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reading

I love reading in bed, can’t go to sleep without it.  It chases the worries of the day out of my head and replaces them with engrossing stories and pretty things.  I read a wide variety of things, but after weeks of nightmares caused by Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood, I’ve sworn off scary books.

Jen has tagged me in her bedside books meme, so here you go Jen! Most of the books by my bed are old ones I’ve finished but haven’t got round to re-shelving.  In no particular order, I’ve got:

  • To Kill a Mockingbird: I was inspired to re-read this after a friend of mine called her baby Atticus.  It’s a beautiful book and one that I shall be reading again.
  • The Hare With Amber Eyes: a book about Japanese netsuke and family history, fascinating and moving.
  • Midnight Cactus: I’m pages away from finishing this novel by Bella Pollen.  It’s about a mother who runs away from London with her two small children to the harsh landscape of New Mexico.  It’s more exciting (scary) than my usual fare, but I’m really enjoying it.
  • The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: a friend lent me this, it’s about a girl who can taste the emotions in food.  I wouldn’t normally chose something with a supernatural theme, but it was captivating.
  • The Diary of a Provincial Lady: I’ve had this book for years and read it goodness knows how many times.  It never fails to make me laugh and it’s the one I go to when I need a big hug.  It’s my comfort read.

I’m also a magazine junkie and I buy as many as I can get away with.  They were one of the few things I really missed when we were travelling last year.  Currently I have a Living etc, Martha Stewart Organisation, Guardian Saturday Magazine and Grazia.

What have you read recently?

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You know when you read a book and it’s like the author is speaking directly to you, reading your mind?  ‘Sew Your Own’ by Jean-Paul Flintoff was one of those for me.

The book is a record of his personal journey to find spiritual enlightenment, solve the global energy crisis and make his own clothes.

It covers wide-ranging topics such as peak oil, sweatshops, organized religion, meditation and hand weaving.  It sounds worthy and possibly dull, but it’s not.  He’s engaging and humble and enquiring.  He made me nod my head enthusiastically at every chapter.

His central message, I think, is this: Every person can make a difference, no matter how small.  It’s no good saying that our problems are so big, so overwhelming that there’s nothing to be done, that only governments can solve them, and even then probably not.  By living our lives deliberately, not wasting energy and time on worrying about what we can’t control, we can make a difference.

As he travels along the road to the realisation of this fact, he discovers that it is in the making of things that we gain fulfilment.  He rids his house of rats, builds bookshelves and makes his own clothes.  There’s no such thing as not enough time to make your own underpants.  You just make time.  The deep sense of satisfaction you gain by creating something will make you stronger and sustain you spiritually.

I’m possibly making it sound a bit loopy.  I hope I’m doing it justice.  Because it’s one of those books you want to share.