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Biographies

This tag is associated with 16 posts

Becoming by Michelle Obama

They say behind every successful man there is a woman (so is his downfall!). This woman that I’m reading about is successful in her own rights but faced many of the same dilemma women with children often feel, between their career and family, between self-fulfilment and also fulfilling the duty and love to their children. Except Michelle Obama, born Robinson, was born not with a silver spoon nor a head start in life, but was born into the impoverished South Side of Chicago. She held on to her ambition and dream, with the support of her parents, mentors and husband, emerged at the pinnacle of the eyes of the world as the First Lady of the United State (FLOTUS). Continue reading

The Beautiful, the Brats and the Privileged

‘Hey, Wassup? This is Liz. Sorry I’m away from the throne. For a hotline to Philip press one, for Charles press two, for the corgis press three.’ that, was at one time the standard voicemail greeting of the Queen of England. It is recorded by Prince Harry, followed by snorts of mirth and guffawing in … Continue reading

I Saw Ramallah by Mourid Barghouti

In 1966, the Palestine poet Mourid Barghouti, then 22, left home to return to university in Cairo. Then came the Six-Day War in Palestine and Barghouti, like many young Palestinians abroad, was denied entry into Palestine. 30 years later, with the Oslo Agreement, the Palestinian refugees and exiles may apply for the right to return … Continue reading

Camus: A Romance by Elizabeth Hawes

Although I knew the ins and outs of Morocco, I don’t know much about neighbouring Algeria and its history as a French colony. So, when I first learnt about Albert Camus who writes in French and an Algerian, champion of existential thought, a journalist and an activist, my interest is piqued. But who was Camus, … Continue reading

Love in a Headscarf by Shelina Zahra Janmohamed

“At the age of 13, I knew I was destined to marry John Travolta. One day he would arrive on my North London doorstep, fall madly in love with me and ask me to marry him. Then he would convert to Islam and become a devoted Muslim”. Torn between the Buxom Aunties, romantic comedies and … Continue reading

Zeitoun by Dave Eggers

Abdulrahman and Kathy Zeitoun are residents of New Orleans, with Kathy’s son from first marriage Zachary, and Nademah, Aisha, Safiya and Ahmad. The Zeitoun runs a Painting and contractor company. A hardworking and honest man, his typical day begin with getting the kids ready to school and picking up phone calls from workers and customers … Continue reading

La Prisonniere : 20 years in a desert gaol

I first saw this book in 2001 and wanted to purchase it. I soon forgotten about it until recently when I’m reading truck loads of books about Morocco, this one came up on the radar again. I finally got around reading it during my spring holiday.  For the next 3 days after I finished the book I … Continue reading

Oranges are not the only fruits

She had never heard of mixed feelings. There were friends, and they were enemies: Enemies were: The Devil (in his many forms) Next Door (Neighbours) Sex (in its many forms) Slugs Friends were: God Our dog Auntie Madge The Novels of Charlotte Bronte Slug pellets She is Jeanette’s mother. Jeanette was adopted into a religious … Continue reading

The Catcher in the Rye

The Catcher in the Rye opens with the first-person narrative of 16-year-old Holden Caulfield’s experiences in New York City in the days following his expulsion from Pencey Preparatory school.  Holden talks to you in his most casual ways about his classmates in Pencey irreverently, whom he criticizes as being superficial, or, as he would say, “phony”. Most … Continue reading

The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent

Salem, Massachusetts, 19th August 1692. Martha Carrier was accused, tried and hanged as a witch.  The Carrier family, Thomas and Martha, with their children Richard, Andrew, Sarah, Tom and little Hannah move to the village of Salem to stay with their maternal Grandmother. Like her mother, young Sarah Carrier, is bright and willful, openly challenging … Continue reading

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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Mockingjay
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City


JoV's favorite books »
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Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)