Currently Reading: Small Fry

Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Having read about nomads*, I feel offended on their behalf. Why would people even bother to highlight this?

Is it so profound that I don’t get it, or what?

Please, somebody, anybody, enlighten me. I’d love a good joke, or a strict, no-b*llsh*t criticism for my ignorance.

*A quick example would be how certain tribes/nomads in Sudan would have to move around according to the season/weather to survive – humans and livestock. Not to mention civil unrest for generations – prompting some of them to live a nomadic life.

[2018] May The Best Book Win!

Over the past week, posts on my Facebook groups has been filled with hashtags #2018fav6, #2018fav9, you get the idea. I didn’t participate because it would be too hard to pick 6! But then along came a true genius who cooked up a fed-up post, asking us to share our least favorite books of the year. Needless to say I jumped in because that was super easy for me. I even thanked her for that!

Back to May The Best Book Win!

Here are my favorite books of the year. Some genres are intertwined (supposed to, for example, some memoirs are of war and history but I didn’t categorize them under that genre). So to get around that, I compartmentalized them under the genre intended by the author or publisher (“it’s a memoir about war and history, therefore it’s a memoir”).

Here’s the list! For a brief version click here.

Best in Memoirs, Autobiographies

Tie!

I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High, by Tony Danza

&

She’s Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Best in Biographies

In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum

Best in Current Affairs, War, History

Fire And Fury, by Michael Wolff 

Best in Business

Bad Blood: Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Best in LGBTQIA

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, by Amy Ellis Nutt

Best in True Crime

Mossad: The Greatest Missions of The Israeli Secret Service, by Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal

Best in Fiction

房思琪的初戀樂園, 林奕含 著 
Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise by  Lin Yi-Han

You’ve reached the end of this post and the year – Thank you for reading my posts (or this blog). I hope you’ve found what you were looking for. Keep reading, stay foolish!

Read: Prozac Diary

Prozac Diary by Lauren Slater

You know, I read Prozac Nation in the early 2000s, and now this, this year, but still I can’t quite find anything to say about either of them. If you know me, as in know me, you’d know why.

Great read, highly recommended. Of course.

Read: Threading My Prayer Rug

Threading My Prayer Rug: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim, by Sabeeha Rehman

Honestly, I hated this book at the beginning. I think it had something a lot to do with her ‘I AM AMERICAN’* and ‘I’m very Americanized today’ voice. I could be deadly wrong to some of you who’ve read this (also, I read this many, many months ago, so I’m the idiot here, perhaps, yes), but at least that’s what I could recall now.

While reading this, it took me back a little to the book ‘Because They Hate’ by Brigitte Gabriel (read in 2017). But it’s not that relevant here. Just thought I’d throw that book in as it was a really good read.

Back to the author and her memoir – I must state, she is one hell of a lucky human, having met and stayed with her arranged-marriage-husband through thick and thin. Note that both of them come from privileged backgrounds/families (not that there’s anything wrong with that), which is unlike other reads of the same geographical worlds I’ve read in the past.

They’re lucky – no spouse-beatings (no traces of domestic violence in the book, at least), no secret lovers prior to their arranged marriages, decent family backgrounds (no troubled relatives to worry about e.g. relatives jailed for political ‘crimes’), no ‘cover-yourself-you-Muslim-woman’ directives from her husband and family… You get the idea (I’m sorry if you don’t).

But what the book did manage to chronicle which I learned something from (finally, something) – is the kindness shown to them by fellow immigrants of different faiths while they moved to American in the 70s (could be 80s, I forget), and during and after 9/11.

There were little to insignificant zero traces of intolerance in between those decades and pages, which seemed a little… nevermind. Perhaps the author did have a wonderful, perfect experience living as a Muslim in New York City then (and now). After all, NYC is known to be a city that’s culturally diversified and tolerant. So there’s that.

Did I mention that both the author and her husband are medical professionals? Not the rags to riches kind, if you catch my drift. Do refer to paragraph three again if you need to.

Lastly, I mentioned not really liking this book at the beginning – so did I get into it and eventually found some joy if not solace while reading and upon finishing it? The answer is no. I didn’t. I didn’t like the book, generally speaking. But I did enjoy the little anecdotes of her life growing up in Pakistan, and the kindness they were shown while settling down and rising up in the Land of the Free. That’s about it.

(The book does live up to its tagline, though: One Woman’s Journey from Pakistani Muslim to American Muslim. But after reading it – I think it’s better-off as ‘One Woman’s Journey from Pakistan to America and Life as an Americanized Muslim’)

*There’s nothing wrong about stressing your nationality in whatever way you want. I capitalized this word to stress the weight she’d given to her American life and citizenship far far away from Pakistan. That is all. You really don’t need to decipher any further.

Goodreads Choice Awards 2018: Voted (and guilty)

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Ah, the annual Goodreads Choice Awards 2018.

I voted “Educated” (Memoir/Autobiography) and “Bad Blood” (Non-Fiction).

Of the 20 within the Memoir/Autobiography category, I read two, the other being “A River in Darkness“, by Masaji Ishikawa (a book which I read in 2017, not 2018).

Of the 20 within the Non-Fiction category, I read two, the other being “Not That Bad“, edited by Roxane Gay.

If you think about it, you could only vote based on the books you chose to read, which makes it rather… hmmm. It’s like voting for a parliamentary (or congress) candidate, except that you only know about the one or two you choose to support without giving 18 others a chance. Doesn’t matter because they never caught your attention anyway!

Regardless. I voted. What a hypocrite! I’ve only read two from each category!

Looking forward to the final results. Openly vouching for John Carreyrou here!