Florence Welch — aka leading lady of Florence and the Machine — has been one of my favorites for a long, long time. But she earned my life-long respect when I saw her live for the second time this summer. It was the morning after the horrific Orlando shooting, and Florence had the entire audience hold a moment of silence. In a venue of over 30,000 people, the silence was Earth-shattering, and Florence continued to play tribute to the victims of that massacre throughout the show.
I’ve never been a crier, but I cried more than once. This was how one uses their art.
Florence, for those who may not know, is a mega book lover. And more than that, she’s got her own book club online that she participates in. But it’s not a club she began; it was through a tweet by a 14-year-old girl named Leah Moloney that the “Between Two Books” club began. You can read the whole story here and marvel at how one fan’s tweet started something so big…and something that involves the singer herself. Between Two Books has an impressive 41,000 followers on Instagram. Check it out, and if you’d like, take part in the club, which not only chooses books to talk about together, but which offers up reading challenges, too.
Let’s take a look through some of the books that Florence has read, loved, and talked about both for her book club, as well as through her own personal social media challenges. She is, as one would expect, an eclectic reader, traversing the worlds of fiction and poetry and non-fiction. It’s neat to see such a range of books, so many of which aren’t the big bestsellers we may already be familiar with.
Not to mention some of the gorgeous bookish places.
Hello everyone!! As we approach the beginning of July, things are feeling quite exciting.. summer plans are being made and the collection of books on your bed side table will be piling up. You all know what this means! It is time for the Between Two Books annual SUMMER READING CHALLENGE! The main goal here is to simply enjoy your summer (or winter, depending on your location in the world 🌎), relax, read as many books as you can, and most importantly; have fun!! So… throughout the months of July and August, we simply encourage all of you to READ READ READ!!! Read a book, read a magazine, the newspaper, essays or a thesaurus!! Just keep those eye balls moving!! If you want, you can set yourself a specific book goal.. for example, to read a particular number of books before the end of August, to read a novel in a language you are learning, to discover a genre you would consider to be out of your comfort zone.. or perhaps to write. If so, note it down. That way, you can focus on attaining this goal. It is only a guideline for you. Remember, all you need to do to take part in the BTB Challenge is to make a pledge to read as much as you can. In addition, we want to add something new to the Between Two Books Challenge this year. We want to challenge you to take a break from social media. We LOVE our social media, and it can be used for so much good (like online book clubs 😏) but it can also be very addictive! We ourselves would like to break this habit. We therefore want to invite our bookclubbers to join us in pledging to keep 2 hours per day (or whatever suits you!) completely social media free this July and August. Let us know what you use this time for instead of scrolling scrolling clicking clicking falling down that hole… We would love to be kept up to date and to see all the wonderful things you lovely people are reading, so please feel free to post pictures and use the hashtag #BTBChallenge16!! We will also be reposting your photos so make sure to tag us!! We really encourage you all to take part, as it will be great fun and good for your heart, mind and soul 💙📖🌙💐🌛✨🌟📚 GET READING!!! GOOOOOOO!!! Lots of love, Between Two Books Xx
Hey bookclubbers.. here is a list of all we have read so far.. this can be found in the current Florence + the Machine tour programme 📖💙📖 + Haruki Murakami's 'The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle' Lauren Groff's 'Fates and Furies' .. and our current reads; @yrsadaleyward's 'bone' and @nayyirah.waheed's 'salt.' thank you as always to @florence for all of these wonderful recommendations over the past 4 years 🌛💐✨📕📗📘📙📖📚
Today, October 27th would have been her 83rd birthday. Thank you so much for your beautiful work Sylvia. We read some of her poetry alongside the work of Ted Hughes and Mira Gonzalez earlier this year. Here is a journal entry from 18 year old Plath in 1950. Considering free will, privilege and what makes us who we are. "What do I know of sorrow? No one I love has ever died or been tortured. I have never wanted for food to eat, or a place to sleep. I have been gifted with five senses and an attractive exterior. So I can philosophize from my snug little cushioned seat. So I am going to one of the most outstanding colleges in America; I am living with two thousand of the most outstanding girls in the United States. What have I to complain about? Nothing much. The main way I can add to my self-respect is by saying that I’m on scholarship, and if I hadn’t exercised my free will and studied through high school I never would be here. But when you come right down to it, how much of that was free will? How much was the capacity to think that I got from my parents, the home urge to study and do well academically, the necessity to find an alternative for the social world of boys and girls to which I was forbidden acceptance? And does not my desire to write come from a tendency toward introversion begun when I was small, brought up as I was in the fairy-tale world of Mary Poppins and Winnie-the-Pooh? Did not that set me apart from most of my school mates? — the fact that I got all A’s and was “different” from the rough-and-tumble Conways — how I am not quite sure, but “different” as the animal with the touch of human hands about him when he returns to the herd. All this may be a subtle way of egoistically separating myself from the common herd, but take it for what it’s worth."
'Then fatally I began The Wind-up Bird Chronicle. That was the one that did me in, setting in motion an unstoppable trajectory, like a meteor hurtling through a barren and entirely innocent sector of the earth' Beautiful passage about Murakami in M-Train. Feels like a @betweentwobooks blessing from Patti Smith as I greedily read two books at once…x
— florence welch (@flo_tweet) June 11, 2016
— florence welch (@flo_tweet) May 16, 2016
— florence welch (@flo_tweet) October 13, 2015
You can also keep up with the Between Two Books club on Twitter, with their official account here. And if you want to be inspired by the reach of this group, you can do no wrong searching the hashtag for it or searching people talking @flo_tweet. It’s incredible the reach this club has had and continues to have.