There are few pleasures to compare, once the sun actually starts to heat up the air rather than threaten to, with grabbing a blanket, filling a bottle or flask and taking a book outside.
My grown up children and I used First Lockdown in 2020 to finish off a Reading Nook in the garden. It’s in a sheltered spot, facing west, so it gets the low beams of the sun as it peeps through the tree branches after work. It’s a beautiful spot, and quite sheltered from cold drafts by the greenery on each side.
Of course, spring reading is just as good on a chilly April day, sat by a window with the rain bucketing down and no possibility of taking a walk that day. Reading is for every season, of course it is, but there is a lot to be said for matching the right reading to the right season. There’s a reason so few horror stories are set in the summer (The Haunting of Hill House being a rare exception) and I like collecting and keeping books to the right season. Beach reading during July and August, School stories fit best in September, horror for October, and Christmas Choc-lit in the dark months of November and December.
And in Spring, my reading goes light. I once gave up reading fiction for Lent and read nothing but worthy non-fiction and reference books. It’s like eating tofu every day, or only ever having heavy stews and never a light elegant salad. It may be good for you, but it doesn’t feed the soul. So, I’ve saved up my light and luscious books for the Spring, setting aside some favourite authors until I know I’ll be able to enjoy them properly, indoors or out, with a light mind and light night ahead.
- The Little Cottage in Lantern Square by Helen Rolfe. I finished another book series by Helen Rolfe at the weekend, The Kindness Club on Mapleberry Lane, and like many Choc-lit series, it followed the characters through part of the year. The Little Cottage is something similar, starting in April and following Hannah as she makes a new start.
- Spring Flowers and April Showers by Beth Rain. Again, one of a series set in different seasons. I think there must be hundreds of women like me, living quiet suburban lives and reading about cosy, friendly, small, community-minded villages. This one’s about Emmy who moves to Little Bamton to take care of her Aunt’s cottage after being dumped and made redundant from her job… but of course there’s a man in the mix somewhere….
- The Cottage of New Beginnings by Suzanne Snow. The heroine this time is called Annie, the hero is called Jon the village is called Thorndale… yes, the plots don’t really change massively and only the names are changed to protect the innocent, but isn’t that the very definition of comfort reading/watching or eating? That it’s something familiar? Unchallenging? Like a warm duvet, not a walk in the Arctic? I like romances, I always have.
- A Springtime Affair by Katie Fforde. I’ve read quite a few Katie Fforde’s in my time, and although they very definitely come under the Choc-lit umbrella, they usually have an unusual premise or different way of approaching the romance. I also like that many of her heroines are older women, often mothers, and sometimes the family relationships are as big a draw as the romance.
- The Village of Lost and Found by Alison Sherlock. Alison has to be one of my favourite authors: I’ve read all of her books so far, and enjoyed every single one of them. She has good plots and sets scenes beautifully. This one is the second in a new series: I loved the first book, The Village Shop for Lonely Hearts and had this one on order as soon as I knew it was coming.
- Older and Wider by Jenny Eclair. I like Jenny Eclair when I see her on TV, and this is an easy read about her experience with the menopause. It’s not laughing at the symptoms, but it does manage to point out the absurdity of them. Hot flushes that have you stripping off as everyone else dons warm weather hats, and inexplicable anger at the fact that, from 45, the world has a bizarre way of looking past you. It’s not a medical guide, of which I have plenty, but it might help you look at the situation with grace and humour. Or it will make you angry at the fact that the menopause, despite happening to 51% of the population at some time in their life, can still be written off and ignored as a life event. It possibly depends on the day and your hormone level.
- From Clutter to Clarity by Kerri Richardson. I’m still on a spring cleaning urge, and this book promises to help me reclaim my space both physically and mentally to find out what’s important. I need help with my house, but just as much I want help with my mind. Hopefully this book will help me with both.
The header photo today is by Alena Ganzhela on Unsplash. I love the brightness of the colours, which made me think of a clear spring day when the sun rises and shines through my dining room window, tickling me as I eat breakfast and calling to me to get outside. On a day like that, if there’s nothing better to do, grabbing a cup of coffee and my book of the moment and enjoying life seems like a grand idea.
How to Hygge the British Way is my gift to the world. I don’t get paid for writing it, I’m not in it for the kudos, financial rewards, to become an influencer, work with brands or otherwise make any money from the blog. That’s why there are no ads, and any products I mention and recommend have either been gifted to me or bought by me with my everyday wages or donations from supporters. Every book I review has been bought and read by me, unless stated otherwise.
I do get a couple of pennies each time someone buys from the Amazon links on my page, as an Amazon Affiliate, but otherwise if you’d like to support me, I like to give something back in return. That’s why I write books. You can find a full list of my books at my Author’s Page on Amazon, but especially recommended for this time of year are:
Happier: Probably my most personal book, it’s the story of how I used hygge and the little things in life to help boost my happiness. I still go back and reread to remind myself what I need to do to be a happy human.
Cosy Happy Hygge: Setting up a rhythm to life and rituals to enjoy it to make for a more balanced life that handles waves and storms better.
How to Hygge Your Summer: Hygge isn’t just about candles, throws and fireside cuppas (if indeed it is ever actually about them) and this book gives you ideas for creating hygge ready spaces and paces of life throughout the summer.
If you’d like to support me, but don’t want to buy a book, I have a Paypal.Me account as Hygge Jem. Every little helps, so even a few pence goes towards the books, goods and courses I use and recommend on the site. I’m grateful for every little bit that brings me closer to my dream of full-time writing, and I know I couldn’t still be writing if it weren’t for the support of many readers and friends out there. Thank you all for every little bit of support, emotional, physical and financial, you give me.