Monday, January 27, 2020

2019 Highlights

Last year was definitely the toughest year of my remembered life. My mental health was at worst and so many awful things happened. In a way, I feel like my biggest accomplishment was surviving the year. Here are some of the highlights of a year I'd not like to revisit ever again. 

I started a new campus and it was a lot of work. I had to travel by bus for 30 mins everyday just to get to it ahaha. It was definitely an interesting experience. Most of my classes were so fun and it's always an endearing thing, having the chance to get to teach people. 
I was planning to do the #moreloveletters, one letter per day but the year had different plans. I wish I was in a place to sit down and write more positive things, but I'm surprised I even managed to write all 38. 
Giving is perhaps the one thing that I wholeheartedly enjoy the entire process of. Choosing gifts, packing them, making cards, I love it all and I'm humbled to have a group of people I can give my love to. 
Weirdly enough, it was a good reading year. I managed to read more than I expected. Here are my reading review of the year. 
21 seasons is a lot huh but reading and shows are my escapism and clearly I needed that. I discovered so many great shows and caught up with constant favs. In case of movies, most of it was feel good movies, again reasonably so. 
Just 9 emails, I know. When I'm down, I can't usually find the inspiration or courage to write like I used to and it was hard to remain hopeful when my world was crumbling down. 
I also pretty much let go of the blog but I'm slowly picking up and I have a bunch of new posts planned so hopefully it will go well. 
Most of the cakes I baked were my signature condensed milk cake and only once did I mess it up hahaha. Baking is such a soothing and rewarding thing. 
I don't know what kind of a catch 22 this is, but yeah I went on so less trips so I was stressed out most of the year. One of those trips, the year end family trip was my favourite. I was spending time with the people who love me the most and just going to the moodhu, playing badminton, sleeping, reading and chilling. It was everything I needed. 
I did make a couple new friends, perhaps to make up for the friends I lost during the year. It's becoming so difficult to truly make friends. Like, yes, I know a lot of people but we're not really friends, acquaintances at most so it's relatively a success to be able nurture 5 new friendships. 
After a really long time in a job I loved, I said goodbye and closed that chapter to find another job which I'm learning to love. It's always bittersweet but for a new thing to begin, another thing must end and I will always keep with me the memories and the lessons I learnt from them. I also found a new campus, like I mentioned before and it's been quite a learning curve for me. Keeping myself busy helps to not go into that dark place. 
So yeah, what a crazy year. Thank you for the good memories and let's not revisit the bad ones, I've left you back in 2019. 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

2019 in Books

I always do a wrap of my reading at the end of the year and so I decided to make it again this year. Last year was an interesting reading year, with some good reading at the beginning and end of the year but a very bad mid of the year. I think I needed books a lot last year because it was a tough year. So, here goes. 
You by Caroline Kepnes
I started the year with this book and generally I would not have liked this book but somehow it all ended up really great and I enjoyed it quite a lot. This was when the first season just came out so I wanted to read before I watched it. The book is a bit different from the series but it's still very chilling and quite enthralling.
Circe by Madeline Miller
I am usually not one for mythology but again, this was a surprising read for me because I enjoyed it so much. It was the way it's written with such an easy grasp and the story flowed so naturally, I was enchanted by this book from beginning to end. 
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Yesterday I was the Moon by Noor Unnahar
I know Noor has a book and I've been a huge fan of the twins for a while so finding this book was a total delight. I went through it very slowly because I knew I was going to enjoy it so much, and I did. I really loved and related to almost every single word and illustration and I need more. 
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebeccas Skloot
I didn't really know much going into this book, it was a book club pick but I ended up really enjoying and getting attached the Henrietta and her family. We watched the HBO movie afterward and I cried a bit like the emotional ball I am. It was a truly remarkable book about a story that needed to be brought to light and Rebecca did it with such grace and simplicity, I found it to be just phenomenal. 
Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini
I got this book just when it came out and for some reason I just kept it without reading even though everybody kept telling me it took like 15 minutes to read it. When the year was close to ending and I needed to give my reading goal a boost, I picked it up and finished it in just 10 minutes. It was so beautiful, heart-wrenching and the art was just gorgeous. 
Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Again, a book club pick and one I would not have otherwise chosen, but a refreshingly wonderful book. I stray away from fantasy often because it's quite overwhelming but this was a stand alone fantasy that I really enjoyed . The story was so fantastic and the world was just beautiful.
There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon
This is the second book in the companion series of Dimple Met Rishi. I didn't really enjoy the first book but this one, I really loved. Sweetie is fantastic, she is the desi baddie everyone wishes they were. I really loved the other characters, especially the families of Ashish and Sweetie. 
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
This is another fantasy book that I really did not expect to love, but ended up really loving. There's mild eastern lore and I just really loved the characters and the stories, especially how it all interconnects. It has magic, dragons, flair and of course love. It was a bit long winded tho.
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Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This is such a cute book. I loved the president in the book, and the supporting characters in the book as much as the main characters. It does get a bit lengthy and pretentious at times but overall, I think it's just an adorable read.
The Rosie Effect by Simsion Graeme
This is the second book in the Rosie Project series and I really enjoyed the first one. Don and Rosie are such versatile characters that I've grown to love. This book introduces some new characters and complex issues but still remains quirky and fun. I am excited to read the next book in the series.
Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood
This was another book club book that I enjoyed a lot. It's a very dark and emotional book that will keep you on your toes and it's based on a true story. I had to take breaks while reading this because it was so sad but I pushed through and I wish it had a happy ending but I'm glad I read it.
Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein
This is a middle grade novel that I really enjoyed. Of course, I would, considering it's about a game set in a library. It was so much fun going with the game with the kids and figuring out the clues, and of course the nostalgia of all the middle school books it mentions. I am definitely going to keep up with the rest of the series.

That's the best books I've read but we cannot finish this post without mentioning some of the books I really did not like.
Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
So, ofcourse I had high expectations for this because of GGM but this was so boring itwas pure torture putting myself through it. It would pick up now and then but it was still very boring and I really didn't know where the story was going. The writing was also quite arduous for me.
Destination Paradise by Francesca Borri
Oh this was such an annoying book. I solely read it because of all the dragging it was getting on twitter and that was for good reason because I really hated this book and I don't often say it. It was so ignorant and badly written, plus lacked any kind of proper research. Of course, I am very biased so maybe this is coming from a place of that but yeah.
On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves
This is another book I picked up because it is based in Maldives and boy, was it just so meh. The romance in it in very cringey and there was nothing Maldivian about it. I just really did not enjoy it.

That is a wrap for the year and I'm excited to start on a new bookish year! What's the best and worst book you've read last year?