Here at Hues of White we are making changes and steps to our lifestyle, which in a way we kind of have to thank Covid-19 for! Its made everyone take a step back and think about what changes to their lifestyle they need to take to improve the mind and wellness of our beings! One of the things we want to do more of is reading, so who better than Lauren from @aestheticalblog to give us some advice on what to read for 2021!
Lauren, You have an envious book collection, what’s your favourite book you have read of 2020?
This year I’ve definitely switched from clothes to books as my favourite thing to buy! Favourite book is tricky but I’d go with Small Pleasures by Clare Chambers as I think whatever your taste in books, you’d find something to get out of this and I really couldn’t put it down. Its set in south-east London in 1957 following a 40 year old journalist living a very limited existence, who starts researching a young woman for a story who claims her daughter is the result of a virgin birth. It reminded me of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, but with more mystery and suspense. The characters are so charming and the end almost broke me in half! Also, it’s one of my favourite book covers on my bookshelf.
Are you a Fiction or non-fiction kind of girl?
Definitely fiction, always have been! I occasionally read autobiographies of people I love or admire, like Dawn French, and occasionally a memoir! Recently I read Terri White’s memoir Coming Undone which was brilliant, accounting the spiralling deterioration of her mental health as she became more and more successful as an award-winning magazine editor in New York. So apart from a couple of exceptions, it’s fiction all the way.
If you could pick and recommend one author for huesofwhite readers who would you pick?
I’d say Holly Bourne. Her writing style is so easy to get lost in, be humorous and moving all at the same time.
And which book of theirs?
The best and most recent Holly Bourne book I’ve read is her latest novel Pretending which follows a woman called April who can’t get past date five. She takes a new approach to dating, pretending to be a woman who acts in the way she thinks all men want – no baggage, carefree and couldn’t be more blasé about finding someone. As well as some very funny and sharp dating anecdotes, it also weaves in April’s work, her past trauma and the toll those things are having in her every day life, and explores the power balance between genders, particularly in dating and the first stages of a relationship. Also, being set in London it allows for a bit of living vicariously! I need to go back and read her previous novels like How Do You Like Me Now and The Places I’ve Cried in Public which are meant to be just as good.
Which book got you through Lockdown?
I remember reading My Dark Vanessa back in April. A very surface level description of the book is that is essentially Lolita set in the modern day, and for that reason, quite a heavy read but brilliant all the same. Since it was a very full-on story, it was very escapist and definitely passed many hours whilst I wasn’t working.
Can you recommend for our readers the top 5 books you have on your wishlist to read for 2021?
- There are so many good books coming out next year. I have been (un)patiently waiting to read Raven Leilani’s Luster A Novel for a while which is finally published over here in January. It’s also on Barack Obama’s top reads of 2020 list!
- Lisa Tadeo’s next novel Animal is coming out next year which I’ll definitely be reading as I loved Three Women.
- Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson is hyped to be brilliant – a love story of two Black British artists exploring race and masculinity (which I saw on Instagram Dolly Alderton is currently reading, so very high hopes for this).
- A bit more light-hearted, I’ll definitely read The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary – her first book The Flat Share was one I read during the first lockdown and I found it so warming and feel-good at a time when you want to avoid anything heavy.
- Finally, in the hope that we’ll be able to go on holiday next year, I’ll be taking Girl A by Abigail Dean. Reading thrillers and crime novels on holiday is my favourite and this one is hyped to be the biggest thriller since Gone Girl.
And Finally can you start a book club and can we join?
Haha I’d love to – maybe one day! It’ll have to be via Goodreads for now!
Follow Lauren on Instagram here
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