Monday, February 29, 2016

Plans For The Week #44


Quote of the day:
Make sure you visualize what you really want, not what someone else wants for you. -Jerry Gillies




The past is the past and the present is the present. It is this past that has shaped the way we live, think and act. There are days when we long for things, immersed in the glory of old, and spending much time imagining what could have been but never was. But how about focusing more on the here and now -the present? How are you faring with your dreams, and what are you doing daily to get you closer to it? Who are the people to help you achieve what you want? Forgot the past, and those who let you down, because it happened for a reason and you have gained valuable lessons on your journey so far. Its good to look back, but stay focused on the steps you are taking now so as not to stumble.

Here are most of my plans for the week ahead which I am sharing with you.

Plans

1. Project calmness. In the coming week, I hope to project calmness in all things, with every action and interaction. I plan to practice breathing exercises to help me retain my balance and relaxed nature. In order to do this, I must elimintate weak thoughts from the past.

2. Focus on my needs. What do I want for the coming week? How will I improve my skills and abilities? I want to focus more on achieving this and lots more. Also, focusing on one important thing at a time, one idea at time.

3. Appreciate everything. The very act of waking up, of dreaming through the night, of seeing the sun waking up and brightening the day -I want to be able to brighten up everyone's day. To do this, I must practice the act of appreciation of the little things.

4. Read, read, read. As my goal of reading at least 5 books a month continues, I am also open to learning new things, seeking answers and expanding my knowlege of history.

5. Workout. To maintain a balance both mentally and physically, I plan to workout at least thrice in the week. Sweat, pain and triumph which leads to better sleep for my body, and improved thought processes.

6. Walk more. I want to wander and discover new places just by walking, even if for just 10 minutes daily. Or maybe just taking a different route.

7. Dream more. I want to dream more, open up my mind to the endless possiblities in the world.


There goes my plans for the week, and can I ask what you want to achieve for yourself in this new week? Do share.


Peace. Love. Light*



Current Listen: Sia -Elastic Heart



Saturday, February 27, 2016

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Three Things To Inspire Your Weekend #44


Quote of the day: 

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.  -John Quincy Adams



image: HuffingtonPost

Due to a young boy's efforts, school children in Flint, Michigan, can now safely clean their hands. Isiah Britt, 7, raised around $12,000 through his gofundme page to buy hand sanitizer for elementary schools in Flint - where children were afraid to wash their hands with tap water due to lead in their water. 


image: Courtesy of Christina Frees / Frees it in Time Photography


A mother -Billie Jo Stratton got one of her wishes granted after being diagnosed with cancer 2 years ago. She told her daughter Kristy Stratton -an Alaskan flight attendant that she wanted to see where she works and lives, and wanted to be there to watch her daughter marry the love of her life. After getting the airline's approval Kristy, 41 and Jim Larsen, 39, tied the knot on the very same flight they had met 6 years before. 



Landscape House as seen on Arch Daily 
Architects: Mabire Reich
Location: Nantes, France 



Peace. Love. Light*



Current Listen: Miguel -Adorn




Friday, February 26, 2016

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What I'm Reading Right Now #36



Quote of the day: 
There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts. -Charles Dickens 


You can never tell a book by its cover.

But then again it can be argued that the outward appearance of a book is equally important. The soul soul, and heart of a book lies in its design -which is the first thing a reader sees be it in a bookshelf or or on-line. When it comes to a book cover the design can be said to be a visual addition to the story within -an important element that must not be overlooked, and many authors are aware of this fact and seem to get it right in that regard -by creating a good design which sends out a clear message through its imagery, typography and perhaps its minimal style.


image: Goodreads

Having said that here is my book read for the week. My book read for the week is by Paulo Coelho and titled 'The devil and Miss Prym'. It is about a stranger who arrives at a small sleepy village called Viscos, with a proposition that would change the way of life of the ordinary inhabitants. Its a striking tale about the concept of good and evil, and dwells on the morals of humanity.

A wonderful piece of writing from Coelho and a very enjoyable read, which I highly recommend for you to read it.

So what books are you reading this week? Do share.


Peace & Love * 



Current Listen: James Bay - Let It Go







Wednesday, February 24, 2016

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Oscars, The Revenant and Bad Movie Sequels



Quote of the day: 
Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it. -George Halas


There seems to be less harm in re-using familiar characters in popular stories, at least that's what film makers would have us believe. When it comes to movie sequels or installments it could turn out to be either a hit or a miss. Some movie studios seem to have turned this into an art form. But for others not so much, especially if part two pales in comparison to part one. Take for instance the recent movie Zoolander 2 starring Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Penelope Cruz, written by Ben Stiller and Directed by Ben Stiller. I was watching the trailer the other day, and at the end of it all I wondered how it got past production. Was it terrible, judging by the trailer? Yes. Will I bother to watch it? No.

Not all sequels are as bad though, and this poll by Rolling Stone on the 25 greatest movie sequels is a good one that you can check out with movies like Spiderman, and Toy Story making an appearance.

Its the Oscars again, and a lot of fine actors, actresses as well as movies are all at the forefront for recognition. One of the movies is 'The Revenant' starring Leonardo DiCaprio who plays Hugh Glass - a 19th century bear trapper. It is based on a true story and graphic, but not to give anything away if you haven't seen it I've attached the trailer below.


It was directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (He also directed Birdman), and the cinematography is unbelievable, and with 12 Oscar nominations, and not to forget the spectacular performances from both DiCaprio and Tom Hardy -its on course to scoop at least some Oscars.

Have you seen this movie? What are your thoughts? Do share your comments below.


Peace & Serenity* 


Current Listen: Imagine Dragons - It's Time





Monday, February 22, 2016

Plans For The Week #43


Quote of the day: 
Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall. -Ray Bradbury 



Although our actions are controlled by our minds, there always comes a time when we get tested. When I feel the need to make sense of things around me, at times I may tend to withdraw into a deep state where doors are barricaded and walls and walls of thoughts blockaded. And in each instance, in every moment of this occurrence, I find inner strength in my will, amidst all the chaos and disarray. The more you know yourself, the better you are able to understand yourself and the world.

Here are some of my plans for the week.

Plans

1. Meditate. Spend some time each day listening to my heart, body and soul. Practising  inner peace and well being.

2. Read a Book. I plan to read something new during the week, one or more books as well as any interesting article.

3.  Cook. Prepare more healthy meals and infuse a wide variety of ingredients, trial and error, and just doing something different really.

4. Workout. Although the plan is to always spend more time exercising, life can sometimes get in the way of things. I hope to create at least 30 minutes of workout time thrice during the week.

5. Pull Away From the Internet.  I hope to spend less time on the internet, and social media daily, instead focusing on other things that require my attention.

6. Be focused. On all things, pursuits and aspirations -and eliminate the unnecessary and unimportant things that may drain my energy.

7. Dream. Keep dreaming daily.

What plans do you have for the week ahead? Do share. Have a lovely and elevated week!


Peace. Love. Light*  


Current Listen: John Mayer -Gravity






Friday, February 19, 2016

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What I'm Reading Right Now #35



Quote of the day: 
Enthusiasm is the best protection in any situation. Wholeheartedness is contagious. Give yourself, if you wish to get others. -David Seabury


Some of my earliest reading memories with books involved being fascinated by picture books. This later progressed to mystery novels, the more daring the better. Most especially Enid Blyton's books, which I found fascinating. This progressed to reading all sorts of books, thereby opening up windows to the world, and accentuating the great adventures out there.


image: Amazon

This week I am reading a book by English author Julian Barnes, and titled  'The Sense of an Ending'.
Although its just 150 pages long, I dare say that its got as much depth and feeling -if not more, than some books twice its size. Its a story about elderly Tony Webster, and as narrator weaves a tale down memory lane to the time of his youth when he met and befriended some other boys at school, one of whom made a lasting impression on him.

It is a highly brilliant book, and touches on history, love, relationships, sadness and a sense of subdued morality. Definitely a must read.

What books are you reading right now? 


Peace & Love* 


Current Listen: Bon Jovi -Bed of Roses



Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Musings of mine: Rambling Mind on This and That #6


Quote of the day: 
It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters. -Epictetus


1. I'm Not Strong Enough

A scene played out at a fast food restaurant the other day. Right outside the parking lot, two women stood toe to toe arguing, and within seconds it descended into a full blown fight -with lots of hair pulling and scratching. I happened to be walking on the other side of the street going to this same restaurant, and so I quickened my pace, jogging across the street to try in order to intervene, On getting there, another gentleman also stepped in at the same time, some were were busy filming, including a couple in a car behind. We managed to pull them apart...one of the women had kids in the car. I asked two men nearby why they hadn't stepped forward seeing as they were close enough to help stop the fight.
"I'm not strong enough," said the first fellow.
"I didn't want to get my hands cold," said the other.


2.  I Think the Plants and Trees are Confused

The weather confuses the plants and trees. To grow or not to grow? To push through the soil, or wait longer? One week its warm, the next its chilly. Blooming daffodils, sprouting plants and whatnot. Tricking flowers to put on Spring displays. Well played weather, well played.

3. Who Am I?

Daily, a thousand and one thoughts cross over fields of various minds. They build up, crash, and evolve. Every thought has a corresponding feeling. The things that you think about the most- more often than not define your true self. Bring to life great thoughts.


Peace. Love. Light* 


Current Listen: D'angelo -Really Love



Monday, February 15, 2016

Plans For The Week #42


Quote of the day: 
You may have a fresh start any moment you choose, for this thing that we call 'failure' is not the falling down, but the staying down. -Mary Pickford



A fresh sheet of paper is just that -a sheet. Its like barren land devoid of anything -like daytime without a single object in the sky, and night time without the moon and stars. But watch the paper become populated when things are written in it, watch the land grow with seeds planted, and watch the sky come alive with various objects in it, clouds, birds, planes, the sun, moon and stars.

Imagine what life would be like without the ability to start fresh. Without a new day, and new plants, and new ideas and thoughts. Sometimes life goes on a wrong course, and its always nice to be able to start things afresh.

Here is a list of my goals for the week.

Plans

1. Continue writing more. This is a continuation from the previous week, and although I've started my writing project, a lot still needs to go into the direction and thought process required to see it through.

2. Keep in touch. With old acquaintances and friends alike. It is interesting how keeping in contact can lead to positive energy, and understanding. Some distraction from routine life should prove profitable.

3. Workout.  I'd like to continue with the progress I've achieved , and hope to do at least 3 days of workouts during the week. And of course great nutrition will be an essential part of it all.

4. Study. I will commence studying for a professional exam which I hope to write in the coming months. At least 20-30 minutes of study daily.

5. Read a book. I plan to read a new book this week, making it the third for the month, I'm still aiming for at least 5 books a month.

6. Wardrobe change. Its about time for me to go through my wardrobe and take down items of clothing that I no longer need. I do this every few months, de-cluttering, and donating to charity.

7. Spend more time with loved ones. Times goes by so fast, its hard to give time and attention to those around us. But seeing as my loved ones are part of my life too, I hope to spend do more this week, and listen more about what matters most to them.

8. Dream. I wish to never stop dreaming, over and over again.

Its mid-month, how are things coming along for you? Have you got any plans for coming week?
Do share your intentions in the comments box.

Many thanks for the comments in my previous posts, and thank you for visiting.
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Happy Valentine's day to you. Have a fantastic week ahead!
Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Sia -Alive






Friday, February 12, 2016

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What I'm Reading Right Now #34



Quote of the day: 
Let us read and let us dance - two amusements that will never do any harm to the world. -Voltaire


I have several books in my reading list for the month. The plan is to read least 5 books -matching the total number for last month.


Norwegian Wood Book

One of which is Haruki Murakami's 'Norwegian Wood'. It is a coming of age book, and set around early 70's Japan. The story revolves around Watanabe, his love interests, and his awkward relationship with the world around him. It is set against the backdrop of student strikes and political disorder during the period. It touches on love, old and new relationships, loneliness and pain -all recurring themes in Murakami's books.

The characters are rich, and easily admirable. With this book, the feeling one gets is one of hypnosis, a leap to an unforgettable world where everything and nothing matters.

What books are you currently reading? Do share, and thanks for stopping by.  


Peace & Serenity*


Current Listen: Radiohead -Creep



Wednesday, February 10, 2016

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Poem: Love Upon Love


Quote of the day: 
There's a long life ahead of you and it's going to be beautiful, as long as you keep loving and hugging each other. -Yoko Ono 



image: DeviantArt(Egil21)




Hands with lines upon lines
Of trails, scents and pathways
Coarse and sometimes polished inclines
Like a vase holding delicate bouquets

Traces of forgotten memories
Revealed in thoughtful scars
Some smooth others jagged sensories
But still notable like magyars

Heart with love upon love
Wonderment ceases without bonding
These routes become our resolve
Familiar and devoid of longing

No need lingering for the sunrise
But advancing past the sunset
Into arrays and clustering emotions
Pieces revealed in eagerness

Wholesomeness revels in normality
Pry open shut eyelids with kisses
An open field of wild imagination
Walking across icy exaltation
With love upon love



Peace. Love. Light* 



Current Listen: Rudimental -Feel the Love








Tuesday, February 09, 2016

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The Wolf & The Lion


Quote of the day: 
Look up, laugh loud, talk big, keep the color in your cheek and the fire in your eye, adorn your person, maintain your health, your beauty and your animal spirits. -William Hazlitt 



image: DeviantArt (Deni-8)

Things are not what they always seem. The winds thrash about outside. The weather is not in the nicest of moods. The clouds realize this and do what they know how to do best -shed tears...the type that a jilted lover would cry, silent and sometimes disturbing. But I digress...

 A conversation between father and son made me chuckle the other day...

...First It was all talk about continents, countries and cultures, what the father and young son discussed. And with every innocent question, there was a ready answer. And on and on this went, it was like gaining knowledge from an old but wise man. And then...

"What animal would you rather be, a Lion or a Wolf?" asked the father. The young son, age wise, looked to be about 4 or 5 years old. He thought about this important question for a moment, his mind working, no doubt.

"I would be a Wolf...a great Wolf!" he said, with his excitement clearly showing. Now he transformed momentarily into one, instinctively giving a strong howl as loud as his young voice could muster.

His father looked at him. "A Wolf? What about a Lion? Why would you choose a Wolf? I would definitely be a Lion. A Lion will take out a Wolf, you know, its much bigger and faster than a Wolf."

The father talked more about the qualities of a Lion. "A Lion is definitely taking out a Wolf, it is powerful, noble, courageous, fierce, intimidating and strong...the King of the Jungle!". His eyes shone as he reeled off these characteristics.

"I would be a Wolf...a great Wolf!" the boy repeated. And this time when he faced upwards with his mouth outstretched, when he howled strongly like a Wolf...his father joined in too -and there and then a Wolf and a Lion became one.


Peace & Love*


Current Listen: James Authur -Recovery 



Monday, February 08, 2016

Plans For The Week #41


Quote of the day: 
Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them - that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. -Lao Tzu



There is no week that goes by that one is not bombarded with varying options of things that are similar in nature. Of course its known as choice. The ability to choose what we want becomes more challenging, what with minds being bombarding daily by several things, companies selling new products which in reality are no different from the old ones. But we enjoy having new things, and new moments. It certainly is tough but the only that helps is picking a choice and sticking to it, be it a product or a partner, sometimes less is more.

Here is my list of things to pursue in the coming week.

Plans

1. Write more. I will be writing a poetry/photo collection from scratch which I hope to have a working draft by April. It definitely will be an interesting week as I commence with the direction and thought processes needed to get things off the ground.

2. Workout. As the year progresses my aim is to stay fitter and healthier, and I am aiming for at least 4 days of sustained workouts during the week.

3. Read. I hope to get some new titles for the month of February, and of course I will blog about whatever I am reading during the week. The goal for the month: 5 books.

4. Connect. Spend some time sending out professional emails, and making calls in order to network, build new relationships and sustain old ones.

5. Sleep Early. Seeing as my day starts early, it is essential that I go to bed early too.

6. Explore more blogs. There are so many blogs out there, old and new alike, which I plan on visiting for the first time. If there are any you'd like to recommend please let me have them.

7. Keep dreaming big. Its all about living in the moment, taking chances, and growing physically and mentally day in and out, and never losing sight of my dreams.


So what have you got planned for this coming week? Whatever it is, here's wishing you a great one!


Peace.Love.Light*



Current Listen: Bruno Mars - It Will Rain



Saturday, February 06, 2016

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Three Things To Inspire Your Weekend #43


Quote of the day: 
The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions - the little, soon forgotten charities of a kiss or a smile, a kind look or heartfelt compliment. -Samuel Taylor Coleridge



image: HuffingtonPost

Three young Software engineering students in Brazil, Raira Carvalho, 19, André Ivo, 19, and Jennifer Brito, 21, have created a software that could help millions of people with hearing impairments in Brazil. 


image: HuffingtonPost

Polish artist Mariusz Kędzierski, is an artist born without hands and figured out how to draw and paint despite his disability. He hopes to also inspire others by teaching them that limitations can be overcome. His drawings can be found here.




Y7-House as seen on Arch Daily
Architects: Masahiko Sato
Location: Omura, Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan


Peace & Love*


Current Listen: Dido -No Freedom 





Friday, February 05, 2016

Some Truths About Keeping A Diary


Quote of the day: 
The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. -James M. Barrie


I came across some of my old diary entries recently, written many years ago. This of course was before this blog came to be. I recognized my handwriting and the words inked deep into the skin of the soft delicate pages, as if peeling off layers and layers of clothing only to find intricate tattoos underneath. I should add that some of these entries ring a bell, but with others I can neither make head nor tail of their underlying meanings. If I were to jump inside a time machine though, I'm sure I'll find that at that point in time, in that very moment, my emotions must have mattered so much, and my conviction to record it all even more so.

Write down your thoughts, for many years from now you'll read them and marvel at your own capability. In October 2005, I noted: 'The rain is falling in torrents, it seems the clouds had held back tears all morning because by mid-afternoon, they had turned a darkish grey. I am sprawled on the couch - with the TV volume at the loudest.' 

Of course I don't seem to have any recollection of this entry. I try to imagine a younger version of me listening to the rain, or watching from my window, raindrops crashing against it and rolling off one after the other. But the picture is all vague and obscure - like a murky mirror that has stopped reflecting, or a photo that's all blurry. I realize that I cannot feel now as I felt then. How special it must have been to witness such weather, enough to dedicate a diary entry to. But its all part of history now - my history.

I find keeping a journal, or a blog, or video log (Vlog) -which is basically blogging with video significant. Although some may disagree about these mediums being classified as diaries or journals, but they are definitely the modern way of story-telling. Whether you wish to share this story with others will come into play eventually, but this is yours and no one can take it away from you. For me, keeping diaries back then was therapeutic, and got me through difficult periods, helped me to improve my writing skills, understand myself better and also left a gift for the future me -which I am now sharing with you. The world is unpredictable, but there will always be the comfort of writing our own stories, one page, post, and video at a time.


Peace. Love.Serenity* 


Current Listen: Gotye -Eyes Wide Open






Wednesday, February 03, 2016

The Importance of Life's Circumstances


Quote of the day: 
Sometimes our fate resembles a fruit tree in winter. Who would think that those branches would turn green again and blossom, but we hope it, we know it. -Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


First it was our birth, that instance when we were introduced to the world, naked and vulnerable (whatever happened to our vulnerability?). It is in this instance, this occasion of sorts that we placed our well being into the hands of our parents or guardians as the case may be. Now we've all aged, and that memory of our creation is long forgotten.

How our circumstances have changed. How distant the ticking clocks, and the hour glass measuring the passage of time. No matter what our fortune may be, we remain insatiable, shaped by life's circumstances -'we create our fate everyday we live', according to Henry Miller. How important are life's circumstances? Our age, gender, success, failure, education, race, relationships and so on...how did all these things have a bearing on our senses, shaping us into who we are today? It is indeed worthy to reflect on.

There are always circumstances. Good ones and bad ones. They come and go. They help to shape us, carve us even, and even though our way of life may no longer be innocent or pristine, even though we've fought thousands of battles and have become weary...in the end all that we've fought for and lived for may turn out to be worthless -if we didn't learn anything along the way.

One can never fully comprehend the role played by individual circumstances, and particular incidents or occurrences. It is never ending, these circumstances. They appear, old ones and new ones alike in different vertical and horizontal forms. Various shapes and angles. One must always strive to rise above the circumstances of life.



Peace & Love*


Current Listen: Coldplay -Hymns For The Weekend





Tuesday, February 02, 2016

How To Read Books On A Busy Schedule: 6 Tips


Quote of the day: 
You take people, you put them on a journey, you give them peril, you find out who they really are. 
- Joss Whedon


Challenging yourself is one of the greatest ways of sustaining personal growth and advancement. There is good reason to derive happiness from a book. Asides the obvious -mental nourishment, there is that calming factor, the escapism from one world into another, transported by words like migrating birds, one becomes as the stars looking down upon star-gazers.

Out of busy schedules -which we all have, it becomes harder to make time for reading. For me whenever an opportunity presents itself, I embrace it with arms wide open. And in this post I've outlined what you need to do to create more reading time. So this post is for you -the busy individual caught up with everyday life, and less and less time to read.

1. Identify why you want to read more. 
For me its all about escaping as I mentioned earlier, and reading is a great way to do so. It is calming, and helps with concentration. Plus I get to improve my vocabulary while doing something I enjoy. Its like working in an ice-cream shop because you know...you just love ice-cream.

2. Have a set time for reading. 
From making little effort to read a chapter or more in the morning to getting lost in a book during the daily commute, there are many ways one can squeeze out time to read. Truth is, all that time spent on social media, or playing angry birds (okay maybe not), can be reduced to create space for reading. And to think there's an account dedicated to people reading on trains.

3. Read more than a book at a time.
Its certainly okay to juggle two or more books during a period of time -especially when starting with a new book. I use this technique when I find that my attention is reducing, or when I just need a new distraction. Reading more than one book at a time not only helps to pick where your interest lies, but also creates the longing to finish a book, and get started with another one.

4. Read while on your break
Lunch breaks shouldn't always be about food. How about a lunch/book break? You can either finish your meal first before reading, or combine both. You can get ahead with a few chapters doing this. Or you could try audio books as an alternative.

5. Get friends involved.
Most people complain about not knowing what to read. Becoming an avid reader may be hard initially, so why not get your friends who love reading involved -trade books and reading lists, download a book app, join a local library, and of course the list is endless.

6. Pick genres you would enjoy
There are no limits to the number of books and genres out there. Whatever scenario or story you'd like to read-has most likely been written already. A good website to try out is Goodreads -which is like a social network for readers and books lovers, tracking and rating books to give you an idea about what's good and what's not. You don't want to waste your time on books that hold little value.

The key element is to have a book with you during the day, this way when the world becomes boring, you can fly to another one, literally. So start reading today.

I'd like to hear about how you schedule your time for reading. Do share!


Be more, do more*


Current Listen: Kings of Leon -Sex on Fire






Monday, February 01, 2016

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What I'm Reading Right Now #33


Quote of the day: 
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. -Carl Sandburg 

As far as my goal to read at least 5 books a month goes, I can say that is is looking a lot more feasible than I had originally thought. You see I didn't need more hours in a day. Reading takes far more attention than most other things. I worked around this by fitting reading into my schedule -which I will talk further about in an upcoming post.



From my reading list for January, I am currently reading a book by Russian author Vladimir Nabokov (also knowny by the pen name Vladimir Sirin) titled 'Laughter in the Dark'. Originally written in Russian and translated to English by the author, the story is set mostly in Berlin, and revolves around Albinus- a rich and respected middle-age art critic with a family, who meets a a youthful lady at a cinema, and it is from that point that everything changes.

It's quite a fast paced narrative, very humorous at times and other times cold, passionate, calculating, and disruptive. An emotional roller-coaster of sorts. I'd gladly recommend.

Other books I've read this month

Hiroshi Murakami -Sputnik Sweetheart
Paulo Coelho -The Alchemist
Pearl. S. Buck -The Good Earth
Kazuo Ishiguro -The Remains of the Day


What books are you reading at the moment?



Current Listen: Damien Rice – I Don’t Want To Change You