Book review: 3 READING recommendations for Christmas 2020


I’m so thrilled to share the below book reviews with you today. They’re my ‘comfort’ reads, my inspiration and my intellectual treats 😉 Enjoy! 

Ex Libris by Anne Fadiman

Books wrote our life story, and as they accumulated on our selves (on our windowsills, and underneath our sofa, and on top of our refrigerator), they became chapters in it themselves. Anne Fadiman

It’s an intellectual treat; funny, thought-provoking & written so beautifully yet so effortlessly. For book lovers, book collectors, (common) readers or (university) researchers. It’s a wonderful read, I was bursting out with laughter so often that my children became a bit suspicious about this book (only text, no pics and I have so much fun?!). It’s about books (of course!): about marrying the books together, playing with words, compulsive proofreading (my absolute favourite typo: ‘Prince of Whales’), plagiarism aka ‘burglar[y] of others’ intellect’ (p. 86), having kids who read (a little spoiler: it helps when their parents read :), second-hand books (oh, the moment when we find a real reading gem!). I’d had this book on my bookshelf for a while and, this autumn, I suddenly had the urge to read it – and I’m so glad I finally did. Ex Libris is such an absolute pleasure to read and it’s pocket-sized, so good on the go / when travelling, too!

Afoot and light-hearted. A journal for mindful walking. by Bonnie Smith Whitehouse

You never come back from a walk feeling worse. Simon Armitage

This is my inspiration to walk more. To wander without any goals, to be fully present, to paint / draw / write a poem, to enjoy my own company, to have a forest-bathing moment, to exercise my body, my mind and my soul, to be inspired to create more. This is my walking journal: my space to take notes, to be creative, to comment on the views. There are quotations, little prompts, wisdom words: “(…) boredom, rest and idleness can be profound ways to stimulate the imagination and let our attention expand and unfurl.” (p. 84) I just cannot wait to fill the journal with some funny sketches 😉

Family adventures. Exploring the world with children.

(…) safe has plans, crazy has stories. TK McKamy

This is an album of family travels: it’s a collection of stories about exploring the world with children. The publication is edited by Austin Sailsbury, an American writer who lives with his family in Copenhagen. The travel stories are beautiful, I know how cliché it sounds, but this is precisely how I see them. From sustainable surfing adventures in Europe, exploring the romantic Amalfi Coast, sailing and (jumping) in the Ionian Sea, finding the perfect wild swimming spots in Texas to beginning family and discovering community in Uganda. From finding peacefulness and quietness in the woods and escaping everyday business in the Canadian wilderness, to finding your ‘smultronställe’ (a Swedish word meaning ‘wild strawberry patch’ aka a place of comfort, worth returning to experience personal idyll). From experiencing the magic of stargazing in New Zealand to finding a new home. It’s also about feeling alive and adventurous, about discovering real family bonding and creating life-long travel memories. And the photographs: what a treat! BUT, there is one drawback: it’s so inspirational that you immediately want to pack your bags and explore the world! Even now, or more correctly: especially now 😉

What reading inspirations have you discovered recently? Please let me know in the comments below.

Kinga Macalla

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