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Psychochromatic Redemption

A bit of everything, just to keep my erroneous mind busy.

February’s Books

This past month was not the best in terms of reading. I read less books in a whole month than in the last 10 days of January. On top of that, I challenged myself to read a few books in Spanish, some in Romanian and some in English which made reading interesting enough. With that being sad, I managed to read five books.

Here is a short poem using the books titles.

Pretty baby I see you

So Unshakeable

Explaining The Theory of colours

To A Clockwork Orange.

I really liked Tony Robbins’ book, Unshakeable. It taught me about finances, stock and investments. It was the second book of that sorts I read, and got quite interested in the subject.

Pretty baby was not as good as I expected as I loved Good Girl by May Kubica. It was good, but not as good. Heidi was a nice character at the beginning of the book, but she terrified me towards the end. I really felt sorry for poor Willow.

The Theory of Colours is like a manual averyone interested in colors should read. Informative and still stands strong.

A Clockwork Orange was a book that annoyed me in terms of the main character. I reconize it must have been a master piece when it first appeared as the writing style is so innovative same as the Ludovico Method and the questions it attracts. But Alex, I loathed him and don’t feel sorry for what happened to him. He had no remorse for his acts, and for people like him Ludovico Method seems the only option.

I See You was the last book I read last month and it was a good psychological thriller. It started really good captivating my attention, and make me guess all the time. I had some doubts, but Mackintosh is such a great author that constantly makes you doubt your guesses.

So these are my reads for February. What were yours?

The books of January

January has been a long month, or so it seems. I managed to read ten books, but am sure this is a one off. Am still contemplating on how I managed to read that much…

I have read six thrillers towards the end of the month, because when I get swept in the psychological drama and suspans, I need to stay there for a while.

By far, the best book I’ve read this year is The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré. Such a compelling read. I had this book in my library for half a year and was not interested to start reading it. After seeing how many people recommend it, I gave it a go and was so impressed. I have learned so much about the Nigerian society, the inequality between sex es and the child trafficking issue. Adunni reminds me of the Malala Yousafzai, Anne Frank and Tara Westover, she has some traits from all of them. The story is both heart-breaking and elating in so many ways. And, on top of everything, it is a pure example of following your dream and never give up, no matter what.
I truly recommend this book to everyone, but especially teenagers.

I started the year with a romance by Sophie Kinsella, my favourite chick-lit author. I always have a good laugh whilst reading her books. I always have a good laugh whilst reading her books. Live your life was no exception, even though, must admit I didn’t quite liked the book from the beginning. Ava and Matt are OK as characters, even though their relationship is a bit atypical, but what makes this book great are their friends. Awesome people and the last hundred pages made obvious the importance of good friends in one’s life. So cheers to Ava’s and Matt’s friends.

Next, was Miss Benson’s Beetle by Rachel Joyce. This was a book highly recommended on all the reading groups, but I was expecting more. It started very slow and was about to give up. The big action starts in the last half of the book and it becomes really entertaining. But what really sold the book for me was the fictional interview at the end of the book as well as the story behind it.
I would recommend it as a read for a lazy afternoon as it is quite inspiring and entertaining once you get into it.

After that, came a book from E. Lockhart, because I loved We Were Liars. Genuine Fraud was a bit of a dissapointment. First, the writing style was off and couldn’t get into the story. Then the main character, Jule, was a bit fade, I couldn’t have any strong feelings for her.
After reading half of the book I came across the twists and it was alright until the end. I guess none of the other novels E. Lockhart write will equal We were liars, but I won’t give up on her yet.

In the end came the thrillers and what an interesting ride.

Best one by far was Behind her eyes by Sarah Pinborough. After two days of trying to figure it out, from the beginning of the book up until then end, I realise what a true genius Sarah Pinborough actually is. I was not expecting the end, not in a million years. How can your life change from a brief encounter with a mysterious good looking man in a bar? Are you ready for the roller-coaster you are going to embark in? Not quite ready for the destination though…
Adele, Louise and David get into this roller-coaster and their secrets are about to blow, but to whose advantage. And who will win in the end, because in this game, there’s always a winner and sometimes is the one you least expect. Madness , pure madness…

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen was the next interesting thriller. I had this book on my shelf for more than a year and never got the chance to start it. Finally after being recommended on some book clubs I decided to read it. And what an interesting ride.
Vanessa, Nellie, Richard, Maureen and Emma, they all seemed off. Couldn’t trust Richard from the beginning, Vanessa seemed crazy, Nellie too anxious, Maureen was odd and Emma was the surprise in the end. It was an interesting read with enough twists and a good structure.

Then, came three books from Lisa Jewell: Watching You, Invisible Girl and Then She Was Gone.

Watching You was the closest to a thriller from all of them. Melville, a little village near-by Bristol, is a mix of funny and strange characters and most of them live around Melville’s Heights. The Fitzwilliams, Joey, Jenna Tripp and her mum, Bess, Rebecca, they  are all odd in some ways and you suspect them to do some crazy thing any minute. You have no clue what happened, but you suspect something bad involving a teacher and his students when in fact, you have no idea.
As most of Lisa Jewell’s books I really liked “Watching You” and was constantly guessing what happened even though I was so far from the truth. And the final page adds to the twists.

Invisible Girl is Jewell’s latest books and it’s not a thriller as such, more of a mystery drama. It deals with psychological issues, trauma and misconceptions and overall is a very interesting read
Saffyre Maddox goes missing and the odd guy gets to be sentenced. We can see how misinterpretation and misconception plays such an important role in our psyche and how easily,we can accuse someone, who looks and behaves in an  odly manner, of gruesome things.
“Invisible girl” is about family, trauma, mental disorders and incels. I have just learned there is such a thing as incels and what are they. Thank you Lisa Jewell for enlighten me.

Then She Was Gone is a very intriguing book. I had mixed feelings about it and was about to give up on it. But what I was not expecting was to cry at the end.
As Jewell says in the Aknowledgememts, Then she was gone is a bizzare book, comparing to her other ones. It makes you wonder why choosing the plot as she did and some of the characters. I was annoyed with some of the outcomes and wished for different twists, but they never came. At times, it reminded me of Lovely Bones, a book I never finished.
However, there are some characters I felt for. I put myself in their shoes and tried to understand their reasoning and their psychological issues. Floyd was a very interesting character, so well portraited and he was the one who made me cry in the end. Go figure.
I would recommend this book to a book club as there’s plenty to talk about.

A book I didn’t like was The Lullaby/The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani. I have read this book in one day and must admit I was a bit dissapointed. This is not a thriller but mostly an observation of loneliness, obsession and trauma. We know what happened from the beginning and we try to figure out the reasons behind it all. But the reasons are sometimes hard to find, hidden in small acts, little details that might passed unobserved.
I particularly did not like this book, even though the writing style is easy, but the subject is gruesome, the story is haunting and you are left without much consolation. I felt like watching a bad movie.

So what were you January reads?

Happy New Year

H appiness
O ptimism
P eace
E mpathy

Hope 2021 will bring you all of these

Best books of 2020

What a year!… WHAT A FREAKY STRA NGE YEAR! (couldn’t help myself) It has been a roller-coaster and am not sure what 2021 will bring so I have mixed feelings at the end of the year.

Haven’t written anything in a long time, out of laziness mostly, but also because I felt like I hadn’t much to say. The reality surpassed by far my imagination. So instead I read.

I read a lot, 53 books to be more exact, according to GoodReads (true that three of them were nursery books, but needed to read them for research). There were books I contemplated on this year and also books I totally forgot I read.

Looking through my Goodreads list (thanks God we have this app available) I could make a top 5ish of the best books I have read this year.

1. On the first place, holding the trophy (too bad it didn’t win the Goodreads award) is Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. What a beautiful and insightful book! I have discovered Backman’s style of writing in this book and I was hooked. Reading all his other books now.

2. On the second place was The Midnight Library by Matt Haig- winner of the Goodreads Choice Award 2020. O really enjoyed the story and decided to read it after the winners were announced to see if it was worth it. And it totally was. Interesting storyline and it makes you hope that Midnight Library is not fictional.

3. Best thriller I have read this year is The Pilgrim by Terry Hayes. What a captivating, interesting plot. Even though a long read, it was entertaining all the way through.

4. Best romantic chick-lit, there were two that stood out so I have to nominate them both. Both of them from one of my favourite authors of this genre, Lindsey Kelk. They were One in a Million and In Case You Missed It. What can I say, Lindsey Kelk never dissapoints when it comes to good laugh and nice romance.

5. Best self-help book (because we really needed those this year) was Atomic Habits by James Clear, a book I really recommend to everyone who wants to change their habits. Remember it takes only two minutes.

Special mention goes to American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins and This is what happens by Chris Wind, both of them very introspective and, in different ways, heart-breaking.

Do this was it, best books I have read this year. What were yours? Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts?

Damaged

Thoughts of an anxious mind

Living with anxiety is not easy. You try to be brave, not letting yourself be ruled by it, but this is not always successful.

Do not talk about it, pretend it’s not there is just another way of not acknowledging the elephant in the room. That’s not an option.

Thinking about it and analyzing it too much is exhausting and results in even more anxiety being created. You add more stress and worry to the already big enough pile.

So what is the solution? I haven’t found it yet, but I guess small steps of improvement help. Small walks, a bit of exercising, reading a good book, little things that make your world better.

And don’t forget to smile. It will make your day better.

My poem on Elephant Journal

Following the events in my previous workplace, I have wrote a poem/letter dedicated to my former employer.

Have sent the poem to Elephant Journal and they published it on their website.

Here is the link, hope you’ll enjoy it https://elejrnl.com/?p=2594850

Gender Fraud-a fiction raises some questions

She had to – What? Behave appropriately. Speak appropriately. Say nice shit or keep her mouth shut.

Gender Fraud

“Essentially, nearly all people are born with physical characteristics that are labelled male or female. ” states Office of National Statistics in the UK. WHO defines gender as based on socially constructed features.

Gender Identity Fraud and gender dysphoria are things I have learned about by reading this book. Done my research to get an understanding of the concepts. Gender Identity Fraud “cases involve a person being criminalised and sent to prison as a sex offender for deceiving a sexual partner over their gender.” People who suffer from gender dysphoria feel they are the wrong sex.

That being said, Peg Tittle did it again, with this new controversial novel. I found myself nodding every time Kat made a comment, every time she had to present the facts to everyone working in the correctional(!?) facility.

I know this book migh create a controversy for trans-women and I don’t want to go there, because this was not the message I got from reading it.

It’s about hundreds of years of women being subordinated. There is this standardised image of women, our society promotes. The consumerism society pushes women to buy all sorts of make-up to look better, to hide their age, to not feel confortable in their own skin. It’s a whole industry build on the concept of women perfection. You need to wear this in order to be attractive to the opposite sex. Everything is made in coordination with men’s needs. No doubt they are behind all this industry.

Being a photographer and studying poses in women portraiture, you easily come to the conclusion they were first created by men. Every pose either expresses fragility or sensuality. Rarely, some photographers decide to brake the rules. However, most women like posing in this way, so I guess the programming worked pretty well.

Also, as a woman, you should be quiet, not correct anyone, especially not a man. You should always smile and feel happy. If you fail to do these, you are sanctioned in a way or another.

We live in a world where women are still being punished for wearing a bra, for not wearing gloves and what in the world was wrong with France? Therefore, many issues are still not being addressed and it’s easy to divert your attention towards trivial matters.

Gender Fraud addresses all the issues stated above. I enjoyed the dialogue between Kat and Dell and her answers to the psychiatrist’s questions were ace.

“Lose the battle to win the war.” does not always work as Kat learned from attending various groups, all on irrelevant matters (cake decorating, sewing, nothing to require’s one intellect). Childless Group was one of the worst and I totally agree with Kat on that one.

Overall, I quite enjoyed Gender Fraud-a fiction. The ending was unexpected and also came with a twist.

The season of change

It’s autumn.

Summer has come and gone, with a lot of anxiety, pressure and heat waves.

There was no other summer like this one.

No awaited planned holidays, no fun at the beach,

No outdoor parties, concerts or gatherings.

It was strange but people get used to living with strange.

Soon it makes part of your life.

But that is over now. Tu e to admire the nature dying. There’s a meditation practice in all this. Seeing the leaves fall, the nature transforming…

Maybe it’s time we learn a lesson

Maybe it’s time to acknowledge the changes

Maybe it’s time to begin to understand what is actually happening

Maybe we should start embracing the change and use it in our advantage

Maybe…

As for the time being, love, live, learn and embrace the change

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