On The Bookshelf: Emily Murray
The Pink House's Emily Murray talks us through her reading list!
Books are brilliant. Not only can you can lose yourself in other people’s lives, loves and lifestyles (this is why I studied English Literature at uni), but they make excellently Instagrammable home décor. I mean – how can you have a stylish #shelfie without a beautiful book or six? And to my mind, the very BEST books are those which combine a thrilling story with a stunning spine. I’ve picked out – and styled up – a few of my favourite reads, to prove you definitely should judge a book by its cover…
Valley of the Dolls / Jacqueline Susann
Sometimes described as the first-ever chick lit (there would be no Jackie or Jilly without Jacqueline Susann), Valley of the Dolls is a total classic and a thrill to read. Written in the 1960s (on a hot pink typewriter, obvs!) and set in the 1940s, it follows three starlets as they climb to the top of New York’s entertainment industry, only to tumble back down, with many OMG moments. This new, 50th anniversary copy looks amazing in my pink neon Den – it even has pink-edged pages!
The Twilight of Magic / Hugh Lofting
This was one of my favourite books as a kid, but I still love losing myself in Giles and Anne’s magical adventure with the Whispering Shell and Shragga the Witch. My vintage issue dates back to 1958 and has a fab teal cover and gorge colour illustrations. A firm shelfie fave and perfect for a lazy Sunday PJ read.
Anna Karenina / Leo Tolstoy
I didn’t expect to enjoy this book – I’d heard Tolstoy could be pretty tricky to get into (nope – I’ve never tackled War and Peace either), but I decided (AKA was forced by my university) to give it a try. Thank goodness I did – this is a rip-roaring read – and if you don’t believe me, try watching the film first! My tiny, 1000-word copy was published in 1961 and used to belong to my aunt.
The Time Traveler’s Wife / Audrey Niffenegger
OK, so this book’s cover isn’t quite as vintagely pretty as the others, but I had to include it because it’s one of the most incredible love stories I’ve ever read – and proves that time travel isn’t just for sci-fi geeks. Read it right now!
Wuthering Heights / Emily Bronte
Sigh! This book is just. So. Romantic. I first read it in my teens, and since then, every literary man has failed to match Wuthering Heights’ hero Heathcliff in the swoonworthy stakes. Except perhaps for Christian Gray…
Jane Eyre / Charlotte Bronte
As you can see, I have a bit of a thing for a) the Bronte sisters, and b) old books (I think they did romance better back then – and vintage covers just look so cute). Jane Eyre reminds me a bit of Pretty Woman – one of my all-time favourite films – can’t beat a rags-to-riches tale. We can but dream…
So what’s next on my reading list? I’m not ashamed to say I’m about to start re-reading the entire Harry Potter series (what I’d give for a broomstick to beat the London traffic). Oh, and I’ve just started the psychological thriller I See You by Clare Mackintosh – if you loved the recent bestseller Girl on the Train, I reckon you’ll enjoy this too.