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

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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