Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Red Sun on Monday


This is the beautiful red sun from yesterday morning here in Wiltshire, UK ☀ It doesn't look as red on my video as it actually was, but it gives an idea of what it was like.

Apparently it happened because of the coming together of three conditions at the same time: the effects of Hurricane Ophelia, dust being carried over from the Sahara desert and smoke from the fires in Spain. It was incredible to see it. It looked like an eclipse was happening because it got quite dark and looked like a sepia photograph. What an incredible thing that these elements came together at just the right time and created something so unique.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Book Spotlight: The Sky is on Fire

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I love books for many reasons and one of my favorite reasons is their ability to transport us to another place and time. I don't believe it's hyperbole to say that books hold a kind of magic within their pages.

In The Sky is on Fire by Magsie Hamilton Little, readers are taken on a fantastic journey with the author as she rethinks her life on a trip through the Hoggar mountains in central Saharan Africa. This is the author's account of her time travelling with her guide Samir, his father Suleyman, and a camel named Fleabag. This is an intriguing tale as she immerses herself into the nomadic culture while on her mission to heal Fleabag. On their quest for healing, they draw upon ancient Tuarag plant medicines and other solutions. The journey made this a fascinating read for me.

This book offers an insight into the desert dwellers of southern Algeria. With so much in the news about the international refugee crisis and its forcing people into nomadism, it is very thought-provoking and timely to explore the tragedies caused by war and poverty. As a reader, I found myself thinking of how I would deal with such harsh conditions. In the end, people just want to live their lives and be safe.

Magsie Hamilton Little's journey has opened my eyes with the level of detail that she supplies which is not often found in the evening news. The Sky is on Fire truly challenges many Western perceptions about North Africa and is well worth the read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I learned so much.

Copies of The Sky is on Fire can be purchased here .

About the author: 
Magsie Hamilton Little is a writer, academic and translator. She is the author of the acclaimed Dancing with Darkness: Life, Death and Hope in Afghanistan and The Thing About Islam (both published by Max Press) and has been an expert contributor to several books about the Middle East, including Afghanistan Revealed and The Rise and Fall of the Persian Empire. She has also written for The Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Daily Beast and The Lady. You can find out more about the author at her website www.magsie.net

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.

Saturday, October 07, 2017

Happy Weekend

These are the asters in our backyard after an afternoon rain shower today. I love the color of these beautiful flowers :)

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Book Spotlight: Sleeping With The Rabbits

I love books. They are a wonderful way to experience so much and they offer the chance to get a glimpse into peoples' lives. We may find common traits which we share with others or we may see ways of being that are much different to our own lives. Overall, when people share their stories it is an opportunity to ultimately understand the human condition from various perspectives and this is what I love.

In the new memoir, Sleeping With The Rabbits, by Susanne Defoe, readers are presented with the author's own story of  her suffering through violence, bullying at school, and having difficult relationships in her adult life. The title stems from Susanne's love of sleeping in the rabbit hutch at her childhood home when she was very young, in order to escape the stresses of her childhood.

Susanne struggles and is desperate to escape from the turmoil of her home life. She becomes pregnant at fifteen by a boy who is definitely not up to the job of being a father. This leaves her to cope on her own, with some help from her parents. She has her share of dysfunctional relationships, but we get the chance to see her soldier on and fight to gain some self-respect. We get to see a young girl/woman go through tough times, but the story is intriguing as we watch Susanne continue to strive against all odds to make a decent life for herself and her children.

I thoroughly enjoyed Sleeping With The Rabbits because of its universal theme. Whether readers identify with Susanne through their own struggles with abuse or whether readers simply sympathize because many of us go through a series of challenges in life, I believe that there is something here for many. This is a story that is tough to read sometimes and I often found myself wanting to reach into the book and "save" Susanne. However, neither I nor anyone else needed to save her because she saved herself. She kept going through it all for her children and herself and that grit is something that I greatly admire. This was a great read.

About the author
Susanne Defoe was born, raised and educated in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire; she now lives in Tring, Hertfordshire.

To purchase your copy please visit www.mereobooks.com
Sleeping With The Rabbits is also available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Waterstones,WH Smiths, and Google Books

*Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review. All opinions are mine.