Sunday, 19 January 2020

Weekend Reads: What My Sister and I are Reading This Weekend.


I hope your weekend is off to a good start. 

My plans for this weekend are to cook delicious meals and read good books. 

Here's What I am Reading/// 

Baluta by Daya Pawar, Translated by Jerry Pinto: I have been meaning to get to this book forever. One of the first ever Dalit autobiographies, this book is set in the 1950s and 60s Mumbai and parts of it in the author's village. Dealing with his childhood, caste, discrimination and family, this book is a powerful and sadly still just as relevant and needed. It's horrifying that even 50 years later not much has changed when it comes to our (India's) cruelty and caste bias. A book that is in parts hard to read but so important. 

Plot Summary: Baluta caused a sensation when it first appeared, in Marathi, in 1978. It quickly acquired the status of a classic of modern Indian literature and was also a bestseller in Hindi and other major languages. This is the first time that it has been translated into English. Set in Mumbai and rural Maharashtra of the 1940s and ’50s, it describes in shocking detail the practice of untouchability and caste violence. But it also speaks of the pride and courage of the Dalit community that often fought back for dignity. Most unusually, Baluta is also a frank account of the author’s own failings and contradictions—his passions, prejudices and betrayals—as also those of some leading lights of the Dalit movement. In addition, it is a rare record of life in Maharashtra’s villages and in the slums, chawls and gambling dens of Mumbai.

Publisher: Speaking Tiger 

My Sister is Reading///

Paper Moon by Rehana Munir: I read this back in November and really enjoyed it and have been bugging her to read this as well. So she finally picked it up on Friday and is nearly done with it. And she liked it just as much. 

When her estranged father passes away, Fiza, fresh out of college, discovers that he has left her a tidy sum in the hope that she will open a bookshop... Overnight, Fiza's placid life is thrown into a whirl of decor decisions and book-buying sprees, unconventional staff and colourful patrons, small pleasures and little heartbreaks, as the store - Paper Moon - begins to take shape in a charming, old Bandra mansion. To top it all, she is being wooed by Iqbal, a mysterious customer who frequents the shop, and Dhruv, her ex-boyfriend, her feelings for whom are still confused. Can Fiza take charge of her life, reconcile with the past, and reach for everything that is hers?

I've already done a full review for this book and you can read it HERE. 

Publisher: Harper Collins India. 

Other plans for the weekend include, watching Bala and maybe some kind of scary film. 
And drink lots of Masala Chai. 

Have a good one guys. 

Friday, 17 January 2020

Friday Favourites: Book Journal + Fog + Home Decor + Art + Captain Marvel.

From my unexpectedly cold city to yours. 
I was so sad about leaving the hometown and coming back to Bombay, for multiple reasons, but the chief one being I was coming back to a hot city from my winter wonderland. So imagine my surprise and gratitude to find that Bombay is wonderfully cold and doing winter rather well. 
So the weather we are currently experiencing in most certainly one of my absolute favourites. 

Here are some other things I've been loving recently. 

1. Book Journal 2020: I set up my 2020 book journal last week when  I was still in the hometown. I used the same Rifle Paper Co. notebook I've been using since 2018 and used the supplies I had with me during holiday. This is the front page and I intend on sharing a full flip through to show you more of my book journal. (Keep an eye out for that.) 

I love how this page turned out. 
I used a postcard from Hastnirmit. 
Stickers from BonBon Stickers and The Planner Society Kit. 

2. Fog: Seen on our drive to the airport last week, a fog filled dreamscape. I am so glad I got to experience winter, I am honestly so much happier when its cold and cozy. 

3. Wall Art: Did a fun little home improvement project today, repurposed pages from my 2019 Calendar from Bhuli to add some much needed colour to my living room wall. These prints are just too cute to discard after the year was up. Look so beautiful! My wall looks brand new and for free..well I did pay for the calendar but you know what I mean. 

4. Art: More art loves, this one was in a Pujo pandal. I wish I could add these to my home. I wonder what becomes of these decor pieces once Pujo wraps up. I have seen elements on one pandal being used in another location, sometimes in the same town and sometimes in the neighbouring one. A good way to re-use and not be wasteful. 

5. Captain Marvel: I recently, as in day before yesterday watched Captain Marvel..properly. I tried watching it before Endgame came out but I didn't like it. It was too much. Too much new information. Plus, I didn't really like any of the characters. BUT...on watching it properly I feel a little different. I liked it. It's by no means one of my favourite films in the MCU, but it was still enjoyable and fun in the ways films in this world are. 
It's available to stream on Hotstar if you want to watch it. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Book Review: All the Rage by Cara Hunter

Book: All the Rage

Author: Cara Hunter

Pages: 416

Read on: Kindle

Read in: ~3 hours

Plot Summary: A teenage girl is found wandering the outskirts of Oxford, dazed and distressed. The story she tells is terrifying. Grabbed off the street, a plastic bag pulled over her face, then driven to an isolated location where she was subjected to what sounds like an assault. Yet she refuses to press charges.

DI Fawley investigates, but there's little he can do without the girl's co-operation. Is she hiding something, and if so, what? And why does Fawley keep getting the feeling he's seen a case like this before?

And then another girl disappears, and Adam no longer has a choice: he has to face up to his past. Because unless he does, this victim may not be coming back. 

Things I Liked:

1. This book is gripping from the very first page. A man is stalking a young woman as she gets ready to leave the house with her friends for her Hen's Night. We don't know his exact intentions (rape or murder or worse), but it can't be anything good! The story then jumps to present day where an 18 year old fashion design student is found wandering down a deserted road in torn clothes by a cab driver. Who attacked her and why does neither she nor her mum want to press any charges? From here on, this book is a non-stop ride of twists and turns! 

2. I liked how the multiple mysteries gradually unfold in this book. As a reader, you are never kept hanging for too long about why something happened or what had happened in the past. For instance, the MO used to hurt Faith (the 18 year old found wandering) was the same as that of a serial rapist dubbed as the Roadside Rapist, so, you wonder what that case was all about and the author doesn't make you wonder for too long because apart from the current narrative, we get to read the trial transcripts of the Roadside Rapist's trial in 1999. 

3. There are plenty of good red herrings and you keep wondering who this criminal is and why are they doing what they are doing, but the author does a great job of keeping us distracted while also offering some clues on who the real killer could be- a balance that one seldom finds in books of this genre. 

4. There were some good, inspiring, likeable characters in this book. I quite liked the Thames Valley CID team. This is the fourth book in the series with these characters, but I never felt like I didn't know or understand what was happening. The book is a stand-alone in that sense. All the cop characters are quite likeable and we are shown little (when relevant) glimpses into their lives, which is always a good thing. 

5. The real killer and the motive behind the killing are both interesting. There is a hat tip to something which, possibly, a lot of us crime/ thriller genre readers love doing and it will give you a giggle or two. Not going to say anymore, you will know what I mean when you read the book. 

6. In spite of being 400 pages plus, this is a fast-paced book. Also, there are no dull chapters. Everything is tied well together to the central mystery and I really appreciate that. 

Things I Didn't Like: Nothing much. 

Rating: 4.5/5