Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Let The Great World Spin - Colum McCann

How do I even begin to tell you about this book? At the end I just wished these characters which felt so real would be there forever telling me their story. It's all about the characters and what they go through. You get inside their head, there's something that they need to tell, and you're there hearing them talk to themselves. It's unnerving because it's so real and so heartbreaking at times. They're not trying to get your sympathy though, far from it as a matter of fact. The mother who lost her child in Vietnam and how she's still trying to deal with her loss, the unusual priest who has his own notions and he's doing what he can to make the world he lives in a better place, a prostitute who has all those dreams for her daughter that never materialized, and so much more and in the midst of it all, the brave tightrobe walker who walks in the air between the Twin Towers linking all characters together someway somehow.

There were so many touching moments, I felt their oppression sometimes. Claire was so vivid for me, when she talked about her son, how the emptiness eats her from the inside. I felt like crying over her sadness, consoling her, telling her I understand since nobody truly did. She was living, but it was as if she was shut off from the world.

What I loved the most was the style of writing, there in an unexpected paragraph you'd find a line that takes you off your guard. McCann's writing is so precise, at times he sticks to the point, gives you very little details, only facts, lets you imagine the rest. And at times, he'd describe things in such details you can see them, no in fact you're there with them in that place listening to their conversation. Simply brilliant. He knew how to make you fall in love with the novel slowly but with passion.

I've enjoyed it not only because it's so great, but because it's something completely original and different. Something I wouldn't usually read.
Oh and Ruqaiya, you're absolutely amazing.

I loved so many quotes from this book and here are the few I bothered to take down:
"In the summer quiet. Just be. Joshua liked the Beatles, used to listen to them in his room, you could hear the noise even through the big headphones he loved. Let it be. Silly song, really. You let it be, it returns. There's the truth. You let it be, it drags you to the ground. You let it be, it crawls up your walls."
Page 81

"Long ago, long ago. The simple things come back to us. They rest for a moment by our ribcages then suddenly reach in and twist our hearts a notch backward."
Page 81

"There are rocks deep enough in this earth that no matter what the rupture, they will never see the surface.
There is, I think, a fear of love.
There is a fear of love."
Page 156

"People are good or half good or a quarter good, and it changes all the time- but even on the best day nobody's perfect."
Page 301

"She was tired of everyone wanting to go to heaven, nobody wanting to die. The only thing worth grieving over, she said, was that sometimes there was more beauty in this life than the world could bear."
Page 339

Saturday, May 21, 2011


"But, poor thing, she's not pretty."
They say that as if it's something you can control, they pity you, then say but she's a nice person. Of course it's not like that makes up for the beauty you'll never have. You see, you have to have a fair complexion, pretty features, colored eyes (see they won't discriminate there preferring green to blue), then you'll be pretty and they can move on from that fact.
They will mention the fact that you're not pretty every time you are mentioned in the talk. I start thinking, yes I got the point they're not pretty but that's not what we're talking about. Sometimes I try to argue, because I really like the person they're commenting on, saying she's not that ugly people. Of course, they would say that they didn't say she was ugly. She just wasn't pretty and then say what is it specifically that makes her so.

I really hate that. How narrow-minded, everyone can't be pretty. That's not the point. What about inner beauty? Can you comment instead on what a nice person they are? Can you mention that fact instead of commenting on their outer look which they had no hand in. And the funny thing is, people don't realize that they do it.
I don't feel like going into details of this, it really upsets me and I don't want to hate on people who do it here. How can you change people around you though? I'm not good with confrontations, but sometimes I can't help saying what's exactly on my mind about what people do, then they're upset, you've done them wrong, you're relieved you got it out but then you think was it worth it?
I urge you to celebrate your inner beauty, don't let people get you down and remember what's inside of you is way more important the outside AND you're beautiful in your own way...


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Perfect Gift #01

A ticket for a Josh Groban concert to hear his lovely inspiring voice singing all those uplifting songs of his. Or, a plane ticket to a place he's performing in. Or, get him to come perform here in Muscat.


Friday, May 6, 2011

Must Resist

I am reading. Seriously reading, because I've been getting books from friends which has been a complete joy. I am now proudly sharing my books with friends who appreciate reading. I am really ecstatic about that! I got more than a dozen short books from my college friend who reads mostly Arabic non-fiction. I love that I'm expanding my horizons. I haven't given her as many, because I have tonnes of books here unread and I don't feel comfortable about lending books I haven't read, you know? It doesn't feel right. I must be the one who reads them first, or second if Huda reads them first. However, I've given her a book which only I've read and Huda hasn't. That is sort of mean right? Huda didn't complain though, out loud that is so I'm off the hook.

I had a long conversation about books with another college friend who read English books, that was such a happy moment for me. We read a few books in common, she told me about books she's read and I told her about some she doesn't know about. I lent her The Diary of A Young Girl - Anne Frank, she's read the abridged version.

Yesterday I received 7 books from my friend Ruqaiya. I was on cloud 9, most of them I awfully wanted to read and one of them Huda and I saw yesterday before we got the books and we thought it might be interesting so when we saw that she gave us a copy was sort of like fate!!! :D

Now, I have 2 exams next week... One I'm concerned about since I've only finished half the portion, and I honestly didn't study it well. I am afraid of the fact that I'm not that nervous about them. I simply want to leave the handouts aside and start reading. A couple of days ago I did it, read a chapter while I was studying, it felt awesome but then I felt guilty for an act that could easily develop into a habit since I study on my bed and the book I'm reading is so close, too close...

I need a break, one I'll not get properly until August. August is too far away. I need a month NOW to devour books in. All those books staring me in the face, tempting me, luring me to read them yet I resist. I focus on the subject I'm studying, disheartedly thinking it'll be a while before I can read at leisure.

Yours in distress,