March Wrap Up



I only read 6 books this month and have already posted three of the reviews and scheduled the next three for next week. Reviews already posted on the blog are for thee following books; The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon,Halos by Kristen Heitzmann and The Tumor by John Grisham


2016 Reading Challenge and Blog updates

I set my reading challenge for 2016 at 50 books. I have read 27 books so far so maybe this wasn’t much of a challenge for me but this is the first time that I am keeping track of the books that I read so 50 seemed like a good goal.

10428053I started doing bookish memes/weekly features this month and they are so much fun.I have met quite a number of awesome bloggers through this. The weekly features that I have been doing are:


Tuesday– Top Ten Tuesdays hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

top ten tuesday

Wednesday– Top 5 Wednesday hosted by Lainey and WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam


Friday– Friday Finds hosted by Jenn



So those are my reading and blogging highlights for March 2016. I didn’t read as much as I would have wanted to and will probably even read less in April but I did come across some awesome books so I am happy about that. I hope your month was equally good.

If you have a monthly wrap up post then share your link. I would love to know how your month has been.

giphySee you in April ❤


3 days 3 quotes

Day 2




Being A Book Nerd


Thank you all for tagging me to do the 3 days 3 quotes challenge.

These bloggers had some pretty awesome quotes. Click on the links above and see what I what I am talking about. Follow their blogs too for some more awesome posts.

The rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days
  3. Nominate 3 new bloggers each day


My second quote is:

“I guess by now I should know enough about loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone-you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence.”
Alyson Noel, Evermore

I explained the theme that I am using for this challenge in my Day 1 post yesterday.

Today I nominate:





Sorry if you have already done the challenge or if you don’t do challenges/tags. I hope that you will do this one though. They don’t have to be quotes from books by the way, you can also quote other people,poets, anyone really  so not necessarily authors.




3 days 3 quotes

Day 1

This past weekend, I received 5 tags for the 3 Days 3 Quotes Challenge. The tags were from these wonderful bloggers:

They are all pretty cool bloggers so you better visit their blogs and read the quotes that they shared. I liked each quote, some were funny, inspiring and others were simply real. Click on their names and head over to the blogs to see what I am talking about.

The rules:

  1. Thank the person(people in my case) who nominated you
  2. Post a quote for 3 consecutive days
  3. Nominate 3 new bloggers each day

I have had three very tough days after losing a dear friend last Saturday (I found out on Sunday). Her death was sudden. She died in an accident while on vacation. My heart has been broken since I got the news. I miss her so much. Rest in Peace dear Vivian.

Here is my first quote:

book thief quote

 “It kills me sometimes, how people die.”
Markus Zusak, The Book Thief

Today I nominate:




Sorry if you have already done the challenge or if you don’t do challenges/tags. I hope that you will do this one though. They don’t have to be quotes from books by the way, you can also quote other people,poets, anyone really  so not necessarily it She really wants you to take the challenge 🙂


 hauntedMy favorite quote from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak





This meme is currently hosted by Taking on a World of Words.



To take part all you need to do is answer the following questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

So here’s my 3 W’s for the week.

Recently Finished

November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9I really liked this book. I started reading it while on the road on Saturday and was able to finish it on Sunday morning. It was a beautiful love story. I will post my review about it pretty soon.



Currently Reading

Her Mother’s Hope by Francine Rivers



I have been reading this one really slow but I love it so far.




Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Ann and the French Kiss

I started reading this on Sunday afternoon. So far I have mixed feelings about it(The book makes me feel too old, is that supposed to happen?lol). I am not sure whether I like it or not but I’m not even halfway done so plenty of time/pages to make up my mind.



Reading next

My end of semester exams will take place in mid-April. Not sure I will pick any new books apart from the two that I am currently reading.


So that is my WWW this week. I look forward to reading yours and finding out what’s going on in your reading lives. Share your links and I will check them out and perhaps get ideas for some books to add to my TBR pile after exams.


Top 5 Wednesday- Book Series


March 30 – 5 of my least favorite books in a series

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey. Every week, we get a new topic to discuss and  list top 5 books (or whatever is specified) that relate to that topic! If you’re interested in joining, just visit this Goodreads group!

Here are some of the books that I didn’t like in some of my favorite book series.

Gossip GirlOnly in your dreams by Cecily von Ziesgar


 This is the ninth book in the series. Interestingly, I watched the TV show up to the final season though I didn’t really like the season adaptation of this book either. The rest of the books in the series were well paced and so much was happening in Nate,Chuck, Serena and Blair’s lives but nothing much happened in this book. I didn’t finish it although I watched the whole season.

chuck bassRandom GIF. I loved how he used to say his name on the TV show.


Shopaholic series- Shopaholic to the Rescue by Sophie Kinsella


This series has always been my guilty pleasure. I am not a fan of Chic Lit as such but I love the shopaholic series and have read 5 out of 8 books in the series. These are the books that I turn to whenever I need a quick, easy read. However, Shopaholics to the Rescue was not like the others. I really didn’t like this book at all. It felt like the book added nothing to the series especially based on how good the last book was. This one disappointed me. Word around is that it’s the final book in the series not sure if I will read the ones that I had skipped.


Jake Briggance Series- A Time to Kill and Sycamore Row by John Grisham


TOUGH CHOICESI loved a Time to Kill. The book was intense and riveting and had me at the edge of my seat from the first page. I also loved the movie adaptation. Jack Briggance was brilliant in this one. Sycamore Row was the second book featuring Briggance but I didn’t like it as much as ATTK. It wasn’t boring, actually, it was pretty good but between the two, Sycamore Row was be my least favorite book in this series. Really, this was a tough choice, both books are great. You can read my review of Sycamore Row here.

Left to tell and Led by Faith Immaculee Ilibagiza


I feel bad about this one. It sounds wrong to admit that I didn’t like one of these books especially since they were based on true accounts of the Rwanda genocide. I loved Left to Tell. It was quite inspirational. I can’t imagine what the author went through hiding in a bathroom for three months during the genocide. I struggled through the second book. It seemed that most of the things had been said in the first one. The theme of forgiveness was already covered in Left to Tell. Led by Faith was also quite slow.

You can read my review of both books here


Fifty Shades of Gray– second and third books- Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed by E.L James


 Okay so here is the thing, at some point this series was so popular that everyone in Kenya was talking about it. I saw the books in all stores and women were reading them in public places. There were whispers about a red room, silk ties and some indecent spanking and I got curious about it. Then the government banned it. I read the first book to the end, the second book halfway and only saw the cover for the third book but couldn’t bring myself to read it. So let me just say that my least worse (I know that’s not English but work with me here) was the first book, Fifty Shades of Gray.




So that’s my list. Have you read any of the books in the list? Do you agree/disagree with me?


Don’t be shy, share your T5W links.

Top Ten Tuesday:Ten of the Best Books I’ve Read Recently

Top Ten Tuesday

March 29:  Ten of the Best Books I’ve Read Recently

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, bloggers get a topic which entails giving a list of ten things based on the topic.

Today’s topc is Ten of the Best Books I’ve Read Recently. So here are some of my favorite books for this year

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak- The most moving book that I have read this year. I have watched the movie twice since I read this book. I will forever be haunted by this one.

Me Before you by Jojo Moyes- Saddest book that I have  read recently but I really did like it. Can’t wait to watch the movie on June 3rd 2016.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon-I loved this book, got lost in the streets of Barcelona and in the mysteries of Carax. Books about books are turning out to be my favorite kind of books. Check out my full review.

Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris- Thrilling, riveting, I kept turning the pages, twisting and turning to get comfortable as I stayed up the whole night until the last page. Read my review here.


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins- Fast paced thriller totally loved it. Here is my review.

The Color Purple by Alice Walker- I fell in love with Celia and Shug Avery and their stories. Who knew that a book narrated in letters could be this interesting.

Halos by Kristen Heitzmann- My first Christian fiction, a brilliant introduction to the genre. Looking forward to many more wonderful books. Check out my review here.

The Secret Lives of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd- I loved this book, deeply moving and enthralling. My full review is here.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett- I should have read this book ages ago. It is one of the best books that I have ever had the pleasure of coming across. My review is here.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segis Wives by Lola Shoneyin- I loved the book and deeply admire the author, she is wonderful. My favorite African literature this year. Take a peak of my review here, Lola liked it, you may also enjoy it 🙂

So what are some of the best books that you have read recently? Kindly share your links and perhaps I can add the ones that I haven’t yet read to my TBR.




Book Review: Halos by Kristen Heitzmann



As I mentioned on this blog before, I decided to read a few novels under the Christian Fiction genre this month. After all, it’s the month of Easter and I recently found books by two Christian authors that came highly recommended. One of my senior colleagues at work gave me two copies of Francine Rivers books and our library just got two copies of Kristen Heitzmann Books.
Review, Shall we?
Halos by Kristen Heitzmann

I saw this book at the library and picked it because of the lovely cover. I was intrigued by the blurb and absolutely had to read the book. Halos is a story about Alessi Moore, a twenty one year old looking for a fresh start. Lessi is somewhat naive; she believes in the goodness of everyone and seems to trust that halos are an indication of good things.

She arrives at a beautiful small town called Charity and spots what looks like a halo hence believing that she had found a new place where she could have a fresh new start in life. However, minutes after arriving in Charity, her red mustang gets stolen leaving her with nothing but the clothes that she was wearing. Alessi ends up stranded, at the mercies of strangers who not all are friendly and a psychopath who is taunting her.


IMG_20160310_200103The book is full of suspense. I kept trying to guess the identity of Alessi’s stalker. Everyone looked like a suspect at some point. There was also the constant mention of a pact that the town had. The Sheriff had an attitude that I just couldn’t understand. He wasn’t even trying to find her car. This book was definitely intriguing. It was also well paced with a number of twists along the way.

The characters were so endearing that I wanted to move to Charity. Well apart from the fact that a psychopath was running loose, stealing cars and taunting lone women. I liked the kind-hearted men who took Lessi in and even Steve with his mistrust issues. Alessi was effortlessly likable, her innocence and strength despite the hardships that she had gone through in life were charming. Heitzmann  did a wonderful job with the overall character development in this book.

Halos by Kristen Heitzmann is a beautiful book about love, forgiveness and the power of prayer. It’s the kind of book that makes you think about your faith. I enjoyed this book and I definitely look forward to reading The Tender Vine by Christen Heitzmann which is now sitting on my bookshelf. Kristen Heitzmann is a skillful storyteller and I hope to read many more books from her.


I found Kristen’s Interview online. It is quite insightful.




Friday Finds

Friday Finds is a meme hosted by Books and a BeatThis is an opportunity to share the books that you have recently found and added to your TBR.

I am trying not to buy new books before I read all the news ones already  on my bookshelf. Kandi-Budget1However, I never turn down a good offer. Last weekend, I was walking in Nairobi town when I found a street vendor selling old books. I found three nice, old books for only a dollar (Kshs.120).



So here are my Friday Finds.

A Brother’s Journey by Richard Pelzer and A Child Called It by Dave Pelzer- I picked these two because they are based on true life stories. Richard and Dave are brothers who went through unimaginable abuse at the hands of their mother. I have read, Dave’s other book, Lost Boy which a reviewed sometime back.

Atonement by Ian McEwan- I picked it simply because of the lovely cover.


So those are my new (old) books. 0c9f41b0-9ab9-0133-985b-0a6c20e5e327


Did you find any new books this week? Have you read any of the books on my list.Share your links and comments. I would like to read about your new gems.

I am going away  on a road trip to Malindi(Kenyan Coast) today, sun and beaches all weekend, yay!Excited about the 8 hours bus drive and I hope to read something fun  on the way.I am traveling solo(with a travel company though) so hopefully, there will be some nice people on the trip too.

Happy Easter!


Christian Fiction: Short Story of the Month

The Easter holidays were really tough for her. She had expected that they would be but had always assumed that they would get easier with time. Nonetheless, being in church on Good Friday had taken all her strength not to break down and cry. She had little Freddie seated next to her and so had to keep it together. Nevertheless, with a heavy heart, she watched young couples seated together, sharing secret smiles during the service and leaving church hand in hand. She watched as the family cars drove away as she got in behind the wheel of her car with Freddie by her side.

Maggie and Little FreddieIt was nice to have her son but still, she still wished her husband Mark was still around.
It didn’t make sense to her the way he died. He was a young man, only 30 years old and they had only been married for two and a half years. One day, he had woken up in the morning complaining of a severe headache. A few hours later, Maggie was standing at the hospital in utter shock as the doctor sorrowfully informed her of her new status as a widow. Brain aneurysm was the documented cause of death. It just didn’t add up. Mark had always led a healthy lifestyle, eating well and working out. In addition, Maggie didn’t understand why his case was untreatable yet there were people living with the same condition. Doctors explained that his condition had been diagnosed late but still, it didn’t make sense to Maggie. Mark had been fine. They were expecting their first baby and had just moved to their own house. Life was looking up for the young couple then suddenly, everything changed.

man plus paged woman
Two years later, Maggie was still grieving. She was having a very hard time trying adjusting to life as a widow. In addition, it broke her heart that Freddie was growing up without ever having met his dad. Family and friends had always tried to be there for her and help her out but it just wasn’t the same. She still slept on her own side of the bed, sometimes in Mark’s t-shirt and would breakdown in tears every time she heard some of their favorite songs playing. grave image
Maggie was lost in her reverie relieving her pain and shock at having lost Mark. The holidays seemed to have brought it all back.
“Maggie… Maggie…” She heard someone tap on her window.
Maggie quickly wiped away her tears and rolled down her window. It was Martha, an elderly woman from the church who had always been so kind to her.old woman
“Are you okay?”

Martha asked as her face creased in concern.

Maggie answered feeling embarrassed at being caught crying

Martha went on to invite her to a special seminar for ladies to be held in the church. Maggie assumed that it was just one of those ladies meeting but she got curious when Martha told her that the seminar was called ‘Ruth’. She knew the Biblical story of Ruth, the widowed Moabite woman who later got married to Boaz. This definitely caught her interest. Maggie promised to attend the seminar.Ruth and Boaz
Saturday was a quiet day for Maggie and Freddie. This was the day that has always been described as the “waiting period”. Christ died on Friday; Saturday was the waiting period before Sunday when he rose again. Maggie quietly wondered if she was going through her own waiting period before things get better again. She couldn’t wait for her Sunday to come.

Life had really changed for her since Mark’s passing. Being in her late twenties, all her friends seemed to be at the stage where they were getting married or starting their own families. Every weekend, there were baby showers and also weddings to attend. However, people seemed to be uncomfortable inviting Maggie to the occasions anymore. Maybe they just felt sorry for her or perhaps they just didn’t want a reminder of how things could just turn around abruptly.


Some people also just didn’t know what to say to her. Whenever they tied to talk to her, they would end up saying the wrong things.

“Wow, I still can’t believe that Mark just died!”
“I wouldn’t be able to live without my husband; I would really rather die honestly.”
“Poor Freddie, being fatherless and all…”

Their pity and sometimes misplaced consolation sometimes made things worse for her and there are moments when she just preferred to be on her own.
She also had a difficult time facing life’s challenges alone. A year after Mark’s death, her mother had a stroke and died. She had been a rock for her during the difficult months after Mark’s death. Having been widowed herself years back, her mother was able to walk with Maggie and encourage her. When she died, Maggie was left feeling alone, confused and angry at life. She was heartbroken and wished that there was someone with her to help her deal with the loss of her mother. She thought of how Mark used to make her feel better during her tough times but now, he was no longer there. Maggie feared that she may not be able to weather life’s storms on her own.index
Now having spent her Saturday indoors, Maggie felt that she and Freddie deserved an outing after church on Sunday. There was a lovely little restaurant with a playground right around the corner from her house. She knew that there would be other families and it may be a tough scene but just the thought of being able to do something fun with Freddie gave her the strength to go out.
They sat at the corner for a while having their lunch. Freddie looked excited to be outdoors and soon Maggie had him at the playground playing with other kids. After a while, she sat down at the bench and watched Freddie with another little boy playing and laughing like with no care in the world. Watching Freddie always made her happy. It was a reminder of the good life that she once had with Mark. He would have been proud of their little handsome boy had he still been around.

“That’s my little Mike…” A voice said interrupting her. “And my name is Tony.”

“Maggie and that is Freddie.”

She said politely pointing at her son who was now chasing little Mike around the park as the pair laughed and screamed happily.
She stole a secret glance at the stranger. He was tall, a little on the skinny side but had nice kind eyes and a lovely smile. He was definitely charming too. Maggie was wary of men ever since Mark died. There were always men hitting on her but she didn’t feel ready to date yet. In addition, she had met all kinds of men who wanted to take advantage of her loneliness, some who were even married.

Man and woman at the park
“Where is his mother?” Maggie blurted out immediately regretting her bluntness.

“I lost my wife a few years back, just me and Mike now.”

He answered without flinching. Maggie was so embarrassed at having asked a stranger such a private question.
They sat for a while watching their children playing and engaging in small talk. They talked about the weather and just random things. He made her laugh and she enjoyed watching him fuss over little Mike every time he fell or called out to him. The afternoon went quite well and Maggie was surprised at just how much she had enjoyed Tony’s company.woman-talking-to-man-happy-faces-54693636
“Hope to see you again Maggie,” Tony said as they parted ways.
Maggie smiled to herself embarrassed to admit that she also hoped to see him again soon. She still felt guilty at times like she was being unfaithful every time she noticed a handsome man. An afternoon with Tony made her feel both guilty and a bit excited at the same time.
However, every time that she thought about dating again, Maggie always assumed that she would have to settle for less. It was hard for a widow to meet great guys especially with a child in tow; well that is what she assumed anyway. She just felt like she was carrying a lot of emotional baggage for someone else to want to be with her. She also couldn’t imagine ever meeting anyone like Mark. He was her soul mate, the man who had always made her laugh and had been her best friend for years. However, she couldn’t help but smile when she thought of little Mike and his dad.huge.1.7909



“Mike is a great playmate, isn’t he?”

She asked her little companion who rewarded her with a chuckle. It seemed that Freddie had also enjoyed his afternoon out and Maggie couldn’t be happier.thumb_COLOURBOX7750874

On Easter Monday, Maggie went back to church and registered for the “Ruth” meeting. She didn’t think about it much after that.

It was in June when the ‘Ruth’ meeting was scheduled. Maggie woke up that day feeling excited about it. She had organized for a babysitter for Freddie so that she could attend the meeting. At the church, Maggie was surprised by the huge turn-out. There were so many ladies at the meeting, all dressed up and looking excited.women talking.jpg

“Good morning ladies…” Martha was there to welcome them all.

The meeting was great with a lovely fellowship that really lifted Maggie’s spirits. The sermon was about ‘second chances’ and it was based on the book of Ruth. The ladies were encouraged about being women of virtue even during their toughest times. The speaker reminded them of how Ruth had stood with her mother in law during her difficult moments after being widowed and loosing both her sons. Ruth was going through her own difficulties of having being widowed but still put her pain aside to be with Naomi. She was ‘hesed’. Her being a woman of virtue with such a great things is one of the things that Boz noticed about her.

illustration_8 by Mike Fentz.jpgThis wonderful illustration was done by Mike Fentz

Ruth 2:11 Boaz replied, “I’ve been told all about what you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband—how you left your father and mother and your homeland and came to live with a people you did not know before. 12 May the LORD repay you for what you have done. May you be richly rewarded by the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge.”

Maggie also liked the encouragement that was given to women especially those who were single for whatever reasons. They were told that when they meet the right man, he would come to look for them. He would be unattached and would treat them like they were special.

Ruth 2: 5-8
5 Boaz asked the overseer of his harvesters, “Who does that young woman belong to?”
6 The overseer replied, “She is the Moabite who came back from Moab with Naomi. 7 She said, ‘Please let me glean and gather among the sheaves behind the harvesters.’ She came into the field and has remained here from morning till now, except for a short rest in the shelter.”

8 So Boaz said to Ruth, “My daughter, listen to me. Don’t go and glean in another field and don’t go away from here. Stay here with the women who work for me. 9 Watch the field where the men are harvesting, and follow along after the women. I have told the men not to lay a hand on you. And whenever you are thirsty, go and get a drink from the water jars the men have filled.”

The message made her feel uplifted. Maybe there was someone out there for her. A second chance at love and she wouldn’t have to settle for less than what God had planned for her. After all, Boaz was a good man, wealthy, kind and a good husband to Ruth so she also had hope of meeting her own Boaz someday.

The rest of the meeting went well and the ladies had a great time sharing and laughing together. Maggie was surprised to meet other young ladies some who had never been married while others like her who had been widowed. They all had their own struggles but still had faith of someday meeting their own Boaz. She was glad to make a few more friends who were in the same position as her.

“Did you enjoy the meeting?” Martha asked her afterwards.

“Thank you so much for the invitation, I’m really glad I came.”

“God is with you Maggie and you just need to trust Him more and let him know what you need,”

Martha then surprised Maggie by revealing that she had also been widowed at a young age. It had taken her years before meeting her current husband, Frank and now they were happily married with two children of their own. She encouraged Ruth and prayed with her before leaving.

Leaving the church, Maggie found herself smiling and thinking about the sermon. Mark was her first love and the father of her child and she would always hold his memory dear. However, for the first time in over two years, she felt lighthearted and encouraged.
She also found herself thinking of the past Easter Sunday and the afternoon at the playground. Maggie decided that she would be open to the idea of another play date some day soon. Hopefully, Tony would also be at the playground with little Mike.

Ruth 4:14- Then the women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the LORD, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!

NB:All illustrations were from google images. All the artists are acknowledge and appreciated. I have also attributed Mike Fentz, whose amazing illustration was not watermarked.


Review: The Tumor by John Grisham

I didn’t know what to expect when I picked this book especially after Grisham declared that it’s the most important story that he has ever written. If that wasn’t enough, the book was being given out for FREE! I love Grisham’s books and I absolutely like free stuff so obviously this was a must read for me.

If you have read Grisham books, you know that there is always a lawyer somewhere and some thrilling courtroom drama. However, this is a different kind of book.
The Tumor is about Paul, a 35 year old living a pretty normal life. Paul has a lovely wife and three kids. However, one day Paul’s life is shattered when he suddenly falls in the bathroom, he had a tumor. Although Paul is the main protagonist, the book is really about focused ultrasound treatment, a specialized non-invasive treatment for cancer.
This is what Grisham says about the book, “I write escapist popular fiction that entertains. It’s entertainment. It doesn’t pretend to be literature or anything else. But ‘The Tumor’ has the potential to one day save or prolong millions of lives.”
There have been mixed reactions about this book. One thing for sure is that it is not the kind of book that you pick if you are looking for entertainment. However, it is an informative book. Grisham educates readers about the treatment in a manner that is interesting and he really doesn’t used medical jargon or some complex prose, the book has an easy narrative and graphics to explain the treatment.It is a n easy read. He is still Grisham. The easy flow of his style of storytelling is still evident in this book. Despite the ‘medical ‘ theme, I read it all the way to the last page. Oh, it is quite small by the way, 67 pages actually.


“Six years after her Parkinson’s disease diagnosis, Kimberly suffered from involuntary shaking and could no longer ride her bike or enjoy other forms of exercise. She was successfully treated in a focused ultrasound clinical trial at the University of Maryland. She is now back on her bike and says the clock has been turned back on her life.”
John Grisham, The Tumor: A Non-Legal Thriller

You can get a free copy of the book here. The Tumor is a really informative book, wont take up much of your time and it is free so why not get it?