Shelf Isolation #1

While the Bath Festivals team is self-distancing this spring, we’re keen to share with you (and each other) the books on our shelves that inspire us during these uncertain times. Keep an eye on our blog and social media for regular recommendations from the Bath Festivals team! First up with her Shelf Isolation books is Stephanie Massie, Head of Development.

#ShelfIsolation – Stephanie Massie 

I belong to two book groups who have been meeting now for over 13 years, so I’ve picked out some book group favourites which I may now read again!

I was so excited when Donna Tartt brought out her third book, The Goldfinch, and it doesn’t disappoint. After 6 years, I can still vividly imagine the devastating scene at the start of the book, which is both a thriller and an extraordinary portrayal of character.

Flight Behaviour by Barbara Kingsolver again draws some vivid pictures – this time of nature – at it’s heart is a climate change message.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is brilliantly observed, funny and thought-provoking. It’s definitely a must-read book about our differences and compassion.

In a time when we are all re-assessing what we take for granted and maybe missing the sea, open spaces or normal life, then I’d suggest read The Salt Path by Raynor Winn. It’s about love, hope and facing adversity – everyone I have lent this to has loved it.

I’ve added a small poetry book, selected poems of e.e. cummings – a 21st birthday present from my school friend Julia. These poems make me smile, some are only 2 lines long, and I remember thinking ‘ah, these are great, there are no rules’ when I first discovered them.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – a YA book recommended to me by my 14 year old daughter, Grace. It’s a beautiful book about love and loss.

Finally, I’ve included Honey & Co’s cookery book At Home as I think we’re going to have time to cook lots of different recipes now we’re at home – or at least read them!  It’s also a good way of bringing a bit of holiday into our homes. Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich are a larger than life, truly entertaining Israeli couple who love their food and this comes out in the comforting and inspiring writing throughout the book. The pictures are also gorgeous!

We’d love to know what our audiences been reading! Do you have a shelf that you would love to share? Post your #ShelfIsolation recommendations on Instagram or Twitter and tag @TheBathFestival

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