Tag Archives: Books

The First Time And The Last Time || BookishInktober2020

#BookishInktober2020 prompt 13: DUNE

“If you please – draw me a sheep!”

“What!”

“Draw me a sheep!”

We first meet the little Prince in the Desert of Sahara,  asking for the drawing of a sheep. We meet him last in the same place, falling as gently as a tree, without a sound.

‘It is here that the little prince appeared on Earth, and disappeared.’

The Little Prince is a classic novella by French aristocrat, writer, and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It starts with the narrator crashing into the desert, and then meeting the young prince. The prince is childlike, but not childish. He talks about mundane things – about his life on his asteroid B 612, about his lovely Rose, his tamed Fox and the others that he meet while on his way to Earth.


The book gives us an insight into how deeply are we bounded by ‘matters of consequences’, how we as grown-ups slowly start forgetting the little things that made us happy and inspired us, as a child.


When Vaishnavi from vcreative learnt that I was reading this book in September, she made sure that I saw its movie too. The movie has a different POV, that of a young girl’s. It even explores the story after the book is finished. It’s a really beautiful movie. Embedding its trailer below:


— Suri

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel || Blog Tour

Book Title: The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel

Author: Sheela Chari

Publisher: Walker Books US

Release Date: October 6, 2020

Genres: Middle grade, mystery

Book Purchase links:

Amazon || Barnes and Noble || Bookshop

Based on the Peabody Award–winning podcast, this tech-filled adventure series pits intrepid Mars Patel and his outcast friends against a brilliant, enigmatic billionaire as they race to figure out why kids are disappearing from their school.

Mars Patel’s friend Aurora has disappeared! His teachers are clueless. His mom is stressed out about her jobs. But Mars refuses to give up—after all, his own dad disappeared when Mars was a toddler, before he and Ma moved to Puget Sound from India. Luckily, Mars has a group of loyal friends eager to help—smart Toothpick, strong and stylish JP, and maybe-telepathic Caddie. The clues seem to point toward eccentric tech genius (and Mars’s hero) Oliver Pruitt, whose popular podcast now seems to be commenting on their quest! But when the friends investigate Pruitt’s mysterious, elite school, nothing is as it seems—and anyone could be deceiving them. Slick science, corporate conspiracies, and an endearingly nerdy protagonist make this a fresh, exciting sci-fi adventure.

Praise:

Interweaving podcast transcripts, instant message threads, emails and newspaper stories, Chari deftly constructs a mystery that is strong in both plot and character. Mars’s friend group is as diverse as their unique abilities, and their teamwork and loyalty are unshakable. Based on the Peabody Award–winning podcast, fans of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner and Stranger Things will clamor for more of Mars Patel. —School Library Journal (starred review).

Author Bio:

Sheela Chari is the author of THE UNEXPLAINABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF MARS PATEL, based on the Peabody Award-winning mystery podcast. Her other novels include FINDING MIGHTY, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Children’s Choice Award Finalist; and VANISHED, an APALA Children’s Literature Honor Book, Edgar finalist for best juvenile mystery, and Al’s Book Club Pick on the Today Show. Sheela has degrees from Stanford University, Boston University, and New York University, where she received an MFA in Fiction. She teaches fiction writing at Mercy College and lives with her family in New York.

Author Links:

https://sheelachari.com/

My Review:

This book is based on a podcast, sounds fun already? Well, I don’t remember reading a Middle Grade book with an Indian or an Indian-American rep before, so the fact that one of the protagonist- Mars Patel is of Indian ethnicity was so relatable. The use of pronouns and also bullying someone with the wrong pronouns was subtly inserted into the story, but has made a mark. The book is like a fast paced thriller, the kind of which MG kids are sure to enjoy! I really wanted to see more of Mars’ mom, to get to know her. I loved the family dynamic and also the friendships portrayed in the book. Plus, it’s a sci-fi adventure, involving many little drones. I loved the book, can’t wait for the next book in the series!!

Ratings: 4/5

About the Show

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is a scripted podcast for middle-grade kids performed by middle-grade kids. It is a fun, high-quality serial mystery that can be described as Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things for eight- to twelve-year-olds. It was selected as one of the top fifty podcasts of 2016 by the Guardian, was honored with a Peabody Award, and was nominated for two Webby Awards (Best Audio Drama and Best Sound Design/Original Music Score). The show is enjoyed around the world by kids and adults alike. Check out more about the podcast on www.marspatel.com.

Make sure to drop by the other tour stops:


— Suri

#BookishInktober2020 Announcement

‘I wanna tell others.’
‘Plan, plan, plan.’
‘But-’
‘Plan, plan, plan.’
‘I have been eyeing at this since the last three years, you know it!’
‘Think it over, think it over’
‘But I have some time this year!’
‘You do?’
‘Not exactly, but-’
‘Plan, plan, plan.’
‘Arghh, alright I’ll PLAN and then announce it to everyone!’.

This is a gist of the repeated conversations between my over-enthusiastic brain and my over-planning brain, for the last 8 days.

I’m thinking of, strike that, I’m PLANNING to participate in Jake Parker’s Inktober Challenge this year! @jakeparker created @inktober in 2009 as a challenge to improve his inking skills and develop positive drawing habits. It has since grown into a worldwide endeavor with thousands of artists taking on the challenge every year.

What? Do I hear some boos? Well, let me finish. Since I’m doing this challenge on my bookstagram, I’ve decided to turn these into bookish prompts. So it’ll be #BookishInktober2020 for me.

I’ve not done ANYTHING of this scale on my bookstagram (book-instagram) or on my blog ever, so trust me when I say this – you wouldn’t want to miss out! Subscribe to my blog, sign up to my mailing list, count the days until 1st Oct., and buckle up for a ride!

There’ll be mini-reviews along with the sketches. Someday I’ll talk about the scene that I’ve sketched, or at times I’ll delve full-on into my favourite parts of the book/series. So even if you don’t enjoy art so much, you can still take away these mini-reviews, giving you a peek into some of my favourite reads over the years and hopefully it’ll help you add up some books on your TBR list.

This series will be starting 1st Oct. & will end on 31st Oct. There will at least be one post per day on my booksta feed and blog throughout October. Extra posts only when I have some review to post or something entirely other than Inktober.

I’ll try and post around 8 pm (IST) each day but might be late at times, as I’m neither a professional artist nor a professional writer, so things do take time.

Thanks for reading everything so patiently, I CAN’T WAIT FOR OCTOBER!!

— Suri

Love & Misadventure by Lang Leav

Book Title: Love & Misadventure

Written and Illustrated by: Lang Leav

Published: 26th April, 2013

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing

Pages: 163

Genre: Poetry

My Ratings: 3/5 🌟

Backstory: I was first introduced to Lang Leav’s poetry about 5 years ago when I came across her Facebook posts. They were so lovely to read. I would read those snippets and could easily relate to them. But then I stopped logging onto Facebook every so often- and after a while, I stopped entirely. Slowly I forgot all about her writings. Years later, one fine day while exploring some books at a local second-hand book stall, I came across her book! It’s an original copy, printed in the US but I got it for such a cheaper deal that it made my day!

Review:

This book is divided in three sections; Misadventure, The Circus of Sorrows and Love. The three sections of the book, flows beautifully and perfectly one into the other, forming a story. The writer speaks about beginnings, endings, love, hurt, confusion, trust, betrayal, past, sadness; basically every element within a relationship. She tries to bring positivity even within the hurt. Some of the poems – or should I say, ‘snippets’ – are very raw; instead of relying on false hopes, she states the facts in a very practical manner.

I’ll accept that haven’t read much of poetry, so I do not have a firm ground to compare this book with.

One of the poems in this book that I really loved: It is titled – ‘Some Time Out’

“The time may not be prime for us, though you are a special person. We may be just two different clocks, that do not tock, in unison.”

— Suri


What is your definition of love? What does love mean to you? Do suggest me some poetry books.

Quarantine Musings #10

I miss the beaches

and the mountains.

I miss our esplanade

the Marine Drive.

I miss the rides

to the markets and the malls.

I miss the bookstores

the smell of new books.

I miss the freedom

to just walk, and walk and walk.

— Suri


What are Quarantine Musings? Just some random, trivial, light-hearted (or maybe even deep?) thoughts that pass through my mind during these lockdown days.

A Readathon And More…

Hello fellow bloggers!

Have you ever participated in any Readathon? I’ve never done it before. But well, I’m participating in one right now, the 24in48 readathon which is an international readathon. Check their site for more details: https://24in48.com/social-landing-page/ you can still sign up now. Prizes will be awarded only for those who sign-up.

The goal of this readathon is to complete 24 hours of reading over the weekend i.e. in these two days- Saturday and Sunday which is 48 hours, we have to read upto 24 hours. The number of books we read, the genre and the type of books that we want to read can be selected by us. Even if we don’t complete the full 24 hours, we still devote our time to reading, right? So that’s a win-win.

I’m currently reading Circe by Madeline Miller. I’ve read numerous reviews about the book but not one negative feedback. So I’ve decided to read it during the readathon.

It’s been so long since I’ve had a casual post like this on my blog. Just to talk with you guys! How is everyone?

Do you read poetry? Do you write poetry ?
I had read the first half of this book, Gitanjali, many years ago; but never finished the book. To those who don’t know, Rabindranath Tagore is greatly revered in India for his writings.

This book, which is basically a collection of his poems, was originally written in Bengali. While reading the first half, I came to a stage where I just couldn’t move forward, not because his writings aren’t good; but because they are so good that I wanted to read them in the original Bengali language. I am of the opinion that some part of the content always gets lost in translation and I didn’t want to miss out on anything. But alas, I’m neither a Bengali nor do I know how to speak/ write Bengali. Conclusion? I’ve never read the second half of it in hopes of learning Bengali first which I never did. But I’m planning to read this book all over again, as part of the 24in48 readathon if I complete Circe first (which I genuinely doubt).
Have you ever came across the translation of a book and felt the need to learn a completely new language because you wanted to read the original copy?

Another poetry book which I’ve wanted to read since a long, long time is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.

On other note, I’m so close to 1k followers on my blog! The feeling is surreal. I’m really happy and glad to know that people read and like my writings. Thank you so much for your love. 💕

P.S.: As I publish this post, I’ve officially completed 6 chapters of Circe and clocked in 4.5 hours of the readathon. There’s still time to join in the readathon. It’s super fun! 😋🎉

Link of 24in48 readathon: https://24in48.com/social-landing-page/

– Suri

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

Book title: Flipped
Author: Wendelin Van Draanen
Published: 9th October 2001
Publisher: Penguin Random House LLC
Genre: Romance novel, Young Adult Fiction

My Ratings: 3/5 🌟

Flipped is like your regular dose of YA books. It’s a cute teenage lovestory about a boy and a girl who are complete opposites of each other. The thing that I loved the most about this book is that it has two protagonists. So you get to learn about the exact same story but from two different POVs. It is really interesting because I feel that it tells us how unique we as humans are! We might be given the same kind of story, the same struggles and hardships and the same love and affection but at the end it’s totally upto us as to how do we interpret it. I’ve liked the concept of multiple protagonists since George R. R. Martin’s popular series: A Song of Ice and Fire.

Interesting part: The part where Bryce (the male protagonist) looks for a rooster in Juli’s (the female protagonist) backyard got me into thinking. It made me so confused about hens, roosters and chickens! I was literally asking my mom and Google what is the difference between these three and which is a male or a female, although I had already studied this before. We also have a farm at our village with hens and roosters!!

I loved Juli’s obsession and love for the sycamore tree. It is beautiful and emotional at the same time. I would like to paint the scene someday, the way I imagined it while I was reading: Juli sitting on the top-most branch of the tree, enjoying the beauty and serenity of life.

Film Adaptation: Flipped has also been adapted into a movie by the same name. I haven’t watched it yet, but one of my friends did and he says it’s good. .

Quote that I like: “‘A painting is more than the sum of its parts,’ he would tell me, and then go on to explain how the cow by itself is just a cow, and the meadow by itself is just grass and flowers, and the sun peeking through the trees is just a beam of light, but put them all together and you’ve got magic.”

To conclude I would say, if you’re looking for a light, fun and an innocent YA lovestory, you should totally go for this.

Note: Book Review on my blog after soooo long. Do tell me how you guys like it! Have you read this book before? Is it on your TBR? Or have you watched the movie? I’ve heard it’s cute and even better than the book (though I doubt it).

– Suri

It’s Been A Year, April The Third!

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          IT’S TIME FOR A BLOGIVERSARY POST FOLKS!!!

         April 3, 2015: Gets inspired by some random friends. Opens an account on WordPress. Starts blogging.

          It was as simple as that. There was no such planning, no preparation, no topics or ideas in mind, absolutely nothing! I just knew that I had something to write. Something in this introvert mind, wanting to burst outside, to breath the true air, to feel the real dirt and to dance with the carefully carved words of the universe.

          Until a year back, if I had something on the back of mind and if I felt the urge to note it down, I would do so, in my diaries. But I really am a very bad manager of my diaries. So thoughts once written would never be read again or rather would be lost somewhere in the darkness without anyone to read or listen to it. It did feel good sometimes though. Having nobody else but me to intrude in my personal space. But sometimes there was this persistent calling which challenged this introvert brain to share the ideas and thoughts with the other humans on the planet. I had delayed the call on many, many, many occasions.! But finally on 3rd April, 2015, I made a deal with the caller. The deal was to stay anonymous while I blog until I gain some confidence in my writings. But within a few days I felt comfortable with these public posts and the concept of blogs where I can share my thoughts and options freely for others to read.
The result? I created the very first blog of my life. And most importantly, kept it alive! At times, due to my academics there remains very long gaps in between the blog posts. But then, I do make sure that the gap doesn’t extend till the blog finally cracks open and itself falls into darkness.

          In my ‘About’ page I haven’t introduced myself properly. Reason being, I had intended to remain anonymous. But now that I am finally a year old member of the WordPress blogging family, I feel comfortable enough to introduce the real me.

          So hello there, fellow bloggers! I am Surabhi Parab from Mumbai, India. Mostly known by the name Suri on WordPress and Twitter. I am moulding myself to be a voracious reader and a better writer. But at the same time , I am studying to become an engineer (which is a typical Indian story). I really, really love reading books: I read both Fiction as well as Non-fiction; but prefer Non-fiction more! Book suggestions and book talks are always welcomed. Also, I love it when people share some writing tips, because it helps me in my goal to be a better writer by analyzing myself and looking at my words through the eyes of the critics. I even love drawing, painting, doodling, craft works and other creative tasks that requires practical approach as opposed to the theoretical ones.

          April 4, 2016: Continues blogging. And thinking about the various ways to improve my first ever blogging site.

And finally, A VERY BIG THANK YOU TO ALL MY DEAR READERS AND FOLLOWERS. Without your inspiration, motivation, tips and ideas it was next to impossible for such a lazy person like me to ‘maintain’ a blogging site, let alone be keeping it active for over a year! Thank you once again. Keep blogging! 😀

– Suri

Those Words! <3

Words

I like the letters, randomly scattered around – desperately waiting for someone – to twirl and twist them into words. I’m fond of these made up words, killing time, for when they would be stitched into meaningful and lovely sentences. Then, we find these abandoned sentences strewn around, wanting to flow into each other like a swift waterfall – or in other words – a paragraph. Or perhaps a stanza. After a short hiatus, these paragraphs, clash together to form chapters of varying lengths.

Later, when added up together, these chapters form into a book. An entirely different world. Not made up of atoms or molecules or cell, but of tiny letters and words, entangled into one another. Finally, like a little cherry on top of a cake, we decide a name – a perfect topic – to suit the book. Not that we hadn’t thought about it initially. We went through all the related topics since the very beginning right until the end; but now that it all comes to an end, we give it a final touch. We stick by that one topic, that one phrase, or rather that one word which completely delineates the entire collection of our words.

This book is a gift to our own-self and to those around us. A gift that comes straight from your heart, sprinkled with the thoughts from the brain and adorned with the words from your mouth.

– Suri

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

Featured image

*Spoiler alert*

  • “He’s a wallflower. You see things. You keep quiet about them. And you understand.”
  • “So, this is my life. And I want you to know that I am both happy and sad and I’m still trying to figure out how that could be.”
  • “Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”
  • “It’s just that I don’t want to be somebody’s crush. If somebody likes me, I want them to like the real me, not what they think I am. And I don’t want them to carry it around inside. I want them to show me, so I can feel it too.”
  • “I don’t know if you’ve ever felt like that. That you wanted to sleep for a thousand years. Or just not exist. Or just not be aware that you do exist. Or something like that. I think wanting that is very morbid, but I want it when I get like this. That’s why I’m trying not to think. I just want it all to stop spinning.”

These were just five quotes from the book. But I’ll tell you what, you’ll be hooked on to this book right from the first sentence. I did. Okay, maybe you won’t. Different people, different opinion. But in my case, I felt the book, completely (and by ‘completely’, I actually mean COMPLETELY!) defines me. If you have read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, then I’m quite sure that you are aware about Hazel’s obsession with the book AIA (An Imperial Affliction). So well, I have kind of the same attachment to this book. I’ve read it thrice already, and also read in between the chapters whenever I feel a need for a push. A push to ‘participate’ in life. And yes, this book never fails to motivate and inspire me! It’s one of my most favorite books.

Charlie, a young, handsome and introvert guy, who was sexually abused by his own aunt, finds it difficult to interact with people. He’s usually depressed. Being shy, he had a very few friends initially. But then, to vent out his feelings and also because he found someone whom he believes is different, that is, the kind of person other people look to for strength and friendship. That’s what Charlie said. And he began writing letters to him, about him, anonymously. Without revealing his own identity, Charlie wrote to this guy, all that he felt. About himself. About friendship, love, life, crush, etc.

Charlie’s life took a turn for good when he met Sam and Patrick. Charlie had a crush on Sam but she already had a boyfriend. By the end, these two – Sam and Patrick – proved to be the most wonderful people in Charlie’s life. They had their good days and their bad days. Ups and Downs. But after all that, they made Charlie feel ALIVE. And, I guess, that’s what really matters in the end. They made him feel that he wasn’t alone. He had them. Their trust. Their friendship. Their true and innocent love. And this is what actually matters!

The best thing that I felt about this book is that, Stephen Chbosky didn’t make it all sound like a typical, fairytale lovestory. Charlie didn’t get Sam as his girlfriend anyways. But he had learnt a hell of a lot of things from her as well as from Patrick. His last letter to his letter-pal is my most favorite one. Wherein he clearly states that, now he’s trying to ‘participate’ in life. I mean, whoa! This-is-Charlie-being-so-optimistic!! All in all, it’s a good read. You won’t regret buying the book. *wink*

  • “It’s strange because sometimes, I read a book, and I think I am the people in the book.”

The above quote is what Charlie says during one scene… Gimme a high-five Charlie! ‘coz this is EXACTLY what I’m feeling right now! I’m you! I’m Charlie! ^_^

I FEEL INFINITE

– Suri