Wednesday, 22 December 2010


As the Arctic climes seem to be here to stay, there is nothing better than curling up inside with a good read. You may not have the roaring fire but an armchair and a cup of tea are all you need for an afternoon of getting lost in a good book. Here are my top five books to while away a chilly afternoon.

Love for Lydia by HE Bates

A wonderful story with interesting characters, this book is a fantastic evocation of rural English life in the early part of the twentieth century. The descriptions are so vivid and the story of first love, friendship and growing up will capture your heat.

Miss Pettigrew Lives For A Day by Winifred Watson

This one of the sweetest books in the world. Miss Pettigrew is a timid woman who responds to an advert for a ‘help’ and finds herself taking charge of a vibrant young woman. In chasing away suitors and assisting her charge, Miss Pettigrew finds herself transformed. The unlikely friendship is heartwarming and the book is written so beautifully, you’ll fall in love with it and want your very own Miss Pettigrew.

The Northern Lights Trilogy by Philip Pullman

Yes, you may have seen the film and it is technically a children’s book but this story is too well written and original to not be included. A sweeping tale of exotic lands and good versus evil with a love story thrown in for good measure. You will not want to put this book down.

The Private Lives of Pippa Lee by Rebecca Miler

A wonderful story of a marriage, showing the good, the bad and the ugly. The characters are complex and while you may not like them all, they are a truthful mix of failings and successes, all shown in an uncompromising light. This book is an exploration of who we are, and why we become them.

Anne of Green Gables by L.M Montgomery

This may be an old-fashioned children’s classic but in my view it is one worth returning to. Follow the capers of flame-haired Anne as she struggles to control her temper, make friends and settle into a new life with Marilla and Matthew, her new adoptive parents. This is a great nostalgic read.

Amy Peck

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