My mini book club for the Summer…


I love reading and sometimes wish I had another body which could dedicate itself to doing just that! Not the case unfortunately, so I squeeze books in when I can. Anyhoo, the other day I stumbled upon a fantastic quote from Roald Dahl…

"A person who has good thoughts cannot ever be ugly. You can have a wonky nose and a crooked mouth and a double chin and stick-out teeth, but if you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."

Firstly, it made me think just how much I adore him! His writing is absolutely magical and if you ever have five minutes to spare, Google his quotes because they’re ALL really inspirational! (My step-grandmother used to type up all his manuscripts, a claim to fame I discovered only recently. I wish I knew this when I was little!)

Secondly, I then got thinking about my favourite authors, books etc. Roald Dahl has always been and will forever be one of them, but for the last ten years or so, I’ve been really enjoying the work of Maggie O'Farrell. Her writing style is superb and the twists and emotions that you go on with her books are fantastic. Once I start reading them I can’t put them down, my entire world comes to a grinding halt (I love it!).

Her latest was no exception, I took it to Dubai with us at Easter. It’s called 'The Hand That First Held Mine' and if you’re looking for a summer read I’d HIGHLY recommend it. Easy going but intense, not highbrow yet cleverly written (I should warn you her style is a tad unorthodox, ie: she changes speed, decade and entire plot in the middle of a sentence sometimes!)

There’s no coasting or you’ll miss a vital piece of information, which won’t make sense until you get to the end! It’s got everything and a little bit more that you want from a good summer holiday read. I couldn’t recommend it enough.

If you have any other great recommendations, feel free to leave them in the comments below for myself and for others too – like our own little mini book club for this summer!

Hope life is well for you,

Take care.

Pipa x


  1. Susan June 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa,
    That’s amazing about your family connection to Roald Dahl!!! How fabulous!
    Susan x

  2. Carolyne Ellis June 13, 2011 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa
    Last year I read an extremely good set of books. It all started when my daughter won a copy of Magus of Stonewyle by Kit Berry in a competition I took one look at the cover and dismissed it. I said not my sort of book and it sat on the shelves for several weeks, then one day I thought to myself (after having nothing else to do) thought I would give the book ago and was so glad I did, the book was excellent I then went immediately online to order the next two in the series what an excellent read couldn`t put them down. After finishing them passed them onto members of my family who all have their own personal ideas on what they read yet all of them absolutely loved the books so if you are looking for a recommendation I think these would be good.

  3. Karen June 13, 2011 at 9:01 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pipa. When I get chance to read I love Jill Mansell books they are very easy to read and so light hearted, they make me forget about what else is going on and i’m totally engrossed in the story – ‘Rumour has it’ is one of my favs, I couldn’t put it down. P.s love all the blogs about beauty – there’s so much choice out there its good to know what the presenters use and really think about products.

  4. Amanda Dodgson June 16, 2011 at 4:23 pm -  Reply

    I am reading a series of books by Doreen Virtue. “Angel Therapy” handbook is a beautiful guide to understanding the realms of the angelic world. They are really well written and enjoyable. They are positve, inspirtional books and uplifting. Hope we get some good summer weather to sit out in nature and enjoy them even more.

  5. Louise June 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm -  Reply

    I used to read Roald Dahl as a child; Gene Wilder was brilliant in the film adaptation of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I must say, however, that when I red a biography of Dahl’s erstwhile wife, the actress Patricia Neal, and discovered that he was violent toward her, my opinion of him changed, and i have not since read anything penned by him!
    I did win Debs Flint’s comp for the signed Elizabeth Chadwick book, so I really need to get started on that! I’m not generally into fiction, so a historically fictional novel seems interesting. Don’t you fancy going down the Debs route and penning your own work? I am working on it, but it will be a factual tome – can’t give too much away, stealing ideas and all that!!
    Modern novelists are not generically my cup of tea; no-one can match Nathaniel Hawthorne and Geoffrey Chaucer. And the Bard himself? He is without equal. It amazes me how so many people just cannot relate to his work. But then it takes all sorts. Wouldn’t do if we were all the same, would it?
    Take care.

  6. Pipa June 17, 2011 at 12:30 pm -  Reply

    Thank you all – isn’t it great to hear what everyone loves? We are all so different and that’s why it’s such a treat to share.
    Carolyne I love your point re not reading “my sort of book” ….we can be so guilty of judging a book by it’s cover hey? Glad you pushed through – now we get the benefit of your recommendation aswell … great life lesson though: judge/book/ cover ….we all know how the phrase goes!!
    Louise I specialised in writing when I did my English degree and continue to do masses of it from lyric writing, to running my online magazine, I’m penning a play currently …and other things which like you, I currently keep under wraps {wink}.
    My son adores factual books so getting him to read fiction is quite a task, I feel it is incredibly important to expand their imaginitive side, it bodes well in life! Couldn’t agree more though, it wouldn’t at all do if we were all the same!
    Keep ’em coming!!!……

  7. Rebecca Robinson June 22, 2011 at 11:09 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa. I recently read “One moment, One morning” by Sarah Rayner. It was an excellent read and very touching. It is basically about how the lives of three people change after an incident on a train one morning. It was the kind of book you want to finish to see how it all works out, but when you do finish it, you’re quite sad. It deals with all sorts of emotions which i found helped me enormosly after losing my mum last October very suddenly. It was a very inspring read and made me look at things very differently. I didn’t realise that the book was like this when i bought it though which i thought was very spooky. It was something about the cover that said to me it was going to be good. I would recommend it to anyone.
    I also love the Sophie Kinsella books for a jolly good laugh. Have you read any of them?
    I must say Pippa, I really like it when you are on. You always make me laugh and i like your presenting style as well as your fashion style.
    Love Rebecca.
    (I’m the Rebecca you helped recently on facebook regarding the brow products.) Got it sorted now with the Bare Escentuals brow brush!!

  8. Shauna July 20, 2011 at 4:36 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa
    Thanks for the tip about the book The Hand That First Held Mine, I bought it along with another by Maggie O’Farrell, After You Had Gone and I loved them both actually cried quite a bit at the end of the latter and am definately going to get more.
    I hadn’t realised she is also a favourite of my brothers patner so we now have even more to chat about, although swopping books is a bit difficult as she lives in the South and I in the North, never mind.
    I’ve also just recently read (along with my Mum and said brothers’ partner) The Distant Hours by Kate Morton, another lovely read!
    My taste in styles is quite varied, sometimes I think it is just your mood, don’t you? Another author I bacame addicted to was Lesley Pearce, quite dark at times, you never know what is coming but compelling reading.
    Anyway once again thanks and take care.
    Much love
    Shauna x

  9. Margaret Wright July 27, 2011 at 11:19 pm -  Reply

    Hi Pippa
    I love reading and i am always looking for new authors. On your recommendation I read Maggie O’Farrell’s book you mentioned. However, i was waiting for it to get started and it never really did. Sorry was not gripped, i may try another one of hers.
    i do love hearing of different authors,keep recommending.
    love Margyxx

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