what's black and white and read all over

Another trend I noticed at the Hay Festival last weekend, after floral prints, which were the clear winner, and a kind of peachy but darker almost raspberry colour, was the crispness of black and white, often with red. This time last year all black - or grey - was feeling 'new'. It felt like we were in Victorian mourning. This year, I'm happy to report, colours and prints and sunshiny brightness have returned. We're still wearing grey, or black, but it's somehow more.. fun.

The other thing that struck me, is how many people were just hanging around in the sunshine, reading. Online is only for 'friends of the festival', like Eloise, shown here in crispy stripes, but the rest of us were happily reading newspapers, books we'd bought and had signed.

Saw these two after I got my yummy coffee and pastry, at about 9:30 a.m. Sunday, before watching a brilliant audio visual talk on 'wave watching'.

It really felt, between the events in the tents and the down time between talks, like our brains were literally growing, like ripe strawberries in the sun.

I love being immersed in a good book. At the moment, I'm kind of between books, and half reading two, which isn't the same thing (The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion, and a Danish novel Mr. Dot loved which is a bit slow going).

Do you read? Apart from online of course, do you actually read from printed papyrus? How? Magazines? Newspapers? Do you read books? What are you reading now? I need a good book. I've just seen Sex & the City 2 - by myself, and was pleasantly surprised that I liked it more than the first one, despite all the hype - and now, I'm in the mood for some good chick lit.


Carrott said...

I think stripes are one of my favorite prints, though I don't like to wear the horizontal print myself...
I do read, I'm currently rereading Eclipse (this time in english) before the film comes out. Then I'll continue with The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium trilogy series). And I have so many books waiting to be read...
My favorites? The Analyst by John Katzenbach, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne (I supposed you've heard of that) and La Sombra Del Viento by Carlos Ruiz Zafón (I think it's called The Shadow Of The Wind in english). I also read Instyle every month and depending on the content I choose between Marie Claire, Elle and Glamour. And sometimes Vogue.

The Ladies Almanack said...

At the moment I'm reading Nowegian Wood by Murakami, but I'll soon start up with Hunting and Gathering by Anna Gavalda and Vente, Blinke by the talented norwegian author Gunnhild Øyehaug.

San said...

Oh, I read a lot. I always have 10 or so books right at my bedside. It depends on my mood what I read. At the moment I read Terry Pratchetts "Monstrous Regiment" right before falling asleep. Niall Fergusons "The Ascent of money". Books about Korea and food. I also read scientific stuff and right now I read the "harvard business manager" mag as preparation for job interviews. Sometimes I also read "the economist".

Chick lit: Try Jennifer Crusie "Bet me" I loved it.

Terry said...

A must read, "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett, about the civil rights movement in the 60s in Mississippi.

Style Odyssey said...

i go through reading phases. right now, i'm trying to get back into a book i started in the bvi; it's called "the beach". the movie was suspenseful, the book is...ok. before that, i read "the magus" by john fowles, highly recommend this surreal read, but it's certainly not for everyone.

chick lit- since it's not my cup of tea, i don't have recommendations in that genre.

photos: how i love stripes! but my fave pic here is the last one. :)

The Photodiarist said...

Love that striped shirt . . .

StyleSpy said...

I just re-discovered my local library and I am in love. I love checking out books -- it makes me feel smart & civic-minded. Just finished David McCullough's wonderful "1776," which I read as a follow-up to his amazing, AMAZING biography of John Adams. Currently I'm in the midst of Adam Ross Sorkin's "Too Big to Fail," which is a really juicy, entertaining, & enlightening book about the financial crisis of 2008.

Chick lit that won't rot your brain: Nancy Mitford's wonderful "In Pursuit of Love" and "Love in a Cold Climate." Absolute delight. Follow it up with Mary S. Lovell's engrossing biography of the Mitfords, "The Sisters." Those? Were some fascinating women.

Alma said...

Oh, I read a lot of medical stuff, since I'm in medical school... And now I'm reading some French magazines and books beacause I'm trying to learn French.
And I love to read, when I was a kid, my dad picked books for me, he was the one who recomended me the most.
Now I'm reading Tuesdays with Morrie, by Mitch Albom.

Love Food said...

It looks like such a wonderful place, I'm going to have to try and get there next year.

Currently, I am reading 'A high wind in Jamaica' by Richard Hughes, which is really good, but have been dipping in and out of other books too.


Olivia Isabella. said...

Absolutely love reading... When people say reading, I have to admit I am not very 21st Century about the subject and automatically asume it is an old fashioned paper book.
At the moment, I am reading Human Traces by Sebastian Faulks and the new Eclispe novella on the side ;)
UO x

Anonymous said...

Chick lit-Recently read 'the lost art of keeping secrets' found in a charity shop, like Jane Austen but set in the 1950s and easier to read, really enjoyed it!

Meera said...

Hello! I'm a first-time commenter - saw this post via facebook (and I'm one of Jen's friends!).

'Birds Without Wings' is an absolute must-read (by louis de bernieres) - it is absolutely WONDERFUL.

"Birds Without Wings is a novel about the personal and political costs of war, and about love; between men and women; between friends; between those who are driven to be enemies; and between Philothei, a Christian girl of legendary beauty, and Ibrahim the Goatherd, who has courted her since infancy. Epic in sweep, intoxicating in its sensual detail, it is an enchanting masterpiece." - taken from the blurb!

It really is a masterpiece. You have to read it. Once you've read it you'll want to just hug it for a while, I know I did!

franki said...

The last photo is lovely - I love how you've captured the details of the dandelion clocks.

I've been making the effort to read a lot more over the past year or so, as while I was at uni I didn't really have the time to read anything other than set texts! I'm currently reading the third book in the His Dark Materials trilogy, which is probably aimed at a younger audience, but I'm really enjoying it.

The best chick-lit I read recently was Confessions of a Shopaholic - if you've not read it, you should, it's brilliant and MUCH better than the movie!

Adorngirl said...

I just love to read full stop. I have a bookcase full of magaines, and books, and I just read them over, and over.

My husband always asks "don't you get bored?" and I just tell him "do you get bored of watching your favourite film for the 20th time?"

good on you for going to the cinema solo. I sometimes have to do that coz i only have so much spare time in a day, and everyone else is at work.

Susan said...

I love black & white so much...

jill said...

Oh my, oh, everyone, thank you SO MUCH for this! To turn on my laptop and see these messages.. it's like such a gift. Thank you each for taking the time.

I, too, am 'discovering' the library, and want to try to get each of these books. I feel a post coming on... ; )

Caryn said...

I'm in the middle of two good books right now - Little Bee by Chris Cleave (it's a quick read) and The Space Between Us by Thrity Umrigar. Did you read Moloka'i by Alan Brennert? It's about a child w/leprosy quarantined to the island of Moloka'i in Hawaii in the 1890's. It sounds terrible, but it's a great book. Whoever I've recommended it to liked it. Sarah's Key is also very good, but very sad. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is also a book I'd recommend. The book, The Secret Life of Bees was wonderful. I also re-read To Kill A Mockingbird recently and loved it.

styleeast said...

I really love all these photos from the festival, they're making me want to go there next year.

Hmm, now, books....I would agree with 2 of Carrott's recommendations, the Analyst (great thriller) and the Boy in Striped Pyjamas (heartbreaking). I'm mostly a "Dad Book" type of reader (i.e. bit of espionage, a good legal thriller, that sort of thing) but my friend bought me a book for my birthday, which is sort of chick lit (it gets VERY "racy" but it's not all about that, oh no!) but is also a beautiful story about the siege of Leningrad in the war. It's my new favourite book - the Bronze Horseman. And I read another Leningrad book lately too, The Siege, by Helen Dunmore, also sad but uplifting at the same time. I read a LOT of books about Russia, and that's not counting my text books and dictionary!

And have you read the Dragon Tattoo trilogy? Engrossing but requires some commitment.

And if all else fails, and if you haven't already, you MUST read the Twilight books (cue backlash), even if only once to say you've done it and even if you hate yourself afterwards ha ha!

We can add books to the list of discussion topics over fish finger sandwiches! x

ps - longest blog comment ever I think!

Rosalind said...

Hanging out in the sunr eading sounds like bliss to me. I adore reading and am currently trying to make my way through as many classics as possible.
At the moment I'm reading the 'Wide Sargasso Sea' which is so interesting to read after Jane Eyre, as it gives the story from the point of view of Mr Rochester's mad wife.
If you haven't read Atonement (which I'm assuming you have) then it is a must read! 1984 and Animal Farm are both very thought provoking, and although the Bell Jar is not the lightest of reads, I thought the writing was exquisite!
I also really enjoyed Small Island and Life of Pi as modern classics.

Ooh, I'd better stop here! I could waffle for hours about my favourite books. I also like reading Vogue and sometimes i-D. Oh & I always read the newspapers!

Great shots, as ever. I want the bag in the second shot!


Reader, The :) said...

One of the best books I've read lately and one that is always (kind of) about Russia, is Dnacer by Colum McCann. He's a great author and it's sort of a fictional take on Nuryev's life. Bloody fantastic- I didn't stop reading 'til I'd finished! :) Love the blog, btw!