Books are one of our favourite things to get lost in and the winter months are the perfect time to cosy up by the fireplace and be transported to another world. With this in mind we thought we’d share five of the books that captivated our hearts this year.
Lessons in Chemistry, by Bonnie Garmus
We were honoured and delighted to host Bonnie Garmus at Charlotte Street Hotel in October for a conversation about her debut book, Lessons in Chemistry. Set in the 1960s, it follows Chemist Elizabeth Zott navigating misogyny, exploitation, single motherhood, grief and loss. She soon becomes the host of America’s new cooking show and with one meal at a time she teaches women not only to cook but to question the status quo. Its molecular gastronomy at its best, served with a side of empowerment. A must read for everyone!
Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens
Set in North Carolina’s wild and beautiful marshes, this is a poignant tale of resilience and strength in the face of enduring grief, loss and loneliness. We follow Kya who, abandoned by her family and ostracised by her community, is left to fend for herself in the midst of the marshes. It’s a compelling coming of age story woven with romance, heartbreak and mystery. It’s safe to say that we felt all the emotions whilst reading this book.
We were also fascinated to discover that Delia is first and foremost a zoologist and conservationist, which explains her ability to capture in profuse detail the natural wonder of the Carolina marshes in such an immersive way. Where the Crawdads Sing is Delia’s first fictional book, but reminds us how integral these ecosystems are to the survival of our planet.
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, by Taylor Jenkins Reid
A scandalous read that captures the essence of classic Hollywood glamour, fame and ambition. Movie icon Evelyn Hugo at age 79 is ready to give an exclusive interview after years of harbouring her truth. An enthralling journey through Tinseltown where human strength and fragility exist in tandem – we were hooked from the beginning.
Interior Portraits, by SJ Axelby
We love the bright and whimsical works of SJ Axelby and were so honoured to host her book launch at Covent Garden Hotel this year. Available from Shop Kit Kemp, her book brings to life the interior spaces of 89 leading creatives, including many of our own, in a series of charming watercolour illustrations. We absolutely adore this book! You can read all about the launch party here.
Darling, by India Knight
We were head-over-heels for this contemporary retelling of Nancy’s Mitford’s beloved novel The Pursuit of Love. The daughter of a former rock star father and a bohemian mother, Linda Radlett is desperate to escape her restrictive upbringing in Norfolk and start exploring the real world. From teenage crushes and first loves to second husbands and true loves, we join Linda as she follows her heart from London to Paris and back. The book is a joyful and witty exploration of relationships, family and of course, love. We laughed and cried and then wanted to read it all over again.