I usually have about three books on the go– one in my handbag for the train, one for weekends, and one to read in the bath. Some of the latter have been known to get covered in bubbles but it’s worth it. Here’s what’s been in my book pile this month:
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces that Shape Our Decisions, Dan Ariely (HarperCollins, 2009)
I stole this one from my boyfriend after he left it round my house and have found it very enlightening. Why are we conditioned to always go for that FREE! item rather than pay for something we actually want? Why is it a huge no-no to mention money on a first date? Why do expensive painkillers always seem to work so much better than discount ones?
Ariely explores many of the decisions we make in our lives over which we have less power of free will than we might think. Most interesting of all I found is how companies have moved away from market norms to establish social norms with their employees, explaining why interns such as yours truly are happier to work for free (or for a decent salary) than they are for a measly wage. He also explores the reasons why we get into so much debt, and proposes a “self-control” credit card which someone really needs to invent.
Parisian Chic: A Style Guide, Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet (Flammarion, 2010)
This was bought for me a couple of years ago and I’ve recently prised it from my bookshelf in preparation to head back to my old stomping ground in two weeks’ time! Very excited to be meeting my Dad and the Channel 4 News team at the end of their 24 hour London-Paris charity bike ride. As an ex-parisienne I like to think of my role as cultural attaché (but let’s face it, I’m a tag-along just hoping to do a bit of shopping and brush up on my French…)
Which begs the question of what to pack? This lovely book offers some inspiration not only of key pieces to wear that never go out of fashion, but also of cute boutiques and restaurants to visit in the capital. Let’s see how much I can squeeze into two days… Any recommendations for wardrobe choices/places to visit? Leave a comment below!
And one I’ve just finished…
Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal? Jeanette Winterson (Vintage, 2012)
An incredibly moving memoir from the author of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. Winterson details in heartbreaking, poetic and often darkly comic prose the misery of life with her deeply unhappy adoptive mother in 1960’s Manchester. Mrs Winterson’s reaction to her daughter’s sexuality drives Jeanette out of the house and, unthinkably for a working-class girl in the 70’s, into an English degree at Oxford and life as a writer. Her story is unputdownable, even in the bath.
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