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…

Najmah

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Elusiveness…a state of mind!

Recently I was described by a colleague as being elusive, (after a search, Google spouted out a load of definitions but the top two were: difficult to find/catch or track down; preferring or living in solitude and anonymity). Not sure if it fits the bill but, what happened next was that I thought about this blog which to be honest I hadn’t done in months and I took it as a sign… 🙂

I know this post is a bit random, but what am I trying to say here, is that as much as I love the time I spent away from the internet I have missed writing and blogging.

Just to show how happy I’m glad to be back, here’s an image of the planet Pluto which I’m sure everyone has seen by now.

Yo, Pluto!

Yo, Pluto!

Adios, until next time…

Najmah

Fifty Shades of Grey trailer

The much awaited full trailer of the bestselling book, that has become a global phenomenon is finally here. Is it hot or is it a big no no?

The first fully fledged trailer of Fifty Shades of Grey is here and YES, it is the official trailer. Due to the sexual content of the books, fans have been waiting to see how the movie will work, whether it will be similar to the book and if Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan can pull off Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey seamlessly.

At first glance you notice a timid, quiet Anastasia Steele who clearly looks out of place in Grey Enterprises; this scene has a little titbit similarity to the movie The Devil Wear Prada with Meryl Streep. Especially Dakota Johnson’s whole look which seems inspired by Anne Hathaway’s character of Andrea Sachs. Next we get a look at Christian Grey, who tries to look intimidating but fails miserably but hey, the interior of his office looks amazing. I want to have an office exactly like that.

The only plus side of the trailer, was Beyonce’s remix version of  ‘Crazy in Love’ which really stood out for me, it added that extra factor and made it worth watching.

All in all the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer did not do it for me. I didn’t see anything new or different however I’m reserving my full judgement for when the movie releases next year on Valentines Day.

Have a look and let me know what you think – did the Fifty Shades of Grey trailer do it for you?

Najmah

On completing uni and more…

Summer is here

Summer is here

Hey hey! 🙂

Summer is finally here! But if the British weather is anything to go by, I’d enjoy it while it lasts!

I hope you’re all are fine and well! I am still alive and kicking and it’s nice to be back on the blogging scene. The reason I’ve been missing is that after writing a 10,000 word dissertation, I’ve lacked motivation to write anything at all and with uni ending I wanted to take a break which went on longer than I expected.

I had planned to write this post last week, however with me being on work experience at Rutland and Stamford Mercury newspaper it got delayed, anyway better late than never.

So now after four years of stressing out over exams and essays, I’ve completed uni and now I can finally say I’m a qualified journalist with Bachelor of Arts (Hons) with a 2:1 in Journalism.

Now that uni has end what’s next?

Rutland and Stamford Mercury Newspaper

In terms of work experience, as mentioned before I was at Rutland and Stamford Mercury newspaper last week where I had a great time, I remember arriving at the office feeling nervous and excited at the same time. However, the best thing was I wasn’t sitting there fiddling my thumbs for long – I was immediately given work, so in no time I was questioning people over the phone for quotes and comments. I even got a chance to interview people face-to-face regarding the National Care Home Open Day which was rather cool if I say so myself – I felt like a actual news reporter then. In the end, I was fortunate to write several articles even though only two made it into the actual newspaper – I believe it is the experience that counts.

While I was on work experience, I also received my result for my dissertation and it turned out I got 68%, which is a B. I admit I was a little disappointed at first because I was only two marks off a first and I had put so much hard work into it. This only lasted a few minutes because I was way too happy with finishing uni. YAY!!

The Job Hunt

To be honest, over the past few weeks I have been quite lost and alittle worried about the future, as the dreaded job search has begun and so has the process of staying up till 2AM to fill in endless applications, but I don’t mind it as I know it’ll be all worth it in end. While I have been job searching, some websites have been useful, some more than others – Twitter has been really useful for me and I totally recommend anyone  on the job hunt to make use of it! Now my everyday routine includes looking for journalism jobs on the internet in either newspapers, magazines or online – I don’t want to be picky at the moment although I’m still trying to steer clear of some editorial assistant jobs as I have heard they’ll have you do all admin duties except writing. I’m still staying positive because it’s easy to give up when you get demotivated, say I can’t do it, I’ll never get a job in journalism – but you got to keep trying. That’s my motto anyway.

Crimestoppers

Crimestoppers

Crimestoppers

Moving on to a different note, I’m currently writing press releases for the charity Crimestoppers to raise awareness for specific crimes in the Cambridgeshire area which should help in getting people to report on crimes and in return catch more offenders. Apart from that, I’m going to be working on a Cycle Theft Campaign with them and other students – but that’s all I know at the moment, however I have a meeting on July 5 where everything should be explained. I think I’ll write another post about that.

Finally on a general note, I’m thinking about changing my blog title to make it more journalism orientated, currently it’s just faltering with History Starts Now so need a more permanent title. Any suggestions are welcome – so go on, leave a comment and I’ll meet you guys in my next post!

Najmah

It’s 2013…and has snow come already?

Hey hey!

Happy Belated New Year everyone! So this is officially my first blog entry in 2013, 🙂 as for resolutions I have not kept any for this year – because to be honest I cannot keep them; I have tried and failed. Now for once trying something new!

Moving on, over the last few days a white blanket has covered England which has been playing on everyone’s mind and on the news quite alot; this has caused inconveniences for many people, through traffic and the transport. If you haven’t guessed already, it’s snow! Yes, it has snowed, the temperatures have dropped around most parts in the UK but I love it because I know it’ll be gone in a few days and won’t be seen again for a year or so. The best thing is that it’s my birthday on the 24th January, and usually it’s raining but not this year I’m happy to say, although slipping on the snow is not something I’m looking forward to. So thank god, Uni has not started yet.

Najmah

Snow!

It’s Snowing!

In a utterly happy mood

Hey hey!

I think the title of this entry speaks for itself as to what mood I’m in.

If you have been following my Twitter, then you may have an idea what it is. So here it is in a nutshell – all the mind wrenchingly difficult work from the past three months has ended today. I think everyone feels a sort of relief when they hand their assignments in; for me it was like as a huge weight’s was lifted off my shoulders but now I’m just looking forward to getting a good night’s sleep without the stress.

Now that I am going to take a well deserved break, I’ll finally have time to do some writing for Yuppee Magazine (I have many ideas) before next semester starts and the realisation of all the dissertation work sets in.

If I don’t get a chance to update my blog again, I just want to wish all my readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!

Enjoy yourselves!

Najmah

A Wannabe Hack

Hello!

Technically this should have been my introductory post, but my online journalism module needed a blog entry. So that’s where the Charles Dickens entry fits in, oh well. So here goes! My name is Najmah Bibi but you can call me Naj,  I am currently studying journalism at Anglia Ruskin University.

So how did I get into journalism? Well, when I was younger, apart from playing with dolls I was always reading and writing but I never had a lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. So I had the moment of clarity when I was 21, stuck looking for a job in business administration, I realised that I needed a career change. So here I am four years later. I hear/read everywhere how hard it is to get into journalism. A month ago I attended the ‘So You Want To Be A Journalist’ conference in London. In which, the only advice I heard from other journalists was start a blog and make a brand of yourself, although I was a little sceptical of this at first, then I thought why not give it a try – I have nothing to lose.

This blog is basically for me to showcase my skills, and as I have an interest in everything you’ll see me writing just about anything, or me wishing I could. Though I’m still finding a niche to write about. I’m still gaining confidence in writing blogs, so I hope you like what I write and let me know what you think.

Najmah