Books · Recommendations

Five Recommendations: Nature Books (non-fiction)

I am not sure I have ever done recommendations on this blog, but I thought I would. One of my favourite genres is non-fiction about the natural world. I have read a bunch and loved quite a few!

So, let’s talk about five of my favourite books that have some sort of natural history slant

  • An Immense World (Ed Yong) – I read this one recently. It has all to do with animal senses and the way they see/experience the world around them. I found it very interesting.
  • Wilding (Isabella Tree) – I loved reading this one. The author talks about letting their estate go wild and the practicalities and successes and failures with regard to that. I actually learned quite bit form this book regarding the way farming practices impact the environment. I adored this book!
  • Wildwood (Roger Deakin) – This is a bit of natural history mixed in with a travel memoir. The focus is on trees. I found it very interesting and super engaging, I loved it.
  • Buzz (Thor Hanson) – I do love a good book about bees. There are a couple I would recommend, but this is the one I went for. I love the way Hanson writes. It is like you are discovering along with him and does not presume prior knowledge, just interest! Thor Hanson also wrote Feathers, which is a book about, well, feathers, and is also a book worth reading!
  • The Seabird’s Cry (Adam Nicolson) – as per the title, this book focuses on sea birds, like puffins and albatrosses. It’s very well written and super interesting. I really enjoyed it. The audio book was great!
Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Ship of Destiny (Robin Hobb)

A solid last book in a fantastic trilogy!

★★★★☆ 1/2 – CALSPIE 8.86

Title: Ship of Destiny (The Liveship Traders #3)
Author: Robin Hobb
Genre: Fiction / Fantasy
First published: 2000
Edition:  Paperback, published by Harper Voyager in 2015

BLURB: The dragon, Tintaglia, released from her wizardwood coffin, flies high over the Rain Wild River. Below her, Reyn and Selden have been left to drown, while Malta and the Satrap attempt to navigate the acid flow of the river in a decomposing boat.


This was the final book The Liveship Traders trilogy and I am kind of sad that this adventure has come to an end. It has been quite a ride!

The previous book was one of my favourite fantasy books I have ever read. This one did not quite reach those heights, but it was a solid closer to what is definitely up there with regard to favourite fantasy series. I much preferred it to the Farseer trilogy. It was pacier and just more interesting to me. I really enjoyed the settings, especially the Rain Wilds.

What I liked about this book was that everything ended up tying together. Not quite in a neat bow, but neat enough. I liked where some of the story arches ended up, especially for Malta, who had been on quite the journey. I think Althea’s story was the only thing that kind of irked me in this book. I think that certain aspects of her story were not handled the best and that did bother me to a degree. On the flipside… Dragons…

On the whole, this was a fantastic series and one I will hope to re-read in the future. In the meantime I can’t wait to continue with the next trilogy, which will take me back to the Farseer characters. After that… Dragons again. I can’t wait!

4.5 out of 5 stars


  • Characters: 9.5
  • Ambience: 9
  • Language: 9
  • Story: 8.5
  • Pacing: 8.5
  • Interest: 9
  • Enjoyment: 8.5
Books · Bookshelf Tour

Shelf Exploration #4: 2023 – The Office Kallax – part 2

Part 1 here.

Just a little log of the current state of my shelves (status: óverfilled).

This is the shelf I am talking about:

Last week I did the top two shelves on the left side. I will do the two bottom ones of the left side today. Both of these shelves are double stacked unfortunately, one even has a triple stacked bit… Oh dear!

Ok, let’s start with the third shelf down, which holds my very limited collection of graphic novels and manga.

And behind those:

  • Cockroach (Rawi Hage) – I got this one in a charity shop, but when I checked out the reviews later they were abysmal I think. I will probably do try-a-chapter with books like this at one point.
  • Dr Faustus (Christopher Marlowe) – I read this for uni and I have seen the Jude Law play. It’s an interesting one.
  • Moonlit (Jadie Jones) – Yes, no idea why or where I got this. I will try it at some point. Another try-a-chapter candidate?
  • Scottish Fairy Tales This is an interesting one. I have had it for many many years. I must have read some of it, but I can’t remember.
  • The English: A Social History 1066-1945 (Christopher Hibbert) – I bought this one as research many years ago. I haven’t looked into it since of course… Still, superinteresting book to have on my shelves and I am sure it is one I will get to at some point, either as research for a project or just as reading.
  • Eclipse (Nicholas Clee) – I need to re-read this one. I enjoyed it when I read, but that was many years ago.
  • Promise of the Wolves (Dorothy Hearst) – I read this a few years ago and liked it ok, but obviously it was not compelling enough to continue the series. I may actually unhaul this one.
  • The Golden Age of Myth and Legend (Thomas Bulfinch) – I have owned this book for a long long time. I am sure it will be of use to me at some point!
  • The Qu’ran – Religion fascinates me from an agnostic perspective
  • The Bible – Same reason as why I own the Qu’ran. I like these editions cause they are presented as just another book rather than anything more significant. These are more for research and interest purposes.
  • The Summer Queen (Elizabeth Chadwick) – I read this one not too long ago. It was a good one. I may continue the series
  • Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Hunter S Thompson) – Not sure why it is on this shelf. It’s just hanging out there. I read this one earlier this year. I liked it, but did not love it.

A rather random selection of books. I fit everything where I can, but I will organise a bit more thoughtfully at some point.

Ok, on to the bottom shelf:

  • The Vinyl Detective 1-3 (Andrew Cartmell): Written in Dead Wax, The Run-Out Groove, Victory Disc – Still haven’t read these! Series like these can go either way. I will either really enjoy it, or if I don’t like the first book I will unhaul all three.
  • House of Silk (Anthony Horowitz)
  • Moriarty (Anthony Horowitz)
  • Magpie Murders (Anthony Horowitz) – I bought these as a set. I still haven’t read any books by this author. I must! All three of these appeal to me!
  • The King’s Curse (Philippa Gregory) – I picked this one up this month for a euro or something and I just put it wherever there was a space. Books like these are a guilty pleasure.
  • Small Magic (Terry Brooks) – This is a bunch of short stories related to Brooks’ other work. I bought it earlier this year, so I could read the stories in relation to my re-read of his Shannara series. I probably won’t read it all in one go.
  • Murder in Mayfair (D M Quincy)– I bought this one because I liked book two
  • Murder in Bloomsbury (D M Quincy)I enjoyed this one – I think I read it via NetGalley at the time and ended up buying a physical copy of this one and the first book.
  • The River of Silver (Shannon Chakraborty) – a collection of short stories relating to the Davaebad trilogy, which was a series I really enjoyed.

So, most of these I haven’t read yet. Let’s have a look what’s behind these:

A pile of unread mass market paperbacks and some random books, mostly charity shop buys. I am the minority that loves a good mass market paperback:

  • The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet (David Mitchell) – I have never read anything by this author before. This one sounded interesting, so for less than a euro I was happy to take a chance.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns (Khaled Hosseini) – I hesitated to pick this one up, because contrary to popular opinion I did not love The Kite Runner. Still, it was a long time ago that I read that one and I am hoping to love this one.
  • Spirits Walking Woman (Margaret Allan) – I read this one a long long time ago and I always though I’d like to read it again. I haven’t yet. On my long re-read list.
  • The Thread (Victoria Hislop) – I will read it at some point
  • Daughter of Deceit (Victoria Holt) – a completely random buy. It’s pretty battered, but that’s ok. I will probably unhaul after reading anyway. I usually do with these types of books.
  • All That Remains (Patricia Cornwell) – another random charity shop buy to read and unhaul
  • House of Chains (Steven Erikson) – this is the fourth book in the Malazan Book of the Fallen series. I have the first book on my Kindle, which I haven’t even read yet, but I saw this one in a charity shop for like a euro or something and decided to take it home anyway. At some point I will be in the mood to start this giant series.
  • Making Your Mind Up (Jill Mansell) – One I will read when I am in the mood for reading something lighter. Will unhaul after that.
  • For One More Day (Mick Albom) – No idea what to expect with this one. Did it have ghosts? I can’t remember.
  • The Venetian Mask (Rosalind Laker) – I am pretty sure this is historical fiction – I know nothing else!
  • Golden Lion (Wilbur Smith) – Another random historical fiction.
  • Wild Horses (Dick Francis)
  • Decider (Dick Francis) – I think I have only read one of Dick Francis’ books, but I like design of these hardbacks.
  • Next (Michael Crichton) another example of a random book I will pick up in charity shops cause it’s cheap and I recognise the author. It sounds kind of interesting.
  • Caribou Island (David Vann) – just another random charity shop buy
  • Spellfall (Katherine Roberts) – I know I have read this one when I was much younger, but I don’t remember it, so at some point I will re-read and see whether it is worth passing to my daughter. Otherwise unhaul.

I love having these kind of random books on my shelves. It may be many years before I get to them, but that doesn’t matter. Sometimes I just randomly read one. I enjoy that I don’t actually know much about these books. They’re not popular, some are decades old. They make me happy even without reading them yet!

There is another small pile of mass market paperbacks behind the first row:

  • Earth’s Children (Jean M Auel): The Clan of the Cave Bear / The Valley of Horses / The Mammoth Hunters / The Plains of Passage / The Shelters of Stone – I have read all of these a long time ago. I re-read the first book, but never continued. I may do so. I remember especially liking the first two books – after that it went downhill with every book. I am not sure whether I will ever re-read the series, but I have fond memories of it.
  • Life After Life (Kate Atkinson) – This is a favourite of mine, but for some reason it’s hidden away in this back stack!
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon) – Loved this book when I read it many years ago and saw the stage production in London, which was amazing. Another for the re-read pile.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia (C S Lewis): The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe / Prince Caspian / The Voyage of the Dawn Treader / The Horse and his Boy – These are my husband’s books from childhood. I am unlikely to read them, but they hold value to him, which is fair!


Have you read these books? Any you can recommend?

Let me know!

Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

(audio) Book Thoughts: His Bloody Project (Graeme Macrae Burnet)

An historical novel for True Crime fans

★★★★☆ – CALSPIE 8.36

Title: His Bloody Project
Author: Graeme Macrae Burnet
Narrator: Crawford Logan / Cameron Mowat
Genre: Fiction / Historical
First published: 2015
Edition: Audio / e-book

BLURB: The year is 1869. A brutal triple murder in a remote community in the Scottish Highlands leads to the arrest of a young man by the name of Roderick Macrae. A memoir written by the accused makes it clear that he is guilty, but it falls to the country’s finest legal and psychiatric minds to uncover what drove him to commit such merciless acts of violence. Was he mad? Only the persuasive powers of his advocate stand between Macrae and the gallows.


This was an interesting read. Although I don’t read the true crime genre, I can imagine this would be the perfect novel for people who do love that genre. The reason being that this is a historical novel about a triple murder that occurred in a Highland village presented as fact.

The book consists of the murderer’s memoir, doctors’ notes and finally a report of the trial. It is very well done and I did find myself checking whether it was, in fact, fiction, which it is!

I did enjoy the listen. The narrators do an amazing job with the Roderick’s memoir being narrated by a Scotsman and the doctors’ notes and the trial report with an English accent. It definitely made it come alive in a way that just reading the book may not have done.

Now, is this my kind of book? No, not really. True Crime is not a genre I like to dabble in and therefore maybe I am not the intended audience for this novel. However, I thought it was very well constructed and I enjoyed the voice it was written in. And just maybe, because I am not that used to crime stories, it made a nice change from the usual historical novels I do tend to read. The story speaks of a different time and a particular way of life that really was not so long ago and I thought that aspect of the story was very interesting. So, I ended up intrigued enough and I did enjoy it.

I would mainly recommend this to fans of True Crime, but maybe even if you are not, like me, there is enough here to enjoy the experience, and I would especially recommend this for audio book listeners.

4.25 out of 5 stars



  • Characters: 9
  • Ambience: 9
  • Language: 8.5
  • Story: 8.5
  • Pacing: 8
  • Interest: 8
  • Enjoyment: 8

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: 17 May 2023

Fingers crossed for my reading mojo to be back to normal! Hence, time to do a WWW!

WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out!

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you will read next?



My main read is Ship of Destiny by Robin Hobb, as it has been for a couple of weeks. I have had trouble concentrating on reading. I DNFd a couple of books already, because they just weren’t for me and I think that did not help. As for this third book in The Liveship Traders trilogy, I am enjoying it! The second half is a bit more pacey than the first. I struggled reading more then 20 or so pages a day for a while, but yesterday I read 150 and I have already read 100 today! Definitely better! I am quietly confident I will be finishing it in a few days. I am around page 650 of just over 900 and I read 250 pages in just the last two days. Things are looking up!

My audio book at the moment is His Bloody Project by Graeme Macrae Burnet. It was one of my TBR options for a ‘unlikely e-book’ and whilst reading the reviews it said the audio book was really good. It is! The audio book is really excellent. The story…. It’s interesting – it’s fiction, but it’s presented as true crime with the story being set in Scotland around 1869.

I had initially started Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Faeries to read in the evening in bed, but I found that currently my brain is not wired for multiple reads, so I ended up just reading Ship of Destiny to bed. Really, at the moment I barely read a page before I have to put my book aside to go to sleep, so….


I finished my last audio book last week, which was The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I actually enjoyed that one more than expected. David Horovitch narrates the audio book and he did Anna Karenina as well. I really enjoy his narration for these types of books.

I hope to finish a both Ship of Destiny and My Bloody Project over the next few days.


I will probably dive into Emily Wilde’s Encyclopaedia of Fairies by Heather Fawcett straight after finishing my Robin Hobb. After that I am finally reading The Dragonet Prophecy by Tui Sutherland, which my daughter has been nagging me about. It’s middle grade about dragons and it’s her favourite series. That one is actually on my TBR for this month, whereas Emily Wilde is not!

As for audio book, I may be diving into a long one. I want to listen to The Earth Transformed by Peter Frankopan. It’s a 29 hour audio book, so…. Yeah, that one will probably run into June. There is a chance that I will chose to listen to something else first if I don’t feel ready for such a commitment! I am itching for some non-fiction though…. Perhaps Go Ahead in the Rain by Hanif Abdurraqib? We’ll see!


Have a great week, lovely peeps!

Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

(audio) Book Thoughts: The Age of Innocence (Edith Wharton)

A novel about propriety in young New York society!

★★★★☆ – CALSPIE 7.93

Title: The Age of Innocence
Author: Edith Wharton
Narrator: David Horovitch
Genre: Fiction / Classic
First published: 1920
Edition: Audio & paperback, published by Oxford World’s Classics in 2008

FROM THE BLURP: Newland Archer, charming, tactful, enlightened, is a thorough product of this society; he accepts its standards and abides by its rules but he also recognizes its limitations. His engagement to the impeccable May Welland assures him of a safe and conventional future, until the arrival of May’s cousin Ellen Olenska. Independent, free-thinking, scandalously separated from her husband, Ellen forces Archer to question the values and assumptions of his narrow world. As their love for each other grows, Archer has to decide where his ultimate loyalty lies.


I have not read many American classics and it was nice to actually dive into one. This was a really decent read and I was more engaged in the end than I expected I would be after the first couple of chapters.

A lot of this story is about ‘propriety in society’. Newland Archer as a main character really works, as he is clearly a good man, who wants to do the right thing, but his conflicting feelings cause a dilemma within him. It took me a little while to warm to him, but I ended up liking him. I guess this story had to be told from the male perspective, but a part of me wished we got a bit from the women’s perspective.

I think May was a very interesting character in the novel, who clearly knew more than she let on. I think in the end she came across as a strong woman, who loves her husband and understands the world they are living in. As for Ellen… I was never quite sure what to make of her. Did she ever know what she wanted?

The last chapters, which use the children as a plot device to show how the world has changed since the days Archer was courting felt oddly nostalgic.

Although this is not a favourite classic, I did quite enjoy it in the end and I would recommend it. I definitely want to read more by this author.

On a side note: David Horovitch is a great narrator and I would happily listen to any book he narrates.

4 out of 5 stars



  • Characters: 8.5
  • Ambience: 8
  • Language: 8
  • Story: 8
  • Pacing: 7.5
  • Interest: 7.5
  • Enjoyment: 8
Books · Bookshelf Tour

Shelf Exploration #3: The Office Kallax – part 1

This bookcase lives in our upstairs office and it has a bunch of stuff on it. I reorganised it a bit last week and thought I’d show you what’s on there. It is an IKEA Kallax unit and unfortunately it’s double stacked… I am glad it is deep enough to do that to be fair. Otherwise I would have run out of space a long time ago.

So, this is the whole bookcase:

The four cubes on the right won’t be of any interest to anyone other to myself, so I won’t really touch on those. It has a lot of childhood favourites and some very niche horsey books that will be uninteresting to anyone but me. Some of the backstacks are similar, so I will skip those as well.

Let’s start in the top left corner. This contains some series, but also some random stuff. I have read everything on this shelf.

  • The Wayward Children (Seanan McGuire): Every Hart a Doorway / Down Among The Sticks and Bones / Beneath the Sugar Sky – For now I am not reading any more of the series. If I come a cross them in a charity shop or something I would be happy to pick it up, but I am not super interested in continuing.
  • Harry Potter (J K Rowling): Philosopher’s Stone / Chamber of Secrets / Prisoner of Azkaban / Half-blood Prince / Deathly Hallows – I have Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix as well; the first in the same edition as the first three and the latter in a mass market paperback, but they must be in my daughter’s room. It is a mishmash of editions, but I am ok with that. My daughter loves the Harry Potter books. We are listening to the audio book of The Half-Blood Prince in the car at the moment.
  • The Lords of the Rings trilogy (J R R Tolkien) – I had this one in my unhaul pile, as we have them in separate volumes as well and to be honest it’s not my favourite fantasy series by a long shot. Yet I have fond memories of reading it the first time, if not the second time, and this was the book I read back then (twenty years ago). In the end I decided to keep it.
  • The Stonor Eagles (William Horwood) – I don’t think anyone does animal fiction as well as Horwood does and this one is due a re-read. It’s about sea eagles in Scotland and I know I loved it when I read it years ago.

And at the back of those a bunch of books I have read and decided to keep. There’s some new adult and a bunch of YA books I actually enjoyed and a few randos as well :

Let’s move on to the shelf below:

The front row is mainly hardbacks. One side I have read, the other side I haven’t yet.

  • Come the Morning (Shannon Drake) – I have had this book for a long long time and I actually don’t remember whether I ever read it or not. I will (re?)read it at some point. Apparently it’s a historical romance.
  • Balthasar’s Odyssey (Amin Maalouf) – Historical fiction translated from French. Sounds right up my street.
  • A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (Dave Eggers) – charity shop find. I am not quite sure WHAT this book is. It appears to be pretentious and polarizing. Still, I may love it?! No idea when I will pick this up.
  • The Gypsy Moth Summer (Julia Fierro) – This was a random buy a few years ago, because it was cheap. It has a VERY low Goodreads score, but that’s just intriguing to me. If I ever have to read a yellow book for something, I will read this one!
  • The Secret History (Donna Tartt) – I liked this book, but don’t quite think it’s the masterpiece other people seem to think it is. It’s probably me that’s wrong! 🤣
  • The History of Bees (Maja Lunde) – To be fair I probably would have unhauled this book if I didn’t completely adore the cover. The story itself… meh. Still, it can stay for now.
  • Corelli’s Mandolin (Louis de Bernieres) – It’s a modern classic and it was pretty good. I almost unhauled it a few times, but it’s still here!
  • Between the Shade and the Shadow (Coleman Alexander) – I read this because the author contacted me. Although it had some issues, the ideas were there and I ended up buying a physical copy.
  • Vixen (Rosie Garland) – Oh this book! This was a total cover buy. The story (historical fiction) was not quite for me, but I will still not part with it, because the cover is a work of art!
  • About A Boy (Nick Hornby) – Charity shop buy. I think it turned out to be a first edition. Anyway, I enjoyed it and decided to keep it for now.

So basically the books on this shelf that I read were not absolute favourites, but they are ones I would like to keep for now.

Behind that row is a row of books that are on my TBR, but not very high priority. Mainly oddball books. I think most of these were charity shop purchases.

  • Indelible (Karen Slaughter) – I have never read her books and I have heard they’re quite something… I’m sure I will give it a go at some point
  • The Red Queen (Philippa Gregory) – I haven’t read a Philippa Gregory book for a little while, but I tend to like them.
  • The Intuitives (Erin Michelle Sky & Steven Brown) – No idea about this one 🤣
  • The Vanishing Point (Louise Hawes) – historical fiction based on a 16th century female painter
  • Tenth of December (George Saunders) – short stories
  • The Grasswidow’s Tale (Ellis Peters) – a medieval mystery I believe
  • The Diviners (Libba Bray) – I picked this up because the naked hardback was appealing to me. It’s YA, so I am not sure whether I will like it, but I am sure I will give it a go at some point.
  • The Origin (Irving Stone) – If I remember correctly this is a fictional account of Charles Darwin’s life. I have had this book on my shelf for more years than I care to remember.
  • Attica (Garry Kilworth) – middle grade portal fantasy
  • The Villa in Italy (Elizabeth Edmondson) – a mystery set in Italy – I may try and fit this in over the summer.
  • Blues Lessons (Robert Hellenga) – historical fiction and some blues thrown in – that’s all I know.
  • The Wasp Factory (Iain Banks) – I think I will hate this book and I have no idea why I picked it up in the charity shop, but I will give it a go at some point.

I will leave it here for today.

Are there any books on here you love (or hate)? Any that you would like to read?

Any books I should read sooner rather than later?

Let me know 🙂

Books · Read in 2023 · Reviews

Book Thoughts: Small Worlds (Caleb Azumah Nelson)

This novel = vibes, tears and sunshine

★★★★★ – CALSPIE 9.86

Title: Small Worlds
Author: Caleb Azumah Nelson
Genre: Fiction / Contemporary
First published: 11 May 2023
Edition:  e-ARC, courtesy of NetGalley and the publisher

FROM THE BLURB: Set over the course of three summers, Small Worlds follows Stephen, a first-generation Londoner born to Ghanian immigrant parents, brother to Ray, and best friend to Adeline. On the cusp of big life changes, Stephen feels pressured to follow a certain path—a university degree, a move out of home—but when he decides instead to follow his first love, music, his world and family fractures in ways he didn’t foresee. Now Stephen must find a path and peace for himself: a space he can feel beautiful, a space he can feel free.


Though having had the author’s debut novel Open Water on my radar for the longest time, I have not gotten round to reading it yet. When there was the chance to read this early, I jumped at the chance, with the gut feeling I was going to love it. I was right, I did absolutely love it.

At the heart of this novel is the relationship between Stephen and his father, but this is not only a story about a father and a son, it’s a story of growth and love in many forms. And maybe above all, it’s a story of first and second generation British Ghanaians, the hope, the reality, the smells and the sounds. It was absolutely beautiful!

The writing is exquisite. The author uses repetition of phrases to perfection and every time certain sentences were repeated they buried themselves deeper into my heart and feels. He manages to get across the vibes perfectly; the heady feeling of summer, when everything feels possible, the frustration and love you can only have with family, the grief of loss. There was poetry in the words and he managed to created imagery in my head seemingly effortlessly.

This book made me smile and made me cry. It made me bathe in the summer sun and crushed my heart, only to make it whole again.

I will absolutely buy a copy of this book, as well as his debut novel.

5 out 5 stars



  • Characters: 10
  • Ambience: 10
  • Language: 10
  • Story: 10
  • Pacing: 9.5
  • Interest: 9.5
  • Enjoyment: 10

Books · Poetry · Read in 2023 · Reviews

(Poetry) Book Thoughts: Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair (Pablo Neruda)

A Chilean poet who knew how to paint pictures with words

★★★★☆ – CALSPIE 8.14

Title: Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair
Original Title: Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada
Author: Pablo Neruda
Narrator: W S Merwin (from Spanish)
Genre: Poetry
First published: 1924
Edition: Paperback, published in 2004 by Penguin Classics

FROM THE BLURB: Drawn from the most intimate and personal of associations, Pablo Neruda’s most beloved collection of poetry juxtaposes the exuberance of youthful passion with the desolation of grief, the sensuality of the body with the metaphorical nuances of nature.


This is a little book of poetry that is well worth reading. I went into it expecting to love it a lot as I had loved a larger selection of poetry that I read a while back. And I did like it, but I did not fall in love with this, his most famous work.

Reading back my review on his other work that I read, I think I understand why. I write that it took me a while to get into his work, that his work is very visual for me and that I need to let those images tell the story, rather than the words. I think this collection was a little too short for me to properly get into the vibe of his poetry, or maybe it was not quite the right moment, eventhough I did enjoy it quite a bit. I think at another moment, it may hit more of the right snares.

Still, Neruda wrote poetry with a clear passion and a love for words and imagery that I appreciate. I think this small collection has a clear purpose, to celebrate love and longing. I like that, but it also made the poems themselves not really stand out from one another. They tell a story, or rather an emotion, a vibe, as a whole.

So yes, I liked it, even loved parts, but it did not quite make my heart sing. However, I wouldn’t be surprised if it will do so on another day at another time.

On a side note, the added images by Pablo Picasso were a nice touch, as well as the fact that this is a dual language edition, which is always my preference with translated works.

4 out of 5 stars

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 3 May 2023

The days are FINALLY warming up and I am doing a quick WWW this morning as we’re going away for a couple of days. Much needed!

WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out!

The three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you will read next?



My main read at the moment is Small Worlds by Caleb Azumah Nelson. I kept meaning to pick up Open Water by the same author as I had heard such good things, but I just never got around to it. When I saw this one up for request at NetGalley I jumped at the chance. I am about a third of the way in and so far I absolutely love it. The writing is wonderful and just jumps off the page.

My audio book is The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I am really enjoying that one, but I have not been listening to my audio book much as my daughter is on her school holidays.


In the past week I did not finish much. I read On A Sunbeam by Tillie Walden, which I loved. I started reading Dragonfall by L R Lam, but I did not get on with it and ended up DNF 25% in. Finally, I read two poetry books; District and Circle by Seamus Heaney, which I was not that fond of, and Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda. I have not written my thoughts up for the latter yet. I will likely do that when I come back from our trip away. However, the gist of my thoughts on that one is that I did really like it, but that I wasn’t blown away by it.


I will mood-read off my TBR, so I don’t quite know which one I will pick up yet.


Have a great week!