Books · Reading · Writing

Farewell, Sir Terry.

2015-03-13 19.39.28Yesterday Terry Pratchett, author of the brilliant Discworld series, passed away at the age of 66. To say I wasn’t shocked by the news would be a lie. Even though I knew he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and could no longer write his books without the help of his assistant, I still couldn’t accept that his death was imminent. Like… I don’t think anyone could even accept the possibility that J. K. Rowling would cease to exist one day, or even Stephen King. These authors have become so ingrained in the literary world that it would be impossible to imagine it without them. Though… I guess if you think about it, authors are forever immortal. As long as you always see their names on the shelves, they’re never really dead, are they? I’m comforted by the fact that later this year one last Discworld book will be published, one that Sir Terry finished writing a few months ago.

At times like this, I feel the best way to remember these authors is to share some of their best quotes. Here are some of my favourites.

The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

Continue reading “Farewell, Sir Terry.”

Reading

Rebuilding My Bookshelves

One of the most difficult things about my move to a different country is the fact that I had to leave more than 90% of my books behind. They were too heavy and there was no way I could cram them all into my suitcases… unless I was prepared not to pack anything else. So I only brought twenty books with me, and they’ve been looking at me forlornly from their single small shelf since I got to Dubai… so sad was their appearance that I had to find them company. Fast.

My big pile o' books.
My big pile o’ books.

I arrived here on the 18th of October. Since then I’ve accumulated 11 news books, bringing my total to a whopping 31. I’m trying hard not to bring that number up anymore for the time being, but it’s proving to be so incredibly difficult. The bookshops here are absolutely lovely, and far bigger and better than anything I found back in Lebanon. One particular bookshop, Kinokuniya, was so big I needed four hours to browse through it. And even then I was barely thorough. I was so overwhelmed by the fact that there were many books there that I’d been looking for and hadn’t been able to find before. My wallet complained. Loudly.

So yeah. I bought a lot of books. And I found myself buying a lot of hardcovers too. I usually buy paperbacks, but in the face of all the gorgeous hardcovers I came across I could not resist. This country has corrupted me. But for now, I’m just going to highlight a few of my favourite picks! Continue reading “Rebuilding My Bookshelves”

Writing

You’re so vain.

Have you ever liked one of your own blog posts on WordPress, whether accidentally or on purpose? No? Well, the other day I accidentally liked a post of mine, and though I was quick to unlike it, WordPress caught me out and sent me a notification. However, this wasn’t similar to all the other notifications in which you lovely people like my posts because you think they’re awesome. 😉

You're so Vain
Ouch.

Technically, the post was certainly about me, but that’s beside the point. Apparently liking it makes me vain. And you know what? So be it. I don’t mind being called vain for liking my own writing. There’s nothing wrong with feeling proud of my posts and novels, and I think every other writer feels the same way about their own work. In fact, I don’t think anyone would’ve gotten anything published if they weren’t. Continue reading “You’re so vain.”

Reading · Writing

2012 in Reading

According to Goodreads, I have completed 33 books in 2012. While that is not a great number, I’m pleased that I was able to make the time in this extremely hectic year to sit and enjoy a good book, even if for just a few pages at a time. I read some great books, and some not-so-great ones, and ones (well, one in particular) that left a bad taste in my mouth. However, it’s been a good reading year overall, and I will use this opportunity to summarize nearly 12,000 pages into a few words.

These are the "physical" books I read. The rest were ebooks.
These are the “physical” books I read. The rest were eBooks.

1) “Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose.” – Neil Gaiman

It’s always difficult to pick a favourite, whether it’s a book, a movie or a song. I read several good books this year, and it was difficult to decide which I loved the most. Ultimately I decided on The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. This book was beautiful and mesmerizing, and I fell in love with it. I really can’t recommend it enough. Continue reading “2012 in Reading”

Reading · Writing

So I’m going to be honest with you here…

I’m not really all that fond of classics, and I’m not ashamed to admit it. The general notion seems to be that you’re supposed to like classics, and that people who don’t  are either (a) dumb, (b) not smart enough to understand them, (c) breaking some unwritten code of literature, (d) don’t know how to read, or (e) all of the above.

Now that’s just silly. There’s no rule that says that you have to like classics before you can be taken seriously as a reader/writer/person. Classics were written in a time much different from ours and discussed themes and topics that may not be of much concern these days. That’s without mentioning how classic authors tend to get a bit long-winded and use prose that could be called outdated or old-fashioned.

Continue reading “So I’m going to be honest with you here…”