have moved the sofa round so that we can watch movies on our large drop-down screen.
I am wearing my beautiful 3/4 sleeve Leopard print Bamboo tee by AsquithLondon (gifted). I have teamed it with their black palazzo pants. They are made from sustainable bamboo viscose and feel like silk. I would definitely dress them up with a smart top for the evening.
Our upstairs bookcase is getting a bit overcrowded!
Back to books I have read and would recommend this month.
A gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
A few of you recommended this book on last month’s book post. I started reading it about a week ago and can’t seem to put it down. Any free moment I have I pick it up and have a quick read. I found it immensely moving and engaging and would highly recommend it. Very relevant to our times.
From the Inside Flap
On 21 June 1922 Count Alexander Rostov – recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt – is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol.
While Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval, the Count, stripped of the trappings that defined his life, is forced to question what makes us who we are. And with the assistance of a glamorous actress, a cantankerous chef and a very serious child, Rostov unexpectedly discovers a new understanding of both pleasure and purpose.
No Darling it’s called bad organisation by Wendy Darling or you can buy the book from Wendy’s website.
This is not a self-help book on how to get organised. It is a fun autobiographyby a woman who led a fascinating, courageous and at times outrageous life post second world war and through the exciting societal changes from the early 50s through to the 70s and beyond. Definitely not mainstream.
I was contacted by the publisher and asked if I would like to read and review it. It rather intrigued me as I was living in London during a similar period, although I was there a decade later than Wendy I did have similar experiences of the “swinging 60s” and frequented some of the restaurants and nightclubs that she refers to. I don’t think that I was quite as adventurous as she was.
The structure of the book
Each chapter is written with a beginning, middle and end so you can dip in and out as you wish. I particularly liked the latter part of the book about how Wendy created a very successful fashion brand and described her visits to some of the famous Paris fashion houses.
Sometimes there are strange coincidences in life. Towards the end of the book I realised that Wendy and I had met in the late 80s when she came to my house in Barnes to advise me on curtains and upholstery.
Maybe this book will inspire you to write your own memoirs. I am sure you all have interesting stories to tell. You can buy the book here
The Day she came back by Amanda Prowse
I read this book on my kindle about a month ago. A light read but engaging.
When her loving, free-spirited grandmother Primrose passes away, Victoria is bereft, yet resilient—she has survived tragedy before. But even her strength is tested when a mysterious woman attends Prim’s funeral and claims to be the mother Victoria thought was dead. To live a full and happy life Victoria knows she must not only uncover the truth but find a way to forgive her family. After so many years is trusting them even possible?
The Order by Daniel Silver
A stunning action-packed thriller of high stakes international intrigue featuring the enigmatic art restorer and master spy Gabriel Allon. The story centers around a long-lost book hidden in the Vatican. If you like thrillers this really is a page-turner.
Do share the books you have enjoyed this month by adding them to the comments box.
I am loving Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor. It takes place in 1666 just as the great fire of London comes to an end. I have almost finished it and don’t want it to end. Highly recommended.
Thank you for your contrbution.
I also love bamboo viscose but find it creases terribly and is difficult to iron. Im not sure whether its just my experience though.
Thank you for the book recommendations.
I have definitely not found that with my bamboo garments. I only have to give them a light press after washing and my leopard top does not crease at all.
The Gabriel Allon books by Daniel Silva are my all time favourites – I eagerly await the next new one each July. I think the series is up to 19 or 20 books of which The Order is the most recent. And I loved A Gentleman in Moscow.
A comment on another blog that I follow recommended Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. I got it from the library and couldn’t put it down! It’s a heart-wrenching story based on true events surrounding a notorious adoption scandal in the US. Wingate, a journalist by trade, has now written a follow-up, the true stories of some of the victims of the scandal. The title is Before and After. I have it on order and can hardly wait to read it too.
Your home is lovely, but we knew it would be, you have so much style in clothing it would also include your home.
Thank you for sharing.
Hello Mary Ann
Thank you for the compliment
Fabulous home Josephine!
I love your beautiful elegant home. Thank you for sharing with us. A “gentleman in Moscow” is definitely on my list of books to read. It’s good to have recommendations. I love your new hair style, it really suits you. Have you cut it yourself?
Thank you for the comment on my hair. I am trimming it every now and again to try to keep the shape until I can get to the hairdressers in mid-April
Great book recommendations. Loved A Gentleman in Moscow but the others are new to me. I will check them out. Your home is really stunning!
Pachinko was a book that I really enjoyed recently. I loved The Gentleman in Moscow and all of the Daniel Silva books.
Thank you for the recommendations. I loved A Gentleman in Moscow also and am glad to read about the other selections. Your outfit is so cute and your house is so pretty! Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and I have resolved to clear out and declutter some things after seeing your house, and just ordered the same outfit from Asquith– hoping the sizes fit me! I went directly from your blog site to the Asquith site using the links.
Hope you like your Asquith selection.their clothes are so comfortable.
We do have a basement garage which certainly needs decluttering!
Loved the wall colour of your upstairs living space. Could you please share the name of the paint colour?
The paint colour on the wall is Farrow & Ball “Elephants Breath no. 229”
Hello, Josephine, the Asquith pieces arrived today and fit perfectly and are very comfortable. The fabric is very soft.
They are attractive and I really like them! Thank you for introducing me to this line of clothing!
I’m so happy to find your blog! Even though we are an ocean apart (I’m from coastal South Carolina in the U.S.), it’s fun to see we are reading the same books! I enjoyed A Gentleman in Moscow as well. I also liked The Order (love Daniel Silva!). Recently I’ve read (and loved) The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, which is a story of two brave sisters and the French resistance during WW II. Also have been reading non-fiction. Just finished George Washington-Dealmaker-In-Chief by Cyrus Ansary, and am now reading Alfred the Great by Justin Pollard (biography of King Alfred). The pandemic has given me much more time to read. I’ve definitely expanded my library over the last year, especially the non-fiction bookcases dedicated to American and world history. Your outfit is lovely. It looks chic while at the same time being comfortable!
I am glad you like my blog. Thank you for your comment and book recommendations. I will check out the ones that I haven’t read.