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Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review: Rhyme and Reason

Rhyme and Reason Rhyme and Reason by Lewis Carroll
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"He remarked to me then," said that mildest of men,
"'If your Snark be a Snark, that is right:
Fetch it home by all means—you may serve it with greens,
And it's handy for striking a light.

"'You may seek it with thimbles—and seek it with care;
You may hunt it with forks and hope;
You may threaten its life with a railway-share;
You may charm it with smiles and soap—'"

-- The Hunting of the Snark

Carroll is now one of my favorite authors.

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Sunday, July 2, 2017


I'm almost sure I had something in mind when I decided to start writing...

My memory isn't failing, mind you--au contraire. I might be regaining my long-lost focus these days, contrary to what I was beginning to believe; viz. that I was aging. I am; but that's not a problem.

I mean there are problems here (more hair in my ears is one), but I haven't faced any insurmountable problems so far. Maybe that's what I should write about: how everything is OK. Also that I'm changing somewhat.

Good changes include that I know now that happiness depends on you. Even though you might feel lonely--ain't nothin' wrong with that!--simply having someone will not make you happy. Therefore, if the problem is within you (which is obviously the case), so shall the solution lie within you. (Shut up, man!)

One of the problems I don't have is that although there haven't been any stimuli to anger me, I find myself thinking just the right thoughts to infuriate me. I don't know like what... Our abused rights, for one.

Anyway, since I haven't done this in months, my writing is atrocious. I'd like to stop now.

Edit: Now that I've checked my earlier posts, I haven't written anything here for upwards of a year. Whew!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Review: Cinderella

Cinderella Cinderella by Henry W. Hewet
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Here's how it goes...

Stoic little Cinderella is a servant in her step-mother's house. The only time she breaks down is when everyone but her goes to a ball at the royal palace. It is at this exact time that a fairy shows up at the door. She demands Cinderella to fetch a pumpkin, some rodents (running the risk of contracting the plague), and some lizards--which turn into her "equipage" at the touch of a wand. Likewise, her shabby clothing is turned into a fancy dress.

The only non-magical articles are her shoes, because later on, one of them, although of a perfect fit, she loses while hastening out in a fluster as the clock strikes twelve.

A few days later, heralds proclaim that the lady whose foot fits in the shoe (which the prince had "observed fondly" after her abrupt departure) the prince shall marry. Of course it is Cinderella whose foot fits, and she whips out the other shoe, and thus acquires a husband. Her step-sisters immediately decide that they'd been mean to her.

She lives happily with the prince on the taxes they impose on the poor serfs, in a palace with a gazillion servants, at doing whose menial work she'd felt very indignant earlier.

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Monday, May 29, 2017

Review: الله والإنسان

الله والإنسان الله والإنسان by مصطفى محمود
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book came with the caveat that the author wrote it when he was in "doubt", and later went on to renounce and refute it. I knew I wasn't going to like it.

It has some strange thoughts, indeed, but what got my attention is that this guy is really well-read, unlike many today who make pretensions to erudition upon reading an article or two online--and NOT scientific articles, mind you. No, the author had read philosophy and science (and even literature) and makes references to support the arguments he presents here.

Again, I do not agree with most of the arguments, but the method the author employs is truly laudable.

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Saturday, May 27, 2017

Review: To Kill a Mockingbird

To Kill a Mockingbird To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Of course, this isn't a bird-hunting handbook. It was mighty stupid of me to think it sounded like it.

I seldom like modern novels (yes, I consider 1960 kind of recent), but without a doubt, this is one of the best novels I've ever read. The characters, the narration, the story line, and even the accent; I liked it all. The plot only climaxes around the middle, but I enjoyed it highly even before that.

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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Review: Gulliver's Travels

Gulliver's Travels Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was mistaken to think this was a children's book--not only because of the difficulty of its language (it took me two weeks to read, mind you), but also the nature of the notions discussed therein. Of course, I thought that because we had it in Ladybird-picture-book format in our childhood.

The aspect I found most enjoyable was that you couldn't tell when the author was being sarcastic (if at all, that is); the way he would describe people of certain vocations (e.g., lawyers, doctors) is so straightforward it's almost comical.

This book is basically a polemic against humans in general and their ridiculous ways. As much as I hate saying this, read it at your own risk.

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Saturday, April 29, 2017

Review: The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within

The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within by Stephen Fry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It's a very well-written work, of course, and a great way to learn prosody. But as is always the case with Fry's writing (and speech), I tend to lose track when I'm reading one of those wordy sentences he's so wont to use, and a dictionary close at hand is indispensable.

It took me a while to read this book, not because it's boring, but because it has these Poetry Exercises that take time--that are supposed to take time. At the end, I found myself skipping those because I felt the book was taking more than its due.

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