Books That Defined My Decade

Books That Defined My Decade

This post was entirely inspired by Kate @ Your Tita Kate’s post, The Books That Defined My decade. I never thought to even reflect on my decade, but after reading Kate’s post, I immediately wanted to do the same.

I have a terrible memory, so I don’t remember much from my childhood, which makes me feel like I didn’t genuinely exist until 2010. At the start of this decade, I was eleven years old, turning twelve that March and, at the time of writing this post, I am twenty-one, about to turn twenty-two this March. I went from primary school, secondary school, college and university all in this decade alone. And just thinking about that blows my mind. In some sense, it shouldn’t because it’s just time passing but, at the same time, that is a lot of significant milestones in my life. I went from a child to a young adult, and reading Kate’s post made me realise that’s not a small thing. Reading is a big part of my identity, especially during this decade is where I had more choice over the books I read. While Kate’s post is more about books published in each specific year, my list is naming the books that I read in that year that made the most significant impact on me. So not all of them were great reads, but I feel like they deserve some acknowledge from impacting me in some way.

I’m going off what years I’ve put in my Goodreads profile but I feel like I might be off by a year or so hence I’ve added some books here that I actually read in 2009.

  • Thief – Despite Malorie Blackman being of the UK’s most beloved children’s author, I never read her acclaimed series Noughts & Crosses. Instead of the books, I knew her by were Thief and Hacker. I think this part is due to the face we didn’t have her books in my primary school library. (Maybe we did, and it was always being borrowed?) But anyway, I found Thief by accident when someone had randomly left it lying around after Golden Time. (lol remember Golden Time?) Anyway, someone remind me actually to read Noughts & Crosses in this decade.
  • Theodore Boone – The early 2010s was before I joined proper social media, so my ability to find books were severely limited. I don’t even remember how I managed to find Theodore Boone because it wasn’t from my school library, nor did anyone buy it for me. But I loved this series a lot as a kid. I used to watch a lot of crime shows with my family, so reading a series set in a similar environment to all the shows I was watching, but with a protagonist my age blew my mind.
  • The Lighting Thief – Funnily enough, this was the last time I actually up a Rick Riordan book before picking up the second one in 2019. I really loved The Lightning Thief, but my school library didn’t have the rest of the series so sadly, and with my fish brain that forgets everything every five seconds, I never got around to finishing this series. I tried continuing the series, but life got in the way. I really hope to get back to this series soon. 
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Young Muslim Writers Awards 2019 (vlog highlights!)

Young Muslim Writers Awards 2019 (vlog highlights!)

Last month, I was invited to attend this year’s Young Muslim Writer’s Award. This is my fourth year attending, and my second attempt at vlogging the event. I really enjoy filming and editing but I get really anxious doing stuff publicly which is why last year’s vlog was voiceless but this year, I decided to bite the bullet and record a short voiceover as well. It was quite daunting, and I feel like I stumble over my words a lot but this was a big step for me. Especially since I don’t like listening to my voice 😂

If you don’t know what #YMWA2019 is, it’s annual award ceremony to showcase and celebrate young literary talent within the UK’s Muslim community. A Muslim Hands project in association with the Institute of English studies and the School of Advanced Study (University of London).

I absolutely love going each year and celebrating the nominees and winners of each category each year. The first time I attended, I actually brought my younger cousin as a guest, and she was inspired to actually submit her own pieces every year after.

Anyway, this is a small head-up about the vlog (?) I made about the event. I hope you enjoy my shaky voice and hopefully, this is a step forward to making more visual content because I absolutely love filming and editing videos. I hope that once I graduate I can make more videos. For now, enjoy the video!

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Mid-Year Book Freak Out (2019)

Mid-Year Book Freak Out (2019)

It’s that time again where everyone in the book blogging community do their annual check in to see their reading progress. As of the end of June, I have read 51 books so far this year. I never really got into doing this the past years because I never really had time to reflect on my reading choices until the end of the year. But I’ve really enjoyed the books I’ve read this year.

I’m not sure if these are the correct questions since I can’t seem to find the original post but I had taken these from Saajid’s video. I also removed fictional crush because it just wasn’t applicable so without further ado, I present my Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag!

Best book you’ve read so far in 2019.

Image result for jade city fonda lee cover
Jade City

I’m saying it now, I don’t think any book I read this year will beat Jade City. This book is my everything and I love it so much. I wrote a short review not long ago but honestly I don’t think that it gave it justice.

Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2019.

Image result for jade war fonda lee cover
Jade War

…. Jade War.

Don’t be surprised by the amount of times I will mention the Green Bone saga. I came to read Jade City by chance after receiving an email to join the blog tour for Jade War. So I delve into the first book and already knew I had to join the blog tour. I actually wasn’t expecting to be accepted but I’m so grateful to Shealea @ Caffeine Book Tours for choosing me. I’m holding off my thoughts for the blog tour but yes, the sequel raises the stakes and had me emotionally drained.

New release you haven’t read yet but want to

Image result for dread nation book cover
Dread Nation

I bought a copy months ago and it’s still sitting on my shelf. I really like zombie apocalypse stories in any form of media so I definitely need to get around and read this.

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My Favourite Things About Breath of the Wild

My Favourite Things About Breath of the Wild

Just over two years ago Nintendo released The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (BotW) on the Nintendo Wii U and the Nintendo Switch. And almost five months ago, I bought the Switch version and fell in love. Please note: This post will have spoilers from throughout the game.

Growing up, I wasn’t allowed to play games. The closest game I could play as a kid was The Sims. And even then, my parents hated that I spent so much time on it. My older brother, on the other hand, has grown up with the privilege of being the first son and that meant he was allowed to play whatever he wanted. And that meant excluding us, the younger siblings, from playing anything because it would cut into his game time. So, my experiences of games as a child was always through the view of a bystander.

I had watched my brother play most of the Zelda franchise and when I grew out of being the bystander, I turned to YouTubers who would post their walkthroughs online. When we had first bought Breath of the Wild (BotW), it was on the Wii U. I remember being captivated by getting to experience a Zelda game for myself, with me in control and not someone else.

But then school came first, I couldn’t play much and by the time, I got around to picking it up, my brothers had decided to sell all our Wii U games in order to buy the Switch. I had, of course, played games on the Switch but most of them were either shooting or platform games. It wasn’t until last year December that I came across a BotW video and I realised that I had to play it again. Now that I’m older, and with a job, playing games is a little easier now. Sure, my mum would cuss me out for spending money on games, but I didn’t care. So, I bought it and I cannot explain how captivated I was by the game. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against platform or shooter games, but it just wasn’t my style. Most of the ones I had played, I found them too fast paced and I didn’t enjoy the speed.

BotW was truly the game made for me. It was adventurous and fast-paced in a way that didn’t overwhelm me. The way the entire world was unstructured allowed me to move in a pace that worked for me. The beauty of BotW was that there was no one set pathway. I’ve seen hundred of videos ranging from people finishing the game 100% to people waking Link and rushing straight to Ganon. I’m over 150 hours into my gameplay and I still feel like I haven’t discovered everything in the game.

But, in honour of the games two-year anniversary, I wanted to share some of my favourite places and parts in Breath of the Wild, whether that be a side quest, location or person. My initial list went well over the twenty mark, so I decided to whittle it down to just ten, which was hard enough.

A Gift of Nightshade (Side Quest)

This side quest is located in the Faron Region and I found it by accident. It’s a pretty simple quest, you basically become a matchmaker for a Hylian and a Gerudo by giving the Gerudo woman a flower. I only climbed up this mountain because I was making my way to Faron Tower to unlock the map, and a Yiga clan members was on my tail and I did not have the hearts nor food to deal with him, so up I went. And there I found these two people standing at opposite ends of a river. At first glance, I was wary because I had expected something bad to happen to me. But then I went up to the Hylian to find that he was just being a chicken and couldn’t work up the courage to talk to a girl he liked. It made me laugh. The game, for those who don’t know, is set years after Ganon had ruined the Kingdom, villages and safe spots were sparse with Guardians and camps of enemies in most of the world. At first, I found it so odd, but I instantly loved it. And it’s a prime example of what makes BotW so good. There was something good to be found in even the strangest of places.

source: Nintendo (gif made by me)
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Young Muslim Writers Award 2018

Last saturday, I attended the Young Muslim Writers Award in London. This wa my third year attending, and now my first time vlogging the event. (sort of vlog, I guess) I actually I wouldn’t really call it a vlog since I don’t really speak during it at all. (Still working on my confidence…) But I did a little run down of the event and captured some of the speeches by some people and entertainment. I really enjoy the process of filming and editing so this almost-vlog is a step forward into being more comfortable in filming stuff. Thank you to YMWA for inviting me to this event. I had an amazing time, and it was really fun to see all these young voices and the immense talent that came from their nominated pieces.

Hello, 2018…

Hello, 2018…

It feels like coming back to an empty house writing this. I feel like I can see the invisible cobwebs hanging from the posts and pages. But I hope to change my inactivity by being more active on this site. I wasn’t sure how to do this, but I thought maybe it would be interesting to share my reflections of the past year and how I was to change this year and setting myself better, more concise goals.

What didn’t work for me in 2017 was letting way to much things like fear get in my ways of things. It wasn’t a good year for me, 2017, I was seriously stressed and anxious 24/7 about my retakes and making sure I get into university. I was constantly shutting down a lot and only focused on revising and working. And that was it. This site was created in my first year of college, three years ago, and it became a source of comfort for me. But the last year seriously messed with my head and my focus became making some money and having some educational stability. So this site became sorely neglected and that made me mad but I couldn’t do anything about it. I looked back at the past three years and I’ve realised how happy this site has made me. I loved reading, but I had no one to talk too – my family are casual readers and don’t like the genres I read. The idea of blogging is alien to them and most see it as having zero value. So I’m planning to be better on this site since it has helped me so much.

This year I want to focus on creating and planning. Planning a better blog schedule, planning some sort of life plan, and planning in general since I seem to lack in that area. I started university last year (studying sociology) but from my experience of the first term, I seriously need to sort out a better uni/home/work balance.

How I want to change in 2018

My new year resolutions are quite simple.

  • Read at least 150 books (part Goodreads challenge, part me being disappointed about the lack of reading I did last year)
  • Learn Bengali – Improve would be a better choice since I can partially speak it because of my family but its terrible and I don’t know how to write it so that’s something I’m definitely focused on this year.
  • Save money – doesn’t everyone?
  • Vlog – if you were quick enough to see them, I made two videos last year but quickly made them private after a couple of days. But I want to vlog more, but I need to get over my fear of being on camera.

Enough of me, I’d love to hear your plans for 2018!! I’m just hoping I’ll stick to my plan, considering I kept it quite simple, I’m excited to see if everything goes to plan!! (and for you as well I hope)