Not-So Random Things: Mini Reviews (part 1)

This week I thought I’d update you on my Summer Reads by sharing lessons learned or take aways from the books I’ve finished reading already. So, here we go…

1. Survival of the Fittest by Jacqui Murray:

What drew me to this book is the name of the main protagonist, Xhosa, and the setting. The story, set 850,000 years ago, deals with hardship and determination as a tribe led by a female warrior migrates in search of a new home. 

It’s clear as they journey along, and meet other tribes that they need to learn to trust others, join forces if they are going to defeat the enemy. 

I have met many Leaders, as I am sure you have. They either meet my gaze or look elsewhere. Which it tells me all I need to know about whether they will be friend or foe.

2. The Firm by John Grisham

I picked this book (and A Time to Kill also by Grisham) from a thrift store for only two euros. Grisham is one of those famous writers I’ve never read until now.

And I very happy, I finally did. The lesson for me from this one: “if it’s sounds too good to be true, it probably is.



3. A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader edited by Maria Popova & Claudia Bedrick

The letters in this book are written for young readers by different authors, artists and experts from all walks of life. I felt a child, myself as I read. Because some of these letters took me back to my own childhood of finding solace in books, feeling understood and dreaming of far away places with white Christmases. 🙂 The key message for me here: love of books is one of the best ways to widen a child’s world.

There are times when dreams sustain us more than facts. To read a book and surrender to a story is to keep our very humanity alive. 

4. How Often I Have Chosen Love by Xiao Yue Shan

Shan’s poems speak of places I’ve never been; the complex history of China, a life in Hong Kong and apartments of San Francisco. Yet I relate to the perpetual complex sense of home and nuanced families.

I also like her writing style and voice a lot. One of my favourite poems is, and hong kong was always this shade of light blue. Btw, this chapbook is available for free. If you love poetry do yourself a favour, download and read!


5. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

When I read the summary of The Four Agreements from Kathy’s Instagram post I knew it was a book I had to read, even though it wasn’t on my reading list.

The book deals with how self-limiting beliefs rob us of joy and create needless suffering. The timing was just right, and the second agreement resonated with me most.

When we really see other people as they are without taking it personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or do.

That’s it for now, folks. Of course, I’m always interested to hear about your reads. Care to share a book that has made an impression on you, so far?

Other than that, Happy Midsummer / Hauskaa Juhannusta! I’ll be celebrating mine soaking up the sun, and with a good book. 😀

Every Friday, I share five random things I’m reading, watching, doing and thinking about. You’re most welcome to join the conversation.

A Seasonal Rhythm

Locust spins singing its heart out
before the wagtail takes its share.
The squirrel climbs fast down a tree
stops and sniffs a baby rabbit
nibbling tender twigs without care.
A family of crows; father perched
on a pine branch vigilant watches
as the mother feeds the chicks.
Not to be outdone, finch takes over 
for some birds are poets. And this
a seasonal rhythm in my garden.

For the Midweek Motif, Garden, at Poets United.

note: These are images from my backyard. Now that it’s summer, I enjoy sitting on the balcony while sipping my morning coffee. I’ve been following with keen interest a family of crows parked right under my window.

Listening to the rhythm of nature, even with the urban noise around, is precious. It’s like a meditation; finding peace in the midst of chaos.