Books I left mid-way in 2020 because….commitment issues

Well hello again! 5 days into January and this is my second post already!! EEEEEPP. If you’re landing on my blog for the first time, you will know why I am so excited about this if you read my last post but if you have been reading me, well yes, I AM TRYING YOU SEE!

Anyway, owing to my inconsistent reading habits and my endless fluctuating moods, I tend to start a dozen books on a whim, abandon the minute I find another dazzling book cover or a booktuber raving about a book and then once again jump back and forth from one book to another until I realize it’s a very toxic relationship with my books and give up on reading altogether *sighs* ( I do read two books at a time generally, but starting 5 books altogether and then abandoning them all is just…..too all over the place!!)

Continue reading “Books I left mid-way in 2020 because….commitment issues”

Why I’m Not Making a 2021 TBR

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my blog where I have lots of exciting content prepared for this month – and year! I am hyped and I really want 2021 to change for the better (hopefully!)

However, as everyone is uploading their 2021 TBR’s and 2020 wrap-ups, I realized I haven’t made a 2021 TBR. But then I had a greater realization: I didn’t make it because I don’t want to!

Truth be told, I never stick to a TBR. I did not even meet my Goodreads Goal this year because I have realized when I am expected to do a certain thing, I find it really difficult to do so. Reading is something that I love. I read to make myself feel better, I read to put myself into a good mood, I read to escape from the world’s dreariness.

So a person who constantly finds answers and relief through books, restricting myself to pre-decided books mean I feel trapped to read the books I’ve already decided. So say if I’m having anxiety about whatsoever reason, I would like to resort to reading a few pages from The Bell Jar or something Murakami-like to relate to, not a fantasy or a literary fiction that I cannot relate to.

No Room For Mood Reading

Secondly, planning a fixed TBR of books leaves me no space for extra exploration. There are a lot of times when I see someone’s blog post on a particular book and I want to read the book ASAP but because I’ve already planned a TBR, I feel guilty deviating from it. And in cases where I do deviate from it, and go ahead with spontaneous reading, I am not able to keep up with my TBR which leaves me feeling like a failure.

The Increasing Pressure To Complete A Reading Goal

Thirdly, and this goes without saying I AM A REALLY SLOW READERRRRR. And though I understand and it’s great (also super inspirational) that people can read 200 books a year, I just cantttt.

And when I see everyone’s wraps up and reading goals, I get so pressurised to achieve something similiar that I tend to start 3,4,5 books altogether – unable to compete even 1 of them. Which eventually leads me into a……

A Reading Slump!

Don’t get me wrong, I love planning. And I love making a TBR. But I would rather just make a TBR for life, then a monthly TBR in which I have to fill limited number of books (if only humans had the power to read everything all at once!)

Looking at my increasing and increasing TBR pile makes me feel overwhelmed by the list that I have created which leads me directly into a Reading slump. I want to read because I love it, not because I have to complete a TBR or work towards a goal. Reading is the last thing I want to capitalize on, ffs.

Also I often battle with the question: Will DNF books count towards my reading goal?

Because often times, I start reading a book but then quickly abandon it if it seems monotonous, wordy or doesn’t have engaging characters. Currently, I have around 8 books that I’ve just stopped mid-way (no im not dnfing them but i’ve just left them midway for i don’t even know what reason!)

Anyway, so yeah I am not planning a TBR this year. Goodreads Challenge? Umm I don’t know about that either. I just want to take it easy, read to ease myself instead of being in a constant race and pressure to complete a goal.

With that said, those who do make a goal and plans TBRs, all power to you! You all are a constant inspiration, honestly. I think at the end of the day, it all boils down to what really works for you. If TBRs work for you, awesome! If they don’t, that’s fine too. There is not set rule of reading and working as long as you’re enjoying what you’re doing.

With this said, I’ll take my leave.

How many of your have TBR’s planned and how many of you are a mood reader? Also, leave your Goodreads Account below! I want to connect with new readers x

Stay Safe and Happy Reading!

My last post of 2020, making a revival for 2021 and the bloggers who make my heart go warm!

Hello! Oh God it’s been ages since I wrote a post here. In my last post, i promised to be more active on the reading community, however, life got in the way and I couldn’t do it. I thought maybe posting on Bookstagram AND my blog here would be easy, but it really isn’t.

I have realized I can only post consistently on one platform at a time.

While I tried my very best to post on Bookstagram regularly ( I did!), I unfortunately couldn’t do it here. However, Bookstagram experience has been amazing! I met so many wonderful people, connected with them, met so many local book-lovers too that i never knew were out there. I would also like to think that I significantly did better as far as photography and aesthetics were concerned haha.

I mean look for yourself:

Continue reading “My last post of 2020, making a revival for 2021 and the bloggers who make my heart go warm!”

Back after two months: July + August Wrap-up & a new job!!!

Well, hello there everyone!

Please don’t hate me. I know I keep going MIA and then return after 2-3 months break but legit these past few months have been ultra-busy! On the upside, I have been reading a lot and posting a lot on my Instagram toooo….so technically I haven’t been MIA? (Follow my progress on Instagram, if you haven’t been already)

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• Graduation Blues • I had envisioned my convocation happening a million different ways. My mom coming to my university, all of my friends throwing our caps high into the air with Cheshire grins on our faces, me juggling to take pictures with the multiple groups of friends that I had come to know as my family in the past 4 years….and yet who knew the convocation would never happen; that I would never be with my friends, and that I wouldn’t even get a proper closure to say goodbye to my university campus and friends? And yet, my graduation still happened. I still graduated. My mother still feels proud than ever. Nothing could change the fact that I finally graduated with an English Literature degree after going through a good 3-4 waves of existential “major” crisis when I was still trying to figure out where my life was headed. Regardless of the present circumstances, I still managed to give it my very best and I did it. I DID IT. .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Looking back, it’s the experiences and the journey that really matters. I’ve had various experiences – good and bad – which gave me the opportunity to discover myself along the way. As cliche as it may sound, I literally found out SO MUCH about myself. The university experience, as much as it’s about academic education, is also so much more than that. I became friends with people I never thought I would. I experimented with things I never thought I had the courage to do. I travelled to places and came back with a new-found appreciation of nature and culture. I made some amazing life-long friends who I could always lean on. But amidst all of these thought-provoking questions, understanding, criticisms and realisations – for the first time, I feel really proud of myself and how far I’ve come. I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with a passion and an open heart, I usually make the right decision. • For all those who graduated in 2020, let’s take a moment to appreciate how far we’ve all come. Juggling with graduation blues, a global pandemic, an economic downfall….THATS ONE HELL OF A STORY TO TELL OUR KIDS! Here’s to the class of 2020! 🎓

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OH AND I ALSO GRADUATED, MY BLOG FAM!

Recently, I’ve started working as a content writer where I get to write all day, everyday. And yeah, it may seem like a dream-job, but its not the kind of writing ya’ll think it is haha. It’s a variety of different styles of writing, all very different topics. Which btw, is teaching me a lot though so I think that’s great. I would hate to do a job thats monotonous as hell and gives me nothing to learn (shade @ all those finance peeps). So all in all, that’s great I guess.

I have also CONTINUED TO READ DESPITE MY BUSY ROUTINE WHICH MAKES ME SO HAPPY!! And not only have I read, I’ve read GOOD. Guys, I think I have found a 2020 favourite book!!!! It’s P H E N O M E N A L. And its…APARTMENT BY TEDDY WAYNE, ya’ll.

There. I really couldn’t keep it in.

Before I entirely lose track and go on gushing about just one book, I’ll walk you through stuff that I read.

Brunelleschi’s Dome

Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture by  Ross King

Yeah guys, remember when I talked about 6 non-fiction books to read for the last 6 months of 2020??? So well, I am done with 1 book already and it was GREAT. I think it felt more great because for once, I was actually able to accomplish what I said and make an effort to read non-fiction lol.

And you know, it felt nice. It felt nice getting out of my usual reading comfort-zone and reading something different for a change.

The book packs a punch with so much of architecture and history lessons!! And all these lessons are very cleverly narrated through the story of two super-skilled and talented men from very different backgrounds who are competing against each other in a competition to make one of the largest, most exquisite domes ever. I love how the story of rivalry between the two men is narrated. It’s like reading two vvv different accounts of the same thing, and its hilarious!

Lorenzo asserts, with no trace of modesty, that he won the victor’s palm “without a single dissenting voice,” whereas in his Life of Brunelleschi, written in the 1480s, Manetti relates a more complicated tale in which the judges, unable to decide between the two pieces, reached a compromise and awarded the commission jointly to both men, who were henceforth to work in collaboration”

It was also fascinating to read about the life in the Middle Ages, the impact of the plague, war-fare of the city states, treatment of women and slaves (although very subtle, there is still a commentary present). Like this, about the arrival of the plague (reading it during quarantine was a WHOLE different feel lol):

The Black Death was a faithful visitor to Florence. It arrived, on average, once every ten years, always in the summer….Various remedies were tried to drive it away. Church bells were violently rung, firearms discharged into the air, and the portrait of the Virgin from the church at nearby Impruneta—an image with miraculous powers that was said to have been painted by Saint Luke—borne in procession through the streets. Those rich enough escaped into the country. Those who stayed behind burned wormwood, juniper and lavender in their hearths. Ox horns and lumps of sulfur were also burned, because stenches were considered equally effective in clearing the air. So intense were these fumigations that sparrows would fall dead from the rooftops.

All in all, it’s a good, informative read. (Though you might just need to skim through a few pages if all that masony jargon gets too much for you!)

But it will definitely leave you with a deeeeep longing to go visit Florence, and ogle at this beautiful structure…. orrr if you’re anything like me, you’ll end up searching art, history and architecture post-grad courses in Europe (or not).

Out Of Love by Hazel Hayes

Amazon.com: Out of Love eBook: Hayes, Hazel: Kindle Store

So I went into this book totally not knowing anything what it is about. Not even the synopsis. So I had absolutely NO idea what this was about. And I usually…almost never..do that.

But this was a wonderful experience! It’s a live story told in reverse, and we know from the first chapter that the couple has already broken up. So the events of the book lead up to the journey of their relationship and how they first met. At first I was like, well that’s stupid, they already broke up so why do I care!?

But omg DONT GET BETRAYED BY THE SYNOPSIS. It’s not a love story at allllll. Infact it’s wierd that’s it’s marketed that way! It is a story of self-discovery, about healing, about therapy, about how childhood trauma can seep into your life in the most subtle ways and you don’t even know it!! It’s like reading a non-fiction therapy book, but in a fiction form and I LOVED IT IMMENSELY!!

Its like a Bildungsroman of relationships, really, and such a deep insight on characters Ufh! Ya’ll know how much of a sucker I am for deep characterization and Hazel Hayes nailed it with this one!

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath - 9780571355068 - Allen & Unwin - Australia

YA GUYS I FINALLY READ THIS MUCH AWAITED PIECE OF LITERARY BEAUTY!!!!!!!

Come to think of it, all books I have read are heavily relying on characters’ inner dilemmas about their surroundings, their relationships with others and the uneasiness they feel about themselves. At this point, I will not say how that affects me or why I love reading about that, but I do know it makes a lot of sense. Once again, i have annotated the hell out of this book and as i write this, I am thinking to myself does this book require a separate review post as well? hmmmmmmmm (stay tuned to find out!!)

Apartment by Teddy Wayne

Apartment by Teddy Wayne

Jesus what do I say about this book except that a book featuring English literature MFA students throwing back literary critiques at each other, fighting political and economic differences in the society and subtly commenting on society’s standards of masculinity HAS GOT TO BE ONE HELL OF AN AMAZING BOOK! This book is so awesome that it deserves a whole other separate post where I talk about my likes in list form and share my annotations and comments while I was reading the book (If this sounds great and organised, wait till I tell you guys I have lots of planned upcoming book review posts!!! Please engage with me, I promise I won’t go MIA for this long for the rest of 2020)

I THINK THIS BOOK MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE REASON FOR MY COMEBACK AND OUT OF A BLOG-PLUS-READING SLUMP.

Before The Coffee Gets Too Cold

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• BOOK REVIEW • Hello! Here I am with a much awaited review for this. Despite my bookstagram raving about this, I must say it was a disappointment. (Sorry ya’ll!) x The premise is great, the concept is very original and the teeny tiny facts about different ways of brewing coffee all make for a very “different” read. But if a book’s narrative structure is weak, simple and repetitive, it instantly boils down to a 2-stars for me. The writing drags in places, making the book read longer than it seems. In my opinion, it could easily have been a 200-page book. I literally found myself skimming so many pages, because the 6 goddamn rules of time travel just kept on repeating for every story like ffs we get it stoppp✋🏼 x Despite the book being 350 pages, the characters also seemed very distant and apart. Time-travel is a theme that could be executed phenomenally to explore the depths of characters. Unfortunately, (and i think) due to each individual’s story being only around 50 pages, there was a certain lack of emotion in each character. The dialogues and the situation of characters just felt forced in order to evoke the whole “oooo come sit in this cafe to time travel and see what you could have done differently in the past”. That’s it. That’s literally the entire book. 4 different stories, one character from each time travelling to the past, and two of the stories’ characters somehow coming together in the end to make sense of the present. Magical realism, eh? x If you still love coffee and would like to get exciting fun facts, sure give this a try! x x x x x x #beforethecoffeegetscold #nationalbookloverday #murakamibookclub #japaneseliterature #wordpressblogger #mybookfeatures #writingcommunity #bookreview #readersofinstagram #epicreads #readersbay

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I posted the review on my Instagram ^ as ya’ll can see. Not one of my very preferred reads :/ despite popular opinions but then we all know, I do not bode well with popular opinions…

So that’s all for my reads. I’ve been super active on Goodreads and Instagram, so do give me a follow there! Would mean a lot x

QOTP: What have you been reading this month? Do you see any book that you read/loved/disliked???

6 Non-Fiction books for the remaining 6 months of 2020

So half of this year has been spent inside locked up in our houses, with tonnes of time available for reading. Even though I got plenty of fiction to read, however my mind keeps going back to the various events happening around the world and I feel like this is a time, more than ever, to indulge myself in non-fiction and read about the world and politics and educate myself on topics I am not confident about. 

Continue reading “6 Non-Fiction books for the remaining 6 months of 2020”

Dealing with grief + some things you shouldn’t say to a grieving person

Hi friends!

This isn’t going to be a usual bookish post. This is just something I wanted to write and share that I had experienced over the past few days. I lost my grandfather 4 days ago, at the age of 93, to a cardiac arrest. It’s been the worst 4 days of my life, going through a roller coaster of emotions – regret, guilt, denial, anger, anxiety, sadness. I don’t even know what these emotions mean and if this is how you’re supposed to be sad or grieve over a loved one? I don’t even know if I feel completely okay right now, as I write this post?

Continue reading “Dealing with grief + some things you shouldn’t say to a grieving person”

Book Review: The Virgin Suicides

Hello my friends,

So I’m finally here to talk about my long overdue review of The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. Without wasting any time, i’ll dive right into it. This is also going to be my first review post following the format of “likes and dislikes of a book” (I’ve talked about the way I write my reviews in the ABOUT section of the blog)

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Diverse Books to read for #BlackLivesMatter (make a change through reading!)

Hi everyone!

I am a Muslim girl from Pakistan and I have never set foot outside of Pakistan. Yet, my heart aches for what happened to Breonna, to Ahmoud and to George Floyd. I don’t have to be black to understand their pain, just like you don’t have to be a Muslim to understand the pain of women protesters who’s scarves are being ripped off. We all have be human enough to understand and empathize with the cruelty happening around us.

Continue reading “Diverse Books to read for #BlackLivesMatter (make a change through reading!)”

Books I’ll Probably Never Read Tag

I saw this book-tag and I was like “oh that’s me 97.9999% of the time because I have like a 1000 books TBR list but I also know that I’m only ever going to read 50 of them, but hey let’s keep buying and hoarding books, shall we? Hence, is there any other reason for me to NOT do this tag??!!

[Including the fact that I haven’t done a tag in ages]

Hop over to Mandy’s blog post to check her blog and post (Hi Mandy!!!)

Books I read (4)

Continue reading “Books I’ll Probably Never Read Tag”

I have finally jumped on the Daisy Jones bandwagon

 

“Seventies rock is a fun space to tell a story in, but it is dominated by white males. There are women in this story finding their way through that space. These aren’t women that are fighting with each other. These are women who are very different from one another but are supporting each other to be whoever they want to be.”

-Taylor Jenkins Reid

 

Continue reading “I have finally jumped on the Daisy Jones bandwagon”