March and April’21 updates: Sunday Musings # monthly wrap

March and April’21 updates: Sunday Musings # monthly wrap

I hope everyone is doing okay, considering that we are still in the midst of chaos.

Usually, I love April, considering that it is my birthday month and that I usually have some plans. This year was going to be better than 2020, or that is what I thought. In short, it wasn’t.

I finally could go to India after a long year and had all plans in place to meet my friends and family (socially distanced and masks clad only). Of course, things have to go awry, cuz it can.

Anyway, let me give a quick round up of the major things that happened in March and April 2021 in my life.

Quick March and April’21 updates

  • I flew to Bengaluru, India during the third week of March and after a few swab tests, I was allowed to get to home quarantine.
  • I used the quarantine well and read a couple of books. And that lucky reading spree ran out with the quarantine bout. Yes, I have not read a book in the whole of April.
  • I reached Chennai, to my parent’s place in April and spent almost a month there. Of course, mom put me to use and got some cleaning and decluttering done. (Mothers have it all planned ahead, I say.)
  • Thanks to COVID pandemic (once again), I was not able to visit much of my extended family or beloved friends.
  • I did get to meet one of my close friend, on her birthday and made a day of it. Of course, with all the social distancing protocol in place.
  • My birthday was not much different than other day, you guessed it because COVID numbers in India had started rising by then. And a couple of my friends, whom I could have met, had tested positive too.
  • I was to return to Dubai on 25th. On 22nd night I received a mailer that all the flights from India into UAE from 25th were cancelled for at least 10 more days. And I had to scrape through the last available flight on 24th. Quite an adventure, if I can call it so.
  • Then with the flight cancelling fiasco and the drastic raise in COVID numbers all around India, I am done with April’21.

What I read this month

These are the books that I read when I quarantining in Bengaluru, earlier in March

What I watched this month

Even though I could not read much, I spent my time in India catching on several shows and movies. So get ready for a long list!

  • The Godfather – part 1 (despite reading the books decades ago, this is the first time I ever watched this one.)
  • WandaVision
  • Moxie – (I liked the changes the movie had, from the dated book version)
  • Instant Family
  • #blackAF
  • Young Sheldon S1 to S4
  • Citizen Khan S1
  • The Big Bang Theory – S1 to S4
  • Killing Eve S1
  • Superstore S7
  • Snowpiercer – Movie
  • Queen’s Gambit – (yes, finally)

On my blog

In case you missed the posts from my blog, this month.

Book Reviews from Mar’21

Sunday personal posts from the month

Other posts from the month

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

From the Insta-world

Here is what I posted on Instagram during the month. Give me a follow, will you?

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Let us chat

I hope your April was lot better than mine. How has your month been? What are you reading and watching these days? Let’s talk.

March and April’21 updates: Sunday Musings # monthly wrap

Beach Read by Emily Henry – A book review

I hoped I will like Beach Read by Emily Henry, especially after hearing raving reviews from all over the blogosphere. But when I found out that it was about two writers, I knew I was going to love it. Did that happen so for me?

Read my book review of Beach Read by Emily Henry to know more.

About Beach Read

Beach Read by Emily Henry Book cover

Book Name: Beach Read

Author: Emily Henry

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Augustus Everett, January Andrews, Peet,

Setting: MichiganThe USA

Plot Summary of Beach Read

January Andrews, a romance writer, gives up her belief in love when she hears some life shattering news at her father’s funeral. And that pushes her into a writer’s slump and a financial crunch.

What happens when a romance writer stops believing in love and romance? Ask January Andrews. Her father is dead and she comes to know that her parents’ marriage was not a fairy tale romance as she grew up believing.

Now she is in a writing slump, her mother is not speaking to her and she has to go to her father’s cabin for the summer, because that is all she can afford to, anymore.

To make matters worst, her neighbor is her college nemesis, someone who ridiculed her women centric romance novels.

Does the summer get any better for January? Can she win over her toughest critic? You have to read Beach Read by Emily Henry to know more.

Book review of Beach Read

As a bibliophile, I love reading about writers, and a romance with two writers was just a perfect way to spend my afternoon.

Despite that Beach Read was a bit hard to get into. Of course, it could have been a totally “me” situation. But it is not exactly a fun read that the book cover or the blurb made it out to be.

I loved the witty banter between the main characters and Beach Read was more than a rom-com or just a romance. It deals with many intense topics like grief, loss and infidelity.

The best part about reading Beach Read is getting to know the working process of two different writers and understanding what goes inside their brains. I enjoyed that entirely.

What worked for me

  • I loved the witty banter and lively romance of the lead pair.
  • Beach Read deals with intense topics like grief and infidelity and is more than just a romance book.
  • If you want to see what goes behind your favorite author’s brain, Beach Read might show a glimpse of their writing process.

What may have been better

  • If you are looking for a breezy read, Beach Read may prove a bit beyond that. But that may not be a bad thing.

Content warning

Mention of a cult, past mentions of child abuse and domestic abuse, mentions of breast cancer and chemo, adultery, death of a parent.

Bottom line

Beach Read by Emily Henry is a well written romance book that deals with grief and loss. If you wanna read a book about writers writing your favorite book, this might be a great choice.

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Beach Read by Emily Henry Book cover Pinterest

Let’s chat

Have you read Beach Read by Emily Henry? What is your most recent romance read that you loved? What other books about writing that you love? Let us talk.

March and April’21 updates: Sunday Musings # monthly wrap

Issues with blog statistics: Sunday Musings #115

My blog stats has been acting weird in the past few weeks. There are few days when I have an abnormal number of page visits and then a total silence in the next few.

I have been trying to understand the head or tail of it or why it happens but failed miserably. Has it been happening for everyone? Or is it just me?

On other news, things are moving pretty slowly on my end. But I am planning to go to my hometown, Chennai, sometime this week. So that is all I have been looking forward to.

What I read this week

I loved reading Lies We Bury by Elle Marr this week. And the book gave me a serious hangover.

It has everything needed for a psychological thriller – a band of sisters who are still trying to escape from the trauma of their childhood in captivity, their kidnapper just being released on a parole and a serial killer who is commemorating the 20th year of escape.

I will have to write a review once I clear up my mind. If anyone’s interested it is on Netgalley currently.

What I watched this week

I have been rewatching Dr House and Young Sheldon on Amazon these days. I am not watching for long though.

How about you?

On my blog

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

120+ Hashtags for bookstagram to boost your reach right now

Hashtags for bookstagram Featured

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi – A book review

Before the Coffee Gets Cold Featured Book review

I am back in India: Sunday Musings #114

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

From the Insta-world

Here is what I posted on Instagram during the week. Give me a follow, will you?

Pin me!

Let us chat

How has your week been? What are you looking forward to this week? What are you reading and watching? Let’s talk.

March and April’21 updates: Sunday Musings # monthly wrap

120+ Hashtags for bookstagram to boost your reach right now!

I have been meaning to write this super important post for a long time, especially seeing the amazing response to my recent Instagram related posts (Bookish Questions For Your Social Media Captions and Perfect book quotes for Instagram captions). Yes, let us talk about hashtags for your bookstagram account.

With all the incessant changes in the Instagram algorithm about saves and shares, it might seem like hashtags have lost their importance. But no, they have not.

Quick tips on using Instagram Hashtags

  • Hashtags still matter a lot on Instagram, despite all the algorithm changes.
  • You can use up to 30 hashtags on a post, so make the best of it. I personally use all the available thirty hashtags.
  • That brings me to next question: whether to add your Instagram hashtags in your caption or comment? Why not do them both? You get the best of both worlds.
  • Do not repeat the same set of hashtags over and over. Mix and match relevant hashtags for better reach.
  • Include hashtags that have large, medium and niche/small reach in your posts. I have added a bunch of them at the end of the post, and again mix and match to your heart’s content.
  • Try to add in some geography specific hashtags, depending on wherever you are and the photo was captured at.
  • Also do not forget to count in book and author specific hashtags like #StephenKing or #TheClockworkPrince.

120+ hashtags for bookstagram

Here are more than 120+ hashtags that you can use for bookstagram (or any social media platform, for that matter) for your bookish content.

I typically save the hashtags on notepad or spreadsheet with their number of posts mentioned. That avoids the last minute frantic search for hashtags, and I can just copy paste relevant hashtags for Bookstagram when I am posting one.

Bookstagram Hashtags with over 1 Million posts (20)

#readmorebooks #bookrecommendations #bookstack #newbook #bookphotography #bookobsessed #yabooks #booknerdigans #vintageaesthetic #igreads #readingtime #womenshistorymonth #bookgeek #bookphoto #ilovebooks #nonfiction #bookdragon #readmorebooks #readingtime #writersofinstagram

Bookstagram Hashtags with over 100K posts (44)

#fictionbooks #psychologicalthriller #thrillerbooks #bookstacks #bookaesthetic #bookofthemonth #yafantasy #yafiction #yabookstagram #bookaesthetic #diversebooks #bookcollector #readinggoals #unitedbookstagram #whattoreadnext #bookishlife #classicbooks #janeausten #fantasybooks #bookhaul #bookishcanadians #bibliophilia #fortheloveofreading #bookstagramit #horrorcommunity #idratherbereading #dystopianfiction #dystopia #bookstagramit #lovetoread #romancebooks #literaryfiction #coffeeandbooks #historicalfiction #newreleases #bookmerch #goodreadschallenge #bookishcandles #bookwormproblems #darkromance #bookishescape #readersgonnaread #readersareleaders

Bookstagram Hashtags with over 50K posts (10)

#booksandbooks #yafantasybooks #bookishallure #femaleauthors #contemporaryfiction #booksmakemehappy #instabookclub #bookishthings #bookishgoodies #booksbooksandmorebooks

Bookstagram Hashtags with over 10K posts (25)

#bookishlygang #stackchallenge #botmclub #teacherswhoread #bookbabe #anotherchapter #creativebookstagram #notjustaprettybook #bookcasestyling #bookcorner #bibliotherapy #tbrstack #🇨🇦bookenablers #popsugarreadingchallenge #diversespines #notjustaprettybook #rainbowstack #bookishlyengaged #bookstabuddies📚 #badassbookbabes #booksandshares #bookstamums #bookstagramacademy #reesesbookclub #rainbowshelfie

Bookstagram Hashtags with over 5K posts (10)

#lastnownextreads #bookstacklove #latinxbooks #latinxauthors #bookishbabe #wordsworthclassics #diverseromance #bookishbabe #hyggebookstyle #fictionmatters

Bookstagram Hashtags with over 1K posts (21)

#chapterchangers #bookstagramireland #bookishfriendsunite #fablebands #readdiverse #showmeallthebooks #latinxreader #latinxblogger #latinxbookstagrammer #bookishwinter #barnesandnobleleatherboundclassics #bookstagramuk🇬🇧 #og🇨🇦bookenablers #southamericanliterature #chicagobookstagram #bookinspiredcandles #bookishbusiness #bookworm📚 #bookdragon🐲 #justagirlandherbooks #bookphotography📸

I hope these Instagram hashtags for books and bookish content will be useful to you guys! If yes, please do leave a comment and share it with your friends.

Do not forget to follow me on Instagram!

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What are your go to tricks for bookstagram? How do you choose your hashtags for bookstagram? Do you have an Instagram account specifically for books/reading and writing? Let’s talk.

March and April’21 updates: Sunday Musings # monthly wrap

Before the Coffee Gets Cold – A book review

Yet another time travel book this year. If you had a chance to travel back (or forward) in time, whom would you meet and what will you ask them? Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi runs around this theme and let us get on to my book review right away.

About Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Book Name: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Author: Toshikazu Kawaguchi

Genre: Fiction – Drama,

Characters: Kazu, Nagare and Kei, Fusagi and Kohtake

Setting: Tokyo, Japan

Plot Summary of Before the Coffee Gets Cold

The Funiculi Funicula is a basement cafe that has an ambient temperature whatever be the time of the day or season outside, despite no apparent air conditioning. Urban legend holds that its patrons can travel in time by following some rules and certain ritual.

But the catch is that, the trip would bear no impact to the present or future. And the opportunity to travel in time is also rare – only when a particular seat is vacant.

Four different patrons take their chances to time travel even though they know they cannot change their history. Did they make it back safely? What did they want to do so important that they risk getting stuck in a forever loop?

Read Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi to know more.

Book review of Before the Coffee Gets Cold

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi consists of four interlinked short stories of four patrons of the cafe who want to travel in time, and seek someone special.

The premise is quite interesting and simple. But it works well because of the characters, despite the straight forward plot.

I loved the three café workers and their relationships with these patrons. While they are not traveling in time, they understand why it is important for these four to do so and they almost hold their breath until they return from their trip (or not.)

The book is quintessentially Japanese, or East Asian. When I learnt that Before the Coffee Gets Cold was initially written as a play, it made more sense about why everything was overexplained and had minimal descriptions.

What worked for me

  • Before the Coffee Gets Cold is a character driven book and if you are not one for them, this book might bore you soon enough.
  • I loved Kazu, Kei and Nagare and I really hope to seeing more of them in the next part of the book.
  • The book is hopeful and bittersweet. And if you are particularly emotional type, this book might overwhelm you (in a good way).

What may have been better

  • There are times when the writing gets sloppy and repetitive. I am not sure if it is an issue with the translation or the writing itself.

Bottom line

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi might be the next bittersweet book you might be looking for. If you are looking Asian or Japanese books to read, Before the Coffee Gets Cold should be next pick.

Similar book reviews

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Let’s chat

Have you read Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi? How did it fare for you? What are your favorite Japanese literature that you read recently? Let us talk.