As I Read

I keep making new discoveries as I read and reread. One of those discoveries is that there’s more to reading than well, reading.

It’s a case of learning about self through reading works of others, that is, learning about my interests, attitude and motivation to read certain subjects and genres. I’ll sure write more about this later on, and after the summer reading challenge is over.

Wild Garden

For now, all I can say is I’m still reading and happy with the progress I’ve made thus far. There’s a lot still left to read as I’ve included a few titles to my original list. The challenge is whether or not, I’ll be able to read all the books before end of summer. Nonetheless, I’ll continue to read even after summer, as I always do, albeit at a slower pace.

Wild Garden & My Favourite Reading Spot

Another important note about reading. If you’ve read, commented and entered the Summer Giveaway: for Poetry Lovers, thank you very much for your contribution. I truly appreciate your support.

And, the winner has been announced. If it’s not your name you see at the bottom of that post, do not despair, there will be more giveaways in the future and another chance to win. Stay tuned!


Nothing is as intimate, tactile and beautiful as holding a printed book in my hands. More especially, if the said book was written and put together by yours truly.

Dear Poetry Lovers! The physical chapbook is finally here.

poetry chapbook – print version

And now, in celebration of the upcoming Midsummer / Juhannus, one of the important holidays in Finland, I’m giving away 1 x chapbook copy, Seasons Defined, and 1 x poem broadside, Summer, and as pictured below.

chapbook & broadside

About the broadside: digital art, size 8”x 11”, giclée printed on Hahnemühle’s 310gsm William Turner paper by dStudiouk.

So, giveaway! It’s easy to enter…

You celebrate Midsummer, yes? Tell me, in comments section below, how do you celebrate this remarkable event.

NB. Giveaway is open to anyone, who can legally enter, i.e. if it’s not prohibited by law in your country.

Important details

  • Giveaway ends 30th June & the winner will be announced no later than Fri, July 6th; 10:00 EEST
  • The winner will be chosen at random. Name of the winner will be added to the end of this post as soon as it is drawn.
  • You must be willing to provide your address, if you win. If, I have no way of contacting you, another winner will be drawn

If, you are not/don’t:

  • a subscriber to my blog
  • follow my public posts on Facebook
  • follow me on Instagram

Please add your e-mail address to your comment, so that I can be able to contact you, if you win.

Good luck & Happy Midsummer, in advance!

UPDATE: The winner of Summer Giveaway: for Poetry Lovers is Annika Perry

Congratulations, Annika!

Please contact me at khaya . ronkainen (at) to claim your prize.

REVIEW: A Jihad for Love by Mohamed El Bachiri


Reasons for buying: This book was not on my original summer reading list, but when I saw it, I had to buy it and read. The title, editorial reviews, blurb and author’s bio, all found on both front and back cover pages before even opening the book, prompted an urgent read.

What the author adds to the subject matter? El Bachiri delivers a very important message or plea against violence and extremist terrorism. He adds his voice on the senseless killings, in the name of religion, that rob families and friends of their loved ones. The author captures the acute loss of his wife, who was killed in a suicide bomb attack at a metro station in Brussels. El Bachiri not only adds his views on religion but invites the reader in as he talks about his family, love, marriage and so much more.

Personal reaction: My eyes watered from the intense wave of emotion I felt from the very first pages of this small book. The use of first person point of view makes reading feel more close and personal. It’s like listening to a friend pouring his heart out about his loss and the struggle to go on regardless, and for his children.

I presumed this book to be a poetry collection, not because it was shelved under poetry at the bookstore but because of the layout or how the content is structured. Readers, who like their genres nicely catalogued and perfectly labelled might have difficulty with this one.

Content, visually on the page, is like poetry but reads as prose. I personally appreciate this style of writing. It makes the book easier to read and digest, in small doses, otherwise it would have been a heavy read with its deeply touching narrative.

Recommendation: In all, this plea, conversation, poem, elegy, memoir (yes the book is all of these things) is important. Whatever your views, or lack of, on Islam, you’ll sure take away something of value from the author’s experience.

“Everyone should read, own and love this book…” I totally agree.

The book is available both as ebook and paperback on Amazon.