‘What are you reading?’ summer journal illustration

There is a discussion going on at the moment reflecting Myfanwy’s prompt for the summer journal project.

‘Light or heavy! What are you reading? What do you like to read? What is the most interesting thing you have ever read?’

To answer this question, I will first show you an illustration from my sketchbook that I painted today…


Do you recognise this flower? I became inspired to read a book when I visited the Story Museum in Oxford. The flower is a clue to which book I ended up buying.

The Story Museum was a great experience, which I have blogged about before.
There were several installations that I really liked and one of these was on the book, The Scarlet Pimpernel, which I found out was a flower.
So, what do I like reading? I steer towards historical fiction, life writing such as The Boy at the Hogarth Press, factual guide books to improve my skills and books which I can pick up, read a bit, and put down (but still can find my place when I go back to it). In the past, I’ve worked for a newspaper as an editorial assistant and had the privilege of writing book reviews plus also been able to do this for a monthly magazine. It’s been fun as they send you books that you wouldn’t necessarily have picked yourself and even if you’re not keen on a particular book, you push yourself to read it because of writing about it!
One such book that I reviewed (which I am not going to name on here!) was a great read until I noticed the main protagonist changed their name half way through the book. Obviously the writer was skilled enough for me to recognise that it was the same character. I discovered that the writer had changed the character’s name during the editing process, but once the book was proofread, this was missed.
I’ve also enjoyed reading books prior to publication, which have temporary covers on them. It’s always interesting to see whether they’ve kept or changed the cover design by the time it’s published.
One of my favourite books of all time has to be The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. I’m not going to write a review on here, but I will say the main character, a shepherd sets off to Egypt with the belief that he will find treasure there. It reads like a fairy tale, is memorable and great if you like some ‘easy uplifting reading’ before bedtime. 🙂


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