Ngala-Najla

I Celebrate Myself…


2 Comments

Oh, For the Love of Books…

I have a midterm tomorrow, yet here I am writing a bloody blog entry. I am aware that this may be my own way of sabotaging the outcome of the test, but I digress. I have essentially given up on doing well. However, that’s not why I am writing this blog.

I saw an interesting article in the New York Times today about people breaking up with others based on the lack of shared literary taste or even sharing the love of reading. According to this article, some bookworm snobs have broken up with people based on certain books they did not read or depending on the characters they sided with in a novel.

As a book lover I totally understand the beauty in sharing such a fantastic hobby with your partner. However, some people like to do things separately from their mates, I call them the “compartmentalizers.” It is often fine for compartmentalizers if they do not have major things in common with their partners. I think it all boils down to what you think encompasses a good relationship. An interesting article just the same.

Advertisements


2 Comments

How To Read All The Novels You Own

After reading Moorish Girl‘s blog , I went to Borders to buy How To Read A Novel. Although there are mixed reviews on Amazon ( something I looked up after I bought the book), I like the book so far. Sutherland speaks so true about the way in which we read books. He talks about how it doesn’t take a lot for one to be rendered an avid reader. Here is a passage at the beginning of the book:

” It is not that life is too short to read carefully: the task is too great to be done attentively. One simply cannot keep abreast, any more than the sorcerer’s apprentice could. The signals emanating from the bookstore (super store or online variety) are confusing, coercive and culturally deafening. Hype, celebrity authorship, high-pressure sales tactics (‘3 for 2’,’10%off”, ‘NYT #1 Bestseller’) billboard advertisements…-all combine to induce consumer automatism. This, of course, is precisely what the industry wants.” (p. 7)

I have to say, I am a culprit of the same thing that Sutherland is talking about. I buy books and there are a lot of books that I have read, but there are so much more in my library that I haven’t read. I want that to change. I have often made a promise to myself that I would stop buying books and read all the books I own– yet still I buy more and more books. I feel cheated and also feel like a hypocrite–pretentious even.

Upon seeing my books, friends are often impressed by my collection, I on the other hand know that a lot of those books were bought out of compulsion and were often skimmed then placed on a shelf.

Well, no more! I am making a proclamation today ( albeit a weak one), I will not buy a new book all year until I have read at least 75% of the books I own. So I will finish Sutherland’s book and then continue with the books that I began and did not complete and move on. Wish me luck!


Leave a comment

Getting Back To My First Love…

There are a couple of things that I find myself struggling to do lately, working out consistently and reading. I miss them both dearly. I really,really miss reading– well, reading books that I want to read. I want to finish Pride and Prejudice; begin Lolita without feeling guilty about my clinical textbooks that I need to read for class. My reading list is endless. It is the end of Spring Break and I told myself that I will read one book, but here it is the end of Spring Break and I still need to catch up on my chapters for school.

I will be graduating soon and I cannot wait for the time to read again, to browse bookstores; read articles from my favorite magazines, about my favorite authors ( I did read some articles from National Geographic and The New Yorker). I want to take a writing class, learn rowing, rock climb, visit places and get better at Spanish, begin Arabic. So, I want to get back to my first love–me.


Leave a comment

Iraq, 5 Years Later

“For my stepson,Wesley” she said, this was the answer that met me after I asked her about the yellow ribbon on her jacket. It was pinned down by a button of the American flag. He was her step-son, 23 and cannot walk. The ribbon represented hope; she crossed her fingers as she said that he would walk again. He was the worse of the six who survived after his humvee was bombed in Iraq.

I entered the lives of Wesley’s parents, only for a moment: they were a working class family. The dad was outside on the phone while Wesley’s step-mom and I talked. He soon entered the doors of our local ice-cream shop, I could see Wesley’s face on a big button on his dad’s flannel shirt as he came closer. She said that they were flying him to Seattle to see a spine specialist.

This is just one of the many stories that accompany the lives of people affected by this war. I currently live in Silver Spring, MD and I often see young soldiers with disfigured faces and amputated legs sitting out in the downtown area, at the local Starbucks or Ben & Jerry’s with their partners, parents and/or friends. The visual effects of a war leaves me torn– not supporting the act but supporting the men and women who are and were placed in harms way. I also think of the people in Iraq, the ones who are probably so used to hearing the bombs go off that they no longer flinch at the sound. The Iraqi children, especially the ones 5 years old and younger who only know of this reality.

These are my thoughts on the 5th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq…


Leave a comment

This Much I know is True…

dsc02886.jpg

Looking back at where I was a year ago, I had so much hope for the possibilities. I came out of last year learning a lot of lessons. One lesson that I have learned is to never believe that you have it “figured out;” life is unpredictable and as they say, “the only thing constant in life is change.” However, there are things that I know are true, like two mornings ago, rushing to catch the MARC I saw the sunrise– a beautiful hue of pink peeking between morning clouds, and I thought that although I am unsure of a lot of things in my life, I know that I am always in awe of Allah’s beauty expressed in nature, in His grace expressed in my life. Beauty is evident all around us and expressed on the greatest canvas— Earth.


Leave a comment

Coming In From the Cold…

I’ve been on hiatus for a while; an unofficial one of course. Other things became a priority, and the city of Washington, DC is to blame. There is just so much to do here! Anyway, I have been itching to write on the blog. I’ve created drafts but for some reason I didn’t think they were good enough to post. Pablo Neruda never had that problem. He just didn’t care; he would write about anything and everything. So, I’ma try to be like Mr. Neruda. Well, maybe just a little. 🙂