The Sunshine Blogger Award

Thank you, Juliet, for nominating me for this award!🙈 I didn’t expect this coming but I’m glad to be a part of the book community. You can find Juliet’s wonderful blog here!


How does it work?

· Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

· Answer the questions prompted by the person who nominated you.

· Nominate new blogs to receive the award and write them new questions.

· List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.


My Answers:

1. To lend your books or not to lend – where do you stand?

This depends on the people I’m lending my books to. If I know I can trust them with my books, I’ll surely let them lend it like I’ve done in the past as well.🌸

2. Which book or author ignited your love of reading?

Roald Dahl ignited my love for reading in school through his books “Matilda” and “The Twits”. As I grew up, I fell in love with Agatha Christie’s books and I knew I had to read all of her works. These two authors knew how to keep me up at night through their power of storytelling.

3. How do you organise your bookshelves?

I organise them according to the genres and authors, so that I know if I want to read any of, say, Elif Shafak’s books, I need to look into my historical fiction shelf. Simple and efficient.😛

4. If you had to choose one book you think everyone should read, what would it be and why?

There are so many crucial books in the world that teach us something and everyone can take away atleast one thing from those books. So, I’d want everyone to read “The Diary of Anne Frank” since it is such an important book. Other than that, I’d also like to recommend “Brida” by Paulo Coelho. I learnt so many things from this one.

5. Is there any genre of book that you absolutely refuse to read?

I just don’t delve into the erotica genre whatsoever. I really don’t have any interest in it.

6. Which book has turned out to be the biggest surprise compared to what you expected it to be?

There hasn’t been any book like that till now.

7. Do you think physical books will ever become obsolete in the digital era?

Absolutely not. Though e-books are travel friendly and generally, of low cost, the love for physical books will always be there for most of the readers.

8. What do you enjoy most about book blogging?

Apart from expressing my views on books and talking about them endlessly, I love the fact that I can discover other readers’ opinions and choice while picking up certain books. Their thoughts and love for certain books want me to explore different authors and books altogether.

9. What’s your favourite book cover of all time?

I really love the covers of the fingerprint editions of classics such as “Gone With The Wind” and facsimile editions of Agatha Christie’s books.

10. If you were only allowed to read one more book EVER which one would it be?

I’d choose any of Roald Dahl’s books or The Diary Of A Wimpy Kid series.

11. If you could choose one author to write a novel about your life who would you pick?

Jane Austen!😳💜

Now here are my questions for the people I tag…..

1. Why did you start blogging?

2. How did your love for reading begin?

3. Which is your favourite genre and why?

4. What is your aim in life right now?

5. Where do you hope to be five or ten years from now?

6. Which author’s books can you pick up without even reading the synopsis?

7. What was that one book that really changed something inside you or had a big impact on you?

Thank you again to Juliet – I had fun writing this! Pop over to my book twitter @Bibliobibuli3 to see who I’ve tagged for the next round of Sunshine Blogger Awards.💛 Anyone who reads this, consider yourself to be nominated please!!! Thank you!🥺💛

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

If this pandemic has given me anything worthwhile, it’s the amount of time sitting at home. I tried to utilize this time by catching on all the web series and movies I had been meaning to watch since a while, as well as reading as much as I could. I thought of doing all those things which I otherwise couldn’t do because of time constraint. Of course, there were times when I felt like doing nothing and just sat back and relax without thinking about how I should be productive. We are in the middle of a pandemic and we are not expected to be efficient every time. So I had recently enrolled into an online course on writings on feminism and I came across a short story which is regarded as an important early work of feminist literature for its illustration of the attitudes towards mental and physical health of women in the 19th century.

SYNOPSIS

The story is narrated in the first person in the form of a diary written by a woman whose husband, a physician (John), has rented an old mansion for the summer. She has described her husband as an extremely practical person who “openly scoffs at any talk of things not to be felt and seen and put down in figures”. The couple moves into an upstairs room and John has forbidden her wife from working and has encouraged her to get plenty of air in order to treat her from what he calls a “temporary nervous depression- a slight hysterical tendency”, a diagnosis common to women during that time. But while staying in that room, the narrator starts to criticize the yellow wallpaper there. She starts hallucinating a figure, a woman, behind that wallpaper and eventually tries to free her by stripping the remaining wallpaper off the wall. When her husband arrives, she refuses to unlock the door but when he comes back with the key to that room, he faints at the sight of his wife. She was creeping all around while saying “I’ve got out at last… And I’ve pulled most of the paper, so you can’t put me back!”

VIEWS

While I was reading the story, I was afraid something dreadful might happen in the end. And yes, it did. The author, in a way, has protested against the professional and societal oppression against the women. She had criticized the ways mental illnesses were being treated during that period. Women were blatantly asked to “live as domestic a life as possible”. They were discouraged from even writing as it was one of the only forms of existence for women at a time when they had very few rights. The author herself had had such an awful experience as a patient. After reading the story, I quickly went over the internet to read about the author’s life. To my surprise, I discovered that Gilman was suffering from post-partum depression in real life too! And what was most heartbreaking was that later on, when she got diagnosed with breast cancer, she thought it was better to die of suicide than from breast cancer (she was an advocate of euthanasia).

UNDERLYING THEMES

Coming back to the story, there are several themes underlying in it such as the women’s subordination to men in marriage during those times, as well as the importance of self-expression.

“John does not know how much I really suffer. He knows there is no reason to suffer, and that satisfies him.”

“He hates to have me write a word.” From this, we know that writing is off the limits for the narrator since that is believed to be something which made her sick and thus, she has to keep a secret journal.

“I wish I could get well faster.”

“I cry at nothing, and cry most of the time.”

“I’m sure I never used to be so sensitive.”

Charlotte Perkins Gilman, The Yellow Wallpaper

This story has, thus, been interpreted by feminist critics as a condemnation of the male control of the 19th-century medical profession. Throughout the story, the narrator desires to work to help her get better. Her idea, though, is dismissed immediately. But how long can one hide their anxieties and fears? The story, thus, shows how her mind was doomed to self-destruction because it was kept in a state of forced inactivity.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

This story clearly speaks loud and clear how mental health is sometimes neglected and why it is necessary for a person’s family as well as the doctors to not ignore the “signs”. Even during this pandemic, we’ve been seeing from teenagers to adults who are constantly battling depression. In India, we have a tendency to link suicides with income or economic distress. While the reasons for the same vary from person to person, it has now become extremely crucial for both families and doctors to understand and provide an environment where a person feels comfortable to talk about anything and convey whatever is bothering them.

Three Rainbow Rowell books I love!

Rainbow Rowell’s books have made me ile throughout the stories and she has made me crazy about her characters since I was always so eager to know what would happen with them next. The stories in these three books have been fast paced and very interesting. None of the moments would seem dragged or stretched without any reason.

Eleanor and Park 🍀
Published in: 2012
Genres: Young adult fiction, Romance novel

Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.

Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

This was her first young adult novel and the most hyped one and also, my first read by her. It’s about a 16-year-old shy girl with curly red hair, named Eleanor, who comes from a pretty hard home life and Park, a half-Korean, 16-year-old genuine boy, who meet on a school bus on Eleanor’s first day at the school and gradually connect through comic books and mix tapes of ’80s music, sparking a love story. While Park has caring, open and an understanding family, Eleanor (the oldest in the family of two girls and three boys) alongwith her siblings and mother live in terror of her stepdad, Richie. The book is so nicely written that it will keep you hooked to the characters’ development.

Attachments 🍀
Published in: 2011
Genres: Fiction, Romance novel, Contemporary romance

I’d know you in the dark,” he said. “From a thousand miles away. There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.

Rainbow Rowell, Attachments

Attachments is the debut novel by Rainbow Rowell, and this was my second read. While Eleanor and Park is her first young adult romance novel, Attachments is her first adult romance novel. It’s about two friends, Beth and Jennifer, who gossip over their romances- Beth with her marriage-phobic boyfriend, Chris, and Jennifer with her baby-mania-stricken husband, Mitch, through e-mails. What they don’t know is that the newly hired computer guy, Lincoln, an Internet security officer charged with weeding out all things unnecessary or pornographic, is reading their messages. But lonely Lincoln gets hooked to reading their conversations and eventually falls for Beth!

I loved this one so much. The amount of time I invested into the main characters’ lives shows how great the storytelling has been in this novel. I felt their emotions and was constantly rooting for them. This book excited me so much in various moments that I ended up updating my friend too, about the story and hyping her up. Lol! This was really a fun read and you should definitely pick it up.

Fangirl 🍀
Published in: 2013
Genres: Novel, Young adult fiction

I don’t trust anybody. Not anybody. And the more that I care about someone, the more sure I am they’re going to get tired of me and take off.

Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl

This was my third read and is much much relatable. There are so many moments in this book which everybody would love and relate to. The protagonist, Cath, is an introvert and is crazy about Simon and Baz (from The Simon Snow series), so she loves writing fan fiction on them in her free time which are much loved on the internet. Cath is the shy, identical twin while Wren is more confident and less responsible of the twins. Wren just cares about fitting in and partying and thus, neglects Cath initially when they move to University. The other characters surrounding Cath are also extroverts and the story shows how Cath is helped by her roommate, Reagan and her friend, Levi who ends up falling in love with Cath.

Fangirl doesn’t just show us the growing love between two people but also the love between Cath and her writing fandoms.

Happy reading!🍁

How To Be A Bawse by Lilly Singh🙌🏻👑

Lilly Singh is a famous youtuber and I’ve been a fan of hers since a very long time, so I was excited to read her book. And god, was I so impressed!💜
She uses her own life experiences with humour and her quirky narration to inspire others, asking them to believe in themselves and hustle every single day.🌞
She doesn’t use complicated language or long philosophical quotes to address what she wants to say. She is honest in her own way which is what the readers would enjoy.

The word “Bawse” is a sassy version of the word “boss” and its meaning is explained at the back cover. It says-
Bawse \’baús\ is a person who exudes confidence, hustles relentlessly, reaches goals and smiles genuinely because he or she has fought through it all and made it out the other side.

The book is divided into four parts:
1. Master your mind.
2. Hustle harder.
3. Make heads turn.
4. Be a Unicorn.🦄
Each of these parts has a number of chapters explaining how you can achieve all these things and at the end of each of these parts, there is a section called “Out of the Blue” where snippets from Lilly’s personal life are talked about.

You’re standing in the middle of a blank piece of paper. Unleash your inner architect and design your path to success.

Lilly Singh, How To Be A Bawse

She has clearly stated that there are no shortcuts to success and this book will provide you with practical approaches to a rewarding life because “success, happiness, and everything else that feels great in life have no escalators. There are only stairs.” She talks about all of these subjects in a humorous and witty way that it becomes so much fun to read and motivating as well. There is something relatable for everyone and the book is especially useful for those who already have or are starting a YouTube channel since she, being a phenomenally successful youtuber, has given her personal insights as well. The problems she has discussed are real enough to make you ponder about setting things right.

Though I would say not everything mentioned in the book would be useful for everyone out there. Some things which may work for me, may not work for you. Personally, I couldn’t keep this book down until I finished it because of the wise and hilarious way she makes her point. I know I’ll pick this book again and again whenever I need motivation or a piece of advice in her charming way. Her YouTube videos have always made me laugh and inspired me, and so has her book!🙌🏻

Happy reading!🍁

Some Non-fiction books to read by Indian authors

I was keen on reading some different as well as controversial Indian books. So I had these in my shelf, and each book was interesting in its own way.

Why I Assassinated Gandhi by Nathuram Godse

An individual is never greater than a nation, Nana. But Gandhi has started considering himself greater than the nation.
Nathuram Vinayak Godse, Why I Assassinated Mahatma Gandhi

I picked this book because I was keen on reading the other perspective. We all know how our school textbooks have been biased and talk solely of Mahatma Gandhi only while there have been other martyrs as well. But little is known about others as compared to M.K.Gandhi. I, being a teacher, have reflected as to how politics directly affect upon the syllabus in school textbooks. Most of us are always curious about history and want to read in depth about every perspective. No human is a saint! This was of course a very controversial read and thus, this book was also banned earlier. But like Isaac Asimov said “Any book worth banning is a book worth reading.” I agree that people are free to read whatever they want to and form opinions of their own after understanding everyone’s perspectives.

The book is written by Nathuram Godse’s real brother, Gopal Godse, and contains the original statement given by Nathuram Godse in court. He narrates his accounts of all the events and takes us through the day of assassination till the day Nathuram Godse was hanged.

Untouchable by Mulk Raj Anand

Charat Singh was feeling kind, though he did not relax the grin which symbolized six thousand years of racial and class superiority.
Mulk Raj Anand, Untouchable

The story is set in a fictional town called Bulashah and revolves around the argument for eradicating the caste system. It comprises of a full day, i.e., 24 hours in the life of a young sweeper called Bakha and how his day passes by cleaning others’ toilets. He faces discrimination due to his low caste everyday and thus, despises his so-called assigned “job”. He wants to dress like the Englishmen, learn English from them and even play with them.

Joothan by Omprakash Valmiki

Caste pride is behind this centuries-old custom. The deep chasm that divides the society is made even deeper by this custom, a conspiracy to trap us in the whirlpool of inferiority.
Omprakash Valmiki, Joothan: An Untouchable’s Life

“Joothan” refers to scraps of food left on a plate, destined for the garbage or animals. India’s untouchables have been forced to accept and eat joothan for centuries, and the word encapsulates the pain, humiliation, and poverty of a community forced to live at the bottom of India’s social pyramid. This book is an autobiography where Omprakash Valmiki describes his life as an “untouchable” or a “dalit”. The book also highlights how even the educated upper class people practiced untouchability and promoted caste system.

Why I Am Not A Hindu by Kancha Ilaiah

For Dalitbahujans labour is life. For a Dalitbahujan body, labour is as habitual as eating is to the stomach.
Kancha Ilaiah, Why I Am Not A Hindu

Kancha Ilaiah, a dalit Christian, discusses the exploitation of the dalitbahujans in India. He looks at the socioeconomic and cultural differences
between the Dalitbahujans and the Hindus in the contexts of childhood, family life, power relations, Gods and Goddesses, etc. This book has received several criticism as well as responses for being hateful towards the Hindus. Well, one can follow any religion they want to without degrading the other religions. Yes! Caste system does exist even today and many people do follow it and exploit the underprivileged but degrading an entire religion is not the solution.

Why I Am A Hindu by Shashi Tharoor

It is precisely faith that makes thinking possible, for faith offers the unthought ground out of which thinking can emerge. It is faith that makes moral and other decisions possible, opening to us the horizon against which our actions become meaningful.
Shashi Tharoor, Why I am a Hindu

This book was written in response to Kancha Ilaiah’s book mentioned above. We don’t choose the religion which we are born into. Only in adulthood do we have the choice to either convert into a different religion or keep continuing with the faith you’re born with or become an aethist. Dr. Shashi Tharoor has talked about the essence of Hinduism and how religion is used in politics as well. Politicisation of religion is dangerous since it plays with the faith and beliefs of people who ardently follow it. Religion has to be separated from politics or else it loses its essence. He defines religion as an experience of god. Pantheism, idol worship, spirituality, and many practices have been thoroughly researched and talked about in this book.

If you’re from any religion and want to read about Hinduism, you know which book you can pick now.

You must check out these books if you are interested in reading such a genre. It was a different yet a worthwhile experience for me.

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