Although I have been absent from here for the past month, I have not been sitting idle. My life would not be complete without reading books. I get it when people say that reading is their outlet. It is. If I wasn’t reading books, I’d be actively searching for some dark, hidden clubs for metal concerts to physically exorcise all of the piled up daily life shite out of my head and system, but I go to bed at 9pm now, so late nights are out of the question! Thus! Books it is! My off-switch.

So, what have I been reading since my last review for A Crack in the World by James Mordechai? Goodreads tracking tells me, I have managed to get through 6 books… Not too shabby!

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: This was a buddy read with La La in the Library in the month of march. Fitting as that’s the month of the International Women’s Day and Jane Eyre is about one of the most unyielding and resilient women in fictional history. Also, you can keep your Darcy’s and the like, Edward Rochester is, hands down, the most swoon in fiction. He’s romantic, playful, kind and intelligent. I have pledged to read Jane Eyre every year. It’s not only a love story, it’s Jane. This whole story is bewitching: shocking, sad and full of simple joys. The writing has to have some sort of magic dust woven in, because it reads so smoothly, I kept turning the pages, completely immersed in Jane’s life. Besides, La La gifted me the Chiltern edition of the book which feels like holding the absolute royalty of the book world and I will forever be grateful for this gift!

Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara: This was a Netgalley title. Yeah, shocking, I still do the occasional Netgalley… but, see, I am auto-approved by Orion Publishing – yeah, I know, shocking 2.0 – so, every now and again, something strikes my fancy and boom, my Kindle is loaded. Now, I was intrigued by this love story from the distant history of myths and legends. They have a certain something to them, if we’re still thinking and talking about them in the 21st century. This specific title was a 3 star read for me. It was good, it had the element of Greek mythology you would expect, you get to go to Underworld and meet all sorts of big names everyone knows from history lessons – Medusa, Persephone, Zeus, etc – but overall it was not something that blew me away. I was reading it but I didn’t get that secret sauce to make me go all ‘Hell yes!’… Perhaps a slight YA air to it all? Anyway, personal preference. I just feels this has been done and done over and over again. This may well be the book of the year for many!

Peter Camenzind by Herman Hesse: in Estonian the title is ‘Mägede poeg’ which means ‘Son of the mountains’ in direct translation. Why this book? I cannot recall where I got the copy of this book, but it’s a 1952 hardcover edition, printed in Canada of all places! I… have no idea why or how this came to be… Anyway, I acquired the title sometime around 2007 and then I ended up taking it to Ireland with me, and then I moved all the way back to Estonia with it. For some reason I was always reluctant to let the book go into forgotten oblivion. Having finally read it – I mean – I LOVE it… Peter Camenzind is, for the lack of better word, ‘country pumpkin’ who loves mountains. He has ambitions as he comes of age and yet he struggles in the busy city society. He travels a lot, meets a lot of people and LOVES with his whole heart. It’s a look at one gentle soul going through life, like a pendulum going circles with a firm anchor in the mountains. Very interesting, LOVED the descriptions in this book. Will probably, more than likely re-read this in the future.

The Invoice by Jonas Karlsson: this 200 page contemporary Swedish bit of literature got into my hands from a shelf on a book sale in a grocery store. Yeah, it doesn’t sound all that glamorous for the book, to be sold next to bananas and what have you, but I’m a happy camper. I like to buy books, whichever shop they’re in. So, anyway, I enjoyed it. It was great light reading and yet the subject matter, when you really think on it, not at all light. It’s about living life and how all the experiences amount to a sum of money you have to pay… someone… And because the system is rolled out all of a sudden, a lot of people end up with a HUGE debt. And what you think should lower the amount to pay, the experiences, seem to actually make the sum bigger. It was a really quirky idea and could definitely get the reader’s thoughts running around their own life and experiences.

The Gottingen Accident by James Mordechai: After reading A Crack in the World, I wanted to sample this author’s other work. I was in luck with this novella, because I LOVE novellas and I love weird and horror and this looked bang on down my street. Also, I love both covers for this book. This was an interesting take… sorry, let me backpedal first… Mordechai is an author to look out for. You just know they put everything they are and have and know into their works. You can feel from the book, that the author is FULLY behind the title. I can’t explain it. Some titles are just stories, they are good and entertaining and there’s nothing complicated about them. And then there are stories, like this, that manage to tell you and show you things you couldn’t comprehensively write, imagine or come up with yourself even if you spent a month on Wikipedia. There’s something unique and authentic to Mordechai and I am on it like a bonnet! Sorry, I’ll show myself out… read my full, better review here on Goodreads.

Peer Gynt by Henrik Ibsen: now, where in all of seven hells should I start with this one?! I am still processing I think as I have only yesterday finished it. But, in a nutshell, it’s an adventure through life and world. It’s exciting and stirring. It is laced with real life and weaved with mythical creatures. NOW!!! SPOILER ALERT BECAUSE I AM GOING TO TALK ABOUT THIS IN MINUTE DETAIL… It was again one of those titles that my colleague Joz made me read (he makes me read the best titles that I end up loving, no exceptions!). I mean, phewh… I think Peer GYnt as a title is playful and has a moral of the story, for the thinking person… it’s reflective. It’s a circle of life. But, it is based on Peer and Peer, god love him, is one of those characters that just goes full gung-ho at life, he’s lucky, so, so lucky; and he sleeps around and gets into all sorts of shenanigans and does questionable things. But a scene with his mother, who they usually always bicker with, got me all crying! Then, he is struck by this all consuming love, at first sight, this pureness and innocence and goodness of Solveig strikes him like lightning, but Peer being Peer… he.. I don’t know, this is when the psychoanalyzing comes to play… Did he stay away from Solveig because he KNEW he will never ever be good enough for this woman? So, he ends up shagging around! He nearly marries the troll king’s daughter, he narrowly escapes because he’s lucky… Then he goes and meets three – THREE – shepherd girls and has an orgy with them… He ends up traveling to the other end of the world – he gets rich, loses everything and gets rich again… he grows old. He meets all sorts of mystical creatures… it’s unreal. And then the end comes… and it’s all… FULL OF REGRETS! It’s maddening and even in the end he tries, man, he tries to escape death! The very death itself, he tries to TALK his way out of dying and… It’s unreal. I had SUCH a good time with this book. I read the Estonian translation of it (which was ordered by a theater in Tallinn as they were doing a play – it’s a very popular piece apparently in ballet) and in poem. There is also a prose version readily available. I do wonder, if it was also the translation that had a play in making it so good. I’ll know in the future as I plan to re-read this in English.


One could say the quantity of my reading hasn’t been anything worth a mention, but I would argue that the quality has been quite pleasing!


To finish off, a bit of news… 2023 is my first year as an judge on SPFBO with Queen’s Book Asylum. Below you can see the books allocated to me.

Here is everything you need to know about Team Asylum’s judging process: LINK

and here you can find out all about the team: LINK

I have to say, I am really excited and do keep an eye on the Team Asylum blog updates on how our 30 contestants are doing. I wish every one of the 300 contestants in the competition the very best of luck and it’s going to be one hell of a year!