Author: Soumya

For the Love of Books

For the Love of Books by Graham Tarrant is a book that will appeal to non-fiction book lovers.⠀ ⠀ This book is a biography of books and writers. The first chapter starts with how first books were made, the invention of the printing press, and the world’s first library. A few chapters that caught my interest were feuds between famous writers such as Lord Byron vs. John Keats and the addiction of writers. I learned that Stephen King was a drug addict and alcoholic in the 1980s. King does not have a recollection of working on a few books that became bestsellers. Other topics of interest were about the working style of different writers, how authors met their end if writers shaped their characters after a real-life person, and many more.⠀ ⠀ The book is also peppered with facts and book recommendations for various categories. The book was written in an academic thesis style which made me skim quickly through the book. The book will be an interesting read for non-fiction book lovers.

The Dog Who Lost His Bark

I have a few ARC’s from Netgalley that are pending review. ARC’s are Advanced Reviewer Copies that are provided to readers a few months before the books are released. The reviewers should send a feedback and also promote the books on their Instagram page or blog posts. I have about 10 ARCs and I decided better late than never. First up is a middlegrade book, ‘The Dog who Lost his Bark.’ It is a sweet and sad story about a boy and a dog. The Dog is the main character in this novel. When the Dog was a pup, he was mistreated and thrown in a dump. The Dog has trust issues with humans and loses his bark and only whines. A dog that loses his bark is not a happy dog. The Dog has a new owner, a young boy named Patrick. Patrick is visiting his grandfather and his mother finally approves his request to get a dog. The Dog becomes Patrick’s pet. The rest of the story is about how Patrick teaches Dog …

What should you do to become a writer/author?

What is the number one thing you have to do to become a writer and a published author?⁠ ⁠ I have read and heard this advice time and time again but I often neglected it. Last month, I took a class on how to write a book in 30 days. More than 90% of the time of the instructor was spent on motivating us. He showed us examples of people who published and after that we had to yell out, ‘If he or she can do it, I can do it.’⁠ ⁠ I felt so stupid that I took this class. I took the class to get an idea of the publishing world but it ended up as a huge self-motivation exercise and lost time. In the end, the instructor gave the same advice that has fallen deaf on my ears. The only way to become an author/writer is to write. His recommendation was to write for 1 hour every day so you can write a book in 30 days. ⁠ ⁠ In the end, …

Happy Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival. This festival is dedicated to worshipping, the Hindu God, Shiva who is one of the most important deities of the Hindu religion. ⁠ ⁠ One unique thing about this festival is that it is celebrated in the night time. Unlike all the other Indian festivals, where people enjoy good food, this festival tests the resolve and demands discipline. People wake up all night, offering prayers to Lord Shiva. Some people also fast on this day, without consuming even a drop of water. It is said that people who follow the fast diligently are awarded with good luck and their sins are absolved. ⁠ ⁠ As a child what was exciting to me about Maha Shivaratri was being awake in the night. This was the night my parents permitted me to be awake until midnight or longer. The night has to be spent praying but I watched religious movies on TV. I only fasted once for Maha Shivaratri and I realized that fasting is not really my forte. ⁠ ⁠ …

The Boon and Bane of Creativity

Why is creativity is both a blessing and a curse?⁠ Are you a creative person? Do you like to create anything? For me, the seeds of creativity were sown at a very young age. I still remember the first story I wrote. It was about a princess, whose health was restored by a prince, by getting a flower from a faraway land. As soon as I could write fluently, I started writing stories. ⁠ Creativity is a blessing because it helps us to be always curious about nature and everything that happens around us. It also becomes a basic need that has to be fulfilled. I am a happier person when I write. Writing an Instagram or a blog post gives me a sense of satisfaction that is unique. ⁠ Creativity is also a curse because it is hard to make living out of a creative life. This means we have to pursue our passion through sleepless nights or time that can be spent relaxing. If we do not create it leads to frustration, which …

Home in the Woods

Home in the Woods by Eliza Wheeler is one of the best books I read this year. The watercolor illustrations were intricate and soothing. There are different kinds of love. The first ‘love’ we are introduced to is ‘family’ love.⁠ This book is inspired by Eliza Wheeler’s grandmother, Marvel’s childhood. Six-year-old Marvel has recently lost her dad. The family finds a new house in the woods. At first, the small tar-paper shack does not find so appealing. Marvel has seven other siblings, both older and younger than her. Marvel along with her mom and siblings work hard to make the shack as their home. In addition, the woods give them many natural gifts that help them in making their ends meet. ⁠ This beautiful book teaches about sorrow, the power of time in healing everything, the strength, and the love in the family that helps us survive tough situations. No matter how hard life is, simple pleasures are always around the corner. Make sure you keep an eye out for them.

The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People

The 100 Simple Secrets of Happy People by David Niven is a short read. The book is written in such a way that reading the chapter titles is enough. Each chapter covers one concept about how to be happy, followed by an example and a quote.⁠ ⁠ Among the 100 simple secrets, a few secrets that stuck with me are:⁠ 1. Have a purpose in your life⁠ 2. Have a hobby and also engage with people who share the same hobby⁠ 3. Have a community of friends and family and help each other out⁠ 4. Strive for progress, not for perfection ⁠ 5. Volunteer and exercise⁠ ⁠ For this new year, which of the above secrets will you make a resolution? For me, it will be exercise ;)⁠

La Princesa and the Pea

The classical story of The Princess and the Pea gets a Latino twist in the book, La Princesa and the Pea. What makes this book stand out is the bilingual text, which is in both Spanish and English. The warm illustrations inspired by the culture of Peru also make this book a winner. ⁠ ⁠ El Principe knows that this girl is the one for him but the Queen doesn’t agree. The Queen wants the perfect girl for his son and no woman on the land could match the Queen’s expectations. The Queen has a secret test in mind for the Princess. If the Princess wins the test she can marry the Prince. The Prince also has a plan that makes sure that the Princess will win the test. ⁠ ⁠ This classic tale injected with love is sure to make your heart melt and will make you smile in the end. In the illustrations, I loved the sly looks between the Princess and the Prince, as the Queen tries her best to quench their …

Love & Other Emotions

When was the last time you did an ’emotion’ check?⁠ ⁠ At least once a day, we do a weather check, to see if it snowing or raining or if the temperature has dipped a few degrees below the normal so that we can bundle up in extra layers. How often do you do an ’emotion’ check? Most of the days I am so busy that I forget to do an emotion check. Maybe if I did an ’emotion’ check, I would see that every day I experience at least 5 emotions. I am happy, disappointed, worried, calm or satisfied. ⁠ ⁠ The theme of this month will be Love & Other Emotions. This is no surprise because February 14 is Valentine’s day. Also, as human beings, we are capable of lot more emotions than just love. ⁠ ⁠ This month, I will be sharing books that highlight love, the traditional love between two human beings and also family love. I hope that the posts about love will make you feel warm and toasty inside. …

Wherever you go

What is the name of your most favorite road and why? We have traveled on roads since we can remember, to school, to home, to a grocery shop, to a friends place etc. We have probably walked or drove 1000s of times on various roads. When someone asks where do you live, we say the name of a road. Roads are an integral part of our life. Roads take us to places and also bring us home. In this book, an adventurous rabbit and his friends take a journey on roads to go through mountain peaks, cityscapes, to the stream and the sea. Roads take them past bridges, harbors and bays. After visiting many places and meeting new friends, the rabbit goes home. I loved the illustrations in this book which had winding roads on every page and cute animal characters. In this book, the author, Pat Zietlow Miller asks Which path should you choose? That’s easy to see. The one that will take you where you wish to be. This book was published in …