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  • Writer's pictureAislinn Shivakumar

Launching The Lists

Updated: Dec 22, 2020

It has been a long week – and I’ve only been out of my quarantine for three days, so I’m just beginning to explore the borders of this beautiful little island. I am also pleased to announce that the bookshop at Soneva Fushi is being officially launched yesterday!

There are many, many things still to get done, and my mind is abuzz with ideas for my new little shop, but the important thing is that the books are out and waiting to find their ideal readers. To celebrate the bookshop’s opening, I’ve picked one book from each of the sections here, to offer a window into the Barefoot Bookshop.


The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa

If you have not read her work, I urge you to and this is an excellent place to start. I discovered her through The Housekeeper and The Professor, and The Memory Police moved to the top of the endless To Be Read List. She has a quiet yet enthralling way of writing that engages without overpowering.

Health and Wellbeing:

The French Art of Letting Go by Fabrice Midal

Holidays are important for people, they emphasise the power of taking a breath, putting aside what needs to be done in the day-to-day life and focusing on one’s self. The French Art of Letting Go is all about doing just that. Taking a breath, giving yourself a break and capturing that feeling of being kinder to yourself – whether on holiday or not – it will help readers to help themselves.


Blowfish’s Oceanopedia by Tom ‘The Blowfish’ Hird

Would you like access to 291 random and extraordinary facts that you didn’t know about the oceans? You should, because the Blowfish’s Oceanopedia is stuffed to the brim with titbits of information that one can pluck out of the air to deliver on a platter to any curious crowd.

History and Memoirs:

A Little History of the World by E H Gombrich

Very much does what it says it does. It gives people a little history of the world! Written in the 1930s for kids, it’s still a fantastic reference book for children and adults alike, and is the ideal title for more astute beach reading because it’s a ‘dip-in-and-out-of’ style book!

Smart Thinking:

Ten Arguments for Deleting Social Media by Jaron Lanier

I admit, this might seem like a strange book to push when I completed my MA in Social Media Communications just a year ago, but it’s not as odd as it sounds. A large part of my course looked into things this book studies. The ever-growing power of Surveillance Culture and the death grip social media has on society today. Looking at the dangerous giant that is Silicon Valley, this book is short, sharp and to the point; the perfect starting point for anyone looking for a digital detox!


Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

A Victorian mechanical mystery about a girl searching for her father and keeping out of the clutches of a mysterious man with silver eyes who lurks in the shadows and haunts her every step. A brilliant Middle Grade book!

Young Adult:

The Rules of Vanishing by Kate Alice Marshall

Alas! We do not yet stock my favourite genre, YA, in the barefoot bookstore here on Soneva, we are waiting for these books to come in on another order. However! The genre is filled with so many amazing works of fiction and non-fiction that it would be a crime to not include it for any potential new and current readers out there! Rules of Vanishing is a ghost story with a mystery at the heart of it, in which a girl follows in the path of her sister who went missing a year ago – down the exact same path. Urban Legends, ghosts, mystery, darkness, romance, thrills, it has it all and I highly recommend.


Overall, my first week has been positive, busy and, of course, book-filled.

On a more ‘Life Behind the Scenes’ note, I have four geckoes now trying to take up residence in my room and I’ve already won a fight with a rogue cockroach. The weather is very warm, and decidedly wet, (the rain we get in the UK has nothing on the rain they get in the Maldives). But once we’re out of monsoon season officially, it’ll be sunny skies from there on out.

Until next time!


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