I did something last week that I haven’t done for YEARS.
I went to the library.
And not just a pretty old library to go and ogle at the beautiful books with cracked leather covers and brown pages with that delicious old book smell.
No, I went to a proper, modern library where real people go to get books. And because it’s now the 21st century, you can even borrow DVDs, use Macs with the fancy Creative Suite, use the WiFi while you have a coffee or…if you’re me…use it as a free morning of entertainment for your kids because our library has a tent shaped like a castle and a box of broken crayons so that was a winner.
While George and Joseph busied themselves in the castle, I had the chance to browse the books and guess what…I remembered how flipping amazing books are. When did I forget this? And why?
OK, I know why. It’s because I got so distracted by blogs and Instagram and YouTube and Twitter and all the other flashy apps on my phone that I forgot about good old fashioned books. I know it’s ironic to be typing these words onto the digital pages of a blog and yes, a little part of me is worried I’ll scare you away into a digital detox where you’ll never look at The Travel Hack again (please don’t do that!) but a bigger part of me wants to share some of the lovely reads I’ve found this month.
The Guilty Wife – Elle Croft
I didn’t get this one from the library, I was actually super honoured to be sent an early copy of The Guilty Wife by Elle’s publisher and I read this book last year.
Before I go any further I just feel the need to say that again…’Elle’s publisher’. Elle has a publisher! Because she has a freaking book deal. How amazing is that!?
I’m so proud and happy and in awe of Elle for having the determination to write an entire novel. And then for actually having it published and then for it doing so well! The Guilty Wife has reached the top 10 in Amazon’s Kindle bestseller charts and it was really this book that reinstated my love of reading.
I haven’t read a whole book for so long but obviously I was going to read Elle’s. I’d forgotten about that feeling when you get so into a book you can’t think about anything else. It’s like diving head first into another world and when you’re reading you don’t hear or see or notice anything around you. The Guilty Wife is the kind of book that makes you miss your stop on the train or makes you excited to go to bed early so you can keep reading!
I’m not going to tell you anything about the plot because I’m really scared I’ll accidentally give something away (yes, it’s one of those!) so I’ll just leave this link to Amazon so you can check it out.
Read more: My interview with Elle Croft about what it’s like to publish a book
The Bikini Body Motivation and Habits Guide – Kayla Istines
I have a bit of a girl crush on Kayla Istines and I love following her motivational Instagram feed filled with health and fitness inspo. I have her app Sweat which I dip into every now and again but an app isn’t nearly as good as an enormous book.
There’s a huge section in this book about changing your habits to improve your health for the long run. Let’s say you always avoid exercising because you’re ‘too tired’ you need to think about why you’re tired and what habits you can change to make sure you have the energy to exercise.
There’s also a really brilliant food section with a 31-day food plan filled with recipes for every meal and two snacks per day. It’s beautifully presented and perfect for anyone who thinks healthy food is boring.
The Solo Travel Handbook, Lonely Planet
This is another book that was sent to me because I contributed a section to this book! Yey, I contributed to a Lonely Planet book!
I actually wrote the copy ages ago and I’d almost forgotten I’d done it until late December when this book fell through my letterbox. My first impression is that it’s so beautifully presented with cute little drawings throughout. It’s chocker full of useful information for solo travellers and the way it’s all displayed makes it so easy and fun to read.
I kept reading and came across a section, ’10 Travel Hacks every Solo Traveller should know’ and I was like, ‘Arrggh, I wrote this! I wrote this bit!’
Sometimes being ridiculously forgetful and so swamped with work that you forget what you’ve done can be a really nice thing.
This is a really lovely book to give as a gift to anyone heading on a solo adventure. But most of the tips also apply to anyone going travelling, especially backpacking or a long travel adventure too.
Wales, Lonely Planet
It’s no secret how much I LOVE Wales. For the past few years I’ve mostly relied on Sam’s knowledge of North Wales for our little Welsh adventures but it’s time to start exploring further afield and seeing more of what our beautiful country has to offer. And what better place to start than with the travel bible? It’s also St David’s Day (the Welsh saint) on March 1st so what better month that to start planning a Welsh adventure.
This book gives a great overview of the best things to do in each area. Stay tuned because you’re going to be seeing a lot more from Wales this summer!
Hurrah for Gin, Katie Kirby
If new parents are going to read one parenting book, it should be this one. This is the most real book about being a parent and I loved it. It’s about all the things that make you feel guilty as a parent, or the things you think you’re failing at or everyone else is doing better. It makes you realise that everyone feels the same and no one is nailing it like their Instagram feed suggests they are!
A great read for expectant parents or anyone in the first few years of parenting!
Tuesday 6th of March 2018
I've been dying to read The Solo Travel Handbook--so exciting that you're in it! Also, ashamed of myself that it didn't even occur to me to find it at the library...sigh, what has my little reader-heart become?
Monday 26th of February 2018
How exciting to be featured in a Lonely Planet publication!