Your chance to WIN Bloom & Wild’s Destinations in Bloom collection for you and a friend, plus a selection of brilliant summer reads…

Books and blooms. Neither totally necessary, both bring joy to the soul. We couldn’t live without books or flowers – both simple pleasures that mean so much. Once again, we’ve partnered with our favourite florists – Bloom & Wild – to give you the chance to win books and blooms, for you, and for a friend!

Bloom & Wild’s latest collection celebrates destinations in bloom, with no less than ten magnificent bouquets. Each is inspired by the flora and fauna of unique, special and different locations in bright, summery bloom. From bold desert flowers and spectacular tropical stems to prettily rustic meadow flowers… And we’ve chosen some brilliant books to pair with each destination – one new novel, plus a classic read. With inspiring blooms and a wonderful book – it’ll be almost like you’ve booked a plane ticket, but you’ll be able to enjoy the destination from the comfort of your sofa, perhaps with a glass of something chilled. Absolutely no need to go to the trouble of packing a suitcase…

DESERT BLOOMS

The sunny Desert collection from Bloom & Wild includes the magnificent, imposing Nala. A vision to behold, The Nala was inspired by safari sunsets. Its fusion of hues, from umber dunes and flashes of yellow to sun-bleached foliage, are enough to make anyone dream of a desert escape.

Our classic book to accompany the collection? It has to be Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart – often cited as one of the great African novels. And most recently a book that Barack Obama, no less, recommended as one of his top reads for summer, describing Things Fall Apart as “a masterpiece that has inspired generations of writers in Nigeria, across Africa and around the world.” Published in 1959 to wide acclaim, Achebe’s debut novel has become a classic of world literature – taking in society, religion and politics through African and pre-colonial eyes.

Our modern novel? It has to be Chimamanda, obviously! And Half of a Yellow Sun is a book we’d read again and again. The winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2007, in terms of contexts, Half of a Yellow Sun centres on the Biafran War, but it’s really about so, so much more. The human narrative, the relationships – this book really foretold what a great novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie would go on to become.

FLOWERS OF THE MEADOW

Dreaming of a rustic cottage in the countryside? The Lavender is sure to bring those dreams a little closer to reality. With sprigs of mint and lavender, this bunch smells every bit as restorative as a meadowy stroll and its soft-green, heady purple and marshmallow-pink hues are oh-so pretty.

Our classic book to accompany Bloom & Wild’s Meadow collection? The quintessential English countryside novel – Far From The Madding Crowd. Recounting the tale of Bathsheba Everdene and her loves and life in rural England, will she choose William Boldwood, Gabriel Oak, or Sergeant Troy? Of course, the idyllic surroundings contrast sharply with the novel’s dramatic narrative – and Far From The Madding Crowd originally appeared as a serial in a monthly magazine – we can’t even begin to imagine the anticipation each time!

What to say about Lucy Hughes-Hallett’s Peculiar Ground – the modern book we’ve chosen to accompany the collection? It’s certainly a peculiar read – and one that you may just find rather unputdownable. It’s not for everyone perhaps, but it was named by The Spectator as their Book of the Year. Gardens, forests, English country houses may be the backdrop of Peculiar Ground, but of course, the novel is about so much more – war, love, ageing, politics, history to touch on just a few of the themes…

TROPICAL FLORA

Bursting with bright yellow craspedia, red leucospermum, scented stocks — and much more — The Lana‘s carnival of colour will brighten your week. Inspired by the poolside parties of tropical South America, it’s fiesta that’s hard to forget, making it just the thing to delight even your most fabulous friends.

Of course, our classic read has to be one of the greatest South Americans novels: One Hundred Years of Solitude. Gabriel García Márquez’ seminal work has sold more than 30 million copies since it was first published in Argentina in 1967, and been translated into over 38 languages. An epic novel taking in the story of generations of the Buendía family in the fictional town of Macondo, One Hundred Years of Solitude blends fantasy and reality to marvellous effect. A true masterpiece.

Our modern novel? One of our favourite reads so far this year – a book we included in May’s subscription box. The debut novel of young Brazilian writer Martha Batalha, The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao tells the story of two sisters in 1940’s Rio de Janeiro. It’s a read packed with colour, love, life and fascinating stories, as the pair carve out their path in the world. Completely unputdownable, it’s quite obvious why Euridice Gusmao has won over critics across the globe.

You can win a Destinations in Bloom bouquet of your choice for you, and one for a friend – plus all of the books we’ve featured in this post, AND a Reading in Heels box each. How to take part? Follow Reading in Heels on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – like the photo post and tag a friend in the comments – and retweet/share the post. That’s it! The competition is open to UK entrants only, closing Thursday 19th July at MIDNIGHT! For more information on Bloom & Wild, see the brand’s website.