top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday | Holiday Gift Guide: The Etsy Bookish Edition


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 one that will hopefully prove useful to you, as well as me. Although I only casually celebrate Christmas, and don’t have many friends that enjoy books as much as I do, I always ask my parents to get me some bookish things- for which I need to go hunting a few days before the holidays. Here’s a tentative list of bookish goodies that any book-lover in your life (including you) must want.

10. Bookish Subscription Boxes

You must have heard of a few subscription boxes by now, including perhaps FairyLoot, OwlCrate, Uppercase or – my personal favorite – Book of the Month box. A subscription box is a wonderful present to get anyone. Most boxes have monthly, 3-month, 6-month and yearly plans and the longer the subscription you buy initially, the cheaper it is.

Perhaps the most famous of all of these is OwlCrate (in the US) and FairyLoot has been catching up more recently. I had an OwlCrate subscription; I thought they do a really great job some months, but lately I’ve felt that I didn’t really use their extra goodies much, so I was basically spending a lot of money for stuff I didn’t use. If you know someone who enjoys bookish swag to put on their shelves, or just have around, check out OwlCrate, FairyLoot and Uppercase.

If you’re like me, you’re probably far more interested in a good value for a box that you will use fully. My favorite box is Book of the Month subscription boxwhere you actually get to choose from among 5 of that month’s most critically acclaimed reads. BOTM is one of the most popular, oldest boxes with a large readership, so you’re bound to find a great book and other readers online who will be more than willing to converse.

If you use my referral link, you can get a 3-month subscription for only $9.99 a month. Which means you’ll get a new-released, critically acclaimed, adult hardcover for $10 a month- and you can always add two more books to your box for $9.99 each. I cannot recommend this box enough; their selections are always fantastic, and their price is also unbeatable. So head over and join. 🙂

9. Harry Potter Bracelet


I don’t know about you, but I love to flaunt my love for a fandom when I go out into public. It’s honestly such a great way to strike up a conversation, make a new friend or simply get compliments from people who like the same stuff as you. Although I don’t yet own one of these nifty bracelets, I’m so in love with the idea of having book covers of your favorite series dangling from your wrist. You can get necklaces like this, but I really liked this particular bracelet because the maker also added cute little charms. 🙂 You can check this bracelet out here.

8. Bookish Scarves


This is another shop that I’ve never tried anything from, but I’ve heard such brilliant things. They make bookish scarves that seem to flow really well and have wonderful patterns- from popular, classic book covers to fantasy maps and quotes. Not only are they a fangirl’s dream-come-true, they look very, very classy and can be used everyday to accessorize any outfit. Check out the shop here.

7. Harry Potter Bath Set


What better gift to give a busy-body than this set that’s guaranteed to give you a relaxing evening. Personally, I think it’s a great value- it’s $35 for a ton of stuff that separately costs a ton of money because it’s customizable and homemade. Bath salts, bubble bath, soap, lip balm and a candle; I think the bundle is a great value, and if someone got it for me, I’d honestly be over the moon happy. The set featured above is just one of their many, many sets- from Hogwarts houses to Butterbeer to all those nifty potions and spells, this shop is a Harry Potter lover’s dream. Check it out here.

6. Kindle & e-Reader Covers


In this day and age where technology is slowly taking over our lives, more and more people have turned to e-readers- part-time, if not full-time. And taking care of e-readers is important, so why not do it while making them look beautiful? Some of my favorite book accessories (that I ogle at all the time when I’m on the subway) are bookish Kindle covers. They look stunning and it gives you the illusion of reading an actual book, even if your eyes are actually glued to a screen. 😉 Check them out here.

5. Tea


Tea’s great year-round, but it’s especially wonderful during the winter months. And I know many book-lovers enjoy curling up in blankets with a good book with a cup of tea nearby; it’s a favorite past-time! So get the book-lover in your life (or yourself) literary-themed tea that comes in beautiful, colorful packaging. Check out the shop here!

4. Book Ends


Book ends always come in handy, and since we’re talking about book-lovers here, they definitely have need of these. Sure, since they’re made of metal, they’re kind of on the pricey side (around $60) but this shop has fantastic reviews, and it seems that they make their products with top-notch materials. They also have a large range of designs! Check out the shop here!

3. Prints


I don’t know about you but I hate bare walls. I’m always looking for stuff to vamp up my room, whether that’s posters, bookish swag, photos, fun quotes- anything at all! I love prints, but they’re always so expensive, it seems. This shop has fantastic, eye-catching prints for around $12-15, which is such a great price! If you really want to spruce up your gift, you can get it framed for a few extra bucks and it’s sure to light up any book-lover’s room! Check out the wide variety here.

2. Candles


This list wouldn’t be a list without candles! I love candles; I think they look so cute on bookshelves, and if they’re literary-themed, that’s a special bonus. Who doesn’t want their room to smell like the Gryffindor common room, or Camp Half-Blood or Gatsby’s mansion? Check out my favorite candle-shop here.

1. Magnetic Bookmarks


You didn’t think I’d make a gift-guide without including magnetic bookmarks, did you?! Bookmarks are a staple in any book-lover’s life, and I’ve recently started getting into magnetic bookmarks. They’re convenient, they’re incredibly cute and they look wonderful hanging on a rope on your bookshelves. There are so many shops producing beautiful designs of magnetic bookmarks, but one of my favorite shops is relatively new. Her art is beautiful, and her characters are some of the most detailed I’ve ever encountered on top of being very affordable. Check out best gifts for girls!

That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! What are some shops that you frequently visit? Let me know in the comments below; as always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading! 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books I've Added to My TBR List Lately


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 hard, but it shouldn’t be, considering I add 10 books to my Goodreads TBR every single day. Which is where the difficulty lies because how in the world am I supposed to narrow down my TBR to 10 books?! So, here are ten books I recently became aware of that have been getting great reviews and which I’m most excited to get to.

2606811510. The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karan Bajaj

The Yoga of Max’s Discontent follows the story of Max Psoraz, a child of Greek immigrants who grew up in New York, became hella successful on Wall Street and became the poster child for the American Dream. When he’s involved in a violent incident one night, Max begins to question his life, and contemplates the meaning of life, death, suffering and mortality. His questions lead him all the way to India where he’s forced to confront the basest aspects of humanity and discover the meaning of life.

Okay, so I know this book sounds like that stereotypical white-person-goes-to-India-and-discovers-himself book, a trope I’m very much against. But this book has incredible reviews from Indian people, and it’s an Own Voices book, meaning it’s written by an Indian. I’m very curious to see how the subject and trope is tackled. Oh, and that cover. *drools*

Goodreads | Amazon

189523419. The Grace of Kings (The Dandelion Dynasty #1) by Ken Liu

The Grace of Kings is a fantasy book that has crossed my path several times the past few months, and I don’t think I’ve heard a single negative thing about it. Written by a Chinese-American author, this massive novel follows the story of two guys, both fearless and colorful within their own right, who become best friends and fellow-rebels after a series of adventures against armies and gods. They join forces to overthrow the emperor of their kingdom, but once their task has been achieved, they find themselves leaders of opposing factions and end up becoming rivals.

This fantasy series sounds incredible, and one that is driven primarily with its complex characters. If you know anything about me, you’ll know that I love myself a good character dynamic. From what I’ve heard, The Grace of Kings has intimate political intrigue, complex plot and fantastic world-building. I’m excited to get to it!

Goodreads | Amazon

158190288. The Golem and the Jinni (The Golem and the Jinni #1) by Helene Wecker

This book follows the story of two (semi?)supernatural beings who are thrown into an unfamiliar surrounding, forced to rely on each other as friends to get through hardship. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, who was brought to life by a rabbi dealing with black magic. Circumstances lead to her guardian dying, and she finds herself in New York City. Ahmad is a jinn, born in a Syrian desert. When he is accidentally released from a copper flask in a Lower Manhattan store, Ahmad finds that even though he is free, he’s still bound to the world.

This is, by no means, a new book. When it was first released in 2013, I wasn’t interested because it’s freaking massive and I’m not into historical fiction. But when I learned that it was about two supernatural creatures from two religious mythologies that are often so up-in-arms with each other, I was sold.

Goodreads | Amazon

249565287. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet follows the stories of three different people – a Martian woman who’s looking for an escape from the life she’s leaving behind, a pilot who’s navigating space without any of her own kind, and a captain who’s waiting for a loved one at war. But even though three primary stories are at play, the book weaves together the adventures of nine different characters, from various cultures and backgrounds in a futuristic society where our extraordinary is the norm.

This is another book I’ve been aware of for a long time, but it didn’t come to my attention until I saw a glowing review from one of my favorite Booktubers (MercysBookishMusings), who is generally a harsh critic. The only other book I’ve read that can be categorized as a space opera is Illuminae, but this one sounds so much more appealing to me than Illuminae ever did.

Goodreads | Amazon

204562226. For Today I Am a Boy by Kim Fu

When Peter Huang was born, Peter was given the Chinese name “juan chaun,” powerful king. The only son in the middle of three daughters, Peter’s been given the burden of certain expectations- Peter will embody the dreams of Peter’s father, embody the ideals of masculinity and power. But Peter doesn’t have those dreams; because Peter is a girl, and there’s no question about it.

This is completely CW’s fault- whenever she talks about this book, I bump it up my TBR because it sounds incredible. I haven’t read many books with trans protagonists in the first place, but a book with a Chinese trans woman as the main character? It sounds poignant and profound, and I’ve heard that it’s sensitive, witty, and I can’t wait to get to it.

Goodreads | Amazon

59973365. Burnt Shadows by Kamila Shamsie

Burnt Shadows is the tale of one woman’s tumultuous life as she is transported from place to place, culture to culture in a world torn apart by hatred and war. Starting in Nagasaki, Hiroko Tanaka is a twenty-one year old woman betrothed to a man, living a decent enough life. When the atomic bomb destroys life as she knows it, Hiroko moves to India to start over, to escape the horrors she’s experienced in her life. But she arrives in Delhi in the middle of the Pakistan-India Partition, and she finds herself in yet another war-torn country.

As a Pakistani, I have never read a book about the India-Pakistan partition- I’m such a joke. I think it’s such a pivotal moment in world history, often overlooked for whatever reason. The fact that the protagonist is a Japanese immigrant to Pakistan just makes me so excited to give it a go.

Goodreads | Amazon

178692124. Promise of Shadows by Justina Ireland Stone

This is a really hard book to summarize, so I’m just going to use the Goodreads description: “Zephyr Mourning has never been very good at being a Harpy. She’d rather watch reality TV than learn forty-seven ways to kill a man, and she pretty much sucks at wielding magic. Zephyr was ready for a future pretending to be a normal human instead of a half-god assassin. But all that changes when her sister is murdered—and she uses a forbidden dark power to save herself from the same fate.

Zephyr is on the run from a punishment worse than death when an unexpected reunion with a childhood friend (a surprisingly HOT friend) changes everything. Because it seems like Zephyr might just be the Nyx, a dark goddess made flesh that is prophesied to change the power balance. For hundreds of years the half-gods have lived in fear, and Zephyr is supposed to change that.”

Justina Ireland Stone is one of the most vocal advocates of social justice on Twitter, and I’ve been aware of her for a very long time, but I’ve never read any of her books. I’ve heard good things about this, so I’ll start over here. 🙂

Goodreads | Amazon

254890253. The Vegetarian by Han Kang

The Vegetarian is a semi-horror, psychological thriller about a woman named Yeong-hye whose perfect life with her wonderful husband is disrupted when the nightmares begin. The dreams present her with vulgar images of brutality and torture, and Yeong-hye is so turned off by it all that she vows to never eat meat again. The small act of independence sets in motion a pushback from her family, and as Yeong-hye defends her decision so adamantly, she spirals into an estranged, dangerous state.

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this one, but nothing I’ve heard has quite diminished my interest. It sounds like a fascinating commentary on our concept of self and the personal choices we make, for whatever reason. I’ve recently been really enjoy thrillers as well, so I’m looking forward to giving this a go.

Goodreads | Amazon

248858322. The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch by Daniel Kraus

This series follows the story of a seventeen year old gangster named Zebulon Finch, who is gunned down and murdered on the shores of Lake Michigan in 1896. Then, he is mysteriously resurrected. Zebulon’s second life is completely different from his first; he finds himself constantly under scientific inspection. He is prodded and probed by a scientist obsessed with death. Zebulon escapes and begins an adventure, running through North America, discovering the meaning of love and loss- hoping that he’ll one day find redemption for everything he did in his past life.

I’ve heard nothing about this book. When I was perusing the shelves at The Strand Bookstore, I found this on one of the tables and it immediately called out to me. It sounds freaking incredible, and I love me a morally ambiguous protagonist. Hopefully, I’ll enjoy this- and hopefully, more people will pick it up.

Goodreads | Amazon

270714901. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing begins when two half-sisters from Ghana are torn apart; one is sold into slavery, the other is married off to a British slaver. The latter lives in an extravagant palace, with all the luxuries she can afford, but little does she know that her sister is entrapped and slaving away in a dungeon below where she breathes, eats and lives. I believe that Homegoing is a generational story in that it follows the stories of many different families and characters over the course of two continents and three centuries of history- from the plantations in the South to the Civil War to the coal mines in Alabama.

Recently, this book has been the talk of the town. Some of my most trusted bloggers have read and raved about it- calling it their best read of the year. From the synopsis, I can already tell that it’s going to be a heartbreaking tale of family, love and loss. It’s also an Own Voices novel, which excites me so much.

Goodreads | Amazon

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

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books Perfect for Halloween

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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.

Halloween is right around the corner! It’s actually my favorite holiday of the year- especially since people in New York are crazy passionate about it. The parade, seeing all the wonderful costumes, the parties, all the things to do all over the city! Not that I do any of that stuff, because honestly, I just chill at home and binge-watch horror movies. 🙂 Anyway, here are some recommendations for books you can read to get in the mood for Halloween! The list is going to be a mix of thriller, suspense and horror, of course!

10. Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke

This is for everyone who doesn’t like scary books and just wants to get into the feel of the season without getting scared. Wink, Poppy, Midnight is very atmospheric and eerie. It has interesting characters, some really stunningly beautiful writing and a mystery aspect that’ll keep you hooked.

Goodreads | Amazon

9. Night Film by Marisha Pessl

Although I didn’t love this book, it did kind of give me the creeps. It’s set around a cult horror director’s life and the murder of his daughter. It’s another book that’s atmospheric, and coupled with the fact that it feels real because of the blog posts, article cutouts and such weaved into the narrative, it’s a very effective thriller.

Goodreads | Amazon

8. Lord Loss by Darren Shan

This is a book so near and dear to my heart. And it’s perfect if you just want to get a highly entertaining, short book in before the 31st. Darren Shan isn’t the best writer out there, sure, but his stories just pull you in. This series isn’t his best (that would be The Sage of Darren Shan), but this gave me the creeps when I was a pre-teen, ha.

Goodreads | Amazon

7. Angelfall by Susan Ee

This wouldn’t be categorized as horror perhaps, but it should. It’s a dystopian where the human race is basically at war with angels. It’s an incredibly graphic, incredibly disturbing read. Some of the images are so vividly described that they’re still burned into my memory. Definitely not for the faint-hearted, but if you’re into that stuff (like me), you’re going to have one hell of a time.

Goodreads | Amazon (only $4.54 for the paperback!)

6. Watching Edie by Camilla Way

This is a thriller that I recently read and really enjoyed. It has a very eerie, very discomforting tone to it- dealing with postpartum depression, and difficult issues like assault (trigger warning!) and the disturbing nature of human beings. If you’re not into the paranormal and are instead terrified of humans, here’s a good one.

Goodreads | Amazon

5. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Another thriller, and perhaps not considered horror, but definitely an eerie read. Flynn is brilliant at creating atmospheres and making deep, complicated characters that feel like real, believable monsters. I have yet to read anything else by Flynn, and I’ve heard Dark Places is creepier- maybe that’ll be on my list next year. 😀

Goodreads | Amazon

4. Fire Boy by Sami Shah

Now, this one is scary. It is absolutely terrifying. When I first started reading it, it was 2 am and I had to put it down because I looking over my shoulder, so paranoid and creeped out. It’s inspired by South Asian and Islamic folklore- stuff that I’ve grown up with. I don’t find poltergeists scary, and neither will you until you read about some of the creatures in our lore. Give it a go!

Goodreads | Amazon

3. The Diviners by Libba Bray

Another one that genuinely scared the bejeezus out of me. Libba Bray is one of my favorite writers- her work is so thematically strong, so character driven without ever being dull or slow. The Diviners has one of the creepiest antagonists I have ever read. He’s a serial killer, and right before he kills someone, he sings this chilling song. It focuses a lot on the occult and what not- and the sequel is pretty terrifying too!

Goodreads | Amazon

2. Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike #3) by Robert Galbraith

So, here we are, talking about J.K. Rowling yet again. If you haven’t started this series yet, you need to get on it. The first book is alright- nothing to write home about. The second one is creepy and Rowling steps up her game, but the third one. Yikes. It sent chills down my spine. I couldn’t read it at night, which is so weird because I am NEVER scared of human killers. I mean, they’re creepy but they never terrify me- this one… oh God. Had me looking over the shoulder while I was walking alone at night. Genuinely terrifying.

Goodreads | Amazon

1. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

What is that you ask? Will I ever comprise a list of good books without mentioning this one? No I won’t. Never. This is my favorite book of all-time, and there are many reasons for that. One of the top ones being that it’s so fucking creepy and messy and weird. It dabbles a lot in the occult and all the protagonists are anti-heroes, and there’s a murder and a creepy college setting. And beautiful writing, and it’s all just amazing. Go read it already, what are you waiting for?

Goodreads | Amazon

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

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Top Ten Tuesday | Booktube Recommendations I Wish I Hadn't Wasted My Time On

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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 themed around recommendations- so, you can comprise a list about the top books that were recommended to you, or ten books on your TBR that are there because of someone’s recommendation. Although some of my favorite books of all-time have been recommended to me, I thought I’d take the time to do a negative topic because I haven’t done one in a pretty long time. Now, I’ve read a ton of books because of Booktube, but there are so many books that I read that I wouldn’t have done had they not been hyped. So without further ado, let’s get into it!

10. Splintered by A.G. Howard

I’ve heard a couple of my favorite Booktubers talk about this book and just rave about it constantly, so I picked it up expecting a weird, fascinating retelling of Alice. What I got was a ridiculously offensive, flat and unlikable cast of characters involved in a story that made little to no sense. Splintered is one of the only books I have ever abandoned in my life, but I’m glad that I did.

Goodreads | Amazon

9. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

This is one of those series that everybody raves about on Booktube, and for some strange reason, I thought I’d enjoy it even though the synopsis seemed mediocre. I’ll admit that the series is addictive- you start the book and you fly through it, but there’s very little of substance in the books. At the turn of the last page, I never think, “that was fun.” I think “okay, what was the big deal? Why did I read that?” Meh.

Goodreads | Amazon

8. Pivot Point by Kasie West

This book was so forgettable. I remember thinking the synopsis was really cool- parallel worlds that diverge because of different choices- that’s always such an intriguing premise, but I remember reading this in under a day and forgetting almost immediately what the characters’ names were and exactly what had happened. It’s like a black spot in my memory- not memorable at all.

Goodreads | Amazon

7. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Honestly, this category encompasses every CoHo book I’ve read because of Booktube (not many- just two, but you get it). Colleen Hoover is the NA queen of Booktube, and I went into her books expecting tragic, moving stories that spoke to me as a new adult. What I got were highly problematic storylines with unlikable, horrible characters. Thank goodness I only read two and decided that I wouldn’t read anything else by her.

Goodreads | Amazon

6. Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

This book made the Booktube world explode when it first came out. Literally everyone was talking about it, and I’d never read a B&tB retelling before (except for ACOTAR), so I thought might as well. It was so dull. The characters were completely uninspiring, and the world-building was hella info-dumpy and confusing. I did like the writing, though, so it wasn’t a complete waste.

Goodreads | Amazon

5. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes

This series is so hyped on both Booktube and the book blogosphere in general, and I picked up the first book earlier this year because it’s often referred to as the “YA Game of Thrones.” Safe to say that I was disappointed. I thought a large portion of the characters were flat, and much of the plot twists were there for shock value rather than logical plot. Meh. It’s a shame because I really wanted to love these books!

Goodreads | Amazon

4. The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

One of my favorite Booktubers raved about this book when it first came out, and I usually really trust her recommendations. Unfortunately, this book failed to do anything for me. It was all over the place, and even though I liked the generational aspect of it, I wish it had been executed well. The writing was lovely, however.

Goodreads | Amazon

3. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray

I bought this book because I saw the beautiful cover in many, many videos. Probably should’ve looked at the reviews first, so that’s my bad. A lot of the scientific aspects of the world in this book were glossed over or made no sense, and the characters were all rather flat. The love triangle was unnecessary. I’d just expected more.

Goodreads | Amazon

2. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Honestly, the premise of this book is fantastic. And the cover is also beautiful, but the content was so mediocre. It was so angsty, geez. It was marketed as dystopian, science fiction but it was mostly just romance. Then, when I realized there was going to be a love triangle between this lovely guy, the protagonist and this abusive asshole, I got out of there so fast.

Goodreads | Amazon

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Tricky because my favorite male character ever is in this book. And if I hadn’t read it, I wouldn’t have been introduced to him but if I hadn’t read it, I could have avoided the heartbreak, the disappointment, the frustration and the anger. The first two books were good for me, but book three onwards just went downhill with numerous plot holes and cop-outs, ridiculous storyline decisions, and character inconsistencies.

Goodreads | Amazon

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

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Top Ten Tuesday | Top Anti-Heroes & Villains

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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 “Top Ten Villains.” Now, if you know anything about me, you’ll know that I love me a good morally ambiguous, villainy character. I love villains with a good back-story, and I love heroes who make you question their decisions, who make you question your rooting for them. Should I root for this person? He’s hella twisted, but I also can’t help it. That’s my favorite kind of character to read, so here’s a list for all those antagonists and anti-heroes that make literature so enjoyable for me to read.

Top 5 Villains

5. Sebastian Morgenstern from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

This is contradicting what I said in the introduction of this post. I know I said I love morally ambiguous people, villains with a back-story that gives more depth to their actions but Sebastian is just a psychopath. He’s absolutely insane. There is not a single not-twisted bone in his body, and usually such a black-and-white villain would annoy the ever-living crap out of me, but the way Clare wields his character is just so compelling. I know I’ve said this before, but I imagine Sebastian is a lot like Kai from The Vampire Diaries. Just plain crazy.

Goodreads | Amazon

4. The Darkling from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

The Darkling is one of those villains who would be the hero of their own story. He did horrible things, sure, but he did them for what he thought was the best for his people and the world. It’s a very difficult thing to do, I imagine- writing a villain who your readers can’t help but fall head over heels in love with. I did. He’s still my favorite character in that series. Probably the only character I cared about, but I still wasn’t rooting for him. I understood that he was the villain. But my love for him is what made him so compelling.

Goodreads | Amazon

3. Mayor Prentiss from The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness

This is my favorite trilogy of all-time, and I think the biggest reason that I have given it that title is because of the characters- and specifically because of the antagonists. This series had me confused. Confused because there were two antagonists who had polar opposite views, and I had no idea which one to root for. The intense psychological pressure Ness put me through just by writing his antagonists so agonizingly well is what makes this series a masterpiece.

Goodreads | Amazon

2. Lord Voldemort/Tom Riddle from The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

I imagine Voldemort is at the top of the list for many people, and rightfully so, I would say (even though he’s not the top for mine). He’s one of those villains that you despise simply because he represents so much of what is wrong with the world. Blatant racism and racial supremacy, his lethal desire to have supreme power, and his sheer ruthlessness (and creepiness, let’s face it) make for one chilling antagonist. Pair that with some history of his past, including a traumatic childhood filled with repulsive role models as well as qualities in a “traditional hero” make for one of the best written villains I’ve ever read.

Going off on a tangent here but I think what gives Voldemort/Riddle that extra umph is how easy it could have been to go somewhere else. We have two NOW polar opposite people: Tom and Harry, the latter the hero and the former his villain. Yet, both boys had extremely similar lives. Both of them had tumultuous childhoods filled with neglect. They both found home in Hogwarts. They were both brilliant, practical minds- golden boys, you could say. And both of them were sorted into Slytherin (Harry almost was too, until he asked not to be). Yet one of them became Voldemort, and the other Harry. It’s an interesting commentary on how the exact opposite could have happened. Perhaps if Tom had the friends and support Harry did, he wouldn’t have turned out like he did. And if Harry had gotten stuck in the wrong crowd at school, perhaps he would have turned out like Voldemort. It’s certainly a chilling thought- that you’re influenced by the tiniest things. But that’s what makes the series as beautiful as it is.

Goodreads | Amazon

1. Cersei Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

Oh, this queen. I surprise myself when it comes to Cersei. I hate her so much. I hate her with all the energy I can muster, but whenever she does something bad-ass or insane and gets that smug smile on her face, that flame of vengeance inside her, I just shout, “Yas queen.” She’s just that kind of villain, and I can’t believe George pulled it off. I enjoy her willpower and how she doesn’t need to be the knight, the warrior or even the honorable one in a society that values these things above all other; nah, she just needs her brain and she will outsmart everyone. I. Love. Her.


Goodreads | Amazon

Top 5 Anti-Heroes

5. Han Allister from The Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima

This might be a stretch because Han isn’t an anti-hero in the strictest sense of the word. He’s definitely morally ambiguous, but I feel that his heroic side is much more prominent than his darker one. Still, his past as a thief lord, a criminal, even a murderer seeps into many of the decisions he makes after. He’s definitely one of the most interesting protagonists I’ve ever read, and a large part of that is his unexpected hero status.

Goodreads | Amazon

4. Amy Dunne from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Amy’s so bad-ass. I can never fully figure out if she’s a villain or an anti-hero- she definitely doesn’t have any sort of “greater good” thing going on, but she’s this kick-ass woman who was wronged and now hates men and is wildly intelligent and is hell-bent on destruction? But you root for her, and that’s what makes her an anti-hero in my opinion. I rooted for her. She was batshit insane, but she was such a legend.

Goodreads | Amazon

3. The Entire Gang from The Secret History by Donna Tartt

All so disgustingly unlikable, repulsive people. Richard, this spineless bastard who would do anything to fit in. Henry, this ruthless man who operates on selfishness and cruelty. Camila and Charles, these twisted individuals who thrive on admiration. Bunny- vain and spoiled and just annoying. Francis- perhaps the only character in the entire novel worth liking. And yet, you’re so invested in them. Yet, you keep reading. The beauty of this book lies mostly in this incredible feat.

Goodreads | Amazon

2. Tyrion Lannister from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin

In the show, Tyrion’s not an anti-hero. He’s this ridiculously goodlooking (damn, Peter Dinklage, that beard’s doing things for you), ridiculously smart and ridiculously gentle person who treats most everyone with respect and generosity. In the books, he’s not that straight-cut. He’s described as ugly, called a monster because he’s missing a nose and otherwise looks like an egg. He’s very shrewd and smart, but it’s not endearing- it just makes him an intelligent, lethal person. And despite having a larger heart than his siblings or indeed most other baddies in the series, he often has vile thoughts and does very, very repulsive and questionable things.

But thinking of him as a character, Tyrion is a masterpiece. He’s this guy who was born in a family where nobody wanted him. Shunned and treated like trash for his entire life. He had no friends, no support except for books, and he’s been given the brunt of everything nasty. And despite this, he’s standing strong. Despite this, he’s retained his good side, even though the darkness and cruelty lurking underneath does unleash now and then. I’m astounded by the depth of his character- I can only hope to write a character half as well as he’s written.

1. Kaz Brekker from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

All the characters in this duology are anti-heroes of sorts, but Kaz is definitely the cruelest, the most ruthless. His reactions are almost always understandable; he’s been through a lot in his short life. Lost people he loved, thrown into the streets, become a rough criminal who needs to lie, cheat and be ruthless in order to survive. Driven by a fire and a vengeance, and has built for himself a reputation that goes beyond “dangerous.” When Dirtyhands walks, people change their paths. The fact that he’s disabled and walks/fights with a cane is the coolest fucking thing too.

Goodreads | Amazon

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

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Top Ten Tuesday | Books on my Fall '16 TBR

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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 on your Fall TBR.” Now this time of the year is both elating and devastating- elating because so. many. good. books, devastating – well, mainly for my bank account. And because there are simply so many books I want to get to this season, here are just a few that are top-priority. Since I tend to read more fantasy and paranormal than anything else in the fall, winter months, this list will be heavy with those genres. So, let’s get into it!

Crooked Kingdom (The Dregs #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Is this a surprise? It really shouldn’t be. Crooked Kingdom is my most anticipated release of the year; Six of Crows was one of my favorite books of last year, and I’m so excited to touch base with these characters, dive back into the world. Fully prepared for it to break me, though.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

This is (most probably) the October pick for the new Keep It Diverse Book Club that a few friends and I created. I’ve heard fantastic things about this book, so I’m super excited to get into it. This is one I will definitely be getting to in October.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Devourers by Indra Das

Mostly a cover-buy, but the fact that it revolves around South Asian/Indian mythology was also a selling-point. I recently listened to a podcast with the author, and he sounded like such an intelligent, lovely guy. After listening to the podcast, I bumped it up near the top of my TBR!

Goodreads | Amazon

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

I probably (morally speaking) should read Legend before I read The Young Elites, but TYE just sounds so much more appealing? The protagonist is not a hero! Books like that are automatic loves for me. With the last book coming out very soon, this series is just pulling me in!

Goodreads | Amazon

Fire Boy by Sami Shah

I might already have finished this book by the time this post goes live (I’m scheduling ahead, wow I can’t believe I’m actually being productive), but I’m so excited to be reading this book! It’s set in the urban capital of Pakistan (Karachi) and is a genre fiction horror/fantasy/paranormal about djinn and the creepiest creatures in South Asian mythology. The author is a prominent Pakistani comedian, and I genuinely love his work. Already started reading this, and I’m terrified but loving every second of it!

Goodreads | Amazon

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

I have an e-galley of this book, and I’m super excited to get to it (I’ve been saying this about all the books in this post, haven’t I?) I’ve heard really great things about this book, and I know that it’s a diverse read- bonus points!

Goodreads | Amazon

This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

Again, not gonna lie- this was a cover-discovery. I came across the cover on Netgalley and I knew I had to request it. So glad my request was granted; I love thrillers, and this book has great ratings on Goodreads so far! Will be reading it around Halloween, hopefully.

Goodreads | Amazon

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

I was a little late to the Lunar Chronicles party- I started reading after Cress had been released, but I grew to really enjoy that series. I’ve only ever read one Alice in Wonderland retelling (Splintered), and I despised it- hopefully, this one is better. I trust Marissa Meyer to give me a cohesive, entertaining story!

Goodreads | Amazon

Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman

This is another one I’ve heard really great things about. It also fulfills one of the categories in the Fall Book Bingo challenge, so that’s a plus. I also know that the author is a historian, and she mixes a ton of fantasy and history together to make for a compelling read. Hopefully I’ll be able to read the first two books in the series before the third comes out next year.

Goodreads | Amazon

Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil by Melina Marchetta

I’ve only read Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta, but I remember loving it. It was profound- beautifully written and so, so heartbreaking. I plan on reading Finnikin of the Rock soon too, but I’ve got my eyes set firmly on this one. I’ve heard it has a ton of representation too!

Goodreads | Amazon

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

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Top Ten Tuesday | 8 of My Favorite Music Artists

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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 an audio freebie, which basically means that you can do anything related to audio, such as favorite audiobooks, favorite albums, favorite songs etcetera. I decided to showcase some of my top artists because I don’t often talk about music on my blog, and it’s an integral part of my life. Many of these bands have been there for me in the darkest days of my life. You’ll definitely notice that the most prominent music I listen to is alternative rock, but you’ll see some outliers here and there. So, here we go!

Linkin Park

In all honesty, if I was being totally objective and judging solely on musical quality, Linkin Park would probably not top the list. I feel like a traitor for simply saying something like that. But despite that little preface, I can never imagine having a different answer to the question of what my favorite band is. I’ve been listening to Linkin Park since I was a chubby middle-schooler (so, 2006 if you want a date). I was extremely shy, and I had just lost a family member who I was extremely close to. It was a dark, dark period of my life where I didn’t have many friends, and I felt like I couldn’t lean on my parents because I felt they had enough to worry about. A cousin of mine introduced me to their music, and that eleven-year old girl fell in love with their songs.

Even now, after ten years, their music speaks to me like nobody else’s. Their old stuff is a little too heavy for my taste now- I used to listen to hard, heavy rock and have since started listening to softer stuff, but I still resonate with all their music. Tell me a lyric, and I can tell you the song in two seconds. I kid you not: my best friend used to throw a random LP lyric at me, and I would name it in the blink of an eye. It’s still like that, and it will probably never change. At the risk of sounding cheesy and over-the-top emotional, I probably would not be who I am if it were not for this band. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Favorite Album: Minutes to Midnight on Amazon

Kings of Leon

If I were judging solely on music quality, Kings of Leon would probably top the list. Their stuff is so unique, and it’s another band that I’ve been listening to for a pretty long time. They were also the first concert I ever attended. I love the gritty, southern quality of the lead singer’s voice. Their lyrics are a little difficult to resonate with, but I enjoy the narrative, quirky quality to them. I guess I don’t have too strong of an emotional bond, but I keep going back to their music – whether that’s their older, heavier stuff or their newer, more mellow tracks. Every couple of months, I go back and listen to all their albums. Also, they are INCREDIBLE live. I cannot stress how good they are.

Favorite Album: Only By the Night on Amazon


Hozier came into my life two years ago, and has since completely taken over it with his debut album alone. His songs are very literally poetry. I love the quality of his voice, and his music is incredibly complex but I take such an immense amount of pleasure in analyzing, breaking apart and hanging on to his lyrics. He also touches on some very important issues in his songs that don’t necessarily relate to him, but are important to him nonetheless. “Take Me to Church” is about the relationship between church and sexuality (particularly based on Russia), and Hozier is not gay. “Cherry Wine” is about an abusive relationship where the female is the abuser (in the video, the male is the abuser), but Hozier has not gone through that. “To Be Alone” is about heroin addiction, and he’s not an addict. So his lyrics are both profound and incredibly important. He’s going to go a long, long way.

Album: Hozier on Amazon


Ha, have you found the outlier? Don’t roll your eyes at me, you knew it was coming. Or maybe you didn’t if you don’t follow me on Twitter…

I was never a One Direction fan, honestly. I don’t love pop music- I listen to it when I’m with friends or in the mood for an uplift but it’s not something I keep in my library, it’s not something I particularly remember. I would be lying if I said I didn’t set my sights on Zayn because 1) he’s ridiculously beautiful and 2) he’s half-Pakistani. But then, he released his first record and it blew me away. It has a certain sort of maturity to it that I had never seen from him before. Is he the best RnB singer out there? No. Does he make the best music? Absolutely not. But you know what he does do? Integrate parts of my and his culture into his music, which gives me the ability to see myself represented in his crazy riffs (or raags as well call it in the Indian subcontinent), in some of his lyrics, in some of his tunes. Don’t tell me that representation is not important when I cried listening to a song sang in my mother tongue on a record-breaking album. It just meant so much to me. And more than that, his music is good. I listen to it all the time, and I’m constantly wanting more. So, yeah, he makes the list.

Album: Mind of Mine on Amazon


What can I say? This is another band that I’ve been listening to since I was a kid, and a band that never gets old. To be completely honest, I don’t like their new stuff. It has a completely different sound from when I started listening to their songs, but I’m not going to complain. Change is good- I just didn’t like it this time around. Chris Martin has such a beautiful voice, and they’re consistently doing something new. They were revolutionary then, they probably are even now. And I dig that.

Favorite Album: X & Y on Amazon


Very similar to what I had to say about Coldplay. I loved, loved their old stuff much more than their newer sound, but I still like their new stuff. The only reason it’s ranked below Coldplay is because I just enjoyed Coldplay’s old material more than I liked OneRepublic’s. It’s stupid- I’m anal with rankings. My dad is actually in love with OneRepublic too, so he lets me play them in the car, ha.

Favorite Album: Dreaming Out Loud on Amazon

Brand New

Okay, so this is a band many, many people have never heard of. Brand New? That’s a stupid fucking name. It’s true. But I’ve been listening to Brand New since even before I started listening to Linkin Park. The first time I encountered this band was when I moved to London, and a cousin handed me their debut CD- this was 2004, maybe. And I fell in love with one song- a song I listened to on a loop for a good four months, ha. When I grew older, I decided to give their stuff another go – by that time, they had released more albums and I just… they’re so underrated. They’re so, so good. Their music’s a little bit on the heavier side, but it’s raw and emotional, and the lyrics are puzzles that I love to piece together. Check them out, please!

Favorite Album: Deja Entendu on Amazon

Imagine Dragons

This is another outlier, sort of. I know their stuff is a lot more pop-rock than alternative, but they had to be in the list because they make some catchy-ass music. I’ve seen them live too, and they know how to perform a killer gig. I quite like their latest album (Smoke + Mirrors), but I don’t think it gets the love it should so I’m including my favorite song.

Favorite Album: Night Visions on Amazon

That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! What are some of your favorite bands? Do we share music tastes? Let me know in the comments below; as always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading! 🙂

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Top Ten Tuesday | My Favorite TV Shows

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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 a television-related freebie in celebration of fall television! Like any other college student out there, I spend my free time half-studying, half-binge-watching Netflix. Although I wouldn’t call myself a TV buff, in any sense of the word, I am very passionate about what I watch. Since I don’t talk much about TV on my blog, this is a great opportunity to tell you about the kind of TV I watch/enjoy. 🙂

I’ll also try my best to include videos that I think best capture the essence of the show – hopefully without spoiling anything.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

I know Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert and Trevor Noah- and they’re all amazing hosts, but no TV journalist/comedian has captured me quite like John Oliver. He covers topics that are often brushed aside, as well as topics that are extremely important, popular and relevant. His delivery of his punch-lines is always spot on, his jokes are never over-the-top but just the right amount of self-deprecating hilarity. Not to mention that I think his show is a show that puts so much effort in relaying genuine information. They go out of their way to talk about issues. Examples:

  1. In the video I linked above, Oliver LITERALLY flies out to Russia to interview Edward Snowden. If that’s not commitment to your craft, I genuinely do not know what is.
  2. When talking about tax exemption of the church, his team created their own church (the fact that they called it “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption” is just an added LOL-bonus).
  3. When he was a pen-pal with a televangelist for months and months, simply so he could expose their corruption on TV.
  4. And of course, when he did his legendary segment on Donald Trump (and started the #MakeDonaldDrumpfAgain movement online)

Despite obviously being a liberal himself, Oliver is also incredibly fair. He’s going to spend a segment criticizing the Republican party? Sure, he’s going to do the same thing to the Democratic party a couple of weeks later. He spends just as much time talking about corruption and messiness in America as he does abroad. And despite using colorful language and sexual innuendo (most of the time), his humor is never offensive. Although, his comment section is so stay away.

The Office

I don’t know. I’ve seen this clip so many times, and I always just about pee myself from laughing. The Office was a fairly recent discovery- I started watching it after it had ended, but binging it just made it all the more special. I loved all the characters in their weird eccentricities, but they all felt so authentic. The humor can be a little offensive, but it’s done in a way that you know it’s intentionally done to make you dislike a character.

One Tree Hill

I’ve seen so many high school dramas in my life, honestly. There was a time when I didn’t watch anything but. One Tree Hill is, by far, the best one out there. It’s the most cohesive, the most wholesome show that puts its focus on more things than one. I know many people reduce the show to shipping wars: Lucas and Peyton, or Lucas and Brooke, or whatever, but I’ve always thought that this show was about so much more than choice. It was about family, about tumultuous relationships between overbearing parents and kids who are just trying to do their best. It was about friendship, about ambition, about love and loss. About how you don’t have to stay with the family you’ve been given- that you can create your own families. I’ve seen this show at least four times after I watched the entire thing, and it’s constantly surprising me with its poignance and depth. “Poignance” and “depth” – two words you don’t hear often when it comes to high school dramas, ha.

My Mad Fat Diary

I came across this show by accident when I saw a GIF set on Tumblr. The first season was out when I started watching it, and I binged it in one night. This series is so many things: it is laugh-out-loud hilarious, but it’s also devastating in its unflinching portrayal of mental illness, of how the world can be so cruel when all you need is some support. Again, it is such a wholesome show in the way that it focuses on one girl’s life: not her love-life, not her family-life, not her mental illness. No, her life. We see how her relationship changes with her mother, who she evolves from episode to episode, how she struggles to fit in with a group of friends who love and adore her for who she is. The acting is top-notch, and if I have one complaint, it’s that it was too short.


I’m still angry that this show got cancelled, which is why I haven’t yet seen the final few episodes. I take comfort in the fact that I still have some moments left unseen from the show. Hannibal is a ridiculously underrated show. For starters, it has some of the best cinematography I have ever seen. I couldn’t believe it was aired on network television because it was so stunningly shot, and it looked the highest of high-value productions in television. The acting, too, was fantastic and the psychological aspect of it was grueling for both the characters and the viewers. It wasn’t scared to show you brutality, and that’s what made it so completely fascinating.

Doctor Who

Doctor Who was the first show I binge-watched, and it remained my favorite show of all-time for a long, long while. Apart from being wildly entertaining with a cast of characters so large and interesting, Doctor Who was an intelligent show with brilliant acting, emotional, powerful storytelling and storylines that both captivate you and completely confuse you. I stopped watching a year and a half ago, mainly because I didn’t think the writing and storytelling was up to par and the current Doctor deserved better. It’s unfortunate, because it was once a show that I talked about all the time, and now when I talk about it, I am mostly just reminiscing fondly.

The Night Of

The Night Of is an 8-episode miniseries that ended a week ago, and I have not stopped thinking about it since. I will never stop thinking about this series. I know we talk about diversity in literature a lot, but I never knew how it feels to see yourself in such a prominent role even on the screen. When you think of Pakistani characters, terrorism is almost always involved, and the actors cast are mostly Indian or Middle Eastern. So imagine my surprise when HBO decides to drop a high-profile show with a Pakistani-American protagonist played by a Pakistani-British actor, steering so FAR from the stereotypes without EVER brushing aside the realities of Islamophobia, xenophobia and prejudice. This show’s portrayal of Pakistani-American families is so authentic; their values, their mannerisms, their limitations and privileges- it’s so authentic, and believe me when I say that. A series where the protagonist was like me: who likes going to parties and does everything a normal kid his age would do, who isn’t ruled by stereotypical representations of religion and culture. It was so refreshing.

All that aside, I think this show is a brilliant look into the American criminal justice system and its pitfalls. It does this with a captivating murder-mystery background, with fantastic acting and a diverse cast of characters in a dreary depiction of New York City. The cinematography, the score, the storytelling – it’s all amazing, and I wish this show gets the recognition it deserves.

Breaking Bad

Ah, Breaking Bad. No list is complete without it. The series I binge-watched with my father, the series that got me hooked on moral ambiguity, on anti-heroes. The series that made me realize what well-written villains are. That inspired me to write and appreciate characterization, development above action. Don’t get me wrong, Breaking Bad has tremendous storytelling, but the characters outshine its plot – no doubt about it. A series about how an innocent, frail man was corrupted by greed and the illusion of power to turn into someone unrecognizable. I have a burning desire to re-watch it now.

Game of Thrones

All the best scenes in this show are spoiler-y, so this was the only one I could come up with. It’s a great scene- don’t get me wrong. Although I prefer the books to the show, I would be lying if I said the show was meh. The fact is that when it airs, Game of Thrones is the best part of my week. I love the costumes and the world, seeing the creatures and characters come to life, watching breathtaking battle choreographies unfold in front of my eyes. Now that the show has passed the books in terms of storytelling, it’s also just incredibly exciting to be on the edge of my seat. This may have been on the top had it not been for some minor mistakes made by the showrunners.


Is Supernatural the best written show in my list? Absolutely not. Does it have the greatest storytelling or the best character development? No. So, why the fuck is it Number 1 on my list? Because I’ve been watching it for seven freaking years- watching these brothers on journey after journey. I have cried, I have laughed, I have raged. I have said hello to beloved characters and then say goodbye to them with fists clenched and vision blurry. I love how META Supernatural can get. I love how the show-writers are constantly making fun of themselves and their show in the episodes. And the fact that Jensen and Jared are best friends in real life makes their chemistry such a delight to watch on screen. My relationship with this show transcends viewership; I genuinely do not know what will happen when the show comes to an end…

That’s it for this week’s Top Ten Tuesday! Do you watch any of these shows? What are some of your favorite shows? Let me know in the comments below, and as always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading!

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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 | Ten Books Set in New York City


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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 with X setting.” Since I live in New York City and am moving to Manhattan in a couple of weeks before my junior year starts, I thought I’d comprise a list of some of my favorite books set here, as well as some books that I really, really want to read. New York City is so diverse- people of all colors, faiths, ethnicities go about their day as one, cohesive ‘squad’ of sorts. From the vendors on the streets to the eclectic cuisine in both Manhattan and the surrounding boroughs. From people who wear palm leaves on the subway (I’ve seen this, I promise) to people who wear nothing at all (I have also seen this), this city is strange and wonderful.

Books I’ve Read

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is the only required-reading book I’ve ever read that I actually enjoyed. The Great Gatsby was my first classic back when I read it in ninth grade, and I immediately fell in love with it. It was also my first exposure to New York City (granted, historical New York City) in literature-form, since I didn’t read much back then. But while I didn’t fully grasp the thematic, historical importance of the book when I first read it, I’ve grown to have a grudgingly strong admiration for Fitzgerald, his voice, his characters and his work.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

This may be cheating since a huge chunk of this book (and the worst chunk of it) is set in Las Vegas. But I read the Goldfinch when I had just moved to the city, and the atmosphere Tartt set was so authentic that it really helped me make my way as a newcomer. That sounds a little strange, mainly because the book is not meant to be helpful. But simply knowing little details about the Upper East Side and the East Village, how things work, what the people are like – it all helped me fit in.

Goodreads | Amazon

It’s Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

This is a funny sad book, which are some of my favorite books. Again, this is mostly set in a psychiatric facility rather than the city, but our main character is someone who was born and raised in upper Manhattan, I believe. People who have grown up in this bustling area have always fascinated me, so it was interesting to see his connection with the city, his quirk of forming maps in his head, his experiences as a native New Yorker.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Diviners and Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

Honestly, both the Diviners and its sequel, Lair of Dreams offer up such a glaringly contrasting viewpoint of New York. Again, it’s set in the 1920s and the New York back then is so different from what it is now. At present, like I said, NYC is so diverse and eclectic. New Yorkers are quick and rude, but they are also cultured and so welcoming of new cultures and new ideas. Libba Bray’s New York is a city completely unknown to me, full of prejudice, racism and darkness. And it’s not a fictional New York, because this is what it used to be like. And while prejudice and racism are obviously very much a problem, it’s still interesting to see how far this city has come, and how far it still needs to go.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

I’m actually incredibly proud of myself for having read this book. When I started it, it was extremely slow and Chabon’s writing style was so dense that I almost abandoned it. But I’m glad I stuck with it because it’s a book I recommend to everyone. It’s set in NYC in the 1940s, with the backdrop of the second World War raging in the background. Comic book artists, tragedy, friendship, love and loss- there’s so much to love in this book.

Goodreads | Amazon

Books on my TBR

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

“Patrick Bateman is twenty-six and works on Wall Street; he is handsome, sophisticated, charming and intelligent. He is also a psychopath. Taking us to a head-on collision with America’s greatest dream – and its worst nightmare – “American Psycho” is a bleak, bitter, black comedy about a world we all recognize but do not wish to confront.”

Murderers, dark humor, and New York City? Sign me up. Also, I haven’t seen the movie yet. Is that unusual?

Goodreads | Amazon

The Fortress of Solitude by Jonathan Lethem

“From the funked-up, messed-up Brookyn of the 1970s to the present day, this stunning novel spans thirty years in the life of two best friends, Dylan and Mingus, their families and an entire neighbourhood. From their stories comes the history of soul music, of graffiti art, of comic books, of experimental film and ‘rock writing’. With a cast of more than a hundred characters and more than fifty speaking parts, this is a touching and intimate novel on an epic scale.”

“A hundred characters … fifty speaking parts.” Yikes, I’m drawn to it just for the sheer magnitude of this book. I’m also a sucker for bromances, so why not. Also, can you tell that I’m being drawn to an increasing number of adult/literary fiction?

Goodreads | Amazon

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer

“Nine-year-old Oskar Schell is an inventor, amateur entomologist, Francophile, letter writer, pacifist, natural historian, percussionist, romantic, Great Explorer, jeweller, detective, vegan, and collector of butterflies. When his father is killed in the September 11th attacks on the World Trade Centre, Oskar sets out to solve the mystery of a key he discovers in his father’s closet. It is a search which leads him into the lives of strangers, through the five boroughs of New York, into history, to the bombings of Dresden and Hiroshima, and on an inward journey which brings him ever closer to some kind of peace.”

Goodreads | Amazon

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they’re broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity. Over the decades, their relationships deepen and darken, tinged by addiction, success, and pride. Yet their greatest challenge, each comes to realize, is Jude himself, by midlife a terrifyingly talented litigator yet an increasingly broken man, his mind and body scarred by an unspeakable childhood, and haunted by what he fears is a degree of trauma that he’ll not only be unable to overcome—but that will define his life forever.

Goodreads | Amazon

The Thousandth Floor by Katherine McGee

Welcome to Manhattan, 2118. A hundred years in the future, New York is a city of innovation and dreams. But people never change: everyone here wants something…and everyone has something to lose. Leda Cole’s flawless exterior belies a secret addiction—to a drug she never should have tried and a boy she never should have touched. Eris Dodd-Radson’s beautiful, carefree life falls to pieces when a heartbreaking betrayal tears her family apart. Rylin Myers’s job on one of the highest floors sweeps her into a world—and a romance—she never imagined…but will her new life cost Rylin her old one? Watt Bakradi is a tech genius with a secret: he knows everything about everyone. But when he’s hired to spy by an upper-floor girl, he finds himself caught up in a complicated web of lies. And living above everyone else on the thousandth floor is Avery Fuller, the girl genetically designed to be perfect. The girl who seems to have it all—yet is tormented by the one thing she can never have.

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? Do you have any recommendations set in New York City? Let me know in the comments below; as always, thanks for stopping by and happy reading! 🙂

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