Simple Matters – Erin Boyle

imageAfter seeing Simple Matters by Erin Boyle on several Instagram feeds, I decided to purchase it and see what all the fuss was about.

The book covers everything from Making a Home, Decluttering, Simplifying, Organizing, Decorating, Bath & Beauty, Getting Dressed, Cooking & Entertaining, and Thriving. The main focus throughout the book is purchasing quality over quantity and only buying what you need and will use. With this method, you don’t end up with things you don’t use or need. There will be less impulsive purchases and regrets. Less really is more as simplifying your belongings you will appreciate what is left even more.

I really enjoyed this book and would rate it 4/5. I would go as far to say it’s better than Marie Kondo’s method of tidying. It’s a book that you’ll go back to for certain things or to refresh the memory on key areas.

A Fine Romance by Susan Branch

imageAt the weekend I finished reading ‘A Fine Romance’ by Susan Branch. A book about her voyage to England on the Queen Mary 2. The book starts off with the transatlantic crossing from New York, here she shares her experiences of life aboard the ship. A Fine Romance follows their journey throughout England, visiting places like the Cotswolds, Yorkshire and The Lakes. She also takes us to the homes of Jane Austen and Beatrix Potter.

The book travels back in time touching on when Joe and Susan met, and mentions how their relationship blossomed. The voyage to England starts on the remarkable ship ‘The Queen Mary 2’ embarking from New York. They will be spending two months in England travelling around various parts of the UK, where they will be visiting friends and national trust properties along the way. The book features beautiful illustrations and photographs of their travels. And this book wouldn’t be complete without the recipes!

It was an easy read which I couldn’t put down (I finished reading this within a week), it quickly became my bedtime reading. I was saddened when I turned the last page and the trip was over. So much so, I’ve just ordered Martha’s Vineyard and The Fairy Tale Girl. I plan on purchasing a couple of Susan Branch books each month as a treat to myself.

This would be the perfect read for anyone who loves the English countryside and historic properties belonging to the National Trust.

Have you read any books by Susan Branch? What was your favourite?

Rating – ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Daphne du Maurier – Rebecca

imageI decided to start off my 2017 reading list with Rebecca, after numerous recommendations from my IG friends. This is my first du Maurier book I’ve read and it didn’t disappoint.

Although the first few chapters were slow, I am pleased I persevered with the book. It just took me a while to get fully absorbed into the story. For a female writer, Daphne du Maurier’s writing style is dark. Rebecca has many twists and turns which keeps the reader wanting to turn the page to find out what’s going to happen next. This was evident at the latter stage of the book.

After reading Rebecca, I am looking forward to reading more of Daphne du Maurier. Initially I would have given the book 4/5 but after completing the book and thinking about the writing style, characters and how gripping it was I would now rate it 5/5.

Rebecca has quite a few characters all of whom were believable. The most memorable character for me was Mrs Danver’s.

The Art of Hygge…

I spent a cosy afternoon reading The Art of Hygge – How to Bring Danish Cosiness into your Life by Jonny Jackson & Elias Larsen. It’s definitely a cosy little read.

The images used throughout the book really conjure up a feeling of cosiness and shows that contentment really comes from the simple things and that those alone, can bring us the greatest of pleasures.image

The book itself is split into 6 chapters, topics include natural light, soft furnishings, fires, setting the table and candles. Craft projects include lavender bags, felt slippers, pom-pom’s, mug cosies and fairy light lanterns and much more besides.

The things needed for Hygge include candlelight, cosy blankets, a day spent in the wilds, log pile, hot chocolate and someone to share it with.

My favourite chapter was chapter four – Comforting recipes for cosy nights in. The mouth-watering treats include Iced Vanilla Cookies, Cinnamon Hot Chocolate, Roasted Chestnuts, Berry Jam, Gingerbread House, Fruit Crumble, Hot Spiced Fruit Punch, Mulled Wine, Mulled Cider, butternut Squash Soup, Popcorn, Chocolate Fondue, and Spiced Banana Bread.

This book isn’t as good as The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, but I am pleased I purchased it nonetheless, as I do pick it up every now and then.

 

The White Cottage Mystery – Margery Allingham…

Whilst in Waterstones last week, I was looking at the crime section with no book in mind. The title The White Cottage Mystery by Margery Allingham caught my eye. Having read the back of the book, and seeing Agatha Christie and PD James, two literary greats in the crime genre endorse her writing style, I thought I’d purchase it.image

For the past week I’ve been reading this novella. The book was originally written in 1927 as a mini series for the Express newspaper. I have enjoyed this story immensely and would definitely re-read it, as well as recommending it to anybody who loves cosy mysteries.

Without divulging too much of the plot, Eric Crowther holds a secret of everyone who lived at White Cottage, which he held over them as a ransom. This puts everyone under the suspicion of murder. When the truth is finally realised and the real killer revealed, it is very surprising and unexpected.

I would rate The White Cottage Mystery 4 out of 5. I’ll definitely be buying more of Margery Allingham’s books in the future.