Hello, everybody. Happy New Year! I hope 2023 will be a happy and healthy year for you. I was away from writing for a long time and I am sorry for my inactivity. Things are still hectic as my finals are nearing. I have planned many things for my blog, but I cannot implement them due to time constraints. I will be free in April from all my exams and studies, still, a long way to go But, I will try to stay in touch with my writing and you all in between.
My Goodreads Goal.
I had kept a goal of 50 books and I was able to read 45 books this year. I must say that I read quite a mixed bag this year. There are many books that I rated 4-5 stars and there were many with 2-3 ratings.
As I mentioned in my posts this past year, my reading tastes are evolving. 2022 was an experimenting year for me. I kept exploring different genres. Some, I instantly fell in love with and others I won’t get back to again.
In 2022, I explored different genres like realistic fiction, translated books, non-fiction, memoirs, and even romance because it was so hyped up. Many disappointments and many favorites in the past year.
My Year In Books:
I will be reviewing and discussing some of the books that I loved in my upcoming posts. It feels good to be back. Thank you for always supporting me and reading my posts. All the comments mean a lot to me, thanks again! I want you all to tell me in the comments how many books did you read in 2022. Happy Reading! Rabhya.
Book: The Maid Author: Nita Prose Genre: Fiction, Murder Mystery Age Limit: 16+ Trigger Warnings: Death, Murder, Bullying
Molly Gray is not like everyone else. She struggles with social skills and misreads the intentions of others. Her gran used to interpret the world for her, codifying it into simple rules that Molly could live by.
Since Gran died a few months ago, twenty-five-year-old Molly has been navigating life’s complexities all by herself. No matter—she throws herself with gusto into her work as a hotel maid. Her unique character, along with her obsessive love of cleaning and proper etiquette, make her an ideal fit for the job. She delights in donning her crisp uniform each morning, stocking her cart with miniature soaps and bottles, and returning guest rooms at the Regency Grand Hotel to a state of perfection.
But Molly’s orderly life is upended the day she enters the suite of the infamous and wealthy Charles Black, only to find it in a state of disarray and Mr. Black himself dead in his bed. Before she knows what’s happening, Molly’s unusual demeanor has the police targeting her as their lead suspect. She quickly finds herself caught in a web of deception, one she has no idea how to untangle. Fortunately for Molly, friends she never knew she had united with her in a search for clues to what really happened to Mr. Black—but will they be able to find the real killer before it’s too late?
Firstly, the main character Molly the Maid. She is a very innocent person who has not seen the true world. When you will be reading, the main character won’t understand the true meaning behind the conversations, but the reader will understand the meaning. I was not a fan of this format particularly. It is like the character is up for a surprise in the case, not the reader. I did not like Molly the Maid since I found her irritating at times. I felt sad for Molly at times as she was not accepted by her co-workers. I really loved Grandma’s advice throughout the book. Molly keeps recalling her dead Grandma’s advice throughout the book which was nice to read. Coming to the story. I think this was a solid murder mystery. I really liked that the whole story took place in the hotel from a Maid’s point of view. The ending though did not have the wow factor. Throughout, the story was going pretty smoothly (minus the character’s behavior), but I expected a better ending.
What I Liked:
The whole story is set in a hotel.
Recalling her grandma’s life lessons.
What I Did Not Like:
Molly was irritating at times
The character is up for a surprise, not the reader
The ending did not have a WOW factor.
What You Should Read Next:
The Maidens by Alex Michaelides
The Guest List by Lucey Foley
Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
This was an average read for me. Have you read this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Happy Reading! Rabhya.
Book: Before The Coffee Gets Cold Author: Toshikazu Kawaguchi Genre: Fiction, Magical Realism Age Limit: 16+ Trigger Warnings: Dementia, Death, Grief
In a small back alley in Tokyo, there is a café that has been serving carefully brewed coffee for more than one hundred years. But this coffee shop offers its customers a unique experience: the chance to travel back in time.
In Before the Coffee Gets Cold, we meet four visitors, each of whom is hoping to make use of the café’s time-traveling offer, to confront the man who left them, and receive a letter from their husband whose memory has been taken by early onset Alzheimer’s, to see their sister one last time, and to meet the daughter they never got the chance to know.
But the journey into the past does not come without risks: customers must sit in a particular seat, they cannot leave the café, and finally, they must return to the present before the coffee gets cold . . .
There are four stories, all set in the cafe, where the characters are the same and known. In each story, some or other character wants to time travel back to the past/ future to convey something to the person they want to meet. These stories are very heartwarming and meaningful. You get so connected to the characters. The author has described the cafe in such a way that it makes it so comforting to read these stories. It teaches an important lesson about time and relationships. Even though they can time travel, after coming back, the present does not change, which was pretty interesting to read as even though the characters were able to experience this magical moment, they still had to come back to reality because it does not change. I got so attached to these stories that I will come back and read them again. They were so impactful with such a beautiful message at the end.
What I Liked:
The connection between time and relationships
Got attached to the characters
the rules for time-traveling
favorite story: Mother and Child
Other Books In This Series:
What You Should Read Next:
Kafka On The Shore by Haruki Murakami
Read the sequels of this book!
Rating: 5 out of 5.
This was a comfort read for me! Have you read this book? Let me know in the comments! Happy Reading! Rabhya.
Hello everyone! Hope all are doing well. So, some of you may already know that I love photography, especially of nature and books. I do not have a bookstagram account, but I take photos for blog post purposes and for Pinterest! You can check out my Pinterest! I was thinking to do a basic guide/tips on starting with book photography. So, let’s get into it!
When starting with book photography, you DO NOT need a costly camera and equipment to start with. Your android phones/ iPhones are sufficient for taking photos. I personally have a camera but I find myself using my phone camera most of the time. I do have a tripod but I do not use it unless I am using my camera. I won’t recommend any phone brand since all phones have good camera quality these days.
I personally do not use any external lighting. Natural light is the best way to capture good-quality photos. Lighting in your home is also sufficient for capturing a well-lit photo.
Composition is the key to every bookish photo. To make a photo attractive and aesthetic, use objects relating to the story or the book cover. If you see the first photo above, the series is a murder mystery, so I used gloves, a magnifying glass, and an old piece for giving character to the photo. Similarly, in the second photo, there are flowers on the cover. So, I covered the background with some white flowers. You can pick some objects lying around your home and use them in your photos.
Get as creative as you can at this step! All the options are in your hands at this step and you can definitely elevate a simple photo through some editing. I normally use Lightroom and Picsart for editing photos on my phone. If you see the Before photo, I just stacked those books on an orangish paper. But during the editing process, I used many stickers from Picsart and made it aesthetic! Also, you don’t require a premium subscription for any editing app, the free features are sufficient.
So these were some tips/ basics for starting with book photography. You can actually use these tips for taking photos of other things too! Let me know in the comments if you have any other tips and tricks that you use for book photography! Happy Reading! Rabhya.
Book: Kafka On The Shore Author: Haruki Murakami Genre: Magical Realism Age Limit: 17+
Kafka Thmura runs away from home at fifteen, under the shadow of his father’s dark prophecy. The aging Nakata, the tracker of lost cats, who never recovered from a bizarre childhood affliction, finds his pleasantly simplified life suddenly turned upside down. As their parallel odyssey unravels, cats converse with people; fish tumble from the sky; a ghost-like pimp deploys a Hegel-spouting girl of the night; a forest harbors soldiers apparently un-aged since World War II. There is a savage killing, but the identity of both victim and killer is a riddle- one of many which combine to create an elegant and dreamlike masterpiece.
It took me a month to finish this book. I wanted to take my own time to consume every page written by Murakami. The story revolves around two characters who are not connected in any way. As we go further into the story a connection starts forming between them since this is a character-driven story. I really loved the character build-up. Simplistic characters going through life problems and all of that is infused with magic. Murakami creates a world for readers so that they can completely lose themselves in it. The story is not meant to end with a banger, it ends for the reader to figure out on their own. I could not believe that Murakami could write such a story. It’s so beautifully written and his writing style is immaculate. Kafka On The Shore was a comfort read for me, I wanted to get lost in the story and escape from reality. Throughout the book, there are magical elements that surprise you and then there are those humane elements that melt your heart.
What I Liked:
Infusing magic with reality
meaningful and deep world-building
comforting and escaping story
simplistic characters with diverse elements around them
the immaculate writing style of Murakami
My Favourite Paragraphs From The Book:
What You Should Read Next:
Before The Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Rating: 5 out of 5.
This has become my all-time favorite book now! I highly recommend reading this meaningful and alluring story! If you have read this book, let me know your thoughts in the comments. Happy Reading! Rabhya.