Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 9 June 2021

Reading is way slower than I expected, but I am enjoying my reads, so I won’t complain too much! Also, the weather had turned lovely and summery! Finally!

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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?

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What am I currently reading?

My main read is Gardens of Delight by Erica James. I am not even halfway and it’s a 500-page book. I kind of expected this to be to be a simple chick lit and I guess it is, but there is a whole host of characters and it’s almost like three books rolled into one. So far it’s a joy to read actually. I’m just not reading that much in general, but I am making an effort today to actually sit down and read a good chunk. I’ve just been busy!

My side read is Liberté, Égalité, Phoenix!, which is a book chronicling the career of French band Phoenix, who I love a lot. It’s told in interview style and actually really works. The chapters are the albums and they talk about making the albums and what happened when they came out, even winning a Grammy! It’s a really fun book to read and a gorgeous one too. It’s almost coffee table size and has lovely pictures throughout.

Finally, I am still listening to Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I think I will be able to finish that one this week.

What have I recently finished reading?

I only finished one book, which was A Lullaby in the Desert by Mojgan Azar. That was a really impressive read that I can’t quite shake it off yet. It tells the story of a female refugee, and it was not an easy read by any means, but it I am very glad I read this and would highly recommend it.

What will I read next?

Because of my slow reading lately, I am a bit behind with most things, but the weather has picked up and I am sure I will spend more time sitting outside reading. That’s the ideal anyway. I will keep mood reading, but I did make a Summer TBR of books I’d like to get to. I also got one new book in this week that I would really like to get to sooner rather than later.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 2 June 2021

Summer is finally in the air and with the sunshine I feel a little more settled and I am expecting to read a bit more this week.

I have been rubbish at blogging and reading/commenting on your posts lately, but I am hoping I will be able to improve a bit over the coming weeks. I feel a lot more inspired anyway, which definitely helps.

Anyway, let’s start with this week’s WWW!

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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?

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What am I currently reading?

My main read at the moment is A Lullaby in the Desert by Mojgan Azar. It’s a semi-autobiographical story of Susan, who leaves Tehran to escape an arranged marriage and ends up in Erbil in Kurdistan, where the rise of ISIS (Da’esh) changes everything. I am not that far in yet, but already I am gripped. It feels like a story that needs to be told.

I am also slowly reading Liberté, Egalité, Phoenix!, which is French band Phoenix telling their story. There are lots of pictures and it’s a gorgeous book. I love Phoenix’ music, so it’s a great excuse to listen to all their albums again.

I am listening to Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. I am about halfway and it’s a good listen. It’s a very dark gothic story and I don’t like any of the characters, but the narrator is doing a great job and I am still enjoying it! I have the hardback as well, but I think audio is definitely the way to go with this one.

Finally, I have picked up Gardens of Delight by Erica James as a lighter bedtime read on my Kindle. It’s one that has been sitting on my Kindle for years, but now I just felt like this kind of fluffy summery read.

What did I recently finish reading?

In the past week I finished a translated work: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami, which was a decent read and I liked (5 out of 7*), a poetry book: Peace Flows from the Sky by Susan Polis Schultz (4 out of 7*) and a romance: The Roommate Risk by Talia Hibbert (4 out of 7*). I did not quite love any of these books, but they were all ok and I enjoyed reading them.

What will I be reading next?

No idea – whatever I am in the mood for. I did make a small summer TBR, so I may choose something from that.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 19 May 2021

Still reading slowly! *sigh* Oh well. I am enjoying what I’m reading though!

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WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out! (It’s her birthday today, so wish her a happy birthday!)

The three Ws are:

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

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What am I currently reading?

I am reading three books very slowly, but I am enjoying them all! I am reading Billie Holiday’s autobiography Lady Sings The Blues for my book club. It’s very vibrant and sassy and I like it. It’s co-written, but it came out in the 50s and the language really feels of its time, which I love.

I am also reading Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami. It’s my first Murakami and I am only 50 pages in, but I really like the writing style and the story is intriguing so far. I can already see myself reading a lot more Murakami in the future.

Finally, I am listening to Patti Smith’s M Train. I just love listening to Patti narrating her books. This book does not really seem to be about anything in particular, but just a dip into her journals and making a book out of it. It drifts and meanders and I kind of love it for that.

What did I recently finish reading?

I finished reading Then She Ran by Charlie Gallagher, which was a crime/mystery. It was not really my bag, but it was fine.

I also finished In The Presence of Absence by Palistinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. It’s an ode to his life addressed to himself and it was fantastic. That one felt expecially poignant in current times with everything that’s going on with Israel/Palestine. I won’t get into politics here, but I have strong feelings. I will try and get hold of everything this guy has written, because I love his prose so so much. Obviously I can’t read the original Arabic version, but the translation flowed well and felt sincere.

What will I read next?

I am really not sure yet. It depends on my mood when I finish the books I am currently reading. There are a few books I bought recently that are high on my list. We’ll see!

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 12 May 2021

My reading week has been nothing if not patchy! Every day I mean to finish my book and every day I don’t! Oh dear. Fingers crossed I will be a bit better in doing so in the next few days. However for now:

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WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out! (It’s her birthday today, so wish her a happy birthday!)

The three Ws are:

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

***

What am I currently reading?

I am reading Then She Ran by Charlie Gallagher on my Kindle. It’s a book that has been sitting on said Kindle for two or three years and I felt kind of in the mood for something thrillery/crimey. I am over halfway and when I actually sit down to read it, it’s very easy to read, but for some reason I don’t feel the urge to. I am not entirely sure whether it is the book or my mood.

I am also still reading In The Presence of Absence by Mahmoud Darwish, which I am still loving. I am not in a rush with that one. It’s one to savour and I’d rather read two pages a day properly than rush through it. My mind has been too scattered these last few days to do it justice, so I will let it sit until my brain has the capacity to take it all in.

Finally, I have started listening to M Train by Patti Smith on audio. I have that book on my shelves, but I really enjoyed listening to Patti Smith’s Just Kids a while back and I love listening to her talk. She writes very eloquently and it’s just a joy. This one is less coherent than Just Kids. There’s a lot of musing and descriptions of mundane things, but I kind of like that. So far, so good.

What have I recently finished reading?

I finished a Middle Grade book, which was DarkIsle by D A Nelson. It was fine. It had some interesting bits, but I was not the target audience and I did not love it. However, my daughter might like it, so I have put it in her bookcase to see whether she will pick it up and if she does, what she will think of it. However, she is re-reading Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (again), so it may be a while.

I then read Down Among The Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire. This is the second book in the Wayward Children series and I definitely enjoyed more than the first book. I may read the third book soon.

Finally, I finished an audio book, which was By The Pricking of my Thumbs by Agatha Christie. That one was so much fun to listen to and it was the right choice for my mood at the time for sure.

What will I be reading next?

I have a few books I definitely want to get to soon. There is Lady Sings The Blues, which is Billie Holiday’s autobiography, which I will be reading for my book club shortly. I am looking forward to that one.

Also, I got a request for a review for a book called A Lullaby in the Desert by Mojgan Azar. The author approached me and on reading the synopsis of the book I immediately decided to buy the book for myself rather than accept a free copy. It sounds like an important read, which the author told me deals with ‘women’s rights, fighting for freedom from oppression, social conflict, and the dangers pushing so many to flee their homelands to become refugees’. However, this is a heavy subject and I want to be in the right frame of mind to read this.

I also bought myself a Talia Hibbert Romance novel on my Kindle for 99p, which I may read if I feel like I need something light.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 5 May 2021

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WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out! (It’s her birthday today, so wish her a happy birthday!)

The three Ws are:

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

***

What am I currently reading?

I am currently reading a middle grade book, which is DarkIsle by D A Nelson. It’s not blowing my mind, but I am enjoying it and I will pass it one to my daughter to read once I am done with it.

I am also reading In The Presence of Absence by Mahmoud Darwish. It is hard to explain what this book is. It kind of appears to be his life story written in prose told to himself. He wrote it when he knew he was dying. I have never read anything like it. It is beautiful and I am savouring every page. I know it will make me cry. There is something about his writing that hits me right in the feels, even in a translated work.

Finally, I am listening to an Agatha Christie on audio. I have gone for By The Pricking of my Thumbs, which is neither a Marple nor a Poiroit. It centrest around an elderly sleuthing couple. I am enjoying the listen.

What did you recently finish reading?

I am still reading slowly and I have only managed to finish one book, which was Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo. It was a good one though!

What will I read next?

I am not entirely sure yet. I have some heavier reads I want to get to, but I think I will be better off keeping to light reads for now. Nothing too taxing on my brain. My brain too quickly loses focus at the moment. I do need to read some books from my 2021 TBR, so I may have a look at that when choosing my next read.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: 21 April 2021

I am not reading a ton at the moment. Partly because I am clearly having a midlife crisis and have taken it upon myself to learn to play guitar, which is taking up time that I would normally spend reading. However, learning a new skill is definitely a lot of fun and I am actually making decent progress. I may actually be able to play a proper song in a few months. 😂

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WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out! (It’s her birthday today, so wish her a happy birthday!)

The three Ws are:

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

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What am I currently reading?

I am reading Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault. It’s fiction based around Alexander the Great. I am enjoying it so far, but I am just reading very slowly. This is just due to less reading time and the fact that I am having a bit of trouble concentrating at the moment. The book is actually pretty good.

I am listening to In The Days of Rain by Rebecca Stott on audio book. It’s a non-fiction book about her and her father’s experiences with the Brethren, a fundamendalist Christian sect. It’s a compelling listen so far. I am not quite halfway. I had this one on my 2021 TBR. She reads it herself and she reads it well.

What did I recently finish reading?

I only finished the audio book for Pride and Prejudice, which was an absolute joy. Rosamund Pike did a great job narrating that one. Full marks. Still a favourite.

What will I read next?

I am not sure. There a few books I’d like to get to, but since I am reading very slowly at the moment, it will be mood reading for now.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday: 14 April 2021

I skipped last week for some reason. I don’t think I finished anything then anyway, so I guess it does not matter. And I am super late again today! Anyway, happy Wednesday evening!

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WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out! (It’s her birthday today, so wish her a happy birthday!)

The three Ws are:

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

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What am I currenly reading?

I have just started Fire From Heaven by Mary Renault last night, so I am only 6 (!!) pages in. I was choosing a new book and just kind of felt like reading a fiction book about some ancient civilization. This one centres around Alexander The Great.

I am still listening to Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It is nice to revisit this wonderful novel as an audio book. Rosamund Pike does a great job reading it. She brings a lot of life to it. I only have an hour or so to go, so I expect to finish it in the next couple of days.

What did your recently finish reading?

I finished Palace of Desire, the second book in the Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz, just yesterday evening. I really love Mahfouz’ writing a lot. It took me about two weeks to read, which is long for me, but I don’t mind. I enjoyed it and I will order the third book in the series soon.

What will I be reading next?

It’s time to pick up another non-fiction book. I am just not quite sure which one yet. I have a couple of music books I want to read, but I also have some other books I would like to get to soon. I will probably decide later today.

As for fiction, I will probably pick up something from my 2021 TBR next.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 31 March 2021

The last day of the month already, the clocks changed at the weekend, so it must surely mean spring is properly here. Finally! It has felt like a long winter.

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WWW Wednesdays’ home is at Sam’s blog Taking On A World of Words. Check it out! (It’s her birthday today, so wish her a happy birthday!)

The three Ws are:

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

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What am I currently reading?

I am currently reading Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, but my reading has been a bit on the slow side. I like story so far, but I just haven’t found myself caught up in it yet. Hopefully I will. I had fully expected to finish it by the end of the month, but I’m not even halfway! Oh well 🙂

Same goes for The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire. I started this classic book of poetry quite early on in March and had expected to finish it by the end of the month, but I haven’t. It is not because I am not enjoying it. I am! In fact, I love these poems and that is also why I don’t just want to finish it just for the sake of finishing it. I want to enjoy these poems and take them in.

I started Pride and Prejudice on audio yesterday, read by actress Rosamund Pike. I was not sure what new audio book to pick and I have actually been meaning to re-read this one. It’s good, because it’s also when I can dip in and out of when I have a different audio book that I should read, as I know the story so well already. I have only just started, but I am enjoying listening to it!

What have I recently finished reading?

I did finish two shorter audio books and a paperback this past week, so I have done quite well. The two audio books were Ayoade on Top by Richard Ayoade and Notes on a Nervous Planet by Matt Haig. The first was wonderfully light relief and the second was kind of confronting, but really interesting to me and a relatively light read on mental health. Both were 6* reads for me.

I also finished Wilder Girls by Rory Power. This one was just ok for me. It did not quite grab me and I felt like it needed a little more flesh on its bones. (4*)

What will I be reading next?

It looks like last night my favourite music book club chose Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers) to read next, so I will probably pause Pride and Prejudice and listen to that one on audio instead.

As for a physical book, since my reading is a bit slow I will be mood reading and just pick up what I feel like when I finish my current read.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 24 March 2021

Can’t believe we are already this far into March and Covid restrictions have been in place for over a year. How are things going in your country? Have you been vaccinated yet? Fingers crossed we will all be vaccinated by summer and life can return to some sort of normality.

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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?

***

What am I currently reading?

I had a bit of a book hangover after The Secret History – I felt satisfied, but exhausted! So I picked up an easier read, which is Wilder Girls by Rory Power. I am only 70 pages in (and that took me three days 😂), but it feels like it would normally be a quick read. Hopefully my reading will pick up soon. I plan to put a bit of time aside today, as today I don’t have much on.

I have finally continued The Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire. I am really enjoying this poetry. It’s so full of longing, a strange mix of romance and nihilism. I am not that far in yet, so I am curious to see what the rest of the poems will be like. I like this edition as it has the original French poem on one side and the English one on the other. My French is very bad, but I can sort of check whether the cadence of the original returns in the English translation and it seems that it does, which I am very pleased with.

Finally, I have started a new audio book. I chose Ayoade on Top by Richard Ayoade. I had heard such good things and it was in the Audible sale, so I figured now was the time. I am a third of the way through (it’s only short) and it is such a fun listen. It really is light relief in the best possible way.

What have I recently finished reading?

In the past week I have finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt, which was dense, but very good. It took me quite a long time to read, but it was so worth my time. 6/7 stars.

I also finished my audio book which was Thinking on my Feet by Kate Humble. It’s a book about walking throughout the course of one year, diary style. I found it a really relaxing read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. 6/7 stars.

What will I be reading next?

I have a few books that are high up on my TBR. I have the e-book of Where The Crawdads Sing by Celia Owens that I really want to get to ASAP, and I also want to continue the Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz with Palace of Desire. I think those are the most likely candidates.

Books · WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays: 10 March 2021

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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?

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What are you currently reading?

I ‘only’ have two books in progress at the moment. I have about two hours to go on my audio book, which is still Listening to the Animals by Supervet Noel Fitzpatrick. For some reason I just haven’t been listening to audio very much. I am enjoying it well enough though.

I am reading Dominicana by Angie Cruz on my Kindle. I am about 20% in. It’s ok so far – I am not loving it yet.

What have I recent finished reading?

I finished four books since last week. I liked them all! I finished Johannesburg by Fiona Melrose, which despite it’s low Goodreads rating, I really enjoyed. I ended up giving it 6 out of 7 stars (5* on GR). I just love the way she writes every day things. I also finished On Connection by Kae Tempest, which was a small book all on the idea of connection and creativity and how they go together. It was interesting, but I feel like they could have delved a little deeper (5/7*).

Yesterday I finished two more books, which were State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury, which had been sitting pretty on my shelf for a few years. I liked it, but I won’t be continuing the series (5/7*). And last, but definitely not least I read Why Did You Leave the Horse Alone? by Mahmoud Darwish. This is a poetry book with beautiful prose translated from Arabic. I really loved it, but the meaning went over my head a lot of the time. I gave it 6/7*, but I kind of feel it deserves a 7*. I just don’t understand it enough. But then, do you really need to understand poetry to love it? Food for thought…

What will I be reading next?

I keep thinking I want to read ‘this’ and then I change my mine to ‘that’, so I think I will just pick whatever I am in the mood for when I finish my current reads.