Now that Spring is almost over I thought I’d share with you some of the things that I’ve been loving recently. Spring was absolutely exceptional. I got to travel to London, read some amazing books, discover new coffeeshops and eat some great food! So grab a cup of coffee and some snacks because this post is going to be a long one!
From March till May I read a total of 12 books, most of which I really enjoyed:
1984– George Orwell 4.5 ☆
The Hazel Wood– Melissa Albert 2.5 ☆
The Essex Serpant– Sarah Perry 4.5 ☆
The Dream Thieves– Maggie Stiefvater 4 ☆
Blue Lily, Lily Blue– Maggie Stiefvater 4 ☆
The Count of Monte Cristo– Alexandre Dumas 5 ☆
Clockwork Angel– Cassandra Clare 4.25 ☆ [reread]
Clockwork Prince– Cassandra Clare 5 ☆ [reread]
Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 5 ☆
Ways of Seeing– John Berger 3 ☆
The Thing Around Your Neck– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie 4 ☆
Mariana– Monica Dickens 4.5 ☆
The Count of Monte Cristo is definitely my top favourite book this Spring. It took me about four weeks to finish it, and while I did find it’s huge size extremely daunting, I didn’t want the story to end! This infamous revenge tale was equal parts amusing and devastating, suffused with Dumas’ brilliant observation of human thoughts and actions. I loved the fact that it is not merely a story of revenge, but also a study of the human soul, because despite the aura of mystery and grandeur the Count of Monte Cristo exudes, ultimately he is still human, with a fragile heart and wounded soul. I would highly recommend reading the Penguin Classics edition translated by Robin Buss because he truly gives life to the story.
Mariana by Monica Dickens was also an absolute pleasure to read. It follows the story of a young girl growing up in the 1920s and 30s and we are given an opportunity to observe her infatuations, her dreams and disappointments. The characters are so well-written and quite endearing, so much so that after finishing the book I felt like I was saying goodbye to some of my closest friends! The writing is impeccable and during those scenes where the author rambled on for quite some time, she still managed to hold my attention. This is definitely a new favourite!
I’m obviously having a blast reading The Raven Boys series. I can never tire of Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. She just has a way with words that truly grab you and hold you tight. The characters are flawed and complex but you will love them still and with each book they grow and develop, making the story feel even more real. I cannot wait to read The Raven King and cry my eyes out in the process! I also cannot fail from mentioning Adichie’s beautifully written book: Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions. It is a powerful, eloquent and inspiring book that put into words all the thoughts I could never coherently put into words, and I think everyone should read it.
I’m dedicating the last few weeks of Spring rereading Harry Potter. I usually reread the series much later in the year but I couldn’t make myself wait any longer!
These are couple of favourite quotes from some of the books that I’ve read this Spring:
“We have a world full of women who are unable to exhale fully because they have for so long been conditioned to fold themselves into shapes to make themselves likeable.” –Dear Ijeawele: A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions.
“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes. You must look into that storm and shout as you did in Rome. Do your worst, for I will do mine! Then the fates will know you as we know you”.
“Learning does not make one learned: there are those who have knowledge and those who have understanding. The first requires memory and the second philosophy.”
“The difference between treason and patriotism is only a matter of dates.”
-The Count of Monte Cristo
“Mary sometimes heard people say: ‘I can’t bear to be alone’. She could never understand this. All her life she had needed the benison of occasional solitude, and she needed it now more than ever”. – Mariana
“Cora, you cannot always keep yourself away from things that hurt you. We all wish we could, but we cannot: to live at all is to be bruised.” -The Essex Serpent
Here are a couple of songs that I’ve been playing on repeat these last couple of weeks:
*Follow Your Fire- Kodaline
*What It is- Kodaline
*Black Water- Of Monsters and Men
*We’re Going Home- Vance Joy
*Tpengijiet- The Travellers
*Ersaq Fil-Qrib- The Travellers
*Take Care- Tom Rosenthal
*Yesterday- Imagine Dragons
*New Slang- The Shins
*Back To You- Selena Gomez
*Start Again- One Republic
Most of these songs can be found in one of my recent playlists: A Time of Wonder on Spotify.
I’m usually the kind of person who prefers rewatching old favourites instead of seeking out new films to watch, but that was until Netflix came into my life! God knows the number of hours I have spent binge watching Gilmore Girls, The Great British Bake Off and Chef’s Table. I cannot believe that it took me this long to finally watch Gilmore Girls. I mean who doesn’t love a main character who’s obsessed with books?!
Two films I’ve watched recently were The Darkest Hour and Loving Vincent both of which I enjoyed immensely. Both are based on real historical figures and I loved the way both of them were portrayed. I was especially overwhelmed by Loving Vincent’s beautiful visuals. The use of animated oil paintings in Van Gogh’s style brought Vincent to life in ways that no other style could have done. When I later visited the National Gallery and came face to face with Van Gogh’s paintings, I was reminded of this film and felt even more connected with the beauty of his work.
Don’t you just love it when you discover a new coffeeshop that not only serves the best latte you’ve ever tasted, but also has the most gorgeous interior design imaginable?! Lot Sixty One is situated in the heart of Valletta city and I often visit for a quick coffee after work and take a few pictures in the process!
I also fell in love with a new Cafe’ I discovered recently: One80 Cafe’ at Loft, situated in Naxxar, Malta. The place is exquisitely decorated and what I love most about it is that they allow pets indoors. They even have a special menu specifically for dogs…how cool is that!
My trip to London allowed me to discover and fall in love with so many beautiful museums, coffeeshops, parks and places rich in history. I have four posts dedicated to the trip and I plan on writing more when I stop procrastinating! The highlight of the trip though was definitely the Warner Bro. Harry Potter Studio Tour. It was a dream come true and I would visit it again if I could!
- Lush Salted Coconut Hand Scrub & Helping Hands Cream
My first Lush products were definitely a success! They smell divine and make my hands feel superbly soft and hydrated.
- Fjallraven Kanken Classic Black Backpack
I love this backpack so much! Not only does it have a unique style, but it is also waterproof, durable and comfortable. It can hold so much stuff in it that I am constantly reminded of Hermione’s Undetectable Extension Charm!
Boulangerie Jar || Anthropologie Candle
This dessert-inspired candle has the most enticing smell EVER! It honestly reminds me of when I was a kid and helped my mum bake in the kitchen. The jar is so beautiful and it can also be reused after finishing the candle.
I’m always seeking new ways to make breakfast more appetising while still avoiding sugar-rich food and I found the perfect recipe: Breakfast Egg Muffins. All you need is an assortment of vegetables, eggs and milk and you can whip these up pronto!
I hope you’ve all had a lovely Spring and may Summer bring you loads of happiness and sunshine! I would love to read some of your recent favourites in the comments.