Book Sale Haul + Lion King Review

Hi Readers!

I am a bit lazy to type out separate posts for a haul and a movie review and also because these two incidents happened on the same day back-to-back, it kinda feels continuous and flows when I talk about them in the same post. Lol.

ANYWAY.

I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the Big Bad Wolf Sale but apparently it’s a travelling book-sale that travels around the world (considering it has literally about a million books, I don’t know how the travelling happens) but IT IS AWESOME. There are stalls of all genres possible; from science fiction, thrillers and romance to young adult, classics and non-fiction, the variety is endless. I already bought 11 books from the sale when I was in Lahore (a city in Pakistan where my University is) and now that I’m in Karachi where I live, the Big Bad Sale is here haha!

Following are the books I bought:

Image result for the tea girl of hummingbird lane pdf

Synopsis:

In their remote mountain village, Li-yan and her family align their lives around the seasons and the farming of tea. For the Akha people, ensconced in ritual and routine, life goes on as it has for generations—until a stranger appears at the village gate in a jeep, the first automobile any of the villagers has ever seen.

The stranger’s arrival marks the first entrance of the modern world in the lives of the Akha people. Slowly, Li-yan, one of the few educated girls on her mountain, begins to reject the customs that shaped her early life. When she has a baby out of wedlock—conceived with a man her parents consider a poor choice—she rejects the tradition that would compel her to give the child over to be killed, and instead leaves her, wrapped in a blanket with a tea cake tucked in its folds, near an orphanage in a nearby city.
As Li-yan comes into herself, leaving her insular village for an education, a business, and city life, her daughter, Haley, is raised in California by loving adoptive parents. Despite her privileged childhood, Haley wonders about her origins. Across the ocean Li-yan longs for her lost daughter. Over the course of years, each searches for meaning in the study of Pu’er, the tea that has shaped their family’s destiny for centuries.

A powerful story about circumstances, culture, and distance, The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane paints an unforgettable portrait of a little known region and its people and celebrates the bond of family.

 

Image result for the versions of us book Synopsis:

Eva and Jim are nineteen and students at Cambridge when their paths first cross in 1958. And then there is David, Eva’s then-lover, an ambitious actor who loves Eva deeply. The Versions of Us follows the three different courses their lives could take following this first meeting. Lives filled with love, betrayal, ambition but through it all is a deep connection that endures whatever fate might throw at them.

The Versions of Us explores the idea that there are moments when our lives might have turned out differently, the tiny factors or decisions that could determine our fate, and the precarious nature of the foundations upon which we build our lives. It is also a story about the nature of love and how it grows, changes and evolves as we go through the vagaries of life.

 

Image result for the art of x-ray reading roy peter clark

So this is quite new for me, since it is a first non-fiction book that I purchased in a hard-copy form. I have read only two nonfiction books in my life (Bad Feminist and Subtle Art) and both of them were on my kindle.

I’m really not big on non-fiction at all, but this book had me at “great works of literature that improves your writing”. I just randomly opened the book at “X-raying Sylvia Plath’s writing: jolt of insight” and within 2 pages it had me completely and utterly engrossed in the text. Clarke does a fine job of analysing literary techniques and I really enjoyed it. It has material from Gatsby, Lolita, Virgil, Toni Morrison, Flannery O Connor etc.

I am really looking forward to reading the book!

 

Now onto the second part of my post; Review of Lion King!

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These vacations I have literally spent my money going to theatre with an audience of 10-12 year olds. From Aladdin and Toy Story to Lion King now, I loveeee watching animated movies. I loved Aladdin so much that I’m ready to watch it another time, so naturally I was super excited for Lion King as well.

It isn’t a bad movie by any means, but I feel like Aladdin was superbly done and in comparison to that, Lion King lacked at a lot of places. For starters, the animated, original version was really nerve-wracking, tugging your heart at various emotional scenes, no matter your age. But because the ‘live-action’ remake seemed so much more like animals taken out of national geographic; a lot of the actions, expressions and instances that were present in the animated version were absent from here, thus making the movie less enjoyable as I seem to remember it. The death of Mufasa is my favourite-gut-wrenching-heart-toying scene in the entire movie and if there is one movie scene that has to be given an Oscar out of all the Disney animated movies, this has to be the one! It highlights the peak of the father-son relationship between Mufasa and the cub, Simba. However, since the animated teary-faced Simba brought tears to my eyes, the realistic Simba failed to even move me or make me feel anything, emotionally.

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One thing I did like however was that the female roles were expanded on. There was considerable part of Nala and Sirabi (Simba’s mother) highlighting their characters throughout. Like in the animated version, Nala and Sirabi only served as picturesque ‘queens’. Also, Timon and Pumba scenes were iconic! They added light humour to the whole movie and I loved it!

Overall, it will be a 3/5 rating for me. Nothing can top off Aladdin!

 

Have you guys seen Lion King? What did you guys feel about it?

Tell me about your recent book hauls and movies watched!

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Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 6th May 2014

Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2015, Goodreads Choice Awards (historical fiction) 2014, Audie Award for Fiction 2015

Image result for all the light we cannot see

I would like to start off this review by giving this book 5 big stars.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Amazing book! The plot, writing style, characters, the pacing…f*cking awesome.

Image result for all the light we cannot see Plot:

The plot revolves around the events leading upto the World War II. There are two parallel stories taking place at the same time. One in Nazi Germany and the other in Paris, France. Therefore, it is told in alternate POV’s by Werner Pfenning and Marie-Laure respectively.

Werner is a German orphan boy who lives at the orphanage with his younger sister, Jutta. His story starts from the age of 8. His curiosity about how things work, his ability to ask questions and his fearless attitude to try new things wins him a place in the Hitler-Youth Academy. The story shows how he finds a broken radio and then somehow while figuring out how to fix it starts listening to a science broadcast from France. His love for radios, fixing things and science and technology inadvertently shows how deep the connection between technology and the war really was.

Marie-Laure is a daughter of a locksmith of the French National Museum, who lost her sight at the age of six. Her father makes miniature models of the cities she lives in so that she could be better acquainted with the houses and streets. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and the father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel, The Sea of Flames.

The story is told in parts, beginning from 1934-1945, both pre-war and post-war.

The lives of Werner and Marie-Laure intersect in the most surprising and wondrous of ways. Values of love, friendship, compassion and mercy are put to test, showing how war can change people and can sometimes even bring out the good in them.

What I liked especially about this book was, that despite being a historical fiction, it wasn’t targeting only one civilization. We saw bad side of the Germans, but on the other hand, the brutality of the French towards the Germans was also shown. The tyranny and brutality in this book, however, is put into such imaginative, dreamy words that I literally read those lines twice, just to savour the feel of them.

Writing Style:

I am not surprised he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015. Hell, if he hadn’t won it, I would have died. Seriously. The prose of this book is a work of genius. It has beautiful imagery, employed by metaphors and many scientific references. However, it has some dense literary feels at times due to which one needs a lot of concentration to really get the hang of the book in the beginning. But the way Doerr describes how Marie-Laure sees the world, or how Werner really feels when he realizes the horrors of what the Germans were really doing, or how Frederick acts when he’s disabled is just remarkable and….haunting! It’s haunting because it shows how war tore apart innocent souls of children. Doerr uses really strong phrases which makes you stop and think what he just wrote. Atleast for me, the scenes of the destruction of Saint-Malo, the cease-fire, Marie-Laure hiding in the cupboard came so vividly to me that I had to stop and write those lines down to share with you guys.But that would make this review waaayyyyy too long and half of you wouldn’t even read till the end lol.

Favourite Scene: How Werner and Marie-Laure meet. Although this came waayyyyyy too late in the book, the only incentive which kept me going to read the book, it was such a heart-felt moment. Especially from Marie’s POV because since she was blind, her feelings and sensations were very fervently done.

Do I need to talk about the characters individually?? There’s Marie-Laure and Werner and both of them are really smart and witty. As for the brave part, it goes for every character in a way. Jutta, Werner’s younger sister, Frederick, Werner’s bunk-mate,Volkheimer (The Giant) who is one of the older students at Schulpforta each display a moment of gallantry which leaves you in awe for each one of them.

Overall, I loved this book. I love historical fiction generally, because I feel like it gives you something to learn about. You cannot just read a historical fiction novel and take away nothing from it. Although, it still doesn’t top The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, nevertheless this is one book, I’ll recommend to everyone.

Until next time, guys! 

 

 

New Years’ Book Haul!

A little too late for a New Years’ book haul, no? But better late than never! You have no idea just how long it took m to write this post. I have been stuck between wanting to  blog and watching stranger things my entire vacations. DUDE SEASON 2 IS EPICCC. Go watch it right nooowwwww!!! Will is so adorable! Also, should I watch Dark or The end of the Fucking World next???

Moving on, I got some exciting reads this new years. Most of them are kindle editions though. I wouldn’t have had a problem with that if it hadn’t been for thse gorgeus covers for some books bec I would really love to own phsyucal ediitons of those.

So keeping this post short, my reads are:

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction   Image result for bedlam stacks

   Genre: FictionImage result for crazy rich asians book

Genre: Short Story Collection
Image result for men without women haruki murakami

 

Genre: Fiction, Romance, Psychological Fiction, Contemporary Romance (oh wow thats a lot!)

And that appealing title and cover!!!

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 Genre: Historical FictionImage result for the miniaturist

Genre: Thriller, Suspense (seriously? It sounded so historical!) Image result for the library of shadows

Genre: Bildungsroman, Fantasy Fiction 18166936

What the hell is Bildungsroman? Is it a spelling mistake?? Is it supposed to be romance but then what is bildungs…? Let me Google.

Oh shit, it is actually a legit word! In literary criticism, a Bildungsroman is a literary genre that focuses on the psychological and moral growth of the protagonist from youth to adulthood, in which character change is extremely important.

Oooooh righttt. Well, I’ve heard quite a lot about this one and this whole bildungsromance thing sounds pretty rad, tbh.

 

Have you guys read any of these books? If yes, let me know what you think! 

P.S Also please suggest books/movies which have characters who are book-lovers or love reading etc. (Already know about Gilmore Girls so leave that out).

 

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Bookish Thought#3: Genres I love reading.

Hi guysss! Wassup wassup.

I’ve been damn busy, juggling studies, theatre, netball training and blogging! There’s only so much I could do man.

I’ve honestly been fishing crazily for blog posts to do. I’ve done enough tags and monthly hauls. For doing book reviews, I WILL HAVE TO ACTUALLY READ BOOKS WHICH I HAVEN’T BEEN DOING LATELY. No, it’s not a slump. I’m dying to read but the most I can manage is like 3 pages a day and that also when I’m in my very boring Econ class. So like, well yeah..

Moving on…

As the title suggests, I will be discussing my favourite genres to read and will be giving some recommendations along with it too.

1. Fantasy/Dystopian:

Fantasy is a genre of fiction set in a fictional universe, often (but not always) without any locations, events, or people referencing the real world. Most fantasy uses magic or other supernatural elements as a main plot element, theme, or setting. Magic and mythical creatures are common in many of these worlds.

Why I like it? I’ve only been recently found that I’m actually very much interested in fantasy. Maybe I’m just tired of reading so much of YA contemporary? I don’t know but I’m really enjoying fantasy reads! I find myself escaping the realities of the world and just lost in the wonderful adventures of the fictional worlds! Some best examples will be: Narnia, The Night Circus, Caraval, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

    Image result for heartless marissa meyer

Now one sub-category which comes under Fantasy is Dystopian. I LOVE DYSTOPIAN NOVELS. It’s basically a futuristic, imagined universe which shows oppressive societal control. The illusion of a perfect society are maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control. Dystopias, through an exaggerated worst-case scenario, make a criticism about a current trend, societal norm, or political system. It’s something which is very different from the worlds we live in.

Why I love it? because it gives me an idea of just how many possibilities there are! You know like world could be so much worse or if I was in a so-and-so situation, what would I have done! It’s very interesting to see how characters react and everything.

Examples:

I’m going to be listing A LOT of Dystopian reads because I love this genre and many of these here are also on my TBR!

                                                          Image result for the program book     Image result for the selection  Image result for matched series

2. Historical Fiction

This is a genre, which, as the name suggests, takes place in the past. It depicts the workings of older class societies, mannerisms, and people. Mostly historical fiction tells war-time stories and truth be told, World War kind stories are my ABSOLUTE FAV!

Why I like it? People wouldn’t normally prefer to read history books and go over the Tudor or the Scottish Kingdom histories. But these books not only provide the entire history, but they also add elements of glamour, sex, intrigue which makes history so much more interesting to read! The characters are the ones which ACTUALLY have existed before! And I just can’t stop wondering what those people might have endured in certain situations. You can read about throne accessions, battles, world war, life of a peasant or a life of a soldier and you learn so much more!! I mean apart from the lush, lavish Victorian lifestyles to being imprisoned in a war…I pretty much enjoy all Historical Fictions!

Image result for kingmaker's daughter   Image result for outlander books   Image result for sisters of treason

Image result for historical fiction novels   Image result for historical fiction novels   Image result for historical fiction novels  Image result for historical fiction novels  Image result for lincoln in the bardo    Image result for the book thief   Image result for world war novels  Image result for between shades of gray

 

3. Mystery/Thrillers:

Mystery books are ones in which there is usually a crime to be solved. The emphasis is on the element of puzzle, suspense, intrigue and lots of drama. If a mystery book is well-written, it is bound to keep you on edge THE ENTIRE TIME. One of my favourite authors for mystery is Sidney Sheldon. His books are the perfect definition for mystery and thrillers.

Why I like it? I like them because they give me a way to solve the mystery along the way too! I just love commenting and guessing what’s gonna happen next, and everytime I’m proved wrong I just love it! The unpredictability that comes with reading thrillers and mysteries is pure awesome. When I feel like the books are becoming too monotonous, I go onto watching detective shows, one of my favourite being White Collar! If you haven’t already watched that show, you just have shit taste in tv shows then what are you really doing with your life???  Because 1. The show has Matt Bomer who is like the God of handsomeness and 2. The sense of humour and wit is frickin’ great! AND THAT SMILE IS FUCKING MADDENING! If I don’t stop right here, this itself is going to turn into a love-post for Matt Bomer which I obviously wouldn’t mind, but you guys aren’t here for that, right?

Image result for The Forgotten Girl  i let u go  Image result for sidney sheldon books  Image result for sidney sheldon books

 

Yupp! That’s all. That is all to my favourite genres of books. Unless you want to hear me gush about Bomer? UGH WHY AM I REMINDED OF THIS OBSESSION ALL OVER AGAIN. I WAS LEGIT JUST GOOGLING PICTURES OF HIM.

Revert. Back. To. The. Point.

What genres do you guys prefer? Let me know below! xx

 

P.S    I’m currently reading “The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer” and I’m having such mixed emotions about it! Can’t wait to share it with ya’ll 

Netgalley ARC’s (September)

Guys so I came up with the idea for this post ALL BY MYSELF. I was thinking what blog posts to do and side by side I was approved of a title that I had requested on Netgalley and I was like, “hmm why don’t I make a blog post about it?”

So, I have decided to make a monthly or a bi-monthly post about all the Netgalley titles that I’ve requested and that I’ve been granted or declined.

So for the month of September:

Titles granted:

Title: All Things Bright and Strange Image result for all things bright and strange

Author: James Markert

Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Published date: January 2018

Synopsis:

In the wake of World War I in the small, Southern town of Bellhaven, South Carolina, the town folk believe they’ve found a little slice of heaven in a mysterious chapel in the woods. But they soon realize that evil can come in the most beautiful of forms.

The people of Bellhaven have always looked to Ellsworth Newberry for guidance, but after losing his wife and his future as a professional pitcher, he is moments away from testing his mortality once and for all. Until he finally takes notice of the changes in his town . . . and the cardinals that have returned.

Upon the discovery of a small chapel deep in the Bellhaven woods, healing seems to fall upon the townspeople, bringing peace after several years of mourning. But as they visit the “healing floor” more frequently, the people begin to turn on one another, and the unusually tolerant town becomes anything but.

The cracks between the natural and supernatural begin to widen, and tensions rise. Before the town crumbles, Ellsworth must pull himself from the brink of suicide, overcome his demons, and face the truth of who he was born to be by leading the town into the woods to face the evil threatening Bellhaven.

 

 

Title: You Bring the Distant Near Image result for You Bring the Distant Near

Author: Mitali Perkins

Genre: Teens and YA

Publish date: 12 Sept’2017

Synopsis: 

This elegant young adult novel captures the immigrant experience for one Indian-American family with humor and heart. Told in alternating teen voices across three generations, You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse.

From a grandmother worried that her children are losing their Indian identity to a daughter wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair to a granddaughter social-activist fighting to preserve Bengali tigers, Perkins weaves together the threads of a family growing into an American identity.

Here is a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

Title: Closer Image result for closer by m c vann

Author: M.C.Vann

Genre: YA, Romance

Publish Date: 17 July 2017

Synopsis:

When Alexandria Summers (Ally) bumps into Henry Pearce during the Sunny Valley Tulip Festival, she never thought she’d see him again in her hometown, the Windy City. Despite several warnings telling her to stay away, Ally finds herself falling deeper for this strange man. But little did she know, their fated encounter is just the beginning of a larger scheme.

This beautiful man was flawed.

He was real … real in a sense that he was human after all.

Fragile. Pitiful. Lonely.

Henry was all of these things — elements that I never could imagine him having.

The more I got to know Henry, the more I realized how much of a mystery he was.

A dark, but beautiful mystery.

 

Title: As You Wish 34569846

Author: Chelsea Sedoti

Genre: Teen and Young Adult

Date Publish: January 2nd’ 2018

Synopsis: 

In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.

Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself

Title: Folk   35892355

Author: Zoe Gilbert

Genre: YA, Dark Fantasy

Date Publish: February 8th 2017

Synopsis:

Every year they gather, while the girls shoot their arrows and the boys hunt them out. The air is riddled with spiteful shadows – the wounds and fears and furies of a village year.

On a remote and unforgiving island lies a village unlike any other: Neverness. A girl is snatched by a water bull and dragged to its lair, a babe is born with a wing for an arm and children ask their fortunes of an oracle ox. While the villagers live out their own tales, enchantment always lurks, blighting and blessing in equal measure.

Folk is a dark and sinuous debut circling the lives of one generation. In this world far from our time and place, the stories of the islanders interweave and overlap, their own folklore twisting fates and changing lives.

Titles Declined:

As Bright as Heaven by Susan Meissner

Nice Try, Jane Sinner by Lianne Oelke

The Crow Garden by Allison Littlewood

35133917  35550571  33413915

 

What do you guys think of these titles? Will you buy these when they’re out?? 

Also, help me decide which one to read first!!!