Ed / Uncategorized

Take Me Away! Three books to help escape a frosty winter

It’s cold. Like really, properly cold. You start your day hopping from foot to freezing foot on icy tiles as you brush your teeth in the dark before a long and shivery commute to work. Sound familiar?

The US seem to have the right idea with Thanksgiving bringing some light into the dark months before Christmas, (unless you’re in Hawaii – where it’s basically lovely all year round. You don’t need to escape. Stay where you are) plus the long Thanksgiving weekend gives you the chance to lay back and escape into an excellent book.

November is the month in the UK where getting cosy by the fire becomes less of a novelty and the Christmas holiday still seems pretty far away. If you can’t afford to actually go to the sun (if you can, go to Hawaii, they’re having a great time) then here are the three books to get you through.

Zen and the Art of Donkey Maintenance by Robert Crisp9781448215232_cov_front

Get some tips on escaping from a master. Robert Crisp, renowned Test Cricketer, veteran soldier, mink farmer and journalist – quit his job, moved to Greece and changed his name so that no one could follow him.

‘I looked again at the folded map of Europe in my hand. Then I crossed the road to the Continental booking office and bought a ticket for Salzburg in Austria.

“Return?” asked the clerk.

“Definitely not,” I told him.’

With his marriage over and his sons old enough to fend for themselves, Crisp decided to start a new life. With sixty pounds in his pocket, his wartime disability pension of ten pounds a month, and a plan to write about his adventures under a pseudonym, his journey began. Through twenty columns filed from abroad over years of rustic living and travel, Crisp, as Peter White, shared his experiences of hitch-hiking through Yugoslavia, settling in a beach shack in Greece where he attempted to cultivate the stubborn land, and a nearly fatal solo boat trip around Corfu.

Robert Crisp’s account of his travels, originally serialised in the Sunday Express, is an honest, funny, touching account of this charming rogue’s journey through a foreign land and culture in search of inner peace and happiness.

‘You have to buy this book! It’s the perfect antidote to the cares of the world and an opportunity to indulge all latent escapist desires’ Country Life

greek-weddingGreek Wedding by Jane Aiken Hodge

A yacht sailing through a glistening blue sea, a man on a mission to escape, and a woman intent on getting in his way. Where better to spend our winter ‘holiday’ (other than Hawaii) than a sweeping romance set in the sweet warmth of sunshine, adventure, and dangerous love?

Brett Renshaw has not been having much luck. Spurned by his fiancé and outcast from society, he has taken to his boat and escaped to the distractions of the Mediterranean. Here he is free to drown his sorrows and wallow in his misfortune.

Rescuing two women from a Turkish Harem was certainly not part of the plan.

For Phyllida Vanick, being rescued by such a disagreeable man is only bearable in stark comparison to the circumstances from which she is running. Phyllida has seen her father cut down before her eyes and lived through kidnap and the indignities of the harem. But she cannot go home now. Phyllida and her aunt are searching for her brother, Peter, an impetuous, idealistic young man caught up in the Greek War of Independence. Will love blossom between Phyllida and Brett, or will handsome pirates, stubborn pride and misunderstanding lead them off course?

 The Art of Unpacking Your Life by Shireen Jilla9781448215195

Those of us toiling away in draughty offices under leaden skies might be dreaming of a long, remote holiday, exploring nature with some good old friends; The Art of Unpacking Your Life may just convince you to think twice (or at least go on your own – and probably to Hawaii).

A group of estranged old friends travel to the Kalahari for a chance to unwind, reconnect and escape their lives – even if only for a short while.  But each of them have their own reasons for wanting to take a break.

‘The lush descriptions of Africa are lovely, and the story absorbing and thoughtful, with more than one twist in the tail’ Daily Mail

But, amongst the heat and splendour of the desert – there is nothing to distract from the fact that it’s been a very long time since they were close. As they are confronted with the faults in their friendship, and the fact that the problems they are running away from have followed them to Africa, tensions run high. But as their lives start to unravel, they see how they are all linked together.

The Art of Unpacking Your Life is a beautiful book about friendship, growing up, and that, despite growing apart, your oldest friends can be the ones to sustain you through life’s greatest sadness and deepest joy.

Whatever you choose to read and wherever you are, we hope you enjoy your book and have a wonderful, warm weekend.


Here’s to memories of summer!


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