-By Emma Bilsborough, Marketing and Retail

January, my friends, is the worst of all months. There's no use fighting it. We're all poor, it's cold, it lasts for about ten years, and going back to our usual routine after a month of nothing but merriment is almost impossible.

So, with that in mind, we've created this little list of recommendations for books to keep you going! Let us know what you think, and if there are any books that always cheer you up when you are in a slump, let us know those too. We love receiving recommendations from our customers and fellow book lovers.

So, let us begin.

Recommendation one is Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Not an obvious crowd pleaser, as most (who surely haven't read it), think of it as purely a romance novel. However, our protagonist, Elizabeth, is brilliantly funny and keenly intelligent, and don't get me started on how often Mrs Bennett leaves me giggling.


“What delight! What felicity! You give me fresh life and vigour. Adieu to disappointment and spleen. What are men to rocks and mountains?”


Next on our list is the brilliantly quirky trilogy in five parts, Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide series. I challenge you to try getting through these utterly ridiculous and oft nonsensical stories without at least a few little bursts of laughter.


“Simple. I got very bored and depressed, so I went and plugged myself in to its external computer feed. I talked to the computer at great length and explained my view of the Universe to it," said Marvin.

"And what happened?" pressed Ford.

"It committed suicide," said Marvin and stalked off back to the Heart of Gold.”


Our next recommendation is more heart-warming than hilarious. A Man Called Ove is so sweet and genuine, and a little bit of a tearjerker. A perfect January read, to remind you of good things and optimism and positivity.


“Sorrow and loss are constant, but if we all had to go through our whole lives carrying them the whole time, we wouldn’t be able to stand it. The sadness would paralyze us. So in the end we just pack it into bags and find somewhere to leave it.”


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society took the literary world by storm over the last couple of years, and we're still hanging on to it just a little bit longer. Naturally, we're drawn to a story held together by a love of reading.


“That's what I love about reading: one tiny thing will interest you in a book, and that tiny thing will lead you to another book, and another bit there will lead you onto a third book. It's geometrically progressive - all with no end in sight, and for no other reason than sheer enjoyment.”


It was difficult to decide whether to recommend the BFG or Matilda, because both have elements of everything you need from your January reading. So we aren't going to decide, we're going to suggest you go for both!



“Meanings is not important, said the BFG. "I cannot be right all the time. Quite often I is left instead of right.”


I bet you thought you'd gotten to the end of a Bookbarn recommendation list without finding Harry Potter, but unfortunately that's our final suggestion for your January reading. Or not unfortunately, really, because are there any other books quite like them? Thrilling, heartwarming, funny, sweet, intelligent, adventurous - and the perfect way to pass these slow weeks by, digging in to Harry's story.


“But you know, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”


So there it is! Please let us know any of your favourite pick-me-up reads, and don't forget to sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date with all Bookbarn goings on.