Fantasy

Wolf-Speaker by Tamora Pierce

Wolf Speaker

Do you remember how much I enjoyed Wild Magic – aka Book 1 in The Immortals series? Just in case, your memory is as good as mine, you can check it out here.

Wolf-Speaker is Book 2 in the series. Before we dive in, let’s take a look at Goodreads’ take on it:

Diane has wild magic: the ability to talk to and sway the actions of animals. When Daine is summoned to help a pack of wolves – friends from her old village – she and her mentor, the legendary mage Numair, travel to Dunlath Valley to answer the call. But when they arrive, Daine learns that it’s not only animals whose lives are threatened; people are in danger, too.

Dunlath’s rulers have discovered black opals in their valley. They’re dead set on mining the opals and using the magic contained in the stones to overthrow King Jonathan. Even if it means irreversibly damaging the land – and killing their workers. Daine must master her wild magic if she is to save the ones she loves – both human and animal . . .

I love Tamora Pierce’s books. They tend to consist of a strong moral message and there is this sense of wholesomeness about them that just makes me so happy.

I enjoyed Wolf-Speaker but didn’t love it as much as I did its predecessor.

I think the main reason is that it felt somehow slow. I sadly found some of its parts quite repetitive, purely because our main character Daine is learning about her powers and the same scene is repeated over and over as she practices her new skill on various animals.

With that said, there was enough sensory information included that kept me engaged. I got to become a bat, a cat, an eagle, a wolf and much more. I felt Pierce really researched various animals and wrote about them very vividly at times. That was the reason why the repetitiveness didn’t feel perhaps as tedious as it could have felt had such sensual information been omitted from the book.

I also felt that villains were not developed. They got introduced but we didn’t get to know them. That made them a little bit one dimensional. I like well-developed villains to understand their motives. To see what drives them, why they became that way. Sadly, I felt this was a little bit of a let-down for me.

Let’s take a look at what worked for me:

I appreciated that this book challenged our perception of good vs. evil. Daine grows in this book again. Not only is she developing her new magical skills but her beliefs about what is good or wrong get challenged on a regular basis.

The messaging is that just because someone behaves questionably, that doesn’t necessary make them bad. And the same applies to the entire group of species, let it be humans, immortals or animals. The so called ‘goodies’ get also questioned – nobody is perfect, we all make mistakes and that’s OK. Given this is a MG book, I think there could be a very powerful lesson for our youngsters to experience.

I also enjoyed the environmental aspect of this book. We only have one planet to look after. Daine cares about the environment and the impact of a possible destruction of wolves’ habitat was explained extremely well. Again, another great learning point, to which I applaud from my end.

Despite some of the points above, I still enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading book three in the series.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves animals as they are pretty much the main characters in this book. 

I would like to thank to both the publisher, Pan Macmillan as well as the author, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. 


Now over to you.

Have you read anything by Tamora Pierce yet?

Thanks for reading and for being here! ❤️❤️❤️

Non Fiction, Nonfiction November

NONFICTION NOVEMBER Week 4: Reads Like Fiction

Nonfiction NovemberWelcome to another post in the Nonfiction November series. For those of you new to this, Nonfiction November is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Rennie at What’s Nonfiction?, Julie at Julz Reads, Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, and Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves.

If you haven’t read my previous post in the series yet, you can find:

Week 1 – My Year in Nonfiction post here , Week 2 – Fiction with Nonfiction Book Pairing here and Week 3 – Be The Expert/Become the Expert here.

For those who need a recap, Nonfiction November is a month-long celebration of all things nonfiction. Each week, we’ll have a different prompt and a different host looking at different ideas about reading and loving nonfiction. This week our host, Rennie from What’s Nonfiction, has a totally new topic for us to discuss:

Reads Like Fiction (Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction): Nonfiction books often get praised for how they stack up to fiction. Does it matter to you whether nonfiction reads like a novel? If it does, what gives it that fiction-like feeling? Does it depend on the topic, the writing, the use of certain literary elements and techniques? What are your favorite nonfiction recommendations that read like fiction? And if your nonfiction picks could never be mistaken for novels, what do you love about the differences?

I always fall for a good story. And I honestly don’t mind if the story is fictional or based on real events. As I appreciate an excellent story telling, my favourite non-fiction reads that compare well to fictional reads are following:

  • Memoirs

I appreciate raw memoirs that tell us stories of growth and self-discovery. I talked about those two categories in my pairing fiction with non-fiction post here.

One of my favourite memoirs is Steph Davis‘ book Learning to Fly: An Uncommon Memoir of Human Flight, Unexpected Love, and One Amazing Dog. Davis is a well known rock climber amongst the climbing community and appeals to me because of her love of animals as well as her fight for creating a sustainable future for our next generations. I loved her memoir as it’s full of growth, there we go again! 😉 , and talks openly about how she dealt with her loss and gave me hope in our strength to push forward and lean into discomfort when needed.

  • Journalism

Remember how much I enjoyed Jon Ronson‘s So You Have Been Publicly Shamed book? His writing belongs to a category of journalism that is very dear to me.

This category of non-fiction reads extremely well because the authors are… journalists.. .. and they have been trained to write compelling stories. 😉 I especially enjoy how these authors build their cases, a bit by bit the tension starts going up, I am hooked and want to know more.

My favourite authors that belong to this category are: Malcolm Gladwell (I absolutely love his books),  Jon Ronson and from the TV world, Louis Theroux and his thought provoking documentaries.

  • Travel documentaries

I enjoy travelling. I am also happy to go to places via a compelling travel documentary. I really enjoyed Tim Butcher‘s Blood River – a documentary of his mission to re-create the expedition of H. M. Stanley in 1870’s – travelling alone through the Congo. It’s an incredible book and I got to read it weeks after returning from Africa, which magnified my memories of this beautiful continent. Butcher is a journalist as well – which means this book would probably fit the category above as well! 🙂

  • Mythology & Folklore

I talked about myths in my pairing fiction with non-fiction post here. In my opinion, to those who love fantasy and are still reluctant to read non-fiction, folk stories are a great introduction to this particular genre.


I hope these posts somehow increased your appetite towards non-fiction. 🙂

As always, I love hearing from you – what’s your favourite ‘reads like fiction’ books amongst non-fiction? 🙂

Fiction

Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce

Wild Magic

Let’s start with GoodReads‘ summary:

Wildness is a kind of magic

Discover a land of enchantment, legend, and adventure in this first book of The Immortals series, featuring an updated cover – perfect for longtime fans and newcomers alike.

Daine has always had a special connection with animals, but only when she’s forced to leave home does she realize it’s more than a knack . . . it’s magic. With this wild magic, not only can Daine speak to animals, but she can also make them obey her. Daine takes a job handling horses for the Queen’s Riders, where she meets the master mage Numair and becomes his apprentice.

Under Numair’s guidance, Daine explores the scope of her magic. But she encounters other beings, too, who are not so gentle. These terrifying creatures, called Immortals, have been imprisoned in the Divine Realms for the past four hundred years – but now someone has broken the barrier. And it’s up to Daine and her friends to defend their world from an Immortal attack.


Do you remember that time when you read a book and it made your heart sing? That’s what Wild Magic did to me. I felt so wonderfully absorbed whilst reading it and all I wanted to know was what was going to happen next.

I fully agree with Saraj J Maas’ statement of Tamora Pierce‘s work: “Tamora is a pillar, an icon, and as inspiration“. There is something about Pierce‘s books that just makes me so happy.

I’ll start with a caveat– Wild Magic is not a Young Adult (YA) book anymore. It was written when YA was slightly differently classified than how it is today. I would classify it as Middle Grade (MG) as there’s a lot of innocence in it and it’s that coming-of-age story that grabbed me and stole my heart. The content is much less mature than what YA is these days but please don’t be put off by that by any means!

Wild Magic is wonderfully charming and utterly warmed my soul. For starters, our main character Daine talks to animals. How cool is that? Ever since I was a little child, I have always pretended I could understand animals and have always ‘voiced’ their opinions.

I notice a trend in YA fiction these days that delivers those ‘I can kick anyone’s butt and I don’t need anybody’s help’ heroines, which can become after a while rather tedious and bland. I suppose they are the response to those traditional damsels in distress and frankly, I am rather fed up with both of those types.

Daine is different because she fits neither category. I so wish I read this book whilst growing up as she could have been a brilliant role model for me then. I immediately warmed to Daine as she is my definition of strength. She is happy to think for herself, decides to face her fears, asks for help when needed and is also shy and modest. Her strength is this quiet quality that doesn’t scream ‘look at me, I’m so awesome’ but rather says ‘that didn’t work, I’ll try again tomorrow’. She grows and her, sometimes naïve opinions, get slowly questioned and shaped whilst she still stays in charge of those final decisions. She decides what she will think but is also willing to listen and learn. How beautiful would that be to share such message with our youngsters?

I also appreciate how Pierce dives into breaking stereotypes – her characters teach us that it’s absolutely OK not to be able to fit in. That belonging is much more than ticking certain boxes and that family, regardless if it’s our blood one or a chosen one, doesn’t care about what we are but rather who we are as people.

Daine is flawed but also likeable. She goes through many lessons – my favourite one was what to do, when someone wants to help us but we don’t want them to as ‘they may get hurt’. The lesson from this book tells us that it is the decision for them to make, not us, despite of how much that may pain us.

I absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for a charming and well-written story. There is so much wisdom and soul in Wild Magic. It’s a wonderful story full of magic that features brave and likeable characters, varying from humans, horses, dogs, cats, whales, dragons and many more.

I would like to thank to both the publisher, Pan Macmillan as well as the author, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. 


Now over to you.

Have you read Wild Magic?

If so, what did you think?

If not, have you read anything by Tamora Pierce yet?

As always, the fun part is the one when I get to talk to you. Thanks for being here! ❤️❤️❤️

Nonfiction November

NONFICTION NOVEMBER: Week 3 – In Search of Growth

Nonfiction NovemberWelcome to another post in the Nonfiction November series. For those of you new to this, Nonfiction November is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Rennie at What’s Nonfiction?, Julie at Julz Reads, Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, and Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves.

If you haven’t read my previous post in the series yet, you can find Week 1 – My Year in Nonfiction post here – and Week 2 – Fiction with Nonfiction Book Pairing here.

Today’s topic is Be The Expert/Ask the Expert/Become the Expert and is hosted by Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness

There are three ways to join in this week – we can either share 3 or more books on a single topic that we have read and can recommend (be the expert), we can put the call out for good nonfiction on a specific topic that we have been dying to read (ask the expert), or we can create your own list of books on a topic that we’d like to read (become the expert).

I’ve decided to roll up my sleeves and look at the topic, that is, as a life coach, very close to my heart. I feel I have read a lot of books on this topics but I’d like to read more books as well. So I’m mixing Be the Expert with the Ask the Expert categories.

Today, I would like to talk about Growth and why I firmly believe in the “it’s not about the goal but rather about the journey” concept.


I feel we live in times, when we talk a lot about achievements. Don’t take me wrong – I don’t want to dismiss them or downplay them. Achievements start bothering me when the outcome becomes the only thing ‘that matters’. When all that discomfort, courage and grind that lies behind them gets overlooked. When the primary focus is on the result, rather than its process.

I firmly believe that behind any self-development is a strong desire to grow.

But when we talk about growth, I guess the important part is how we approach it. In other words:

  1. do we want to grow become we believe we are not good enough and are hoping that if we grow, we may become someone else and will feel better
  2. or do we want to grow because we want to be uncomfortable and enjoy the process, rather than its outcome.

Those two different categories indicate from which place we approach growth, the first one is coming from a fear mindset – i.e. I need to change, I’m afraid they don’t like who I am, I am not good enough, have not enough, do enough…

The second category comes from an abundance mindset. We believe we have enough and are enough but also feel that we can still go after our dreams, face our fears, be uncertain / vulnerable, let people in – in other words, we are happy to be uncomfortable and face all emotions that come with it.

Deciding how to approach growth is critical. I always tell myself: “I will grow because I want to, not because I feel I need to.” This simple sentence can shift my own mentality profoundly.

My favourite question to ask myself is: “who am I becoming in this process“? Let’s think about it. It’s a very direct question that prompts us to look for growth and how it shapes us.

I also agree with Tony Robbins, who once said: “All growth starts at the end of your comfort zone.” Without discomfort, there is no growth. And without growth, there is no story to tell. At least that’s what I believe in.😊

Which books would I recommend on this subject? I’m glad you asked!

Brené BrownDaring Greatly , Rising Strong, Braving the Wilderness

“…sometimes when we are beating ourselves up, we need to stop and say to that harassing voice inside, “Man, I’m doing the very best I can right now.” ” ~  Brené Brown

Tim Ferriss: Tools of Titans

“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” ~ Tim Ferriss

Martha N. Beck: Finding Your Own North Star: Claiming the Life You Were Meant to Live

“Fear is the raw material from which courage is manufactured.” ~ Martha N. Beck

Byron Katie: Loving What Is: Four Questions That Can Change Your Life

“A thought is harmless unless we believe it. It’s not our thoughts, but our attachment to our thoughts, that causes suffering. Attaching to a thought means believing that it’s true, without inquiring. A belief is a thought that we’ve been attaching to, often for years.” ~Byron Katie

Elizabeth Gilbert: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

“You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

Susan David: Emotional Agility: Get Unstuck, Embrace Change, and Thrive in Work and Life 

“Emotions are data, they are not directives” ~  Susan David

Rob Bell: How to Be Here

“It’s important to embrace several truths about yourself and those around you, beginning with this one: who you AREN’T isn’t interesting.” ~ Rob Bell


That’s just a few of my favourite books. There are many more but also, there are even more I am yet to read! So many books, so little time! 😊

Now over to you.

Fancy sharing some of your favourite books about growth and self-development with me?

As always, I would love to know!

 

 

 

 

Nonfiction November

NONFICTION NOVEMBER: Week 2 – Nonfiction Book Pairing

Welcome to another post in the Nonfiction November series. For those of you new to this, Nonfiction November is hosted by Katie at Doing Dewey, Rennie at What’s Nonfiction?, Julie at Julz Reads, Kim at Sophisticated Dorkiness, and Sarah at Sarah’s Book Shelves.

If you haven’t read my previous post in the series yet, you can find it here.

Today’s topic is fiction/nonfiction book pairings and is hosted at Sarah’s Book Shelves blog.

For my nonfiction picks, I decided to stick to memoirs and mythology as these particular nonfiction genres tend to relate to fiction really well, are full of wonderful stories. They can be a great introduction to nonfiction for those, who are reluctant to read this genre.

Let’s take a look at my picks:

1. Stories about Survival

“We don’t even know how strong we are until we are forced to bring that hidden strength forward. In times of tragedy, of war, of necessity, people do amazing things. The human capacity for survival and renewal is awesome.” ~ Isabel Allende

Kristin Hannah’s Great Alone is quite a well-known fiction (my review here). It is a beautiful haunting coming-of-age story, which takes us to hostile Alaska during the 70’s. It’s a story about survival – not just the environmental one, but the domestic one as well.

If you have enjoyed it or think you could enjoy it, then I highly recommend The Educated by Tara Westhover (my review here). It’s a powerful memoir, which covers coming-of-age story, features survival and openly talks about mental health issues, whilst drawing us in and keeping us engaged via a compelling story-telling.

2. Stories about Self-Discovery

“The longest journey is the journey inward.” ~ Dag Hannarskjold

I’m sure some of you heard of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed. Some of you may have seen its movie version featuring Reese Witherspoon. Wild is a memoir that deals with loss but also is a journey of discovering one’s identity. It takes us to the challenging Pacific Crest Trail, where Strayed not only started her trail, but also her journey inward.

I would pair Wild with Katherine Center’s Happiness for Beginners. Center‘s story pulled me in as the main character’s search for meaning as well as her discovering of who she was and what she stood for, really appealed to me. Plus the setting was in the mountain wilderness of Wyoming, something I found highly alluring.

3. Stories about Mythical Creatures

My last pairing is hopefully appropriate for the upcoming time of year. I am a winter person and can not tell you how excited I am about this approaching season. Winter’s coming my friends!

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.” ~ Albert Einstein

If you enjoy J.R.R Tolkien‘s stories, especially The Lord of the Rings, I really recommend Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology (my review here).

Gaiman‘s retelling of Norse myths takes us to the land of Frost Giants, lets us be crossed with the manipulate and always speculating Locki, and delivers not only the seasonal frost but also the beautiful land of fjords and northern lights.

Tolkien was highly influenced by these myths. For example Gandalf was Tolkien‘s version of Odin, he even referred to him as an “Odinic wanderer“. Tolkien‘s references to elves, Middle Earth, Balrog and much more are all his tributes to those powerfully raw and dark myths.

Both of these books are highly atmospheric reads and could be great companions in the upcoming festive period.


Now over to you.

What would be your nonfiction with fiction pairing?

Monthly Wrap Up

August Wrap Up

Happy 1st September my friends! I am so happy to be back. 😊

Welcome to the meteorological autumn! I know that the astronomical autumn will start on 23rd September but because I love autumn, I am embracing it from now on. Come on, what’s not to like? 😊

All those vibrant pumpkins, warm blankets and cardigans, those cosy nights in. And let’s not forget those crisp autumnal days full of wonderfully colourful leaves. Albert Camus once famously said: “autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower”. And I could not agree more.

I took a month off from the ‘online world’ to slow down. I must admit it was quite an experience.

Initially, they were honestly times when I didn’t know what to do with myself. 😂 😂

For example: I was so used to scrolling down my feeds every morning and all of sudden I was like… ‘ehm, I have time. Ehm, lot’s of time… what will I do? Shall I actually read?’ It took me a while to break that ‘twitch’ – I’m referencing the fellow minimalist’s, Anthony Ongaro’s blog, Break the Twitch. If you don’t know his work, I really recommend checking it out. 😊

I slowly unhooked myself from those news feeds. And frankly I don’t know if I want to go back to them. It’s something I’m still contemplating. 😊

I know that I want to blog again and connect with my readers and carry on appreciating this lovely blogging community.

I also know that I want to use Facebook sporadically to stay in touch with my family. But… I found out that when I was not using Facebook, I actually made more of an effort to reach out. Not to not just ‘like’ photos and posts but to rather make a phone call or to meet up. Which was lovely. And gave me plenty to think about… 😉

In August, I managed to read following books:

Celeste Ng – Little Fires Everywhere – a very clever fictional novel about “planning your life” vs. “living your life”. It was an extremely enjoyable read and I am desperately craving its sequel (which is of course not planned. 😉). Full review to follow in September.

Matt Haig – Notes on a Nervous Planet (dnf) – alright, I really, really wanted to love this book. Especially as I am someone, who suffers from anxiety and sometimes do feel overwhelmed. But it didn’t click. It’s a witty book but I was either not in the right mood for it or my expectation were just not in line with what this book is all about.

Side note: it’s current GR’s score is 4.21 so clearly, it’s me, not the book.

Sarah J Maas – Catwoman: Soulstealer –  I binged on this book. It was everything I needed at that moment. Fast pace – check, action – check, banter – check, fun & complex heroine – check, romance – check… I loved it. It reminded me why I enjoy Maas’ books so much. Full review to follow for sure.

Katherine Center’s books. My favourite Dr Brene Brown recommended How to Walk Away a while ago and ever since then, I’ve been eyeing it. When it finally become available at my library, I literally could not put it down and read another two of Center’s books shortly after I finished it as I really loved her writing.

  • How to Walk Away – a very sensitive look at dealing with disability and discovering of one’s core self, once our previous identities have been taken away from us.
  • Happiness for Beginners – another ‘search for our identity’ kind of book. It’s funny, full of romance (I know, I am as shocked as you are but I am clearly on a romance roll these days, must be all that summer hot weather I think…) I loved how appreciation and gratitude were slowly built in. It was a great and quick summer read. Cover appreciation – LOVE IT!!! ❤️
  • The Lost Husband – this one was probably my ‘least favourite’ but I still enjoyed it. It dealt with grief, starting over and again, discovering of who we are and what makes us happy. I recommend it as well.

I had a nasty digestive flare up and had to take some time off work. I managed to watch some movies and TV and following sort of stood up for me:

Movies

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

  • Netflix – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – oh, this was such a cute teen romance movie. Those two main actors were just adorable, and I really, really loved it. I am seriously considering re-watching it again, it was just so sweet and brought me back so much nostalgia.

TV

UnReal

  • UnReal – I got hooked on this TV show. It’s dark, messed up and I did binge on it. It follows ‘behind scenes’ of a fictional dating show called ‘Everlasting’. It shows how some of these reality TV shows may get ‘produced’ – read ‘manipulated’. I really enjoyed it, especially the first few seasons, the forth one was a little bit of a let down but the first few ones are really, really dark and twisted.

Entertainment

michael mcIntyre

  • Michael McIntyre’s stand-up comedy show – James and I went to see Michael McIntyre and he was so hysterical. I’m still laughing remembering some of his jokes. If you don’t know him, please check him out. He is sooooo funny. 😊

Health-wise, I am still being tested and prodded. I had many tests done over the last few weeks and I am seeing my specialist next week to hear if we are getting anywhere near a concrete diagnosis. So far it’s been ‘elimination’ only but that on its own is a progress I guess. 😊

Coaching wise, I attended a brilliant three-day coaching course and I am still buzzing from it. It was so much fun. Not only am I learning how to coach but I am also growing as I am learning something new about myself every day. More to come on that note shortly, stay tuned! 😊

Thank you for reading and for being here, I appreciate every one of you. ❤️ ❤️ ❤️


Now over to you.

How was your August? Please let me know! 😊

Monthly Wrap Up

July Wrap Up

July was a month full of entertaining reads.

I completed Kristin Hannah’s “triathlon” and loved it. 😊 Hannah knows how to create long lasting emotional roller-coasters. After enjoying her The Great Alone, I wanted to read more of her other books and I am her fan now. Her The Nightingale is on my TBR list next! 🙂

I also listened to the brilliant audio version of Trevor Noah – Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood, narrated by the author himself. This is such an excellent memoir, full of emotionally charged stories that explore racism, feminism and a lot more. I really, really recommend it as it left a strong impression and is possibly the best audio-book I have listened to so far.

I also did a buddy with of Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns with lovely Umut. I enjoyed exchanging our notes and discussing each of those magical stories. Thanks Umut for being such an awesome buddy reader to me! ❤️

For those interested, here’s my complete list:

Leigh Bardugo:  The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic

Kristin Hannah:

  1. Firefly Lane
  2. True Colours
  3. Night Road

Trevor Noah: Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Health-wise: I finally bit the bullet and went to see a doctor about my digestion. We had quite a lengthy chat and he suspects some form of IBS or even IBD being behind my symptoms. I got a referral to see a specialist in August and will start the process of being tested and prodded.

My anxiety has been at its worst. It may have something to do with being quite involved in my health and self-diagnosing myself every few days with a new diagnosis, ranging from leaky gut, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), Hashimoto’s, Crohn’s disease …

Also, my grandma, has been very unwell and it really hit me.

I found myself spending more and more time online mindlessly scrolling down social media feeds and feeling like crap. I also spent hours researching what may be wrong with me. To feel better, I started spending money online. Something I am not proud of and which I want to address.

I am declaring August to be my month of slow and intentional living.

I have deleted my Instagram and Twitter accounts as these both contribute to my mindless scrolling addiction and may temporarily disable my Facebook account to spend more time off-line.

This is going to impact my blog as well.

August will be my blog’s summer holiday month. 🙂

If I feel like writing posts and reviews, I’ll prepare them but will not be posting, nor will be blog hopping as I want to reduce my anxiety, which is not helping my digestion and health in general.

This is not a goodbye, just a short summer holiday with the ‘see you in September’ premise. 😊

Hope you all have a wonderful August, full of long evenings, BBQs, sunshine, laughter, time with your loved ones as well as time spent outdoors.

My plan is to carry on reading but also to finally start learning how to surf and to spend time on my life coach certification.

Thank you for reading and for being here. See you in September my friends! ❤️ ❤️ ❤️

About Me, Bookish

Sunshine Blogger

I’ll start with a quick shout out to Inge from The Belgian Reviewer, that had me over at her super cool blog the other day. Inge writes stellar reviews that cover thrillers, crime fiction and much more. If you don’t know her blog yet, please go over to check it out. I wholeheartedly recommend it. 🙂

Inge, it was an honour to answer your questions, thanks so much for having me at your blog.  If you would like read my answers to Inge’s questions, you can do so over here.


Now let’s dive into today’s topic.

Lovely Azu @ BookOrbit tagged me a while ago for the Sunshine Blogger Award. Azu likes YA fiction, has an extremely pretty blog and is a very sweet person, with whom I enjoy connecting. Thanks Azu for thinking of me. 

The rules are:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you by linking their blog
  • Answer their questions
  • Nominate 11 blogs with 11 questions

Without further ado, here are my answers to Azu’s questions. 🙂


  1. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?

Just one? That’s impossible!

I love Tolkien’s Hobbit from fantasy, King’s The Shining from horror, Coelho’s The Alchemist from fiction, Brown’s Daring Greatly from non-fiction, Exupery’s The Little Prince from children’s fiction despite it being really meant for adults…

  1. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

I like to look at books as not meant for me, rather than them being bad.

With that said, any insta-love romance type of book usually gets me bored. Add a moody / arrogant / ‘misunderstood’ object of affection to it and I am struggling to finish it… Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Lux series being one of them. Sorry, just not my thing…

  1. If you could be any fictional character for real. Whom would you be?

Jo Little Women

I would quite like to be Jo from Little Women.

  1. What’s your biggest pet peeve?

Insta-love because it usually gives an author a pass to skip a relationship building phase, which I personally find so interesting.

  1. What’s your hobby?

Rock-climbing, yoga, hiking, staring into nothingness… and people. I honestly love people watching and it does get me into trouble sometimes… 😉

  1. What’s your dream job?

I don’t think there is a dream job per se. I think any job has a dream job potential if we start perceiving it that way and start finding aspects in it that are aligned with our values. 😊 To me, as long as I am helping others and contributing to this world, I am happy and content. 🙂

  1. Who is your favourite author?

Again, just one??? If I stick to only one, I’ll go with Brene Brown. I adore her story telling ability and well as her courage to explore some difficult topics such as shame, vulnerability and belonging.

Honorary mentions go to J.R.R Tolkien, Katherine Arden, Tamora Pierce and Leigh Bardugo.

  1. What’s your favourite genre?

The problem with me is that you can not ‘box’ me. I am so whimsical and my taste changes on a regular basis. I suppose having a consistent genre would probably help with my blog’s theme… but hey, it is what it is.

I love all sorts of genres. Non-fiction, especially psychology, philosophy, memoirs and mythologies; from fiction, it would be fantasy, psychological thrillers and psychological / character driven stories in general. Sprinkled with some horror, sci-fi and crime as well from time to time. 😊

  1. How was your day today on the scale of 10?

I did wake up, so 10 it is. 😊

  1. What got you into reading?

I think it was my family upbringing. My parents are both keen readers and our family ‘quality time together’ sometimes meant all of us reading at the same time… our own books… together…. 😊

As a child, my dad would take me for walks and let me run around a forest whilst he was reading his books. I would always enquire what he was reading, and he would start telling me stories about old Greeks, religion and science (side note: I share with him my love for non-fiction as you can tell!).

I always wanted to know more. He helped me to learn how to read before I started school and we would read together Greek myths or old Slavic folk stories.

I have always been a reader. I cannot remember not reading to be honest. Reading takes me to different worlds, honours my love of creativity as I can imagine creatures that no one has seen before. It also makes me think and helps me with my staring into nothingness hobby as well… 😉

11. What is your all time favourite TV Show?

I guess it would have to be Friends for their humour, friendship and struggles of early adulthood. But it’s on par with Gilmore Girls as I just love that mother / daughter aspect of it. Both of these shows are something I could re-watch over and over again because of that humour, human connection and feel good factor.

Honorary mentions go to Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, Black Mirror and then Lost, Homeland and Game of Cards when they were at their best..


Alrighty, because I had fun answering these questions and I am quite lazy, I’ll re-use Azu‘s question for those of you, who would like to take part. 😀

If you are reading it, consider yourself tagged!

If you don’t feel answering the entire list, would you mind sharing with me:

what got you into reading?

I’d love to know! 🙂

Bookish

T5W – Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam@Thoughts on Tomes over on Goodreads.

This week’s topics for the Top 5 Wednesday series is: Books You Want to Read Before the End of the Year.

I must admit I am slightly worried that once I admit I want to read something, I am likely not read it. I am notorious for obsessing over a book, buying it, looking at it…. and not reading it. So please bear that in mind, and yes, I have a problem, I know! 😉

  • Small Spaces by Katherine Arden (release date: 25th September 2018)
Small Spaces cover
Small Spaces cover

I adore Arden‘s books. Her The Bear and The Nightingale is one of my favourite books. Arden’s lyrical prose is something I can not get enough of. Small Spaces is supposed to be a middle grade ‘spooky’ book. I am thinking a perfect Halloween read! 🙂

  • The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock by Imogen Hermes Gowar
The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock
The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock Cover

Because so many of my trusted reviewers loved this book. Also, it was shortlisted for the Women’s Fiction Prize and longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize 2018. I read so many excited reviews and I am looking forward to reading it very shortly.

  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Book Thief
The Book Thief cover

Because it’s supposed to be about a girl during WWII. Because everyone I know who read it loved it, and because I am living under a rock and haven’t read it yet. 🙂

  • I really want to re-read Steinbeck‘s novels. The one I’m hoping to read again this year is East of Eden – John Steinbeck
East of Eden
East of Eden cover

To be honest, I am pretty sure I read it but I am not entirely sure I have. My poor memory says: “the blurb sounds familiar and you read pretty much everything of Steinbeck as he is one of your favourite authors”… but I am not certain. So I will re-visit! I am slightly scared that I will change my mind (I think I loved it…) but hey, you never know until you try. 🙂

  • Catwoman by Sarah J. Maas (release date: 7th August 2018)
Catwoman
Catwoman cover

Because Maas has such a fun writing style. It’s a roller-coaster of action after action. There’s also lots of humour and snarkiness and this just screams ‘perfect fun summer read‘ to me. Can’t wait to get my hands on it. 🙂 Side note: not an fan of the cover though so eBook it is. 🙂

There you have it. My five books I’m hoping to read this year. Please don’t hold me to it! 🙂


Over to you my friends!

  • Have you read any of those?
  • What book are you looking forward to reading this year?
About Me, Bookish

How I Choose My Books Tag

The wonderful and kind Kelly from Another Book in The Wall tagged for the how I choose my books tag! Kelly has an amazing blog – not only does she write thoughtful reviews, but she also creates many thought provoking discussion posts as well as features inspiring book quotes. If you don’t know her blog, please go over to say Hi. I sincerely hope you will enjoy is as much as I do. Thanks Kelly for thinking of me. 

My attempt to catch up on all those lovely tags and awards continues. Let’s have a look how I choose my books, shall we? 🙂


  1. Find a Book on Your Shelves or E-Reader With a Blue Cover | What Made You Want to Pick Up This Book?

the witch of portobello

The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho

I love Coelho’s The Alchemist and because of that, I read a few of his other books as well. This one spoke to me via its blurb “How do we find the courage to always be true to ourselves—even if we are unsure of whom we are?” I thought to myself: ‘that’s an interesting question, I wonder how it will get answered’ and gave this book a chance. 😊

  1. Think of a Book You Didn’t Expect To Enjoy, But Did | Why Did You Read It in the First Place?

heartless

Heartless by Marissa Meyer (my review)

I am a big Alice in Wonderland fan. That was the reason behind choosing this book. I started reading it thinking ‘I sincerely hope that Lewis Carroll’s non-sensical world will not get ruined’… I had many arrogant and cynical assumptions at the back of my mind and they were proven completely wrong. I absolutely adored this book.

  1. Stand In Front Of Your Bookshelf With Your Eyes Closed And Pick a Book At Random | How Did You Discover This Book

Underland

Underland by Chanda Hahn

I read everything Chanda Hahn has written… I enjoy her re-tellings and especially loved her An Unfortunate Fairy Tale series.

When I found out Chanda wrote a book featuring Greek myths, well, it was a no-brainer for me to pick it up… and it did not disappoint by the way, I recommend this book.

  1. Pick a Book That Someone Personally Recommended To You | What Did You Think Of It?

what alice forgot

Norrie recommended me a while back What Alice Forgot from Liane Moriarty (my review). I loved this book because of its characters as well as the concept of ‘time travel thanks to amnesia’… and because of Norrie’s recommendation, I discovered another great author. 😊 With Big Little Lies (my review) being one of my favourite books of 2018 so far.

  1. Pick A Book You Discovered Through Booktube/Book Blogs

educated

Educated by Tara Westover (my review)

I picked this book up after I read this Umut’s review. It is still my book of 2018… despite being massively impressed with Circe

  1. Find A Book On Your Shelves With A One Word Title | What Drew You To This Book?

Outliers

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

Oh, Gladwell and his impressive writing. No unnecessary words, everything well-thought-out and to the point. I adore his thought provoking books.

I was drawn to this book both because of its author as well as its description: “Gladwell asks the question: what makes high-achievers different? His answer is that we pay too much attention to what successful people are like, and too little attention to where they are from: that is, their culture, their family, their generation, and the idiosyncratic experiences of their upbringing.

  1. What Book Did You Discover Through a Film/TV Adaptation?

The Lighting Thief

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I read Percy Jackson’s adventures a while back, shortly after I watched Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief movie. I really wish I read those as a child, I enjoyed them as an adult but I know I would have loved them even more as a kid. 😊

  1. Think of Your All Time Favourite Book(s) | When Did You Read Them and Why Did You Pick Them Up In The First Place?

My All Time Favourite book is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.

little princeI was given this book by my dad and we read it together for the first time when I was a child. Dad would always pause and let me think about what we just read. We would analyse it together and he would ask for my opinions page after page. 🙂 I read it again a few times as a teenager after that. My sister and I share the same love for this book. We used to talk about its quotes for hours in our local tea room, which is built in our Gothic’s town’s old town walls.

tearoomPhoto of that lovely tearoom

I still remember those discussions and cherish them very dearly.

I read it again many times as an adult and every time I read this bittersweet book, I discover something new in it.  It’s full of possibilities, dreams and love. 😊

Some of my favourite quotes from this book are:

  • “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye”.
  • “What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…” 
  • “Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.” 
  • “You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed.” 

 


If you haven’t done this tag and are reading this post, I am tagging you. 🙂 

Tag, you are It! 🙂

Now over to you:

  • Have you read some of the books I mentioned? 
  • What Book Did You Discover Through a Film/TV Adaptation?