A Prayer of Thanks?

Hey you.

I think congratulations are in order for moi as I managed to navigate well around  Wordpress and read some really nice posts. One of them had a single phrase which really rang out for me, check it out here: 11 Things I’ve Learned Since Becoming a Special-Needs Parent.

It said ‘it can always be worse’ and it was really one of those Hallelujah moments for me. I mean seriously! Okay. Lemme explain. Right now wherever we are, whoever we are and no matter how much we own we all want something more. And don’t you try and deny because you know that’s not true. We loathe those unwanted, ghastly love handles claiming their space around our middle, we lust after her hair which is surely Godsend  and we would do anything to claim that gorgeously perfect outfit/body/anything for ourselves.

I’m listing down common things related to woman but I’m certain men have their own lists of things they hate about themselves and things they lust after which others have. And the reason I’m writing about it here is because I think that (as cheesy and cliched it may be) we should really be glad for what we have.

Go look at yourself in the mirror. Really look at yourself and notice all the good things. It’s funny how we never look at what’s perfect in us because that’s just boring. We can sit and stare and obsess over our tiny imperfections, wishing there weren’t there but we rarely ever look at something and say ” Wow, now that’s perfect” or say “Thank God I have…”

As it was said in the post I tagged up there ^ it can always be much worse, people do have it way way way worse than we did. Sure, we’re not perfect. Where’s the fun in that? I can’t imagine how boring life would be like if I had everything and if there was nothing more I wanted, or needed. It would be so dull! The anticipation of having what we want makes life much better. Sometimes the chase is better than the prize.

The fact that they’re are things to accomplish, experiences to live, people to cherish, and stuff to gain is what makes our life interesting. So let’s say a prayer of thanks for the amazing ton of things God gave us and let’s look optimistically at the future and hope for all the good things to come to us.

Here’s hoping we’ll be that much more grateful. Cheers! 🙂

Review: ‘Brother Grimm’ by Craig Russell

Hey there.

Another review today! Read this one a while back and decided to put up a review here. First is the description at the back of the book and then my take on it. Have fun. 🙂

The back cover:

A girl’s body lies, posed, on the pale sand of a Hamburg beach, a message concealed in her hand. ‘I have been underground, and now it is time for me to return home. . .’

Jan Fabel, of the Hanburg Murder Squad, struggles to interpret the twisted imagery of a dark and brutal mind. Four days later, a man and a woman are found deep in woodland, their throats slashed deep and wide, the names ‘Hansel’ and ‘Gretel’, in the same tiny, obsessively neat writing, rolled tight and pressed into their hands.

As it becomes clear that each new crime is a grisly reference to folk stories collected almost two hundred years ago by the Brothers Grimm,  the hunt is on for a serial killer who is exploring our darkest, most fundamental fears. A predator who kills and then disappears into the shadows.

A monster we all learned to fear in childhood.

My take: Now this is what I absolutely hate about Dan Brown. Like really, why is the man so bloody good at telling a story? He makes everyone look so….not-up to-par! Okay, this is probably just what I feel but seriously, whenever I read a thriller or a suspense novel etc, I end up comparing it to what Dan Brown offers. And that is just so unfair because they all have their own style and they are different and good in their own places but man, Dan Brown is the king of thrillers/books-you-can’t-bloody-put-down.

Alright. Phew. Now that I have that out of my system I can focus on the review at hand. I don’t usually compare different authors and books unless I’m absolutely compelled to or when I’m reviewing a series. This book is the second one in the thriller series by Craig Russell which are all based on a central character Jan Fabel and follow him solving crimes. Although the characters remain the same you can easily pick any book of the series (currently, I think there are 3 already published) and follow the story as the plot is different and individual in all.

The book “Brother Grimm” is 448 pages long, has the tagline Murder Is No Fairy Tale  and has A LOT of words in German but if you, like me, have no clue about the German language then you can skip through them the way I did and everything still makes sense. The words usually represent police ranks and places. Take a serial killer and add the history and evolution of folk literature. Weird? Not so. That is what the book is about and I tell you, the combination paid off.

The story is about a serial killer who is so inspired by the German folk stories that he starts carrying out murders and props up the bodies as if they were characters of the stories come to life. He believes that “we are all variations on the same theme”, the theme being the story. Meaning, that we are all characters of one story or the other, only slightly different from the original characters. He is helped in this belief by an author who has recently published a book which shows how explicit the Brother Grimm fairy tales were when they were first recorded and how we have sugar-coated them to please us. This character provides a creative take on fairy tales and I was particularly entertained to read the parts where he appeared to help explain the killer’s psyche.

The plot was engaging, the suspects kept changing and the climax was horrific as well as a surprise . Overall, I found it a nice read, albeit not a bloodcurdling thriller but one to keep you turning the pages. The pace is a little slow at times, but otherwise moderate.

You might like it if:

  • You are a Craig Russell fan.
  • You are particularly into the  thriller genre.
  • You like intrigue and a complex plot.
  • You would like a different take on folk literature.
  • You like crime fiction.

You might not like it if:

  • You’re not one for thrillers and murder stories.
  • You’re not one to read books that run on the thicker side.
  • You’re not really interested in the history of folk literature.

I hope that was helpful. Until next time, cheers! 🙂

Aesop’s Fables: The Fox and the Stork

Hello everyone! How’s it going?

So today I thought of sharing something here rather than writing a random update of what I’m doing.

All of us have grown up among stories and fables which preach and instill morals, a sense of right and wrong, let us know of the consequences of wrong actions and how doom awaits those who don’t heed the warnings, wrong the innocent etc.

Many of these fables we grew up with are traced back to Aesop and were ultimately compiled together to form a thin yet substantial volume of stories which shape young minds and mange to stay with us forever. I decided to share one of my favourite one here. I’m adding one right now, may add more later. Hope you enjoy, lemme know what you think. 🙂

THE FOX AND THE STORK 

 One day a fox invited a stork to dinner, and since he wanted to amuse himself at the expense of his guest, he provided a meal that consisted only of some thin soup in a large flat dish. The fox was able to lap this soup up very easily, while the stork, unable to take a mouthful with her long narrow bill, was as hungry at the end of dinner as when she began. Meanwhile, the fox pretended to regret seeing her eat so sparingly and feared, so he said, that the dish might not be tasty enough for her. The stork said little but requested the honor of allowing her to invite him to her place in the near future. He was delighted with the invitation, and a week later, he showed up punctually at the stork’s home, where the dinner was served right away. To the fox’s dismay, however, he found that the meal was contained in a narrow-necked vessel down which the stork easily thrust her long neck and bill, while he was obliged to content himself with licking the neck of the jar. Unable to satisfy his hunger, he left as graciously as possible, observing that he could hardly find fault with his host, who had only paid him back in his own coin.

Those who mistreat others with their cunning must expect to suffer from it in return.

Review: ‘A Bend in the Road’ by Nicholas Sparks

Hello there!

As much as it may surprise everyone, I haven’t read any Nicholas Sparks’ books before this one (eeek!) and so it was my first experience of his writing. I’m going to first mention what the back cover summarizes and then my take on this book. Hope you find it useful and enjoy! 🙂

The back cover:

Miles Ryan’s life seemed to end the day his wife was killed in a hit-and-run accident two years ago. As deputy sheriff of New Bern, North Carolina, he not only grieves for her and worries about their young son Jonah but longs to bring the unknown driver to justice. Then Miles meets Sarah Andrews, Jonah’s second-grade teacher. A young woman recovering from a difficult divorce, Sarah moved to New Bern hoping to start over. Tentatively , Miles and Sarah reach out to each other…soon they are falling in love. But what neither realizes is that they are also bound together by a shocking secret, one that will force them to reexamine everything they believe in – including their love.

My take: This book is 368 pages long and for the major part I was unmoved. Miles behaves exactly as you would expect him to in all his roles; as a father, a lover, a widower. His character is easy to relate to and to sympathize with and his recollections of Missy (his wife) do play on your heart strings. Jonah is the typical child, lost yet grounded and eager to live a happy life.

The climax, the secret is easy to guess in the first pages as all the characters are introduced and that leaves one to desire more complexity of plot. The accident involving Missy is well-orchestrated and fits neatly with the ending, which you already know of .

The love affair between Sarah and Miles follows all the others you may have read in any given novel and leaves much to be desired in terms of depth of relationships.

All in all, I found it unremarkable (I know, harsh) and very predictable, sometimes to the point of being one-dimensional. Nicholas’s narrative is interesting at best when written from Brian’s (another character) view but otherwise very plain and simple throughout the rest of the book.

You might like it:

  • If you are a Nicholas Sparks’s fan.
  • If you like light-reading.
  • If you like even-paced books to keep up with.
  • If you like family/romance novels.

You might not like it:

  • If you prefer fast-paced books.
  • If you like sub-plots and depth in your books.
  • If you do not like family/romance novels.

Hope this was useful. Take care of yourselves. 🙂

Nicholas and no Sparks?

Hey you.

I’m really kinda enjoying this blog now. Ever since I’ve let go of the self-made notion that this had to be a masterpiece of a blog, I find that I’m much more willing to just write and enjoy this space. 🙂

I suppose that can be held true for a lot of things in life. We can just try to do what we feel like doing without feeling all the pressures of trying to be perfect and being awesome at whatever we are doing.

Hmm…I just sounded smart there. :p

So I’m nearing the end of a Nicholas Sparks book (currently on page 278 of 368) and would be done by tonight or tomorrow and YES, I’m going to FINALLY review it here. Yay me! 😛

The title of this post is kind of a giveaway to the fact that the book has so far been highly predictable and…………………I’m not saying no more here. 😛

You can know all about it in the next post I publish which will have a full review of the book.

Take care of yourselves, see you later InshAllah 🙂

Eid Mubarak!

Today marks the first day of Eid-ul-Azha 2011. A day on which muslims sacrifice the cattle they have bought specifically for this day.
Muslims throughout the world follow the act of Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) as he was asked by Allah many many years ago to sacrifice his son in the name of Allah on this day. Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s) told his son of Allah’s desire and the son bent to the will of Allah and prepared to sacrifice himself in Allah’s way.
In the last moment Allah replaced Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s)’s son with a goat and the goat was sacrificed in place of his son.
Allah wished to test his prophet and already knew of the outcome, He is All knowing, and thus muslims remember this sacrifice and enact it every Eid-ul-Azha.
The sacriice we perform is not of the money spent buying the animal, it is the sacrifice of the animal you took care of for 4-5 days and the animal you had grown to love. The sacrifice is of love, giving away a thing you loved only because it is the will of Allah.
Truly, the sacrifice which results in a feeling of loss is a true one.

Let us pray to Allah to accept our sacrifice, to forgive us if we had any intentions He did not approve of and provide us with His blessing so we may prosper. Aameen.

Poll time!

Vote here and lemme know which way you want the blog to go. Cheers! 🙂