Q2 2020 round-up

Wow! We’re six months into the year! Halfway…and four months at home. I hope you all are doing well and staying safe. Life certainly has changed in the last months, moods vary, some days are ok, others not so much. Travelling feels like a distant dream, but I don’t give up and keep hoping to at least be able to go home, to Poland, in August. And on a more dreamy side with my Bigger Half, we’re thinking of returning to Crete in October. We’ll see, how it all pans out. For now, I travel with every book I read.

June is traditionally the start of 20 Books of Summer challenge. This will be my fifth year, and so far I’m making pretty good progress on the reading front with eight books read this month. It’s a bit worse on reviews front, but that’s also due to the backlog of previous reviews I need to publish before I move on to #20booksofsummer20 ones. As always I am cheating and not committing to a list of books in advance. It grows organically as I progress.

When I speak with my coworkers we all feel we work more when at home. The hours often miraculously extend, late meetings creep in. Somehow it feels more difficult to say no to some things. So in the spirit of self-care and continuous learning, I started the Science of Well-Being course. So far it goes well, maybe I don’t buy into everything but definitely found some things useful. It’s a good time to change some of the habits, with so many things up in the air. Also, I don’t plan on going back to the office this year (imagine sitting all day in a mask for starters), so I need to figure out the new normal.

If you have any tips on working from home and generally staying sane in this situation please share.

One thing I certainly miss is the feeling of waiting for something, the expectation before the planned trip. What we started doing with my mum is sending each other packages from time to time, with books and gifts. Which is great because it feels like Christmas, both in buying the gifts and receiving them. To some extent, it manages to trick the mind.

Another interesting thing that happened is that apparently, I published 500 posts. Here is number 500. This and my vanity gave me an idea to look at the last five years of posting and share again some of my favorite books, but I’ll do that on another occasion. For now, here’s what I read this quarter.

44. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon – Stephen King (r)
43. Kocie Chrzciny. Lato i Zima w Finlandii – Małgorzata Sidz (r)
42. North Korea Journal – Michael Palin (r)
41. Złote Piachy – Sylwia Siedlecka (r)
40. Rites of Passage – William Golding (r)
39. Detroit: An American Autopsy – Charlie LeDuff (r)
38. A Crime in the Neighborhood – Suzanne Berne (r)
37. Hope in the Dark – Rebecca Solnit (r)
36. Murmur– Will Eaves (r)
35. Exit West – Mohsin Hamid (r)
34. Chronicler of the Winds – Henning Mankell (r)
33. Smak Kwiatów Pomarańczy – Tessa Caponi-Borawska, Agnieszka Drotkiewicz (r)
32. Girl, Woman, Other – Bernardine Evaristo (r)
31. Only the Innocent – Rachel Abbott (r)
30. On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King – reread (r)
29. M Train – Patti Smith (r)
28. Dwunaste. Nie Myśl, że Uciekniesz – Filip Springer (r)
27. Death is Hard Work – Khaled Khalifa (r)
26. Wanderlust: A History of Walking – Rebecca Solnit (r)
25. Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design – Charles Montgomery (r)
24. Cień w Cień. Za Cieniem Zuzanny Ginczanki – Jarosław Mikołajewski (r)
23. How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems – Randall Munroe (r)
22. The Dharma Bums – Jack Kerouac (r)
21. Art & Lies: A Piece for Three Voices and a Bawd – Jeanette Winterson (r)
20. Heroes: Mortals and Monsters, Quests and Adventures – Stephen Fry (r)
19. Pet Subjects: Animal Tales from the Telegraph’s Resident Vet – Peter Wedderburn (r)

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