4 amazing summer reads from around the world

Summer reading list

It’s time for the first check-in for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge. Wondering what the challenge is? Check out this post where I lay out all the rules for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge, and then come back here and jump right in!

I had hoped that the lockdown would mean more reading time, but that didn’t happen. I spent a lot of time on art and deep diving on other areas of interest instead. I did read, though I didn’t manage to hit my goal of reading at least two books a month. Oh well!

As of this writing, I’ve read just 4 books this quarter, making it a total of 8 books read this year. So here’s a quick little review of the books I read this quarter, along with the bingo squares I checked off.

P.S.: These are also amazing summer reads – and as a pleasant surprise the books are set all over the world – Kabul, French wine country, India, and Paris!Continue reading

The 2020 book bingo reading challenge: first quarter check in

Woman with her hands folded over a book she is reading

It’s time for the first check-in for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge. Wondering what the challenge is? Check out this post where I lay out all the rules for the 2020 Book Bingo reading challenge, and then come back here and jump right in!

At the start of the year, I had decided to read at least two books a month. I haven’t quite stuck to that goal, because other things have taken up a lot of my time – including art! I’m hoping to remedy that during the current lock-down, so we will see how that goes.

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Book Review: Kalopsia by Lucinda Lamont

Book review Kalopsia by Lucinda LamontIt’s been a while since I’ve read a straight-up romance, so when I came across Kalopsia by Lucinda Lamont, I figured it would make for an interesting read.

Kalopsia: Book blurb

Kalopsia – (n.) The delusion of things being more beautiful than they really are.

They say you never know what goes on behind closed doors, but do you really know what goes on outside your front door either?

Kate is a twenty-something, successful woman. Funny, attractive and independent, she seemingly has everything going for her. But when it comes to love, Kate wouldn’t know a good idea if she stopped at a zebra crossing and watched it pass by in front of her.

Suffering at the hands of her mentally abusive partner, she doesn’t quite have the gumption to leave. That is, until Greg shows an interest.Continue reading

Book review: Watch Over Me by Jane Renshaw

Watch over me by Jane Renshaw book reviewI don’t know about you, but I love me a good psychological thriller. What makes the characters tick, the way they set up and plot crimes, their motivations and fears and hopes. All of it makes for a very interesting – and dare I say thrilling – read.

Watch Over Me: Book blurb

Flora always dreamed of the day she’d become a mother. But some dreams turn into nightmares.

Flora and Neil are happily married, but they can’t have children so decide to adopt. And when Flora meets little Beckie it’s love at first sight. Deep in her heart, she knows they’re meant for each other, destined to be mother and daughter.

When Flora officially becomes Beckie’s mum, it’s like a part of her that’s always been missing is finally in place. She is complete, every day filled with purpose and joy.
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The 2020 book bingo reading challenge

The 2020 book bingo reading challenge

“I find television very educating. Every time somebody turns on the set, I go into the other room and read a book.” ― Groucho Marx

Of course, these days it’s not only the television that distracts us. There’s Netflix and Amazon Prime and all the other streaming channels, as well as the access we have to the world wide web right at our fingertips.

But Marx was on to something. Despite the world of information we have access to 24×7, nothing beats the knowledge you gain when you take the time to lose yourself between the pages of a book.

And what better way to commit to spending some quality time with a diverse range of books, than to sign up for a reading challenge? So here it is – the 2020 book bingo reading challenge!Continue reading

4 book recommendations for when you don’t know what to read next

4 book recommendations for when you don't know what to read next

At the start of the year, I had a goal to read two books a month. Quite a modest goal, considering I have read much more than that each month in years past. However, with art taking more of my free time, reading time has been squeezed – a trade-off that I’ve been quite happy to make.

If I am being honest, though, art is not the only thing eating into my reading time, social media is too – and I’ll probably share some of my own insights and ahas in a separate post.

For today, I’m sharing 4 book recommendations from the 15 books I’ve read so far this year. Continue reading

To Amazon or not to Amazon, that’s the question

Ever since Amazon became, well, Amazon, there have been furious calls asking buyers – especially book buyers – to boycott Amazon.

Some claim the online retail giant doesn’t pay taxes; there are in-depth stories and reports of worker exploitation, especially at Amazon’s fulfillment centers; and of course, there’s the high-profile bankruptcy of a number of large bookstore chains like Bookworld and Borders in the US. Closer home, there was a public outpouring of grief when the iconic Delhi-based independent bookstore Fact and Fiction shut shop a few years ago.Continue reading

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