A Chelsea girl's guide to lockdown reading recommendations

Reality TV star Georgia Toffolo says that books are 'the perfect distraction' during lockdown

Reality TV star Georgia Toffolo loves to read. So much so that she has her own Instagram book club. Speaking on White Wine Question Time, the I’m A Celebrity winner said she started her club just for fun, but it’s become so much more now.

“I started this little book club on Instagram as a passion project, thinking everyone’s going to think I’m a loser!” she told podcast host Kate Thornton.

She continued: “People absolutely love it. I get hammered if I don't suggest another book for book club. We are a nation of readers and I think we are falling ever so slightly back in love with it.”

Her 1.9 million followers can’t be wrong, so here are Toff’s must-read books while in lockdown:

A Poem For Every Day of the Year by Allie Esiri | £14.19 Hive

A Poem For Every Day Of The Year by Allie Esiri

This collection of seasonal poems is a favourite with Georgia who likes to dip in and out of it. Containing poems from the likes of T.S.Eliot, John Betjeman and Lewis Carroll, it is - according to Toff - guaranteed to lift your spirits.

“It really, really makes my heart warm,” she said. “I just think it's a book at its finest that I will dip into and dip out for the rest of my life.

“I don't sit and read a poem every single night, but when I need it, it's my little bit of joy. I just love it!”

Riders by Jilly Cooper | £9.99 Amazon

Riders by Jilly Cooper

For many, this saucy romp will take you right back to school when you probably leafed through it with giggling schoolmates. The best-seller, set in the world of international show jumping, is a total favourite of Georgia’s and perfect if you need to forget about what’s going on in the world.

“I just love it!” exclaimed Georgia. “There's just something about these characters in that book.

“I read Jilly Cooper when I was on the verge of just growing up and I was becoming a woman... It just kind of takes me back to that stage.”

Midnight Chicken: & Other Recipes Worth Living For by Ella Risbridger  | £16.22 Amazon

Midnight Chicken (and other recipes worth living for) by Ella Risbridger

Dubbed as a cook book ‘to make you fall in love with the world again’, it was written by a young woman who was battling with her mental health quite badly and decided she would try and cook some chicken. In doing so, she started on the road to recovery, documenting all the recipes that were keeping her going.

As a foodie, Georgia said that she really identifies with this part recipe book, part memoir.

“I find it very cathartic because you go through all her emotional states through food,” she told Kate.   

“She has written this book with such emotional intelligence - it gives me goose bumps when I read it. I just think for anyone who's feeling that low, I think you could really relate to her and the story.”

Toff confessed that despite loving the book, she’s never tried to make any of the recipes due to her lack of skills in the kitchen!

She said: “I'm not very good cook, so I haven't even tried to cook the recipes!”

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reed | £12.99 Amazon

Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid

If you’d like to join Georgia’s Insta book club, her latest read is this Sunday Times Bestseller. It focuses on Emira, who gets arrested for ‘kidnapping’ the white child she is babysitting, and follows the journey she and the child’s mother goes on.

Georgia says on her Instagram account that we need books more than ever.

She says: “They are the perfect distraction. When I sit and read my book and I’m all cosy, it takes me to another place.”

Georgia Toffolo speaks more about her favourite books, as well as her latest career as an author on the latest episode of White Wine Question Time. Listen now on iTunes and Spotify.