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 robinsÂ to Valentineâs red roses, or watching Easterâs chocolate-fest give way to the heavy military tomes gift-wrapped for Fatherâs Day.
NowÂ of course the sudden surge in umbrella sales is a strong hint that we are entering the legendaryÂ British summer.
So what to read right now? Summer reading is a special thing. It should be something lighter than usual,Â so you can find your place easily after falling asleep on the sun-lounger; but it should haveÂ 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 friendsÂ – an enjoyable weekend rediscovering our inner Ratty and Toad. If youâve tried this yourself, or have everÂ fancied it, then there are a range of books on our shelvesÂ about watery adventures which will feed that passion.
One of the best is Helen Babbsâ Adrift,Â an enjoyable personal story of one womanâs year-long canal boat adventuresÂ 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 takeÂ 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 »