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Our recommended reads to collect this summer (and jewellery to match)

PHOTOGRAPHER – TED MIN
STYLIST – SAVANNAH ANAND SOBTI
CHARMS – PANDORA
WORDS BY SUNNY CHISHOLM

Like spaghetti and meatballs.

What will I be putting on my wishlist this festive season, you ask? Books and jewellery.

To me, both are incredibly personal and often become mementos that I collect, long after I’ve finished reading or wearing. Each carry history, memories and tremendous emotional value and for this reason I find they make the most intimate gifts.

As someone who loves jewellery (both gifting or receiving) I’m well aware that jewellery is rarely just that. To me, jewellery is incredibly sentimental and far from superficial. Both evocative and beautiful, jewellery can be emblematic of certain points in time throughout our lives. When going through my most treasured pieces, each is tied to a fond memory or a loved one, which is something Pandora clearly appreciates and is why the brand has designed a charm to attach to any emotion, occasion or season.

Similarly, the books we choose to read can be reminiscent and revealing of the lives we lead. They have the ability to comfort us during painful or unsettling times (pandemic, anyone?), acting as a welcomed distraction by providing relief and hope when the world around us feels dark and bleak.

At some time or other, the jewellery and books we’ve chosen to collect have meant something to us. These keepsakes tell the story of our lives and preoccupations, and like all collections, they are unique to us.

Whether they be a token of love (like my great aunt’s engagement ring which was bequeathed to my mum) or a family heirloom (like my grandmother’s precious bible which saw her through times of immense hardship), these collectables become our companions through life and connect us to other people – as the very best things always do.

So, while we’re all looking forward to seeing the back of 2020, I’m hopeful that this summer is sure to bookmark a sunnier, brighter shift for us all. To mark the occasion, I’ve listed our top picks of reads to collect this summer (and snuck in the jewellery to match) below. Send this to whoever is stuck on gifting ideas, or draw some inspiration for yourself.

To read by the pool

At first, The Morbids by Ewa Ramsey might sound like a dark choice for your summer break. But Ramsey’s debut has been praised for discussing mental illness in a nuanced, funny and relatable way (which after 2020, we could all use). The protagonist, Caitlin, struggles with death-related anxiety after having just survived a near-fatal car accident. But with the support of deep, albeit messy, friendships and a therapy group informally referred to as ‘The Morbids’, Caitlin experiences some significant life shifts.

Both heart-wrenching and heart-warming, it’s a book about love and relationships when life isn’t so straightforward. Match it with Pandora’s knotted heart charm

To read on a lazy Sunday

Transit by Rachel Cusk sees the protagonist, Faye, and her two young sons move to London after the breakdown of her marriage. The disruption to her life is a catalyst for a series of transformative changes, while Faye moves through her days feeling lonely, abandoned and often disconnected to those around her. The story ultimately follows an unsettled mother as she tries to find her bearings and realises that life is more about one’s journey than the destination.

Transit presents a moving reflection on selfhood, childhood, fate and spirituality. Match it will Pandora’s spiritual dreamcatcher charm.

To read by the beach

Mixed Feelings by Naomi Shimada and Sarah Raphael is a dissection of the inescapable highs and lows of the internet, and how it affects those who use it every day. The authors champion a myriad of perspectives, exploring the power of the internet on all of us, and the consequences that social media has on our minds, bodies and hearts.

It’s a book that exists to celebrate our differences, individuality and identity. Match it with one of Pandora’s personalised initial charms.

To read in one sitting

Leave the World Behind by Rumaan Alam holds a mirror to 2020, exploring the complexities and terrors of racism, classism and the panic that engulfs unnatural disasters. The book follows a family of four who planned to escape the busyness of everyday life by renting a holiday house in the countryside. Their peace and quiet is soon interrupted by an older couple claiming to be the homeowners who are seeking refuge after a mysterious power outage sweeps the city. Isolated from the rest of the world, neither party knows whether they’re safe with the other, but neither have anywhere else to turn.

A thrilling narrative centred around prejudice, tension and fear, Leave the World Behind proves the power of trust and strength of family can get us through almost any nightmare. Match it with Pandora’s openwork family roots charm.

To read before bed

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid follows the story of a young, Black, millennial woman who’s temporarily working as a babysitter while longing for “a real adult job”. One evening, she is wrongly accused of kidnapping the White toddler she’s employed to care for. Emira’s employer (the toddler’s mother) is hasty to rectify the situation, but her good intentions manifest in a self-serving manner. While the mother tries to prove her racial virtue, she never truly understands her own white privilege.

The novel sheds light on uncomfortable truths and the broken systems within our society, while exploring themes of identity, reflection and what it truly means to be a mother. Match it with Pandora’s mother & daughter split heart dangle charm.

To read in a book club

Set during Italy’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia, The Shadow King by Maaza Mengiste tells the story of a recently orphaned Ethiopian woman, Hirut. It explores how she, and other young women, feel overlooked and underestimated when it comes to contributing to the war effort. Longing to do more than caring for the wounded and burying the dead, the women mobilise and take up arms together, exploring what it really means to be a woman at war.

The Shadow King gives new meaning to belief, sacrifice and female strength while demonstrating the ferocity and force of womanhood. Match it with Pandora’s Angel wing charm.

au.pandora.net


Styling credits

LOOK ONE
PANDORA PAVÉ MONKEY CHARM $79,  ALLEN & UNWIN TRANSIT BY RACHEL CUSK, PANDORA BEADED OPEN HEART CHARM $28, PANDORA GOOD LUCK HORSESHOE DANGLE CHARM $39, PANDORA HEART & WINGS DANGLE CHARM $79, PANDORA BLUE DAISY FLOWER CHARM $69, STYLIST’S OWN TABLEWARE
LOOK TWO
PANDORA CELESTIAL STAR CHARM $129, BLAZED WAX SPLATTER BOMB CANDLE $42, PANDORA SPARKLING VIRGO ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA HEART & WINGS DANGLE CHARM $79, PANDORA SPARKLING FOOTBALL CHARM $69, PANDORA GOOD LUCK HORSESHOE DANGLE CHARM $39, ALLEN & UNWIN THE MORBIDS BY EWA RAMSEY, PANDORA PINK DAISY FLOWER DANGLE CHARM $79, BLOOMSBURY LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND BY RUMAAN ALAM, PANDORA VINTAGE CAMERA CHARM $59, ALLEN & UNWIN THE SHADOW KING BY MAAZA MENGISTE, PANDORA PAVÉ ICE CREAM CONE DANGLE CHARM $59, PANDORA PINK PAVÉ BUTTERFLY CHARM $89, PANDORA SPARKLING QUEEN BEE PENDANT $69, TRINKET SOLO BLANKET, STYLIST’S OWN GLASSWARE AND CERAMICS
LOOK THREE
MAISON BALZAC J’AI SOIF CARAFE, PANDORA SPARKLING VIRGO ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING SCORPIO ZODIAC CHARM $49, PENGUIN RANDOM HOUSE SUCH A FUN AGE BY KYLIE REID, PANDORA SPARKLING ARIES ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING CANCER ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING CAPRICORN ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING PISCES ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING LEO ZODIAC CHARM $49, STYLIST’S OWN TABLECLOTH, DICE, MARTINI GLASS AND PLAYING CARDS
LOOK FOUR
PANDORA SPARKLING VIRGO ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING SCORPIO ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING ARIES ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING CANCER ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING CAPRICORN ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING PISCES ZODIAC CHARM $49, PANDORA SPARKLING LEO ZODIAC CHARM $49, TRINKET SOLO CUSHION
LOOK FIVE
HARDIE GRANT MIXED FEELINGS BY NAOMI SHIMADA AND SARAH RAPHAEL, PANDORA SPARKLING FOOTBALL CHARM $69, PANDORA JULY PASSIONATE RED HEART HANGING CHARM $39, PANDORA ADVENTURE SUITCASE CHARM $39, PANDORA BEADED SPARKLING HEART CHARM $69, P0LY CUSTOM TILED PLINTH POA, STYLIST’S OWN GLASSWARE
LOOK SIX
BLAZED WAX SPLATTER BOMB CANDLE $42, PANDORA CELESTIAL STAR CHARM $129, PANDORA PINK DAISY FLOWER DANGLE CHARM $79, PANDORA PINK PAVÉ BUTTERFLY CHARM $89, TRINKET SOLO BLANKET, STYLIST’S OWN GLASSWARE, CERAMICS AND SKINCARE
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