Inside-out guest blog - Summer Reads with Esme

Esme is another one of my fabulous boat neighbours. She loves a board game, but is also somewhat of a secret adrenaline junky; running giddily down mountains, surfing and paddle boarding. She's one of those surprising usually people who looks (only when you first meet her) like she might be fragile, but then her quiet inner strength and brilliantly goofy sense of humour reveals itself.

Even better, as a fellow jeweller we get to be total jewellery geeks together, talking for hours about things that would probably put most people to sleep, or at least a state of perplexion (which is actually a word - just looked it up!). 

On a river walk last week, I shared with her that I was struggling to find someone to feature in this month's Inside Out blog and that maybe I'd just suggest some book suggestions for you guys to read whilst on holidays (you can't beat a good book right?!). 

She piped up "Oh well, I could do some book recommendations".. and I remembered she used to work in a book shop: the perfect solution! So here we go (THANK YOU Esme for coming to the rescue like the quietly shining star you are!). 


Hello I am absolutely not qualified to recommend books, as sometimes I struggle to actually pick up a book and concentrate. However, once upon a time I worked very happily in bookshops and I loved helping others to find their next good read. So take a moment to peruse these titles and hopefully switch off from the buzz of technology and daily life this summertime with a good book.

Super-Infinite by Katharine Rundell 

The blurb on the book just caught me, no wonder Rundell chose John Donne as her subject matter. 'He was a scholar of law, a sea adventurer, a priest, an MP - and perhaps the greatest love poet in the history of the English Language'.   

Bake Me A Cat by Kim Joy 

Bake-off finalist creates cakes with creatures all over. What does the next cake you bake need!? Cute icing sugar animals, of course! I feel like this could be quite a therapeutic way to spend an afternoon and could easily translate into other animal creations, not just for the feline obsessed. 

A Country Doctors Notebook by Mikhail Bulgakov 

A young Bulgakov graduated from medical school in Kiev and became stranded working out in far flung provinces, surrounded by rural people viewing medicine with much suspicion. Blundering through and thrown in at the deep end with little practical experience. A fascinating and sometimes darkly humorous window into another time. A good starting book for moving into his other excellent classics. 

Overstory by Richard Powers 

Written as a collection of nine Americans' experiences, tying together to address the destruction of forests. It was recommended to me by friends  and after hearing about it I had not expected to find that it was in fact fiction. The first story that the reader is introduced to absolutely captivated me and i'm looking forward to progressing through and immersing myself further in the world of trees. 

Esme's Bio

Esme used to work for Waterstones in Brentwood and the London School of Economics. She was in charge of Biography, Mind Body Soul, True Crime and any other section that her colleagues deemed less favourable. She now works as a Jewellery Cataloguer for an Auction House. She enjoys chatting about jewellery, fire and melting things and is a water baby, enjoying paddle-boarding and surfing.  

A five photo montage with Esme in the middle and two book covers each side (Super-Infinite, Bake me a Cat, A Country Doctor's Notebook and The Overstory)

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  • Friday 19 July, 6pm-9pm at Ware Priory Artisan Craft Fair with Folk & Bespoke (free entry) as part of a curated showcase of 30 artists, crafters and makers
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