As the colder months edge closer, there’s no better time to snuggle up with a good book – particularly one that instils feelings of comfort and cosiness. We’ve listed a few of this season’s best reads, from empowering, non-fiction books, to gripping fictional novels.
The Diving Bell & Butterfly – Jean-Dominique Bauby
This empowering novel tells the story of the author himself, Jean, who, in 1995, suffered a stroke that left him unable to speak or move, although remaining entirely conscious. Doctors called this ‘locked-in syndrome’, since he retained the ability to generate thoughts, but couldn’t express or verbalise them. Despite this, Jean still had use of his left eyelid, which he could twitch on demand – and he used this ability to spell out words letter by letter. He continued to do so until he had told his story, which both offers readers a remarkable insight into locked-in syndrome, whilst recognising and celebrating his strength to carry on.
Why We Sleep – Matthew Walker
Many of us forget how important it is to have a healthy sleep-wake cycle. If we fail to achieve 7-9 hours of sleep per night, we’re putting ourselves at increased risk of a range of mental and physical health issues – including anxiety, high blood pressure and a weakened immune system. Matthew Walker, a professor of neuroscience and psychology, is passionate about studying the connections between humans and sleep, and how sleep (or lack of it) can affect human health. This book summarises 20 years of research undertaken by Walker, and teaches us why it’s so important to get a good night’s sleep.
Olive, Again – Elizabeth Strout
As she enters the second half of her life, Olive Kitteridge has to come to terms with the changes that come with growing older – some that bring joy, and others that bring challenges.
Alongside her second husband, Olive navigates through her life, facing loss and loneliness, but also supporting her friends through triumphs in the comfort of her small hometown. Her experiences nevertheless challenge her as a person, but they also offer her a whole new perspective on life.
This book is ideal for anyone who can relate to Olive’s life journey, offering hope to anyone who’s looking for reassurance when life gets a little tough.
Everything Inside – Edwidge Dandicat
If the prospect of sitting down on a rainy afternoon with a gripping short story brings you joy, then this book is for you. The collection comprises eight vivid stories, with each one drawing on the reader’s emotions; throughout, the reader can expect to experience a variety of significant life events and relationships, including romance, divorce, tragedy, a christening and re-united families.
The Dutch House – Ann Patchett
Dubbed ‘The book of the autumn’ by Sunday Times, The Dutch House is a novel that treasures the bond between two siblings, Danny and Maeve, who are growing up in a luxurious mansion. With the absence of their mother and the distance of their father, they become increasingly reliant on each other. The defining absence in their lives, that of their mother, is further emphasised when their father, one day, brings home his new friend, Andrea – and from hereon, Danny and Maeve are drawn back to the past time and time again.
This novel is ideal for anyone who enjoys getting lost in a fictional story – one that draws on a range of emotions.
At Huntington and Langham Estate, we always encourage our people to take up new hobbies – from reading, to playing a new instrument. To find out more about our care, please click here.