Tag Archives: Read

My Top 5 Summer Books

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Salam dear readers,

Since it’s finally fall, I wanted to give you a wrap up of my summer.

Summer is over alhamduli’ALLAH.. YAAAAY!!! I have mixed feelings about this. Summer in Marrakesh is somehow unbearable, but it’s one of the characteristics that makes Marrakesh what it is; and alhamduli’ALLAH we got through it. Yes, I will miss the free time, the travelling, the beach, and all the reading that I could do. But still I’m a “pro-Rain/Cold” person.

Today I want to share with you my  top 5 books that I’ve read this summer.

This summer, I read some very good books, some bad ones and some average. I also reread 2 of my favorite books and I really enjoyed rereading them. I won’t talk much about these books but I will try to give reviews of them very soon insha’ALLAH.

You can see more about the books that I’m reading on my Goodreads profile.

Let’s start:

Living Dead Girl:

This book (sigh) … This book can’t be easily described or talked about. It’s a young adult/contemporary novel written by Elizabeth Scott. Let me just say that it’s the most disturbing book I’ve read in awhile (if not ever). It deals with kidnapping, rape, pedophilia, family, identity… I couldn’t put it down and I got really scared while reading it. I couldn’t/didn’t want to imagine what was happening. I didn’t like reading some/most of the content and I was reading it really quickly trying not to pay attention to what’s been described. I don’t want to spoil the book, but I will try to give a review of it very soon. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

The Great Gatsby:

I can’t give this less than 5 stars. This was my third time reading this, and it was even better.  I love reading it and rereading it and talking about it over and over again. every time I read it, I discover new things about it that I didn’t notice before. This book is about dreams, lost love, wealth,  and society. I can’t express why I love this books clearly, but it’s just one of my favorite books of all time. I gave a book review a very long time, but I think I will write another well developed review very soon insha’ALLAH.

The Trouble with Women:

 

Have you ever noticed that women are rarely mentioned in our history books and courses?? I did for sure. This book deals with that in a very simple funny way. It’s a nonfiction feminist interpretation of this whole subject written by Jacky Fleming. I read this in one sitting, and I really really enjoyed it. You can read it in an hour or so. It contains sequential art and that helps in the structure and the goal of the book as a whole. Again I will go in depth in a review of this book in a day or so insha’ALLAH. I gave it 4 stars.

Steal Like an Artist:

This is a very interesting read. It’s written by Austin Kleon,a young writer and artist who create wonderful things in what he writes and speak about.  This should be read by every student, every blogger, writer, teacher… Basically EVERYONE. The message is really powerful. It just tells humans everywhere that they don’t need to be genius, they just need to be themselves, and to know what they want. It has great tips that I tried to put into practice immediately. “Creativity is everywhere. It is for everyone” and that’s in itself is a life/mind changing

ساق البامبو

This is an Arabic book entitled “The Bamboo Stalk” written by Saud Alsanousi. This was probably one of the best books that I’ve read in my entire life. The language use is so beautiful. It shows how much love the writer has for the Arabic language; this love reaches the reader, and make him appreciate the language even better. It has an amazing story with very unique characters. Th events take place between Kuwait and the Philippines.  It tackles different subjects like:  race, identity, family, sense of belonging, social classes, and other universal struggles. I will definitely recommend this book. Go and read it.

That’s it for today. Let me know in the comments of your favorite books of this summer and what do you think  of mine.

Talk to you soon insha’ALLAH.

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Kaoutar’s Book Thoughts: Three Men in a Boat

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Salam dear readers,

These are my thoughts on Three Men in Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

I’ve just finished reading this book. It took me awhile to read it, but I read most of it in the past 3 days, so I think that is a good thing 📚📚📚📚📚 “Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ” ☺📚☺📚☺📚☺ I give it a 4 ☆ out of 5. At first, I thought of giving it 3,5 but it’s worth more. It made me smile, laugh, and think. It is full of knowledge, and it just brushes up my British history knowledge. At some point, it can seem hard to follow, specially with the heavy description of London streets, rivers, and monuments. But it’s just a unique book. I don’t know why, but while reading it, it keeps reminding me of Charlie Chaplin and all those silent funny movies. I imagined the characters as those actors with their outfit, hats, and all those beautiful characteristics. It is also based on real events that the author and his friends experienced, so that’s definitely a plus. The book shows that the author is a man of experience, that he knows what he’s talking about, that he has a very smart sense of humor, and that he’s wise. I really recommend this to all of you dear readers, especially to the ones who like a good funny British classic. 🔭📚🔭📚📚🔭📚🔭 That's it… I’m going to go back now to reading my other Arabic book 😊☺😊 #me #reading #books #bookstagram #bookphotography #bookworm #morocco #marrakech #instalike #instagood #beauty #nature #igreads #currentread #whatareyoureading #boat #classic #كتب #اقرأ #كتبي ر

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I read this book last month, and I already expressed how much I liked it. Who says that British classic humor can be hard to grasp? This book shows absolutely the opposite.This meant to be a travelogue, but ended up as a very funny book.

This is the story of three men – Jerome and his two friends, Harris and George and their dog. They decide to take a trip in a boat (something that was common in those days) in the River Thames in Oxford, England to cure themselves after they suffered from some weird ailment.  While narrating, he mentions all the villages and landmarks he and his friends pass, such as Marlow, Hampton Church, Magna Carta Island, … The books is also full of funny stories that happened to the characters or people they know. These stories will make you laugh out loud. There are stories of friends, historical figures, and even stories that happened to Montmorency, the dog.

The book also describes the common events  and situations that can happen in our everyday life. Even for today’s modern life, these situations are still relevant. You can still relate to the characters/ real people.  It has a beautiful sense of wisdom combined with a brilliant wit, which you can just love 😀

It refreshes your knowledge of many things. 3 years ago, I took a “British Culture”class, so this reminds me of what I like about that subject. I like studying and knowing more about the British history, so I really liked it when he was talking about the Magna Carta, the history behind certain streets and homes, and the earliest kings and queens of the UK,

Things I did not like: The ending was a bit quick, since their return journey was not described in full detailed, and it was just in one chapter. Also, sometimes you will find it hard to keep with some of the description, but you can’t help but love it.

I recommend this for the following reasons:

  1. It’s a classic. No need to explain more
  2. It’s funny in a smart way. For example, there is this “German language” story that made me giggle, and I’m sure it will give you the same feel.
  3. It’s full of knowledge. I’m sure you like books that make you know more, so go and try this 😉

Rate: 4/5

I have chosen to change this section from “book reviews” to “Kaoutar’s Book Thoughts”, they are my own spontaneous first thoughts; because I don’t want to give a full detailed review. These are just my thoughts on a certain book: why I loved it/ hated it. I love talking about books, but I don’t like to spoil them 😉

This is my favorite quote in the book. I actually highlighted it in my copy, which I rarely do (try not to do/ hate to do) in books.

“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ”

 

That is for today. Keep reading books, and checking my blog 😉 Talk to you soon insha’ALLAH.

My Favourite Books of 2015

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I know what you’re thinking. It’s already February and I’m still speaking about 2015. Well; that’s what happens when you’re late and you cannot catch up on things 😉

To be honest, I wrote most of this at the beginning of January, then I didn’t have time to edit it, and I had a lot of things to do -school related- still do, but I need to this. I really want to share with you my top 10 of 2015, and I would love to see you do that too ❤

Without any further delay, let’s start this.

2015 was a good reading year for me. I’ve managed to read a total of 50 books ( or more: 52 or so). I’ve read many English books, a lot of Arabic ones, and one French book sadly, which will be in this list. Also,  I discovered new authors, and I was a bit open to new genres and new choices.

Little Women

I love this book. I watched the movie a very long time ago, and really wanted to read it.  I actually started it at the end of 2014, and I’m glad I did. This is a beautiful, just a beautiful story about family, sisters, love, life and the things that matter. It reminds me of me, my sisters, my brother , and my family.  It’s simple, clever, and I recommend this for sure. One more thing..  is that I want a friend like Laurie ( who is one of my favorite characters ever)  😉

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It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be

This book is a must read book. The title is capturing. It’s very easy to go through, and you’ll definitely enjoy reading it. It made me love reading nonfiction again.

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رحلتي مع غاندي

This book came when I really needed it, i.e. when I read this book, some things were happening, and there were some passages of it that really spoke to me, and helped me. It may not be the greatest book written in Arabic, and I may have some/many notes about it, but I loved it. I’m also a “Khawatir” fan, so it makes an absolute sense 😉

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Animal Farm 

This is a book that makes you think, and link events together with historical ones. This is a very good piece of literature. I think George Orwell is brilliant, and I can’t wait to read more and all of his work. You should too (this is not an order of course, but a kind of demand :p )

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

This book is a celebration of language, and its beautiful aspects. Of course, I knew the story before reading this. I actually read the Arabic version ( a concise one), and maybe a French one as well when I was really young. But this reading was entertaining and just beautiful ❤ loved it ❤

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Philomel Cottage

This Agatha Christie’ short story is amazing. It takes less than an hour to read, and it is GOOD. I read this as a part of this Halloween Stories Collection, and I’ve read other ones (mostly by Stephen King..), but this one is the best. I started it and couldn’t put it down. Many people don’t like this, but I can’t see why…, because I love it, obviously. This is a perfect example of a short book ( very short) that is rich in the content.

*A spoiler:  You’ll get surprised by the ending.

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Les Fourberies de Scapin

This is my only French read for the past year. I wanted to pick this up since I was 15 or 16. We had it in our bookshelf for a very long time. I finally had the chance to read it, and it didn’t disappoint me for sure. This was funny and creative, though it was not as funny as Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, which I read back when I was 14, and which made me laugh so hard. But for this one, I liked it. It was rich in the content, and it’s an easy quick read. I definitely recommend it.

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To Kill a Mockingbird 

This does not need a justification. I’m happy that I finally read it. I actually found it in our university library, and borrowed it without a second thinking. Atticus is one of the best characters that I’ve ever read about. I loved the characters, the writing style, and the themes. This book does worth all the hype that has been around it for the past 50+ year.  I think I’m going to reread it soon insha’ALLAH, because it deserves to be reread. I also think you need to read it.

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Horses of God

This book is one of the best books that I’ve ever read. This is a book that can change your views on certain things. It can change your ideas on certain people, and makes you see life in a different way. I actually worked on this book in my BA thesis, along with its adaptation. I’m so happy and proud that it’s by a Moroccan author. This book is originally written in French, and it was translated into English. I read this book 4 or 5 times last year, and I’m diffidently going to reread it. If you want to read this book, read it with a critical mind, and try to understand the characters. This book is about poverty, terrorism, identity, Morocco, you and me; it’s about humans, and it’s good. Go and read it;  I think you’re going to love it.

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For the Love of ALLAH

This is a 50 page book, and it’s the best book that I’ve read this year. Essentially, this book  is about Salat, and how to do it properly, and why you should do it. I love praying and I think of it as a daily talk with ALLAH, 5 times a day, if it’s not more, and this book made me love it even more. This book makes you understand Salat. I read it last Ramadan, and I feel happy to have done that. It is very important for me as a Muslim and for you too if you are Muslims. It’s very helpful for the non-Muslims as well, if you want to understand our practices and way of living, and understand Islam and its values the right way.

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That’s it. I hope you loved reading this post, as mush as I loved writing it. Talk to you soon insha’ALLAH.

 

My Book Review: All For You

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My Book Review: All For You

Salam dear friends,

It’s been a while since I shared with you my readings, and the books that I’ve read lately are just beautiful.

I’m really happy that I had the chance to read them, and I’ll share them here very soon insha’ALLAH 😉

My book for today is All For You by Sheila O’Flanagan.

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I thank my friend for giving me this book and telling me ” read it, you won’t regret” and I definitely did not 😀

The book is about Lainey,a weather forecaster who loves her job and does it very well. Lainey tries to find happiness and to make her dreams a reality. It is about family. it looks at mother, daughter and grandma relationships. In the beginning of the book, you can clearly see the difference between Lainey and her mother, Deanna. Her mother is a feminists who devoted her life to the women cause, leaving Lainey with her grandparents. And there are some long-concealed family secrets 😉 😉

I have mixed feelings for both Lainey and Deanna… I loved the grandmother ❤

Deanna claims she did that for the sake of Lainey and to the cause of all women, and it’s true but she did it for herself (first). I did not like her that much, and I think that she’s strong but at the same time, she’s very weak.

At first, I did not like Lainey choices, and how she reacts towards men, how she sees every man as a future husband, and how she will give everything for that thinking that her life won’t be good if she did not have a husband or a boyfriend. She made me think of this song:  It describes her perfectly in some point. At the end, she realizes that she can be alone and happy at the time, she starts taking decisions, thinking about her life in a whole different way… And it’s good, just good 😉

This book is good because it’s the story of a mother and daughter, and how different people choose to live. The book is about realizing who the important people in your life really are. It’s easy to be read 🙂

517 pages full of… LIFE.

As soon as I began reading it, I couldn’t put it back… You love it 🙂


I really enjoyed reading it 😉 

10 things to know about Charles Dickens

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Salam dear friends,

Today, I want to talk about one of my favorite writers.

I’m sure that many of you are familiar with his works. I really like his novels. This man knows how to choose  a character, and write a good story. I think a lot of you already know Oliver Twist and David Copperfield 😉

So here are the 10 things I think you need to know about Charles Dickens 🙂

  • He started work aged 12 after his father was imprisoned for debt in the Marshalsea Prison.
  • Dickens started to write as a journalist.
  • The Oxford English Dictionary credits Dickens with introducing 247 new words or new usages into the language.

  • Charles Dickens has appeared on the British £10 note.
  • His first big success was The Pickwick Papers. This was in 1837, the year Victoria became Britain’s Queen.
  • People started saying ‘Merry Christmas’ more after A Christmas Carol was published. They also started sending Christmas cards by post.

Charles Dickens

  • Between 1837 and 1852, Dickens’ wife Catherine gave birth to 10 children.
  • He almost became an actor not a writer… Thank God 😉
  • Dickens had a near-photographic memory of people and events in his childhood, which he used in his writing.
  • Dickens slept facing north, believing it would improve his writing.

That’s it for today.. Talk to you soon Insha’ALLAH 🙂

A clarification

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I decided to give it this title: A clarification... But you have the choice to call it whatever you want.

You can call it:

What we want you to understand 

What Men need to know

Listen first, understand, then talk

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So, let”‘s begin the serious talk:

In the past few days, I saw a lot of videos and read a lot of articles about women. They describe women in a shallow unlikable way, and I, we refuse that 🙂

The makers and the writers are – of course- Men… They made this theory about women, describing them as talkative, useless, and have no work to do. They say that whenever girls meet, They will only discuss fashion, the latest runway shows, what she bought yesterday, the colors she likes to wear, the kind of boy she wants to marry, her favorite -series, actors, movies-, and her feelings ( her fragile unbearable feelings ). She’ll also talk about where she wants to go to on holidays, the clothes she wants to wear on holiday, she’ll ask if her makeup is fine or not. Then, they’ll eventually speak about other girls in a “not so beautiful way”.

This is not new for me cause I know what some boys think about girls. I have friends who think in a similar way and whatever I say, they refuse to change their idea.

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To them, I say: You are 100% wrong. And you have to change it NOW. Why you need to change ?? Do I really have to say why ?? Whatever, I’ll try to explain to all the shallow minds who need this clarification.

When we -WOMEN- meet, we speak about.. fashion, clothes, colors… Yeahhhh, you win, how fun is that, Happy ??? Of course you don’t speak about that kind of subjects, I know ( keep on pretending :/ ) …  Let me be clear:  it’s only 1% of our conversations… 😦  Sorry to say this, but NO, we don’t speak about you; because we have more important things to share 🙂 🙂 🙂 We speak about politics ( yes we do 😉 ). We share our thoughts about the latest issues. We speak about science, and most of us really love science ❤

We also like to speak about books, a lot of books. We share quotes, experiences of life, our daily problems. And because in my opinion, we’re more responsible, serious, and caring; we speak more about what we have to do than what we want to do.

Yeah, we speak about our feelings, you don’t ??? I thought you’re humans… No ??

One more thing, Believe or not: sometimes – a lot of times – when girls meet, There’s silence… We just don’t want to talk… 🙂 😉

I’m not a ” men hater”, I just hate super shallow ideas about women or any group of people… Listen, understand, then talk.

What I just said is not based on a shallow personal opinion, it’s based on what women really are: Smart, Beautiful, caring, charming, and know when to speak and when they WANT to shush 😉

Hope it was enough to make you admit that you need to change, and to really try to change 🙂

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I would like you to share this with a large number of people – with Men-, to like it, comment, and share it 😉 😉 😉

Talk to you soon Insha’ALLAH 😉

A Story to Share…

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Salam dear friends,

A good time ;)

A good time 😉

Today, I’m really happy cause I’m going to share with you a story that I wrote months ago 🙂 🙂 🙂  The story is about… 😉

No No, I’m not going to tell what the story’s about. You’ll have to read it to find out 🙂 😉

Hope you’ll like ❤

 

The Garden of Words

 

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         I have always believed that words are a powerful weapon. They can hurt you, or be your best friend… I have learned this lesson a very long time ago, when I was still learning about the reality of the charm and innocent life of days and decades past. A reality that turned out to be a mistaken one.

 

         I was fourteen, when I found myself alone, completely alone. My parents decided suddenly to move out to another city, and I was surounded by different people, different streets, and no friends. What made my life more sad and difficult is the fact that my parents were happy. Actually, they were very happy that they did not notice how I felt. I lived in a beautiful house, a house that I did not want to live in or remember, a house with so many rooms, or shall I say with too many rooms. We did not use the kitchen on the second floor, half of the rooms were empty, and I hated it. Living in that house was not a choice, it was a thing that I had to bear.

          Near this house, there was a garden, and this garden was where I most belonged. The garden was not like what we would imagine a garden like. It was not like what we would see in movies, or read about in books : rocks were everywhere, some four or five olive trees, and magic was the story behind every single corner .

          When I first went there, I did not want to be there, but somehow I stayed. I stayed not because of the colors nor the trees; I stayed because something deep inside told me to do so. Every summer day of that hot strange summer, I was there. I went there looking for something, but I did not know where to look, how to look, or even what to look for.

           Each word tells a story, and a garden full of words has always been a place where stories begin and end.

       

         One day when I was walking as usual, a woman called me, and I went closer. She was an old woman, with an elegant outfit. What I liked the most about her was her smile, a beautiful smile that makes you believe for an instant that life is good, everything is going to be fine, and you’re going to be happy. She looked at me, and the first thing she said was : Smile, stop being sad. I stared at her for a minute or so, then I walked away withoud saying a word. I walked home, and I thought that I could have said something ; something like « thank you » or «  I ‘ll try ». I could have said anything, but I did not.

          After meeting her that day, I came back every day wishing to see her, talk to her, and maybe apologize.

          A week later, here she was, sitting in the same spot, looking so beautiful and calm. I walked towards her, and she smiled, and before saying anything, she said : « Have you thought of what I said before, have you even tried to do it… you’re still young, forget your silly little problems and smile » after a pause, she added : « look at those people here. Each one of them have a way of thinking of their own, a life, and problems, real problems. But, they still come here smiling, trying to forget, to forgive, and to change, or just to be here. ».

         I did not know what to say, and I don’t think I said a word. It was that kind of moments where you just need to listen. She gave me that look again, the look of comfort, and started telling me about her life. She was a strong woman, who lived and survived despite what happend to her. She married the love of her life, believed in him, and trusted in every word he said. This perfect husband destroyed her life : he lied, cheated on her with her best friend, and made her life a living hell. She told me that when she discovered that her entire life was a lie, she stopped believing. She gave birth to one child, a boy that made – and I quote- her life worth living. At the age of 15, her little boy died, and she became alone, sad, and miserable.

         She came to this garden, the garden of hope, as she described it, for the first time 20 years ago.She was sitting in the same spot, started talking to different people with different  stories. Their stories made her see life as Beauty itself.

 

       After seeing her life through her eyes, I respected her more. I wished deep inside to have the passion she had, the love she represented, and the power she owned.

        « Life is a great teacher, a teacher with different ways of teaching. A teacher that punishes you, smiles back at you, gives you choices, and takes from you privileges » she once told me, when I asked her about her unconditional love to life. She added « life is not about being alive, life is Living ». She looked at me, a look full of words, and gave me an advice that no one could ever forget : « Do you want a friend ? A teacher ? Open a book, and start reading : that is your best friend, and your teacher. You will see life in a whole new way, you’ll change, and feel the charm of the simple goods in life. Read, but don’t forget that there is a life beyond books, live it. Always believe in yourself. You may think you can’t do it, but you will… Always believe in yourself.» After hearing those words, I smiled, and she smiled back.

           Suddenly, I had something to look up to, something to tell people about. Suddenly, I had a person to be a friend with, a place to belong to, and a life to wonder about. In that summer, I learned to live, to love, to forgive and to change. In that summer, I started seeing the beauty around me. Suddenly, I respected how my parents felt, and I was happy for them. More than that, I was happy. Suddenly, I started looking to the sky, and realising the pure beauty of it. I started smelling the aroma of roses. I started hearing the music in every corner.

          The garden of words, a place where you can be the center of your world. A place to share stories. A place to begin a new chapter of your life.

 

The whisper of the trees,

The song of roses,

The talk of strangers,

A garden full of secrets, full of stories, full of words.

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10 of my favorite bookshops

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Salam dear friends,

Looking for different kind of beauty ??

Here are 10 beautiful bookshops that really made me happy, and sad in the same time. Happy because of the beauty of it, and sad because we need more of  that in my country.

This is for the books lovers ( like me 🙂 ), the ones who enter to a bookshop, feel in love with it, and buy lots and lots of books  😉 ❤ 🙂

 

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For all the books lovers 🙂

 

Barter Books, Alnwick

Simple and pretty 🙂

 

 

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I want this..

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Enjoying Venice, and reading books 😉

Cook&Book

Cooking and reading… Who’s with me ???

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Just beautiful 🙂

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It feels like one of Harry Potter book series, love it ❤ 😉

 

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It looks perfect 😉

 

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love it ❤ ❤ ❤ 🙂

 

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Cat, colors, and books.. What else you need ??

 

I think I found my new project 😉

What do you think ???