Let’s face it – no one liked lockdown. After the novelty of infinite sleep-ins and Netflix-filled days wore off (which used to sound like a pipe dream), we had to turn to something new.
In a lockdown-induced longing for nostalgic simplicity, people began baking their own bread, learning to knit and undertook a range of DIY projects that, in “normal” times, we’d much rather sideline in favour of a brunch with the girls or checking out that new bar.
But, in perhaps the loveliest twist of all, people regained their love for reading. With all this spare time, their appreciation for the escapism and the physical experience of book-reading manifested in a surge of literary escapades to fill the hours after the bread had been baked and their wardrobe had been cleaned out (for the fourth time).
Summer is fast approaching and something tells us our resurgence of love for books will continue to grow. After all, there’s nothing like reading a good self-help book to hype you up and get your hustle on for the New Year incoming – all while soaking up the rays (cocktails optional). To save you the hassle of scrolling through sub-par storylines, we’ve asked some of our favourite female founders to let us know some of their favourite reads at the moment – and something tells us these picks may soon become your favourite beach accessory.
Simone Taylor, founder of Louvelle
Simone Taylor, our own lovely founder, recommends Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid. If you’re a Fleetwood Mac fan, then we’d be pressing ‘add to cart’ as we speak, with this novel detailing the extraordinary rise of an iconic rock group, set in the 1960s and 70s. Incorporating all the grit of the era, and the dalliances of the band, it also showcases the unique perspectives of its characters, meaning this novel is truly a three-dimensional piece of work. If that wasn’t alluring enough, it is also being made into a television series with Reese Witherspoon as Executive Producer – the perfect follow up to this adventure.
A lustful nod to our international borders (and that Europe trip we’d planned), Simone’s second pick is Ibiza Bohemia by Maya Boyd, a stunning travel-themed coffee table book transporting us to luxurious, hedonistic destinations around the world. Focusing on vintage photos of art, fashion, culture and landscapes, this book allows us to daydream of sunnier days and sandy beaches, acting as a mood board to help us pinpoint where we might want to travel next (hint: Capri, Marrakesh, Tulum and Aspen are on the list).
Carly Brown, founder of UNE PIECE
The lovely Carly Brown, founder of luxe brand UNE PIECE fancied UNTAMED by Glennon Doyle and The Universe Has Your Back by Gabrielle Bernstein. Doyle’s memoir champions women empowerment and provides a poignant yet powerful insight on what it means to be a woman in today’s world. Doyle is the founder of Together Rising, an extraordinary not-for-profit, women-led organisation that “identifies what is breaking the hearts of our givers as they look around their world and their community… and then we connect our givers’ generosity with the people and organizations who are effectively addressing that critical need” (Together Rising). If you ever wanted some motivation for the year ahead, this is it.
For those in extra touch with their spirituality and daring to dream, The Universe Has Your Back discusses how to channel your fear into faith, in order to allow you to live a life enriched with happiness, fulfilment, purpose and security. In fact, Carly mentions she read this book in the early days of dreaming and creating her business. She swears by this book as being the one to help “nurture you and your dreams to fruition” – so if you happened to come up with any groundbreaking ideas in lockdown, this could be a helpful tool to kick-start your side hustle.
Chelsea Carey, founder of Sojourne
Chelsea Carey, founder of Sojourne Luggage (um hello, talk about travelling in style) loves Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, yet another novel Reece Witherspoon is planning to bring to the big screen (so you know it must be good!). With both a captivating prose and storyline, it transports you straight to the quiet fishing village of Barkley Cove, introducing you to Kya, a young girl who gets entangled in a small town unsolved murder. Chelsea recommends reading if you loved To Kill a Mockingbird and A Time to Kill.
Her second pick is The Chiffon Trenches by Andre Leon Talley. Channelling retro The Devil Wears Prada vibes, this memoir divulges juicy gossip and insiders’ knowledge into the captivating world of fashion and its hallowed legends. Being able to call some of the most well-known, esteemed figures in history his best friends (read: Andy Warhol, Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent, Miuccia Prada, and Anna Wintour), he gives a fascinating insight into this exclusive world – but pre-social media, for a quaint twist. Read if you loved The Devil wears Prada and Grace by Grace Coddington (all of us, right?)
Ellen Powell, founder of The Somewhere Co.
If your bookshelf was mentally full already, get ready to make some more room. Ellen Powell, CEO at The Somewhere Co. (which should be your one-stop-shop for everything work, play, home and baby related), suggests Such A Fun Age, by Kiley Reid. An intriguing delve into race, this book is an enlightening yet satirical read into privilege and class in America. It simultaneously highlights the difficulties navigating semi-adulthood while exploring some very relevant and poignant global issues.
Julia Alexander, founder of Jack Riviera
At this point it's feeling like we must be up to the February leg of our Summer Reads marathon! To kickstart this month, Julia Alexander’s recommendation - founder of luxe smoking slipper brand, Jack Riviera - ties in nicely with the Chiffon Trenches. Her pick for the “ultimate beach read” is When Life Gives you Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger, part of the infamous Devil Wears Prada series. Following three women to Connecticut, the cutting observations about wealthy suburban society women are hilariously accurate and entertaining. If that wasn’t enticing enough, Julia adds that this “fabulous and fun book” contains a rather bizarre diet tip, “involving vodka and tampons”. Ok, now we really want to read this.
They say life’s all about balance so we’re ending this list with a more serious, but essential second pick from Julia. Melinda Gates’ The Moment of Lift details the extraordinary difference empowered women can have on the world, and the utter waste to not acknowledge or champion the value of impact half the population can achieve outside of the home. One quote that resonated with Julia was “the chores of a day can kill the dreams of a lifetime”. As we’re sure all our beautiful female founders can testify – and indeed, the rest of our wonderful readers – a work-life balance can be hard to achieve, especially as a woman.
After such a tumultuous year, it is more important to look after ourselves than ever before. So make sure to take time out this summer and read through some (or all) of these amazing recommendations – we can’t wait to hear what you think!