Sunday Shelf, Vol. 1

I’ve always envied that YouTubers have a platform to share their ‘favourites.’ It’s quite common each month to see a new video, documenting current favourite music, make-up, clothes, reads. While I won’t send myself up as far as to suggest I’ve got a following even vaguely interested in what I’m up to, even in a lockdown, I’m quite excited to start this series of blogs, the Sunday Shelf. I want to share things that I like, that I think other people might take joy from too.

While we’re all locked down and (should be) social distancing – all it takes is one look at the news to see that people aren’t necessarily following this guidance – I thought I might use my little corner of the internet to spread a little more of that sunshine I wrote about a few days ago. Today I’m sharing books (surprise surprise!)

Three books that made me smile

Parsnips, Buttered by Joe Lycett

I consumed this book (and ‘consumed’ is definitely the right word, I swallowed it whole and wanted more) in audiobook format during my second year at university. It brought no end of joy in a difficult time so seems an apt on the share in a lockdown scenario! If you have ever come across Lycett’s stand-upm this is much of the same, every bit as irreverent and silly with precisely the same deadpan, cutting delivery. I recommend the audiobook enormously as it is read by the author so retains all of that intended disparagement.

I remember laughing out loud to myself while I listened to this, which no mean feat in a dingy hall of residence in the midst of my Second Year Crisis. Who knew there could be so much humour in disputing a parking fine?

This book also introduced me to the immortal quote ” ‘Hopefully’ doth butter no parsnips” which is obviously always useful in everyday discourse!

Best Foot Forward by Adam Hills

While Parsnips, Buttered made me laugh, this book made me truly happy, one of those rare books that I finished and then put down with a smile.

A critic once described Adam Hills’ stand-up comedy style as ‘sun-drenched’ and honestly there’s no better description for this book. It’s not autobiography exactly but it is a chronological journey through Hills’ comedy career, complete with twists and turns and, as expects, all-out hilarity in places.

This is a book with a warm and friendly voice, the ideal antidote to long days of isolation and lockdown where not much is happening.

One Million Lovely Letters by Jodi Ann Bickley

I loved this book when I read it and I still hold it dear, because it affirms my total belief that the most important value a person can have, is kindness.

This is a soul-warming memoir, charting a journey from rock-bottom to a somewhat happy medium. You will have to read it for yourself to find out the premise of the lovely letters, but woven around them is a beautifully written story of their invention and the author’s belief in them. The story is heart-wrenching in parts but is ultimately so life-affirming. Definitely worth a read in these rough times, when we could all do with a bit of extra kindness in our lives.

So those are the first additions to my Sunday Shelf. I will definitely add more as time goes on, under different categories, but in the meantime, why not leave a comment to share a book (or books) that made you smile? I think we could all do with some suggestions of escapist reads at the moment!

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