Dear Matilda…

Dear Matilda,

When I was younger, I was awed by your maths skills. Here I was, barely managing long division on paper while you unravelled complicated calculations in your head. In some ways, I was like you — happiest with my nose buried within the pages of a book — but in a lot of other ways, I wanted to be like you.

I tripped over those very words written by Hemingway and Dickens that you enjoyed. Where a scary situation had me running away, there you were facing it head on. And while I questioned my every step, you were the first one to believe in your abilities.

You made me laugh, too. My favourite moment of yours was when you snuck into the living room, playing into your family’s fear that the house was haunted. And the superglue in the hat? Classic.

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10 Books That Have Influenced Me

A while ago, I did a post about 10 books that influenced past me. I made that list when I was 18 and after four years and a literature degree, a few things have changed. Here are some of the books that have become important to me in the last few years.


1. The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer [fiction]
I’m still reading this, but so far I’m quite in awe. This book manages to incorporate elements of mystery and thriller with what seems like a coming-of-age narrative, complete with a bit of an experimental format that involves playing around with form and images. The timeline of events is a bit confusing with the back and forth, but the pacing is tightly controlled. Even though I haven’t finished yet, I’m sure it’ll be a memorable one.

2. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry [Historical fiction]
This book is set during a time of political upheaval in India, and is one of the books that encouraged me to read even more Indian authors. I loved the characterisation and use of language — especially the way Mistry manages to convey the tones and cadences of Indian languages through English. If you want to know about it in more detail, here is a longer review I’ve written.

3. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman [fiction]
As I mentioned in my recent reading recap post, this book’s themes of loneliness and finding one’s footing in social situations hit me hard. The characters are human and I started caring about them without even realising. The narrative is so multifaceted that there should be something to appeal to a wide audience — including stories of friendship, love, and kindness.

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The 9 Most Common Types of Bookstagram Posts

About three years ago, I accidentally started a bookstagram account. Since then, I have picked up quite a few things about how this sacred institution works. Today, I’m bringing you insider information on some of the most popular types of bookstagram posts, so that you too can start your journey to bookstagram fame.


1. The Flat Lay
This is a classic, but it can be tricky. It’s great for setting a mood through props (see some examples below) although I usually try to strike a balance between giving the picture interest without overcrowding it.

Composition is also key: depending on the look you’re going for, you might need to arrange and rearrange things a few (hundred) times.

Since this style is usually from a bird’s eye point of view, maybe also find yourself a sturdy chair to stand on.

2. The Throw it in (or Against) a Tree
A bookstagram classic. Are you really a bookstagrammer until you have ventured outside into nature and drawn curious looks from members of the public as you hold a book up against some foliage? Yes. But don’t let that stop you.

Alternatively, bring along a friend or family member who doesn’t get as easily embarrassed. (That’s my mother holding the book in the second photo.)

3. The Book Stack
Perfect for when you go to the bookshop “to look” and walk out with 6.5 things you didn’t intend to get. You can also live dangerously and attempt a book spiral (which is just a fancy book stack in my opinion), but I would recommend saving those for the days you really want to test your patience.

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