Category Archives: Books

The Little Book of LYKKE

In August I finished a book by Meik Wiking called The Little Book of Hygge, review in “Curently reading”. I think most people know this book. It’s a must read for all bloggers. You might not know though that he published a new book last month entitled The Little Book of LYKKE. The Danish search for the world’s happiest people.*

The little book of Hygge was a bestseller. It outsold all other hygge titles combined last year. It is published in 31 countries. I imagine, after reading it, that The Little Book of LYKKE will have a similar success. It was a pleasure to read and I will read it again in a few months time.

This new book is about Lykke (Luu-kah) (n): Happiness. He starts by talking about how you measure happiness and how happiness is personal. As what makes me happy is not what would make others happy. After that, the next chapters are about the components of what makes one happy: Togetherness, Money, Health, Freedom, Trust, and Kindness.I will avoid talking too much about any of them, because the whole point of this post is to make you want to open the book and read it yourself. I will mention though a few things from the book.

One of them is about money. He said that, after you have the minimum amount of money needed (for rent/mortgage, food), the extra money will not make anybody happier.
He mentions Michelle McGagh, a British woman that lived an year buying the bare minimum and how she discovered what really made her happy and it wasn’t weekly dinners at the restaurant or pub. It resonated with me. I had a point in my life when I was going to restaurant because I was too busy to cook at home and I wasn’t happy. Now I love cooking with my husband, each of us doing something, is so much better for us than going to a restaurant for dinner.

In another chapter he talks about freedom. This is another point that resonated with me. I need to feel free, it has a real impact in my happiness. I enjoyed that chapter a lot. He talks about the parental happiness gap (child-free couples are happier in UK, a definitely interesting read) and the happiness of entrepreneurs, despite the issues related to being your own boss and not employed somewhere.

I would definitely recommend the book. Meik presents stats (that is something I love in a book, real scientific data), but in a way that is enjoyable for everybody, including the ones not that keen on stats and percentages. The Little Book of LYKKE is filled with lovely looking pictures, something I enjoyed a lot in the hygge books. The pictures are creating a relaxing mood while I’m reading.

If you fancy the book, it is available on Amazon, Foyles, Hive, Waterstones, and WH Smith. I think this book can make a wonderful gift for Christmas and it has just the right price for a Secret Santa.

*I received the book for the purpose of this review.

Books in September

This is my second post about books this month, as I already blogged about the latest book by Philippa Gregory. The Last Tudor was published last month and I wanted to talk about it as soon as I finished it. There is a link at the end of the post to the review. This month I finished 5 books, bringing the total at 51 this year.

Books in September

My choice of books is quite unusual, but if you’ve seem my posts so far I think you are already used to this. I seem to continue to be drawn these days to non-fiction, hence 3 of them are non-fiction, one is historical fiction based on real historical facts and the last one is a poem book.

None of Us Were Like This Before. American Soldiers and Torture by Joshua E.S. Phillips

None of Us Were Like This Before. American Soldiers and Torture by Joshua E.S. Phillips

It was hard to read it, not because of the style, but of what it was written in it. In the book is talked about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. The author goes into details about torture and it’s hard to comprehend why did U.S. authorities allowed this to happen. Prisoners died in captivity (a lot of them) and nobody was wondering why. The whistle-blowers had their lives shattered after coming forward and military personal that abused the detainees committed suicide (accidental death is written in the military reports despite having multiple suicide attempts).
I just hope this is not as widely happening as it seems in the book. I say this because, the last thing I want to accept, is that, from the money I contribute through tax, the army is paid to rape/sexual assault prisoners and call it “interrogation” (have a look at the pictures from Abu Ghraib on wikipedia, a warning though, they are disturbing).

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The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

I don’t usually write book reviews on their own, but on the 8th last month, one of my favourite authors released another book. So, here is The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory review. This book can be found at the library (most likely it’s already reserved for the next few months) or it can be bought from amazon or even a local supermarket (I saw it in Asda and Tesco).
If you’ve read my monthly books roundups this year, you saw how smitten I am with Philippa’s books. I’ve read many of her books, as you can see at the end of the post.
Philippa said that this is the last Tudor book she will write. Her future projects will be just as exciting, I can’t wait to read them.

If you don’t know Philippa, she was born in Kenya and moved with her parents in UK. She studied here and has an PhD in History. Her first books were a trilogy, Wideacre. I read one of them and I plan to read the other two. The Other Boleyn Girl, a book about Anne Boleyn’s sister is now published globally and the book won the Parker Pen Novel of the Year award 2002 and the Romantic Times fictional biography award. It was adapted for the BBC as a single television drama. She lives in Yorkshire and has a small charity making wells in Gambia, called Gardens for the Gambia.

The Last Tudor by Philippa Gregory

The book is divided into 3 books, the first one about Jane Grey, the second one about Katherine Grey and the last one about Mary Grey. Spoilers! (if you don’t already know their stories).

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Currently reading

This month I managed to read a lot of books again, 8, all non-fiction, that brings the total to 46! I think the next month will be pretty similar as I already borrowed&bought a few books that I’m keen on reading.

Currently reading

Before moving to UK, terrorism wasn’t a part of my life. I remember vividly the news about the 9/11 attack, I remember telling my mother horrified that the second tower collapsed. I remember how I was feeling at that time, the memory had too much of an emotional impact not to remember every detail. I also remember other events that happened in UK, for example, with the same accuracy. While all these events were memorable, it wasn’t like any of them would have a direct connection to me.
So, why does terrorism matter now? Maybe because I’m here and it happened in places I’ve been to, like London, in a location I know well, in Manchester the day after I spent the weekend there. It happened at a concert, at a supermarket, at an event, on the streets.
I know that it’s more likely that I could die in a car crash, we even had a few of those (minor incidents), I still travel with the car. It’s also more likely I would die from heart problems, but that doesn’t stop me eating something that’s not healthy or having a second cocktail. I wanted to understand, so I got a couple of books about terrorism. I learned a lot from them. Sadly, after I finished the first book, another two attacks took place in Spain. So, I continued with the second book. While I was reading the second book, another attack took place in Finland.

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Books, more books

This month I’ve read a lot of books, 8 in total, a cold paired with an issue with my laptop that took a bit of time to solve made me have more time for reading. It’s annoying to have problems with the laptop, especially as I wasn’t able to work.

01 Books, more books

I finished the second series by Philippa Gregory – the Tudor court, just in time for her next book “The last Tudor” which will be launched next month.
Next month I have some pretty difficult books on my list, as I took a few psychology books from the library. I’m excited about them.

I also wanted to talk on my blog about a book my husband has read. The book is called The God Delusion by Richard Dawkings and I think it’s fascinating, a must read for all faiths or no faith. I read bits from it and we talked so much about while he was reading it that it would be pointless for me to read it.

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What I’ve been reading

This post comes a little sooner as I have lots of things to talk about at the end of the month, with us being away at some amazing events and on a short holiday.

01

It’s unlikely I will finish another book by the end of the month anyway. As I finished 4 books this month, it brings the total of books read this year to 30. I had no idea I will read so much this year. I’m watching less TV and I also spend less time online, so it’s great. Not that watching TV or staying online is a bad thing, but I think I have a better ratio at the moment. Reading before bedtime helps me sleep better too.

 The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

The story of Mary, the other Boleyn girl, but in fact the first of the two Boleyn sisters to have a relationship with King Henry VIII. I loved the book, Mary is a likeable character, while Anne and George are portrayed less than nice. While someone who likes Anne might have difficulty with the image she has in this book, for me the book is perfect.
Mary is a lovely girl, in search for love, but manipulated by her family. She was married, but, even so, she had two children with Henry before he started his affair with Anne and put Mary aside. She married her second husband, William Stafford, in secret and they had a wonderful relationship. He was a second son, without any lands or wealth. They loved each other, she trusted him and he was in love with her. It’s a beautiful story.

I looked into the history of Mary and their love story seems like it was real. Mary wrote in a letter addressed to Thomas Cromwell: “I had rather beg my bread with him than to be the greatest queen in Christendom. And I believe verily … he would not forsake me to be a king.”. Heartwarming, isn’t it?

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7 Books in May

In May I finished 7 books. But two of them were started the month before.

01 7 books in May

This month, I’ve started reading the Tudor series by Philippa Gregory. Sadly, even now, historians don’t give enough credit to the amazing women from the history. Recently I was watching a TV show about Edinburgh castle and the historian said that Henry VIII’s victory over James IV of Scotland at Flodden, Northumberland, in 1513 was his greatest military achievement. WOW! In fact… Henry wasn’t even in England at the time of the battle and Katherine led the army while being pregnant to keep the Scots from invading England.
This is why I love Phillipa’s books, she brings the women into the spotlight and, hopefully, with public interest, more historians will take into consideration the important roles the women played in  history.

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