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A Day in the Life

Shelf help reading

One of the perks of working in school is that the summer holidays can provide a great opportunity to indulge in more reading!

Books have always been my ‘go to’ place both to learn and to relax; I’m afraid I haven’t made the transference to screens. Even on a long journey, I’d rather take a book than a Kindle! I think, for me, a physical book carries so much in the way of good memories and feelings, that a screen or a gadget will never be able to catch up – and maybe that’s the same for you. If you’ve found yourself reading less, is that because you’re trying to read in a way that just doesn’t match the comfort of the past? Alternatively, if reading books is contaminated with bad memories, it’s wonderfully liberating that we can now read in so many different ways.

Either way, I’m hoping that summer may provide a decent break for you and that you might like to slip a book, a Kindle or another reading or audio-book gadget into your luggage. If you’re up for some reading on well-being/mental health for your sons or yourself, here’s a short list of suggestions:

‘Raising boys’ by Steve Biddulph – a ‘classic’ on a vital subject! Make sure you get the latest edition.

‘Families and how to survive them’ by Robyn Skinner and John Cleese – a guide for the lay-person on family systems. Very readable with lots of great cartoons.

‘The Course of Love’ by Alain de Botton – a wonderful novel about marriage, realistic rather than romantic. Very thought-provoking and, if things are a bit rocky, potentially life-changing.

‘How to break up with your phone’ by Catherine Price – scary, but ultimately practical and realistic.

‘The Little Pocket Book of Happiness’ by Lois Blyth – a great little book to dip into every day for refreshment and encouragement.

‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers – a classic of facing fear and anxiety

‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Toller - a classic on living in the moment

And if you just want a satisfying stories, not trashy but not too heavy, here are a few suggestions:

‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce

‘Excellent Women’ by Barbara Pym

‘Love and War in the Apennines’ by Eric Newby

The Night Circus’ by Erin Morgenstein

Have a wonderful summer! Meg Harper