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Filtering by Tag: books

What are you reading this summer ?

Sophie Lombardi

I am an emphatic reader. In fact I would go so far as to say that I am not happy unless there is a good book by my bed. Fiction is a wonderful escape and respite from reality and getting stuck into someone else's story gives me new perspective on my own. Matt Haig puts it perfectly in his latest book Notes On Nervous Planet.

Reading isn't important because it helps you get a job. It's important because it gives you room to exist beyond the reality you're given. How minds connect. Dreams. Empathy. Understanding. Escape. 

Summer books often imply suncream stained Jackie Collins' novels. Whilst I am very partial to a little Rupert Campbell Black, these are my top 5 reads for the sunshine. Take with Mr Whippy and icy cold beers. 

Velvet and tropical print cushions available  here.  

Velvet and tropical print cushions available here. 

Bonjour Tristesse by Francois Sagan. When I read this I felt like I was having a long languid siesta in the South of France.  Totally French and absolutely immoral, you'll feel the scorch at the heart of this story.  

Heartburn by Norah Ephron. Protagonist Rachel feels like your best friend and who better to take on holiday?  She's wonderfully witty and acerbic, you'll have a great time together. 

The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald.  Scandal and wild summer parties doing the Charleston in Jay Gatsby's mansion? Yes please.  Make mine a Long Island Ice Tea. 

Instructions For A Heatwave by Maggie O'Farrell. The tension amongst this dysfunctional family will make you feel so much better about your travelling group. It's also a lovely tangled tale of family relationships.

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. An excellent travelling companion. David Sedaris will charm your socks off with his outrageously funny stories of family and living in France. 

I'm sure that you have got many books that I could add to my list. I'd love to know your suggestions. 


Sophie xx

Velvet and tropical print cushions available  here . 

Velvet and tropical print cushions available here

When you're not feeling the sparkles

Sophie Lombardi

There's nothing quite like forced joviality to make you feel more rubbish if you are feeling really low. A number of years ago, I had crippling Post Natal Depression at Christmas. On receipt of a lovely, well wishing text suggesting that we would be having a wonderfully snuggly time with our gorgeous new babe, I smashed my phone against the wall (terribly counter productive, resulting in hours swearing in The Apple shop with a crying baby). The fact is, shit doesn't stop happening just because its Christmas. For plenty of people out there, it will be a challenging test of endurance rather than rocking around the Christmas tree wearing a paper hat at a jaunty angle. So, for those of you feeling really rubbish, this blog is for you.

If you haven't read 'Reasons To Stay Alive' by Matt Haig, please do. In fact, give it to everyone you know. It's a book about depression which isn't depressing, nor is it preachy or insistent that you follow some kind of radical regime that involves weird things like stuffing coffee enemas up your bum and refusing conventional treatment. Matt nails the experience with his deeply moving personal account of his battle with acute depression and anxiety. With the support of his great girlfriend and family, Matt finds his way through and learns to accept and even find meaning from his debilitating illness. His account is absolutely spot on. If you have ever struggled with your mental health, reading his book will be like listening to lyrics in your 'break up' soundtrack, his words feel so true. I particularly liked this passage: 

"If you have ever believed a depressive wants to be happy, you are wrong. They could not care less about the luxury of happiness. They just want to feel an absence of pain. To escape a mind on fire, where thoughts blaze and smoke like old possessions lost to arson. To be normal."

Matt tells us about his most frightening experiences, but doesn't dwell on them; instead he gives hope to the situation and reveals that depression has given him greater empathy and an ability to feel more in the world. The book isn't about well-being buzz words and Matt doesn't refer to a 'journey' unless he is actually going somewhere. If you're wondering whether or not this book is for you, it probably is. Whether you suffer mental from health issues, know someone going through this stuff or even if you just want to know more about the experience of being human and being alive, go and grab a copy.

If anyone reading this is going through a horrible time, I understand (and so does Matt). Christmas will be tough, but they'll be another one next year. I promise you that you will feel the sparkles again and they will be brighter and more sparkly than before. I  always think that the best experiences and moments in life are the ones that aren't scheduled. Lurid jumpers, awful shouty songs about how it should be christmas every bloody day and getting crushed in the shops can all be appreciated another time. 


Sophie xoxox

PS. All Matt Haig's books are total winners. I can highly recommend them all.

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