Books Magazine

March 2019 Updates

Posted on the 28 March 2019 by Cheekymeeky

March has been a quiet month, I"ll go one step further, it's been a boring month. And yet, it shouldn't have been. I did a short weekend getaway with my son, watched a lot of nice shows, and read some awesome books. So why do I feel so blue? As if, life were just a long, slow drag? I don't know why, but I hope April is a bit more fast-paced than March.

March 2019 Updates

My reading was absolutely sublime this month. I rather nervously embarked on 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami. This is a huge chunkster of a novel (approx 1300 pages of small print). I bought it last year at an airport shop on impulse, and it's been sitting unread on my shelf since.

That is until Dolce Belezza started the Japanese Reading challenge, and I jumped on that bandwagon. This challenge was the perfect motivation to get started with 1Q84 finally. I started this book this month, and finished parts 1 and 2, and I am now racing along to the finish line. This book is that good!

March 2019 Updates
Taking this chunkster everywhere I go

Other bloggers in the challenge are reading multiple books and short pieces. But I think I just like the idea of reading one massive chunkster and then maybe also catching a couple of movies (yet to decide on the movies though, any recommendations?) for this challenge.

I've also been interspersing 1Q84 with a bunch of shorter, easier reads. I read Crazy Rich Asians by Kewin Kwan, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, and The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. All three books were good if a little forgettable.

Another book I read this month, and am planning to read again is Fire and Blood by George R.R.Martin. This is a book on Targaryen history right from Aegon the Conqueror up to the reign of Aegon III (and yes, unless you are a GOT buff, you will have no idea what I'm talking about).

I absolutely loved this book, so much so, that I speed read this chunkster within the space of a couple of days. But now, I want to read it again at a saner pace, to take notes for the blog review, and generally figure out if there are any hints in the book about future happenings in Westeros. Have you read this book? What did you think about it? There are tons of reviews on the web panning it, but most of the negative reviews talk about the delays in The Winds of Winter, and are not a fair critique of Fire and Blood. Anyway I don't care what the critics say, I simply love this book. And I've bought it in hardcover too. So there!

March 2019 Updates
My beautiful hard-cover edition of Fire and Blood
March 2019 Updates

I watched a great show this month - Made in Heaven, which is on Amazon Prime here in India. It's about a couple of wedding planners and it's absolutely awesome. The first two episodes were a little jumpy, but afterwards, it's extremely addicting watching. I simply loved it!

March 2019 Updates
Highly recommended viewing!

This show was so good, I binge-watched it and completed all eight episodes in the first week of March. However, after that, it's been pretty dry, and nothing has managed to capture my interest. I can't wait for April when the last season of Game of Thrones is going to start. I am so excited to see how things pan out for all my favorite characters.

March 2019 Updates
Such a dramatic intro to the season!

Until GOT starts though, do you have any show or movie recommendations for me?

Apart from TV, I also caught a couple of the latest movies in a new cinema hall near our house - Cinepolis on Whitefield Road. The folks at Cinepolis were looking for influencers to promote the cinemas, and as part of that initiative, I got some tickets to watch Captain Marvel and How to Train Your Dragon 3. Both movies were good, but I enjoyed the whole Cinepolis experience more than the movies, I think. The 4D and iMAX experiences are beyond awesome, and Piglet loved the Junior experience.

March 2019 Updates

Blogging-wise, this month felt very productive. I did my usual blogging about books. But I also finally managed to finish up a couple of posts on our December travels to Sri Lanka.

I generally find travel posts very hard to write. Maybe it's because of all the work gathering the photos and editing them, and trying to find a cohesive angle for the write up. Most of the times, my travel posts feel like long, rambling, personal accounts of what we did. I'm trying to move away from that, but unconsciously I end up drifting in that direction.

I also posted reviews of Tipping the Velvet (so much fun!), Shantaram (boring!) and Little Fires Everywhere (addictive!). I even did a Top Ten Tuesday post after ages!

Another big blogging task completed was the redesign of my blog, which I took up in January. It took ages to get everything looking the way I want it to, and I am not done yet, some older posts are irretrievably broken, I think. But I'm glad to finally get most of my content looking the way I want it to.

So one question for you dear readers: How are you viewing my blog? Do you visit it directly, or read through an RSS feed? I am guessing RSS feed, as I have had lots of interactions and comments on the blog, but hardly any comments on the look of it. So, why did I go through all this effort? I guess I was fed up of my old blog theme. It behaved weirdly with the new WordPress block editor, and I needed to pay for theme updates. Since I was going to shell out cash anyway, I thought I'd try out a new look. I am still getting used to the new blog design, but I love how easy and lightweight it is to maintain, and I think it's also loading faster than ever. So all happy here.

However, if you have noticed any issues, or have feedback on the blog appearance, please do leave a comment below and I"ll look into it.

Talking about comments, I got rid of Disqus this month, and I am seeing so much more interaction on my blog posts. I was having a terrible time getting Disqus to display comments, and eventually just chucked that commenting system. I am now back to plain old WordPress and Facebook commenting and I think it's working well for me. Fingers crossed, it continues to work!

March 2019 Updates

Life generally has been very dull. This month was my son's final exams, and I spent most of my free time coaching him. He's changing schools again coming academic year (moving him to a school closer to home), and even though his admissions are finalized, I wanted him to come through his current school system with good results, so I have been grilling him a bit.

Today is his last day of school and exams, and he's going to be chilling for the next couple of months. Unfortunately Snubnose's school still runs into May, and so we have to manage some activities for a bored Piglet - I have already enrolled him in swimming and tennis, and am now on the lookout for classes with a good reading program, which will keep him engaged. Let's see.

Apart from that, I've also been planning a trip for Snubnose and I. After last year's adventures in Egypt, we decided that we needed to do another trip this summer, and our destination of choice this year is China. I originally was thinking Japan, but it was just too expensive for my budget.

I have booked the flights and accommodation, and am now neck deep in gathering documents for the visa application. China is a vast country and it's impossible to see all that I want in a single visit, so we are covering just the key places right now - Beijing for the Great Wall, Forbidden Palace, and Tiananmen square, Xi'an for the Terracotta warriors, and Shanghai for all the cosmopolitan glamour.

And ooh! How could I have forgotten this? Piglet and I went for a short weekend getaway early in March. I needed to claim some LTA (for tax purposes), and I'd won a weekend away in Forsyth Lodge in the Satpura National Forest. And I just had to take them up on their offer. The lodge is about four hours south of Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh, and very isolated and beautiful.

Our experience in Forsyth Lodge was so good, it's fodder for another blog post coming soon. Right now, all I can say was that the customer service, food, and our cottage was really excellent. I switched off from the world completely and spent the weekend enjoying some quality time with Piglet - we went on safaris, nature walks, and really immersed ourselves in the rural life. I wish we could have stayed there a little longer!

March 2019 Updates
Beautiful safari experience

Now that I write this post, I am wondering why I am feeling so blue. March actually was a pretty good month after all.

How has March been treating you?

March 2019 Updates


Voracious reader, vegetarian foodie, mostly armchair traveler, and frequent online shopper. I love to talk about all these passions (and other things happening in my life) in this blog.

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