blogging · books · shanti · tags

NOPE Book tag

Hi Virtually Readers! I’m so sorry that I’ve barely been posting–well, I’m actually not that sorry, because I have been busy even though I’m on holiday at the moment, and I have been putting real people before my computer, which is hard to do but anyway….the blog has been neglected! but I am here today, and I am doing the Nope book tag, which Lara tagged me for (thanks, Lara!). This will be hardish, because I’m usually pretty positive about books, but I will try.

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books · shanti · tags

Into the Woods tag

Hi Virtually Readers! If you’ve been reading this blog for a while or maybe if you’ve looked at our other blog then you might know that I really really like Into the Woods. It’s a sublime musical. I had this idea that there was some book tag associated with it, which I looked a little for, but I didn’t find anything so I decided to make my own. Feel free to steal it! (also if you’re not familiar with the songs go look them up they’re great!)

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books · shanti · tags

Childhood Book Tag!

The very lovely Elizabeth@Musings From Neville’s Navel tagged me for The Childhood Book Tag, which is about books from your childhood. I just want to say that Elizabeth is the main person who tags me for things and I only do the tags every once in a while but THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR TAGGING ME ELIZABETH! I actually hate tagging people and have decided that I stress less when I don’t tag people…so let’s see if I’m in the mood when I get to the end of this post haha. But I like being tagged. I am a woman of contradictions. Let’s get to it!

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books · shanti · tags

ABBA Book Tag, round two

More than two years ago, I invented a tag. It was the ABBA book tag, because ABBA is cool, ironically and also actually, and because I wanted to invent a tag. It didn’t spread very far, which is fine. But several people I don’t know did it, and I count it a success. I am now two years older than I was then. I still like ABBA; in fact, I watched Mamma Mia! again last month and had so many thoughts about feminism in the movie that I took notes at midnight about it. (That’s the kind of person I am, in case you were wondering. and, just btw, because some people seemed to be confused: the way that the categories correspond to lyrics is not the exact meaning of the lyrics. I understand the lyrics, okay. I took them slightly out of context to make the categories. Here we go!

Continue reading “ABBA Book Tag, round two”

books · not books · shanti · tags

The Liebster Award (the second)

Hi Virtually Readers! I’m adventuring in the mountains somewhere, but May @ Forever and Everly tagged us for The Liebster Award, which was really sweet of her. I’ve already done this once and am somewhat over it, just because it’s been around so long, so I’m not going to tag anyone.

liebster award.jpg


  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions they gave you.
  • Nominate 11 blogs and let them know they’ve been tagged.
  • Give them 11 questions to answer.


  • If you were to stop blogging, what would be the reason?

I’m not planning to stop blogging anytime soon, but it would probably be because I was really busy, or maybe if I got a lot of hate comments or if another big life event consumed me. Hopefully this won’t happen for a while, though I’m not sure that I’ll be blogging forever.

  • What are some hobbies you have?

Well, apart from reading, I’m really into playing music! I’m okay at viola and piano. I also love baking, going for runs, and crafting. Oooh, and sewing and knitting. (which are like subsets of crafting but y’know)

  • Would you rather be dead or die? (Yes, there’s a difference.)

I prefer the present tense, thank you very much.

  • Do you like mangoes???


  • What book would you not feel guilty about stomping on, tearing, and burning in a fire?

Love in the Time of Global Warming, or The Spectacular Now. (not even gonna give them the respect of links to their goodreads pages)

  • What blogs do you ALWAYS look forward to reading? (Or, if you’re afraid your dear readers might feel bad: What type of blogs do you tend to follow? ie. book blogs, lifestyle blogs, writing blogs, etc.)

I mostly follow book blogs, and I always look forward to reading Loony Literate, Drizzle and Hurricane books, Musings from Neville’s Navel, Happy Indulgence and Miriam Joy Writes.

  • What’s one moment in your life you’d choose to play over and over again (aka re-experience over and over again?)

I’m not sure…maybe when I did one of my presentations a few weeks ago and it went well, or the moment when I received Strange the Dreamer. Ooh or the moment when I was told that I was the new newspaper editor at school.

  • You have the choice of reading a book you HATE, every single day, or reading one good book per year. Which do you choose?

Reading one good book per year…I think it’s better to have one good book than a continuously hateful reading experience.

  • What’s one food you will never get tired of eating??? (ONE food, people, ONE.)

Toast. There are so many variations. Vegemite, jam, chese, and let’s not forget the avocados.

  • What would you do if someone walked up to you and gave you 100 bucks?

I would ask them why, and then I’d like to think I’d be selfless enough to give it away (or maybe spend it on something I really needed)

  • How are you right now?

I’m doing pretty well, thank you very much. I’m a little wet because I just got back from the pool, and there’s a cat next to me and soft acoustic music playing and I’m trying not to think about how much I hate leaving to go hiking….

How are you at the moment, Virtually Readers? Tell me in the comments!

not books · shanti · tags

Five truths, four lies

Hi Virtually Readers! A long long long time ago, the lovely Elizabeth@ Musings From Neville’s Navel tagged me from the 5 Truths and 4 Lies tag thingy. Thanks! Now, normally this is a book blog, not a all-about-my-life blog, but I thought I’d do this tag anyway. Basically, the premise is that I tell you 5 true things and 4 false things and you guess which is which in the comments and then at some point I reveal THE TRUTH. Some of this info can probably be found on this blog if you hunt around a little bit. Also, members of my family are barred from playing (sorry, guys). Let’s get to it!


  1. I really love history.
  2. I prefer wearing trousers to skirts.
  3. I did a lot of gymnastics as a child and still can do cartwheels and walkovers and the splits.
  4. I once managed to injure myself while laughing.
  5. I once managed to injure myself while brushing my teeth.
  6. I once managed to injure myself while putting on a scarf.
  7. I’m really good at origami.
  8. I like to get up early.
  9. A librarian once told me that I should be a librarian, and that’s my ultimate life goal.

So have fun guessing! I’ll reveal the answers later this week. And if you like, tell me one interesting fact about yourself in the comments.

shanti · tags

Beauty and the Beast tag

Hi Virtually Readers! The lovely Holly at Nut Free Nerd tagged us for the Beauty and the Beast book tag (thanks, Holly–you can read her post here ) and so that is what you get to read today. I watched the movie when it came out and mostly liked it and OH MY GOSH the music. I found that it was very visually saturated but overall enjoyable and Emma Watson and Dan Stevens are cool.

Look at my ugly handwriting but also the beautiful Laini Taylor books

Oh What a Guy, Gaston (a villain you can’t help but love)

I don’t really go for villains. But I thought Declan, from Letters to the Lost, was really interesting, because he was seen as a villain, and he really struggled not to fit those stereotypes, which took a lot of effort. He’s a wonderfully complex, imperfect character who I loved reading about.

Here’s Where She Meets Prince Charming (your OTP)

If myself with Nealan of Queenscove doesn’t count (it doesn’t), I would have to say that Puck and Sean from The Scorpio Races are great. They’re so silent but also they neeeeed each other.

I Want Much More Than This Provincial Life (a character destined for bigger things)

Princess Anya, from Frogkisser! is just an ordinary Princess ina tiny kingdom. But as she enters her quest, she ends up being involved in a whole lot of things she didn’t expect. This book is really fun, and if you like middle-grade quirky fantasy, read it.

Be Our Guest (a book that makes you hungry)

I’ve only just started it, but North of Happy begins each chapter with the ingredients of a recipe and I love that a lot, and it makes me long for all sorts of food that often I haven’t even heard of before.

Beauty and the Beast (Opposites attract)

This one, to me, is really obvious: Karou and Akiva from Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I’m not going to say why they’re opposites, because it’s a spoiler, but they come from totally different worlds and their relation is adorable.

I’m taking a break from tagging people, but if you want to do this, go for it. Have you watched Beauty and the Beast? What’s your favourite song? Pair it with a book in the comments!

books · Shar · tags

The Reader Confession Tag


Hi Virtually Readers! How was your Easter? I’m feeling a bit lazy, so I’m going to do this tag that Marie posted a few weeks ago. Also I felt really lazy with photos so I just used my bed sheet  let’s be honest.  First I’m going to show you photos of the Easter eggs I made last week because #proud.

We made Easter eggs in two ways. Some we boiled and then drew on with crayon. Because the eggs were hot, the crayon melted. They looked like this:

The others we blew out (used the insides for muffins) then dipped in dye and painted with water colour pencils. They looked like this:

I’m also really happy because I gave up sugar for Lent (I’ll admit I cheated a few times #oopsies) and now I can eat sugar again so YAY. My family also made delicious chocolate eggs that weren’t very photogenic but were delicious. Anyway, on to the questions!

Have you ever damaged a book?

Yes. The worst time was when I puked on Artemis Fowl 2, which was right beside my bed one Christmas eve when I suddenly got sick. I’ve also torn pages (usually by accident, but there was this one classic that was very old and I knew I wouldn’t reread so I’ve been turning all its pages into art.) Recently I’ve got a tiny smudge of Vegemite on Gemina and a bit of chocolate (while making Easter eggs) on Dreams of Gods and Monsters.

Have you ever damaged a borrowed book?

Actually, the Artemis Fowl I mentioned actually belonged to the son of one of my mother’s friends. He did not want it back. Actually we still have it since one of my parents managed to wipe off the puke. It doesn’t look or smell bad or anything, miraculously.


 How long does it take you to read a book?

In terms of hours, it depends on the fluffiness (i.e how complex the language and plot is). Generally about 4 hours, I think. In terms of days/weeks, it depends how much I’m enjoying it and how much school stuff I have going on and how tired I am, but generally about 4 days.

Are there books you haven’t finished?

Yes! I haven’t finished The Star Touched Queen, although I plan to at some point, and Sabriel, much to Shanti’s consternation. Recently I started The Winner’s Crime, which I want to read, but I haven’t finished it yet because my ereader broke so I have to get an app on my phone which I haven’t yet. I’m also partway through Bright Smoke, Cold Fire on audiobook but I’m very slow because I keep forgetting about it.


What hyped and popular books haven’t you liked?

Well, I don’t plan on rereading Divergent or The Hunger Games in the near future. One time was enough for me. And I also wasn’t a huge fan of Throne of Glass, so I don’t plan on finishing that series. Also I’ve tired of the Selection series and it was just silly and I don’t plan on trying to read after The One. While I’m doing this, I’ll say that I think Shakespeare is massively, massively overrated and I don’t get why school is obsessed with him.


Is there a book you wouldn’t tell anyone you were reading?

Sometimes I feel ashamed for rereading too much.

How many books do you own?

That specifically belong to me alone? – about 6

That I share with Shanti/our family? — A lot. On the bookshelf in our room alone there’s about 170, plus other bookshelves in our house.

Are you a fast or slow reader?

Probably fastish, but I’m slower than Shanti.

Do you like to buddy read?

Never done it unless reading a book with your classmates for English counts. Maybe I would like it?

Do you read better in your head or aloud?

In my head, because it’s easier. I often mispronounce words I’ve only read. #readerproblems

If you could only own one book, which one would you choose?

AHHHHHHH I don’t know. I would probably go for the Harry Potter series because it’s long and good, or if just one book, The Book Thief. BUT I CAN’T REALLY CHOOSE.

I tag:

Marie didn’t really tag me, but I’m tagging Rain@Ivyclad Ideas, Alexa@Summer Snowflakes and Holly@Nut Free Nerd.

 Could you choose only one book? Are you any good at reading out loud? Have you ever damaged a book? Are you a fast or slow reader? 

books · Uncategorized

Entertainer Blogger Award

Hi Virtually Readers! It’s almost the end of the holidays and I’m feeling a little blog-slumpy but I WILL PUSH THROUGH. I keep distracting myself by reaidn articles on the internet. Anyway, the lovely Holly @ Nut Free Nerd nominated us for the Entertainer Blogger Award. Thanks Holly!



-write a post to demonstrate your award

-Thank the person who gave you the award

-answer the questions

Nominate others to receive the award ( I tagged people last tme I did a tag, so according to my random self imposed rules, I don’t have to this time.)


1. Why did you start your blog in the first place?

Um, actually, fun story, I was reading my journal from ninth grade, and some teachers who thought I was good at writing said that I should start a blog to write more, and then I procrastinated for like a year and finally did it! And I did end up writing more so it totally worked, and also reading more and becoming more obsessed with books.

2. What is your favourite book?

Petition to have this question banned because IT’S SO HARD TO ANSWER (seriously, a university tried to make me answer it) I love The FitzOsbornes in Exile, Lirael, Days of Blood and Starlight, The Wrong Side of Right, Emily Climbs, and The Boy Most Likely To, but there are more (there are always more)

3. What do you dislike the most?

I  don’t know, I dislike a lot of things, half of which I do. I dislike people leaving things (like writing blog posts) to the last minute (that was a joke. don’t leave essays to the last minute, but blogs are fine). And also people who miss deadlines (I’m a newspaper editor and we’re sensitive about these things.)

4. What is your favourite food item from the mall?

I don’t go to the mall much, because it’s an hours drive away, everything is expensive, and there’s no bookshop. (seriously, I’ve been to my ‘local’ mall 1 time aside from school trips) So instead, some of my favourite indian snack foods are: green mango with salt and chili, and aloo tikki, which is fried potato patties with youghurt and tamarind sauce, and bel puri, which is salsa with cruncy bits and more tamarind sauce.

5. What is your favourite pastime?

Aside from reading, writing, frittering away time on the internet, and yelling at newpaper writers with overdue articles (or being yelled at by them because they didn’t like my edits) I love crafts! Knitting, friendship bracelets, embroidery, colouring in, making jewellery, making bookmarks–there are many fun things to do.

And that’s it, Virtually Readers! What do you do when you’re not reading or writing? Do you have a favourite snack food? Tell me in the comments!

books · shanti · Uncategorized

The Aussie Book Tag

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not Australian. (I’m a confused New Zealand Indian) But Australians are pretty cool, and I saw this tag floating around on Marie’s blog and decided to steal it, because I can. It’s Australian themed, but anyone can do it. So let’s get to it!


1. Koala. A character you want to cuddle!

I just finished The Sun is Also a Star and I loved it. It’s a really philosophical book. I’d love to give both Natasha and Daniel a hug.

2. Vegemite. A book you love and everyone one else seems to hate.

For the record, I love Vegemite. It’s one of my favourite things to have on toast in the mornings. Well, I did really like Vivian Vs. The Apocalypse, because it’s smart and funny and thoughtful, but a lot of other people, if they’ve even read it, seem to have pretty ambivalent feelings towards it.

3. Socceroos. (I assume this is a soccer team) A favourite ficitional squad.

I’m currently in the state of talking about this book WAY too much, but I loved the team of friends in The Serpent King.

4. Southern Cross. Your most recent 5 star read (the Southern Cross on the NZ flag has 4 stars only, but whatever)

I think my most recent unequivocal 5 star read was either A World Without You or The Wrong Side of Right. Both are sensitive books about what the relationships in our lives mean when the world is loud and confusing, and everything is broken or breaking.

5. Patriotism. A book from your country.

For today, I’ll do a New Zealand book, seeing as New Zealand is quite close to Australia. I really love the Dreamhunter books and Mortal Fire by Elizabeth Knox.

6. Echidna. A book that is good to look at but painful to read.

Oh, this is easy. Love in the Time of Global Warming has a pretty cover and no substance. It’s dreadful. (and here’s my scathing review, for proof).

7. Ned Kelly. A book that is an iconic must-read.

Honestly, what is it with Australians and Ned Kelly. I visited Australia last summer (December 2015-January 2015) and they’re freaking obsessed with him. I’ve seen Ned Kelly’s armor and a full display about him in the Melbourne Museum. Anyway, I think The Book Thief is very iconic and pretty important to read, just because of the storytelling structure and impact it had on YA. (and an Aussie author, to boot!)

8. Great Barrier Reef. A book that leaves you in awe.

So many books leave me in awe, because books are freaking amazing, people! (and I hear that the Great Barrier Reef is too) The compassion and thoughtfulness and general writing and research of Salt to the Sea just blows me away.

9. Pavlova. A light and fluffy book that is fun to read.

Light and fun books are excellent to read every now and again. I loved My Life Next Door and the more sober sequel The Boy Most Likely To. Friendship and family and falling in love never goes amiss.

10. Milo. A book that gets you out of a reading slump.

Well, I’m sort of in a reading slump right now. I just can’t commit to a book, probably because I’m reading too much nonfiction, though nonfiction is cool. Anyway, I started to feel guilty about the unused kindle languishing in my house, and I dug it out and suddenly I was reading Anne of Green Gables again and it’s so wonderful and I’m now at the fifth book and it’s so good and I love it and it makes me feel less slumpy. Look for my ‘Tis the Season of Rereading post on the whole series in a few weeks.