Summer is only a few days away but the sun has already started painting the world vividly by it’s rays. So blinding. So brilliant. I used to count down the days until this season started, mainly because it meant three whole months without thinking about school or homework. Now that I’m working however, it doesn’t feel much different from the other seasons. But then I remember those warm sunny days when I was a kid, many mornings spent at the beach, binging on ice-creams, licking our chocolate-covered fingers and digging our toes in the warm gritty sand. I used to spend hours reading in the shade of the trees, while my father worked in the fields nearby…and later coming home to the smell of my mother’s new recipe. I loved these simple moments and I plan on embracing them again this year.
I have already compiled a new playlist in anticipation for summer (that’s how excited I am!) and it is a combination of songs that I’ve been enjoying lately. I hope you do as well 🙂
Coins in a Fountain– Passenger
Headlights (Acoustic Version)– Katja Petri
Yellow Sun– Crystal Fighters
Illuminate– The Kite String Tangle, Dustin Tebbutt
Tiger Striped Sky– Roo Panes
Beaches– Gone in the Sun
Tenerife Sea– Ed Sheeran
Green Light– Lorde
Don’t Let It Pass– Junip
September Song– JP Cooper
Going to California– Led Zeppelin
Perfect Day– Lou Reed
Riptide– Vance Joy
Sunshine Gold– Sam the Astronaut
I would also like to share with you some of the books that I’m really looking forward to read this summer. I tried to include a mix of everything: poetry, classics, contemporaries, fantasy, short stories and even non-ficiton books. I hope I can manage to read them all…the summer heat is known to make me pretty lazy!!
This playlist is a combination of all the things that remind me of Spring. It makes me want to go on long drives with the windows down, run aimlessly amongst the trees, eat ice-cream for breakfast and have picnics every other day. I hope you enjoy it! x
Blood – The Middle East
Willow Tree March– The Paper Kites
Once There Was a Hushpuppy– Dan Romer, Benh Zeitlin
Ragged Wood– Fleet Foxes
Return to Innocence– Enigma
Young Blood– The Naked and Famous
Hannah Hunt– Vampire Weekend
Hide & Seek– Amber Run
Another Story– The Head and the Heart
Love Like Ghosts– Lord Huron
The Child in Us– Enigma
Second Chances– Gregory Alan Isakov
Chinatown– Wild Nothing
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
It is now officially Spring. The fields are parsley-green. A host of daisies scatter the meadows. The air is rich with the smell of flowers and mown-grass. After it’s slumber, the world feels young, lush and beautiful again. The sky is blue and bright, a salve to anyone who remembers to look up and admire it.
Now that we have set the clocks an hour forward I can finally say that Spring has truly embraced us again. I honestly love Spring and the feeling of new beginnings that it brings with it. Also, the longer days mean more time to enjoy the sun and more light to take pictures…and read!! As always I have made another seasonal TBR. I probably won’t even read half of them but let’s just pretend that I always follow my to-read lists!
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem, spanning three continents and seven generations, Yaa Gyasi has written a miraculous novel – the intimate, gripping story of a brilliantly vivid cast of characters and through their lives the very story of America itself. [Goodreads]
The Muse by Jessie Burton
A picture hides a thousand words . . .
On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn’t know she had, she remains a mystery – no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.
The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences . . .[Goodreads]
A Conjuring of Light by VE Schwab (Shades of Magic #3)
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?
WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.
WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay. [Goodreads]
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Fifteen-year-old Kambili’s world is circumscribed by the high walls and frangipani trees of her family compound. Her wealthy Catholic father, under whose shadow Kambili lives, while generous and politically active in the community, is repressive and fanatically religious at home.
When Nigeria begins to fall apart under a military coup, Kambili’s father sends her and her brother away to stay with their aunt, a University professor, whose house is noisy and full of laughter. There, Kambili and her brother discover a life and love beyond the confines of their father’s authority. The visit will lift the silence from their world and, in time, give rise to devotion and defiance that reveal themselves in profound and unexpected ways. [Goodreads]
A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.
As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever. [Goodreads]
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
The most nostalgic and reflective of Evelyn Waugh’s novels, Brideshead Revisited looks back to the golden age before the Second World War. It tells the story of Charles Ryder’s infatuation with the Marchmains and the rapidly-disappearing world of privilege they inhabit. Enchanted first by Sebastian at Oxford, then by his doomed Catholic family, in particular his remote sister, Julia, Charles comes finally to recognize only his spiritual and social distance from them. [Goodreads]
Skinny Love // Bon Iver
T.B.D. // Hanging Valleys
Down in the Valley // The Head and the Heart
Early Morning Fog // Jacob Shea, Jasha Klebe
Ends of the Earth // Lorn Huron
Outerspace Mover // Tom Rosenthal
Dead Sea // The Lumineers
Tiger Striped Sky // Roo Panes
White Winter Hymnal // Fleet Foxes
Live Forever // Drew Holcomb & The Neighbours
Harmony // Handsome and Gretyl
Heartbeats // José Gonzáles
Man on Fire // Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
Lovers Who Make Love // Ciaran Lavery
Paint // The Paper Kites
The bitter skies are turning a murky grey outside. The pearly moon is hidden behind blankets of cumulus clouds. The wind is screeching and howling, battering against the windows, making me grateful for the warm fire in the grate saturating my face with heat. A fleece blanket swaddles me tightly, my hands clutching a mug of warm tea with a book balanced precariously on my knees. The smell of baking bread in the kitchen downstairs mingles with the woody smell from the fireplace…
As much as I love Fall, I am now completely ready to embrace the cold and stormy days and finally be able to cuddle in my thick blankets and cardigans! Here are the books that I am planning to read this Winter. Some of them have been on my bookshelves for ages and I’m finally doing something about it! Let me know if you have any book recommendations ideal for the Winter season! x
*All The Light We Cannot See // Anthony Doerr
A blind French girl and a German boy’s paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II. Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge. [Goodreads]
*The Queen of the Tearling // Erika Johansen
A young woman. A kingdom. An evil enemy. A birthright foretold . . . With the arrival of her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn is ascending to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling. Surrounded by enemies, including an evil sorceress possessed of dark magic, the young ruler stands little chance of success. But Kelsea possesses fearsome weapons of her own, including the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic. As an epic war draws near, Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny begins a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend…if she can survive. [Goodreads]
*A Little Life // Hanya Yanagihara
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever. [Goodreads]
*The Snow Child // Eowyn Ivey
Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart–he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm, she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season’s first snowfall,
they build a child out of snow. The next morning, the snow child is gone–but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees. This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them. [Goodreads]
*Between Shades of Grey // Ruta Sepetys
Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets
crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic
Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.
Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives. Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart. [Goodreads]
*The Name of the Wind (The Kingkiller Chronicle) // Patrick Rothfuss
Told in Kvothe’s own voice, this is the tale of the magically gifted young man who grows to be the most notorious wizard his world has ever seen. The intimate narrative of his childhood in a troupe of traveling players, his years spent as a near-feral orphan in a crime-ridden city, his daringly brazen yet successful bid to enter a legendary school of magic, and his life as a fugitive after the murder of a king form a gripping coming-of-age story unrivaled in recent literature. [Goodreads]
*The Final Empire (Mistborn Trilogy) // Brandon Sanderson
In a world where ash falls from the sky, and mist dominates the night, an evil cloaks the land and stifles all life. The future of the empire rests on the shoulders of a troublemaker and his young apprentice. Together, can they fill the world with color once more? In Brandon Sanderson’s intriguing tale of love, loss, despair and hope, a new kind of magic enters the stage — Allomancy, a magic of the metals. [Goodreads]
*Caraval // Stephanie Garber
Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game. Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the far-away, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over. But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the sho. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.
Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nevertheless becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever. [Goodreads]
*The Goldfinch // Donn Tartt
It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a thirteen-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.
As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love-and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle. The Goldfinch combines vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and suspense, while plumbing with a philosopher’s calm the deepest mysteries of love, identity, and art. It is an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate. [Goodreads]
Have We Met Before? // Tom Rosenthal
Big Black Car // Gregory Alan Isakov
Outro // M83
Rivers and Roads // The Head and the Heart
To Build a Home // The Cinematic Orchestra
Ophelia // The Lumineers
If I Go, I’m Goin // Gregory Alan Isakov
Mykonos // Fleet Foxes
The Funeral // Band of Horses
Skydive // Astronauts
Work Song // Hozier
As Luck Would Have It // Tom Rosenthal
Here With Me // Susie Suh & Robot Koch
Step // Vampire Weekend
Small Hands // Keaton Henson
I love planning. I love making lists of all the stuff that I need to do and then ticking them off…or…not doing them at all! So as expected, when it came to reading my monthly TBR, I failed miserably. I was either being over-ambitious or else I wasn’t in the mood to read those particular books, so eventually I stopped trying. However I’m attempting to try this again but with a different approach: a seasonal TBR, which involves a set of books that I plan to read for a particular season. And what better way to start it than during my favourite time of the year! Autumn, the season of new beginnings! This approach is more doable in my opinion mostly because I have more or less three whole months to read the books at my own leisurely pace.
The books that I’m planning to read either have a darker tone or exude those autumn vibes that remind you of pumpkin spiced lattes and the smell of cinnamon! Some are even perfect to read during Halloween!
Let me know if you’ve read any of these books or if you have a TBR set for Fall! x
*The Secret History // Donna Tartt
Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an
elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and
betrayal, and at last – inexorably – into evil.
*Frankenstein // Mary Shelley
Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with
discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being fromstolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the
creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein. [Goodreads]
*Deathless // Catherynne M. Valente
Koschei the Deathless is to Russian folklore what devils or wicked witches are to European culture: a menacing, evil figure; the villain of countless stories which have been passed on through story and text for generations. But Koschei has never before been seen through the eyes of Catherynne Valente, whose modernized and transformed take on the legend brings the action to modern times, spanning many of the great developments of Russian history in the twentieth century.
Deathless, however, is no dry, historical tome: it lights up like fire as the young Marya Morevna transforms from a clever child of the revolution, to Koschei’s beautiful bride, to his eventual undoing. Along the way there are Stalinist house elves, magical quests, secrecy and bureaucracy, and games of lust and power. All told, Deathless is a collision of magical history and actual history, of revolution and mythology, of love and death, which will bring Russian myth back to life in a stunning new incarnation. [Goodreads]
*The Night Circus // Erin Morgenstern [Reread]
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.
But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance. [Goodreads]
*Through The Woods // Emily Carroll
It came from the woods. Most strange things do.’
Five mysterious, spine-tingling stories follow journeys into (and out of?) the eerie abyss.
These chilling tales spring from the macabre imagination of acclaimed and award-winning comic creator Emily Carroll. Come take a walk in the woods and see what awaits you there… [Goodreads]
*Harry Potter // J.K Rowling [Reread]
Harry Potter thinks he is an ordinary boy. He lives with his Uncle Vernon, Aunt Petunia and cousin Dudley, who are mean to him and make him sleep in a cupboard under the stairs. (Dudley, however, has two bedrooms, one to sleep in and one for all his toys and games.) Then Harry starts receiving mysterious letters and his life is changed forever. He is whisked away by a beetle-eyed giant of a man and enrolled at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The reason: Harry Potter is a wizard! The first book in the “Harry Potter” series makes the perfect introduction to the world of Hogwarts. [Goodreads]
*Vicious // V.E Schwab
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?[Goodreads]
*The Thirteenth Tale // Diane Setterfield
Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father’s antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise — she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.
Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.
As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now burnt-out estate that was her childhood home. Margaret carefully records Miss Winter’s account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story. Both women will have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets… and the ghosts that haunt them still. [Goodreads]