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Books of 2019

The image above seemed appropriate since most of my reading happens on public transport 😉


Without further ado and in no particular order, here are some of my favourites from this past year.




Find of the year! Happened to come across it on the bookshelf at our holiday cottage and loved it! Such an insightful depiction of life as an immigrant. Very moving and relatable for anyone who has lived cross-culturally.


LIFE AFTER LIFE by Kate Atkinson


What a fascinating exploration of the different paths each of our lives might take if circumstances were just slightly different or we took different decisions in seemingly insignificant situations. For example: the doctor makes it before the snowstorm hits and the baby lives. Or he gets stuck and the story ends on page one. And so it continues. Entertaining and thought-provoking!




Beautiful and enthralling. In the midst of the horrors of WW2, two lives inexorably drift towards each other (and not in a love story kind of way).  A captivating story beautifully told.


BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE by Fredrik Backman


Another year, another book by Fredrik Backman. And again, he did not disappoint. A wonderful story of hope, restoration and the difference each one of us can make. In true Backman style, all of the characters are multi-faceted and as the story unfolds, we understand more of what has shaped them and why they react in certain ways.




When you read the book after watching the movie and still love both, that has got to be a good sign! Somehow this classic had eluded me until now but I’m glad I finally discovered it! Lots of unexpected twists and turns, and sometimes you want to yell at the characters (which I reckon is a good thing) – highly recommend it!


GLOBAL HUMILITY by Andy McCullough


You might have noticed that I read A LOT more fiction than non-fiction. However, each year there seems to be one non-fiction book that leaves a lasting impression. This is the one for 2019. It makes for challenging and at times uncomfortable reading but each topic is so worth wrestling with. Would be great to discuss as a team as well.


So there you have it – some of my 2019 highlights! And let me tell you, my reading for 2020 is off to a good start already 🙂

Any recommendations of things to read this year?

Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash

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Free To Celebrate {The Grove: Party}

Today, I’m over at Velvet Ashes, reflecting on celebrating the good!

“Picture this. It is a cold December night in Berlin. Suddenly, as if on cue, people stream out from every building onto the streets. Most of them are armed with champagne and lots of fireworks. For a good half hour, it’s as if the whole city explodes. It’s midnight but the sky is brightly lit and it’s hard to know where to look first.

Are you with me? Are you picturing the scene? Ok, try again. Whatever you saw in your imagination likely wasn’t loud enough, crazy enough, scary enough, or breath-taking enough. Oh the fun it is to experience this with someone who has never spent New Year’s Eve in Germany! We try to prepare people, to tell them what to expect. But invariably, when midnight strikes, it goes far beyond anything they imagined! It seems all the cultural norms they had learned (like being quiet in public, not striking up conversations with strangers, not littering) no longer apply. The whole city, the whole country, is partying!

I always find it a bit jarring to go from a quiet, contemplative few days (in German, there is even an expression for it – “zwischen den Jahren,” meaning “between the years”) to that. And then, within a day or two, back to normal life.

Truth be told, I am more naturally drawn to the quiet, reflective times. Exuberant parties aren’t so much my thing. Yet as I’ve been reflecting on the contrasts this season brings, I’m beginning to wonder if they might be not so much contrasts but rather parts of a whole. ”

Read the rest of the post here!