Review: The One Who Wrote Destiny by Nikesh Shukla

By Michelle Nathan

 

Another lucky acquisition from NetGalley, The One Who Wrote Destiny by Nikesh Shukla is a book I have been excited to read for a while now. This book is wonderful in many ways, but I especially loved how it made me feel connected to my family and Asian heritage while also reminding me, and consolidating a belief I already hold strongly, that no one person’s experience is the same. As a group, first generation Asian immigrants and their children have certain shared experiences, of course, but all of us have lived very different and individual lives as well. Shukla does an amazing job of balancing these two ideas of shared and individual experiences pretty much perfectly in this book – which is something that I go into (alongside much more!) in my full review below.

 

Short n’ Sweet Summary

The One Who Wrote Destiny shares the tales, dreams and heartbreaks of three generations of one family, weaving through time and space. We start with Mukesh, who has just moved from Kenya to Keighley, England, a hopeless romantic who has fallen for the desi girl across the road. Neha, his daughter, is dying of the same cancer that stole her mother’s life, and is looking for a logical reason behind the ‘big questions’, both craving and rejecting human connection all at once. Her brother, Raks, is a stand-up comedian, grieving for his twin sister’s death and trying to make sense of it through his humour. Ba is the twins’ grandmother, a woman who left England to escape the ghosts of her beloved family members, lost too soon. She doesn’t know what to do with two children who don’t even share her mother tongue, but maybe a connection can be forged through sugar rotlis.

 

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Review: ‘The Illumination of Ursula Flight’ by Anna-Marie Crowhurst

By Michelle Nathan

 

Hello lovely Book Buds! I was lucky to receive an ARC of  ‘The Illumination of Ursula Flight’ by Anna-Marie Crowhurst from NetGalley, and had many thoughts and feelings about it (as per usual…!) Read on for the full review, and hope you enjoy 🙂

 

Summary

‘The Illumination of Ursula Flight’ is a vividly told, humorous, honest tale of a young girl’s journey towards becoming a playwright, and the hardships she faces along the way. Stuck in 17th Century England, a time where all that was expected of a girl of her status was to become an obedient wife and doting mother, Ursula Flight meets an actress by chance and starts dreaming of a bigger, brighter future. A passion for writing is ignited and has her scribbling plays in the margins of her diary and yearning to see the stages of a London playhouse. But the course of true love never did run smooth, and Ursula has to face down pompous suitors, dashing rogues and tragic times before the stars align and she’s given the chance to live her life on her own terms.

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Recommend to a Friend – Ms Marvel Volumes 1 – 5

Hello friends! Today we’re trying out a new format called ‘Recommend to a Friend,’ where one Bud recommends something that they think another Bud will enjoy, and we see if it’s a match made in heaven or a hellish experience they’d rather forget (hopefully the former!) I lent my collection of ‘Ms Marvel’ comics (Volumes 1 – 5) to Elen and Kate, so let’s see how they fared with them!

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Literary Listography 2 – My Favourite Science Fiction

Hello friends! So for my second ‘Literary Listography’ post I’ve decided to write about my favourite science-fiction novels. Please note that these are my current favourite sci-fi picks, and they will probably change in the (near!) future, as I love the genre. From the novels set in space, with weird and wonderful alien species and wayward voyagers discovering new worlds, to the books with a more dystopian spin, which look at how technological and scientific advances could shape and affect humanity. You never know what you’re going to get with sci-fi, and that’s what I love about it!

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Comedy Review – Austentatious

By Michelle Nathan

 

A hearty hello, young lords and ladies! Over the weekend I had the pleasure of going to see AUSTENTATIOUS – an improv comedy show in the style of Jane Austen, where the plot line is based solely on title suggestions from the audience, making every show completely unique. I’ve been trying to go to one of these shows for over a year now, so when the stars finally aligned on Sunday my expectations were high and I could barely contain my excitement. I was slightly worried, however, as I know that improv comedy can be very hit or miss, depending on the style of humour (and, frankly, how talented the actors are!) but the show was absolutely incredible. I can’t remember the last time I laughed that much while watching a live performance, and by the time the cast were taking their final bows me and my friends were already talking about booking tickets for their next London show.

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Review: WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon

By Michelle Nathan

 

Hi friends! This month I am reviewing WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI, a tale of romance, comedy and some carefully orchestrated destiny centring around two young, first generation Indian-Americans whose parents have plotted an arranged set up between the two. But, in the vein of all classic rom-coms, only one of them knows about the arrangement, while the other is initially completely oblivious. Miscommunication, hijinks and all of the cutesy rom-com tropes in the world are afoot in this charming story about young love, chasing your dreams and following your heart. Hope you enjoy!

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HAPPY GALENTINE’S DAY <3: On Fictional Female Friendship

By Michelle Nathan

Hi all! So, in honour of my third favourite holiday of the year, Galentine’s Day (Christmas and Halloween come in 1st and 2nd, in case you were wondering) I have decided to write about 5 books that depict female friendship, in all it’s glorious complexity. Galentine’s Day is celebrated on February 13th, and is an (un)official national holiday created by fictional character Leslie Knope in my favourite TV show, Parks and Recreation. To quote Leslie, it’s about “ladies celebrating ladies,” a Valentine’s Day for your platonic loved ones.

But I have to admit, I really had to rack my brain to think of even 5 books that have female friendship at the centre of the storyline, or even fictional female friendships that really stood out in my mind as being iconic. I have a list as long as my arm for the same criteria in TV and film, but I clearly need to up my reading game to include more stories that depict memorable, complex, honest, interesting female friends, as I’m sure they do exist, I’m just not looking in the right places. Anyway, let’s get to the good stuff – the books!

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LITERARY LISTOGRAPHY 1: Cities and Countries I have travelled to via literature (that I would like to visit IRL)

By Michelle Nathan

Hello friends! This month I’m writing the first post of a new series that I am embarking upon called Literary Listography, named after a book that my friend bought me for my birthday last year. This book is jam packed with countless list topics that are left blank for you to fill out, so that you can finally definitively decide who your favourite authors are, which books you think would be better left unread and characters that you’d love to go on a date with (if only they weren’t fictional, *sigh* :P) The result? Hours of organised, literary-based fun!

The first list that I have spent many hours pondering over is ‘Cities and Countries that I have travelled to via literature.’ The below book choices have taken me across the globe without me ever having to move from my cosy reading spot, and have inspired me to hopefully travel there in real life one day. While these books may not always be the best representation of the places they are set in, they’ve opened my eyes to new cities, cultures and experiences that I wouldn’t have otherwise known existed, and encouraged me to educate myself about these real places that I first discovered through fictional stories.

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Why so glum, chum? 5(ish) books to turn that frown upside down

We all have bad days. It starts raining on the way to work on the one day you’ve left your umbrella at home. The soup you made for lunch makes a break for it, leaking out of your bag, coating all your things with a mustard coloured tint and a lovely lentil aroma for days. An orange, sour-faced, racist, misogynistic, homophobic reality TV star is elected the next President of America. You know, little things like that, which tend to build up over the course the day until all you want to do is curl up in bed with a multipack of Maltesers and a cup of tea and hope that the sun will come out tomorrow (literally and metaphorically.) It is for these categorically awful days that I have compiled the below list of books, which always cheer me up without fail, and remind me that the world can be a beautiful, funny and wonderful place. And even when it’s not, you can escape into a book for a few hours and pretend that everything’s OK (the literary version of sticking your fingers in your ears and singing loudly and incoherently.) Wilful ignorance my friends! It’s the only way forward. I’ve even split the list up into various genres, in case you’re like me and enjoy a bit of variety with your escapism. Enjoy!

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