World Book Day is here again – I love the idea of getting the kids excited about books (and remind us as adults of the joy of reading) but I have to admit that I do have a feeling of impending doom as March approaches as the dreaded dress up day approaches. It has a funny affect on parents, definitely a ‘marmite’ day between those who love it and those who dread it. The first couple of years making the costumes is fun but once you have more than one child at school and you’ve done it a few times the novelty does wear off a bit! This year, our school have gone for an alternative approach which is to wear your ‘huffle buffs’ which is apparently an old Scottish word for comfy clothes so they can focus more on the reading an less on the dress up which I think is a fab idea! (Although we do have to decorate a potato like a book character but let’s not dwell on that)
As I child I read A LOT but you know when they ask adults which childhood book impacted them most and people pluck a classic with a deep meaning out of the air? I don’t really have one of them. I had a probably slightly unhealthy addiction to American teen fiction – notably Judy Blume, Sweet Valley High and Paula Danziger books.
I love reading but perhaps unusually I generally prefer non fiction – travel books, autobiographies, business books, gardening books – I think I like learning something from books. There are a few books that I think have impacted on my life in different ways so I thought I’d pick a few to share with you.
- ‘Down Under’ by Bill Bryson – I LOVE Bill Bryson books and one day I want to hike some of the Appalacian trail. Down Under is (obviously) his travel around Australia and he visits a part of Western Australia called the Valley of the Giants with a treetop walk around the tallest trees. He described it so well I decided I needed to visit and in 2003 as part of our trip around the world we made it there – it was as fantastic as he described and definitely off the tourist trail.
- ‘Join Me’ by Danny Wallace – well really anything by Danny Wallace – but notably Join Me when he sets up a cult. It is guaranteed to make me laugh and I can happily read it over and over but is also a really interesting look at human behaviour and how we are predisposed to want to ‘belong’ somewhere. I definitely recognise that in myself and working not as part of a big team means I’m trying to find my people. I would probably have joined Danny had he asked.
- ‘Drive’ by Daniel Pink – I loved this book, it is about motivation theory – why do we do what we do? Dan has some great TED talks too. He identified that there are three things that we need in place to be motivated to act – Purpose, Autonomy and Mastery. This is really helpful in trying to get employees more engaged in a workplace but I think it totally sums up indie biz owners and what makes you want to run your own business.
- ‘Brush Lettering’ & ‘Modern Lettering’ by Rebecca Cahill-Roots – these books encouraged my enthusiasm for hand lettering and words (which seems very apt given we are talking about books). The books are hardback, very tactile and full of beautiful imagery, not to mention really helpful guides for improving your lettering.
Given that it hasn’t stopped raining since 8am this morning it seems like a good time to pull on your ‘huffle buffs’, and snuggle down with a good book – what will you be reading?
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