Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Balderdash, tags

“Bookish This or That” Tag

Me, with another book tag.

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Doing one after two months. Luckily, I found a simple and straight-forward one this time.

1. Audiobook or Text Book?

Text book, for sure. But audio books are great for re-reads as I’m now discovering. See, I loved the Locke Lamora books and I really wanted to read them again but I stopped rereading a while ago, there are simply too many books out there, waiting to be read.

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So what I’ve been doing for the past week or so is that I listen to the audio book while I sew. It’s two birds with one stone, sewing and reading/listening, plus I get to read whatever I want as usual.

Text Book: 7
Audio Book: 3

2. Paperback or Hardback?

I do not have a preference.*shrugs*

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Paperback: 5
Hardback: 5

3. Fiction or Non Fiction?

FICTION.
FICTION.
FICK-SHUUUUUUUUUUUNNNNNNNN

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Fiction: 10
Non-fiction: 0

4. Harry Potter or Twilight?

There’s a phrase in English, it’s called “righteous indignation”. When I’m asked a question as colossally stupid and non-sensical as this one, that’s what I’m filled with. HOW DARE YOU, SIR? Twilight doesn’t even deserve to be in the same sentence. As Harry Potter. See what I did?

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Harry Potter: 10
Twilight: -∞

5. Bookshop or Online?

Erm, well… online. It’s convenient in a thousand different ways and it’s what I’m instinctively drawn towards as a person. Having said that, I’m not totally opposed to the idea of browsing in book shops. It’s fun, if a little depressing.

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Online: 7
Bookshops: 3

6. Standalone or Series?

Both! It’s a blessing they both exist.

Standalone: 5
Series: 5

7. Sweet and Short or Heavy and Long?

Neither? I like them in all flavors in medium length. That being 300-600 pages at most.

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8. Cosy Read/ Reading in the Sun?

Definitely not reading in the sun. Cosy reading for me is being alone, where there is quiet with something to munch on. Reading in the sun means going outside, and that is unacceptable. I’m allergic to the outside.

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Cosy Reading: 10
Reading in the sun: 0

9. Hot chocolate or coffee?

Chai.

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Hot Chocolate: 0
Coffee: 0
Chai: ∞

Cheers!

 

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Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Balderdash

Books Read in April and May TBR

So here are the nine (obviously) books I read this month. I’m out of witty opening lines.

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The Anceint Magus’s Bride Vol. 7

2.5/5

Feh. Boring.

Ice Wolves

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3/5

I expected more from this but even though the parts about “Essence” and ice wolves and dragons were fascinating, this was rather dull for a middle-grade book.

A Conspiracy of Stars

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5/5

S.U.B.L.I.M.E! It reminded me of Avatar (film). It was incredible and so mysterious and intriguing, just the kind of sci-fi I love.

OBSIDIO

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5/5

Had to say good-bye to this beautiful, beautiful trilogy. There were some new characters who didn’t leave an impact but the old ones were awesome as usual and if I doubted it before I became a 100% certain that I had fallen in love with the series’ psychotic, homicidal Artificial Intelligence AIDAN.

The Final Six

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5/5

I was able to finish this within 24 hours which is a testament to how gripping and easy to get lost in this book is. Another great sci-fi.

All Systems Red: The Murderbot Diaries

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4/5

A novella, it was a really amusing and entertaining book all because of the protagonist: a cyborg/android that calls itself murderbot. The way it deals with human interactions and emotions was fascinating plus it was hilarious and sarcastic which is always a plus.

The Republic of Thieves

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10/5

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A Whole New World

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2/5

Eurgh. Terrible. Just terrible. A “retelling” of Aladdin. Retelling, my butt.

Heart of Iron

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5/5

I had my issues which I loudly communicated in a review but this was a solid, spectacular and impressive book.

I read a ton of sci-fi this month, all of them I loved very much.

As for May, I have a couple books in mind that I want to read ASAP:

  • The Mistborn trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch
  • The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
  • Only Human (Themis Files # 3) by Sylvain Nuevel
  • War Storm (Red Queen # 4) by Victoria Aveyard

And that is it!

Cheers.

 

Posted in Bookish Balderdash, Cool Sewing Projects

I Made A Book Bag!

I had the idea about three months ago, took one and half of those for me to start, another half to actually do it and one more to take pictures and post on my Instagram.

This was a whole new undertaking. It was fun, but mostly a HUGE pain in the ass.

Disclaimer:

  • The design is original in every respect. I did not copy from anywhere.
  • ALL PICTURES ARE MINE, OKAY?

Image may contain: makeup

Verily, the hardest part was the embroidery, and also the longest. I’m not exactly a pro at it, I know a total of four stitches and those are the ones I used in this.

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I used a mid to large sized paperback for size. Cut pieces of this pink cotton that attracted me and was also the reason I went with Emma by Jane Austen, a book I haven’t actually read. First did the embroidery, then used this thin fusible interfacing to lock everything in place and also to make it stronger and then used felt interfacing to give the bag a body of its own.

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I should have left the back alone but noooooo I had to do this too. My copy of Prisoner of Azkaban which is a small to medium sized hardback, fit like a glove inside it.

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I attached the zipper and the sides to the bag (the bottom was cut with the front and back as one large piece) “wrong” sides together. It was because I wanted to attach bias tape all along the edges which I thought would give it a nice hardback feel. Well, it did but it was also THE most frustrating thing ever because I had kept the depth really small and my sewing foot kept bumping into the rectangular hardware rings.

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I have this really nice pink perfume fabric that has vintage-ish vibes and that’s the one I used as bias tape. I love how well it goes with the theme of the book! Words like Veritable, Paris, France and Cologne are visible.

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The zipper goes all along the top lip which is the right long edge of a book, if you will, and down about an inch from each side.

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I made the sides from this creamy cotton fabric on which I stitched lines to give the illusion of pages.

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I take it back, the hardest part was attaching the sides to the bag. The second hardest was the bias tape. Third hardest was embroidery.

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The cute AF spine.

Since I attached wrong sides together, there are no seams inside. I don’t have a serger or even a machine that does zig-zag stitches so my biggest concern, ALWAYS, is to hide the seams. Since I’m paranoid, I think that everything will fray and come apart and that would be an epic fail.

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I used this silk for lining, which again coordinated perfectly. Masha Allah.

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For the strap, I wrote the quotes from the book on plain white material with fabric marker. In what was definitively, not my best writing.

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And that is it! If you’re from Pakistan, there’s a giveaway happening on my Instagram pages in which I’m giving away THIS VERY BAG and a booksleeve, a bookmark and a mug coaster, all three are Harry Potter themed. If you’re not from Pakistan, eh, check it out anyway?

Cheers!

 

Posted in Bookish Balderdash, tags

Greek Mythology Bookish Survey

Another month, another tag.

I have a shelf called “Mother of All Books Sweet and Pure” on Goodreads. It’s an exclusive Harry Potter shelf. Nothing will ever be put in that shelf besides HP. So basically, it’s the highest, untouchable, not for comparison shelf. Number 0.

My number 1 shelf is called “My Friends You Bow To No One” and it is where my all time favorites go after Harry Potter. Percy Jackson happens to be on that list.

LET’S DO THIS!

PART I: GODS OF OLYMPUS

ZEUS/JUPITER

(God of Sky and Thunder, King of the Oympians)

Favorite book:

I’ve recently read To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo and I was struck dumb with awe. It was electrifying, the chemistry between the protagonists was sizzling. Okay, I’ll stop. Tee Hee. It’s a retelling of The Little Mermaid while I was under the false impression that it was a villain origin story of Ursula. It’s the tentacles. Anyway, it didn’t end tragically is what I’m saying.

POSEIDON/NEPTUNE

(God of the Seas and Earthquakes)

A Book that drowned you in feels:

Whichwood by Tahereh Mafi. BY GOD. You will experience the depths of despair. It’s the subject matter as much as the beautiful writing. It’s unlike anything I’ve read (I say that to all the books ssshhhh) and I felt such overwhelming love and adoration for the main character.

HADES/PLUTO

(God of the Underworld)

Favorite book with a dark/ominous plot:

IT by Stephen King. Come now, can there be anything else? Like no book can compete. Dark, ominous, disturbing, revolting, horrifying, it’s got all the ingredients that can cheer you up.

HERA/JUNO

(Goddess of Marriage and Family)

Cutest fictional couple:

Vasya and Morozko from the Winternight series by Katherine Arden. A brave girl and the god of Frost and Death, yes, they are extremely cute.

ATHENA/MINERVA

(Goddess of Wisdom, Handicraft and Strategic Warfare)

Series with the best world-building:

All of the books I mentioned above have excellent world-building. It’s hard to choose one in this category. A series that I read recently called The Mortal Engines is a delightful hybrid of whimsical and serious and it features one of the grimmest and darkest settings I’ve ever read about.

Hungry-City-Chronicles

APHRODITE/VENUS

(Goddess of Love and Beauty)

Book with the most beautiful cover:

There are many but I haven’t read most of them. I do feel, however, that The Shape of Water has the most gorgeous cover I’ve seen in a while.

ARES/MARS

(God of War and Bloodshed)

Most violent book you’ve ever read:

The Red Rising formerly trilogy now a series. The people in those books are all insane and blood-thirsty. They legit look for excuses to murder each other for the stupidest of reasons not the least of which is ‘honor’. Feh.

HEPHAESTUS/VULCAN

(God of Blacksmiths and Fire)

Scorching-hot swoon-worthy character:

It might be a little inappropriate since he’s borderline crazy. He also doesn’t fit the typical description of such a character but I LOVE him. Locke Lamora from the Gentleman Bastard series and Prince Elian Midas from To Kill A Kingdom who totally fits the description and is not crazy at all. Green eyes and jet black hair is my weakness.

ARTEMIS/DIANA

(Goddess of Hunt and Virginity)

Favorite Kick-Ass Heroine:

Vasilisa Petrovna from the Winternight series. She’s stunning.

PHOEBUS APOLLO/APOLLO

(God of Light and Healing)

Sequel book that redeemed its series:

Rebel Spring or maybe Gathering Darkness from Falling Kingdoms. I didn’t like the first book when I started reading this series last year but by the second and fully by the third, I was hooked.

HERMES/MERCURY

(Messenger God of Thieves and Commerce)

Book with the best message:

Jannat Kay Pattay and Naml by Nemrah Ahmed have great messages. Both were inspiring, the former was life-changing. It made me a bit more self-assured and confident in how I chose to be.

HESTIA/VESTA

(Goddess of Hearth and Home)

Book with the most relatable story:

Again, Jannat Kay Pattay. It means ‘Leaves of Heaven’ and it’s partially a love story and partially about a girl named Haya finding her footing in life after a life-altering decision she makes.

DEMETER/CERES

(Goddess of Fertility and Agriculture)

Favorite bookish setting:

There are SO many answers to that. If I loved a book, I most probably liked its setting so all of the above books? Also, The Lunar Chronicles.

DIONYSUS/BACCHUS

(God of Wine and Celebration)

A new release you’re most anticipating:

Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kauffman. Those two can whip up a storm. The first two books punched me in the gut, repeatedly.

Part II: Heroes of Olympus

PERCY JACKSON

A brave, spirited natural leader with a sarcastic sense of humor, and a will to save friends and enemies alike

Favorite protagonist:

Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, all the characters from the Lunar Chronicles, Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle, Septimus Heap from Magyk, Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen from The Gentleman Bastard series, Shahdil from Dil Ka Nagar, Cihan Sikander from Jannat Kay Pattey, Faris Ghazi from Naml

ANNABETH CHASE

Intellectual genius with a strong mind, brave heart, and a love for architecture

Series/book with the cleverest plot:

The School For Good and Evil series with its amusing conflicts is super fun. Another one that comes to mind is the Illuminae series.

JASON GRACE

Has a moderate sense of humor, but a strong sense of honor, justice and compassion, often described as perfect

Book with an epic finale:

A Darkling Plain (Hungry City Chronicles # 4) was pretty epic. This series is underrated as heck. It deserves more recognition and praise. The mixed tones of the books is what sets them apart. One minute they’re fun and amusing and then BANG murder slash kill.

PIPER MCLEAN

Fierce and persuasive but down to earth, caring and loving towards her friends and family

Book with a tempting synopsis (one you haven’t read):

Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach by Kelly Robson. Apparently it’s sci-fi. The title and the cover have me super duper hyped.

LEO VALDEZ

Good-natured and energetic, funny but intelligent, honest and witty, and is skilled with machines

Book that made you laugh:

The Princess Bride and My Lady Jane were pretty hilarious.

HAZEL LEVESQUE

Bright and outgoing despite an unfortunate childhood, is mature for her age

Favorite character with a tragic past:

Hester Shaw from the Hungry City chronicles.

FRANK ZHANG

Somewhat shy, cynical, and clumsy, though he possesses a strong sense of duty, loyalty, and love

Book you loved more than you thought you would:

Let The Right One In by John Ajvide Lindqvist. It’s just a few shades behind IT in terms of being disturbing and totally riveting. I had to just take some time to get over it because it affected me.

And also, the Hunter trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. I had read nothing but negative reviews of the first book but I still read it and it was awesome.

NICO DI ANGELO

Grim, solitary, powerful and mysterious, highly unpredictable and selectively affectionate

Most mysterious character you’ve ever encountered:

Morozko, the Frost King from the Winternight series. He’s ancient and besides has this elusiveness that makes me a delightful enigma.

GROVER UNDERWOOD

Cheerful, upbeat and protective satyr who chews on furniture when he gets nervous

Book you won’t read due to warnings against them:

Every Sarah J. Maas book. But especially the A Court of dramatic word and dramatic word series. I will, however, be reading Catwoman.

CLARISSE LA RUE

Arrogant and hot-tempered, but brave, strong and protective of camp

Most annoying character:

Delilah Bard from the Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab.

Uff, I can’t. Even thinking about her makes me mad. I’m quoting myself from my review of the second book in the series:

Hey there, Delilah
What’s it like being so nutty
I feel grateful that your fictional because,
You’re disturbing, I mean no kidding
Yes, I do
Nutcases are sane compared to you
I swear it’s true


I’m being a little dramatic. Just a little. The girl’s intriguing I’ll give her that. You want to know what she’ll do next. My grudging admiration of her from the first book turned to total dislike in this one. I tried to find a reason behind her vicious nature at first but I came up with nothing because I’ve read characters with pasts worse than hers and they’d look like fluffy bunnies next to her. No, there’s no reason behind this. She’s like that because she just is. And I’m sure I don’t like it. Kickassery, arrogance and recklessness are fine and good, up to a certain limit. She’s too cocky, too audacious and over adventurous. Cross-dressing and being courageous and daring is one thing, this is quite another.

PHEW.

I’ve been writing this post for FIVE days. And now I’m done. SWEET RELIEF.

Consider yourselves tagged!

Cheers!

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Balderdash

Books Read in February & March TBR

NINE books. I read NINE BOOKS in February.

In chronological order:

Robots Vs Fairies:

3/5

Naturally, it was irresistible. However, the stories were less than satisfactory. Every author tried to bring both technology and fae in their stories, some had only one of the two but every author was either Team Fairy or Team Robot.

The Starlit Wood:

2.75/5

Picked right after Robots Vs Fairies because it was advertised at the back and another anthology sounded good. Let me tell you something, it’s hard to like or understand a retelling when you don’t even know the original. The Mouse, the Bird and the Sausage? What. the. fuck? 80% of the authors went for unheard of fairytales which killed it for me.

Apex (Hunter # 3):

4/5

This was a entertaining trilogy, there’s a lot of humans-with-magic versus Fae-from-another-dimension battles but I felt that it lacked grandness of scale and ingenuity in plot. Three books and the fighting is all that happens. Still, highly entertaining.

Quests For Glory (School For Good and Evil – Camelot Years # 1):

5/5

I LOVED it! After Good Vs Evil and Boys Vs Girls I didn’t think Soman Chainai would come up with something as amusing, he did but it’s more serious and mature this time. It was very exciting and I didn’t once feel that this new series was unwarranted.

Burqay:

2.95/5

This was my first Manto and despite being dry and tedious and a bit nosy, I found it fascinating.

Sightwitch (The Witchlands # 0.5):

4.5/5

This is a very confusing world, and while I originally wanted a full length book, this novella provided ample backstory.

Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms # 6):

3/5

Ah, disappointments, disappointments. I had genuinely grown to love this series but this last book was the height of pointlessness.

Unearthed:

5/5

ASDFGHJKL…

I loved this book so much. Aliens, new planets, tombs, spaceships, other things, SPACESHIPS, doom, portals, SPACESHEEEEEEEEPS!!!!

The Ancient Magus’s Bride Vol. 5:

3/5

Okay-ish. Nothing special.

March TBR

I’ve already read Iron Gold (Red Rising # 4) by Pierece Brown and I’m currently reading To Kill A Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. Books I really, really want to read hopefully this month are:

  • The Shape of Water
  • Batman: Nightwalker
  • Tess of the Road
  • Want
  • A Conspiracy of Stars
  • The Final Six
  • Gods, Monsters and the Lucky Peach

Cheers!

 

Posted in Bookish Balderdash, tags

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

Woohoo. It’s lil’ ‘ol me again. With a book tag. Rejoice.

Beauty and the Beast? Who doesn’t love Beauty and the Beast? I certainly do and have always done. So, dudes and dudesses, I present to you a B & B themed book tag! Disclaimer: I didn’t create it.

Let two and a half hours of intense wracking-your-brain-to-think-of-answers begin!

P.S: Harry Potter is automatically excluded because that never gets anyone anywhere.

GASTON

a) A villain you can’t help but love:

Two answers:

  • Levana from The Lunar Chronicles: I don’t love her, rather, I love reading about her. Fairest was disturbingly addictive.
  • Hester Shaw from The Mortal Engines: She’s more of an anti-hero. She constantly skirts the boundaries of good and evil but I love her.

b) A book everyone loves but you don’t:

I can think of three right now, there may be more:

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • Wintersong by S. Jae Jones
  • Carry On by Rianbow Rowell

Seriously, I DO NOT understand the deal.

BELLE & ADAM

Your favorite One True Pairing (OTP):

LOL. There are so many and I’ve never been able to pick one I like the most. This answer is completely random: Sophie and Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle.

BELLE

a) A character who is destined for greater things:

Joyeaux Charmand from the Hunter trilogy is the best candidate that comes to mind. She’s sharp, level-headed, rational and just makes sense.

b) A book you bought for its beautiful cover that’s just as beautiful on the inside, too:

A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab. SWOON.

LEFOU

A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart:

It’s more of a fifty one – forty nine: Jean Tannen from The Lies of Locke Lamora. There is zero question about him being lovable. He is freaking GOALS as a friend. I definitely love him a fraction more than Locke.

MRS. POTTS, CHIP, LUMIERE, AND COGSWORTH

A book that helped you through a difficult time or really taught you something:

No book has ever helped me in a difficult time because, praise be to the Lord above, I’ve never fallen upon one. The book that really taught me to have more confidence in myself and my choices was Jannat Kay Pattay by Nemrah Ahmed.

BE OUR GUEST

a) A book that made you hungry:

The earliest book I remember with the most delicious food descriptions was The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. I don’t like that book a lot.

b) A fictional character you’d love to have over for dinner:

Percy Jackson because of his delightful presence (I’d make sure everything is blue and we would both revel in sarcastic jokes) or Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows just to make him more uncomfortable than he usually is around people. He would be uneasy but I would totally love it. Tee Hee.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Opposites attract:

Imama Hashim and Salaar Sikandar from Peer-e-Kamil. Attract? Boy, did they ever.

SOMETHING THERE

a) A character who is more than they appear:

Okay, two answers, again.

  • IT from IT by Stephen King. See what I did there? Aren’t I disgustingly clever?! That was a more literal interpretation of the question. So:
  • The model answer, the most fitting one would have been Snape but no Harry Potter. I’m going with Shrike from The Mortal Engines. *sob*

b) A book or series that you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end:

The Red Rising trilogy. Yeesh. It escalates.

KILL THE BEAST!

A book you picked up because of the hype:

Some of them are purely by intuition and my own choice and are underrated but most series I pick up are hyped. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes is one of many.

EVERMORE

A book or moment that always makes you cry:

The ‘always’ suggests that I re-read. I don’t re-read. But Yaaram by Sumaira Hameed was brutal for my mind and soul.

TALE AS OLD AS TIME

A popular theme, trope, or setting you will never get tired of reading:

Fantasy. Always. Keepin’ it broad.

I mixed up two different Beauty and the Beast tags into one. Neither was created by me. Feel free to do this if you want to.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews, Bookish Balderdash

The Hungry City Chronicles by Philip Reeve – Overview

I did one Underrated Series post before (it was Septimus Heap) and this is essentially another of that kind. The Hungry City Chronicles, the Mortal Engines Quartet or the Predator Cities Quartet is a tetralogy, the four books being:

  • Mortal Engines
  • Predator’s Gold
  • Infernal Devices
  • A Darkling Plain

I heard about this series when I read that Peter Jackson was doing the first film. I jumped headlong into the first book then. I do that when I find out that a book is being made into a film. It was good. I mean, really, seriously good. I was intrigued and so I continued on and I wasn’t disappointed.

Synopsis:

The books are set 1000 years in the future where after a devastating nuclear war called the Sixty Minute War the world has entered the age of “Tractionism”. Whole cities on wheels.

“It was natural that cities ate towns, just as the towns ate smaller towns, and smaller towns snapped up the miserable static settlements. That was Municipal Darwinism, and it was the way the world had worked for a thousand years, ever since the great engineer Nikolas Quirke had turned London into the first Traction City.”

There are Anti-tractionists, those who oppose such settlements, and live on the ground. The war between Tractionists and Anti-tractionists is the major plot line in all four books.

Fascinating, eh? It was unusual and odd, delightfully weird and also morbid. I’d been looking for a proper way to describe the tone of these books and yesterday while reading a review I came across the perfect description: “the series has one foot rooted firmly in middle-grade while other foot in YA”.

I literally couldn’t have said it better. This is one of the things about these books that baffled and took me by surprise EVERY damn time. One second it was all funny and silly and childish while at the other it was SLASH BOOM KILL. It fluctuates between the two themes so while you have your guard down and think that nothing is going to happen you get sucker punched with something absolutely VICIOUS. This series is dark and it constantly tricks you into thinking that it isn’t.

It’s steampunk. The technology is far less superior to our own and CDs and phones and cars are things of history long forgotten. The steampunk vibe of the books adds more to the uniqueness of the tone.

Main Characters:

Hester Shaw and Tom Natsworthy are the two main protagonists of the books. The story stretches for a lengthy period of time, almost fifteen years so while new and young characters come into the fray, the old ones still stay and carry the story forward.

Tom used to be in the Traction city of London, he was an apprentice historian and he loved his job but one day after London eats a small mining town, a scavenger named Hester Shaw comes aboard and tries to kill the most important man in the city. They’re both thrown overboard. They have many adventures together and eventually fall in love. In the first two books they are fifteen, in the next two they are in their early thirties.

Now, I never warmed up to Tom. He was a nice enough person but he was extremely gullible and ignorant and kind of a weakling. My major reason for disliking him stems from a number of his actions regarding Hester. While Hester loved him too much, it seemed, he never loved her enough. Without spoiling anything, there’s one important thing about Hester that contributed to his behavior but I didn’t gave him a leash because of that, cause love is supposed to be beyond everything! You’ll understand better once you read the books.

Hester was ferocious, vicious and stern. There were certain times she was despicable but most of the times I loved her and wanted the best for her. She kicks ass and takes names.

The best thing about this series is that everything comes full circle eventually. Minor things that you ignored in the first book or the second book will pop up eventually and play a very surprising part in the overall plot. It’s neat, is what it is.

I’m not doing it justice with this pitiful essay but it’s something that simply has to be read. It’s a roller-coaster ride of Final Destination proportions. HIGHLY recommended!

Posted in Bookish Balderdash, tags

The Avatar Book Tag

I was browsing around for book tags yesterday and saw this. End of story. It had to be done.

It was originally created by A Clockwork Reader. The link to her Youtube video doing this tag is right here.

Just as an aside, I LOVE Avatar. Both The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra. I’ve re-watched both of them and this is something I rarely do. I watched Korra before the original series but I think I love The Last Airbender more. Good times, man.

The tag is divided into four sections like the four Elemental powers, each section has three questions. I’m going to avoid Harry Potter altogether because it’s a default for my favorite anything and that would lead us nowhere.

WATER

1- Sokka and Katara – The best sibling relationship:

Okay, so not a lot of people know about this series. I discovered it last year and read almost the entirety of it continuously. It’s called Septimus Heap by Angie Sage and it is utterly delightful. There are eight Heap siblings and all of them are the very definition of adorable. Septimus, Jenna and Nico are closer to each other than the rest and I LOVE THEM.

2- Yue – Favorite star-crossed lovers:

There weren’t any star-crossed lovers in the books I read in 2017 but I remember one such couple from way back and it’s definitely my favorite: Aleeza and Umar from Ammar Bail. RIP, heart.

3- Blood Bending – A book with a disturbing/unsettling concept:

I’m SO glad that came up. IT by Stephen King which I’m 166 pages away from finishing is as unsettling as it gets. Seriously, YIKES. Two close contenders are Let the Right One In and Let the Old Dreams Die by John Ajvide Lindqvist who, incidentally is called the “Swedish Stephen King”.

EARTH

4- Toph – A character whose strength surprised you or the characters in the book:

The Losers Club from IT. All seven of them. Given the absolute terrifying shitstorm they were subjected to, even after knowing their individual weaknesses, it was surprising to see how resilient and brave all of them were. I’ll maybe not count Stan Uris completely but as a kid he was courageous as well.

5- The Tales of Ba Sing Se: Best short story/poetry collection:

I’m going to go with Let The Old Dreams Die by John Ajvide Lindqvist. That’s the only collection I read last year besides 13 Tales of Villainy which wasn’t stellar material and A Language of Thorns  which I liked but wasn’t too stoked by. Most of the stories in the book were so odd and unexpected, almost all of them were horrifying and that sense of dread the stories invoked as you read them was fun. Oh, and some of these stories were really long.

6- Kioshi Warriors: Best warrior character:

Hester Shaw from The Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve. Her significant other literally hides behind her all the time. She isn’t my favorite, hell, I don’t even remember if I have one. But in the recent books I’ve read her name springs to mind immediately so she is the best.

My second choice (male this time) is Jean Tannen from The Gentlemen Bastard series by Scott Lynch. ‘Cause you only have to hold out until Jean gets there.

FIRE

7- Zuko: Best redemption arc or a redemption arc that should have happened:

Magnus Damora from The Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes. I was rooting for him. He wasn’t a villain but he did have to redeem himself which he did. And funnily enough, both Zuko and Magnus have scars on their faces.

8- Iroh: Wisest character:

That dude from Sleeping Giants who conducted all the interviews. I really, really liked him and since he did most of everything I guess he was pretty wise.

9- Azula: Best downfall:

I’ll take that a bit differently. Instead of best character downfall, I’ll go with “best downfall that happened in a book”. It’s broader that way. And my answer would be The Girl With All the Gifts and The Boy on the Bridge by M.R Carrey. The downfall in question is of the world since it’s about zombie apocalypse, ya know. Kinda inevitable.

AIR

10- Appa: Favorite fictional animal/pet:

TOOTHLESS! From the How To Train Your Dragon series by Cressida Cowell. When I say that I mean the film Toothless, the book one wasn’t that cute or great, he was a total brat really but sometimes he was really funny and since he was sort of the basis for the film Toothless I guess it counts.

11- Aang: Purest cinnamon roll:

PERCY “SASS” JACKSON. Come on! That dude is pure and the world knows it.

12- Avatar State: A stubborn character/ a character that struggles with letting go:

Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I resented him a bit for this but it was essential to who he was. If he had let go he wouldn’t have become the terror of Kerch’s criminal gangs.

This has been literally the hardest tag I’ve done so far. None of the questions had immediate answers from me and I had to think and think and bend them a little bit. Bend them. Get it? EH?

CHEERS!

 

Posted in Bookish Balderdash, Me Thinks

2017 As A Reading Year (and otherwise)

There is NO way I’m going to write two separate posts so I am going to cram everything in this one. God help me, I’m about to summarize 365 days worth of experiences.

Overall it’s been a good one. I made strides to change my life, small ones, and to some, inconsequential, but to me they were HUGE and they bore fruit. The beginning months were stressful and depressing and melancholy but gradually, as I found a purpose, it all went away.

I made some amazing internet friends (who I wish I could meet in person) and talked to them a lot. Alafiya and Ayesha from Goodreads and Kashi on Instagram.

I watched two of my all-time favorite shows this year. They were SUBLIME! Yeh Raha Dil and Yaqeen Ka Safar. And, and, … well, I don’t know. A LOT happened, didn’t it? It’s bound to, this is a whole year we’re talking about. But I’m afraid I don’t live an exciting enough life that merits a long recount.

2017 and Books

These are the books I bought this year. Pitiful? Why, yes! I’m not a millionaire you know.

Now, feast your eyes upon the books I read this year!

It’s a leeeeedle bit disappointing because last year my goal was 25 books but I managed 114! This year I expected to read at least 100 but set up a goal for 50. I got to 86 books. So in a way, I finished my goal but didn’t finish my goal. Eh.

But! Some of the books I read this year were reeeeally long and I read only 5 or 6 short stories/novellas.

Since listing them all out seemed difficult I thought it prudent to just take some screenshots and paste ’em here. I’m clever that way.

So… *drum roll* in order of reading from the first day to the last day of 2017:

From the bottom to the top. The Snow like Ashes trilogy was the first series I read this year and it was meh. I LOVED The Bear and the Nightingale!

(Again from bottom to the top) Besides King’s Cage and Wintersong I loved all of these books.

Our Story Ends Here was downright HATEFUL and lead me to write my best review to date, ahem ahem. Blood Rose Rebellion was lame, The Owl Service made zero sense to me and the Septimus Heap series became one of my all time favorites.

Let The Right One In. *shudders*

What the eff was Assassin’s Creed? The second book to the right in the bottom most row: TRASH.

Most of these books were cool.

So here we are, at the edge of twenty seventeen, about to step into a new year. I don’t celebrate these days much so compared to some, I don’t feel too stirred up at the prospect but such events, days have power, I won’t deny that. If nothing, it makes you look back and see what you did or didn’t get to achieve and what you want to do with your life. Such reminders are necessary.

Here’s to another year of plentiful reading and plentiful other things. May good things come our way. Ameen!

Posted in Bookish Balderdash, tags

The “Anything But Books” Tag

I liked it when I came across it on Mischenko‘s blog. It’s got some really cool questions that I would like very much to answer (even if no one wants to know).

#1: Name a cartoon that you love.

I’m trying to think of one specific but nothing comes up. I loved all of the ones I used to watch as a kid. Some we watched more frequently like Tom and Jerry while others were rare but I still enjoyed them like Ed, Edd n’ Eddy or Courage the Cowardly Dog. One I loved watching as an adult was Mr. Bean: The Animated Series. If I talk about a cartoon character, I’ve always found Tweety adorable. I used to LOVE him as a child and wanted (and got) a lot of Tweety toys and stuff.

#2: What is your favorite song right now?

“Alexander Hamilton” from Hamilton. My obsession is new and a little late and somewhat mild but it’s there.

#3: What could you do for hours that isn’t reading?

Sewing, most likely.

#4: What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

Let me browse through the huge list of things I can do…

  • Well, I want to say sewing again but that’d be repetitive. Something I love to do but not entirely good at… I really love painting my nails? I have a steadily growing collection of nail polish bottles. I have no nail paint Expert Kit, those fancy brushes and stickers and stuff so I make do with my horribly shaking strokes.
  • I also love making cards. It’s what I did all the time before but this year I haven’t made more than a few. I once made this huge baby scrapbook for my cousin after she had given birth.

  • I’m really good at coloring. It’s been ages since I’ve done that but when I have a reference in front of me, I can replicate the colors quite well.

#5: What is your favorite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about?

Umm…I like browsing through celebrities’ wikipedia pages? I guess. Their ages, kids, spouses, number of movies, et cetera. It’s less amazing than saying “I love history!” but that’s what I like to learn. Not history, not ancient civilizations or dinosaurs or other cool shit.

#6: What is something unusual you know how to do?

The number of ‘unusual’ things I can do amount to a total of ONE. If you count what I’m about to say unusual. I understand the Anglo-Saxon Runes. I feel anxious just saying that. I just googled them and memorized all the alphabets. Now I can read them and write in them. Awfully handy when you have a fear of your diaries or whatever being discovered. I taught my friend these as well and it was like our secret language.

#7: Name something that you’ve made in the last year.

Last year? Something? That is dreadfully broad. But I think it’s fitting that I should answer that by saying, I made my first zipper pouch last year! I’ve come a LONG way since then *cough* but that was when it all started.

#8: What is your most recent personal project?

My recent personal project is my quest to become self-sufficient and independent financially. An online shop where I sell hand-sewn things and an online article writing job are parts of that.

#9: Tell us something that you think of often.

Life after marriage.

The thoughts are mostly of the scary kind.

#10: Tell us something that’s your favorite, but make it oddly specific.

Okay, for once, I have an answer ready. I love mango milk shake but here’s the deal: I have to be woken from deep sleep an hour or two after Fajr prayer and I have to be half-conscious when I gulp it down in three seconds flat. Then I have to go to sleep straight after.

#11: Say the first thing that pops into your head.

No.

Till the next time!