Seasalt Words: Sury Bagenal’s Top 5 Reads

Seasalt's Senior Designer shares the books she loves, including page-turners set in Cornwall and a bestseller about human instinct

I generally have about five books next to my bed at any one one time. Sometimes I want to read something that’s deeper and more meaningful, like Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s Love in the Time of Cholera, a love story set in the far-flung Caribbean. It’s an absolute classic.

I also love the work of Paulo Coelho. The Alchemist is one of my favourite books. It tells the story of a young shepherd boy who goes on a journey to end up where he began. ‘You will never be able to escape from your heart.’ Coelho writes, ‘So it’s better to listen to what it has to say.’

When I want something light to read, I might switch to a Fern Britton novel such as The Postcard. Light-hearted, sunny and cheerful, her books are often set in Cornwall. The Postcard is based in a village called Pendruggan where the main protagonist, Penny Leighton, unlocks some family secrets!

At the moment, I’m reading Blink by Malcolm Gladwell, which is a fascinating book about intuition and those moments when you just know something without knowing why.

I could go on! I have so many books I have enjoyed reading. Thanks for letting me share some of my favourites with you.

1. Frenchman’s Creek, Daphne Du Maurier

A lot of my books are still in storage. I moved to Cornwall a couple of years ago and we bought our house in one of my favourite places, in the parish of Constantine, near the Helford Passage.
Shortly after moving in I reread an old classic, which stands the test of time – Daphne Du Maurier’s Frenchman’s Creek. It’s so evocative and anyone who has visited Cornwall and the Helford river, will be instantly taken back there with this opening passage:

When the east wind blows up Helford river the shining waters become troubled and disturbed and the little waves beat angrily upon the sandy shores. The short seas break above the ebb-tide, and the waders fly inland to the mud-flats, their wings skimming the surface, and calling to one another as they go. Only the gulls remain, wheeling and crying above the foam, diving now and again in search of food, their grey feathers glistening with the salt spray.

This area is famous for its beautiful creeks, woods and river and Du Maurier captures it brilliantly.

My Other Favourites:

2. The Postcard, Fern Britton

3. Blink, Malcom Gladwell

4. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

5. Eleven Minutes, Paulo Coelho

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