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“for angels to fly” // winter reading list + playlist

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Winter. Is. Here. Christmas shopping has begun, the lights have been hung up, it has begun to snow in some places, and in my land of very boring weather, it’s actually slightly cold *impressed face*. I hope you have a cup of hot, steaming coffee or chocolate beside you, ’cause here’s a list of books and songs for you to check out this season while chilling out during the holidays.

READING LIST (basically a list of books that are sure to put you in a winter-y mood if IG wasn’t enough):

(These books are all of different genres; I hope you’ll find at least some you’ll like. Click on the book names to go to their respective Goodreads pages)

1. Comfort and Joy – Kristin Hannah

Very Christmas-y, very sweet. Mostly classified as romance and women’s fiction, Comfort and Joy is a cozy tale about relationships with a hint of magic.

2. The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

A series belonging to the genres of fantasy and romance, Bardugo’s books are a delight to read. The Grishaverse is cold and tumultuous, the central nation Ravka inspired by Russia. Although it is classified as YA, I believe it’s equally appealing to many older readers as well.

3. Landline – Rainbow Rowell

A super cute book based around Christmas, Landline has a rather mixed variety of characters, who are not always likeable, but very real all the same. A must-read for fans of Kristin Hannah, John Green, and Cecelia Ahern.

4. The Gift – Cecelia Ahern

Another book based around Christmas, The Gift is a typical Ahern novel – magical and filled with twists and turns. If you want a book that will truly make you introspect as well as put you in a mood for Christmas, this is perfect.

5. No Ordinary Star trilogy – M.C. Frank

Perfect for fans of Ray Bradbury and/or dystopian novels, M.C. Frank’s trilogy No Ordinary Star is the must-read for this winter. The connection to winter and/or Christmas is something you need to find out from the book 😉 Also, the third and final installment just came out yay! 😀 Here’s my review of the first book of the series (I have reviewed all three books on this blog if you want to check them out). Plus, these books have the most gorgeous covers ever.

6. The Gift of the Magi – O. Henry

This is actually a short story, for all you busy people. You have no excuse for getting out of this one. I promise you won’t regret reading it.

7. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie

Where are all my fellow Christie fans? This one is my favourite Christmas-y murder story, not to mention one of my top favourite Poirot mysteries.

8. Devil In Winter – Lisa Kleypas

This book is not for everyone. However, if you like an occasional historical romance as a guilty pleasure, this book is one of my favorites. The hero is one of my all-time favourite anti-heroes, and the story is just so sweet :”) You can read it as a standalone, but I’d recommend reading the entire Wallflowers series for full effect.

9. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

If you haven’t read this book, winter is a good time to wrap yourself up in a blanket and speed through it. And if you have read it, this is the perfect season for a re-read, is it not?

10. Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

Yes, yes, most of you Potterheads have probably started reading this again already. After all, what better time to visit Hogwarts than winter? :”) A winter reading list is incomplete without some HP, it seems.

PLAYLIST (songs to remind you of winter):

http://8tracks.com/mixes/8733662/player_v3_universal

“it’s too cold outside, for angels to fly” // winter playlist from Sripurna on 8tracks Radio.

  1. Winter Things – Ariana Grande
  2. The A Team – Ed Sheeran
  3. Fix You – Coldplay
  4. Silent Night – Taylor Swift
  5. Home – Ramin Djawadi (Stark theme from Game of Thrones)
  6. Mary Did You Know – Pentatonix
  7. Come Away to the Water – Maroon 5
  8. More Than This – One Direction
  9. Take Me To Church – Hozier
  10. Hallelujah – Pentatonix / Leonard Cohen
  11. Last Christmas – Ariana Grande / Taylor Swift
  12. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

I hope you are having a great winter, and Merry Christmas!

-Sreepurna.

 

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How to motivate yourself to study (10 steps) // Study motivation tips 

I haven’t done a non-book-review post in ages!😂

I am a freshman in college, and my first semester just ended. Can’t motivate yourself to study? Trust me, there is no one more sympathetic than I am. But if your finals are near, and you just CAN’T sit long enough to study, here are some things that can help you to concentrate more, and be more inspired to study.

Comment below if you already use any of these tricks or found this article useful! ^_^

1. Get inspiration! : Studyblr

Studyblr is this community on Tumblr that post pictures and tips and tricks about studying. They post about everything study-related, and I swear this is SO inspiring. When you see other people studying and working hard, it triggers this part of your brain, and makes you go, “Hey, I can do this too!”. If you aren’t on Tumblr, you can search with the same keyword on Google Images or Pinterest.

However, like all things Tumblr, studyblr is also very addictive, and sometimes you just end up wasting a lot of time looking at pictures of other people working instead of getting your own work done. So I’d suggest you do this a while before you start your actual preparations. That way you’ll be inspired, but it won’t take away the crucial hours of the week before the finals.

2. Dress for success 

I am not telling you dress up like you are going to a party, no. Dress comfortably, be relaxed. But sometimes getting too comfortable makes you feel lazy, specially if you already have a habit of falling asleep while studying. So dress a LITTLE less homely, maybe wear a pair of jeans instead of PJs?

3. Search for your study space. 

It doesn’t matter where you study as long  as you can concentrate there. I know everybody says that you shouldn’t study on your bed, but I don’t own a study desk, and my bed is where I get most of my studying done. It’s completely your own decision. You can also try a library or somewhere outdoors if that’s what works for you.

4. Tidy it up!:  Clean your study space

This one is a no-brainer. The moment a desk or your bed is cleaner, you’ll feel more motivated to begin working. So pop those headphones and start cleaning that messy desk before your finals week, and KEEP IT CLEAN.

5. Start planning: Schedule

You don’t need any fancy BuJo (although I am guilty of using a DIY-ed one 🙈 ). Just get a clean piece of paper, decide your study schedule for the day or preferably the whole week. Working with a checklist next to you is VERY motivating and you’ll definitely be more driven to finish your work, and put that tick on your schedule page.


6. Words mean a lot: Inspirational quotes

I used to hate those typical inspirational sayings, but during exams they just make so much sense. By nature I am an unambitious person, and that is VERY detrimental to my studies. These quotes make me want to work harder and achieve something, even if the feeling is temporary.

Tip : You might want to put these quotes somewhere where you’ll see it often. Like maybe as your phone wallpaper?

Check Pinterest for more, but REMEMBER TO GET BACK TO STUDYING.

7. Phone a friend!: Discuss studying with friends

I am against group study because I love my friends and I have too much fun with them to put all that aside and actually study. But, when you aren’t together, it’s easier to change the topic when you are texting. Try texting about studying. Ask them what they are studying now, how much they have completed. Also, if they have any doubt, explain the topic to them, and you’ll be done with your own revision that way.

8. Take what you need

Before sitting down for a study session, take out all that you might need, so that you don’t have to get up again and again to bring over stuff. This decreases distractions. (I feel like making a post about “Things you need for a study session” 😂) (I am on a roll)

9. Keep away distractions

I ALWAYS need my phone to study because I study a LOT of things online (Sparknotes, JSTOR, Wikipedia :p ), so it’s very difficult for me to keep away distractions. I can neither switch off the phone, nor turn off the WiFi. So what I do is turn off notifications for Whatsapp and other apps, and I also close any tabs that might distract me (like Kindle. How many times have you started reading a book when you should be studying?)

10. Be creative : Make your notes pretty 

Don’t spend a lot of time on this. Most people think this is an utter waste of time, my friends have even laughed at my notes, but this works for me. I like being creative and artsy, so decorating my notes is one way to make myself sit with my notebook and read the material. If you are a very studious person who uses up every second to study, or if you are a person who does not study AT ALL and won’t know where to draw the line, I suggest you don’t do this. But it’s fun. And colourful notes help you remember things better.

…………………

However, these are just some tricks that worked for ME. I hope it works for you, but obviously we are all different people and I can’t guarantee you that these tricks will work for sure.

Remember to comment and follow me for more such articles!

~ Sripurna ❤

*All photos used are taken by me. Please use credit in case you use it again.*

Enchanted

Feet agile. Long steps to the carnival tent. Step up on the magic carpet. Get away.

Strong hands. Callused palms. Shuffling a deck of cards. I can only choose one.

Brown hair. Specks of fairy dust I showered on you.

Full lips. Uttering spells and charms.

Entrapping, mystifying. Strange unknown languages, yet so familiar.

Mismatched eyes. One green, one grey.Carefully watching everyone. Carefully watching me.

But you are a trickster. I am your audience. Sometimes I feel like your show is only for me. Other times, I am just another in a crowd of people captivated by your tricks.

I don’t know what’s real and what’s not.
Because your words are lies. Illusions. For some reason I don’t mind.

With the click of your fingers, you disappear. Evanescence.

Were you even there to begin with?

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Jealous

Yes I am jealous.
Absolutely green with envy.
Jealous of the Sun and the Moon,
Their forever love story.
Jealous of how it seems like Time stops for them.
The Sun and the Moon
Frozen in space
Coexisting since forever.
They can’t touch
But they can see each other all the time.
I am absolutely green with envy.

Yes I am jealous.
So much, it rips my heart apart.
Jealous of the guitar and its strings,
Their musical, melodious love song.
Jealous of how they always stay together.
The guitar and its strings
Making music, making love
Incomplete without each other.
They can’t touch
But they can see each other all the time.
I am so jealous, it rips my heart apart.

Yes I am jealous.
Its killing me everyday.
Jealous of the moth and the flame,
Their enigmatic attraction.
Jealous of the undeniable pull.
The moth and the flame
The moth wanting the warmth
The flame wanting the company.
They can’t touch
But they can see each other all the time.
I am dying everyday.

Yes I am jealous.
Oh so jealous. So much.
Of the grey clouds and green leaves
Of the waves and the palm trees
Of poets and poems.
They can’t touch
But they can see each other all the time.
You and I dont even have that.

-Sripurna.

I would love to hear your opinions. 🙂

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Wait

I realised something today. You’ll always be the one leaving too fast, too soon. I’ll always be the one left behind. You’ll want the adventure, the rugged mountains will call you, the swift streams with crystal water will soothe your wanderlust.

But I’ll wait for you. I’ll be there in the old comfy sofa in the corner of my room. The same room in which you promised me that you’d never leave me alone. The same room you walked away from because your spirit couldn’t be bound.

I’ll be there. I’ll wait.

Fighting (Cat Pheonix): Review

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Alex is an independent twenty one year old college drop out and reformed thief when she meets Brooks. He wants her to join his team of thieves who fight to avenge the innocent, the wronged. Skeptical, she thinks he’s cracked and needs to be taken back to the mental facility he’d broken out of.

Eventually, just for kicks and giggles, she lets Brooks convince her to take a chance on him. Her world is flipped upside down as she identifies with and comes to care for her new crew, except for the one man she loathes: Ethan. God, what an arrogant bastard. As Alex changes, so do her feelings for Ethan. Alex fights more than just her attraction to Ethan as they are bound together in a fight to survive.

When Alex and her crew’s lives are endangered, will she run away or stand up and fight?

2.5 stars

The summary of this book intrigued me. But I was still very unsure when I began reading this book. It was quite slow in the first few pages, but then it picks up speed.

Alex is the typical badass heroine, with whom I couldn’t relate. Ethan, was great, but he had his flaws. But Ollie, darling sweet Ollie, twelve year old geek working for Brooks- he was why I read this book and gave it an extra star.

Alex and Ethan’s fights in the beginning are kind of illogical and unnecessary. I understand Ethan was meant to be kind of Four-ish, but no one can be Four. *smirks*

The storyline was a bit weak, it could have had a better collection of events with that unique concept. BUt it wasnt boring either, so I guess it was okay.

The end was very very stretched, and very predictable and anti-climactic. I expected atleast SOMETHING to happen.

Overall, its an okay read, which you can read if you have nothing else to read.

Have you read this book? If so, what was your opinion about it? Is there any book you want me to review? Comment below. 🙂