press play;

press play

“If music be the food of love, play on.”
– Duke Orsino; Twelfth Night, Act 1 Scene 1

For a few years now, I’ve caught myself thinking about books when listening to music. Sometimes a lyric reminds me of a character, or a plot arc, or a relationship in a novel I have read or am reading and I find myself either listening to that song on repeat as I read, or sitting down and making a playlist.

Playlists are a fun way of telling a story. While listening to the songs, you get the sense of the characters, get a sense of what the novel has put them through. And I know I’m not the only one who enjoys doing this. Just look at 8tracks! There are loads of playlists based on different novels to find.

I have seen a few blog posts around the ‘sphere of how to make book playlists, but this is not that. For starters, I haven’t found a website that fully suits me – 8tracks no longer plays all the songs for everybody, Spotify sometimes does not have the song I want to use on the playlist uploaded, and YouTube comes with videos that can be rather distracting.

This blog post is for me to find out if other people enjoy making playlists and listening to playlists as much as I do.

I have a list of relationships from novels I have enjoyed that I have made playlists for, or that I am making playlists for. Everytime I hear a new song that I feel reminds me of the novel, I add it to the list. It’s fun, it sometimes influences me to re-read the novel (while my TBR continues to grow in the distance), and it is simple to do.

(The not so simple part comes when I try to make playlist covers. It helps if I have a fancast for the novels – playing around on PhotoShop is always fun when you have a fancast because it is easier to find photos. I might be the only one who thinks this.)

Figuring out where to post the playlist so that I can share it with other readers has been a pain. And I don’t know, maybe I’m the only one still enjoying making these. It certainly sometimes seems like not a lot of other people have been making or posting playlists anywhere.

(Not that I’m planning to stop anytime soon.)

What are your thoughts on playlists? Do you listen to them? Make them? Where do you look for them?

2016-04-12 11:46

P.S.
If you’re interested, here are a few of my playlists.

 

review; the happiest baby on the block

review

july 1 - tbr

The Happiest Baby On The Block
by Harvey Karp, M.D.

In perhaps the most important parenting book of the decade, Dr. Harvey Karp reveals an extraordinary treasure sought by parents for centuries –an automatic “off-switch” for their baby’s crying.

No wonder pediatricians across the country are praising him and thousands of Los Angeles parents, from working moms to superstars like Madonna and Pierce Brosnan, have turned to him to learn the secrets for making babies happy.

Never again will parents have to stand by helpless and frazzled while their poor baby cries and cries. Dr. Karp has found there isa remedy for colic. “I share with parents techniques known only to the most gifted baby soothers throughout history …and I explain exactly how they work.”

In an innovative and thought-provoking reevaluation of early infancy, Dr. Karp blends modern science and ancient wisdom to prove that newborns are not fully ready for the world when they are born. Through his research and experience, he has developed four basic principles that are crucial for understanding babies as well as improving their sleep and soothing their senses.

· The Missing Fourth Trimester: as odd as it may sound, one of the main reasons babies cry is because they are born three months too soon.

· The Calming Reflex: the automatic reset switch to stop crying of any baby in the first few months of life.

· The 5 “S’s”: the simple steps (swaddling, side/stomach position, shushing, swinging and sucking) that trigger the calming reflex. For centuries, parents have tried these methods only to fail because, as with a knee reflex, the calming reflex only works when it is triggered in precisely the right way. Unlike other books that merely list these techniques Dr. Karp teaches parents exactly how to do them, to guide cranky infants to calm and easy babies to serenity in minutes… and help them sleep longer too.

· The Cuddle Cure: the perfect mix the 5 “S’s” that can soothe even the most colicky of infants.

In the book, Dr. Karp also explains:

What is colic?

Why do most babies get much more upset in the evening?

How can a parent calm a baby–in mere minutes?

Can babies be spoiled?

When should a parent of a crying baby call the doctor?

How can a parent get their baby to sleep a few hours longer?

Even the most loving moms and dads sometimes feel pushed to the breaking point by their infant’s persistent cries. Coming to the rescue, however, Dr. Karp places in the hands of parents, grandparents, and all childcare givers the tools they need to be able to calm their babies almost as easily as… turning off a light.

Review: Continue reading “review; the happiest baby on the block”

review; rebel angels

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Rebel Angels
by Libba Bray

Ah, Christmas! Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy, spending time with her friends in the city, attending ritzy balls, and on a somber note, tending to her ailing father. As she prepares to ring in the New Year, 1896, a handsome young man, Lord Denby, has set his sights on Gemma, or so it seems. Yet amidst the distractions of London, Gemma’s visions intensify–visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened, something only the realms can explain…

The lure is strong, and before long, Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world of the realms that Gemma alone can bring them to. To the girls’ great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.

But all is not well in the realms–or out. The mysterious Kartik has reappeared, telling Gemma she must find the Temple and bind the magic, else great disaster will befall her. Gemma’s willing to do his intrusive bidding, despite the dangers it brings, for it means she will meet up with her mother’s greatest friend–and now her foe, Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task.

Review:
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SPOTLIGHT; hashtag bookstagram challenges

We interrupt our regular schedule to bring you this post.

I recently got back into bookstagram. I have been trying to keep to a schedule (Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday posts, which are a lot less than other bookstagram accounts) but things have been going a bit haywire since I came across the challenges people post.

Challenges when it comes to bookstagram are not so much competitions. They are more goals for the month. I was confused the first time I came across the term before I realised that it was much like the memes over on tumblr.

#bookstagram

Last month, a couple of the bookstagram accounts I follow were hosting a #summerlovingbooks challenge. The themes for the days seemed like something I could do, it seemed fun, so I thought, why not take part.

Me being me, I fell behind. But I am still trying to participate, catch up on all the days I missed. And yeah, I’m a month late for a lot of them, but I think some of the pictures would also fall under these two other August challenges I am eying (#athomeaugust & #augustlibrary17) so my posts this month are going to be – fun, I hope.

I think every bookstagrammer should try to take part in a challenge. Whether they do it for the full month, or just a few days – it is fun, it allows more interaction with other accounts, and honestly, it gives you more ideas on what pictures to take. Or at least it does for me.

This has actually gotten a friend of mine and I discussing creating a challenge of our own. #nayaranovembernovels maybe? Watch this space for more information on that.

2016-04-12 11:46

review; a great and terrible beauty

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A Great And Terrible Beauty
by Libba Bray

A Victorian boarding school story, a Gothic mansion mystery, a gossipy romp about a clique of girlfriends, and a dark other-worldly fantasy–jumble them all together and you have this complicated and unusual first novel.

Sixteen-year-old Gemma has had an unconventional upbringing in India, until the day she foresees her mother’s death in a black, swirling vision that turns out to be true. Sent back to England, she is enrolled at Spence, a girls’ academy with a mysterious burned-out East Wing. There Gemma is snubbed by powerful Felicity, beautiful Pippa, and even her own dumpy roommate Ann, until she blackmails herself and Ann into the treacherous clique. Gemma is distressed to find that she has been followed from India by Kartik, a beautiful young man who warns her to fight off the visions. Nevertheless, they continue, and one night she is led by a child-spirit to find a diary that reveals the secrets of a mystical Order. The clique soon finds a way to accompany Gemma to the other-world realms of her visions “for a bit of fun” and to taste the power they will never have as Victorian wives, but they discover that the delights of the realms are overwhelmed by a menace they cannot control. Gemma is left with the knowledge that her role as the link between worlds leaves her with a mission to seek out the “others” and rebuild the Order.

Review:
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the art of poetry;

the art of poetry

I was never much of a poetry girl growing up. I mean, I liked them well enough, I suppose, but they never evoked that sense of wonder or roused my emotions the way getting lost in novels did.

Until recently, that is.

Tumblr has made being exposed to different styles of poetry much easier. The first few ‘proper’ poems I had read were Shakespearean and the more classic types taught in my English Literature classes. Tumblr has taught me that poetry can be pretty much anything. From a story, to rhyming words, to a protest (of sorts), or to – whatever this is.

I have not had the chance to read Milk And Honey by Rupi Kaur, but I have read some of her poems and there are a few that have struck me. Poetry, in its essence, is about feelings.

And I have a lot of those.

It has resulted in my writing poetry. Since the beginning of the year, I have been writing quite a bit of poetry. My muses are my family. My daughter, my mother, my sisters – I’ve written poems for and about them. I’ve written poems about my faith, about my feelings on subjective topics.

Maybe someday they will resonate with someone the way they resonate with me.

Maybe someday they will inspire someone, make them fall in love with poetry, the way I have slowly begun to my own descent.

Maybe.

Poetry has gone from something I did not quite understand, though I appreciated the aesthetics of it, to something I love.

2016-04-12 11:46

review; entwined

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Entwined
by Heather Dixon

‘Come and mend your broken hearts here.

Just when Azalea should feel that everything is before her – beautiful gowns, dashing suitors, balls filled with dancing – it’s taken away. All of it. And Azalea is trapped. The Keeper understands. He’s trapped, too, held for centuries within the walls of the palace. So he extends an invitation.

Every night, Azalea and her eleven sisters may step through the enchanted passage in their room to dance in his silver forest, but there is a cost. The Keeper likes to keep things. Azalea may not realize how tangled she is in his web until it is too late.

Review:
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SPOTLIGHT; food for thought & the Young Adult genre

We interrupt our regular schedule to bring you this post.

A friend recently linked me to this article, and I’ve had it open on my phone for a while. Just to go back to and read because the first time I read it, I realised something – I agree with most of these points.

food for thought

I mean, I love YA books. I pretty much only read YA books. Almost all the reviews on this blog are of YA books.

But when I look at the audience reading these books, we are (almost) all in our twenties or older. Or in our late teens. We read these books for escapism, for the want of the adventure or the nostalgia.

I can’t say I wouldn’t have read these books as a teenager. There are certain YA books I did read as a teenager, but as the author the article points out, the portrayal of these protagonists is, well, unrealistic.

And it made me realise something –

I mentally age up the characters of these novels.

Book has a sixteen year old protagonist who is super skilled? By mid-way through the book, I’m imagining someone who is twenty or slightly older.

The teenage protagonist is super self-sufficient and their parents seem to be non-existent? COLLEGE STUDENT AWAY FROM HOME (possibly for the first time to explain some of the things they wind up doing and/or saying).

Probably not what the author intended, but it makes it easier for me to swallow the stories when the protagonist is not unrealistically young for their actions and their character arc.

Has anybody else read that article? What were your thoughts? Am I the only one who had an epiphany upon reading that post, or am I not alone? Please tell me I’m not alone, I need to not be alone in this, heh.

2016-04-12 11:46

review; fangirl

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Fangirl
by Rainbow Rowell

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

Review:
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june 2017; it’s a wrap

midyear wrap up

It is the middle of the year, and so far, so good! I still refuse to do the whole stats thing, because there is not enough activity on my blog – by me or by anyone else! – for that too look anything but sad.

But on the blogging front, I am rather proud of myself! I have kept to my schedule of one discussion post per month, drafted in advance so that I have little stress. AND I have come up with a new feature that allows me some freedom too! Say hello to SPOTLIGHT, posts that can and will be posted as and when I write them! Posts that include interviews with authors! Posts that include me highlighting authors and books that are relatively unknown! Posts that include me, well, flailing would be a good term!

On the downside, I have read NO BOOKS so far this year. I have however written some poems, a short story in verse (a new thing for me!) and have been plotting out another experimental short story. Writing front, yay; reading front, nay?

For those of you interested, on the personal front, things are settling into a new equilibrium. I am now the proud mother of a little 3 month old princess, which is why I haven’t been reading. So I don’t feel too guilty. I’m too busy learning and embracing motherhood.

Sidenote: my best friend sent me a card for Mother’s Day that stated motherhood as the most terrifying hood one will ever go through. I’ve got to agree.

Back to blogging though. I’ve got the next few posts for the next few months plotted out, and I’m trying to figure out how to make this new feature I have thought of a reality so watch this space!

Hope your first six months of 2017 have been a blast!

2016-04-12 11:46