After a busy period, I’m finally able to sit down and write a new post.
It has indeed been a difficult and trying period when the boyfriend broke his leg. I would blame the bad timing of events firstly, as I was bracing myself for the busiest period of my work life, when male colleagues had to go for their conscripting duties, and I had to inevitably cover over some of their work duties, where a lot of public holidays and school holidays fell in that period and exams were around the corner for my tuition students – thus more classes = tired Sophie. Secondly, things got pretty out of hand in the relationship as the boyfriend was bed-bound due to his broken leg = frustrated and easily agitated boyfriend.
Tired Sophie + Frustrated and Easily Agitated Boyfriend + 7 hour time difference = very, very bad strained relationship.
So what happens during those silent spells of “I’m not going to talk to you tonight, I’m going back to bed”? I suddenly felt that I didn’t know how to ease my mind. The first thing that broke the silence was when I finally decided to unbox the Nook which I waited 4 months before getting it from the UK. Imagine my glee when I finally had my hands on the Nook with Glowlight (yes – £79 at Argos). I couldn’t wait to buy all the books in the world….
But wait a minute, seriously….. I haven’t read in ages. What book to read? My first gripe about reading was that, ‘Oh I can’t read in the dark’, ‘I don’t have privacy’, ‘I need to get more books’…. but I never got any. True, I have a couple of Shakespeare classics on my shelves – collecting dust. I realised that I haven’t read anything for a long time. The last time I properly read a book was back in 2008 before Borders closed its doors for good. I remember, spending a week every day, hiding in a corner of the Wheelock Place Borders carpeted floor and reading that same book till I finished it. Up till then, I don’t recall awesome reading moments like that.
But I eventually bought the book. The real reason why I picked up the book was because the title and the cover art looked rather scandalous. ‘Girls of Riyadh’ was the title, decorated with swirly designs of stilettos, lipsticks and tote bags (didn’t I say scandalous?) . That was actually the first time ever I bought a book in my adult life. I was 22 years old. I never regretted buying that book, remember telling to myself, ‘Need to buy it!’
I’m very tempted to talk about the book here at the risk of spoiler alerts, but I’ll just say briefly about what I think of this book, which is of Middle-Eastern theme. No doubt this is a piece of fiction, but somehow I felt that there are facts, not many Arabs, especially Saudis are willing to expose, or feel proud of. What I admired was that the author herself is a Saudi, and she writes really well, considering that the book was originally written in Arabic, and it sparked an immediate Kingdom-wide ban. The same book was translated further into other languages such as Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu and Urdu.
Is it really because girls just like juicy stories like that? Or does it serve some kind of temporary entertainment to their lives in reality? I can’t speak for everyone, but I certainly was very pleased when my copy was passed around and borrowed by at least 10 people, I remember even my ex-boyfriend’s father borrowed it. I don’t know where that book is right now, but I’m sure someone is enjoying it just as much as I did.
So now that I’m armed with my Nook, there’s no excuse of not reading at nights and not enough space for books. But I was just looking for the right book to read. What IS the right book? Someone recommended me the book ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. Since it was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts (which I didn’t watch), I thought I would give the book a go. The first chapter was enough to put me off and I told myself that the last thing I wanted to read was about depressed American women who’s got everything but didn’t know what they wanted in life. I’ve seen so much of that in Hollywood films that I’m wondering if women in America are really feeling that way. I’m also not a huge fan of novels with God involved in them.
That left me disappointed for a while, until Barnes & Noble was suggesting new titles; Khaled Hosseini’s latest, ‘And the Mountains Echoed’. It was a brilliant novel, Khaled Hosseini makes me cry all the time and it did with this. When I was in Melbourne, I read, ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ also by Khaled Hosseini. I didn’t sleep well for two weeks feeling disturbed in a sad tragic way. I won’t talk about ‘And the Mountains Echoed’, I suggest, you my dear readers please go get a copy and experience it for yourself (DISCLAIMER: I’m not saying that the book makes people cry – it’s me, I’m really just an emotional person). Since the last couple of months, I’ve finished George Orwell’s ‘1984’, ‘Atonement’ by Ian McEwan and ‘Reading Lolita in Tehran’ by Azar Nafisi.
I’m not a fan of Harry Potter at all, although I enjoy fantasy fiction. I know friends who have been avid readers of Harry Potter since its debut and never read anything else. To me the name J.K. Rowling has always been associated with Harry Potter. Interestingly enough, when I was in London – and the London Underground stations to my delight, is always filled with advertisements of new books (I’m not sure if this marketing strategy is because you can’t get a phone signal underground, but nonetheless I’m very glad that reading is fervently promoted especially in places of high human traffic, like tube stations) and I came across this huge poster, that covered a third of the platform height, J.K. Rowling’s first adult fiction, ‘The Casual Vacancy’. I’ve been meaning to get my hands on it but my 15 year old brother beat me to it, and bought it himself. I’m currently borrowing it from him. And like the reviews suggest, it’s definitely a page turner!