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February 9, 2018

No words needed here, but…

“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.” – Haruki Murakami


January 28, 2018

The greyest month of the year is coming to an end. (It should have been the whitest, yet we’ve had more rain than snow; more warm and dark than cold and sunny days.) I can finally notice a few good changes – the evenings are getting longer and I’m getting fed up with spending so much time indoors.

The so called normal slow routine with goods books and rich food will have to be swapped for more vigorous activities. And I can’t wait! (To be honest now even watching gardening programmes disrupts this cycle: I have to keep reminding myself that it’s a bit too early even for indoor sowing; so much more can happen in February, which is known for its blizzards.)

Meanwhile… here are a few beautiful moments. Even grey can be graceful, don’t you think?

And the last two are my absolute favourites. Every autumn our pond floods, bringing much grief as this kills my plants, yet when it freezes the edges are turned into masterpieces. In my opinion Nature is the best artist on this planet.

How was your January? Whiter or more colourful than mine?

Books to Read

January 10, 2018

The only New Year’s resolution I manage to stick to is reading fifty books a year. For some this might sound a lot, but actually it’s not. Roughly it’s just one book a week – I’m sure anyone could do this, provided they can read, of course. And if you choose a story or a novel that’s very short, this task becomes not that daunting at all, right?

Well, I prefer to choose good books and never count their pages. I love to get lost in worlds that get hold of you and don’t let go till you finish reading the very last word. Some books are like drugs. It might be hard to believe, but they are! For e.g. my 2016 find was an American author Anthony Doerr. His “All the Light We Cannot See” is stunningly good (if you get a chance, do read it). And 2017 is famous for finding an English writer Kate Atkinson. Have you read any of her books? Apparently she’s already published ten.

Anyway, this post is for keen readers, who already know the effect books can have on a human mind, so here’s a list of my ten best 2017 books:

1. Kate Atkinson “Life After Life”

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?” Read more…

2. Kate Atkinson “A God in Ruins” (a sequel to “Life After Life”)

“This gripping, often deliriously funny yet emotionally devastating book looks at war – that great fall of Man from grace – and the effect it has, not only on those who live through it, but on the lives of the subsequent generations. It is also about the infinite magic of fiction.” Read more…

3. Frances Mirales “Wabi Sabi”

Have you already heard this Japanese term – wabi sabi? It can be described as beauty that is imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. Read this short book and start looking for anything what is wabi sabi in your life. Find out more about Japan and its culture, also learn to enjoy the small and simple things, and love the imperfect.

4. Dörte Hansen “This House is Mine!

A bestselling German novel about two women connected by their experiences in and around a special old house.” I guess this sentence describes it best – “an unusual book that combines emotional depth and humor”. Read more…

5. Liane Moriarty “Big Little Lies”

“Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.” Read more…

6. W.M.Paule Young “Eve”

The strangest book I read last year, only the very last pages reveal what’s going on. I’d recommend it to anyone who’d like to know more about Adam and Eve, God’s unconditional love and the very first sin. “Thoroughly researched and exquisitely written, Eve is a masterpiece that will inspire readers for generations to come. Read more…

7. Yaa Gyasi “Homegoing”

A novel of breathtaking sweep and emotional power that traces three hundred years in Ghana and along the way also becomes a truly great American novel. Extraordinary for its exquisite language, its implacable sorrow, its soaring beauty, and for its monumental portrait of the forces that shape families and nations, Homegoing heralds the arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. Read more…

8. Jodi Picoult “Small Great Things”

If you’ve read any of Jodi Picoult’s books, you should know what to expect – a brilliant read. “With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Read more…

9. Fiona Barton “The Widow”

One of these books that you want to read in one go. A well written psychological thriller that opens a window into a pedofile’s world. What would you do if you found out the horrible secret your other half is trying to hide?

10. Jussi Valtonen “They Know Not What They Do”

Modern world, the newest technologies and human relationships – this book has been written by a psychologist. Read more…

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If you become a Goodreads member you can easily count the books you read. Set your reading challenge for 2018, keep adding books to your list and at the end of the year you will have some fun statistics! Here’s mine:

I read 50 books or 15167 pages. The shortest book was only 96 and the longest – 581 pages, which makes the average length 303 pages. The most popular book is number 5 in my top 10 list – Liane Moriarty “Big Little Lies”, apparently it was read by 724983 Goodreads members last year.