I've always been obsessed with books, but since we've been travelling – and we no longer have Netflix – I've started reading even more. One thing I've found now that my brain space isn't taken up with scientific articles is that I've started to read more non-fiction (self-help books count as non-fiction right??). In what I hope will be a regular-ish feature, here are a few books I've read and enjoyed lately:
The author of this book, Elizabeth Pisani, is now one of my heroes. Indonesia etc. covers the country's politics, religion and different cultures in such an engaging way, as well as including plenty of amusing stories from the year that Pisani spent travelling the country. Her tales of adventure and surrendering to the moment are really inspiring; this is travel writing at its very best. If you have any plans to visit Indonesia – and even if you don't – this is a must-read.
This isn't my usual kind of read (I have a bit of an aversion to anything that would be in the chic-lit section), but this book surprised me. A romantic comedy about a geneticist with Asperger's syndrome who undertakes a project to find a wife by creating a questionnaire, it's original, endearing and funny. A good easy read for the beach or when you just need something a little more lighthearted.
Another love story, but of a very different type. A Nigerian blogger living in the USA prepares to return home to Lagos in the hope of reuniting with her teenage boyfriend after 13 years apart. As well as dealing with loss and loneliness, this book is a great insight into life in Nigeria and the experiences of black women in the USA. It's so beautifully written; I can't wait to read the rest of Adichie's work.
Following on from his popular TED talk, Pico Iyer looks at the benefits of getting away from technology and our busy lives, and spending time being still, whether that's through practices like yoga and meditation, or just sitting. It's a short book, it only takes about an hour to read, but the message stayed with me.
I'm always on the lookout for my next read, If you have any recommendations, I'd love to hear them!