[REVIEW] The Art of Living + Loving //Here at Dawn by Beau Taplin//

I awoke – a bit sleepy, a bit dreamy. Darkness still enveloped everything – inside and out. But I could hear the birds chirping excitedly. I got up from my bed, put the duvet aside, and went to open the window. Ah, the rush of air filled me just as it filled the room. I felt renewed. Sleep went away. I was filled with a certain energy. I had to get out, out of this room, out of this house. Just go outside and marvel at the soft hours before sunrise; watch the stars rushing back to their heavenly abode.

Everything felt so remarkably new, and yet nostalgic. I have been here before, I thought, picking up a twig – twisting it about my finger. 

The grass felt damp beneath my bare feet. I could feel the droplets compressing under every step I took. There was music all around. In the sky, on the earth, on every branch of every tree. There was still an hour before sunrise and I wanted to soak in every moment of this delicious dawn before light exposed the beauty and the magic disappeared. 

I have often walked alone – in the wee hours of morning – and imagined fairies whispering to each other about how the big folk don’t know how full of magic the world really is! I agree with them. I look at the delicate bud, cusp it in my hand with a gentle stroke lest it falls before ever blooming. So beautiful. The leaves dance with the gentle air, as if mocking me, making sure I know that they revel in this magic every day while I, I am just an occasional visitor. I know. *sigh* I know.

This is what Beau Taplin’s Here at Dawn is all about.

Have you ever taken a walk in the garden at 3 am in the morning? Breathing in the magic that hangs densely about you at that time of the day? If you have then you’ll know; you’ll know EXACTLY what he is talking about.

This whole vast world in which we live our tiny, tiny lives – is brimming with miracles. You just have to be able to look for them. 

Look, there it is – in the chirping of the birds.



And there – in the smile of the little girl dancing in the garden.

And wait, WHAT IS THAT? A squirrel. Look at its tiny hands. Isn’t it adorable? Such magnificent detail. Such craftsmanship.

And the couple over there? So lost in each other’s eyes they’d hardly notice if a bomb exploded by their side. Must be such a heavenly feeling – not caring about anything else in the world other than the person in front of you.

Oh my! Look! A bookshop. Let’s go together and browse for hours and hours, lose ourselves in the countless stories. And never come out. Not so soon anyway.

Surely, surely the ability to enjoy these little things – these seemingly mundane and routine things – must be magic at its supreme? 

When you walk down the road – going to the class, grocery shopping, meeting someone, taking a bite – you pass strangers, people of all backgrounds. They don’t know you. You don’t know them. And yet a single kind smile to someone struggling to shush their crying child is a like the wave of a magic wand. If you think you don’t matter to people around you, then think again. You, dear reader, are full of life, of love, or kindness – YOU MATTER. 

Listen to me, “Here at Dawn”, we don’t take people seriously. We regard them magically.

You are a miracle. A force of nature – gentle, loving, caring. You give to others JUST BY BEING, don’t you understand that? Taplin is asking you to take a look in the mirror and see – take a hard look at the person smiling back at you.

THAT person is nature.
Nature IS that person.
YOU are nature.
So mingle with it.
Take pride in it.
Lose yourself in it – in this feeling of belonging.

Taplin’s words sent a rush of creativity through me. I felt – serene – the kind of feeling that you experience watching a sunrise. Fresh. Renewed. He made me see that the world is just waiting for me to wave the magic wand of my attention. If I could just look closely, listen attentively, close my eyes and feel keenly – it’d be plain as day to me that this whole vast universe is a reflection of me, of my inner feelings.

Here at Dawn, sitting alone with my thoughts and the poet’s, I realized how true happiness arises from deep within, knowing YOU ARE ENOUGH. I read his words and they resonated with me like a chord longing to be struck. Until you realize that everything springs from your own self, you will remain unhappy, forever. And it’s this beautiful realization that made my heart swell and jump for joy.

Taplin’s poems made me feel complete again, as I am sure they will have a same effect on you – for these are little truths wrapped inside a handful of words. The medium may change but the core message? Never. 

Sitting there, with this beautiful book in my hand, I felt a surge of gratitude rise and rise and rise within my whole body and stop – suddenly – in my heart. Why did I feel that way though? It’s just the way Taplin talks about goodbyes – the beauty they contain, the lessons. And their necessity. It’s funny really, how we forget to embrace such an inevitable thing, to cherish those last few memories forever, to make the most of them. Well, no more. Because I cannot help but take his words to heart, lock them within until they make a firm impression on it. Never to forget. Never again.

I have sown flowers
deep into the earth of your memory
to remind me that,
even in the most lightless
of places, beautiful things do grow.

The way this whole book vibrates with gentle notes of hope makes for a beautiful experience. Never a page goes by that doesn’t make you feel glad that you are reading it, that fills you with gratitude that you are here – here in this gorgeous world – alive and free and much too childlike – just as you SHOULD BE. 

When the clouds of uncertainty and bad actions reflect upon your sunny dreams, Taplin, encourages you to take responsibility where it is required. You cannot run from it. You cannot hide from it. He wants you to understand that it’s YOU – you who is cause of it all and by accepting that responsibility, you create yet another miracle – of freedom. Freedom from ignorance, from failure.

Here at Dawn, you will understand the beauty of a helping hand – given or received. As Taplin says, 

We only flourish when we lean on each other.
This is how all great things
are grown.

This collection of poetry reinstated the need of companionship, of friendship – of the importance of surrounding yourself with genuine people and giving thanks to those who accept you without any judgement. I never knew it was possible to pack such – non romantic – thoughts into lovable poetry and yet, the poet has achieved this. And I am glad that he did because it is a delight to read, to own, to cherish.

Taplin’s poems are also wise with experience. They contain a knowledge that can’t be faked. They want you to understand them, understand the meaning in between – and as you’ll do so, you will find yourself liberated from every thought and feeling that has been weighing you down.

As I said before, reading these left my heart overfilling with gratitudefor the ghosts of the past, for the candles of the present, and for the dreams of the future. It’s been such a lovely, lovely experience reading these – one that I emerged wiser from, kinder to myself and the world around.

So come, dear reader, dance with the poet in the rain. And forget all your worries. Lose yourself in the magic all around you. You are beautiful. You are your own. You are the world. 

Let him teach you the art of living and loving and living lovingly.
Rise.
Reborn.
Here – in the arms of the beautiful dawn.

[REVIEW] The mute girl, her murderer sister, and the mermaid of the lake //The Cry of the Lake by Charlie Tyler//

I was sitting at my dining table with the book in my hand and my eyes glued to the first page. The door that opens in the hallway was ajar -revealing dark steps and as I continued to read – I felt this rush of warm terror inexplicable but unmissable.

A GIRL IS FUCKING DEAD?!

And that’s how The Cry of The Lake begins. With a shock. And a promise of many more yet to shake you in the process.

The image of a dead girl danced around my eyes as if I was present right there in the room with her lying next to my feet – dead as a fucking nail – blued lips and a creepy stare. And add to it the gritty details and the unsympathetic attitude of Grace in the beginning? The very air that hung around me began to feel cold somehow.

Almost every turn of the page brought with it a rush of excitement and wonder – some character detail that left me gawping at the pages with wide set eyes, or some piece of the puzzle that hadn’t even crossed my mind.

Back to back surprises – so engrossing that I didn’t even move my neck for an hour straight – sticking my nose in my kindle as if reading it from as close as possible would reveal something!

I adored how Tyler throws in JUST THE RIGHT DESCRIPTIONS at JUST THE RIGHT TIME! Handling the timing to keep the reader engrossed is an art, one that the author has mastered! 

The way that characters have been fleshed out is brilliant as well – giving them all an identity of their own – moving back and forth in three point of views – presenting a delicious contrast in nature, thinking, and priorities. Charlie Tyler’s extraordinary way with words painted really vivid and unique image of all the characters. You know what, it hurts me to call them mere characters. They are people in my heart now. Flesh and bone. That’s all they are composed of. Real people with heartbreaking stories – and I don’t think I will ever be able to get over them. I don’t think I even want to. 

The stark and deliberate contrast that the author presents to snap you out and then pull you back in only increases the creepiness factor. The narration is so subtle in introducing bits of horror stricken and disturbed images in your mind that you end up shivering and anticipating the worst at even the most normal and unimportant events. You never really forget Amelie’s body gurgling down to rot at the lake bed and that stinky smell of a rotting body – a fragment of my imagination for sure – but it was present throughout the narrative, even when everyone was all happy and seemed carefree – the power of Charlie Tyler’s words.

I went out after finishing the first chapter – to get some water. It was around 11 pm and the hall was dark and I could feel someone’s dead set eyes on me, the manic eyes of a crazy woman – the very thought sent shivers down my spine! GUESS WHO SLEPT WITH A THIRSTY THROAT THAT NIGHT? ME! Because I JUST COULDN’T make the painfully short journey from my room to the kitchen. THAT was the effect of this book’s beginning events on me.

From the very first page it hooked it’s claws into me, sucking me in  like a dementor – only it didn’t feed on my soul, it fed on my attention. All of it WHOLLY on this gorgeous, haunting, dark story.

The mystery surrounding the two girls keeps on twisting and turning it’s solid body around you – a snake from the depths of the characters’ pasts. Suffocating you. Keeping you captive in between it’s forceful embrace. And you end up liking it, enjoying it even! 

You are the happiest prisoner ever! Stockholm syndrome much? HELL YEAH! 

Secrets lay at the heart of Lily and Grace’s life – the anticipation of which had my insides in a knot. I don’t know why but I was terrified of knowing the truth, of reading on. I think a part of me just didn’t want this story to end. Very selfish too because Lily’s suffering was dependent on the ending but I just couldn’t handle. Yet my curiosity won over my reluctance every single time! 

Lily was made fun of her silence. Even by her sister. Grace’s actions made me loathe her. So much that I just wanted to enter the alternate realm and stab her in the heart – just so she could fucking stop tormenting her sister. I was so engrossed in their lives that I felt like one of them! Lily’s grief, the fact that she was in the cruel clutches of a life that suffocated her – her sadness – desperation – confusion – anger – hopelessness – the author captured it ALL. So broken was this teenager that I just wanted to rip apart the pages and enter her world and soothe her and tell her that everything was going to be OKAY! 😦

In all honesty, I hated Grace from the very beginning. Everything about her irritated me. But man, I didn’t have the SLIGHTEST inkling that my view of her would change so drastically. That, in my eyes at least, she’ll be redeemed by the end. It’d be cruel to let you in on any more details but just know that you won’t come out of this story unchanged. You WILL leave a part of yourself in there – between the pages – wrapped up tightly. But keep it away from Emily. She’ll break it.

But WAIT! WHO IS EMILY?! You’ll find out soon enough.

I sit here – with my eyes just a bit teary, my heart just a bit sad, my kind just a bit relaxed – it’s been a journey. I have been Emily – her rage; I have been Lily – her trauma; I have been Flo – her confusion; I have been Frank – his wickedness; and I have been Gil – with all his loveliness.

I have been them all. And let me tell you, even though learning about their lives destroyed me, I wouldn’t trade one bit of that wonderfully thrilling experience with anything else. Nothing else. 

I had already started reading another book the next day – trying to escape the tide of emotions reading The Cry of The River had set in my gut – but I just couldn’t shake the gloomy feeling of separating myself from these dear dear people.

Yes. I even missed Grace and her erratic and manic ways. It’s amazing how Tyler has forced me to be sensitive and understanding of a girl who has committed cold blooded murder before. You won’t believe the things she has done and yet, she is redeemed. Why though? I couldn’t tell you, despite knowing the contents of her past, I just couldn’t tell you why my heart wants to forgive her so badly. 

And Lily? I don’t wanna part from her. Her confusion, her nightmares, her dilemmas, her hallucinations – I have become addicted to them.

I don’t want to let go. I want to hold on. 

And I want Gil back. I want to hear him say “My lady of the lake, forgive me” one last time. I want to see his golden hair shimmering in the moon light and for once, just once, I want him to hold Em, the way she wanted to be held. 

I think I will be forever be haunted Emily sitting at the edge of the lake, with all the painful memories gnawing  at her heart – wasting away what little sanity she has left- forever waiting for someone who would never arriveher beloved, the mermaid of the lake. 

Ask anyone –
I’ve been gloomy
thinking about the future they might’ve shared –
Gil and Emily,
If not of love, then maybe of family?

And now I MUST ask YOU, dear reader,
to
share in my gloom. 

You will, won’t you?

[REVIEW] Love – with all it’s complexities and imperfections, beauty and transcendence //Our Naked Souls by Justin Wetch//

At first it read like broken sentences, not poetry. But as I made my way through, those little fragments started to make sense, started to rhyme in my heart – as a whole. Every single word written in this book is raw with the kind of love that comes with understanding, with maturity.

I fade away without your love
My colors dim and darken
I fall for you more every day
Without a hint of caution.

This gorgeous little book won’t make you swoon and pine over someone out of your reach; it will gladden your heart for the love that you already have, the kind of love that will stand with you, be your support THROUGH THICK AND THIN – no matter what! Reading such a mature and reasonable take on love – with all it’s flaws and complexities – was such a delightful experience.

And yet, with all the practicalities of the worldly love, you can still find – within the lines – the cosmic importance of it, the fact that such a pure emotion intertwines two souls in a bond that transcends time and all other bondage of this three dimensional world a love that makes you whole, while uplifting you, reinventing you in it’s lovely likenessa love that traps you together with a beautiful thread, while allowing you to roam freely wherever you will.

There is an uncomplicated magic to Justin’s words, as he romanticizes the mundanity of life – turned interesting in the presence of a deep love. 

I refuse to believe that something as perfect
As the meeting of our souls
Could have happened
By accident.

You won’t feel exhilarated while reading it. There won’t be any uncomfortable and fuzzy feeling in your heart. What you WILL feel however is gratitude – gratitude for the quiet and understanding love that you share with your lovergratitude for the simplicity of life. Gratitude for the fact that the REAL magic lies in the simplest but the most heartfelt of acts.

This book, as the poet says, will show you the art of transcendence through the simplest acts of love.

Promise me you’ll tell the truth
And not let me fall hard
If you’re not ready to fall with me.

I’ve been waiting for a girl like you.

Wrapped inside these words are also the seeds of such a passion, that when coupled with maturity and understanding, becomes the most beautiful feeling of them all. This passion will not destroy you, it will widen your horizons, deepen your soul!

These beautiful emotions flow so freely and deeply within the poet’s words that they pulsate with a life of their own – with deep sighs. It is so subtle, so very subtle, that it demands you whole attention or else you’ll miss it. And you’ll be sorry! 

These glorious words also vibrate with the impending fear of separation – one that, although can be delayed, cannot be prevented. You will find yourself feeling just a little bit gloomy, as the poet will paint a picture of the world without your lover. How will you cope? Can’t find the words? Let Wetch put them in your mouth, let him sting your heart with this bittersweet realization that all the time in the world, all the memories that you make, will never be enough – never be enough – for you will still feel the pain when you’ll say goodbye, old age will still arrive – taking a piece of your soul with it – wrapping it delicately, to wait until your time comes as well.

You will find yourself in a state of delightful longing – as you’ll make your way through these poems – longing for the sweet and comfortable embrace of your lover. You won’t wanna let go. And anyway, why would you even want to? 

This book is also about carefree journeys “up to the mountains”, with a desire to lose your being into one another – enjoying life’s simple pleasures. Isn’t that the most magical thing of all?

With fresh eyes I looked at living
She effortlessly changed my point of view
Dear god, let me forever keep loving
La fee qui rend tout jamais vu.

It’s about turning the most ordinary things into adventures – something that only love can achieve. Your heart will expand as you’ll read this – you’ll feel a comfortable stream of emotions flowing through it to illuminate your whole body – as naturally and effortlessly as the sun illuminates the sky. You will find yourself lost in the poet’s experiences, for the have been your experiences as well.

This is not about the outlandishness and grandeur of love – this is about a pure feeling that arises when you hold hands together, 

It’s about those beautiful moments that can only be found when you are not looking – in your every day – just lose yourself in the beauty that is life. It’ll teach you to be grateful for someone who understands you, is foolish with you, a bit childish with you. 

It’ll teach you how to look up at the sky – with wonder in your eyes and love in your heart – as you’ll sit on the terrace at night, holding each other’s hands, knowing that the love you bear in the depths of your beings is meant to be. Why else would the stars shine so brightly? Why else would the cosmos invite you to lose yourself in it – just like darkness loses itself into the night? It’s in these wondrous moments that you’ll realize, your own importance against the vastness of the universe – and you’ll know, you’ll know for sure that it’s because of the presence of love deep within your atoms that the world is suddenly such a happy, such a magical place to live in.

You should look at yourself
With the same wonder
With which you look at the stars;
You, my love, are a miracle.

It will also show you pain – the poet’s and your own – it will guide you through the unexpressed emotions welling inside you, eager to burst outand all will feel calm again.

The fear of losing someone you love so deeply is something that every one of us has experienced and it’s this fear that grips the heart of the poet – you will feel it in your bones as you’ll read through the sunny parts and arrive at the gloomy ones.

Addicted
To the idea 
Of love,
We were like seeds
Which sat in the rain
Expecting to grow
But withering away,
Forgetting the value
Of soil and rain.

The hurt that follows a heartbreak is unbearable and yet, through it emerges a renewed soul, a stronger heart and a desire to love again this time a bit more cautiously but a bit more passionately as well. You may lose the person but the memories remain – a warm reminder of the moments you shared; there is no time to lose and so you give live your all – you take a chance despite everything. That’s how you create something beautiful out of nothing, a phoenix rising out of ashes willing you to live again, to burn again – that’s the beauty of love, you are happy in it’s presence, you are wiser as it leaves – no harm done. In the end, it was all a lesson. 

Our Naked Souls is also about taking pride in what you have, what you meant to each other – never losing the sight of what’s important. Love is all about complacency and the poet is here to teach it to you in the most beautifully simple way possible.

Love is remembering what you have” and then reveling in that remembrance, 

It teaches you the art of a steadiness and passion – urging you to not burn out, but rather burn with each other, keeping yourselves aflame, with the feelings that flow in your body – so pure, so alive, so powerful.

So, dear reader, let the words flow through you and settle in your heart. 
Let the poet teach you how to turn your whole life into art.

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] Romeo and Juliet – Not REALLY in Love? //A RANT + Discussion//

It seems to me that the most common notion around Romeo and Juliet is that they were not REALLY in love; that it was just a result of their raging hormonesa pure infatuation.

I have to ask, what love is NOT based on a mutual desire to be with each other? IN EVERY WAY POSSIBLE?! It seems to me that this is said purely for argument’s sake. ”They were NOT in love” makes you sound a bit cooler maybe? MORE ADULT? More in control of what you call ”foolish urges”?

Love is subjective – it can mean different things to different people. And you need to take into account the setting, the nature of the medium through which Romeo and Juliet’s love is portrayed and ,of course, their age. Don’t tell me that you never knew any couple in your teenage years whose romance – although started as soppy and rather cringey – later blossomed into a complete and mature love?

Passion is the same at any age. And if the argument is based on the fact that they seemingly fell in love at first sight, well DID YOU REALLY EXPECT SHAKESPEARE TO WASTE SCENES UPON SCENES ON COURTING? Would that have satisfied you? And more importantly, would that have made for an interesting read, do you think? A play is a play for a reason – it skips over the parts that would normally happen in a novel, for a very obvious reason – NOBODY wants to watch those normal and rather boring tidbits happening on a stage. WE JUST WANT THE GOOD PARTS. And that’s precisely why most of Shakespeare’s couples seem to fall in love so soon – sometimes within a matter of hours. THAT DOES NOT MAKE THEIR LOVE ANY LESS REAL.

Another point that ”mature” readers seem to make is that most of the decisions that Romeo and Juliet make throughout the play are childish. WELL, OF COURSE THEY ARE CHILDISH! Juliet is 13 for God’s sake. And Romeo is still just a teenager as well – DO YOU EXPECT THEM TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT EVERY SINGLE PRO AND CON OF EVERY SINGLE DECISION? I don’t.

And anyway, it’s not a childish play. It’s a play ABOUT childishness. It’s a play about a pure notion that a passionate love can surpass anything – even hatred. And it DOES. The families are left wrecked with guilt in the end. Tell me, wasn’t their hatred a bit childish as well? Didn’t they take it too far, way too far?! There was absolutely NO NEED – NO NEED whatsoever – for the family feud to continue. And yet it did. Their hate stemmed from reasons lost to time. WASN’T THAT CHILDISH AS WELL?

Romeo and Juliet’s love was pure, passionate, and naive – and it could have been SO MUCH MORE. That’s what makes their story even more tragic – two lovers with a rather happy life ahead of them doomed to die. WHY? Because their families couldn’t put aside their stupid hatred.

In the end, if anyone was REALLY childish – it was R+J’s parents because THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE ADULTS! Their children’s actions are justifiable but their own? NOT A CHANCE.

For never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.


ANDDD…RANT OVER!
*Phew*
I am sorry I just HAD to say it! So many adult fans out there who think they are somehow above the beautiful, if a bit naive, love story that Romeo and Juliet shared!

What about you though?
Do you think theirs wasn’t a real love?
What’s your stance?

LET’S TALKKK!!!


[MONTHLY RE-READS] Cinderella// The Continuous Necessity of a Mother’s Love

The night was dark and the air was full of sorrow and gloom. The trees outside – swaying left to right – seemed to be lamenting something, perhaps a loss of someone dear? Of someone Ella would feel the absence of bitterly for the rest of her days?

Yes. It was a very dark and mysterious night indeed because Ella had just found out her mother was dead.

Imagine – a little girl whose life was the very definition of perfection; a girl who used to play carefree in the gardens like there was no tomorrow; a girl who loved listening to her mother’s stories above everything else; a girl whose existence was still dripped in innocence and a sweet naivety to the mean ways of the world – this little girl’s whole life had turned upside down in a matter of days. Such a realization doesn’t come easily to someone so young but when it comes, the pain is unbearable.

I felt such a pain when I thought about Ella wandering about the big, big halls of her house – now left cold and lonely without the heart-warming presence of her mother – trying to wrap her head around the painful fact that she will never hear her mother’s sweet voice call her name again; she will never be able to hug her, breathe in her sweet scent and relax in her embrace and fall asleep – gently tucked away from all the cruelties of the world.

All of that protection had been snatched away from Ella WAY TOO SOON and I couldn’t help but feel her repressed remorse way too bitterly. It was as if a fair share of Ella’s grief had been transferred to me – through those deceptively simple yet powerful words.

A mother’s importance is not easily understood. Sure we love her, adore her, care for her, loathe to part from her – but all of that is still not enough.

It just isn’t enough.

Ella’s parting from her mother was the turning point in her otherwise happy life. Everything was going to be very different from then on. She hadn’t even realized how she would crave for a single sweet word from her step-mother forever, and what saddens me is that it would never come. Not ever.

Can a child’s need for the love of her mother be fulfilled by another? I don’t think so.

A mother knows her child’s deepest desires, fondest dreams, shortcomings and strengths, likes, and dislikes – she knows all of that even better than she knows her own self. She is the very link that joins a child with the vast world. Break that and everything becomes devoid of colors; you become lonely on this earth full of wonderful people. Without the love of a mother, EVERYTHING stops making sense.

And to become devoid of that at such a young age? Tears got stuck in my throat as I thought about all the hardships Ella had to face – the ones we, the reader, were made privy to + the ones that we never ever knew about!

Such a sad, sad world it is without the loving shade of the woman who gifts us with life. And to still go on as Ella didhead high and hopes in her heart shows the kind of gentle courage that the world today is in dire need of.

So accept our humble thanks, dear Ella, for helping each and every one of us realize that there is beauty in every difficulty, love in every brush of the wind that blows across the wide sky.

And most importantly, for reminding us to be thankful for our dear, dear mothers – without whom the world would, indeed, be a very gloomy place to live in.


I didn’t read Cinderella – in it’s complete form – until a few years ago. It struck me how beautifully simple all these fairy tales are – and how they manage to make you FEEL with a keenness that even the most cleverly written books can’t rival!

And this year – with all it’s complexities and horrors – demanded a revisit to this beautiful story. ❤

How about YOU, though?
When was the first time you read Cinderella?
What’s your favorite fairy tale? Any suggestions for me? 😉 ❤ *heart eyes*
LET’S CHAT!


[COLOR OF THE MONTH] Pink: 10 of THE PRETTIEST Covers EVER!

I judge books. BY THEIR COVER.

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YEP.
YOU HEARD IT RIGHT!

I like pretty books and I cannot lie. I am sorry but I can’t. Far too often have I went to the bookstore with the intention of buying a bunch of eye-candies. If the story turns out awesome? YAYYY! But EVEN IF IT DOESN’T, the books look fucking gorgeous on my shelf AND THAT’S ALWAYS A PLUS! *shrugs*

I am not even guilty about it. Nuh-uh. In fact, I am PROUD AS HELL of all those beautiful (if not so interesting) books adorning my shelf. (Red Queen comes to mind. Heh. xD)

And to celebrate this love of beautiful books (which I am sure ALL OF YOU SHARE AS WELL 😉 ), I am starting a new series on my blog – COLOR OF THE MONTH – where I will post the prettiest book covers with new colors EVERY MONTH!

And we are starting off WITH MY FAVORITE (if a bit cliche) PINKKK!!!

[Note: I haven’t read any of these but I am planning to! <3]

🌸 A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall : Okay, do I even NEED to tell you why this is MY VERY FIRST CHOICE?! I mean LOOK AT IT! JUST LOOOK! It’s just tooo fucking gorgeous for words. Romantic, heartwarming, the RIGHT AMOUNT OF CHEESY – AHH!!! Can’t stop gushing about it! ❤

🌸 Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe : This cover matches the story – about High school lovers turned distant parents – beautifully. I can feel the unsaid words, suppressed emotions, depression, trauma, anxiety, estrangement – EVERYTHING. An absolute beauty, wouldn’t you say?

🌸 The Royals by Rachel Hawkins: Okay, from the title itself I can tell that this will be one of those cheesy stories where the girl has no desire to be a princess or something but she is forced to and all. LIKE HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO SUCH A LAVISH LIFESTYLE?! It will always remain a mystery to me. BUT that doesn’t mean one cannot enjoy such a one-time-read romance from time to time, does it? 😉 If I do end up reading it, I won’t go in with high hopes, that’s for sure. If this book manages to capture my heart, that’ll definitely be a plus BUT EVEN IF IT DOESN’T, it’ll be nice to own such a pretty copy! ❤

🌸 The Awakening by Kate Chopin: Almost ALL of you must have heard about this book, haven’t you? I mean, you MUST have read a review or another floating around the blogosphere. Dealing with female infidelity in an honest-to-god way, there is NO WAY this book could end up being a disappointment. AND WITH A COVER LIKE THAT? NO CHANCE!

🌸 Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See: I’d be lying if I were to tell you that the cover captivated me more than the title. There is a certain mysteriousness, a certain complexity to the title of this book that I couldn’t help but add it to my TBR. The cover was definitely a plus and the fact that its Historical Fiction adds to the long list of reasons why I am dying to read this one. BUT OH THE COVER!!! *heart eyes forever*

🌸 The Idiot by Elif Batuman: The sheer simplicity of the cover would capture ANYONE’S heart really. You’d be FORCED TO WANT TO KNOW the contents of the book. Seriously. Just keep looking at it. No, no. Don’t take away your eyes yet. Focus on the pretty background, then the rock, then the title – rushing to the bookstore yet? 😉

🌸 The Bed Moved by Rebecca Schiff: I am sorry but LOOK AT IT! It’s TOO FUCKING INTRIGUING! I know it isn’t all pink but I mean COME ON! How could you NOT want to read it after the first impression like THAT? It’s a collection of horror stories – as you must have guessed by the title and the font and all – and I AM WAY TOO EXCITED to lay my hands on it ASAP!

🌸 A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow: Stephen King says, ‘There is no safe place to read this book.” and I gotta say between the title and the fact that this is a psychological thriller, he is right! The only good that’ll come out of owning it – apart from it looking pretty on your shelf – is that people will stop leaving you in charge of their kids. (insert echo voice) FOREVER. EVER. EVER.

🌸 A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Bernard: When I first saw this cover, I immediately fell in love with it. The way it depicts silent AND chaotic states of mind – both at the same time – perfectly blends with the title. This is a story of quiet yet thunderous love and I have an inkling that I am going to adore every single moment of reading this beauty!

🌸 Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: ”QUEENIE will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity, and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way.” x.X I mean, for a cover as gorgeous, daring, and bold as THAT I am willing to endure ANYTHING! *heart eyes* ❤

SOOO??!??!
Did you like the covers?
Which one’s your favorite?
Have you read any of them?! PLEASE TELLL ME IF YOU HAVE!!
ALSO, what is YOUR favorite colour? ❤
Let’s talk!


[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] How-To: Criticize Your Lover Poetically// Shakespeare’s Guide to Tough-Love//

[Note: This guide is only meant for skilled writers. If you are a commoner looking to woo your girl, I’d suggest you check out Mr. Collins’ guide instead.]

Shakespeare’s Sonnet 130 holds a special place in my heart. Mainly because it was my life’s first one. And it wasn’t even by choice. You see I was sitting in the library – avoiding my Political Science lecture (I hated that teacher ugh) – when I decided to bide my time going through the books available there. While mindlessly searching for something I didn’t even want, I came across this cute, little hardcover titled – ”Shakespeare’s Sonnets” I immediately checked it out. And let me tell you IT HAD SOME OF THE MOST GRAPHIC IMAGES I HAD EVER LAID EYES ON! xD

Well, needless to say, I spent the whole period – 40 minutes- reading and re-reading random sonnets. And Sonnet 130 was the one that stood out to me the most.

But it wasn’t until I came across it again the other day that I realized Shakespeare was actually trying to teach us something through it’s medium and I had been blind to it this whole time: *gasps*

THE ART OF TOUGH-LOVE 🖤

This realization was immediately followed by an overwhelming urge to share it with everyone else, so that, FINALLY Shakespeare can rest in peace, knowing that we have grasped the hidden meaning now.

So, without further ado, let’s begin.

Prepare a List

Love is blind – until one day isn’t. There will come a time in your life when the magic will wear off and your girl’s inner Janice will start to show – with her weird hair and annoying laugh.


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You may choose to let those rather unbearable quirks slide at first but after a while, they may become too much to ignore. They almost always do.

In such cases as these, the very first thing you gotta do is MAKE A LIST OF EVERYTHING YOU FIND ANNOYING ABOUT YOUR PARTNER and make it as extensive as you can.

🌸 Dull Eyes? Check.
🌸Reeking Breath? Check.
🌸Pale cheeks? Check.
🌸 Wiry Hair? Check.
🌸 An unappealing Complexion? Check.

Comparisons are CRUCIAL.

As you must know already, the perfect woman must be the very embodiment of mother nature:

Her eyes as bright as the sun,
Her breasts plump and her complexion fair,
Her hair flowing, and her aroma rare.

Ever Man’s Fantasy

She must be delicate like a flower – rosy cheeks and soft to touch. Her voice should have the tenor of a goddess speaking from the heaven itself. 

All of these things should a woman possess and since YOUR lover doesn’t even come CLOSE to these standards, you are going to have to make some comparisons to hint it, in a not so subtle way.


Compose a Love-Poem

Now that you have gathered the basic material, you may find that it seems rather harsh, doesn’t it?

Well, our Shakesy has the perfect solution for your dilemma. You see, if you wanna soften the blow on your rather plain lover, you gotta compile your complaints and comparisons into a well structured love poemaka a sonnet.

Shakespeare was well practiced in the art of writing these sneaky little poemswritten to woo them girls apparently! And so, you MUST take some inspiration from his previous works to write the perfect sonnet. Also pay attention to how he cloaks his criticism with two rather conveniently placed sentences of flattery in the very end of his sonnets.

Now if you do the right amount of research and practice, your complaints should take the following form:

My mistress’ eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red, than her lips red:
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound:
I grant I never saw a goddess go,
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
   And yet by heaven, I think my love as rare,
   As any she belied with false compare.

Sonnet 130

Brilliant, isn’t it?

Now all that’s left for you to do is to –

Show it to your Lover.

And then you wait.

Wait for her as she opens the envelope in pure excitement.
Wait for her as her gaze falls on the very first line of the poem.
Wait for her as her eyebrows get furrowed and her eyes turn misty.
Wait for her as her sadness turns into pure rage.
Wait for her as her blood starts to boil and her teeth start to tatter.
Wait for her as she looks at you – not with the emotion you had expected (what DID you expect anyway?) but with rage.

AAANNDDD…

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Yep, there it is. YOUR ULTIMATE REWARD FOR YOUR SEEMINGLY “tough love”

Lesson?

Steer clear of the Shakesy guy, people. He’ll drown your love-boat more ruthlessly than the fucking iceberg that drowned Titanic. *shrugs*

I TOLD YOU! This was his main intention behind writing this sonnet! We were just too dumb to see it. MAN! I love him and his abilities to surprise us DECADES after his death.

But tell me, did you like his tips?
Would you like to refine it by adding some of your own? This is your chance. Share some of your ”tough-love” tips + experiences in the comments so that the rest of can benefit from them as well! 😉

Until Next time,

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] The Inventor of Words, Writer of Tragedies, Master of Flattery – SHAKESPEARE

The man who gave us –

Hopeless lovers,
Stubborn shrews,
Witless men, and
Witches too.

YES! It’s BARD MONTH over here at THE WITHERING and you are all invited to celebrate it with me.

Shakespeare and I go way back because my love for him sprouted from a deep-rooted hatred!

I wasn’t all that little when my mum went to Penguin’s and got me a copy of King Lear – it was white, it was little, IT WAS DOWNRIGHT BORING. It seemed boring at least. I have been judging books by their cover since 2005 so, of course, I treated this little copy like a bad smell – avoiding it at all costs.


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I was already reading classics and that’s where my mother got the inspiration to introduce me to the sneaky Bard. But this time she had miscalculated. I hadn’t read a single play up until that point and I was very prejudiced about them.

For some reason, I had developed a strong belief that reading a play wouldn’t get me the kind of satisfaction that comes from reading a novel. BUT BOY WAS I ABOUT TO BE PROVED WRONG!

Mumma started getting strict with me about reading King Lear, and I don’t respond that well to pressure. So I defied, WITH ALL OF MY MIGHT. In response, she took away EVERY SINGLE OF MY BOOKS – except, of course, that rather ugly copy of King Lear.

You see, apart from playing out with friends in the evening and arguing with my brother all day long, I didn’t have much else to do. Summer holidays had already started so no school either.

In short, I was stuck – between reading something I despised or increasing argument time with my brother.

Naturally, I chose the former. The first few pages were – TORTURE, for want of a better word. I hated it – the old man and his three daughters. I HATED THEM. I HATED THEIR GUTS, I HATED EVERYTHING ABOUT EVERYTHING in that book. But that was about to change. As the play progressed, I found myself furrowing my eyebrows less and less.

How desperately had King Liar tried to be a FAMILY MAN and how pathetically had he failed!

It was a journey of mixed emotions – frustration prevailed, but so did anger (for his daughters), anticipation, hopelessness, and an unexpected burst of sadness when, in the end, King Lear dies of a broken heart.

Over the years, although I forgot the story a few scenes were still very clear in my memory like when Lear – stricken with the realization that none of his daughters want him – runs out of their house, wanders in the snowstorm – cold and all alone! I don’t know why but that scene – the way I pictured it back then – is still stuck in my mind and sends chills up my spine whenever I think of it.

My adoration for Shakespeare crept up on me stealthily and left me craving for more. I was genuinely surprised by how my views about his writing had changed – from aversion to love – all in a matter of a few pages.

I went on to read his sonnets, Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, and THEN Romeo and Juliet. I was introduced to the rest when I started my Honors three years ago and honestly? It isn’t as much fun reading Shakespeare critically as it was back in school – because back then my ideas, my imagination wasn’t muddied by all those opinionated writers, analyzing his works to their hearts content.

BUT HEYYY! Hang on there, Rain! You are going to do the same as well so away with your bashing. *grins* Yep. That’s true! I will twist and turn his works and present them in a way that’s enjoyable to everyone – literary and non-literary folks alike. Sound good? Okay then.

Here’s to an awesome Bard Month and to start it off on a more collective note, why don’t you guys share your experiences with Shakespeare in the comments?
Your first sonnet? First play? Your favorite one?
I WANNA KNOW EVERYTHING! So, let’s chat!






[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] How-To: Propose To A Perfectly Tolerable Girl// A Step-by-Step Guide By Mr. Darcy a.k.a THE PEMBERLEY MAN//

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife”

HOW VERY TRUE!

Even the ones that don’t think they want one, SECRETLY DOOOO!!!!! Everyone wants a wife. And those who GENUINELY DON’T change their perception once they get one!

It’s just the truth of life. AND WE MUST ACCEPT IT. ALL OF US. Yes, even Mr. Darcy.

I am pretty sure that when he entered the Longbourn ball that fateful evening, he must be so sure that he won’t like anyone in this god-forsaken country. BOY, WAS HE IN FOR A WORLD OF SURPRISE!

Our dear Lizzie bewitched his mind the very moment he brushed her off as ”not pretty enough to tempt me.” From there, it was all rolling and falling in love for our dear Pemberley Man. But he approached his adoration for the second eldest Bennet sister with utmost precision and skill!

READ ON TO FIND OUT HOW!

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🌸 Condition Her Mind Beforehand

I see.
I like.
I propose.

WHOA!
Hold your horses there, Mr. Collins’ descendant! This is not one of your DEPRESSED & DEPRIVED cases.

It’s about the girl with fine eyes, tolerable teeth, and a conceited sense of freedom. She likes long walks, witty talks, and MOST OF ALL – SHE LIKES TO JUDGE PEOPLE! So you can’t just barge in there with a proposal, you’ll make a fool of yourself.

You need to condition her mind first –  acclimatize it in such a way that she starts seeing you as her future husband. This is easy and can be achieved in a few simple steps:

🎄The first time you guys meet, look at her with flared nostrils and uninterested eyes. You must look a bit constipated too as if the very sight of her face is puke-inducing.

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This one’s NOT MINE! 🙂 ❤

🎄Refuse to dance with her when your friend is suggesting her as your dance partner, while she is CLEARLY in the earshot of your conversation. THAT OUGHTTA GET HER MIND RUNNING! 

🎄Convince the man who is in love with her sister to go away and leave her heartbroken. TOUGH LOVE, DUDE! It’s a THING! LOOK IT UP. 

laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart Object🌸 Stares and Dances

It’s all about the eyes, man. Girls LOVE it when you compliment their eyes.

But YOU aren’t some commoner. YOU ARE THE PEMBERLEY MAN. And you have to step up your game.

🎄This can be achieved by staring at her at THE MOST inconvenient times possible.  Preferably when that gold-digger Caroline Bingley is nearby. [ Really though, YOU OUGHT TO ASK THAT INSUFFERABLE WOMAN TO LEAVE YOU THE FUCK ALONE!]

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🎄After a few inconvenient stare-offs in public, you have to take it to yet another level again and ask her for a dance at the Netherfield Ball. 

Now, I know it’s beneath your status to dance with only a tolerable-looking girl but hey, do you want to marry her or not? Well, then. Ask her for a dance and be silent.

BE SILENT AS A GRAVE.
UNLESS she herself breaks the ice. THEN you can go ahead and add one or two witty remarks.
BUT DON’T OVERDO IT. BECOME SILENT AGAIN

laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart Object🌸 Surprise, Surprise!

By now you must have managed to imprint her mind with your image (whether an agreeable one or not THAT we will find out later! ) Youwith your uncomfortable encounters and unwilling complimentshave successfully conditioned her mind and she is now ready to be proposed to.

Now as you may already know, a proposal is a VERY big step (DUH!) and must be planned out in detail. You have to pick the right spot and you must make sure that she is in a good mood before you do it. 

So, NATURALLY you gotta go to her RIGHT AFTER SHE FINDS OUT THAT YOU RUINED HER SISTER’S HAPPINESS (that was a classy move, I must say!) and blurt out your confession in the following manner:

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🎄Say this, ”In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.

🎄Her reaction to such a display of affection will surely be of shock and a deep blush. Encouraged by this healthy display of OBVIOUS FEMININE ENCOURAGEMENT, you must go on and on and on about how her situation in life is CLEARLY beneath you, about how you are risking a complete social abandonment by making you his wife. 

🎄Don’t forget to add the fact that you think her younger sisters are ABSOLUTELY FUCKING RIDICULOUS and that her mother is THE MOST INSUFFERABLE OF THEM ALL! Tell her that even her father is a bit thoughtless from time to time.

🎄Lastly, let her know that she must ”END YOUR AGONY” by accepting your offer of marriage. 

AS THEY SAY, HONESTY —–and whatever! 

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🌸RESULT TIME!

When she refuses, WHICH SHE WILL, rethink your life choices, alright?

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I hope that all of you have learnt something from Mr. Darcy’s proposal today. 
NEVER PROPOSE WHEN YOUR GIRL HAS A HEADACHE, YOU GUYS! *eye-rolling intensifies*

[MY BOOKISH OBSESSIONS] How-To: Be an Accomplished Woman// A Step-by-Step Guide by Caroline Bingley//

Did you know that there are less than a dozen women out there that can TRULY be called accomplished?

Miss Caroline Bingley of Netherfield gravely remarks, in an interview with The Derbyshire News, on this declining number of the truly genius among her own sex.

”It’s most distressing. Just another I was telling Mr. Darcy (you know THE OWNER OF Pemberley! An EXCELLENT MAN) that something NEEDS to be done urgently if we are to fix this problem. But the fault lies with the population of Longbourn, to be honest. ESPECIALLY THE BENNET LADIES. Their distaste in fashion and yet the conceited self importance they hold themselves in is the main issue here.’

And in addition to such remarkable comments on the rapidly decreasing genius of women, Miss Bingley has also agreed to share with us some pointers to help the ordinary women be THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED VERSION OF HERSELF!

Let’s have a look, shall we?

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SNOBBERY

The first step, it seems, to being a most accomplished woman is possessing the ability to despise everything and everyone you ever come in contact with. Unless of course, it’s Mr. Darcy of Pemberley. THEN you may go ahead and praise the fuck out of everything the gentleman does.

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But for every other human being, you must be the epitome of unpleasantness.

You MUST look hideously displeased with everything around you. You see the REALLY accomplished women NEVER show their pleasant sides to ANYONE. They go through the world discontentedly and are never happy with meeting new people, certainly not the ones who can pose a threat to their plan of bagging the…the…yeah the Pemberley guy.

So ladies, if you want to be known as an accomplished woman, you better be prepared for a LOTTTT of frown lines, you understand?

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”SOMETHING IN HER AIR”

(whatever THAT means!)

This is something Caroline Bingley ABSOLUTELY INSISTS UPON. But she is a bit vague about what kind of ”air” an accomplished woman is supposed to have and that has got me wondering. Well, let’s hear it from Miss. Bingley, shall we?

Got a clearer idea now?

What Miss Uptighty-pants is trying to tell us here is that an ACCOMPLISHED woman must make herself memorable to everyone and this she can easily achieve by being a rigid, stinkin’ mess.

So get rid of those perfumes girls because it’s time to let your inner unpleasantness shine through. 😉

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HOME-WRECKER

Listen to me VERY carefully now:

A TRULY ACCOMPLISHED WOMAN never let’s such things as her brother’s happiness get in the way of her own convenience. Whenever she sees a threat to her own hopes and dreams, she starts thinking ways to eliminate it.

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And we see this method in effect when realizing that her brother is a great deal too attached to the eldest Miss Bennet and getting a glimpse of her potential future – FULL OF Mrs. bennet’s frequent visits at Netherfield – she persuades Mr. Bingley to move and makes him believe that it’s for his own good.

So you see the level of manipulation going on here? And if you want to be at Caroline’s level, you’ve got to learn this art as well.

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THE GOSSIP-GIRL

Apart from having a thorough knowledge of singing, drawing, dancing, and modern languages, a well-accomplished woman must also be well adept in the art of gossiping.

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Because when tragedy strikes and you are made aware of the fact that your ALMOST future-husband is falling for someone else, it’s the sly remarks about those ‘fine eyes” that will make the man uncomfortable enough to drop the topic altogether.

You and (preferably) your older sister MUST belittle everyone around you. THAT IS THE ONLY WAY TO GET NOTICED BY THE PEMBERLEY MAN!

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As you can see, Miss. Caroline Bingley clearly knows what she’s about.
And she isn’t afraid to admit it.
You too can achieve that level of conceit!

All you have to do is follow the above-mentioned steps and you’ll be good to go!

(PS: I couldn’t find any suitable gifs so I made these as well. I hope you liked them.<3 )