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Top 7 Books for your next staycation…and where to read them!

7 May 2019 / Lifestyle / What To Do /

When you really want to switch off, nothing beats reading an absorbing book. So here we bring you the perfect ‘escape’ reads for your next break. These entertaining, gripping stories for all ages transport you to a different world, with some familiar titles and new names too. We also recommend the perfect spots to lose yourself in a book at The Grove… there’s no shortage of quiet nooks and crannies.

1. Spring by Ali Smith in the Walled Garden

Timeless and playful, yet full of moral urgency, Ali Smith’s quartet of novels on the seasons continues with a commentary on modern Britain. The Guardian says Spring ‘bursts with the bruised hope of redemption’. Smith has won the Costa, Goldsmiths and Women’s Prize for Fiction. Reading it in the Walled Garden or the Potting Shed are the perfect locations.


2. Black Snow Falling by L.J. MacWhirter in our historic lounges

This gripping tale, full of history and magical realism, is a must-read in our lounges where the past feels very present. Black Snow Falling is the critically-acclaimed debut by L.J. MacWhirter, a wildly original coming-of-age story with an epic sweep about love, loss and hope. The theme is dreams so it’s also perfect to read curled up in your bed before falling asleep – if you dare!


3. Swimming Home by Deborah Levy in Sequoia spa

Swimming pools feature in this novel by the Man Booker shortlisted Deborah Levy, as do family holidays. But don’t be fooled, this story is anything but conventional. Start it lounging by the spa, take it to the outdoor pool and finish it in the bath. You won’t want to put it down.


4. The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson in the woods

There are good reasons why The Gruffalo continues to dominate the best-seller lists and has scooped up prizes. It is simply huge fun to read aloud to your child – even more so as you stalk through our woods together and imagine the story coming to life. A timeless classic.


5. The Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben in the gardens

Did you know that there’s a ‘wood-wide web’ of communication in forests? This quirky non-fiction book, written by a forester, will help you slow down and tune into nature, especially with a view of the magnificent old trees in the Formal Gardens at The Grove, with the enchanting woods beyond beckoning.


6. The House With Chicken Legs in The Glasshouse

We’re serious. This book for your 10-13 year olds is unputdownable – they will take it everywhere. Every night is party night at Marinka’s house with food, music and lively conversation, even though all the guests are dead, and Marinka just wants a normal life. Loosely based on the Slavic myth of Baba Yaga, this magical story reimagines ancient folklore.


7. Atonement by Ian McEwan in your suite

This scintillating modern classic starts in an English country house, one steamy summer’s day. It’s a pre-war upper class setting full of tension, which soon slides into the depths of WW2, ending in present day England. Walking around The Grove it’s easy to imagine it taking place here, once the former residence of the Earls of Clarendon.


If you’re yet to book your next staycation at The Grove, why not take a look at our latest offers? Click here to find out more. 

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