Martinis not champagne for me this valentine’s day

If you are popping into Mostly Books over the next few days, take a look at our gorgeous red roses courtesy of Fabulous Flowers (they are in the window). After last year's very positive comments we're repeating our Valentine's Day red rose offer: spend £25, and receive a free red rose worth £5.
And if you are looking for some inspiration - take a look at both of these favourite recommends...
Rules of Civility by Amor Towles £7.99
New York, 1930s. The cocktails are chilled, the jazz is playing and life is about to take off for young Katey Kontent.
New York is full of potential and possibility for a hardworking girl from a Russian immigrant family, especially one who has brains, an optimistic outlook and a nice line in witty one-liners.
Enter a millionaire, and apart from a friend who is competing for his attentions, it all looks set to be champagne and roses for Katey as her fairy tale takes off.
But events take unexpected turns. This is a story that draws you in and a heroine you can believe it. It's not all plain sailing, but Katey gets on with life, which is why I have picked this for my Valentine's Day read. Her journey from the typing pool to a glitzy magazine is greatly enjoyable.
The book has been compared it to 'Breakfast at Tiffanys' or Scott Fitzgerald with its beautiful Manhattan people, smoky jazz clubs and parties.
It's not the most desperately romantic recommend for the most romantic day of the year. But its good. Well written enough to not feel you are wasting your time on fluff, but still a light read, a bit of a wallow and a good reveal at the end. Film in production - no surprises there.

A Shed of One's Own by Marcus Berkman £12.99
If your loved one is of an age that he is starting to worry that his waistline is expanding as fast as his hairline is receding, try this tonic for bringing a chuckle or two.
Marcus Berkman has previously written about the strangeness of being a cricket lover, now turns his atttention to the strangeness of growing old.
He writes about the leisure activities he now finds he enjoys (National Trust anybody?). The indignities of not being able to read without glasses, even the decision to buy back all the old embarrassing CDs you shed on emerging from adolescence (vinyl anyone?).
Do we get cleverer as we get older or just heavier? Do all your old friends get nicer at reunions?
But mostly he just writes about the joys of being comfortable with yourself and allowing ambition to slide and contentment to arrive  in a positive and humorous way that only slightly makes him sound like a grumpy old man.
'We are complicated human beings and we need to be treated with kindness and respect and occasionally brought a nice cup of tea when we aren't expecting it.'
Someone pass that man a cuppa.

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