bookish thoughts

june wrap up🍃

Hello! I was very tempted to title this a mini June wrap up because I only read four books this month. Am I surprised? No. Because I learned that if I don’t write down a TBR for the month, this is what happens. And sometimes, that’s okay. Out of the four that I did manage to read/listen to, one of them I deeply regret reading at all. The remaining three, I really enjoyed so, they’re the saviours of June. Enjoy? 🤭

I look at you and wish I could be a teenager again. I know that things aren’t perfect and there are still hardships, but don’t forget to enjoy these years. Live. Live them for the people who didn’t get to enjoy being a teenager. For the people who never lived past being a teenager.

This was such a delightful, heart warming story. It made me laugh, made me cry (both happy tears and sad tears) and left me feeling hopeful by the end of it. My opinion on YA novels is slowly changing because stories like this one, deserve to be told. I thought the main character, Felix, made some questionable decisions in this story that could make you dislike him. I wasn’t a fan either but I kept reading because I wanted to understand where the story was going to go. There’s also a love triangle of sorts which I think, was handled really well. This story represents so many things in such a human way, it makes you pause and rethink every one of your thoughts, those you have when you think of yourself and the people around you. My favourite character would have to be Leah because it was so inspiring to see her grow and I loved how protective she was of Felix. Everything about the main characters in this story will make you feel some type of way and I loved the journey of getting to know them.

I had so much fun reading this one. More than the actual mystery element (which was really great), I found Will Parker to be such a charming character and she was pretty much the highlight of every scene, for me. Also loved the dynamic between Lilian and Will, their conversations genuinely brought a smile to my face. It was especially sweet to see how Will had grown to look after her boss because of certain health conditions (much to her annoyance). As for the relationship aspect, I really really enjoyed how it was woven into the rest of the plot. It doesn’t really play a major role in that, it wasn’t anything grand or intense. It was just accepted and I loved that about it. The fact that you can have a story with a bisexual main character falling for another woman and not have that be something that needs to be announced, was kind of refreshing to me.

Now for the actual murder mystery. First of all, the atmosphere. It was spot on and I really felt like I was transported to 1940’s New York where this story is set. Secondly, the twists kept me hooked. At no point did I feel like I was losing interest or that I’d figured it out (maybe I had an inkling of what was coming?) and that made it all the more exciting. The ending I thought was satisfying if not a little sad but the fact that a sequel exists, kept me from being too sad. Definitely will be reading that one.

My first ever fantasy series. Are we off to a good start? I think yes. I have never read a story as unique as this one. What makes this book so special is that in this world, you are born without a gender. As you grow, you are given the choice of deciding what you want to be identified as and only then will your body begin to change. That is how we are introduced to the two main characters, Akeha and Mokoya, who are siblings. We follow their individual journeys from childhood to being teenagers to adulthood. The magic system in this world is referred to as slackcraft which also has five categories – earth, water, fire, forest and metal. I found this very interesting and magical but I also feel, you need to continue on with the series to truly experience the world building for what it is because a lot goes down towards the end of book one. I also listened to this one via audiobook and absolutely loved the narrator’s voice. It was like I was meditating and practicing slackcraft myself.

If I go back to my notes on this book, it just says ‘why did I read this???’ which is accurate. This is definitely my fault for not double checking because I thought this was…a different book altogether (I know). Anyhow, this story felt like a really bad horror movie. There were some strange flying creatures that were meant to be spooky and characters that were very easy to dislike. It’s also very short with even shorter chapters so if it wasn’t for the audiobook, I would have given up.

Unlike last month, I have a clearer idea of what I’d like to read this month so…yay? I hope July treats us well💗

Much love,

Samiksha 💌

bookish thoughts

wholesome web comics to read this (and every other) pride month 🏳️‍🌈

Hello friends! So…technically this post should have come a lot sooner but I decided on trying something new which is why it’s taken me such a long time to…compose this list. Its been on my mind for so long now and I’m so happy to be talking about these stories because I think about each of them at least once every day.

I first discovered the wonderful world of web comics way back in 2019. At the time, I wasn’t as into the habit of reading as I am now mostly because I simply wasn’t able to make time as a full time student (those were certainly not the days for me). Which is why, web comics proved to be my go to source of comfort because how could you not get lost in a story that is easy to read AND has stunning illustrations that make you want to stare at it for hours on end??? Fair warning, this is kind of just going to be me fangirling over these masterpieces because I’ve been holding this in for too long.

This isn’t a very extensive list at all but, as I was going through them, I noticed all of them are LGBTQIA+ friendly which is why I wanted to make this post this month! I’m aware there are various platforms on which you can read web comics but I’ve only ever used Webtoon, Dillyhub and occasionally MangaDex. All of which are free and very accessible so I’ve made sure to provide a link wherever I can!

R E A L T A

Creator: rayleeart

When I tell you this is the most beautiful work of art I’ve ever seen, you MUST believe me. I first began reading this when it used to be available on Canvas but as of now that version is currently only available on the creator’s Patreon. And that is because (as you can already tell from that cover)…Realta is officially going to be a Webtoon Original!!! I remember while I was reading this, I kept thinking to myself this is just a bit TOO BEAUTIFUL for me to be viewing it just like that because this story, the CHARACTERS and the ART deserve so much love. It’s been a while since I read this but I have to say….Walden the crow has such a special place in my heart. I’m just in awe of the creator for coming up with a story that is SO creative (and STUNNING visually) with such a unique cast of characters too. I don’t want to spoil it for you by saying too much but when it comes out as an original, PLEASE READ IT because I have no doubt you will fall in love it.

C R U M B S

Creator: Whitherling

Tell me honestly, after reading that description, you’re not at least a little bit in love? I remember reading this one and feeling very warm and safe and all things comforting because this story, in its essence, is an ultra comforting coming of age story. The art style is just so adorable and makes for the perfect little cosy evening read with maybe your very own bakery special to keep you company? I thought the characters were so interesting because you get to seem them grow in so many ways, Laurie and Ray especially have my heart for being the cutest EVER. You also have Wobble and Stella who…I’m not sure what to call them exactly but just know they’re really precious. I like to dream of a world where I’d have a Wobble like companion someday too. Also, because I did a little digging for this post, Crumbs is soon going to be available as an official graphic novel!!! Its supposed to go on sale starting July 19th 2022 and I will patiently wait for the day I can have a copy too because I might cry if that doesn’t happen. I’ve heard a lot of good things about Small Blessings as well, which is another one of the creator’s works that I hope to read very soon!

C A T E A S & B O O K S

Creator: Manu Cunhas

Okay, so this one is just pure…fluff. Not that there’s nothing else to it but the chapters are very short and sweet which means its one of those stories that you can very well binge read. The art style is so cute and soft and all things lovely. There’s also a fantasy element to this story because we follow Sophie, a faun, who looks after stray cats and books and also has a huge crush on Aisha, a dryade, the owner of a flower shop opposite Sophie’s cat library. When you have such well designed and lovable characters, I don’t think you need much else because this story is so heart warming, it deserves all the love.

S O U L M A T E

Creator: Wenzhi Lizi, Ke Ran Bing 

I’d come across this story a few years ago and I remember laughing out loud at some of the scenes because I genuinely found it that funny. If you read the description, you can imagine how the story plays out because I’m sure the switching bodies/souls thing has been done before BUT probably not in this way. It was so entertaining and because this is a translated work, some of the dialogue might seem a little odd but I personally didn’t mind because I was just really enjoying the story and the art, of course. It’s just one of those stories that stays on your mind and you keep wanting to go back to it. Or, at least that’s how it is for me.

C A N ‘T D E F Y T H E L O N E L Y G I R L

Creator: Kashikaze

Now, I know this title and that cover might seem like a lot BUT you have to understand, this is a high school romance which means its bound to be at least a little bit…cringey? And while it was that, I thought there were so many other aspects of this story that were real and very well handled. Ayaka’s issue with getting nervous before exams was depicted in a way that seemed comical, sure. But it was also kind of an eye opener because it makes you realise that not everyone can be good at handling that kind of stress. As for Sora and Ayaka’s relationship, I thought it was really cute? The amusement park scenes were especially funny to me because it reminded me of my own school field trip days to the same amusement park every year. It might take you a while to get into it but when you do, I think it can be really entertaining!

This was so much fun and I hope you found something that you could see yourself reading! These are just the ones I’ve enjoyed the most the past few years and I’m excited to find new ones! On that note, please do let me know if you’ve got any web comic recommendations for me because I’m always on the look out. It doesn’t have to be a particular genre either, I’m open to reading anything with a fun plot!

Also, I realise in my last post I’d said I’d be making a list of all the books I’d love to read this month but uh. Obviously, that didn’t happen because this month so far has been kind of hectic for me. However, I am currently in the middle of The Black Tides of Heaven by Neon Yang which has been very interesting so far! I shall see you in my next post which should be a review (hopefully!)

Until then, happy reading!

Much love,

Samiksha 💌

bookish thoughts

everything i read in may ☁️

Hi? I know, it’s been a while. I didn’t mean to not post anything in May. What happened was that I just wasn’t able to make time for elaborate reviews like I’d planned which, is a shame. Because I did end up reading quite a few books last month, most of which I enjoyed so I’m going to try and do mini reviews for them. I haven’t included the two design books I read but if you’re curious, it was Design as Art by Bruno Munari and Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon (this one is a quick read but very inspiring for anyone who creates which, if you’re reading this, you probably also do). The rest of the books on here include a series of cosy mysteries, a few melancholy island stories and of course, spooky and wholesome middle grade reads. May for me was kind of cold, dark and rainy so, the weather definitely inspired most if not, all of these books.

This was my first read in May. I’d seen so many people talk about this book that it was almost impossible not to be really excited. It sounded exactly like the kind of story I would love and while I did love certain elements of it, I didn’t love all of it as much as I thought I was going to? It does feel like a Disney movie in book form and that is mainly because of the characters. We have a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. As for the actual storyline, unfortunately I wasn’t all that into it. Not sure if it was the writing or the dialogue but it felt like I already knew what was coming when Linus gets assigned to the new case. I did like the imagery behind the children of the island, they each highlighted the need for acceptance and what happens when someone is repeatedly shunned for being who they are. If this book ever gets a Disney adaptation, I would for sure watch it because I can already imagine how beautiful it would look. In book form though, I didn’t love it but I liked it.

I first watched When Marnie Was There back in 2018 I think and I kind of fell in love with it. That is basically why I read this book, or listened to it via audiobook. And it was magical. I loved reading the little note at the end where we find out the real inspiration behind this story and the reason why it was born. If you’ve watched the movie, then you know there is kind of a paranormal aspect to it. It was so much fun following Anna figure out who Marnie really was and it was also very emotional to watch her find herself in the process.

Stories are strange creatures. Like the contents of a sealed and buried box, they exist only in the minds of those that recall them. If a story isn’t shared, if it isn’t kept alive through the telling and retelling, it ceases to exist. If the last keeper of a tale dies without passing it along, the tales dies as well. And when a true story dies, perhaps the truth dies too.

I came across this book by accident which is really on brand because it happens to little Fiona in this spooky tale as well! It was simply wonderful and so full of adventure. I found Fiona to be such a real and accurate representation of a young girl who isn’t very happy with her family but still knows deep down she loves them regardless. The relationship she shares with her sister seems rocky at first and it’s possible you might not even like Fiona for her not-so-noble actions because she does come off as stubborn and a little selfish. I think it made me love her character that much more because you get to see her grow and learn from her mistakes through this really well thought out paranormal story.

Along with that, you also get to know all the characters and witness some really strong family relationships develop which always hit me the hardest. There was this one scene in particular with Arden, the older sister where she seems to be struggling with herself because of the pressure to win the figure skating competition. Again, this felt very real and even got me emotional, especially when Fiona tries to make her feel better. It just depicted real life relationships in all their messiness in a very clear yet wholesome way. I just loved this story so very much and honestly, now that I think about it, it’s definitely a five star read. That cover alone deserves as much because look at it! That is SO VERY GORGEOUS. Fun fact, it’s designed by twin sisters, Ana and Elena Balbusso, also known as the Balbusso twins (I am now a fan).

So, I’ve raved about Michelle Harrison’s A Pinch of Magic series on this blog quite a few times now. This particular book I read simply because I follow her on Goodreads and she happened to love it. Did I love it as much? I don’t think so. This proved to be a rather slow read for me because sadly, I wasn’t able to get fully invested in the story. I guess it had all the elements of a classic spooky, ghost story from magic mirrors to soul capturing cabinets but I didn’t feel much of anything for the characters. What I did appreciate were the moments with Leander, Charlotte and Felix. The way their friendship grew steadily and eventually became strong enough to be considered a team, was inspiring.

I read this collection of short stories from Goa as part of the Champaca reading challenge I’m participating in this year. This particular book fills the prompt of reading a book translated from Konkani, which is coincidentally, my first language. Most of the stories in this collection were your everyday slice of life stories but the very first one, From the Mouths of Babes is definitely one that made me laugh. I could go into detail but there were just so many elements from that story that I could relate to because I’ve witnessed those situations personally. I also loved Bandh and Happy Birthday for everything they represented. I just felt really happy reading these short stories because I’ve never read a book that featured Konkani as a language in the dialogue so, this was really special.

To think I was ready for this book in any way, shape or form. This had been on my TBR for such a long time and despite the heart ache it caused me, I am very glad to have read it. I went into it knowing the fact that there’s going to be some big reveal at the end that will blow my mind. Which it did because I didn’t see it coming. This was narrated in such a clever way and I completely get why it’s a favourite. I stayed up past 2am just because I HAD to know how Monique was connected to Evelyn. The very character of Evelyn herself could have been a real person and that’s not hard to imagine. I don’t know a lot about cinema back in the 1950’s but from the little I know, the likelihood of this story being the reality for someone makes me feel terrified and heartbroken at the same time.

This one I decided I wanted to read simply because I had it on my Kindle and, the title, naturally. I don’t know if I regret that decision but I will say, this was not what I was expecting. It ended up being a love story of sorts and I say that because I didn’t really enjoy that aspect of it. The incredibly detailed descriptions on women’s bodies really put me off because it was just unnecessary, in my opinion. There was also this very weird idea surrounding a woman’s self esteem and virginity? It was mainly brought up anytime this one character called Chiyoko made an appearance and. It really frustrated me because it was almost as if that character was created to represent women with low esteem with only one goal. To look attractive enough so a man can consider choosing them for a wife. Despite all this, I still managed to finish the story. I found Shinji to be the only likable character at times, because you seem him work for what he wants to achieve with a very dedicated mind so, the only nice thing that I can say about this story is that, it teaches you to be resilient and hard working.

This book I read since it was on my 2022 TBR and I have some thoughts. I went into it expecting a really atmospheric paranormal story. And while there were elements of paranormal stuff, what with Jillian’s uncle being an actual ghost hunter, this story sadly was more of a romance than anything else. Which was disappointing because that’s not what I was expecting. The first half of the book was basically just this very young inexperienced woman falling for the town’s inspector who, obviously has to be a lot more experienced, isn’t ready to commit, has a dark past he can’t talk about etc etc. You get it. The rest of the plot surrounding Jillian and her story kind of gets pushed aside and this romance is all she can think about. Sure, there were a few suspense driven scenes, if I can call it that but overall, it just wasn’t all that exciting for me to read, so. That’s that.

Oh, I would like to see my way more clearly. I, who have never understood the mystery of fog. I would perhaps like to capture it in a jar like the beautiful childhood butterflies that always die in spite of the airholes punched with nails in the covers of their captivity━ leaving behind the vapours of their lives and deaths.

─ The Lost Salt Gift of Blood

This is another book I read as part of the Champaca reading challenge for the prompt of reading a book featuring a fisherman. Majority of the stories in this collection left me feeling quite sad which was what I wanted out of this so, that’s great. What I found even greater was, without a doubt, the writing. I had no idea what beautiful writing was until this author and this book. Each of the sixteen stories might be very different in terms of the content but one thing that remains consistent is the atmosphere that feels so vivid and intense. I’m aware I might not be the target audience for this book, seeing as it features the Canadian landscape in a way that would resonate really deeply with a native so that must be very special.

For me, I found almost every story in this collection had characters you could connect with in one way or the other. The hardships of daily life or losing a family member are all things that happen to everyone so it was really heavy in that way and definitely made me cry more than once.

Lastly, this very addicting series. You can’t not read the second book as soon as you finish the first one. And then you read the third one because you have no self control but you also just NEED to know what happened with Alice and Iris Ellingham. The fourth, well. That one really was just self care at this point because it had nothing to do with the Ellingham case. Still very enjoyable. I don’t want to spoil anything by saying too much but if you’re looking for something to binge read, read this series. For me it was just the perfect kind of distraction from the stress of everyday life and so I really don’t have any complaints. I also listened to it via audiobook and I have to say, really loved the narrator’s voice.

Hello June and Happy Pride Month!!🏳️‍🌈💗

I’ll be talking about all the books I would love to read this month in my next post which I’m very excited about so I’ll see you then!

As always, feel free to let me know what your favourite read of May was!💞

Much love,

Samiksha 💌

bookish thoughts

what i read in april 🌦

Hello and welcome to my April wrap up! Not sure if I’m early or late or somewhere in between but we’re doing this anyway. April started out well enough for me but halfway through… it started raining almost every night and I’d lie if I said it didn’t affect my mood. Nothing too drastic, I just wanted to sit by the window and watch the rain with no interruptions. Which is why I managed to read only nine books this month when I’d originally planned for twelve (oops?)

I’m still very glad I could read/listen to all of these books because I ended up loving all of them. Almost all of them? It just so happens I end up with one book every month that I don’t enjoy very much so, at least there’s consistency there. Anyway, I tried something different with the editing this time around so I hope this is fun for you! 🥰

This was so good!! It took me completely by surprise in the best way possible because I wasn’t expecting to love it as much as I did? Alice Oseman did SUCH a fantastic job of casting the most human and relatable set of characters. I pretty much fell in love with all of them (truly believe Sunil is an angel) except Lloyd who deserved what he got. To me, this felt so much more than just another YA novel. To have read through Georgia’s extremely personal struggles of feeling alone and isolated in a world that glamorizes romantic love to a point where, if you don’t show the slightest bit of interest in wanting to be romantically involved with someone, you’re considered weird or not cool enough to hang out with. The fact that this book exists is a blessing in itself because it offers SO MUCH insight into the realities of a young person who’s struggling to understand their sexual identity. It also offers resources through which you could reach out and be a part of a community and I just loved everything about this story and what it represents.

This was like a balm to that anxious teenager in me who still likes to pop up every now and then. Only to make me question all my life choices and then subsequently make me regret them because surely I should have known better? After reading Loveless, I kind of got the idea that Alice Oseman really likes to show you how strong and impactful friendships can be. So it was no surprise to see this story also had plenty of that. It made me wonder if friendships like that actually exist in real life?? Even if they exist only in books, I would gladly forget all about real life and believe it. The writing seems simple enough but it also kind of pokes you right where it hurts. And then dresses the wound and makes sure you feel comforted? I’m sorry if that’s too dramatic but what I mean is, sometimes you need someone to tell you it’s okay, you have time and you’re not a failure if you don’t know what to do with your life.

This book also talks about some very serious issues having to do with emotional abuse and problematic families. It shows you exactly how that affects your personality, your choices, everything about you that makes you, you. Things like that can never be explained easily and it was really heart breaking to watch it happen in this story, countless times. I’ve just never read a YA which addresses this issue in such an honest way and I loved this book for doing what it did.

So…I started reading this one because I needed something light and fun in my life. This is actually my first romance of the year and I flew through it in TWO days. I thought Chloe was such a fun and quirky character, I loved so many things about her. Her love for stationary, the colour coordinated outfits, her very entertaining vocabulary and also her emotional side that she kind of likes to keep hidden from everyone else. And uh, as for Redford Morgan…he was just so sweet and understanding when it came to Chloe and the everyday people he interacted with. I loved how he didn’t treat Chloe and her disability as something that needed to be feared, instead adapted himself to her daily routine in a way that made her feel normal and cared for. I’m always kind of hesitant to start a romance novel because I’m wary of the more explicit content, sometimes it just makes me cringe but that’s on me. Overall, I thought this was precious and it definitely put me in a good mood!

I read this book for the Champaca reading challenge and had such a wonderful time with it. I’ve never read an Indian graphic novel that handles themes of loneliness, gender identity and the sensitivities associated with it, with so much care and love. This book also comments on societal expectations/standards in such a clever way and you see the impact it has on Rumi as a child and Rain, the ghost. I thought Indu didi was such a refreshing character and I loved her conversations with Rumi. This story can provide comfort to a younger reader but now that I think about it, anyone can find something of value in this story and I can confirm it will make you feel less alone.

You have no idea how happy I was the day I finished this because I’ve been reading it since March. This is part of my goal for reading more non-fiction this year and I can already tell it’s not going to be a smooth ride. That’s not to say I didn’t find this book helpful because I did. I appreciated the amount of work put into providing this basic framework that kind of serves as a guide to forming a new habit. But like with most self help books, if you don’t try to think of ways to apply that in your real life, it’s going to be a bit of a struggle to relate. I don’t think I could rate this but since I own a physical copy, it makes it easier to go back to it so I can refer to my tabs.

This was so so endearing. I already mentioned this on Instagram but I’m going to say it again. It reminded me so much of the Disney movie Up and that might have just influenced my opinion on this book. There were so many funny, as well as some really emotional moments surrounding grief and the loss of a loved one, it just made me love Ove and his story so much. I’ve also never read a Fredrik Backman book before so this was such a delightful way of being introduced to his writing and I can’t wait to read more!

This was such an amazing story. It felt very much like I was watching a historical film because I could kind of imagine the general atmosphere and this feeling of dread that seemed to follow both Achilles and Patroclus. I was aware this is heavily inspired by Greek mythology which I don’t know a lot about but I was expecting a very wide cast of characters. The more familiar I got with the names, the easier it became when it came to understanding who was who. I listened to this one via audiobook so that helped a lot as well. It was in no way too overwhelming, in fact I got really invested in the story and the characters because of Madeline Miller’s beautiful writing style. The war and the moments leading up to the war were so intense, you really feel disturbed by the violence and brutality. It was a lot to take in and I had to pause many times before I could go back to it. This is the kind of story that makes you go numb more than anything else because after a point, you cannot believe the extent of violence and pain that people from the past have been through.

I talked about this one in my previous post and my thoughts remain the same. This was also part of the Champaca reading challenge and easily, my favourite read of the month.

I wanted to love this one so bad but unfortunately, I couldn’t. It had all the elements of a classic horror story but it felt like those elements were dragged a bit too far. I didn’t get the obsession with moths in this story. It was like they were just put in there to represent some type of fantasy. As for the characters, none of them were likable to me. If it wasn’t for the audiobook, I doubt I would have continued reading this one. The only thing that kept me going was my own curiosity to find out what really happens at the end which I did find out and if I try to recollect…my mind remains blank. So, make of that what you will.

Here’s hoping May brings good things for us all! Let me know what you’re most looking forward to this month? Doesn’t have to be a book, it could be anything. I might have a road trip planned sometime later this month so that’s what I’m looking forward to!

Until next time, happy reading! 📖

Much love,

Samiksha 💌

bookish thoughts

april reading updates 📖

Hello! Today I thought I’d talk about what I’ve been reading so far or what books I’ve managed to finish reading. I’ve wanted to make this post for a while now but I was waiting until I was done with Pachinko by Min Jin Lee which I did just yesterday and it has been…a very intense and emotional journey which means my thoughts are probably going to sound a little cluttered because I’m still and will always be thinking about this story. The rest of the books I’ve read so far have been slightly different in that, I started reading them just because I was curious and also needed something lighter.

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

❝In life, there was so much insult and injury, and she had no choice but to collect what was hers.❞

This book is a multi-generational saga of a Korean family over time as they move to Japan and experience discrimination that affects the characters in more ways than one. Through a third person narrative, we see exactly how each person in this story feels, thinks, and what encourages their choices – be it right or wrong. It talks about the role of women when circumstances force them to make decisions they don’t want to make and how that in turn affects the way they see themselves and their worth.

❝With her sun-browned hands and dirty fingernails, she touched her uncombed hair. She didn’t want him to see her this way. It occurred to her that she would never be lovely again.❞

This book also deals with loss and grief in such a real way that it leaves you feeling shocked and numb. The discussions surrounding death, what happens after you die, family relationships and sickness are present constantly throughout the story. It felt strangely haunting in the sense that, even after the physical absence of a character, their presence could still be felt through a different character’s thoughts and dialogue.

❝Every day you are closer to your death. You are half dead already. Where does your identity come from?❞

Reading this book was, in a way, a wake up call. It made me realise the importance of being free. To have the opportunity to be able to even think freely, is a gift. Despite the tragedy, violence and suffering in this story, I loved the softer moments with the family -the descriptions on food preparation, the children being excited about seeing their family after a long day and also, the relationship the lead character, Sunja, shared with her sister-in-law, Kyunghee. This story was just so carefully crafted, it managed to teach you something new about a certain character in almost every chapter. If there is any book I’m grateful to have read this year, it would probably be this one.

Rain Must Fall by Nandita Basu

Originally published : 2021
Genre : Graphic Novel, LGBTQ+
Personal rating : 
★★★★☆

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Originally published : 2011
Genre : Historical Fiction, LGBTQ+
Personal rating : 
★★★★

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

Originally published : 2019
Genre : Fiction, Romance
Personal rating : 
★★★★☆

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Originally published : 2016
Genre : Young Adult, Fiction, LGBTQ+
Personal rating : 
★★★★☆

Loveless by Alice Oseman

Originally published : 2020
Genre : Young Adult, Fiction, LGBTQ+
Personal rating : 
★★★★½

There’s so much I want to say about these but I’ll save it for the wrap up. Fun fact though, this beautiful new cover for Loveless only recently came out! It was kind of around the time I’d started reading it and I loved watching Alice Oseman’s thought process with designing the cover during the…livestream I think? Or it might have been Instagram Stories. I doubt this edition will be available in India so soon but I still think it’s stunning.

Also, yes I’m very excited about Heartstopper the show too!! I know the new trailer came out (just as I was about to post this, I saw that it’s currently out!!) and it’s so very precious?! I’d first come across this series on Webtoon in 2019 I think? And I remember staying up late just because I didn’t want to stop. It’s just so amazing to see the characters come to life especially because they look almost identical to how they’re drawn in the comic? The little doodles in the trailer were so cute too, everything about the show is probably going to be way too cute to handle which is honestly the best thing that could happen this year so far.

If you have any thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned, you’re very welcome to share them! I’d love to know 💗

As always, happy reading!

Much love,

Samiksha 💌

bookish thoughts

2022 : to read more diverse stories 📚🌿

Hiii! Welcome to today’s extremely lengthy post of all the books I would love to read for the….*drum roll please*

AHHH okay so before I get into it, some much needed background information. Champaca is the most loveliest little local bookstore/cafe/library located in Bangalore which is also where I currently live. I’ve only been lucky enough to visit once which is quite sad because if it wasn’t a two hour long journey to get there, I would probably come up with very creative reasons to visit more frequently.

I’ve been following them on social media ever since that first visit and although we’re well into 2022 now, I really wanted to participate in their reading challenge for this year (if I’d seen that post sooner, this post also would have come sooner but that’s on me). I just think they always have the best recommendations and if you’re ever in Bangalore, you should definitely try and visit. They currently also have an amazing online bookstore, shipping all across India.

Now for the prompt list! There’s a total of twenty-five prompts on here (one of them is a bonus prompt) which I know is a lot and you obviously don’t have to do all of them but, I shall attempt to try. Few of the prompts I’ve chosen books that I’ve managed to read so far this year already so that way it becomes easier for me to focus on the rest of them!

Also, most of these books I’ve found through Champaca’s recommendations for the reading challenge which you could also browse through here. They have several books to choose from (you have no idea how long it took for me to narrow it down to these picks) and so, in case I don’t make sense trying to describe the ones I’ve picked, please do visit their blog for more information on them and their socials!

01.Translated from the language of the state you’re living in

Since I currently live in Bangalore, for this prompt I chose Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbhag. I’ve seen this book in almost every bookstore/library I’ve been to and I’ve always been curious to know what it’s about. It’s supposed to be a psychological drama about money and a man who wishes to escape everyday life. Normally I wouldn’t voluntarily go for this type of book but I’ve read great reviews so I’m still curious.

02.That’s an Indian graphic novel

I’ve actually never read an Indian graphic novel so this is really great. I chose Rain Must Fall by Nandita Basu and this is supposed to be not just a ghost story but a ghost story that will make you laugh, cry and will possibly take you on a journey of self-discovery and healing. And that sounds like exactly the kind of story I would love to read so I cannot wait to read this one because I do own a physical copy!

03.By a trans author

So for this prompt, I kind of chose two. I couldn’t help myself because Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender I’ve always wanted to read and I think Storytel has the audiobook for it too! But then, I saw The Black Tides of Heaven by Neon Yang (part one of the Tensorate series) on this list of books by trans authors that will change your life and so when I read the description, particularly this bit, ❝inspired by the beautiful, complex, pan-Asian culture of Singapore and the staple archetypes of East Asian cultivation novels, with a nonbinary Singaporean author, trans characters, and gay romance!❞ I was sold.

04.About a fisherman

This particular book I’m sure is a recommendation but I can’t recollect where exactly or rather, who exactly recommended it because I happen to have the e-book. Island by Alistair MacLeod, a Canadian author, is a collection of short stories that talk about the importance of tradition, the beauty of landscape, and the necessity of memory. I kind of have a soft spot for stories set in a quiet coastal town or just generally about the sea so this feels perfectly quiet and lonesome enough to make me want to lose myself in sea salt and the sound of the waves.

05.Set in an Indian metropolis

Milk Teeth by Amrita Mahale follows the lives of Ira Kamat and Karthik Kini, childhood allies who meet on the terrace of their building in Matunga, Mumbai. A meeting is in progress to decide the fate of the establishment and its residents. And the zeitgeist of the 1990s appears to have touched everyone and everything around them.

This title sounded familiar to me and maybe that’s because I saw someone on Instagram talk about it but I chose this one simply because it’s set in Mumbai and I’m very curious to know what Mumbai from the past looked like.

06.On mountaineering or cycling

This one I know of now only because it was part of the recommendations for this prompt. I’m definitely not a very out-going person but this somehow caught my eye. In The Valley of Flowers by Frank S. Smythe, we follow a group of mountaineers—including Frank S. Smythe—looking for shelter from inclement weather in the wilderness above Joshimath in present-day Uttarakhand, India, when they came upon the lush and colourful Bhyundar Valley, the Valley of Flowers.

I assume this will also be full of nature and adventure writing which I do love. Maybe it’d be nice if I could actually read this one in a valley of flowers but, we shall see if travelling to a hill station is in the cards for me this year.

07.Shortlisted for the Women’s Prize

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller is one I’m currently reading! I’m sure most people know what this is about because it’s so popular but I completely get why because I’m also loving the story so far. I’m aware it’s going to have a tragic ending but I’m not there yet so, I’m not going to think about that.

Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.

08 & 09.With less than 200 pages, about plants and trees

I felt like combining these two prompts because they fit perfectly and its is also a part of the recommendations. I’ve already talked about Upstream by Mary Oliver so I’m glad I decided to read it last month because it works very well for both of these prompts!

10.By a Nigerian author

I’ve never read a book by a Nigerian author and this prompt had many recommendations out of which I chose An Orchestra of Minorities by Chigozie Obioma. Set across Nigeria and Cyprus, written in the mythic style of the Igbo tradition, An Orchestra of Minorities weaves a heart-wrenching tale about fate versus free will.

We follow a young farmer named Chinonso who prevents a woman from falling to her death. Bonded by this strange night on the bridge, he and Ndali fall in love, but it is a mismatch according to her family who reject him because of his lowly status. So he goes off to attend college in Cyprus but finds things were never what they seemed like, upon his return.

11.About music

Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro seemed like a good fit for this prompt because one, I’ve never read a Kazuo Ishiguro book before and two, its also relatively short! Heavily inspired by music, this collection of inter-connected stories is an exploration of love, need, and the ineluctable force of the past.

12.With a woman detective

Out of all the books on this list, this is one I’m so excited about. The prompt already says it but a woman detective in a historical fiction, also featuring a sapphic relationship?? There was no way I could have chosen anything else when this exists. Fortune Favors the Dead by Stephen Spotswood tells the story of “Will” Parker, a scrappy circus runaway whose knife-throwing skills have just saved the life of New York’s best, and a most unorthodox, private investigator, Lillian Pentecost.

13.About caste

When I read the description for There’s Gunpowder in the Air by Manoranjan Byapari, I was instantly reminded of that one movie starring Daniel Radcliffe, Escape from Pretoria. I thought it was such a gripping film and I feel like there could be similarities between that and this particular book because it does involve Naxals planning a jailbreak in Bengal in the early 70’s. The major difference that stands out to me right now is that Escape from Pretoria is based on true events while this seems to be a fictional story.

14.That’s a short story collection from India

Listen, I have loved ghost stories ever since I was made aware of them. Which was at age ten, probably. In fact, one of my favourite movies is an Indian movie called Makdee which quite literally translates to spider in Hindi. It was about twin sisters and this huge scary palace which was known to be haunted by a witch. It’s safe to assume that movie is the reason why I love fairytales and ghost stories so much. Also, this particular collection of stories is set in Goa (where I was born) so I could not ignore it when I saw it in the recommendations.

Afterlife: Ghost Stories From Goa by Jessica Faleiro is a story that revolves around a family get-together in Goa. The Fonseca family gathers in the Carvalho mansion for the birthday of Savio Fonseca, for his 75th birthday, Savio Fonseca’s two daughters Joanna and Carol, who are settled abroad, come down to celebrate his birthday with Savio’s son-in-law Sam. On this occasion, Eduardo, who is Savio’s cousin drops in with his wife.

This is also kind of giving me We Have Always Lived In The Castle vibes and I am here for it.

15.That’s a classic you haven’t read before

You know, I was participating in this reading challenge without even realising it. I read Emma by Jane Austen for the first time last month and thoroughly enjoyed it so, another perfect fit.

16. Shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt Prize/JCB Prize

A spellbinding work of literature, Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup follows the interconnected lives of characters searching for true intimacy. The novel sweeps across India, from an island, to a valley, a city, and a snow desert to tell a love story of epic proportions. I’ve heard so much praise for this book, especially for the writing and I can’t wait to read it.

17.That you loved as a child

When I was younger, I wasn’t really known as the book worm or anything, in fact the very opposite of that. But, the few times that I did manage to quiet down and read, it was either anything by Enid Blyton, the Goosebumps books or…The Princess Diaries (courtesy of our school library). The first two books in The Famous Five series were actually a birthday gift by a school friend and I remember loving them so much. If I could re-visit any book from my childhood, it would most definitely be this one.

18.With a red cover

Hard-drinking petty thief Dellaria Wells is down on her luck in the city of Leiscourt—again. Then she sees a want ad for a female bodyguard, and she fast-talks her way into the high-paying job. Along with a team of other women, she’s meant to protect a rich young lady from mysterious assassins.

This is the only book with a sort of reddish colour that I currently own and that I also haven’t read so, it had to be The Ruthless Lady’s Guide to Wizardry by C.M. Waggoner. Yet another historical fiction with LGBT representation! I’ve read some mixed reviews though so I’m not sure how I’ll like it but I’m excited anyhow.

19.Translated from Marathi, Kashmiri, Odia or Konkani

This is just turning out to be a fun facts about me post but here’s another fact anyway. I’m part of the comparatively small population of Konkani speaking people in India so naturally I’ve chosen my first ever collection of stories translated from Konkani (another fun fact, it doesn’t really have a written script of its own) by Xavier Cota, called Teresa’s Man by Damodar Mauzo. This one I’ll probably be reading this month because I already own the physical copy.

20.From a South-East Asian country

This is a really well known book from what I’ve heard and I’m also currently listening to the audiobook. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, we follow complex and passionate characters — strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis — how they survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

21.With an animal character

This is one title that just came to me the moment I read the prompt? I think someone on BookTube recommended it and somehow the title stuck in my mind. The Year of the Hare by Arto Paasilinna, a Finnish author, is about a journalist and a photographer who end up injuring a hare while on an assignment and when the journalist goes in search of the injured creature, he gets…adopted by the hare? Together the two scamper through farcical adventures and political scandal. This sounds so amazing to me and its also supposed to be funny so I can’t wait!

22.Written and translated by women

This is another Champaca recommendation that really interested me. Winter Stories by Ingvild H. Rishøi, includes three contemporary tales about personal resilience in the face of adversity. We meet a teenager on the run from social services with her younger half-siblings in tow; a young single mother  struggling to provide adequately for her daughter; and an ex-convict striving to overcome personal shortcomings and build a relationship with his son. This is also a work of fiction translated from Norwegian by Diane Oatley.

23.That’s been made into a movie

Read this back in January simply because I love the movie. Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono will not disappoint if you’re in the mood for reading a very comforting coming of age story featuring a witch, a very sassy animal familiar and a bakery.

24.About the sea

This one I read last month which also happens to fit this prompt well. Aquicorn Cove by Kay O’Neill is a story about the sea, the consequences of not looking after it, also features magical sea creatures and a little girl called Lana who befriends them and discovers a whole new world.

25.Of nonsense poetry – BONUS PROMPT

We’re down to the very last bonus prompt for which I chose Jabberwocky and Other Nonsense by Lewis Carroll. This carefully chosen collection contains 34 of Carroll’s most appealing verses — nonsense verse, parodies and more.

If you’ve made it this far, I am truly very thankful to you and I can only hope you found something on here that interested you. I know this was super long and I don’t know if I’ll be reading all of these books by the end of this year but, I can always try because I’d love it if I could!

I also really enjoyed choosing books for all of the prompts on here, I’ve never tried reading from so many different genres so this should be fun. Big thanks to Champaca too for coming up with such creative prompts and always encouraging their readers to read more diverse stories!

Anything I read this month will mostly be from this pile or from here, so I won’t be making a separate post for my April TBR but I hope to read at least twelve books this month.

As always, I’d love to know if you’ve got any thoughts about any of the books I’ve mentioned or, what book or books you’re most excited to read this month!

Much love,

Samiksha 💌

bookish thoughts

everything i read in march 🌸

Hello! Today I’ll be talking about all the books I managed to read last month which is a grand total of eleven. Granted a few of these are poetry/non-fiction but this is still probably the most I’ve read in a month so that’s nice? Atomic Habits I’ll be finishing this April which is why you won’t see it as part of this list. These are categorised by genre and also ordered from the ones I enjoyed the most to…the only one I didn’t enjoy so much (it’s possible you might already know) but. You might also notice a theme with a majority of these books with only a few exceptions so, hope you come across something that interests you!

1.Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Originally published : 1908
Personal rating :
★★★★★

I won’t say too much about this one except that I loved it very much. This is one of those books that can make anyone fall in love with the art of storytelling and of course, the characters. Perhaps if I’d read this when I was younger, I would have developed a love for baking. 🍞

2.A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison

Originally published : 2020
Personal rating :
★★★★

This is the second book in the Pinch of Magic Series and it was just as (if not more) wonderful than the first. Definitely also recommend listening to the audiobook for this one because it’s just so magical and the narrator does such a good job. Truly, audiobooks are such a blessing because my reading experience with this book felt so much more theatrical and immersive with the little sound effects and the dialogue delivery. If you love Disney movies, you will probably love this series.

3.The Lost Spells by Robert MacFarlane, Jackie Morris

Originally published : 2020
Personal rating :
★★★★☆

This book was so beautiful. I feel like if you can read this surrounded by nature, you definitely should because it’ll make your reading experience truly magical. The illustrations are like something out of a fairytale and you never know, if you read these spells out loud with the right amount of emotion…you might just spot some of the creatures this book talks about. ✨

4.Upstream by Mary Oliver

Originally published : 2020
Personal rating :
★★★★☆

Before going into this book, I was aware that this had a fair bit of nature writing which is precisely why I was reading it. And while it has plenty of that, it also includes chapters dedicated to very well known writers and poets like Walt Whitman and Edgar Allen Poe. In these chapters, she talks about how these writers have influenced so much of her everyday life and her outlook on it. So for someone who hasn’t ever read any of their work, this was a little hard to understand sometimes because it really dives deep into analysing literature and writing style. It didn’t put me off but it was just something I wasn’t aware was going to be such a big part of this book. Apart from that, I really enjoyed all the essays and stories in here, she just writes so passionately about everyday things that we might take for granted and it made me feel like it’s okay and sometimes even necessary to stop and slow down to appreciate the world for all that it is.

5.Aquicorn Cover by Kay O’Neill

Originally published : 2018
Personal rating :
★★★★☆

The art in this was so adorable which I had some idea of because I’ve heard so much about The Tea Dragon Society series by the same author. I really liked the little Aquicorns and especially the little bit at the end where the author makes a reference to how they were inspired by the real life creatures that live in the corals and when they grow sick, the whole coral begins to decay. This is definitely a great book for making people aware of coral reef pollution and how they can help either by learning more about it through the links provided or actively reducing the use of plastics in everyday life and being mindful of the organisations you support.

6.How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Originally published : 2017
Personal rating : ★★★½

I recently posted a review for this one and my thoughts remain the same. This was fun even if I didn’t really enjoy the ending, the concept of ageing slower than everyone else was quite unique. The illustrations of course added to the story as well so overall, it was a fun time.

7.The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

Originally published : 2020
Personal rating :
★★★☆☆

I started reading this one because of one main reason. So, long ago (last year) I had tried a book subscription box for the very first time and this particular book was supposed to be in it. Turns out it wasn’t in the box I’d opted for but. I was naturally curious for the one thing I couldn’t get my hands on because I was under the impression that this was a real dictionary.

This does follow the journey of the compilation of the first Oxford dictionary through the eyes of a fictional character called Esme Nichols whose father works at the Scriptorium as a lexicographer. Since this is historical fiction, I did a little digging (or I would have had no idea) to find there are real characters in here who were very heavily involved in the making of the first dictionary, namely Sir James Murray. As for the story itself, we primarily follow the girl, Esme, as a child having to grow up in a very unusual environment where she develops the habit of taking words deemed unfit for the dictionary and storing them in a trunk which she calls the ❝dictionary of lost words.❞ Later, as she grows up, we notice her starting to realise how a majority of these discarded words were words used by people belonging to the lower classes or related to women which kind of gives her the encouragement to become an advocate for those words.

My main criticism of this book is that it can kind of be a really dull read at times the further along you get in the story because not a lot happens? I was very close to giving up on this one because I just wanted it be over but I understand why this might work for someone who is really interested in studying the English language or the history/politics of certain words. I personally didn’t enjoy it the most but I still decided to be a little generous with my rating because I can imagine the kind of effort that must have gone into writing a historical fiction.

8.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Originally published : 1960
Personal rating :
★★★★☆

This one I picked up because I’ve had a copy for years and I believe this was also a gift but unfortunately it’s got no name. Reading this one was intense, humorous and sometimes challenging. We follow two children Scout and Jem caught in the whirlwind of small town gossip when their father Atticus Finch is assigned the case of defending a black man called Tom Robinson for the alleged assault of a nineteen year old white woman called Mayella Euwell. Despite such a heavy premise, the book manages to make you laugh at society’s double standards, brought into light through the conversations of the children. I also found it inspiring because we see a strong shift in mentality in the way the children think of a certain character called Arthur Radley or Boo, to young Scout. We watch them grow and come to learn that people are not always what the world claims them to be, if you only take time to get to know them.

9.100 selected poems of Emily Dickinson

Originally published : 1890
Personal rating :
★★★★☆

Many of the poems in this one had a very sad/lonesome undertone to them and not so surprisingly I found those ones to be the most profound and emotional. I also loved how she constantly drew inspiration from nature and the birds to express feelings of being trapped in her own mind or in helping the people around her, if only just one. It’s definitely a very compassionate and also endearing collection of poems that make you want to ruminate by staring sullenly out the window.

10.Emma by Jane Austen

Originally published : 1815
Personal rating :
★★★★☆

I will admit that reading a classic can be…a lot. I had to alternate between the book, the audiobook and the latest movie adaptation to kind of fully understand what I was reading and also have fun with it! I can’t imagine myself only reading the book and being able to write this, I wouldn’t have processed it as well as I have now. Since this is my first Austen novel, I am not sure if people who’ve read her work before would say this is a good place to start but to me, reading this book has been a really fun experience. While in the beginning it was a little confusing to keep up with the characters, the movie definitely helped with that.

I just think it’s interesting that there wasn’t a single moment where I felt put off by Emma Woodhouse even when she acted out or made poor choices. And that is mainly because we see some very strong character development from her the more invested you get in the plot and you really feel for her when she comes to the realisation that she isn’t always going to be right when it comes to guessing someone’s character as a person. And Mr. Knightley? The relationship he shares with Emma is so funny but also strangely sweet and I kind of love it because it’s not your typical love story (or maybe it is?) in the sense that their romance, essentially, lies in their banter. You can tell that they’re really close friends who trust each other enough to openly comment on each other when they believe one of them is in the wrong. I also loved the movie adaptation so much! It was definitely an experience in itself seeing the characters come to life and this book has just made me want to read more of her work or just classics in general because I always thought I couldn’t and now this has changed my outlook altogether.

11.They Both Die At The End by Adam Silvera

Originally published : 2017
Personal rating : ★★½

I’ve already talked about this book and I don’t exactly know what else to add. While I did appreciate the concept, it didn’t seem to work for me but, I’m hoping some of his other works will whenever I get around to reading more from this author.

Happy new month, we’re now officially into April! I will refrain from making any more jokes about the passage of time but, I do hope this new month brings good things for us all because we might need it.

I mentioned in my previous post that I will be participating (or at least attempt to participate) in a reading challenge which was announced in January actually but I’ll still try and make it work because I do love all the prompts in it. I’m very excited to post that one soon because I’ve always wanted to read more diverse books and this particular bookshop that’s hosting the reading challenge does such a splendid job of recommending books that are so new to me (and maybe will be new to you too!)

Let me know what your favourite March read was? 💞

Much love,

Samiksha 💌

bookish thoughts

selected poems of emily dickinson 📖

❝ 𝘏𝘢𝘷𝘦 𝘺𝘰𝘶 𝘨𝘰𝘵 𝘢 𝘉𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵,
𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘴𝘩𝘧𝘶𝘭 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘸,
𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘣𝘪𝘳𝘥𝘴 𝘨𝘰 𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘬,
𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘴 𝘵𝘳𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘰 —

𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘯𝘰𝘣𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘬𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘴, 𝘴𝘰 𝘴𝘵𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘪𝘵 𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘴,
𝘛𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘯𝘺 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦,
𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘺𝘦𝘵 𝘺𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘥𝘳𝘢𝘶𝘨𝘩𝘵 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦
𝘐𝘴 𝘥𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘥𝘳𝘶𝘯𝘬𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 —

𝘞𝘩𝘺, 𝘭𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘪𝘯 𝘔𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩,
𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘧𝘭𝘰𝘸,
𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘯𝘰𝘸𝘴 𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘩𝘶𝘳𝘳𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘧𝘳𝘰𝘮 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘴,
𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘥𝘨𝘦𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘨𝘰 —

𝘈𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘪𝘯 𝘈𝘶𝘨𝘶𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘵 𝘮𝘢𝘺 𝘣𝘦 —
𝘞𝘩𝘦𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘮𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘰𝘸𝘴 𝘱𝘢𝘳𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘭𝘪𝘦,
𝘉𝘦𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘦, 𝘭𝘦𝘴𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘣𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘬 𝘰𝘧 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦
𝘚𝘰𝘮𝘦 𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘰𝘰𝘯 𝘨𝘰 𝘥𝘳𝘺! ❞

— 𝘌𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘋𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘰𝘯, 100 𝘚𝘦𝘭𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘗𝘰𝘦𝘮𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘌𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘋𝘪𝘤𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘰𝘯

~

Hello! I was supposed to have posted this on here two days ago but obviously, that didn’t happen so I’m posting it now on the last day of March!

This past week I got done reading my first ever poetry collection by Emily Dickinson. While this particular piece I loved very much, there are several gems in here that could possibly make you long for a place, a time, a person or all three of those things together and at once?

I also found it interesting how none of these poems have a title if not for the very first line! This collection kindly offers an index of them all at the very end that I also enjoyed!

I would have posted my March wrap up today if I didn’t just finish reading Emma so, that will be up in a few days. I’ve also kind of been making plans of participating in a reading challenge for this year, hosted by a bookstore I really love. I’ll be talking more about that in a different post soon which I’m really excited about! 📚

If you have any end of the month thoughts, you’re more than welcome to share them 💕

p.s- remember to look after the little brook in your heart, not just in march but always😌

Much love,

Samiksha 💌

bookish thoughts

how to stop time by matt haig ⏳

❝I still have a headache. Sometimes it is almost not there, while at other times that is all there is, and the pain always coincides with the memories. It is less of a headache and more a memory ache. A life ache.❞

This was quite interesting! Out of all the things I found relatable in this book, headaches and the aftereffects of said headaches are something that resonated with me on a personal (if not physical) level. We follow a man called Tom Hazard (one among many of his names) through his various identities, while the concept of time works just a bit slower for him alone than the rest of the world, or so he thinks.

I usually enjoy writing that makes you reflect on the past and this one had a lot of it. And though I appreciated it enough to write down my favourite quotes, after a while it kind of got a bit repetitive. It was fun as long as we were following his journey, however towards the end, there were some things that could have been done differently because it felt sort of anti-climactic.

The best part about this book is definitely being able to time travel with the main character and I liked the fact that it ended on a hopeful note. I was doubtful if it would because of the constant descriptions of how we as humans never learn and will probably be hurtling towards the creation of our own destruction but it didn’t end that way. I also really loved the illustrations in this, they added a little something more to the story and helped visualise the characters better. Overall, an enjoyable and inspiring read!

❝The past resides inside the present, repeating, hiccupping, reminding you of all the stuff that no longer is. It bleeds out from road signs and plaques on park benches and songs and surnames and faces and the covers of books. Sometimes just the sight of a tree or a sunset can smack you with the power of every tree or sunset you have ever seen and there is no way to protect yourself. There is no possible way of living in a world without books or trees or sunsets. There just isn’t.❞

Hello! Hope you’ve been doing well! My mind has been overflowing with things I want to do and then stressing over not having enough time to do them. But, we’re getting through it….somehow. March is also coming to an end which I don’t understand. Looks like time really cannot be stopped.

I also have two books I’ve yet to finish (Upstream and Emma) from this month’s TBR which I’ll probably manage to finish soon enough.

I’d love to know what you’ve read recently or if you’ve read this particular book! Or any of Matt Haig’s books, I’ve been seeing The Midnight Library everywhere for some reason and it has piqued my interest 👀

Happy weekend!

Much love,

Samiksha 💌

bookish thoughts

reading updates and more 📜

Hello! So, for today’s post, I’ll be sharing something kind of different? I recently happened to visit an art gallery/museum with a friend and there were some really interesting art works made out of Plaster of Paris that we got to see! Many of them were mythology inspired so it was really fascinating, especially because the characters from The Palace of Illusions were still fresh in my mind.

I thought I’d show you three of my favourites on here because we were allowed to take photos and they’re really intricate works of art made by an 1886 born artist. Evidently, there is lot of history attached to his work because he was a Court Artist who studied under the guidance of really renowned professors from 1909 to 1916 which was also a time when Kings/Maharajas still existed in India.

Drona, the second Commander-in-chief of the Kaurava Army, teaching archery to the Pandava brothers
Ekalavya, the young prince of the Nishadha, a confederation of jungle tribes in Ancient India, practicing archery
Shiva Tandav in which ‘Tandav’ refers to a dance form performed with great energy and strength

I really enjoyed observing these pieces, especially the tiny details because I’d never seen anything like this before. It’d also been such a long time since I’d visited a museum too which is sad because I love learning about history and looking at things that were once used by someone else a thousand years ago. Hopefully, this was fun for you too!

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So, we’re almost halfway into March and it’s been really good so far! I’m just very much in the mood for reading anything magical or heavily inspired by nature. Perhaps, spring has worked its magic on me. I did finish reading a few of the books off of my March TBR but also picked up a few new ones!

Here are the ones I’m done with –

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

So…maybe I shouldn’t have put this one on my list of books I want to read? I just had zero feelings in me by the time I was done with this. No tears at all. Nothing. Everything about this fell flat to me, the characters, the setting, the dialogue especially. It’s possible I can’t read Young Adult anymore after this. Probably will be my least favourite read of the month.

Personal rating : ★★.5/5 stars

The Lost Spells by Robert Macfarlane, illustrated by Jackie Morris

This was magical. Truly my main source of comfort this past week. I intentionally took my time with this one because it’s mainly poetry or I should probably say an enchanting book of spells that can be used to call upon the creatures of the Earth? The illustrations were so beautiful, the language so charming, it really does make you feel like you’re part of something other worldly. My favourites were goldfinch, daisy and the little lullaby at the very end.

Personal rating : ★★★★/5 stars

Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maude Montgomery

I’ve already raved about this book so I won’t repeat myself but. A little update is that I’ve started watching the series Anne with an E! I’m a few episodes in already and I can see they’ve altered certain parts of the story, nothing too major but little things here and there which I’m having way too much fun pointing out. One thing it’s managed to do very well is show us a little more of Matthew and Marilla’s past which is interesting and has also successfully made me love them very much.

Personal rating : ★★★★★ stars

A Sprinkle of Sorcery by Michelle Harrison (Book 2 in the Pinch of Magic series)

This was so wonderful!! Somehow, I loved it even more than the first book? If the first was more about family dynamics, this one had that PLUS the most exciting adventure ever! From a secret island that can only be seen through a hagstone, a haunted pirate ship that might or might not be real, a certain one eyed witch who is known to teach the greedy a lesson they’ll never forget to a little girl whose singing has supernatural powers. There’s so much I can say about this but I’ll save that for another time. I’m just very glad I read this one!!

Personal rating : ★★★★★ stars

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Currently reading/to be read –

Emma by Jane Austen

Atomic Habits by James Clear

The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams

How to Stop Time by Matt Haig, illustrated by Chris Riddell

Upstream by Mary Oliver

If you have any favourite spring/magical book recommendations, I’d love to know! Or if you have any thoughts on the books I’ve mentioned, feel free to share them as well!

Much love,

Samiksha 💌