HOW TO PLAN TBR?

TBR is basically to be read. So many books, so little time!

  • Don’t feel pressurized.
  • Try to mix-up genres.
  • Read what you want.
  • Don’t over plan.
  • Re-reading is fine too.

Goodreads has a challenge where you can set a reading goal for the year. It’s meant to be fun and not daunting. You can even change you goal if you want! Sometimes this goal can help you plan your reads. 

When planning a monthly TBR, I decide that there will be at least one book in my selection that I am guaranteed to like. Whether its by a favourite author, or it’s a recommendation from a friend, pick something you know you’ll like. 

Sticking to the tbr list is a task. Moodreaders like me can pick books as per their mood. There is no need for tbr lists. However, while planning tbr list for the month. Try to include varieties of genres. Sticking to a genre might be tiring.

Re-reading! Yes, there are lots of books in the world and yes, you want to try and read as many as you can. I feel the same! I made it a rule to re-read books I like once in a while. After all it’s not a race to keep running on new books. We can get some times to re-read.

Time management I know it sounds professional now. When I say time management I mean look at the month’s schedule and plan accordingly. If you have a hectic month, minimize your book in numbers and pick the themes carefully.

READING SLUMP

Major enemy for tbrs are book slumps. When I complete a heavy or slow read I fall into a slump. That affects my tbr for the month. It is okay to take time to to out of the slump and it is again okay if you couldn’t catch up with the tbr planned.

BUDDY READING

Read-a-longs are great fun that can be done anywhere; a local book group, a buddy read with a friend, or on social media. If there is a read-a-long happening, usually there is also a discussion which can also be fun to do.

I get this question a lot, does audiobooks count as reading? Yes! Audiobooks can be in your tbr and that definitely adds up as reading.

MY TBR FOR SEPTEMBER

I had “I came upon a Lighthouse by Shantanu Naidu” the next couple of books are;

  1. Death served cold by Sourabh Mukherjee.
  2. The Liberation of Sita by Volga.
  3. Ghoster by Jason Arnopp.
  4. The Fire Keeper’s daughter by Angeline Boulley.
  5. The Grace Year by Kim Liggett.

Well. I’m a moodreader, I’m not sure whether I would follow this list. If I read atleast 1 from this list, I’m a winner. Do follow me on Instagram @aadhireads

Remember reading is not meant to stress you out. So keep in mind that whether or not you reach that goal you set for yourself, there’s no award to win, no prize. You can crush your Goodreads goals and surpass them by 100%, there’s no innate value to reading.

Thank you!

EFFECTIVE WAYS TO TAKE NOTES

If you want your notes to be concise and brief, use abbreviations and symbols. Write in bullets and phrases instead of complete sentences. This will help your mind and hand to stay fresh during class and will help you access things easier and quicker after class. It will also help you focus on the main concepts.

Heading off to college needs leveling up. Now that you’re in college, you’re going to need to upgrade.

APPS FOR NOTE-TAKING

Taking good notes in class is an important part of academic success in college. Actively taking notes during class can help you focus and better understand main concepts. It will improve your active listening.

EFFECTIVE METHODS

1. The outline method is the easiest. Select four or five points that are going to be covered in a specific lesson. Under those key points, you write more in-depth sub-points based on what is being discussed on those topics.

2. Developed in the 1950s by Cornell University, this is the most common note taking method around. In fact, the outline method is likely inspired by this method as there are similarities to it. The Cornell Method.

The cue section is the section where you fill out main points, people, potential test questions and more. This section is devoted to helping you recall larger topics and ideas. The cue and the wider column to take actual notes. A summary at the bottom.

3. Mind mapping is a great way to take notes.The use of the map is to serve as a visual aid for how every topic is related to one another. It also allows you to go into detail on particular ideas or topics.

4. The sentence method is when you note down all that’s being said. The problem with this method is that it can be tough to keep up with everything else that’s happening. It is difficult when we handwriting the notes. You can still be brief by covering the main points.

5. Charting notes take the Cornell method and divide a sheet into three columns. Similar to the mind mapping method, this helps you in connecting relationships and facts together between topics.

Source: Notetaking

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

Note taking forces us to focus and listen in the class. It helps us to concentrate. It helps you learn. Studies on learning have shown that actively engaging with the topic by listening and then summarizing what you hear helps you understand and remember the information later.

Keeps you alert. Notetaking keeps your body active and involved and helps you avoid feelings of drowsiness or distraction. In order to take notes – to write something sensible – you must understand the text. As listening and reading are interactive tasks, taking notes help you make sense of the text.

Without notes, It will be hard to understand the text and we will suffer during exam times.

TAKING NOTES WASTE OF TIME?

Taking notes hits the jackpot because it includes the most useless studying method: Highlighting. But I disagree, Highlighting helps us to get back and review the notes. If you see it as a waste of time, you can avoid it. Note taking is never a waste of time.

Hope this helps. Thank you!

IDIOMS TO KNOW

A group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.

1. It is raining Cats and Dogs meaning it is raining heavily.

Example: I can’t make it on time for the meeting as it’s raining cats and dogs.

Do Pigs Fly? No. It’s important right? So is the meaning.

2. When Pigs Fly – That is impossible or never happens.

The phrase is often used for humorous effect, to scoff at over-ambition. There are numerous variations on the theme; when an individual with a reputation for failure finally succeeds, onlookers may sarcastically claim to see a flying pig.

3. Once in a blue moon – very rarely.

A blue moon is the term commonly used for a second full moon that occasionally appears in a single month of our solar-based calendars. In such a case, one of the four full moons in that season was labeled “blue.”

4. Break a leg – Good Luck!

This is an expression used mostly in the world of theatre to mean ‘Good Luck’ Actors and musicians are never wished ‘good luck’; before they walk on to the stage, they are usually told ‘break a leg’. This form of wishing people is beginning to be used in other contexts as well.

Example: I know you can do it. Break a leg!

5. Hit the books – to study with serious efforts.

Informal way if saying – to begin to study in a serious and determined way: I have to hit the books this weekend — I have two exams next week.

6. Digging your own grave – Doing something that will cause problems.

If you say that someone is digging their own grave, you are warning them that they are doing something foolish or dangerous that will cause their own failure. When someone takes unnecessary risks, like digging his own grave knowing he will get caught will be called as Daredevil.

Example: He dug his own grave knowing the consequences. You know, he is like that – a daredevil always.

7. Pull someone’s leg – kidding or joking.

If you accuse someone of pulling your leg, you mean that you believe they are teasing you. Usually you can tell if someone’s pulling your leg. Often the thing they are saying is difficult to believe or unrealistic. They might also be smiling when they say it. If you think someone is pulling your leg, say “haha pull the other one!”

8. Breaking new ground – Trying something new.

To do something innovative that is regarded as an advance or of positive benefit.Trying something new helps us break the routine. If we maintain a habit of trying new things, we progress and learn to be more open—open to change, new experiences, and to new possibilities.

9. Digging around – you try to find information about someone or something. 

Example: They said, after digging around, that the document was fake.

10. Take it with a pinch of salt – Don’t take it seriously.

So the truth is almost certainly that “with a grain (or pinch) of salt” originated sometime in the Middle Ages and always simply referred to making dull food more exciting (or a tall tale easier to swallow) by sprinkling a bit of salt on it. Later on, used to take things lightly.

Hope this helps. Thank you!

5 TIPS TO ENHANCE PERSONALITY

The personality is the typical pattern of thinking, feeling, and behaviors that make a person unique. When someone’s personality is good, it means that the person is pleasent to be with. It is your personality that determines whether people are attracted to, or shy away from you.

LISTEN

Being a better listener would be the major thing. There is nothing more appealing than having someone listen to you intently making you feel like you’re the only person in the world. Giving someone attention when they speak can make them feel important. They want to be noted and taken seriously, eye contact can help us convey that we are indeed listening.

Example: we are drawn to a friend who listens to us rather than the one who talks more than listen. Listening is the key to effective communication.

Without the ability to listen effectively, messages are easily misunderstood. As a result, communication breaks down and the sender of the message can easily become frustrated or irritated. The perfect conversation ratio would be 75% listening and 25% speaking. Listening in the sense cultivate the habit of active listening by giving signs that you are listening for example: nodding your head and giving an appropriate phrase now and then.

AVOID THE ME TOO SYNDROME

When someone talks to us, avoid telling them that the same happened to you too. It is not about you. We can say that when we relate to few things. But avoid saying “That happened with me too” or ” worse than that happened to me” don’t assume that their problem or query is small. Each person has a different emotion.

ICE BREAKING

Icebreakers are commonly presented as a game to “warm up” the group by helping the members to get to know each other. Icebreaker are fun activities arranged to help people get to know one another. They can also be designed to allow students to become acquainted with course content and expectations. The person will see the human side of you when ice breaking jokes or questions are made and warms up.

POWER OF KNOWING NAMES

Most of us forget people’s names which isn’t going to look well. Our names are an incredibly important part of our identity. They carry deep personal, cultural, familial, and historical connections. They also give us a sense of who we are, the communities in which we belong, and our place in the world.

Pronouncing names correctly shows that I remember you, I care about you, and you are important. A name, our identity, is a powerful thing. It is a descriptor that allows people to make quick judgments and assumptions about us.

INTERESTS

Talk fluently on a wide range of topics. People with the same interests will talk more. Example: someone loves books and movies. Talking to them about the same will enhance the conversation. It will be a conversation rather than a solo conversation from our side. Kindling their interest by talking about the topics that they find interesting will help us to communicate better. The person will not forget us that easily as we had a satisfying conversation about the topic of interest.

An additional point for you, A charismatic person will have the confidence to say no. Don’t be afraid of setting healthy boundaries. What will they think if I say no? Will my personality be considered as bad if I say no? No. It doesn’t affect your personality.

Hope this helps. Thank you!

PROCRASTINATION

Procrastination is the action of unnecessarily and voluntarily delaying or postponing something despite knowing that there will be negative consequences for doing so. The word has origin from the Latin procrastinatus, which itself evolved from the prefix pro-, meaning “forward,” and crastinus, meaning “of tomorrow.” 

In simple words, procrastination is the delaying or postponing something. For example, if someone has a week to finish an assignment, but they keep postponing it until right before the deadline, despite the fact that they intended to work on it earlier, that person is procrastinating.

WHAT CAUSES PROCRASTINATION ?

People usually procrastinate as they are afraid of failing at the task they need to complete. This fear of failure can promote procrastination. They pursue perfectionism the fear of doing less than perfect. Also there is another reason, they might feel disorganized.

In a study of procrastination, Joseph R. Ferrari, PhD, the leading researcher, reveals how the behavior is more like a form of self-sabotage. Demotivating psychological factors, such as fear of failure or anxiety, outweigh self-control to get something done.

 

Sometimes we procrastinate as we get pressurized. Fear of criticism, low self-esteem, task aversion, trouble focusing, discussion fatigue, lack of energy and resisting challenges. Procrastination prevents you from reaching your full potential.

SOLUTION

Perfectionists tend to develop an “all or nothing” approach. It’s either great or terrible, I’m either smart or stupid approach should be avoided. Making mistakes is far better than not doing something altogether. You might not get a 10/10, but by making an attempt, you still move past the point of doing nothing at all. Go for “enough” or what is “necessary” instead of the big, embellished vision.

Get organized by making a to-do list, establish a routine. Thing might might huge, in that case break and conquer. Break the tasks into small tasks and then conquer it. Reward yourself after completing a task with simple things. Take control of the environment and situation.

Distraction also promotes procrastination, minimize the distractions. Schedule, set aside time for tasks. Switch off the mobile phones, or stay away from distracting media apps. Multitasking after procrastination often tires us. Avoid multitasking. Breaks are important to avoid burn outs, take quick breaks in between tasks. Usage of visual reminders can help us keep our vision clear.

When you consistently decide to push your important work until later, and instead focus on low-value, “fast and easy” tasks like email, you end up with days adding up to weeks and months that are busy but not productive.

APPS TO FIGHT PROCRASTINATION

Toggl track is an app that allows us to track how much time we spend working on each task. When we press start the timer runs. After you’re done with the task, or you need a break, press stop and the work period is recorded. If you’ve labeled and color-coded your projects, you can see exactly where your time went this week. 

Brainfm plays music to help you focus when you are working or studying. Using  the app is as simple as opening it up and tapping on the “listening mode” that you want, and the music starts playing. You have options for Focus, Sleep, Recharge, and Meditation.

Offtime great way to deal with those is too set up a system that blocks all interruptions on your phone — Offtime does this brilliantly. You can enable/disable texts and calls.

Thank you.

ILLUSTRATED BOOKS ARE NOT JUST FOR CHILDREN!

Hear me out! Illustrations are colorful, soulful and attractive. These Illustrations create an urge to turn the page and read, not just for children. Adults too can read, enjoy Illustrated books.

Most of us have hectic, stressful days. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. Those days we seek to entertain us and restore our energy. Illustrated books are pretty, eye-pleasing and cozy.

WAYS TO TREAT BURNOUT

  • Try to eliminate the source of stress.
  • Take a break
  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Journaling
  • Reading light themed books
  • Get more sleep
  • Massage to relax
  • Medical treatment

ILLUSTRATED BOOKS YOU CAN READ

THE LITTLE PRINCE BY ANTOINE DE SAINT-EXUPERY

The Little Prince is a novella by French aristocrat, writer, and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The story is just as versatile. Some people understand it as a kind of science-fiction fairy tale that has both optimistic and pessimistic commentary on the future.

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”

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I CAME UPON A LIGHTHOUSE BY SHANTANU NAIDU

Such a pleasant read, the illustrations are pretty and cute. An unputdownable book, where the author has expressed his insecurities and it is highly relatable. Moto Paws work on a project to fit stray dogs with reflective collars that shine in the dark.

The solution is simple: make the dogs glow so that they can be seen at a distance by the driver. It is with this idea that Motopaws was started in Pune and is spreading its wings to several other cities. I loved the job these youngsters do. A must read book!

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A SLOTH’S GUIDE TO MINDFULNESS BY TON MAK

It’s OK to slow down. Take a pause and focus on your breath. Let the other animals run around, you do you.Follow a serene and smiley sloth through a series of light meditations and daily reflections with this unexpected and snuggable guide. A perfectly refreshing read.

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You can get access to free book through Z library. DOWNLOAD NOW

IT’S NEVER TOO LATE BY DALLAS CLAYTON

For those worried about your future and all the possibilities that life holds. I appreciate the sentiment of this book – life is about more than paying bills and doing chores. What if these were your final hours? How would you spend your time? These are important questions to ask yourself.

In a study conducted by the University of Sussex, individuals who had read for merely six minutes exhibited slower heart rates, less muscle tension, and reduced stress levels.

There are few things that can only be seen when we slow down. Fear, self-doubt, deadlines the list goes on. These make us stressed and feel suffocated. Stress management has lot of options one such option that worked for me are books.

That said, it need not be the same for others. What worked for me might not work for you. Practice mindfulness with Sloth, the books are real good.

Thank you! Hope this helps.

WHY WE NEED FEMINISM?

The advocacy of women’s rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes, is the definition for Feminism. A feminist is someone who believes that no matter what gender or sex a human is they deserve to be treated equally. It is the social, economic, political equality of sexes.

GOAL OF FEMINISM

Few people misunderstand, that feminists hate men. No! We hate the inequality. The goal of feminism is to challenge the systemic inequalities women face on a daily basis. The goal is not spread hatred towards any gender rather to get equality for all genders.

Feminism changed women’s lives and created new worlds of possibilities for education, empowerment, working women, feminist art, and feminist theory. The goal is simple, let women have the freedom and equality and control over their lives.

How many of us have seen a man taking decisions for a women? In how many countries, women are judged based on their clothing? How many countries believe rape is a women’s fault? The list goes on and on. We need feminism to bring awareness. Women have the capacity to take decision for themselves. They have the right to education.

The other day I read a news, that said, a girl’s education has been put to an end as she was constantly followed by a guy who says he loves her. Now, how can this happen? The concept of catcalling, rape, harassment has become common in our society rather than things that should be normalized.

WHY WE NEED FEMINISM?

Feminists are not angry lesbians who hate men. Feminists do not believe women are better than men, or that women deserve special privileges. They do not believe women are victims.

There are some people who believe that feminism is a thing of the past — that we don’t need it anymore because the patriarchal system no longer exists. We still need feminism because when people get married it is assumed the woman will take the man’s last name. Because when women are assaulted, they are often the ones who feel ashamed.

We still need feminism because we teach women how to prevent rape, instead of teaching people to not view women as objects. Because women are told that walking alone at night makes them “an easy target.”

Feminists are fighting to end the sexual harassment in workplace, sexualexploitation, and everything that makes women unsafe. As well as the adequate punishment of those who perpetrate the abuse. No one should feel unsafe at their place of employment.

‘NOT ALL MEN’ ‘BOYS WILL BE BOYS’ ‘MEN SUFFER TOO’

Not all men? Yes but women feel unsafe. We are raised with advises saying BOYS will be BOYS. “We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case.” We shrink them. Every human being is never and ever superior or has authority over the other.

Men have problems too. Yes! They were raised with ample of advices and tips on how to be manly? A guy can’t cry, wear whatever he wants, expected to be the sole bread earner of the family, there are so many things we as a society expect from men. I believe it’s time to stop and look out for them. Now that doesn’t mean they can’t can’t for themselves. Few are lucky enough to talk, whereas others cannot.

“Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.”

– Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

To know more about what feminism is? Why is it named feminism? Read this wonderful book which is around 45 pages.

WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST

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Thank you for reading. Kindly share your thoughts. I’m someone who is trying to unlearn toxic lessons I learnt. If you are unlearning too, do check out the book.

HOLOCAUST – THROWBACK TO HISTORY (Part-2)

To put it in plain words, Nazi Germany killed millions of Jews.

WHAT HAPPENS IN CAMPS?

Jews were put to work, they were treated worse than slaves. In the novel Night, we get to know that the jews were evacuated from their houses. The families were separated, their house were snatched from them. Imagine waking up and having to leave our house not knowing where we are headed to.

Nazi Camps. Between 1933 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its allies established more than 44,000 camps. The workers were given huge load of work. The food provided were not enough, they had to fight like mad to get a piece of bread. There was no feeling, no father-son relationship as they have to survive. The families were no more families by heart, to survive they were even willing to beat each other up.

Interned persons may be held in prisons or in facilities known as internment camps, also known as concentration camps.

AUSHWITZ

The most deadliest camp among the concentration camps. Auschwitz concentration camp was a complex of over 40 concentration and extermination camps operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II and the Holocaust. 

The prisoners were departed to the camp were gassed. They worked to death and died in medical experiments. People from all over Europe were crammed into cattle wagons without windows, toilets, seats or food, and transported to Auschwitz. There they were sorted into those who could work and those who were to be immediately killed.

The vast majority were murdered in the complex of gas chambers at Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp.

Zyklon-B gas was used to murder people. Guards pushed the people inside the chamber. There won’t be enough space for the people, they were squeezed inside and they were suffocated to death by the gas. They were also burnt as a whole. The description was so raw, even when the people bang the door, the guards won’t let them out and when they do there would be bodies falling out.

WHAT HAPPENS TO PEOPLE WHO ARE INJURED?

The people who are injured or ill were alloted Barracks. Birkenau concentration camps have Barracks,  were primitive wooden structures with large wooden shelves for bunkbeds. There were 36 bunks per barrack; 5 to 6 prisoners were packed on a shelf to fit over 500 prisoners per barracks. Inmates wore the same ragged clothes for work and sleep. 

The barracks had no insulation from the cold or heat, the wooden roofs often leaked, and the straw sometimes supplied as bedding was soon filthy and wet. The only toilet facility was a single bucket, and diarrhea, lice, and disease were common. Even when it’s cold, the prisoners have to bath in cold water. They have to walk all the way in cold to the bathhouse and get back to the Barracks. If the illness have no progression, they would be sent to death camps.

Life in the camp was hard, the survivors’ interview are available on YouTube. There was two such videos that runs in my mind. Here’s the link to German Nazi meets Holocaust survivor.

Holocaust twin experiment survivor’s interview.

Thank you for reading! Kindly check out the novel Night by Elie Wiesel and the interviews. There is a lack of awareness about Holocaust.

HOLOCAUST – A THROWBACK TO HISTORY (Part 1)

The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide of European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Jews across German-occupied Europe, around two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population. 

Holocaust is a word of Greek origin meaning “sacrifice by fire.” By the late 19th century, holocaust most commonly came to mean “a complete or wholesale destruction.”

WHEN DID HOLOCAUST BEGIN?

Prior to the beginning of second world war, the  persecution of Jews started. It got intensifed as the Nazi invaded Poland. It was a traumatic event for Jewish people. The idea of holocaust was caused by many factors, including millions of individuals.

WHAT IS ANTISEMITISM?

Antisemitism, the fear or hatred of Jews had existed in Europe for centuries. It did not matter whether a person practiced the Jewish faith because the Nazis believed Jews belonged to a separate race and had distinct “Jewish blood.” This belief was false: there is no biological difference between Jews and non-Jews.

WHY GERMANS TOLERATED HOLOCAUST?

Many Germans were tolerating the treatment as they believed the Nazi party was restoring Germany’s status as an international power after its humiliating defeat in World War 1. The Nazis also promised to restore Germany economically after years of inflation.

The holocaust couldn’t have happened without the support of millions of people.

WHY JEWS WERE ATTACKED?

The specific hatred of Jews, had existed in Europe for centuries. The early Christian church had portrayed Jews as unwilling to accept the word of God. After World War I, the new Nazi Party and it’s leader, Adolf Hitler, blamed Jews for Germany’s defeat.

WHAT HAPPENS TO THE JEWS?

Germany first used concentration camps as places of terror and unlawful incarceration of political opponents. There were concentration camps and the Jews were segregated to work there, other weakling were pushed to death.

Transportation to and between camps was often carried out in closed freight cars with little air or water, long delays and prisoners packed tightly. The Jews were separated from their family. The camp was not kind to them. They were slowly dying there.

Death camp became the center of Nazi Holocaust. Aushwitz was originally a Polish army barracks in southern Poland. Nazi Germany invaded and occupied Poland. Later, it was used to gas Jews to death. This became the site of the huge gas chambers where hundreds of thousands were murdered.

BOOK BASED ON HOLOCAUST

NIGHT BY ELIE WIESEL

The cruelty Jews faced were portrayed clearly as the author is one of the survivor. If one wants to know about Holocaust, this book is a must read for them.

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Let me discuss the details of what Jews faced there in part two. Hope you get the gist of the concept of Holocaust. Survivor’s words, “I survived two concentration camps”

In just over four-and-a-half years, Nazi Germany systematically murdered at least 1.1 million people at Auschwitz. Almost one million were Jews. Let’s know more about what exactly happens in the concentration and death camps.

Thank you.

WHAT HAPPENED TO MARJAN LION?

Marjan was the most famous resident of Kabul Zoo. Marjan, which in Persian means coral, was born in West Germany in 1976 and was given as a gift to Kabul Zoo in 1978 by the Cologne Zoo. He arrived in the Afghan capital and, soon afterwards, a lioness by the name of Chucha joined him. 

WHAT’S SPECIAL ABOUT MARJAN?

The lion witnessed Afghanistan’s history, from the communist coup, the Soviet occupation, the state of warlordism, and the hardline Taliban regime. The zoo was said to be shelled on various occasions. When the zoo personnel couldn’t help Marjan as the medical supply was destroyed. Marjan survived. He is the symbol of survival and a desire for peace.

Usual lion’s lifespan would be 10-15 years in wild, more than 15 in captivity. Marjan lived a hard life and passed away at the age of 23. In captivity, Male lions seems to live around 20 years. They do not face the problems of hunger or conflicts in captivity and the only reason for their death is the old age. The recorded maximum age of male lions in captivity is 25 to 26 years.

STORY OF MARJAN

In 1955, a solider sneaked into Marjan’s den to show his bravery to his fellow soldiers. He disturbed, stroked Chucha, the lioness. Even though Chucha didn’t react much Marjan killed the soldier. To seek revenge the deceased soldier’s brother threw a grenade into the den.

Not even a grenade could take away Marjan. It caused severe injury to Marjan. His eyes were removed. MSF doctors and an Italian photojournalist, thus rendering him blind, deaf, and permanently disabled. Despite several operations, neither Marjan’s eyesight nor his mouth could be saved.

Marjan couldn’t eat boned meat as he lost all of his teeth as a result of the incident. A ramp was built as he was weak yet he is strong as he survived. The incident sparked outrage as animal rights activists and locals started to seek justice. The man who threw grenade was attacked the following week, and passed away. His age was around 23 when death took him.

MARJAN’S DEATH

When American took over Kabul in 2001. The media covered the story of Marjan. He was the last lion in Afghanistan. Marjan died of old age in 2002. Private and public funeral ceremonies were held for the famous lion that was buried in the zoo. A statue was cemented in memory of Marjan, the lion. On his grave were these words in Pashto.

Here lies Marjan, who was about 23. He was the most famous lion in the world.

In March 2002, China donated a pair of lions to the Kabul Zoo to replace Marjan.

Marjan’s story is inspiring. The animals don’t have our facial muscles and language. They can’t communicate with us in exactly the way that we would understand, but if you watch carefully you can see how they are trying to communicate. They are conveying fear, sadness, distress and even happiness. Hence, one should avoid the animal abuse. They have equal rights to live like us.

Thank you.

BOOKS UNDER 100 PAGES

Books come in different colors and size. Few readers love thick books whereas few prefer think books. The most frequent answer when asked why someone refuses to read is there seems to be no time in their schedule.

On hectic days, 100 paged books are our saviors. An overriding theme, authentic characters and an engrossing plot with tension and resolution. So you have the satisfaction of a story that immerses you in another world, moves you in some way and stays with you afterwards.

WE SHOULD ALL BE FEMINIST BY CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

Number of pages: 64

“We spend too much time teaching girls to worry about what boys think of them. But the reverse is not the case.”

This book is basically an essay, it is about feminism. What is feminism? I often heard people saying, why feminism? If the goal is equality between gender. This short book will explain everything clearly.

“Masculinity is a hard, small cage, and we put boys inside this cage.”

CHECK IT OUT

Number of pages: 48

One rainy Tokyo night, a waitress’s uneventful twentieth birthday takes a strange and fateful turn when she’s asked to deliver dinner to the restaurant’s reclusive owner. The book leaves us thinking, undoubtedly a story one can read again and again.

CHECK IT OUT

THE HOUSE PLANT BY JEREMY RAY

Number of pages: 46 pages

The Houseplant is a short story about George, a houseplant. Brenda is its human, who got George and kept him on her reading room window. She had book club women coming to meet her, she would tell the meet-cute story of meeting George for the first time, over and over. George has a different version to the meet-cute story of Brenda. He didn’t like the environment and the human at first, slowly he realized the kindness, love and care showed by his human.

The story is from George’s POV, which is adorable. I just feel in love with George from the very beginning. Author has done a fabulous job and managed to make me feel connected, I can’t believe I was immersed and didn’t know its going to end, I realized that I wanted to heard more from George. I too saw everything from the houseplants perspective. A fun, enjoyable read for sure.

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THE BLUE UMBRELLA BY RUSKIN BOND

Number of pages:90

The story revolves around Binya, a small girl from Garhwal hills. The villagers have tiger-clawed pendants to wear off the evil eyes. Binya has one too, she meets a tourist and she gets a beautiful blue umbrella in exchange for the pendant she wears. Ram Bharosa, the shopkeeper is envious of the umbrella tries to get hold of it.

“The umbrella was like a flower, a great blue flower that had sprung up on the dry brown hillside.”

The story is less than 100 pages and is available on Amazon for less than Rs.100. I would highly recommend it as this one makes us think and ends on a happy note.

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These are a set of must read books that are less than 100 pages. Let me know in the comments if this helps. I have more such recommendations coming up, stay tuned.

WHY SHOULD WE WATCH BOOKTUBE?

BookTube is a book-specific subset of the YouTube community. BookTube is the unofficial name given to a collection of YouTube channels that discuss all things bookish. Each day, thousands of online creators, or BookTubers, share videos about books they love (and hate), literacy, fandom and being generally crazy for reading.

While watching videos about reading can seem counterproductive, BookTubers encourage people to stop watching YouTube and start reading as many books as possible in as many genres that exist. There are unique contents like reading a particular colored books for a month, reading 25 hours straight, Asian authors etc…

WHEN DID BOOKTUBING START?

Though it lacks an exact origin, the BookTube community began around 2010 and has thrived exponentially in recent years. Christine Riccio (PolandbananasBOOKS) is often known as a pioneer of BookTube and became one of the first BookTubers to gain a large following.

WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH BOOKTUBE?

The same reason why we watch YouTube. There are lots of unboxing videos that are so satisfying. It is entertaining, encouraging, inspiring, makes us productive. Booktubers encourages us to read more, explore more genres. We get more recommendations, I believe that’s an amazing reason to watch booktube.

LIST OF BOOKTUBERS TO FOLLOW

Helly started her channel in the year 2015, since then she makes incredible student life, productive, freelancing and bookish videos. One of the things that introduced me to the bookish world would be the Helly channel.

The Melodramatic Bookworm is a wonderful channel. Since 2018, Sonali, an Indian booktuber is doing a crazy good job by recommending books.

BookJunction – Sneha Banerjee’s videos are exciting to watch. She covers book recommendations, self-improvement, stationery items, arts and much more in her videos.

I’m a fan of LibroReview and her bookshelf is desirable. Anchal runs the channel by spreading positivity, self-improvement, book reviews, recommendations and she is great at non-fiction recommendations.

WiseWithGrace shares inspiring videos. The channel is about lifestyle, books, and productivity. Her enthusiastic recommendations will make us add the book to our tbr lists.

Emmie, IndianBooktuber, Fandomnewbie, BooksAreMySocialLife and a lot more fascinating channels are out there for us.

CAN BOOKTUBERS EARN MONEY?

Yes. Just like youtube channels, a bookish channel with a certain expected number of views will be monetized. Not all book tubers channels are monetized, it takes lots of time and effort. Supporting a channel by sharing, liking and engaging through comments can help them. It also encourages them to make more such videos.

Until your channel is eligible for monetization, you can’t make any money from ad revenue. The good news is, you can still make money from affiliate marketing. They get paid through ads.

The percentage of people who skip ads heavily impacts YouTubers’ revenue as YouTube does not count skipped ads as a view, advertisers don’t pay for skipped ads, and therefore creators do not get paid for viewers who skip ads. If a YouTuber has an audience made of people who always skip ads, they won’t earn as much.

you can make a living on Youtube, on condition that you pay more attention to develop your channel, to get more and more fans and more and more video views, so that you are more likely to earn more money from Youtube for your life. If you are planning to start a booktube channel, All the best.

Thank you!

Credits: Picture source Google. The pictures belong to respective channel heads.

Where to get free books?

Book lovers one of the problem is the price. Free books are legit free, we need not pay a single penny. Where to download free books from? Is it legal to read free books? Let’s discuss.

IS IT LEGAL?

Yes! There are few websites which are legal. However, copying books without the author’s consent and downloading from illegal websites can be a crime. Yes, it is illegal to download (“make copies”) of material that is protected by copyright.

The author’s don’t get any payment for the free copy we are reading. Authors make money from libraries rarely websites. It is not the primary or the largest source of income by any means, but they do receive revenue from the borrowing cycle their books go through in libraries.

LEGAL WEBSITES

  • Z library.
  • Project Gutenberg.
  • Feedbooks.
  • Smashwords.
  • Bookboon.
  • Pdf drive.
  • Kindle.
  • Nook.

Z LIBRARY is an online project intended to create “one web page for every book ever published”. It has been funded in part by grants from the California State Library and the Kahle/Austin Foundation. It has articles and books in various formats. Z Library if used as a guest has limitation of downloading books as per our IP address.

Almost most of the popular books and most recent releases can be found in Z library. When I got to know about this website, I was thrilled to find so many books. I wanted to make sure it’s legal.

SOURCE

PROJECT GUTENBERG Everything from Project Gutenberg is gratis, libre, and completely without cost to readers. It buys the rights for books which are not in public domain but most of the books are indeed in public domain. They don’t have copyright infringement policies stuck to them.

Kindle app or the device will help us get free books. If we have access to kindle unlimited we can buy books that are stated as free in kindle unlimited for Rs.0.

Reading free books from websites through kindle device is possible. You have to convert the file into MOBI by using Caliber the by using the charger wire connected to laptop. We can send those converted free books to our device.

Feedbooks is a digital library and cloud publishing service for both public domain. The main focus of the web site is providing ebook with particularly high-quality typesetting in multiple formats. They are also accessible via kindle.

Although Smashwords provides authors, publishers and agents tools to publish and distribute ebooks, Smashwords itself is not a publisher, and therefore does not and cannot assume the legal rights, responsibilities or liabilities of a publisher.

Bookboon is an online publishing company of eBooks. It is focused on publishing student literature for engineering, IT and business students as well as short and practical business books.

PDF drive in itself is a service that lets you download files from the web via its servers, which are mainly a proxy.

However, free ebooks cannot beat the feel of owning a physical copy. Free ebooks are available in various platforms. I’m impressed with Z library. Do check it out and be sure about the legal usage of ebooks.

Thank you! Hope this helps.

What is Magic Realism?

Magical realism portrays fantastical events in an otherwise realistic tone. It brings fables, folk tales, and myths into contemporary social relevance. It is a Latin-American narrative strategy that is the inclusion of mythical elements into realistic fiction.

The term Magical Realism was introduced by Franz Roh, a German art critic. He is said to be the father of the term as he coined it.

CHARACTERISTICS OF MAGICAL REALISM

  • Real-world setting.
  • Fantasy element.
  • Metafiction.
  • Shifting POVs.
  • Political critique.
  • Authorial reticence.

Magical realism is all about mixing fantasy with mundane life.

BOOKS WITH MAGICAL REALISM

MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN BY SALMAN RUSHDIE

Midnight’s Children is a historical fiction novel which deals with magic realism. Saleem Sinai was born at midnight, the midnight of India’s independence, and found himself mysteriously “handcuffed to history” by the coincidence. He is one of 1,001 children born at the midnight hour, each of them endowed with an extraordinary talent and whose privilege and curse it is to be both master and victims of their times.

Rushdie fuses magic and reality in this book. BUT NOW

ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF SOLITUDE BY GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

One Hundred Years of Solitude tells the multi-generational story of the Buendía family, whose patriarch, José Arcadio Buendía, founded the town of Macondo. The novel is often cited as one of the supreme achievements in literature. Magic realism is the mystical village of Macondo. BUY NOW

THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS BY ISABEL ALLENDE

Class struggle is the major theme in The House of the Spirits. It supports the view of peasants. One of the most important novels of the twentieth century, it is an enthralling epic that spans decades and lives, weaving the personal and the political into a universal story of love, magic, and fate.

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KAFKA ON THE SHORE BY MURAKAMI

Kafka on the Shore is powered by a teenage boy,  Kafka who runs away from home. The theme here is deeply concerned with the nature consciousness.

Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.

– Murakami

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LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA BY GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ

In Love in the Time of Cholera, for example, Fermina might sense the flesh and blood presence of her dead husband – and then go about her day. This is magical realism, it fuses along with everyday lives.

“The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love.” BUY NOW

THE NIGHT CIRCUS BY ERIN MORGENSTERN

The Night Circus is a terrific example of magical realism. The story takes place in an ahistorical Victorian London and follows the lives of two young magical proteges. These magicians can perform actual magic and not just feats of illusion.

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Magical realism authors deliberately leave magic realism unexplained to normalize and reinforce that it is part of everyday life. Critique. Authors often use magical realism to offer a tacit judgment of society, most notably politics and the society.

A most common question is, is Harry Potter a magical realism novel? The Harry Potter novels comprise elements of magical realism although is not commonly called a creation of the magic realism genre.

Thank you!

Reasons To Ban Books

Banned books are a printed work, essay, poem, novel, or novella prohibited by law. A form of censorship occurs when private individuals, government officials, or organizations remove books from libraries, school reading lists, or bookstore shelves because they object to their content, ideas, or themes.

WHY BOOKS GET BANNED?

There are various reasons for banning a book however the most common are racial issues, encouraging racism, violence and damaging lifestyle.Books with content that include violence are often banned or censored. Some books have also been deemed too negative or depressing and have been banned or censored as well.

In some cases children’s books are viewed to have “inappropriate” themes for the age level at which they are written for. Many books that have been banned or censored later were dropped from banned books lists and were no longer considered controversial. 

WHO DECIDES TO BAN BOOKS?

The process of banning a book begins with the individual who is issuing the challenge. Once a challenge is made, the institution in question can either ban the book from the premises, or deny the challenge. Bans are done on an institutional basis, which means if a book is banned in one library, it is not banned in all others

BANNED BOOKS AND REASONS

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD BY HARPER LEE

To kill a mockingbird was banned and challenged for racial slurs. It’s perception on the colored experience, featuring a white survivor, it had negative effects on students. The major conflict is it exposes the evil side of human nature.

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OF MICE AND MEN BY JOHN STEINBECK

Of Mice and Men usually is on the banned list put out by American Library Association. It has been banned because of the vulgarity, and its treatment of women. Even in the twenty-first century, the book is still being challenged. Challenges include profanity, morbid and saddening themes.

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THE BLUEST EYE BY TONI MORRISON

The reason is cited as sexually explicit material. Not just that, complained as a bad book, it was said to have graphic descriptions and lots of disturbing languages. It depicts child sexual abuse.

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THIRTEEN REASONS WHY BY JAY ASHER

Ah! This book is really disturbing. It was adapted as a Netflix series and many viewers claim that the series based on the novel glamorizes teen suicide. The relationship between counsellors and students, adults and teens have been portrayed unrealistically. Yet the book is a bestseller.

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Few schools and libraries have banned The Hunger Games for being anti-ethnic, offensive language, and violent. In 2014, the novel was also banned for reasons of inserted religious perspective.

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HARRY POTTER BY J.K ROWLING

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Harry Potter!? I was shocked to know it was banned. Few Christian schools banned it deals with witchcraft and satanic. Apart from that, Harry is a terrible student, he often skips classes and it creates a bad example. More detailed reasons for Harry Potter is banned in few countries.

But it’s a fantasy novel! The whole Hogwarts is imaginary. There are few reasons for banned books that makes absolutely no sense. A book banned in a place might not be banned in another. It is not illegal if it’s not banned in your country. Few books are out of the banned list, whereas the others are still in the list.

Thank you for reading!

Online VS Offline classes

Due to the pandemic, online education is encouraged. It is learning via online classes as per the convenience of the students and teachers. Whereas, offline education is the traditional way of teaching in institutions and schools. It is face-to-face learning.

The Covid-19 impact was everywhere, which resulted in the closure of Schools and other educational institutions. … Though schools are closed, students are attending their classes through various education initiatives like online classrooms, radio programs.

WHICH IS BETTER?

Studying online gives you flexibility. The place is your own space, which is comfortable. We learn in our comfort zone. Online teaching has interactive sessions yet students find it tiring. Students may do other activities while or instead of attending online classes.

Studying online means that you pay the tuition fee, apparently book supplies, an online application fee. The transportation charge is deducted. Online classes teach children to be self-disciplined. That is not the case for most children, some people can’t afford online class essentials. Some children forget what they have learned so far.

Staying motivated and keeping up with assignments may show more difficult for online pupils than for those attending traditional classes. It is important for students attending online classes to be on top of their time management skills.

The interaction in online classes is comparatively less. Online teaching is not for all the topics. Online learning is oftentimes based on theory and lacks in practice-based study.

We are depending on technology, what happens when the device shuts down? What will happen to the assignments stored? Children get eye problems due to the duration of screen time.

Whereas, through the offline study, the teacher will be able to understand if each student is getting the point correctly by asking them to do activities related to the work. Offline classes are the best option for people who don’t have proper internet connection.

NEW NORMAL

Now that things are starting to light up. The schools, colleges and offices are being reopened. In that case, I would say offline learning is better. We get to learn more from offline classes. I believe that the experience we get in offline learning is nothing equal to online learning.

However, we must consider the safety of the students. Especially their mental health. After being in their comfort zone for year’s, getting back to school can be hard on them. Even though the exams were conducted online, the students still worked hard to secure marks. There are talks about not employing covid batch freshers for few jobs.

We were not alone, together we faced a lot. It is high time to consider getting to new normal. There should be changes in thd schedule for students but offline learning should be encouraged. We can’t compel the students, we can give them an option to pursue studies online.

IMAGINE COVID-19 WITHOUT ONLINE TEACHING

Online teaching was a saviour. Without which the students would have lost more than a year of studies. It is scary to imagine a world without technology during tough times it helps us get in contactless touch.

CHECK OUT THIS ARTICLE.

Why reading classics is crucial?

A classic is a book accepted as being exemplary or noteworthy it can be applied to works of literature from all traditions. Classic literature is important because it opens up a perspective to different worlds and historical perspectives. It helps in social development.

WHY CLASSICS?

  • The classics gives us moral messages.
  • Increase in vocabulary.
  • Historical and cultural knowledge.
  • It challenges critical thinking.
  • Teaches more about the past.
  • It cultivates wisdom.
  • Understand every walk of life.
  • Different world and historical perspectives.

Here are few books for you to start with;

Classic’s cover would be old and dull is a myth. There are lots of pretty editions for classics. I started classics with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen follows the relationship between Mr. Darcy and Ms. Elizabeth Bennet. They face Pride and Prejudice, in order for their relationship to work, they should overcome it. The family is relatable even today. The book depicts women’s reputation is important in society. I’m sure you would enjoy this book.

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ANIMAL FARM by GEORGE ORWELL

Why is this book a classic? It has universal theme which is tyrannical government. It is a satirical novella by Orwell. If you are interested in politics, this is a must read for you.

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A TALE OF TWO CITIES by CHARLES DICKENS

The story is set against the conditions that led up to the French Revolution and the Reign of Terror. It deals with the possibility of resurrection and transformation. The moral is remarkable. It has the element of history and love. It was an incredible read for me.

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WUTHERING HEIGHTS by EMILY BRONTË

The book deals with love, rage, betrayal and envy. The love between Heathcliff and Catherine would destroy them and the people around them. Such a pretty cover for an affordable rate.

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LORD OF THE FLIES by WILLIAM GOLDING

A classic for not just children but adults too. Lord of the flies follows the story of a group of boys who got landed up on an island. They don’t have adult supervision. How will they follow the order? It is a book about innocence and the loss of it. A gripping tale about social disintegration.

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ARE CLASSICS MANDATORY?

Absolutely not. Classics are another option for you to appreciate literature. However, if you are a literature student classics are part of your syllabus. Hence, might be mandatory. Reading a book is your choice if you don’t like a book you can DNF without feeling guilty.

Authors take inspiration from classics. The style, language can be difficult to understand. Sometimes lack of knowledge about the particular era might end up confusing us. People think classics are old and predictable, they wish to read something fresh.

You should not read classic if you are not having fun.

“Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend.”

ARE CLASSICS RELEVANT?

It is relevant as it gives insight and is highly relatable even today. Classics are classic for a reason, they are universal and timeless.

Thank you for reading!

Is traditional schooling better than homeschooling?

Hi! For quite sometime, I wanted to discuss about homeschooling as one of my relative asked me whether homeschooling and online schooling are the same. No, they are not same, here’s how.

WHAT IS HOMESCHOOLING?

Homeschooling is Elective home education (EHE) is the education of school-aged children at their homes. It is teaching school subjects to one’s children at their own home instead of sending them to public and private schools. It is legal in a lot of countries.

Traditional school is the custom that our society follows. A student would be enrolled in a public or private school. The teachers allocated are the ones who take responsibility for teaching the syllabus.

REASON BEHIND HOMESCHOOLING

There are various reasons for the parents to consider homeschooling. It can be because they are not satisfied with the educational options available, children are not progressing in the traditional schooling, their belief, and they also might want their children to include religious texts.

It would be effective to teach them lessons that are not being taught in traditional schools. Not just that, homeschooling can strengthen the family, it would mean more family time. Homeschoolers have the advantage of blending lessons and values. It is a lot to consider and plan but at the end of the day, it is about education for your child. The efforts from you can take them a long way.

HOMESCHOOLING REQUIREMENTS

In most states, it is required that a child’s parent oversee homeschooling, which includes providing an equivalent education for their child. Check with your state law to know the requirements.

The parent should be taking full responsibility when it comes to homeschooling. Make sure your schedule and priorities are sorted. An understanding of your child’s learning pace, style and interest is vital for effective homeschooling.

Parents must decide on the homeschooling curriculum. Homeschooling space is a must! Create a space for your child to study. Get the space organized with a study table, lamp, calendar, clock and stationery items. The goals have to be set. A goal to accomplish can help us have a clear vision.

Don’t start without a plan, it need not be perfect buy it should be achievable and organized. A schedule is a must for homeschooling. The timetable has to be organized and neat. Engage your child with field trips, museum visits, take them to the library and such engaging activities. Try not to forget about sports and extracurricular activities.

PROS OF HOMESCHOOLING

  • Lack of peer pressure.
  • Emotional freedom.
  • Flexible schedule.
  • Learn at their own pace.
  • Special needs are taken care.
  • Happier at their own space.
  • Independent.
  • Educational freedom.
  • Parent’s satisfaction.

CONS OF HOMESCHOOLING

  • Huge responsibility as a teacher and a parent.
  • Dedicating time means loss of income and reduce in your work.
  • In few states, it is not allowed.
  • Smaller circle of friends for the children.
  • Spend time reviewing the curriculum.
  • Spending lot for home school supplies.

Homeschooling will not ruin your child. If done right, it won’t affect the social life of them.

Here are few articles and interviews; My child’s happiness was at stake. “School is oppressive”

Interview

GET TO KNOW MORE ABOUT HONEY!

Honey is a sweet substance made by honey bees.

EXPIRY DATES FOR HONEY

Honey doesn’t have an expiry date, it goes through natural changes. Natural, properly stored honey won’t get expired. Honey may get dark and lose its aroma in the long run. The reason for the magical longevity of honey lies in its biological makeup. Organisms that spoils food won’t be able to do have fun when it comes to honey.

FACTS ABOUT HONEY

  1. Honey is 80% sugar and 20% water.
  2. It is the only food that includes all the substance necessary for life including water.
  3. There are different flavors and colors of honey.
  4. Not all bees makes honey.
  5. Not all honey are made by bees, some are made by wasps.
  6. Honey is a versatile food.

BENEFITS OF HONEY

Honey is used as medicine and food. It is healthy in many aspects.

  • Honey has antioxidants which is linked to reduce risk of heart attack.
  • Less bad than sugar for diabetes.
  • Lower blood pleasure.
  • Honey can help you improve colastrol level.
  • Honey is also an effective treatment for diabetic foot ulcers.
  • It can help in burn and wound healing.
  • Honey can help to suppress cough for children.
  • Honey is sometimes used to treat digestive issues.
  • Medicine for sour throat treatment.

Can honey be consumed daily? No. However beneficial it is. Too much of anything is good for nothing. As the tamil saying goes ‘அளவுக்கு மீறினால் அமிர்தமும் நஞ்சு.’

Phytonutrients are compounds found in plants that help protect the plant from harm. The phytonutrients in honey are responsible for its antioxidant properties, as well as thought to be the reason raw honey has shown immune-boosting and anticancer benefits.

TYPES OF HONEY

There are vast variety of honey with different flavor, taste and smell. There are more than 200 variety of honey it depends upon the flower source. Few of those are avocado, ironbark, jarrah, clover, linden, Heather, Basswood, Beechwood, Bluckwheat etc.

WHITE HONEY

White honey doesn’t have to be white. It generally have milder flavor compared to darker ones. Lighter honey gives light taste and sweetness. White honey also contains such antioxidants. Antioxidants help to protect your body from cell damage due to free radicals. Free radicals contribute to the aging process.

WHY WOODEN DIPPER HAVE GROOVES?

A honey dipper is an utensil, made of wood that consist of equally spaced groove(the spiral is called as groove). It is often made of turned wood. The tool is used by dipping the grooved end in honey, then slowly twirl. The tool is sometimes made of plastics and glass too.

The groove allows the honey to be pulled in while they are horizontal but flow out when vertical. Why wood? The metal and plastic degrade slightly while in honey. Wood lasts longer and will take on the flavor of honey.

It is also because it resembles beehive. The shape is to provide a larger surface area for the volume. This traps more of the liquid in the slow-flowing boundary layer.It holds more honey in one dip. Easy to drizzle over pancakes and bread.

Things we shouldn’t do abroad!

Are you planning for an abroad trip? If yes, get to know things you shouldn’t do abroad. We travel to abroad for various reasons, to study, work, try new things, to disconnect and reconnect.

Travelling makes us happier. It can also boost your creativity. Creates a space for us to get to know and learn about new cultures. The feel of travelling to a new place and returning to your comfort zone is fascinating. Hodophile is the word for “one who loves to travel.”

TRAVELLING NEED OR WANT?

Travelling is not a need. It is just an option, few love to travel while others don’t. Travelling doesn’t necessarily mean luxurious and lavishly spending. It helps us to broaden our horizons. Being exposed to new people, environment, and forces us to get out of our comfort zone.

THINGS WE SHOULD KNOW

FOOD HABITS

In India, we believe in eating the food using hands as its part of our culture. Using your left hand to eat is not appreciated unless you are left-hander. It might sound bizarre for tourists. What is considered as a custom in a country need not be universal.

We use cutlery, such as fork, spoon, knife but in Thailand, it is rude to use a fork to eat. Do you find slurping annoying? Well, it is considered a good gesture in Japan. Making that sound while having noodles is not weird. It conveys that you are enjoying the food and complimenting the cook.

In some countries, leaving the plate empty is considered a good gesture but China thinks the opposite. People assume when the plate is empty you are hungry and in need of more food. In China, flipping the fish when served is assumed bad luck.

Italy is known for their love for food. There, adding cheese to seafood is not admired. In South Korea, the eldest at the table takes the first bite. Also leaving chopstick upright in the bowl and waving chopstick around considered rude in China.

British is known for their love for tea. While stirring the spoon shouldn’t touch the sides of the cup. Neither should we leave the spoon in cup. It must be placed on the saucer.

TRAFFIC RULES

In Thailand, even if it’s hot people have to keep their shirts on. Another strange traffic rule is, in Phillipine, people can’t drive in certain areas based upon what day of the week it is and the last digit on their license plate. The driver can be fined if found driving. New Jersey also has a strange law where residents are required by law to honk prior to passing, which will be so confusing.

In Russia, driving a dirty car would end up in fine. It doesn’t matter whether the car is dirty inside or outside. Anyone requiring vision-correcting glasses in order to drive the streets of Spain must keep a spare set in their car at all times

THINGS WE SHOULD AVOID

In Japan, don’t leave tips. They believe that you are already paying for a good service, so there is no need for extra. You can instead just thank the waiter and waitress. I find is reasonable and fascinating.

In Ukraine, avoid giving even number of flowers. Even number of flowers are given for funeral. In some countries, yellow flower is a sign of betrayal.

In China, avoid presenting umbrella and clock as gifts. It is considered bad omen, as it indicates attending a funeral ritual. The Chinese word for umbrella sounds like breaking up.

In Germany don’t congratulate before the birthday. Wishing someone early brings bad luck. It is strange to know that it also indicates arrogance as the person will live till the birthday. Life is uncertain! Yes. But thus is weird.

There are more such facts and beliefs. It is fascinating to know about countries and their culture.

Do Vampires Exist?

Hey! Are you a Vampire Diaries fan? Well, I’m. After watching Vampire Diaries I became curious to know whether vampires exist. Vampires are said to be undead creatures from folklore. It is fascinating to discuss vampires.

VAMPIRE DIARIES

Vampire in popular legend is a creature, often fanged, that preys upon humans, generally by consuming their blood. Vampires have been featured in folklore and fiction of various cultures for hundreds of years, predominantly in Europe, although belief in them has waned in modern times.

The belief is that Vampires feed on blood. Almost every nation has a blood drinker in its mythology. Vetalas in India are beings that inhabit corpses. In Persian, Lilith was considered a demon who drinks the blood of babies.

WHERE IT ALL STARTED?

DRACULA

Vampires Legacy didn’t start with Dracula by Bram Stoker. In Eastern Europe, tales from the 17th and 18th centuries formed the basic vampire legacy. Later it got popularised. The exact way of origin of legacy is unclear.

MYTHS ABOUT VAMPIRES

Drinking blood is the most spoken myth about being a vampire. We have seen movies and series where vampires drink blood by biting the victim. Vampire bat is the only species of mammal that feeds exclusively on blood. They prey on warm-blooded animals.

Vampires are often considered immortal, there are few animals that possess the same quality. The immortal jellyfish is one of those species.

IMMORTAL JELLYFISH

Vampires are often depicted with heightened senses such as vision and hearing.

THEN WHO ARE VAMPIRES?

Vampires are just people who suffer from Porphyria. It is a disorder resulting from build-up of certain chemicals related to red blood cell, which means your skin is sensitive to the sun. That explains why the myth says vampires get burned in daylight. It is called as the vampire disease.

vampires drink blood. Because porphyria can result in brow urine, this may have led to the (false) belief that individuals who demonstrated this symptom had been drinking blood.

There are people out there who consume animal and human blood that doesn’t make them a vampire. Haematomania is the condition if craving blood. Even though we have scientific reasons behind these vampire myths. The question about vampires still goes around.

They exist. They are one of us. Vampires are not the same old mythical creatures. They are very much human, I would like to think they are not immortal. The real-life disease like Porphyria, Rabies, and Tuberculosis influenced vampire folklore. Maybe as there was a lack of awareness about the medical conditions.

In the 1800s, it wouldn’t have been too big a stretch of the imagination to think that people who were dying of tuberculosis were having the life sucked out of them by a supernatural creature. People suffering from (untreated) tuberculosis lose weight, become physically weak, have fevers, and cough up blood. In addition, tuberculosis spreads from person to person via the air.

With that said, I still feel like there might be chances of these folklores being real. Even with scientific evidence and research, we can’t erase the myth of vampires from our hearts. Let me know in the comments whether you believe in vampires.

Check out the Interview with a real-life vampire.

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN PART 2

Hi! If you have missed part 1 here is the link. CHECK IT OUT!

TIME TRAVELLING WITH A HAMSTER
BY ROSS WELFORD.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Published – 2016.
  • Genre – Science fiction.
  • Pages – 400.
  • Age – 10+
  • BUY NOW!

The concept of time travel is fascinating in itself. Right from the beginning, the novel hooks us up with the plot. On Al Chaudhury’s birthday, he receives a letter from his grandfather. The letter is from his late father. It has a mission to travel back to 1984 in a secret time machine to save his father’s life. The story uncovers the meaning of friendship and emotion. It is an unputdownable book.

REAL FRIENDS BY SHANNON HALE
AND LEUYEN PHAM.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Published – 2017
  • Genre – Memoir
  • Pages – 224
  • Age – 9+
  • BUY NOW!

Real friends is a middle-grade graphic novel about making friends. It is a memoir, following Shannon’s life from Kindergarten to Fifth grade. It is a roller coaster of emotions. The struggle of trying to stay in “the group” was portrayed without a filter. Who are real friends? Are they worth the journey? Do we need real friends? The book will answer such questions.

THE GIRL WHO DRANK THE MOON
BY KELLY BARNHILL.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Published – 2017
  • Genre – Fantasy fiction
  • Pages – 416
  • Age – 9+
  • BUY NOW!

To forget about reality, this book is perfect for children and adults too. The people of the town leave a baby in the forest, as an offering to the witches. But the witch is a good one, who lives with a swamp monster. Luna is the baby, due to an accident she gets extraordinary magic. The Multiple points of view make the story intriguing. Children who love magic and witches must read this book. The cover looks so pretty, we can give it a read just for the cover.

THE ONE AND ONLY IVAN
BY KATHERINE APPLEGATE.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Published – 2015
  • Genre – Children’s Literature
  • Pages – 256
  • Age – 8+
  • BUY NOW!

A beautifully written story about Ivan, a gorilla. He has spent his life in Exit 8 shopping mall. He rarely thinks about his life in the forest until Ruby, a baby elephant arrives which changes his perspective. A book that deals with kindness, friendship, freedom and humour. This book must be on your children’s bookshelf. The characters will stay in our heart.

THE WILD ROBOT BY PETER BROWN.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Published – 2018
  • Genre – Fiction, Adventure
  • Pages – 288
  • Age – 9+
  • BUY NOW!

Roz the robot finds itself on an isolated island. She has zero ideas about her purpose. To survive, she must adapt to her new environment. It is a unique, surprising read for young readers. The language is simple and easy to follow. A touching book with interesting plot.

THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD
BY LYNNE REID BANKS.

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Published – 2016
  • Genre – Adventure, Fantasy, Fiction
  • Pages – 240
  • Age – 8+
  • BUY NOW!

If your child likes Toy story movie, this is a must-read. The American-Indian toy in the cupboard gets life. It is a dream for Omri, he feels excited. He faces a life-changing decision. It is a gripping tale of a toy that has a life. As a kid, we all imagined a toy being alive and what it would be like?

Hope this helps, Thank you!

WHO CAN DO YOGA?

Yoga has a Sanskrit root, meaning ‘to unite.’ Yoga is a body and mind practise that includes yoga asanas, breathing exercises, and meditation. It is an ancient practice that originated in India. As per the scriptures, Lord Shiva is said to be the father of Yoga.

STATUE OF SHIVA IN PADMASANA.

ADVANTAGES OF YOGA

  • Improves flexibility.
  • Manage stress.
  • Helps to sleep better.
  • Mental health.
  • Refresh our minds.
  • Builds muscles strength.
  • Increases blood flow.
  • Boost Metabolism.
  • Unite mind and body.
  • Helps to relieve back pain.
  • Helps in digestion.

There can be another list for the use of yoga. Yoga won’t just help you lose fat but also builds flexibility and manage stress by refreshing your mind. After a hectic day, try practising yoga for an hour. You can notice changes.

YOGA FOR KIDS

When can kids start yoga? They could start if they can understand the instructions. Kids usually are active. They tend to do yoga in a hurry, it’s our responsibility to make sure they follow the instructions properly.

Kids of age 4 and above can start practising yoga. Do not introduce all yoga asanas to kids. Start with breathing, meditation, and simple asanas. Yoga improved balance, strength, concentration, memory, focus, self-esteem and it can help with anxiety for children.

Studies and research have found out that children who practice yoga can see various improvements. The instructions should be fun to follow to induce the interest of kids.

WHO CAN DO YOGA? DO’S AND DON’TS

Almost anyone can do it regardless of age. It is powerful as it can unite body and mind. Yoga should not be done in rush. Consult a health expert before starting your practice.

  • It should be done slowly.
  • Try to do it early in the morning.
  • Try to do it in an open space, with fresh air and sunlight.
  • Sweating, urge to urinate is normal after doing yoga. Don’t suppress urine for a long time.
  • Try yoga on an empty stomach, if you feel dehydrated sip a little amount of water or drink lukewarm water with honey.
  • Breathing exercises are beneficial especially during covid period.
  • Do not do yoga in hurry.
  • Avoid yoga if you are sick.
  • Can avoid during periods.
  • Do not eat or drink for 30 mins after doing yoga.
  • Do not hold stiffen your body.
  • Don’t skip meditation and breathing exercises. Yoga sessions should end with those.

After having your meal wait for an hour to start your practice. After your yoga session wait for half an hour to shower, eat, and drink.

Yoga is vital for individuals addiction recovery. As meditation and yoga focus on uniting body and mind, they can help us focus on the addiction. However, for addiction recovery yoga is not the only solution.

COVID AND YOGA

Covid-19 was is a huge crisis. People lost their job, family, friends, and close ones. Livelihood is not the same anymore. It takes time for us to be stable again. One of the things that help us maintain our health can be yoga.

Yoga can be highly effective considering the advantages. Immunity is vital to fight covid. Yoga helps as an immunity booster, relatively better mental health and well-being. Since covid affects the lungs, breathing exercises are crucial to strengthen the lungs.

“Yoga is the journey of the self,

through the self, to the self.”

Let’s discuss the asanas in yoga and asanas for kids, in part 2.

Thank you!

Don’t know what to gift your bookish friend?

Question of the Day – Are you ready for Monday? How was your week?

“Books are uniquely portable magic.”

Special occasions are named special as it means something to us, makes us happy, and feel blessed. On such special occasions, we gift our close ones to show our love. Who doesn’t love gifts!?

“There are exactly as many special occasions in life as we choose to celebrate.”

Gifts make us burst in joy. When gifted we feel important, valued, remembered and happy. It strengthens the bond between people. Here is a list of items that can make a bookworm the happiest

  • Books! Of course, you can gift books any day, anytime. Books are the top best gift for booklovers. You must know their favourite genre, author and their book collection. If not, I have a backup plan. You can gift them the below items.
  • MUGS AND CUPS
GLASS MASON JAR.

Mason jars can be used for domestic purposes too. They are used to drink hot water, juices, smoothies, and milkshakes. If you feel the toxic elements in plastics are dangerous in the long run, you can choose mason jars.

CHECK IT OUT!

COFFEE MUG

Most readers love to have a hot beverage while reading. There are super cute, adorable mugs on various platforms. Mugs are affordable and often used.

CHECK IT OUT!

  • KINDLE
AMAZON KINDLE

I have posted an article about kindles, do check it out for more information. You can gift them either a kindle device or pay for a kindle unlimited subscription. Kindles are a travel-friendly e-reader.

ARTICLE ABOUT KINDLE

CHECK IT OUT!

  • STATIONERY PRODUCTS
ECO-FRIENDLY STATIONERY

The pencils are made of recycled paper. They are special as it contains seed to plant. The notepad is made of handmade paper. We can bring a smile to their face and protect our environment.

CHECK IT OUT!

  • BOOKSHELF
BOOKSHELF

As per your friend’s book collection, you can get them a bookshelf. They are spacious and large. Most of the book lovers dreams are to get a huge bookshelf and turn our home into a library.

CHECK IT OUT!

  • BOOK SLEEVE
BOOKSLEEVE

While travelling readers use to carry books with them. Just in case, we need an escape from reality. Book sleeves are used to avoid book damages. They protect the book’s edges from creasing. Book sleeves have pretty prints on them which makes them look elegant. Some sleeves are made of gorgeous printed cloths.

CHECK IT OUT!

BOOK SLEEVE BY READINGOWLCREATION (IG)

CLOTH BOOK SLEEVES

  • BOOK STAMP
STAMPSTUDIO.CO (IG)

Why not make our books personalized? Book stamps are the best way to personalise books. They can be customised, affordable and adorable. Stamp studio. co is one of the Instagram pages which sells customizable stamps.

CHECK IT OUT!

  • CANDLES
CANDLES FROM CANDLESINDIA.IN

On Instagram, we can find plenty of pages that sell candles. One such page is Candlesindia.in, they are organic and exquisite.

CHECK IT OUT!

  • POSTERS
RADHOUSE POSTERS (IG)

How many of us have read a book just for the cover? There are stunning covers of books a reader would like to keep close. These cute little posters can be a great decor piece. Rad house posters is an Instagram page that helps us decorate our dream reading corner by selling these posters. They are customizable!

CHECK IT OUT!

Now, go get your reader-friend a cute gift for their special days. I believe then they would love you a little extra. Let me know in the comments you’re favourite bookish merchandise.

Disclaimer – Picture credits go to the respective owners.

Source – Amazon and Instagram.

Thank you!

BOOKS FOR CHILDREN PART 1

Hey, y’all! Do you read books? If so, do you recommend books to your niece and nephew? Here are few books for 11 children.

I started to read pretty late in life. I do regret not getting into the world of books early but better late than never right!? The books for kids and children are adventurous, colourful, exciting and thrilling.

WHY SHOULD CHILDREN READ?

  • Books are our best friends.
  • To improve their imagination.
  • Enhance communication skills.
  • Learn new words and phrases.
  • A better understanding of the world.
  • Language development.
  • Cognitive skills.
CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY BY ROALD DAHL

PRODUCT DETAILS:

  • Published – 1979.
  • Genres – Children’s fiction, humour, fantasy.
  • Pages – 176 pages.
  • Age – 10+
  • BUY NOW!

Roald Dahl is a fabulous author whose books are fun to read. The writing style is easy, understandable and simple. Who doesn’t like chocolate!? The book gives us a joyous experience. The children would fall in love with Willy Wonka’s Factory. The characters are vivid and we kids can imagine the story completely.

THE GOPI DIARIES BY SUDHA MURTY

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Published – 2019 & 2021.
  • Genres – Children’s Fiction.
  • Pages – 104 & 136.
  • Age – 6+
  • BUY NOW!

Sudha Murthy is one of the best authors for children. Her stories are simple yet unique and absorbing. This book has a remarkable character Gopi – a dog, the story is said from his perspective. We can see the world through his eyes which is amusing. Children will learn kindness, compassion for animals through this. They also understand the dog’s needs. The illustrations are super cute.

THE 1000 YEAR OLD BOY BY ROSS WELFORD

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Published – 2018.
  • Genre – Fiction, Adventure.
  • Pages – 400.
  • Age – 12+
  • BUY NOW!

The cover is pretty isn’t it? An adventurous story about a boy who is fated to live forever. Alfie Monk can tell us what it is like to live forever. This is a child-friendly novel that would make the child think. The children can imagine and be spellbound by this beauty. You will never guess what’s coming in this one.

THE LITTLE PRINCE BY ANTOINE DE SAINT – EXUPERY

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Published – 2016.
  • Genre –
  • Pages – 144.
  • Age – 6+
  • BUY NOW!

“All grown ups were once children…

But only few of them remember it.”

– Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

The Little Prince is not just for children but also adults. The story deals with friendship, loss, loneliness, and childhood. The illustrations are charming and one can’t put this book down. It teaches philosophy in simple words. We can learn a few things from this beautiful book. Every child should read it.

THE WIZARD OF OZ BY L. FRANK BAUM
  • Published – Hardcover(2019) Original(1900)
  • Genre – Fantasy, fiction.
  • Pages – 208.
  • Age – 9+
  • BUY NOW!

The edition is stunning! The story is pure fantasy and Dorothy stays with us every after the adventure ends. She feels like she is lost but she embraces the situation to take a thrilling journey. The magical land of Oz is mesmerizing.

Do you know that “The Wizard of Oz” was banned from libraries? It was, as it provides no values. I think books are not always meant to teach us something. Books are different so are we. It can be a reason to smile, live, dance, and it can also teach us values.

Thank you!

Things you need to know about blockchain

Blockchain is a system of documenting data that will be difficult to hack or change. It is tough to deceive the system. Each block in the chain contains several transactions and every time a new transaction occurs on the blockchain a record of the transaction is added to the participant’s ledger. In simple words, blockchain is not invulnerable the hacker would need more than half of the control in the allocated file.

WHO OWNS BLOCKCHAIN?

According to Wikipedia, blockchain is a cryptocurrency blockchain explorer service. Bitcoin is supported by the same. It was found in 2011 by Benjamin Reeves, Nicolas Cary, and Peter Smith.

blockchain.com

Blockchain was found as Blockchain.info which could be used to trace bitcoin transactions. The function of the site is to allow bitcoin users to see the public cryptocurrency transactions. By 2014, blockchain was popular and the users grew.

In 2018, blockchain started to sell services to institutional cryptocurrencies. Whereas in 2020, the company is said to have more than 30 million users. The next year it grew to a family of 60 plus million wallet users.

BLOCKCHAIN’S SERVICE

Blockchain as said records information. It provides an outlet to hold and oversee crypto investments. The platform also submits financial service standards.

The company offers a hosted cryptocurrency wallet that is to store digital for online access. It allows users to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

A special feature is, the company has a non-custodial wallet. The company has no access to the wallet’s data, the user is the sole owner of the information. This draws attention as it maintains privacy. The user has a private key to get hold of the data which is known solely by the user.

There is an explorer which allows the public to see the transactions. If one has the hash code with the address of the wallet, they can see received, sent and the fee information. The tool is used to analyse the activity.

IS BLOCKCHAIN RELIABLE?

Yes, it is considered to be reliable and trustworthy as, if one goes offline the others in the network get access to the ledger.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

Blockchain grows to 300GB. The programming language is said to be C. There is no need for a middle man in the process that is one of the specialities. It has faster transactions.

SKILLS NEEDED TO BE A BLOCKCHAIN DEVELOPER

  • Cryptocurrency.
  • Data structure.
  • Web development.
  • Blockchain Architecture.
  • Java
  • C++
  • Python

FACTS ABOUT BLOCKCHAIN

  • Blockchains can be either public or private.
  • Bitcoin transactions are measured in bytes.
  • 0.5% of the world population uses blockchain. That said it comes around 18,850,000.
  • Ethereum, Ripple, Quorum and R3 Corda are other blockchain platforms.
  • IBM is the largest blockchain company.
  • As for the development, it is still in the place internet was a few years ago.
  • Blockchain isn’t always Anonymous.

The disadvantage is once the record is made it cannot be altered. As there are no third parties the risk is minimal. To understand blockchain there are few videos on youtube, do Check it out!

Thank you!

ARE KINDLES BETTER THAN PAPERBACKS?

Hi! Hope you all are doing good. I’m a kindle parent for more than a month. So I thought why not share about kindle. I simply love the device so much and I can’t stay away from it as much as I even named my device.

Kindle is a small, light e-reader and has been developed by Amazon. We can store books, charge it and carry it with us as it is lightweight. There is a kindle app that can also be used.

Advantages of Kindle

  • Convenient e-reader.
  • Thousands of e-books.
  • Cheaper and affordable books.
  • Dictionary in one click.
  • It has a paper-like screen which gives us a paperback feel.
  • E-ink is being used in this device.
  • It is not bad for the eyes.
  • With kindle unlimited, you get lots of free books.
  • It does not emit light.
  • Long battery life.
  • Glare-free.

Disadvantages of kindle

  • It is not a physical book.
  • Lack of book smell.
  • Lack of colourful illustration.
  • Hard to share with friends.
  • Eye strain if used continuously and at night.
  • The battery can die out. You have to carry the charger for journeys.

You can join kindle unlimited to get access to free books. In India, you have to pay 1 Month = Rs.199, 6 months = Rs. 999 and 12 Months = Rs. 1,799.

KINDLE (10TH GEN)

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Device: Kindle 10th Generation.
  • Manufacturer: Amazon.
  • Weight: 168g.
  • Model No.: J9G29R.
  • Country of Origin: India.

I have this device and trust me I love it! If one can’t afford paperbacks, ebooks are an incredible option. The device is super cute and light. You won’t get distracted as you can’t assess social media on the device. This device does not support audiobooks.

BUY NOW.

KINDLE PAPERWHITE (10th GENERATION)

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Device: kindle paperwhite 10th Generation.
  • Manufacturer: Amazon.
  • Weight: 182g.
  • Country of Origin: China.

Paper White has 8GB and 32GB storage. The price varies as per the storage. Important thing is, it is waterproof hence, you can read it in a bathtub, beach, and pool area. It doesn’t support audiobooks.

BUY NOW.

KINDLE OASIS 10TH GENERATION

PRODUCT DETAILS

  • Device: Kindle oasis 10th generation.
  • Manufacturer: Amazon.
  • Weight: 186g

Kindle Oasis has a page-turner button. The screen is flat edge to edge. It has an elegant look. The screen rotation feature is helpful. The cost may vary as per the storage.

BUY NOW.

In kindle, we have the features to change fonts and font size. There are few basic features like layout changes and themes.

There are pretty covers for the device on Amazon. The experience is not like a paperback yet it gives us a pleasant experience. Images are black and white but that doesn’t make my experience any less than beautiful.

When we are out in direct sunlight, a glare-free screen enables us to read. As much as I love paperback, reading in kindle doesn’t make you less of a reader. I feel that money should not be a barrier to reading. When you can afford ebooks, do make use of it. It might not be the same but I think paperback and kindle can co-exist.

Happy reading!

5 tips to improve your communication skills

Communication skills are important as it helps us to receive and give messages and informations. Communication skills are vital in communicating ideas and feelings.

Types of Communication skills

  • Verbal communication.
  • Non-verbal communication.
  • Written, and
  • Visual communication.

Verbal communication involves the usage of words. Whereas non-verbal communication uses facial expressions, eye contact, gestures and body language.

Written communication is the interactions using written words. For example, letters, email, telegrams, postcards etc… Conveying ideas through visual elements is Visual communication.

Why communication is important?

I believe that the most important life skill is to be able to convey ideas effectively. Communication is the root to transfer messages from one person or place to another.

SOURCE: GOOGLE.
  • With communication skills, we will be able to get better responses.
  • Create an impressive professional image.
  • Strong business.
  • Networking will be simple.
  • Better control.
  • Confident.

Tips to improve communication

  1. Tv shows & Movies
  2. Books
  3. Listen to native speakers
  4. Practice public speaking
  5. Conversation fillers

Believe it or not, series and movies are an amazing way to improve communication skills. This way you get your dose of entertainment while learning. I used this technique to enhance my skills. I will come up with recommendations, do look out for it.

Books are valuable if used wisely one could learn a lot from them. There are plenty of genres to get us started with. When in doubt pick a genre of which movie you will be interested in. Here’s an example, I love thriller movies so when it comes to books I choose thriller and murder mystery.

We have apps, YouTube videos and classes to help us listen to native speakers. In that way, we will get to improve our listening skills too. Native speaker’s tone, way of speaking, body language and usage of words will mould our way of speaking.

Public speaking is an art. It can be mastered with little effort from our side. In today’s world, we have technology by our side if used effectively, one can master any language.

Try to avoid conversation gaps, instead use fillers such as “I mean”, ” you know”, “alright”, ” basically“, etc. The most common fillers are hmm and ah. When we use these fillers the flow of the conversation will be smooth.

Tips for effective communication

“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.”

– Peter F. Drucker

When it comes to communication, non-verbal communication is important too.

Deliver simple yet clear messages

Can you listen to someone who uses Shakespeare’s style of language while talking about a pitch meeting? No. It will be tiresome. While communicating one must remember to keep the language simple and efficient. The message should be clear and concise.

Take time to respond

Taking some time to respond doesn’t mean you are in doubt. We can’t be spontaneous in every situation. There might be a heavy and important responsibility if we answer without forethought, it might put things out of order.

Body language is like salt to our food

Too much salt and less of the same is not satisfactory. Body language should be overdone. People tend to notice body language it should show warmth and add a filter to the conversation. “Action speaks louder than words.”

Maintain eye contact

Trying to uphold the eye contact game. But remember, too much of anything is not good. Try not to stare at the person instead maintain healthy, non-creepy eye contact. It will create an impression and acts as a signal that you are indeed interested in the conversation.

Understand their needs and values

People like those who can understand and value them. We all have feelings, bad days and battling our battles. It is better to recognize their side of the story. Try to be more of a listener than speaker.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership.”

– James Humes

Next time you think of communicating with either your teammates or any professional individual. Try to follow these points. Hope you found it informative. Thank you!

TOP 5 INDIAN MYTHOLOGY BOOKS YOU MUST CHECK OUT!

Hi! Today we will be talking about an interesting topic. Mythology. I always am ready to listen to folklore, myths and tales. Simply because find Myths to be striking. Mythologies are a collection of myths of particular cultures and religions. Myths we’re recorded as human beings started to have manuscripts.

Myths and legends were created as humans mastered the way of writing. Myths mostly discuss the relationship between God and humans. It dealt with questions like who are deities? How the world was created? The righteousness and the unethical aspects.

Hindu Mythology is also cited as Hindu Mythology. Indian mythology includes Buddhist, Sikhism, Jainism, etc… Mythology plays an important role as it is the core of culture and religion. Another reason is the battle of good and evil, which helps us to learn, discover and comprehend the way of living.

When we discuss Hindu Mythology, the popular tales are of Ramayana and Mahabaratha. Apart from that, we have tons of myths. Hindus worship numerous deities. Authors are retelling the myths in a fascinating, thought-provoking way.

Top Indian Authors who write with Modern Ingredients

  • Kavita Kane
  • Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
  • Amish Tripathi
  • Dr Devdutt Pattanaik
  • Aditi Banerjee

Top 5 Indian Mythology Books to Read

AHALYA’S AWAKENING BY KAVITA KANÉ

“You know you are very beautiful.”
‘But where is my achievement in that?’ Ahalya asked, with genuine puzzlement. “It’s not my talent; it’s God’s gift.”

Kavita Kane is known for her modern twist. Ahalya is a character in the epic Ramayana, we don’t get to see much about her. A sheltered princess then a loving wife of Rishi Gautam. Her tale is the play of destiny and fate. It retells the patriarchal society which exist even today.

BUY NOW.

RAMCHANDRAN TRILOGY by AMISH TRIPATHI

“A leader must love his country more than he loves his own soul.

Amish Tripathi is famous for his remarkable detailing of characters in his book. The characteristics of his works are written from outstanding perspectives. Sita was known to be a woman who suffered in silence but here she is portrayed as fierce, strong administrator and warrior.

The light has been shed on Ravana too. In his work, he gives voice to Ravana’s aspect. He is someone who will kill without guilt. Is he a villain?

BUY NOW.

THE FOREST OF ENCHANTMENT by CHITRA BANERJEE DIVAKARUNI

I couldn’t control what was done to me. But my response to it was in my control.”

I would say it’s a masterpiece and a must-read. We get to know Sita’s POV, it’s a delightful piece of work. Sita is stated to be the epitome of values and a warrior. The cover looks stunning!

The values of Ramayana are infused in our lives. This book will mould our perspective.

BUY NOW.

JAYA by DEVDUTT PATTANAIK

“Refusal to accept the flow of the world is the root of all misery.”

A compelling retelling of the epic Mahabharata. The doorkeeper of Vaikuntha is a twin Jaya and Vijaya. The difference between them is what we need to solve the mystery of the epic. The tale is said with simplicity and clarity.

BUY NOW.

THE CURSE OF GANDHARI by ADITI BANERJEE

The book is a retelling of Gandhari’s fate. We get to see the tale through Gandhari’s eyes. It is a fascinating story about how she shaped the epic. Her dedication towards her vow is striking. After being married to a blind prince, she stayed blindfolded for life. Most stories haven’t described her in detail, unlike this one.

BUY NOW.

These are the books I would say one must read to re-shape their perspectives if required. The stories are captivating. Let me know in the comments if you have any recommendations.

Things to know about B.A English.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A) English. It is an undergraduate degree for three years. The course would focus on the main aspects of the language and it will help us develop creative and independent thinking. The course helps us to enhance our communication skills.

Why English Literature?

English Literature introduces us to a world of creativity. You would get a chance to discover poems, novels and plays. You get to read incredible novels as per your prescribed syllabus. You get the knowledge of the history of literature. You will be able to think without confinement. There are no particular reasons but;

  1. If you are drawn to literature.
  2. If you are interested in the language.
  3. If you love reading books.
  4. If you want to make a career based on this course
  5. If you would love to learn about the wide range of cultures.
  6. It will help you broaden your boundary.

The actual answer lies in your perspective and interest.

B.A English Literature Subjects

Literature students will have major, allied and core subjects. The subjects may differ in correspondence to where you are studying. The subjects are as interesting as it sounds. We will get the flavour of distinct eras. The subjects will pull out the self-reliant sense.

  • History of English Literature.
  • American Literature.
  • Victorian Literature.
  • Feminism.
  • Women’s Writing.
  • Linguistics.
  • Indian writing.
  • Poetry and
  • Literary Criticism.

Best College to Study Literature

  • Loyola College.
  • Stella Maris College.
  • Madras Christian College.
  • Ethiraj College for Women.
  • Meenakshi College for Women.
  • Women’s Christian College.
  • Patrician College of Arts and Science.

When it comes to college, we have a few things to consider. The accommodation, fees structure, reputation of the institution, etc. In that case, I have listed out colleges in Tamil Nadu, Chennai. The chrome will help you sort out colleges in your location.

Job Opportunities After B.A. English Literature.

  • Content writer.
  • Educator.
  • Editor.
  • Writer.
  • Journalist.
  • Public relations.
  • Blogging.
  • Creative writing.
  • Language translator.
  • Media and advertising, etc…

The career opportunities are impressive and you can be a freelancer too. Although, many prefer to do Masters in Literature. There are alternatives.

Books for Literature Students

The books may vary according to the syllabus prescribed. Classics to add to your never-ending reading list are;

  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
  • Jane Austen’s works.
  • Shakespeare’s works.
  • A Tale Of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell.
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë.
  • The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne, etc.

As literature students, we might have the self-expectation of reading a particular genre. You need not read only classics to be acknowledged as a literature student. Try to savour the stories.

To know the history of English literature, you can refer to;

1. An Outline History of English Literature by William Henry Hudson.

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2. A Critical History of English Literature Vol 1 & 2 by David Daiches.

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Side Hustles for Litreature Students

I’m no expert, but I do have few ideas. Book lovers know the pain of having N number of books on their wishlist and not being able to get them all. Well, with side hustles we will be able to squeeze in extra books while buying.

  • Content Writing.
  • Freelancing.
  • Book logging & Bookstagram.
  • Bootubing (although the channel will take some time to get monetized.)
  • Copywriting.
  • Proofreading.
  • Affiliate Marketing.
  • Social Media Marketing.

However, the above-stated side hustles won’t make you rich but will be more like pocket money. There are plenty of internships that will pay you with a certificate.

For clear ideas, consult your counsellor, teachers and mentors. Is Literature tough? No, it is neither easy nor difficult. Unlike the olden days, we have technology and the internet facility. Literature is a wonderful way to know history.

“When in doubt, go to the library.”

Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling.
Source – Google.

5 BEST THRILLER NOVELS OF ALL TIME!

Are you someone who loves thrillers? Be it a book or a movie, nothing can win against the feel of watching and reading a gripping story. Here are the top 5 books to blow your mind.

AND THEN THERE WERE NONE BY AGATHA CHRISTIE

Agatha Christie is the Queen of mystery for a reason. Her books have unexpected twists. And Then There Were None starts with Ten starters getting an invite to stay in the more solid island from Mr Owen. The host is someone unfamiliar yet they all are ready to travel to the island. Once they reach, all 10 of them are being allotted to their rooms. They notice a rhyme;

“Ten Little Soldier Boys went out to Dine, one choked his little self and then there were nine.
…….
…….
One  Little Soldier Boy left all alone; He went and hanged himself and then there were none.”

 The creepiest of all is the ten strangers die one by one as stated in the rhyme. Who is behind this? This is a must read classic!!

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BEFORE I GO TO SLEEP BY S J WATSON.

Before I Go To Sleep is a gripping, psychological thriller. “What are we, If not an accumulation of our memories?”

This book will keep us hooked till the end. All the while you will be rooting for Christine to remember her past. Losing our memory is tragic. It isn’t easy, we can’t trust what people say about our past. Our memory is the only evidence, if that is removed, life will be a huge mess.

Christine wakes up every morning with zero memory about who she is and whom she is with. She loses her memory every time she sleeps, when she wakes up, there is a man next to her calling himself her husband. Christine keeps a journal to keep her reminded of her past. She attempts to put the pieces together to remember her past. What she learns is frightening!

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THE SILENT PATIENT BY ALEX MICHAELIDES.

“She tied her husband to a chair and shot him multiple times. She slit her wrist and waited for the police to arrive.”

An accused murder refuses to speak about the incident. Is she guilty? Or is she hiding the truth?

Theo Faber, a renowned psychotherapist takes up a job in Grove. He tries to talk to Alicia, treat her and reveal the mystery behind the murder of her husband. We follow his investigation and the story is narrated from his perspective. This is a true page-turner. The ending was mind-numbing.

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BEHIND CLOSED DOORS BY B.A. PARIS.

Jack is a lawyer who meets Grace, he was genuine to her sister, Millie. Most guys back off when they get to know Millie has down syndrome. Jack is different, he takes care of her. She saw him as a dream guy and they got married. Jack has a strong reputation among his friends and colleagues. Grace has zero friends but Jack and Grace are never apart. They are living their best life, meeting a few of Jack’s friends once in a while.

All dog lovers stay strong while reading this book. It is a hair-raising, unsettling read. I couldn’t stop thinking about Grace after completing the novel. I was so invested in the story. It is a bit of an intense read. A highly recommended read!!

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SHUTTER ISLAND BY DENNIS LEHANE

Last but not least, this psychological thriller would numb us. There is a movie based on the book, read and then watch. The best thriller! It will make our jaw drop.

Teddy and his partner, Chuck, have come to shutter island, home for criminally insane. He is there to find the murderess but as the investigation deepens. Startling truth comes out of the dark.

I would highly recommend it! Do give it a read before watching the movie. As the movie might spoil the thrill of the book. Nevertheless, the movie is identical to the book. You won’t be disappointed if you love a satisfactory psychological thriller.

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Let me know if you have read any of the above-mentioned books. If you have more recs feel free to recommend me some. Reading a nail-biting thriller is my most favourite part of reading. I can assure you that you will definitely enjoy “And Then There Were None” “Shutter Island” and “Behind Closed Doors”.

Have a good day!