Thursday, 30 July 2015

Unboxing and Review: My Big Red Bag's- Book Lover Story Box.

Hello! 

Today's post is a little different. :) 

I am here to un-box a fairly unique monthly subscription box. But a box with a difference. :) I am sure most of you have heard and seen and perhaps even subscribed to a monthly box. Most of these boxes are ones with make-up, beauty and skincare bits aimed at women. While there is absolutely nothing with loving make-up and beauty things- hell I love them to bits- it is nice to have a box that is geared towards some other and varied interests a woman might have. Books for one thing! Or stationery. Or  decor things. 

If you've been looking for a box like that..this post might be of interest to you. 

I was recently contacted by the lovely girls over at My Big Red Bag who asked me if I'd be interested in their Book Lover Story Box. It sounded interesting and different and I was totally on board! They sent over the box and I am so excited to share it's contents with you. 
The box was sent to me for free but my thoughts are all my own. 

So let's see what was in the box shall we..


First we have the box itself which looks like a hardback book. :) 
How freaking cute is that? 
I was smiling already. 
I plan on using the box to store some of my bookmarks. 


A little letter informing about the company and their ideology. 



On to the contents of the box now.. 

1. A set of four coasters with literary quotes on them! How lovely. Everyone needs coasters or at any rate they should..coffee rings on the coffee table are not nice. AT ALL! Plus, literary quotes are amazing!





2. A Book Mark: A beautiful laser cut metal bookmark in the shape of a peacock. Lovely. 
I've had bookmarks from this brand before and loved them. I sadly lost  them while moving cities. So I was really glad to have it back in my life. 


3. A journal with a hardcover and plain pages to doodle and write wit ink pens on the cover. 



Now on to the review. 

Things I Liked: 

1. I absolutely love the idea and ideology behind this box. Women are so much more than make-up and skincare. We have varied interests and I like that such a box exists. 

2. The coasters are both pretty and bookish quotes  are perfect too. 

3. The notebook is of great quality. A great little notebook to doodle and write in. 

4. The bookmark is pretty and well-made and a nice addition to a booklovers life. 

5. The box itself is really well-made and can easily be re-purposed/ re-used to store bits an bobs. You could also easily personalize the box with some art, washi tape or just about any way that you like. 

General Thoughts: I went on to Big Red Bag's website and took a look at their other Story Boxes. Like the name suggests, each box is thematic and it tells a little story and the products seem to be chosen with thought and from good indie brands. Boxes such as these are a great gifting option- both for you (if you'd like to treat yourself for any odd reason) or for a friend. Also, these boxes can be great for office gifting occasions like Secret Santa (if applicable) or even for a colleague's farewell. 

Another good thing is that this is not a quarterly or a monthly commitment, so you can buy a box when you feel like it, rather, when you like what that box contains or the theme resonates with you.

Go check out their website and if you end up getting any of the Story Boxes, do let me know what you thought about it.. I am really curious to see what the 'Workaholics Box' is going to contain? Coffee? :) Cooling eye masks? :) 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Project 365 2015: Week 29 & Week 30

Hello! 

Last week was all about me trying to sort out my bookshelves and it kinda took over my life. In a good way! But I kinda sorta forgot about my weekly 365 post. And now it's nearly time to recap the next week. So I decided to combine the two weeks and give you one big post recapping two weeks in the life of me! 

:) 

Here we go...


 Week 29 was a good one. I watched Piku which is pretty much the best movie I've seen all year around. I loved it. The Bong-ness of it is so spot on. 
I also doodled and art-journaled. 
Moved things around the house. 
Filled ink in my ink pens.






Week 30...a crazy, happy, hectic blur. 
Bookshelves were re-organised and I am so in love with how my main bookshelf looks now! 
Made a spicy shrimp/prawn Mac n' Cheese. It was so good. I am most certainly going to make it again. 
Also did some DIY with those cute animal faces. 
Got a Paper-Dori in the mail with giant poppies on it. 
This Pigeon is our 'pet' she lives outside out window and comes every afternoon for a nap. 
Some old pictures of my Ma. My folks arrive on Saturday for a couple of months. I am excited to see them! 

That was my life in the last two weeks! 

See you next week with another picture a day post. 

See you soon! 

Happy Reading :)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr


Book: All The Light We Cannot See

Author: Anthony Doerr

Pages: 531

I read: The Kindle version

I read it in: 5-6 hours

Plot Summary: Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and 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.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.


Thoughts and Review: I simply loved this book! It is well written, it is about a topic that is close to my heart- the big and small tragedies of wars- and it has a lovely cast of characters. Needless to say, I highly, highly recommend this book, especially, if you like reading about stories set during World War II or more so, if you are interested in reading about what else went on in Germany (apart from the Holocaust) during World War II. Here's a quick list of everything I loved about this book: 
  • Like I mentioned above, the writing is stellar. It is beautiful, evocative and pithy. I love when beautiful writing is also precise and does not meander about the place too much. 
  • The setting and premise of All The Light We Cannot See is very interesting. One the one hand, we have Marie-Laure's story. Marie-Laure goes blind when she is six but with her steely determination and a lot of gentle encouragement from her father, who is a locksmith and a puzzle box maker, she learns to navigate the streets of Paris and, later, of Saint-Malo. Marie-Laure's father, Daniel LeBlanc, works in the Museum of Natural History as a locksmith and when the Germans invade Paris, Daniel is entrusted with a large, expensive and rare diamond called 'The Sea of Flames' or a replica of it to carry to a secondary location. Marie-Laure and Daniel leave a chaotic Paris and via a series of events end up at Saint-Malo to live with Marie-Laure's great-uncle, Etienne. 
  • Marie-Laure's life in the 'tall, narrow house' in Saint-Malo, the people she meets, the events that occur once the town falls to the Germans and how she and Etienne become a part of the French Resistance make for an interesting and compelling narrative. The wonderful writing brings the coastal walled city of Saint-Malo alive and you feel like you are almost there watching everything first hand. Marie-Laure's story is one of adjustment with her changed circumstances and immense courage and spirit for doing the right thing even if it is full of danger. 
  • Werner Pfennig is our second protagonist. We first see Werner as a smart, quiet and little 11 year old, who has a natural genius for maths and all things electronic. Werner and his little sister- Jutta- are orphans and they live in an "orphan farm" looked after by a gentle lady called Frau Elena. Werner and Jutta are both bright kids and Werner wants nothing more than to leave their little mining town, where all boys, the moment they turn 15, have to go work in the mines. Werner finds a broken radio and instinctively puts it together. The brother-sister duo use their radio to listen to a late night science for kids type of a broadcast in French- this soon becomes the absolute highlight of their lives and they both dream of a life of education and getting a chance to actually work in a science lab. Werner and Jutta (and kids like them) are the victims of war that we don't get to hear much about at all. They belong to a generation that was too young to fight when the war started and grew up witnessing horrors that no child ought to. Their simple dreams and the impossibility of those coming to fruition during war is one of those little heartbreaking tragedies. 
  • I really loved all the stories set in Germany- the ones we get to see from following Werner as he gets accepted into an elite military school for boys. We get to see how even those who are not made of the alpha-stuff and who completely lack any violent tendencies get recruited into Hitler's war machine. We see gentle boys become killers or how their refusal to do so gets them brutally bullied. We see the inner conflict of Werner as he keeps questioning how his genius for maths and electronics is being used during the war to kill people in the Resistance. We see soldiers just doing their jobs and we see soldiers who really enjoy the brutal business of killing. All in all, it makes for very interesting reading. 
  • Werner and Marie-Laure's stories converge in Saint-Malo in an interesting and unexpected way. I loved reading about the two of them together and I wish there was more of that, though it wouldn't have been very realistic at all. 
  • I also loved strong and determined Jutta, who even as a child, was very clear on where she stood on the war and how she didn't want Werner to go to military school. We also get to see an older Jutta and she is just as admirable. 
  • There were so many lovely characters in this book. Frau Elena, the matron of the orphan farm, who was like a mother to all the kids and looked after them kindly. She stoically stood by her girls even in the brutal aftermath of the war. Then we have Madame Manec, who was Etienne's housekeeper. An old lady, who was reluctant to just sit by and see the Germans ruin their town. She mobilized the women of the town to participate in the Resistance and even enlists Marie-Laure to do the same. Then there is Fredrick, a gentle, bird-loving boy who had to join the military school to please his rich, Nazi parents but refused to participate in the brutal bullying and who knew and accepted that he didn't have full control over his own life in these trying times.

Rating: 5/5
Definitely go read this book. It is brilliantly written and you will just fall in love with the characters in it. 
 

Monday, 27 July 2015

Monday Moods: Waiting in Cars.












Hello! 

Sometimes one has to wait in a car for a little while. 

On this day, I was waiting for 45 minutes in the car for my sister to wrap up work. 

It was hot. I was bored but the light was lovely so I snapped some little details of the jewellery I had on. And the book I was reading. 

My rings are from Darjeeling. 
My beaded bangles are from Aldo. 
My birdie necklace is from Accessorize.
My knit bracelets are from Aldo and Accessorize. 
My book was Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. 
My nail-polish Periwinkle by China Glaze. 
I was listening to tunes from U2. 

Though waiting is no fun...taking pictures in the afternoon sunlight is not half bad!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Review: The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie


Book: The Mysterious Mr. Quin

Author: Agatha Christie

Pages: 380

I read: The paperback pictured above

I read it in: A day or two

Plot Summary: Harley Quin is an enigma. Even his friend Mr Satterthwaite is unable to understand how the man seems to appear and disappear almost like a trick of the light - and when he does appear it's usually in the sparkle of sunshine, or surrounded by a spectrum of coloured light pouring through a stained glass window...

In fact, the only consistent thing about the Mysterious Mr Quin is that his presence is always a harbinger of love ... or death.


General Thoughts: We read a lot of Agatha Christie even now. She is one of those authors whose books have so many layers that even if you've read something by her in your teens (like my sister and I did), you'll discover something new on re-reading her books. 

What I Liked: Quick list:
  • This is a collection of short stories and each of them have to do with some crime/ injustice that had been committed in the past, which Mr. Satterthwaite, with the help of the mysterious Mr. Quin, helps resolve and bring to a closure/ justice. So, the themes of redemption, closure and justice run through each of these stories making them such a joy to read. 
  • There are quite a few colourful/ interesting characters in this book. Mr. Satterthwaite is an aristocrat of some sort and so, he mingles with several Dukes, Duchesses, Countesses and the like, who seem like rather interesting characters. 
  • Mr. Satterthwaite, our protagonist, is one of those good listeners- someone who people love pouring out their hearts to. Given his penchant for eliciting people's stories, Mr. Satterthwaite really understands people and is good at picking up subtle cues about what they say and what that really means. So, he is very well placed to put the pieces together and solve or prevent a crime, with some guidance from Mr. Quin. 
  • Mr. Quin is sort of an enigmatic figure, who always seems to be there when something dark is about to happen, mostly murder. If you happen to pick up the very same paperback edition pictured above, DO NOT READ the author's note. I repeat, DO NOT READ THE AUTHOR'S NOTE! It contains a massive spoiler and it could well ruin your reading experience. Mr. Quin drops major hints about the crime in question and if you pay attention to what he says, then you, much like Mr. Satterthwaite, can solve the crime in question.
  
What I Didn't Like: Well, almost all the stories were really satisfying because most of them involved an old crime that gets solved or a crime that's prevented, except the last story- Harlequin's Lane. The last story seemed very pointless- it didn't really have an interesting mystery or an old murder or anything of that sort to solve. The events that occurred made little sense.. generally, it was not really in sync with the rest of the stories in the book. So, didn't like it that much. 

Rating: 4/5 

Friday, 24 July 2015

Friday Favourites: Post-box + Jewellery + Adorable Books!







Hello! 

Hope this Friday is treating you well. 

I am alright I suppose. 

I've been re-organising my two main bookshelves since yesterday and it has taken over my life. 

I am nearly done, I only have one more shelf to sort out. :) 
I love doing this..but man it takes a toll. It's a lot of work and it involves a lot of thinking as well. That is all I've been doing since yesterday..thinking..sorting and moving my books around. 

Now on to my favourites..

1. I adore these red post-boxes. Even though I haven't written a letter in well over a decade, I am happy to see these boxes. I hope we never ever not need them. They remind me of the old world. Of how things were done earlier. 

2. A bunch of cute books I had seen at the Strand Book Sale..I didn't buy them but snapped a picture since they were so adorable. 

3. Pendants..notable Buddhist motif pendants I love. 

4. A bangle party like no other. A stack of mainly cloth-covered and bead-covered bangles and an odd silver bangle in the mix. 


5. More arm-candy! 

Now back to my bookshelves! 

Have a lovely weekend you guys :)

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Vignettes: Cafe Noir.









Hello! 

Another flashback post...

These pictures take me back to a cold winter's evening. 
An evening of making decisions.
Of shopping.
Of long conversations.
And of a good meal at Cafe Noir. 

We ate yummy food.
Drank good coffee. 
I wore a lot of jewellery and had bright nails. And I carried a teal coloured bag. 

A good evening. :) 

My bag is from Accessorize.
My nail paint is from Essie. 
My jewellery is from silver shops in Bombay and Etsy. 
My tee-shirt is from Forever New.  
My watch is from Aldo. 

I love how pictures bring back a flood of memories from ages ago. I am glad I am an avid picture taker. I love that we have cameras on our phone and I love that we can take hundreds of photos in a month..even blurry ones...so we can look back and relive a little bit of our lives. 

It's a great time to be alive isn't it? 

:)


Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Review: Aarushi by Avirook Sen


Book: Aarushi

Author: Avirook Sen

Pages: 268

I read it on: My Kindle

I read it in: 3-4 hours

Plot Summary: Seven years ago a teenage girl, Aarushi Talwar, was found murdered in her bedroom in Noida, a middle-class suburb of Delhi. The body of the prime suspect—the family servant, Hemraj—was discovered a day later. 

Who had committed the double murders, and why? Within weeks, Aarushi’s parents, the Talwars, were accused; four years later, they went on trial and were convicted.
 

But did they do it?
 

Avirook Sen attended the trial, accessed important documents and interviewed all the players—from Aarushi’s friends to Hemraj’s old boss, from the investigators to the forensic scientists—to write a meticulous and chilling book that reads like a thriller but also tells a story that is horrifyingly true. Aarushi is the definitive account of a sensational crime, and the investigation and trial that followed.

General Thoughts: It was just another day in May 2008. I was in Bangalore then, sharing an apartment with a roommate, who also happened to be from Noida, when the Aarushi case made headlines. Much like everyone else in India, I was shocked, horrified and saddened by this senseless and, to be honest, very scary crime. To be brutally murdered in one's own bed with one's parents sleeping barely 8-10 feet away is scary and it does make you wonder where in this world can you really feel safe?! It was also scary because the said parents did not hear or sense anything untoward. Yes, scary is right.... whether you put yourself in Aarushi's shoes or her parents'... what happened was downright scary. 

I also followed along on the case over the years.. watching it switch focus from the dad (Rajesh) to Hemraj's friends (Krishna, Rajkumar and Vijay) and then back to the parents. At some point, I have even read Mr. Sen's weekly, or rather, as-and-when-the-hearings-happened, columns in the Mumbai Mirror. To be honest, I had to stop reading his columns because he was very obviously heavily biased in favour of the Talwars. Mr. Sen believed the Talwars to be innocent and made no secret of that in his columns. 

You may say, why would that put you off?! It's his column/ his opinion after all. Good question, it put me off because he was supposed to be "reporting" on the case and the trial. Not "opining" but "reporting". Huge difference. He was supposed to be neutral, to go where the evidence led him, to report what was going on, but instead, he wrote quasi-opinion pieces where his conviction of the Talwars' innocence shone through. I find this ethically problematic. On the one hand, we are all too quick to point out when anyone is tried in the court of public/ media-driven-public opinion.. So, how is what Mr. Sen doing any different? His belief in the Talwars' innocence is fine and it is okay if he mentions that over and over again in this book.. but during the trials.. mentioning it in his Mumbai Mirror column.. is highly problematic. So, anyway, I stopped reading his columns and looked to more neutral reportage of the trial. 

Naturally, I was curious to read this book because this is a case that I followed off-and-on over the years and it did boast of thorough research and looking through real trial/ legal/ evidence-related documents.

What I Liked: Quick List:
  • The writing was competent, decent- no complaints there. 
  • Clearly, this is a book into which a lot of effort, blood-sweat-and-tears have gone into and I can appreciate that. 
  • This is a good book for those of us who were there at the beginning and end of this case but missed out on all the in-between stages, details and back-and-forth that happened. The book does a good job of chronologically capturing what went on as well as featuring impressions and interviews of all key players in the case. 
  • Biased or not, the book did give us a very real glimpse into the lives of the Talwars.. Of what their lives were like with Aarushi and the nightmare that it descended into after her death. There are things we learn about Aarushi that were not reported by any media outlets and there are things we learn about her parents as well. 
  • Most importantly, this book provides a very ground-level look at the Indian criminal justice system. It shows how scary, horrifically inadequate, non-transparent and inaccessible our legal system can sometimes be! The re-telling of events in this book sounds like an utter horror story. Like a nightmare. Like the worst thing that could ever happen to anyone. Something you wouldn't wish upon the most vile person you know. I had to put my Kindle away and look at pictures of cute dogs and cats as I read through those sections. 
  • Overall, the book provides a holistic view of the entire investigation- how it evolved, how it was managed, who the other suspects could be and so on. It is very comprehensive and thorough. 


What I Didn't Like: 
  • While I completely understand that it was important to report details from the trial, but that section was too long, boring and too technical for a lay person like me. The same details provided in the first section of the book are given in the trial section (obviously) and hence, this section could have been parsed down a fair amount. 

Finally, the book does not offer a solution to the actual crime.. Mr. Sen believes in the innocence of the Talwars and going by that belief, the real killer(s) is/are still out there..Not that one expects a book to solve a crime and really, who knows what really went down in that apartment, in that room on that ill-fated night? 

The bottomline is this- a 13 year old girl was brutally murdered in her own bed just a week shy of her 14th birthday.. She went to bed happy and excited because she had a new camera.. She thought she was safe..  I feel heartbroken at her death.. A life full of potential.. wait.. just a life, with possibilities and moments to be lived, was cut short..and  that is the real tragedy. 

Rest in peace, Aarushi. 

Rating: 3/5

Monday, 20 July 2015

Review: Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen.

Book:  Saint Anything 

Author: Sarah Dessen 

Pages: 391 

Read On: My iPad 

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days 

Plot Summary: Peyton, Sydney's charismatic older brother, has always been the star of the family, receiving the lion's share of their parents' attention and—lately—concern. When Peyton's increasingly reckless behavior culminates in an accident, a drunk driving conviction, and a jail sentence, Sydney is cast adrift, searching for her place in the family and the world. When everyone else is so worried about Peyton, is she the only one concerned about the victim of the accident?

Enter the Chathams, a warm, chaotic family who run a pizza parlor, play bluegrass on weekends, and pitch in to care for their mother, who has multiple sclerosis. Here Sydney experiences unquestioning acceptance. And here she meets Mac, gentle, watchful, and protective, who makes Sydney feel seen, really seen, for the first time.

General Thoughts: This is the second Sarah Dessen book I've read, I read Whatever Happened to Goodbye in 2012 and I quite liked it. I also own copies of Just Listen and Along for the Ride and I hope to read them soon. This is her newest novel and the premise sounded interesting and therefore I got to it first. 

Things I Liked: 

1. I enjoyed the authors writing style and story-telling. 

2. Books about families are some of my favourtie things to read about and I loved reading about this family- a family that is going through the incarceration of their son and living their life dealing with the complications it brings in it's wake. 

3. Sibling relationships is another thing I thoroughly enjoy reading about. I really like Peyton and Sydney's sibling relationship. It used to be a close bond but for a long time it's been a little broken. I also liked the sibling ties of Mac and his sisters. Very different from Peyton and Sydney but intresting and complicated in it's own way. 

4. In this book we essentially see two families that are so different from each other in every way- class, bonds, ideology and even closeness. It was nice to see two sets of family units deals with similar situations and see how the same situation is handled differently by different people. 

5. I really loved the Chatham family. 

6. The other thing I found interesting in this book was how Sydney's mother's character is crafted. She is so real and I actually know women like her. Women who turn motherhood into something else all together. Women who don't see their children's flaws at all. Some might find her annoying and oblivious to the truths right in front of her eyes but I found her real, flawed but so real. 

7. I also love reading books where in a family one child shines bright whereas the other is often sadly neglected or not given as much importance. As much as parents like to say they love their kids equally and give them equal attention and importance, we all know that's not always the case. I like reading about these situations and I like that this book shows this phenomenon in a such a real way. 

8. I also loved the love story and the pace it took. 

9. This book has lots and lots of pizza in it. So that was nice :) 

10. Apart from the main characters, even the side characters are all very well crafted. And there are quite a few of them and they are all memorable and very likable.

Rating: 4/5

Monday Moods: Handicraft Exhibition.






Hello! 

Happy Monday guys. 

This Monday is a bit of a flashback. These pictures were taken in Bangalore at a handicrafts exhibition in 2011. We spent a couple of hours wandering through the aisles and seeing the wares from various states in India. I especially loved the ceramic mugs and cups. We bought two mugs that I still love. 

Exhibitions are one of my favourite things ever. I love handmade things. See the artisans who produce such labours of love and buy directly from the artisan. 

I love things that aren't mass produced, things that are unique and handmade and made with love and sometimes are art forms in themselves. 

On this particular evening, we bought the 2 ceramic mugs. We also bought some hand painted bangles and some silver jewellery from Rajasthan. A bangle stand and some decorative bits for home.

I am so glad I had this pictures tucked away somewhere, they take me right back to that evening. 

Have a nice week ahead guys :) 

I'll see you soon with a review.


Sunday, 19 July 2015

Review: The Little Friend by Donna Tartt.


Book: The Little Friend

Author: Donna Tartt

Pages: 555

Read On: Paperback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 4 days

Plot Summary: The Little Friend  is a grandly ambitious and utterly riveting novel of childhood, innocence and evil.

The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, where one Mother’s Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents’ yard. Twelve years later Robin’s murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated. So it is that Robin’s sister Harriet—unnervingly bright, insufferably determined, and unduly influenced by the fiction of Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson--sets out to unmask his killer. Aided only by her worshipful friend Hely, Harriet crosses her town’s rigid lines of race and caste and burrows deep into her family’s history of loss.

General Thoughts: This is the second Tartt novel I've read. I read and LOVED The Secret History ( I really should talk about this book on the blog, soon!) and last year my sister read and reviewed The Goldfinch- you can read it HERE. Honestly, I have no intention of reading the Goldfinch, it just doesn't sound like something I'll enjoy.

But this book sounded like up my alley. It was on my wishlist for ages and I finally bought it last year from a bookstore. I was so excited to finally have the book I've wanted for ages. I was so excited!

Things I Liked: 

1. Donna Tartt's writing is simply wonderful. She is a very, very gifted writer and story teller and I enjoyed the prose of this book.

2. I love stories about families- the bigger, the messier and the more complicated the better. And this book at it's very core is a book about family. I loved this aspect of it.

3. The book is told in a panoramic style, where we see each character and get to see the world from their point of view and hear their voice and hear thier side of the story. This was we get to know and understand almost every single character in this book.

4. The setting is lovely and it just comes to life and leaps off the pages. A hot summer in Mississippi in the 1970s, just seemed real and alive and close enough to touch. Clearly a work of a very gifted writer.

5. As much as I love books about families, I LOVE books about dysfunctional families even more. And this family, in the aftermath of a gruesome and unsolved crime were so very interesting to read about. Whether it's Charlotte (the mother of Robin and Harriet) who has fallen apart and doesn't really function as a parent or spouse anymore or the children themselves- Allison and Harriet who are growing up in a house where no one really is parenting them was a very interesting reading.

6. This is also a book full of very interesting women. I mean this family is practically all women and I just adored it.

7. Also any book with a murder mystery is so my thing!

8. Harriet's character and her thinking and her loneliness was so well  crafted. You really got to know her so well through the course of this book.

9. The investigation that Harriet undertakes was also incredibly realistic. 

Things I Didn't Like: 

Oh boy!

1. The font in my 555 pages book was so small . So tiny that it hurt my head. Andddd each page had so many lines crammed in and it just made this already dense book feel even more dense. Not nice at all!

2.  Harriet for all her smarts and precociousness was pretty stupid when she fixates on one person as the murder suspect and just stays with it. It makes no sense. I get it she is 12 and obviously not an expert but for someone who is shown as being really clever and bright, this was a stupid move. Especially since the said suspect was 9 yrs old himself when the crime was committed.

3. My BIGGEST GROUSE with the book was at the end of 555 pages of tiny as fuck font...you aren't told who killed Robin. Yup. The book ends...and you don't know who the killer is. WHAT?????????? I get it, I really, really get it that this is literary fiction and it's main goal is not to be run of the mill whodunnit. I really get it. But you know what? It still annoyed the fuck out of me when at the end of such a long, dense book we are left without any answer. I enjoyed several aspects of this book but the end just does not sit well with me. I hate vague endings in general. But when a murder mystery is involved...I find it infuriating that we weren't given answers! I wanted to hurl this book at the wall by the end...I didn't of course...I love books far too much to inflict violence on them.

Rating: 2.5/5


Project 365 2015: Week 28.

Hello! 

Week 28 was a week of the having a cold and feeling like my head was whoozy and I just felt awful for most part. 

But there was making mug cakes. 
Reading a lot. 
Watching some movies. 
Naps. 
And just taking things easy. 

Honestly, I didn't take that many pictures but let' see what week 28 looked like in my world..


Day 189: Pretty and simple light fixtures. So minimalistic and yet such a statement piece. 


Day 190: A sudden and intense craving for cake was satiated by making simple yet delicious mug cakes. 

The one featured above is a chocolate and coffee mug cake. 

All you need is..

3 Tbsp Flour 
3 Tbsp Butter 
2 Tbsp Cocoa powder 
1 Tbsp Coffee poweder 
3 Tbsp Sugar 
1/4 th teaspoon baking powder 
1/2 a beaten egg 
Mix it well 
Spin in microwave on high for 3-4 minutes (depends on the power of your microwave) 
and you are done. 
Easy and delicious!


 Day 191: Coffee in bed. 
My cold and head-cold was out of control and coffee and staying in bed was helping loads.



Day 192: A new set of Washi Tapes arrived and we got some really cute  prints. I particularly loved this one with hot air balloons on it. :) So pretty! 



Day 193: Moved into a my new pencil case. Transparent and covered in pink polka dots. Donut faces and general adorableness. I promise I am an adult. :) I just love cute stationery. 
 


Day 194: I have taken to journaling my daily life in my Rifle Paper. Co notebook. It's nice to write the big and little that happen in the day and the thoughts I've thought and things like that. Also do note my super cute pen! :) 
 

Day 195: Drinking my vivid green Khus sherbat in my beloved new mason jar. 

So that was my week. 

Hope your week was nice as well. 

See you soon!