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Attention: A Poem

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How I see the fullness of your love

in your eyes as you drink me in

I cannot escape that irresistible gaze

that is the only one that truly sees

Oh, the way your thick brows soften

when your attention is upon me

I am a flower you handle with care

and there is depth behind each touch

Your words are a melodic prose

that calm and revive my spirit

That sweet concentration is only mine

and is my only continuous desire

Attention is a continuation of a “Obsidian Eyes: A Poem”

12/10/20

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Book Haul!!

Hello my bookish friends! ~.~*

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’m Sorry about that…

Trying to balance multiple jobs, education, relationships, and sleep is as difficult as one could imagine and more. However, among all the busyness that I have been experiencing, I made it to my favorite little oasis over the weekend– also known as the bookstore!

I felt that I was due to treat myself (as Tom Haverford and Donna Meagle would suggest in the sitcom “Parks and Recreation”) since I have been working hard lately and haven’t gotten anything new from the bookstore in a while. And, why shouldn’t take advantage of day late Black Friday deals? That would just be crazy!

Treat Yo Self! | East Lansing Public Library

Since I purchased more than 2 books (my usual limit per visit), I felt that it was a sort of a haul for myself and I wanted to share what I collected. I keep track of all my books that I have read, am reading, and want to read on Goodreads. I am not sure if any of you have heard of Goodreads.com— but it’s an amazing site and also downloadable to your smart phone as an app. I thought it would be cool to give some information about it here- since I use it so frequently on my visits to the bookstore.

Basically, it is sort of like IMDB, but it’s just for books! On Goodreads, you’re able to look up information, reviews, and ratings on almost any book you can think of. If you make an account with them with your email, you are able to to add books to shelves and categorize them as you like. The simplest shelves being- Read, Want to Read, and Currently Reading. With an account, you are also able to rate books, write reviews, join book clubs, participate in reading challenges, and more!

I have been using this website/app since 2012 when I entered high school so that I could keep track of all the books that I was reading and could find more similar books to read. Now that I work in a library, when I come across an interesting title I scan it into Goodreads to add it to my “Want To Read” shelf. Below are the descriptions of the books that I purchased last weekend. For each book, you can also find a link to view the information for it on Goodreads and puchase the same edition that I got online if you wish. I hope you enjoy!

Home Body – Rupi Kaur

Home Body

Rupi Kaur constantly embraces growth, and in home body, she walks readers through a reflective and intimate journey visiting the past, the present, and the potential of the self. home body is a collection of raw, honest conversations with oneself – reminding readers to fill up on love, acceptance, community, family, and embrace change. Illustrated by the author, themes of nature and nurture, light and dark, rest here.

i dive into the well of my body
and end up in another world
everything i need
already exists in me
there’s no need
to look anywhere else
– home

Goodreads

I am a HUGE fan of this woman! If you haven’t read her other two works, “Milk and Honey” and “The Sun and Her Flowers” (which I have reviewed, link here,) I highly recommend them. I have been anticipating this book for months now, and I am very excited to read it.

I got a signed copy…not to brag or anything.

Her. – Pierre Alex Jeanty

Her

“Her” is a collection of poetry and prose about women, their strengths and beauty. Every woman should know the feelings of being loved and radiating those feelings back to her mate. This is a beautiful expression of heartfelt emotion using short, gratifying sentiments. If there is a lover in you, you will not get enough of “Her.”

Goodreads

I have seeing bits and pieces of Jeanty’s poetry on Facebook and Instagram for a while now, and I have adored every stanza. I kept saying I was going to buy it when I get to the bookstore, but I have’t been able to do so. Luckily, when I grabbed Homebody this book on a shelf nearby! Now, I have couple of wonderful prose to look forward to reading from two amazing authors. I cannot wait to share the highlights with you.

Dune – Frank Herbert

Dune (Dune Chronicles, #1)

Set on the desert planet Arrakis, Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, heir to a noble family tasked with ruling an inhospitable world where the only thing of value is the “spice” melange, a drug capable of extending life and enhancing consciousness. Coveted across the known universe, melange is a prize worth killing for….

When House Atreides is betrayed, the destruction of Paul’s family will set the boy on a journey toward a destiny greater than he could ever have imagined. And as he evolves into the mysterious man known as Muad’Dib, he will bring to fruition humankind’s most ancient and unattainable dream.

A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics, Dune won the first Nebula Award, shared the Hugo Award, and formed the basis of what is undoubtedly the grandest epic in science fiction. 

Goodreads

I purchased this because I refuse to watch a book adapted movie without reading it beforehand. That is, if I can help it. However, I have had this book on my list long before rumors of it’s movie adaption. I am a science-fiction fan, and this one is a classic. I can’t wait to dive into this one and then watch it on the big screen!

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around – and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance to lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries – including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Goodreads

Beautiful cover, right? Initially, that is the reason I was attracted to it when it came across me at work. Thankfully, the plot seems equally as intruiguing. I have beem trying to make a point to diversify my reading (I am partial to science-fiction), so I have been working on reading more fantasy recently. I choose this one along with “The Choosen Ones” by Veronica Roth as my fantasy picks. Hopefully they don’t disappoint! Crossing my fingers**

An Ember in the Ashes – Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself. 

Goodreads

This one has been on my list for YEARS. I have had this title on my goodreads shelf awaiting it’s turn for about half a decade or more, during my high school years. When I grazed past it during my hour long browsing at Barnes & Noble, I decided it is finally time to get to it. It has great ratings, so I’m excited to finally get to read it after all this time.

Chosen Ones – Veronica Roth

Chosen Ones (The Chosen Ones, #1)

The first novel written for an adult audience by the mega-selling author of the Divergent franchise: five twenty-something heroes famous for saving the world when they were teenagers must face even greater demons—and reconsider what it means to be a hero . . . by destiny or by choice.

A decade ago near Chicago, five teenagers defeated the otherworldly enemy known as the Dark One, whose reign of terror brought widespread destruction and death. The seemingly un-extraordinary teens—Sloane, Matt, Ines, Albie, and Esther—had been brought together by a clandestine government agency because one of them was fated to be the “Chosen One,” prophesized to save the world. With the goal achieved, humankind celebrated the victors and began to mourn their lost loved ones.

Ten years later, though the champions remain celebrities, the world has moved forward and a whole, younger generation doesn’t seem to recall the days of endless fear. But Sloane remembers. It’s impossible for her to forget when the paparazzi haunt her every step just as the Dark One still haunts her dreams. Unlike everyone else, she hasn’t moved on; she’s adrift—no direction, no goals, no purpose. On the eve of the Ten Year Celebration of Peace, a new trauma hits the Chosen: the death of one of their own. And when they gather for the funeral at the enshrined site of their triumph, they discover to their horror that the Dark One’s reign never really ended.

Goodreads

The talented author who brought us the hugely popular series “Divergent,” now introduces us her first adult novel! Like “Strange the Dreamer,” I found this novel when I was working at the library. I find the story unique because of the was the hero storyline seems it’s being told. Usually, I find that stories with heroes with the central characters focus on how the hero became a hero in the first place. Books or movies with these plots include how the hero discovered their special ability or gift, the first adventures after they have that discovery, and then conflicts they have with a foe of some sort. On the contrary, this novel sort of speeds past all of those beginning phases of the birth of the heroes in this novel, which I find quite makes this novel quite distintive. I have begun reading this novel already, and it seems that Roth wants readers to piece the bits of the character’s past throughout the novel. I enjoy that part very much. Additionally, I appreciate the level of realism she has brought into this fantasy story– since I often struggle with enjoying some fantasy novels because of the lack thereof. As you can tell, so far I am not disappointed by Veronica Roth’s latest book.

I can go on more on about these exciting books, but I’ll leave that for future reviews. Thank you so much for reading my Book Haul rundown. If you enjoyed any of these books or enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like and comment. NO SPOILERS!!!

Happy Holidays 🙂

Nowhere: A Poem

Rear view of sad woman next to the window | Free Photo

lately it is not much of a question

when they ask me where I have been

usually the answer is the same as theirs

either spoken with a chuckle or a solemn tone

our eyes gaze longingly thorough the window panes

for once now all human minds have one thought in unison

that if the world will be forever changed once we enter it again

it is time to cherish these moments while we are stuck in nowhere

4/29/20

Under the Shade of Banyan Tree- A Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Windows

Clean, plain, open, closed, bright,
light, shaded, paned, shuttered, blinded, boarded,
rusty, dirty, smoky windows.
broken, shattered, run down windows
Windows that protect and hide,
a mirror to the world outside
and sometimes to the world within,
unraveling layer by layer, revealing
a glance into a soul,
a tool for introspection and scrutiny,
secrets and smokescreens,
evasions, denials, half-truths
Windows, they tell it all.

“Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree” by Simi K. Rao

I felt as if after reading Simi K. Roa’s, Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree, I was able to take a glance into her soul. This eloquent morsel was released in August of last year and is less than 150 pages in length. Rao was born in India, but she has been living in the United States for several years now. She has also published a few other works within the last few years, such as Inconvenient Relations and the Accidental Wife. Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree was the first work of hers that I have read, but it is definitely now a favorite that I highly recommend.

What attracted me first was the title. I had never heard of a Banyan tree, so I searched it.

Originally, they are from the writer’s home country, where underneath the tree is often a center of activity in many of their communities. Magnificently, Banyans can grow up to be 80 feet tall, cover about 14,500 square feet of space, and live to be over two and a half centuries of age. Often, the tree symbolizes fertility, life, and even resurrection. Hindu texts dating back over 2,500 years reference the Banyan tree as a “world tree,” it’s roots reaching the heaves and delivering blessings to earth.

Significantly, the concept of the vastness of this tree, with it’s sturdy roots consuming all in its path, is more than appropriate metaphor in my opinion. It would be difficult to use one word to encumber all that is contained in Rao’s, Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree. However, if I did, I would choose a word that a Banyan tree itself represents. Life.

Life penned by Simi Rao, as I read, had been written through the many lenses that she wore in her time. A Mother. A Physician. An Innocent Child. A Mischievous Teen. A Lover. An Immigrant. A Dreamer. Every poem and short story is coated with her observations of human nature, her experiences a cross-cultured woman, her internal struggles, her perceptions of love, and her emancipation from the darkness that can tend to follow us in life.

The poems were written in a variety of different styles, which I find is important in books such as these. It is more engaging when authors change the rhythm, rhyme patterns (or not rhyme at all), and the topics as well. She accomplished that skillfully, and she also included some excepts from her other books and a few short stories. The poem “Windows” was my favorite poem style wise, and I thought it was very deep. Rao gave us a peek through her window. Through it, the inner workings of her humanity was laid bare, which made almost everything she wrote easy to relate to. I felt as if I could almost feel her soul in some of the poems. Her affection for others and nature was plain to me. Her love of her culture was also evident. In the vivid short story “Mr. Tim“, a little girl befriends a squirrel in a tree. At the end, I almost shed tears just as the character did. The poem “Phobia” cleverly explained how tragic it is that fear can imprison us, even when freeing ourselves from it’s control is more possible than it seems. Simi shared her experiences as a physician with writing of a cancer patient, an addict, and an elderly woman with dementia. And of course, the love stories “Crush” and “A Cup of Chai” were heartwarming.

All that is included in Under the Shade of the Banyan Tree is touching in it own right. As Simi describes it, we must all ride “the carnival of life,” and it is bumpy ride. With all the unrest occurring in the world at present, the burden of simply existing is not foreign to anyone. Nonetheless, Roa reassures in this composition that there is light awaiting after the dark, somewhere a hand is always out-stretched, the beauty of love flows in unlikely places, and that rain will always fall to spread the roots of the Banyan tree.