Bookish Corner

MUST READ DIVERSE GRAPHIC NOVELS|BOOK LIST

I consider these books very important in forming a perspective and wished I had them when I was young. Even though important topics or issues are addressed through these, they are immensely captivating and an easy read. Not boring even for a second.

1. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi:Persepolis is a graphic autobiography by Marjane Satrapi that depicts her childhood up to her early adult years in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution.’ It’s an easy but a very informative book.

2. Heartstopper by Alice Oseman: Heartstopper is a heartwarming YA LGBT+ romance. And is one of the best there is! And is definitely one of the MOST adorable book I’ve ever
read!
Also, I think its an important book for young readers in forming a perspective, as Alice in a very easy way addresses gender fluidity, bisexuality, homophobia and alike.

I have previously reviewed it on my blog. Click Here To Read…

3. Yes, I’m Hot In This by Huda Fahmy:Yes, I’m Hot In This is both hilarious and heartbreaking in its portrayal of what it’s like to wear a Hijab and visibly be a Muslim in America(or just in today’s world.) Extremely funny in its jabs at the half boiled judgements people throw at them and calls out the double standards of media.

I have previously reviewed it on my blog. Click Here To Read…


Let me know your thoughts if you have read any of these books. Also, I would love to know your suggestions in this genre.

Bookish Corner

AUTHOR INTERVIEW: PAYAL KAPADIA

Payal Kapadia is an author of many bestselling books and is the recipient of the 2013 Crossword Book Award(Children’s Literature) for Wisha Wozzariter. She lives in Mumbai with her husband, two daughters who enjoy breaking the rules just as much as she does, more laptops than one family should own up to owning and no dogs. Yet.


Me: Congratulations Payal on the release of your new novel ‘Twice Upon A Time‘. It seems so promising. But first what I need to ask everyone is were you always a reader?

Payal: As far back as I can remember, I’ve loved reading. Perhaps it was because I had so much more free time than kids these days – no extra classes of any sort, no screens to distract me. I recall the neighbourhood librarian, a rather severe old man, calling my mother to complain about the huge library bills I was running up!
Me: Who were some of your favourite authors as a child?
P: I grew up with much more limited reading fare, but I read everything by Enid Blyton and still own my old copy of The Magic Faraway Tree. I also read Roald Dahl and C.S. Lewis.
Me: What do you love most about writing for children?
P: The space it gives me to be recklessly imaginative! Children are so much more adept at suspending disbelief than grown-ups are.
Me: Where do you get your inspiration from?
P: From the world around me. From people, from the news, from books I read and things I see. And when the real world proves disappointing, I invent.
Me: Your debut ‘Wisha Wozzariter met with so much success and praise. You even won the Crossword Book Award for Children’s Writing for it. How did you feel?
P: There’s nothing like an award to beat writer’s block. I’d wanted to be a writer since I was ten – and yet, when I sat down, at the age of 30, to write Wisha Wozzariter, I felt uncertain. At one point, I got so stuck that I put the book away, half-done, and returned to it only six years later when Penguin offered to run it even though they’d only seen half of it!
Winning the Crossword Award made me realize that I was on to something. That I could write. That I hadn’t been all that wrong as a 10-year-old who’d dreamed of being an author. It gave me the courage to keep writing.
Me: How has the journey been from there till today as an author?
P: It’s been a magical journey, and I’ve cut my teeth on different kinds of books. I like writing books that I have no idea how to write. Sometimes it’s frustrating, or downright terrifying, but at the end of it, like a hero in an adventure, I see how I’m better for attempting it anyway. I’ve written ‘Horrid High’ and ‘Horrid High: Back to School‘ – and I was quite unprepared for how popular they became with kids. I wrote a biography of Dr B.R. Ambedkar, drawing upon my background and training as a journalist. And I wrote ‘Maidless in Mumbai‘, a book for grown-ups though there’s nothing grown up about it! And with ‘Twice Upon a Time‘, I set myself the challenge of taking the tired old princess convention and doing something clever with it.
Me: Tell us more about your recent release ‘Twice Upon A Time’ and why is it important to you?
P: When my editor at Penguin suggested I write a princess story, my first response was to say no. Why would I tell a princess story when it’s been told so many times before? But then I thought of my two daughters. They’d both grown up reading princess stories. They’d both loved pink and gone through an ‘everything should be pink’ phase — and now hated the colour. And while they wanted to be in a princess story, I was afraid they were growing up too fast. And that they’d outgrow the princess story faster than I could write it.
This got me thinking. Could the classic princess story be tweaked to reflect what it’s like being a girl – or a boy – these days? Could I come up with a new sort of princess story for girls who’ve outgrown princesses? Even maybe, just maybe, a princess story that isn’t only for girls?
That’s when I told my editor I’d write the book. I simply had to.
Me: The book is marketed for 9+ audience. It’s such an impressionable age. How you to intend to impact their mindset/thought process through ‘Twice Upon A Time’?
P: I don’t write any of my books with the intention to alter how my readers think. I write to tell a story that reflects the world in a new and original way. And I can’t resist the temptation of overturning stereotypes.
Of course, when Princess Keya quits her princess job and a bubble-gum-chewing girl called Nyla lands up to fill some very fancy shoes, I’m hoping that my readers will want to know what happens next. Maybe they’ll find that there are many different ways to be a girl, a boy, or a person. That princesses – and people – don’t have to do big, bold things to become big, bold heroes. (Though there has to be a dragon in a princess story, and I won’t disappoint my readers there!) Maybe they’ll find that real courage lies elsewhere. Maybe they’ll feel like retelling other fairy tales to make them fit our times. I do hope they’ll question everything they read and be willing to rethink it.
Me: Do you wish there were more books like this that redefined femininity when you were young?
P: Yes, I certainly wish I’d read more books that redefined being female, if that’s what you mean, because the biggest challenge for princesses (and girls) today isn’t fighting pirates or enemy armies. It’s fighting mass-manufactured definitions of who they should be.
Me: Why do you think it’s important for children to develop a love for reading?
P: I don’t think it’s ‘important’ for children to develop a love for reading, and what I mean is, we shouldn’t force children to read. Reading is the last bastion of freedom. Children will read only if books bring them joy, not if we turn reading into yet another educational enterprise by giving them exercises to solve or words to look up. But we can – and should – expose children to as many books as possible. Children who love reading grow up being imaginative, articulate and empathetic. I can’t imagine the world being in better hands than in the hands of a reader.


She can be found at http://www.payalkapadia.com and http://www.horridhigh.com. She is also on Facebook as payalrkapadia.


What are your thoughts on redefining feminity? Do you too wish there had been books like these when you were young?🙂Let me know in the comments.❤

Bookish Corner

ROSALIND STOPPS-AUTHOR INTERVIEW(+INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY)|BLOG TOUR

Rosalind Stopps has always wanted to tell the stories of the less heard. For many years she worked with children with disabilities and their families.
She has five grown up children, three grandchildren and an MA in creative writing from Lancaster University. Rosalind’s short stories have been published in five anthologies and read at live literature events in London, Leeds, Hong Kong and New York. She lives in South East London with large numbers of humans and dogs.
When she is not writing fiction she is, mostly, reading it or working as a host at London’s South Bank Arts Centre. Hello, My Name is May is her debut novel.


  • Hi Rosalind, congratulations on your debut novel ‘Hello, My Name Is May‘. The blurb itself is giving me all the chills. Have you always been a reader?

Absolutely always! I’ve had a book on the go since I was seven years old, and as soon as I finish one book I start another. I can’t imagine a life without reading.

  • Who were some of your favourite authors as a child?

As a child I was often in trouble for reading when I should have been doing something else, like homework or revising. I went to the library every Saturday afternoon, and I read everything. Everything, even the books for boys, (yes, we had those then) about fighter pilots and footballers. My favourites were Malcolm Saville, who wrote about the Lone Pine Club, and Arthur Ransome, who wrote Swallows and Amazons. I can still remember standing in the children’s library one day and realising that I had read everything. They let me join the adult library early!

  • And who do you love reading now?

Now, I still read as widely as I can across genres but my absolute favourites are Elizabeth Strout, Ann Tyler, Stephen King and Kazuo Ishiguro. If I could write something half as good as any of them I’d be happy!

  • How long did it take you to pen down My Name Is May ?

Books are like babies – about nine months for the first draft to be written, but there’s a lot of work to be done after that to get them ready to be seen by the world. I’m aware that analogy doesn’t completely work, so apologies. Probably a year and a half for this one altogether.

  • Where did you get your inspiration from?

I have always made up stories about the world around me, from when I was a little girl. I use what I see and hear, what’s happening to people close to me and what I know, and I weave it together using my imagination. My imagination has always worked overtime!

  • What are your interests other than writing?

Reading! (Sorry to be predictable). My dogs, my family, and the politics of trying to live in a world as flawed and full of troubles as ours.

  • Tell us more about ‘My Name Is May’ and why is it important to you?

I have been writing for many years, and a recurring theme in all my writing is the idea of giving a voice to people who haven’t got one. May was the easiest person to give a voice to. She’s grumpy and funny, she’s not a sweet little old lady sitting in a corner. I think all of us can relate a little to what happens to her.
Everyone has an experience of their own of not being listened to, not being understood, not being taken seriously. And the lucky ones amongst us are all going to find out what it’s like to be old, and living in a body that doesn’t function as it should.
It was important to me to show that we still have stories as we grow older. And that some of those stories are determined by what happens to us when we are younger. I wanted to talk about the kind of domestic abuse that often goes unnoticed, that women don’t always share. Most of all, I wanted to show how women look out for each other, even in difficult circumstances.

  • Themes of mental illness and abusive marriage are enmeshed in the story. How do you to intend to impact the readers?

I’m not sure that mental illness is the right term – May has had a catastrophic brain injury that has deeply affected every area of her life. This happens to people every day, from babies to old people. I wanted to show that it would be wrong to write her off because of this. That people are still the same inside even when the outward packaging has changed. I hope that everyone who reads my book thinks of someone they might be able to treat slightly differently, someone who might deserve a little more dignity. If not, they can save the thought for the future, because it might be needed at some point for someone they know.
The theme of domestic violence is close to my heart. I’ve seen women close to me struggling with coercion and violence and it seems that this hasn’t changed in the last fifty years. Maybe there is an increased awareness these days in some ways, but in others there has been little or no progress. Austerity adds to this, of course. Some mornings I wake up and listen to the news and think that we have learned nothing at all about kindness and equality since I was a girl. It’s tempting to get back under the covers but instead I try to do what I can, which is write a story that might just make someone happier.


INTERNATIONAL GIVEAWAY

I will be giving away 1 copy of this book from EACH of my platforms. Huge thanks to HQ for sponsoring the giveaway. For more entries check out my Instagram and Twitter.

Open Internationally. Ends 7th May.

To enter: Comment on this post to enter.


Bookish Corner

FEBRUARY WRAP UP|2019

I haven’t been able to upload this earlier due to my lack of motivation and social isolation. I have been working on my mental health and hope to be more present. Till then here’s the books I read in February. 🙂



1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

An older couple struggling with their marriage gets a second chance through a magic telephone. A telephone through which Georgie could call Neal 15 years back. I absolutely adored and devoured this book. The dynamics of the relationship between Georgie and Neal, and how they play out and evolve is so real and fulfilling. It’s very heartwarming and I’ve already added it to my list of “The Best Books I’ve Ever Read”.


2. The Parrot And The Merchant By Pippa Goodheart

It’s a short translated and illustrated work of Rumi intended for children. It’s about a merchant who likes to collect birds from different countries. And is about setting them free! A very small edit is done to the original content to give a feminist perspective and I definitely liked it.


3. Tangled by Emma Chase

Totally a disappointment. I mean the writing was TRASH! The narrative was TRASH! The male love interest was TRASH! It was so very MYSOGYNISTIC and I wonder why I even bothered to finish reading it!


4. A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Wow! A Very Large Expanse of Sea is about racism, Islamophobia and young love. February gave me 2 Best Books Ever! THIS BOOK. This book is all consuming and heartbreaking and yet heartwarming. It will give you so many emotions that you’ll not know what to do with them.


5. Dear Ijeawele, or a feminist manifesto in fifteen suggestions by Cimamanda Gnozi Adichie

Adichie writes this book for her friend who turns to Adichie for an advice on how to raise her daughtee feminist. This book states some BASIC ideas of feminism and was a good read.


6. Safely Endangered Comics by Chris McCoy

This is an upcoming graphic novel. It’s funny and is filled with some grim wit!


7. Never Tell by Lisa Gardner

A great thriller. Combination of dense plot and fast pace always keeps you on the hook. It’s about Liz who is found to have shoot her husband accidentally. She also shot her father accidentally 16 years back. Are these really accident or will Liz get away with murder twice!


Have you read any of these? Are they in your TBR? Let me know in the comments. Or just drop in a HI!❤

Authors' shelf · Bookish Corner

An Interview with Phoebe Morgan|Author Interview

Today I’ll be hosting a question answer session with Phoebe Morgan in here. She writes domestic thrillers and her debut novel, The Doll House has been an Amazon bestseller. Her second novel, The Girl Next Door just hit the stores.

Me: Hi Phoebe. Your debut The Doll House was a compelling read. How did it come to be?

Phoebe: I wrote most of The Doll House whilst working full time in publishing, and babysitting in the evenings – a lot of it was written when the baby went to sleep! I then sent it out to agents and luckily Camilla Bolton at Darley Anderson liked it, and took me on as an author. She then sent the manuscript out and HQ offered to publish it – it was lovely and I felt very lucky, although up until that point there had been more than my fair share of rejection, for sure!

Me: All those rejections must have been worth it after getting approved by HQ, as The Doll House went on to become a bestseller later. How does all of it feel?

Phoebe: I’m still so grateful that it was published at all, and then when the ebook did reasonably well I was over the moon! I’m always looking forward to the next thing, though, so I’m quite hard on myself and have so much more that I want to try to achieve.

Amazon(US)|Amazon(IN)Amazon(UK)

Me: And how has the journey been from there till today as an author?

Phoebe: After The Doll House, I then got a two book deal with HQ which was a lovely moment as it gave me a year or two of security in terms of knowing I would definitely have two other books out rather than go back out on submission, which is not a fun process! It’s been wonderful being published by HarperCollins, and of course, connecting with readers. I love getting messages from people who have enjoyed my books – it makes it all feel worthwhile, and I try to remind myself of that when I’m struggling with a plot point or in the depths of a brutal edit!

Me: Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Phoebe: I wanted to be a journalist after university, and trained as a journalist, with my first proper job as a reporter on a local newspaper. Then I went into publishing, and loved it – I love my day job as an editor and would never want to give it up. Writing is something I always wanted to do in some capacity but I didn’t know whether it would ever actually happen – it still feels like a dream come true that I can hold a copy of my book in my hands! So I suppose I did always want to write, but writing fiction is something I only took seriously after I was about 24.

Me: And what about the plot or the genre? Have you known what you wanted to work on since then?

Phoebe: In my day job I work on commercial fiction which is really my passion; I love stories that allow people to escape and that are accessible to all. I was not a good journalist – I always wanted to have a bit more artistic license than court reporting allowed!

Me: So why domestic thrillers? What do you love most about writing them?

Phoebe: I read a lot of domestic thrillers and love the way they create mystery and keep you guessing (well, they should do, anyway!) I like not knowing what’s coming next, and I like twisted, difficult, dislikeable characters, so I was naturally drawn to this genre. I also love short stories though and recently have got more and more into non-fiction too.

Me: What according to you is the element that makes or breaks such books?

Phoebe: I think there’s never really one thing – it’s all a mixture of timing, talent, luck – you name it! All any writer can do is find a good agent and then do your absolute best to write your best novels, listen to the advice of your publisher, and know when things feel right or wrong. I think there are some brilliant books that might never see the light of day, and equally some not so great novels that end up getting published, so all anyone can do is keep trying and hopefully your manuscript will land on the right editor’s desk at the right time! Then the really hard work begins…

Amazon(US)|Amazon(IN)Amazon(UK)

Me: So do you plan on sticking with writing on this genre. Or do you want to explore?

Phoebe: At the moment I’m not sure – the third book will be in the same genre but after that I might explore! I’d definitely be open to writing something different, but equally I do love crime so might stick with that if people still want to read it!

Me: Tell us more about your upcoming release The Girl Next Door and why is it important to you? It seems equally chilling.

Phoebe: The Girl Next Door is about Jane Goodwin and her husband Jack, who live in the town of Ashdon, Essex. The small, gossipy community is rocked to the core when a young teenager, Clare Edwards, is found dead in a local field – and the book explores how she came to die and why. I loved writing this book and I hope people enjoy it – it’s my second book and so I feel like I can’t take anything for granted, which is very nerve-wracking indeed!

Me: Where do you get your inspiration from?

Phoebe: All sorts of places really. I might see a photo or picture that inspires a story, or a certain person who could form a character which I’d create a story around. My third book was an idea I thought of whilst on holiday in France, and it’s partly set in France, so sometimes locations can be inspirational as well. It’s always best to keep an open mind and take inspiration whenever it comes!


80692a8120f2122dc115191417160548.jpgPhoebe Morgan is an author and editor. She studied English at Leeds University after growing up in the Suffolk countryside. She has previously worked as a journalist and now edits crime and women’s fiction for a publishing house during the day, and writes her own books in the evenings. She lives in London and you can follow her on Twitter @Phoebe_A_Morgan. The Doll House is her debut novel. It became a bestseller, topping the iBooks charts at #1 and the Amazon charts at #35.

You can find Phoebe on

Website|Twitter|Facebook|Instagram


Follow other hosts on the blog tour:

Bookish Corner · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Romance · Young Adult

MINI REVIEWS OF 2 KASIE WEST NOVELS|2 IN 1 BOOK REVIEW

Kasie West is an author I got introduced to in 2018. So far I’ve read 2 novel of hers and 1 short story. Here are the mini reviews of the 2 novels I’ve read of hers.

1. By Your Side: It was just a fine read for me. Though the characters were gorgeous and charming, the plot was unnecessarily complicated. I did not like how West tried to tackle the love triangle. What she tried, required a thorough exploration of emotions and that was not done. It was a fluffy YA and should have been kept at just that! I don’t like things done half way. Like if you want to do a chick lit, ace that. Don’t try to throw in some complications just for the sake of some brownie critic points! Specially if you can’t do justice to that!

Though brooding and mysterious Dax, gets it a 3.5☆ from me.

AMAZONUS|AMAZONIN|BOOKDEPOSITORY

2. Fill-in Boyfriend, is a slow burn feel-good romance with the ‘fake dating trope’. It instantly became one of my favourite YA contemporary romances. Light, simple and fluffy, this book is a perfect weekend read. Hayden and Hannah will make you swoon!

It’s a 5☆ from me.

AMAZONUS|AMAZONIN|BOOKDEPOSITORY


Have you read a Kasie West? What’s your thought on these?😀