Thursday, April 19

Royal Rantings - Reading Styles

So, this was an actual conversation Vera and I had a couple of weeks ago. There's SO MANY TYPES of reading. It's not as simple as just picking up a book and getting started on it- especially when you're a book-blogger. Picking up the book itself is a tedious task most times. You check reviews, maybe on social media pages, on Goodreads, Amazon. You talk to your friends about it. You then check with the rest of your TBR and prioritize because why not. You may end up with a completely different book from what you first set out to read. You then pick up the book and sit down- oh wait, a pencil, bookmark (or sock, who cares), notebook, sticky notes? Snacks? Properly snuggled in? Okay, and then you ACTUALLY start reading, and this is when things get even more complicated. Here's part of our convo so you get what we're talking about:

Tuesday, April 17

Popular Books We Feel Everyone Has Read But Us

Hello! Today's Top Ten Tuesday (weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl) we chose to go with a topic that happens to us all too frequently! It seems like there is constantly some book that everyone has read but it somehow passed us right by. Here are some of the books we've heard oh so much about but have never gotten around to reading!  

Saturday, April 14

How To Keep Your TBR In Control: Trying Out & Rating Different Methods

Hello, friends! As bookworms, many of us suffer from over-flowing to-read piles. Some of us have the privilege to own an unbelievable amount of books - either as physical copies or ebooks - while others have to battle with incredibly long wishlists when picking their next. And, yes, of course there are some, myself included, who struggle with both.

What I'm trying to say here is that, one way or another, most bookworms are buried under massive to-buy and/or to-read-owned book piles. Keeping track of all that, deciding how and when to get rid of books can prove to be tough. Helpful tips are all over the internet, which is great! But sometimes, it's hard to predict which method would be the best, and how exactly to go about doing it when there are no pointers given. To help you with that, in today's post, I'm here to not only list some common methods, BUT to also showcase how well they worked for me, what difficulties I faced, etc. while trying them. 

Disclaimer: This is only MY opinion. I cannot guarantee that what works for me, will work for you the same way. With that being said, I did my best to stay as objective as possible when commenting on these methods. So let's get right into this!

Tuesday, April 10

Our Favorite Novels We're So Ready To Revisit

Hello friends! Tuesday means two things for me, (1) we're one day closer to the weekend, and (2) it's time for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl)! Now, Clare and I were struggling a teeny tiny bit with today's topic - smh, we are so bad at this 'following the weekly theme' thing - so we switched it up a little and so, instead of books we loved but don't want to reread, we'll be writing about books we're so ready to revisit. I SWEAR WE'LL GET BETTER AT THIS THING. Anyhow, without further ado, let's jump right into our lists: 

10-10 books we loved, and cannot wait to reread.

Saturday, April 7

My Favorite Bookish Haunts

So I recently came across Roberta's discussion post on what makes one decide on whether or not to comment on a post and that had me thinking... Why not do a shout out for some of my favorite blogs in here? While there a lot of great blogs out there, there are a select few that I always try to make time for. 

I can't exactly find a particular set of reasons as to why I tend to gravitate towards these particular blogs, but I find that I generally interact the most with them. Some of these have similar reading tastes to mine, so it's always great to have another perspective on things. Some of them have wildly different tastes and even if I wouldn't read what they do, I still like reading what  they have to say. Some of them are friends, some are not...yet. Some comment back, some don't. But whatever it is, I find these blogs really amazing and I feel it would be a crime to not share them with y'all! 

I figured this could work as both a post to let y'all know some of my favorites and hopefully introduce you to a few new ones in the process, and also make myself aware of the ones I frequent. A win-win situation either way, so let's start the party already! 

Thursday, April 5

Mini Reviews to Two Super-Popular Backlist Books

THE book that made me want to write this post in the first place, because I needed to flail about it & push y'all who haven't read it yet a tad bit into its direction. Yes, it was THAT good. 

Let's go, 4 Reasons to read Grave Mercy, a Historical Fantasy set in the Middle Ages: 

⚔️ The main characters are assassin nuns, ASSASSIN NUNS!! Is that not reason enough?? They are vicious and well-trained in all the different methods of killing AND they are excited about said killings. 

Tuesday, April 3

Our Favorite Novels Where The Characters Outshine Everything Else


Hello friends! For today's Top Ten Tuesday post (weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl), Clare and I have decided to switch up the topic a little bit, because we were SO BAD at trying to come up with answers for the original TTT that is: 'Characters I liked That Were In Non-Favorite/Disliked Books'. Now, we didn't want to venture too far away from the theme, thus we modified it to 'Books Where the Characters Outshine Everything Else', and wow, are we excited to show these 10 (5-5) books + characters with y'all! So, without further ado, let's get right into this post!

Monday, April 2

ALL the Exciting Books Being Released in the Second Quarter of 2018

Hello friends! Today, much like in the beginning of every month, we brought you some of the most exciting book releases we could dig up. However, unlike before, we decided to do a release calendar every quarter of the year, instead of every month, quality over quantity and all that. That means that for today, we've showcased the new releases of the second quarter of the year (April, May and June) that we couldn't be more excited for. To limit the length of this post, we've only shared 4-4-4 books per month, so you'll find the total of 36 books in this post. Have fun browsing through our mini-lists!

*click on the covers for Goodreads*

Saturday, March 31

My Life in Books Tag!!

As you may know I only recently joined The Regal Critiques and I wanted to do a tag that helps people get to know me bookishly (yes that's a word)! So much of my life has been shaped by and around books so this was a really fun tag to try! 

Thursday, March 29

World War Two, a Jewish Girl, and a Nazi Boarding School - Orphan Monster Spy by Matt Killeen

"Never lie when you can tell the truth. Lies have to be worked out in advance or they will tie you up 
and eat you."

A Jewish girl-turned-spy must infiltrate an elite Nazi boarding school in this highly commercial, relentlessly nail-biting World War II drama!

After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah--blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish--finds herself on the run from a government that wants to see every person like her dead. Then Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He's a spy, and he needs Sarah to become one, too, to pull off a mission he can't attempt on his own: infiltrate a boarding school attended by the daughters of top Nazi brass, befriend the daughter of a key scientist, and steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. With years of training from her actress mother in the art of impersonation, Sarah thinks she's ready. But nothing prepares her for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she'd ever imagined.

Tuesday, March 27

Magical Places We'd Love To Visit

Hello, friends! Veronika here, and wow, I'm so excited to share with you today's post! Clare and I are both massive fans of fantasy novels, and so it only seemed logical to share with you magical places instead of real life ones. So, breaking the rules of Top Ten Tuesday a bit (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl), let me present the 14 (7-7) places we'd love to visit.... emphasis on the visit, you'll see why. 

Saturday, March 24

Stuff That Positively Pisses Me Off In Books

Hello friends, today's post is a little bit ranty, a little bit negative, but ALL kinds of relatable (I hope?) if you also dislike some of these things. So go ahead, continue reading if you're up for a good moan about cringe-worthy slash annoying tropes in books. 

Thursday, March 22

Feminism and Strong Female Friendships Mean I'm in Love With The Exact Opposite of Okay by Laura Steven

"Bitches bite back. And men hate that. Society hates that."

Izzy O’Neill is an aspiring comic, an impoverished orphan, and a Slut Extraordinaire. Or at least, that’s what the malicious website flying round the school says. Izzy can try all she wants to laugh it off – after all, her sex life, her terms – but when pictures emerge of her doing the dirty with a politician’s son, her life suddenly becomes the centre of a national scandal. Izzy’s never been ashamed of herself before, and she’s not going to start now. But keeping her head up will take everything she has...

Tuesday, March 20

Our Over-Flowing Spring TBRs

Hello, friends! Veronika here, and I am über-pumped for today's post, because today marks the first occasion when Clare, OUR NEW CO-BLOGGER, is joining me for Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl)! As for the topic, Spring TBR... by now, many of you likely know that I'm terrible at following TBR lists. No joke, at this point the bar is set so low that I'll celebrate reading even one (1), yes, ONE book from this list by the end of spring. What about you, Clare? 

Clare: Honestly with my current reading I'll be lucky to hit one all spring too! But there are so many amazing books releasing this season and so many other incredible books that I own and still haven't read because I am awful at TBRs!! 

Now, Spring, 2018, we're READY TO READ ALL THROUGH YOU. 

Saturday, March 17

Dinosaurs, Humans and an Overcrowded Planet - The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson (The Extinction Trials #1)

Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival.
Welcome to the Extinction Trials.

In Stormchaser and Lincoln's ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.

But in a land full of monsters - human and reptilian - they can't afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other...

Thursday, March 15

Yet Another Milestone at The Regal Critiques

It's been four years already! Four years since this little blog was born. Four years of talking about all things bookish, ranting, venting- you name it. On this occasion, we decided to have a look at how exactly we came to be The Regal Critiques, and so, let's have a look at our timeline, shall we?

15th of March, 2014

The birth of this blog, by the name of Reading is Dreaming With Open Eyes. The proud mom? Veronika.

18th of June, 2015

Addition of a co-blogger when Vera made the truly momentous decision of sharing her baby with another human. Enter Ruzaika.

19th of June, 2015

Blog revamp-  a design change, as well as name change to The Regal Critiques. 

Since today is a special day and all, we'll let you have a look at the brilliant list of names we came up with first when trying to decide on a name for the blog! Excuse the typo and the general silliness, but you'll see Royal Rantings, the title we now use for our discussion posts was actually considered as a name for the blog itself! 

Aaaand now we're here today  celebrating yet another milestone here on the blog and we have mighty exciting news for you! Drumroll please! *cue drumroll*  As of this day, 

Saturday, March 10

Unique Characters and An Unflinching Look at Expat Life in Saudi Arabia in A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena

A timeless exploration of high-stakes romance, self-discovery, and the lengths we go to love and be loved. 

Sixteen-year-old Zarin Wadia is many things: a bright and vivacious student, an orphan, a risk taker. She’s also the kind of girl that parents warn their kids to stay away from: a troublemaker whose many romances are the subject of endless gossip at school.  You don't want to get involved with a girl like that, they say. So how is it that eighteen-year-old Porus Dumasia has only ever had eyes for her? And how did Zarin and Porus end up dead in a car together, crashed on the side of a highway in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia? When the religious police arrive on the scene, everything everyone thought they knew about Zarin is questioned. And as her story is pieced together, told through multiple perspectives, it becomes clear that she was far more than just a girl like that. 

This beautifully written debut novel from Tanaz Bhathena reveals a rich and wonderful new world to readers. It tackles complicated issues of race, identity, class, and religion, and paints a portrait of teenage ambition, angst, and alienation that feels both inventive and universal.

Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley

Thursday, March 8

A Series To Binge #1: The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes


Seventeen-year-old Cassie is a natural at reading people. Piecing together the tiniest details, she can tell you who you are and what you want. But it’s not a skill that she’s ever taken seriously. That is, until the FBI come knocking: they’ve begun a classified program that uses exceptional teenagers to crack infamous cold cases, and they need Cassie.

What Cassie doesn’t realize is that there’s more at risk than a few unsolved homicides—especially when she’s sent to live with a group of teens whose gifts are as unusual as her own. Sarcastic, privileged Michael has a knack for reading emotions, which he uses to get inside Cassie’s head—and under her skin. Brooding Dean shares Cassie’s gift for profiling, but keeps her at arm’s length.

Soon, it becomes clear that no one in the Naturals program is what they seem. And when a new killer strikes, danger looms closer than Cassie could ever have imagined. Caught in a lethal game of cat and mouse with a killer, the Naturals are going to have to use all of their gifts just to survive.

The plot gets better and darker with each book. I am so very impressed with the way the author built-up the series. See, I fairly enjoyed The Naturals, I really liked Killer Instinct, I loved All In, but I was absolutely blown away by Bad Blood. SO MANY THINGS CONNECTED, and like, yes, THIS is how you write a great, psychological thriller series. I need more like this, and I need it NOW.

Saturday, March 3

All the #GirlLove You Can Imagine in Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

“Weak or strong - she didn’t know what they meant anymore. Maybe they didn’t mean the same thing for everyone.”

At sixteen, Mina's mother is dead, her magician father is vicious, and her silent heart has never beat with love for anyone—has never beat at all, in fact, but she’d always thought that fact normal. She never guessed that her father cut out her heart and replaced it with one of glass. When she moves to Whitespring Castle and sees its king for the first time, Mina forms a plan: win the king’s heart with her beauty, become queen, and finally know love. The only catch is that she’ll have to become a stepmother.

Fifteen-year-old Lynet looks just like her late mother, and one day she discovers why: a magician created her out of snow in the dead queen’s image, at her father’s order. But despite being the dead queen made flesh, Lynet would rather be like her fierce and regal stepmother, Mina. She gets her wish when her father makes Lynet queen of the southern territories, displacing Mina. Now Mina is starting to look at Lynet with something like hatred, and Lynet must decide what to do—and who to be—to win back the only mother she’s ever known…or else defeat her once and for all.

Entwining the stories of both Lynet and Mina in the past and present, Girls Made of Snow and Glass traces the relationship of two young women doomed to be rivals from the start. Only one can win all, while the other must lose everything—unless both can find a way to reshape themselves and their story.

Thursday, March 1

Release Calendar - March 2018

Bonjour, mes amis! Here we are, yet again, at the start of another brand new month with the most exciting of new YA releases! We've tried to limit our choices to only the ones we are absolutely dying for- like every other month, really- but you can see the attempt has been very much futile since we have more new releases than we could possibly get around to this month as well. Anyhoo. Have a look at our pick of the most promising of YA books coming out this month!

Tuesday, February 27

Books That Are SO GOOD I Could Re-Read Them Over and Over Again

Hello, friends. I'm not sure about you, but I adore rereading books. Besides the practical reasons for it (e.g. so you won't be totes lost in a sequel), there's something truly magical in revisiting your favorite novels, and falling in love with them all over again. Oh, and how amazing it is when you discover things you didn't see before!! I could go on and on about why rereading is fantastic, BUT today I'd rather show you some of the books that are so incredibly I could reread them over and over and over again.

/Props to Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by That Artsy Girl for the topic./

Saturday, February 24

Heartwarming, Heartbreaking and Uplifting: The Unpredictability of Being Human by Linni Ingemundsen

Meet Malin, a fifteen-year-old who sees the world differently. Malin knows she couldn’t change much about her life, even if she got to play God. Her dad would still yell all the time – especially as Malin is still friends with Hanna, the girl she met shoplifting. Her mum would still say a glass of wine is good for her heart – and Mum needs it, with Malin’s brother, Sigve, getting into trouble all the time. And Malin would still be Malin. Because she can’t be anybody else. 

In a voice bursting with immediacy and truth, Malin shares the absurdities of growing up and fitting in as her family struggles with the buried pain of mistakes made and secrets kept.

Profound, compassionate and as funny as it is dark, Malin’s story is an offbeat examination and celebration of the brutal, bizarre and beautiful unpredictability of being human.

If you love the freshness and honesty of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, the emotional depth of John Green, and the irreverent wit of Little Miss Sunshine, push this to the top of your TBR pile.

Thursday, February 22

Talk About Disappointment: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

“Every time you take one path, you must live with the memory of the other: of a life left unchosen. Decide as seems best, one course or the other; each way will have its bitter with its sweet.”

Orphaned and cast out as a witch by her village, Vasya’s options are few: resign herself to life in a convent, or allow her older sister to make her a match with a Moscovite prince. Both doom her to life in a tower, cut off from the vast world she longs to explore. So instead she chooses adventure, disguising herself as a boy and riding her horse into the woods. When a battle with some bandits who have been terrorizing the countryside earns her the admiration of the Grand Prince of Moscow, she must carefully guard the secret of her gender to remain in his good graces—even as she realizes his kingdom is under threat from mysterious forces only she will be able to stop.

Tuesday, February 20

10 Books I've Recently Deleted From My TBR & Here's Why

If you're a bookish person you very likely struggle with keeping your TBR in check, and boy, do I relate to that! After joining the book blogging community my Goodreads to-read shelf became unbelievably hectic, filled with hundreds of books that I didn't even remember adding in the first place. Pulling up my to-read list became something to dread, because it was painful to find the books I was actually interested in between all the titles I added on a whim. 

It probably won't surprise you that cleaning up that mess took me hours and hours of painful work, and woah, it made me never want to go back there again. (Also, this is no "shade"!! If you have that many books on your to-read shelf, and it's fine by you then that's great! It was just something that bothered me.) In the past two years or so, I've "challenged" myself to have no more than 300 books on my Goodreads to-read list, which is... harder than it sounds! 

As of today, on the 4th of February, 2018, I have 291 books on my shelf, which means that it is time to get rid of some of them. Here's how it went.

Saturday, February 17

Cunning Characters and ALL the Dark Secrets of the Fae Await You in THE CRUEL PRINCE

“What could I become if I stopped worrying about death, about pain, about anything? If I stopped trying to belong? Instead of being afraid, I could become something to fear.”

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Thursday, February 15

Your Sweet Tooth Fix - Let's Talk Romance, Books and K-dramas!

So....Vera reckons I should talk about K-dramas on the blog since I love them so much and all, and since I watched quite a few of them last year and I'm raring to talk about them, I figured I might as well do some recommendations. I'm not exaggerating when I say that some of the most heart melting, heartbreaking romances I've come across are from these dramas. You get all kinds- cutesy, angsty, sweet, infatuated, real. Set across genres like fantasy, historical, contemporary- you name it, K-dramaland has it all. And you know what's the best thing? While there are longer series that stretch across seasons, most of these are just 16 to 20 episodes long (an hour or so each), and that's basically perfect if you're worrying about how time-consuming it might be! 

...Now, it's a whole other matter if you get hooked and want to binge all the dramas but shush now.

I'm kinda nervous putting this post out here knowing that not most of you watch K-dramas but I'm hoping at least one of you will feel like checking at least one of these out. I promise I'm not trying to convert y'all but...but if you do end up getting into these because of me, please do let me know! I'm trying to keep an inventory of all the people I manage to push down the drama hole, you see, so it would be incredibly helpful if you let me know I succeeded.


It's also Valentine's and this is also primarily a book blog, so I figured I might as well use this as a chance to throw some of my favorite romances in books at y'all. I know. You're welcome. These aren't necessarily romance books per se, but some of the most swoonworthy of romances I've come across and I'm sure you would love them too! Excited already? Okay then, here goes!

Tuesday, February 13

Fantastic Books With Little To No Romance

Hello, friends! Valentine's Day is just around the corner, which, I'm sure, all of you know, because around this time it is impossible to head into any store and not see or the seasonal stuff. See, I don't really care about Valentine's Day, imo, it is okay to hate it, but it is also okay to love it. But all the Valentine's Day shit can become too much even for me - besides the chocolate, because, damn, there is no such thing as 'too much' when it comes to chocolate.

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic is a love freebie, but ahaha, we don't deal in conventional here, so I brought you the exact opposite of that: Ten Books Without Romance, with the hope of giving you all a breath of fresh air in between all the lovey-dovey stuff. 

Saturday, February 10

Royal Rantings: The Book Bloggger's Dilemma

Hello, all! It's been barely a month and half into the year and I can't believe I'm saying this but I seem to be lacking the drive for blogging? I don't honestly know why, but as much as I want to be active in this corner of the blogosphere, I don't seem to be actually doing anything about it. I can list reasons as to why this might be, starting from a tumultuous few weeks with a cousin marrying, to me deciding to pursue my MSc in Psychology this year, but that shouldn't be really a cause for this absolute...lethargy I have when it comes to reviewing. 

Thursday, February 8

13 of the Most Promising 2018 Movie Releases

Hello, friends! You might not know this, but I'm an enormous movie fan - I wouldn't say I watch all the movies of ever, or even tons and tons of movies, but I definitely love watching movies. They are the best to watch at the theaters, and no, haha, not because of the big screen, or even the amazing sound, but because of the food. I mean, it is a truth universally acknowledged that the popcorn they make at the movies? Best.Popcorn.Ever. And the nachos with cheese sauce?? My god, I've tried so many brands and nothing tastes even close to cinema-level. 

BUT I DIGRESS. The point of today's post is to go through a couple of movies that I am awfully excited for in 2018, most of which I plan to watch in the movie theaters. I also wanted this to be helpful not only for me, but for you, so I included lots of helpful info: 

  • US, UK and Hungarian (yeah, that last one 10000% for my use, sorry!) release dates
  • quick blurb of each, taken from IMDb + links to IMDb
  • and, what you all came here for lol: my thoughts on these titles

Tuesday, February 6

Books I've Owned FOR THE LONGEST TIME, But Still Haven't Read

Hello, friends. Today, after weeks and weeks of no Top Ten Tuesday posts I am here with a new one - specifically, one that makes me want to crawl into a hole because THE SHAME is too much to bear. Yes, as seen in the title, I'm going to list some books - more than ten, because hahaha, of course I couldn't limit the number to that little - that I've owned for YEARS, and still haven't managed to read. Oh, and before we get started TTT is a weekly meme that is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Saturday, February 3

Gorgeous & Dark Destinations Await You in THE HAZEL WOOD by Melissa Albert

“There are no lessons in it. There's just this harsh, horrible world touched with beautiful magic, where shitty things happen."

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Thursday, February 1

New Releases: February 2018

Hello, you beautiful human beans! So Vera and I are s-l-o-w-l-y getting back into blogging again (we've been so inconsistent with posting these past few months, don't even remind us) and this month we're back with the most promising of new releases yet again! Funny how we're so freaking excited about all these beauties but they then get lost in the depths of our TBR and are never seen again...
ANYWAY. Here you go- the best of February 2018 releases, handpicked just for you!

Tuesday, January 30

Football, Family and Friendship in Kick by Mitch Johnson

Budi's plan is simple...

He's going to be a star, instead of sweating over each football boot he makes, each stitch he sews, each box he packages. He's going to play for the greatest team on earth, rather than in the square behind the factory where he works.

But one unlucky kick brings Budi's world crashing down, because now he owes the Dragon, the most dangerous man in all Jakarta. Soon it isn't only Budi's dreams at stake, but his life.

A story about dreaming big, about hope and heroes, and never letting anything stand in your way...

Sunday, January 21

Interview with Lianne Oelke, Author of Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Hello, friends! Today, I am here with an interview with the author of Nice Try, Jane Sinner, the one and only Lianne Oelke. It is safe to say that this is one of my most awaited novels of 2018, so, of course, I was pumped to have the chance of asking the author about her personal and professional life, as well as the book itself. 

(Also, yes, Ruzi and I are still on a hiatus! However, this post was supposed to go up before that, but had to be delayed.)