Thursday, 31 March 2016

Review: Matchbox Stories by Ashapurna Debi.

Book: Matchbox

Author: Ashapurna Debi

Translated By: Prasenjit Gupta

Pages: 278

Read On: Paperback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 4 days

Plot Summary: Not applicable since this is a short-stroy collection.

A stalwart among Bengali writers, Ashapurna Debi (1909–95) was one of those rare authors able to render the voice of an entire culture, to capture its nuances and most abiding traditions with startling precision and formidable insight. 

Each of the twenty-one stories in Matchbox, carefully selected from Ashapurna Debi’s extensive body of work and brilliantly translated from Bengali to retain the original flavour of the language and Debi’s style, highlights the tensions inherent in a society of close-knit and interdependent families.
In ‘Poddolota’s Dream’, a young girl returns to the scene of a harrowing childhood, magnanimous and victorious for reasons quite her own; in ‘Grieving for Oneself’, a midnight scare shows an ailing man precisely how he fits into the world he has worked his life to build; in ‘Glass Beads Diamonds’, a woman attends a wedding reception at her estranged in-laws’, bearing a gift that has cost her far too much. In other stories, a family rues an unexpected disappearance of one of their own, two friends come to terms with a lost friendship, and a couple’s relationship is interrupted the sudden appearance of an old flame. 
Written with singular insight, often shocking and always compelling, the stories in Matchbox reveal in brilliant sparks the universal verities embedded within narrow domestic walls and present a literary genius at work.

General Thoughts:  Pretty much every single person in my extended family and read and adored Ashapura Debi's works. And she is one author who came highly recommended from so many Bengali people in my life. Sadly, translations of her work are not widely found. I spotted this book on Amazon a few weeks ago and squealed with delight and added it to my cart almost immediately. I am so happy to have finally read Ashapura Debi and I can't wait to read more from her! 

Things I Loved: 

1. The writing, the simplicity of it and it's rhythm and elegance is something I enjoyed a lot. 

2. I loved, loved, loved the author's insight into human nature and it's intricacies. This is clearly the work of a sharp mind and a keen observer. 

3. The range of these stories are pretty wide and diverse. We have rural and village stories and also stories set in the cities with urban concerns. We also have most stories from a female perspective and then we find stories told from a man's voice. And the author manages to do justice to both genders. 

4. So many stories have an unexpected ending and a slight twist in the tale, which is something I always enjoy. 

5. My absolute favourite thing about this collection of short-stories is the unflinching honesty with which the author talks about family, grief, relationships and love. There is no over sentimentality or emotionality in these tales and I found that both surprising and wonderful. She really is miles ahead of her times. Even though she talks of home and family life, there isn't an iota of unnecessary melodrama in any of these stories. 

6. The characters in these stories are so beautifully crafted and fleshed out, that even though the stories are short and fleeting, you will remember these people. 

7. I liked most of these stories...almost all of them, which doesn't happen often with short story collections.

8. None of these stories seemed like more of the same thing, they were varied and you can read them one after the other and not feel like the themes are being repeated. 

9. There are so many strong, independent and proud women in these pages and that is always a delight to read. 

10. There are also several stories about older people and how lonely and sad and melancholic the golden years can be for a person. Even when surrounded by family, some people can feel so alone and unwanted and not important anymore. 

Rating: 4.5/5 

Loved this book and I highly recommend it! 

Review: Listening Now by Anjana Appachana.

Book: Listening Now

Author: Anjana Appachana

Pages: 506

Read On: Hardback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 3 days

Plot Summary: Listening Now unfolds through the intensely personal worlds of seven characters. First, there is the child Mallika, brimming with romantic fantasies and bemoaning the lack of passion in the lives of her mother, Padma, and her mother's contemporaries - women whom she nevertheless loves fiercely. Mallika renders her fantasies through a highly wrought imagination, re-creating for the reader the events that came to devastate her childhood. Then, we revisit the events Mallika has described as they are retold from the points of view of Padma and Padma's sister, mother and friends. The story that slowly emerges is not the same as the one Mallika told. For the world of these women is one where secrets grow like fungus, where guilt roots and ripens, where anger burns and smolders. Every one of them carries the burden of secrets that may or may not be known by the others - some secrets obvious, others subtler and more insidious - and that have for them become a way of life. And so they tell their stories, stories by no means as prosaic as the child Mallika believes. Layer after layer of concealing silence is relentlessly peeled off, till, at last, the truth behind the greatest secret of all is laid bare - the story of Padma's love.

General Thoughts: This was my re-read for the month of March. I first read this book in 2006 and I loved it. The writing, the story and the people in this book.
But after 10 long years. I didn't really remember a lot of the specific details of the book. So it was time I re-visited this world and it's people.

Things I Liked: 

1. The writing was wonderful. Deep, full of feeling and really moving. I immensely enjoyed the style of writing and the prose. So good!

2. All of the different perspectives were great and each of them added to the story and even on their own were so good to read. Normally, in a book like this, told from several perspectives, I often like one voice over another. But in this book, I liked all of the women and all of their voices.

3. The bonds of female friendship, the loyalty and the genuine concern and care and love depicted in this book was wonderful to read about.

4. The best, absolute best part of this book was the insight into the lives of wives and mothers in India. Especially in this time period- 1960s and honestly even now. Middle class mothers and wives sacrifice so much of themselves to raise families. Little dreams and big aspirations and even themselves, who they used to be is given up for a new family and their children. This was shown through so many instances big and small.

5. There was also an element of mystery in this book. Not in the traditional sense, but there was the whole love story and what went down and what went wrong 13 years ago. This was interesting and each chapter, each new perspective adds something new and gives us an insight into this little mystery.

6. Among the many important thing this book talks about, one thing that was critical and that needs to be talked about is the harassment and molestation women face in our society. Eve-teasing, sexual assault and creeps that make it their lives mission to make a woman feel unsafe are sadly all a part and parcel of our lives. And this was covered so well in the book and really things like this should be talked about more in both fiction and real-life.

7. Even though I liked all the perspectives in the book, I loved Padma's chapter and her mother's chapter. We get a huge piece of the puzzle from their bits of the story. Especially Padma's mother's story was riveting.

8. Marriage is shown in all of it's shades. Rosy, dark and grey. A real look into marriage and I loved this aspect of the book. Also there are so many marriages we get to see and read about and marriage and relationships are always fun to read.

9. I love that in this book characters were  not simplified and shown in black and white. You might be a kind person yet be completely oblivious to your wife's suffering. You might be a decent person who stands up and supports the weak and yet at the same time you might not be the perfect companion to your wife.  Or you might be a massive show-off  and yet have a heart of gold. People are complicated and complex and come in so many shades and layers and this was shown so well via so many characters in this book.

10. I also really appreciated the ending of this book. It was cinematic or wholly divulged the future course of action for the main characters, but it was satisfying.

11. Anu's character was another that I adored. She is so lovely and like so many women across the length and breadth of India. It was a delight to spend time with her, even though throughout the book I wanted to reach inside the pages and slap her monstrous mother-in-law senseless.

12. Padma's mother and her aka- elder sister are kickass! Read the book and love them.

Rating: 4/5

I really loved this book and I highly, highly recommend it.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Review: Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Book: Salt to the Sea

Author: Ruta Sepetys

Pages: 400

Read: The paperback edition pictured above

Read in: 3 hours straight (it's THAT good!)

Plot Summary: It's early 1945 and a group of people trek across Germany, bound together by their desperation to reach the ship that can take them away from the war-ravaged land. Four young people, each haunted by their own dark secret, narrate their unforgettable stories.

This inspirational novel is based on a true story from the Second World War. When the German ship the Wilhelm Gustloff was sunk in port in early 1945 it had over 9000 civilian refugees, including children, on board. 

Review: Things I LOVED about this book: 

1. First of all, Ruta Sepetys is an author that everybody needs to read. She tells stories about World War II that no history book would tell you and whilst doing that, she manages to infuse some real humane-ness to the events, characters and incidents. We have read and loved two of her previous books. You can find the review of Between Shades of Gray and Out of the Easy by clicking on those two names. This story, much like, Between Shades of Gray, tells the story of displaced people from the Baltic nations- Latvia, Lithuania, East Prussia, Poland etc. Basically, it tells about the displacement, victimisation, trials, tribulations and just sheer misfortunes of the people of these nations, whose only fault was their geographic proximity to two countries run by egomaniacal leaders- Germany and Russia. So, like I said, read her books. If for nothing else, just to learn and not forget about all the victims of that horrible war. Bear testimony to what they endured. 

2. The premise of this book is, obviously, interesting. It tells the story of four very different teenagers/ young adults who are trying to flee the on-coming 'Red Army' and their atrocities. On foot, Joana- a trainee nurse, Emilia- a 15 year old with a heartbreaking secret, Florian- a secretive German boy on an anti-Nazi mission of sorts and then there is Alfred- a young German boy part of Hitler's Naval war machine. The events are seen through the eyes of the young people and you get to see how truly and painfully helpless some of them were, given their parents were either missing or in camps or killed.. how they had nowhere to go and only the kindness of strangers to turn to. I wish more people would write such stories because the world needs constant reminders of why wars are so awful. It's not just what happens in the battlefields but what happens to innocent bystanders.. look at the Syrians, for instance... 

3. The writing is beautiful. It is evocative and moving but never over-the-top. 

4. There are several lovely characters in this book. The ragtag group of people that Florian and Emilia meet on the road- The Shoe Poet- an old man, who was once a shoemaker and a surrogate grandfather figure to all the young people on the road, Ingrid- the blind but highly intuitive girl, Klaus- the 6 year old orphan, who one day mysteriously joined them and Eva- a gruff and tough woman but with a kind heart. Each of these people were of different nationalities, each had seen and overcome so much and you just fall in love with them. 

5. Joana, Florian and Emilia are all interesting, well-etched characters and we get to see their lives before the war and now during their journey to escape to safer ground. Each of them are just so wonderful and their stories are heartbreaking in their own way. 

6. The big event in this book, which changes the destinies of these characters is the sinking of the ship- the Wilhelm Gustloff- in which they, along with almost 9000 other refugees, were trying to escape the onslaught of the Russian army. It is so sad that an incident, which is easily one of the worst maritime disasters in the world, that cost so many innocent lives is virtually unknown and not-talked-about even in most literature and history books about World War II! Most of the people who died on that ship were civilians! Also, most of the military personnel on the Wilhelm Gustloff were injured. The book has a wonderfully detailed afterword about this tragedy and what the author has learned whilst researching this book. I enjoyed reading that as much as I did the book itself. 

7. This is also a very fast-paced book. It grips you right from the beginning and is, pretty much, unputdownable! 

Rating: 5/5 
Highly recommend this book if you enjoy historical fiction or even if you don't. Read it, you won't be disappointed! 

Monday, 28 March 2016

Stationery Sunday: FabIndia Stationery Haul.


Happy Easter folks. 

Hope you had a good day today. 

I had a lovely Sunday..naps, seeing India win it's match against Australia and eating some delicious food. And I started reading an Ashapurna Debi book called Matchbox which I love so far. 

For today's Stationery Sunday I want to share some of my newest stationery picks from Fabindia. 
I love Fabindia.
I might love it a little too much.
I am one of those girls..the kind that wears a lot of Fabindia and handloom and handcrafted things in general. 
Apart from the clothes. I also love the skincare and haircare products from Fabindia and I highly recommend those. 
I've also bought some beautiful jewellery from Fabindia too. 
In short there is very little I haven't sampled from this favourite store of mine. 

Their stationery is also sublime. 
Prints and colours and charming illustrations. 
All things I love. 

I recently picked up these two notebooks from them and a bird magnetic bookmark. 
I love all of these. 
I have bought magnetic bookmarks from them in the last year, ones with darling illustrations inspired by the Jaipur Palace. Love them. 

Next time you are in Fabindia, do make sure to give their stationery corner a looksie, I guarantee you won't regret it one bit. 


Have a lovely week ahead friends. 
Can't believe it's already the last week of March! 

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Review: Strangers on the Roof by Rajendra Yadav.

Book: Strangers on the Roof

Author: Rajendra Yadav

Translated By: Ruth Vanita

Pages: 245

Read On: Paperback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 4 days

Plot Summary: Samar, a young scholar, is married to Prabha against his will. Ego and frustration combine to make him refuse to say even a single word to his wife on the day of the marriage. They live thus, without speaking, for nearly a year. Until one moment when their suppressed emotions burst through and lead to a passionate reconciliation. Funny, affectionate and hard hitting, this is one of the most unique love stories in Indian writing.

General Thoughts: I picked up this book a few months back on a whim. I intend to read more books translated from Hindi and this one seemed like a good place to start. The plot sounded intriguing and seriously that beautiful cover just drew me in :)

Things I Liked: 

1. Set in 1951 this book and it's writer does a fantastic job of capturing the essence of the era. The newly formed India and it's struggles with standing on it's feet and it's citizen going through the same struggles really came alive within these pages.

2. The joint family dynamic is also so on point and so frighteningly real. Often in fiction and in film & television, especially Indian TV soaps, joints families are made to seem like an unreal ideal and all things wonderful. Perfect in every single way. But I don't think that can be a universal truth. I have never lived in a joint family and my only look into a joint family comes from the stories I've heard from my parents. Sure a lot of it seems charming and wonderful. But there also so much strife. This book and the family in it show us the ugly and often undocumented side of joint families. And to think this was written in 1951! Kudos to the writer! :)

3. Samar is our leading man and for most of the book he is the one we see this world through his eyes. He is full of angst and he is a man in throes of a change, not just his marriage and his inability to communicate with his wife but also his ideology is changing. And it was very interesting to see him go through these changes.

4. perhaps one of my favourite things to read about. But often it is written about drenched in sentimentality. To read about a family in this unsentimental and real way was refreshing.

5. Money or rather the lack of it and the many issues that can come from it were also captured so well in this book. Family ties and love and brotherhood can all go out of the window when monetary matters take precedence. Not having enough money puts a strain on relationships and makes for a miserable home situation.

6. The love story in this book was so nicely done and you really felt for Prabha and Samar. Especially Prabha, who suffers so much indignity at the hands of her in-laws and even Samar.

7. The little dreams and hopes Prabha and Samar have for their future are so heart-breaking and so simple. You root for them and really wish them well.

8. Women and their petty politics and hidden agendas are also shown well in this book.

9. This is such a feminist novel, which came a surprise! The author champions so many causes that were important to women in the 1950s--- a daughter's right to her father's property, a woman's right to ask for a divorce and women's education. So wonderful to read about and God! I feel so grateful to live in the time that I do and so utterly grateful for the rights I have.

10. The characters in this book were fleshed out so well and I felt like you got to know so many of them.

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. The book ends abruptly and it ends on a uncertain term and you don't know what becomes of our leading man. This is apparently the writer's style of writing, his trademark if you will, which is fine but a little unsatisfying.

2. I wish there was more of Prabha in this book. We see so little of her.

Rating: 4/5

I really enjoyed this book and this book has made me want to pick up from translated works from Hindi Literature. 

Friday Favourites: Shop Love/// Good Earth.


Today's Friday Favourites is a Shop Love.
Good Earth is one of those shops that have always been on my radar.
Their aesthetic is sublime.
Stunning dinnerware and cutlery. 
Simple and classic styles. 

I went to the store a few days back and come back with four coffee mugs, some Kama Ayurveda things- a shampoo and a bottle of hair oil.

I looked around and just fell in love. Honestly, I pretty much wanted everything in the store. It was all so beautiful. 

Here are some shots of the shop and the things I loved...

Aren't these plates just gorgeous?! 
Almost too pretty to use. 

Mugs Galore! 

Now for the Things I bought..

Two sides of the same floral beauty. 
This mug is part of the Persian Garden collection. 

This is technically a soup mug.
But why only use it for the once in a blue moon soup drinking? 
When I can use it every single day for coffee chugging?! 
This is from the Firduas range.
So pretty! 

I might just get the matching dinner plates to go with this. 


Have a lovely weekend guys. 

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Review: Daughters by Bharati Ray.

Book: Daughters

Author: Bharati Ray

Pages: 318

Read On: Paperback

How Long it Took Me To Read: 3 days

Plot Summary:A chronicle of the lives of five generations of women in the author s family, this fascinating story spans over a hundred years in its narrative sweep, from the late nineteenth century to the early years of the twenty-first. It mirrors and critiques the progress of a nation, its society and its women, seamlessly blending biography with social history. Sundar-ma, Bharati Ray s great-grandmother, was married into a conservative household at twelve. Self-educated, because formal education was out of her reach, she was an intelligent, deeply thoughtful woman who witnessed some of the most tumultuous times in India s history and actively participated in India s freedom struggle. Ushabala, the author s grandmother, was the proud wife of a college lecturer and a consummate home-maker, while Kalyani, Bharati Ray's Ma, was the first woman in the family to get a college degree, but gave up her studies and a career to raise her children. Ma is lovingly described as feisty and irrepressible, a keen traveller and always ready for adventure. Kalyani s academic successes heralded the author s own remarkable achievements, first as lecturer in Calcutta University, then as its first woman pro-vice-chancellor and later as a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha. Bharati Ray s daughters, Khuku and Tista, both extremely bright, lead busy, fulfilling lives as academics. 

Translated from the Bengali bestseller Ekaal Sekaal, this is a candid, personal and immensely readable account of five generations of remarkable women.

General Thoughts: I came across this book whilst randomly browsing on Amazon, I won't lie this beautiful cover art first caught my eye and I was drawn to this book.

I didn't quite figure out this was a non-fiction title when I picked this up. But once this book got to me, I found out this was non-fiction social history of a family of women. I didn't mind. In fact I was rather happy with it. I want to read more non-fiction and having this book seemed like a good one to give a go.

Things I Liked: 

1. I loved the writing. Clear, concise and incredibly easy to read. I also liked the style of writing. I am a fiction reader through and through and sometimes, I can find non-fiction reads a little dry. But this one more or less, read like a fiction book.

2. I love reading about families. So this book felt like a warm hug.

3. I especially adore reading about women. Ordinary women living simple lives, full of chores and responsibilities and raising families. I love all of it.

4. The book covers 5 generations of women from the author's mother's family. So we see over a century of history and through these women see the changing of attitudes regarding a woman's role and also the changes that have occurred in our Indian and specifically Bengali homes. I loved this aspect of this book.

5. I knew going in that I'd probably like certain sections of this book more than others. And I did. I definitely liked the great-grandmother and grandmother portions of the book more than I did the others.

6. I loved reading about the simple daily life accounts of these women, especially the older generations. It also made me appreciate how much work these women put into their homes. Cooking, cleaning, mending, sewing, pickling, looking after family and even catering to the needs of extended family! God! How did they do it?

7. So much of this book felt so familiar. Reading about large Bengali joint families reminded me of the stories I grew up listening to from my grandmother and parents. Of large families living under the same roof and sharing their joys and sorrows.

8. There is a portion of this book set in my hometown in North Bengal and that was just a treat to read about. Gave me all the feels and made me want to rush over to a part of the world I love.

9. There is so much in this book about mothers and how they do things big and small to nurture their children and look after them. Very heart-warming stuff.

10. In this book there are so many anecdotes and mentions of so many kind and wonderful people. And I loved it. Reading about the small acts of kindness and reading about the good hearts of these individuals.

11. Apart from the five women we get to know in this book, there are also many, many characters/people we get to know. And I liked reading about their lives and stories.

12. This book ticked off two things on my list of things I want to with my reading life- read more translations and read more non-fiction. So a personal hurray for me. :)

Things I Didn't Like: 

1. The first three women in this book were my favourites. I also liked the author's life story partly. But in the second half of the author's life story my interest began to slip. I didn't enjoy reading about her foray into politics.

2. The thing I liked least but I also found amusing was the author's very Bengali mother bragging about her children. :) I have a Bengali mother so I know that some of this comes with the territory. But I just didn't enjoy or like reading about her brag about her daughters. It was honestly slightly off putting.

3. Also she didn't really go into details about her daughters lives apart from a very superficial level. She really gets into detail with the other women in the book but her daughter's chapter is just very threadbare.

Rating: 3.25/5

I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it if you enjoy family histories and are looking to read more non-fiction.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Book Haul/// Books of March 2016, Part- III. Books from Om Books & Kitab Khana.


Time to share another bout of books with you.
March has been a good month of book buying for me.
And I bought these books in one day while spending some time in 2 bookshops I adore.
First I went to Om Books in Phoenix Mills and had a browse and picked up 2 books and later in the same day I found myself in Kitab Khana and walked away with 3 books and a Vogue magazine. 
My idea of a good day! 

I love all of the books I've picked up and I look forward to reading all of them soon! 

Let's see the books I've added to my bookshelves! 

Books Bought... 

Anil's Ghost by Michael Ondaatje 
Kismetwali and Other Stories by Reetika Khanna Nijhawan 
The Gita for Children by Roopa Pai
Delhi by Khushwant Singh
The Golden Son by Shilpi Somaya Gowda 
I also picked up a little sampler for a Children's Book called The Bad Guys. 

All of these books sound interesting and some of them, Delhi and Anil's Ghost I've wanted for a while so I am very happy to own them. 

Happy Reading guys :) 

Monday, 21 March 2016

Stationery Sunday: Some Favourites & Pages.


And a Happy Sunday...well almost over but still. 

Sundays are for resting. 
For rejuvenation and for chores. 
Oh! So many chores. 

My Sunday included some small joys..

Reading in bed all day long- On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan which I am immensely enjoying. And which I need to finish soon. It's only 127 pages long but I've been reading it since Friday. 

Cooking Spaghetti Bolognese. 

Drinking Iced-Lemonade. 

Talking to my Maa about many things. 

Oiling my hair and trying to infuse some care into my mane. 

Watching TV. 

And just being relaxed and happy. 

For this week's Stationery Sunday I want to talk about some of my favourites from recent days. 

1. Two of our favourites Fauxdoris in the Traveler's Notebook size. In a gorgeous tan and a bright red. Also pictured, here are our beautiful floral ink pen and Washi Tape. 
The notebooks on the left is from Naked Cow and the one on the right is from Taroko Shop. Both on Etsy. 
The pen is a gift from a friend. 
And the Washi Tape is from an Etsy seller. 

2. Pages from my journal from when I was making my Birthday Week To-Do List.
Decorated with some Washi Tape bits and look at the beautiful Crown Pen which is a kind gift from our friend RV. 
I have recently ordered some of these pens for myself, will do a haul when they finally arrive in the mail! 
Cute pens just make life better. 

3. Planner Pages: I can't tell you how much I love my Kikkik Cute Planner (that's it's name!) I am really enjoyed being back in a ring planner after nearly 6 years of planning in other mediums. 
These cute pages came in a Happie Scrappie Monster Kit that we got sometime last year and the little notepad- which I use to make weekly To-Do lists and the pen are both from Kikkik. 

4. Hobonichi Techo A6: This beauty belongs to my sister and she is loving it.
She loves the size and she fills it up with doodles and art and musings.
Last year, both me and my sister used the Hobonichi Techo in the Cousin, A5 size. I really liked it but sometimes the page felt very big and overwhelming to fill up. 
This year I skipped the Hobonichi and made my planner peace with my Kikkik Planner, Frankie Journal and some Fauxdoris. 

5. Fauxdoris: While my sister is a fan of leather fauxdoris, I am very partial to cloth doris. I love the beautiful prints. The vivid colours. And the soft and squishy feel of them. :) 
The first two doris from left are from Lyra and Co, one of my favourite places to get cloth doris and the bird one is from Planner Candee by Dixie Plans. 


Have a good week ahead folks. 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Books Before Book-Blogging: The Secret History by Donna Tartt.


I have been a reader nearly all my life.
I started reading on my own since I was 6 or 7 and it is a love that is going strong to this day.
I started Book Blogging in 2013. And since then this little blog has been a place to talk about the books I read, buy and love.

I review.
I haul.
I recommend. 

But most of these books happen to be ones I've read recently.
I read a book and if I have strong feelings about it- good or bad- I tend to share them on the blog. Either via a full review or a mini-review.
But I've been reading for so long before this blog even started. What about all those books I have read and loved but never talked about? 

I wanted to start a new series on the blog to talk specifically about old loves.
Now some of these books I've read over a decade or more ago, so I might not exactly remember the finer points like character names of exact plot points, but I do remember how they made me feel.
I remember LOVING the writing. The story. The place it was set in. 
So I bring to you---- Books Before Book-Blogging! 

A place to recommend books I might have read 15 years ago. They might not be super detailed. 
But I hope you find some books you love via this series. 

Ok enjoy gabbing, let's get started! 

1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt: I read this book twice. 

Once way back in 2007 when I was borrowing it from my roommate. The copy I was reading had a super cheesy, very 90s mass-market sort of cover. So I thought it was a thriller/pulp fiction sort of book. I had, back then, no idea of it's cult classic status. I didn't even know it was literary fiction before I started reading it! :) 

But I started and I was blown away. By the writing. By the characters and the treatment of the book. 
I was hooked and knew at once this was no ordinary popular fiction! 
It was amazing!
But I got half way through and then went off on a month long holiday and couldn't take the book with me. Once I was back....I think the book was gone.
In 2012, I picked up my own copy and read it.
This is a dense and intense read and I loved every minute and every page.

Set in a small liberal arts college, the books takes us into the world of this close knit group of friends/classmates. They are studying under the guidance of a quirky and eccentric professor and are rather cliquish themselves. Richard, our main character enters this cloistered world and we see the world through his eyes. Close friendships. Sibling dynamics. Academics. Rivalries. Pettiness. Love. Lust. Secrets. Manipulations. This book has it all. Plus, it even has murder and mystery! Seriously, what's not to love? 

I loved the writing but I loved best the atmosphere of this book. 
I studied Humanities in college and this world seemed so familiar and took me back to my college classes. I remember vividly feeling like these characters, thinking that we were thinking these thoughts about the world and civilisation and culture for the first time. Feeling charged and learning and being immersed in academia. I loved all the things this book made me feel. And I highly, HIGHLY RECOMMEND it.
Especially if you studied Humanities or Liberal Arts. This book will take you back.
Hopefully your college years wouldn't have had half the drama and chaos that this book has but it will still remind you intense relationships in college. 

I gave this book a 5/5 (duh!) and loved it. 
It is an intense and fairly dense and wordy book, so I suggest you take your time with it and let it sink in and pull you in. 

You have to read this book! 


I'll be back soon with another Books Before Book-Blogging Post with another old love! 
Happy Reading Guys! 

P.S: So happy Team India won their cricket match today!

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Friday Favourites: Summer Sky + Make-up Haul--MAC & Inglot + Notebooks!


This Friday I want to talk about some newly acquired loves, so in some sense this a little bit of a haul.

But also some other things that have made me happy recently. 

1. Blue skies in the summer evening with clouds doing their own magic. 

2. On my bed--- a smiling Little Miss Giggles, a new notebook from Fabindia and a Watermelon pouch from Accessorize that holds my camera. 

3. My newest MAC Cosmetics Eyeshadow---Antique. 

4. Newest Inglot Matte Nail Polish in a bright, happy orange; perfect for Spring-Summer. It's in the number 726. I adore Inglot nail polishes. 

5. A darling little new book, this is just a few sample pages I picked up from Kitab Khana. 
The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey from Scholastic India. It sounds so adorable. So glad I grabbed this sampler from the till. 

Hope your Friday was lovely. 

Mine included cooking, reading, journaling, talking to my Maa and having a good day. 

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Book Haul/// Book of March 2016. Part- II. Books from Amazon.


I took an unexpected blog break this past week and for no real good reason. 
I didn't mean to stop blogging and take a break but it just happened. Long busy days just led to blogging slow down. 
But I am back now. 

So let's jump right back into it. 
I have been buying a few books this month and these books were all bought on Amazon at the start of the month. 
I've already read 2/7 books and will share my thoughts on them soon. 

Let's see what I've added to my bookshelves lately. 

Books Bought..

Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith--- I want to read some Ali Smith. I have The Accidental sitting on my shelves but I haven't gotten to it yet. This one seems like a shorter and good place to start. 

The Way Home A collection of Bengali Short Fiction 

Matchbox by Ashapurna Debi 

Boats on Land by Janice Parihat 

Ships that Pass by Shashi Deshpande--- already read and enjoyed this novella. 

Strangers to Ourselves by Shashi Deshpande 

Ghosts  of Kingdom Past by Harsho--- read this one too, a graphic novel about ghosts and hauntings. Decent coming soon. 

I am excited about all my new books and can't wait to delve into them. 


Happy Reading guys :) 

Friday, 11 March 2016

Friday Favourites: Owl Tote + Strawberry + Flip Flops + Cake & Coffee + Cushion.


And a happy Friday to you. 

My Friday has included...

Cleaning my house.
Taking pictures of my new books--haul coming soon.
Drinking lemonade like my life depended on it.
Making guacamole. 
Getting some very old fashioned pillow cases in the mail. 
Watching some Pretty Little Liars. 

And now let's see some things I've been loving recently...

All of my recent loves.. 

1. An owl tote from Accessorize that is too cute for words. Look at those goofy little faces. 

2. A cushion that says 'Because I have a sister I'll Always have a friend'...a sweet little treat from my cousin bother on my birthday. Love the pink and, of course, love the message. 

3. Strawberry...misshapen but still delicious. 

4. Flip flops. These babies scream summer don't they? They are from Westside. 

5. Iced coffee and cake. Things that will brighten the darkest of days. And my new glasses. The frames are from Forever 21. 

Have a wonderful weekend guys. 
Hope your weekend is restful and fun.