I have about 10 days left in my hometown before heading off to college in an entirely new country. Scary. And very exciting.
But I really will miss the food. Where else am I going to get paani puri (yum) or the one dessert my mother can actually make from scratch? Also, how am I ever meant to cook something half as delicious as this city has to offer?
For starters, I don’t have to because I’m living in a dorm where the extensive kitchen includes a microwave…. Just a microwave. Also, it’s New York. Supposed food destination and whatnot. I know someone who has a list of 400 restaurants marked as Must Eat in the city that someone sent him. And these are just the recommended ones, mind you.
Still, I’ll miss the food.
And I’d like to make the most of the days left. So, I’ve planned to ‘eat the city’ so to speak. Every day I’m going to eat one food that is characteristic of my life here – something that I don’t think would taste half as good anywhere.
Ransom Riggs, I thought to myself, yet another author hidden behind a pseudonym.
After Rainbow Rowell, Pseudonymous Bosch and the very brilliant Lemony Snicket, I had high hopes for this Ransom Riggs. And he (she?) has not disappointed me.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (MPHPC) has a degree of originality that is ever so refreshing in the over exaggerated pile of YA today. Instead of star crossed lovers fighting against the larger system, or a dystopia built on some kind of mass delusion, MPHPC uses the love of a child (Jacob) for his grandfather to create a narrative. Magic, or rather, peculiarity, takes a back seat in this novel, and the thoughts and emotions of a confused Jacob take precedence.
I’ll admit I didn’t enjoy every sentence of MPHPC.
The Girl on the Train seems to be a rather uneventful memoir for the first half of the book. The word ‘thriller’ on the back cover had me confused for a while – where was the thrill in reading about the lives of three utterly boring, possibly daft, women? Turns out the thrill sets in only halfway through the book, but it takes a fair bit of perseverance to get there. If you made it there on your first attempt – congratulations. You are a far more tolerant soul than I am.
Hawkins’ main plot is intriguing, no doubt. Her characters are more human than most; prone to mistakes and errors of judgement. Particularly when it comes to each other. The high degree of dysfunction in the lives of these characters is understated, in fact, by the characters’ inability to recognize their dire situations, personal or otherwise.
Speaking of characters, Hawkins has chosen the most unlikable protagonist, Rachel, to helm the story. Her need to keep up her image, which garners some sympathy, is overshadowed by her lack of a backbone and apparent helplessness. Her repeated nostalgia is annoying for readers, and an indication of her living as a long-ago Rachel, of whom she is a mere echo in present day.
Rachel’s tenacity when it comes to trying to fit herself back into her old life, however, is what changes this novel from a dull, drab murder story to one forged by threads of human ties. For this reason, and this reason alone, I’d recommend you borrow the book from a gullible friend who bought it because of its apparent rave reviews.
The Glass Castle is a triumph for the endearing combination of adult understanding and child-like trusting innocence that Walls employs in her memoir. It follows Jeannette and her more than slightly odd family across America as she and her siblings grow up far too soon.
And I could not help but feel sad for the unfairness of it all.
Jeannette’s relationship with her parents is something I could not wrap my head around. (I thank the lucky stars I do not have to understand the degree of dysfunction prevalent in her family!) But at the same time I could not help but appreciate the way their characters are woven.
Her father, in particular, was such a well-crafted character that I felt myself being swayed by his charm despite being horrified at his alcohol-induced rage a few pages prior. How could he be the man who allowed his daughter to be molested for money, and the man who promised her a star of her own?
I’m grateful that I was an awkward teenager. I’m grateful that I still am.
It’s taken me time to grow into my height. I still trip over myself sometimes; falling flat on my face isn’t all that new. I often envy the grace of girls who can walk down corridors with their head held high, while my eyes are scanning for possible items to stumble over,
I haven’t quite grown into my little (or not so little, depending on who you ask) tummy. On bad days I would have traded anything for that enviable flat stomach that’s fashionable to have. I make do with baggy sweaters in grey and turquoise, and pull my arms forward.
I haven’t had that effortless charm to make friends wherever I go. Small talk left me stuttering and texting was a maze I got lost in daily.
That little voice in my head asked me why I even tried.
But then I found other things that defined me better.
Memoirs seem to have become a thing among the comedians these days. Tina Fey, Mindy Kaling…. the list goes on. And I wait for each one eagerly. I used to believe that they were a breath of fresh air, with their no nonsense attitude to success in the industry. Sadly, this is only true for the first two books of this genre you read, because the trade secrets are the same for them all.
Yes Please follows in the great tradition of Bossypants but is a lot more tedious to get through in parts. SNL seems to be at the very core of both books, but Yes Please seems to return to it every other chapter. While this provides some amusing anecdotes, the repetition of the cast members and the life of a writer/actor there made me wince once or twice. (or more)
Chronological order is boring, but there’s a reason it’s so popular. It adds structure. So does thematic organisation. Yes Please chooses to forgo both and try it’s own order of chapters – not entirely successfully. While the frequent pictures and lists help, the back and forth between different times in Poehler’s life is a bit tiring. As someone who has not watched Baby Mama starring Amy and is not familiar with the name of some costars, I can vouch for the confusion you will experience in certain parts.
So I’ve been kinda MIA for the past 2 months. I assure you it’s because of exams – my mocks, and my ongoing finals. I thought I’d been neglecting my blog quite a bit so I thought I’d pop back in here.
1. Breakfast at The Pantry
(Pictured: Warm strawberry scones. Would recommend 10/10)
Sometime during the last week of school (oh yes, it’s done) I went to a wonderful breakfast with two of my friends in my PJs. Let me tell you something, going to a little cafe/ restaurant dressed like this gets you quite a few raised eyebrows. It also got me a couple of compliments on my Campbell soup T-shirt!
I was so enamored by the cafe and it’s adorable decor that I intend to go back very soon. There are also tons of other, similar, cafes in Kalaghoda and I intend to visit them all. I will take photos of my food too. I’ve gone over to the dark side and become one of those #foodstagram people.