Tag Archives: reading

Review: The Good Immigrant

My Rating:★★★★★

I brought The Good Immigrant after reading an article published by Riz Ahmed in The Guardian newspaperHis article is one of 21 essays by Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME) immigrants about their experiences in living in Britain. Of the books I have read in recent years this collection has become one of my favourites.

In a time of post-Brexit, immigration is such a hot topic at the moment and everyone has their opinion. It is nice to have read an honest, and intelligent discourse on the subject of immigration and race. Shukla mentions in the blur, the some immigrants like Mo Farah or Nadiya Hussain, the popular culture classes as good.  But the media seems to see most immigrants as bad.

I am the daughter of immigrants and my parents where children of immigrants. (Both sets of my grandparents moved from India to South Africa before my parents were born). I was born in London it is my home, my parents would refer to South Africa as their home.

Growing up, I embraced the britpop music scene of the 90’s, I love American comics and Japanese cartoons. My favourite foods are burritos, FroYo and pizza (deep crust – sorry). I consider myself multicultural. I see myself as a Londoner – not British as I’ve never been to Wales or Scotland. But I do support England in the football. When I fill out a form I have to tick the British-Indian box. Yet I am still asked “where are you from?” I will always be seen as a child of immigration.

Themes

Whilst all these stories are different, they feature a lot of similar themes. The lack of decent roles of non-white actors is a reoccurring subject. Riz Ahmed talks about the promise land of non-white actors. A time where actors are given roles based on their talent and not their skin tone. There is a great episode of Master on None, that talks about Indians on TV. Similarly in Wei Ming Kam’s essay she talks about the stereotyping of East Asian characters on British TV. Watching TV you would think all East Asian women are weak and need saving and Asian men members of the triad.

Language is another reoccurring theme Vera Chok discussed what is the collective term for people from East Asian is in the UK. They discuss what countries actually makes up East Asia? And should this classification include South East Asian countries. Whereas Nikesh Shukla talks about the miss-use of Indian words in the English language. For example, “chai” means tea, when you order a chai tea you are in fact ordering a tea tea!

My Fandoms

I consider myself opinionated about the race in the media. Like most I was disgusted about the white washing of the Oscars this year. Creating a list of which films I thought should have been nominated. When Scarlett Johnahson was cast as the lead in Ghost in the Shell, I posted an angry rant on Facebook I rave about the multicultural cast of Rogue One. Generally speaking I had not really thought about my geeky loves as letting down the BAME communities.

It was interesting to read about these fandoms from another point of view. Harry Potter is a children’s book about a boy hero bringing down a fascist villian. Yet where are the BAME teachers at Hogwarts? Harry’s classmates are “token” representations of the immigrant communities living in the UK in the 1990’s. Even Sherlock is guilty of prepetuating the myth of a submissive East Asian woman. That John and Sherlock (the white men) need to save from the triad!

I loved the personal nature of this book. Each of the authors provided an honest insight. Talking so openly and frankly, I would love to talk more about each essay with it’s author. The collection is thought provoking, funny and informative about an important topic. I strongly recommend this book for anyone interested in modern-day Britain, regardless of race or nationality.

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Currently… September Edition

currently september

Currently Feeling… Lonely! Jason is working abroad for the next few weeks and I am not used to him being away from home. It does mean I got to spend the weekend in Gibraltar – hence why this post was late.

Currently Loving…  This month I seems to be a little obsessed with Riz Ahmed, we have loved his TV programme, I’m reading his book and we even re-watched Four Lions. Let’s not forget he is also going to be in Rogue One. He really is the breakout star of this year.

Currently Reading… The Good Immigrant edited Nikesh Shukla. This book is a collection of short stories by immigrants talking about their experiencing living in Great Britain. You can read an extract of Riz Ahmed’s story here.

Currently Watching… After watching the first episode of The Night Of on Sky. We then watched the entire box set in a weekend.

Currently Drinking… PSL! September means just one thing, Pumpkin Spice Lattes!

DISCLAIMER
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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Pokemon Go Book Tag

pokemon-go-book-tag
Read at Midnight’s Pokémon Go Book Tag was all the rage over the summer. Combining bloggers love of the game and reading. As I am so behind on my blogging, I am fashionable late at completing this tag.

pokemon-tag-01starters
For my starter Pokémon in Pokémon Go I picked a Charmander as I loved his character in the TV show. Especially when he went through his moody teenage Charmeleon phase.
As for the book that started my love of reading, I adored the Meg & Mog or Amelia Bedelia when I was extremely young, but the series I adored reading were either the Judy Blume books or those by S.E. Hinton, especially The Outsiders.

pokemon-tag02pikachu
I still don’t have a Pikachu! I keep hoping to find one in a 2KM egg but even those are getting harder to find. I think I spotted on the radar last week, when we were in Hyde Park but have no luck finding him in the vast area.
The classic book I love to re-read is The Great Gatsbythis book is both a love story and insight into New York during prohibition.

pokemon-tag-03-zubatAs a Londoner, I was tempted to change this from Zubats to Drowzees, they are everywhere in the city!
Years ago it seemed every single woman was reading The Bridget Jones Diary. They were all claiming they are just like Bridget Jones. I tried to read the book and found the character was rather annoying. In the following years I had to put up with a sequel and the movies. Now yet again Bridget Jones is everywhere and still annoying me!

pokemon-tag-04-dittoHas anyone caught I Ditto yet? I have read several possible theories on how to catch one online. But it looks like these Pokémon have not yet been released in the game.
I do love the I Heart… series, I know they are just are cheesy, and a little predictable. But I love the mixed to comedy and name dropping of places in different cities.

pokemon-tag-05-snorlaxIf I had the space I would love to buy this Snorlax Bean Bag, it would be prefer to use when I read.
I guess the series I would love to read if I had the time would be the Discworld books. I read one book from the series a few years ago, but they are so many more to read. Plus I would have no idea what order to read them in!

pokemon-tag06-gengarWhen I started playing this game I seemed to find several Gastly each day. Since then they have disappeared so I am yet to evolved my Haunter to a Gengar.
I tend not to read scary books, horror is my least favourite genre. However, several books have kept me up all night reading, the most recent one being Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.

pokemon-tag07-nidokingqueenNidoran♀ was the first Pokémon I went hunting for after spotting the outline on the radar. Since then I have yet to find another one. So my poor Nidorino is missing his mate.
The obvious answer for me to this question is Babs & Dick, but they are in comics. Do graphic novels count towards this book tag? I am assuming they do!

pokemon-tag08-rapidashImage if they allowed you to ride your Pokemon in the game if you selected it as your buddy. I would love to ride my Ponyta.
One book I love for several reasons is Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Breakfast at Tiffany’s is also one of my favourite movies, although the ending to the movie is completely different.

pokemon-tag09-eeveeEevee is still one of my favourite Pokémon and I am still hoping to catch a few more so I can have a Jolteon to complete my Eevee set.
I love that J.K. Rowling et al wrote another Harry Potter book, but I am not sure where else this series can go. For a long time the Star Wars Expanded Universe books were my only hope of seeing the further adventures of the Skywalker family, so I will always love seeing a Star Wars spin-off series.

pokemon-tag14-magikarp

We are lucky to live within walking distance of the River Thames and so our Pokewalks involve catching several Magikarp a day – perfect for trying to get those 400 candies.
The series that I found awesome also centres around the River Thames. I originally started reading Rivers of London as it was an urban fantasy set it London. But quickly, began to adore the characters and I love that I recognise so many places from the books.

pokemon-tag12-legendary

I am hoping they don’t rush introducing the legendary Pokemon as this will mark the end of the game, plus my Pokedex is far from being complete.
Social media seems to overhype several book series at the moment, the ones I am looking forward to reading at The Red Queen books.

pokemon-tag15mew-mewtwo

Of course the legendary Pokemon I would love to own is a Mewtoo. Like this Pokemon the collector’s edition I am coveting is the Harry Potter Illustrated Edition. I wish they would hurry up and publish the complete set.

pokemon-tag10-eggAll I seem to be getting at the moment is 5KM eggs and they contain duds – if I hatch one more Meowth or Slowpoke!
I never seem to be in loop about new novels, I always discover books months after everyone else. So I have no idea about this question.

pokemon-tag11-lure-module
One great thing about London is the go to Pokemon Go hangouts – which always have several lures going. It’s amazing to see dozens of people playing the game all getting excited when an interesting Pokemon appears in the game.
I used to have several auto-buy authors but in recent years this list as slimmed down, now I guess I auto-buy series like Star Wars or any graphic novel that features Batgirl.

pokemon-tag13-server-down
Do you remember the early days of Pokemon Go when we would always see the server down screen. Now I have to put up with pidgey running away.
Obviously, the book I am eagerly waiting for is The Winds of Winter!

The Pokemon Go Book Tag was the brainchild of Read at Midnight, and the images included in the post at her’s.

DISCLAIMER
Pokemon Go belongs to Niantic and Nintendo.
This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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Currently… August Edition

Currently August

Currently Knitting…  It’s was too hot to knit in August, so instead I have been planning which patterns I want to knit during the my autumn/winter seasons. (This really translations to me spending time on Ravelry looking at new patterns or buying yarn online).

Currently Watching… During most of August, I watched the Olympics. I stayed up early to watch the Opening Ceremony and continued setting my alarms to catch-all the “big” moments during the fortnight. For the rest of the month we have played catch up and trying to clear all the shows we DVRed during the Olympics.

Currently Listening to… We became obsessed with Stranger Things this summer (didn’t everyone). I discovered this playlist on Spotify which included all the songs featured in the TV show.

Currently Playing… I am still playing Pokémon Go, trying desperately to “catch ’em all” and fill my Pokédex. I still don’t have a Pikachu but I did catch this little guy last week.

Currently Loving… This warmer weather has been amazing. It has encouraged us to get out and walk (normally Pokemon Hunting). So far we have been walking along the Thames or exploring one of the amazing parks in the city. It has also given me an excuse to bring along my camera and take some photos of my favourite places.

Richmond Bridge

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100cupsofcoffee 41-45

100 Cups of Coffee

Once again, I am behind at writing my coffee drinking adventures, as part of my 100 cups of coffee project. Most of these coffees are from the spring.

Monmouth Coffee
On a rare occasion in early May, Jason and I had a weekend meeting in near London Bridge. This was the perfect chance to visit Borough Market and do a little shopping. No trip to the market is complete without a visit to Monmouth Coffee!

Another attempt of Spring
I have mentioned before that I love the @breakfastlondon instagram account, and use it for recommendations for new brunch spots. As Ling and I hadn’t met up of a while we thought we would try one of these places and have a fabulous spring brunch on the terrace of Urban Pantry.

Coffee & Cake
May (along with November) is Birthday month in our family. As much as I love buying presents for my family, I also find it stressful, so I tend to treat myself during a successful shop, to a break and cake!

Rebellious Coffee

When I was reading Rebel in the Sands, I was looking at photos of the book on Instagram, and I noticed a lot to mentions of Artisan Coffee Shop. This is one of my favourite coffee spots, so I was pleasantly surprised to discover the book was part written in the shop.
Coffee & Champagne

Finally, at the end of May to celebrate my sister’s birthday (and my successful present buying skills). We went for lunch at Valentina’s. Our favourite Italian restaurant have a bottomless lunch on Sundays, after drinking several glasses of prosecco I needed a coffee!

What is #100cupsofcoffee? You can read about the project here.
You can see all the photos from the #100cupsofcoffee project on Instagram.

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Currently… July Edition

currently july

Currently Knitting… This month I finished my Denim Sky Cowl and loaned the completed cowl to Ling. So she could to display it on the Whimzy stall at Yarningham Wool Festival in Birmingham.

Currently Reading… I am still re-reading the Harry Potter books. I paused from the original series briefly this weekend to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.


Currently Watching… 
I have re-discovered my love of the Gilmore Girls. When Netflix began streaming the show at the start of the month I immediately started to binge watch it. It had been a few years since I watched this programme and it was lovely to re-visit Star Hallow and my old friends The Gilmore’s.
Currently Playing… Like the rest of the world, this month I became obsessed with Pokémon Go! I also joined in the Pokémon Q&A on Epicfied blog, me and other geeky bloggers talk about our experiences as Pokémon fans.
Currently Loving… Trailers!
San Diego Comic Con was last weekend, after all the big announcements the internet for flooded with trailers for upcoming movies. One of my favourites was the trailer for the new Wonder Woman movie.

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Currently… June Edition

currently june

Currently Knitting… At the start of the month, I finished my Boomerang Shawl. Shortly afterwards I cast on my version of Denim Sky Cowl in shades of amber and dark brown.

Ombre Blue Boomerang Shawl
Ombre Blue Boomerang Shawl

Currently Loving…  My obsession with bookstagram has been taken up a notch recently, as I discovered Litsy. This app combines instagram and goodread to produce a platform to review books, share you favourite quotes and beautiful photos. Litsy is currently only available on iOS.
Currently Reading… As the new Harry Potter book, The Cursed Child is being published at the end of July, This summer I thought I would re-reading the original novels, finishing the first two in June.


Currently Watching…  My television viewing this month has been all about Game of Thrones. As well as watching the amazing season six, I began to re-watched season one to five.

WARNING SPOILERS

Currently Feeling… Nostalgic!
Re-reading am amazing book series and re-watching one of my favourite television shows. Has made me reminiscing about the first time I read about Harry Potter going to Diagon Alley or the first time I watched the Battle of Blackwater. Now I want to re-read the Game of Thrones books and re-watch all the Harry Potter films.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

 

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Currently… May Edition

currently may

Currently Knitting…  I took a break from knitting the Boomerang Shawl this month and have concentrated on knitting a little baby dress.

Currently Loving… Game of Thrones, once again I have become obsessed, staying awake to catch the first showing of the new episodes, reading analysis of each episode on several websites and then spending the next six days looking for spoilers for the next instalment.

Currently Eating…  Summer is here (supposedly), so I have started using my ice cream maker again, I love experimenting with new flavour combinations – this weekend was a combination of biscoff spread and chunks of biscoff biscuit.

Currently Reading…  Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton.

Currently Watching…  As well as Game of Thrones, I have watched iZombie on Netflix, being another Rob Thomas show – it is similar to Veronica Mars, but with the zombie twist.

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

 

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(P)inspirational- Bookmarks

pinspiration

Following on from my gifts for book lovers post last month, I thought I would list some of fun bookmark tutorials I found on Pinterest.

I would list my origami skill set as absolute beginner, I can manage a crane and heart, I dream of being able to make an X-wing figure,  but I think this tutorial for a cute cat bookmark/page marker, might be great for a beginner.

I have always loved Subversive Cross Stitch, their cute designs take traditional cross stitching themes and add some not so traditional ideas! I think this pattern would also look amazing in a frame on a bookshelf or in a reading nook. It’s also available PDF


Finally, I had to include a Harry Potter themed bookmark. These book-scarves are knitted using DMC pearl cotton on small needles, the great thing is the colours can be adpated for any of the houses at Hogwarts or even a Doctor Who scarf.

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Currently… April edition

currently april

Currently Knitting… I actually went to a knitting group this month and cast on a new project – first one this year! I’m knitting the Quaker Yarn Boomerang Shawl in a gorgeous blue Whimzy yarn.
Currently Playing… Einstein said “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again” He clearly has never played Cooking Dash! Every night I replay the same level learning all the customers order by heart hoping to get five stars.
Currently Listening… Since the news last week of Prince’s death we have listened to his music. Jason’s favourite album was Diamonds and Pearls and I love Purple Rain, so these have been on continuous loop in our home.
Currently Loving… The Killing Joke trailer. I am so excited about this new animated movie. I have always loved the graphic novel, so am excited to see it translated onto the screen.


Currently Reading… Following on from this, over the last few weeks I’ve re-read some of my favourite Graphic Novels, like The Long Halloween and Dark Victory.
Currently Watching… Obviously, I am over the moon Game of Thrones is back and have watched the first episode several times this week. I also loved Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!

This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link.

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