Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
mackelie

mackelie

Joined February 2021

reading now icon
The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida by Shehan Karunatilaka
reading now icon
Herland and the Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
reading now icon
The Sealwoman's Gift by Sally Magnusson
reading now icon
Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
review
mackelie
post image
Mehso-so

It‘s a lovely travel memoir of a tour guide living in Kyoto, friendship and being young. I liked the atmosphere in the beginning as it describes this friendship that comes to an end, and somehow, the whole city is a reminder of that.

What makes it a so so is that I expected a bit more from it, something lyrical and nostalgic but some parts of the book were more about how the author didn‘t like her job so much…

review
mackelie
Thursday Murder Club | Richard Osman
post image
Pickpick

It‘s not my usual read but it was our book club pick and I liked it a lot! Yes, it takes some time to get into it and everything seems ridiculous but somehow it all works out well! Once I read over half the book, it was smooth sailing from there on.

It‘s about Coopers Chase residents in their 80s solving murders in their club. There are more twists than you would expect and I think the relationships are even more interesting than the murders.

Cheryl_Russell_BookNotes This series is one of my favorites. 7mo
32 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
mackelie
The Manningtree Witches | A. K. Blakemore
post image
Pickpick

It‘s 1643, men have left to fight at the Civil War and women are left behind. In Manningtree, Rebecca West chafes against the drudgery of her days until Matthew Hopkins arrives and starts making damning accusations.

I truly enjoyed following the story through Rebecca‘s eyes, hearing her voice and observations. As it‘s based on true events, it was powerful to have perspective of the victims and see how women were treated during those times.

review
mackelie
Mrs England | Stacey Halls
post image
Pickpick

I would say this is between a ‘pick‘ and ‘so-so‘ for me. Firstly, I quite liked the storytelling and the slow pace of the book. It was interesting learning about how nurses were taking care of the children during 1900s. Also, there seemed to be quite few mysteries such as the strange behaviour of Mrs England and unsettling memories of Nurse May.

So, there were quite few things to reveal but all came down very quickly and it wasn‘t as shocking.

review
mackelie
post image
Panpan

I needed to be critical with this one. The premise of the book and running themes are of meaning of life. Michael who is a teacher in London, decides to pack everything up and travel to US until his money runs out and then he will end his life.

It goes back and forth between London and US, as a reader, I was anticipating the event that lead him to this decision, however, it never came… At first, the story felt lyrical and then depressive.

quote
mackelie
post image

“A bookshop is the garden of your mind where the flowers are not plucked, but grown: if you love something, do not yank it from the ground and yield it unto your possession; instead, water it, give it light, step back, and watch it grow.”

review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

What a powerful story of survival and love ❤️

Lale is transported to Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp where he eventually ends up as the Tätowierer in order to survive. When he‘s tattooing a young lady, he feels an instant connection.

Based on a true story of Lale Sokolov, it‘s a compelling read. I appreciated the fact that whilst it didn‘t ignore the horrors of the camp, the story focused on human connection, love and friendship.

review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

An eleven-year-old Maurice is begging for change on a crowded street of New York City when Laura stops to take Maurice for lunch. It‘s based on a true story on how one act of kindness can change someone‘s life.

Unknowingly, I bought the young readers‘ edition as this was our book club selection at work. It makes you really believe that there are good people in the world and the change it can have a simple act of kindness

review
mackelie
The Color of Air | Gail Tsukiyama
post image
Pickpick

I enjoyed this one and got me out of my reading slum!

It‘s a historical fiction based in Hilo Town in Hawaii. We follow the stories of the people there that have immigrated from Japan to work on the sugarcane plantation. The narrative is told from few peoples perspective with emphasise on Koji and Daniel.

The book really encompasses the notion of community in the face of erupting volcano.

blurb
mackelie
The Color of Air | Gail Tsukiyama
post image

Our current read from #Shelterboxbookclub is set in Hawaii. It‘s a historical fiction of members of Hilo town community facing Mauna Lao volcano eruption.

It‘s also sad to see that Hawaii and it‘s people are experiencing real tragical events. I have never visited the islands but hope I can one day.

review
mackelie
Fortune | SMYTH
post image
Mehso-so

Eddie Wade is looking for oil in Trinidad when he comes across Kushi estate that seems is full of oil. He partners up with Tito Fernandez on this venture. All seems to go well until Eddie and Tito‘s wife Ada start to feel attraction to each other.

I liked the story and was looking forward to seeing what‘s going to happen with the oil. But it lacked something for me as it was difficult to get back to reading it. Tragic ending say the least…

review
mackelie
The Satsuma Complex | Bob Mortimer
post image
Panpan

It just wasn‘t for me… I bought it on a whimp and got though it somehow but I didn‘t really enjoy the story. It‘s a murder mystery with a Love twist which I find predictable and quite repetitive.

Gary is an average guy that meets his work associate for a drink who mysteriously disappears. Gary is then involved in the whole investigation and falls in love with a girl. I know it was meant to be funny and all but not to my taste.

review
mackelie
post image
Mehso-so

Baba Segi had 3 wifes when he decided to marry Bolanle who is a university graduate. The addition of the new wife upsets others and worries that their secret will exposed.

It‘s been an easy read but somehow I feel not fulfilled with the story. It was quite predictable what the secret was, although, it was interesting to read about each wives story. It somehow made you support and understand each of them.

review
mackelie
The Makioka Sisters | Jun?ichir? Tanizaki, Edward Seidensticker
post image
Pickpick

We follow the Makioka family that are far from their prosperous days and their efforts of marrying off Yukiko, the 3rd sister. We learn about the intricacies of Japanese customs and social norms. Taeko, the 4th sister, is unable to marry until her elder sister has married who is reaching her mid-thirties.

I find the read monotone but enjoyable. It‘s almost like you are living with the sisters and during the years prior to the WWII.

review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

This one is definitely an interesting one, quite dystopian. In the future, the elderly seem to live an infinite years while the younger ones are struggling with various ailments. Japan is isolated from the rest of the world. Yoshiro is caring for his great-grandson, Mumei.

As we follow Yoshiro, we see how lots of things have changed. I think it‘s an interesting concept of what might happen in the future, although, the story was melancholic.

review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

I felt quite mesmerised by this book! There were parts of the stories that I wanted to know more and some that I wasn‘t sure where it was going. Not quite sure what to make of the ending! I think I need to ponder over this book to truly understanding the meaning.

Abel Paisley takes on his friend‘s identity and abandons his family. We follow the lives of family members affected by his actions. Also, the history of his ancestry in colonial Jamaica

mackelie I think anyone who read ‘Homegoing‘ by Yaa Gyasi would enjoy this as a read too. 13mo
23 likes1 comment
review
mackelie
Sweet Bean Paste | Durian Sukegawa
post image
Pickpick

I thought it will be just a feel good story about unexpected friendship and making sweet pastry. However, the book speaks of a larger issue- meaning of life. It‘s also written simply and beautifully.

Tokue has suffered from an illness that has isolated her from the rest of the world. She meets Sentaro who has also experienced some type of isolation before and shares her experience of preparing sweet bean paste.

quote
mackelie
Sweet Bean Paste | Durian Sukegawa

“But what about a child whose life is over before he or she even turns two years old? People may wonder, in their sorrow, what point there is in a child like that even being born.

I have learned the answer to this. I am sure it is for that child to perceive wind, sky, and voices in his or her own unique way. The world that child senses exists because of it, and therefore that child‘s life, too, has purpose and meaning.”

blurb
mackelie
Sweet Bean Paste | Durian Sukegawa
post image

I love red bean paste! Would love to try the dorayaki made at Doraharu 🌸

review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

I know there was some controversy surrounding the author and the book but I really enjoyed reading this! I didn‘t think I would like it as much as I did. The story line was different and intriguing.

Kya has been left by everyone to fend for herself and called by locals the Marsh Girl. She becomes friends with local boy Tate and romantically involved with Chase Andrews after who‘s death she becomes the prime suspect. A must read!

review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

Adunni is a young girl from a small village that wants to go to school. Unfortunately, she is forced into marriage and then working for Big Madam in Lagos until she can fulfil her dream.

I could hear and feel Adunni throughout the book. I was rooting for her through all her misfortunes. An inspiring book to read and makes you appreciate what you have.

review
mackelie
Half of a Yellow Sun | Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
post image
Pickpick

A well written book as always! Chimamanda knows how to tell stories and this one is about the Biafran War that took place between 1967-70 in Nigeria. We follow the stories of Ugwu, Olanna and Richard before, during and briefly after the war.

I liked that it focused on the people and their lives rather than the war itself. Although, it has inevitably affected all the characters. Beautifully told and provoking emotions.

review
mackelie
post image
Mehso-so

I quite struggled to finish this book, even though, I was intrigued by the premise. I found it quite long winded and dragging but the writing was beautiful. I have also learned a lot about Cyprus and the civil unrest there.

Kostas, who is Greek, and Dafne, who is Turkish fall in love when they are not supposed to due to their ethnic backgrounds. The story is also partly narrated by a fig tree.

quote
mackelie

“Because in real life, unlike in history books, stories come to us not in their entirety but in bits and pieces, broken segments and partial echoes, a full sentence here, a fragment there, a clue hidden in between. In life, unlike in books, we have to weave our stories out of threads as fine as the gossamer veins that run through a butterfly‘s wings.”

blurb
mackelie
post image

Few new books to be added to my TBR! Haven‘t been able to read as much with a newborn but I hope to get through some of these.

review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

Sunny is not happy with her dating life, her job and she‘s also living a double life. As 30 year old with Indian heritage, she has a lot of pressure to settle down. However, Sunny is unable to do so until she knows what she wants and what‘s best for her.

Sunny is very relatable and fun character. I liked her relationship with her mum and how she started to let her into her life more.

review
mackelie
We Need New Names | NoViolet Bulawayo
post image
Mehso-so

Young Darling goes from stealing guavas with her friends and dreaming about America to finally her dream coming true. However, the life in America isn‘t what she expected.

I found the first part of the book more interesting as I didn‘t know much about Zimbabwe. Nothing much happens in the second part besides adapting to a new life in a country where you might not be so welcomed. Although, I liked it that it was still from a child‘s perspective.

blurb
mackelie
We Need New Names | NoViolet Bulawayo
post image

It‘s my first book set in Zimbabwe 🇿🇼. I was aware of some context of what has happened there but I‘m learning more while reading this book through the eyes of 10 year old Darling.

review
mackelie
The Sin Eater | Megan Campisi
post image
Pickpick

A Sin Eater hears people‘s recitations of their sins and then eats the meals according to the sin. May is sentenced to become one but then she finds strengths and a sense of belonging in the role.

I was really intrigued by the premise of this book and wasn‘t sure what to expect. The first half of the book was very good but it lacked something for me at the end… I wasn‘t expecting it to become a murder mystery type of story.

23 likes1 stack add
quote
mackelie
The Sin Eater | Megan Campisi

“I curse this fountain, I think to the square. I curse it‘s water. I gaze from shuttered window to shuttered window. From this time forth, it will be known as the Sin Eater‘s Fountain. None shall drink from it or wash in it or touch it again. Except me. Because I can‘t be cursed. I am a curse.”

review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

Oh! I liked this book a lot, even though, it sounded a little bit like a fairy tale at the end. The tone of the novel was just right to feel fully captivated by the story.

H (the name of the protagonist) is orphaned young, sent to live with an aunt in London until her innocences is taken and she ends up on the streets during a plague. All is told through first person‘s narrative and is set in 17th century.

BookwormM I really enjoyed this one 2y
mackelie @BookwormM it‘s an unexpected find for me! I thought it might be a very dark story but I was mistaken 2y
25 likes1 stack add2 comments
quote
mackelie

“It seemed to me extraordinary that even in the face of a common calamity such as great fire, people could turn on each other in this matter, but then I recalled how cruel the plague had made people to each other, and was obliged to concede that there is no disaster which can befall humanity, that we will not fail to make worse by our own hands, for it is fear that makes us cruel.”

review
mackelie
post image
Mehso-so

Aycayia is a mermaid that was cursed by jealous women years ago. She is now captured and then rescued by David, a fisherman, who falls in love with her.

It‘s an ancient tale of mermaids with a modern twist as everything happens in 1976. There are also undertones of colonialism and another love story. I enjoyed it, although, I wish we learned more of what happens to Aycayia.

23 likes1 stack add
blurb
mackelie
post image

Near the island of Black Conch, a fisherman sings to himself while waiting for a catch. But David attracts a sea-dweller that that he never expected - Aycayia, an innocent young woman cursed by jealous wives to live as a mermaid.

review
mackelie
The Memory of Love | Aminatta Forna
post image
Pickpick

The book is set in Sierra Leone during and after the civil war. We follow three main individuals: Elias Cole, a university professor; Adrian, a British psychologist; and Kai, a surgeon. We go back and forth between the past and present, to see how the war has devastated its people. At the same time, all these individuals are connected in some way.

It was a good read but it was hard to get into it at first. An unexpected ending.

19 likes1 stack add
review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

We know that Vivek will die but not when or how until the very end. The story is weaved beautifully between present and past slowly discovering the true Vivek and his identity.

Really loved this story and felt like I was there with Vivek and his friends. Felt the sorrow of his family and friends. Felt the love he had. Felt a part of the Nigerwives community and glimpses of Igbo culture.

33 likes2 stack adds
review
mackelie
Unsettled Ground | Claire Fuller
post image
Pickpick

Jeanie and Julius are 51 year old twins when their mother dies. Living an isolated life on the edge of society, they now have to piece things together to survive when things start falling apart.

Beautifully sad story with hopeful ending. Although, I can‘t get over the things that have been lost, the lives that they could have had. I enjoyed the simplicity and realness of the story, struggles people have to go through that are overseen by many.

28 likes1 stack add
review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

Heartwarming stories of people at the Funiculi Funicular cafe where you can go back in time (or future) as long as you drink your coffee before it gets cold.

I liked it that as we follow 4 individual stories, at the same time, they are all linked together by Kazu and the owners of the cafe. We also find out more about the ghost who occupies the special seat.

A good follow up for the first book! Looking forward to the next stories to come!

35 likes1 stack add
blurb
mackelie
post image

Looking forward to reading ‘Before the coffee gets cold: Tales from the Cafe‘. Really loved the first book! Time to immerse into this magical story again! 💗

IuliaC Both are lovely! 2y
31 likes1 comment
review
mackelie
Migrations: A Novel | Charlotte McConaghy
post image
Pickpick

In a near future, most of the wildlife is non existent due to environmental reasons and climate change. Franny follows the last migration of the Artic terns with the crew of Saghani, fishing boat. However, this journey is more to Franny as she‘s running from her past and a dark secret.

I really felt this book! Such an emotional story and the ending! Oh gosh!

IuliaC A lovely novel!
2y
mackelie @IuliaC I cried a little at the end 😢😢 that‘s how good it was 2y
Oryx Great book! 2y
22 likes1 stack add3 comments
review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

A brilliant, quick read but so impactful!

The first part describes the internal displacement of Malala and her family, eventually, settling in the UK. Followed by young girls‘ stories around the world. Such inspiring and heartwarming stories! Not all stories might have resolved outcomes but hope is what shines through them.

We so often here the word ‘refugee‘ but don‘t realise the journeys people had to make to get where they are now ♥️

25 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
mackelie
post image

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark. You only run for the border when you see the whole city running as well” - Warsan Shire, “Home”

quote
mackelie

“The brain is locked in total darkness of course, children, says the voice. It floats in a clear liquid inside the skull, never in the light. And yet the world it constructs in the mind is full of light. It brims with color and movement. So how, children, does the brain, which lives without a spark of light, build for us a world full of light?”

review
mackelie
post image
Pickpick

What a masterpiece! I thoroughly enjoyed this one! I wasn‘t sure it would be for me but then Marie-Laure and Werner have stolen my heart.

Set during WW2, we follow two story lines: Marie-Laure, a French blind girl, and Werner, an orphan who joins the German army. It seems that these character should be at odds but you can feel this invisible connection.

Brilliant writing, captivating read. I don‘t think reading it once is sufficient!

BookwormM Loved this 2y
36 likes1 comment
quote
mackelie

“Open your eyes and see what you can with them before they close forever”.

11 likes1 stack add
review
mackelie
Home Fire: A Novel | Kamila Shamsie
post image
Pickpick

Loved this book! It‘s about family, love, religion, betrayal, politics, national identity, and so much more.

Isma, Aneeka and Parvaiz have no one else but each other until the siblings are being pulled apart by different desires. Adaptation of Antigone in a contemporary context.

A very strong pick!

BarbaraBB I felt the same. 2y
29 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
mackelie
Station Eleven: A novel | Emily St. John Mandel
post image
Pickpick

This was an unusual read for me. I didn‘t think I would enjoy a book about Georgian flu, travelling theatre, apocalyptic world, comic book and famous actor‘s life story in one.

Still not sure what was the point of all of it! Have I missed something important? Please let me know!

I would rate it as a ‘pick‘ just because I was captivated throughout. I couldn‘t really put it down!

41 likes1 stack add
review
mackelie
post image
Mehso-so

It was a lovely read about ageing community in a remote Armenian village of Maran. We are told stories of different villagers with particular focus on Anatolia. There wasn‘t a particular storyline that I could describe in the book but glimpses and backstories of what has happened to the people of Maran.

It reminds me a lot of ‘100 Years of Solitude‘ due to some miracles and unusual events. Nothing much happens overall but I enjoyed the flow.

18 likes1 comment
review
mackelie
The Hate U Give | Angie Thomas
post image
Pickpick

Starr witnesses her friend, Khalil, being shot by a police officer. She also struggles with identity and being two versions of Starr: one that lives in the ‘ghetto‘ and the one that goes to ‘white‘ school.

The story is narrated thorough Starr‘s view. It gives an intimate look into a black teenager‘s life coming from a rough neighbourhood, gang problems and police brutality.

Inspired by the Black Lives Movement, it‘s a powerful story.

review
mackelie
Dominicana: A Novel | Angie Cruz
post image
Mehso-so

I loved Ana as a character and seeing the world through her eyes! She has sacrificed so much for a better life at such a young age.

I wasn‘t into the story at first but it grew on me overtime. It‘s a story of Dominican women that have migrated to US in 1965, at least, a glimpse of life then.

Overall, it was a good read but it didn‘t leave me any lasting impression.