Book Fangirling Blog Award

I’ve been nominated by Abdeah from Under the Midnight Sky for the Book Fangirling Blog Award! Thank you so much for the nomination Abdeah! I enjoy spending time reading your posts, and it is always lovely to come by book bloggers from my home town – Cape Town.

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The Rules:

  • Create a post to accept your award.
  • Add the blog award button into your post and put it on the side of your blog as a widget. Visit fangirling for the award button.
  • Answer the questions I have below.
  • Nominate between 5-10 book bloggers who you think also deserve this award.
  • Come up with your own 5 questions for your nominees.

WHAT BOOK DID EVERYONE LIKE AND YOU HATED?

The Fault in our Stars by John Green

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I know, I know, this is a firm favourite of so many readers around the world, but I was so disappointed by it. I actually started reading this book before the movie came out and it became all the rage; but I never finished it. Then when I read the write up on the movie, it sounded so familiar, and when I finally realised why it was so familiar I struggled to understand why it was such a big hit. I felt that John Green’s characters were unrealistic and pretentious, so I could not connect with them and it held me back from really enjoying it.

BOOK/S THAT PUT YOU IN A RIDICULOUS READING SLUMP?

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

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The Book Thief is one of my all time favourite books, ever! I adored the writing style, the characters, the setting, the plot – pretty much everything that there is to love about a book, I loved about this one. But after reading it, I fell into a massive reading slump because every other book after seemed meaningless. It took me a while to get over the heartbreak and let it all sink in.

NAME A BOOK YOU WISH MORE PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT

Someone Knows My Name aka The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

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I wrote a review about this book which you can read here. This book actually took me out of the reading slump which I was left with after reading The Book Thief.

NAME A BOOK/S YOU WISH TURNED INTO A MOVIE

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

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I am sure many bookworms will agree with me when I say that I am not a fan of books being made into movies. A movie takes away so much from a good book, especially if you haven’t read it. But for the sake of this challenge, I will say that I wouldn’t mind Jodi Picoult’s masterpiece, Leaving Time, being made into a movie. It contains everything that in my opinion makes a terrific blockbuster.

FAVORITE BOOKTUBER/S

Blue Eyed Biblio

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Unfortunately I don’t have much time to watch YouTube videos, but I have watched some by Blue Eyed Biblio and really enjoyed it. She is so cute, and her book collection is something from out of this world!

I hereby nominate these fellow book bloggers to completed this challenge:
Poppie Tee
Barefoot Meds
Books and Messy Buns
Page by Paige
Twins Turning Pages
And anyone else who would like to complete it too!

And the questions are:
1. What book did everyone like and you hated?
2. A book that put you in a ridiculous reading slump
3. Name a book you wish more people knew about
4. A book whose movie you liked more
5. Your favourite booktuber

I really enjoyed completing this challenge, hope you enjoyed reading it!

– Nihaad

Read-a-thon

My very ambitious TBR pile

My very ambitious TBR pile

I am three hours into the read-a-thon and I am being dragged down by a terrible headache. So I am taking a short break to get this post up and then I will dive nose first back into the book I am currently reading. I know this post was supposed to go up before the read-a-thon started, but rules are there to be broken right? This is the pre-party post which just requires me to answer some questions:

1.What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
I am reading from the town famous for its white sand beaches and the majestic Table Mountain; Cape Town, South Africa!
2. Which book in your book stack are most looking forward to?
Well apart from my current read which I am thoroughly enjoying, The Young Elites, I am really looking forward to reading Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire!!
3. Which snack are you most looking forward to?
My husband has appointed himself as my cheerleader and snack provider, so I am looking forward to endless cups of tea and a surprise meal he is cooking up in the kitchen (it smells yummy!!)
4. Tell us something about yourself!
I have the heart of a little bookworm, but I crave adventure – I think you could call me an adrenaline junkie. If I am not losing myself in a good book, then I can be found day dreaming of my next blood pumping, thrill inducing activity to cross off my bucket list!
5. If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s the one thing you’ll do differently? Or if this is your first time, what are you most looking forward to?
This would be my first time taking part in this challenge, and I am most looking forward to connecting with people across the world who are also participating in this read-a-thon.

I was planning to make use of all my social media platforms, but it seems I am paying more attention to Instagram. So if you are interested in following me, or if you feel like giving me a cheer for motivation; then please check out my Instagram account:

Instagram : The Little Blog of STUFF

– Nihaad

September and October Combined Book Haul

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My laundry is hanging out to dry and I have narrowed down the books I plan to read for the 24 hour read-a-thon. I got some cleaning done around the house and managed to catch up on some series, patiently waiting for 14:00 to roll by so that I can get stuck into my reading and be deemed “annoying” on my social media platforms. I have about an hour to go so I thought I could do a quick post showing off the books I picked up during September and October.

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Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Can we just take a moment to admire the beauty of these Harry Potter covers? They are SO beautiful and I am really excited to be collecting these for my bookshelf. I have read The Tales of Beedle the Bard, The Chamber of Secrets and The Prisoner of Azkaban already as I am sure you have seen here.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

I cannot express how much I loved this book. It was filled with so much history that I cannot begin to wrap my head around. I have written an in depth review of this book over here if you are interested in knowing a little bit more about this hauntingly beautiful novel, which was based on a true story.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

My apologies for sounding like a broken record, but I adore Patrick Ness’ writing style! This book was such an easy read yet it held so much meaning to it that I find truly special. I have written a short review on this book over here

I am Number Four by Pattacus Lore

This book has been compared to Harry Potter so I had to get it when I saw it on sale at a local bookstore. I loved the cover, which admittedly was the deciding factor on whether or not I should buy it. I haven’t read it yet but I plan to start it real soon.

Cress by Marissa Meyer

I have read Cinder and Scarlet, which I have written reviews on here and here. To me Scarlet was a build up to Cress, so I am really keen to get into this book.

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

Jodi Picoult is one of my favourite authors, probably because my first “big person book” (you know, thick books, with big words and no pictures?) was written by her. Most of the books I’ve read by her was either borrowed from someone else, or is an e-book version; so I really want to get more of her books for my shelf. I have always wanted to read The Pact because it seems like a typical Jodi Picoult story.

The Young Elites by Marie Lu

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I have read SO many amazing reviews about this book, so when I saw it was available on The Readers Warehouse I immediately added it to my shopping cart. It was dropped off by the couriers early Monday morning, so you can imagine how slowly the day went by with me so excited to get home and see my precious! ( I said ‘so’ SO many times there, sorry! I am in a rush because I have about 15 minutes left until the read-a-thon begins!!) Anyways, as I was saying, I got home and tore the packaging apart like a pit-bull! I read a few pages and could not put it down! The writing is beautiful, the characters are amazing and the story line is epic!!

Dracula, The Scarlet Letter and Frankenstein

I consider these my lucky buys from last month because I picked them up at a sale for R49 each! These are classics which I have been meaning to read for the longest time, AND they are hardbacks!! I want to get into reading more classics so hopefully this will be a good start for me once I bring myself to pick them up and start reading!

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters

Another book I bought from The Readers Warehouse because it was a steal for R49! I didn’t know how massive this book was so I was a bit shocked when I opened the package and found it. I am a major fan of historical fiction and this book has been on my radar for quite some time; so I plan to get straight into it after The Young Elites.

And that’s is my combined book haul for September and October! See anything you enjoyed? Drop a comment and let me know!

Don’t forget to follow me for the next 24 hours on these social media platforms as I will be updating regularly on my progress for the 24 hour reading challenge!

Instagram : The Little Blog of STUFF

Twitter : NihaadG

Facebook : The Little Blog of STUFF

Goodreads : Nihaad

– Nihaad

Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon

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Hey guys!

This is just a little post to let you know about the read-a-thon I plan on participating in on Saturday, 17 October. I only came across it a couple of minutes ago so I do apologize for this rather rushed post.

A 24 hour read-a-thon is a reading challenge where everyone participates at the same time. For 24 hours, people from around the world read books, and post it on their blogs and various social media platforms; as well as visit other participants’ virtual online homes in order to encourage and motivate one another to read.

I have never participated in a read-a-thon before, so I am extremely excited to take part in this challenge. I don’t want to commit to a full 24 hours, but I will do my best to cram in as much reading and blogging as I can considering that a Saturday is after-all my day to get house chores done that I unfortunately neglect during the week.

Please check out Dewey’s 24 Hour Read-a-thon for more information, or better yet, sign up and join me in this challenge. This is a great way to get some reading done to boost your Goodreads reading challenge if you have fallen behind like I have.

If you would like to follow me as I take part in this challenge, you will find me on these social media platforms:

Instagram : The Little Blog of STUFF

Twitter :  NihaadG

Facebook : The Little Blog of STUFF

Goodreads : Nihaad

To find out what time it begins in your part of the world follow this link. For the Capetonians, it starts at 14:00 and ends at 13:55 on Sunday afternoon.

Until then, have a great Friday!

P.S. Jumuaa and Muharram Mubarak to all Muslim readers.

– Nihaad

September Reads

I know, I know, September is long gone and believe me when I say it could not have been over sooner. But before I can send September officially packing and embrace the new month, I have to share my thoughts on the books I have read during the month that was supposed to bring Spring to Cape Town (FYI it has failed miserably in that department too)…

You guys, I am proud of myself! Even with all the stuff that went on, I still managed to do some solid reading – an improvement from the amount of books I read last month!

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K Rowling

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I think Harry Potter has released me from the crappy reading slump I’ve been in this year. I am sure there is no need to explain the plot of this book so I will just say that I really enjoyed it, which is no surprise I know. I still feel like it was written as more of a children’s book so I can see why I never took to the first two books when I started reading it years ago.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J.K Rowling

Now THIS book was awesome!! I think the story really picked up a whole different dimension in this one. I got so many answers for all the unanswered questions I had after watching the movie. Sirius Black and Professor Lupin are two of my favourite characters from the movies, so when I started this book I had high hopes. I am so pleased to say that my expectations were met and exceeded!

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K Rowling

I still cannot get over the fact that I got this book for a measly R40! I mean where have you ever? This little book is such a special edition to my bookshelf. In The Deathly Hallows, Dumbledore leaves The Tales of Beedle the Bard to Hermoine, and it contains fables which I imagine witches reading to their little ones as bed times stories.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

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I wrote a short review on this book here. I breezed through this story and I immediately fell in love with Patrick Ness’s style of writing.

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

IMG_20150912_191821 I wrote an in depth review here which explains exactly how I felt about this book. I feel that everyone needs to read this story as it explains a part of history that I don’t think many people are aware of. If you like historical fiction and have not yet read this then please remedy that as soon as possible, believe me, you will not be disappointed!

My Life Next Door Huntley Fitzpatrick

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So, I haven’t been reading much romances and I was in the mood to read something from this genre. I have heard people go on and on about this book on social media, and because I had it sitting in my “currently reading” pile on Goodreads for about a year, I thought it would be good to finish it once and for all. Let me first say that I enjoyed the plot, the writing style was good and I found the characters to be entertaining too. BUT, I still felt let down after I finished the story. I know that after reading all the amazing reviews, I had high hopes for this one and I hate that I always fall into that trap since I have had so many of these experiences! I would recommend this book to someone who hasn’t read much romance novels.

Burying Water by K.A.Tucker

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I enjoy K.A. Tucker’s writing technique. She also manages to surprise me each time I read something written by her, because she always adds that extra bit of something to her plots. The story of Jesse and Alex was unlike anything I have read before. The mixture of suspense, romance and action was a wonderful combination that held my interest throughout the duration of the book – something that I haven’t experienced in a while with romances.

Chasing River by K.A.Tucker

IMG_20151004_083214 Luke and River’s story was also one that I found hard to put down. Normally an author builds up a character in the previous book so that you want to know more about him/her. But I never felt that way about Luke. He was not a character I thought I’d enjoy reading about because he was unbelievably materialistic and arrogant – not qualities I particularly enjoy in a hero. Despite this, he pleasantly surprised me. I wouldn’t say this is the best I have read by K.A. Tucker, but it is good enough for me to recommend it to anyone looking for something with a little bit of action.

Fair Game by Monica Murphy

I think the only reason I completed this book was because it would have bugged me to have yet another story left unfinished. Still, I felt like I completely wasted my time with this one – it was mind numbingly (is that even a word) predictable. My general reaction to this was:

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I am currently reading Cress by Marissa Meyer, which I am enjoying so far. You can follow me on Instagram, if you would like to keep up with my bibliophilic tendencies, since I regularly post my thoughts on what I am currently reading. And if there are any books you thought were good, then please drop a comment below, I am always looking for recommendations!

– Nihaad

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

IMG_20150905_121537I am a huge fan of historical fiction. I think it all started in high school when we read Anne Frank and I could not fathom that people had those experiences in the same world I live in today. I especially cannot believe that disturbingly similar events are happening in this world today – as I write this!! Historical fiction tells stories that are most of the time based on real life experiences; and that alone has the power to make one see the world from a whole new perspective.

When I completed Between Shades of Gray I was speechless. Even more so after reading the author’s note and learning about Stalin and the horrendous crimes that were committed under his dictatorship. For a while I was concerned about my memory because I could not remember ever being taught about this in school. I vividly recall the lessons about Hitler’s Holocaust; but I don’t remember ever learning about the deportation of citizens from Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia during World War II. I only took history up until grade 9 but still, it seems like a significant part of world events that has been over looked. Then I saw that so many others are wondering the same thing – why was this traumatic, vitally important part of history being left out of the school syllabus? Especially considering that it is so closely linked to Nazi Germany.

Lina is just like any other fifteen-year-old Lithuanian girl in 1941. She paints, she draws, she gets crushes on boys. Until one night when Soviet officers barge into her home, tearing her family from the comfortable life they’ve known. Separated from her father, forced onto a crowded and dirty train car, Lina, her mother, and her young brother slowly make their way north, crossing the Arctic Circle, to a work camp in the coldest reaches of Siberia. Here they are forced, under Stalin’s orders, to dig for beets and fight for their lives under the cruelest of conditions.

Lina finds solace in her art, meticulously–and at great risk–documenting events by drawing, hoping these messages will make their way to her father’s prison camp to let him know they are still alive. It is a long and harrowing journey, spanning years and covering 6,500 miles, but it is through incredible strength, love, and hope that Lina ultimately survives.Between Shades of Gray is a novel that will steal your breath and capture your heart.

Between Shades of Gray was an extremely compelling read – one that I will be reading for years to come. The way Ruta Sepetys captures the unimaginable circumstances these people were forced to endure, chilled me to the bone. Yet, this story was so heart warming because you read about people who had this hope and faith in the world despite the life they were trying surviving. Throughout the book there was this contrast of good, and pure evil that made me so angry. I was angry about the cruelty of the world, I was angry that one person’s life meant so little to another and I was angered by the audacity of some to even think that they were better than someone else – let alone treat another human life as if it meant nothing. I think most of all, I was gutted when I realised that so many more of these stories would never be told because the world do not even know that they exist in the first place.

But, Ruta Sepetys told this story in such a way that you are left feeling at peace. You are left feeling determined and strong to dare hope that better days will greet you in the end. Through all the terror and heartache, you cannot help but have hope in humanity. And this is why I was left utterly speechless – I find it so hard to explain. And I do not think I should, because every person needs to pick up this book and read it. Read it for all those people who were taken from this world without a chance to tell their story.

– Nihaad

Have you learned about these historical events during school? What other historical fiction books would you recommend I read? Please leave a comment, I am really eager to know!