Tag Archives: books reviews

My Top 5 Summer Books

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Salam dear readers,

Since it’s finally fall, I wanted to give you a wrap up of my summer.

Summer is over alhamduli’ALLAH.. YAAAAY!!! I have mixed feelings about this. Summer in Marrakesh is somehow unbearable, but it’s one of the characteristics that makes Marrakesh what it is; and alhamduli’ALLAH we got through it. Yes, I will miss the free time, the travelling, the beach, and all the reading that I could do. But still I’m a “pro-Rain/Cold” person.

Today I want to share with you my  top 5 books that I’ve read this summer.

This summer, I read some very good books, some bad ones and some average. I also reread 2 of my favorite books and I really enjoyed rereading them. I won’t talk much about these books but I will try to give reviews of them very soon insha’ALLAH.

You can see more about the books that I’m reading on my Goodreads profile.

Let’s start:

Living Dead Girl:

This book (sigh) … This book can’t be easily described or talked about. It’s a young adult/contemporary novel written by Elizabeth Scott. Let me just say that it’s the most disturbing book I’ve read in awhile (if not ever). It deals with kidnapping, rape, pedophilia, family, identity… I couldn’t put it down and I got really scared while reading it. I couldn’t/didn’t want to imagine what was happening. I didn’t like reading some/most of the content and I was reading it really quickly trying not to pay attention to what’s been described. I don’t want to spoil the book, but I will try to give a review of it very soon. I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads.

The Great Gatsby:

I can’t give this less than 5 stars. This was my third time reading this, and it was even better.  I love reading it and rereading it and talking about it over and over again. every time I read it, I discover new things about it that I didn’t notice before. This book is about dreams, lost love, wealth,  and society. I can’t express why I love this books clearly, but it’s just one of my favorite books of all time. I gave a book review a very long time, but I think I will write another well developed review very soon insha’ALLAH.

The Trouble with Women:

 

Have you ever noticed that women are rarely mentioned in our history books and courses?? I did for sure. This book deals with that in a very simple funny way. It’s a nonfiction feminist interpretation of this whole subject written by Jacky Fleming. I read this in one sitting, and I really really enjoyed it. You can read it in an hour or so. It contains sequential art and that helps in the structure and the goal of the book as a whole. Again I will go in depth in a review of this book in a day or so insha’ALLAH. I gave it 4 stars.

Steal Like an Artist:

This is a very interesting read. It’s written by Austin Kleon,a young writer and artist who create wonderful things in what he writes and speak about.  This should be read by every student, every blogger, writer, teacher… Basically EVERYONE. The message is really powerful. It just tells humans everywhere that they don’t need to be genius, they just need to be themselves, and to know what they want. It has great tips that I tried to put into practice immediately. “Creativity is everywhere. It is for everyone” and that’s in itself is a life/mind changing

ساق البامبو

This is an Arabic book entitled “The Bamboo Stalk” written by Saud Alsanousi. This was probably one of the best books that I’ve read in my entire life. The language use is so beautiful. It shows how much love the writer has for the Arabic language; this love reaches the reader, and make him appreciate the language even better. It has an amazing story with very unique characters. Th events take place between Kuwait and the Philippines.  It tackles different subjects like:  race, identity, family, sense of belonging, social classes, and other universal struggles. I will definitely recommend this book. Go and read it.

That’s it for today. Let me know in the comments of your favorite books of this summer and what do you think  of mine.

Talk to you soon insha’ALLAH.

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Kaoutar’s Book Thoughts: Three Men in a Boat

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Salam dear readers,

These are my thoughts on Three Men in Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

I’ve just finished reading this book. It took me awhile to read it, but I read most of it in the past 3 days, so I think that is a good thing 📚📚📚📚📚 “Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ” ☺📚☺📚☺📚☺ I give it a 4 ☆ out of 5. At first, I thought of giving it 3,5 but it’s worth more. It made me smile, laugh, and think. It is full of knowledge, and it just brushes up my British history knowledge. At some point, it can seem hard to follow, specially with the heavy description of London streets, rivers, and monuments. But it’s just a unique book. I don’t know why, but while reading it, it keeps reminding me of Charlie Chaplin and all those silent funny movies. I imagined the characters as those actors with their outfit, hats, and all those beautiful characteristics. It is also based on real events that the author and his friends experienced, so that’s definitely a plus. The book shows that the author is a man of experience, that he knows what he’s talking about, that he has a very smart sense of humor, and that he’s wise. I really recommend this to all of you dear readers, especially to the ones who like a good funny British classic. 🔭📚🔭📚📚🔭📚🔭 That's it… I’m going to go back now to reading my other Arabic book 😊☺😊 #me #reading #books #bookstagram #bookphotography #bookworm #morocco #marrakech #instalike #instagood #beauty #nature #igreads #currentread #whatareyoureading #boat #classic #كتب #اقرأ #كتبي ر

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I read this book last month, and I already expressed how much I liked it. Who says that British classic humor can be hard to grasp? This book shows absolutely the opposite.This meant to be a travelogue, but ended up as a very funny book.

This is the story of three men – Jerome and his two friends, Harris and George and their dog. They decide to take a trip in a boat (something that was common in those days) in the River Thames in Oxford, England to cure themselves after they suffered from some weird ailment.  While narrating, he mentions all the villages and landmarks he and his friends pass, such as Marlow, Hampton Church, Magna Carta Island, … The books is also full of funny stories that happened to the characters or people they know. These stories will make you laugh out loud. There are stories of friends, historical figures, and even stories that happened to Montmorency, the dog.

The book also describes the common events  and situations that can happen in our everyday life. Even for today’s modern life, these situations are still relevant. You can still relate to the characters/ real people.  It has a beautiful sense of wisdom combined with a brilliant wit, which you can just love 😀

It refreshes your knowledge of many things. 3 years ago, I took a “British Culture”class, so this reminds me of what I like about that subject. I like studying and knowing more about the British history, so I really liked it when he was talking about the Magna Carta, the history behind certain streets and homes, and the earliest kings and queens of the UK,

Things I did not like: The ending was a bit quick, since their return journey was not described in full detailed, and it was just in one chapter. Also, sometimes you will find it hard to keep with some of the description, but you can’t help but love it.

I recommend this for the following reasons:

  1. It’s a classic. No need to explain more
  2. It’s funny in a smart way. For example, there is this “German language” story that made me giggle, and I’m sure it will give you the same feel.
  3. It’s full of knowledge. I’m sure you like books that make you know more, so go and try this 😉

Rate: 4/5

I have chosen to change this section from “book reviews” to “Kaoutar’s Book Thoughts”, they are my own spontaneous first thoughts; because I don’t want to give a full detailed review. These are just my thoughts on a certain book: why I loved it/ hated it. I love talking about books, but I don’t like to spoil them 😉

This is my favorite quote in the book. I actually highlighted it in my copy, which I rarely do (try not to do/ hate to do) in books.

“Let your boat of life be light, packed with only what you need – a homely home and simple pleasures, one or two friends, worth the name, someone to love and someone to love you, a cat, a dog, and a pipe or two, enough to eat and enough to wear, and a little more than enough to drink; for thirst is a dangerous thing. ”

 

That is for today. Keep reading books, and checking my blog 😉 Talk to you soon insha’ALLAH.

My Favourite Books of 2015

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I know what you’re thinking. It’s already February and I’m still speaking about 2015. Well; that’s what happens when you’re late and you cannot catch up on things 😉

To be honest, I wrote most of this at the beginning of January, then I didn’t have time to edit it, and I had a lot of things to do -school related- still do, but I need to this. I really want to share with you my top 10 of 2015, and I would love to see you do that too ❤

Without any further delay, let’s start this.

2015 was a good reading year for me. I’ve managed to read a total of 50 books ( or more: 52 or so). I’ve read many English books, a lot of Arabic ones, and one French book sadly, which will be in this list. Also,  I discovered new authors, and I was a bit open to new genres and new choices.

Little Women

I love this book. I watched the movie a very long time ago, and really wanted to read it.  I actually started it at the end of 2014, and I’m glad I did. This is a beautiful, just a beautiful story about family, sisters, love, life and the things that matter. It reminds me of me, my sisters, my brother , and my family.  It’s simple, clever, and I recommend this for sure. One more thing..  is that I want a friend like Laurie ( who is one of my favorite characters ever)  😉

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It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be

This book is a must read book. The title is capturing. It’s very easy to go through, and you’ll definitely enjoy reading it. It made me love reading nonfiction again.

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رحلتي مع غاندي

This book came when I really needed it, i.e. when I read this book, some things were happening, and there were some passages of it that really spoke to me, and helped me. It may not be the greatest book written in Arabic, and I may have some/many notes about it, but I loved it. I’m also a “Khawatir” fan, so it makes an absolute sense 😉

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Animal Farm 

This is a book that makes you think, and link events together with historical ones. This is a very good piece of literature. I think George Orwell is brilliant, and I can’t wait to read more and all of his work. You should too (this is not an order of course, but a kind of demand :p )

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

This book is a celebration of language, and its beautiful aspects. Of course, I knew the story before reading this. I actually read the Arabic version ( a concise one), and maybe a French one as well when I was really young. But this reading was entertaining and just beautiful ❤ loved it ❤

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Philomel Cottage

This Agatha Christie’ short story is amazing. It takes less than an hour to read, and it is GOOD. I read this as a part of this Halloween Stories Collection, and I’ve read other ones (mostly by Stephen King..), but this one is the best. I started it and couldn’t put it down. Many people don’t like this, but I can’t see why…, because I love it, obviously. This is a perfect example of a short book ( very short) that is rich in the content.

*A spoiler:  You’ll get surprised by the ending.

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Les Fourberies de Scapin

This is my only French read for the past year. I wanted to pick this up since I was 15 or 16. We had it in our bookshelf for a very long time. I finally had the chance to read it, and it didn’t disappoint me for sure. This was funny and creative, though it was not as funny as Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, which I read back when I was 14, and which made me laugh so hard. But for this one, I liked it. It was rich in the content, and it’s an easy quick read. I definitely recommend it.

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To Kill a Mockingbird 

This does not need a justification. I’m happy that I finally read it. I actually found it in our university library, and borrowed it without a second thinking. Atticus is one of the best characters that I’ve ever read about. I loved the characters, the writing style, and the themes. This book does worth all the hype that has been around it for the past 50+ year.  I think I’m going to reread it soon insha’ALLAH, because it deserves to be reread. I also think you need to read it.

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Horses of God

This book is one of the best books that I’ve ever read. This is a book that can change your views on certain things. It can change your ideas on certain people, and makes you see life in a different way. I actually worked on this book in my BA thesis, along with its adaptation. I’m so happy and proud that it’s by a Moroccan author. This book is originally written in French, and it was translated into English. I read this book 4 or 5 times last year, and I’m diffidently going to reread it. If you want to read this book, read it with a critical mind, and try to understand the characters. This book is about poverty, terrorism, identity, Morocco, you and me; it’s about humans, and it’s good. Go and read it;  I think you’re going to love it.

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For the Love of ALLAH

This is a 50 page book, and it’s the best book that I’ve read this year. Essentially, this book  is about Salat, and how to do it properly, and why you should do it. I love praying and I think of it as a daily talk with ALLAH, 5 times a day, if it’s not more, and this book made me love it even more. This book makes you understand Salat. I read it last Ramadan, and I feel happy to have done that. It is very important for me as a Muslim and for you too if you are Muslims. It’s very helpful for the non-Muslims as well, if you want to understand our practices and way of living, and understand Islam and its values the right way.

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That’s it. I hope you loved reading this post, as mush as I loved writing it. Talk to you soon insha’ALLAH.

 

Book Review: The Stranger.

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Salam dear friends,

Hope you’re doing great 🙂

My today’s book is The Strange, by Albert Camus… I finished it 2 days ago, and I can’t stop rereading it. It is a book about us, humans. It was written in 1942, during World War II. The book is very interesting: once you hold it in your hand, you can’t just put it away. The story is written in a brilliant way, that it makes the reader thinks that he’s a part of it.

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“Maman died today. Or maybe yesterday; I can’t be sure.” This is how the novel begins, and from this first sentence, I can feel that I’m going to read something good… That’s how I thought 🙂

When reading the story, I felt like I’m reading a personal diary of Mersault, the main character of this novel. Mersault is more or less a careless person, who lives his life the way he wants to, without any significant passion (or emotion) . He doesn’t think much about what people say or think about him. He says what he thinks of, and doesn’t speak unless he has something very important to say. What I liked most about him is his honesty.

I felt bad for him, but in the same time I liked the whole character. When his mother dies, he doesn’t cry, or feel any change, he doesn’t even want to see her for the last time, and it’s sad. We may think that he doesn’t like his mother, but it’s not true, he’s used of being that way. He sees death as a fact of life. Reading this book, you may feel that Mersault is a stranger, But I think we all are strangers in one way or another.

The life of Mersault changes at the end of the first part. He is forced to face a meaningless universe. He is out in the beach, when his friend is followed by a group of Arabs, and Mersault shoots one of the Arabs. Here the story begin to change in a strange way. The simple details begin to control the life of a man, an ordinary man who is described as being a monster. We can call it bad luck or destiny, or we can just call it life.

There is more to say about the novel and about Mersault, but I’ll stop here.  I won’t talk about the end, because I think you should read the book to know it. I would only say that this book is amazing. It is a timeless classic that speaks to your soul, not your mind.

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Quotes to share from the book:

“If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.”

“Since we’re all going to die, it’s obvious that when and how don’t matter.”

“I realized then that a man who had lived only one day could easily live for a hundred years in prison. He would have enough memories to keep him from being bored”

“I felt the urge to reassure him that I was like everybody else, just like everybody else.”

That’s it… Talk to you soon Insha’ALLAH