Friday, 26 January 2018

Myanmar: why Mandalay should be on your itinerary

Mandalay is one of those places that ended up being an unexpected gem; we had to go there to fly home, but didn't really have high hopes. Oh how wrong we were!

Sunday, 21 January 2018

5 great podcasts for 30-something women

Last year I really got in to podcasts...

Monday, 15 January 2018

Myanmar: where to stay in Inle Lake after trekking

If you read my previous Myanmar post, you'll know the 60km from Kalaw to Inle left me feeling pretty pooped.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Myanmar: a 3 day trek from Kalaw to Inle Lake

Once we decided on adding Myanmar to our six-month route, we started researching the 'must sees'. 'Cos unlike countries like Thailand and Vietnam, we didn't know much about Myanmar. Upon doing so, we quickly discovered that so many people's #1 experience was to trek to Inle Lake.

Wednesday, 3 January 2018

My top five reads of 2017

Back in the day I used to run a bookworm feature on here - mini, no spoiler reviews of my latest reads. And I don't really know why I stopped! I don't read loads, so it's not a result of being overwhelmed, but I suppose I use Instagram and Goodreads to document my favourite reads these days, instead. 

Friends like Lorna - with her astronomical reading record - really put me to shame. Last year Lorna read a truly impressive 82 books. Yes, really! Me? I managed 17. The previous year I read a mighty 30 books, but let's not forget I was on a six month sabbatical so had all the time. 

I'm part of a local book group, and sometimes worry that I wont have time to read the books I actually choose to read. And I do suffer from this, at times. In the busier months I only manage to ~just~ about get through the book we have chosen for bookclub. But given than only six of my seventeen books this year were these such reads, I think I'm doing alright. And on a positive note, I love that it pushes me outside of my comfort zone - my favourite book of 2017 was The Nightingale which I doubt I would ever have heard of had it not been chosen for our bookclub. 

So what were my top five reads of 2017?

1. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
A novel chronicling the lives of two sisters in Nazi-occupied France in the Second World War - it's pacey, inspirational, harrowing, and 100% perfect. As I say, my top read of 2017. 

2. Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Allegedly Obama's favourite read a couple of years back, and I can see why. Beautifully written and totally enthralling. This was our latest book club choice and given how kinky the story was throughout, I think it will make for an interesting discussion next week...!

3. Everyday Sexism by Laura Bates
This year has been the year I read non-fiction for pleasure! Propelled by the Twitter project #EverydaySexism, this book explores the position of women today and what can be done - and is being done - to bring about greater equality. Also see: Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay, another inspiring  (and honest) feminist read. 

4. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
I have to admit, I am partial to a bit of JP's crime meets mystery meets social justice genre (can we say she owns a genre?!) and her latest book is just so good. Sadly, this story of racial prejudice is so timely right now, which makes it all the more salient.

5. In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park
Another non-fiction read, this time about an escape from the North Korean dictatorship. Completely heartbreaking, yet full of hope, I found it so fascinating to read about the mystery that is North Korea. 

What were your favourite reads of 2017?

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