Featured
Posted in book, books

Quarantine Reading Wrap-Up

This quarantine has been revolutionary for individuals all over the world. Some of us focused inwards in hope to improve our well-beings. Others tried a hand at various new hobbies.

One of the ways I spent my time was discovering gems of books and also a few that were not quite as good as I’d anticipated. Here is a quick wrap up of what I have managed to read so far 🙂

It Ends With Us

1- It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover: My first Colleen Hoover read, and I really enjoyed it. Entertaining story, and one with a good message. It was fairly quick and easy to read, and the characters still stay with me despite the months that have passed by since me reading it. 

Spinning Silver: A Novel: Novik, Naomi: 9780399180996: Amazon.com: Books

2- Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik: Loved this book! It has strong and fierce female leads that inspire you to be stronger and the friendships between the girls blossom without being cheesy in the slightest. I will be doing a review on this soon ❤ 

Amazon.com: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Novel eBook: Reid, Taylor  Jenkins: Kindle Store

3- The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid: This was a one star read for me despite the tremendous hype this book has all over bookish platforms. I appreciate the perspective that it offered of a celebrity and the exploration of the journalism and film industry. Other than that however, the content of this book did not resonate with me or strike as anything special.

4- Help Me! by Marianne Power: a good read. Many props to the author for challenging herself in the ways that she did throughout her journey in the book. Marianne is extremely likable and pleasant in nature, not to mention her comedic take on things. While I didn’t find this book life changing or extremely inspirational, I still found some good things to take away from this book.

Mirage (Mirage Series #1) by Somaiya Daud, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

5- Mirage by Somaiya Daud: A beautiful debut! I found the first half of the book more exciting than the second half. Even though my interest started fading shortly, it was still a unique story that I am glad I picked up.

yesterday i was the moon: Unnahar, Noor: 9780525576013: Amazon.com: Books

6- yesterday i was the moon by Noor Unnahar: a poetry book by a young Pakistani author. I think she is truly talented in what she does. While not every poem stood out as exceptional to me, I think as a debut, Noor did a really great job expressing her thoughts in a beautiful way.

After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid

7- After I Do by Taylor Jenkins Reid: I listened to the audiobook for this and was thoroughly invested in the characters and their journeys. A nice book with realistic characters and a believable story.

Milk and Honey: Rupi Kaur: 9781449474256: Amazon.com: Books

8- Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur: While being a fan of the title of this poetry book and even Rupi Kaur herself, her poetry does not strike as beautiful or even memorable in any way. To me, it just feels like some words strung together that do not have a profound meaning or effect.


Courtesy to Amazon and Barnes and Nobles for the cover photos.


I hope you guys discovered some new books through this post and spotted something that you might enjoy reading. Have a wonderful day ahead, and stay tuned for some excited content in the next couple of weeks! ❤

Posted in Uncategorized

Building Better Relationships I Best Family Quotes

If you have an empty journal with no purpose assigned to it yet, I would suggest jotting these lovely quotes down. They are so meaningful and will inspire you to spend quality family time during your break, holidays, or just every day 🙂

On general relationships:

“Relationships can’t be forced or rushed. Like a good soup, they can only be slow cooked with love and care…” -@thebucketlistfamily

On parenthood:

“Sometimes all it takes is a little hand reaching for yours, to remind you that these are, without a doubt, the best years of your life.” -Unknown

“Two of the greatest gifts we can give our children are roots and wings.” -Hodding Carter

“The greatest legacy we can leave our children is happy memories.” -Og Mandino

Traveling with family:

“Traveling in the company of those we love is home in motion.”

Loving your family unconditionally:

“Give your family your best; not your leftovers. Love them more than you love your career, money or hobbies. That other stuff can’t love you back!” -Dave Willis

On raising children with a positive mindset:

“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” -Peggy O’Mara

And lastly, on enjoying every single second with them

“Any day spent with you is my favorite day. So, today is my new favorite day.” -Walt Disney

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

I hope you enjoyed reading these quotes and were inspired in some way by them. See you again next week with some exciting book content! 🙂

Posted in books

Salt to the Sea I Book Review (spoiler free)

Historical Fiction is a favorite of mine for a reason, and this book helped me further validate that reason.

Quick rundown

This book revolves around the greatest loss in maritime history. Not the titanic, but the sinking of the Wilhelm Gustloff which was meant to carry 10,500 passengers to safety.

The story crafted by Sepetys shares the fictional accounts of 4 young people from very different backgrounds yet a very similar fate: a beautiful Lithuanian nurse, a Prussian soldier, a pregnant Polish girl, and a Nazi laborer.

Favorite things about the book

  • Wonderful main characters, wonderful side characters. Definitely got attached to them all.
  • There are 4 perspectives, and each of them last only a couple pages long before switching to another. Have you ever read a book with multiple perspectives and wished one perspective would be over so you could read what was happening with the next? Well, this book does not have this problem.
  • No info-dumps, no overwhelming information thrown at you. A very easy to read book.
  • This book is educational about an event that we should all be aware of.

Wow FACTors

  • The death toll for the Wilhelm Gustloff was 9 times greater than that of the Titanic.
  • This ship was overcrowded with more than 10,500 passengers. The capacity intended for the ship was only 1,800. However, the ship did not sink because of the excessive weight but rather, it was a horrible planned sinking.
  • The author, Ruta Sepetys, traveled to half a dozen countries and interviewed survivors all over the world to get an accurate account to base her story on. I very much respect her for bringing such an important piece of history to light while making sure she did immensely thorough research.

I think this would be a great book to introduce in the early high school years in a literature class. While this book is not extremely entertaining, I would argue that historical fiction is more about the mood and setting with a strong storyline to go with it. It does not have to be glamorous or exciting but rather consistently good.

Final Thoughts

After finishing this book, I was left feeling extremely grateful for the circumstances that we are currently living in. This story and its characters definitely have impacted me and will stay with me for a long time into the future.

Let me know what you are reading right now and if you have any recommendations! I will be back next week with another post on another book 🙂 see you then!

Posted in books, Uncategorized, winter

Winter Night Reading and Kindness

 

My companions on this Winter night:

📖 Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.

🍫 Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut wafers.

Join me for a chat💕 Here, or on my bookstagram

Really quick, I would also like to share a cause that my sister and I came up with a not too long ago. We have started to make care packages for those that are hospitalized, grieving, depressed, or inflicted with any kind of sadness or anxiety. There is no age restriction yet- we are open to giving to anyone, from babies to adults. Please feel free to check out our Instagram page. And we would absolutely love if you could donate to us here, or share it with someone who you know would like to donate to us. 

AssalamuAlaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu (Arabic to English translation: Peace and mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you).

Take care of your lovely selves! Ciao cyberspace,

A

 

 

Posted in book, books, review

A book review, whatever that is.

Ciao cyberspace! 

Warm milk and cookies for anyone who noticed that I had been gone.

This time, my absence was for legitimate reasons. A lot has happened in my life since my last post on this blog, the worst of it being two deaths, unfortunately. They rattled me, and  they still shock me when I think about them. But it’s like they say- life goes on.

ALSO, I am (hopefully) temporarily using a Goodreads image in the post. I want to put a well-photographed picture of the book, but I also wanted to get this review up.

So, after months of pocketing this review in my Drive, I have decided to pull it out, give it a bit off a polish, and feature it on my blog. Do enjoy ❤


 

Revealing The Revolution by N.M. Sotzek | Book review #11

Although this book is about a mass competition, a trend many books today seem to be following, it focuses more on the personal struggles of each of the team members, rather than the battle with their competitors.

 

22853205

Cover from Goodreads.

Goodreads | Amazon

In this futuristic story, we are introduced to a new vogue taking place at that time- the Canadian Scanning Tournament, which requires participating athletes to complete timed challenges, with the help of their robotic animals. As dangerous secrets start spilling, the team-members find themselves in a mess that keeps getting bigger. 

 

The Iffy Bits:

  • Plot: This one may be a bit of  shocker since I was the one who requested this book for review, but the whole concept about ‘robotic animals’ contradicted with some of my religious beliefs. There were also certain concepts and scenes which I felt the book could have done just fine without.
  • Lack of Closure: after 300 pages, I would have liked to seen a more satisfying end than the one that I got. Hurray for the cliffhanger, but a question that had been bothering me since the first chapter still remains unanswered.
  • Predictability: I’m not sure if some closing events were supposed to be a twist, but the ending didn’t take me by surprise.
  • Character treatment: I feel like some characters were treated with disrespect and not appreciated as much as they should have been.

Editing update: Guys, I’m a super noisy typer. My brother is sleeping right now, and I’d hate to wake him up.

The Good Bits:

  • The characters: All of them are unique to the team. We have Rick, the mature captain. Maria, the only female athlete on the team. Cameron or Cam, who underneath all his layers of pride and cockiness is caring. And last, who thinks he is least, Ryan, the nevertheless enthusiastic rookie, come to replace Rick’s father on the team. They all have different strengths and weaknesses, and it was interesting to see them all get along together.
  • Sub-plots: This book features arguments against the game, and explore other possibilities, which I quite enjoyed.
  • Cost of Fame: Brief, but an honest look into the obstacles that come with popularity.

 

Random thoughts/notes:

  • So, when does book 2 come out?
  • ^Oh God, how could I forget? Book 2 is already out.

 


 

I hope that you enjoyed this review, and I apologize if it wasn’t as organized as you’d have liked it to be. Many thanks to N. M. Sotzek for sending me a free copy of her book to me; I am so glad that you did.

As always, I’d love to hear what you have to say to me- your thoughts on the book, on my review, on your life, on Instagram’s Stories Feature, anything (appropriate) really! Also, I would love some book recommendations, so send me of those, too, please!

AssalamuAlaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuhu (Arabic to English translation: Peace and mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you).

Take care of your lovely selves,

A

Posted in blog, book, books, Uncategorized

Blogging twice a month | Coffee chat

Over a cup of coffee  | Episode #1

My interest in blogging is fading away, yet, I can’t seem to quit this blog. Thus, the following solution has been produced- bookloverbabbles, starting in a month or two inshAllah (if God wills), will publish only twice a month.

I’ve seen bloggers who post daily. I’ve seen bloggers who disappear without a warning. Like the former person, I want to make commitments that I can keep.

I have decided on a couple of features for those blog posts, which are not reviews, but still book related. As time goes on and I finish my list of books and products to review, I shall introduce them on here. Maybe I’ll review once in a while, but I definitely plan to minimize them.

Being unsure of how my fellow bloggers would percieve of this, I invited Olivia from rainbowofbooks, to give me insight on my decision. And give me company with my coffee, of course.

*Blb= bookloverbabbles aka..me.


Blb- Can I get you something to drink?

.

Olivia- Thank you so much for having me, Aya. I’m fine with a glass of water, thank you. It’s good to see that you’re not giving up on your blog. 

.
Blb- Of course! Water it is. And yes, it took me a while, but I think this decision suits me best. Have you ever thought of quitting your blog?
.
Olivia- Hmm… I’ve never thought about quitting but that’s just me speaking as a relatively new blogger.This is only my seventh month of blogging so I’ll say that I’m rather enjoying blogging at the moment.
.
 Blb- Hey, that’s really great! Honestly, it hasn’t been long, since I started one either. I wish I could stick to blogging and love writing the way I did, but that seems difficult right now. 
.
Olivia- I think the reason I stuck to blogging is because I finally had something I wanted to write about and share it with others. I love blogging about books because it makes me actually digest the books I read and I am able to state my opinions about them. Perhaps if you found what your original plan was when you started your blog, you might continue blogging even though if it’s just a few times a month. That is, of course as long as it doesn’t get into the way of your life. 😊
.
Blb- Use my initial motivation as encouragement- that makes a lot of sense. I may have to come to you again in the future, for advice, and for books talks, of course. Speaking of which, do you have a Coffee Table Recommendation for us? 
.
Olivia- Sure! I’ll be glad to be of any help! I think the only recommendation that comes to mind is Cecilia Ahern’s How to Fall in Love. But that’s because I’ve just started reading it and I think that it’s lovely.
.
Blb- And my tbr list keeps growing. *glances at my now empty cup* Shall we carry out our conversation in the kitchen? I was thinking that we could try a new recipe on Choc Chip Banana Bread, that I found yesterday on madeleinetriggsblog. It looks too good to not try out.
 .
Olivia- Ooh! It looks delicious! What is it?
.
Blb- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread :3 So, what say? Shall we attempt at it? 
.
Olivia- Sure!
.
Blb- Alright then, I’ll get the ingredients. Thanks to anyone who popped in to listen to our conversation! (: 

yum
By madelinetriggsblog. Ours is under process 😉

yum 2

 Thanks so much, Olivia, for accepting my last minute invitation and being such lovely company. As for you all, I hope that you enjoyed our little chat, and can give feedback on my decision.
Stay fantastic,
A
Posted in book, books, Uncategorized

So good, that I had to email the writer at one am.

 

AssalamuAlaikum (peace be unto you), and ciao cyberspace! To all Muslims, EID MUBARAK. (: Hope you all had a wonderful one and have a great rest of the Summer, inshAllah (if God wills).

ALSO, TODAY MARKS ONE YEAR SINCE I CREATED THIS BLOG! Thank you all so much for everything. I am just 8 friends away from 500, and I’d be even more grateful to you all if you could help me reach that goal today.

 Anyways, I’m back after a 2 week break, and ready to talk about a book. Out of all the ones thatI have been sent for review purposes, this book, is one of my favorites. Partly because of the matte cover, and partly because of the content. Don’t expect all praise, though. Let’s begin.

*To avoid spoilers, I have attempted to match the style of my review to that of the briefness of Isle’s blurb.


 

Isle by Jes Dory | Book review #10 

Goodreads | Amazon

  Isle, a story told to us by Eleanora Stone or Nora, highlights three themes- torture, betrayal, and family. She and her aunt are constantly relocating, and have never settled down anywhere for long. As Nora’s eighteenth birthday approaches, the two of them move to a withdrawn island. Hoping to finally call this place her home, Nora is terrified when nothing, from her house to the local crowd, are anything near normal.

   Like with my experience with many other books, I struggled to connect with the main character. Her reactions to abnormal occurrences didn’t last very long, which seemed unrealistic. At one point in the book, she made a rash decision about those events, and was then scared of its consequences. To other characters however, she was pretty much perfect, for having this and that ability. Everyone either admired her, envied her, or both.

  I also had some trouble locating the pattern of how a person was granted powers. Seemed to me as if the characters had been just given a bunch of random abilities, not relating to the plot. A connection to the history of the book, which by the way, was quite entertaining, would have been nice.

  There were scenes I found to be more dramatic than necessary, and at some parts, my attention wandered away. Here and there, I spotted  a minor grammar mistakes, and a small plot hole. Despite these defects, however, the book was both, easily readable and enjoyable.  The many, but beautiful descriptions were a success in pulling me in. On top of that, the last fraction of the book had enough to make up for the flaws, and my reaction to it was an email to the author at 1:11 AM.

isle ss.png

 

One last thing; I’d like to see this made into a good film. Thanks in advance, and meet you at the premiere,

Aya

*Thanks so much to Jes Dory for the book. I await the second installment in the series, with much excitement. 

[P.S. No post next week. I have family staying over! But I might post on my Bookstagram, which you can check out here :)]

Posted in book, books

Confusing books are actually Clever

 

    Quick throwback to when I read The Raven Boys, and LOVED it despite the many, many sub-plots, often complex, in it. While The Raven Boys had me running back and forth (not physically..), in an attempt to catch up with the intricate details, SIB had me hunting for something with the name of, a plot. Though SIB differs from it in several ways, they both were similar in the need for organization.

 Even so, there are some pretty clever elements hidden in the core of this book, which, you can catch at the end of this review. Stay tuned.


Somewhere In Between by Katie Li | Book review #9

Goodreads | Amazon

She fights the sun every day even though she knows it’s a battle she’ll never win.

   The book starts out with a small snippet of a day in the life of our two main characters, Magnolia and Rom, who are just beginning their Junior year and have to deal with the typical looking-for-colleges process. That day however, turns their life around forever. A portal to an in-between place is discovered- a place for them to escape to.

 This discovery is left undiscussed, and the story fast forwards to 5 years later. Here, we meet an unhappy Magnolia, who no longer seems to give a care for the world. And from this part to the end, many things are left unexplained. Who, what, why, when, repeat.

 A huge factor that provoked these questions were the characters, who at most times, acted like machines. They barely expressed their emotions, and often had very slight reactions, if any at all. For instance, when Magnolia and Rom, two old friends that share a humongous secret among themselves, reunite after years, you expect them to have a bigger exchange than ‘Hey! I know you!’ and ‘What are you doing up here?’. This is followed by chunks of unexciting talk- an inappropriate use for a story already fighting for space.

  Another character that I wasn’t convinced with, was the mom. Her relationship with Magnolia is barely scratched in this book. Whatever conversations they do have, seem a little unrealistic because the mother eagerly accepts most of what Magnolia says. I found this to be  highly unbelievable, especially because her mother is supposedly very concerned about Magnolia’s emotional health.. Yet, she doesn’t spot the lies being told to her, nor the changes beginning to take place right under her nose. Come on, woman.

Now the juicy stuff. The clever stuff. *rubs hands in glee*

  The text in the book is of two types- bold and regular. It wasn’t towards the end until realized that each was used for a particular place. Added to that were the strange spaced margins, which, by a Good reads review, I realized were another indicator to differentiate between the two different times this story was taking place in.

20160616_145506.jpg

Had I picked these clues up earlier on, I might have had an easier time surfing through the book. Oh well, at least I got to enjoy the pretty illustrations.

20160616_14544020160616_145413.jpg

   Granted, a lot of question marks pop up when in the reading of a chaotic book, but the reason for that apparently, seems to be a bunch of great concepts that lose their appeal when being executed. This book could have been made much better, according to me, had it been spaced out and a couple of pages longer. Perhaps then, the writer could have demonstrated her bright ideas more fluidly, so as to make it a more easier read.


📌 Thank you, Katie Li, for giving me a free copy of your book in exchange of an honest review. I was privileged to read your book and expect great books from you in the future, inshAllah (if God wills).

📌 For my readers, don’t forget to check my Introduction page for a special discount code on yureka books!

📌 My Bookstagram

Assalamualaikum (may peace and blessings be upon you).

Stay fantastic folks,

Aya

 

Posted in book, books

Authors Spoil Me

Showing off my possessions and someone else’s hard work.

 Sure, I am reviewing their books for them, but I get to enjoy the beauty of those books, and hopefully, their story as well. Not to mention the pride I feel when placing them on my bookshelf. Oh, the many joys of new books! 


 

Somewhere In Between by Katie Li  

Goodreads / Amazon

20160607_174441.jpg

        The cover is a surprisingly accurate representation of the book. Hoping to put up a review of this sometime next week, inshAllah (if God wills)!

Isle by Jes Dory

Goodreads / Amazon

20160607_174519.jpg

 Okay, I know what I said in my last about covers with human faces on them in my last post. That time, however, I was referring to stiff or other likewise poses that make the cover (not the model) unappealing. This cover, I find beautiful. 

 

Revealing the Revolution by N.M. Sotzek

Goodreads / Amazon

20160607_174535

Sports. Animals. Futuristic.

Armada by Ernest Cline

Goodreads / Amazon

20160607_174610

I SCORED A BESTSELLER! I’ve heard great things about his other book Ready Player One, so I’m hoping this contains some of the same magic. Credits to Blogging For Books for this one. 

And it may look like it, but this was not a used book.

SoothSayer: Magic Is All Around Us by Allison Sipe

Goodreads / Amazon

20160608_190559.jpg

  The picture I had for this was blurry, so I had to pause my writing, get my brother’s phone, set the white mat that I had used as the background for the other pictures, take a picture, upload it on the laptop, crop it, and then attach it to the post. I know the angle this picture was taken on is different than those of the others, but let’s not give importance to that. Please, and thank you.


 

My funky pictures aside, I am truly honored to be the owner of such beautiful books that are the result of constant hard work. Handing their precious to a book critic, is a big gamble for writers, as it can either improve or  hurt their book’s reputation. Thank you, ladies, for taking that risk with me, and giving me the opportunity to read some great books.

To my fellow Muslims, RAMADAN MUBARAK! Make sure to use this month wisely and take advantage of the blessing Allah has bestowed us with. Alhamdulillah.

Assalamualiekum (may be peace be on you).

Stay fantastic folks,

Aya

My bookstagram  / My Bookstagram…2