I’ve featured more books on here over the last few weeks than I have in the past four years since starting The Ordinary Lovely. Some of it is probably due to the nights drawing in and spending more time indoors rather than in the garden but a lot of it has to do with the boys spending weekends playing nicely together and not yelling for me to ‘tell him to stop’ every five minutes. It’s been a revelation. Long may this sibling harmony continue. It’s an unusual situation in this house and I’m loving it. So, here are some of my favourite recent reads, all to do with joy and happiness. Two things, along with children who get along, that we could all do with a bit more of in our lives, right?
JOYFUL BY INGRID FETELL LEE
So keen was I to read more … and more … and then some more, that I carried this book around with me in my satchel until I’d finished it. Absolutely go ahead an judge Joyful by its cover because it’s exactly that - a joyful read. It’s all about how our surroundings can inspire happiness. Backed up by scientific research, it raises an eyebrow at the whole ‘happiness comes from within’ theory.
What do you think?
Having recently moved to a more rural location with a view of the countryside from every window as opposed to roads and other houses, I’m an absolute believer that where we live and what we surround ourselves with play a huge part in making us feel happier and healthier … well, they do for me anyway.
Pick up the book and see if you agree with Ingrid, too.
YOU ARE AWESOME BY MATTHEW SYED
My husband picked up You Are Awesome for the boys but it’s also great for any adults who could do with a well-written, entertaining reminder of the impact a positive growth mindset can have. It follows Kid Average and Kid Awesome and gives advice on how we can all be awesome through perseverance and making the right choices. There’s no such thing as natural talent, just hard work and dedication.
It’s a great read for children who might be lacking in confidence and also for those who need a reminder to keep going when they’re on the brink of giving up. And an important lesson for the social media generation, Matthew reminds us that often we only see the finished product, not the relentless journey to get there. Don’t underestimate the effort going on behind the scenes!
It’s definitely a book that should make its way in to every school library, for sure.
CREATE YOUR OWN HAPPY BY PENNY ALEXANDER & BECKY GODDARD-HILL
This is a gem of a children’s book written by two fellow bloggers, Penny of Parentshaped and Becky of A Beautiful Space. As someone who spends a lot of time seeking out the small joys and looking for happiness in the ordinary (hence the name of my blog), I was always going to love Penny and Becky’s book dedicated to creating a happy life.
Split in to three parts, making yourself happy, making others happy, and making the world happy, the book offers hints, tips, science to back it all up, and activities and exercises to have a go at. And it’s beautifully illustrated, too. I was dying to get the gel pens out and colour in some of the pages as I was reading it (something that would have definitely made me happy but perhaps not my seven year old who I bought the book for).
Create Your Own Happy is definitely one to choose for your kids … and have a flick through, yourself.
HAPPY BY DESIGN BY VICTORIA HARRISON
And back to homes and interiors!
I felt a bit like a teacher’s pet reading Happy by Design, all about how to create a home that boosts your health and happiness, because I can spot many of Victoria’s suggestions in my own home already - a healthy dose of greenery, cosy corners, sweet scents and clutter free rooms, to name but a few. I’ve long been aware that these simple things can mean the difference between walking in to a room and feeling relaxed and alternatively, wanting to turn around and head straight back out again. And thanks to Victoria’s research, I now know the reasons why.
The book is written in such a way that you can read it from start to finish or simply hone in chapters that catch your eye - chapter 8 on creating a cosy retreat is definitely one to take a look at ready for the colder, darker months, and chapter 1 all about growing your own fresh air is a timely one with most of us now keeping our windows closed and turning up the heating. It’s a sweet book that I’m pretty sure you’ll love too.
Have you picked up any good books lately? I feel like I’m ready for some cosy fiction. Nothing too taxing. A captivating story to curl up on the sofa with. I’d love the brains and the imagination to write one of my own but I could never compare to Queen Cooper. Come on, Jilly, hurry up with your next novel!