My Summer Reads, 2020

You must go on a long journey before you can really find out how wonderful home is. ~ Tove Jansson

I’ve just realised that it’s a little over a week before summer officially starts. Where did the time go?

It’s been so tempting to skip the whole summer reading challenge thing, this year. Haven’t we been challenged enough already with this lock-down! But what can a reader do during a holiday, if not reading? So, I’m forging ahead and also invite anyone who’s up for reading to join me. Reading is a shared experience.

On being a tourist in my own city, Tampere

What is my criteria this year? As I shared in the previous post, travel is one of my interests. When I’m not travelling, I’m reminiscing about the last trip or planning the next. But for reasons we all know travel has been cancelled.

Instead I’m planning to embark on an arm-chair travel with some travelogue, memoir as well as fiction with a strong sense of place in order to satisfy my wanderlust.

I’m setting my goal low as I’ll also be catching up on creative writing, this summer. So, here is my pick:

Bryson is one of my favourite travel writers. He is just hilarious and a pleasure to read! I’ve read quite a number of his books but not this one set in Australia.

It’s been sitting too long on my TBR. It’s time…

I think London’s sexy because it’s so full of eccentrics. – Rachel Weisz

Lisbon is one of the top 5 cities I’d like to visit soon. And Portuguese is one of the languages I’m interested in learning.

Below are two additional books I had already planned to read, and have nothing to do with travel:

A Poetry Book

This a second book in the series, and part of an autobiographical project by this writer. The Guardian claims the book is “not so much a memoir as an eloquent manifesto for what Levy calls “a new way of living.”

Are you reading this summer? How are you choosing your reads? Please do share!

Wishing you a lovely weekend! 🙂

Inspired Places

As most of you know already, I’m hugely inspired by nature. But everyday life inspires me as much. So, I’ve decided to reminisce about one of my interests, travel. Below are some of the places that had inspired my writings.

1. I Woke Up in Africa

The Heart of Johannesburg’s Downtown

The title is one of many poems I’ve written about inequality that still persists in my home country, SA. I’ve also experimented with short stories and pieces of creative nonfiction inspired by this city.

2. The Lost Diary

Prague, the best-preserved city

Years ago, my husband and I visited Prague. Let’s just say, it’s easy to fall in love with this city. It is beautiful. So, inspired by all sorts during our visit, I wrote furiously on my diary but only to lose it, later. In any case, Prague is one of those cities that warrants more than one visit. And The Lost Diary is a story I still have to write.

3. Presumption

Warszawa by Night

I wrote on a different blog years ago about how we ended up stranded in Warszawa; an incident that saw us sleep at the train station. It’s a funny story, actually. 🙂 But that story I later compressed into a very short poem.

4. Winter Dream

Ruka Ski Resort, Kuusamo

Winter Dream is one of many poems I’ve written about Finnish winter. But on a different subject and season, as we approach summer I can’t help but wonder how the holidays are going to look and feel like with the pandemic still lingering in the air.

5. The Distorted View

An autobiographical novel (yet to be published) came out of this place I called home and a huge part of my childhood. Of course, the inspiration to write the story was much more than just about a place.

My countryside childhood home, now in ruins

That’s a quick peek at some of my travel-inspired writings. You’ve probably noticed that the photos are not touristy but rather mundane. That’s because mood of a place is one of the things that fascinates me. Sometimes I’m lucky enough to experience different moods in one place.

But over to you, have you written a story or book about a place? If so, where can we find it? Also feel free to share what you are reminiscing about these days? I’d love to hear from you! 🙂