For The Love of Charity Shops: This Week’s 5 Books

img_0141“I cannot sleep unless I am surrounded by books.”

–Jorge Luis Borges

It’s Friday, which means Happy House (Maia’s aptly named toddler-music class), and, if Grandad doesn’t need the car, a brief mooch around the shops.

I’m not overly keen on taking Maia into charity shops mainly because they tend to keep their glassware and china in an open-display arrangement where one flapping arm or sudden jerky movement could result in unfortunate damages.

She’s generally very good, but she gets excited when she sees the toy section, runs over to it and sometimes – I feel- nearly knocks down several vases/glasses/plates/you-name-it along the way. I get very nervous and over-cautious; “Now Maia stay VERY near to Mummy, walk slowly over, keep your arms down, and DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING..unless it’s a book or a soft toy..”.

In reality she’s probably far enough away from the hazardous glassware shelves with a fairly limited risk of breakages, but I just have this vision in my head, well it’s more of a sound; the crashing down of plates, a short sharp gasp (from me), then an inevitable “I’m sorry Mummy..”  

“No darling, it’s not your fault! That plate should have seen you coming!”…

Well so far so good, no damage as of yet but mainly because I tend to hold her hand and escort her through the spaces in the shops with no glassware shelves and directly to the toy section. –  That and I’ve pretty much stopped taking her into charity shops with me.

So here are the five I picked up this week (well four, I found A Girl Called Jack weeks ago).:


I already have a copy. Okay two, I already have two copies, one big and one small. Well now two small. But you can never really have too many. They’re the perfect little size and they’re rather nice to have on a mantel piece or just in the corner of your desk. Three copies and counting.



This was for my Dad, but I also thought I could learn something about our most famous former Prime Minister.



I like Dawn, and I’m trying to read more novels, and the plot sounded amusing, so for £1.75..yes yes yes. 



I don’t know a lot about Richard Branson but I do find rich people fascinating. What were their childhoods like, what makes them so successful and what do they have to say…img_0143


I recently found Jack’s blog Cooking On a Bootstrap and was moved by her inspiring story. She spent a year living with a budget of only £10 a week to feed her and her son. Knowing things had to change she began cooking her meals from scratch, cutting out meat and dairy to save money, she was able to make delicious, nutritious home-cooked meals.

“ order to tackle food poverty and a culture of microwave meals with dubious ingredients,cooking at home needs to be presented as less glossy, less sexy, less intimidating and more accessible, more about what you can make from what’s in the cupboard, to spend less, reduce waste, and knock up a meal in ten minutes when you get home from work, or when you have a toddler tugging on your leg.”

-Jack Monroe


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