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Evening reads

This week we’ve chosen three books that you might not normally consider. Two are real stories from the past and one is fiction – but they’re all books to curl up with in the evening and get lost in.

We’re pairing them up with Decaffé, the perfect partner if you like a coffee after dinner. We decaffeinate it using a natural water method and then delicately roast it to produce a smooth, malty taste with a hint of caramel. It’s all the flavour without the kick of caffeine, perfect for cosy evenings reading.

A reminder of spring: Cherry Ingram by Naoki Abe

Cherry blossom, one of the most beautiful sights of spring, is an obsession in Japan. But in the 1920s, Japan’s cherry population was under threat. Step forward an English botanist called Collingwood Ingram. Determined to help, he began sending rare varieties from his own garden in Kent to the other side of the world. A century on, Japan is world renowned for its displays of blossom in the spring and it is all done to Cherry Ingram.

Why we love it:

This is not a book for gardeners – it’s much more than that. If you’ve ever stopped to admire a cherry in full blossom, you’ll find something in this book. If you haven’t, you will do in future. It’s the beautifully written story of how one person can make a difference and how trees improve our world.

 

A fantastical journey: The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Imagine reading a book full of stories and finding a recollection from your own childhood hidden in the pages. That’s exactly what happens to Zachary Rawlins after he stumbles on a forgotten book in his university library. Determined to solve the puzzle of the stories, he embarks on an extraordinary adventure into a labyrinth of stories hidden far below the earth.

Why we love it:

If you loved fantasy films and stories as a child (as we did) this is a wonderful novel to escape into. It’s a little bit Neverending Story, a little bit Labyrinth. Erin Morgenstern’s previous novel The Night Circus was a worldwide bestseller, so you know that she knows her way around a good yarn!

 

An extraordinary family: The Good Sharps by Hester Grant

This is the story of four brothers, three sisters and the extraordinary lives they led. Brought up in a Northumberland rectory in the 1700s, they would change their world. Among this family’s achievements are: commissioning the world’s first lifeboat; becoming surgeon to King George III; building the canal network; having a successful career as an artist and musician; and being recognised Britain’s first great campaigner for the abolition of the slave trade. Hugely successful, yet loving, brothers and sisters, they’re people you’d love to share a coffee with.

Why we love it:

Sometimes history can seem a bit remote from our modern lives, but not in this case. Close and full of life, the Sharps loved a good party, preferably on a boat in the middle of the Thames. Oh, and they also can claim to have invented the canal boat holiday! We think you’ll get along with them.

 

We hope you enjoy these books – they’re the perfect excuse to make another cafetière of Decaffé and settle down for a night of reading.

Remember to head to the Vintage website and enter the competition to win these books and a year’s supply of coffee.

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