Recent reads

17 September 2017

Did you read much over winter? I'm usually a very slow reader but lately I've been blitzing through books. Here are three I especially loved:

The Lonely City by Olivia Laing

My friend Irini gave me this book for my birthday last year, and I wanted to make sure I finished it before my 32nd year was up! It took me three chapters to really get into the book and after that, it travelled with me everywhere.

Its full title is The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone, and each chapter explores loneliness through the work of an American artist, while also touching on the writers experience of a break-up shortly after relocating to New York from London. It was a fascinating way to get into art history, and even though the theme is loneliness, I came out of the book with a strong sense of what it means to be part of a community.

Goodbye, Things by Fumio Saski

I've read a handful of books about minimalism, two favourites being The Art of Frugal Hedonism (hilarious and wise) and Simple Matters (especially good for homebodies). This one is practical, logical and challenging too. I am fascinated by Japanese culture and loved the layout of this book. The first section profiles a few Japanese minimalist households in pictures - including a family and a frequent traveller. The author also shares how he came to pare down his belongings, and the final section of the book is filled with quick and easy tips. Bonus points for a beautiful cover :)

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway 

My sister-in-law is a dedicated reader and I asked her for a novel recommendation earlier this year when I was in a reading rut. The Old Man and the Sea was recommended quickly, and she added that it should be read in a short period of time, if possible. It's a skinny book, with no chapters, and I finished it in a day. It's a beautiful story about a surprising relationship that features some very surreal scenes.

Three more books that I've mentioned before but wanted to re-recommend -
Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan for something entertaining and fun,
Things That Helped by Jessica Friedmann for thoughtful and beautiful writing, and because it helped me understand my own brushes with depression in ways I'd never considered.
And I still smile at Insomniac City by Bill Hayes whenever I see it in a bookshop, I'm keen to re-read it before the year it out.

P.S - Tony gave me a Kindle for our third wedding anniversary. The theme was leather, so it came in a leather case :) I've been curious about Kindles for ages but wasn't sure whether I could make the switch from real books, which I love to collect. The verdict: I've had it for a few weeks and love it. It takes up hardly any space, which is great because I try to have a book on me at all times. I adapted to using is almost instantly, and my first purchase was an older book that has to be ordered at the book shop, which I was stoked to get for $10.

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