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Ten Most Recent Additions To My Bookshelf

Hey everyone!

It’s been a long time since I’ve done a list about books and we’re overdue for one. And today’s topic is exciting!

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt has come in the right time because there have been quite a few additions to my bookshelf recently, and I can’t wait to talk about all of them.

I’m listing my physical additions first and then the ones on my Kindle!

[1] Release by Patrick Ness

I met up with my Bangalore Book Club on Sunday and Sukhaja from Bookish Bulletin* was SO KIND to giveaway** the books that she doesn’t have space for anymore. It went off almost like an auction, with first dibs called on the Whatsapp group.

I managed to nab this book and I’m so happy to finally own a Patrick Ness! I’ve been wanting to read his work for a long time and this will finally push me to it.

*check out her YouTube channel as she has some really good book recs on it!
**P.S. I gave away a couple books as well, so my bookshelf is still kinda balanced haha.

[2] Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma

I went to my favourite bookstore with the other Book Club members and sold back two* of my books for store credit. Of course I had to get new books, and I wanted to go for some new books that I haven’t heard of before.

Stories We Never Tell caught my eye as I was just going around in the bookstore, and the tagline “the most popular female author of India” caught my eye. With the South Asian Reading Challenge going on, I’m definitely trying to read more books by Indian authors and this looked perfect to try.

I will let y’all know how it is once I’m done!

*yes 4 books disappeared from my shelf in total! I like how I’m managing to keep my number of books constant haha.

The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf - books in picture: Stories We Never Tell by Savi Sharma, The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Release by Patrick Ness

[3] The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I actually also own Americanah by the same author, which was an old Book of the Month picked by the club but one that I haven’t gotten to yet. I am intrigued by the popularity of Adichie’s works though and definitely will read more. I hadn’t heard of The Thing Around Your Neck before but many fellow book club members have and loved it, so of course I got it.

It’s a pretty thin book so I do think I’ll pick it up sooner, especially since it’s also a collection of short stories.

[4] Six of Crows Collector’s Edition by Leigh Bardugo

I already spoke about this in my life update but if you haven’t read that yet, my awesome-sauce friends gifted me this GORGEOUS edition after seeing it on my wishlist. I was so shocked when I saw it and my reaction is recorded on video for proof. It’s the most beautiful book I own at the moment.

six of crows collector's edition

[5] Circe by Madeline Miller

Another birthday gift that I received, this one from my book club, was Circe. It is a book that most of the members have either read or want to read, so I trust where they’re coming from and am super excited to read it.

Also, doesn’t hurt that this book is gorgeous too haha. I can’t resist pretty books.

circe by madeline miller

[6] Frankly In Love by David Yoon

My book club* did a Secret Santa pool back in December, and this LOVELY book was the gift that I got from my Santa. It’s a book that was on my wishlist but one that I would always pass up for another book, so I’m super glad that my Santa got it for me. I’m definitely going to be reading it soon when I need a YA contemporary kick.

*wow they’re being referenced a LOT today haha

Frankly in love by David Yoon

[7] The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

This book was this month’s Book of the Month pick, and I’m actually already done reading it. It came at the right time since Toni Morrison is rising in popularity and I’ve become intrigued by her works as well.

As I read this book, I was confused by the timeline and the point of the story. We kept shifting focus on characters, and some chapters are in first person while all others are in third person point of view. The author’s intention was to let us read and assemble the timeline ourselves, but it caused a disconnect between me and the characters. I couldn’t truly connect with them because I was trying to grasp the story.

It is a profound story involving themes of racism, sexism, neglect, abuse, and other strong topics. I am still looking forward to read more from the author as I’ve heard her writing is not like this all the time.

[8] My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

As I am taking part in the South Asian Reading Challenge this year, I will be picking up some books for their prompts.

My So-Called Bollywood Life is the backlist book recommended by the hosts for this month’s theme “shuruat” i.e. beginning. The premise sounds interesting and while I may not be able to read it this month itself, I am excited to read it soon.

[9] Us, Again by Elle Maxwell

Recently, I’ve been reading books with strong themes—ones that require concentration and mulling over. This has made me want a light hearted book to offset them and I always turn to romance during these times.

Us, Again is a romance book that I got on impulse off my Goodreads TBR and am currently reading. I’m not enjoying it very much, as the male lead is pushy and slightly problematic, but it’s a book I’m simply reading to pass the time. So, yeah. Hopefully I like it by the end but I won’t be too disappointed if I don’t.

[10] Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno

I’m pretty sure this book caught my eye either on Goodreads as someone else was reading it or through a book recommendations blog post. I’m unsure of where exactly, but it sounded really nice and I impulsively got it on my Kindle.

I’m generally quite picky about my paperback and hardback buys but I go all impulsive on ebooks haha.


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What are the most recent additions to your bookshelf? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above?

The coffee book tag — the wordy habitat

The Coffee Book Tag

It’s been a long time since I did any tag, and I’ve been itching for one haha.

I found this tag over at This Splendid Shambles and it looked really nice. Bring on the coffee vibes!

a steaming cup gif

1. Black: Name a series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare.

It’s tough to get into because there are SO MANY BOOKS in the Shadowhunter world now. Not to mention, the original series is quite cringey to read if the reader has grown older. I liked it when I was 15, but really disliked it when I tried to reread at 19.

But whoever did read it and loved it, continued to love the rest of the books. All the Shadowhunter books have hardcore fans who have read every single book (including the novellas) and have as many Shadowhunter merch as they can get.

2. Peppermint mocha: Name a book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year

Harry Potter books by JK Rowling.

Okay I never understood why but TONS of Harry Potter readalongs occur during the Winter, especially in December. I’m not a huge HP fan so I’m extra skeptical. Suddenly several people start rereading the books in December for no reason. It doesn’t make sense lol.

3. Hot chocolate: What is your favourite children’s book?

I quite like Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine. It’s the one children’s book I can reread even now.

It’s actually a Middle Grade book, but yeah. While the movie starring Anne Hathaway is good, it doesn’t do much justice to the book. The book has a much bigger and more interesting plot with better twists and character development.

4. Double shot of espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish

Heads You Win by Jeffrey Archer.

My overall rating of the book isn’t that great because the ending ruined things, but the suspense of the book is amazing. I was gripped from start to finish and my mum laughed at me for being so out of the real world. All of Jeffrey Archer’s books are like that but this was the one I read last. My review talks more about the book in detail.

5. Starbucks: Name a book you see everywhere

Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

This is, by far, the most popular classic and the most recommended one. It also has the most pretty versions because, daamn. Some of the versions look SO GOOD. I want them all.

P. S. I was going to say Harry Potter for this as well because those books haunt me everywhere, but decided to not give the same answer for two questions.

6. That hipster coffee shop: Give a book by an indie author a shutout

Penny Reid!

I absolutely LOVE Penny Reid’s books. Her book Neanderthal Seeks Human got me more excited to read the romance genre and explore it. It’s one of the few books I had read back then which had a great plot and had characters.

7. Oops! I accidentally got decaf: Name a book you were expecting more from

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi.

The hype really did me dirty for this one. Everyone was RAVING about it, that I even got a paperback instead of an ebook. I trusted the hype, and was highly disappointed. I hated it so much that I started annotating m frustration around 50 pages in. Mine is an unpopular opinion, and I don’t understand why most people love it.

8. The perfect blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying

The Selection series by Kiera Cass

I absolutely loved the first book, and liked books 2 and 3 enough. Book 4 was bad but book 5 saved the series just barely. It’s a roller coaster, but I like the series in the end. It’s my go-to when I want to reread a series.


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What would be your answers to these questions?

Thanks For The Memories || an interesting idea

thanks for the memories book cover || review

Title: Thanks for the Memories
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Genre: General Fiction
Series info: Standalone

Goodreads

I’ll be honest, the only reason I got this book was because it was being sold for a really low price in a book fair. I hadn’t even heard of this book before, and the synopsis at the back gave NO CLUE to the actual story.

THE PLOT

The book starts with Joyce having a fall on the stairs and losing her baby. She has a lot of blood loss as well, which leads to her getting a blood transfusion in the hospital. She barely survives.

When she wakes up after the incident, Joyce is almost like a different person. She knows things that she never even cared about, and remembers things that she has never experienced. Suddenly, she knows about architecture and history, and speaks Latin. Which is completely bizarre.

The other protagonist of the book is Justin, a guest professor at a college in Dublin and an art and history enthusiast. He was convinced to donate blood one day, which could someone’s life.

After Joyce’s incident, she becomes way too much like Justin. She has his memories and inherited his characteristics. One can say that his blood was given to her in the transfusion, which also transferred his memories and characteristics.

Throughout the book, we follow Joyce and Justin as they go on with their lives which somehow interleaves and changes everything.

MY REVIEW

First of all, a very interesting idea. It’s the thought that if something directly from a person’s heart is transferred to another person, it could transfer memories and characteristics as well.

The problem with this idea, which showed in the book, was a lack of plot around it. We just follow Joyce and Justin. There’s no great plot-line except this idea. Which kind of made it boring, and easy to skim. I read this book in a day because it was easy to read fast because there wasn’t very much substance in every line.

I liked following Joyce’s journey after losing the baby which signals the end of her marriage. She moves back in with her widowed father and they learn to share space after so long. Their bond was pure, and although it had it’s annoyances, they support each other and have new adventures.

Justin was a fun character to read about. Simply because he’s kinda embarrassing and quirky. He has his flaws, which is seen very clearly, but his story was fun to read. He is a divorced man who moved to London to be closer to his teenage daughter, and travels to Dublin regularly for guest lectures. It’s hard for him to adjust to this new life after leaving behind a great life in America, but he does it for his daughter.

Now, the point that I really want to talk about. The ending. The ending was disappointing. After all that chase and adventures, the last bit felt rushed and quite out of place. The falling in love part did NOT make sense. Joyce and Justin didn’t even really know each other. And considering that they share a lot of characteristics now, it’s quite weird.

I did not like the ending, but I guess the author didn’t know how to end the book since it doesn’t actually have a plot. It makes sense why she chose to do this but… eh.

OVERALL

It was an okay read. I wasn’t very invested in it, and it was more of a pass-the-time read. I’m glad that I didn’t go in with expectations.

This book had been sitting on my shelf for almost a year so it’s good that I finally got to it and read it. Even though it wasn’t in my TBR, it’s part of my #StartOnYourShelfathon to finish the books I currently own first before buying new ones and reading them.

I rate this book..

2.5/5 stars

Have you read books by Cecelia Ahern? What’s your opinion on this idea that blood transfusion could transfer characteristics?

the key to multitasking. how to multitask well header image

THE KEY TO MULTITASKING: How to multitask well?

For a long time, I considered myself the multitasking master.

And I wasn’t alone in thinking this. Many of my friends heralded me on this as well. They’ve asked me “how do you multitask so well?” or “how are you even able to do that?” They would complain about not being able to do the same.

All of that just fed my ego. I was determined to keep multitasking and show off this skill.

But in the last few months I learnt something. It’s not that I’m good at keeping track of multiple things at the same time, or do multiple things just fine with lesser focus. It’s that I learnt what tasks to multitask with.

I came across Jay Shetty’s podcast where he says that most people who think they multitask well, actually don’t. They would do better uni-tasking if they tried it.

So I tried it. I wanted to prove to myself that I’m one of the few who is good at it. And then I found that I’m not actually good at multitasking sometimes.

The key word here is SOMETIMES. At times, multitasking definitely increased my productivity, and other times it decreased my productivity. How do I know when to do what, then?

the key to multitasking. how to multitask well

None of us are taught how to multi-task. None of us are trained on splitting our focus between multiple activities. We learn by trying. But a lot of people give up saying they don’t know how to multitask.

Multitasking is a strategy. It’s a method which, when formed and used well, increases your productivity.

By trial and error, I figured out how to increase my multitasking productivity further. And I’m going to share that with you today.



THE KEY TO MULTITASKING HOW TO MULTITASK WELL

I will tell you how to get better at multitasking below but first let’s get something straight.

What is multitasking?

Multitasking is the act of doing more than one task at a time.

I know I know, you’re rolling your eyes and saying “that’s obvious”. But there are many different types of multitasking.

You could be multitasking on a small level, by responding to texts when listening to music. Or you could be multitasking on a bigger level, like taking a call when editing a document.

All of us multitask on some level ALL THE TIME. We have multiple thoughts running in our head. As I’m writing this post, I can suddenly remember that I kept the stove on and run to switch it off.

There are tonnes of articles that talk about advantages of multitasking or the disadvantages of multitasking. But there is no conclusion, and that’s because they are all thinking this: either you can multitask, or you can’t.

But that’s not how it is. You CAN multitask. Everyone can.

The problem is finding out at which level our productivity declines. The line of distinction may be different for different people. You have to find out which is yours and work at keeping your productivity high.

person working on laptop
THE KEY TO MULTITASKING HOW TO MULTITASK WELL

Fun fact: multitasking in human behaviour and multitasking in computers is visually similar. In fact, the same terms are often used to describe both. As a computer science student, these similarities are interesting to me.

While the same terms are used for both, the process of multitasking in computers and humans is VERY different. This article by Bryan Braun explains it well.


For the purpose of this post, I’m dividing multitasking activities into TWO CATEGORIES.

ACTIVE-PASSIVE MULTITASKING

Let’s consider an example where you are drinking coffee while reading a book.

The active task is reading the book. You are reading with concentration and absorbing information. It requires considerable attention.

The passive task is drinking coffee. It doesn’t require a lot of attention. In fact, it barely takes away your concentration from the book. You can do this task without actually thinking much.

This multitasking is not hurting anyone, and it’s definitely not distracting you from your book. It’s not reducing your productivity level.

Active-passive multitasking level basically means that a major part of your focus is on ONE ACTIVE TASK. The simultaneous other tasks performed are PASSIVE and don’t require continuous attention, or considerable attention.

person working on laptop with a drink
THE KEY TO MULTITASKING HOW TO MULTITASK WELL

Active-passive multitasking is GOOD. If you performed these passive tasks alone, giving them your 100%, you would be under-utilizing your time and energy.

One can argue that doing multiple passive tasks together can also increase productivity, which is true.

But as human beings we generally prioritize when we are multitasking, and we subconsciously make one task as the “active” one, by giving it more attention. That’s why there is no passive-passive multitasking level. It’s always at least active-passive.

Here is an article on passive multitasking, if you’d like to understand and utilize it better.

ACTIVE-ACTIVE MULTITASKING

Active-active multitasking involves multitasking with MORE THAN ONE “IMPORTANT” TASK. These important tasks are anything that requires considerable mental focus and energy.

Having a conference call while simultaneously making notes is active-active multitasking. Cooking two dishes at once is active-active multitasking. Listening to a podcast while studying is active-active multitasking.

Sometimes active-active multitasking is required, but they are generally NOT GOOD.

Each of the tasks require considerable focus but receive partial focus. This leads to all of these tasks taking longer and not being done well.

cluttered desk space
THE KEY TO MULTITASKING HOW TO MULTITASK WELL

If you’ve ever read articles on the topic of multitasking, you might have come across the term “context switching”.

WHAT IS CONTEXT SWITCHING?

Context switching is when you shift your focus from one activity to another.

Here’s an example situation. You’re studying a topic. It has most of your focus, if not all. Then suddenly you realize that you have to send an important email. It will take just 10 minutes. Hence, you hit pause on your studying and “switch” to writing the email. After finishing that, you “switch back” to studying.

The switching between activities takes some amount of energy and concentration. You have to actively hit pause on the first task, remember where to pick it back from, and then shift your focus to the second task.

When you’re multitasking between “active tasks”, your timeline goes like this:

Focus on task 1 –> pause task 1 and remember where to start back from –> get things ready for task 2 –> focus on task 2.

Everything between “focus on task 1” and “focus on task 2” comes under context switching. Context switching involves loss of time and energy. Bryan Braun’s article explains context switching in detail.

person working on their desk with a planner and laptop
THE KEY TO MULTITASKING HOW TO MULTITASK WELL

Active-Active multitasking involves a lot of content switching. If both or all your tasks take a long time to complete, the cost of context switching is high.

Studies have also shown that getting back to an active task after doing something else requires conscious effort. Returning to your first task after focusing on another task takes around 20 minutes. This is because your concentration was broken and has to be developed again.

The people who have studied multitasking trends in their lives, and what makes them more productive, would say that the best way to multitask is multitasking with the cost of context switching in mind.

So, what IS the key to multitasking?

I wrote a very long introduction to get to this point, but I promise I’m going to bring it all together in this section.

The key to multitasking is a good strategy.

Having a good multitasking strategy can immensely increase your productivity. This strategy includes two things.

And I am going to tell you that strategy in TWO sentences.

  1. Always try to do active-passive multitasking. This is a very easy way to increase productivity. Keep ONE task as your “active” task which will require considerable amount of time and/or energy. Pair it with one or (maximum) two passive tasks. But also make sure that the active tasks here CAN be paused multiple times.
  2. Only do active-active multitasking if it is REQUIRED or the cost of switching is low. Never pair two tasks that require concentration. Context switching WILL be high because your concentration has to be developed again and again. Only pair these when you can’t avoid it, like in work meetings.

And that’s it.

Once you understand what tasks make up active-passive and what are active-active, it will become very easy for you to decide on WHEN to multitask. That is your strategy.

Doing two active tasks alone one after the other will take lesser time than doing them together.

Unitasking is much better in such cases.

An easy way to pair active-passive activities is pairing audio activities to visual activities. For example, cooking and listening to a podcast, taking a call when doing chores etc.

Examples of active tasks that you SHOULD NOT multitask: studying, writing, working on a project etc. Notice that all of these tasks are ones that require proper concentration and require good results. They have to be done well.


THE KEY TO MULTITASKING: HOW TO MULTITASK WELL
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Conclusion

The key to multitasking is being conscious of how you multitask i.e. what tasks you choose to do together.

Once you start consciously understanding what tasks go well together and what don’t, it will become easier to make decisions on multitasking. Eventually, you’ll do it without thought.

Conscious effort is only required at the start.


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Do you consider yourself to be a good multitasker? Do you have any tips for multitasking?

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Make Blogging Easy: 5 Steps to a Great Blog Post

Cluttered desk.
Make Blogging Easy: 5 Steps to a Great Blog Post

Blogging has no bounds.

You can start with a simple blog post introducing yourself, and grow to have a complete business set up with associated social media profiles and products on sale. Blogging looks harder to do the more you learn and grow.

The fundamental part of blogging are blog posts.

They are your main content, and what your whole brand revolves around. And hence, they are what you should spend a lot of effort on. A good blog post translates to more engagement, more shares, and motivates you to promote it more.

If you go to Google or Pinterest and look at “tips to write a good blog post”, you will find a TON of articles. Each article talks about a new factor, and by the end of your research, you have about 25 things noted.

So how do you do it all and yet keep writing blog posts simple? That’s what I’m here to help you with today.

Make Blogging Easy: 5 Steps to a Great Blog Post Pinterest Image

STEP 1: COME UP WITH BLOG POST IDEAS

“THE IDEA PHASE”

All great blog posts start with a great idea. Sometimes, it comes out of multiple ideas which bring forward a really good one.

Always spend time on brainstorming. Have a brainstorming session where you just come up with ideas.

Generally, when you’re super motivated and think of ideas, you generate more than one. Write down every single potential blog post topic, even if they aren’t so good on first thought. You can also write some points that should come in those posts.

If you have a brainstorming session for just half an hour, it is possible to come up with ideas enough for whole month of blog posts.

Narrow down those ideas and pick ones that you are very excited to write about. These are your great blog posts, simply because you’re the most passionate about writing them.

Open notebooks. MAKE BLOGGING EASY: 5 steps to making a blog post

STEP 2: WRITE A DRAFT BLOG POST

“THE WRITING PHASE”

After picking one topic to blog about, write a draft. This is when you put down all the content of your blog post.

Don’t focus on formatting, images, or presentation. Just write.

The problem with adding images and formatting as you write is that it distracts you from your content. The flow of content from your thoughts gets interrupted multiple times, which makes the process longer.

Concentrate on conveying the information first, because your written content is the ultimate base of every blog post.

Hence, this step involves only writing content.

Woman typing on her laptop.
Make Blogging Easy: 5 Steps to a Great Blog Post

STEP 3: FORMAT YOUR POST AND ADD PHOTOS

“THE IMPROVEMENT PHASE”

This is when you take your blog post to the next level.

Add formatting to make your content more readable. It involves adding headings, subheadings, and more.

Use this formatting phase to convert content into lists, break up text into smaller paragraphs, and put dividers in between sections. This improves the structure of your post.

A great blog post is one that conveys all the information even if the reader only skims it. Make your blog post easy to skim.

Add photos and graphics to your post. Not only does this provide a separation in your content, but it also makes your post look good.

There are multiple types of graphics to add in every blog post. Add a header image, images in your post’s body, and Pinterest images.

Laptop showing images.
Make Blogging Easy: 5 Steps to a Great Blog Post

STEP 4: PROOFREAD AND EDIT

“THE TWEAKING PHASE”

Any edits or tweaks you need to make, do it now.

You might have come up with more ideas or thought of changes after you finished writing your content. Do them now.

Use this phase to add links to your other blog posts as well as posts of other bloggers. Links in a blog post are always a plus point.

Make sure to proofread your blog post. You might think that you made no mistakes while typing, but you never know. Spelling mistakes and typos will make you feel silly when you notice them later.

Proofreading doesn’t take much time so don’t skip it.

This phase can also include all the tasks you need to do before hitting publish.

Person working on laptop.
Make Blogging Easy: 5 Steps to a Great Blog Post

STEP 5: PUBLISH & SHARE

“THE PUBLISHING PHASE”

This point needs no explanation. Publish you blog post and share it with the world!

One mistake that new bloggers do is expecting to automatically receive attention after hitting publish. It doesn’t work that way.

A great blog post might not get attention as you expect without being promoted.

People need to KNOW that you’ve published a new post. Only then will they come and visit you. Promotion is key.

Don’t hold back from sharing it multiple times across social media. If it’s an “evergreen post”, you can share it for several months as well.

There are some things you can do after publishing a blog post to help it take off.

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SUMMARIZING:

  1. Come up with blog post ideas.
  2. Write a draft blog post.
  3. Format and add photos.
  4. Proofread and edit.
  5. Publish and share.

And there you have it! 5 steps to writing a great blog post.

Define your steps and what comes in each phase clearly. This way you won’t miss or forget anything.

Doing it in phases also allows you to break up your work, so you can do them at different times.

Make Blogging Easy: 5 Steps to a Great Blog Post INFOGRAPHIC

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Related posts:

10 Things You Should Be Doing Before Publishing Your Blog Post
5 Things to do After Publishing Your Blog Post
Is Blog Hopping Important For Your Blog?
Behind The Scenes // Brainstorming and Planning My Blog Posts


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Let’s Chat!

What do you think forms a great blog post? What does your blogging routine look like?

Becoming || inspires hope for change

becoming book cover

Title: Becoming
Author: Michelle Obama
Genre: Autobiography

Goodreads

Becoming, since it’s release, has been praised to the stars by just about everyone. All the readers I follow posted about it, and it was my book club’s pick sometime last year. I didn’t have the time to read it then, though. I finally picked up the book in November, but did not have the time or patience for a non-fiction.

In order to motivate myself to finish it this year, I chose Becoming as the book for a prompt in the Popsugar Reading Challenge and also included it in #StartOnYouRShelfathon. And it worked! I finished the book as my second read of the year. We’re off to a good start.

MY REVIEW

Once I was actually in the mood to read this book, which was so a few days back, I couldn’t stop reading it. Although it’s an autobiography, Michelle Obama’s life has been very interesting that it almost feels as if I’m reading fiction. She has written her story so beautifully, showing how she was brought up and what made her into who she is today.

Even when it’s not pretty or perfect. Even when it’s more real than you want it to be. Your story is what you have, what you will always have. It is something to own.

Becoming is a brilliant book that sends a message of hope, change, and power in resilience. It was inspiring and motivating.

How Michelle Obama was portrayed in the media is such a contrast to how she is in the book. She, along with her husband and family, are humanized and broken down to the small quirks that makes them. She speaks about her struggles, her fears, and her weakness plainly. There was no hiding, but instead she owned every part of her story.

In my opinion, a major reason that this book resonates with people across the world is how Michelle openly talks about her struggles which many others are going through as well. She talks about the struggles of being a woman, being Black in a predominantly White country, being a woman in male-dominated field, being a working mother, and being the wife to a politician.

Confidence, I’d learned then, sometimes needs to be called from within. I’ve repeated the same words to myself many times now, through many climbs.

Am I good enough? Yes I am.

It was wonderful to read her thoughts and feelings on everything, especially the negative ones. In the end, she overcame all of that and stood strong. Michelle Obama learned how to adapt and use her resources to help other people. She recognizes all her privileges, from the people in her life to the power she has, and works to make changes in the US.

Through Michelle Obama, we also get insight into Barack Obama as more than the former US President. We see him as a passionate person, a fact-guy, as a husband, and as a father. It was interesting to see their relationship from the start and the issues they went through as he climbed the political ladder.

The choice, as he saw it, was this: You give up or you work for change. “What’s better for us?” Barack called to the people gathered in the room. “Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?”

I was most curious to read about the Obama family’s time in the White House and I was not disappointed. A major portion of the book took place during those 8 years, and Michelle spoke about everything. We read about the staff, the rooms, and multiple small quirks of living there. Their life changed drastically the day Barack Obama became the President-Elect, and Michelle showed the overwhelming changes in the book.

Being the First Lady is very much different to being the President. The role doesn’t have all the hard power of the President, nor does it give the platform to talk about the same issues. But being First Lady does give power due to the image. Reading about Michelle Obama’s journey in the role was intriguing and inspiring.

A First Lady’s power is a curious thing—as soft and undefined as the role itself. And yet I was learning to harness it.

One thing that Michelle Obama counted on for several years was the support from her girl friends. The power of female friendships is not spoken about much, in fiction or non-fiction, and it was really nice to see Michelle talk about it multiple times.

OVERALL

I should stop talking because there is SO MUCH in the book that I loved and several more quotes that I want to add. I can probably talk for an hour about this book.

But all I’ll say is, read this book if you haven’t yet. It’s a wonderful and inspiring story that drives home one thing: you are worth it, you can make changes in this world as well.

There’s power in allowing yourself to be known and heard, in owning your unique story, in using your authentic voice. And there’s grace in willing to know and hear others. This, for me, is how we become.

Michelle Obama

I rate this book..

5/5 stars

Have you read Becoming? Do you have favourite quotes from the book?

the sunday post header

The Sunday Post // 21st birthday, gifts & meetups

It’s the first Sunday of 2020! How are y’all doing?

I’m having the time of my life, just chilling and doing my own things. This past week has been quite eventful and I have much to tell y’all. Let’s get to it!

I turned 21!

My birthday was on 30th December, and it was quite uneventful since we were having exams. I spent most of the day studying. My college friends sent me tiny red velvet cupcakes and coffee through delivery service though, and that made my day!

FINALS ENDED

Our last exam was on 1st of January, and I am so glad it’s finally done. We all felt relieved as heck to be done after so long. Overall, the exams were quite okay. They weren’t bad, but they weren’t really good either. I’m just glad to be done with them.

BIRTHDAY GIFTS

circe by madeline miller

The first birthday gift I received was a paperback copy of Circe. My bookstagram group has a thing where we buy a book from the person’s wishlist and send it to them for their birthday. Due to good Amazon service, I received this one three days in advance, and was super happy.

As we only met on the exam day, my college friends gave me my gifts after the exam. And.. I was blown, y’all.

The first gift they got me was a TOMBOW DUAL BRUSH PEN SET in pastel colours. I had casually mentioned to a friend that this is so expensive and I wish I could get it. A lot of bullet journallers on Instagram and YouTube swear by it, and I wanted to try.

And these amazing friends got it for me!

six of crows collector's edition

One of my friends found my wishlist on this blog and suggested that they get me the Six of Crows collector’s edition! That book is an ABSOLUTE BEAUTY. When they handed it to me, I had 0 thoughts. I was just looking at the book, not believing that they got it for me.

It’s so pretty, I could cry.

1st Jan was a VERY GOOD START to the year because of these gift bombs from my friends. Also 17 of my friends contributed for this and… I feel popular??? Omg?

Secret Santa gifts

I participated in two Secret Santa pools in 2019. Technically, I received half of these gifts a couple weeks back but I’m going to just talk about everything here.

The first Secret Santa pool was with my Bangalore bookstagram club. I gifted my Secret Child/Angel/whatever-you-call-it a paperback copy of Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine. It’s one of the best books I read last year and I really wanted her to have it.

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

I received Frankly in Love by David Yoon as my gift! Honestly, if I had to buy a book, I probably wouldn’t have gotten this one myself. I’m very frugal in buying paperback/hardback books and only buy books that I’m sure I would love. Hence, this was on my wishlist as a “maybe” buy, and I’m so happy my Santa gifted me this one.

The other Secret Santa pool was with my college friends. We’re a huge group but only 9 of us participated since everyone else was too broke for it. I gifted my Secret Child a scrapbook with 2019 memories. It was basically all the highlights of 2019 in polaroids and comments written next to them. I’m quite proud of it and he really liked it, so that was win!

Coincidentally, my Secret Child was my Secret Santa as well. We basically gifted each other lol. He got me a pop socket for my phone, which I’ve been wanting FOREVER, but never found a good inexpensive one. The pop socket says “OK, BUT FIRST COFFEE” and that’s perfect for me. The other core gift was a BTS bag-tag. Jin is my bias from BTS, and my Santa got a bag-tag of Jin’s BT21 character RJ. It’s so cute and it went on my bag immediately.

the BTS bag-tag and phone pop socket.

Other than these two, I also got a personalized poster with all the things that make up my life—like BTS, Netflix, blog, my best friends etc. My Santa also gave me small snack items like coffee powder and biscuits.

Overall, I got a lot haha.

Hangouts with friends

Right as exams finished, I made plans with friends to go out and chill. Our exams finished on Wednesday, and I went out to a cafe on Thursday with friends. On Friday, I went to one of my best friends’ place and chilled with her there. We spoke about random things and I blogged a little. In fact, I handed her the reins to make the blog post header image for my 2019 lookback post.

There were two plans made for Saturday. My college friends had a wonderful day out planned, and my best friends wanted to have a day out as well. Since I can’t meet one of my best friends for a while as she’s going on vacation, I chose to hang out with them. We had a really good day. I wore a new outfit and felt good in it.

And that’s it for the week! I’m taking today off to blog and chill at home. Tomorrow I have plans again, and tentative plans for Tuesday are on. I’m basically filling up my days with everything I want to do before 16th because that’s when my internship starts.

Make sure to follow my Instagram and Twitter for more updates, since only a few of them make it onto the blog.

Linking this to The Sunday Post and The Sunday Salon.


How was your week? Leave links to your Sunday Post below, if you’ve posted one!

looking back at 2019 header

Looking back at 2019 // Life, Blog, Social Media

desk space where a person is journalling.
Image credit: Unsplash

Although it had many ups and downs, 2019 was a good year for me.

It was one of the best years I’ve had, and by far the best year of college. Because it was such a memorable year, with tons of happenings, I want to record all the highlights so that I can look back later.

All I could think about during New Year’s Eve, when I was supposed to be studying for the next day’s exam, was 2019 memories. I roughly drafted this post on the morning of 1st Jan during breakfast even though I was supposed to leave for college in 10 minutes. That’s how much I want to record the last year.

nostalgia. it's delicate. but potent.

Since I have a LOT to recap, I’ll try to keep each point short. Otherwise this post will never end lol.

LIFE

  • Medical ups and downs.

My platelet count, which has been low since my first year of college, finally edged back into the normal range. But we suddenly found a swelling on my neck which kept growing. It persisted throughout the year, and caused so many problems.

  • 7 months of gluten-free diet.

I went on a gluten-free diet from April through October, for medical reasons. It was really hard because it cut down most of what I can eat outside, and meant that I mostly only ate at home.

  • First ER visit & hospitalization.

I was rushed to the hospital Emergency ward in the end of October due to breathlessness, caused by my swelling which suddenly kept increasing. And I stayed in the hospital, hooked up to IV and doing several tests, for three days. I absolutely hated that hospital stay, and hate that hospital now.

  • My relationship with my dad fractured.

It was barely hanging in the first place. I don’t know if we’ll be able to recover from this, and I’m not sure I want us to.

  • I cultivated my existing friendships over making new ones.

2018 was all about making new friends and getting out of my shell. But last year I spent a lot of time becoming closer to the friends I had, than reaching out to new people. It’s not to say that I didn’t make new friends, I did, but they’re fewer. My group is a tight-knit tribe now, because all of us spent a lot of time hanging out.

Happy hug GIF from Jane the Virgin
  • I got a job!

I was very worried about this, and I’m super glad I managed to get a job. My internship there starts this month, and it’s very exciting to think about.

  • Started choosing brighter colours.

I hated bright colours because they grab attention and I basically wanted to not be seen. Red & yellow were the worst. For many years my favourite colours were brown, dark purple, and then dark shades of blue. But last year, my favourite colour changed to pink. Not only that, but light pink! And I even began buying clothes which are yellow or red. It’s a huge change, which reflects my confidence.

  • I was open to many new plans.

I met up with tons of new people, and even suggested meetups myself. The most notable are meets with my Bangalore bookstagram club and meeting up with people from my last internship.

  • Made very many memories.

Especially the small ones. The most cherished times were everyday things from hanging out at our college’s canteen, to playing cards and other things.

girl working on her laptop

BLOGGING

  • Blogging fell to the wayside during multiple months.

I prioritized life things over blogging, and let my blog go without new posts for months together. The worst part was that I didn’t even read other blogs much during the time. By the end of that spell, I was disappointed in myself for doing that. While my priority choices were right, I could have put more effort into blogging.

  • Very many personal posts.

When I started blogging, I did a lot of personal posts but as I immersed into the blogging world, I restricted most of my posts to the bookish zone. Inadvertently, I put myself into a niche even though I didn’t want that. 2019 changed that, because I had SO MANY THINGS to talk about and wanted to share my life with everyone.

  • Hit 1.5k followers, 50k total views, and 700 total posts.

Achievements and milestones!!!

  • Struggled to decide where I want to go with this blog.

Since I was being irregular, I was confining myself to keep it as just a hobby. But I also have the dream of making it a side hustle, which will take a lot of work. It’s very exciting to think of. But in 2019, I was very undecided throughout the year.

  • My blog started coming up high in search engines!

In fact, the most number of views this blog currently receives is from search engines. Few of my posts have become really popular, I don’t know how, and garner so many views.

  • Engagement from the WordPress community reduced.

I’m not able to pinpoint why, but the engagement from WordPress reader has considerably reduced from past years. That’s quite sad because they’re my original reader base, and the ones I used to interact a lot with.

  • Blogmas!

I’m super glad that I did blogmas this time, and I managed to blog ALL 25 DAYS. That’s.. wow. Surprised myself, honestly. Click here to see my blogmas posts.

person using Instagram on their phone

SOCIAL MEDIA

I was only doing short themes, but in 2019 I tried outdoor photos, themeless feed and I did some experimenting with the posts. 2019 was also the year when I first put up my face on the account, which I had never done before.

  • Struggled a lot with motivation.

Especially because of the engagement drop in Instagram. It was very discouraging and it made me want to give up on my bookstagram multiple times. I even did a whole post with my thoughts on Instagram.

I considered monetizing it, but signing up on paypal gave me issues as it wasn’t accepting my ID. And somewhere during the beginning of 2019, I didn’t feel very inclined towards that account, and my activity went down. It took a backseat to @thewordyhabitat, and I wholly regret that.

  • My twitter was just… I don’t know.

I started being more active there, and started using Hootsuite to schedule promo tweets for the blog. But otherwise, I’m just enjoying seeing my twitter feed over actually putting content there myself.

  • Struggled to find my place in social media, overall.

My goals and my vision for my social media was completely unclear. I just kept doing something, but in my head, the end picture was not formed at all.

messy desk workspace picture

This year, I have some sense of direction because I figured out what I want to do, mostly. I have goals and action plans, and hopefully it will lead to the right end vision.

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How is your 2019 in review? Was it good, or was it disappointing?

January 2020 Bullet Journal Setup

Hellooo!

I had some time to spend on my Jan 2020 setup, and you can bet that I used all that time to make it look pretty. As a rule, you’re supposed to put more effort to make things pretty if it’s the beginning of a notebook.

January setup page 1

My aesthetic for this spread was inspired by tbhstudying. I tried to imitate her brush lettering style here. And I didn’t want to keep up with many monthly pages so I crammed everything into these two pages. Usually this would be three pages in my journal. This spread has it’s flaws, but I’m okay with those so I left it.

The habit tracker style has not changed because this format works really well for me. I also really like the quote on the right hand side.

spread 2

The only other monthly pages I use are these. Expense trackers are mandatory for me and having a page to plan out blog posts is helpful.

And that ends my January setup! It was short, yeah, but I wanted to have less things to keep up with and track.

I also posted my 2020 yearlong spreads setup, which you can see by clicking here!

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Are you all set up for January? What plans do you have for the month?

Happy New Year!

It’s been almost 4 years since I started blogging, and it’s been quite a journey. Every year is filled with changes, new opportunities, and growth. Through it all, this blog has grown with me.

I haven’t said this in a while, so thank you to everyone who takes time out of their busy days to read my posts. This blog is my main hobby and I pour all of myself into it, and it feels great to see people reading and commenting here. Thank you very much ❤

Happy new year everyone, and I hope you have a great year ahead!

Favourite 2019 Bullet Journal Spreads

One of the best parts of using a bullet journal is the flexibility.

You can customize spreads, experiment with any style you can think of, and decorate it however you want. This room for customization allows us to be very creative with our bullet journal spreads.

My 2019 bullet journal is mostly normal spreads with the bare minimum of decoration, since I was busy and focused more on usage than look. But when I did manage to carve out bits of time, I made some really nice spreads that I love flipping back to.

Today I’m sharing my favourite spreads from my 2019 bullet journal, and maybe it’ll inspire you to try something new as well! Feel free to tell me which your favourite spread is in the comments 🙂

[1]

quote: "fall in love with the process of becoming the very best version of yourself."

This is my most favourite spread. I love this quote and using the scrapbook paper to give a pink backdrop was a really good decision. When I’m flipping through the notebook, this opens up and I always read the quote, which comforts me that it’s the process that matters.

[2]

habit and mood trackers

This spread was made when I started to love the colour yellow. For years I’ve hated the colour because it’s too bright and eye-catching, but lately it’s been growing on me a fun and happy colour. The black line offsets the yellow letters well, and the trackers look really good all filled up.

[3]

September month at a glance and habit trackers

My September monthly is SO AUTUMNAL. The vibe was perfect for that season, and it’s the only time I went all out with stickers and doodles. It came out super well and I totally forgot to post that month’s setup on the blog, sadly.

[4]

monthly log and habit tracker

I tried a new type of monthly setup here. The blue colour scheme, and the lines with mildliners, actually made the spread look quite good.

[5]

habit tracker and blog schedule

This is another yellow theme that I did. The style is very similar to the last one, just in a different format. The best part of this is the sticker that says “fearlessly authentic”.

[6]

daily to-dos

I’ve seen this style of writing headings many times online and always wanted to try it. This is the only time that it came out really well. I love the look here.

[7]

January month calendar and event log

This is my monthly spread from January 2019. While it’s not very great, I love the fairy lights decoration I did on the left. It took very little effort but turned out really nice.

And that’s it, haha. The rest of my bullet journal is a mess because the only focus was on function.

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Out of these, which was your favourite? Tell me in the comments!

2020 Bullet Journal Setup

Hey everyone!

We’re just days away from the next year and it’s time to get all our plans and planners set up for it. Since my next (and last) final is four days away, I got some time to set up a new notebook as my bullet journal for next year.

My entire 2019 is in ONE notebook/bullet journal and that honestly makes me really happy. December is ending with about 3 pages left in that notebook. I might use the last 3 pages to do a homage for 2019, by adding in polaroids and writing about memories, but that’ll be after my holidays begin.

Now, onto the 2020 setup! I have to say, saying and writing 2020 is SO satisfying. It’s symmetrical and I’ll probably play with many styles this year. We’ll see.

index page

I started the new notebook with an index. Indexes are not very used by me but I do use them sometimes to flip to some important information or notes that are in the book. Its a very simple index, didn’t decorate it at all.

2020 cover page

For this spread, I was inspired by My Life In A Bullet. Her 2020 setup looked so good and I took this decorative idea from her. I actually quite like that my 2020 is not centered and that it has a small doodle on the inside.

Next is my year calendar. Yes, I did write it all by hand and it didn’t take that long so it was fine. I carried over the leaves from the last page here. I only made it a calendar and not a future log because I usually don’t use a future log, but I do flip back to see dates of the year. My week always goes Sunday to Saturday so I didn’t bother writing the days for every month.

goals, challenges spread

This is my favourite spread from this setup. Sometime in the last year I fell in love with the colour yellow in my bullet journal, and I went all yellow here. I’m not a huge resolutions person so this spread just contains what I’d like to do in things that are in my control.

I wrote down the reading challenges I’m doing so that I won’t forget what I’m exactly doing throughout the year. The blogging goals are what I’d love to do this year. I have huge plans for this blog y’all. On the right, I’ve written some personal things that I’d like to improve on in 2020. The lettered quote “grab opportunities ASAP” is my sentence for the year since I’m a hesitant person on taking opportunities and trying new things.

period tracker and birthday list

Next, I’ve done a period tracker. I have irregular periods and it’s necessary to track them, and I don’t like doing it on an app. Until now I marked down the dates on my monthly spreads but it’s hard to see all the dates in one place that way. By doing a year-long tracker, it will be easier to notice patterns and irregularities.

On the right, I just wrote down birthdays I want to remember. Whenever I set up my monthly spreads, I need to see what birthdays are in that month online or ask a friend, so this will be helpful for the next year.

And that’s it for my 2020 setup! All these spreads are what I’ll be referring and using for the entire year. It’s always a good idea to set up yearly spreads in the beginning of a new notebook or a new year.

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Are you excited for 2020? How was 2019 for you?

blogmas 2019 header image

Merry Christmas! & End of Blogmas

Merry Christmas everyone!

I’m sitting at home, about to start studying for my next final, but I hope you have a very nice day.

Christmas also marks the last day of Blogmas. It’s slightly shocking that I made it without skipping a single day? I blogged every day from 1st to today and it’s… phew. Blogmas is not easy.

I’m super glad to have done Blogmas because it pushed me to see how much I can manage my time to blog. and because it made me write and post many pending ideas. I learnt how to manage my time to suddenly blog everyday, and how to blog in advance so I’m prepared for the days when I can’t blog. I did daily blog back in 2016 but Blogmas was more intense this time because of my many other plans and things to do.

But. I’m glad Blogmas is over, not gonna lie. I’m ready to go back to a laid back blogging pace where I can take my time making every post good. And I won’t have to compromise on other things to blog, like lazying around and gaming haha.

Anyway, I’ll stop talking since I don’t really have much to say.

If you haven’t seen my posts during Blogmas, check them out! Here are all the links below.

Day 1 – Hello Blogmas!

Day 2 – December ’19 Bullet Journal Setup

Day 3 – The Knight Before Christmas // Movie Review

Day 4 – (life update) if we were having tea… // 04-12-2019

Day 5 – (book review) Heads You Win || highly captivating

Day 6 – Let’s Talk Bookish // Content Warnings For Books

Day 7 – Let’s Chat // Spotify Wrapped, YouTube Rewind, New Music by Taylor Swift, Halsey

Day 8 – Christmas Jars // Movie Review + Giveaway

Day 9 – (blogging tips) How to Consistently Blog Without Tiring Yourself Out (Part 1)

Day 10 – Top 10 Romance Reads of 2019

Day 11 – (book review) Wilder Girls || gory and creepy

Day 12 – My First First Love // Kdrama Review

Day 13 – All I Want For Christmas Book Tag

Day 14 – Songs On Repeat // blogmas edition

Day 15 – (life update) The Sunday Post // blogging, studying, REPEAT

Day 16 – My Favourite 2019 Blogging Moments Tag

Day 17 – (book review) The Gilded Wolves || full of adventure

Day 18 – A-Z Reading Challenge 2019

Day 19 – (book review) Maybe This Time || so adorable

Day 20 – I’m joining #StartOnYourShelfathon! + Jan TBR

Day 21 – (life update) if we were having tea… // 21-12-2019

Day 22 – thoughts on Instagram

Day 23 – (book review) Shortcake || slow burn hate-to-love romance

Day 24 – 2020 Reading Challenges and Readathons I’m participating in

And today’s day 25!

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How is/was your Christmas? Do you have plans for New Year’s Eve?

blogmas 2019 header image

2020 Reading Challenges and Readathons I'm participating in

2020 is right around the corner and I am excited.

The upcoming year is the start to a new decade and the start to tons of new life experiences and opportunities. Everyone is abuzz with hopes and huge bucket lists and ambitious plans.

Going into 2020, I’m obviously going to keep up with my reading and am planning on making my reading a little bit more fun. Over the past month, I’ve seen SO MANY announcements for 2020 year-long readathons and reading challenges. It’s overwhelming to decide from several amazing options, but I’ve managed to decide on a few of them.

Now, I generally don’t participate in year-long reading challenges because I tend to forget about them. But this time, there are groups for these ones and friends from my bookstagram club are joining in as well. Hopefully, this will help me not forget and actually finish these challenges.

an open book

Totally, I’m participating in 5(!!!!) reading challenges this year.

[1] Goodreads Reading Challenge

This is a staple for me every year. I’ve been participating in the Goodreads Reading Challenge since 2015 and it’s a great way to track your reading.

How this works: it’s a very flexible challenge because the goal is set by you. The goal is the number of books you want to read next year, and using Goodreads* helps track your reading. All the math about whether you’re behind or ahead in your reading is done by Goodreads to help you keep track of your status.

My goal is 150 books, the same as 2019. Usually I stay ahead of my goal and manage to surpass it early enough but it wasn’t so this year. I barely managed to hit my goal. Because of that, I’m not increasing my goal next year. It would be nice to read more, but 150 is what I’m aiming for.

*by marking books as “read” along with the dates on the website

[2] A-Z Reading Challenge

This is another staple. I don’t consciously put effort for this every year. It’s more of an afterthought at the end of the year where I look back and see if I managed to get all the letters done. It’s just fun to look back and see how many you’ve managed to fill. This is also a very low effort challenge.

How it works: You read a book starting with every letter of the alphabet, with an exception for a few letters. See this post to know more.

me standing with my kindle

[3] South-Asian Reading Challenge 2020

Fanna @ fannatality came up with this brilliant reading challenge which aims to put more focus on South-Asian books and diversify our reading. More details about the challenge haven’t been released yet but I’m super excited to participate.

Click here to see the announcement post.

[4] #StartOnYourShelfathon

CW @ The Quiet Pond came up with this idea because she has a ton of backlist books on her physical which needed to be read last year. When she posted the idea on twitter and received a ton of positive response, she made up this AMAZING reading challenge.

To be honest, I don’t really need to be participating because my backlist books aren’t that many, but I want to just for the aesthetics and activities within this challenge. It’s very tempting.

The best part of this is that it doesn’t have prompts so I can mix it up with other reading challenges as well. Flexible challenges are my jam.

Click here to see my joining post and TBR!

me standing next to a stack of books of almost my height.

[5] 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge

I found this challenge purely by luck after it was shared in a book group that I’m in. The challenge has a total of 50 prompts (a lot, I know). I was very unsure of joining this one because of the amount of effort it will take to find books for the prompts, and the large number of prompts.

After deliberating for a whole day, I decided that I might as well give it a go. I haven’t participating in a reading challenge like this before and I really want to try. Plus, the prompts are so good and interesting! They will definitely push me out of my comfort zone and introduce some new books.

Click here to see the official post.


If I said that I’m not overwhelmed at all by the thought of taking on all of these challenges, it would be a lie. But since most of them are flexible and can be mixed with other challenges, it should be doable as long as I plan my reads right.

I’ve already started planning on how to tackle the Popsugar challenge with #StartOnYourShelfathon bu choosing books that I own which fits some Popsugar prompts. I think I can do this.

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Are you participating in any challenges for 2020? Reading or otherwise?

Shortcake || slow-burn hate-to-love romance

shortcake book cover

Title: Shortcake
Author: Lucy Watson
Genre: Romance
Category: Adult
Series info: Standalone book

Goodreads

I was just browsing through romance titles in my recommendations, looking for new books that I might like when I came across Shortcake. To be honest, I’ve never heard of this book or this author and I didn’t have many expectations. Still, I decided to give it a go and was pleasantly surprised.

Content warnings for the book: grief, anxiety, mild PTSD.

THE PLOT

Emelia Anderson has been the live-in care nurse for Rose for a long time. When Rose passes away, she leaves the house to her grandson Benjamin and Emelia. The family, especially Ben, believe that Emelia conned Rose into adding her in the will and this animosity causes Ben to hate Emelia. Em is shocked that Rose included her in the will and hates that her character is being judged in such a way.

As much as they want to, Ben and Emelia can’t back out as Rose’s stipulation was that they have to renovate the house together while living in it for three months. Bizarre, right? If they fail to do so, the house will go to Ben’s father, whom Ben hates.

In the three months that they reluctantly live as house mates, Ben and Emelia get to know each other and develop feelings.

MY REVIEW

First of all, this book is longer than most romance books. But it has all the content which makes every page worth it.

The slow-burn chemistry was on point. I love slow-burn romances and this was done SO WELL. Ben and Emelia hate each other from their first meeting, which leads them to argue and fight a lot. It was really interesting to see their relationship grow from that start.

The book was hilarious. Emelia is a hoot and reading from her point of view was highly entertaining. She’s awkward, clumsy and sometimes rash in her decisions and it makes for some really funny scenes. The book made me laugh out loud and giggle multiple times, to the point that my mum was amused just watching me read.

Emelia has had a traumatic experience in the past, which has led to her developing anxiety. I really like how her anxiety was shown and her how she still makes the best of her life. It wasn’t a huge part of plot, her anxiety and milk PTSD were present and represented well.

The one thing that did disappoint me was the ending. The ending felt very rushed and messy. After the build-up of almost the whole book, the last part wasn’t very satisfying and felt off-paced.

OVERALL

A really nice romance read. I read the entire book in one sitting because it was too good to pause reading.

Would recommend: for hate-to-love and slow-burn romance lovers. Also if you’re looking for a very fun romantic comedy.

I rate this book..

4/5 stars

Do you like hate-to-love romances? What’s your favourite romance trope?