A little bit of excitement happened this weekend. I attended the Dubai Literature Festival for an audience with Jeffrey Archer. That was quite an experience. He is not just eloquent but, entertaining as well. His candid talk on how he got started and his experiences with publishing Kane and Abel was so interesting. It was clear that he loves his writing with a passion and that his stories are very close to his heart. In the end I got my copy of Kane and Abel signed, which was pretty awesome.
One of my goals for the year was definitely reading more. Last year I read only 18 books. Well, that’s much more than I’ve read in the past couple of years but, I’m determined to make that score higher this year. I have one more exam to go so I guess there will be a break in between. Still, I know I can do better if I spend a little less time watching TV shows.
The year is off to a good start. So far it’s only the 20th and I’ve already read 3 books.
Well, to be fair none of them are huge. But, they are books I’ve always wanted to read and never got around to. So, I can check of some names on my wish list.
The next endeavour will be a big challenge. Standing tall at 1168 pages, I’ve decided to read….Atlas Shrugged. This will probably be the longest book I’ve ever read. So here goes…
I watched the movie a long time ago. Needless to say Jack Nicholson was superb. But I thought about reading the book because I had heard it wasn’t quite the same. Well, I had heard right. The book is much different from the movie.
It’s not a short book and as I read it I came to enjoy the characters very much. I have to say the book actually made me laugh out loud in some places. Nurse Ratched was a real villain! But, it’s also a sad story… Definitely a classic to read
It’s been a long and gruesome summer… and I’ve been totally out of touch with the blogging world. I have no excuses. I didn’t go away for the summer or travel. But rather spent my time working and filling in for people who did decide to travel. Temperatures have been soaring here in the UAE and at the end of each day I’m just too tired to getting around to doing anything.
I have however, done two things over the last couple of weeks.
Firstly, some reflection on my life and where I want to be. Since, it was my birthday in the last couple of weeks, it was naturally the time to sit and evaluate what I’ve done and what I should be doing. I think I’ve got some positive thoughts and plans for the future. Well, at least I didn’t get the birthday blues and all that reflection left me feeling hopeful. Sometimes, it makes sense to just stock of things you’ve accomplished. Even more so when you’re feeling low and don’t think that you’ve done much. Then sometimes, you just realise even the little accomplishments mean a lot.
Secondly, I’ve been reading quite a bit. Over the past few months, I managed to finish a good number of books. Well, at least, good by my standards. The books I read are
The Class – Erich Segal
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (finally!)
The Old Man and The Sea – Ernest Hemingway
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (how could I not?!?!)
Go Set a Watchman – Harper Lee (a tad disappointing, I have to admit)
No Dream Is Too High – Buzz Aldrin (very easy read and I really enjoyed it)
I also started reading War & Peace. One of those big challenges that I’ve always been meaning to do but always put off. Well the bad news is, just 50 pages in I’ve put it off again. I have few more books lined up and I definitely want to make this the year of reading.
I hope everyone’s been well and having a happy summer. It’s back to school now and time for projects and books.
When “Go Set A Watchman” came out, I bought it on kindle immediately, not wanting to wait to read it. Then I realized that I vaguely remembered “To Kill a Mockingbird.” So I decided to read it again. As I begun to read it, it seemed like I actually didn’t remember most of it. So I read it like it was the first time.
Now, I know why I don’t remember it. What the book represents isn’t something I understood back then. I was a naïve teenager, sheltered from most complicated relationships. My idea of prejudice was so limited. I never thought about how people see each other differently. Why race or gender or even religion even mattered to the extent that you would shun a person. At the time, friends were friends. Money didn’t matter, status didn’t matter and neither did the color of your skin. What did matter was how many games we could play before sundown. Life was simple back then, so a story like this, while touching, was not relatable.
In today’s world, more than ever, this book is so relevant. We’ve come such a long way from the times in the book but, basic human nature hasn’t changed. We are still so quick to judge others and believe in stereotypes. I’m ashamed to say that I’m not above this either. As much as I would like to believe that I have an open mind, I’m prone to stereotyping as well. I do try to correct myself when I realize it and I always try to give people a fair chance.
But, in essence, I realize that the world seems to be regressing or just hasn’t changed at all. Where skin color was once an issue, religion has now taken it’s place. Funnily, gender issues stay the same, so may be women have always had it the toughest. But, that’s a topic for a different post.
People were and continue to be persecuted for being different, for not being elite and worst of all for even trying to break out of what is deemed their social stature.
In keeping with my goals for reading more this year….
The books I read in January are (*drumroll*)
The Girl in the Spider’s Web – David Lagercrantz
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho (Finally!)
The Prince – Niccolò Machiavelli (also finally!)
The Big Short – Michael Lewis (you guessed it… also finally!)
I thought about rating the books or writing a review. Then I decided against it because I don’t think I would do it too well. So I thought to myself, let’s leave that to people who do it better. I have to say though, I loved reading the Big Short. Having lived through the financial crisis and being a banker in that time, it was of particular relevance to me. I just can’t believe I never read it sooner.
Four books in a month is good for me. But, I think my average will go down for the txt couple of months since I will be studying again. All my free time will have to be spent reading study books but, I will try squeeze in a book or two each month.