Ruby Assembly’s Beauty and the Book: something for your body, something for your brain. In edition four, we poke our noses in posies, go zen with a candle from NZ and read, read, read. It’s raining, it’s pouring: you know the rest.

Ding-dong goes the doorbell. What better a delivery than a posy of joy from The Little Market Bunch? Simple and sweet, The Little Market Bunch offer pretty bunches of what’s fresh and lovely from the market to your door: for just $30 you can have a handful of blooms delivered to your door (or that of another deserving recipient). Wrapped in charming hessian and VERY ‘grammable, you can also supersize your posy order with a Laneway Candle for the princely sum of just $50. In fresh scents like avocado and mint and vanilla caramel, you’d be silly not to.

Once you’re done Instagramming those pretty flowers, it’s time for a cup of tea and a sit-down with your novel. I must confess, I’ve recently subscribed to Audible and am very much enjoying having stories read to me. It makes my morning walk feel doubly useful: I’m reading (kind of) and exercising at the same time. I’ve tried both serious audiobooks and more humorous ones – and I definitely prefer the latter.

A book that made me snort out loud recently was Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys – a novel which is set in a similar world to his earlier (much more serious but equally enjoyable) book American Gods. Read by comedian Lenny Henry who does a fine line in accents, Anansi Boys tells the story of Fat Charlie, an accountant in London who finds himself living a lacklustre – yet content – life. That is, until his Father dies, calling him home to Florida and his Father’s legacy. His Father, you see, is Anansi – the mischievous spider god who has made all stories his own. Fat Charlie has a brother to boot – Spider – a man in the mould of his Father who enters Fat Charlie’s life and turns everything upside-down – from his relationship to his fiancée Rosie to his job at the Grahame Coates agency. A funny and gentle story about discovering the other, hidden half of our true selves and looking into our history to find the path forward. Classic Gaiman, Anansi Boys is a great ‘starter’ novel for this particular genre of fiction.
You know what else goes well with books? Candles flickering away on a coffee-table next to a big cup of Earl Grey tea, that’s what. This little lovely from The Aromatherapy Co in wild mint and bergamot came all the way from New Zealand in a white vessel which had a ‘lighthouse’ quality to it: minimalist and glowing white once lit. Fresh fragrances are my preferred daytime studio scent: too much lavender and chamomile can have a girl reaching for the bunny-rug, which isn’t ideal when delivering content to deadline, amirite? Check out the full range of Aromatherapy Co candles here.

Do you like cheese? I mean CHEESEY page-turning cheese, the kind you find at holiday houses and on long-haul flights to Europe. Of the Da Vinci code ilk – all Holy Grail quests, Templars and ancient, hidden sects. Maybe an albino priest in the mix. Me, I have room for these grand, camp adventures in my literary mix. It can’t all be Belvga and pancakes, sometimes it’s gotta be Cheds and Cup-a-Soup, you know what I mean? Labyrinth by Kate Mosse falls into this light-reading category: given to me by a good friend who found it at the Op-Shop after seeing a television adaption of the tale, it charts the story of two women connected through time and secrest. Set romantically in Carcassone and the Pays d’Oc, this work of history lite features numerous characters, a bit of bodice-ripping, intrigue and secrets through the eyes of mostly female protagonists. It’s fun, but becomes very confused towards the ends – you really have to suspend disbelief as the characters thin and the neat resolution comes into (camp) being. None of these factors stop Labyrinth from being a book-club favorite and top-selling novel: save it for your next weekend away or bathtub reading. Escapism, mostly quite fun.
Coming to the next Beauty and the Book: currently I’m reading ‘The Lies of Locke Lamora’ by Scott Lynch and ‘Pillars of the Earth’ by Ken Follett – and I’ve got a few beauty goodies from ASPAR and Nude to share with you too. Don’t forget – I love to hear what you’re reading too! Please tweet me at @iolanthegabrie so I can add your good books to my list.