Guestpost: Happiness is part of the Self by Erika

Prologue: First of all I want to pass on a big, big hug to Sucheta for inviting me not only for an interview on her blog but also for this guest post. It came to me out of the blue and I feel honored I was considered. Feel strongly hugged again, Sucheta!

My book I’m Free – Awareness of Who You Are by Discovering Who You Are Not!Is a guide from fear, self-doubt, and misunderstandings accumulated over a life time to awareness, clarity, and a conscious reconnecting with the powerful and creative spirit we are. When we feel this connection, we have access to unlimited possibilities in order to live the life we always dreamed of. Happiness  – real solid happiness– results from it. I thought this might be an interesting topic for this guest post. I hope you enjoy it.


Image Source: Wikimedia

Image Source: Wikimedia

Everybody wants to be happy. But still so many people believe that happiness is something they get from outside. But that’s not true.

True happiness is an aspect of our Self. We don’t need to hope for it, beg for it, or even fight for it. Don’t fight for anything. Fighting for something says that you believe in a lack. You believe that you lost something or something was taken from you. Fighting for happiness would mean that happiness is something you have to get, something you could lose, or something you are gifted with. Fighting for happiness is a conviction that you need to get it from outside.

But this whole fight is a big misunderstanding. You are created from the image of God which means you are love with everything you are. You are light and bliss into the deepest core of your being. Happiness is an inseparable part of this love. So how could you ever need to fight for happiness when it has always been part of yourself?

Let the outside world be outside and make yourself aware of who you are. You will find happiness and any empowering feeling always (and only) within you. Yes, we can be inspired by the outside world to rediscover happiness. But even then it leads us inside again where this flame has always been burning. Everything you were looking and fighting for so desperately lies within you waiting patiently for the moment to be called from its sleep. It has been never gone but only unseen because of a misunderstanding due to the belief into an illusion.

Whenever you think you had to fight for love, peace, happiness than just because you started to believe more in what you see outside of you instead of what you are always connected with, always have, and never can lose. Of course there can be events in our lives which can make us sad. But sadness is not the same like unhappiness. I was very sad when my father died, I was sad when my pets died. I was sad when I had to let go of dreams. But what kept my feet on the ground was the carpet of happiness I have been walking on. This happiness as a basic condition. It is the reason for my power and strength during sad times. Happiness is an aspect of love. Love is God and you are an aspect of God. Carrying his spark within you. Happiness is always with you.

Whatever good you have is all from God.

Whatever evil, all is from yourself.

– The Koran

In Love and Light!


I thank Erika for this lovely post. You can go through her own blog by clicking here.

 

Reader’s Nook: QA with Michelle

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Bio: Michelle is a soon-to-be journalism student, aspiring writer and bookworm. She is very curious and righteous and wants to make a difference in the world, through journalism and writing, as the latter is her passion. It’s her dream to one day find her own books in the bookstore, and that these books can be for her readers what Harry Potter is for her.
 
She blogs at http://thewritinghufflepuff.wordpress.com mainly about books and writing, but now and then there are posts about her personal life and her other passions, like all things Japan, Disney, certain tv shows, games, food, music… But in the end it all comes back to reading and writing books.

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

Bless you for allowing me to name more than one haha. I mean Harry Potter will always be my ultimate favourite, but I have so many more: Percy Jackson, Heroes of Olympus, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Throne of Glass, The Lunar Chronicles, The Shadowhunter Chronicles (major cheating here as this consists multiple series but ssh), The Picture of Dorian Gray, Alice in Wonderland and Fangirl. I cheated a lot since most of these are series, but oh well! I already left out a few that I didn’t want to leave out haha. 

2. A book that you have re-read the most
 
Harry Potter. I’m not sure, but I think that out of the entire series I’ve reread Philosopher’s Stone the most.
 
3.Favourite authors and why
 
I’m going with my two favourite authors: J.K. Rowling for making my childhood so much more magical and being a great inspiration, both writing and person-wise. Rick Riordan for his brilliant way of interweaving myths into our modern world and his great sense of humor (which is a lot like mine). Of course I have many more, but I don’t want to bore you all haha. 

4. Genre you dislike
 
I think erotica. I’ve never read it, but for my Dutch class I had to read quite a bit of literature that had very graphic scenes in it and that wasn’t even considered erotica. If I didn’t like reading those scenes, then I highly doubt I’ll enjoy erotica!

5. Character crush
 
Haha *enrolls huge list*. I don’t think it’s possible to have only one character crush (if you do I admire you). I’m going to go with Étienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss as I’ve recently reread it and once I again I found myself screaming ‘WHERE IS MY ST. CLAIR’. Mind you I don’t yell this out loud. What would the neighbours think!

6. Character you strongly identify with
 
Hermione Granger and Cath from Fangirl. Hermione is not just a bookworm, she’s also very serious about her studies which I can relate to. People bully her because of this, but she overcame this and became a wonderful inspiration for little me who was also bullied for the same reason. Cath is also a bookworm, but she’s also a fangirl and a writer. She also deals with anxiety and doesn’t do well in social situations (reading Fangirl was like reading about my life, minus college, minus a twin, minus being famous in a fandom/on fanfiction.net and sadly minus Levi). 

7.One character you want to bring to the real world
 
ONE? JUST ONE?! I was going to go with Hermione, but then I realised that Cath and I could be writer buddies: beta-ing each other, writing stories together, talking about our stories etc. And as much as I love Hermione, it’d be nice to have a real-life writer friend!

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment
 
My bed and with not too much noise. I don’t need complete quiet, but I don’t need a concert near me either!

9. Must-have books in a collection
 
In general? Or for me? I have to admit that whenever I see pictures of peoples shelves I immediately start looking for Harry Potter haha, so I guess Harry is a must for me. But of course I won’t hate you if you don’t have Harry on your shelves! 

10.Earliest memory of books and reading
 
I sort of remember my grandmother and mother reading to me, but it’s a very vague memory so I can’t say that much about it.

11. Weirdest book or reading experience
 
Weirdest book… Hmm, I’m sure I’ve read weird books but right now none come to mind! A weird reading experience… Last year when I read The Picture of Dorian Gray I read that Dorian (I think? I’m not sure which character it was, but I think it was him) was planting puppies instead of poppies (which makes a lot more sense of course). I don’t know if that counts as a weird reading experience, but that’s what I thought of! 

This was from Michelle and she got 100 points for Hufflepuff 😀 Want to be a part of this series? Feel free to comment and let me know 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Muskan

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About Muskan: I’m a 16 year old bibliophile. A big-O FOODIE. I started reading a couple of years ago when one of my friends forced me into reading the hunger games. Haven’t stopped reading ever since. I started my blog a couple of months ago. I mostly write poems. I write about anything and everything that fascinates me.

My note: I have only bumped into Muskan recently and she is a charming young girl. Let me tell you, Muskan means Smile and she does have a lovely one! 🙂 Here are her answers:


1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

Slammed, maybe someday, confess and ugly love, all by Colleen Hoover. The hunger games bu Suzanne Collins. The mortal instruments series by Cassandra Clare. The lux series by Jennifer L Armentrout. the throne of glass series by Sarah J. Mass. Last but definitely not the least :Beautiful disaster by Jamie McGuire.

2. A book that you have re-read the most

I’m not sure but I’m guessing it’s a tie between Beautiful disaster and Slammed.

3. Favourite authors and why

Colleen Hoover
Cassandra Clare
Jennifer L Armentrout
Sarah J Mass
Because they all write magic*.*
Once I start reading one of their books I can’t put it down!

4. Genre you dislike

Paranormal. I just don’t buy it.

5. Character crush

Will Cooper from slammed. Miles from ugly love. Jace from the mortal instruments. Dorian from throne of glass. And last but surely not the least: Daemon Black from the lux series.

6. Character you strongly identify with

Katy from the lux series. The main reason is that she too is a book blogger! And we both share our undying love for books<3 and she’s strong and independent. Stands up for herself.

7. One character you want to bring to the real world

Will Cooper from Slammed!
A hot guy who writes poetry? What’s not to love?

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

I’m the kind of person who can read anywhere. Literally. But my ideal place is my comfy bed.

9. Must-have books in a collection

Each and every Colleen Hoover
The mortal instruments by Cassandra Clare
We were liars by E. Lockhart *.*
The throne of glass series by Sarah J. Mass
Beautiful disaster by Jamie McGuire

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

As I mentioned before, I discovered my love for reading when u read the hunger games. But it’s not like I didn’t used to read at all. The first novel I remember reading is revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

I haven’t had any weird experiences, yet.
But by seeing the amount of books I read I’m likely to have one in the near future xD


Want to take part in this series? It’s simple. Just let me know you are interested and we’ll go about it 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Suzanne

Image Source:: Flickr

Image Source:: Flickr

Author Bio: Suzanne McKenna Link is an Independent Author who enjoys writing realistic fictional tales of the trials and tribulations of young adults. Her debut novel, Saving Toby, is a gritty, modern-day love story set on the South Shore of Long Island, New York. Starting out as a graphic artist, Suzanne returned to her life-long dream of writing during a hiatus from her design work and is committed to fulfilling her dream of being a recognized, published author. She lives on Long Island, minutes from her childhood home with her husband, two children, a mammoth dog, and two spoiled cats.

The website: http://suzannemckennalink.blogspot.com

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

2. A book that you have re-read the most
Bridget Jones’s Diary

3. Favourite authors and why

Sarah Dessen because she’s a master at making all her characters, even the less important ones, come to life.
Anita Shreve because she her stories are interesting and diverse.
Pat Conroy because his stories are emotionally engrossing.

4. Genre you dislike
Science Fiction, but I wouldn’t rule it out.

5. Character crush
Alexander from The Bronze Horseman.

6. Character you strongly identify with
Remy from This Lullaby.

7. One character you want to bring to the real world
Dexter Jones from This Lullaby. What a hoot!

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment?
Any place quiet and without distractions: In bed or out, in the yard.

9. Must-have books in a collection
Pride and Prejudice, Harry Potter, Prince of Tides, Pillars of the Earth, and anything by Neil Gaiman.

10.Earliest memory of books and reading
Judy Blume books in elementary school.

11. Weirdest book or reading experience
I don’t know if this is exactly weird, but I had turned my nose up at the Twilight series because I felt the books were too young, and I wouldn’t enjoy them. Despite my refusal, my friend handed me the set, and I became so engrossed in the story, I actually cried when atop the mountain, before they fight the newborns, Jacob threatens to let himself get killed so he can stop hurting Bella.

Talk about total turn-around, after finishing the series, I was inspired to write.


 

That was one helluva set of answers from Suzanne! 🙂 Want to give the questions a try? Get in touch with me pronto 🙂

The Fangirl Tag

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

I came across this lovely blog of Kayleigh and I am all up for her Fangirl Tag. So, here I go ahead with the tag. Enjoy the read and feel free to use the tag and post 🙂


1. First Person I ever obsessed over?

I think it must be Alan Rickman. He was so perfect as Snape. A role, he carried out with great elan.

2. Current obsession?

Marvel’s Daredevil is my current obsession. It is just so sleek. I love the concept totally.

3. Favourite band?

Nothing specific. I listen to very few songs to be honest. I like Paramore, Linkin Park, Snow Patrol, The Rasmus etc. to name a few.

4. Favourite singer?

I have a lot of favourites. Currently, I love Agnes Obel for singing the Riverside. I also love Katy Perry, she is just different and recently, I listened to Rose Lambert’s Secrets and have been a fan ever since 🙂

5. Favourite YouTuber?

No one in particular. I use YouTube for reliving my childhood in the 90’s 🙂

6. First concert?

A college fest. That’s it. Not a fan of crowdy places.

7. Favourite movie?

There are so many……gah! I will name a few.

Hachiko

Freaky Friday

The Conjuring

Rang De Basanti

Maid of Honor

and the list will go on….and on…. 😉

8. Favourite actor/actress?

Irfan Khan and Chris Pratt and Tom Hiddleston and Jim Parsons and Benedict Cumberbatch and Michael Huisman and Kit Harington and Pedro Pascal…

Lena Headley and Kaley Cucco and Rose Leslie…..

This has to stop. I like a lot of people. :-p

9. First celebrity crush?

No one in particular. I loved Launchpad though. From Ducktales. Because he is just so awwwwww-dorable 😀

10. Ever got made fun of for what I like?

Yes. But then, people have their choices and I have mine. I don’t mind really.

11. Favourite book?

A Thousand Splendid Suns and Harry Potter Series. The two frontrunners of a huge list.

12. Favourite TV show?

Game Of Thrones and Grey’s Anatomy. I also love Full House. And also, a huge fan of Big Bang Theory!

13. Favourite fictional character?

Fred and George. Period.

All characters from GOT.

14. Something I love about a fandom I’m in?

Dragons. Direwolves. Dorne. I love these in Game of Thrones. It is very interesting a series and I can’t get enough of it.

15. Something I hate about a fandom I’m in?

Game of Thrones – Almost everyone gets killed. 😦

16. Would you ever take a bullet for the people I fangirl over?

No. Plain no. 😉 I want to live my life and enter more fandoms 🙂

17. Do I ever hide the fact that I like someone out of fear of getting teased?

No. Everyone knows who I Fangirl over 🙂

18. Have I ever met any of my idols?

Hell no 😦 But I would want to!!

19. Do I have any merchandise of the people I fangirl over?

A few. Not of people, but series. I often give them away to friends who would want them more.

20. Favourite fangirl moment?

Everytime I flip through a book I love or watch a show online and on TV, I have my fangirl moment. 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Lu J Whitley

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Image Source: Flickr

Bio: Lu J Whitley is a full-time writer and self-professed oddball. She lives a quiet life in the mid-Midwest with her geeky, roboticist husband and four-legged children.
You can find anything else you’d like to know on her website: http://lujwhitleyauthor.com


1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander
The Silmarillion – JRR Tolkein
My Sweet Audrina – VC Andrews
House of Thunder – Dean Koontz
AS I Lay Dying – William Faulkner
Me Talk Pretty One Day – David Sedaris

2. A book that you have re-read the most

The ENTIRE Chronicles of Prydain series by Lloyd Alexander. No matter how old I get, I still read them just about every other year, and I enjoy them every time.

3. Favourite authors and why

All the authors listed in my favorite books above. I love authors that can give so many different emotions in their writing that they transcend genre. They’re don’t stick with just fantasy or horror or romance. They’re all those things wrapped into one with a little humor on the side.

4. Genre you dislike

Memoirs. Biographies. Any dry nonfiction. But there are exceptions to every rule.

5. Character crush

Jericho Barrons from Karen Marie Moning’s Fever Series & Malaq Roarke from CL SChneider’s Crown of Stones series. Swoon.

6. Character you strongly identify with

Dane Valentine from Lillith Saintcrow’s Dante Valentine series. She’s a loner. A lot messed up. And she doesn’t take crap from anyone.

7. One character you want to bring to the real world

The genie from 1001 Arabian Nights… Who couldn’t use 3 wishes?

8. What is your ideal reading space/environment

Anywhere quiet and comfortable. But if it’s a good book, I could read it on an airport runway and not notice a thing.

9. Must-have books in a collection

The Chronicles of Prydain series – Lloyd Alexander
The Silmarillion, The Hobbit, & The Lord of the Rings Series – JRR Tolkein
The Dollenganger Series – VC Andrews

10.Earliest memory of books and reading

My second grade teacher accusing my mom of lying about how many books I read when she had to hand out all my Book-It certificates for free personal pan pizzas from Pizza Hut. Lol. I ate A Lot of pizza in grade school.

11. Weirdest book or reading experience

I bought a book at a book rummage sale that looked interesting but ended up being a TRUE STORY about a scientist being seduced by and having sex with a dolphin… I’m still a little traumatized.


This was one set of great answers 🙂 If you too want to participate in Readers’ Nook , do comment or drop me an email.

Guestpost: Never Letting Go by Adi (The Happy Lifeaholic)

Prologue: There are some books, which refuse to fade from our memories, no matter how hard we may try. Most of such books are classics and it will not be surprising if they have been passed down thorough several generations. As the very first post of my guestblogs, I present Adi, who is a talented young gun having her blog called The Happy Lifeaholic.


Never Letting Go

Once upon a time Adi used to be an avid reader. I was the kid who read through math and physics classes. I walked into walls because I was so intent on whatever book had caught by imagination on that day. I wrote a book report on The Merchant of Venice (an abridged version) in Grade 3 while my classmates were still on fairy tales. I also managed to ruin my eyes at the tender age of 9, all because I would stay up past “lights out”, reading by the diffused beams of a streetlight filtering in through the curtains of my room. I loved books. Even the word “loved” sounds like an understatement!

But alongside all the abridged classics that I wolfed down as a kid, were books by an author who I grew to love over the years. Dame Enid Blyton wrote books like no other. She wrote stories of mysteries, and of school kids and of escapades and treasure hunts. She was an English writer (as if Dame didn’t give that away) and her books have been bestsellers since the 1930s. According to my trusty friend, Wikipedia, she’s since sold over 600 million copies of her books, and has had them translated into over 90 languages! Of those 600 million books, I probably own about 50.

Part of my humble collection:

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These are only some of the books that I chose to bring back to Oman with me.

My relationship with Dame Blyton started long before I started reading any of her books – it started with a series of her books that was made into a television show that eventually got dubbed into a very obnoxious Hindi version that would make its round on Saturday morning television channels in India. That’s right, folks! I’m referring to the wooden wonder boy from Toyland – Noddy!

For years I didn’t realize that the series was but another one of Enid Blyton’s works, and trust me, I watched that show for yeeeeaaaars. At some point mom bought me all the books as well, so that’s 24 Enid Blyton books right there.

Enid Blyton is today, most remembered for series such as Famous Five and Secret Seven – both juvenile detective series, featuring (as the names suggest) five and seven kids, respectively, solving crimes and getting into all sorts of shenanigans. Those books were, and still are, widely read across India – and I remember those being some of the most borrowed books in our school and local libraries among kids from my age group, right alongside all the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books. The books really were a hoot – all the adventure kids could ever dream of, and E.B’s writing was always very simple to understand and yet, she had a way with words. She never really used flowery language, but she described everything perfectly. In fact, I blame her for my longtime obsession with wanting to become a detective. Once I was a little older, TV shows like NCIS etc did nothing to lessen that obsession.

My favorite E.B books, however, were her comparatively less famous ones –  The Naughtiest Girl series, St. Claire’s and Mallory Towers series. All three are boarding school series, and now that I think about it, perhaps that is why they weren’t as popular. I remember that when my friends and I were young, sending a kid off to boarding school was the ultimate punishment – India’s take on the boogyman scare, if you will. I think it still is.

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[2 books from the Mallory Towers Series]

 

Enid Blyton, however, corrupted my vision of boarding schools completely. Thanks to her, I grew up thinking of boarding schools as places where you made friends for life, woke up at midnight to throw secret dinner parties where you wolfed down ginger ale with the other gals in your dorm, and where you pranked your professors and went skinny-dipping in the lake at 2am. Hell, she made boarding school sound so exciting that I was probably the only kind I knew who actually used to beg her family to send her to boarding school! I literally used to dream of going to boarding school at a time when over-dramatic India movies and TV serials would show families breaking up over the decision of sending a child to boarding school. Oh the shame! And there I was, begging to go.

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[A few books from the St. Claire’s series]

I remember almost joining a boarding school in 8th grade, when we’d just moved back from Oman – I was set on the place till they asked some personal questions in the interview that I didn’t think they needed to know, and eventually that made me cut the school out of my future plans. It was a blow, though, to know that I had been so close to living that childhood dream, attending an elite and expensive boarding school nestled in the Sahyadri Hills of Pune, hobnobbing with A and B list Bollywood kids.

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[courtesy: Sahyadri School website]

Ah to think that I could have gone trekking, swimming and skinny dipping with views like this:

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[courtesy: Sahyadri School website]

But that’s alright. I went right back to E.B’s books, and read and re-read them till I knew all the stories backwards. The girls in all those books were the sisters I never had while growing up. They were my imaginary friends and confidants rolled in one, and the time I invested in those books were both satisfying and exciting.

Of the 3 series, the ones I’ve re-read the most are from the Naughtiest Girl series – a title that I had proudly earned myself early in my school life. It was exciting to read the adventures of my literary partner-in-crime, and many a time, I borrowed a page out of her escapades to implement in my life. I literally used to get invited to birthday parties so that parents could “see who the naughtiest girl in school was.”

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[My much loved Naughtiest Girl series]

Elizabeth was the sister I never had, and a lot of my childhood was spent delighting in her mis-adventures, and holding imaginary conversations with her. And yet, when I try and write about her per se, the words that spring to mind aren’t descriptive enough! But perhaps some things are better left to the imagination…

Did you have a favourite character or book when you were young?

Reader’s Nook: QA with Sumeetha

The Perfect Groom by Sumeetha. Pic source: Goodreads

The Perfect Groom by Sumeetha. Pic source: Goodreads

About Sumeetha: Sumeetha is a budding author and I bumped into her on Goodreads. This is what I nicked from her bio on Goodreads to give you the knowledge of who she is and what she does.
Sumeetha Manikandan is a freelance writer and an author who loves to write and base her plots on the tambrahm community of Mylapore, Chennai. She is the author of ‘The Perfect Groom’ that has been a bestselling ebook on the top 50 charts of Amazon India ever since publication.An avid reader, she loves to read across different genres – romance, historical fiction, non-fiction, mystery, fantasy etc. A history buff to the core,
she is currently translatingPonniyinSelvan – the evergreen tamil classic epic history by KalkiKrishnamurthy into English.Married to film maker K.S. Manikandan, Sumeetha lives in Chennai, along with her six year old daughter.
I will be posting an interview with her. So stay tuned 🙂 Meanwhile, read what she has answered to my questionnaire on Reader’s Nook.

Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan
JK Rowling’s Harry Potter Series
George RR Martin’s Game of Thrones
K.M. Munshi’s Krishnavatara series
M.M Kay’s Far Pavillions
Ken Follet’s Pillars of Earth
Robert Galbraith’s Coromoran Strike Series
Zeenat Mahal’s Haveli
Sophie Kinsella’s Shopoholic series
Marian Keyes’s Watermelon
Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
A book that you have re-read the most
Game of Thrones series of late.
Favourite authors and why
I have many. Kalki Krishnamurthy because he inspired me to write. P.G. Woodhouse for making me laugh when life was at its worst. George RR Martin for writing a story with characters who have worse troubles than I do 🙂
Genre you dislike
Nothing in particular. I read across different genres.
Character crush
Tyrion Lannister, Jaimie Lannister from Game of Thrones series.
Character you strongly identify with
Both my heroines Nithya and Lalitha from my books The Perfect Groom and Love, Again.
One character you want to bring to the real world
Vandiya Devan from Kalki’s Ponniyin Selvan
What is your ideal reading space/environment
My bedroom

Must-have books in a collection

Harry Potter series, PG Woodhouse’s Earl of Emsworth colllection, Gerald Durrell’s Corfu Triology.

Earliest memory of books and reading
K.M. Munshi’s Krishnavatara series was the first book I read. I have been hooked to books since then.
Weirdest book or reading experience
One of the many weird experience was with Game of Thrones series. I read through the first two books in the series hating Jaimie Lannister for trying to kill a child and when I started reading the third book, I fell in love with this character which was very weird because I was determined to hate him.

Liked what you read? Feel free to get in touch with me and I will feature you on Reader’s Nook 🙂

THE SECRET LIFE OF A BOOK BLOGGER BOOK TAG

Ojitosperle tagged me for the Secret Life Of A Book Blogger Book tag. And here I go with all the answers. 😉

How long have you been a blogger?

Its been a little over a year since I started blogging. Earlier, I used to blog about everything under the sun. But now, my focus is mainly on books and reading.

At what point do you think you will stop?

When there are no more books in the world 😛 And that is never going to happen. So….NEVER 😉

What is the best thing?

Meeting other likeminded fellows who are as passionate as I am about books and reading or other things in life.

What is the worst thing? What do you do to make it okay?

Worst part is to make time for my blog. I really am short of time and posting regularly doesn’t come easy 😦

How long does it take you to create/find pictures to use?

A minute. I know what I want and I get it easily.

Who is your book crush?

Michael from The Princess Diaries books and Fred and George from Harry Potter series. ❤

What author would you like to have on your blog?

J.K.Rowling, Jeffrey Archer and Jhumpa Lahiri. Though, I would love to feature all authors on my blog. Greedy me 😛

What do you wear when you write your blog posts?

In Halloween costume 😛 BWAHAHAH

How long does it take you to prepare?

I don’t prepare. I blog on an instinct. But with Guestposts, I have to prepare a lot. *something is in the pipeline*

How do you feel about the book blogger community/culture?

I am just exploring it bit by bit and loving everything!

What do you think one should do to get a successful blog?

Don’t hold yourself back. 🙂

Who do you tag?

I will tag Adi 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Jen

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Jen Minkman (1978) was born in the Netherlands and lived in Austria, Belgium, and the UK. She learned how to read at the age of three and has never stopped reading since! Her favorite books to read are YA paranormal, dystopian, and romance, and this is reflected in the stories she writes. In her home country, she is a trade-published author of young adult novels with Storm Publishers.
She lives in The Hague where she lives with her husband and two noisy zebra finches.

Link to the first book in her latest book series: http://www.amazon.com/Sound-Sirens-Ta…

My Note: Jen is a lovely, warm person whom you will love talking to! I came across her on Goodreads. Do read her book, which I bet would be a lovely read!


 Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
Tough question! I read so much that it’s difficult to stick to just ten. But the following books are guaranteed classics for me:
The Martian Chronicles – Ray Bradbury
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
The Prophet – Khalil Gibran
The Mother Earth Trilogy – Thea Beckman
The Venus duology (Torenhoog & Mijlenbreed, Ogen van Tijgers) – Tonke Dragt
De Torens van Februari – Tonke Dragt
Station Eleven – Emily St John Mantel
Twilight / New Moon – Stephenie Meyer
The Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins
Chess novel – Stefan Zweig
The silence of the sea – Vercors

Some books on this list are by Dutch authors, so it’s unlikely anybody knows them outside of Holland!

A book that you have re-read the most
That must be the Mother Earth trilogy by Thea Beckman. I don’t know if it’s ever been translated, but I suggest you give it a try. Post-apocalyptic fiction before it was hip and happening.

Favourite authors and why
Ray Bradbury and Stefan Zweig, because they’re masters at turning something ordinary into something profound and special, even in short stories.

Genre you dislike
I’m not really fond of women’s fiction, but dislike is too strong a word.

Character crush
Hahaha 🙂 I’ve had quite a few of those! The oldest crush was Pim Pandoer (from a Dutch detective series), but I also really like Jacob from the Twilight series.

Character you strongly identify with
Usually my own characters! But if I had to name one I haven’t written myself, I’d say Katniss Everdeen.

One character you want to bring to the real world
Let’s bring Mr. Darcey to the real world – that sounds like fun 🙂

What is your ideal reading space/environment
Outside, in the shade, in high summer somewhere in rural England.

Must-have books in a collection

These days, it’s very easy to complete collections since almost everything is for sale on the internet. But as a child, I was addicted to a Dutch sci-fi series called ‘Euro-5’ and I was always on the hunt for those paperbacks (until I found them all at once in a second-hand bookstore, which was sad in a way, because the hunt was over forever…)

Earliest memory of books and reading
I learned how to read when I was three. My earliest memory of reading a non-fiction book was when I was five and devoured a book about the moon landing. That’s when my fascination with astronomy started. My earliest memory of reading a fiction book was when I read ‘Jip en Janneke’ (a famous Dutch children’s book) to my classmates at age four. Everyone thought I was a freak, whahaha! they didn’t even know how to write their own names yet.

Weirdest book or reading experience

I don’t think I’ve ever read truly weird books, because if a book doesn’t click with me, I put it down and pick up another. So it never got too weird, so to speak!


Want to participate? Just give me a ping or write to me and I will get back to you with the questions and more 😀

Reader’s Nook: QA with Emma

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Emm’s blog is my favourite book blog of all time. It will be yours too if you just take a look at the wide range of books she has read. Not only is she an avid booklover and an honest book reviewer, she also is a talented artist. If you really do love your books, and take reading seriously, then her blog is a must-visit.

Meanwhile, enjoy the question answer session with her. I bet you have not read many of the books listed by her 🙂


 

Name 5-10 of your most favourite books

The Martian by Andy Weir.
World War Z by Max Brooks.
A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber.
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.
The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer.

A book that you have re-read the most

It will either be Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire or The Fellowship of the Ring. Both have been read so many times that I had to retire my original copies and buy new ones.

Favourite authors and why

Garth Nix – He writes really good fantasy books and his baddies are properly terrifying.
Brandon Sanderson – Another great fantasy writer. Though his books are super long they are really easy quick reads.
David Mitchell – His books are super weird and really confusing but they have great stories.
JK Rowling – Because I can’t go 5 minutes without mentioning her.

Genre you dislike

I will pretty much read any genre, I don’t read many romance books because I don’t normally enjoy romance stories though I have been surprised a few times. At The Water’s Edge by Sara Gruen was really great.

Character crush

I  wouldn’t exactly say it was a crush but I really loved Gatherer Ehiru from The Killing Moon by N. K. Jemisin. Ehiru goes through so much crappy stuff in that book, I really felt sorry for him. Also the ending nearly broke my heart.

Character you strongly identify with

Sleeping Beauty. We both like to sleep. A lot!

One character you want to bring to the real world

Probably Voldemort. I felt really sorry for him. Maybe if he had a family and was brought up differently he wouldn’t have turned into a crazy child-killing maniac.

What is your ideal reading space/environment

My bed. With a cup of tea.

Must-have books in a collection

I think that no matter what age you are you need to have some classic children’s books. The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr is my favourite picture book. Roald Dahl is another one I would recommend. Those books are great because you can enjoy them as a kid then re-read as an adult and realise that they weren’t the fun quirky books you thought they were. Then you need some of the newer children’s classics. The His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman. Sabriel by Garth Nix is a book everyone can enjoy. And then of course a collection isn’t complete without Harry Potter!

Earliest memory of books and reading

When we were kids my dad would read to my sister and I at night. But he was tired after working all day so would usually fall asleep after a few pages. This would usually mean that we would have to read the book by ourselves. I’m almost certain that my dad attempting and failing to read to us at night is what made us both enjoy reading so much.

Weirdest book or reading experience

Holy Cow by David Duchovny. Its very meta, its a cow writing about her experiences of escaping a farm and getting on a plane to Israel because she doesn’t want to be turned into hamburgers. Its really strange, the entire way through the cow is talking about her publisher and all the changes the publisher wants to make to the book.


P.S. You can participate too. Send me an email with the answers to these set of questions, your blog’s link and a short bio and I will publish the same..

Book Review: Those Pricey Thakur Girls and The House That BJ Built

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Author: Anuja Chauhan

Verdict: Grab them for fun-read

My tryst with Anuja Chauhan’s books began with The Zoya Factor. I was in my second year of graduation and I found this book with a quirky cover at Landmark book store (unfortunately the chain of stores closed down). It is after four years of the discovery that I finally read the book from British Council, Ahmedabad. Before I start digressing way too much, let me cut it short and tell you that I fell in love with her book, her characters, her wit and wisdom and her overall writing style.

This is what led me to pick her books – Those Pricey Thakur Girls and The House That BJ Built. There is of course, Battle for Bittora, which is currently on my being-read list.

While Those Pricey Thakur Girls gave you a good dose of romance brewing up between D for Dabbu and D for Dylan and E for Eshwari and S for Steeeeesh, The House That BJ Built – a sequel, was about Bonu and Samar. Sparkling with brilliance at every page, both the books keep you hooked with twists and turns, laughter and gasps. The Hinglish dialogues make their mark and the characters are well-etched to make you believe in them and their actions.

Like every Chauhan novel,every story finds a connect with the audience. There are some loose threads of course, but nothing that can mar your reading experience.

I highly recommend the books to anyone who is looking for a light read, which is a meaty, masala romcom. If you haven’t already tried any of her books, get her box set from any of the online stores.

Happy Reading 🙂

Reader’s Nook: QA with Adi

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

If you are a regular on WordPress, I am sure you must have come across Adi’s blog called The Happy Lifeaholic. If you want daily dose of wonderful poetry, visit her blog. Where she has recently started posting poetry from her childhood called the Innocence series. She has the Midas Touch, whatever she writes, is awesome to read. I am so not exaggerating 🙂 Okie, without wasting your time and mine, here is a set of questions answered by Adi. Enjoy!

1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
Oh boy, well, i) The Chronicles of Narnia series ii) Harry Potter series iii) Black Beauty by Anna Sewell iv)The Naughtiest Girl series. There we have it. That’s technically more than 4, but those were/are my favorites. I have several other books I enjoy, but none that I’d consider favourties.
2. A book that you have re-read the most
Possibly my Naughtiest Girl series! 🙂 Read my article, and you’ll see why!
3.Favourite authors and why
Enid Blyton – for reasons made obvious in my article
Ken Follet, Agatha Christie, Clive Cussler, John Le Carré – they all write extremely well, and their crime thrillers are some of the best in the business.
4. Genre you dislike – teenage angst. Been there, done that; so over it!
5. Character crush – unfortunately none that I can remember. I used to crush on Draco Malfoy, but not because of his character! More because teenage me found actor Tom Felton drool worthy.
6. Character you strongly identify with – too many to name. Think strong, independent women.
7.One character you want to bring to the real world – Mary Poppins. Please. I’d love to clean my room up with a click of my fingers! And she throws fabulous tea parties!
8. What is your ideal reading space/environment – a quiet corner or nook, that is well padded with cushions. And preferably one with a blanket and snacks nearby. 🙂
9. Must-have books in a collection – There are waaay too many of these lists floating around the internet. But I think that depends on the kind of books you read. I think P. G. Wodehouse always provides a good chuckle, John Le Carré provides wonderfully penned thrillers, and the rest, you can find through Google.
10.Earliest memory of books and reading – I’ve been reading since before I can remember. But in particular, I remember my mom and I going across to the Pune outlet of the British Council to read. We’d spend hours there, making it a weekly Sunday routine. I spent a good 7 years of my childhood in there.
11. Weirdest book or reading experience – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. That book…is an experience in itself..

Reader’s Nook: QA with Kirk Xavier

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

I am back with my series of posts. 🙂

This time, it is a QA session from another book-lover who is one of my closest buddies. He is one of the person who can give you the best suggestions and honest ones at that, from a wide-range of topics, including books, technology, music and movies. Here is a set of questions asked by me and answered by Kirk.

  1. Name 5-10 of your most favourite books
  • J. K. Rowling – Harry Potter Series
  • Christopher Paolini – Inheritance Cycle
  • Jeffery Archer – Clifton Chronicles, Kane and Able, As the Crow Flies.
  • Dan Brown – Angels and Demons.
  1. A book that you have re-read the most
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was 9th Grade when I started HP series, I guess it was because J.K. Rowling was working on the 6th book and I couldn’t get any closure. I re-read this book to the point I could repeat the first two chapters from memory. I even typed these chapters on to my laptop under the ruse of learning to type (guess this also kindled my interest with computers). Now I never, never ever read a book twice.

3. Favourite authors and why

  • Jeffery Archer. Here’s why “They (public/crowds) are the most important,” he says. “The public will tell you. Not the critics or the clever talkers. The public can always tell who is the storyteller. And that’s why storytellers always dominate the lists.”
  1. Genre you dislike
  • Memoirs, Narrative Non-Fiction. I don’t understand why these non-fiction genre exist :p
  1. Character crush
  • Arya from Inheritance Cycle.
  1. Character you strongly identify with
  • I have always have had an affinity towards characters who support the protagonist in every book I read. The real underdog I mean (apart from the one being paraded around by the author). Right now, I strongly identify with Denethor in LOTR: The Return of the King

7. One character you want to bring to the real world

  • Saphira from Inheritance Cycle 🙂 , just Kidding. To be honest, no one really. Books are meant to enable you to model a fantasy of a unique imaginative character created by the author. Let your Imaginations run free never limit them to this crippled reality we call life.
  1. What is your ideal reading space/environment
  • Any place where I can silently concentrate on reading without being intermittently disturbed.
  1. Must-have books in a collection
  • Harry Potter Series and Clifton Chronicles Series.

10 . Earliest memory of books and reading

  • Oliver Twist and some Indian Gods Mythology from Macmillan Publishers. I used to read these during vacations to my aunt’s house in Pune.
  1.  Weirdest book or reading experience
  • Wayne Edward Clarke – People of the Tiger (Book One of The Rational Future Series).

This was a great set of answers. Don’t you think so too? Ping me if you want to participate 🙂

Book Tag: The Coffee Book Tag

Now that we are on the topic of coffee (see my last post), I thought why not let me take up this Book tag. I came across this on THIS blog. Feel free to take up the tag and blog about it, like I have.

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

The Lord of The Rings. I still am finding my way into it.

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

No idea. But maybe, its the bestsellers here in India.

Hot Chocolate: What is your favorite children’s book?

All works by Enid Blyton. They taste like my childhood.

Double Shot of Espresso: Name a book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

The Da Vinci Code. I can’t even describe how thrilling the book was.

Starbucks: Name a book you see everywhere.

Meluha. Meluha everywhere.

That Hipster Coffee Shop: Give a book by an indie author a shout-out.

Umm…no idea what is that. I skip.

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

The House That BJ Built. One can’t simply have too much of Anuja Chauhan’s awesome humor.

The Perfect Blend: Name a book or series that was both bitter and sweet, but ultimately satisfying.

That would be – Bridge to Terabithia. Odd book.

Green Tea: Name a book or series that’s quietly beautiful.

The secret garden. It has a different charm altogether.

Chai Tea: Name a book or series that makes you dream of far-off places.

Guys, Chai is the Hindi word for Tea. Chai and Tea are basically the same thing. Ugh…this makes me squirm. I digress.

A song of Ice and Fire series makes me dream of Westeros and the lands around. I am not into the books – yet. But have read most about it on wikia. Harry Potter too. I believe in Hogwarts 😛

Earl Grey: Name your favorite classic.

The Diary of Anne Frank. Period.

Book Tag: Would You Rather

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

So, I got to know of this fun, difficult and insanely cruel tag – Would You Rather book tag, from The Reading Hufflepuff. I nominate anyone and every one who wants to enter the challenge. It is an open invite. Meanwhile, you can go through my answers.

1) Would you rather… Drop your favourite book into the toilet OR watch it fall into a wood chipper?

In a toilet….errm…..it can be retrieved, dried. Saved at the very least.

2) Would you rather… Read only 1 book a year but remember everything OR read 100 books a year but remember nothing?

Read 100 books a year and remember nothing. In fact, I remember nothing after finishing a book. Well, most of the books. So, yeah.

3) Would you rather… Read only the first page of a book OR read only the last page of a book?

The last page. The excitement is all in the last page.

4) Would you rather get locked in a library OR get locked in a bookstore?

I would rather get locked in a bookstore. Because I would get to experience many new books firsthand. rubs hands in glee

5) Would you rather… Drop your book in a lake OR accidentally set it on fire?

Do neither. But accidental fire it is. I can’t jump in a lake, but I can put out the fire and still save it.

6) Would you rather… Read a book with a cliffhanger ending OR read a book with a heartbreaking ending?

A book with a heartbreaking ending. Bring it on!

7) Would you rather… Have the book’s ending spoiled OR never know what happens?

Spoilers have NEVER affected me. So, having the book’s ending spoiled is okay with me.

8) Would you rather… read only one genre forever OR never repeat the same genre after reading it once?

I love the genres I read. I will definitely settle for reading only one genre forever.

9) Would you rather… Read a book where the main character is killed off OR read a book where the love interest is killed off?

Killing off characters is a part of the plot. I wouldn’t care anyway. Maybe temporarily, but not for long. I am okay with both. But would rather stick to – where the love interest is killed off.

10) Would you rather… Read a book that’s missing the middle chapter OR read a book that’s missing the first and last chapters?

I have read a book with missing middle chapters. Smooth sailing.

11) Would you rather… love a book everyone hates OR hate a book everyone loves

Hate a book everyone loves. Period.

12) Would you rather… loan a book to a friend who’s known to ruin books OR drop a book in a pit of snakes?

Drop it in a pit of snakes. Snakes will not ruin my books at least!

13) Would you rather…. Be stuck on a deserted island without a book OR be stuck in a library full of books in a language you can’t read

Library full of books. The experience matters of course. Plus, I can always go through the picture books.

14) Would you rather… Bring only 1 book on a 12 hour flight OR bring an e-reader with only 10% left on a 4 hour flight?

Bring a book on a 12 hour long flight. I will take my own slow time to read it.

15) Would you rather… Find out your best friend hates your favourite book OR share a favourite book with your worst enemy?

Share a favourite book with my worst enemy sounds better. I can anyway make my bestie love the book.

These are my answers. I wonder what yours will be? 🙂

When It Rains, It Pours Words

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Yesterday evening was a moment of rejoice, as it rained in the city. After a dry spell, the pour was much awaited by one and all, even a rain hater like me. Even though I had my raincoat game all good, I drove around 6-7 kilometres in the light, breezy shower without wearing one.

I haven’t been blogging regularly for days, maybe weeks. But now, I think I have a lot of inspiration and yap yappings all around me to observe and jot down. It is also my official reading season, when I curl up on the bed or swing with a hot cuppa coffee and my books strewn all over the place.

Happy Monsoon and Happy Reading. When it rains, it surely pours words 🙂

Book Review: The Amazing Racist by Chhimi Tenduf-La

Author:  Chhimi Tenduf-La

Published: January 1st 2015 by Hachette India

Verdict: Must-Read

This book was sent to me by the publishers as a part of the Goodreads Firstreads program and was my first ever win at a giveaway.

To be frank, I was initially hesitant to go through a book with such a shocking title. A racist being amazing? How can a racist be amazing? After shilly-shallying with the idea of reading the book, I finally opened the first page and read it. Each day I read two pages and after ten pages or so, the book had me completely engrossed.

The reason? Its amazing humor, the narrative and the characters, with whom you could easily identify and sympathize with. The story based in the lovely locales of Sri Lanka had a charm that kept me interested till the very last page. The humor is of course, the main highlight of The Amazing Racist, but so is the wonderful relationship between two of the main characters, which gives it a fresh perspective. The twists and turns (often hairpin bends) offer more ‘masala’ to the entire story and never lets you witness a dull moment.

I have not read a book this good of recent. The book is a page-turner and although it is a light read, it touches your heartstrings somewhere, especially when you inch towards the end.

The only disappointment…it is too short a book. I wish there were more pages. Reading The Amazing Racist was a joyride. I am now looking forward to read the next book by the author – Panther.

Read more about the book on Goodreads.

Beginner’s Luck: 7 Books To Have In Your Collection When You Start Reading

Image Source: Flickr

Image Source: Flickr

Reading is a hobby that gives joy second to none. More often than not, beginner level readers are clueless as to how they can build up their book collection or which books should they start reading first. Here is a new series in my blog – Beginner’s Luck and I will start with a list of 7 books that every beginner should have in their collection.

  1. Classic: There are so many classics out there that you will surely be spoilt for choices. However, in my opinion, you can settle for quick classics such as – The Animal Farm or The Old Man and The Sea.
  2. Chicken Soup For Soul: I have not read any of the books in this series. But if you want to get started with non-fiction, this is the best series that you can try. There are many variants of the book such as – Teenage soul, pet-lover’s soul, teacher’s soul to name a few, which you can pick and choose as per your interest. A collection of longform anecdotes, these books can be tearjerkers.
  3. Fantasy novel: You can always start with Harry Potter. It is easy to read and has an amazing plotline.
  4. Fairy Tale or Folk tale: Fairy tales and Folk tales are never going out of fashion or print. If you love a particular country, other than yours, pick up a Fairy or a Folk tale from that part and enjoy having a glimpse into their culture. It becomes twice more interesting. Trust me.
  5. Literature inspired: If you want to have a taste of English literature and yet, afraid to swim through those long words and complex sentence, not to mention archaic words, then opt for Stories by Oscar Wilde, Edgar Allan Poe, O.Henry, Leo Tolstoy and abridged works of William Shakespeare.
  6. Children’s book: Alright, you might be a grown up but some children’s literature will never cease to amaze you. Pick up Enid Blyton’s Boarding school series or Mystery books and you will surely end up loving them. You can also pick up Bridge to Terabithia.
  7. Detective story: I am a Sherlock Holmes fan and have loved his stories or rather, cases since I started reading. You can either opt for Sherlock Holmes or settle for Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot or Miss Maple series.

Tell us about your collection. Does it include these books?

10 Reasons Why Books Are An Ambivert’s Delight

Image Source: Pixabay

Image Source: Pixabay

Ambivert is a personality trait, which is somewhere in between Introvert and Extrovert. Here are some of the reasons why books are an ambivert’s delight:

  1. Books are your best companions and you can sink into one if the crowd around you is too much to bear.
  2. You can avoid talking to strangers by excusing yourself to read a book.
  3. One or several of your favourite books in your hands and a warm cuppa is sufficient for “me” time.
  4. When you are looking forward to the answers to some questions that life poses, turn to a  book and turn the pages.
  5. Get an overwhelming range of topics to discuss by reading books.
  6. Shopping for books is a great experience by itself. You can even shop alone and that too anytime you want to.
  7. Your books will always be your loyal friends and never desert you no matter what. They will not even judge you.
  8. Your friends know what to gift you – Books. You need not tell them explicitly.
  9. Travelling with a good book is all that you need to avoid small talk with strangers. Alternatively, they are great conversation starters with strangers.
  10. Get a wider perspective on the world without having to meet tons of people simply by reading books.