Ever since people started staying at home due to COVID-19, there have been TONS of tips going around to maintain a good life at home.
Be it workout exercises, things to learn, goals to hit, self-love routines or work-from-home tips—EVERYONE has been sharing their insights.
My twitter feed has been FILLED with advice on all the things. And it definitely helps. Learning from others’ experiences is easier than trying and failing on your own.
All of us had some form of a routine before but now we need entirely new routines. Hence, one thing that almost everyone is working on setting up a new routine. Routines make sure that we get everything done and are on time for work/study.
But I have a slightly different opinion.
A few months before, our lives every day were different. Even though we had a routine, it wasn’t completely set in stone because of factors not in our control.
We could have been on time and yet the bus could be a few minutes late, setting your schedule off. You might has forgotten something at home, causing you to go back and start the trip to office again. You and your friends might have suddenly decided to go out for dinner.
And that’s what made life interesting. The absence of monotony or a perfect routine made our days interesting.
Since we are all at home now, almost everything is in our control. Which means that there fewer variables and very few differences between one day and the next. This leads to monotony and boredom.
In order to not let boredom set in, BREAK. THE. MONOTONY.
Now, I know what you’re asking. But Sumedha, I need a routine in order to get things done! How do I break the monotony?
Have a flexible routine.
Don’t section off every minute of your day for something.
I’ve seen people online with routines where they’ve marked down EVERYTHING in advance. This will just lead to boredom in a few days.
Only mark down chores, work and study. Only mark down things that have a deadline, or require collaboration with other people. Those need specific timings.
But DON’T hardcore schedule fun time or chill time! Don’t do 9pm-10pm read. Just read when you feel like it. If you don’t want to read, watch a movie. You can even simple video call friends.
Do something fun every day
And by fun, I mean something that will make you smile and laugh. This can be a hobby, or this can be playing games with your family or friends. Even if it is just for 15 minutes everyday, do something fun to lift your spirits.
I suggest doing a dance party. Play happy or dance music and break your moves out. Just dance for 15 minutes. Jump around, do random moves. I frequently do this, and it never fails to brighten up my day. This can also be done with everyone in the house.
Regularly change parts of your routine
And I mean small things, like your meal plans or the days on which you do something. Make changes in what you have control over. Just to keep the monotony out of your routine.
Frequently do things with other people
Most of us thrive through contact with other people. Most of our lives are usually outside so this is not surprising.
This sudden lack of contact with other people will affect us. So find ways to still keep in touch with your friends and family and do activities with them online.
play multiplayer games online.
watch movies or shows together.
do video calls and spend time “hanging out”.
simulate lunch or coffee outings through calls.
Keeping in touch with people and doing fun collaborative things will stop boredom from setting in.
It’s been a while since I’ve spoken in a casual and chatty way, and I think it’s long overdue.
Many things have been happening in the world and I think we all could use a break from the news to just talk to each other and update on how we’re feeling/doing*.
Grab a hot cup of tea or coffee or any drink of your choice and settle down to hear some chatter from me.
*to keep things light, I will not be talking about the coronavirus situation itself. Maybe just some references, but all the talk will be about other things. We all need a break.
If we were having tea…I’d talk about my schedule nowadays which is CRAP. I sleep for 10 to 11 hours for no reason. Because I have no real time-sensitive work to do like internship or classes. I’m working on slowly resetting my schedule back to early timings, but it’s going in baby steps.
If we were having tea… you might have said “wait what?? I thought you were working from home for your internship?? That’s what you said in your last update?!” and you’d be right. I did say that, but a DAY after that my office decide to pause the internships for two weeks. We’re all scrambling to figure out our business plans and since many of us interns don’t have good internet connections where we stay, they gave us leaves. All the interns who stay away from family went back home.
My internship is paused until March 30th but we’re not sure if that will continue or whether we will resume. Let’s see.
If we were having tea… I would talk about how I need purpose to my days. Even if I’m on vacation, I like to know in advance so I’m prepared for not having work or focus on relaxing. Getting a sudden off from internship (and college classes are suspended as well) means that I’m suddenly free. I’m a planner and this was not nice to my brain and schedule. It took me a couple days of moping and sleeping too much to accept it and make a plan for the coming while.
I decided to take it as a vacation and make some progress on reading books, since I didn’t get much time to read before. I AM being a little productive everyday though because I’m a productivity-oriented person. Sleep won’t come to me unless I get something done. That something has been blogging for the most part, and reading. Now I’ve started working on my project for college as well.
If we were having tea… I’d share news about my college. Since all classes are suspended, we’ve moved online as well. But it’s a little weird for us because even normally we had only few hours of classes three days a week. And barely anyone that because most students have internship Monday to Friday.
Hence, we don’t really care about videos and lectures because it’s a foregone conclusion that we’ll be basically studying on our own from notes. We only had to worry about assignments and stuff. We haven’t even bothered to consider online classes haha.
But now we’ve been given reading material day-wise and assignments every week (before it was once two to three weeks). This is so weird. I’m going to be actually doing classwork for the first time this semester.
If we were having tea… You’d learn all about Twitter prom! A while back this tweet went viral which suggested having prom online since most events are cancelled in real life. We deserve some sort of celebration, yeah? Even with social distancing.
The tweet went viral with A LOT of people showing interest. A discord server was made for it called twitter prom (but on discord) and there are thousands of people on it now. Kudos to the moderators who have worked hard to properly moderate, give people roles depicting age, pronouns and sexuality.
Twitter prom is just an excuse to hang out, though. Strangers hang online on the text and/or voice channels and can make friends too. I have seen people asking out others to the twitter prom randomly haha. The actual prom happened at 4:30am (for me) today and because of the timing I wasn’t a part of it. No clue how it went.
I’ve been hanging on the channel to listen to music with others and play skribble with them sometimes. There are ALWAYS people just listening to music together I just join in whenever and have a fun time. I’ve also made some new friends! They have good taste in music, so that’s good. We have fun 🙂
If we were having tea… I’d tell you that my Bangalore book club made a new Instagram page (follow us here!) and we’re super excited to start over. This time with better graphics and ALL the enthusiasm.
In fact, we’re currently in the middle of our first readathon! Since today is a holiday for most Indians as it’s a festival (hence no work from home as well), we thought today would be good to start small. This readathon goes on for 12 hours—10am to 10pm—and the goal is to read for SIX hours.
As I write this, we’re already almost three hours in and I HAVEN’T STARTED. This is partly because I stayed up until 3:30am reading and only woke up at 10:30am. I’ll start reading as soon as I finish this post. The book that I’ll be reading is Tatiana & Alexander by Paullina Simmons because I need a readathon to actually finish it. I left it partway a week back and haven’t returned.
If we were having tea… we would probably bond over boredom of staying at home. I’m envying the people who are quarantined with friends and their significant others because being with my mum not is not very fun. I MISS MY FRIENDS. I miss their faces. I suggested doing an online coffee/tea hangout (kind of like this post!) so let’s hope that happens. It’s not that I have much to say, but I miss hearing random things about them and I miss us all discussing things and ribbing each other.
If we were having tea… I’d ask you to safe safe and healthy! The situation all around the world isn’t good right now and we need to keep ourselves healthy and happy. Mental health is just as important as physical health.
 Surprise, Baby by Lex Martin and Leslie McAdam
I read this YESTERDAY, actually. I was looking at the new releases in New Adult category and found this book there. It sounded interesting so I picked it up.
It was a pleasant surprise! Talks about second chances, trust, and is a really good story overall.
It’s a hate-to-love romance where they accidentally get pregnant and date during the pregnancy. The story is actually sensible and the characters are good, unlike many other secret-baby-trope books that I’ve read.
I’ve been pretty much YELLING about this book on this blog recently haha. But truly, it’s so underrated! In fact, the author is underrated. More people should pick up her books because they’re so good!
The best part about Fumbled was the girl squad. Their friendship and the fun they have together is the best.
 The Hooker & the Hermit by L. H. Cosway and Penny Reid
Cosway is pretty popular among romance readers but this specific book deserves more recognition. I really liked it! It swept me away subtly.
The main character lives a double life where she is a PR manager but also an anonymous blogger. And her blogger persona is VERY famous. She uses her platform for fun and snark at celebrities but also to forward good causes.
Another book that I’ve been yelling about a lot is this one. The few readers who HAVE read this yell about it, but we’re still not enough. This amazing story with strong characters deserves so much more.
This is a romance between a single mother to two twins and a tattooed male nanny. It perfectly deals with boundaries and trust. I love it. I want to see this everywhere.
Another old favourite, Imperfect Chemistry is one that blew me off during my early New Adult Romance days. It’s an old book but has BARELY any recognition.
The highlight is the main character, to be honest. She’s a genius and decides to research human emotions. And she’s ADORABLE because she doesn’t have a shy bone in her body. The relationship development was awesome.
Eun Dan-oh is pretty, the only daughter of a rich man, engaged to a popular boy who doesn’t like her back, and also has a critical heart problem. All this can mean only one thing: her life is that of a female lead’s in a comic book.
But one day, Eun Dan-oh finds out that she is only an extra in a real comic book. She doesn’t have control over what she does or says in “scenes” and frequently has memory loss when she jumps to the next scene.
Not happy with these terms, Dan-oh decides to change scenes and take control of her fate. She is unable to change anything but finds out that a nameless classmate with the roll number 13 is able to change her fate.
The drama follows Eun Dan-oh, Number 13, and her other classmates through the duration of this comic book story.
MY THOUGHTS ON THE DRAMA
The reason I was drawn to this drama was because it’s something likeW: Two Worlds which also deals with a fictional story where the characters take control of their fate.
That drama is one of my favourites, and Extraordinary You seemed like another take on the same concept. I’m super glad I decided to watch this.
Now, onto the review in the form of lists because lists are awesome.
This drama was A D O R A B L E.
I cannot stress on how cute the main couple were. I could not get enough.
The characters were super interesting.
The comic book story in itself is pretty boring and something that we’ve all seen multiple times. But what made this show interesting was everything OUT of the scenes.
Dubbed “the backstage” is when characters, who have their “ego” or have realized that they’re in a comic book, have control over their actions.
The backstage is when we REALLY get to know the characters. And many of them are not the same as their personalities on stage.
A satirical take on cliche stories.
The main comic book story is VERY cliche. I’m talking: poor girl got into a prestige school with a scholarship and the most popular guy falls for her.
There’s also a love triangle with the involvement of another popular guy who likes the same girl, and he is sweet and kind.
The characters who do get their “egos” recognize how cliche, annoying, and repetitive the story is. They frequently curse the author for their irritating dialogues and it’s SO FUNNY.
Spotlight on the supporting characters in a story.
Using this drama, the supporting characters’ plights in a story is brought to light.
The supporting characters exist only to further the story with the main characters and don’t hold much weight on their own. Everything they do is something that helps the leads, otherwise they’re cast aside.
This is shown and made fun of in this drama. It’s a unique way of “spotlighting the smaller roles”.
Unique take on self-discovery and character growth.
Once the characters get their egos, they also gain the ability of judgement etc. So they start to judge and have opinions of their actions that happen ON stage. And many characters learn from on stage scenes but off stage thinking.
This is especially brought up in the case of the “villian” who gets to really judge his actions.
Supporting plot lines were sometimes annoying.
Kdramas never focus on just the main characters. They always put some focus on the supporting characters’ and their lives as well.
In this drama, I actually didn’t appreciate that. It became repetitive and I simply did not care.
Eun Dan-oh is SUPER fun to watch.
She’s the highlight, honestly. She makes the show fun and full of energy. Her personality is different from traditional female leads who are more subdued.
Eun Dan-oh is full of energy and rebellion. I loved her.
It’s not just ONE story, though.
The author of the current comic book has written another story previously as well, and has taken characters from that to add here. Hence, some of the characters also regain their memories from the PREVIOUS comic book.
The fact that comic book authors sometimes use the same characters (i.e. same features, personality) instead of coming up with a whole new set of characters is used to add more complexity.
It was actually pretty fun.
The romance plot line is between Eun Dan-oh and the Number 13 student who is named “Ha-ru” by Dan-oh.
Listen, they were TOO CUTE OKAY??? I kept rooting for them. They were OTP* from the start.
The romance was perfect.
*One True Pair
This show’s concept is prone to MANY plot holes and all loose ends cannot be tied in just 16 episodes.
I DID recognize a few plot holes but as I was bingeing it but I didn’t pay much attention or analyze them.
It’s a drama for entertainment, not for analyzing or having perfect details.
When watching the drama, it’s all fun and entertaining. But only upon thinking later did I realize the NUMBER of complex emotions and relationships portrayed.
The characters don’t have complete freedom over their actions or fate, and the way they deal with it backstage with their egos really shows what kind of character they really are.
Our female lead and just an extra in the comic book, Eun Dan-oh is ENTERTAINING. She’s always high on energy and is spunky.
Her role in the book is to be a sad little extra. Dan-oh is engaged to Baek Kyung, a member of the school’s popular boy band A3. She has a huge crush on him but he is with her only because his family, otherwise he doesn’t like her. This creates a ton of sad scenes on stage as he keeps breaking her heart.
But off-stage, Dan-oh couldn’t care less about the rude Baek Kyung. Once she starts liking Ha-ru/Number 13, SHE’S TOO CUTE with shyness and all the feelings. I felt like reaching through the screen and crushing her in a hug every time she become shy.
Ha-ru / Number 13
This is the second lead in the Kdrama. He’s the unnamed comic book character who is pulled into Eun Dan-oh’s schemes to change her fate.
As he doesn’t have a name given by the author, Dan-oh names him “Ha-ru” so that she can call him something. Although he is only a nameless character in this comic book, there’s much more to Ha-ru’s character which is revealed as the drama goes on.
To all of you who like quiet soft boys who would do anything for their girls, HA-RU IS YOUR MAN. Not going to lie, I had a crush on him as well. It’s impossible not to. Doesn’t help that he is incredibly handsome.
Baek Kyung is part of the A3, the school’s boy band and hence is very popular at school. On his dad’s insistence, he is engaged to Dan-oh because her dad has a ton of connections. But Baek Kyung doesn’t like her and wishes that she doesn’t rely on him or like him.
Kyung is rude, arrogant, and so involved in his own issues that he doesn’t care about anyone else’s feelings.
He’s the only morally grey character in this Kdrama, and has LAYERS. All the other characters are pretty straight-forward but Baek Kyung is the one who actually has a full-blown identity crisis and starts to learn about himself.
Yeo Joo-da is the main character in the actual comic book story. A poor girl who got a scholarship to attend this prestigious school and is constantly bullied by mean girls.
Two members of the A3 fall for her and thus ensues the love triangle. But the boy whom she will end up with (as we all have seen SEVERAL times) will be the bad boy with emotional baggage and not the kind, sweet guy.
She’s there purely for the cliche, but around the end of the drama there’s an interesting twist with her.
The most popular guy in school, the lead of A3, and the son of a superstar. Oh Nam-joo seemingly has it all but there’s more to him than just the popular arrogant guy whom all girls fall for.
Oh Nam-joo is there only for the main comic book story and not for the drama. He’s the cliche lead in all romance stories.
The third member of the A3 and the eternal sweetheart, Lee Do-hwa is the third part of the comic book’s love triangle. He is kind and thoughtful, and is the cliched second male lead who is actually a better guy but doesn’t get the girl.
His aesthetic in the comic book is playing sad music on the violin for Yeo Joo-da and quietly pining for her.
But Lee Do-hwa has his ego, and how he goes about his love for Yeo Joo-da backstage with all freedom is the real point of the drama. His story was not a particularly interesting one, but it was nice to see.
Jinmichae / Dried Squid Fairy
An extra in the comic book, the Dried Squid Fairy is part of the school’s cooks who makes good dried squid. But he’s also so much more than that.
Eerily, he seems to be the one person who knows everything. But why? Who is he? As his story is revealed throughout the drama, it becomes more interesting.
Kdramas and their OSTs are a love story. Okay, but seriously. They choose the BEST music for the soundtrack, it’s unbelievable.
The music for Extraordinary You was perfect. Songs with fast beats were good and the slow songs WERE BEAUTIFUL. After a while, I started singing along. The feels.
First Love by Sondia
This song is LOVE. I know it almost by-heart at this point. Every time I listen to it, I want to slow dance in the rain. It’s a whole mood. The other version of this song (drama version sung by a male artist) is also really good.
My Beauty by VERIVERY
I’ve never heard of this artist group before but you bet I’m going to find out more of their songs. This is SO GOOD. Just listen!
I Draw You in My Heart by Jeong Sewoon
This song sounds exactly like the title. The exact same mood. It’s slow and sad and beautiful. I could cry.
A VERY cute drama which is much more than it seems. Perfect for bingeing/watching if you’re in the mood for something fun and intriguing.
It’s so nice that I really feel like rewatching it.
Title: The Bronze Horseman Author: Paullina Simmons Genre: Historical Romance Category: Adult Series info: Book #1 of The Bronze Horseman series
This book found its way into my TBR* because of Instagram. I followed @sissireads for romance recommendations and beautiful pictures and quickly caught wind of her UNDYING LOVE for this series. As far as I remember, she owns 75 or so editions of this book!
If a book is SO LOVED, it definitely deserves a chance to be read. Although it’s been in my TBR for a year, I picked it up only now with the added incentive through reading challenges.
This book fits into 2 of my challenges: #StartOnYourShelfathon and 2020 Popsugar Reading Challenge. Click here to know more about them.
*To Be Read list
The book takes place in war-torn Leningrad, Soviet Union. Tatiana, a young 17 year old girl finds the love of her life by chance while sitting on a bench and eating ice cream. Alexander Belov, a handsome soldier, is also besotted with her.
But love isn’t that simple when you’re in Soviet Union and Hitler is coming after your country. And it becomes even more complicated because Tatiana’s sister is in love with the same man.
This book took me a LONG time to read. I used to read a lot back in school but don’t have the time now. It was only after my internship was paused and we went into precautionary quarantine that I got the time to really read this.
The Bronze Horseman is a romance at the core, but it also has a ton of history and politics.
The politics part is brought in because Alexander and Tatiana have many conversations talking about their country, their leaders and their situations. That was pretty interesting to read because I got to know a lot more.
I also really liked the amount of history brought in. It was VERY detailed in the book, and the author spent time on describing small losses and victories as well.
My history lessons in school barely mentioned Russia and, in fact, any other countries in focus other than India. So reading books like this one teaches a ton.
Through Tatiana and her family, we get a very detailed look into the lives of civilians during the war. At some point, it was less romance and more war-focused.
It comes through that the author cares a lot about getting the history right and has used this book to teach readers something about the place she’s from.
As for the romance.. I’m conflicted. I liked the romance sometimes, but the story kept going in circles. The love triangle between Alexander, Tatiana, and Tatiana’s sister Dasha was dragged on way too long.
It might be because I’m a nerd but I preferred the small details of war and history than the romance.
Another thing I noticed was that Alexander is problematic. He is portrayed to be this alpha-male who cares for Tatiana a lot. But multiple times his actions were not healthy. The more times I noticed it, the less I liked him.
Alexander has a temper, is unyielding when he wants something, is persuasive, and is controlling. He is also a hero. The perfect soldier who succeeds in every mission he sets out for.
To contrast, Tatiana is an innocent girl who is believed to be young and fragile but is actually a strong woman in will. She is stubborn, will put herself through hell for people she cares about, and has a habit of giving things away to the less fortunate.
Their dynamic is one I’ve seen many times in romance books. They need each other to balance out. Alexander is there to protect her and is the only person who actually prioritizes her, and she is the only one who sees the real him.
The highlight of the book is the plot overall. This is a huge book and it has the story to justify it. It contains A TON, and it’s worthy of 900 pages. The story from start to finish is quite captivating.
I was actually dreading reading the next book after this because book 2 is another 500 pages. But surprisingly, as I finished this book, I couldn’t wait to get to the next one. The story is good and keeps you interested. I want to know how it all ends.
I actually quite liked the book, despite not liking the romance. I was in it for the history and information. But, that DID get old after a while and I basically skimmed the last bits of the book.
This is not a book to just pick up, because you need time and patience for it.
Would recommend: if you’re into history and have the time and patience for this book.
Would not recommend: if you don’t like long books, details, and problematic heroes. Also if repetition really annoys you.
I’m officially just sitting home with no work and no college for the foreseeable future. Yes I am struggling because I need a purpose to my days and suddenly having all plans cancelled is not great.
The silver lining is that I finally have time to read! And I’ve actually been burying myself into books for the last few days. I may catch up to my original reading challenge of 150 books for 2020. Let’s see.
I’m not reading anything currently as a paperback or ebook. I’m in-between books. I finished a book just this morning and haven’t picked up another yet.
On the audiobook front, I’m still reading Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. As I’m not commuting, there’s no real use for an audiobook for me.
But I am planning on finishing it soon. Time to start doodling and listen to audiobooks while in quarantine.
WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?
I have a proper list after so long! I read quite a bit.
I FINALLY finished The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simmons last weekend. That huge book was a long and wild. There were a ton of elements to it. It had been on my list for a long time. I’m glad I finally got to it.
It was pretty good. While it was very long and sometimes irritating, it was quite nice. I’m looking forward to read the next book because I gotta know how it all ends.
Right after that, I needed a pick-me-up. Especially with the news nowadays, and sitting at home all day, I needed a happy book.
My book club decided to read Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn and IT WAS SO GOOD. I stayed up until 3am and read it in one sitting. It was so nice. The book was actually quite comforting.
The next book isn’t one that I finished. After seeing it around a lot, I picked up The Upside of Falling by Alex Light. I read until 17% then gave up. It wasn’t good. There wasn’t a lot of content, and the beginning was simply glossed over with a dismal plot. As it didn’t interest me at all, I gave up on it.
After that, I went down back to random romance book haha. It’s been a while since I read books with the secret-baby trope. Don’t ask me why I went back to it, I just did.
The next book that I read was Surprise Baby for Christmas by Harmony Knight. I actually did not like it. It was so sub-par. My only takeaway from it is that there exists something called a cryptic pregnancy. I never knew that existed.
The last one is Her Sicilian Baby Revelation by Michelle Smart. This one was actually not bad. I wish there was some more focus on the struggles the female lead and her son went through, though. Their tragic accident and recovery part was kind of glossed over but I would have liked more focus on that.
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?
No clue. I’m just picking up random books.
Over the next few days, I am planning on reading the sequel of The Bronze Horseman called Tatiana & Alexander. It’s smaller than the first book so it should be done faster.
And I want to read some book, ANY book, from my physical shelf. Maybe Frankly in Love by David Yoon? Just, any of them haha.
The virus has taken over the world, and also all conversations.
What did we all even talk about before? I can barely remember. I wonder what would be trending on twitter if there was no coronavirus now. Probably some tiktok video or something on US 2020 elections. Who knows.
Anyway! Let’s get onto updates. I’ll mention coronavirus-related things at the last lol.
I didn’t get much time to read in the last week. There was just too much going on. Blogging barely made it into my schedule as well.
As a result, I finished not one book. This is new. But yes, my reading has been affected VERY BADLY.
I am currently reading though. I’m reading The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simmons. An bookstagrammer I used to follow always recommended this book and owned over 70 editions of it, so I added it to my TBR simply because I want to know why it’s loved so much.
2020 is the year of tackling backlist books, getting to those HUGE intimidating books, and trying out reading challenges. This book fits all the three.
As the book is 900 pages long (!!!!), it feels like I’m not making much of a dent. Especially since I usually get maybe around 15 minutes to read at once. But I really sat down yesterday and made a lot of progress. Right now, I’m 41% through with the book. It’s pretty good but the jury is still mostly out.
While commuting to and from work, I managed to have a little progress on an audiobook as well. I started Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed. It’s pretty nice! I’m about half-way through and I’m enjoying it.
Oh and I reached 5 books behind my Goodreads goal of 150 books. Although I did say in my reading challenge updates post that I’ll wait until I’m 8 books behind to decide, I decided now itself. And I lowered my reading goal to a 100 books. With the other reading priorities like finishing longer books and better books, I’m not really sad about the lower count.
I’m barely ahead on the track with the goal of 100 books, and may lower my goal again sometime later in the year. But it’s okay.
Yes I know what you’re thinking. You didn’t find time to read but she found time to watch? Basically you chose to watch over read.
If you thought that, you are kind of right. I did watch on multiple occasions instead of reading. BUT. In my defense, I mostly watched when I was having meals or during small breaks. Its easier to stop watching mid-way than stop reading so I chose to watch when I know I can’t read much.
And on Friday I totally binged for hours just to finish the show.
The show I watched was Crashlanding On You which is a VERY popular Kdrama. Netflix has been throwing it in my face since it released. Multiple friends loved it as well so I eventually watched it too.
It was actually really good. I’m not sure of the accuracy of the situations portrayed, but it was SO GOOD story-wise. It’s an epic love story. But what warmed my heart the most were other platonic relationships portrayed throughout the drama.
Will probably write a review soon. Let’s hope I find the time for it.
One of the reasons that the past week was hectic was because of my wonderful office. I knew before the week began that it would be hectic, and that’s the only reason I wasn’t too tired by the end. I was ready for all the events.
We had a wonderful Women’s Day celebration at office. Well, all the women got dressed up (me too! I wore a dress for the first time!*) All of us women took off from the office around 4pm to go to a nearby cafe for high tea.
It was SUPER FUN. It was a good day 🙂
*yes I had to buy one for the occasion but it was high time I got one tbh. I can’t live off jeans for every occasion.
And since my office is extra, we had another event the next day. On Tuesday we had potluck. There were so many different varieties of food and I was full by the end. That was good too.
And that’s it on the office side for the week, because college took care of the rest.
The problem with being a full-time intern and also have an active semester going on at college means that you end up with twice the workload and barely any time. It means filling up your spare time from one to do work for the other.
On Monday, I went to college early in the morning to give a project review and some other updates with my team. And from college, I had to go straight to office. And my home is smack in the middle of them both. Fortunately, the travel wasn’t too bad that day. I reached office in time from college.
But also, I had to go to college wearing a dress. Here, in India, we don’t wear dresses and very trendy clothes to college on normal days. Only during the fest. In fact, my college doesn’t allow shorts or sleeveless clothes usually.
So I had to wear a jacket on top of my dress and had gotten quite a few looks when I went to college. Since my dress was long and all of me was covered, no one said anything. But that was new.
And like my week started with college, it ended with college too.
We were supposed to have our first internal tests on Friday and Saturday. I have literally attended FOUR classes this semester, and those don’t even cover all the three subjects. Plus I slept through two of those classes. So upcoming tests? Not fun.
I studied a bit in the office on Thursday for the 1 test I had on Friday. Thankfully I got some free time with no work and was able to fit studying in. The test wasn’t great, but it wasn’t too bad. I did okay, I guess. We’ll see when results are out.
The two tests I was supposed to have on Saturday got cancelled. Thankfully, I did not start studying for either of them by the time we got the news. After the first exam, I sat down to finish bingeing the Kdrama. Once done, I procrastinated until we got the news lol.
Why did they get cancelled, though?
The virus has finally made it to India, and is spreading fast.
We’re still in phase-2 where only people who went abroad and their direct connections have been infected and tested positive. And we’re trying our best to not move to phase-3 which is community spreading.
The state I live in has had a few cases as well, including 1 death. The government is trying to shut the virus down STAT so we’re going all out. That means no more mass gatherings etc.
This was why my tests on Saturday got cancelled. Schools for younger kids closed down to early vacations a while back. But from Saturday, all grades of school were told to stop. Colleges have shut down as well.
Work across my city is being halted or moved to remote working, including mine starting Monday. I’m super glad because I am now paranoid about travelling in public transport. Especially since there was a positive case very close to home (like, a 5 min walk away) and my immunity is not great either.
I’m staying home, and I’m not stepping out for a while. If I can help it. And I’m working on getting my friends to stay extra cautious (read: paranoid because my paranoia means they’ll be somewhat cautious) too.
We’re working on it. Huge props to health workers and the police who are working very hard. The government and police are doing proper contact tracing etc. to keep the virus from spreading.
We’re doing our best. Fingers crossed. The world is getting scarier, and reading the news about how it’s worsening in other countries (especially Italy and Iran) is damn sad.
Hang in there, y’all! Hwaiting!
As I suddenly had a free weekend, and there’s no going out involved, I decided to tackle reading and blogging. Mostly reading, though. This is a good situation for us introverts and book nerds and Netflix bingers 🙂
It’s the age of the internet and that means fans can follow and interact (!!!) with celebrities. For readers, those celebrities are called authors.
There are many authors whom I follow as well. I follow partly for new book news but mostly to know the authors behind the scenes. Like what are they annoyed with today or memes that they find funny. Just fun things!
I’ve been following him since the time I joined Twitter, and I totally enjoy his tweets. Especially recently, since he posts updates about a new PJ adaptation (FINGERS CROSSED WE GET ONE!).
 V. E. Schwab
She is an ABSOLUTE QUEEN and its fun to follow her both on Twitter and Instagram. Schwab is hilarious, especially with her tweets. Also, most of her tweets are SUPER RELATABLE.
 Kiera Cass
She is HILARIOUS. I love following her on both Twitter and Instagram. Her Instagram user name is so cool.
One of the recent highlights was when there was a line in P.S. I Still Love You (Sequel of To All The Boys) that was VERY SIMILAR to a very popular line from her book The One. Everyone started tweeted her about it and she had NO CLUE because she doesn’t watch movies. It was so funny.
 Hank Green
Hank Green’s tweets on Twitter are crack. me. up. He also tweets about relevant things that are happening in the world currently.
His tweets are almost ALWAYS funny, and they’re all about his family. His young daughters are such ICONS and it’s so cool to see random life updates through his tweets.
I’ve shown his account to multiple IRL* friends actually.
*In Real Life
I mean.. seriously. I love the 5 year old. (He always refers to them by their ages)
 Penny Reid
Considering some of my favourite romance books are written by her, its obvious that she would be just as awesome as a person. Or as a Twitter account.
She also responds and interacts with her fans a TON.
 Tahereh Mafi
Her Instagram account is GORGEOUS. First of all, love her fashion and her style. It’s not my style, but I do admire her for having a very distinctive style. Another thing I love is getting glimpses of her CUTE daughter.
There are so many more pictures showing off her style that I want to show but then this post will just become an ode to her Instagram.
 Adam Silvera
I’ve been following his Twitter WAY before I even read his books. His personality is so cool and it shows through his tweets.
He also frequently gushes about other books and shares what he’s reading/loving.
 R. F. Kuang
She’s the author of The Poppy War, but it doesn’t seem like it in her Twitter feed because she talks about all life things more than book things.
One of her tweets became popular and found it’s way into my feed, which was how I started following her. It actually took me a few seconds to realize that she’s the author haha.
Sharing my FAVOURITE tweet thread by her lol.
I actually BURST OUT LAUGHING when I read the first tweet. And I was in public.
 Alexa Martin
I’ve spoken about her and her books several times in my posts, especially in the recommendation lists. So, of course, I had to find her online and follow her.
Title: Love From A to Z Author: S.K. Ali Genre: Contemporary Category: Young Adult Series info: Standalone
This book had been on my TBR* for a LONG TIME. Although I had heard really good things about it, I just was never in the mood to get it and read it. Thankfully, that changed recently.
When I got an audiobook subscription, I started going through all the book available and this caught my eye. Since 2020 so far has been reading backlist books, I thought I will tackle this as well. And that was a very good decision.
*To Be Read list
Adam and Zayneb record their lives in their “marvels and oddities” journals. Although they got the idea in different ways, it’s how they see their lives.
Fate decided to push them together. They come across each other in the London airport waiting for the same flight, and then met each other again through family in Doha.
This book is a love story through and through. But it is made of so much more.
I shouldn’t have waited so long to read it. It’s so damn good.
Love From A to Z is the love story of Adam and Zayneb, who live in different countries and have entirely different plans for life. Their lives are very different, and yet they feel pulled towards each other.
Let’s do this in a list, because lists make everything better.
Zayneb is an angry person. She becomes angry when any injustice occurs and cannot sit quietly, accepting it. Especially when it comes to her religion.
Zayneb got suspended for a week right before spring break from school because of a seemingly threatening note against her Islamophobic teacher. After her suspension, she decides that she will become a new person this spring at Doha. A quieter Zayneb. A softer Zayneb.
Adam is studying in London, but he stopped going to classes two months ago. After being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, the same condition which took his mom away, he has decided to LIVE. He’s on his way home from University and is faced with the decision to tell his family about MS.
Both Zayneb and Adam go through leaps and bounds in this book. They learn, and they mature. They learn about themselves and find courage to be truly themselves.
Zayneb’s development was especially lovely to see. She wants to become a muter person who will cause less trouble for her parents, but this spring she learns that her experiences aren’t meant to be shushed. I loved that.
This book teaches us so much about the religion, and the beauty of it. I’ll be honest, the only reason I know anything about Christianity is because of books. And I’m super glad that books about Islam are coming up too.
Books have the capability to teach us so much, and this one took the opportunity.
I just love her. She’s awesome. I want her as my aunt.
As Adam has MS, we learn a lot about it as well. The book has a very raw depiction of living with MS and I almost cried at one point. Although I knew the basics about the condition, this is the first time that I learnt about it in detail.
MARVELS AND ODDITIES.
The book is written through their journals. As Adam and Zayneb record the marvels and oddities of their lives, we see how they view life and it’s moments.
It was a new way of writing a book and it was nice. I enjoyed the format.
A really REALLY nice book that I totally recommend. I “read” the book through audiobook and it was well narrated so I would suggest that too. It’s the best narrated book I’ve listened to so far.
February was a shorter month, even though it was a day longer than usual. This basically means that I read one book less than I originally would.
Okay, I’m totally lying. I’m barely finding the time to read, y’all! I’m using the one missing day as an excuse.
While February was more hectic than usual, I still managed to stay a little consistent in my reading. This was only possible because I started listening to audiobooks during commute. Not always, but enough.
It resulted in me reading three extra books! It’s kind of a lifesaver haha.
Anyway, let’s get to the (disappointing) updates and (hopeful) goals.
GOODREADS READING CHALLENGE
When talking about February goals, I mentioned that if I don’t catch up to my goal in February I would reduce my goal. I was 4 books behind at the time.
Today, I’m giving myself a second chance to catch up to my original goal of 150 books. Why, you ask? Because I’ve been consistently 4 books behind all month.
I just need to fit in 4 reads somewhere so I can catch up. Hopefully, it’ll happen.
I’ve made a new goal now, though. If my pace falls behind by 8 books, I WILL reduce it. No second chances.
As of now, I’ve read 22/150 books, leaving me 3 books behind schedule. The only way I reduced one was by reading a very tiny book. Yes, I cheated, but I had no choice.
SOUTH-ASIAN READING CHALLENGE 2020
Last month, I planned to read two books. But I managed to only finish one of them.
Loveboat, Taipei is done. Stories We Never Tell is still sitting unread on my shelf and will probably be there for a while because I’m NOT finding the time to actually read.
I have no specific book in mind for March. If I can read Stories We Never Tell, it would be good. Actually, I stopped keeping track of this challenge completely. Don’t be surprised if it disappears next month haha.*
*sobs internally at my failure
Does it count if the shelf is my To-Be-Read shelf? I assume not. *sigh*
The only books that qualifies for this challenge (that I read) are:
The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
March goals are low and now optimistic so I know I can hit them. My goal is to read at least ONE from my physical shelf.
2020 POPSUGAR READING CHALLENGE
Someone from my book club who is also doing this challenge has finished 19 of the prompts (!!!!!) and here I am with barely any checked off. *cries internally again*
Prompts I completed in February:
A book that’s published in 2020: The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa
A book set in a country beginning with C: Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen which is set in China.
A book you picked because the title caught your attention: The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A book with at least a 4-star rating on Goodreads: The Third Best Thing by Maya Hughes
A book you meant to read in 2019: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
A book that passes the Bechdel test: What I Like About Me by Jenna Guillaume
A book by a WOC: Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali
I had meant to read Stories We Never Tell for the last prompt, but since I didn’t read it, I switched the book so I can check off the prompt. Fortunately, I managed to check off a few extra prompts using the books I read. Yay!
This brings my total to 11 prompts! Okay that’s way more than I expected haha. Fortunately my February reads fit in with random prompts.
I don’t have specific prompt goals for March, but I’d like to hit at least 3. Let’s see!
A RANDOM UPDATE
I’m not doing any challenge to get to my backlist books (like Beat the Backlist challenge which I had done a few years back). But since I do have an audiobook subscription now, I’m using it to check off old books from my TBR.
This is happening only because I found those books when browsing, and I fortunately don’t have to buy them individually. This is a good opportunity to finish them.
We’re onto another month and another chance at getting our lives organized.
For the last two months, I focused on compact monthly setups and space efficiency.
Well, it finally bored me and I decided to go with more space this time.
The cover page is VERY simple. I’ve left a ton of space on the page so I can doodle as the month goes on. I haven’t decided on what to doodle, but that’s what the space is for. Who knows, it may look really good by the end.
For the month-at-a-glace, I went with a vertical divider. This is my favourite kind of layout to do because you get to draw arrows and have fun with the space. It also doesn’t restrict you to a single line per day, which is just wasting space if you don’t have many events.
The trackers on the right are the same as usual. This spread works, and I haven’t thought of a new layout just yet that doesn’t involve a lot of time to setup. Hopefully by next month, this would have changed too.
Two pages for expenses again because, like I predicted, I’d needed more space last month. I only used about 5 lines in page two but it definitely showed that one page isn’t enough anymore. Especially since I track every rupee.
And lastly, a simple blog schedule because I’m a blogger and I desperately need one.
Last Sunday, I met up with my book club and it was SO NICE. We headed to a year-round book fair first and some of us bought books there.
After that, we had a long lunch and hangout in a new place. The food was quite nice, but the drinks were the highlight. I got cold chocolate and it was great.
And to finish up the meet, we went to our regular bookstore haunt haha. I sold back a couple of my books and got two new ones. Super excited to read them!
All-in-all, it was a really good day. I met two members for the first time ever too.
It was my mum’s birthday on Wednesday. Since I’m now getting a stipend from my internship, of course I had to get her a gift.*
There’s a superstition in our culture that says don’t buy anything on Tuesdays. I don’t follow it but my mum does. Hence, I went shopping on Monday after office hours. I made sure to do an earlier shift so I could go shopping for mum.
After hitting multiple stores in a shopping street near the office, I found a bag that matched all the specifications my mum would like. And I got it in a really pretty peach colour too!
I couldn’t hide the bag since it’s big so my mum noticed it the second I walked into our home. So I gave it to her then itself. She loved it. I’m happy 🙂
*We generally don’t gift on birthdays in my family. It’s always like that. We just wish and have good food if we can.
I LOST MY WALLET
Or rather, it was stolen.
I was on my way to the metro station on Friday morning when it disappeared from my bag. After reaching the station, I realized that one of my bag’s pocket zips was open and found out that my wallet was missing.
Assuming that I hadn’t closed the pocket which led to it falling, I went back searching the entire way. But I didn’t find it. I went to the police station nearby to lodge a complaint too.
Just in case, I searched the way twice more. But yeah, it was gone by then. I went back home and blocked my card which was in the wallet. And then I went to my office.
My mum and I were just thinking how could I have lost it. After figuring out logistics, we concluded that it was stolen and not lost. But yeah, I learnt to be careful about where I keep my wallet in the bag.
And in the panic about the wallet, I misplaced my scarf somewhere.
All of it took about two hours so I reached the office a couple hours late. Thankfully, I didn’t miss anything important. But yeah, it was a bad start to the day.
I did get a message in the evening that someone tried to use my card but the transaction was declined since I blocked it. And there was just a little cash and no ID cards in the wallet. Phew.
ETHNIC DAY AT COLLEGE
This was yesterday (Saturday). I wasn’t in the mood to wear ethnic so I wore a nice jumpsuit and went. I was one of the very few not wearing Indian ethnic but who cares. I looked good.
My friends and I took a ton of pictures and danced to music. After that, we went to a mall for a late lunch. And we ended the day with drinks at a nearby restropub.
The highlight of the day was definitely my drink haha. It was called Earl Grey Mixture. It was basically Earl Grey tea, Whiskey, and Ginger Ale. And I absolutely loved it. Credits to my friend Ronj for finding it in the menu and telling me.
It’s been a cycle of office and home. I still haven’t gotten down a routine where I’m productive and that SUCKS. I need to especially start working on my project for college. Aaargh. If I could have Hermione’s time turner right now, it would be great.
This was a month of Taylor Swift, BTS and Kdrama OSTs.
You’ll see what I mean when I share the songs below.
Go away by Punch ft. Chanyeol (EXO)
This is a new song. It’s from the Kdrama Romantic Dr. Teacher Kim 2 which I haven’t watched. I listened to this song mainly because I LOVED another song by these two artists called Stay With Me from the Kdrama Goblin. This song did not disappoint. It’s really good.
Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince by Taylor Swift
I didn’t really love this song before the movie came out. After watching her movie Miss Americana, I felt like listening to all her music again. That was when this song grew on me.
Only The Young by Taylor Swift
Huge props to Taylor Swift for writing this song for the young people who were devastated during the American elections. Taylor went off against Trump in this song and tells everyone to not lose hope. Just watching how she came up with this song and wrote it on the movie was touching. The song is really good too.
ON by BTS
Yo. Y’all.I CANNOT with BTS’s newest album. I just can’t. This song is so wild and different from what I expected after their last album. But it’s a freaking HIT. Such amazing songs. This one is the title track and it’s honestly way too good.
Friends by BTS
This is a BOP. I found myself listening to this first thing in the last few mornings, and it’s made me want to dance while walking in public multiple times. It’s a happy dance song and I won’t hear otherwise.
We Are Bulletproof: The Eternal by BTS
This is another dance bop that I listen to before/after Filter. This makes me want to dance in public as well. The best part about this song are THE LYRICS. They’ve literally written a whole amazing song as an ode to their fans and ?????? MY BOYS MAKE ME CRY IS WHAT.
Moon by BTS
Of course, I HAD to mention the single by Jin. He’s my forever bias and this song is way too pure and beautiful. I love it. It’s the first song I listened to on repeat from this album.
May be by SEO
This is an old favourite from the My First First Love soundtrack. I found myself listening to the whole soundtrack during the beginning of this month. And I kept listening to it because the soundtrack is so soothing. This is one the most soothing songs I’ve heard.
Human by SEO
Another song from the My First First Love soundtrack. For a couple weeks, when I left home to go to work, I would listen to this first. It’s perfect to start the day with as it brings up your mood and makes you look forward to the day.
Baby Baby by yeop, Eun Ae
This is a FUN song. Right after Human, I’d listen to this. This will instantly bring your mood up and make you feel like skipping when walking. I always have a jump in my step when listening to this. It’s a proper fun jam song.
And that’s it for this month! I know the last three were old favourites but those where what I loved this month. You should definitely listen to them if you haven’t.
I’m very into dystopia. While there are few books that I’ve really liked, I’m always looking for books in the genre that sound interesting.
Axiom was one of those. When the author reached out to me for a review in return for an advanced reader’s copy, I immediately agreed. And I looked forward to reading it as well.
Axiom is peaceful. There is no violence and there are no variables. Even death is not a concept here.
People are known as “Figures” and have their own Roles in Axiom. Each Figure’s Role is important to the working of Axiom.
The reason this is seamlessly achieved is because only one person has control of Axiom—the Lord Protector. Only he has control and every Figure exists to serve him. In return for loyalty and obedience, he keeps Axiom peaceful and healthy.
But what happens when some Figures start having emotions? When they break out of Roles to search for purpose in their existence? And is Axiom really so perfect?
This book explores a future possibility where, to eradicate violence, emotions are removed and one person reigns with all control.
Tackling this review in the form of lists, because lists rock.
What I liked:
The first half of the book had me hooked. Through perspectives of characters in very different positions of the world, we get to see the various sides of Axiom.
I was completely engaged when reading about the setting, and how things work in this fictional place. The technology described was very interesting as well.
Addition of and debate on concepts like God and morals.
The way God was brought into the story and portrayed was quite clever. In the book, God is known as “Theo”. To me, that was weird in the beginning but it does make sense. No matter the name, it’s the belief that counts.
We see characters who are devout believers as well as characters who don’t even consider of such an existence. Interaction of the two was intriguing, and very similar to the current world’s stance. No matter the time, this debate will probably continue.
I can’t say why without spoiling it but I appreciated how the book ended. It made me think for a few minutes, and I liked that.
What I did not like:
The plot didn’t seem cohesive all the time.
In fact, different characters could have been in entirely different worlds. There was very little connectivity between the different areas of the book, which was jarring during the perspective shifts.
This was the thing that got on my nerves the most. Characters would make entire revelations about themselves and/or the world around them based on very little.
In reality, the process of one’s growth is very long. But in this book it took place in the span of a night. Out of nowhere, revelations and identity changes were made. I found it hard to accept, because it happened so suddenly and is done at once.
I lost interest at around 50%
Until then, I was swept up in understanding the world and finding out how it worked. When the focus of the writing shifted to the characters, I wasn’t interested in the book as much.
It’s probably because of the way the characters’ journey was shown, especially a few key places about character growth. The world was great but the characters just did not interest me.
I found the book pretty okay. I didn’t enjoy the book a lot, but it wasn’t bad as well.
Recommended if you like great world-building, dystopian books.
Not recommended if characters and character growth is very important to you.