The monsoon season has well and truly arrived onto our little island paradise. Two days ago, I had a delicious mix of sunscreen and sweat dripping off my nose and onto my paddle board as I floated out in the Indian ocean. I had spare tubes of sunscreen in every pocket and every bag. My desk drawer, my bike basket, my purple pockets. Sunscreen everywhere. Now, the rain has arrived. People are darting across the jetty, heads bowed under hoods. Waves, splashing up over the jetty. People lined up under covers, phones out, filming the waves. All of us in awe. The lagoon had gone from a sea of tranquility to choppy madness. And it is awesome to watch. It’s brought people into the shop, ready to get cosy and watch the storm roll in, books in hand. Copies of Barack Obama’s memoir, or perhaps Murder in the Maldives by Sanchita Sarin. It might not have been my first choice, but the options in the little store are endless.
Our dreamy cycles along the famous Soneva Jani jetty has become a pedal of strength, heads down and into the wind, we push. Rain blasting us from all angles. The sheer madness of the situation bringing out the laughter amongst us. All whilst we continue to watch seaplanes of new guests touch down around. Happy to have finally made it to their slice of heaven.
I have been reassured that this weather won’t last. So, I’m trying to appreciate it whilst I can, before the belting heat returns and I’m back to sweating into my morning cup of tea. It’s nice to feel all safe, surrounded by these walls of books, all begging to be read. Fellow staff pop their noses in through the day, asking for a recommendation, a chat, or wondering about the next tea break.
So, as the weather wraps around us, I find myself reaching for a cosy book to read. Thinking about how books have that power, to ground us and make us feel safe.
Books to drink tea with. Books for comfort.
The Secret History – Donna Tart
I was late to the party with this phenomenal novel by Donna Tart. I’m not sure I have ever been so engrossed in the lives of the characters of a book. Perhaps A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. You will be swept and taken for a ride. One that you just don’t quite know how or when it’s going to end. A mysterious whodunit that takes place in the walls of an Ivy League university. I didn’t think it would be my kettle of fish, but now it’s pretty much my number one recommendation for anyone and everyone. Read it on a rainy day, put your slippers on and settle in.
A walk in the woods – Bill Bryson
As someone who enjoys a long-distance hike, the Appalachian Trail is a walk that has always pipped my interest. But I am more than happy to read about the challenge that it is from the comfort of my sofa. Bill Bryson certainly takes you on a journey through the beauty that is the North American scenery. This world-famous trail needs to be conserved. Be ready to learn about the ecology and history of such a beautiful part of the world and be really ready to laugh. A total winner.
The view from lazy point – Carl Safina
This is a recommendation from one of our Marine Biology interns on the island. A book written through the four seasons of the year, travelling around the world. A year’s journey highlighting how things in the world are changing as a result of climate change. As a Scientist who writes like a poet, when Carl Safina writes about the Earth, it is a love letter to the planet. A tale that makes you want to tune in and become empowered, to bear witness to the changes that are taking place.