Let's talk books
Completed Netflix, mastered sourdough and walked every square foot of land near your house? We asked The Pilgrm team, a few friends and some of you guys what you’ve enjoyed reading, here’s a few recommendations.
John, from our Guest Services Team, says his number one choice is A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purposes by Eckhart Tolle. This book offers spiritual insight and a guide to enlightenment but in such an easy-read way. Sometimes it can be daunting reading books about spirituality, but this feels the opposite. Oprah Winfrey loves it so it’s got to be pretty good right?
Sarah Lewis, previous Head Chef and dear friend of The Pilgrm says that her favourite genre is non-fiction or based on true events, particularly prisoner of war books. She has always been interested in history and reading about war experiences, so a couple of her top reads include The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz, Boldness Be My Friend by Richard Pape and The Cage by Tom Abraham. Sarah is also a lover of crime books, particularly Chris Careter who although writes fiction, used to be a Criminal Psychologist so most are written from his knowledge and experiences.
Human Errors: A Panorama of Our Glitches, From Pointless Bones to Broken Genes by Nathan H. Lents is a favourite of Kasia’s at the moment. Lents is a biology professor exploring the human body and some of its design flaws, delving into ‘pointless’ bones and our needy diets. This one provides much food for thought, is entertaining and frankly captivating.
Alexia has been leaning more towards self-care reads. Favourites include Self-Care for the Real World by Katia Narain Phillips and Nadia Narain. This book delivers some nice reminders to keep well, alongside recipes, habits to get into and overall suggestions on how to take care of yourself. The ABC’s of Disease by Phillip Day and The Autoimmune Solution by Amy Myers are also on her list of suggestions for staying healthy.
A particular favourite of my own has been Unnatural Causes by Dr Richard Shepherd who is a Forensic Pathologist. This guy has been faced with carrying out post-mortems from huge natural disasters, terrorist incidents and serial killers. The book is truly honest when talking about his personal life, whilst also educational when discussing the pathology being carried out. Fascinating!
DJ Olly Roberts also has a few recommendations to add to the list. The Life and Inebriated Times of Richard Burton, Richard Harris, Peter O’Toole and Oliver Reed by Robert Sellers. A collection of simply amazing stories from larger-than-life characters pushing all excesses to extremes. Olly also loves Prior Convictions by Richard Prior, saying Prior has the knack of being able to tell some of the saddest stories directly followed by laugh of loud humour, which makes it a bit of an emotional rollercoaster. Down and Out in Paris by George Orwell is another one. This book humanises homelessness and takes the reader behind poverty and hardship to see the people who breathe and feel and think like everybody else. Certainly one to delve into.
Lucy our F&D Manager is currently reading The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides and tends to opt for fiction novels for an escape. This dark psychological thriller is certainly a page-turner keeping you intrigued from start to finish and constantly wanting answers.
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones follows newlyweds settling into their new life together, until the criminal justice system gets involved meaning they find themselves apart. The book is raw, powerful, heart-breaking and will definitely send your emotions on a ride.
Ella recommends American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins; a novel which will transport you over to Mexico following the ordeal of a woman having to leave behind her life and flee to the United States as an undocumented immigrant. A very moving and eye-opening account which, although fictional, from the writer’s insight has clearly been thoroughly researched and seems to deliver some honest truths.
Circe by Madeline Miller is another recommendation which came up a couple of times. If you are a lover of Greek mythology and adventure, this is one to add to your reading list.
If you are bored of flicking through the same recipe books that have been on your shelf for a while, here are a few of our favourites.
The L.A. Cookbook by Alison Clare Steingold features recipes from bars, restaurants and even bakeries in Los Angeles. Whilst on the American food topic, New York Cult Recipes by Marc Grossman provides not only great food inspiration from the city that never sleeps, but the photography is also amazing.
Flavour by Ottolenghi is one recently purchased by Ella, she has her eye on the Aubergine Dumplings alla Parmigiana.
Super Root Spices by Zoë Lind van’t Hof and Tom Smale is Alexia’s favourite as it provides the ultimate cleanse.
Simply by Sabrina Ghayour is one recommended by Jason. Ghayour provides incredibly mouth-watering recipes whilst being completely non-fuss. Strawberry, soft goats’ cheese and pistachio salad – yes please.
A few other recommendations that came up more than once were:
- 1Q84 - Haruki Murakami
- The Flat Share – Beth O’Leary
- Beekeeper of Aleppo – Christy Lefteri
- Perfume: The Story of a Murderer – Patrick Suskind
- West with the Night – Beryl Markham
- Skinny Legs and All – Tom Robbins
- Flight Behaviour – Barbara Kingsolver
- Stone Junction – Jim Dodge
- There Are Places in the World Where Rules Are Less Important than Kindness – Carlo Rovelli
- Cook, Eat, Repeat – Nigella Lawson
- Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell – Susanna Clarke