Updates from January’21 and the ELF: Sunday Musings #108

Yesterday was my last day with my volunteering at Emirates Literature Festival 2021, here in Dubai. As expected we had a many virtual sessions with authors like Malala Yousafzai, Elif Shafak, Thomas Eriksson and Oyinkan Braithwaite and some in person sessions with authors who were able to come down.

Despite all these, it was just not the same because of the less crowd and all the other necessary protocols. The volunteers and the team underwent the PCR test before the event and we all maintained strict social distance.

We had about 20% of the usual crowd but I was glad to meet some bookworms who took all these with a stride and got meet their favorite authors.

I am kinda missing it already, even though I am really tired and my voice is coarse because I talked to so many people.

Quick January’21 updates

I am very disappointed to say January 2021 didn’t miraculously make all the problems of 2020 disappear. COVID is pretty much widely spread, the travel bans and social distancing are still there. There are bad presidents and worse politicians even after the new year’s eve.

Anyway what else happened to me personally during the month? Let me give you some of the highlights.

  • After some really good months, the Covid cases in the UAE has been increasing. But with the excellent mass vaccination programmes around, I am desperately hoping there will be a fall soon.
  • We had some foggy, winter mornings for exactly 5 days and then I guess we were done with the winter. But the weather is kinda good and pretty.
  • A pretty good reading and viewing month. More about that follows in a bit.

What I read this month

I read 5 books last month and I am happy that I liked all of them. Yay me!

What I watched this month

I am on my 3rd (almost) rewatch of my favorite series House MD on Prime. But this is the first time that I am watching it in order, as a complete series. Needless to say I am loving it. Have you watched it?

I also watched the Idris Elba starring UK crime drama series Luther, which I really enjoyed. It had a Sherlock vibe, without witty dialogues.

On my blog

Book Reviews from January’21

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett featured

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren Featured

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book review Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Featured

Sunday personal posts from the month

COVID panic returns: Sunday Musings #107

elgeewrites Updates from January'21 and the ELF: Sunday Musings #108 SM107F

UAE COVID Vaccine update: Sunday Musings #106

elgeewrites Updates from January'21 and the ELF: Sunday Musings #108 SM106F

Winter in Dubai: Sunday Musings #105

elgeewrites Updates from January'21 and the ELF: Sunday Musings #108 sm105f

December 2020 wrap up: Sunday Musings #104

elgeewrites Updates from January'21 and the ELF: Sunday Musings #108 sm104f

Other posts from the month

Perfect book quotes for Instagram captions

elgeewrites Updates from January'21 and the ELF: Sunday Musings #108 book quotes for instagram caption featured

2021 plans: What to expect of me

elgeewrites Updates from January'21 and the ELF: Sunday Musings #108 2021 plans featured

Year in review: Most popular posts of 2020

elgeewrites Updates from January'21 and the ELF: Sunday Musings #108 popular posts of 2020 featured

In case you missed the posts from my blog, last week.

I will be linking today’s post with Caffeinated reviewer’s Sunday post Meme.

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Let us chat

How was your weekend so far? Did you have a good January’21? What are your reading plans for the month ahead? Let’s talk.


  1. Shruti

    You read Chloe Brown!! I hope you liked it! Talia Hibbert has become one of my favorite authors off late! ❤️

    • Gayathri

      I loved it!

  2. Literary Feline

    I imagine the Emirates Literature Festival 2021 wasn’t the same with fewer people and more precautions, but it sounded like it went well despite all that. I am glad you had a good reading month in January. I did too. I hope you have a great February! Take care and enjoy your week!

    • Gayathri

      It definitely was different but something better than nothing at all, rihgt?

  3. Greg

    That Festival sounds wonderful! And I love fog in th winter. So pretty…

    Hope you had a good weekend!

    • Gayathri

      Yes, we had for less than a week this year but I will gladly take what I get!

  4. Victoria Hamel

    Glad the fest was able to happen this year! Hope things get better and better as the year goes on! Have a great week!

    • Gayathri

      Fingers crossed on that.

  5. M. Ravenel

    Glad you had a great time at the literary festival! That’s good everything was handled safely in lieu of the pandemic. I will be happy when all this craziness is over.

    Have a great week! 🙂

    • Gayathri

      Same here, can’t wait for it to get over.

  6. Stephanie Jane

    The festival sounds brilliant, even though quite a lot had to be done virtually. Elif Shafak and Oyinkan Braithwaite? I’m so envious!!

    • Gayathri

      Both those sessions were brilliant.

  7. Diana @ Book of Secrets

    The festival sounded like a great experience, even if it was smaller. The Vanishing Half was amazing! It was my favorite book from last year. I, too, was hoping 2021 would make Covid disappear, but no! At least we can be hopeful with the vaccine available now. Have a wonderful week!

    • Gayathri

      I loved it too!

  8. Laurel-Rain Snow

    I hope to read my copy of The Vanishing Half soon! Enjoy your week and your books. Thanks for sharing, and here are my WEEKLY UPDATES.

    • Gayathri

      I hope you like it as much as I did!

    • Gayathri

      I hope so too!

  9. Nicci @ Sunny Buzzy Books

    It would be lovely if everything wrong in the world disappeared with the ticking over of the calendar year but alas… All we can hope for as things get better as the year rolls on! Hopefully, the vaccination programmes will help knock covid on its butt at least.

    Hope you have a good week!

    • Gayathri

      Yes that sounds like a dream!


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Gayathri has been reviewing books since 2010. When she is not reading books or creating online content, she works as a writer and a digital marketer. Head over to meet me!