This week is Mental Health Awareness Week, and the organisation that created this week, MentalHealth.org.uk, have decided on the theme of nature to raise awareness of looking after our mental health and supporting one another in all aspects of our brains!
During the first lockdown, I read about 50 books in the space of a month. They became my saviour during that time; when the world was thrown into turmoil, I turned to books to cope. I devoured title after title, and, as there were many beautiful sunny days in 2020, I also enjoyed reading outside.
I never enjoyed reading outside. Bugs annoy me, I get sunburnt in about 10 seconds, and I’d much prefer being comfortable on the sofa. But when we were stuck without nowhere else to go, it was a relief to be able to get into the garden and enjoy nature. I wouldn’t say I exactly enjoyed the wasps, mosquitos, and bees, but it was nice to remember that life goes on!
With these thoughts in mind, I thought I’d share some books I think you could just about manage to read in one sitting whilst enjoying some Vitamin D and the breeze on your face. And even if you don’t have a garden, why not open the window or go for a nice walk with a book?
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
Heartstopper is a graphic novel series following two boys named Nick and Charlie who decide that their feelings for one another are not quite platonic. As it’s a graphic novel, it’s quick and easy to consume, as well as being a thoroughly enjoyable story. This is actually a book I read in April 2020 when lockdown was first new, and it was the perfect way to spend an afternoon when you don’t want to think about anything else.
City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
A middle-grade short novel this time, that, if you’re a speedy reader, you could consume in a couple of hours – or maybe a day if speed reading isn’t your thing! This book takes place in Edinburgh, which, whilst not the sunniest of cities, evokes beautiful imagery. It’s a magical realism book where our main character, Cass, can see ghosts. Very gripping escapism!
Wreck of the Zanzibar by Michael Morpurgo
This historical novella is one of my favourite books, and will only take you an hour or so to read. Wreck of the Zanzibar writes about a boy speaking to his grandmother about a boat wreck, and a giant wooden tortoise that washed ashore. Like the other books, it’s escapism at its finest. It’ll make you think about worlds and travel, but in a way that is nostalgic rather than longingly!
Envelope Poems by Emily Dickinson
The only non-prose book on this list, Envelope Poems is actually a book of photographs. Emily Dickinson used to write fragments of poetry, or even entire verses, onto her envelopes, and this book collates wonderful snippets of her work. I would say this is a coffee table book, but it’s one you will want to read right through before going back to all of your favourites!
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Finally, I had to mention this beautiful classic. It’s actually a novella, so short enough to read, technically, in one sitting. I think this is one of Austen’s finest, and I hope you fall in love with Anne Elliot and Captain Wentworth like I did!
I would love to hear your recommendations for books to read in the sunshine – especially if the are ones you can read in one sitting! Short books are, undoubtedly, my favourites! Ha!
I hope you are all well, and taking care of yourself this mental health awareness week – and always. Until the next time!