Booksish Discussions, Reflections

What Made Me A Reader – World Book Day 2020

Was there a book you remember reading that made you the bookworm that you are now? I have loved reading for as long as I can remember. But I remember that reading The Magic Faraway Tree was what cemented my love for reading. I read that book so many times that I can still remember parts of the book and the illustrations even though I haven’t looked at the book in years.

I remember my parents taking all 5 of us sisters to the library every Saturday morning and me basically just spending hours there reading and finding new books to fall in love with. I found so many of my favourite childhood books in the library. From The Secret Seven, Artemis Fowl, Alex Rider, Cirque Du Freak and so much more. All 5 of us sisters are readers now because of how much time we spent around books.

Our parents are also readers so that I also helped us to become readers as books were always part of our life. Our parents books filled our house and my parents house has bookcases upon bookcases in every room and we still moved our parents older books in the attic as they don’t read as much now as they used to so we could make space for our books.

As all 5 of us were readers and have similar tastes in books we would discuss books together and especially us 3 older ones as teens would all fight over who would get to read the single copy our dad bought us first. I won because I am the oldest (it’s one of the few privileges the eldest has and I took full advantage). We fangirled about Harry Potter in our teens and discussed theories and had heated debates about our favourite characters.

Even now as we all read similar books we will still stay up late discussing and arguing about books and have all the bookish discussions. It’s like having our own book club. We also recommend (read: force) each other to read our favourite books so we can discuss it with them and we go to book events together and YALC too.

I know that for me being surrounded by books and growing up having my sisters to discuss books with has made me the reader that I am.


The Big Blurtathon – We All Have A Story

Today is The Blurt Foundation’s first Big Blurtathon. The aim of The Big Blurtathon is to raise awareness of mental health and the impact it has on people and to help raise funds for The Blurt Foundation. The theme this year is “we all have a story”.

But first let me tell you who The Blurt Foundation are. They are a social enterprise which exists to help people who are affected by depression. They are dedicated to making a positive social change and increase awareness and provide support for those affected by depression.

So lets get back to the theme of this post. Today I want to share my story with you all. It’s something I’ve been debating about doing since I heard about the blurtathon as I was kind of nervous about sharing what is a difficult topic for me. But I am going to share what I can with you all today.

So I was diagnosed with anxiety and depression 2 years ago but I know that I’ve had it for much longer than that. It just took me a very long time to actually seek help. I hid it for many years and I think I got so good at hiding it that it just became my “normal”. But eventually it got so bad that I couldn’t cope with anything anymore and I knew I had to seek help.

I kept it so well hidden that no-one even realised I had anxiety or depression. Everyone just thought I had mood swings and even I didn’t understand what was happening to me until I was about 18. But I was 25 when I first decided that I need to get help. It was probably the most scariest and stressful thing I’ve ever done. But I am proud of myself for finally taking that step.

I have good days and bad days and my mental health is also affected by how I am doing physically. I have 3 prolapsed discs in my lumbar spine and suffer from chronic pain. So one can make the other worse.

I think one of the most difficult things for me was that I had to stop working as physiotherapist, more due to my physical health but I think that’s one of the things that made my mental health deteriorate a lot more too. I’ve slowly come to terms with this now and I’ve started blogging and finding new things to keep me busy and joining the book community. It has helped me to start recovering and I am in a much better place now. It’s been a long road but I am proud of how far I have come.

I have started tentatively speaking to some of my family and friends about my anxiety and depression. I am hoping that as I get more used to speaking about it, it will help break the stigma which was one of the main reasons that I found it difficult to speak about it and seek help.

Even though I’ve struggled a lot with my condition, it’s helped me to become more resilient and persevere despite the circumstances.

So there you have it, this is my story.

Do go and check out the hashtag #weallhaveastory on social media for all the others who have shared their story today and check out The Blurt Foundation for more of their work on their Website and their social media; Twitter, Instagram and Facebook


Top 5 Wednesdays

Top 5 Wednesdays – Books I’ve removed from my TBR

Hey booknerds! It’s another Top 5 Wednesday post! This is hosted by Sam over on Thoughts on Tomes where you share you top 5 for the chosen topic for that week. You can check out each weeks topic over on Goodreads.

This weeks topic is Books I’ve removed from my TBR

I’m one of those people who continuously add books to my TBR despite it already being ridiculously huge! But I recently unhauled a whole bunch of books that I either didn’t enjoy or I realise now that I probably will never read.

So some of those that have been removed from my TBR are:

Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy – I really struggled with the first book and forced my way through it and the trilogy has since sat on my bookcase for a year and untouched. I finally accepted that I will never finish it. I only picked it up because there is so much hype around the books but it wasn’t for me unfortunately

The Legend trilogy – This is another series I picked up because I kept hearing great things but I just about managed to finish the first book before giving up on it.

The Darkest Minds – I actually DNF’d this book because I really couldn’t make myself to continue reading to the end.

Nevernight – I got this book an illumicrate box so I was really looking forward to reading it but I really didn’t enjoy it. I tried reading it 3 times before giving up on it.

The Graces – This is the first book in a series and this book was okay but I didn’t like it enough to continue with the series.

So these are some of the books I’ve removed from my TBR.

What books have you removed? What makes you decide to not continue with a series or not read a book you were previously excited about?

Adult Books, Books by Muslim Authors, Fiction Books, Muslim Shelf Space, The Daevabad Trilogy

The City of Brass Book Review

This book was one of my most anticipated releases this year and let me tell you, it did not disappoint! I loved this book so much and it’s probably one of my favourite reads this year!

If you haven’t heard of or read this book then you really need to go buy it and read it! Trust me you won’t be disappointed!

city of brass

The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty is an adult fantasy set in 18th century Cairo. And this was enough to make me want to read it! Then the cover was revealed and I fell in love!

This is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Nahri has never believed in magic. Certainly, she has power; on the streets of 18th century Cairo, she’s a con woman of unsurpassed talent. But she knows better than anyone that the trade she uses to get by—palm readings, zars, healings—are all tricks, sleights of hand, learned skills; a means to the delightful end of swindling Ottoman nobles.
But when Nahri accidentally summons an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior to her side during one of her cons, she’s forced to accept that the magical world she thought only existed in childhood stories is real. For the warrior tells her a new tale: across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire, and rivers where the mythical marid sleep; past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises, and mountains where the circling hawks are not what they seem, lies Daevabad, the legendary city of brass, a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound.
In that city, behind gilded brass walls laced with enchantments, behind the six gates of the six djinn tribes, old resentments are simmering. And when Nahri decides to enter this world, she learns that true power is fierce and brutal. That magic cannot shield her from the dangerous web of court politics. That even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences.
After all, there is a reason they say be careful what you wish for…

The City of Brass is a book that had me hooked from the first page! I read the first page and literally squealed because the main character, Nahri, was wearing an abaya and I finally got to see a character dressed like me! So after that I had really high expectations and I loved the references to middle eastern culture and Islam. It was wonderfully woven into the story.

The story is told from two different points of view. Nahri, who grew up in the human world and was a con artist and worked as a healer and as someone who exorcised djinns from humans. She doesn’t really believe in any of this but one day she accidently releases a real djinn called Dara. And this is where her adventure begins and leads her to the world on djinns. She travels to the City of Brass (Daevabad) with Dara which is where the djinns live.

The second point of view is told from Ali who is a Qahtani Prince. His story starts with him being shown a world within his city of the lesser class. He is shown the injustices done to them just for being born a shafit and not a pureblood djinn. This is where his story progresses and he has to battle between his loyalty to his father (and king) and doing what is right and just.

I adored both their characters! Nahri is such a badass and definitely capable of taking care of herself. She has great character development from the selfish girl who puts herself first to someone who puts a whole tribe first by the end of the book. I loved that she wasn’t perfect or able to develop her abilities easily, instead she struggles with using her powers which made her so much more relatable and a much more interesting character.

Ali is a cinnamon roll and I will not be able to deal with anything happening to him in the next book! He is someone who wants to help the lesser class of people in the city but to do so would be to betray his family and risk being killed as a traitor. His conflict happens throughout most of the book and although I loved him I just wish he would have acted a bit more on doing what is right. Though I did feel for him as other people on both sides put him in difficult positions.

Dara who was another main character, although we don’t see his point of view, we still learn about his history through both Nahri and Ali and at first I found him really interesting but as the story progressed I found him less likeable and I am not actually sure where I stand with him though I am interested to see where his story will go in the next book.

One of my favourite parts of this book was the incredible world building! I loved this world so much and felt totally immersed in this world. The backstory and the politics of why the city is the way it is was so intricately and well done. It made me feel for both sides and it was hard to see who was truly at fault and who was telling the whole truth. I also loved seeing the rich culture of 18th century Egypt and it was such a different setting from the usual fantasy settings in fantasy books.

This story despite having some tropes we are familiar with the story was still unique and original and I cannot wait to continue with this story! There was so many plot twists and some I did not see coming at all! The ending especially left me dying and just wanting the next book straight away! And then the epilogue left me wanting more!

This book was enchanting and I was drawn in from the very first page and this book left me wanting more! There are amazing characters, a wonderfully complex and interesting story and such incredible world building. If you haven’t been able to tell already I adored this book from the story to the cover to characters. And I am so excited to see where the story will go next, especially with that epilogue!

You should all go read this book! You will not be disappointed!

Rating: 5/5




Percy Jackson Nerdy Post Box Unboxing

Hey booknerds! So this is another Nerdy Post box unboxing! This was a special one off box based on Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series. As soon as I heard them announce the box I knew I had to buy it! I adore this series and I can never find much merch for it.

I absolutely love this box and I am so glad I was able to buy it. Me and my sisters all bought a box and the nerdy post team were kind enough to combine the boxes so that I wouldn’t have to pay multiple shipping.

So lets get to the unboxing!

percy jackson unboxing

So the first item in the box was a beautiful art print with the quote: If my life is going to mean anything, I have to live it myself.

nerdy post big print

The next item was an iron on patch which says Camp-Half Blood!

A mini print inspired by Grover Underwood with the quote: Remake the wild a little at a time. I love it so much especially as Grover is so underrated.

A second mini print inspired by Annabeth Chase and one of my favourite characters! The quote says: Even strength must bow to wisdom sometimes. This is also one of my favourite quotes!

percy mini prints

They also included an enamel pin of Blackjack which says Hey boss. Blackjack is Percy’s Pegasus and I love it!

There was a double sided bookmark which I love getting in these boxes! One side says: Look I didn’t want to be a half blood. And the other side says: Seaweed Brain. I love this nickname that Annabeth gives Percy.

percy bookmark

There was also a beautiful booksleeve which shows the hippocampi or as Tyson calls them, Fish Ponies!

There was a sticker which says: I can do this, probably. I relate to this quote so much!

As this was the ultimate they also included a candle which is called Ol’ Barnacle Beard which was made by My Wick of Tea. It smells amazing!


The last item was a badge. In my photo you can see all 3 variations as I ordered 4 boxes (for my sisters) They tell you who your godly parent and which cabin you belong in. You could have gotten: Poseidon, Athena or Hades. I still haven’t decided which I want to keep and which to let my sisters fight it out over!

pjo pins

So that’s everything included in the box! I loved this box so much! I adore the Percy Jackson series and I am so happy to finally have amazing merch for these books!

There was also a t-shirt which had a Nico Di Angelo quote and I wish I could have gotten that too.

Did you get the box? What was your favourite item?