2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Book Review: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments by RR

After reading Eleanor and Park I quickly became a fan of Rainbow Rowell, so I went out and bought some of her other books. In particular I wanted to read Attachments as I remembered reading the blurb and I had found it so interesting that it was instantly added to my to read list.

The blurb goes like this: ‘It’s 1999 and the internet is still a novelty. At a newspaper office, two colleagues, Beth and Jennifer, e-mail back and forth, discussing their lives in hilarious detail, from love troubles to family dramas. And Lincoln, a shy IT guy responsible for monitoring e-mails, spends his hours reading every exchange. At first their e-mails offer a welcome diversion, but the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them. By the time Lincoln realises just how head-over-heels he is, it’s too late to introduce himself. After a series of close encounters, Lincoln eventually decides he must follow his heart . . . and find out if there is such a thing as love before first sight.’

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is a delightful, unusual yet a very cute love story.


The story is set in 1999 (early 2000), when the internet is still quite new. Two colleagues, journalists – Beth and Jennifer work at the newsroom called The Courier, exchanging e-mails sharing every smallest details happening in their personal lives. Lincoln, a lonely guy working in computer security reading through other people’s e-mails and reporting on any using inappropriate language. He knows he should report them but he sees Beth’s and Jennifer’s e-mails as a pleasant distraction. Before long it is too late for introductions, as he realises he has fallen for one of them . . .
I won’t ruin it for guys, so you will just have to read it to find out who Lincoln falls in love with and if they end up together?


While reading this book, I liked how the story gave me a nostalgic feel of the 80’s, 90’s and there is only one other book that has managed to do that which was Eleanor and Park.

On the whole, Attachments was a fantastic read portraying how two people can fall in love without having met, which I don’t think is really possible but one can dream, right?

I need to recommend this book for you guys to read as it is not one you will forget and it definitely will put a smile on your face. 🙂

Book Review: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

I bought this book a while back but didn’t get the chance to read it until now and let me say that it was worth the wait.

This will be a spoiler-free review, as I don’t want to ruin it for those who have not read the book yet. Before reading this book I read somewhere, that The Girl on the Train was stated to be the next ‘Gone Girl’ in the thriller genre – this made me curious as I have only seen that movie and have not yet read the book.

The blurb goes like this: ‘Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar. Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train.’

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is a psychological thriller, which will lead you on a journey like no other and from the onset you will be unable to stop reading until you finish the book.


The story is based in London. The main character Rachel Watson is a 32-year-old alcoholic, she has lost her husband and recently lost her job. Despite being unemployed she commutes to the city under the pretense of going to work. Along the way, she sees a perfect couple who’s home backs the tracks and in her mind she creates a perfect story for them, even naming them. She yearns to be happy as them, if only she could be. Then something happens, from afar she sees something, it is only a minute but it changes everything. Nothing will ever be the same again.

I won’t reveal any more but the story is initially told from two characters points of view – one is Rachel and the other is Megan who is ‘Jess’ from Rachel’s story. I have to say the way Hawkins connects all the characters together is very cleverly done.


During the course of the reading the book I discovered that the film rights had been acquired by Dreamworks and Emily Blunt was in talks to play the character of Rachel Watson. So it was easy for me to imagine Blunt as Rachel and I think she would be perfect for the role. 🙂

I have to say that this book has reignited my interest in the thriller genre again and I definitely recommend all to read it. Let me tell you, your train journeys will never be the same again.

Quote of the Day: Say Yes

Hey hey!

Just came across this quote and I thought about sharing it with you all with a few of my thoughts.

Many people have difficulties saying yes to new opportunities in life, I know I do.

The fear sort of paralyzes you in a way, all the negativity and self-doubt stands in front of you like a hurdle; but you have push through it all and say “yes” I can do this.

The moment you do – the world is your oyster! 🙂

Until next time…

Naj

some-opportunities-only-come-once

Favourites of 2015 — Part One…

Hey hey 🙂

In the past six months that I have been away from the blogging world, a few things have occupied my time besides work. I have managed to get through a lot of books, so much that I surprised myself. This is a sort of favourites post where I will write about the books which I have loved and others not so much, I will also include shows that I have enjoyed amongst other things. So let’s start!

Books


— The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham

1This book I borrowed from the library and it is a classic from the 1950s. When I began to read it, I got a déjà vu feeling as I felt it was going to be too similar to The Walking Dead show and I thought it would go down the same route but I am so glad it didn’t.

So the plot of the story is as follows: Bill Masen wakes up in hospital with bandages covering his injured eyes and he has missed the most spectacular meteorite shower England has ever seen. On removing his bandages the next morning, he discovers a plague of blindness has befallen the whole world. He has to leave the city because the place he knew twenty-four hours before is now gone forever. But to survive in this post-apocalyptic world, one must survive the Triffids. The Triffids are these strange plants that appeared years ago all over the world. They can grow to over seven feet tall, they can walk and kill with one quick lash of their poisonous stingers. Now that the world is in a mess, the Triffids are taking this chance to prey on humankind.

All in all, Wyndham’s The Day of the Triffids surprised me and it gave me lots of food for thought. I found it fascinating especially reading how the society went to shambles, not long post crisis which could very easily happen today.

Noughts & Crosses Series (#1) by Malorie Blackman

Noughts & Crosses I was supposed to read the other two books in the Noughts & Crosses series but got sidetracked by the other books. I don’t think it would be right for me to review this book on its own entity, so I will review the series one I have read all of them. The thing I liked most about this book was that however contemporaneous the issues were; I believe it is the way Blackman switched them over to give them a different perspective, was what made it really clever.

— Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling

Harry Potter Series I re-read the first three Harry Potter books in the Harry Potter series. They bring back so many childhood memories, especially when I used to think that Hogwarts actually existed. 😀

So in a way it is always great to go back and familiarise myself with the books again because they were loads of things I’d forgotten. My favourite book would always have to be Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Paper Towns by John Green

PTAs the movie was releasing this summer I really wanted to read it before it released here in the UK. I had high hopes for this book as I absolutely loved John Green’s other work but I felt the story to be too similar to ‘Looking for Alaska’ so I didn’t enjoy it.

The other problem I had with this book was the character of Margo Roth Spiegelman, I couldn’t relate to her character at all. The ending also left much to be desired. I still think John Green is a great writer but this one wasn’t up to the mark for me.

But I liked to share the one quote I loved in this book:

“It’s so hard to leave-until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world…Leaving feels too good, once you leave.”

— Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & ParkI fell in love with this book instantly, it brought back happy childhood memories; the times when I used to listen to music on my Sony Walkman, ahh those were the days. You must be thinking why I am all of a sudden talking about my childhood, tapes and music. Well, all these play a big part in the love story between Eleanor and Park. I love their first meeting in the school bus, it is quite quaint and unique.

I also love the part music plays in the story. It shows how two strangers can connect and bond, how essentially a song a break can the ice between two people whereas nowadays we listen to music as a way to ignore or shut the world out.

So totally recommend this one!

— Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

ugly-loveAfter hearing numerous bloggers, youtubers, etc raving about this book on Twitter, so I just had to read it.

However it is full-on story about love, romance so don’t go in expecting anything else. But I have to say this; Colleen Hoover’s writing style is what sets this book apart from others. Like most authors this year, Hoover is another I have recently introduced to; so I think I’m breaking the mould a little now.

— The Mara Dyer Series by Michelle Hodkin

I could not manage to finish these series, I have to admit because the second and third books let me down majorly and I just couldn’t get back into it. Perhaps one day, when I am in the right mood I might go back and finish it. But the thing that drew me to these books originally were the unique covers, they are just AH-MAZING, beautifully done…I love them. Have a look at them below and let me know what you think?

mara-dyer-trilogy

Amazing covers!

I have to say I loved the first book, it had all the elements needed to make a story great but sad to say I was left disappointed with how bizarre the plot went and it was not believable.

— Perfect by Judith McNaught

PerfectThis is the first Judith McNaught book I have read, so I gave it a chance. I definitely felt it to be a bit of an outdated story, a little cheesy and long-winded in parts. The second half of the book particular irritated me, the story took on the typical misunderstandings plot twist and it became frustrating to read.

It could’ve been a good story; if the unnecessary dragging was cut down, the romance and cheesy lines was toned down a bit.

— Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New WorldThis book was strongly recommended to me by my good friend Ana and to be honest I was a bit skeptical about reading it. But I went along with it as she was quite persistent. I admit I found it difficult to get into this book, as the first few chapters were heavy going and made it boring to read. I stuck to it and…eventually the story got interesting. I don’t like giving up on a book, but all in all if the story had not picked up (which I think it was chapter three or four) I was going to call it a day.

There are only certain times when I found myself disengaged with a book and this could be because I don’t like the writing style or the plot has become incomprehensible or beyond ridiculous.

Movie


— Far From The Madding Crowd

Far From The Madding CrowdFar From The Madding Crowd is based on the novel by Thomas Hardy by the same name and it is a classic, written in 1874. I haven’t read many classics so I am hoping to change that.

I went to see this movie in the spur of the moment, so I knew absolutely nothing about the story. I remember watching a short trailer on TV but that’s about it. My first impressions were oh no it is going to a slow moving film but surprisingly I enjoyed it and I would love to watch it all over again.

Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts stood out for me, they played their characters very well, it also helped that Schoenaerts was really good looking. 🙂


End of June, Ramadan started so I completely cut down on reading for the whole month and during that time I stumbled upon Korean shows or specifically a Korean show called ‘Boys Over Flowers’, it may sound a little odd but I became hooked once I started. I was reading the English subtitles which felt a bit weird at first but soon got used to it.

That is all for now, but I will be reviewing ‘The Girl on the Train’ by Paula Hawkins soon so keep an eye out for that.

Until next time…

Naj