Saturday, 29 February 2020

Monthly Favourites: February 2020

Hello, hello!
So, like it always does, February has gone by in a rush, one extra day notwithstanding!

Though, I hope you made the most of the extra day around the sun and did something fun.

February, my birthday month, is my favourite for various reasons and this year was no exception. We did a lot of fun things, cooked a lot of yum things, watched some good shows and I really enjoyed journaling this month!

So, let's get into some of my faves for February 2020:

My bag of the month was this little Boo from The Burlap People. It is a tiny bag, but with a biggish gusset and it fits all of my essentials, including a small 400 ml water bottle. What else does one need? 

I have been loving journaling this month. I got a bunch of stickers in the mail and they've made my journal spreads a thing of beauty, even if I say so myself. 

The two spreads on top are from my memory book and journal and the spread below is from my planner. I am using the Alicia Souza 2020 planner. 

One of the biggest home projects I undertook this month was cleaning (dusting) and re-organizing two of my biggest book shelves. I found so many unread gems in the process and I love my newly re-organized stacks of books! It was tiring, but totally worth it! 

I ordered two new colours of the Platinum Preppy Fountain Pen in 'Fine' nib. I already had a black and a red ink one, which I really love, so, thought why not get some cool new colours. Platinum Preppy is a really great budget, good quality fountain pen. I bought mine from 

Bombay did not have any kind of a winter at all this year, so not like we were starved for greenery and flowers, but still, seeing these little flowers on the sidewalk made me insanely happy, Plus, they matched with my outfit. 

When it comes to TV/ OTT shows, the only show we binged end-to-end was 'The Stranger' on Netflix. It was quite suspenseful and fast-paced, but the reveal was a bit of a let down. Don't me me dissuade you, this is a good thriller and definitely worth watching. 

We, finally, got around to watching the second Jumanji movie- Jumanji Next Level- and it was really fun. The first half was a big meh, but the second half was kickass! Really good! 

Finally, February was a really good reading month. If you follow me on Instagram (@whimsybookworm), and you totally should follow me on there, you'll know that I was #ReadingFavouritesinFebruary and I read and re-read books by my favourite authors. So, go on to Instagram and peep at all the good stuff that I read this past month.

Hope your February was wonderful and that your March is even better! 

Take care, fam! 

Friday, 28 February 2020

Book Review: The Hiding Place (The Taking of Annie Thorne) by CJ Tudor.

Book: The Hiding Place (aka The Taking of Annie Thorne)

Author: CJ Tudor

Publisher: Penguin Random House

Pages: 346

Read On: Kindle

Plot Summary: One night, Annie disappeared. 

There were searches, appeals. Everyone thought the worst. 
And then, after 48 hours, she came back. 
But she couldn't - or wouldn't - say what had happened to her.
Something happened to my sister. I can't explain what. 
I just know that when she came back, she wasn't the same. 
She wasn't my Annie. 
I didn't want to admit, even to myself, that sometimes I was scared to death of my own little sister.

Things I Liked: 

1. My sister and I read C.J. Tudor's first book- The Chalk Man- and we really liked it. It was sinister and based in small-town UK and was just all kinds of intriguing. So, we were really excited to read her second book and the premise sounded really eerie. Annie Thorne goes missing for 48 hours when she was eight years old. She returns home, but her elder brother, Joe, is convinced that whatever has returned is not his sister. Nice, right?

2. The build up of the story is done really well. We have 40-something Joe return to the little mining town he grew up in after almost 25 years. He had received an anonymous email saying that the events  from 25 years ago are happening again. So, as a reader, you are immediately intrigued about the past  wondering about what happened to little Annie Thorne and if those events had any supernatural basis to them. So, we see Joe's life as he returns to his hometown and starts teaching English in his High School and the challenges he faces there.

3. The book is very atmospheric and as you read it, you feel the claustrophobia of a small town that's not doing too well, where there is a distinct power structure and the rich get away with anything, where bullying is rampant and there is some sort of a town secret that nobody talks about. I liked how the story had these multiple sinister moments.

4. The book's narrative switches between present day, Joe's life just before he returned to his hometown and the events of 25 years ago- the days leading up to Annie's disappearance. Each of these narratives are interesting and each has enough hooks of intrigue to keep you wondering what next. The events of the past are really interesting because that's where we get to learn about this big secret that the town has and, of course, what happened to Annie.

Things I Didn't Like:

1. The only major complaint that I have against this book is that the big secret of the town is never properly or fully explained. Clearly, it is something supernatural (don't worry, I am not spoiling anything that you wouldn't have guessed from the Plot Summary) going on but what it is, what it does and why it does what it does is not explained at all. So, even once the book ends, you are left wondering what the hell the nature of the evil was with no sense of closure. I guess, the author wants the readers to make their own assumptions and take some leaps, but I believe that in quasi-horror books, the onus is on the author to do the world-building around the spooky/ supernatural element and not leave it to the readers' subjective interpretation. Since C.J. Tudor is being labeled 'U.K.'s Stephen King', she should, perhaps, take a leaf out of the master's books and attempt to explain the supernatural element in her book.

Rating: 3.5/5

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Book Haul: Birthday Book Haul 2020.

I am here today to share some glorious books I bought for my birthday. Honestly, my birthday is the only time when I buy books without a shadow of a doubt or an inkling of guilt. Otherwise, I constantly feel a little guilty about adding to my shelves. Especially when it comes to buying slightly expensive books. 
But during February all my guilt goes flying out of the window. 
Be gone guilt. 
It's time to treat myself. 
I got 11 books and I've already read two out of this lot. 

So here's the newest loves added to my shelves. 
I got all of these books from Amazon, I normally go bookshop hopping on my birthday but this year health troubles and car troubles kept me home. 
So Jai Ho Amazon. 

Starting with a book I finished just last night. 
Suralakshmi Villa was wonderful. 
It is a fleshed out novel version of an existing short story that I read a couple of years ago. I didn't know this going in. But a few pages in and I was like...this seems familiar. 
Not that it ruined the book for me or anything felt like re-visiting an old friend. 
A wonderful book and one that I enjoyed a lot. 
A full review is coming soon. 

This is what the book is about. 

I finally picked up Good Talk that had been sitting in my Wishlist on Amazon for ages..months. Decided my birthday month was a good time to indulge and get it. 
Will probably read it next month for #FemmeMarch. 

An example of the pages and art style. 

I read Elizabeth Acevedo's newest book- With The Fire on High last year and loved it and I've heard nothing but amazing things about this book- The Poet X. 
It's too in verse for most part. 
I am curious to read it. 

I love folk tales and folk songs and this collection of folk tales from Bihar sounds so good. 
I can't wait to read it over the summer. 
Also, how beautiful is  this cover? 

Another book that had been sitting on my wishlist for ages. 
I have enjoyed everything Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar has ever written and I am sure I'll enjoy this children's book too. 

Short stories about mothers and daughters. 
What's not to love?! 
I got this after a recommendation from someone on a Book Group on FB that I am a part of. 
I am excited to read this. 
Perhaps next month itself. 

Got some Ruskin Bond too. 
Because why not? 

A new release I've had my eye on since before it came out. 
It sounds just like something I'll enjoy. 

Books about Bombay, yes please! 
God this cover art is too stunning for words. 

I honestly cannot wait to dive into this one. 

I got this book finally. 
I had ordered the second book in this series not knowing it was the second book! 
So finally, after some 3 years of waiting for the price to drop, I got the first in the series. 
A children's book with feral, spirited kids. 
Yes please! 

Books Bought/// 

1. A Love of Long Ago by Ruskin Bond. 

2. The Greatest Folktales of Bihar by Nalin Verma 

3. The Alchemy of Secret by Priya Balasubramanium 

4. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place by Maryrose Wood 

5. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo 

6. Janani Mothers, Daughters and Motherhood 

7. Jwala Kumar and The Gift of Fire by Hansda Sowvendra Shekhar 

8. Suralakshmi Villa by Aruna Chakravarti 

9. Bombay Balchao by Jane Borges 

10. The Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line by Deepa Anappara 

11. Good Talk by Mira Jacob. 

An Instax picture to commemorate this happy occasion. 

So much happiness in a stack of new books! 
Happy Reading folks. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

Monday Moods: Spring Home. (Cushions + Flowers + Bookshelves)


How was your Monday? 
Can you believe this is the last week of February? 
It felt a little longer than usual. 
My beloved birthday month is close to its end. 
I started this week by taking some pictures for the blog, my book haul and then I snapped some pictures of my home in all its messy glory. 

But look how gorgeous Peach looks?! 

Peach is one of my birthday gifts and she is perfect. 

Look at that face! 
She is from Chumbak, as is the house shaped cushion. 

My Happy Place. 

Chirp chirp. 
An old very loved cushion cover. 

Shiv Ratri remnants. 
Om Namah Shivay. 

Birthday flowers. 

The happiest corner of my home. 

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Stationery Sunday: Hobonichi Techo A6.

For today's Stationery Sunday, I want to share a quick glimpse into my sister's personal planner/journal for 2020. 
A Hobonichi Techo an A6 sized journal, she has used a Hobonichi since 2015 and for the last four years has been using the A6 size. 
She uses it to jot down thoughts, journal her feeling and even do a spot of art and painting. 
It is essentially her space for creativity and documenting her year. 

This year she chose this beautiful cover with embroidered birds on it. It is so beautiful and almost 3D in its texture and look. 

Look how cute! 

The zip has a little bow detail. 

This is the notebook inside the cover. 
You could just buy the notebook, but the covers are always stunning and a good way to keep your notebook safe and also with enough slots and pockets to keep your stationery supplies organised and handy. 

The cover also has two ribbon bookmarks that always come handy. 

The front page that my sister decorated using some stickers and diecuts. 

Monthly spread. 

Here are some pages and some doodles and ways in which she goes about documenting her days. 
I love it when she doodles about her days. 

Hello 2020! 

Hope you enjoyed this little look-see into her journal.

Have a great week ahead, guys!

Saturday, 22 February 2020

Hello Hello Hello: Where I've Been Gone!? (Books + Shelfie + Coffee + TV Shows + Bag)

Well, hello there! 
I ended up taking way too much time off without really meaning to do so! 
I think my birthday and February in general always ends up being a little too hectic for my liking. 
And to think that I meant to blog everyday this month. has been crazy busy all month long. 
And Mercury Retrograde has hit me something hard! 
Our car went to the garage twice and once for servicing. 
My mixer jar lid broke. 
Two of our fans broke. 
A mug broke. 
A glass bowl shattered into a million different pieces. 
It's been a LOT. 

But there have been some highlights too. 
My birthday...well...for most part. On my actual birthday- the 18th I was sick and car-less, so I ended up staying home and taking a long nap to heal myself. It was low key but good. 
I did buy 10 books. 
Some goodies from Chumbak and other places. 
I will share my loot soon enough. 

Here are some pictures from the last few days... 

1. Books and Coffee. 
Did a whole, big time book re-jig and found some old gems that I want to re-read. I also loved dusting my precious books and moving around books and having the ones I am yet to read close at hand. 
Mug from Chumbak, holding some much needed coffee to tackle my bookshelves. 

2. Read some incredible books for my #ReadingFavouritesinFebruary. 
Including this little gem I finished today. 
Djinn Patrol on the Purple Line comes with a lot of advance praise, all of which is well-deserved, I will do a full review shortly. 
But I loved it and highly recommend it. 

3. It's getting hot here. Our fleeting winter is long gone. So cold coffee and milkshakes are back! 
Had some refreshing strawberry milkshake out of this darlinggggg little mug. 
The mug is from Amazon, so many people asked me on IG. 
And it was pretty cheap too. 

4. Birthday. 
So I turned a year older. 
Hopefully wiser. 
Got a lot of warm and loving wishes. 
And got some new books and some beautiful things to treat myself. 
Also these beautiful flowers from my darling friend M. 
Felt loved and pampered and happy. 
Read a little bit of Ruskin Bond on my birthday. 
A Little Book of Life, full of quotes and musings from Ruskin Bond, a perfect birthday read if you ask me. 

5. Went out with my Boo bag from The Burlap People. 
Ran errands. 
Ate at Indigo Deli. 
Picked up some skincare and make-up bits. 
Moaned about how hot its getting already. 

6. My bookshelves looking stunning AF! 
I mean look how pretty. 
I am eternally grateful for my books and I couldn't imagine my life/home/world without the in it. 

I have also been journaling plenty. 

Taking care of my skin which is going through a bit of a rough spot, I blame the pollution and construction close to my home. 

I also watched the last ever episode of Criminal Minds and I am going to miss it so much. I plan on re-watching the whole thing, especially the first 7 seasons which was just brilliant. 
But this show has been in my life for 15 years and I can't imagine there not being another new episode. I wish they do a spin off or something. 

I have already read 25 books this year, which is a very good number to be at and most of these books were ones I enjoyed. So reading wise life has been good. 

Oh..I also won a Give-away! So a book from Harper Collins should be on it's way to me. I haven't won something in ages,  so this felt like such a birthday month miracle. 

I also watched the new BBC adaptation of The Pale Horse and I didn't like it at all, especially the second (last) episode had me completely tuned out. 

I am just happy I re-read the book between watching episode 1 and 2. 
The book is absolutely brilliant. It's soooo good and evil and sinister! 
Dame Christie at her very best. 

It was atmospheric alright, moody and spooky in parts but overall it was just...not for me. 
It is just so dramatically different from the book that it's kinda unrecognisable. 
Maybe if you haven't read the book, this 2 part series will work for you but I, while enjoying the drama, the look and feel and the sinister atmosphere didn't really care about the show in it's entirety. 

So that's been my life in the last few days since I pretty much abandoned the blog. 
But worry not, I hope to be back and do a ton of reviews of some pretty amazing books I've read recently.