Thursday, 29 September 2016

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Book Review

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical QuestionsWhat If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a non-fiction book in which the writer Randall Munroe , former NASA roboticist with a degree in physics , answers hypothetical questions sometimes even absurd "scientifically" , these questions are originally sent to him by readers of his Webcomic, xkcd. to the What if Blog inbox , he uses comics and his writing style is all carefree and uncomplicated with an undeniable sense of humour , the way he addresses his readers and the odd yet gripping science makes the book totally fun !
Believe it or not , there is too much science here , shock waves , bombs and explosions yet he doesn't manage to only excite you , but also to offer you few good chuckles . there were these questions that he actually didn't answer or did with witty cartoons , labelled under " weird and worrying questions " , these are almost always so funny .
these drawing of his in general are always too simple yet all "a picture is worth a thousand words” type .
I really appreciate these type of books that make science entertaining . this journey that starts with an absurd question and ends with a solid scientific answer was always interesting because there is this joy of getting Real answers to rather ridiculous questions , his patience with the answers , the way he examines every thing millisecond by millisecond is amazing !
while reading you will absolutely get what a character Munroe is . because intelligence , patience and sense of humour is a magical mixture .

there's a punch of really interesting questions here , like the global windstorm , the periodic wall of elements , draining the oceans , the soulmates question and the lost immortals , the steak drop , and there are some really weird questions like what happens if there was a mole of mole , or the random sneeze call , there were also the stirring tea and the neutron bullet , I just cant make a pick , they were all awesome !

If you have even a minor inclination for science i guess you'd love this one its a pretty easy read . there's so much love and wonder in enjoying math and you'll have the impression that the writer was merely enjoying him self by right this book . View all my reviews

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Interstellar Book ( novelization ) Review

InterstellarInterstellar by Greg Keyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Cooper gazed down at the Earth once more, Professor Brand’s last words still fresh in his mind. “Do not go gentle into that good night…” He checked with Doyle, who nodded an okay. Then, without any ceremony, he fired the thrusters, and the Endurance began its journey out of Earth’s orbit, and toward the stars. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Godspeed, Endurance

I really dont usually go for novelizations , i dont even do this movie-book sequence because as books pave the way for the movies , on the contrary movies literally ruin books for me .

But this story is Marvelous !!, so beautifully incredibly breath taking , and i include both the movie and the book in this description , that its a stark exception .
this bewilderment I got reading or watching or whatever feels like pouring glitter on one's heart , i am walking around stardust hazing my sight , i mean , how am I going to deal with this shinny mess ?!
you stand there outside time , observe the immensity of the universe and how its too vast and indifferent to the dreams and the delusions of man .
this feeling it transfers is outworldly .

and the book here does a great job adding to the story , adding more depth to the characters , little more dialogue and revealing a little bit more of the characters thoughts , like this comparison or deja vu cooper had , its seems as if it was always there but we didn't figure it out , it reflects the feeling that the movie is multi-layered :

“Cooper, yes,” Brand conceded, wearily. “The tiniest possibility of seeing Wolf again excites me. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”

Cooper had a sudden sense of déjà vu, and remembered his conversation with Donald on the porch. “I’m not gonna lie to you, Donald,” he’d said. “Heading out there is what I feel born to do, and it excites me. That doesn’t make it wrong.”

“Honestly, Amelia,” Cooper said gently, “it might."

also the book did as much good job keeping on all the excitement and the action and the intensity of the moments of suspense in the absence of the visuals and background music .

All in all this book is enthralling , I am already a little bit obsessed with the movie , but look at this , we have a book too and it is amazing , very well written with the same breathtaking story .
It didn't even wait on my TBR list , i downloaded the ebook and started reading it as soon as i discovered it existed , so if you've watched the movie , if you like it as much as i do , I think for you this book would be a Great experience .

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Pride And Prejudice Book Review

Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual Rating : 3.5 stars

There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil—a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”
“And your defect is to hate everybody.”
“And yours,” he replied with a smile, “is willfully to misunderstand them."

I want most importantly to state , before i go criticizing whatever , that Jane Austen is an author who had written something here that has this type of challenging ease , inimitable simplicity in her writing style that seems easily accomplished for the reader , Yet its difficult to be imitated in the fact of things . and that i think is why it has this so big a hype .

though I can think of no other reason , because this *rich arrogant guy likes not rich high spirited girl who then figures he's no arrogant but an introvert whose infact good at heart* is not a new story and its so very repetitive that it cant be the general outline of the story that gave the book this much admiration .

Aside from whatever everybody else thinks of this book , For me , it dragged too much in its first 30 percent that i was yawning my way through it . and this isn't very new to me as it always happened with the movie .

Every time i watched it , i was too annoyed by hypocrisy , by this literature perpetuates female obsession over nonsense and manipulative behavior in relationships , by Mrs. Bennet's behavior , by Darcy being such a snop and Elizabeth being a little dramatic . i would always quit somewhere on Mr. Bingley's departure from Hertfordshire .
I never knew for sure what would happen with these two but few days ago when i decided for the first time ever to finish watching it .
but as i crossed that threshold , all improved , things started to get better , i recognized that the hypocrisy that annoyed me the most was there from the beginning as the book's aim for it to be rejected at the end , that i had misjudged the story and Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth all together .

The end of the story had No loose ends, everything was packed into neat little boxes and squared away. a Hollywood end with couples married happy and rich .
but whatever , even with the fact that i have not such a big inclination for ends like this , i liked this one . because you'd end up recognizing Darcy, Bingley, and Elizabeth all totally throw away marriage matches based on socio-economic equality . as miss Darcy , miss De Brough and Mr. Collins .
we'd realize that we're being set up for a whole novel that beautifully questions the standard attitudes toward marriage and how society associate it with financial advantages .
and there is also the book's underlying theme of the falsehood of basing your opinions of someone on first impression .

So now lets clear this mess , from my jumble of thoughts i can see that ,
its a good book , with a decent dose of comic relief , subtle Romance and admirable main characters .
only two problems made it difficult to connect well to the story :

1-the third person omniscient narrator , the anonymous voice taking the credit of telling us whatever is happening , its not much entertaining . This third person view lends a cold dimension to the novel, in the sense that dialogue and events dominate the story rather than emotions .
thats why i usually prefer first person narrator from multiple POVs .
like For example, we are immediately told all we need to know about Darcy and Wickham at some point and that Elizabeth is judging these two men wrongly . we know nothing of Darcy's perspective but what he have told her in that letter .
and we hardly can say that even with the narrator following Elizabeth we had any better an idea about her inner conflicts .
If we had known , then we could have enjoyed watching her make her mistakes then learn to overcome them , rather than learning from events as she does .
i dont like to be trapped in the reality of things and the outer view of whatever is happening , its much better to let the readers dwell inside the characters heads , that would give them a better chance of connecting to them .

2-the language barrier :
when i felt very bored. It wasn't the fact that Austen had a terrible story line , but rather because its written with Old English it was difficult for me to understand. the sentences that could be beautiful ended up becoming difficult to decipher .
i had this very problem when i used to read Charles dickens novels in my school years , it would take a month or two to read one novel . but i didn't expect it here , maybe because i thought this is no dickens after all and the fact that my English had much improved since then . but still for those whom English is not a first language , Old English would still cause the stories to drag .

so with these two obstacles and a little misjudgment at the beginning , the story didn't go well with me , but still non of these has the nature of being permanent . i think if i read this again , maybe not now , lets say a year or so later i will find a whole new story hidden among the lines . i believe this book is multi-layered , you may find something new every time you re-read it .

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The Enchanted Book Review

The EnchantedThe Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"I see the soft-tufted night birds as they drop from the heavens. I see the golden horses as they run deep under the earth, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs. I see where the small men hide with their tiny hammers, and how the flibber-gibbets dance while the oven slowly ticks. The most wonderful enchanted things happen here—the most enchanted things you can imagine. I want to tell you while I still have time, before they close the black curtain and I take my final bow ."

This book must have been written by a Genius . its the best i read this year .
Maybe ... the best i read in many years .
by the time I put it down I was unable to think about anything else. I sleepwalked through the few last hours , my thoughts were enveloped by the book , i am still trapped in that world , in that unnamed inmate on a death row's head .
since i read The first sentence , "This is an enchanted place. Others don't see it, but I do." , with the voice of our narrator echoing in my head , and i was a goner . This is one of the most touching , haunting , enthralling , dark , intense, gut-wrenching , heart-aching , perplexing and dazzling reads that I have experienced in a very long time. a day has past since i finished it and I am still there, in the dungeons , spellbound by the enchantment , completely transfixed , hold still by my own fascination .
its the story of an inmate on the death row with a crime too horrible to be mentioned , unnamed , undescribed , even we have no idea how many years he spent in that dungeon , he seem to have no idea , too but they seem too many that he lost count , mute since the age of 6 , selective mutism they called it , and we rarely catch scant glimpses of him , we are in his head , he tells his emotions and thoughts , his deep feelings : "I remind myself I am not dust, but I should be. I tell myself I am made of the same cells as life itself even if I am a mistake".
he serves as an omniscient narrator so he tells the stories of the other characters : "the lady" an investigator , a mitigation specialist who lived a tough childhood , "the priest" a fallen priest who is burdened by a secret and the weight of his own guilt , "the warden" with his life afflicted by his wife's illness and the painful weight of the fact that she is to perish from his life only soon , "the white haired boy " a two years prison sentenced boy how faces horrific circumstances and York , a fellow prisoner whose death date is fast approaching .
its a magical reality , our narrator imagine things that none other than him can see , blue tufted birds , golden galloping horses running after every execution silver dust coating their path , tiny men with hammers in the walls, and the creepy flibber-gibbets feeding on the warmth of death itself , moaning the pain of their swollen bellies .

The writing left me speechless , Denfled's exquisite writing is like no other , its unique , i never read anything like this before , there's a deep sense of melancholy to her words , Words that don't cuddle you, words that envelope you , i read wide eyed the whole time , i was charmed , surprised that such a book existed , It made me cry , but cry may be not the word , they were mute non painful tears , maybe its that my eyes watered , and for the first time , i never experienced such a thing before , it wasn't sadness or grief or even happiness , i broke into tears fascinated , its fascination .
and there's a first time for everything . here's a one .
the message of the book is " to understand " , people however bad may have their own reasons , even if the reasons are no excuse but still, just if we knew , if we understood , the synopsis says : "Even monsters need peace. Even monsters need a person who truly wants to listen - to hear - so that someday we might find the words that are more than boxes. Then maybe we can stop men like me from happening... "
many of the most horrible criminals are the subject of their society , Can there be redemption for the horrific crimes these condemned men have committed ? is it execution ? can killing those prevent others from being created ? or do we say born ? which is more correct ?
the book tell us the roots of these behaviors , it doesn't justify them , it just get into the root , inspect the whole image .
and there's the other minor message , that "human can persevere inspite of horrific circumstances" these are the author words on her GR profile .
its that the mind has a way of cloaking the things we find most horrific. it uses imagination to rise beyond the purely material to the otherworldly . It can haze the real world around and take you into a different world to escape the most desperate of situations, leaving some of the terror behind .

I've read this book after reading my friend's Puck review that you can read here , thank u puck this is the second book i read depending on your reviews and find amazing .
I'd recommend this to Everyone , though if you cant handle dark reads this is maybe not for you , but still even despite i , myself , am not a fan of dark books , i was charmed , The Enchanted cast its spell on me , i imagine it would be one of these books that always stays with me , a book to leave an impact in one's life .
The end was as i anticipated it was wounding yet beautiful , the sentimentalism it holds , the heavy melancholy and the beautiful message still served the same way , not stumbling upon its last lines , a perfection till the last word .

And I will go as I have hoped to become : forgotten.

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The Madman Book Review

The MadmanThe Madman by Kahlil Gibran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

thus i became a madman
And I have found both freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.

this book is one of these too dear to my heart , this is another of Gibran books that is labeled as one of my all time favorites , i was writing the quote above and the Arabic form of "for those who understand us enslave something in us" "لأن الذين يُدركون كياننا إنما يستعبدون بعض ما فينا" was playing in my head like an old mantra from years ago , its one of these quotes that shock you when you first read them , then they are unforgettable , a frozen fraction of time , they are suddenly in your mind pockets till forever .
this book is a collection of short parables written with a sardonic tone which is both introspective and easily accessible . its fascinating in how wealthy the book is with meaning that's just hidden beneath the text . take this one as an example :

Once I said to a scarecrow, “You must be tired of standing in this lonely field.”
And he said, “The joy of scaring is a deep and lasting one, and I never tire of it.”
Said I, after a minute of thought, “It is true; for I too have known that joy.”
Said he, “Only those who are stuffed with straw can know it.”
Then I left him, not knowing whether he had complimented or belittled me.
A year passed, during which the scarecrow turned philosopher.
And when I passed by him again I saw two crows building a nest under .

i remember the first time i read this , i didnt get it . i had to re-read it several times to get the hidden meaning and Uncovering it was like figuring out a puzzle . which its solution , if you are curious , is that the scarecrow was feeling power and pride in being something to be feared , but then only those whom inside is stuffed with straw no more would feel this way , and when wisdom filled him years after he figured out that this empty isolation and resentment are the misrepresentation of things . so he made friends with those who he used to scare away , he found company in a lonely field ..
and what a beautiful message it is to be delivered in few word in a simple story as that .

through out the book there's a subject he repeats under several titles , the different perspectives of people and putting one's self in the others shoes , we can see that in The eye , Said a blade of grass and The three ants .
all in all this one book , its words are not to be analysed but rather to be deeply felt in its communication and its inner loneliness .

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Sand And Foam Book Review

Sand and FoamSand and Foam by Kahlil Gibran
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I AM FOREVER walking upon these shores,
Betwixt the sand and the foam,
The high tide will erase my foot-prints,
And the wind will blow away the foam.
But the sea and the shore will remain

this book is one of my first favorites , its one of these books i lost count on how many times I've read , Gibran himself was one of my first favorite writers , he even may have been the first , i read all his books , everyone of his works (Arabic versions) when i was in highschool , and though i loved all his works by then , only two books remained with me , Sand and Foam and The Madman , the second which i am intending on re-reading just after writing this review .
This book is more like a book of quotation, where Gibran writes on many subjects . but , We can also notice an order in its contents, a set of order picks up .
I love the writing style , the way it magically unlocks one's soul , he throws life around his words , there's a sense of an eternal beauty into them .

though its too hard and even unfair to quote only parts of it , to choose some as elites , but still , i may like these the most :

**It was but yesterday I thought myself a fragment quivering without rhythm in the sphere of life.
Now I know that I am the sphere, and all life in rhythmic fragments moves within me.
They say to me in their awakening, "You and the world you live in are but a grain of sand upon the infinite shore of an infinite sea."
And in my dream I say to them, "I am the infinite sea, and all worlds are but grains of sand upon my shore."

**Do not the spirits who dwell in the ether envy man his pain?

**My house says to me, "Do not leave me, for here dwells your past."
And the road says to me, "Come and follow me, for I am your future."
And I say to both my house and the road, "I have no past, nor have I a future. If I stay here, there is a going in my staying; and if I go there is a staying in my going. Only love and death will change all things."

**There is a space between man's imagination and man's attainment that may only be traversed by his longing.

**If winter should say, "Spring is in my heart," who would believe winter?

**How can you sing if your mouth be filled with food?
How shall your hand be raised in blessing if it is filled with gold?

**Only an idiot and a genius break man-made laws; and they are the nearest to the heart of God.

**Oftentimes I have hated in self-defense; but if I were stronger I would not have used such a weapon.

**Your saying to me, "I do not understand you," is praise beyond my worth, and an insult you do not deserve.

**If the Milky Way were not within me how should I have seen it or known it?

**There lies a green field between the scholar and the poet; should the scholar cross it he becomes a wise man; should the poet cross it, he becomes a prophet.

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Stolen Songbird Book Review

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Eyes of blue and hair of fire
Are the keys to your desire.
Angel’s voice and will of steel
Shall force the dark witch to kneel.
Death to bind and bind to break
Sun and moon for all our sake.
Prince of night, daughter of day,
Bound as one the witch they’ll slay.
Same hour they their first breath drew,
On her last, the witch will rue.
Join the two named in this verse
And see the end of the curse "

actual rating : 3.5 stars

This book is such a surprise !
as a beginning i had no expectations at all because i picked it on random *i liked the cover *, then all my hopes watered down ,the beginning wasn't that encouraging , the first 30% of it i kept thinking : thats what you get for choosing on random , a drama queen , a high-school-american-movies type of plots , and an okay world building .
i NEVER expected things to change ! and for sure not that soon ! and not so suddenly like that , i cant even call that a character development because the " development " process requires a gradual approach , cecile just changed , she was suddenly more intelligent , more understanding and surly more grown up .
her determination and bravery later in the book did too much to gain her forgiveness for her mood swings in the beginning ( or things like choosing jewelry and admiring silk gowns only hours after being kidnapped and only for the preparation of a forced marriage ) .
the plot suddenly turned and twisted , and i have to admit that the world building was not " just okay " anymore , it started to expand , things started to clear and others to be added . it ended up creating an awesome world building which is beautifully eerie , an atmospheric fantasy world .
so TBH , the beginning of this book was flat and plain and the characters were vain , but things did get better . and the writing was so good , thats why i didn't abandon the book in its early chapters .
this book has something like an edge in it , slicing it into two , the first not too worthy but to introduce the second , while the second was a page turner , its the reason i am rating it 3.5 stars .

so Between the pages of this tale, you will find a world inhabited by trolls who have a mighty curse placed upon them. a city of silver beauty buried under an enchanted mountain , hidden in the darkness and Filled with political intrigue . there are the half-bloods , breeds of humans and trolls , they are subject of slavery and bad treatment by the full bloods , a big number of full bloods are mutilated and disfigured some of them are insane and others have deadly inherited diseases , for they refused to marry any other than their own blood for ages , but they are powerful , they have the magic that holds the mountain over the city instead of smashing it to dust .
a prophecy says that a human girl of the mentioned descriptions may break the curse , the songbird , the girl with bright blue eyes and red hair and an operatic voice to be bonded by the Elixir de la lune to the heir of Trollus throne , i think this bond thing added a beautiful peace to the story , the whole read emotions thing , many things like the queen of winter whom we still know near to nothing about and the trolls origin were additions to the world building that i liked , i didn't think that it will go that far .
and though trolls were considered evil , and a number of them in fact are , Cecile saw through it .
she believed in the good in them : "They aren’t ugly.” trying to find the right words. “More like beautiful things that have had the misfortune of being broken" .
and this was something both two characters shared , they saw beyond the surface of things
Tristan :“I think it is our nature to believe evil always has an ugly face,” he said, ignoring my question. “Beauty is supposed to be good and kind, and to discover it otherwise is like a betrayal of trust. A violation of the nature of things. "

the side characters were very well written , Marc is kind , caring , burdened by eternal sadness and has strong moral conscience. Vincent and Victoria are light hearted and comic. Anais is intelligent , pragmatic , and a little bit ruthless .. and the villains were well fleshed , Angulem cunning and evil ,while the king drastic and stone hearted
“You see, Cécile, I will break him as many times as I need to in order to make him the heir I need him to be."

Though this book has its cons , much of them concentrated in the first chapters , but i liked the end and the way the story pulled it self up ,
i am off course eager to read the next book and i wish it continues improving with the same pace , if it did , then i am anticipating a better book ..

the coldness of that perfection was softened by anxiety, fear, and hope. Painful, painful hope

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Cosmos Book Review

CosmosCosmos by Carl Sagan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The surface of the Earth is the shore of the cosmic ocean. On this shore, we've learned most of what we know. Recently, we've waded a little way out, maybe ankle-deep, and the water seems inviting.
Some part of our being knows this is where we came from.
We long to return
and we can .
because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of starstuff

i don't think i'll ever give 5 stars more wholeheartedly as i am doing now ..
5 shimmering , eye-blindingly shinning stars , the brightest suns GR has in its this little galaxy should be owned by this book , cosmos .

its really shocking that only days ago i didnt know who carl sagan is . The name may have seemed a bit familiar , but nothing more
Now , this name feels too meaningful , i'd remember this man's words , his deep voice discussing the formations of the stars and their decay and deaths , i'd surly remember the passion in his eyes in the parallel Cosmos TV show , the way he pronounces Billions and Billions stressing on the B or the way he says "we are made of starstuff" with too much longing .

I LOVED THIS BOOK it maybe mainstream and often said but i dont know how to phrase what i feel about it any other way , seems its beyond my ability of putting things into coherent sentences .
it was Beautiful in every mean , i wish now that i have saved every beautiful i've ever used , ever said , so that when i call this peace of heaven beautiful you would get what i am saying ..

quoting from the same book , cosmos is :
"visually and musically stunning, and to engage the heart as well as the mind"

Carl Sagan , an astronomer, a cosmologist and a writer. a brilliant man . the way he uses words , it doesnt feel decorated , these words are written too honestly , the passions and ambitions of a man ,once a child inlove with science-fiction as we all are , scriped in papers .

I feel too ashamed that i am 22 years living in this world and its only now that i read this book , Cosmos wasn't only about astronomy , but philosophy , biology and a big deal of history all written very beautifully you will enjoy every bit , i started to love radio waves , Phythagorean laws and things of this sort that i may have considered dry and lifeless in my school years . its hard to believe that this is written in the eighties of the last century , may be so much had changed , maybe some stuff here and there are not up to date but its is still a big source of inspiration . The question about extraterrestial life remains a puzzle , but exploring the problem is a fascinating journey in itself .
I am not an expert on natural science , a mere starter , but it was easy for me to read , so i think carl sagan's books are gems of some sort , they are the bridge between scientists and common people , they are written for us , we who love the stars and crave to understand them yet we are no scientists or experts our selves . and generally expertise in the subject matter is not required to enjoy it , as the love of it shall demonstrates.

I am officaily recommending this book for every human being , its a thing every soul should read .i wish i can buy enough copies for the human race and shove them down their doors .

"Finally, at the end of all our wanderings, we return to our tiny, fragile, blue-white world, lost in a cosmic ocean vast beyond our most courageous imaginings. It is a world among an immensity of others. It may be significant only for us. The Earth is our home, our parent. Our kind of life arose and evolved here. The human species is coming of age here. It is on this world that we developed our passion for exploring the Cosmos, and it is here that we are, in some pain and with no guarantees, working out our destiny "

"There will be no humans elsewhere. Only here. Only on this small planet. We are a rare as well as an endangered species. Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another"

Warning ! : dont you ever miss meeting the deep voice narrating to you the story of the cosmos , watch the TV show , meet carl sagan , I'll put links for the 13 episodes downwards .

Advice : read the book with some cosmic music , it will feel magical and out of the world .

The TV show episodes:

i've read it as an ebook copy and i think half the book is marked blue , its just too charming you would want to remember every word , now i have my pockets full of fascinating quotes . and these are some i couldn't resist including in the review :

* They remind us that humans have evolved to wonder, that understanding is a joy, that knowledge is prerequisite to survival. I believe our future depends on how well we know this Cosmos in which we float like a mote of dust in the morning sky

*We are like butterflies who flutter for a day and think it is forever

*Those explorations required skepticism and imagination both. Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it, we go nowhere. Skepticism enables us to distinguish fancy from fact, to test our speculations

*The Earth is a place. It is by no means the only place. It is not even a typical place. No planet or star or galaxy can be typical, because the Cosmos is mostly empty. The only typical place is within the vast, cold, universal vacuum, the everlasting night of intergalactic space, a place so strange and desolate that, by comparison, planets and stars and galaxies seem achingly rare and lovely. If we were randomly inserted into the Cosmos, the chance that we would find ourselves on or near a planet would be less than one in a billion trillion trillion* (1033, a one followed by 33 zeroes). In everyday life such odds are called compelling. Worlds are precious

*Each star system is an island in space, quarantined from its neighbors by the light- years. I can imagine creatures evolving into glimmerings of knowledge on innumerable worlds, every one of them assuming at first their puny planet and paltry few suns to be all that is. We grow up in isolation. Only slowly do we teach ourselves the Cosmos

*Welcome to the planet Earth - a place of blue nitrogen skies, oceans of liquid water, cool forests and soft meadows, a world positively rippling with life. In the cosmic perspective it is, as I have said, poignantly beautiful and rare; but it is also, for the moment, unique

*The study of the heavens brought Ptolemy a kind of ecstasy. ‘ Mortal as I am,’ he wrote, ‘ I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the Earth. .

*With this symphony of voices man can play through the eternity of time in less than an hour, and can taste in small measure the delight of God, the Supreme Artist . . . I yield freely to the sacred frenzy . . . the die is cast, and I am writing the book - to be read either now or by posterity, it matters not. It can wait a century for a reader, as God Himself has waited 6,000 years for a witness

*With searing heat, crushing pressures, noxious gases and everything suffused in an eerie, reddish glow, Venus seems less the goddess of love than the incarnation of hell

*All that matters is the evidence, and the evidence is not yet in.

*The Earth is a tiny and fragile world. It needs to be cherished

*there are regularities in Nature that permit its secrets to be uncovered. Nature is not entirely unpredictable; there are rules even she must obey. This ordered and admirable character of the universe was called Cosmos

*Traveling close to the speed of light is a kind of elixir of life. Because time slows down close to the speed of light, special relativity provides us with a means of going to the stars

*A star is a phoenix, destined to rise for a time from its own ashes

*Our passion for learning, evident in the behavior of every toddler, is the tool for our survival

*Books permit us to voyage through time, to tap the wisdom of our ancestors. The library connects us with the insights and knowledge, painfully extracted from Nature, of the greatest minds that ever were, with the best teachers, drawn from the entire planet and from all of our history, to instruct us without tiring, and to inspire us to make our own contribution to the collective knowledge of the human species

*The choice is stark and ironic. The same rocket boosters used to launch probes to the planets are poised to send nuclear warheads to the nations. The radioactive power sources on Viking and Voyager derive from the same technology that makes nuclear weapons. The radio and radar techniques employed to track and guide ballistic missiles and defend against attack are also used to monitor and command the spacecraft on the planets and to listen for signals from civilizations near other stars. If we use these technologies to destroy ourselves, we surely will venture no more to the planets and the stars. But the converse is also true. If we continue to the planets and the stars, our chauvinisms will be shaken further. We will gain a cosmic perspective. We will recognize that our explorations can be carried out only on behalf of all the people of the planet Earth

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The Golem And The Djinni Book Review

The Golem and the DjinniThe Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wecker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Golem and the Jinni is a haunting historical fantasy .
its not one story and not about two characters only , these are elegant, anachronistic stories of magic , too folklore-packed , alternating between different places and different times and eras and interlacing two different cultures , set against a narrative voice that's equally as magical , its slow , Carefully crafted and the book has this Arabian nights feel to it .
It took Helene wecker 7 years to write this book , this is why it was never rushed , always steady slow paced and heavy with its details , it felt too Rich , the Characters are compelling and layered .

the tale Opens at the turn of the century in 1899 , with the Golem chava ( meaning life ) , a creature from Jewish mysticism , from Kabbalah / Central European Judaism , its a human-like creature of clay whose purpose is to obey and protect its master .. being made by Yehudah Schaalman the disgraced rabbi who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic , and bound to some master who offers a ruptured appendix and dies in their way to NY .
The other is a jinni or djinni ( named Ahmad ) , a creature of Bedouin / Middle East / Islamic culture , a being of smokeless fire , once roaming the syrian deserts was trapped for a thousand years in a copper flask before Boutros arbeely , a tinsmith in Manhattan’s Little Syria releases him .

Ahmad is An ancient being , he moans the limits of his humanity. he wants to escape his bonds and find limitless freedom . while Chava She is fearful and tentative, always aware of revealing too much . Ahmad's age and experience ( at the time of his incarceration he was already several hundred years old) , his arrogance and matter-of-fact behavior , even the understanding of his nature and history , stand in stark contrast to Chava's newness .
besides , here there is one of the best supporting casts I have seen in a while , the detailed stories about the lives of fadwa al-hadid and her father abu-yusuf , the bedouin girl who lived a thousand years ago , the tragic story of doctor mahmoud saleh (ice-cream saleh) one story that i really warmed up toward , mechael levy , boutrous arbeely , anne and the Radzin's bakery ..

Though its a fat book that took me particularly long time to read , but i feel now that even with my focused reading i missed something , this book have the aura of a philosophical heft , of some too deep message and now i have this strong feeling that i didn't dig enough to find it ..
anyhow this novel absolutely didn't turn out what i expected it to be , When I picked it up , I expected it to be focused on Judaism and Islam . I was surprised to discover that the jinni in the novel isn't connected to Islam in the same way that the golem is connected to Judaism. Rather, he's more broadly connected to Arab culture , which is a mixture of Christians and Muslims .
Jewish readers might have more to connect with in here . The Jewish aspects of the book seemed more fully realized than the Syrian side, but perhaps this is due to the fact that the author herself is jewish , with more background about her own culture and religion .
but even so , Chava does not seem to consider herself Jewish , and seems to have no strong feelings about religion in general , Ahmad, meanwhile, finds the entire concept of religion ludicrous.
so , it isn't about religion as it is about cultures . I felt culturally enriched , i read much while reading this book , about things like the kabbalah , John the Baptist and things of this sort , the author compares a bit of folklore from two different cultures and looks at how they work in a new place . She offers consideration of deep human issues ,we can see this clearly in many of its quotes :

* "They'd Need No Reason!" Shouted Arbeely. "Why Can't You Understand ? Men Need No Reason To Cause Mischief , Only An Excuse!"

* “If the act of love is so dangerous, why do people risk so much for it?”

* “Faith is believing in something even without proof, because you know it in your heart to be true.”

* “Most idealists lived in their own impossible worlds, sealed away from reality ”

* “But some will be happy with whatever comes their way, and others won’t be satisfied with anything. And there’s always a few who are only looking to take advantage. ”

It was a bit hard to write a review for this book , i feel like there much more of it that i didnt mention
and i am not finding the coherent sentences for them ..

the end was okay , it was satisfying but held the burden of some type of subsided melancholy , also it was a bit open than it should be , and just it was one more unexpected thing in this book , i anticipated something more triumphant , or completely heartbreaking, and it just was sort of ... adrift in the middle .. something in between ..

I think Readers who appreciated rich details in history and folklore will enjoy this book .
and here check this video about it , its beautifully animated :

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After You Book Review

After You (Me Before You, #2)After You by Jojo Moyes

DNF at 40%
and this is not the first time , i DNF it once before !
i think i just can't do it
it just doesn't have what the first book had , what is it ? i dont quite know

But , you know , sometimes i feel a bit stubborn with some book
so i think i may try reading it again , just not now .. i am not in the mood of dragging my self toward the end of some book .. i dont have the heart for it .

and no rating , i wont rate this until i read it all .

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مراجعه كتاب "أسترجع قلبك"

استرجع قلبك: رؤية ذاتية حول التحرر من قيود الحياةاسترجع قلبك: رؤية ذاتية حول التحرر من قيود الحياة by Yasmin Mogahed
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Though i rarely read Arabic books , *eyeroll* I know I should probably know more about Arabic literature , but I think the last time I read an actual book by an Arab author was ... well, many years ago . But, the name was so beautiful to ignore " reclaim your heart ".

For me this book came in perfect timing , with the blessed beginning of Ramadan
I wrote part of the review in English for there is an English edition of the book on GR , maybe there's a translation for the book as well .
Its no fat book , 160 pages only but it was beautiful and useful , i may disagree with little things in here but the book is one of these books meant to leave an impact .


استرجع قلبك * اسم جميل يدل على المحتوى بصدق *
" يهدف ان يوصل اليك باسلوب بسيط " ان الله هو الغايه لا الوسيله
قد تكون هذه الفكره مالوفه وقد نكون سمعنا عنها كثيرا لكن طريقه اللايصال كانت جميله و غير منمقه و واكتفت بايصال الرساله بكلمات بسيطه

انا لست من محبي كتب التنميه الذاتيه ولست من متابعي ابراهيم الفقي وقد لا تجد كتاب العادات السبع للناس الاكثر فعاليه مثلا وغيرها من كتب التنميه الذاتيه في قائمه القرائات المستقبليه , لكن " استرجع قلبك " كان عالاقل مختلفا , اعتقد ان قيمه الكتاب من مقدار تاثيره , عندما يجعلك كتاب ما تتانى في صلاتك و وتتذكرها بحرص اكبر و عندما تغير كلمات معينه نظرتك تجاه شي معين , فهو لا محاله كتاب "جيد" على اقل تقدير
قد لا اتفق مع بعض الامور هنا ولكن تبقى هذه الحقيقه , اني بعد قرائتي لهذا الكتاب تغيرت نظرتي تجاه الكثير بطريقه ايجابيه .
نحن حمقى ومغرورون وجاهلون ولكن حقيقه وعينا لذلك خطوه و العالم قد يكون مصنع للاتربه الي تغلف قلبك وتعميك عن رؤيه الله بوضوح ولكن الله رحيم يدلنا اليه كلما غفلنا
"اهم رساله يطلقها الكتاب هنا هي ان تضع كل ما تحب في يدك وان يكون الله في قلبك "حتى تدرك ان هناك مواضع في قلب الانسان خلقها الله له فقط
ان نعيد ترتيب اولوياتنا لنستعيد التوازن والسلام ومنه حديث ذكر للرسول (ص) هنا ( من كانت الاخرة همه , جعل الله غناه في قلبه , وجمع له شمله , واتته الدنيا وهي راغمه , ومن كانت الدنيا همه , جعل الله فقره بين عينيه , وفرق عليه شمله , ولم ياته من الدنيا الا ما قدر له )

بصوره عامه : من الجميل اني وجدت *استرجع قلبك * في طريقي اوائل ايام رمضان

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Bridge Of Snow Book Review

Bridge of Snow (The Winner's Trilogy, #0.5)Bridge of Snow by Marie Rutkoski
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There was more of the winner's series ! wow ! * stunned*
"this was so beautiful."

a heart melting little story illuminating a corner of arin's childhood , too adorable and too powerful the very same time .

when stories were still being told , little Arin asked for one .

Arin was calm now. He lifted a hand to touch the back of hers in thanks, then curled his fingers into hers. She cherished that little warmth. It nested in her palm like a bird. “Tell me how the stars were made.”

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An Ember In The Ashes Book Review

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"You are an ember in the ashes, Elias Veturius. You will spark and burn, ravage and destroy. You cannot change it. You cannot stop it.”

“You are full, Laia. Full of life and dark and strength and spirit. You are in our dreams. You will burn, for you are an ember in the ashes.”

this book is one of the most complex stories I’ve read lately, the plot , the world building and characters . Even from the very first chapter it was mind-blowing , breath taking and exquisitely beautiful . I've read it in two sittings separated by an exam i dont know how i managed to take that i studied near to nothing for it .
this was so addictive , i stayed up to the wee small hours of the morning reading it , i hardly managed to breath while reading and i am sure i forgot how to do several times .
the writing was fast paced yet graceful
and the world building , the setting it was beautifully carved into the story line , a mix of some Roman and Indo-Persian settings.
i enjoyed the details and the stories of the past , the magic and the use of folklore .
it was all spectacular .

The plot is told from two POVs , Elias veturius's and Laia's , in their unique dark world with danger at every turn
Laia is a scholar girl living with her grandparents and brother Darian , till the day they were raided , grandparents dead and brother imprisoned
she is s a very dynamic character. To her, family is everything. so she changes , she faces every curve that could be thrown at her to save the life of her brother . she faces torture disguised as a slave spying on a woman who seems to take pleasure in disfiguring people , mutilating her slaves , taking an eye or scarring a face for a simple mistake as to forget dusting .
Elias on the other hand is a martial mask , a tool well trained for slitting throats and burning houses
yet his biggest fears is to hunt souls and then to be hunted back by them , he doesn't want to kill , in his bleak and disturbing world he seeks a place to hide his soul for the darkness of his world would not mutilate it .
because Elias is not a monster , he is utterly , hopelessly , helplessly and winningly Human .

” Sometimes, I talk to those I’ve killed. In my head, I hear them whisper back—not accusations, but their hopes, their wants. I wish they would curse me instead. It’s worse, somehow, to hear all that would have been had I not killed them. "

These two characters are stark contrast , they are two different opinions, two different forms of hope , two different fears and regrets then you watch this story unfold and at the end of the day, they seem to have a similar goal . Freedom .

another character displayed here is Helene , the mask girl "they always underestimate me " she would say. and they infact always did , is Elias comarade . she is loyal to blackcliff yet she is not , she has her own personal conflicts that we didn’t know much about as we didn’t read from her POV but she is as admirable , when elias and laia are fighting for their freedom , when laia is fighting for her brother , Helene is fighting for her unrequited love .

The side characters are well developed and even the smallest actions speak volumes through the story. Izzi , she is just as strong and brave as Laia. keenan and sana and the cook
I don’t even want to call them side characters , its just the fact that the book is not written from their perspectives
the villains here are perfectly fleshed out and they leave an imprint on the paths of our leading characters. And an imprint in our reading thinking minds .

The theme of this book was the prevalence of hope through oppression , and it does not shy away from showing the brutality of a dictatorship, one in which power is kept through fear and terrifying punishments
It tells its message frankly , never give up, regardless of what life throws at you , rise and fight

"Where there is life , There is hope."


I am happy I've read this book when its already clear that it has a squel otherwise I don’t know how I would have felt if it was a standalone .
A Torch Against the Night , that’s a beautiful name and I've seen the cover , its pretty !
I can't wait to get the book and to read what happened next.

There are a lot of questions left unanswered
who is Cook? Whats her story ?
are the Argus playing a game for their own cause ? what are they really and with whom they side ?
Who betrayed Laia's parents ? who was the spy ? whats all with that Nightbringer ?
Who is Elias' father?
Whats the commandants story ?
I'd really like to read the commandant's and the cook's stories in separated novellas of their own POVs .

i really liked this book and I highly recommend it .. for all Ya , dystopian novels lovers , it’s a Masterpiece .

"War comes. And it must come. For a great wrong must be righted, a wrong that grows greater with every life destroyed. The war is the only way. And you must be ready.”

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The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea Book Review

The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea (The Four Kingdoms, #1)The Princess Companion: A Retelling of The Princess and the Pea by Melanie Cellier
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Source : received an e-book copy of the book in exchange of an honest review .
thanks to author Melanie Cellier

Actual Rating : 3.5 stars

a nice well-told retelling of the princess and the pea with some subsided retelling of cinderella story which was a bit different and i really did enjoy reading it .
the whole book is nice and it gave me warm fuzzies .

the story of alyssa who lost her way in the forest then found her self in front of the royal winter castle . the plot progresses and she is assigned the princess companion of the twin princesses .
i liked alyssa , she is nice and smart and she can read people well .
through all that there is also Max , prince maximilian ,who was an okay character .

and as the "pea" thing seemed a bit forgotten and it didnt affect the main story line , i think it was more of fairy tale of its own than a re-telling

but above ALL THAT there was this secondary re-telling of cindrella , the queen's story which i really liked .
someone would say , who can think of a life like that for cindrella ! who can expect after the And They Lived Happily Ever After sentence we watched dozens of times in the Disney movie ?
I Did .
this insta-love thing was never comfortable for my perception even as a child .
i always thought who knows ! what if he hates mouses while she loves them !
Yeah ! dont look me this way XD! I was but a child by then .
so with this re-telling i felt Sad , but i also felt like someone is respecting this one unconsidered possibility .

all in all , it was pretty nice light read .

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A Private Experience Book Review

A Private ExperienceA Private Experience by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

what a beautiful story , knitted in the haze of the situation
so short as it is , it fuelled me with emotions
this is a short story written by chimamanada ngozi adichie about two women taking refugee in a small store after a riot , one is Igbo and Christian , one is Muslim and Hausa
so what do these lines tell us ?
what idea does chimamanda want to convey ?
answer is :
"riots do not happen in a vacuum, that religion and ethnicity are often politicised because the ruler is safe if the hungry ruled are killing one another."

that in a riot you'd know after wards that certain side claimed themselves the attackers
but , in the scene .... everybody is victim ..

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Americanah Book Review

AmericanahAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

this book was recommended to me by my friend , emer
and we discussed a bit about it , i think your reaction toward the book is the thing that urged me the most to start reading it
so thank you my dear Xoxo

maybe it’s time to just scrap the word “racist.” Find something new. Like Racial Disorder Syndrome. And we could have different categories for sufferers of this syndrome: mild, medium, and acute.

American Blacks are not telling you that you are to blame. They are just telling you what is. If you don’t understand, ask questions. If you’re uncomfortable about asking questions, say you are uncomfortable about asking questions and then ask anyway. It’s easy to tell when a question is coming from a good place. Then listen some more. Sometimes people just want to feel heard. Here’s to possibilities of friendship and connection and understanding.

americanah starts with two nigerian teenager lovers who shared the american dream
ifemelu who was from a middle class family in Lagos and obinze who is the only child living with his professor mother , growing up with romanticised notions of the west .

under the dictatorship , the constant strikes and the deteriorating situation of the country every body wants to leave , america is the dream land they all aimed
so ifemelu manages to get to america in a scholarship
however, America is just a passing phase. America wouldn’t provide resolution , as its also distressed with its many issues. In adapting to strangeness abroad and finding home strange , nothing is solved , issues only become more complicated .

"there was cement in her soul. It had been there for a while, an early morning disease of fatigue, shapeless desires, brief imaginary glints of other lives she could be living, that over the months melded into a piercing homesickness.”

13 years after ifemelu returns to nigeria , a famous blogger about race and starts working in a magazine , while obinze is a wealthy man married and has a child

so generally that's the plot , but in fact this was more of a novel put into a band of collected assays than a subject of race displayed in a novel.
The book brings up the controversial issues of race and immigration in the Untied States. The difference between being black in Africa and being black in the States , blunt discussions of race and privilege and belonging and identity .

Dear Non-American Black, when you make the choice to come to America, you become black. Stop arguing. Stop saying I’m Jamaican or I’m Ghanaian. America doesn’t care. So what if you weren’t “black” in your country? You’re in America now. We all have our moments of initiation into the Society of Former Negroes. Mine was in a class in undergrad when I was asked to give the black perspective, only I had no idea what that was. So I just made something up. And admit it—you say “I’m not black” only because you know black is at the bottom of America’s race ladder. And you want none of that. Don’t deny now. What if being black had all the privileges of being white? Would you still say “Don’t call me black, I’m from Trinidad”? I didn’t think so. So you’re black, baby. And here’s the deal with becoming black: You must show that you are offended when such words as “watermelon” or “tar baby” are used in jokes, even if you don’t know what the hell is being talked about—and since you are a Non-American Black, the chances are that you won’t know. (In undergrad a white classmate asks if I like watermelon, I say yes, and another classmate says, Oh my God that is so racist, and I’m confused. “Wait, how?”) You must nod back when a black person nods at you in a heavily white area. It is called the black nod. It is a way for black people to say “You are not alone, I am here too.” In describing black women you admire, always use the word “STRONG” because that is what black women are supposed to be in America. If you are a woman, please do not speak your mind as you are used to doing in your country. Because in America, strong-minded black women are SCARY. And if you are a man, be hyper-mellow, never get too excited, or somebody will worry that you’re about to pull a gun. When you watch television and hear that a “racist slur” was used, you must immediately become offended. Even though you are thinking “But why won’t they tell me exactly what was said?” Even though you would like to be able to decide for yourself how offended to be, or whether to be offended at all, you must nevertheless be very offended.

and aside from the race , it will teach you about the diverse people and cultures of Nigeria.
it is an exploration of structural inequality, of different kinds of oppression, of gender roles, of the idea of home. Subtle, but not afraid to pull its punches.

i think it felt like biographies or like reading someone's personal diary , for the uncountable number of names and characters that you only meet once or twice through out the book all with full names and histories .. so Adichie seems to convulse us with the many details . She wants to write about everything around everything ..

the black women's hair is an issue that really struck me , how they would suffer for a simple thing as getting your hair done , i was surprised by the details , the attachments , the relaxer , the braiding , and i kept thinking whats wrong with the kinky hair , why all this suffering hiding their natural look , why would the world default something of nature .. why would kinky hair mean unprofessionalism ?!
so while asking yourself this question adichie led you through a simple detail to getting into discussions about racial politics.

That's why she opens americanah with a scene in which Ifemelu, must take the train from Princeton into Trenton just to get her hair done.
It will take Ifemelu six hours of sitting in a hot salon to get the kinky twist with extensions that she wants. including a painful flashback to the time that Ifemelu decided to relax her hair to get that "white-girl straight hair" to show professionalism and seriousness in the interview of her first job .
so The novel begins with Ifemelu’s point of view, and maintains it save for a few sections that allows us a glimpse of Obinze’s thoughts,

ifemelu is Morally reprehensible, flawed , judgemental , she has mood swings , kind of annoying , she tend to like taking than giving , she is ego centric (expecting all the world to be about her opinions) i also think she's a bit aggressive and just like Ginika suggested a self sabotage .
but though she felt too foreign for me but somehow she also felt real
its not like every body is perfect or alike and i want to read different , and so this was different .
i wasn't at ease reading , i felt uncomfortable and frustrated but this is another way of saying its not the novel that leave you feeling nothing , it itched on my skin
one thing that really irritated me and that me and Emer had previously discussed was the way women in nigeria defined them selves by the presence of men in their lives , never matters if educated , never matter what you are , you're never a complete essence if not for a man in your life It's a theme that was repeated throughout the novel
aunt uju's life and the very wrong decisions she made they annoyed me , the way she dragged here self to the bottom and wiped the meaning of her life by her own self .

Sometimes, while having a conversation, it would occur to Ifemelu that Aunty Uju had deliberately left behind something of herself, something essential, in a distant and forgotten place.

and big problem is not the way men were treating women , it was more of the way women treating each other , they had lost their sense of self respect and self worth .
i may quote from my beautiful friend's review emer about ifemelu losing her way searching for another half , she wrote :
" I wanted to cry out STOP Ifemelu, step back, and look what you are doing……. You are this brilliant, bright young woman. You can be a whole person on your own."

one more thing is , the characters were in haze with no solid ground under their feet
in america they were abused as for their race , in nigeria money ruled
it ruled everything , relationships , religion , principles
there are the rich and those underneath are slaves , You give them a job and you may owe their souls
Humiliation !! That's what many characters suffered and either they didn't notice it or they didn't care

so yes , it irked me to read it , but this is the thing about reading , its about knowing , we need to know that this exists , that people take decisions like these , that they lose their way , that society may abuse to give birth to people who are internally salves , and that this is maybe happening not in nigeria , far from where i am sitting now writing my review but maybe with someone now passing by my door ..
because in the not knowing , in the relieving ignorance of ours , it doesn't matter
doesn't matter that we don't know , because things wont cease to exist if we deny them ..

and there was this commentary on political and social circumstances folded delicately into layers of the book that i ended up reading much more than the 477 pages of it .
i found myself browsing something on the web every now and then , the american elections once or things like brown-paper-bag-test or why watermelon joke would offend a black man , another .
i was surprised one more time by how important it was for all black people that barack obama would be elated the new president , though it made sense and we all know it but this was like sharp blows to make the fact clearer and more sure .

One day blaine came home and told her about an old black woman, face shriveled like a prune, who stood holding on to her door as though she might fall otherwise, and told him, “I didn’t think this would happen even in my grandbaby’s lifetime.”
Ifemelu blogged about this story, describing the silver streaks in the woman’s gray hair, the fingers quivering from Parkinson’s, as though she herself had been there with Blaine.

the book was Gross for my taste at times , few extra scenes here and there that could have been cut, but part of Americanah's appeal is its immense, uncontained and beating heart. You can feel Adichie's passion and belief pumping beneath her words .

i wont rate americanah now , i am kinda confused about the rating
i should pull all these thoughts together and then decide
all in all , this was a total different experience for me , thats what i am sure about ..

and here are some quotes i liked , i think they should be included in the review :

People were flattered to be asked about themselves and if she said nothing after they spoke, it made them say more. They were conditioned to fill silences.

She had not thought of them as “fat,” though. She had thought of them as “big,” because one of the first things her friend Ginika told her was that “fat” in America was a bad word, heaving with moral judgment like “stupid” or “bastard,” and not a mere description like “short” or “tall.”

He was no longer sure, he had in fact never been sure, whether he liked his life because he really did or whether he liked it because he was supposed to.

Okwudiba, often told him how humble he was, and it irked him slightly, because he wished Okwudiba would see that to call him humble was to make rudeness normal. Besides, humility had always seemed to him a specious thing, invented for the comfort of others; you were praised for humility by people because you did not make them feel any more lacking than they already did. It was honesty that he valued; he had always wished himself to be truly honest, and always feared that he was not.

You see, in American pop culture, beautiful dark women are invisible. (The other group just as invisible is Asian men. But at least they get to be super smart.) In movies, dark black women get to be the fat nice mammy or the strong, sassy, sometimes scary sidekick standing by supportively. They get to dish out wisdom and attitude while the white woman finds love. But they never get to be the hot woman, beautiful and desired and all. So dark black women hope Obama will change that. Oh, and dark black women are also for cleaning up Washington and getting out of Iraq and whatnot.

“No, she didn’t fight. She was on a committee and they discovered that this professor had misused funds and my mother accused him publicly and he got angry and slapped her and said he could not take a woman talking to him like that. So my mother got up and locked the door of the conference room and put the key in her bra. She told him she could not slap him back because he was stronger than her, but he would have to apologize to her publicly, in front of all the people who had seen him slap her. So he did. But she knew he didn’t mean it. She said he did it in a kind of ‘okay sorry if that’s what you want to hear and just bring out the key’ way. She came home that day really angry, and she kept talking about how things had changed and what did it mean that now somebody could just slap another person. She wrote circulars and articles about it, and the student union got involved. People were saying, Oh, why did he slap her when she’s a widow, and that annoyed her even more. She said she should not have been slapped because she is a full human being, not because she doesn’t have a husband to speak for her. So some of her female students went and printed Full Human Being on T-shirts. I guess it made her well-known. She’s usually very quiet and doesn’t have many friends.”

Ifemelu imagined the writers, Nigerians in bleak houses in America, their lives deadened by work, nursing their careful savings throughout the year so that they could visit home in December for a week, when they would arrive bearing suitcases of shoes and clothes and cheap watches, and see, in the eyes of their relatives, brightly burnished images of themselves. Afterwards they would return to America to fight on the Internet over their mythologies of home, because home was now a blurred place between here and there, and at least online they could ignore the awareness of how inconsequential they had become.

To be here, living abroad, not knowing when she could go home again, was to watch love become anxiety.

SHE WOKE UP torpid each morning, slowed by sadness, frightened by the endless stretch of day that lay ahead. Everything had thickened. She was swallowed, lost in a viscous haze, shrouded in a soup of nothingness. Between her and what she should feel, there was a gap. She cared about nothing. She wanted to care, but she no longer knew how; it had slipped from her memory, the ability to care. Sometimes she woke up flailing and helpless, and she saw, in front of her and behind her and all around her, an utter hopelessness.

Depression was what happened to Americans, with their self-absolving need to turn everything into an illness. She was not suffering from depression; she was merely a little tired and a little slow

Blacks” as a whole are often lumped with “Poor Whites.” Not Poor Blacks and Poor Whites. But Blacks and Poor Whites. A curious thing indeed

When he started conversations with people in elevators, or lavishly complimented strangers, she held her breath, certain that they could see what an attention-loving person he was. But they always smiled back and responded and allowed themselves to be wooed.

. “I don’t even know why I came to this place. The other day the pharmacist said my accent was incomprehensible. Imagine, I called in a medicine and she actually told me that my accent was incomprehensible. And that same day, as if somebody sent them, one patient, a useless layabout with tattoos all over his body, told me to go back to where I came from. All because I knew he was lying about being in pain and I refused to give him more pain medicine. Why do I have to take this rubbish? I blame Buhari and Babangida and Abacha because they destroyed Nigeria.

But race is not biology; race is sociology. Race is not genotype; race is phenotype. Race matters because of racism. And racism is absurd because it’s about how you look. Not about the blood you have. It’s about the shade of your skin and the shape of your nose and the kink of your hair. Booker T. Washington and Frederick Douglass had white fathers. Imagine them saying they were not black.

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Monday, 26 September 2016

The Little Prince Book Review

The Little PrinceThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Voici mon secret. Il est très simple: on ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux “

“Here is my secret , its so simple : You only see clearly with your heart. The most important things are invisible to the eyes. “

This book is charming , wondrous , heart-warming yet a little bit heartbreaking , if you've read it you get what i mean , it has this type of tender beauty and uniqueness you want to cherish and hold on to .

I've never read it as a child but, like all the best of children’s stories , it is just as entrancing when an adult as it would have been to the little me . I even think that it does no harm that its just now I've came to read it because this story is written more for adults who were once children , or children who are once going to grow up into adults than to be limited for a certain age average under the label of " children literature " .

one of the most important themes this book represents is how kids are not yet contaminated by prejudice, arrogance , false pride or the nature of the adults parochial view that often tend to miss the little important things that matter the most . that with age children lose the gift that allows them to live in harmony with the world . They become grown ups who are trapped by the purely materialistic , vulgar and spiritless side of existence, victims of their own ego and conceit .
Every planet the little prince visited had its own moral, it portrayed the absurd views of adults and society .

I love how this book is thought provoking and an eye opener yet served in the simplest of ways , Albert Einstein said : 'The definition of genius is taking the complex and making it simple. '
that's why I'd like to tell that this book is genius , if children grew up reading this sort of books they'll grow having in them the right essence . they'll grow knowing that what actually matters the most is to seek purpose and meaning to our lives .

The end , this part, like most bits of the story is open for discussion . I think the author wanted the reader to perceive this ambiguity and let us believe what we felt was truer .

I like to think that while the story was based on the little prince's views , that what he believed in was what we can obviously see was true . then if he believed that the snake would take him back to his planet , i'd like to think that it happened so .
Maybe i don't understand how , because i am an adult I'd like to analyse it logically , but i still have the power in me to believe . Because if not so , then that business man was right for spending the precious years of this life counting the stars claiming them his own , when the prince believed him not . then there was no elephant in the Boa constrictor and no sheep in the box , then the fox was not the prince's friend , his planet was not his home but a mere rock in the space and his rose was just an ordinary one , undistinguished from a thousand others by his love for her .
this end holds the possibility for hope, we don’t know exactly what happened . but Perhaps the prince made it safely home to his flower and managed to keep the sheep away from his flower even if he didn't have the rope . Perhaps .

otherwise my friends what's the point ? Why write this book if our little prince dies ? if the writer would deem him naive to believe the snake and in turn every other opinion of his ?

Anyway , It's a perfect end . with it we are not lent a closure , It makes it a story with an impact , our minds will always linger there to it , our eyes keeping a look out for the little prince , a story to forever live with you because its he Antoine de Saint-Exupéry who said : “When a mystery is too overpowering, one dare not disobey"

If you want to know what makes children carefree , what makes them find so much joy in everything around them and appreciate the simple things in life , if you want a book that tugs at your heart's springs , read this book and you'll appraise its simple but deep wisdom .
it may break your heart just a little bit , but its okay , trust me , it's worth it .

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The Mirror And The Maze Book Review

The Mirror & the Maze (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1.5)The Mirror & the Maze by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Everything and everyone he loved was in that city. His cousin. His uncle.
Everything. Khalid had left everything behind in Rey. Now it was burning.
“And I shall take from you these lives, a thousandfold.”

i think this one was the best of the three novellas , its been a while since i read anything of this series so when i read the mirror and the maze i recognized i really did miss them all , missed the characters and the world building and the beautiful writing style
this one is about Khalid returning to Rey , finding his city on fire , and his heart on stake after shahrazad had left ..

“Look around you, Khalid Ibn al-Rashid. Look around you with the eyes of a man, not the heart of a boy.” It was spoken so softly. Not an admonition, but a plea. Jalal moved closer. “Is it not for the better?”

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The Crown And The Arrow Book Review

The Crown & the Arrow (The Wrath and the Dawn, #0.5)The Crown & the Arrow by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Do not fear what the setting sun may bring. Where there is a setting sun, there is also a rising one.”

a prequel of the wrath and the dawn , khalid's POV
just as others in the series its well written
and though i enjoyed reading this scene , there is this fact that its a scene rather than a novella

and though its too short i still liked to read that entry from Khalid's prospective ..

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The Moth And The Flame Book Review

The Moth & the Flame (The Wrath & the Dawn, #0.25)The Moth & the Flame by Renee Ahdieh
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

we needed this novella

jalal and depina 's story was always in the shades , we didnt know much about them both in The Wrath & the Dawn and the The Rose & the Dagger
so this novella spotlighted it ..

and though this wasn't as short as The Crown & the Arrow but i wanted to know more about Despina's life before working in the palace and maybe even after ..

but all in all , it was Good .

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A Shadow in the Moonlight: A Thirteenth Hour Prequel Book Review

A Shadow in the Moonlight: A Thirteenth Hour PrequelA Shadow in the Moonlight: A Thirteenth Hour Prequel by Joshua Blum
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

source : I received a digital copy on a read to review basis
thanks to author Joshua Blum

the story of a man cursed by a spell , meant to be a shadow for the rest of his days
and an orphan girl who might break the curse ..

that I've read the novella before the novel is a little unsettling as , me reviewing this book as a separated story would definitely differ if it is a part of sequence

"she reached the back of the cave and found a bed, bookshelves, fireplace, and a storeroom
filled with food. On a small table lay a book, a quill pen, and an ink bottle. Lavinia picked up the book
and opened it to the first page, which was dated with a brief paragraph. As she read, she was transported to a land of wizards, spells, enchanted forests, secret caves, AND lost hunters. "

for i haven't read the novel , i may say that at some point of the novella i had a flickering hope of some sort
when the girl found the diary a whole scenario played in my mind
a novel about a girl and a shadow , communicating through a diary
someone lonely and cursed with a shelf of books and years of solitude may end up making a wise person which means a good deal of prose and beautiful literature but ! * shaken awake * i realized the story cant stretched this deep for its a novella
then came the rushed end before an enough time for the girl's wounds to heal , the spell was broken the two got married and had a child

so !
its a novella of a novel i haven't read yet , i cant really be critical or anything
all in all it was nice and gripped my attention at some point ..

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