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Top Ten Tuesday | Books on my TBR since Before I Started Blogging

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Hello everyone! It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Basically, you get a different bookish topic every Tuesday, and you comprise a list of ten (or however many you’re able to list) relating to said topic.

This week’s topic is “Ten Books that Have Been on Your TBR Since Before You Started Blogging.” I’ve been blogging for over a year and a half now, and I’m ashamed at how many books I have on my Goodreads to-read shelf that I still haven’t read. Granted, I’ve managed to get some of them off my shelf this year, but I still have way too many.


Tess of the D’urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

I think Thomas Hardy is my favorite classics’ author, not that I have read many but still. I’ve read two books by him: Far From the Madding Crowd and The Mayor of Casterbridge. Tess is perhaps his most famous ones, and it’s been on my shelf for a good three years now. I can’t believe I still haven’t gotten to it but perhaps this year will be it.


Goodreads | Amazon

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

I’ve read The Kite Runner by Hosseini, and it’s a book that has stuck with me ever since I read it many, many years ago. Hosseini has since released two other books, both of which have gotten high praise. I’ve been eyeballing them for so long!


Goodreads | Amazon

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut

Honestly, this book ended up on my TBR when I was working at Barnes & Noble and I saw its new, bright red cover and fell in love with it. Then when I read the blurb and realized that it’s a modern classic – I knew I had to read it. And I do, but I still haven’t. >.>


Goodreads | Amazon

My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Another author whose work I have read and enjoyed. Nineteen Minutes is most definitely my favorite book on school shootings, and I know Picoult can handle sensitive, heart-breaking topics with poise. But I know this book is a hard one to digest, so I still haven’t gotten to it. Hopefully soon…


Goodreads | Amazon

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

I bought this book the day it was released. Started reading the first chapter, was so shocked by the drastic shift in writing from the Harry Potter series that I stopped. Never picked it up again. But ever since I’ve read and LOVED The Cormoran Strike series, I think I’ll give this one a go.


Goodreads | Amazon

The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien

I’ve tried reading this a few times, but I think I was too young to fully appreciate the vivid world-building. I love the movies – they’re some of my favorites of all-time, and I’m certain that I’ll love the books too. I just need to gather the courage and give them another chance.


Goodreads | Amazon

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple

Honestly, this book made it onto my TBR because it has a sick cover. Added bonus that it was all anyone was talking about in late 2013, or early 2014.


Goodreads | Amazon

The Child Thief by Brom

This book is about an evil Peter Pan who steals boys. It sounds freaking awesome, and it has illustrations and is a favorite among fantasy-lovers. I’ve been interested in this for a long time, but I made the mistake of reading another book by the same author- and I wasn’t crazy about it. Which is why I’ve been putting off reading this. But I do plan on picking it up!


Goodreads | Amazon

The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken

Finished series are such a commitment. Something tells me I should read Passenger by Bracken before this one, but then I think that I already own a copy of the first book, and if I dislike Passenger, I won’t want to read it. It’s all very messy. #FirstWorldProblems


Goodreads | Amazon

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Palahniuk’s books have some of the most interesting covers, which I realized when I used to shelve them while working at B&N. But Fight Club is the only one that’s really pulled me in, and since everyone I trust loves either the book or the movie, I need to get to it like yesterday.


Goodreads | Amazon

That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them? Let me know in the comments below; as always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading! 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday | Things I Love About Game of Thrones

things i love about gotHello everyone! It’s that time of the week again! Top Ten Tuesday is a book meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Basically, you get a different bookish topic every Tuesday, and you comprise a list of ten (or however many you’re able to list) relating to said topic.

Today’s topic is ‘Ten Reasons I Love X. I thought long and hard about what I would make my post about this week, until I decided to do it on Game of Thrones, or A Song of Ice and Fire. This is an amalgamation of reasons I love both the books and the show, since I’m such a huge fan of both things. Season 6 is coming to an end soon, which is crazy because it seems like it just started two weeks ago. Winds of Winter is hopefully coming out this year, and I’m almost done with my re-read of the first book. In short, George R. R. Martin’s creation has once again taken over my life, so I thought it fitting to dedicate a blog post to it.

Note: click the pictures for the appropriate credits

arya-stark1. The Characters

This is perhaps one of the most obvious reasons why people like Game of Thrones. The characters are expertly crafted. George R. R. Martin has stated multiple times that he does not believe in black-and-white fantasy, where the good guys are beautiful, gallant people and the bad guys are ugly and have no redemption to them. His own vision of good and evil is so commendable and close to reality despite being in a completely fantasy set-up. Our evil characters are not totally evil – Joffrey loves his parents, Ramsay Snow loves his dogs. As little as those things may seem, they just go to show that not everybody is pure evil. Even the good characters can do somewhat morally ambiguous things- Arya is a straight-up anti-hero at this point, and Sansa is secretive. Jon Snow’s honor is his very weakness, much like Ned Stark’s.

And perhaps what is even more baffling to me, as a reader and viewer, is how invested I become in characters I hate. For example, Cersei Lannister is one of the most despicable and lethal characters in the series; she is ruthless and she will do anything in her lust for power, and her love for her children. Yet I understand why she does what she does. And despite hating her so freaking much, I love how developed her character is.


Titan of Bravos2. The World

This reason is another of the most obvious ones. Rarely have I ever seen such vivid, imaginative world-building in one series. George R. R. Martin took examples from our own world, and incorporated them seamlessly into his series. Each of the major areas in his world have a set of traditions and customs. Westerosi people consider themselves civilized; there is a monarchy and noble houses, and knights and all that. Essos is a completely different world, with different clothes and foods, different ways of government and state, different traditions and religions. There are various religions in Westeros itself. Then comes the Wall and the horrors North of the Wall- things which are still to be explored, things that probably will never be explored in their entirety because the world is so damn expansive and huge. But despite missing huge chunks of areas, Martin’s world comes together in a cohesive manner. He could write in this world his entire life and even after that, and I’d still find new things to marvel at.


aryanewvalarmorghulis3. The Deaths

Valar morghulis. All men must die, yet George R. R. Martin takes that to a whole new level. I remember when I was watching the first season (I hadn’t read the books yet), and I had a very distinct idea of who the main character was, who the good guy was. And then that thing happened, and I lost my fucking mind, because everything I had known about story telling and TV shows was shattered, because this TV show had killed the main character in the very first season. How could that be? Then I came across Season 3, when that particular wedding happened, and I just couldn’t handle it. I knew I had to read the books to see if more of my beloved characters die. I grew to be afraid to have favorite characters, certain that they wouldn’t live ’til the end of the series. But the thing is: GRRM doesn’t kill off characters for shock factor. No, he does it because it’s integral to the story, and that’s what makes him a master storyteller. Despite being attached to these characters, you understand why the decision was made, and why it was important. Call it being a good audience, or being a masochist.


4. The Costumes

Bonus points for Jason Momoa being half-naked for the entirety of his role. 🙂


aegon_on_balerion

5. The History

This may come under Point #2, but I thought it deserved a separate category just because it always blows my mind. The fact that Martin has the entire history of the world inside his head, and he gives us tidbits of it in every book and every episode is both astonishing and frustrating. There were the Targeryans with their dragons, Balerion the Black Dread whose skull lies in King’s Landing. There was the Doom of Valyria, which destroyed the prosperous kingdom of Old Valyria, the cause still remains largely unknown. There was the Long Night and the struggle between the Andals and the Children of the Forest, the birth of the Night’s King, and the conquest by Aegon Targeryan. There’s so much, so many novels that can be born from one world inside one man’s head. It’s insane.


6. The Soundtrack

Ramin Djawadi did such a brilliant job with the soundtrack, and I don’t just mean the theme music. I also mean the music playing in the scenes. Each score fits the scene perfectly. My personal favorites are from Season 4 during the Battle of Castle Black. Click the links below if you’re interested in listening to my favorites.

The Rains of Castamere | Thenns | Let’s Kill Some Crows | Forgive Me | Watchers on the Wall

7. The Fandom

I think the Game of Thrones fandom is one of the most dedicated fandom out there. From cosplay kings and queens to spending an immense amount of time analyzing Martin’s each and every word, or each movement in every scene, coming up with outlandish (and awesome) theories to explain deaths, politics, motives, and power. Game of Thrones wouldn’t be Game of Thrones, if it weren’t for the fans who got me believing so staunchly in things that haven’t even been confirmed yet. R + L = J is basically fact in my mind, when Martin could come out and say “bazinga” and completely change the direction of the reveal, and it wouldn’t matter because it’s just true. And it’s that way because of the fandom.


hardhome20bts20white20walker20jon20snow20game20of20thrones20helen20sloan

8. The Supernatural

Remember at the end of Season 5, everybody was saying that Game of Thrones had done zombies better than The Walking Dead, which is a zombie show? Well, it’s true because the zombies in Game of Thrones are the ONLY zombies I have encountered in all my years of reading and watching fiction that fucking terrify me. The White Walkers, or the Others, or whatever you want to call them are terrifying, period. They aren’t just zombies who want brains. They aren’t just corpses that are ruled by their desire to feed. Nah fam, these are creatures with brains and smarts who raise zombies with those motives. It’s nuts.

Not to mention that Game of Thrones has many other things under its belt. Dragons? Check. They’re not nearly as bad-ass as I had hoped they’d be (partly because I’m not big on Daenerys), but they’re still pretty awesome to look at. Direwolves? Check. I love wolves so much, and Game of Thrones gives me my occasional fix. Magic? Resurrection? Weird forest-y children? Check, check, and check.


battle_of_castle_black_by_thelivingshadow-d7lo2rk

9. The Fighting

And I don’t mean the violence, which can sometimes get a little much, so much so that I have to look away. *cough Oberyn cough.* I mean the choreographed fighting: the tourneys or the duels or the trials, or the wars. They’re all so well-done that I find myself marveling that it’s TV, and not an extremely high-budget movie. Some of my favorite scenes in the entire series are the ones which involve fighting: the aforementioned Battle at Castle Black, Hardhome, Tyrion’s trial, the fight between the Hound and a certain someone. The flashback to the Tower of Joy in the latest season blew my freaking mind. Aaaaaand coming up is the Cleganebowl and the Bastard Bowl, and I’m just so stoked.


tyrion-lannister-house-lannister-36908691-3280-492810. Tyrion fucking Lannister

Yes, yes, Tyrion is a character and technically he was included in the first one. You’re right, he was included in the first point, but I thought I needed to go a little further and get him his own category. Just because he’s that bad-ass. Apart from being one of the funniest, smartest characters in the series, he’s also the most complex. A dwarf born in a time where a man’s strength keeps defines his honor and keeps him alive. He’s the definition of the underdog, yet he’s survived through most everything. Hated by his own father and sister who blame him for his mother’s death, accused of something he had no hand in not once, but three times. Someone who was surrounded by vipers and spiders his entire life, only to come out as the most decent of them all. He’s the only Lannister who knows compassion or empathy or something other than sheer selfishness. He also says things like, “I’m not questioning your honor. I am denying its existence,” so bonus points.


That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Let me know in the comments below if you watch or have read Game of Thrones. What are some reasons you like the series? Do you agree with my reasons or not? Let me know, and as always, happy reading!

Spotlight Saturday | #2

spotlight saturday

Spotlight Saturday is a weekly feature, created by Josie at Josie’s Book Corner, dedicated to spotlighting and pinpointing some of the things over the week that have caught our attention more than usual, things we’ve particularly loved, etc. 

spotlighted blogger

This week, I’m going to be spotlighting a blogger I discovered fairly recently. Her name is Jordyn and you can find her over at J. Bookish! Jordyn’s blog is very organized, neat and clean. Her posts are always quality- I don’t think she ever half-asses anything, which is freaking admirable. She reads a wide variety of genres, including young adult, so if you’re looking for someone whose reading spans over different genres, she would be a great blogger to look out for! Definitely check her blog out. <3

spotlighted blog post

I’m steadily getting into all the Octobery/Halloween feels, and during this time of the year, Halloween TBRs are what I live for. Even though books don’t usually scare me, I’m still always on the lookout for something creepy. One of the first Halloween TBRs I came across was Ashley’s, and I must say that I found myself drawn to a lot of the books that she included in her post. If you’re looking for something new to read during the Halloween, maybe you should check her post out, since it’s full of creepy books. As well as Halloween movies! 😀

spotlighted bookgwt

This book got me out of the dreadful reading slump I was in! I don’t think I need to say anything else as an explanation. It was the first four-star books I’ve read since JULY! You can check out my full review here!

spotlighted moment

This week wasn’t terribly exciting, but there were some minor things here and there that deserve some love/recognition. Firstly, I have to acknowledge that this week included my first day of the semester at my job! I work as a tutor at a public elementary school, and my university renews my job every semester! It’s lovely working with such little kids, teaching them numbers and all that stuff. I’m looking forward to working with them for the rest of the year!

Also, two days ago, I was on the bus coming back from my classes back to my dorm room. And I was on Twitter, just checking my feed. And Patrick Ness apparently had a very interesting announcement to make: HE’S WRITING A DOCTOR WHO SPINOFF FOR TELEVISION?!?!?!?! I was on the BUS, and I screamed. I fuck you not. I SCREAMED. Because Patrick Ness is my favorite author, and Doctor Who is my favorite show and never had I imagined that the two would collide so LITERALLY, but OH MY GOD, I’M SO FREAKING EXCITED, YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND.

And lastly, as an avid admirer of rain, I have to share with the world how perfect my dorm room looks when it’s raining. Also, I’ll include a random shot that I took while standing on the sidewalk which incidentally came out rather nicely.

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Going to university in New York City is wonderful, and I’m sure there are many things to appreciate. But I would be lying if I said that my favorite thing in the world is anything other than a rainy evening in Manhattan. There is literally nothing better than that.

spotlighted app

Hi. So this is FeaturePoints, which is an app that lets you download free apps, check them out for a couple of minutes, and then it rewards you points that you can later trade for gift cards to Amazon, Starbucks, Best Buy etc. This is legit (and totally safe), I swear, even though it sounds too good to be true. I’m a poor college student, so how do I buy all those gorgeous hardcovers? Yeah. Gift cards. From this. It’s saved me at least $50.

If you’re interested in giving it a go, you can download it here. You can enter my referral code, which is DC9APW, and you get your first 50 points for basically nothing. Or you can download from my referral link, and you’ll get your points either way.

You’re welcome.

spotlighted song

Because of Spotify’s infinite awesomness, I came across a bunch of fantastic songs this week. I’m not going to flood this post with song recommendations, but I really tried to narrow it down to just one, and I could NOT – for the life of me – do it. So here are two absolutely phenomenal songs.

coasts-oceans-ep

This first song is titled Tonight and it’s by Coasts. It’s very upbeat, perfect for a feel-good afternoon when nothing can get you down. It just makes me want to dance, and we all need that feeling in our lives. You can listen to it on YouTube.

Naughty-Boy-Runnin-2015-Alt-1400x1400

This is Runnin’ by Naughty Boy featuring Beyoncé and Arrow Benjamin. I know Naughty Boy gets a lot of flack for being a terrible person and what not (even though I’m neutral about him), nobody can deny that he’s a brilliant producer. His compositions are so moving. And this song is WOW. The vocals are flawless; Beyoncé is queen, of course, but this Arrow Benjamin guy held his own singing with her. The melody is fantastic, and the music video is trippy as shit, but it’s very moving. It’s an underrated song, so you should give it a go. It’s easily one of the best songs I’ve heard this entire year! Listen to it on YouTube.

spotlighted quote

May you be protected from hearts that are not humble, tongues that are not wise, and eyes that have forgotten how to cry.” – Imam Khalid Latif when he was given the Alumni Distinguished Service Award at NYU 2014.

Imam Khalid Latif is one of the spiritual life chaplains here at my university, as well as the chaplain for the New York Police Department. He’s a humble, humble man. He’s always accepting of students, no matter what their beliefs are. He is constantly holding inter-faith sessions between Muslims and Christians, Muslims and Jews etc. He was recently among Pope Francis’s inter-faith panel in NYC. In a world where Islam and Muslims are constantly under pressure to prove themselves human, or non-violent, under pressure to prove that they do not hate, that they have the capacity to accept and love, when people like Khalid Latif stand up on a global platform and show the world what it means to be a true Muslim, it just makes me very happy.

Spotlight Saturday | #1

spotlight saturday

Hello, wonderful humans. So, since I won’t be getting too much reading done while I’m at school, I thought it would be a great idea to introduce another weekly feature to my blog. I saw this over at Josie’s Book Corner (the creator) a few weeks back, and I absolutely loved the idea. Books are amazing and all, but sometimes, you just want to talk about other stuff, and this feature gives you the opportunity to do just that. So, thanks Josie for creating such a wonderful feature- I can’t wait to become a regular. 😀

Here’s the official description:

Spotlight Saturday is a weekly feature, created by Josie at Josie’s Book Corner, dedicated to spotlighting and pinpointing some of the things over the week that have caught our attention more than usual, things we’ve particularly loved, etc. 


spotlighted blogger

There are so many fantastic bloggers out there, and every time you go looking, you find someone you know you’re going to be following for a very long time. Giving these blogs and hardworking bloggers the recognition they deserve is super important, and I think this feature is a brilliant way of doing that- you let the bloggers know that you appreciate their work, while also giving them exposure to your audience. How lovely!

Today, I’m going to be talking about one of my favorite bloggers who just happens to be this feature’s creator as well, and her name is Josephine from Josie’s Book Corner. Josie’s not only a fantastic blogger, she’s also a very lovely person. She constantly interacts with people, and her lovely comments always brighten my day. As for her blog, her blogs are always well-done. They’re nicely thought out, and her book reviews are cohesive and brilliant. Her graphics are very snazzy and bright, and I love how uplifting they make her blog! If you’re not following her already, definitely do so! She’ll make your WordPress Reader a happy, happy place! <3

spotlighted blog post

Since this is my first feature, I’m going to be expanding my blog-post-choosing-pool a little bit. I decided to go for a post that was posted last Friday, rather than after last Saturday! This is Aentee @ Read at Midnight’s post where she shared some of her Throne of Glass designs. I love Aentee’s graphics- she’s so brilliant when it comes to aesthetic. I always look forward to her graphics, but these ones were absolutely breath-taking. So wonderfully done, and they perfectly capture the essence of the series.

spotlighted book

tfe

I haven’t been reading a lot, as you may already know. But of the books I’ve (somewhat) read this week, the Final Empire was by far the best. I’m not too far into this- just over 60 pages, but I’m enjoying the tone so far.

spotlighted moment

For those of you who didn’t know, Thursday was a special day for Muslims all around the world; we celebrated Eid-ul-Adha, which is one of the two annual festivals, the other one being Eid-ul-Fitr. Usually, people wake up early, dress up in their best clothes, pray, have lots and lots of yummy food and hang around with their family. Unfortunately, I had college, and I didn’t want to take a day off because midterms are fast approaching. So while I couldn’t be with my family, I did however get to hang out with a few friends. We went out, treated ourselves to some expensive lipstick (LOL), looked around Barnes & Noble and then had some delicious sushi. All in all, it was a good day! 🙂

spotlighted app

spotify_transparent_logo-1

Spotify is my savior. I’ve been discovering such wonderful music on Spotify. I’ve never been a person who makes tons of playlists, but Spotify has made me that person. Goodbye to buying music on iTunes- a Spotify subscription does wonders! My favorite part of Spotify is that it contains most Pakistani music too! 😀

spotlighted song

Stitches

This is so far from what I usually listen to, but I can’t get this song out of my head. It’s very catchy, the tune is happy-go-lucky (even though the lyrics are kind of sad?).

spotlighted quote

Okay, since I haven’t been watching movies or reading books, I have to give this one to “SHONDELL, WHY YOU GOT A KNIFE IN YOUR THROAT?!” from Scream Queens. Whenever I think about that scene, I choke on air from laughing. If you haven’t seen the first two episodes of Scream Queens, you should get on that. It’s hilarious and cheesy and absolutely wonderful. 😀

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