May, 2021 Wrap-up Post

May has been quite a good month for me. I made a big career move and took up part-time teaching at the University where I work. A few classes in and I love it. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I might have found something that I’d want to do for a long time. I finally feel like I am making a meaningful contribution.

My daughter, Rylee, is all grown! She is 17 months now. She is fast on her feet and even faster with her hands. ‘What is in your mouth?’ is the new popular question in our house as Rylee grabs stuff and puts them in her mouth and take off running. I can’t wait for this phase to end as it is so nerve wrecking.

Bookish News

Number of books read in May – 8

Genres – 5 continuing Crime thriller series, 1 historical fiction, 2 psychological thriller

Favorite Book of the Month – When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins

TV Shows

I watched MTV The Challenge (6 seasons) and I have just started watching New Amsterdam

June, 2021 TBR

I have way too many books in my backlog and 9 ARCs that are being published in June.

Continuing Series

The Hiding Place (Detective Morgan Brookes #3) by Helen Phifer

The Burning Girls (Detective Ellie Reeves #3) by Rita Herron

One Child Alive (Rockwell and Decker #3) by Ellery A. Kane

A Cut for a Cut by (Detective Kate Young #2) Carol Wyer

New Series

Her Ocean Grave (Detective Abby Pearce #1) by Dana Perry

Historical Fiction

The Edelweiss Sisters by Kate Hewitt

Psychological Thrillers

The Family Tree by Steph Mullin, Nicole Mabry

The Maidens by Alex Michaelidis

Diving for Pearls by Jamie O’Connell

Are any of these titles on your TBR? Which books are you most looking forward to reading in June? Have a wonderful new month.

Something Different…

I recently found some different kind of books that I’d like to read. For the longest time, I have only been reading crime thrillers with a few historical reads along the way. I have now added a few titles on my TBR that I’d never have picked before but I do feel like trying out something different.

Here is what I have recently added to my TBR:

My Beautiful Black Hair – St. Clair Detrick – Jules

Loud Black Girls – Yemi Adegoke; Elizabeth Uviebinene

Carefree Black Girls – Carefree Black Girls Zeba Blay

I am especially drawn to the first title as discussions on black hair have always intrigued me. I have gone through all sorts of hairstyles but in my 30s, I embraced my natural afro hair with all its comb-bending coarseness and stubbornness. I currently have dreadlocks which is one hairstyle that still has so much negative connotation which I don’t understand. So yeah, I am intrigued by this book.  

The two other books are on empowerment.

A Wealthy Girl – Charisse Conanan Johnson

I am currently reading this book. I have been thinking about diversifying my income for a while now. I hope this book will give me the kick that I need to get moving.

Your Marriage God’s Way – Scott LaPierre

I have never read any non-fiction books on marriage. I did read ‘The 5 Languages of Love’ some years ago though that is on relationships in general. I hope to draw some good insights from this title. As Christian, I figured that this might be an insightful read for me.

The Suicidal Thought Workbook – Kathryn Hope Gordon PhD

Healing Sexual Trauma Workbook – Erika Shershun

As one who has come close to walking off a ledge or two at my lowest times in life, the first book called me by name. Its description/blurb crept out from the cover and hugged me.

This is the description posted on NetGalley:

If you are considering this book for yourself, know that you are valued and your life matters—even if doesn’t feel that way right now. If you are considering this book for someone you care about, know that you have made a powerful and compassionate choice to help save a life.

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts, you need to know—above all else—that you are worthy of help and a life with less suffering. This workbook, grounded in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), has tools to guide you out of your darkest place to find hope. With the help of this book, you’ll identify your reasons for living, manage intense emotions, and create a safe environment when you are in a crisis. You’ll also learn how to strengthen relationships, develop effective coping strategies in the face of life’s challenges and hardships, and find—or rediscover—the activities that bring you joy and meaning.

Most of all, this workbook is meant to support you. No matter where you are at this moment, remember the following:

You are worth it.

You are loved.

You matter.

This book speaks to me. The description strikes a chord with me every time I read it. I am at a good place right now but I know how easy it is to find myself on the ledge. I am apprehensive about reading the book but at the same time, I have hope that I’ll find answers within its pages.

She Kills Me – Jennifer Wright

Book Description: A powerful collection of stories about women who murdered—for revenge, for love, and even for pleasure—rife with historical details that will have any true crime junkie on the edge of their seat- color me intrigued!

I am excited about these books. I certainly was when I downloaded them. However, I am a bit nervous because I don’t usually read non-fiction. I have a fear of showers of DNFs. Nonetheless, I have my fingers crossed that I will not regret daring into something different … bookwise. Wish me luck.

Review: Stolen Daughters (Detective Amanda Steele #2) by Carolyn Arnold

When firefighters discover the body of a teenage girl at an abandoned house, Detective Amanda Steele hurries to the scene. Dumfries, Virginia is a small town, yet no one seems to have any idea who the dead girl is until Amanda finds a dragonfly pin with the name Crystal engraved on it.

Working tirelessly, Amanda traces the pin to Crystal Foster, a thirteen-year-old who disappeared three years ago from her wealthy parents’ home. Breaking the news to the distraught parents won’t be easy, but the loss of her own daughter still haunts Amanda, and she knows this will bring them closure. But when Amanda goes to see the Fosters, they do not recognize the girl. She isn’t Crystal.

Before Amanda can react to this new development, she gets an urgent call. A fire has consumed another vacant house, and the remains of two more girls have been found. Who are these girls, and why are they being picked off? Amanda must stop this killer before the pattern continues, and the death toll climbs.

When Amanda receives a taunting note from the killer, she realizes that she holds the missing piece of this puzzle. The victims are connected to Amanda’s past, to a case she can never forget, and which almost claimed her life. As she follows the clues to their deadly conclusion, can she save more innocent lives… even if it risks her own?


Detective Amanda Steele is back and I like her even better. In this installment, our Lead Detective is working on a case involving multiple murders of young women. It seems that the killer is trying to send a message. Amanda has to figure out the message as she stops the killer before the body count rises. The case becomes more complex when the killer starts paying attention to the detective and leaves her a note on her daughter’s grave.

This was quite a complex, multi-layered case. There is absolutely no way that I could have guessed the identity of the Perp. The detectives also seemed to be running around in circles with no end in sight. The tension kept escalating as the body count rose. In addition, Amanda’s personal and professional life also added quite a bit of angst.

I enjoyed the development of the main character. In my review of the first book, I mentioned having an issue with Amanda’s attitude especially towards her partner. She has since come a long way. I now find myself fully invested in her character which makes me like the series even more.

This book ends with a cliff hanger about the MC. I can’t wait to see how things unfurl in the next installment.

Review: The Far Away Girl by Sharon Maas

She dreamed of finding a new life…

Georgetown, Guyana 1970. Seven-year-old Rita has always known she was responsible for the death of her beautiful mother Cassie. Her absent-minded father allows her to run wild in her ramshackle white wooden house by the sea, and surrounded by her army of stray pets, most of the time she can banish her mother’s death to the back of her mind.

But then her new stepmother Chandra arrives and the house empties of love and laughter. Rita’s pets are removed, her freedom curtailed, and before long, there’s a new baby sister on the way. There’s no room for Rita anymore.

Desperate to fill up the emptiness inside her, Rita begins to talk to the only photo she has of her dead mother, a poor farmer’s daughter from the remote Guyanese rainforest. Determined to find the truth about her mother, Rita travels to find her mother’s family in an unfamiliar land of shimmering creeks and towering vines. She finds comfort in the loving arms of her grandmother among the flowering shrubs and trees groaning with fruit. But when she discovers the terrible bruising secret that her father kept hidden from her, will she ever be able to feel happiness again?


What a beautiful, poignant coming of age story.

Rita grew up in Georgetown, Guyana in the 70s. She was raised by her father in a big, old house and was considered ‘the wild child’. Rita passed the time reading books, writing in her diary and collecting random pets including ants and tadpoles. Nobody seemed to pay her any mind. When her father married Chandra, Rita life’s changed. She finally had some attention but not the good kind.

This story spans over a period of 2 decades. I enjoyed each phase of Rita’s life. I liked reading about her adventures as a rebel child. However, my heart broke for her as details of her struggles came to light. She especially struggled with the lack of a mother and not knowing much about the woman. Her teenage years had me smiling. Her discovery of boys and crushes was especially nostalgic. What an innocent but exciting time. We then get to witness Rita becoming a young woman and finding her identity. Something struck a chord with me when she explored her search for identity as a black woman and a professional. I loved Rita’s journey despite all the heartache and pain along the way.

Guyana is such an interesting setting. I admit that I knew absolutely nothing about the country before this book. Sharon Mass introduced me to Guyana and all its beauty including the scenic beaches and of course the people and their culture.  While reading the book, I kept Googling Guyana images and I am in awe of the beautiful rainforests. Through Rita’s story, I also found out about Guyana’s sea turtles. What an amazing role the mother turtles play in this story.

This is a story about love, loss, identity, second chances and family. It will make you smile but will also break your heart. Learning about Rita’s mother definitely did break my heart. I now understand why her story was such a big secret with the reveal coming only towards the end. The pacing of the story is wonderful. It lulled me into the Rita’s journey and Guyana. I was totally immersed in the narrative. The descriptiveness and imagery of the setting was masterfully done. Crafting of the characters was so deftly done that I will always carry them with me. I don’t think I’ll ever forget Rita.

You all should read The Far Away Girl by Sharon Maas, meet Rita and travel to Guyana through the narrative. Highly recommended.

Review: Save Her Child (Jericho & Wright #3) by C.J. Lyons

In the summer heat at the Craven County Fair in rural Pennsylvania, Dr Leah Wright is shocked to find a pregnant woman hiding from view and in labor. Leah manages to deliver the baby safely, but the woman won’t reveal her name. She’s terrified, running from someone, and days later both she and her newborn son go missing…

Desperate to save them, Leah turns to Detective Luka Jericho for help. Eager for Leah’s help with a complex case of his own, Luka asks Leah to interview the widow of a man who has just been murdered. Soon they uncover a shocking connection between the two cases: the widow’s lawyer, a local minister, Reverend Harper, was spotted driving the missing mother away from hospital. Is this the man she was so afraid of?

When Reverend Harper refuses to talk, Luka and Leah turn to the only person who he might speak to: his daughter and Luka’s newest detective, Naomi Harper. But Naomi’s childhood in her father’s stark white house up in the mountains was more painful than Luka and Leah could ever have imagined. Is it already too late to save the woman and her baby?


Save Her Child is another stunning addition to the Jericho & Wright cop procedural series by C.J. Lyons.

There are three seemingly separate cases in this story. The body of a badly beaten young woman is found in an alley. Naomi Harper takes lead in this investigation. Shortly afterwards, the body of a wealthy man is discovered in his garage. It is not clear whether any foul play occurred in his death. At the same time, Dr. Wright helps deliver a baby at the Craven County Fair. She soon discovers that the new mother is terrified and running away from someone. Are the three cases connected or is it just a crazy, busy week for Pennsylvania PD? I certainly had so many questions right from the first chapter.

Naomi Harper was a rookie when we first met her in the first book in the series. She seemed quite difficult to work with and there was some kind of animosity towards her at the station. I can’t believe how much things have change since. I really like how her character has grown and I enjoyed the focus on her in this book. She definitely is the most memorable character for me in this one. This doesn’t mean that the others faded into the background though. Jericho and Wright continue to be a memorable, indomitable duo. I love how well they work together and I absolutely adore the kids, Nate and Emily.

This is a fast-paced, highly enthralling read. I never saw any of the twists coming and had fun following the clues and working on the cases with the Investigators. I liked the theme of family in this one and how it was cleverly interwoven into the story. I can’t wait for book 4 already.

Review: When I was Ten by Fiona Cummins

Everyone remembered Sara and Shannon Carter, the little blonde haired sisters. Their Dad was the local GP and they lived in the beautiful house on the hill. Their best friend, Brinley Booth, lived next door. They would do anything for each other but everything shifted on that fateful day when Dr Richard Carter and his wife Pamela were stabbed fourteen times with a pair of scissors in what has become the most talked about double murder of the modern age.

The girls were aged ten and twelve at the time. One, nicknamed the Angel of Death, spent eight years in a children’s secure unit accused of the brutal killings. The other lived in foster care out of the limelight and prying questions. Now, on the anniversary of the trial, a documentary team has tracked down one of the sisters, persuading her to speak about the events of that night for the first time.

Her explosive interview sparks national headlines and Brinley Booth, now a journalist, is tasked with covering the news story which brings to light fresh evidence and triggers a chain of events which will have devastating consequences.


Totally lost for words! I hope this review will not turn into a mumbling mess as I attempt to articulate just how much I enjoyed this title.

The first chapter sets the tone for this heart-pounding read. A woman is woken up by a sound in the middle of the night. She has to quickly get her family together and leave her home. However, we are informed that in a few minutes, someone will be dead. Phew! What an opening! My mind was racing as I tried to guess what was going on. I had some wild guesses. At some point, the words ‘alien abduction’ might have crossed my mind but no, this isn’t that kind of read. And again, no I don’t even know what alien abduction really means but the suspense gave me crazy ideas.

This is the story of two young girls, Sara and Shanon Carter, whose lives were shattered by the murder of their parents. In the present time, the narrative follows one of the sisters in her new life with a new identity. There is also a second narration by Brinley, a journalist who used to live next door to the Carter sisters. A number of chapters are set in the past detailing events that led to the murders.

With dual narratives, I usually tend to prefer one timeline over the other. This time, I was equally invested in both timelines. I really needed answers from the past so as to understand present events and both narratives were totally engrossing.

I loved this book; it’s obvious, isn’t it? I enjoyed the suspense and action from both timelines. The writing was flawless and utterly captivating. The short and snappy chapters had me turning pages into the dead of night. This is my first book by Fiona Cummins and I cannot wait to read more from her. What a stunning thriller.

Review: Through My African Eyes by Jeff Koinange


Through My African Eyes

Through My African Eyes by Jeff Koinange is an autobiography published by Footprints Press. The preface for the book is done by Thabo Mbeki while the forward is by Ngung’i Wa Thiong’o. This in itself is quite impressive and was one of the things that got me more interested in reading the book.

I loved how the autobiography starts with the birth of Jamal, Jeff’s only son.This is in Chapter 1, titled Fatherhood Finally. I felt that this shows that fatherhood is the most important part of Jeff’s life or perhaps the part that brings him the most joy/pride. The book is also dedicated to his son again perhaps explaining the role of Jamal in his life.The title of the Chapter also communicates volumes.

Jeff then writes about his childhood, being raised by a single mother and his time in school at St. Mary’s. He shares his joys and disappointments in these chapters. One thing that stood out for me is his disappointment at not being appointed as the head boy while in high school but again how things worked out when he wrote the script for a play that won at the national drama festivals. His journey towards becoming the man that he is today started back from his high school days. You get to learn the inspiration behind his career choice.

He then goes into his career starting with working as a flight attendant for Pan Am Airlines. This is also the time when he met Shaila, his current wife and Sonya his first wife. Even in his earlier careers, Jeff is clearly seen as a go-getter who is quite focused. After his stint with the Airline, he changed his profession and decided to go back into school and get into journalism.

I enjoyed reading about his time as a journalist. In Chapter 8, Perils of Chasing a Story, he describes his career as a journalist in war torn countries in Africa. I was deeply moved by his bravery to venture into dangerous zones so as to tell a story. For instance when he goes into Sierra Leone and the war gets so bad that some other journalists are killed but he stays on to tell the story. I also found it quite interesting and courageous when he explained how as journalists, it gets to a time when one has to realize that it’s time to get out and let someone else tell story. This is especially when covering war zones. He also details the child soldiers, their recklessness and how they are used in wars that clearly they don’t even understand. He delves into other news stories like the floods in Liberia. I didn’t even know about this. Not only does he explain how he covered the news aspect but also illustrates the sheer tenancy of humanity like the story about the baby born on a tree. I was also moved by his detailing of the Democratic Republic of Congo rape cases. I had watched a documentary about this before but Jeff went into details about the anguish that the women faced and also the humanity of people who were trying to make a difference even in the times of war.

The way that Jeff shares his experiences gives readers mixed emotions. On one end, you may get angry at Africa. You get to see how human beings destroy lives of others and it will your heart. You will lose hope in humanity when he explains his experiences in countries where roads were covered with bodies and limbs on which vultures fed. It will shock you to take a look at how ugly human beings can be. One the other hand, Jeff brings a balance by sharing the other side of humanity. The human beings who even in the war torn countries still strives to make a difference. One hand you have the killers, on the other hand you have the healers and then you have journalists like Jeff who risk their lives to tell the two stories.

Jeff briefly explains the Niger Delta story which was one of the most controversial points in his career with CNN. He even shares photos of the rebels and how they had attacked the journalists. It was rumored that the story was stage-managed. However, by looking at the photos and reading Jeff’s account of events, it’s hard to imagine how the story could have been fabricated.

Through My African Eyes changed my view of Jeff Koinange. Unlike most people who have followed his career through the years, I can barely recall his time at Ktn because I was too young. I also don’t really recall his time at Reuters or CNN. I only got to learn about him when he started working with K24 and then the rumors started. There were all these stories about his exit from CNN. By the way, do not look for this story in his book because he barely addresses those rumors. In Kenya, we all know him for his voice and big personality. When I think of Jeff, I think about his signature pose on the bench and the unique animated expressions that he uses. However, this book allowed me to see the other side of the man, Jeff.

I was impressed by his wide travels and the number of people he has met. He is on first name basis with presidents and history makers like the late Nelson Mandela who he has been photographed with numerous times. He has met Oprah Winfrey and a number of other celebrities who most of us only see on TV. He tells of a hilarious story of being featured on Larry King Live and how Larry referred to him as John Coinage. Jeff Koinange has led quite an interesting life.

Jeff has led a very interesting life and there many interesting stories that he shares in his book that I cannot completely cover in this review. This biography is written in using flashbacks and flash forwards which gives it a good pace. Minimum dialogue is used but this does not water down the narration. It actually makes the reader feel like they are ‘on the bench’ with Jeff Koinange and he is the one answering the questions and narrating about his experiences.

As I had mentioned on the Niger Delta Story, Jeff has used photographs for every chapter. It’s interesting to follow the story also from his childhood to his adulthood. One of my favorite photos was the one of Jamal on Nelson Mandela’s lap. There are also other photos that will send a chill down your spine especially those taken with the rebels or the child soldiers. I kept wondering how he managed to maintain his composure will surrounded by guns in such hostile environments. Using photographs was definitely a great addition that enriched the book.

some of the photographs used in the chilling Niger Delta story

Through My African Eyes is easy to read and follow, it is captivating, funny, heartbreaking and shocking. It is a hard book to put down once you get started. It’s definitely an interesting read, one that I highly recommend.

Review: Watch Her Sleep (Charlotte Winters #3) by L.T. Vargus and Tim McBain

When a search party trawling Salem Island find a girl’s body curled on the damp earth, the hunt for missing waitress Emma Jacobis grinds to a devastating halt. The day before, Emma had come to Detective Charlie Winters convinced someone was watching her. In her trembling hand she held a sketch of herself sleeping peacefully with the stuffed rabbit she’d had since she was a child. On the back, scrawled in black ink: You will be mine…

A box containing handwritten letters found under Emma’s bed is Charlie’s first lead. But the handwriting isn’t a match to the note left for Emma. With the help of her new assistant, a troubled girl eager to learn the ropes, Charlie’s only hope is to canvas the bar where Emma worked. There, she finds a woman with fear in her eyes and a terrifying story to tell about an encounter with a dangerous stranger. Is someone in this small town targeting vulnerable girls as prey?

Certain she’s found a twisted killer’s hunting ground, and with time running out before he strikes again, Charlie has no choice but to use her new assistant as bait to lure him out into the open. But when a scream pierces through the night, will Charlie survive the consequences? She has to, or there’s no knowing how many more innocent girls will die… 


Watch Her Sleep is the third book in the Charlotte Winters series. Charlie is simply my favorite PI. I like how well she works with her Assistant, Paige and cop friend, Zoe. In this installment, a young woman seeks Charlie’s assistance as she believes that she is being stalked. The young woman, Emma, has tried to get help from the police but as usual, the police cannot do much unless there is proof that a crime has been committed. Nonetheless, Charlie sees the seriousness of the issue and advises Emma to stay away from her house. Emma decided to quickly rush to her place to pick a few things before going to a friend’s. That turns out to be a fatal mistake.

This story has such a creepy vibe to it. The stalking made my skin crawl. It definitely had me looking over my shoulder and once, outside my bedroom window though I am on my third floor. Can you imagine someone watching you sleep? I don’t care if it’s my partner or child, I’d still freak out if I found one of them watching me as I sleep. I do watch my baby sleeping though and take a cheeky pic or 2, Moms are allowed this creepiness lol. However, to imagine a stranger watching me makes me shudder. Yikes!

This is such an engrossing, masterfully written story. I enjoyed the different POVs and the fact that the authors decided to amp -up the creepiness by including the stalker’s voice. I can’t wait to read the fourth book in this series.

My Favorite Book Club Reads

I joined my book club, The Literary Gems sometime in early 2015. We were strangers who met on the streets of Facebook. Three years later, we have read and discussed loads of books.

We have attended members’ weddings, baby showers, fought, disagreed and shared a lot of laughs.  Our lowest moment as a book club was when we tragically lost one of our members, Vivian who died in a road accident in March, 2016.

One of the best things about being in a book club is that you get to discover books that you would probably never have read on your own. I have enjoyed so many of my book club picks.

only 2I have also had moments of rebellion when I refused to read certain books. Recently, the club read Anna Karenina and nope, I didn’t even open the book because I just knew that it wasn’t for me. I would have struggled to read it. In the end, out of 20 members, I think only 2 managed to get to read it.

Here are some of my favorite book club reads:

book of negroes

The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill is one of my favorite books of all time. Aminata Diallo’s story demands to be read. Hers is a story about strength, perseverance and of course, suffering. Aminata is a protagonist that you can’t just read about and forget. Seriously, you are missing out by not reading this amazing book.

Tea GirlThe Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See – If you enjoy diverse reads then this one should be on your TBR. The writing is beautiful and the imagery so vivid that it took me on a trip to China where I met the tea loving Akha people and learned about their culture. I can still visualize the forests and mountains of Yunnan.

The book club ended discussing this book forever on Watsapp. The conversations about tea went on for a month after the review. At some point, members decided to purchase some of the tea discussed in the book. Three months later, members were still on the tea conversation. I am not so crazy about tea but then again, here I am right now, telling you about it. This book was something else!

memoirs-of-a-geishaArthur Golden in Memoirs of a Geisha creates an entertaining plot full of twists. Some readers describe the book as a fairy tale, the beautiful princess is Sayuri, Nobu-San is the ogre, Hatsmumo is the evil witch and of course every fairytale has a prince, Chairman. Oh and by the way, there is an evil step-mother in the tale. However, you choose to describe it, Memoirs of a Geisha is a fascinating read. It’s the kind of book whose memory will continue lingering long after you turn the last page.

After reading this book, I watched the movie adaptation and guys; the cinematography was out of this world! Of course, there are things that I didn’t like in the movie but it’s still one of my favorite movie adaptations.

udala tees 2

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta is a coming of age story of a young girl at a time of war. To better understand the story, keep in mind that Nigeria is very religious and conservative. In addition, the book is set in the 1970s where homosexuality was outlawed and punishable by imprisonment or death. There is a lot of conflict between characters. There is also a lot of self-conflict as Ijeoma tries to find herself in a society that rejects her. Her struggles were heartbreaking. The book is very well-written and I think that Chinelo was successful in achieving her goal of giving the marginalized LGBTQ community in Nigeria a voice.


A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman is a story about Ove, a man going through a hard time that makes him seem cranky until you get to know him. I dare you to read this story and not warm up to him. Honestly, Ove is one of the most endearing characters that I have met in a book. I loved reading about him and getting to know his complex but wonderful personality. I also enjoyed getting to know everyone who came into his life. This was such a heartwarming story that I definitely recommend to everyone.

Ps: In December, I got a puppy who I named Ove.

112296_paperbacks11/22/63 by Stephen King – I loved the ending of the book. I think at some point in life we all tend to wonder about would happen if we could go back into the past and change something especially the mistakes that we might have made. Read 11/22/63 and find out what our main character, Jack Epping/ George Amberson discovered about changing history.


The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne – I just have to mention the ending. I never saw it coming until it was happening. It left me with a headache. I don’t think any other book has ever given me a headache. This book certainly broke my heart.


Love in the time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez is not just a story about love. Love is one of the main themes but there is more to the tale than just two people falling in love. There are other themes that come up such as jealousy, infidelity and obsession. There are also heavy themes of sexual abuse and slavery. On the other hand, Marquez tackles other issues such as old age with a touch of humor. There is a lot that I can say about the book.


A Fine Balance by Rohinston Mistry is the kind of book that I recommend to everyone. It is very well written; the prose is poignant, flawless, compelling. It is just beautiful. The characterization is great. The characters are so well developed that it is hard to forget them. However, it is only fair that I warn you that this book is heart wrenching. It will mess with your emotions and it may make you cry. It angered me. Life can be unfair and humans can be heartless. However, the question of a fine balance was thought provoking. How do you stay sane in a crazy, cold world when life is continuously throwing punches at you?


Blindness by Jose Saramago is very well written. I found myself getting attached to the characters despite never knowing their names (what is in a name anyway?) I was completely immersed in the world created by Saramago. At times, I wondered what it would be like to suddenly lose the ability to see. Can you imagine that? One minute you are reading your beloved ARCs and then suddenly, you only see white? This book will give you an in-depth look into blindness and what it means to get lost into such a world.


The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma is dark, tragic but deeply moving. West Africa has given the world so many wonderful writers such as Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka and Chimamanda Ngozi. Chigozie Obioma joined this league with this brilliant debut novel. If you also like mystery, mythological narration then this is the book for you.

narrow road

The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan is not the easiest reads. It will require your concentration as a reader. However, once you get through the first 50 pages or so then you will find yourself enjoying the writing even more. It’s a difficult story with heavy themes but at the same time, it’s a story about a man trying to survive an ugly ordeal and fight his own demons.

sue monk kidd

My book club is currently reading The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. This is a book that I read in 2016. I loved it then and can’t wait to rediscover it.

Are you in a book club? Which are some of your favorite book club reads? And have you read any of the books on my list?

book club 2

Review: What She Knew(DI Eleanor Raven #3) by Karen Long

With the sound of the doorbell, the past she ran from catches up with her.

Baby on hip, Angela Myles hums as she lays out breakfast before the school run, when an unexpected knock on the door stops her in her tracks. But when she sees the familiar face through the peephole, she immediately tries to run with her kids out the back door. Because Angela knows her visitor, she knows why they’re here, and she’ll never give up her children.

Hours later, as the police talk softly to Angela’s terrified children, trying to unpick her last moments, they wonder what other secrets she was hiding from those around her. And then another woman goes missing. How many more will pay the price for Angela’s silence?

Absolutely unputdownable. A gripping, heart-pounding read for fans of Lisa Gardener, Rachel Abbott and Cara Hunter.

What She Knew was previously published as The Cold Room.


What She Knew is the latest installment in the DI Eleanor Raven series. The story opens up with a chilling murder-suicide. At first glance, this seems like an open- and-shut case. However, things become complicated when a human bone is discovered at the crime scene.

DI Raven continues to grow on me. It took time to warm up to her. In the first book, I was taken aback by some of her risk conduct. However, my feelings about her changed have changed with the progress of the series. I like her team too. Whitefoot continues to be a favourite. I also enjoy the banter at the station and I like the dog, Monster, who is now part of the team although he doesn’t seem to do much police work. That dog is excelling in breeding, eating and sleeping though lol.

This was quite a complex case with quite a number of components that appear disconnected at first. The connection was mind blowing and definitely did make this a fantastic, unique read. The conclusion was unexpected but quite satisfactory.