“The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you.”

William Somerset Maugham

While most writers tend to be avid readers, Bhakti has taken her passion to the next level. A member of a long running book club in Hong Kong, she has recently started sharing book reviews with a wider audience. In these short video clips, Bhakti reviews the latest books, sharing the essence of the stories and what they mean to her.

Books on the Power and Joy of Reading:

'Reading the Seasons' by Germaine Leece and Sonya Tsakalakis
'The Gifts of Reading' by Robert Macfarlane


'Educated' by Tara Westover
'Me' by Elton John
'May Be You Should Talk To Someone' by Lori Gottlieb


'Lincoln Highway' by Amor Towles
'A Gentleman in Moscow' by Amor Towles
'Apples Never Fall' by Liane Moriarty
'Klara and The Sun' by Kazuo Ishiguro
'Anxious People' by Fredrick Backman
'Convenience Store Woman' by Sayaka Murata
'Where The Crawdads Sing' by Delia Owens
'Girl, Woman, Other' by Bernardine Evaristo
'The Promise' by Damon Galgut.

Historical Fiction

'The Last Queen' by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni


'Daring Greatly' by Brené Brown
'Breath' by James Nestor
#ChatterSeries PART 1
#ChatterSeries PART 2
#ChatterSeries PART 3
#LetsTalkAnxiety PART 1
#LetsTalkAnxiety PART 2
#LetsTalkAnxiety PART 3
#Resilience PART 1
#Resilience PART 2
#Resilience PART 3

Click below titles for More Reviews

Long listed for the Booker Prize in 2021.

"A Town Called Solace began in my mind with a little girl standing at the window, watching a man carrying four big boxes, one after another, into the living room of the house next door," Mary Lawson.

Ontario, 1972. Clara’s sister is missing. Rose had a row with their mother, stormed out of the house and simply disappeared. Eight-year-old Clara is grief-stricken and bewildered. Within hours, Liam Kane, newly divorced, newly unemployed, newly arrived in town, gets a visit from the police. What crime has he committed? Elizabeth Orchard is thinking about a crime, too, one that happened 30 years ago.

A Town Called Solace explores the relationships of these three people brought together by fate and mistakes of the past. By turns gripping and darkly funny, it uncovers the layers of grief and remorse and love that connect us, but shows that sometimes a new life is possible.

Long listed for The Booker Prize 2022, the story is set in 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant, faces his busiest season.

At the edge of town is a convent, attached to it a training school and laundry, where young women live and work. There are all kinds of rumours about the girls and the conditions they live in. As he does the rounds supplying timber, Furlong discovers a girl, locked away in the convent's coal house

This sets ablaze a series of events. Furlong feels the past rising up to meet him - and encounters the complicit silences of a people controlled by the Church. An unforgettable story of hope, quiet heroism and hope.

In 1596 William Shakespeare's 11-year old son, Hamnet, died. A few years later, Shakespeare wrote 'Hamlet', giving its tragic hero his son's name (Hamnet and Hamlet were used interchangeably in the parish at the time). Maggie O'Farrell's book 'Hamnet' is a story of a little boy's death, on the surface. In truth it is much more than that.

It is the story of the boy's mother, Agnes, who in the small town and its surroundings is a celebrity - a free spirited, gifted healer, regarded with awe and circumspection. It is the story of a family, their everyday domestic life, a lens into their home, the kinship between the boy and his sister, a love story, the strains of a marriage and the sinister shadow of an abusive father.

The story draws you into another world... it takes you to the smells of a glover's workshop, the acrid sweetness of caramelising apple, small bubbles of sound, the sound of herbs simmering in an earthen pot.

Most of all it is a tender story of love, of loss and of the hope that even the greatest grief, the most damaged marriage and the most shattered heart might find some solace.

"Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance." Epicurus Daniel Klein was in his seventies when his dentist told him he'd need tooth implants if he wanted to avoid wearing old-fashioned and old-looking denture plates. But instead of going under the drill, he headed to Greece to see if one of his favourite philosophers, Epicurus (341-270 BC), could teach him something about the pleasures available only later in life. A travel book, a witty and deep meditation and a guide to living well! Being fully aware and wondering how best to spend our time are useful practices at any age, and this warm, thought-provoking book is a terrific introduction to thinking about life philosophically.

Have you ever felt a lightness of being after sharing something that was bothering you with a friend or your partner? A sense of being heard, held, and comforted? A feeling that you were a bit wiser, a bit more grateful? A shift in perspective with a better understanding of life? A sense of quietness and calm. That is how I felt when I read 'The Midnight Library' by Matt Haig. I could not put this book down. I ignored my husband, my boys and my dogs for a day!

The story follows Nora Seed, who feels hopeless. Her cat is dead, her brother and friends don’t seem to care about her, and she has been fired. Late one evening, she tries to kill herself. But instead of death, Nora finds herself in a library, where each book represents a different version of her life. The possibilities are limitless. There is a book on Nora the rock star, in another story she is an Olympian, in another a scientist and in yet another a mother and a wife. All she has to do is to open a book and she steps into that life. If she is happy, she can stay; if she is unhappy, she will return to the library.

In traveling to different versions of what could have been her life Nora begins to ask the question - how can I best embrace life?

As her regrets dissipate one by one, she discovers that the 'best way to understand life is to live it' with the learning that 'the prison isn’t the place, but the perspective.'

'It is not the lives we regret not living that are the real problem. It is the regret itself. It’s the regret that makes us shrivel and wither and feel like our own and other people’s worst enemy.' Regret is a waste of time, we hear it constantly. But it’s easier to understand it when you recognize that all those other outcomes would have come with their own problems. That’s what Haig has so beautifully demonstrated. And Nora realises that the only thing we truly need to change is the one thing we have complete control over: our outlook.

A celebration of the ordinary: ordinary revelations, ordinary people, and the infinity of worlds seeded in ordinary choices.

Alice Raikes boards a train at King's Cross to visit her sisters in Edinburgh. Hours later, she steps into the traffic on a busy London road and is taken to a hospital in comma. What did Alice see in Edinburgh that had such a devastating effect on her? Was the accident a suicide attempt?

Sliding between different levels of consciousness, between life and death, as she lies on a hospital bed, Alice listens to the conversations around her and begins sifting through her memories. Alice's emotionally difficult childhood, moving through adult life to a romance that feels like a homecoming. And the lingering undercurrent, a mystery, culminating in the final pages with a revelation....about family, loss and what it means to love.

What do you look for, when you pick up a memoir? I look for honesty, vulnerability and soul. Tell me who you are. Tell me what has kept you up at nights. Tell me about your pain, your shame and your frailties. Show me the real you. Bare your soul to me.

That is exactly what Kabir Bedi has done in his memoir 'Stories I Must Tell.' From his relationships, his spiritual lineage, his career as an actor spanning across Bollywood, Hollywood and Europe, his family and his scars.

A deeply thoughtful memoir from a man not afraid to show himself. A compelling read.

Longing for friendship and a sense of community?

Yoko Ogawa tells an intimate story about family, the nature of memory, and the poetry of mathematics. He is a brilliant math professor with a peculiar problem, ever since a traumatic head injury, he has lived with only eight minutes of short-term memory (his brain is like a tape that begins to erase itself every eight minutes). She is an astute Housekeeper, with a ten-year-old son who is hired to care for him.

And every morning as the Professor and the Housekeeper are introduced to each other anew, a strange and beautiful relationship blossoms between them. Though he can't hold memories for long, the Professor's mind is still alive with elegant equations from the past. And the numbers in their articulate order, reveal a sheltering and poetic world to both the Housekeeper and her young son. It is also a story about the simple experience of getting to know someone, but with a do you form a relationship with a person who cannot remember? Ogawa seems to ask whether our immediate experiences are more important than our memories, since memories eventually fade, and the Professor's condition of limited short-term memory allows the author to explore this question. An enchanting read about what it means to live in the present and the curious equations that can create a family.

How often have you thought, "It's only me, what difference can I possibly make?" I know I have. Till I read 'The Man Who Planted Trees' by Jean Giono.

It tells the story of a shepherd who plants one hundred acorns a day for thirty years, His tireless efforts transform the countryside, revitalize his community and teach us about hope, humanity and our own ability to create change in the world. Based on a true story of a pastor during World War 1.

A book of hope and to realize the personal power each of us wield.