shantaram – pt.2

 I posted about the book Shantaram a few weeks back but due to my crazy I stopped reading, primarily because I could not concentrate on it nor lift my head off my pillow to read a sentence, let alone a page. I am still about half way through but am determined to finish it because, in case I didn’t mention it before, I adore this book.

 It never fails to amaze me just how powerful words when combined in the right way can be yet when we see them in a dictionary alone they seem powerless. We have to use them wisely because they can empower us but also destroy us.

I shared before some of my favourite passages from the story, but that was just the beginning. The more I read the more food for thought this story seems to give me.

Read on below to see some more words of wisdom.


I think suffering is a matter of choice. I think that we do not have to suffer anything in this life if we are strong enough to deny it. The strong man can master his feelings so completely that it is almost impossible to make him suffer. When we do suffer things, like and so, it means that we have lost control. So I will say that suffering is a human weakness.


Is it not true that some of our strength comes from suffering? That suffering hardship makes us stronger. That those of us who have never known a real hardship and true suffering cannot have the same strength as others who have suffered much?


I think that when we grow up and learn that happiness is rare, we become disillusioned and hurt. And how much we suffer is a mark of how much we have been hurt by this realization.


When we act, even with the best of intentions, when we interfere with the world, we always have a new disaster that mightn’t have been of our making, but that wouldn’t occur without our action.


Some of the worst wrongs were caused by people who tried to change things


The worse things that people do to us always make us feel ashamed. The worst things people do always strike at that part of us that wants to love the world. And a tiny part of the shame we feel when we’re violated, is shame at being human.


Lovers always find their way by such insights and confidences; they’re the stars we use to navigate the ocean of desire. And the brightest of those are the heart of breaks and sorrows. The most precious gift you can bring to your lover is your suffering.


Men reveal what they think when they look away and what they feel when they hesitate; with women it’s the opposite.


At the moment most of our ways of defining the unit of morality are similar in their intentions though different in their details. So the priests of one nation bless their soldiers as they march to war and the imans of another country bless their solders as they march out to meet them and everybody who is involved in the killing says that he has God on his side. There is no objective and universally accepted definition of good and evil and until we have one we will go on justifying our own actions whilst condemning the actions of others.


If you turn your heart into a weapon you always end up using it on yourself.


Sooner or later fate puts us together with the people who show us what we could or shouldn’t let ourselves become. Sooner or later we meet the drunkard, the waster, the betrayer, the ruthless mind and the hate filled heart but fate loads the dice of course because usually we find ourselves pitying all of these people and its impossible to despise someone when you honestly pity and to shun someone you truly love.


My hate is what saved me. Hate is a very resilient thing you know, hate is a survivor. I had to hide my hate for a long time, people couldn’t handle it, they got spooked by it so I sent it outside myself. It’s weird that I was a refugee for years, I still am, my hate was a refugee just like me. My hate was outside me. My family were all killed, raped and butchered and I killed men, I shot them, I cut their throats and my hate survived out there. My hate got stronger and harder and then I woke up one day working for Khader with money and power and I could feel the hate creeping back into me and it’s here now, inside me, where it belongs and I’m glad, I enjoy it. I need it, Lin. The stronger I am it’s braver that I am, it’s stronger than I am. My hate is my hero.




I mean… *insert heart-eye emoji here*


Book Club

Hello and welcome. I have a weekend off, the sun is shining through the window, Moana is on my telly , I’m feeling particularly anti social and I am writing, with a cup of tea. Life is good.


When I sat a wrote my goals for the year one of them was to post every week – I’m a post behind. Another of those goals was to read at least 2 books a month; this one I’ve actually achieved. In fact, each month (except for March because March was just madness) I’ve read 3 books. I know, high-five me! I love a good book that takes me away for a minute. I could be sat on a train physically but in my head I’m on a beach in Barbados, or travelling around on horseback in the mountains with Native Americans, crying with someone on a sofa in Suffolk. A book can take you wherever you want to go, and you might learn something whilst you’re there.



If you’re looking for some book recs then read on, friends.




Book 1 – If I could tell you just one thing by Richard Reed


I love to talk to people and find out what motivates them, to learn about how they got to where they are and why they’ve become who they are. Richard talks to a wide range of people, touches on this subject and asks them “If you could give everyone just one piece of advice what would it be?” A very interesting read.

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Book 2 – You and Me, always by Jill Mansell


Jill is the Queen of chick lit for me. It’s a case of same meat, different gravy but I find something so comforting in that. It’s nice that everyone gets a happy ending somewhere, even if it is only in the pages of a book


Book 3 – Texas Bride by Rosanne Bittner


This book is actually part of a series of books ‘The Bride Series’ if you will so yes there is romance at the forefront of it. What I actually really enjoy the most of these books is the historical side to them – based around the treatment of the Native Americans, how they were viewed and forced out of their own land.

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Book 1 – Happy by Fearne Cotton


Any book that talks about mental health is ok in my mind. Fearne shares her story, talks to her friends about their mental health and breaks down areas of life that we need to pay attention to in order to stay ‘Happy’. To some it may be common sense, to some it will be a tool to guide them in the right direction.


Book 2 – Wildflower by Drew Barrymore


I don’t feel I can give this a rating because this is Drew talking about her life experiences and the stories that make her, her. It’s not my place to judge her life but I really enjoyed reading about it. I really like her, her philosophy and I like to think that if we ever met we could be real life friends. Hippy friends.

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Book 3 – Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl


I felt like taking it back down memory lane – I found this book in my bookcase and as it is one of my favourite Dahl books I couldn’t not read it; it’s timeless.




Book 1 – Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher


I LOVE HER. Very similar to Drew’s book, this is Carrie talking about her life and the various situations that being Hollywood royalty got her in to. She is fierce, fearless and fabulous. It just confirmed my belief that we lost a goddess last year and someone that could totally be in my gang.

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Book 2 – Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote


We all know the story of the elusive Holly Golightly, most of us know Audrey Hepburn as her. I’ve seen the movie; you probably have as well. I enjoyed this more than the movie though, the basics are the same but I feel that Capote sells me Holly more – I didn’t particularly care for her in the movie but I do in the book. I relate to her in ink, but not on the screen.




Book 1 – The Cows by Dawn O’Porter


EVERYONE STOP THIS NOW AND GO READ THIS BOOK. I could not put this down, I read all 460 + pages of it in less than 24 hours. It is a book about women for women by a woman. I have long admired Dawn, she is one of my favourite ladies in the spotlight but this has made me love her a whole lot more. It is such a powerful novel about women judging each other but also judging ourselves. It reminds us that, actually, rather than tearing each other down, we’re the strongest when we lift each other up. You will never read this but thank you, Dawn for writing this. I think it’s what we all need to remember right now.

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Book 2 – Nightwalker by Diane Hoh


Again, this was a walk down memory lane. When I was a teenager I loved the Point Horror series – I always fancied myself as a Nancy Drew type, mystery solver. This was one of the books in the ‘Nightmare Hall’ series. It’s been 15 years since read these and I still never guess the culprit right! God damn it!


Book 3 – Diary of a Fat Girl by Moira Mugweni


I think that the message behind it is really important. So long as you love yourself, that’s all that matters. I would be telling porkies if I said that this didn’t bring a tear to my eye on more than one occasion, even though the main character is only 18 – how she talks about her self, how she cares about what other people see and say and think of her, it reminds me of me at times. A very important read for any teenage girl. Over the course of the summer Burn learns a very important lesson, she starts off trying to change herself for everyone else but slowly realises that she needs to change for herself, as really that’s the only opinion that matters.

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I’m now off to hunt the local Waterstones for some new books for the next few months.

If you’ve any recommendations then let me know, as you’ve gathered, I love a good book.