We love a good World Celebration Day; International Ice Cream Day (17 July), International Hot Chocolate Day (28 January), International Star Wars Day (4 May), World Gin Day (12 June), World Pizza Day (9 February), International Cookie Day (4 December). It will be of no surprise that we also love World Book Day… which just happened to be last Saturday (23 April).
So while we like to throw ourselves into the various festivities (usually tasting and drinking all of the delights) we also dove into the world of literature and found six of our favourite books that have recently hit the bookstores.
The School for Good Mothers by Jessamine Chan
Every mother has a bad day… Frida Liu is a struggling mother. She remembers taking Harriet from her cot and changing her nappy. She remembers giving her a morning bottle. They’d been up since four am. Frida just had to finish the article in front of her. But she’d left a file on her desk at work. What would happen if she retrieved it and came back in an hour? She was so sure it would be okay. Now, the state has decided that Frida is not fit to care for her daughter. That she must be re-educated. Can this mistake cost her everything? The School For Good Mothers is an explosive and thrilling novel about the pressures of perfectionism, parenthood and privilege.
Atlas of the Heart by Brené Brown
This major new work from the international bestselling author of Gifts of Imperfection and Dare to Lead examines the 87 emotions and experiences that define us, and provides a compelling framework to help us all become more emotionally fluent and connected. In her latest book, five-time #1 New York Times bestselling author Dr Brene Brown, writes, “If we want to find the way back to ourselves and each other, we need language and the grounded confidence to both tell our stories, and to be stewards of the stories that we hear. This is the framework for meaningful connection.” In Atlas of the Heart, Brown takes us on a journey through 87 of the emotions and experiences that define what it means to be human. As she maps the necessary skills and lays out an actionable framework for meaningful connection, she gives us the language and tools to access a universe of new choices and second chances – a universe where we can share and steward the stories of our bravest and most heart-breaking moments with one another in a way that builds connection. Over the past two decades, Brown’s extensive research into the experiences that make us who we are has shaped the cultural conversation and helped define what it means to be courageous with our lives. Atlas of the Heart draws on this research, as well as Brown’s singular skills as a researcher/storyteller, to lay out an invaluable, research-based framework that shows us that naming an experience doesn’t give the experience more power, it gives us the power of understanding, meaning and choice.
Ten Steps to Nanette by Hannah Gadsby
Multi-awardwinning Hannah Gadsby transformed comedy with her show Nanette, even as she declared that she was quitting stand-up. Now, she takes us through the defining moments in her life that led to the creation of Nanette and her powerful decision to tell the truth – no matter the cost. Gadsby’s unique stand-up special Nanette was a viral success that left audiences captivated by her blistering honesty and her ability to create both tension and laughter in a single moment. But while her worldwide fame might have looked like an overnight sensation, her path from open mic to the global stage was hard-fought and anything but linear. Ten Steps to Nanette traces Gadsby’s growth as a queer person from Tasmania – where homosexuality was illegal until 1997 – to her ever-evolving relationship with comedy, to her struggle with adult diagnoses of autism and ADHD, and finally to the backbone of Nanette – the renouncement of self-deprecation, the rejection of misogyny, and the moral significance of truth-telling. Equal parts harrowing and hilarious, Ten Steps to Nanette continues Gadsby’s tradition of confounding expectations and norms, properly introducing us to one of the most explosive, formative voices of our time.
A Good Day to Bake by Benjamina Ebuehi
Going through the ritual of bringing out the measuring scales, pouring out flour, whipping up the eggs, stirring the batter and impatiently slicing up warm cake is a beautiful thing that deserves to be enjoyed all year round no matter the day, season or occasion. This is a cookbook that embraces simplicity, mindfulness and the therapeutic comforts of baking. The Great British Bake Off‘s 2016 contestant Benjamina writes so warmly about cakes and her recipes speak to a natural, seasonal and down-to-earth way of baking. Chapters include Herbs Tea, Stone Fruit, Berries, Vegetables, Best of Beige, Spice Cupboard, and Chocolate. Because every day is a good day to bake.
Pink House Living For People Cheating on Fashion with Furniture by Emily Murray
Pink House Living is a beautiful, practical guide to decorating with pink by Emily Murray of the award-winning The Pink House blog. Emily draws on her recent interiors projects to guide the reader through their own rose-tinted renovations and includes case studies on well-known interiors experts that reveal their use of pink, their go-to paint shades and where they glean ‘pinkspiration’. Pink House Living is not about decorating your home in pink from rooftop to rugs, but a look at how the colour can be used alongside other hues – sometimes sparingly, sometimes in spades. Divided up by room, the book uses the colour pink and its history as a starting point from which to discuss the decorating process. Readers will be entertained by Emilys interiors insights and witty turn of phrase while gaining invaluable advice on adding pink (and colour in general) to their homes.
Megan Hess: The Little Black Dress by Megan Hess
The Little Black Dress is an illustrated love story about fashion’s most enduring and chic uniform, celebrating the designers, the women and of course the dresses. A piece of fashion is so much more than an object. To the designer who created it, the muse who inspired it, the fashion lover who lusts after it, the stylist who is lucky enough to own it, or the star who made it iconic; that fashion piece is part of a story. Introduced by Coco Chanel and made famous by Audrey Hepburn, the little black dress redefined how women dress and remains one of the most elegant and versatile pieces in any wardrobe. Vogue said it would become ‘a sort of uniform for all women of taste’, a prophecy that has more than come true. And this little book is the perfect accessory. Filled with fascinating information and stunning illustrations from Megan Hess, and packaged up in a beautiful hardback, Megan Hess: The Little Black Dress is a timeless love story, and the first in Megan Hess’ new Ultimate Fashion Wardrobe series.