Seeking literary inspiration? Muddy’s professional bookworm Kerry Potter is here to help with her April picks, so clear space on your Kindle or bookshelves pronto. And if you have any recommendations of your own, we’d love to hear from you – what are you reading right now? What’s been abandoned on your bedside table for months? Bookish musings in the comment box below please!
Ice Cream For Breakfast by Laura Jane Williams
Being a grown-up is a bit boring sometimes I find – responsibilities, bills, remembering to put out the bins, blah blah blah.
Need a new book to get stuck into? Muddy, as ever, is here to help. Taking being a bookworm to a whole new level is Muddy’s Kerry Potter. She gets 300 – yes, THREE HUNDRED shiny new tomes delivered to her house every month as she’s also books editor at a glossy mag (won’t somebody think of her postman and his lumbago?). So who better to do a monthly round-up of her favourite new releases?
‘Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life‘ so begins The Girl Before, a psychological thriller by J.P. Delaney, out this month and already destined for the silver screen in a film directed by Ron Howard.
The novel comes after the huge success of female-centred psychological thrillers Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train, (though, it would be nice to see something with ‘woman’ in the title for a change).
Laurence Shorter is an author, leadership coach and stand-up comedian and his latest book, The Lazy Guru’s Guide to Life (Orion Books, £14.99) is a charming and lighthearted look at a serious problem. We are all on the hamster wheel and it seems to be getting faster, so how do we stop? Is it really possible to achieve more by doing less, and be happier for it? My friend and fellow editor Sarah Prior over at Muddy Berks had a chat with laziness expert Laurence and he gave her these top tips – find out more if you want to make your day instantly better…
I’m a busy working mum, I haven’t got time to be lazy!
With a new school year on the horizon it’s the perfect time to fire up your mini muddies imaginations with this list of the best illustrated books compiled by Holly Millbank founder of Fat Fox a fab new independent book publishing company – based right here in Kent. Come now, let the wild rumpus start!
Publisher, Holly, also mum to three young children, says:
‘I love how the imagery in a book – from highly colourful picture books through to black and white sketched young adult novels – work intrinsically with the story – bringing the words and the sentiment of the book to life.’
‘I feel that a visual narrative is so important, that we have in fact recently even published a young adult book that has beautiful sketches on almost every page which is very rare in the YA market.
This is mindfulness, Vogue style. Never mind those fiddly geometrical colouring books, now grown-ups can go back to their coloured-pencil collections with fashion still firmly in mind.
I recently met lovely Laura Willan, one half of the couple behind Kent’s first Wealden Literary Festival. Laura’s passion for the environment and husband Andrew’s love of books led them to mastermind this festival which is a celebration of both those things – and taking place this 18 & 19 June at beautiful Boldshaves Garden, Woodchuch. There was much discussion on the countryside, landscape and our relationship with the natural world.
Alex Brown is the bestselling author of five books and launched her career with the hugely popular Carrington’s series set in a seaside town department store. She now writes warm, witty and heartfelt novels centred on the cosy community spirit of village life. Alex lives in a rural village on the Kent and Sussex border, with her husband, daughter and a very shiny black Labrador. Read on to find out which bits of the Kent countryside inspire her stories…
Black timber-framed buildings on Canterbury High Street
I love everything about the county of Kent, in fact it’s the inspiration for the fictional village of Tindledale where all my books are set, detailing the gorgeous little villages with their high streets of black timber-framed, white wattle-walled shops with mullioned windows, surrounded by lush, undulating fields full of hops, hay, lambs, cows, strawberries, buttercups and delicate pink cherry blossom that swirls all around like confetti in a breeze.
With photos circulating of Tim Peake reading in space we are reminded that World Book Day needn’t be just for kids. I’m a bit of a book nut – it’s gotta be said. When my nose is in a good one, I do tend to block out the world around me and immerse myself completely in the fiction. Lately though, I seem to have such little time for reading. Know what I mean?
It’s World Book Day this week (Thurs, 3 Mar). Muddy Oxon/Bucks is running this lovely feature collated by Books and Ink in Banbury, so I thought I’d steal it for Kent teens and adults alike (55 per cent of YA readers are actually adults).
So if you’re despairing of young fingers prodding tablets and want to redirect their energies, or fancy a gander yourself, here’s some good reads for firing up imaginations.