When to find time to read?

Read in metro queues

Read in passport renewal lines

Read on your way to work (if you aren’t driving or else listen to an audio book 😀)

Read while on solo dates in cozy cafes

Read while waiting for someone

Read when you are out on a lunch date with self

Read in book fairs in stalls that have chairs

Read before napping in afternoons

Read right after napping

Read before sleeping

Read in parks sitting on cute benches

Read on weekends

Read when soaking sun on the weekends

Read when you can, as that is what matters. Not how much or what you read.

5 Planner and Calendar Recommendations for 2022!

Many of us are into buying pretty calendars and planners on new year these days. I mean I know its an old tradition but its got an all-new vigour due to so many upcoming artists on social media. This post is more for me than you, basically I wanted to jot down all the options I am considering for a desk calendar and thought it may help someone else too. I know we are late for buying a new year calendar, but, what the heck! Its never too late. 🙂

Also, a word of caution – I am totally against buying anything one may not need, so only consider this list accordingly. For example, I am not buying a planner this year because, a) I have pretty notebooks that I am going to use, b) those pretty, bulky yearly planners get too much for me, I hardly end up using them even 25% and I have so many stickers already from my 2019 & 2021 Alicia Souza planners.

Starting my list of recommendations, a mix of planners & calendars both:

  1. The Spring Palette 2022 Calendars: My #1 recommendation as I am most likely going to get this desk calendar myself. I love this artist’s aesthetic so much and she even has notebooks, coffee mugs and a lot of other such stuff. You can find her on Instagram to shop from her website too.
2022 Positivity Desk Calendar by The Spring Palette | Table Top/Office Desk Calendar | Inspirational and self Motivation Illustrations | Perfect for Gifting

2. Odd Giraffe Planners & Notebooks: I have personally not used an Odd Giraffe Planner before, but whenever I have seen other people on social media use it, it seems like a very snug & compact form of the pretty, bulky planners. The quality seems to be great too. So, you can completely consider it if you were thinking of buying a pretty planner this year.

Odd Giraffe – Summertime Blossom | Yearly Planner with Sticker Sheet and Secret Pocket | 2022 Planner Diary | Made with Recycled Paper

3. Happy Wagon Devinity Desk Calendar: Happy Wagon as a company is doing a great job at giving platform to upcoming illustrationists and artists and their website has a ton of good stationary items. This one is a personal favorite! Look how cute and pretty it is for someone who appreciates a calendar with Indian Gods & Goddesses. Extremely worthy of a gift!

Happy Wagon | 2022 Devinity Desk Calendar | Gold Spiral Bound | Tracking & Scheduling | 12 Months | 270 GSM Sheets | 22 x 15 cm | Hand Illustrations – Digitally Printed

4. Lazy Gardener Desk Calendar: Again something worthy of gifting depending on someone’s interest. I love this kind of comics style aesthetic and I am considering this calendar for myself now although I am not that much into gardening right now.

Lazy Gardener Calendar 2022 Desk for Plant Lovers, Gardening Inspired Calendar for Desk

5. Amazon Planner: If you are anything like me now and want to go for simplistic notebooks as planners, which are easier to carry and don’t have a lot of fancy stuff going on while being pretty, you can definitely consider this one. In case you wanted to know, I am not using a dated planner this year since I don’t do a lot of daily to do lists, but rather random, flexible lists. So, I’ll stick to filling up my existing notebooks first and then move to either a notebook I got myself from Darjeeling or a handmade notebook a friend got me from Nepal.

Amazon Brand – Solimo – A5 Premium 2022 Planner (5.75 x 8.25 inches), 216 pages, 80 GSM (One Day At A Time)

Apart from all these, I highly recommend calendars by Bhuli Art & Neha Doodles, but mostly those go out of stock before the year even starts. You can go to their individual Instagram pages to see if they are still available for purchase.

Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you make a purchase by clicking on them, I may earn a commission. If you intend on purchasing these products, please click on my links (or images) and then make a purchase from there. 🙂

If you liked this, check out more of my latest posts:

My Favorite Reads of 2021

Of course, what better way to kick off favorites than books. This year it’s fairly easy for me as well to decide on my favorite books of 2021 as neither the number of reads is too high nor are favorites too many. I completed reading only 13 books this year, while i totally expected me to end up reading more. So, yea, 2021 sucked in more ways than one.

Without further ado, here are my most favorite books of 2021 in no particular order –

1. The French Baker’s War: i have done a detailed post here and I am so glad this was my initiation into reading about World War. I will definitely be reading more on World War. Please leave your suggestions for books on that in the comments.

2. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: here’s something mind boggling – i had never read Harry Potter before and a friend of mine tried to force me to read one really long ago back in school, i just didn’t get into it at that time. I have been meaning to read the series since a long time and just happened to mention it to a friend right before my birthday (seriously, i was not dropping any hints😀). She very thoughtfully gifted me the illustrated edition by Jim Kay. It is so beautiful that I can cry. The book was a thing of pure joy and I am so glad that I entered Harry’s world in a tensed year. More than the magic though, i loved Harry’s life in school and with his friends, it’s always lovely to read about fun childhood or adolescence stories. Very quickly i also bought me the second book, the same illustrated edition. I am looking forward to try more editions for the remaining books in the series.

3. Persepolis: again a gift from the same friend. My first graphic novel and what a great book! This is all about coming of age of a young Iranian woman in the political backdrop of Iran’s war. It’s the kind of book i would love to revisit and see how much additional i get to grasp the next time. The dry humour that the author has tried to create is also remarkable. I think it’s a must read if you haven’t already read it.

4. Alternative Realities: not really a favorite, not by any means, but a good book that I want to mention as i think this is a pretty obscure book. A friend of mine once mentioned that I read a lot of obscure books and I couldn’t agree more with him. But in that moment, i thought of this book. I found it in one of those 100 rs for a kg kind of book sales and what a discovery!

The author is a muslim native of now Bangladesh, her family settled in now Pakistan at the time of partition and she then went on to marry an Indian Hindu. Truly a child of the subcontinent. Through this book, she has tried to meet various Muslim women and other genders across the subcontinent to understand their journeys due to being womxn and being muslims, while also exploring herself as she turns more inwards via Sufism. So, this is a travelogue, memoir, biographical piece of sorts. There were times when I got bored in the book, especially the parts about author’s self reflections, but what I truly loved in this book is how diverse the people are that the author has tried to interview for her book. There’s a Pakistani writer, a Lesbian from upper middle class – a learned woman, a transgender from Sind who barely gets by, a young woman who seems like leading a pretty normal life just like young adults do until you find out that her lover set himself on fire. I especially loved the chapter on this friend of hers from Oghi, a small town in Pakistan, where she stayed with her for a month or so. Why I liked this chapter particularly was because it was a different feeling to look at a woman’s life who doesn’t have much choice in life owing to the ways things are set in stone in her family, but how she makes the most of the world that’s on offer to her.

This is it then! I am soon going to do a post on my next year’s TBR (yes, i think it’s time to up my game) so any suggestions are welcome.

Do share your thoughts in the comments if you have read any of these.

Check out more of my latest posts here:

A favorite book of 2021 – The French Baker’s War | Blogmas 13

Merry Christmas y’all! ❤️

I wasn’t planning to post today as the day is over and it was a busy one. But when I saw so many Christmas-y posts, i thought it isn’t right that even after finally doing so many posts this December for Blogmas, i don’t do one on the last day of Blogmas.

So here it is. A book review of one of my favorite books in 2021 that I found on Netgalley. I am telling you guys, if you don’t know what Netgalley is, you really need to check it out. Also, click on the below image if you wish to buy the book. (If you buy it via clicking on the image, I’ll earn a small commission. 🙂)

While i expected to read a lot more in 2021, one of the things I wanted was to try stuff that I haven’t before. I have never read anything on World War. I lapped this book up as soon as i saw it on Netgalley and I cannot wait till the end to tell you that i loved reading it so much. I am so glad tha this amazing fiction initiated me into reading about World War.

Here’s why you should read it too:

1. Patisserie & the plot: it’s not an unimaginable plot but what i loved is this – the book is set in occupied France in 1943 over a course of two months during World War II when a woman who owns a Patisserie with her husband goes missing. The patisserie becomes a character in the book, it’s given a lot of emotional value by the author and, therefore, becomes a super important character. Of course, i am not going to spoil it for you by giving whys and how’s. If you want to pick this due to the cover and the word Baker in the name, let me tell you that there is a lot of reference to the patisserie, which I certainly enjoyed.

2. Characters: as it is with the patisserie, even all the other characters are very well formed. The book has its protagonists but the author has done a great job in character formation of many side characters. They have a back story that makes you want to know them better. In some books, it gets very annoying to read about multiple storylines but here the back stories of different characters become part of the story and you get attached to them. If you have read the book already, you would have fallen in love with Monsieur Dormund as well. 😊

3. The topic itself: as i mentioned, I haven’t read anything on World War and i am glad I picked this up because this has definitely made me more interested in reading about this topic. If you have read a lot of serious literature or non fiction on this topic, then I am not sure where you stand with this book but, otherwise, anyone is going to love it!

There are two things I didn’t like which I want to mention – a) the flashbacks didn’t hook me as much as the present story, b) the initial pages/chapters spent a lot of time building up and leading up to the next part of the story, which became a bit much. So i would say if I had to divide the book into three parts, the second and third parts of the book were way better than the first.

Overall, I would highly recommend reading this and you can find it on the below link. If you purchase using that I’ll earn a small commission. 🙂

The French Baker’s War

Love for Bloggers from my old days | Blogmas 8

I have done a similar post in the past. There are some bloggers that I came across in my old days of blogging which don’t post a lot anymore but i go and revisit their blogs every now and then.

I will be doing a post for the new blogs that I have discovered too, but to be honest, I haven’t really been that active in finding new blogs. However, I still got lucky with some that I absolutely love reading.

The list obviously has to begin with two of my favorites which I have already written about:

A Splash of my Life: its a funny story how I found her. In the comments section of a really popular blog. If you guys follow WedmeGood, you may know that the founder had a personal blog earlier for beauty & makeup. Which reminds me, I should put that also in this list. 🙂 Our girl Princess Butter (That’s what she calls herself on A Splash of my Life) had commented something and I ended up clicking on her blog. I love how funny she is and how she puts a fun spin on everything she writes about. I wish she would write more. I now know her real name but I like to address her as PB even when I am talking to her offline. 🙂

A Dash of Pepper: I love the way she writes. I found her via the above blog and have been hooked since. She is not super regular but gives an appearance on the blog every now and then and I am living for it. I also realize just how many life events I have seen for these two blog owners. Isn’t that a great thing?

Peaches & Blush: This is the founder of Wedmegood. I have been reading this blog of her since I got into blogging. A little note – How I discovered the world of blogging was in 2011 when I searched for best Kajals in India (more on this coming soon). Hence, I landed up on a lot of beauty blogs at that time so my first intro to blogging was beauty blogs. One that stood out for me was Peaches & Blush and even now I love going back to her old posts, although she has almost completely stopped writing here. Her bridal series became a huge hit and that’s how she started Wedmegood.

Keira Lennox: One of the few in this list who continue to post. She is a lifestyle blogger and its sometimes difficult for me to like content of lifestyle bloggers outside of India as it may not be relatable but I love her content & her journey.

Know-All’s Box: One person I loved interacting online, he found my blog first I guess. Usually I am not into photography blogs but his photographs are just beyond ethereal. I wish he hadn’t stopped posting. He posts a little more regularly on Instagram but I definitely miss his presence on WordPress.

Nishita’s Rants & Raves: Another on this list who continues to post regularly, thankfully. I don’t remember how I found her, it would have been something to do with a bookish post. However, her blog is pretty diverse. She covers a lot of topics but the most I love are books and, more than that, her family & travel stories. Funny thing – both of us feel when reading each other’s post that its so good to be reading someone’s post whom you have been following since a long, long time.

Blush Canvas: She writes mostly about high end makeup and I enjoy her aesthetically done blog & beautiful pictures. She does make an appearance every once in a while but its super rare and irregular. :/

Shoestring Style: I wish I could write in as many words just how much I miss this blog. The girl who owned this blog, Shivani Dogra, is an interior designer and if you just Google this name, you would come across multiple publications of her work & her own design studio’s website. If you end up liking her aesthetic, you would understand why I miss her blog posts. Those posts were on her personal style but with this aesthetic. I mean, I can’t even begin on how much I loved it! I just did a quick Google search and I am now going to go through her interviews on various publications! 😀

‘Reading List’ Update

Couple of days back, I started creating a ‘reading list’ for myself. Now reading list can literally mean anything for anyone, but I’ll just explain what I mean here, in this context. I have a very short attention span these days when it comes to work and, honestly, I know I am not putting in enough effort to concentrate harder. I also know how we get lured into obsessively check our phones by the algorithms, but I can try harder to not do that for sure. For example, I can easily leave my phone in the other room so that I don’t open Instagram for the next couple of hours, right? Anyway, so I come across a lot of notifications during the day & there are very tempting articles (?) that I feel like going through in entirety. What I am trying to do when this happens – just make a note of the said article which I’ll go back to in my ‘free time’. So, this is sort of a daily reading list.

I am loving making this daily reading list to the core & there are more than one reasons for that –

  • I love making lists on notebooks but don’t get enough chances to that, as I prefer having my work related to-do on my laptop only. This is giving me a great opportunity to write down something that’s important to me daily.
  • I hate the fact that I don’t consume any news actively or any of the adult stuff, you know. This activity is prompting me to read more so-called informative stuff as well. Since I am not reading stuff on a whim now, I end up incorporating more informative reads because then I don’t feel pressured to immediately consume that info.
  • Its a mindful activity – something that slows me down on an otherwise busy day. I come across something I want to savor, and note it down to be savored in a few hours. This 2-minute thing is a joy!

What I am not liking is that I almost never end up completing my daily reading list, but I am sure that you would have guessed already. 😀

This also reminds me how much I love reading posts with back links to other blogs, where people are suggesting what they loved reading on other blogs. I need to do one of those, for random articles as well as my own old blog posts.

Would you like to share anything that I can include in my reading list for today? 😀 Do leave them in the comments!