One of the joys of working in retail is following the passage of time. Not quite the ‘madeleine moment’ you might have imagined during your English Literature degree, but a sashay from Christmas’ snowy robins to Valentine’s red roses, or watching Easter’s chocolate-fest give way to the heavy military tomes gift-wrapped for Father’s Day.
Now of course the sudden surge in umbrella sales is a strong hint that we are entering the legendary British summer.
So what to read right now? Summer reading is a special thing. It should be something lighter than usual, so you can find your place easily after falling asleep on the sun-lounger; but it should have enough to it to justify sticking with the book to the end. You will have more quality reading time, and you need to fill those evenings somehow.
Last summer I took a canal boat from Hilperton to Bath with some friends – an enjoyable weekend rediscovering our inner Ratty and Toad. If you’ve tried this yourself, or have ever fancied it, then there are a range of books on our shelves about watery adventures which will feed that passion.
One of the best is Helen Babbs’ Adrift, an enjoyable personal story of one woman’s year-long canal boat adventures in London. It is a charming mix of travelogue and inner journey, full of those wish-I’d-said-that, oops-I-just-did facts and anecdotes. Journalist Helen and her boat called Pike take a trip around herself and her city, retelling stories of people, history and politics, watching the seasons change from the fo’castle. Before you write in, I do know that barges don’t have fo’castles, but I am a wordsmith not a sailor so grant me some lee-way here (leeway, the sideways drift of a ship downwind of the desired course). Continue reading »