Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Monthly Favourites//// September 2015.

Hello! 

Seriously how is it the end of September already?
Time is flyyingggggggg by.
This year seems to have just started and now we are on to the last 3 months of the year. 
But these last 3 months are my absolute favourite months of the year so I am excited to embark on the last leg of 2015. 

September was a nice month.

I read sans a TBR list. 
Read a few lovely books.
My city was lit up for Ganesh Chaturthi. 
Watched a ton of movies. 
Bought 3 books...wow!
Signed up for Kindle Unlimited. 
Enjoyed some rainy days. 
Ate lots of veggies. 

It was a nice month! 

Let's see some of the things I've been loving all month long! 


1. Totoro Bookmark: So cute! A nice big size and makes every page come alive. 
It's from Crafted Van an Etsy store I have talked about before and I adore them and their work. 


2. Favourite Bag: A colourful boho-chic bag I got from Max this month and I am so in love.
It fits a ton of stuff and the colours and print just make me so happy.
It goes with everything--- Indian clothes and Western clothes. 
Best thing I bought all month and totally my favourite bag I used. 


3. Favourite Outfit: A Sea-Horse print tee and my utterly loved Zara striped loafers that I wear endlessly and are so comfy. 
My Seahorse print tee is from Westside. 


4. Rainy Days: The last of the monsoons this year. I went on a long drive in the rains and it was utterly magical. I miss the rains when they are gone and this year the monsoons in the city were so bad. :( But I still managed to enjoy the rains.


5. Favourite Notebooks: I intend to do a full post on these darling little notebooks- Memo Books. I found them at a bookstore- Om Books. And I love them. They are a fantastic alternative to the Field Notes journals and so much cheaper! 



6. Favourite Pencil Bag: I got this pencil bag, technically a make-up bag from Forever 21 and since I am very happy with my existing make-up bags, I use this to keep my most used pens and pencils and other stationery bits. Love the colour and of course anything that says love on it is a good thing be in my books. 


7. Tech Favourite: We got a new laptop in August and in September I've been learning my way around it. The MacBook Air is a delight to work on and I am still learning the ropes but I am so smitten! 

I am a total Apple convert. I absolutely love, love, love all of my Apple things and this laptop- whom we call Sherlock- is another new Apple love. 


8. Beauty/Skincare Favourite: I have in the recent few months been totally getting hooked on Forest Essentials products. The Madurai Jasmine and Mogra scent is my favourite and I've tried the day lotion, face lotion and even shampoo and conditioner in it. I wanted a Body Butter and I got this one and it's so good. Smooth and silky and leave my skin feeling so good and smelling divine. 


9. Favourite Fauxdori: I seem to always have a dori on my list. I have been made a total convert to the world of Traveller's Notebooks by my sister and this month my favourite was this paperdori I used. I love the print, the colours and how compact it is. Pictured above are also some pens I've been loving at the moment--- a multi ink pen from Uniball with polka dots on it. I also have a pink version of it. And a Hello Kitty pen---what's not to love?! The Hello Kitty pen was in my Happie Scrappie kit and is black and smooth and wonderful. 


10. Favourite Jewellery: I got this ring at Silver Streak in Bandra, this month and I've worn it every single day since. I love how simple and beautiful it is. Silver is a great love of mine and I am always looking for pretty pieces to add to my collection. 

This is all I've loved this month. 

September you were a good and kind month. 

See you again next year.

I'll see you guys soon with another post. :) 

Happy Reading! :) 







Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Book Haul/// Books of September 2015.

Hello! 

I haven't had a book haul on here in a while now.
Not since July...
I did buy some books in August...4 I think but I immediately put them away on my shelves and didn't get around to taking pictures of them and sharing them on the blog. I did share two of my new books on Instagram. But not on the blog. 
I almost didn't post this haul either since I only have 3 books to share.
Yup!
Just 3 books! 

My book buying is pretty slow right now.

It's not intentional...not really. 
In August I read all Indian books and I had a whole shelf of books set aside so I didn't need any new books. 

In September...I realised it felt good to not buy books for the sheer heck of it. 
Don't get me wrong I still love buying books..but there was nothing I really wanted apart from the books I just got..

Another thing is my folks are visiting for a few months and the sight of my bookshelves and stacks of books everywhere in the flat is not something they are huge fans of! :( 

So I am trying not to get 10 books in one go in their presence. 
Once they leave...:))))) 

Now on to the books...











I am so pleased, so freaking pleased with these books. 
Two Man Booker Short List books and a new Murakami!
What's not to love?! 


A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara--- Reading it now and very close to finishing it. 

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Wind Pinball by Haruki Murakami 

Happy Reading guys. 

My future reading life is all set to be happy. 

:)


Monday, 28 September 2015

Monday Moods: What I Watched Over The Weekend.


1. Me And Earl and The Dying Girl: Based on a book by Jesse Andrews, this is story of Greg and Earl who make these truly original and hilarious spoofs of classic movies. Greg is forced to spend time with Rachel, a girl he has known his whole life but doesn't really know. Rachel is diagnosed with Luekemia and Greg and Earl decide to make her a movie. 

This movie is sweet and funny and really subtle.
The pace is a little slow and languid. 
An indie movie and just like how I like my movies--a little quirky and slow and full of very likeable characters. 
I haven't read the book yet but I really want to and soon. 


2. Insidious 3: I fairly enjoy the Insidious movies. They are spooky and the music/background score always gives me the creeps.
The third instalment is independent of the first two movies, so even if you haven't seen the first two films you can still watch and enjoy this movie.
The movie was entertaining and not very scary...there were some jump scares...but nothing too bad. 
Worth a watch. 


3. Jurassic World: I was never a massive fan of the Jurassic Park movies. I never watched the original movies when I was a kid. I only saw them properly...start to finish last week..wierd I know! But I did enjoy them.

Jurassic World was such a fun ride. Entertaining, engrossing and so action packed! Good fun. 
It made me want to see the original trilogy and I recommend this movie...I have a feeling most people  have already seen it, I was like always very late to this party! 

Now on to some TV shows...particularly the new TV shows I've watched this week.
I am a big TV fan and watch a ton of TV shows and I am always happy to sample the new shows. 
Here are two I watched this week...



Heroes Reborn: A reboot of the Heroes Tv show that went off air four years ago.
I watched the original show for it's first 3 season and later my interest waned. But I was happy to give this new avatar a go...sadly I won't be watching anymore of it.
I just didn't like it.
It's not for me.
There were too many characters all introduced in the single episode and it was chaotic and crowded. 
Plus I didn't really like any of the characters very much. 



Scream Queens: This was possibly one the shows I was most looking forward to this year. 
I am a huge, huge scary movie fan and anything that has to do with spooks and scares make me very happy. 

Made by the same people who made American Horror-story, this is a horror-comedy set in a college campus, a sorority house in particular, where a masked killer is on a murder spree. 

I liked it. Didn't LOVE it but liked it. Entertaining and fun.
I wish it were a pure horror, a comedy angle is a bit unsettling to me. 
It's far fetched, over the top and very unreal.
I don't know how long I'll continue to watch it but for now I am OK with watching it. 

I remember being completely enthralled with American Horror-story when it first launched, I only watched the first season start to finish and the rest of the seasons were...a little meh...I am not a huge fan of gore. I much more prefer psychological scares. So I hope Scream Queens continues to be fun and not so heavy on the gore..on the blood and guts. 

What did you watch this weekend? 

Hope you had a nice weekend folks! 



Sunday, 27 September 2015

Review:: In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware.


Book: In A Dark Dark Wood

Author: Ruth Ware

Pages: 352

Read On: iPad

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days

Plot Summary: Nora hasn’t seen Clare for ten years. Not since Nora walked out of school one day and never went back.

In a dark, dark wood there was a dark, dark house

Until, out of the blue, an invitation to Clare’s hen do arrives. Is this a chance for Nora to finally put her past behind her?

And in the dark, dark house there was a dark, dark room

But something goes wrong. Very wrong.

And in the dark, dark room…

Some things can’t stay secret for ever


General Thoughts: I am always looking forward to reading books about creepy homes, weekend getaways that go wrong and of course old hidden secrets. So this book seemed right up my alley!

Things I Liked: 

1. The writing was good and the pace of this book was great too.

2. The setting of this book was good too, in the middle of the woods..a bunch of people and old secrets lurking around...all very satisfying.

3.  Nora is a writer and I like reading about writers.

4. There is this constant mystery regarding what happened between Nora and Claire in high-school and it was nice to keeping guessing and wondering what happened.

Things I Didn't Like: 

There might be some SPOILERS AHEAD so go on ahead with caution...

1. The past incident that sad and traumatic...isn't all that of a HUGE deal. Definitely not something that would turn Nora into this scared/socially awkward/unsocial person. I just don't buy it. It was silly really...to wallow so deep in misery over events of high-school!

2. Also why would Nora even agree to come?! Really! Why? Why come to the hen's night weekend of a person you've not kept in touch with for over 10 years and especially since you've become a near Agoraphobic.

3. The worst thing...the worst thing....the absolute worst thing is the whole Post- Gone Girl phenomenon that is very evident in this book. A hot, blonde, gorgeous sociopath! I am so sick and tired of this trope. I wish authors would find a new angle!

4. Overall this was a disappointing read. The end was easy to guess and so unsatisfactory. Ugh!

Rating: 1/5




Saturday, 26 September 2015

Review: Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn.

Book: Hush Little Baby

Author: Suzanne Redfearn

Pages: 345 (in my edition)

Read On: iPad

How Long it Took Me To Read: 2 days

Plot Summary:  If I stay, he will kill me. If I leave, he'll destroy Addie and Drew.

Jillian Kane appears to have it all - a successful career, a gorgeous home, a loving husband, and two wonderful children. The reality behind closed doors is something else entirely. For nine years, she has hid the bruises and the truth of her abusive marriage in order to protect Addie and Drew, knowing, if she left, Gordon would destroy her-destroy them.

When, in an act of desperation, she flees, her worst nightmare is realized, and she finds herself on the run with her two young children, no money, and no plan. With Gordon in hot pursuit, there is only one inescapable certainty: No matter where she goes, he will find her. Kill her. And take her children.


Things  I Liked: 

1. The writing was nice and the author did a great job at conveying the feelings and inner workings of the mind of someone living in an abusive situation.

2. I liked that the woman in the abusive marriage was someone who had it together in the outside world, someone who was successful in her job and seemed like her life was good. Most books/movies show the abused woman as a stay at home mother without any financial independence but that is not always how domestic abuse works. Sometimes it's a very successful and independant woman who suffers at the hands of an abusive spouse.

3. I also liked the bits where Jillian and her kids make a run for it. The way they survive and manage on the run were also interesting.

4. I also really loved the people Jillian meets when she escapes her old life. Such a wonderful people who help her and her kids and go above and beyond to make her feel welcome. It's nice to read about good and kind people.

5. I also liked that the book showed how being in a house where there is violence affects the kids too. Drew who is only 7 years old and he senses what goes on in his house is not normal and not right and his bahviour is changing as a result. He too is getting violent and unruly.

6. Gordon was not just a abusive prick but also a general jerk who had caused financial ruin in this family. He was controlling, conniving and evil and all that was shown very well.

7. It was terrifying to read about Gordon and how he his public perception was so far from his real self. He worked hard on making himself seem like the perfect father and perfect spouse and in fact made Jillian seem like the bad/cold/un-involved parent.

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. Jillian---- our leading lady is not very likable. She is not the best mother...which is alright not everyone is mother of the year. I felt like I didn't really get to know her or understand her. She takes an almost passive interest in her life and that was just off-putting.

2. Jillian and the kids mean some truly amzing people when they are on the run. People who give her a job, a place to live and support her and stand by her even though they know she is in the run and wanted by the cops. The minute Jillian goes back to her life...she just forgets all about them. There is no mention made of them at all in the rest of the book! Really? How ungrateful can you get?

3. The blurb makes you think that this book is going to be about Jillian escaping from her husband and living on the run. But that is only a small part of the book. A tiny part. I don't like when blurbs give me a wrong idea about a book.

4. The book was unclear as to how long the abuse was going on for...it is made to seem like it wasn't always a part of this marriage and has started a couple of years ago...such ambiguity wasn't nice and didn't give a clear idea as to the history of this relationship.

5. The ending of the book was so over-the-top and melodramatic! Just no! It would work for a movie but it was so unrealistic and so not on.

6. The second half was just a little too crowded and a little too much happened.

Rating: 2.5/5

This wasn't a bad book, I did enjoy my time reading it but it most certainly had it's issues!




Friday, 25 September 2015

Friday Favourites/// Stationery Bits + Jewellery+ Bag Details.






Hello! 

Friday again and time to list some favourites. 

1. A darling, darlingest little memo pad that I got in my last Happie Scrappie kit. It's so cute I almost don't want to use it ever. 

2. Bangle party. 

3. Some new notebooks and journal I added to my life. The blockprint notebook is from Fabindia and the blue journal is something I picked up in Crossword...I will show it properly in a future post. 

4. Details of my Happily Unmarried Roamani bag. I am so in love with the tassel details and can't wait to carry this bag. I got it right before the monsoons and didn't want to risk getting it wet so I put off using it. 

5. Earring love. Love this pair from Fabindia that a friend got us. 

Hope you guys have a wonderful weekend. 

Happy Reading!


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Currently Reading//// A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.




Hello! 

I don't often to entire posts dedicated to my current read...I have side widget dedicated to sharing my current read with you guys. And I also almost always share what I am currently reading on my Instagram. 

But sometimes you read a book so amazing and so good, you just want to talk about it. 

And right this moment I am reading one such book. 

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara is the book I am currently reading. 

This book is getting a lot of attention and a lot of buzz since it first came out earlier in the year. I read/heard  so many incredible things about it and wanted to read it immediately but somehow it has taken me all this time to finally get to it. 

I picked it up a week or so back at Crossword and I started reading it as soon as I could..meaning once I finished the book I was reading at the moment and I got to it. 

This is a beast of a book, size wise, my edition is 720 pages. 720 rather long and rather dense pages. So I am taking my time with it. Also since it's so large and heavy I can't tote it around with me, so I've been taking my Kindle along when I go out and ended up reading a few books on it. 

This book follows 4 friends, all guys, living and trying to achieve their dreams in New York. It follows them from their 20s to a couple of decades later. They are all in different fields--one's a lawyer, one's trying to be an actor, another is trying to make a mark as an artist and one is an architect not doing so well. 

I haven't read a book about male friendships ever and it's nice to read a book about guys and long-term friendships. But the best part about this book is that it gets it---really gets it what it's like to be young and trying to make a life for yourself. Struggling and questioning your every move and every single choice you've made in your life.  Being broke and living in shitty apartments. Being insecure and scared for the future. 

I am really, really loving it! 

Also the books in on the Man Booker 2015 Short List..

I won't be surprised if it wins. 

I am only 178 pages in and I am already rooting for it! 

It's so good! 

Of course, I'll do a full proper review once I am done...I just don't know when that will be. 

Like I said 720 pages and it just got a lot sad and heavy and a tad bit difficult to read..so I am taking it slow and reading it at much slower pace than I usually do. I guess I want to savour reading it. 

I highly recommend it! 

Happy Reading guys! 

:)


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Review: The Narrow Road to Palem by Sharath Komarraju.


Book: The Narrow Road to Palem

Author: Sharath Komarraju

Pages: 100 odd pages

How Long it took me to Read: 4 hours

Read On: Kindle

Plot Summary: Rudrakshapalem lies a few kilometers East of Godavari in the South Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. At first glance, it looks like just another sleepy little village. But as you walk along its borders and peer into the lives of its people, you will find that deep within its breasts are hidden some dark secrets. 

- In the temple compound roams a crazy man named Chander. He hugs a gold pendant and sings lullabies to it every night. What is his story?
- Subbarao, one of Palem's richest men, came up the hard way, having started life as the poor son of a snack seller. But what is the secret that gives him sleepless nights?
- A young couple dealing with loss stand in front of the road to Palem, and there is a seller of mirrors on the sidewalk, welcoming them in. Will they heed his words, or will they run away?
- How much are happiness and peace worth to Rama Shastri, the priest of Palem's Shiva temple? And to what extent will he go to ensure the well-being of his daughter?

In these ten delightful stories, Sharath Komarraju takes you by the hand and gives you a fully guided tour of Palem and its people. But don't fear, he will bring you back home safe and sound, long before it's dark.
 

General Thoughts: I've read two other books by the author before and absolutely loved the first book I read by him- Murder in Amravati- it was a well written and engaging murder mystery set in a little village in South India. I loved the book and I highly recommend it.

The other book I read by him- Banquet on the Dead- was a little bit of a letdown. I found it easy to predict and I didn't love it as much as I thought I would. But I saw this collection of short stories by the same author I had to give it a read and I am glad I did. I got this book under the Kindle Unlimited scheme and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

Things I Liked: 

1. I really enjoyed the writing and I really enjoyed the story telling style of the author.

2. I love spooky, scary stories and this book was full of such delightful tales.

3. The setting of this book was simply great- a little village with strange happenings. The author did a  wonderful job of making this village and it's people come alive.

4. There is such a varied and wide range of stories in this collection--- from outright ghost stories to murderers, to spooks and so much more. There really is something for everyone here.

5. This was quick and immersive read. I just couldn't put it down.

6. I loved pretty much every single story in this collection. All very, very good!

Rating: 5/5

I highly, highly recommend this book. I am already making my sister read it and I've recommended to  another friend on Instagram. 

Monday, 21 September 2015

Monday Moods: Tangerine Skies.






Hello! 

And a happy Monday to you. 

Today was a lovely, rain-soaked day here in Bombay. 

These tangerine skies are common during golden hour during the monsoons. 
I love spending this time by my window and stare at nature's brilliant show. 
Such a lovely colour. 
Birds flying home.
Fluffy clouds and occasionally a shower or two. 

Bliss! 

Hope you guys have a great week ahead. 

:)

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Stationery Sunday: Some Recent Favourites.







Hello! 

Hope your Sunday was lovely. 

I spent this rather rainy, drizzly Sunday reading an amazing book- A Little Life, and watching TV with my folks and making plans for the upcoming week. 

This Sunday for Stationery Sunday I decided to list some of my recent stationery favourites instead of focussing one single love. 

So on to some recent loves...

1. Cecil--a lovely fabric dori from Foxtail Threads an Easy shop. I've talked about darling Cecil before. He is my on the go journal. A place to jot down notes, make lists---grocery or otherwise and musings and such. 

2 & 3. More fauxdori love...in this case two of my utter favourite paper doris. I am not too sure of the brand. A friend got these for me and I think they are a Korean brand. They are very well made and sturdy and the prints are beautiful. Of course, I love everything floral! 

4. Frankie Magazine Journal---oh my! I love this little journal. Every single page is beautiful and I use it as my Gratitude Journal. The sad thing is that I often...wayyy to often ignore it and forget about making entries daily. So then I am left with months and months of blank pages that I fill at once. That's not so bad, it's nice to look back and use my planner to see what I was upto on a certain day and see what I was grateful for. I seriously need to catch up on it! :( 

5. A couple of faves in this picture...a floral print pen from Accessorize, a cute little sticky notepad I got in a kit from Happie Scrappie. 

Happy Reading! 

I'll be back soon with some reviews! 

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Mini Reviews: The Nidhi Kapoor Story and Nothing Lasts Forever: No Secret Can Stay Buried


Book: The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Author: Saurabh Garg

Pages: 316

Read on: Kindle

Read in: 2-3 hours

Plot Summary: Two dogs and a cat are butchered at the home of Nidhi Kapoor, a leading Bollywood actress. Left behind is a mysterious letter threatening Nidhi and her family.

Nishant Kapoor, Nidhi’s father and a superstar of the yesteryears is confined to a retirement facility in the hills. Tormenting him are his recurring dreams of someone trying to hurt him and his family. 

A film set where Nidhi Kapoor is shooting for her much anticipated film goes up in flames. Trapped inside are Nidhi and her sister, Payal.

ACP Prakash Mohile is forced to take up the investigation. Rujuta Singh, a photojournalist chronicling the lives of policemen in Mumbai and shadowing Prakash, gets embroiled in the case.

Unwarranted incidents continue to happen and in absence of any real clues or motive, Prakash and Rujuta are forced to dig deeper in the past of the Kapoors. They unknowingly stumble onto a violent tale of lies, betrayal, treachery, infidelity and murder.

Time is running out fast and the unknown assailant is adamant on taking away from Nidhi everything that she holds dear - her career, her home, her reputation, her family and her life. With each move, he seems to be getting close. The answers however continue to elude Prakash and Rujuta.

What is it in their past that Kapoors are hiding from the world? 

What grudge does the assailant hold against the Kapoors?

And, can they save Nidhi? 

Review: This book is one of the few books that we picked up as a part of the Kindle Unlimited plan, recently launched by Amazon.in. We have signed up for a 6-month deal and so, I will be reviewing the offer in greater detail in a whole new post. So, anyways, this is one of the books that we picked up in the first batch, because we thought- why not?!  The premise sounded interesting- a crime involving Bollywood, a cop and a journalist trying to solve the crime- what is not to love?!
However, this is such a badly written, poorly planned out and a very in-your-face-obvious book.

Anyone with half a brain can guess who the killer is after the very first crime- the murder of Nidhi's dogs and cat. There is no intelligence in the writing and the author seems to be stuck in his 13 year old head- his idea of a sexy woman is one who smokes and drinks and wants to f*ck men for fun. Very, very juvenile approach to character development. Also, this book is poorly edited. It is full of typos and grammatical errors.

Rating: 2/5
Avoid this like the plague.


Book: Nothing Lasts Forever: No Secret Can Stay Buried

Author: Vish Dhamija

Pages: 264

Read on: Kindle

Read in: 3 hours

Plot Summary: When Inspector Michael D'Cunha is called in to investigate a fire incident in Mumbai's posh Worli Sea Face apartment, where Raaj Kumar has died, he is convinced it is arson not an accident - either for insurances or an adulterous relationship gone sour. But Raaj's wife Serena is out of the country and the suspected other woman Kim has more alibi than he can count.

A close friend of Raaj dies, in mysterious circumstances, soon after. But it's only when the Bombay Stock Exchange nosedives the police start digging old graves.

Review: This is another book that we picked up from the ones offered under the Kindle Unlimited offer. The premise sounded intriguing and it is always easy to read a mystery, so we thought why not, eh?! 

So, this book is quite interesting. It is decently written, goes into a lot of detail, moves back in time- from 1985 to 1996 to 2002 or so and does a good job of capturing each time period. Also, there is a decent amount of character development, especially, of one or two characters. I don't want to spoil the book, but there is a nice twist, even if it is sort of obvious, but not entirely. 

The way the story is built, the amount of details given in the book and the way the story develops is really well done. 

The end was a bit rushed, I wished it was also done in the same measured manner as the rest of the narrative! 

Rating: 3.5/5 
This book is quite interesting and if you want to read a decent crime/ mystery book, then this is  good one to pick up. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Friday Favourites: From My Sister's Life.







Hello! 

Friday again and I am feeling a little blues-y! 

Well...might just be PMS. Or the fact that my bedroom AC is acting-up and imagining my life and especially sleeping without my AC is making me very anxious! Total #firstworldproblems! But it's bumming me out! Bombay is hot and muggy and humid! 

On to some favourite things...from my sister's life and her phone..

1. An arm candy shot featuring bracelets from Aquamarine. Love the Buddha bracelet so much. 


2. Packing times...my sister spent a better part of this week travelling on work and this was our bedroom the night before her travels. Packing is not something I am very good at, but I am good at making lists and packing beauty and skincare bits. 

3. A new addition to our Traveller's Notebook! Another delightful notebooks from Lyra and Co. Such pretty florals. 

4. A yummy dinner from last week...a Shashuka from Moshe's. So good! 

5. A glorious summer sunset. My sister is a little obsessed with sunsets. So overtime our window unfolds scenes of beauty we can find her half out the window snapping away pics. :) 

Have a good weekend guys! 

I hope to get my AC fixed. 
Read a massive book. 
And watch some movies!