Category Archives: Listsssss

A Bookish Thing that I’m Doing…

…That you all should do too!

So, this year, I’ve decided to do the Read Harder Challenge that’s run by Goodreads. Some of the categories of books that it requires me to read have just made me go “wut”, which is, I believe, the charm of the challenge.

Please follow the link above to get a hold of the list (and downloadable document) of all the categories of books you need to read to successfully complete the challenge. There are 24 in all, which adds up to a reasonable two a month, especially since it is permissible to read one book that fulfills multiple categories.

I always think it’s a good idea to read books diversely and outside my comfort zone and outside my genres of choice even if I’m reading for pleasure because it’s helpful to me as an aspiring writer. However, even I weren’t an aspiring writer, I think it’s a good idea to learn something about the points of view of people who don’t think the same way as me. With the world getting smaller each day, and with social media becoming an echo chamber of our thoughts and ideas, varied perspectives have become more valuable than ever before. Varied opinions are rarer still. Varied thoughts, varied priorities, varied ideas are all something that can be picked up from books. Even if I’m only reading for pleasure, and I don’t want any sort of information or knowledge from the books that I read, I feel like reading diversely makes me a different person; maybe even a better person.  Maybe.

Serious thoughts aside (Earnest is not a colour that suits me), who knows where my new favourite book or my new favourite author may be hiding, right?


From the comfort of our homes and cosy cafés (or taxis or metros or buses or offices under our desks or in line at the bank. Demonetisation, amirite?), let’s dive into books and go exploring in 2017. Come #readharder with me, guys. Journeys are always more fun with friends!

Watch out for the hashtag #readharder on my social media, guys.



Twitter: @sindrao22

Instagram: owlishphotographer




Book Haul!

Confession: I buy a lot of books! A lot more than I read these days, which makes me sad. I don’t usually do book hauls, because I don’t know if they work in blog posts as well as they do in videos.

However, I am particularly excited about this book haul because one of my favourite second hand bookstores in Bangalore, Bookworm, expanded. EXPANDED. In this day and age, when people are debating whether the time of independent bookstores and physical books is over, the owner bought a 5000 sq ft location and opened a brand new bookstore, moving from the tiny-ish basement location. I still adored the tiny basement location, of course, but this is something else!

I went at the beginning of this month and it was so beautiful, so spacious and just such a lovely atmosphere, that I simply HAD to buy a buttload of books, regardless of how many unread ones are already chilling at home. Judge me all you like, but I was helping the independent book-selling industry! What did you do with your effin’ day, huh, Judgment-face?

Anyway, here are the books that I bought, some second-hand, some shiny and new, but all discounted. Because I’m a loyal customer. And because I buy way too many books. 😛 IMG_20160410_180207710There. Books I’ve been dying to read, books I’d never heard of before, authors I’ve been dying to read… all in one beautiful picture. This picture sort of represents my reading style. A bit of fantasy, a bit of science fiction, a lot of literary fiction, a tiny smidgeon of non-fiction, a lot of humour, some Indian writing… but one thing is completely off, as I just realised: No women! I read a lot of women as a rule, consciously to be more diverse, but I also migrate towards women writers sub-consciously because I like their writing styles and the themes they write about. I’m surprised at myself.

Huh. Who knew that book hauls lead to so much introspection?

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Have you wanted to read any of them? Let me know in the comments!

My Top 10 Reads of 2015

Hello everyone!

It turns out that another year has come to an end. This was a tornado of a year and I’m still trying to find the scattered bits of my life and start living properly again. Of course, it wasn’t all bad; there were some lovely bits, and some of the loveliest bits were the books that I read.

It was a fabulous reading year for me and I liked nearly every book I read and some of them have become lifetime favourites that I think about nearly every week. These are the books that I would blindly recommend to everyone.

After a great deal of thought, here are my top 10 books out of the 55 I read this year (In no particular order)

  1. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
  2. Vanessa and Her Sister by Priya Parmar
  3. Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel
  4. Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  5. A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki
  6. The Colour Purple by Alice Walker
  7. Being Mortal by Atul Gawande
  8. The Firebird by Saikat Majumdar
  9. White Teeth by Zadie Smith
  10. We are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler

A lot of women and coloured authors on this list, which makes me happy. Did you guys read diversely too this year?

I have a few more books that I adored nearly as much but these are the ones that made the final cut. Have you read any of these books? What did you think? What books would you recommend to a person who’s enjoyed these books? What are your favourite 2015 reads? Let me know in the comments! 🙂

Here are my social media links for the stalkers out there. (You know you’re out there! :P)

Twitter: @sindrao22
Instagram: owlishphotographer

That’s all for today, guys.



The Rory Gilmore Reading List

Hello everyone! I’m back from my tiny vacation, refreshed and rearing to go! Just kidding… I’m actually exhausted and sad, but who isn’t! xD

This list has been making its rounds on the social media for a while and I’m inspired to look through the list and tell you which of them I’ve read.

This post is inspired by Ashley Riordan’s video on her youtube channel, climbthestacks. She’s one of my favourite youtubers, and I adore her videos. Here’s a link to her video:

Here’s the link with the complete list of all of the books referenced on the Gilmore Girls, a show that I’m currently following a rerun of on TV for the first time, even though I’ve seen random episodes of it before. Yes. This is my first time watching the show. No judgment, please. 😛 I realllly love it so far. Which is why this is a topical post for me. Bear with me. 😛

Well, here’s a list of the books I’ve read out of the massive list of books that Rory Gilmore has read: 

1984 by George Orwell
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Carrie by Stephen King
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Code of the Woosters by P.G. Wodehouse
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
The Da Vinci -Code by Dan Brown
Emma by Jane Austen
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom
The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
The Godfather: Book 1 by Mario Puzo

Goldilocks and the Three Bears by Alvin Granowsky
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling

High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Love Story by Erich Segal

Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

The Scarecrow of Oz by Frank L. Baum

Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shining by Stephen King

Slaughter-house Five by Kurt Vonnegut

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

So it seems I’ve read 55 out of the huge list of 339 books, which isn’t amazing, but there are some books in this list that I want to read, and will read soon.

Expect that list in my next post! 🙂

Which of the books on this list have you read, guys? Which of them do you like? Let me know in the comments!






Literary Would You Rather

I’m stealing and answering the questions published by 101 Books. He’s done 6 of these and I’m randomly doing the third one because I like the number three.

So… Let’s begin!

Would you rather have to read backwards or read upside down?

Upside-down seems easier, although it would slow me down. I’ve tried to read upside-down in the past with reasonable success, so I’ll go with that.

Would you rather be a man named Evelyn Waugh or a woman named George Eliot (both famous authors)?

I know for a fact that George Eliot chose to call herself that. Her actual name is Mary Ann Evans. This is something I learned in primary school when we studied an extract from The Mill on the Floss.

Evelyn Waugh, however, was given the name Evelyn. It was one of his middle names, to be fair, and he chose to call himself Evelyn as well, but I still feel like George Eliot had more choice in the matter. For some reason.

Also. Girls called George! Famous Five! Big, big fan. I wanted to be a guy for a few years because of feisty, curly-haired George.

So, I’d definitely want to be a woman author called George Eliot. 😛

Would you rather have to live through Stephen King’s The Shining or James Dickey’s Deliverance?


If I do want to be menaced and have murder attempted on me, I’d rather these things not be done to me by my dad. Also, I’d rather not have the supernatural involved.

So… Deliverance would be my answer.

However, I haven’t actually read Deliverance, but I have read The Shining, so maybe my answer will change once I read both books. Who knows?

Would you rather permanently be two-feet tall and completely literate, or normal size and permanently illiterate?

Two feet and completely literate. Hands down.

Would you rather read Infinite Jest or get hit in the head with Infinite Jest 10 times (it’s 1,100 pages and more than 480,000 words)?

I’d rather read it. In fact, I own it and intend to read it eventually. 😛

Would you rather have Scarlett O’Hara as your wife or as your mother?

Dear God. I abhor Scarlett. ABHOR her. I know she isn’t meant to be likable and she’s a strong woman, blah blah blah, but the idea of being related to her just brought back all thoughts of how much I hate her.

I don’t know how awful it would be to have her as a mother, because my mother is a wonderful person and an even better mother, but I do think marriages are for life and that’s easily 30 to 40 years of my life as opposed to the 18 or 20 with my mother. Hard cold logic. Very helpful. Always.

(That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe in divorce because marriage is a sacrament, or anything like that. It just means that I’d like any marriage I get into to be for the long haul, and I think that divorce is a hassle. Plus, if I married Scarlett O’ Hara, I would judge myself big time.)

God, what horrible questions! Hahaha. They were fun to answer, though. You should try too. Here are the answers that 101 Books gave to his own questions. Enjoy! 😀

That’s all for today,



Here are my social media links. You know the drill:

Twitter: @sindrao22
Instagram: owlishphotographer

Five Books I’d Like to See Made in to Movies

I guess old habits die hard, a dog’s tail can never be straightened, a leopard never changes its spots, etc. You can add whatever other cliches you want to add, which excuse my not posting for over a week. (Again.)

But maybe I’m not completely the same useless owl as before, because I’ve made one huge change in my life; I’ve beun to explore media of instruction and entertainment that are not the written word. It began with my obsession of Youtube, of course, but I have now progressed to movies and TV shows. I watched Mad Max: Fury Road recently and I ADORE it.

I have also avoided watching book to movie adaptations in particular, especially if I liked the book, becauee you know, ‘the book is always better anyway.’ Thee are glaring exceptions to this rule, such as Julie and Julia and The Devil Wears Prada, but yeah, it is generally gospel. Or so I thought.

The above was all the old Sindhu, of course, and I will add adaptations to my list of must-catch-up-on-asap movies. In addition, I’m sending out this virtual appeal to the filmmakers of the world (because the list of movies I already need to watch isn’t long enough apparently) to make movies based on the following books, which I adore by the way, so I appeal that they not be shredded to bits and reconstructed unrecognisably. Brave, aren’t I?

These are in no particular order, Here goes:

1. Americanah: Everyone who reads my blog, and their uncle probably knows how much I love this book. I want to see who is cast as Ifemelu, whose description is so unlike any actor I’ve seen, ever, and I want to see the non-linear transitions (or flashbacks?) are dealt with. I also want to see how Ifemelu’s blo posts are woven into the narrative, considering they don’t actually have anything to do with the story, but they’re kind of impotant and insightful nonetheless. I feel like the narrative styles explored in books cannot be done justice in a movie which relies on the visual so heavily, and I want to see if it can be done.

On that note, what was done in Half of a Yellow Sun? Should I watch Half of a Yellow Sun? I’m worried that the impact of some of the brutal scenes may make me cry, since the book itself had me in tears. I guess, maybe some stories are worth the pain and the tears.

2. I am the Messenger: This is one of Markus Zusak’s, and it’s nothing like the Book Thief. I quite like it when an author is prolific, because it keeps my reading diverse, even if I only read books by authors that I trust. I don’t know if that logic makes much sense, but irrespective, it shows an author’s talent.

I didn’t like this book as much as I liked the Book Thief but I’m unsure whether that is because the topic of books is closer to my heart or because I am the Messenger is actually a YA book and I like very few books from that genre as a rule. In any case, it was a good story, and I’ve noticed that YA books make excellent movies. This has a somewhat straightforward story and endearing characters, which can easily be adapted into a movie.

3. Past Continuous: This is a book I’ve raved about in the past. It’s by an Indian author called Neel Mukherjee and I bought it on a whim because I liked the cover and the synopsis on the back of the book. Here. Look:
It has two parallel stories, one being a story that the main character is writing, which would be fun to watch. Also, the timeless settings of Calcutta and Oxford in one movie are enough to make me go watch. 😀 q1
4.Narrow Road to the Deep North: This is the book that won the Booker Prize in 2014 and it impacted me so deeply that I wasn’t able to read for a few weeks after I read this book, because I was afraid of the effect books could have on my mind.
It flashes back to Burma during the 2nd world war and back to contemporary Australia, which would be amazing to watch. It has the potential to be a Classic war representation, if done well.

5.Ready Player One: This is one of the most perfectly paced books I’ve ever read, with an amazing plot and something for everyone. It’s dystopic, which everyone knows is my favourite genre, and it is simply divine in narration and execution, so much so that I’ve been excited and terrified in equal parts about its sequel. My apprehension is rivalled only by my apprehension about the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird. :p
Movie please. I want a movie of this book more than any of the others.

Honourable mention goes to the Casual Vacancy. I adore this book and it is easily one of my most favourite books of all time. It’s the book that raised my opinion of Rowling higher than ever. I would have loved to see the execution of a movie based on this book, but whoops; they’ve gone ahead and made a BBC mini series out of it, which is way better. I plan to curl up on a free day and marathon the entire thing. ❤
That’s all folks. 😀
Want to stalk me? 😉 Now you can. :p
Twitter: @sindrao22
Instagram: owlishreader
Enjoy! XD

Much Awaited and VERY EXCITING | 14 best books of 2014

Hello! It’s the new year. Happy new year!

So, I’ve had the best reading year in a really long time, which seems like a good way to end my “childhood” since I’ll be graduating in 2015. What’d you guys think? I read 94 books. It felt so good. 😀

Well, I decided to do the traditional holiday thing for a book blogger and list my favourite books that I read this year. I also read a lot of excellent books this year so it was a bit of a struggle picking the BEST ones. But here goes. 🙂 The ones in bold are on my list of all time favourites. 😀 I’ve also decided to only list one book by a single author so I’ve had some tough choices because I had to decide which book by talented authors I adored more. It’s everyone’s worst nightmare isn’t it? But I’m very ruthless about such things. This is why I’m one of the people that has a Favourite Harry Potter book and don’t just shmush the whole series into one huge book when I put it in a list. I think that’s cheating. Yes I do. And yes, this is one of the many inane things I feel VERY strongly about.

  1. American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  2. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  3. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris
  4. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  5. Silkworm by Robert Galbraith
  6. Princess Bride by William Goldman
  7. Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto
  8. The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
  9. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  10. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry
  11. Lord of the Flies by WIlliam Golding
  12. We Need to Talk about Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  13. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  14. Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

If you guys want me to review any of these books, let me know. 🙂 I’ve talked about some of these already but I’m too lazy to find links to post the links to all those posts. It’s New Year’s Day and I’m lazier than average on a regular day. Today, it’s a miracle I’m even awake! (I woke up because I had to pee and then I felt hungry so I figured I might as well get out of bed. Sigh.)

Anyway, have a great reading year, peeps. 😀

I will post a review or two soon, once I get round to actually finishing a book.True to form, I’ve only read one book in the last 8 days since i got home. I’m in the middle of two excellent books though, and I will review them within the week. Cheers to that.