These are historic times, I heard a comedian say this week, between quips, "but I'd rather not be living through them".

I'm sure many of us have been feeling the same, realising how much we should appreciate safe and comfortable lifestyles, and longing for 'slow' news days.

Some of you have mentioned that you've often selected historic fiction for your reading because stories of hardship, tragedy and suffering in different times help you to get through any of your own present difficulties.

I'm not sure I'm quite that resilient, but the books I've highlighted this week certainly look to the past and offer up other perspectives.

The children's title 'When the World Was Ours' shows us how three families were affected by the war in Europe. It's based on the author's family's experience so is disturbing and poignant but it also brings a story of courage, resilience, friendship and, overwhelmingly, hope.

The other book is 'The Bloomsbury Look'. This is a beautiful and fascinating insight into the lives of a group of intellectuals as they challenged societal norms and celebrated and experimented with creativity and individuality. They were unusual people but I have always found their lives intriguing and their designs, images and writings always stimulate, inspire and uplift me. Do scroll down for more details.

Whether we are on 'the frontline' of the crises today, are struggling with challenging personal circumstances, or are in the privileged position of knowing that all that is required of us is to 'stay home', I hope that you will find something helpful to draw on from your reading in the next week.