London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
What better time to read than school & summer holidays? Here are my suggestions for the summer reads: some relatively recently published books, my all time contemporary favourites and some which are just about to be released.
The what for Parents/ (Optional) Grown-ups
1.For hilarious and light hearted tales. The 100 years old man who jumped on the window and disappeared. Jonas Jonasson’s books are easy reads & gems that will cheer you up.
2.For a contemporary love story beyond dating and falling in love. The shenanigans and joys of the married life kids included from the wise and charming Alain de Botton – The course of love.
3.For one of my favourite contemporary English writers, sobering communist times , background and life of a musical genius – Shostakovich : The noise of time. Enlightening for any of my Western European friends who grew up under the misconception that communism had anything remotely bohemian, intelligent or romantic.
4.For travel tales and unconventional modern families on the road and home schooling – Robyn’s book The road less travelled about to be released on Amazon in August.
5.Murakami for anyone who has not discovered his surrealism. Kafka on the shore and Dance dance dance my favourites.
6.For any broken hearted, depressed, disillusioned professionals or exhausted City fellows – Consolations of philosophy from again the erudite Alain de Botton. Lots of chapters put elegantly in perspective sorrows, concerns, frustrations or various first world problems.
The hows. Physical books have their undeniable charm, but if you are like us, trying to keep it as light as possible when travelling, downloading them on ipad is much more convenient. Chances are also you only get the chance to read when kids are in bed plus ipad may be grateful to get a break from Peppa, nursery songs or Paw Patrol. If the writer is new to you, for most books you can also get a taste with 20-30 pages for free which will give you a better idea rather than cover, summary or reviews if it’s for you.
The what & how for under 4s. Illustration and playing goes a long way for my boys.
1.Peter Rabbit, (popular ever before turning 1). It can’t be a coincidence that my eldest favourite rabbit is Peter. Willows Activity Farm and this summer River & Rowing Museum spoilt us with a cool playground and a very sweet exhibition on 3 levels, outdoor Mr McGregor garden included.
2.Alice in Wonderland. R has seen and has been part of Alice in wonderland on many occasions for the last 2 years. Mad Hatter tea at Sanderson hotel, cool exhibition at British Library, Holland Park Opera on Yucca lawn and their open day this year.
3.Volcanoes book (French). Not only tales and fairies, but my boys are very technical and in love with science already. Natural History Museum surely has something to do with it – volcanoes have been a fascinating topic for over 1.5 years. The holidays on volcanic islands also are very well received, with Nevis, Naples and Tenerife particularly popular.4.Little Red Riding Hood (Romanian, French & English). The beauty of raising trilingual kids means I can enjoy my own favourite childhood tales in 3 languages. Friends are also telling me reading same stories in 3 Languages does certain tricks – long term benefits the experts reckon.
5.The Gruffalo. Funnily enough, illustration did not help with this book though, as one 3 years old found the Gruffalo performance on the stage too scary. Book nevertheless is still a favourite.6. On our list for the next long weekend in Menorca: The wind in the willows. We’ve seen twice River and Rowing Museum lovely exhibition plus located in Cornwall the most fantastic themed gardens right by Fowey. So looking forward to making it part of our summer reads!
Happy summer & happy readings all!