When dystopian fiction feels chillingly real: Hugh Howey’s Wool and climate change

When dystopian fiction feels chillingly real: Book review: Hugh Howey’s Wool and climate change

“The children were playing while Holston climbed to his death; he could hear them squealing as only happy children do. While they thundered about frantically above, Holston took his time, each step methodical and ponderous, as he wound his way around and around the spiral staircase, old boots ringing out on metal treads.”

Thus starts Wool, a dystopian novel of a world that has shrunken into a giant underground silo; where “outside” is dank and dangerous – a toxic wasteland where you are sent to die.

It takes a few pages for the story to build up, but once you understand the shocking reality of the world created by Hugh Howey, you cannot but help feel chilled to the bone.Continue reading

Reading challenge for 2019

reading challenge for 2019

After cutting down on reading significantly over the last couple of years, I think it’s time to jump back into the fray. I’ve established a good rhythm with my art and spiritual practice, and I’m feeling comfortable with the idea of reading more books this year. While I will not go back to reading 90 odd books a year, I plan to commit once again to two books per month, for a total of 24 books (plus art, tarot, and self-development books, which I tend to not share on the blog. But maybe I should. What do you think?)Continue reading

Why books have forever scarred my life

Why books have forever scarred my life: the hero's call and dramatic expectations of change

I’ve always been a voracious reader. Growing up, I was the nerdy kid who could be found with her nose in a book. I spent most of my summer holidays lost between the pages of a novel, imagining myself in different worlds and far flung places; fighting heroic battles and going off on adventurous quests.

For a long time – longer than I care to admit – I was somewhat disappointed that my life was never as heroic or dramatic as all my imagined lives were, when I was growing up. I’ve had my share of adventures and gone through periods of intense change, yes, but the plot lines have been messy, and the trajectory has been slow and incremental. There have been no dramatic twists and turns, no neat tying in of my existential anxieties to create an epic story of my personal transformation.Continue reading

Author Terry Coffey on the research process for historical fiction

I’m a sucker for well-written historical fiction. Add Egypt into the mix, and I’m all over it! So even though I am on a bit of a reading hiatus this month, I devoured The 18th Dynasty from cover to cover and loved it!

I’ve also been fascinated with how authors undertake research for their novels. And when it’s based on history, the inspiration and research process would be even more interesting. So that’s what I decided to ask author Terry Coffey about – his research process while writing the book, including any interesting anecdotes and suggestions for others wanting to attempt a similar genre. Over to Terry:

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Book review: Blowfish by Siddharth Tripathi

From being a voracious devourer of books, I’ve become a voracious hoarder of books. I keep adding to my book collection, hoping I’ll get some time to read all the books that I want to read. But I’ve been so busy with various other things that my TBR keeps getting alarmingly higher and I’ve had to stop accepting review requests. But when Siddharth Tripathi asked me if I would like to review his new book, I couldn’t say no. His debut book, The Virgins, was a great read, and the premise of his latest book – Blowfish – sounded too promising to pass up.Continue reading

Book review: Chameleon by Zoe Kalo

book-review-Chameleon-zoe-kahloAn isolated convent, a supernatural presence, a dark secret…

I love reading spooky, supernatural thrillers in the dead of winters, huddled up inside a blanket. And this novella by Zoe Kahlo sounded like it would be right up my alley.

17-year-old Paloma only wanted to hold a séance to contact her dead father. She never thought she would be kicked out of school and end up in an isolated convent. Now, all she wants is to be left alone. But slowly, she develops a bond with a group of girls: kind-hearted Maria, insolent Silvy, pathological liar Adelita, and their charismatic leader Rubia.

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Why I’m thrilled I read fewer books in 2016 + my 5 favorite reads

As I go through the books I’ve read this year, it’s immediately evident that the count is much lower than in the last couple of years. Since about 2012, I think, I’ve been averaging about 60 to 70 books each year. This year, the count is at a measly 26. And I’m thrilled! Because it is tangible proof that I’ve been spending my time doing more art, more soul work, and a whole lotta more blogging!

Reading has always been something I love – and don’t get me wrong, I love it still. But in the last few years, it had become an unhealthy, obsessive sorta love. I used it as an escape route – from life, from inner work, from my fears and hopes and dreams. Because if I was spending every free moment reading, I wasn’t doing much of anything else, was I?Continue reading

Book review: Two Graves by Zoe Kalo

Book review - Two Graves by Zoe KaloA Dante-ish descent through a sinister world of decadent shadows and woeful souls…

Doesn't that sound nice and spooky for a short novella tagged as a dark psychological suspense?

"Seven years ago, he shattered her life. The town eventually forgot the headlines and the nightmares. But 23-year old music student Angelica hasn’t forgotten.

For the past seven years, she’s contemplated payback with as much intensity and unwavering faith as she puts into her violin playing. Finally, all the pieces are in place. Over the course of one night, disguised for a masquerade ball, 

Angelica orchestrates a journey of revenge."

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Book review: The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith 

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone?
On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. Things could not be better except for one thing: The king is dead.
The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old. It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means? Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.

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