Today on #ReadersSpeak, it’s my pleasure to introduce to you the lovely Sammy Sahni, author and expressive arts therapy practitioner. You can find her at Social Dragonfly. Sammy is always brimming with fresh ideas and creating new initiatives and is an inspiring woman who is a pleasure know.
On average, how many books do you read in a year?
Do you think it helps to take part in reading challenges and/or to have a reading target for the year?
I prefer a community reading together like my book club and this encourages me to read more with everyone.
Do you take part in reading challenges? Which has been your favourite one so far? or Are you taking part in any reading challenges? Which ones?
No, not really. We choose a book in our book clubs every month to read physically or listen to audiobooks. We choose books and vote for the ones we like and select it as the book club pick.
Tell me something about your reading history. When did you start enjoying reading? How do books help you, etc?
Books have been my sanctuary ever since I have been a kid. The first one I remember reading are Enid Blyton books, when I was as young as 10-12. The local book shop that rented out books and my school library were my favourite haunts.
What is your favourite genre?
Fiction, Biography and currently reading about psychology, mindfulness and Expressive Arts Therapy.
Any favourite author? If so, why?
So many in each genre. Elif Shafak, Yuval Noah Harari, Ayn Rand, Marjane Satrapi. These are some authors whose books have really helped me change my perspective and their writing has really spoken to me. Clarissa Pinkola Estes.
Favourite book? What makes it so?
Forty Rules of Love for the spirituality and Sufism. Sapiens for getting a great insight in anthropology, Fountain head for changing my perception about how I see my life goals and Persepolis for giving me a world view of human atrocities and giving me an understanding of how one can protest with the pen and not a sword . Women who run with the wolves, shaped my life and the career path I have chosen.
Reading quotes. Please share your favourites.
You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.
-Yuval Noah Harari, Sapiens
I hope you will go out and let stories, that is life, happen to you, and that you will work with these stories… water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.
– Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves
Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?
– Elif Shafak
Do you review books?
I sometimes review books on our book club page. We usually have live discussion in our book club where we reflect on the recent books we all read .
Anything else you’d like to share with regard to reading, books etc.
Read physical books, e-books or listen to audiobooks, whichever path you choose should lead you towards a good book. Then,watch your life and mindset change over time.
Something about Books and Conversations
A place of reading, sharing and growth – Books and Conversations is a joint collaboration between Uzma Hyder – writer, teacher, facilitator and me.
Our aim is to help women find their voice and vision. To till the soil with meaning. To reach for the stars with our dreams. We read a book every month and facilitate a discussion both online and offline.
After successfully running the book club through the pandemic, we have now joined hands with Storytel – one of the world’s largest subscribed audiobook and e-book streaming services and offers listening and reading of more than 500,000 titles on a global scale. Their vision, ‘to make the world a more empathetic and creative place with great stories to be shared and enjoyed by anyone, anywhere and anytime’, definitely matched with our ethos and we have branched out to starting an audiobook club for women called “Talking Stories.”