A Farewell to Arms
by Ernest Hemingway
Okay! I admit I didn’t even read the whole book and I’m not even regretting that for I believe that a book that doesn’t get to you from the very beginning of it, is a book that doesn’t worth the time.
Hemingway seems to have the most boring writing-style ever! I was expecting sort of a forbidden love story which happened in the times of the World War I and lots of blood, death, and brutality descriptions, but instead all what I found in the book is this complete childish characters (yes, I’m referring to Catherine Barkley)the love she had with Henry was ridiculous and what was even more ridiculous is the description of their love affair “I had gotten somewhat drunk and had nearly forgotten to come but when I could not see her there I was feeling lonely and hallow” Like seriously? lonely and hallow? I can write better than that!!
Also, I hardly could see any developments in the characters; therefore, I had no kind of attachment toward them. They were silly, and just uninteresting. The war was rarely described except in few chapters. So now, can someone please tell me why this guy has won the Nobel Prize in Literature? And no, I’m definitely not going to read The Old Man and the Sea or anything forErnest Hemingway.
by William Shakespeare
When I first read a short plot of Othello, I thought that Othello is just some kind of idiot for believing his fellow Iago over his wife! Not to mention the silly plan Iago used to fool Othello with, I mean COME ON! He finds her handkerchief with Cassio and now she’s a prostitute! Gimme a break!! =_=”
However, all that’s changed once I read the play. Now, I think Othello is a great example of what jealousy can do and how it can turn love to hate and turn the greatest men to the one of the stupidest, who might end up killing his wife for no reasons at all and yeah that’s included finding her handkerchief with another man! The part where Othello tells Desdemona to pray before he kills her and their last conversation is just too sad I mean imagine being killed by the man you love? The man who you would do anything for him and yet he can’t trust you…
The Cherry Orchard
by Anton Chekhov
The Cherry Orchard is a Russian play written by Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, probably known as a short-stories writer actually he is considered to be one of the greatest short-story writers in the history of world literature! and as strange as it may sound, but I think that somehow I have enjoyed reading this one play more than any other short story I previously read for him!
I quite loved the dialogues between the characters and the simple language of the play. Here’s one of my favourite lines in the play:
“TROFIMOV. The human race progresses, perfecting its powers. Everything that is unattainable now will some day be near at hand and comprehensible, but we must work, we must help with all our strength those who seek to know what fate will bring. Meanwhile in Russia only a very few of us work. The vast majority of those intellectuals whom I know seek for nothing, do nothing, and are at present incapable of hard work. They call themselves intellectuals, but they use “thou” and “thee” to their servants, they treat the peasants like animals, they learn badly, they read nothing seriously, they do absolutely nothing, about science they only talk, about art they understand little. They are all serious, they all have severe faces, they all talk about important things. They philosophize, and at the same time, the vast majority of us, ninety-nine out of a hundred, live like savages, fighting and cursing at the slightest opportunity, eating filthily, sleeping in the dirt, in stuffiness, with fleas, stinks, smells, moral filth, and so on… And it’s obvious that all our nice talk is only carried on to distract ourselves and others. Tell me, where are those créches we hear so much of? and where are those reading-rooms? People only write novels about them; they don’t really exist. Only dirt, vulgarity, and Asiatic plagues really exist… . I’m afraid, and I don’t at all like serious faces; I don’t like serious conversations. Let’s be quiet sooner.”
To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird has been on my bookshelf for a pretty long time, as much as I was excited to start reading it as much as I was a afraid that I wouldn’t like it or that I would be disappointed since the book is quite popular, and I have never really been a fan of popular books.
However, a month ago I decided to take the risk, and see for myself whether the book is too good, or it’s just another overrated book. Clearly, as you can tell from my rating, I found out that it is actually too good!
The story takes place in Maycomb, Alabama. The narrator is a six-old girl called Scout Finch, she has a brother called Jim and lives with her widower father Atticus, a real “awesome” lawyer. Scout is like any other young girl, smarter though, she lives in a typical society where people consider unfamiliar actions as wrong just because they’re not familiar with them. As Scout grow up she starts to observe the world around her, and to learn new things such as: the importance of being humble, respecting people’s differences, and privacies..etc what I liked about these parts is that Scout learns these values from very simple events, events that happen everyday for everyone. For me reading or rather taking this educational journey was like:”That’s right! Why I never thought of this before?”
The second part of the story (which is my favorite) is the part where Atticus gets appointed to defend a black man, Tom Robinson, who is accused of raping a white woman, Mayella Ewell back where darked-skin people used to be treated badly. Lots of Maycomb’s citizen advice Atticus not to defend Tom, and some even try to hurt him with his kids by calling them names like “Negro lovers”, despite all of this, Atticus tries his best to prove people wrong and stay fixed for his own principles(that all people should be treated equally no matter what family they came from or what is the color of their skins). Whether Atticus successes or not, that’s not the point the point is that he actually stood for what he believes in.
One thing I would like to point to in the book is the characters’ development in this book has absolutely blown my mind! Especially with Scout, the way we (readers) see how the things she learned change her personality through the book is definitely accurate and quite entertaining! Harber Lee’s writing style is simple and yet full of beauty. I highlighted lots of quotes if you may allow me, I’ll add some of them:
“We know all men are not created equal in the sense some people would have us believe- some people are smarter than others, some people have more opportunity because they’re born with it, some men make more money than others, some ladies make better cakes than others- some people are born gifted beyond the normal scope of men.
But there is one way in this country in which all men are created equal- there is one human institution that makes a pauper the equal of a Rockefeller, the stupid man the equal of an Einstein, and the ignorant man the equal of any college president. That institution, gentlemen, is a court.”
“As you grow older, you’ll see white men
cheat black men every day of your life,
but let me tell you something and don’t you forget it - whenever a white man
does that to a black man, no matter who he is, how rich he is, or how fine a family he comes from, he is trash.”
“Sometimes the Bible in the hand of one man is worse than a whisky bottle in the hand of (another)… There are just some kind of men who - who’re so busy worrying about the next world they’ve never learned to live in this one, and you can look down the street and see the results.”
Sorry! I know that’s a lot of quotes, but I couldn’t help it!
So summing up, the book is awesome and it’s a must-read for everyone.The court part was my favorite I kept re-reading it more than once. Loved it and at last I want to say that I have officially added Atticus to my Favorite Fictional Characters list along with Hamlet and Lord Henry from The Picture of Dorian Gray .
by William Shakespeare
Hamlet the sweet prince of Denmark, the revenger, the forgiver, the lover, the hater, the mad man and the wisest of all. What should I write to describe such an extraordinary work? The characters of the play played a very important part in my life to make me understand meanings like love, revenge and self discipline. I think I have never loved a character in any previous book\play I have read like the way I loved Hamlet, the way he sees the world and ponders the purposes and the beauty of it were…… what?? I cannot even find words to describe them, I mean what hasn’t already been said of Hamlet? Who am I to talk about a play that survived more than five hundred years and still amazes people? Just think of it..
I loved all the scenes of the play. I think the first scene in act five was the saddest (Ophelia’s Burial), and the scene before when Hamlet stays in a distance watching the gravedigger working and Hamlet starts questioning himself about the occupations these dead people had and how all of what they have done won’t help them to escape death:
That skull had a tongue in it, and could sing once:
how the knave jowls it to the ground, as if it were
Cain’s jaw-bone, that did the first murder! It
might be the pate of a politician, which this ass
now o’er-reaches; one that would circumvent God,
might it not?
It might, my lord.
Or of a courtier; which could say ‘Good morrow,
sweet lord! How dost thou, good lord?’ This might
be my lord such-a-one, that praised my lord
such-a-one’s horse, when he meant to beg it; might it not?
Ay, my lord.
Why, e’en so: and now my Lady Worm’s; chapless, and
knocked about the mazzard with a sexton’s spade:
here’s fine revolution, an we had the trick to
see’t. Did these bones cost no more the breeding,
but to play at loggats with ‘em? mine ache to think on’t.
A pick-axe, and a spade, a spade,
For and a shrouding sheet:
O, a pit of clay for to be made
For such a guest is meet.
*Throws up another skull*
There’s another: why may not that be the skull of a
lawyer? Where be his quiddities now, his quillets,
his cases, his tenures, and his tricks? why does he
suffer this rude knave now to knock him about the
sconce with a dirty shovel, and will not tell him of
his action of battery? Hum! This fellow might be
in’s time a great buyer of land, with his statutes,
his recognizances, his fines, his double vouchers,
his recoveries: is this the fine of his fines, and
the recovery of his recoveries, to have his fine
pate full of fine dirt? will his vouchers vouch him
no more of his purchases, and double ones too, than
the length and breadth of a pair of indentures? The
very conveyances of his lands will hardly lie in
this box; and must the inheritor himself have no more, ha?
There are so many other soliloquies that I loved too such as “What a piece of work is a man!” orHow All Occasions Do Inform Against Me and of course the most famous one in the world literature To be, or not to be.
So basically this is my favorite play. One of my dreams is to study it perhaps with a British prof in a very big class, and then go to watch the play on stage.
I know Goodreads is no place for talking about films, but seriously if loved the play as much as I did, go download\rent Hamlet 1996 version it stars Kenneth Branagh who did a great great great job in being Hamlet. I think it’s the best adaptation of the play, so far. IT IS A MUST WATCH FOR SHAKESPEARE’S LOVERS.
Sense and Sensibility
I’m really finding it hard to review this book because I have had different feelings through reading it. I mean at the very beginning of the story I thought I might give it four stars while in the middle of it I thought it would be 3 stars instead and at last I said this book deserves five! There’re things that I loved about it, things I hated, and things I wished they were mentioned, so let me start from the beginning ..
Sense and Sensibility is Jane Austen’s first published work written in the 19th century, England. The time when women were not able to follow a profession, nor to have an equal education to men and when single women would normally receive pity and sympathy from their society - doesn’t that remind you of something?-
Note: a general idea about the book is written below and there might be few spoilers between the lines.
Sense and Sensibility is a story about Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, two very different sisters who experience both love and lost in their lives.
Since Elinor is the eldest sister, she tends to be sensible & sober-minded. While Marianne is quite the opposite she is romantic, dreamy and an absolute impulsive young girl. Jane Austen takes us to a very deep journey of both sisters discovering the true meanings of love and marriage.
What I loved about the book:
I was in love with Jane Austen’s writing style & the way she describes her characters in the book is so realistic and accurate I almost believed that these people were not fictional! Also, she seems to choose every single word precisely. She certainly uses so many adjectives, but still good. She also seems to KNOW human psychological nature so damn good! Reading this book was like going into two girls’ brains and feelings.. and yeah I loved the characters of the story too except Willoughby *YUCK*
Things I hated? or let me say things I “disliked” instead. Hate is a strong word:
As I previously mentioned that I loved Jane Austen’s writing style, but at several points I was like okay enough with the fancy words and the love\feelings thing! I want events! Especially at the middle of the book I even thought of skipping few chapters -which I didn’t BTW-, but Jane goes back to the right track after pretty few pages of nothing-happening.
As a reader, I don’t really like books that focus on one subject and in this case it’s love, but I can’t deny that I have really enjoyed reading this one and that I sometimes think of Marianne and whether she is happy or not, I mean in the story she gets what she deserves that for sure, but not what she wanted. I don’t know what would I feel if I were her. Which one is more valuable a respectful, safe marriage with a gentleman a real gentleman or a poor life with a man she once loved? Still didn’t find an answer for this question.
So generally, the books is a good piece of classic it won’t necessary change your life or your points of view it’s just a deep journey between choices and feelings. It is also a great book to experience the beauty of the English language. It is the kind of books you read with a cup of tea and some music. Tchaikovsky? Perhaps? And before I forget there’s a very awesome version film based on this book Starring: Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Hugh Grant and Alan Rickman. Everyone MUST watch it. It represents the book and the characters in no better way!
I know that nobody really cares, but in case somebody does wonder about the things I wished Jane Austen had mentioned in the book, then it’s the other things going on around the girls like describing their home or the situation in England back then or even the weather! .. it would have been the prefect book for me if these things were included. Still a favorite though.
by Vladimir Nabokov
I wrote a review, I read it, and thought “No! this is not what I think of the novel!”, so I wrote another one which couldn’t describe my feelings, either. And I kept writing one after one.. none of them satisfied me. So far this is the fifth review where I am trying to settle down my ideas and decide whether I like the book or not. In a point of fact, I still don’t know how I am feeling towards the book myself! Did I hate it? But why then I kept reading it everywhere I went to? Or how could such an ugly, pervert creature such as Humbert Humbert (Long name! let’s call him H.H) drive me to all sorts of pain by every word he writes?
The story is about a middle-aged man and a twelve year old girl and their love affair. When this evilness of lust & desire meet the innocence of a young girl all that written in a way that no one can ever write like, you know that you are reading a great book. A book that will make you wonder what is love? Is it really a pure thing? Or is it an evil passion one which people cannot control, one that drives people crazy and makes them lose their minds, makes them commit things that are totally against their wills?
When the story first begin, we get to know H.H’s motivations, he tells us about his story at a time when he was a teenager and how he has once loved a girl called Annabel and how hard it was for him to deal with her death. Ever since then H.H becomes incapable of resisting nymphets! He’s old now, but obviously still having these feeling towards certain kinds of girls. When H.H first meets Lolita. He thinks that he only loves her, because she is like a shadow of his first love. His writing-style is much more than what I would say:
’’There are two kinds of visual memory: one when you skillfully recreate an image in the laboratory of your mind, with your eyes open (and then I see Annabel in such general terms as: “honey-colored skin,” “think arms,” “brown bobbed hair,” “long lashes,” “big bright mouth”); and the other when you instantly evoke, with shut eyes, on the dark inner side of your eyelids, the objective, absolutely optical replica of a beloved face, a little ghost in natural colors (and this is how I see Lolita).’’
So yeah you will expect to hate H.H in the beginning it’s always hard to read a book when the protagonist is an evil, selfish guy, but what I found it pretty satisfying is when I realised that H.H was actually in love with Lolita! It’s actually more like an obsession, for a better description. It all started with a desire to possesses her carnally, but afterwards and only when H.H meets Lolita again after years, an older Lolita that isn’t a nymphet any more, he realises that he is still madly in love with her no matter how old, how pale she is:
’’and I looked and looked at her, and knew as clearly as I know I am to die, that I loved her more than anything I had ever seen or imagined on earth, or hoped for anywhere else. She was only the faint violet whiff and dead leaf echo of the nymphet I had rolled myself upon with such cries in the past; an echo on the brink of a russet ravine, with a far wood under a white sky, and brown leaves choking the brook, and one last cricket in the crisp weeds… but thank God it was not that echo alone that I worshipped. What I used to pamper among the tangled vines of my heart, mon grand pch radieux, had dwindled to its essence: sterile and selfish vice, all that I cancelled and cursed. You may jeer at me, and threaten to clear the court, but until I am gagged and halfthrottled, I will shout my poor truth. I insist the world know how much I loved my Lolita, this Lolita, pale and polluted, and big with another’s child, but still gray-eyed, still sooty-lashed, still auburn and almond, still Carmencita, still mine; Changeons de vie, ma Carmen, allons vivre quelque, part o nous ne serons jamais spars; Ohio? The wilds of Massachusetts? No matter, even if those eyes of hers would fade to myopic fish, and her nipples swell and crack, and her lovely young velvety delicate delta be tainted and torneven then I would go mad with tenderness at the mere sight of your dear wan face, at the mere sound of your raucous young voice, my Lolita.’’
Beautiful, isn’t it? And far more shocking to know that the writer is Russian! How could he write in such a perfect way? I was really really amazed by his words and the style was WOW especially when H.H begs the reader to understands him; this all have made me go through all kinds of emotions: disgust, fear, compassion and even LOVE! Only someone with Nabokov’s gift for language could manage to create such a complex combination, right?
I know this is a long review so I’ll sum up, the book is about an inside-ugly person he’s smart, amusing and somehow even funny! It’s the kind of books that will make you feel guilty for loving them, or for having any kind of compassion or sympathy toward its characters and it certainly will leave you out of words just like I am now. At last, I would love to quote Humbert and say: Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, I am Malak Alrashed a girl who’s trying to keep her self away from every possible sin, have actually read and loved this book with all my soul!
Do I recommend this book?
Certainly not! Especially for those who only see the world in black and white.
Sand and Foam
by Khalil Gibran
I read this one a long time ago -the one translated to Arabic- at that time it didn’t make any sense to me! It just made me think that Gibran was some sort of a crazy man who knew how to write thousands of meaningless poems!
Recently, I had this strange desire to read something for Gibran, again, so I took this book and started reading it and experiencing it all over again and GOD I COULDN’T PUT IT DOWN! The only difference this time was that I have taken the original one which’s written in English. Yeah translation can be really bad sometimes.
Anyway, reading Gibran’s words was like listening to a symphony you never want it to stop and every time you listen to it, you discover a new beautiful tone you weren’t aware of. I felt that there is a hidden meaning for each poem. One that you need to really think deeply about in order to understand it fully, though sometimes Gibran sounds like this dreamer-optimistic person which you can’t stand! He even had these optimistic views in the weirdest places! Who read anything of his works will understand what I mean. I love Gibran’s craziness, and his wisdom. He’s certainly one of my favorite poets.
I’m pretty much finishing The Book of Disquiet for Pessoa quite soon, and I’m also reading The Outsider for Albert Camus and so far, I’m enjoying both :”)
You know when you get to know something that touches you deeply and make you think about it ALL THE TIME and the first thing that’d pop to your mind when you first wake up is: ah! That was such a good anime? This kind of feeling? Well, that what I have been feeling like since I started to watch Ao No Exrcist a week ago. My sister recommended it for me; she knows how crazy I am about creepy stuff as this, Satans, death, souls and all the things that would make me excited to watch a certain Anime.
From the very first episode, I have completely fallen in love with it! I said this is it! I’ve finally found what I have been looking for! An animation that has an amazing plot, AWESOME characters, and the kind of OST that you’d love to hear it in real life whenever you’re imagining yourself as a hero.
The idea of the manga is something that made me wonder how humans can have this sort of imagination. The main story is about a twin brothers whom father is SATAN! Yeah Satan has once loved a woman, human one of course and they made babies!!! However, some cool stuff happen I don’t want to spoil it, and now the two brothers have been secretly raised as normal human beings with Father Shiro Fujimoto, but will Satan be okay with that? or will he come back to hunt his sons especially that one of them possess Satan’s power. I know, WOW.
One of the main things I loved about the anime is Father Shiro Fujimoto Character and his relationship with the twins I EVEN LOVED THE WAY HE LOOKED LIKE!
At last, all I want to say that the anime is beyond awesome and I’m so crazy about it, as you can see, I’m planning to buy the manga online and read them crying and kissing every page of them. Yeah! BTW, the anime doesn’t follow the manga completely it’s almost quite the same ‘till episode 17 or so, as I heard. I don’t know why they’ve changed it, or whether there are plans for a second season or not. I hope there is.
GO NOW WATCH IT ONLINE. Thank you.
Finally I have finished reading The Catcher in the Rye, not that it took me a long time to do it; I just couldn’t find another word to start writing this except with “finally”.
Before I decided to actually start reading The Catcher in the Rye, I heard and read all about how obnoxious, and how everyone hates Holden, but when I first read the first chapter in the library, I literally couldn’t help it but to fall in love with him! I mean he’s so damn funny especially when he criticises people in his head, he sounds too sarcastic to me. Probably one of the most sarcastic characters I have ever read about. Holden for those who know him not, is the sort of person who gets irritated about the silliest things ever! Things that you think aren’t even a big deal! Talking in a certain way, for example, would irritate him, cutting your nails would irritate him, giving him an advice will do the same effect, too. So basically EVERY DAMN THING irritates our Holden, and I mean every damn thing literally and he’s the kind of boy who criticises a lot in his head, A LOT. But… still I loved him, I mean to be fair judging him, Don’t we all do the same? Don’t we all smile outside, but inside of us there’s a whole different thing going on? Like really how many times were you complimenting a friend of yours, let’s say for example, and told her how much you were thinking about her every second of your life and how good she looks like and blah blah, but.. but deep inside of you were all like: “OH! GOD! What an idiot, and what’s up with that dress?! It’s so 90s! GOD! she looks like she’s just been hit by a car! GOD! GOD!….etc.” All of us? Right? Come on! You sure have done it once or twice or probably in every damn meeting in your life? :\
I guess this part, the part where Holden criticises things shows lots of us, we human, and how the way we say and most importantly NOT say things to each other, and how all those contradictory thoughts we’ve developed inside of us, have taken control of us in a way that we’ve become such big fat liars. Just lairs.. and, sadly, hypocrisy has become the main ruler of our society. I you’re not some big hypocrite, then you better step back and stay in your home, kid. Because in order for you to success and to become a part of the “adult world”, you have to use some little hypocritical sentences every now and then. Sucks, I know. Truth hurts, sorry.
And from my humble perspective, I think because of that and other reasons, of course, Holden couldn’t possibly like anybody. He’s only a 17 years boy who was struggling to grow up and to become one of these “phoney” people, as he calls them, he simply cannot feel any sense of belonging to the adult world. No matter how cool he wants to be and all, deep inside of him there’ll always be a part where he wishes to just stay a little innocent kid living in a world where nothing ever changes, nothing matters, a world where you don’t have to impress people. Perhaps that what Holden has wanted, or perhaps it’s just me being a bad analyser. Who knows, really? Our nice Holden didn’t want to have sex with anyone, and he always pushes everyone off, he loves going to the museum where nothing changes, and he wants to be the catcher in the rye. Seriously how can anyone not sympathise with that? He’s a young afraid boy, he’s afraid from never finding an identity, he’s afraid from people around him, and he’s also afraid of who he will become, and he pushes other off because he’s just lost. We all have been through this and we all have felt this heavy pressure above our shoulders which is too full of questions that we can never answer, only life can and only life will make sure to punch us in the face so we damn know. But still we can’t help it not to wonder, can we?
I think The Catcher in the Rye is a wonderfully amusing book. It made me laugh, tear up, and it made me realise certain things. Things that are just as clear as the sun, but for some reasons I have been keeping my eyes shut so I won’t see them. The style of the writing is simple and real; I loved how Holden describes things and notices the silliest things even, things you won’t even be able to think about because you’d think they’re silly, but…. well, I have read the whole damn book cover to cover and it did amuse me! The silly things we notice, the silly things that affect us, and the silly things that bother us and I assume you know which one of the previous have been mentioned the most in the book.
*whispers* it’s the things that bother us the must! Holden is easily irritated, remember?
*I wrote this one while I’m super sleepy. If you notice any grammar\spelling\repeating mistake(s), just pretend there isn’t any. I’ll re-read it tomorrow. AND YES I COULDN’T WAIT FOR TOMORROW TO PUBLISH THIS T_T