How I Read (Summer 2019)

I read all the books in the list, except one, We Are The Ones We Need by Sihle Bolani. For some reason, Kindle wouldn’t let me purchase it. Perhaps, it’s regional.

Nonetheless, it’s a story I know well and have lived; The War on Black Professionals in Corporate South Africa. Reading from the reviews, it seems nothing much has changed since I left that world more than ten years ago.

But as promised, here is how I managed to diversify my reads.

From bookshelf, book(s) I bought but haven’t read yet

  • Bad Seed by Michael Lackey (indie author)

  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Favourite genre (poetry), book by an author I’ve never heard of

  • How Often I Have Chosen Love by Xiao Yue Shan  (chapbook)

  • 20.35 Africa; an Anthology of Contemporary Poetry by Safia Elhillo & Ghenga Adesina (anthology)

Classics by some of my favourite authors

  • Sea and Sardinia by D.H. Lawrence

  • Washington Square by Henry James

Recommended by a friend/colleague/stranger

  • The Firm by John Grisham

  • The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Genre (short stories) I don’t read too often

  • Keyhole Stories by Tove Backhammar et al. (anthology)

In translation (from Italian to English)

  • Those Who Stay and Those Who Leave by Elena Ferrante

Book set in a country I’d like to visit

  • Becoming by Michelle Obama

A nonfiction book on a subject a friend & sibling would benefit from reading

  • The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz

I’ve only listed a few books here (in each category) in order to keep it short. More of my other reads can be browsed here on the blog, Goodreads, Amazon and I’ve also spoken about some on Instagram.

In all, I’m pretty happy with how I managed to diversify my reads. That’s a wrap!

Khaya Ronkainen
Khaya Ronkainen is a writer, poet and creative professional. Her blog focuses on all things poetry and creative nonfiction.


  1. LOL, was a little all over the place with my summer reading. Oddly enough, the one I forgot about was book from a place you’d like to visit. But I just started one yesterday – Tomoe Gozen by Jessica Salmonson. It was also recommended by a friend AND from a genre (fantasy) I like by an author I hadn’t heard of before.

  2. I love that reading never ends, and we keep finding gems beyond reading challenges. And girl, there’s no right or wrong about the reading challenge. I’m just truly grateful you read with me this summer because that’s just pure fun. 🙂

  3. Thanks Diana! And as the saying goes, variety is the spice of life. 😀 But seriously, I believe if we all took time to hear each other’s stories, we would find out that we have the same needs, and share some experiences. I think that’s what the world needs right now; hearing each other out.

  4. I understand, I’m like that with poetry. And I agree, it’s always rewarding to read books in other genres as well. 🙂

  5. Thank you for sharing your reading list.
    My husband recently read The Firm by John Grisham … he enjoyed it.

    All the best Jan

  6. Thanks Cynthia, I try to read globally and diversify. As for murder mysteries, I tend to watch them on TV, but good to hear you are fan. 🙂

  7. It’s my pleasure, Jan. Isn’t it The Firm just a wonderful read! I’m now hunting more of Grisham’s books. 🙂

  8. That is pretty diverse Khaya! Did you review The Four Agreements? I don’t recall. How’d you like it?

  9. Thanks Heather. I did read quite many books during summer. Now, I’m reading (novels) slo-o-o-w. Because I’m back to the grind. But poetry books remain my priority. 🙂

  10. Thanks Kathy. I really tried with diversity, and I was rewarded with a lovely reading experience.

    I liked The Four Agreements a lot. The whole book is deep and a brilliant reminder (we could use often) of life lessons we tend to forget. And, thank you very much for the recommendation.

    Because of time constraints, there are many books I didn’t review but only rated on Goodsreads.

    In fact, I tend not to review books that have many reviews already. I use that time rather to review books by indie authors and small presses, I’ve enjoyed. I’m biased, you could say. 🙂

  11. Golly gosh… you do read a wide variety! I must still read your work… promise, soon! 😉

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