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Lockdown has been an opportunity to achieve so much. Did you also start out with a list of goals that you wanted to achieve – to change the world in three weeks (when we still thought that might be the extent of our houseboundedness).

I was planning to read every book I’ve bought and haven’t yet read. I haven’t achieved that goal, and we’re on Day 61.

But I have read three books and I’m halfway through another.

I find reading to be such an incredible privilege, don’t you ? I feel sorry for my husband often when I read – I constantly feel compelled to share little snippets of interest with him. And then to insist that he also read the book ! Everything is so much better shared.

Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink and Talking to Strangers were both fascinating. I am ordinarily intrigued by first impressions and gut feel, so Blink appealed immediately. Talking to Strangers was a resounding endorsement of my belief that our default is to trust people. I recommend both books highly (and all of Gladwell’s books, actually).

Susan Cain’s Quiet is a really deep dive into the world of the introvert – and into a world that expects (and often demands) extroversion. I was entirely absorbed. Plenty of facts, though – maybe not ideal for anyone who prefers a lighter read.

Corelli’s Mandolin by Louis de Bernières is a book I am grateful to even own, let alone read. It is fiction set in the factual environment of Greece during World War 2. I doubt whether I’ve ever read a book whose characters are more alive than those in Corelli’s Mandolin. There is only one word of caution – if you don’t LOVE the English language, this book is not for you. It often feels as if the author is playing with the language, making it dance. He uses many words I’ve never heard or seen. I’m often googling new vocabulary. I am immersed in a different world. The only reason I would want to finish this book is so that I can move on to the next one.

Next up : Presence by Amy Cuddy. To feed my fascination with body language.

I am so very grateful to be able to revel in the joy of reading.