Holidays Are For Reading

Lazy morning in bed, a hot cup of coffee and a great book in hand. Read on for my top 3 fiction and non-fiction reads you need to have on your nightstand.
Photo by Alisa Anton on Unsplash
Two things I have come to notice make a positive impact on my stress levels and wellbeing are (1) Exercise (man, those endorphins really do make a difference) and (2) Reading. And this blog post is about the latter since this year is the year I have read the most. Ever. Twenty five books, as you asked. And yes, I’m counting.


I haven’t always been an avid reader, although I have fond memories of Roger Red Hat and Billy Blue Hat from my early years at school (remember them?). In truth, as a child, my preference was always to be read to and a particularly frequent request was The Famous Five (with all the voices please, Dad!) There was, of course, a moment around the late nineties when Harry Potter-mania began. It took two attempts for me to get into The Philosopher’s Stone but after that I was hooked. I may not have joined the midnight queues at Waterstones but I was first in line the next day. These remain in an elite place on my bookshelf which I have re-read once or twice since.

However, my real love affair with reading began at University. ‘I’ve got some reading to do’ sounded like a valid and rather respectable excuse to retreat to your room when you’re meant to be studying but it certainly wasn’t the course reading list I was getting through. I know I wasn’t alone there either as my fellow housemate would say she’s getting an early night only to be found reading the Twilight series at 4am when we stumbled in from a club. I managed to catch up on to that series in my early twenties when I would sneak off to a cafĂ© behind Selfridges on my lunch break determined to read the full book series before the last film adaption left the cinemas.

It was my new friend from down the halls of residence who recommended Lucy in the Sky by Paige Toon and from there, I was converted. Up until that point, I had never read a love story quite like it - my repertoire up until that point consisted of Pride and Prejudice! I was completely addicted to the place I could escape to in their story for hours at a time. Paige Toon is an author’s name I’m sure you’ve heard on this blog before – she is easily my favourite wordsmith and conjures characters and love stories like no other! For the avid fan, Toon really cleverly (and satisfyingly) intertwines characters from past books into her new stories. You wouldn’t be lost if you read her books out of order but it’s a lovely added extra for the super-fan like me! Now I follow @PaigeToonAuthor on Instagram to know exactly where she’s at with her next book and get my pre-order in (If You Could Go Anywhere coming in May 2019)! I flew through The Last Piece of My Heart and Five Years From Now this year and loved them both! Last Christmas I read The One We Fell In Love With in two days so now eagerly anticipate the next release!


When I lived in New York, I went through a sort of reading deprivation and this is when I realised just how much it had an impact on my headspace. The relocation itself meant that most of my beloved unread bookshelf were left behind and so I didn’t have reading material to hand. One of the first things I did when I came back briefly to the UK was to make a batch order from Amazon to keep myself entertained throughout the remainder of my time in NYC. That where this blog post came from and it was the best money I’ve ever spent!

At the start of this year, I wanted to set myself a target to make sure I kept up with reading – as a person I’m quite motivated by a to-do list as the satisfaction of ticking some off is just too much! I like the idea of carving out time away from screens (especially my vice of double screening) and maximising any down time I have, whether that's on the commute or before bed.

Twenty-five books down and these are my top three reading greats. Add to your Kindle/Audible Wishlist or bookshelf NOW - you won't regret it!

Top 3 Fiction Recommendations

Top 3 Non Fiction Recommendations

Each of these was utterly addictive, I-could-not-put-them-down kind of books. I found I created more time in my day than I even knew I had. Even Netflix noticed and started emailing me to ask ‘Is everything OK?' as I'd fallen off the radar. I hope you find yourself curled up under blanket by a roaring fire getting lost in the pages of these great reads very soon!

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