I have decided to keep my TBR small for August: I have a couple of e-books, a few books from July’s TBR which i will try to get to, and these beauties. School starts up again in September so I know I will be spending a lot of time getting ready for the new school year – especially as I didn’t have a chance to clean up at the end of last year!
How many books do you have in your TBR for August?
Currently I am listening to The Switch by Beth O’Leary while starting a new crochet project. I am now working on an afghan for my cousin (remember my yarn haul of a few weeks ago?)
The story I am listening to centres on Leena and her grandmother Eileen. Ordered to take a two month long sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, Leena escapes to her grandmother’s house. Once there, the two women decide to switch lives for the period: Leena takes over her grandmother’s life while Eileen, a 79 year old woman, goes to London to look for love and a change of pace. Stepping into one another’s shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected – ad leads them to learning more about themselves.
I am enjoying this 2 POV narration that is spot on. The narrators of the novel are perfect for the two generations of women in the story – their voices sound their age! I cannot stop listening as the storytelling just draws me in. I loved The Flatshare and I am enjoying The Switch just as much. Beth O’Leary has done it again in that she has created a relevant story for today’s times that is so different to the other stories out there.
My previous read was The Night Stalker by Robert Bryndza: the second book in the mystery series featuring DCI Erika Foster. I enjoyed the novel and appreciated, especially, the unusual murder story and the sassy, no-nonsense detective. This was the third novel I had read by this author and he is now definitely on my authors-to-read list.
I am currently reading The Lightness of Hands by Jeff Garvin. This novel is a YA contemporary story that features the life of travelling magicians. The important part of this novel is that it centres on mental health issues and self-harm. It is an important story to be out there – though I do find it a little predictable.
At the moment I am binge watching Chinese marshal arts films on Netflix. I love watching the fight scenes as I find the choreography and strength of the fighters beautiful. I am definitely in the right frame of mind to read the autobiography Bruce Lee by Mathew Polly. My husband (who is a huge Bruce Lee fan) has read this title and enjoyed it and have decided to spend time with this book. I hope I will enjoy it as much as he did.
One of the titles I picked up from the library is by one of my favourite romance writers, RaeAnne Thayne. Serenity Harbour had been on my wishlist for a while and I thought now would be the perfect time to pick it up and read it.
The story takes place in Haven Point and centres on two characters named Bowie Callahan, a computer tech millionaire, and Katrina Bailey, a schoolteacher.
Bo is struggling to look after his young half brother, Milo, while settling into a new job. Kat is willing to help him with the care of the child because working with Milo will give her the money to get closer towards her goal of adopting an orphaned girl.
I enjoyed this read that hints at autism and special needs children. I also enjoyed the personality of all the characters – it made the story more enjoyable to me. Serenity Harbour was a perfect read for me this past week as it was not too intense and ended with a positive note.
I am horrified to hear of what is currently happening in the US and the steps that have been taken to silence voices. World-wide people have struggled and sacrificed for decades so that they can be heard – and in a few moments all the progress that has been made is taken away. We need to respect the voices of the disempowered; we need to listen to what they are saying.
I ask myself what I can do as an ordinary person living an ordinary life. I can listen and respect the experiences of those different to my own. I can pay attention to the voices of the disempowered. I can read the stories written by those whose lives are disimilar to my own. I can speak up when comments and actions are made to disrespect the experience of those living without ingrained privilege.
Reading fiction is one way in which to explore the voices of those that are often submerged in society. Experiences described by authors of colour can give an insight into a life different to our own. When I was growing up, these reads were not available. Now, however, the shelves in the bookstores are slowly showcasing stories written by authors of different races and culture.
Today I share with you a powerful story written by a Canadian author: The Book of Negroes. Lawrence Hill gives voice to those who were forced from their home country in West Africa and sold as property. The novel centres on the story of Aminata Diallo from the time she was captured, sold into slavery in the United States, and fought for freedom. This powerful novel not only brought tears to my eyes, but it made me think on the slave trade and the far-reaching consequences of this moment in history. Hill writes Aminita’s story with empathy and brings the experience of the woman to life. This is a novel that I have recommended to others to read; and it is one that will always have a place on my bookshelf.
I have read a lot of good things about Fantasy author Sarah J. Maas – all of them good. Recently she has released the first novel in an Adult Fantasy series she has written and when I saw the stunning cover, I knew I had to purchase it and immerse myself in the story.
I am 200 pages into this 800 page novel – and it is starting to get interesting. I suspect I will soon be unable to put this one down.
As part of my participation in the bookstagram community on Instagram, I often take pictures of book covers. I take these pictures outside sometimes so that the background to the book may look a little interesting.
I take these photos no matter what the weather:
Sometimes I take them at home and surround them with silk flowers:
Or I place the book next to my potted plants and pair it with a snack,
or even a drink.
Sometimes I photograph the book with only the potted plant accompanying it, showing off its green leaves
and sometimes its flowers.
From time to time, I pair a book cover with some of my students’ work:
Recently I have taken to listening to audiobooks during the social isolation period and have even shared these tops with the community.
I enjoy opening the covers of the books I read and often try to think of ways in which I can show off the work created by the artists who designed them.
When choosing my To Be Read stack for this month, I was not too ambitious despite my knowledge that I will be staying at home until the end of the month. Although I will be home, I will be working on creating tasks for my students through my online classroom.
I have tried to choose a mix of genres and have included some middle grade stories, fantasy novels, and some contemporary fiction. There are a number of titles here that I am quite excited to read.
My family and I are in our second week of social distancing. It has not been easy but we are doing it for the greater good of our community and to flatten the curve of the Covoid-19 spread.
This morning while I enjoyed my bowl of fruit, I opened The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. Reading has been one of my pleasures during this time period and I look forward to embracing the story of seventeen year old Lakshmi who escapes from an arranged and abusive marriage. She becomes a henna artist – and confidante – to the wealthy women of the upper class. As she pursues her dream of an independent life, she is confronted one day by her husband who has tracked her down.
This novel contains so much of what I look for in a good read: the description of a culture different to mine, a story set in a different time period, the pursuit of women’s empowerment. I look forward to immersing myself in the unfolding story.