What's on your summer 2021 reading list? — R Voice

What's on your summer 2021 reading list?

Dahlia T
Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭
edited May 11 in Everything & Anything

Hey there R Voicers ... I am interested in knowing what's on your 'pleasure' reading list for this summer 🌈

Here is mine 🌷 ..First stop 'Fiona Range by Mary McGarry Morris' ⛵️

I look forward to seeing your list ...Reply with a photo if you can 📚️

I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

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Comments

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 64 ✭✭✭

    I love that you've started this thread @Dahlia T - I am keen to hear some reading inspiration!

    In the past few weeks, I've read two books: "The Power" and "Girl, Woman, Other". I have taken a change of pace for my latest read, and am reading a murder mystery set in Edinburgh "Edinburgh Twilight" (nothing to do with vampires!!)

    I read on a Kindle nowadays because of issues with my hands, so unfortunately no picture from me!

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    Thanks @Shruti Turner. Me too, I can't wait to see what is on other people's lists.

    How was 'Girl, Woman, Other'? I came across it and read the blurb but I didn't get it this round. What's your take?

    Are you mostly doing audio books? He he he take a picture of your device 😁

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 64 ✭✭✭

    @Dahlia T - I enjoyed "Girl, Woman, Other". It was an easy read highlighting a lot of different aspects of people's culture and backgrounds without being too heavy or political. Each section is about someone different so I think it's natural for different stories to resonate more with us.

    I used to be an audiobook person as I had a bit of a long commute on bus/tube and walking so I had just over 2 hours a day to "read". Now I'm not commuting I listen rarely, just when I go for walks (when my husband isn't with me!) - I'm currently listening to Barack Obama's book "A Promised Land".

    Now I read on a Kindle, so it's digitised but still written. I find it easier and lighter to hold than paper books, though I do miss the feel of them!

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 66 admin

    @Dahlia T Agree with @Shruti Turner- it's wonderful that you started this discussion. I just finished "The Book Thief" by Marcus Zusak and loved it. Currently reading Murakami's "Kafka on the Shore" and needless to say absolutely loving it. I usually read two books around the same time - a fun light read to balance the heavier one. Now that I'm at my parents' home in India, I was browsing through some of the books I had as a kid, and would you believe it - I'm hooked on to "Grimm's Fairy Tales!" :D I read one story every night in bed and what a good night's sleep I get! :D :D

    Next on my list is a non-fiction - "Factfulness" by Hans Rosling - a book that another R Voicer and my good friend @Ruchika Yogesh recommended.


  • chris leonard
    chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 69 admin

    I also love and recommend Factfulness. Very different to Murakami though!

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for the insight on the book @Shruti Turner . I may just add it to my 'fall' list 😉. I had a few suggestions from @Kakoli Majumder recently, so I am making another list. Reading on a kindle or some other device definitely has a lot of pros. Just think about it, you can have 100 books in your back pocket and less weight. I may get in some e-reads too ... but this summer, for the most part, I will be allowing my nose to enjoy the 'new book' smell and my fingers to caress those not yet worn pages (for both of us) ☺️

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    @Kakoli Majumder, another two books for me to look into 😊 Isn't it fun to revisit all those 'book' you read ages ago? I'm sure re-reading them gives you as much or even more pleasure than when you first read them as a kid. I cannot wait for the community libraries to re-open here. It is so much fun going in to browse the shelves looking for new reads.

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Kakoli Majumder
    Kakoli Majumder Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 66 admin

    Yes, it's such a different feeling! It's as if my adult self gets a sneak peek into my childhood. I especially love the scribbled drawings, underlines, or notes I had made in some of them. :D

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin
    edited May 14

    @Dahlia T I have to admit that although I love to read, I haven't really thought about reading a while. The last book I read was Michelle Obama's Becoming - I've always called it a life-changing piece of writing and I stand by it. 🙂

    This thread has encouraged me to dig up some books I'd brought home just before my Work From Home life began, so thank you for the nudge 🤗 All I could manage to find so far is one of Mary Higgins Clark's mysteries but that will have to do for now. My weekend plans are set!

    I've also been quite interested in Matthew Mcconaughey's memoir Greenlights but I haven't had the chance to get my hands on a copy yet. Has anyone else read it?

  • chris leonard
    chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 69 admin

    Hans Rosling. It's a book on world development and statistics and it sounds dull - but it's really well written and presented. Nothing like you'd expect from my dry description. It also challenges your own long=held views on things that are changing rapidly. I think his daughter had to finish it off after he passed away before he could. Check out some of his videos on Youtube too - really entertaining and educational:

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Factfulness-Reasons-Wrong-Things-Better/dp/147363749X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1W20JWZXG4VJ8&dchild=1&keywords=factfulness+by+hans+rosling&qid=1620982240&sprefix=factual%2Caps%2C162&sr=8-1


  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 64 ✭✭✭

    @Andrea Hayward I feel exactly the same about Becoming! I was hooked on this book - she is so down to earth and relatable. I found her experiences growing up in the US had some parallels with my feelings growing up in the UK. Reading this book made me feel like I wanted to know Michelle Obama more and more. I feel her mentality and approach to life is one to learn from! I really loved this book too!

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin

    "Reading this book made me feel like I wanted to know Michelle Obama more and more. I feel her mentality and approach to life is one to learn from!" - @Shruti Turner I couldn't agree more with this! I don't think I've ever sought out interviews and reading material on any other public figure as much as I've sought out Michelle Obama. Her grace, outlook towards life, ability to truly connect with people, and the way she takes all kind of circumstances and experiences in her stride are all admirable qualities that we can learn from. I don't know if you can look up to someone you haven't met but in this case, it's surely true for me 😊

  • Tania Laghari
    Tania Laghari Member Posts: 3

    Hello @Dahlia T,

    Love this discussion about books!

    I think I'm going to complete Grishaverse series by Leigh Bardugo, as I loved watching Shadow and Bone TV show. Also I might also read Sally Thorne's The Hating Game. I'm currently reading "99 Percent Mine" by the same author and loving it. @Kakoli Majumder I read The Book Thief last year, and it was one of my favorite books of the year.

    I usually read physical books, but if I'm interested in reading certain book and it's not available in my country then I'd definitely go for ebooks.

  • Jayashree Rajagopalan
    Jayashree Rajagopalan Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 88 admin
    edited May 17

    What a lovely thread to jump into - thanks @Dahlia T! @Shruti Turner I know what you're saying about that feeling of holding a book (not getting into the very common habit of smelling pages first). I think I've found some great recommendations here. I find myself particularly drawn to Factfulness, Becoming (@Andrea Hayward I remember us discussing that you'll lend me yours once you're done, and now we're cities apart!), Hans Rosling (@chris leonard I recall you mentioning this to me during one of our conversations at work :-)). @Tania Laghari - you and I might have similar taste in TV shows - I liked Shadow Bone! @Kakoli Majumder - as someone who studied children's literature, my attachment to folk/fairy tales and fables never wanes.

    Here's what I'm reading right now - I too read multiple books simultaneously - sometimes during a lunch or coffee break on a working day.

    A collection of Pablo Neruda poems from the movie IL POSTINO - this is such a beautiful book. I've seen so much emotion about the idea of love in so few words. I love Neruda's work











    Then there's this one that's very much aligned with my interests - Captain America (I LOVE the superhero universe and am a shameless hoarder)











    And at night, before going to bed, I'm currently reading one of these - PG Wodehouse or this very interesting book on the power of storytelling - Story 10X.












  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    @Andrea Hayward , it is great to make the acquaintance of a fellow Mary Higgins Clark fan. She always keeps you in suspense. I hope you had a lovely read over the weekend. I've heard good things about 'Becoming' and I'm glad you enjoyed it. I haven't read it yet ... but it's one of those on my ever growing list of 'to reads' :-)

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    Aaah @chris leonard , with the YouTube link I made the connection. Thanks for sharing. I have seen his video before but I have never read his work. I enjoyed watching his presentation ...I can only imagine his writing will make what appears to be a 'dry' topic quite enlightening and a good read.

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    @Tania Laghari , thanks for sharing your reads and your insight. I am enjoying the discussion too ...and equally tickled at all these new books being suggested.

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭

    Thanks for sharing @Jayashree Rajagopalan . he he he , 'smelling pages first' not a requirement for sharing :-) :-)

    I too am finding it such a joy to go through the thread and see the reads and suggestions!

    Your comic brings back memories of childhood/teenage years... 'DC Comics' ...'Archie' ... :-)

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 170 ✭✭✭✭

    @Dahlia T - Hehehe - hope I am not too late to the party.

    Currently reading Whoops! (Why everyone owes everyone and no one can pay).

    I usually dont have a reading list. I generally go to the library, pick something up that suits my mood that day and read. This way keeps my reading broad, open, fluid, provides the element of surprise when I stumble upon works/authors that I really like. This is so - unless, I get hooked on to a specific author [Noah Harari and Murakami are two examples - I stumbled upon one of their books and ended up reading their entire anthology...😂]

    This year - I have been extremely busy, intellectually drained (have overused my brain, I guess..😪), and am really not reading that much. And I feel a bit guilty. Your post is kind of nudging me to get back to reading regularly as I did until last year. I usually feel at peace when I am reading. 😊

    In my wish list - I want to re-read "Brave New World" by Huxley. I read it every year at least once. Sometimes - I reach out for it when I am really down, flip to any page and start reading. Kind of my holy book. 😂

    PS: I tried kindle, but didnt like the feel. As a person with a country-move always on the horizon, I stopped buying books (too difficult/expensive to ship/carry around). So - I rediscovered the joys of going to a library. Surprising - fewer people come to the library, but those who do come tend to be my type of people. Great place to meet new people and make friends. 😂

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 170 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 24

    Just caught up with all the interesting discussion on this thread...

    @Shruti Turner and @Andrea Hayward : "Becoming" - couldnt agree more. Found Michelle Obama's way of writing, choice of words amazing - no pontification from a pedestal - but words coming from a position of shared experience and empathy. A book I recommend to the men (in my life). :)

    @Kakoli Majumder - yaay! I see a Murakami!!! Kafka on the shore is one of my favorites!

    @chris leonard : Ah - Rosling's Factfulness...hmm...I liked the book from the point of view of data presented and to a large extent the premise. But less so in terms of tone and nuance, and some of the conclusions drawn. I dont remember the exact details now (been a while since I read the book). However, I do remember that some of my feelings were put into words very well by this review https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2609240121?book_show_action=true&from_review_page=1

    @Dahlia T - thanks again for starting this thread! 🙏

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 64 ✭✭✭

    @Raj sundaram - I totally get where you're coming from about feeling the brain drain and therefore not reading much! The only reason I am reading now is because I've submitted my thesis so I feel I have brain space to read something. It's the first time I've read a function book that's not related to my research since I began my PhD! I don't count the audiobooks I listened to on my commute as that's just not the same as sitting down with a book and a cup of tea!

    There's nothing like a good old fashioned paper book, that would always be my first choice if I am able :)

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin

    @Raj sundaram @Shruti Turner I can relate to your thoughts about the brain drain making it difficult for you to read for fun. I experience something similar but I call it a creativity drain - it's when I feel like I've used up all my energy and creativity at work and then I feel like I'm unable to use my creativity on a project for myself. Gosh, I really used to enjoy writing poetry and blog posts earlier, but I've stopped because 1) I don't feel inspired (not quite sure why this is; 2) I feel like I've used up all my creativity at work; and finally 3) it feels more exhausting than fun. Not sure if either of you can relate to this feeling but if you do, I'd love to hear your thoughts and experience.

  • Shruti Turner
    Shruti Turner Member Posts: 64 ✭✭✭

    @Andrea Hayward I like the term creativity drain as it is more specific and tailored to you and what you do that is exhausting. I totally get what you mean about using up your energy for something in particular - I guess that's why people talk about "using a different part of their brain" for hobbies compared to work. I know that I like to exercise out of work because I have to concentrate and I'm using my brain but in a different way. I feel like it can be refreshing as well as just a change.

    I think when your work overlaps with your hobbies, hobbies start to feel like work like you've mentioned. Things move from the 'fun' box in life to 'chores' or 'work'. I had exactly this with my PhD blog - pre-pandemic I used to aim to write once a week. it felt cathartic and a hobby that was fun and different. When the pandemic restrictions hit, I found myself doing a lot more writing - partly because I could do experimental work so I wrote up what I'd done and also because as time went on I was getting closer to the end of my PhD so had to write my thesis. I'm down to writing a blog post about once a month now, some months I skipped altogether! it just felt like a chore after spending so much time in my week writing anyway. I even felt like I didn't have anything to say (which as you might have noticed is weird for me!)

    I think as our life continues and our routines, jobs and experiences change and develop we need to find new things to fulfil us sometimes. In the same way that we should change our exercise routines regularly so we don't overwork one muscle group or get bored and lose motivation, I think the same is for our minds and hobbies. Sometimes I think the difference is the external expectation...we've started something so we should finish. I felt guilt when I started writing my blog more infrequently because I started in a certain way. I didn't want to give up or feel like I left something unfinished. I didn't want anyone to judge me for that.

    In the end, we have to do what is right for us, and I think only we can truly know whether it's right for us to change up and move on, take a break or continue through. Then we can come up with a plan to make that happen. :)

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 170 ✭✭✭✭

    @Andrea Hayward and @Shruti Turner - Yep, totally relate to what you both feel. And second Shruthi's pov - guess, we simply do what is right for us. What feels right/fun changes with time and environment - among other factors (including those within ourselves). And yep - totally ok to change, come back after a change, or let go altogether.

    Have had similar issues with interest/inspiration/motivation-loss in activities I know I might enjoy - reading (in this post), cooking and singing (as in making music), learning Japanese, running, etc. Mostly, I was just too tired because my energy was used up elsewhere. Also I used to fear that I might lose the "ability"/"skill" or creativity unless I keep doing things regularly.

    Distinctly remember thinking "Havent opened my mouth to sing in half a year, havent heard any music - the music in me is going to die...!". Oh me - catastophizing everything....😂

    However, repeatedly found my fears were unfounded. With environmental changes, some rest and break, an external nudge/some trigger - inspiration just came back effortlessly, the skill was still there - like how one doesnt forget swimming or how to ride a bicycle. And they then the inspiration disappeared as effortlessly as it came back. 🤣 Like waves in the ocean...

    So, I am trying to not fret too much and surf the waves...

  • Dahlia T
    Dahlia T Member Posts: 68 ✭✭✭
    edited May 28

    @Raj sundaram @Shruti Turner @Andrea Hayward, as I read through your posts, I found myself nodding and nodding, both understanding and agreeing with all you have written. Then I realised, I should write an actual response, otherwise you wouldn't know what I was thinking 🤭

    Reading and writing have always been my 'muse'. A day by the seaside or any body of water, going walk-a-bout in the bushes, being others ...All throughout undergrad and even grad school for my masters when I was working full time, I found time to read. I remember someone in undergrad once asked how I found time or even enjoyed reading otherwise when we has to do so much other reading. I told them I couldn't explain, it was just my joy.

    I don't remember exactly when it happened. It slowly crept up and one day I just could not write and I just could not read. My brain would just not 'sit still' and 'focus' to do either of these activities. And slowly, something that used to put fire in my bones became terrifying ...almost like a chore.

    Many factors played a role in this ...too numerous to state. I also had very terrible feedback from someone in a supervisory capacity on my academic writing ...and this in turn also affected my creative writing. Whenever I would pick up a pen to write or get ready to draft an email or something professional (PhD-related, job application, etc.), I would hear that person's voice in my head telling me 'you cannot write'. Over time I slowly began to see that it was not that I 《couldn't》write, it was that my writing style was quite different from this person's, so in effect they were saying that I could not write like them. I still struggle as I hear 'the voice' each time I sit down to pen something, be it professional or creative. However, I am wading through the fog and brushing aside the cobwebs.

    Last February, I met a very beautiful soul ...and last Christmas, they gave me the most beautiful gift ever...

    ...some days are still tough but these days my swirling thoughts band and flow through my fingers and onto the pages of this journal, and once again I get delightfully lost in the pages of a novel.

    ...Day by day, I am also seeing the transfer into my academic/professional writing.

    I am purposefully driven to water the soil to grow the seed that is already planted. 

  • Raj sundaram
    Raj sundaram Member Posts: 170 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 31

    @Dahlia T : "It slowly crept up and one day I just could not write and I just could not read. My brain would just not 'sit still' and 'focus' to do either of these activities. And slowly, something that used to put fire in my bones became terrifying ...almost like a chore.

    Many factors played a role in this ...too numerous to state. I also had very terrible feedback from someone in a supervisory capacity on my academic writing ...and this in turn also affected my creative writing. 

    Wow - couldnt have put it better...

    Exactly the same experience and feelings. For a long time - nearly 7 years - I felt incompetent and stupid. With constantly negative feedback/condescension - humiliation and shaming - guilt tripping and gaslighting, and many other factors playing in. Experiences on the professional and personal side that blasted my core as a person and as a researcher. The bright young girl with ambition and hardwork who waded chest deep waters and fought odds stacked against her year after year to get an education so that she can become a researcher to "pursue truth and beauty", somehow just got pulverized - akin to a painting eaten by termites.

    I am not entirely out of the woods/less than helpful external factors yet...

    however, I dont know - something changed in me, a few things changed in my environment toward brighter sides - including a human walking into my life followed by a few more. I got weak signals from the wide external world that I was not that bad as a human/researcher. I still dont know how I survived. I still have hicupps with writing, research, sometimes - getting going on a day. But I am getting better day by day - because perhaps, the things I survived with odds stacked against me over a lifetime made me stronger. Dont know. I wouldnt recommend Nietzschean "suffer to become strong" to anyone, however. From the vantage of strength, I slowly began to understand the "whys" of the kind of behavior from others and my own reactions to those kinds of behaviors. I am wiser now - about myself and the world around me. Just as you put it...

    "Over time I slowly began to see that it was not that I 《couldn't》write, it was that my writing style was quite different from this person's, so in effect they were saying that I could not write like them."

    @Dahlia T , really appreciate you sharing your experience - our shared experience in beautiful words - because it made me look at my life from a different perspective. 🙏

  • Andrea Hayward
    Andrea Hayward Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 185 admin

    @Dahlia T thank you so much for opening up about your experience. I could relate on so many levels and found myself nodding while reading each part of your comment. Although, I still haven't been able to get over my writing slump, I can happily say that thanks to you and everyone else on this thread, my passion for reading has been reignited. Since I first commented on this thread, I've finished reading one novel and am already on my second. The best part - I am thoroughly enjoying my reading time and the break from screens is always welcome. You definitely sowed the seeds for this so I'd like to think that you lit the spark and made this happen. Thank you! 🤗

  • chris leonard
    chris leonard Member, Administrator, Moderator Posts: 69 admin

    I'm a really slow reader and to be honest, it kind of sucks some of the enjoyment out of reading that I am so slow. But if its a good book, I crack on regardless. I have a very eceletic selection of things I am reading now & next. Some things for work, others tangentially related, others - a complete escape:

    Ogilvy on Advertising - has been recommended to me so many times I eventually gave in and started reading it. It's showing its age in some tactics, but the principles are great (I am 1/3 of the way through).

    Afterland by Lauren Beukes - was recommended by Cory Doctorow, and I got it on Christmas Eve, but haven't opened it yet.

    Continuous Discovery Habits by Teresa Torres - I love her blog and talks and this is a sublimation of the most important parts (I think!)

    The Beast, The Emperor, and The Milkman - having lived in the low lands for a while, and developed a love of cycling, I was always going to love this by one of my favourite authors.

    Testing Business Ideas - self explanatory!

    We Others by Steven Millhauser. He had a great short story in one volume of McSweeney's, so I decided to explore his other short stories too. This is OK, but not as good as the mcSweeney's one. Although I am only 1/3 of the way through again.

    If I finish two of these I'll be happy.

  • Hong Ching Goh
    Hong Ching Goh Member Posts: 10 ✭✭

    Hi everyone, I have just started this (half way through)... and my colleagues told me to read slow... and one more Chinese book 'myself is a treasure'.


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