Happy Reading: Hello Spring

 

Hello everyone! Ready for some good reads? Here is my list for this spring: 

 

The Spy by Paulo Coelho: I was waiting eagerly for this book to come out, however, once it was out I was a little worried that I won’t like it, and therefore end a long love story between me and one of my very favorite authors, so I waited. Last week I finally came to an end with my dilemma and decided to purchase the book. The book is about Mata Hari a very brave woman who fled sexual abuse and rape by a school headmaster, by marrying a man and moving with him to Indonesia, only to discover that she went from the frying pan to the fire. The first thought that came to my mind after starting this book was that Mata Hari really deserves better than what she has been getting in the library department. This great woman was nothing like she is described! She was not a libertine as Paulo presented her, nor a free-love free-spirit. She was more than that. Nothing came easy to her as Paulo states!  But the question is: Is she a spy or not?

While Coelho stayed true to his style, in my opinion he failed to bring the real picture of the real interesting and brave Margaretha Zelle MacLeod.

 

Difficult women by Roxane Gay: It is a collection of stories that will strike you with their force and beauty. Each one of them is very real, strong and inspiring. Different lives, different faiths, different stories, yet they are all WOMEN! Roxan is phenomenally talented and I most definitely recommend this book.

 

 

How to Eat by Thich Nhat hanh: A little book with lots of information. It brings food and the act of eating to a whole different dimension. A Zen perspective of how to look at food. Definitely worth reading.

 

Ego is The Enemy Ryan Holiday: Ego is definitely the enemy because when you think you know everything; you can never learn. The book is a start to arm yourself for the battle against ego. The book is more of a pep talk the author is giving himself in the mirror, but it still remains a good book.

 

 

 

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I came across this book somewhere online, and was intrigued by the title, so I decided to read it. I finished the book in 2 days! I just couldn’t put it down! While it is just a novel, you have no idea how real and true it is. It talks about marriage as it is, not as romantic movies and novels approach it. The life each one builds with their partners, and how life always gets in the way. The things we all do at least once in a lifetime. The things we end up doing after being in a marriage for years and years. Love it!

 

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid: Of course after reading “After I do”, I had to look up all the books written by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I also finished this one in two days! While the storyline is very unoriginal, the author has her way in gifting you with a great book. The kind of novel that make your heart floats on a cloud and give your soul all the feels. A perfect read.

 

Maybe In Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid: A very interesting story, one where we see the choices made by a young woman, unfold in two different scenarios. After three novels by the same author, still loving her style and the way she makes me unable to put the book down!

 

Forever uninterrupted Taylor Jenkins Reid: The fourth and last book by this author I promise. An emotional and well written book. The story though was not what I have hoped for. A love story that ends with a tragedy, and shows us what life can be after a big loss.

 

Ouiam

Happy Reading: Hello December

Hello everyone! So technically winter is almost here, and that calls for lots of hot chocolates and some serious curling up in bed, reading tons of good books! So there you go, my list of good reads is ready for you! ENJOY!!

This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage by Anne Pretchett: I love love love her style! So real and funny and easy and light! A series of essays that will make you rethink some of the most fundamental questions we face in life! A wonderful read!

Crazy Brave by Joy Harjo: This is one of the very few books that make me forget the whole world, curled up in my sofa, devouring the pages and wishing it never ends! The story of this brave woman told as no one could have ever done! Bold, desperate, resilient, spiritual, strong and delicate at the same time! Books like this one remind me of how great we are, us women! We are most certainly God’s most precious gift to the universe.

Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahren: I have read everything that Cecelia have written right from her debut “PS I Love You”, and over that time her writing style has changed and evolved in many ways. I really enjoyed her earlier books, but then felt things got a little too magical and unrealistic, and became more like fairytales! I feel with this book Cecelia got back to her old style and it’s definitely a beautiful book to read.

I Know Why The Caged Birds Sing by Maya Angelou: Maya Angelou is one great inspiration to all of us, and this book about her childhood and adolescence is absolutely amazing! So tragic yet very hopeful. Angelou has a magnificent style that will draw you in from the very first page of this book.

Raise Your Vibrations by Kyle Gray: In order to read this book, you need to keep an open mind. I loved it because it’s magical and spiritual at the same time. Whether you believe in God or in the universe, positivity is something we are all looking for, and this book is a great reminder to look within for inspiration.

 

Ouiam xx

Happy Reading: Hello December! 

  

Happy Sunday, Friends!! There is something magical about Sundays. I can’t really tell what it is, but they are just beautiful! Where I live Sundays are the beginning of the week, so you wake up to a whole new week waiting for you. New adventures, new memories, new people you could meet, new goals you might achieve. Sundays to me are a reminder! Upon rising my brain takes 5 seconds to reboot and fill the voids with gratitude, appreciation, and recognition for everything I have. A quick reminder to pay extra attention to the people around me, tell them I love them and care about them, hug them a little harder, smile a little wider, send love and positivity vibes! That’s why Sundays are very special to me, how about you? 

So after a day full of all these beautiful thoughts, I decided to share my list of books that I recommend for December. I am also adding the ones for November, since I completely forgot to write a “Hello November” post! So here they are for both combined. Enjoy…! 

1- On Writing by Steven King. This book was suggested to me by one of my professors and as soon as I read the first few pages, I was hooked! The book starts as an autobiography, where Steven talks about his childhood, in a brilliant style! He then moves to the main topic: Writing! I really felt a wonderful connection with this book and its writer, it really transported me about 100 times as Steven pleased! And I was happy with it. Even if you don’t care about writing, please give it a try! It is a wonderful book. 

2- Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert (Author of Eat Pray Love). I must say that this book is a fresh breeze of air! Beautifully written! I read Eat Pray Love, when it was first published and fell in love instantly. I then read her second book: “Committed” and decided it wasn’t for me. So I was a bit hesitant when I ordered “Big Magic”, I didn’t want to be disappointed but because of the wonderful reviews it got, I decided to step in. The style… Oh the style!! Classy, fancy.. It reminded me of the Parisian demoiselles in their little black dresses! So chic and elegant! A self-help book with a touch of magic, that’s all I would say! 

3- Learned Optimism by Martin E. P. Seligman. Hmmmm…… What should I say about this book? Simply it wasn’t for me. Unlike its title, the book focuses on depression. It does talk about how we are the masters of our lives, in a very scientific way, and is backed up with tons of experiments that the author and his colleagues did; but it just wasn’t for me. 

4- Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover. This lady has the gift of taking you million miles away from where you lay with that book, and showers you with hundreds of emotions one after another! You will cry at the end though…. Happy tears ;). If you had a crazy busy week, (like I did), I totally recommend you take a mini break with this gorgeous book! You’ll thank me later 🙂 

5- Daring Greatly by Brené Brown. I recently listened to a great TedTalk she did about vulnerability and I loved it. So I decided to read her book. The first few chapters got me to think deeply about shame and how vulnerable I am or not. Then things started to get a tad boring. While listening for 18 mins to a talk about shame and vulnerability is interesting, spending 6 hours reading about it is a bit crazy. However, I really liked the topic. We always try to be strong and hide our vulnerable side because it is seen as a weakness, but is it really…? 

6- Thinking Fast And Slow by Daniel Kahneman. I still can’t really decide whether I liked this book or not. While I loved that it addresses the way humans behave, and why we all have some dumb moments because even though we are capable of thinking our ways to better conclusions, we don’t! Because we are so lazy to do so! however I thought it was ridiculously long, and could have been summarised in few points. 

If you read any of the above books, I would love to know your opinion!! 

Ouiam  

Happy Reading: August 

  
With summer, comes a renewed excitement for reading… At least for me! Even though I have been super busy lately, I always manage to find some free time for a good book! In my world, reading is like yoga, it is an inner shift from the endless to-do lists, the running around, the business of each day and just everything else. I try to read at least few pages before I can’t even keep my eyes open anymore and just collapse in bed with my kindle still on. Anyways here are the books I read last month and what I thought of each one! Enjoy!! 

1- The Five Love Languages Of Children by Gary D.Chapman and Ross Campbell. I love reading parenting books, it is always interesting to learn new things about a topic I love so much. This book is about showing your kids love in ways they would see and understand, even when it comes to discipline. It talks deeply about each child and their different needs of love. 

2- All Joy And No Fun by Jennifer Senior. I heard of this book from a TED talk. After I heard the author talking about how most parenting books talk about kids -obviously- but none of them actually talk about us, parents, and what we go through while bringing up these little munchkins. I thought I should definitely read it, because it felt new and enticing. Unfortunately, I have to say, she criticises everything, me and parents like me do! Her point is that basically we are doing too much and going way out of our way to raise our kids! Each page had me raise my eyebrows and scream: REALLY?!!?!! I love going way out of my way to raise my son! I love being tired at the end of each day knowing that I did my best to be a good mother! I enjoy spending my whole day focusing on my son! I love doing it and it makes me happy! I am not miserable as you state Miss Senior! Actually my son brings only happiness and joy to my life! However, the book is full of interesting facts and studies, and I would read it again for that! 

3- The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls. Now THIS is a great book! I loved it! I admired Jeannette’s courage to write about such delicate things in her life! Throughout the book I felt excited, sad, enraged, happy and relieved. Jeannette tells us about her childhood with, let’s just say, abnormal parents! I liked the fact that in her early years it was fun doing new things and it made me think of all the things I can do to make my son’s childhood special, but as she grew older things got weirder! I really recommend this book! It was awesome! 

Let me know if you read any of these books, and what is currently in your reading list? 

Happy reading! 

Ouiam 

Happy Reading: Hello June! 

  
I always get incredibly excited to write the “Happy Reading” posts! Because I get to share with you guys what I love the most: Books! Plus, summer is already here in the island, so what’s better than sitting by the pool/ beach, with a lemonade, and dive into a good book? Nothing at all right?!! 
The books I read last month, were all about women, it was a mere coincidence, but after reading them, I felt so proud to be a woman myself! We are such complicated creatures yet so simple, don’t ask me how, because I don’t have an answer! This is just how we are! 

So my first book is : 

1- Lila By Marilynne Robinson: This book has it all! After I started reading the first few chapters, I was very close to switching off my kindle, and checking another book -a thing that I never do- but then, as I got to know Lila more, I felt for her. I wanted to know how can anyone -let alone, a woman- feel this lonely and humiliated. How early deprivation causes lasting damages. Being a mother myself, all I wanted to do is take Lila in my arms and tell her that she was safe, and knowing that I couldn’t do that, made me so anxious to finish the book, to know if anyone will reassure and take care of her! This book gives us a sense of wholeness in such gorgeous writing! 

2- The Nazi Officer’s Wife By Edith Hahn Beer and Susan Dworkin: How one jewish woman survived the Holocaust. An unforgettable book about a Holocaust surviver! A woman who was studying law in Vienna, when the Gestapo forced her and her mother into the Jewish Ghetto! Her life changed, her main purpose in life now, was to stay alive and be reunited again with her mother! Love, Dedication, Hate, Drama, Terror, Struggle and more! A powerful book! 

3- Leaving Time by Jody Picoult: Now this book really left me so confused! I honestly don’t know whether I liked it or not. Who is familiar with Jody’s books, will know that she always writes about another world, and this is what I like about her, she takes you to this new world, where everything is possible, but this book was SAD! I certainly enjoyed reading it YES, but it was a hot mess! 

4- The Boston Girl : A pleasant and easy to read book, perfect for the holidays. It is a snapshot of a great woman’s life, a story of a young woman breaking out of her cultural norms. 

4- Wild by Cheryl Strayed: This book was the adrenaline kick I needed. It is about a girl who hiked 1,100miles along the pacific crest trail in a bid to escape her demons. I don’t approve of many things she did, but her courage and willpower, blew my mind off! I admired her honesty and how she could face her own fears and turn them into nothing but strength. A fascinating book.

I hope you enjoy these books as much as I did! Happy Reading! 

Ouiam

Happy Reading!! Hello May! 

  

The beauty of every book is that it allows us to live more than one life! With every book, you fly to another world and get lost for hours. You might encounter a variation of feelings for the first time through one! For a moment, you forget who you are, what you do. You forget your worries and anxiety! And you live the story! Someone else’s story, as if it was yours! How magnificent is this!! 

Today i will share my list of recommended books, for the month of May. I have read these books last month, and i have loved every single one of them!! I hope you like and enjoy them too! 
1- Better Than Before (Mastering the habits of our everyday lives) by Gretchen Rubin. I am a creature of routine and habits make a huge part of my life, so i always try to look for ways to implement good ones and get ride of the unwanted ones, yet the books i have read so far, were not of a great help! This book though, is completely different, it talks -in great detail- about everything you would like to know about habits! It also shows you how to implement good habits or avoid bad ones according to your personality! Different charachters deal with habbits differently! I read this book few weeks ago and it already helped me a great deal! 
2- Lots of Candles Plenty of Cakes by Ana Quindlen. This book is one of the very few ones, that kept me glued to my kindle for hours! I was mesmerised by her writing style! This incredible lady writes about looking back, in life, and looking ahead! And celebrating it all! In such a beautiful way, that you want to sing the words and write them in little post-it notes, and spread them all over your house! 
3- Hard Choices: A Memoir By Hilary Rodham Clinton. I had this book for few months now, but something was putting me off about reading it, (probably its size! It is a big book), Then one day i just grabbed it and started reading! And loved it! Hilary takes us in a ride of four years in the White House, nothing like Scandal though lol! This book changed few opinions i happen to have before! A really good read! 
4- How to Meditate By Pema Chodron. A great guide if you want to make peace with your mind. The book talks about everything related to meditating: how, why, where! In a very simple and easy way that makes you wanna do it! 
Hope you enjoy these books the way i did! And i look forward to choosing new books for next month! Happy Reading!
Ouiam

Happy Reading: April

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By nature, I am a total bookworm. When I was a kid, my dad used to buy me three storybooks every Saturday, and I would be so excited and eager to read them all, that I would stay up all night, and finish all three of them. Then, I keep on re-reading them until the next Saturday finally arrives! But really what’s better than having an hour or two – or sometimes five until I finish the book I started then. Some books have this effect on me- while sipping some tea and waiting for my eyelids to get heavy.

I read anything and everything, really! I love words and sentences, and I think any book, in this world, is worth reading. Of course, I have my preferences, and every month, I spend hours on Google and Goodreads, checking for my kind of books. But my one rule has always been, FINISH THE BOOK YOU STARTED!  No matter how ridiculous this sounds, I truly believe that every book is sacred and it is highly disrespectful to leave it unfinished.

So every month, I download books on my kindle and buy few more on Amazon, because although I love my kindle, I still love to read an actual book. Flip the pages while the smell of the paper caresses my nose. However, I have to say that the kindle is much easier to carry around, especially when you are in the middle of reading few books at the same time, (always my case, the books I read in the morning are not the same ones I read at night). You just do not have to take all three (or five lol) books with you wherever you go, you just take your kindle! This month, and after a dear friend of mine, mentioned it, I will write a small review about some very interesting books, that I have read and greatly liked. And guess what? Yes i will do it every month (yaaay!!).

  • Scary close (Donald Miller): This book is simply out of this world. I usually do not like to read self-help books, so when I saw it on amazon listed as one, I hesitated. On the other hand, it was all over the web, and everyone was saying great things about it. So I decided to dig in. For people like me, who are interested in dropping the act and be themselves, this is definitely THE book!
  • Quiet (Susan Cain): This book will enable you to really understand your own personality. It treats the controversy about how the world sees and thinks of introverts and extroverts. Such a great and inspiring book.
  • Brain Rules For Baby (John Medina): a friend of mine recommended this book, and I just couldn’t put it down after i started it. If you have a baby, or about to have one, this book is a great read. It handles some very interesting topics, DOs and DON’Ts, while pregnant. TV: Yes or No and why?. How to handle tantrums. And many other interesting things.
  • The Tipping Point (Malcolm Gladwell): a very interesting book, especially if you want to start a business. It talks about the little things that make the big difference. The tipping point, as Malcolm says, is the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point”
  • The invention Of Wings (Sue Monk Kidd): it is a book to get lost in, the writing and the storytelling is remarkable, short sentences that tell you everything you would want to know.

Now your turn, what is the last great book you have read?  Leave a comment and suggest one book to a friend (me!). what would you recommend?

Ouiam