Monday, March 06, 2006

Plethora of books

Sitting here watching the Oscars and blogging and eating an apple. Huda tagged me for this meme. I love books. Love love love them (incase the length of this post didn't give you a clue about that!) I didnt exactly stick to the meme so if you want to do it the "right" way you can check hers out. This actually took a long time to do... if you do it please let me know, would love to read it!

Favorite Children's Books. Growing up reading took me to different worlds and back. Some I read as a child, some to children.

The Secret Garden. This book was magic and hope wrapped in one. I would look out my window and close my eyes pretending to see the looming walls inside which the most beautiful secret garden lay waiting to be discovered. At Michigan State I saw the secret garden recreated. I hadn't thought about the book in years but as I walked through the garden past the bench overlooking the fountain I was 11 again at last in the garden of my dreams.

Up a Road Slowly. I read it. Finished it. Read it again. Repeat. It follows a girl coming of age. I remember there was one part in the book when she recovered from a broken heart: there are numerous poems about love, the agony of broken hearts but where are the poems of hearts that heal? That is the most beautiful feeling in the world.

The Giving Tree. If you're a parent read this to your child. This book is one of those books that means one thing as a child, and another as an adult. As a child it made me smile, as an adult it moved me to tears. Must read to all kids!


Lafcadio the Lion who shot back. My 2nd grade teacher read this book to us, as a teacher I too read it to my students. One of the funniest children's books that could inspire your kid to love reading. It may seem silly on the surface but there are so many themes if you read it with your child.

Lemony Snickets, Series of Unfortunate Events. I found this series as an adult and its hilarious. The writer has very tongue in cheek humor and you just can't put it down!


Captain Underpants. So it was reading time and I'm grading papers and suddenly I hear giggling. Suspecting trouble I walked over to the source of the giggles and it was two children poring over a Captain Underpants book. The next few reading sessions I too had my very own copy and sat reading with them. This stuff is original, funny and brilliant. Yes, it's very silly, yes it has no deeper meaning but isn't it important to love reading? Isn't it important to appreciate creativity? This series is great. And his picture books are addictive for children (and me) as well!

Anything and Everything Roald Dahl. James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, etc. I discovered him as an adult but his books inspire me. I love reading and watching their eyes light up. He is so creative and his writing seems effortless. Tip to parents, you can read this to your little kids and then watch the movies based on the books.

Favorite/Meaningful Adult Books

Waiting. When I worked at Borders I found this book on the discard shelf. Ha Jin's writing is concise but you can see clearly what the images he wishes to convey. It's a story based in China of a man in an arranged marriage to a woman he does not love. He wants to marry his mistress but divorce is not so easy in China. The story follows his life over 18 years. The story touched me because I know a lot of people in arranged marriages and beyond the lives of the characters it gives you a glimpse of life in China in this era.

About a Boy. I discovered this book as I tried to study for the LSAT at Barnes and Nobles. The movie is no comparison to the book. Great plot, and hilarious. I think it must be very hard to write, much less write funny and he succeeds in both areas tremendously. This book is one for just a good time.

Alchemist. I read this book while at Borders. I told Richard he should read it. He told Mike. Mike told Amy... within a week almost every employee had purchased a copy and sent some out to friends. This book by Brazilian writer Paul Coelho is a life changing sort of book. It's based on a poem by Rumi and is more a parable than a novel. There are so many parts from the book that just grab you that I think I highlighted and wrote in the corners of every page.I recommend that if you are searching for your way to purchase this book.

Veronika Decides to Die. Also by Paul Coelho and also fabulous life changing sort of book. Veronika, well, she decides to die, she wakes up in a mental institution after taking a fatal dose of pills and finds out that though she is not yet dead, she has just a few more days to live. I read this story and it stays with me to this day. It's not the best written book in the world but its meaning and perceptions on our society and conformity make you think.

Love Thy Neighbor A Story of War. Wow. This book was my introduction to the horror that occured in Bosnia. Peter Maass a reporter went to Bosnia and shared his experiences. It's a powerful book and images that he described stay with me to this day: (upon leaving a prison camp- an excerpt from the link): You are leaving the condemned, the half-dead, and the fact that you spoke to them probably puts them into greater peril than they already were. You had a good breakfast that morning, a couple of eggs, some toast, lots of jam. He had half a slice of stale bread, if he was lucky. You have an American passport that allows you to walk into the camp and walk out unmolested. He has no passport, only two eyes that watch you perform this miracle of getting out alive. You have a home somewhere that has not been dynamited. You have a girlfriend who has not been raped. You have a father who has not been killed in front of your eyes.

The Late George Apley. I read this book in highschool English. Every student in the class bored to tears with this book and me? moved to tears. It's based in Boston in the 1800's when social life was very much like the social life of desis today. Following tradition? Fearing the gossip of the aunties? Marriage? The similarities between our society and this is chilling. I read his story and I saw what I could become. And I vowed to learn the lessons that George Apley did not.

White Teeth. Zadie Smith's writing blows me away. I watched the miniseries flying in from England and I was hooked so ofcourse had to read the book. I could not put this book down. And this was not so good since the book is like 500 pages! Proof that she's good is she wrote a book Autograph Man which is not my style at all but I gulped it up down never-the-less.

Arranged Marriage. A beautiful collection of short stories chronichling the lives of Indian women. Jhumpa Lahiri's Interpretor of Maladies is great too but this is an under appreciated pearl. The stories are of some immigrating, some born and raised in the US, some still in India. It gives us insight to the their lives and you will leave with some stories imprinted forever in your heart.

What was the last book you read

Pilot's Wife. I saw this on Huda's bookshelf and if Huda likes a book, chances are I will too. I was right. This is a fun book and a page turner. Just plain fun. What I loved about it was that it had an ending a conclusion. So many books I read today dont' have conclusions, they leave you hanging really. This book had one and I liked that.

Five books you've been meaning to read

umm try about 21, my wishlist contains my ever growing list of books I hope to someday house upon my bookshelf. Read any of them? If it doesnt show up you can search for it via aishacs18 at hotmail.com :)

34 comments:

aroundtheclock24_7 said...

Veronica Decides to Die is one of my favourite Books. It did really change a lot of the way i think about things in life ;) A friend of mine suggested that i read it when i was in real depression and i should say that it did really clear out a lot o things that i was worried and thinking about ;)

good Choice of books ;) I am crazy book lover but recently i haven't had the time to read anymore. So they are stacked on the shelf waiting for me to have some time for them.

Roald Dahl's books are really excellent especially THE WITCHES loads of details ;)

tea biscuit said...

Salam Aisha,
a random question. I think you taught before. Was that Teach for America? Or, how did you get into this education thing? HOw was your over all experience in that?
The reason I am asking is that I am contemplating either Teach for America or NYC Teaching Fellows, (gonna be interviewed within this month) and not sure how much effort I should out in to prepare myself for the day long interviews. I am not sure if I even want to do this.
But I guess these are good experiences for eventually going into some professional field (i.e. law or medicine)...
so, yeah I was wondering if you would share your story about how you started teaching and eventually going into law school.

You really don't have to do it. But it would be nice! ;)

Aisha said...

around the clock, welcome and thanks for commenting. Veronika Decides to Die is amazing!! It made me look at life differently like.. we all have choices. You know I never read the Witches but I've heard its great, I read a chapter but it seemed so scary! lol.. shh that's kinda embarrassing since its made for kids :)

Tea biscuit if you have specific questions on that please feel free to email me, my address is on my profile :) I did not do teach for america, I did my bach/masters in it... I have written about teaching throughout my last year since I taught and went to law school... one post is here http://aishaiqbal.blogspot.com/2005/09/why-i-left.html
but yeah happy to talk to you about it just shoot me an email :)

~Pink Gerbera~ said...

salam Aisha! :D

Ohhhhhhhh, I love, love, love, love, love to read. :P So I liked your list. I was actually going to do a long list of books on my blog yesterday but thought I'd bore about everyone to death because it would be soooo long. :D LOL! Funny thing is, I actually own the pilot's wife and have owned it for the last two years and have yet to pick it up. Actually I have a library of books I have yet to read. It's crazy...and sad. I get side tracked so darn easy, because there are so many books I want to read that I jump from one to the other all the time. Ah well, now I think I'll make a list.

Take care.

Suleman said...

great list actually. you read alot mashaAllah. I only knew 2 books from your list tho, Arranged Marriages & the white Mughals.

I checked the amazon list as well, I was wondering you still do not have Half boold prince ? you read on computers as wel or must have a paper book ?

I will check the list again, insha'Allah.

opinionatedinjerzee said...

hey aisha, i heard that pilot's wife was good.. infact, a friend of mine just got done reading it.. she is supposed to lend it to me.. i guess now i will make sure i do read it..

by the way, this is my new username.. i changed it yesterday along with the url.

mystic-soul said...

And will you put 'Celestine Prophecy' here?

Aisha said...

Salaam Pink Gerbera, thats great a fellow bookworm- greetings! Let me know if you do it and I'll check it out :)

Suleman, I read the Harry Potter books but from the library :) But those are good to have. Did you like White Mughals? Do you recomend it?

Amzu, (your new name is too long to write out, lol) Pilot's wife is fun, it reads like a movie.

Mystic I vaguely remember reading that book. Did you like it a lot?

wayfarer said...

my favorite topic! I took notes and plan on reading some of these. :-)

I might have to do the meme if i get a chance.

mystic-soul said...

I don't think "celestine Prophecy' is my most favourite book and I don't agree with everything said in that book, but there is something unique about that book. The book has been written in novel form and whole idea is that life events are not accidental and we all are part of universal journey and what psychological blocks prevent us from seeing it.

But again there are so many unique books , you have to make a short-list.

At this junction, my favourite book is Rohinton Mistry's "A fine balance". Story of real life and human beings.

~ruthie said...

thanks for all of the recommendations, Aisha. I'm a self-proclaimed book-worm, and am always looking for new books to read, and to bring to my book club. I'll be checking some of these out.

I just finished "the curious incident of the dog in the night time", "memoirs of a geisha", and and now reading "wicked-the life and times of the wicked witch of the west". all great books, of course, interspersed with numerous other books of little repute-mainly murder mysteries, and chick-lits. :)

Huda said...

Did I tell you I read The Pilot's Wife on a plane? :)

Have heard much about The Alchemist, but I haven't gotten around to reading it; Veronika Decides to Die sounds more interesting, though. I'll have to put it on my list!

Champ - Love Hound said...

Aisha Dear! Thankyou for your comments on my blog. I can see your interest in such books is really worth weny. I Loved it, you 've such grat Choice. *Smiles*

God bless you....

Enyur said...

Sweet! This is great! I actually just finished reading Memoirs of A Geisha (loved it!) and was thinking of picking up another book but didn't which one....this helps!!

Thanks!

Bongi-Amma said...

Great Post, will have to check out some of the books! Loved white teeth by the way, and the Alchemist was just phenomenal. :)

Shabina said...

i admire you for putting this list together! i actually started a draft a ton of months ago outlining my favorite books, but it's just too hard (and time-consuming) to put it all into words...

the Giving Tree rocks, btw. I just gave it to my sis-in-law at her baby shower on sat!

Aisha said...

Wayfarer, if you do it let me know :) BUT I do warn that the Late George Apley is VERY boring... it made an impact on my life but I think if it wasn't for the structured setting of highschool I wouldnt have read it on my own.

Ruthie if you like reading good writing, "about a boy" is the type of book that's so well written, so funny that you are sad when it ends because he writes so WELL.

Mystic I'll have to look for the Mistry book on Amazon :)

Huda, both are good books, Veronika is very interesting both are very meaningful books though.

Champ :) hope your match went well!

Enyur, aw your welcome and thanks for commenting :) I LOVED memoirs of a Geisha... i heard the movie isn't nearly as good, did you see it? what do you think?

Bongi looks like we have similar book taste huh? :)

Shabs which sis-in-law? Is it your brother Salim??? MAN I feel old if it is them :( An yeah this took a looong time to do :)

Ekta said...

Hey Aisha,
if you love to read u simply must get ur hands on "the kite runner' by khalid hosseini--its a awesome read...its a cant put down , extremely well scripted book!

Chai Anyone? said...

you have been tagged. please check my site for details. have a nice day! :)

mayya said...

Aishaaaaaaaaaa I'm sure you read Enid Blyton too when you were growing up. Please please tell me you did! heh
Arranged marriage ROCKS! =)
if I do this meme, I'll need an ENTIRE new blog ;p

Aisha said...

Ekta, welcome! I'm reading about Khaled Housseini's book a lot i the intenret world, it's on my wishlist should get around to ordering it soon, thanks for the suggestion!

Chai anyone, you said it so formally! I felt like I had been received with a formal invite. I like :)

Maya actually I never heard of that? :( Is it good? What's it about? Did you read Jhumpa Lahiri's book? I thought ARranged was better.

Enyur said...

Aisha no I haven't watched the movie yet, I think the book itself was so descriptive, I had like scenes running through my mind! I still want to watch it!

I don't know if you've seen this before, but do check this short video clip out (I literally, fell off my chair laughing because of one particular scene) lol!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AQvqsZFgDY

Let me know what you think about it!!

Take care!

wayfarer said...

our wish lists look similar. :-)

Shabina said...

hehe, yeah, my older bro and his wife are having a baby iA, they're your age, so you shouldn't feel old! :)
ps..please keep them and baby in your du'as iA!

Destitute Rebel said...

Love to read, this was a great list havent read half of them.

Aisha said...

Enyur that was HILARIOUS!!! thanks for shraing my favorite part is when she's trying to get a man to stop in his track and she says "but eet haard!" lol

Wayfarer read any of em?

Shabina will do :) That's so exciting!

Destitute Rebel, thank you!

Tee said...

I love books nearly as much as my very own life. I suspect you feel the same. It's hard for me to understand people who don't read. It makes me really sad. (My little sister and my husband are 2 of those people.) ... Sometimes I wonder how I even married a "non-reader". LOL. It doesn't stop me from telling him all about what *I* read though.

I was so shocked when I saw the first book on your list. We are *so* linked it's not even funny. I mention this book in the entry I just posted on my blog just a few minutes ago.

I love this meme. Maybe I'll do it as well. I see you put a lot of thought and work into it - even adding the graphics of the covers.

I have read some of the books you mention but many I will add to my list because they sound so interesting. I typically enjoy "World Literature" - fiction and non-fiction stories of people's lives in other cultures, countries, etc.

And I would be remiss not to mention Library Thing to a fellow book lover. I think it's one of the coolest sites ever.

Enyur said...

LOL! Yeah! That was my favourite part too!!! When I read the book I had pictured the guy on their right side...thought that was interesting!

I'll try to publish more funny stuff on my blog.

http://www.enyur.blogspot.co,

momyblogR said...

OK! I have now had to start reading your page with a pen a pad, my word, lol!

I will be reading both books that you recommened for the kids. The library at school as the Lemony Snicketts and Captain Underpants books. They are all ALWAYS check out. I've started reading the short chapter books by Henry Winkler....The Hank Zipzer books. I love them.

The books you listed sound great! Hm, I guess I have some reading to do, lol!

Aisha said...

Tee- like I said we're cosmically linked! :) Thanks for the link! It looks so cool. If you like world culture book you should check out "arranged marriage" its very good.

Enyur I'll check it out! lol that was so funny though! :)

Mommyblogr, yeah i got carried away with books, lol. Some other really good books are by Patricia Pollacco because they are beautiful picture books with wonderful messages. Any of her books are good like Babushka's Doll. Splendid. 'your little girl would like that book I think. I dont know what the age is for Lemony Snickets books but I think your kids would LOVE shel silverstein's "Lafcadio" It's hilarious!

Mia said...

I have to work on this over the weekend. I see we have alot of books in common!

wayfarer said...

Yes i have ma'am. I read For Matrimonial Purposes, Kite Runner, Madras on Rainy Days, and Devil Wears Prada and just found a copy of History of God at the library for fifty cents. :-) That's funny you like the Gilmore Girls too. I'd like to start from season one and watch them all.

Champ - Love Hound said...

Bein' desi has it's own Charm 'n' Joy, The wonderful Desi Culture has such Love that I can never feel anywhere else.

Right now I'm in Lahore for Basant. Hope you 're doin' good. *Smiles*

God bless you.....

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