Books read in 2015 – Part 1

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by Rita H. Azar on May 2, 2015

Bonjour!

I haven’t been blogging and writing (other than keeping a personal diary) much since the start of the year but, I have been reading.  Now that I’m due to give birth any day, I thought let’s update my blog and give you a run down of some of the books I have read so far.

I read these three books for my book club.

The Shaking Woman or a History of my Nerves

In her book The Shaking Woman or a History of my Nerves, Siri Hustvedt goes on a search to understand the shaking of her body she experienced two and a half years after the death of her father while she was giving a talk at a memorial event for him.

This is only a 200 pages book but I found that it was quite a difficult read. There were no chapters which would have made the book easier to read. The concepts of psychology the author explains, such as conversion disorder, hysteria and memory, are quite interesting but I had to focus hard on each word so I could understand the flow of her thoughts.

I did recognise myself in some of the concepts and that was fascinating. At the end of the book, we understand that when it comes to the human body and mind, nothing is all black or white.

 

The shaking woman or a history of my nerves

The Golden Age

Joan London takes us back to the fifties. The setting is the Golden Age Children’s Polio Convalescent Home in Perth. Thirteen years old Frank Gold is a mystic character who writes poetry and falls in love with Elsa. London also tells the reader the story of the families of these children who lives in this convalescent home and the nurses who take care of them in a particularly nurturing way.  The Golden Age is shortlisted for the Stella Prize 2015.

This story is a work of fiction. But, it is based on an actual convalescent centre for children of the same name that existed from 1949 to 1959 in Western Australia.

It is beautifully written with exquisite prose and images. Inside this convalescent home, the author explains how the children create their own little world, their own little home away from their families.

I think the reader needs to be in a certain state of mind to really enjoy this book and give it the worth it deserves. I personally didn’t connect with the characters and to their stories.

 

The Golden Age

The God of Small Things

In her novel The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy presents the story of non-identical twins Rahel and Esthappen which are separated at the age of seven after the tragic death of their cousin.  Years later, at the age of 31, they are reunited in the family home in the village of Aymanam, India.  The book is narrated in the third person but, for a big part of the story, the reader sees the events unfolding through the eyes of Rahel.  The reader learns about the tragedies that scattered her life, the life of her twin brother and the rest of her family.  Themes such as Indian history, forbidden love, betrayal and social discrimination are explored in this novel.  The God of Small Things won the Booker Prize in 1997.

This is a book one can either love or loath.  I stand in the second category.  No doubt that it is beautifully written.  But, the story is so dark and the characters so messed up that the book only succeeded in making me feel totally down and depressed.  They say you have to be in a certain mood for certain books.  I can’t agree more.  Again, I was just not in the right set of mind to read this novel and I did not get the message the author was trying to impart.

 

The god of small things

Have you been reading any good book lately?

Next time I’ll come back to this space, I’ll be a mum!

Au revoir! 

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5 of my favourite things – Easter Giveaway

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by Rita H. Azar on April 2, 2015

Bonjour

 

This giveaway is now closed.  Thank you for participating!

The winner is Fong Truong.  Congratulations!

These days, I have this feeling of walking on a cloud. There are so many things that make me feel cheerful. It’s probably due to settling in our new home and the imminent arrival of baby girl.

Here are 5 of my favourite things I’m crushing on at the moment.

1- The roses in my front yard

We had colourful roses in our previous house. I’m lucky enough to have some beautiful ones in this house too. They are all white and, at this time of the year, they just look fantastic.

2- Reading in the middle of the night

I never had any problem for sleeping.  Since I announced that I was pregnant, many people tell me to enjoy my sleep as much as I can because when baby arrives, sleeping will be very difficult.

But, no one mentioned that the last months of pregnancy would make sleep quasi impossible. I suffer now from a chronic insomnia. Thanks heaven for books!  I find myself getting up in the middle of the night and going to my study to lie on the couch and read until sleep comes again.

3- My new study/craft room

I have a huge crush on my new space. It’s still a work in progress but I love the burgundy wall, the coloured cushions and the lovely view I have on the park.

My study is also my craft room and I feel privileged to have my space in the house.

5 of my favourite things – Easter Giveaway - study

4- Scented candles and fragrances

When we bought the new house, I said to hubby that I will put candles everywhere.

Entering in a room filled with a sweet smell makes that room so much warmer and contributes to a relaxing atmosphere.

Air Wick has a diverse collection of candles. The Silhouettes collection has exotic aromas with clever designs. Once lit, a glow that changes colour illuminates the candle.

 

5 of my favourite things – Easter Giveaway - Air Wick candle

5- Writing a personal diary

It’s been over 9 months that I have been writing in a personal diary. I enjoy journaling every day of my pregnancy and the steps in my writing journey.

I also love notebooks and, keeping a personal diary gives me a good excuse to collect them.

5 of my favourite things – Easter Giveaway - Air Wick candles

I’m sharing one of my favourite things today as I’ve got some nice candles to give away:

1 Air Wick Silhouettes – Amber Mandarin Glow;

1 Scented candle – Lemonade Stand / Sweet Summer Fruits;

1 Air Wick Silhouettes – French Vanilla Romance thanks to Air Wick.

Go to the Air Wick website to check out their new limited edition fragrance collection, including Ebony & Madagascan Vanilla and Snowy Mountain Berries

For your chance to WIN:

1. Tell me: What are you favourite things at the moment?

2. Like Rita.H.Azar on Facebook and follow The Crafty Expat on Bloglovin.

This giveaway is open to Australian residents only, closing at 5pm on Friday 10 of April 2015.  This is a game of skill, the winners will be chosen based on their answer. The judge’s decision is final. The winner will be announced on this page and will be notified by email. The winner will have 48 hours to respond with a mailing address for the prize pack to be forwarded to, or the prize will be redrawn. 

I wasn’t paid to write this post but I received 3 candles from Performics and Air Wick.  All opinions are my own as stated in my media kit

 Happy Easter!

Au revoir! 

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If you enjoyed reading my post, you can subscribe by email and receive all my new posts in your inbox.  You can also like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, on Instagram and Bloglovin.
Please, leave me a comment.  Let me know what you think of my post or any opinion you would like to share.  Even though I don’t answer all the comments, I read them all and I love them

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