My mental health is always much improved if I can get lost in a book for a while. With everything going on in the world at the moment my anxiety levels are creeping up. Add in a dash of Christmas stress and retreating with a good book becomes more of a necessity than a luxury.
Personally I love a book recommendation. To this end, I’ve done a quick review of three books I’ve read and loved recently in the hope if will help smooth the festive pressure.
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day by Milly Johnson
Milly Johnson’s book about six people trapped in a pub in a snow storm over Christmas is a beautiful look at love, relationships and life lessons.
The group are stranded on Christmas Eve and find themselves celebrating together. During this time their individual life stories unfold and they learn to confront their very different life challenges.
If it were a drink this book would be a steaming hot chocolate with thick cream, marshmallows and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
It is just perfect to read over the Christmas period and kept me hooked from beginning to end. I’ll throw in all the book review cliches here; a page turner I didn’t want to put it down and I was really sad when it finished.
I just can’t recommend it enough, beautifully written, funny and poignant with twists and turns a plenty.
Everything Is Beautiful by Eleanor Ray
It is hard to put this delightful story into a single category; part mystery, part love story and a part exploration of what happens when your world falls apart.
Amy Ashton finds herself totally alone when her relationship ends abruptly in mysterious circumstances, 11 years on and she is trying to negotiate life.
Collecting beautiful objects is a way of coping but she soon finds herself overwhelmed and what had helped her now becomes the thing that is keeping her trapped and unable to move on.
With hints of Eleanor Oliphant (and if you’ve not read that you must) this book is as moving as it is gripping.
A great exploration of human behaviour in the face of trauma and a look at relationships of all types and how they impact on our lives.
The Midnight Library by Matt Haigh
With a host of awards behind it I was keen to get my hands on this book even if I was slightly late to the party.
The story centres upon Nora Seed who decides her own life is not worth living and suicide is her only option.
She finds herself in the midnight library where she is able to make some different life choices and look at how her life could have panned out.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book, it was an interesting twist to stories like It’s a Wonderful Life.
Matt Haigh has an amazing ability to write about mental health issues in a direct, understandable and insightful way and he does this really well here.
My only slight reservation was I didn’t fall in love with Nora, so although I loved the writing and the story her character was not, for me one I felt completely invested in.
I have a whole section of reviews on the blog that can be found here