The Machine Stops by E. M. Forester
read complete short story (via some archive) or message me for an e-book.
The Machine Stops by E. M. Forester
read complete short story (via some archive) or message me for an e-book.
The Wasp Factory by Iain Banks
Frank — no ordinary sixteen-year-old — lives with his father outside a remote Scottish village. Their life is, to say the least, unconventional. Frank’s mother abandoned them years ago: his elder brother Eric is confined to a psychiatric hospital; & his father measures out his eccentricities on an imperial scale. Frank has turned to strange acts of violence to vent his frustrations. In the bizarre daily rituals there is some solace. But when news comes of Eric’s escape from the hospital Frank has to prepare the ground for his brother’s inevitable return — an event that explodes the mysteries of the past & changes Frank utterly.
this book was highly recommended by a handsome young man in one of my regular bookstores. i usually go in with a list and i never find anything i’m looking for so he said “here, take this. it’s literally one of my favorite books by one of my favorite writers ever”. that’s huge, i would never say that to anyone if i didn’t strongly feel about a book and luckily, it had a gorgeous cover and i bought it on trust.
fast forward one year, 3 people ask me to read this book and i finally made time for it (it took me a lot of time, mostly because i didn’t have continuous reading sessions and i often lost focus).
here’s the thing, every single person who said i should read this book commented on how disturbing the end was but not many commented on his style. the main character ‘frank’ makes me physically ill, i honestly feel sick when i read any of his thoughts and i love that. i love books that affect me; inhumane fiction that make me want to strangle him yet relate to him and that’s mainly why i greatly enjoyed this book.
i wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone but if you’re trying this whole 'what the hell is she talking about, i can handle a book' thing, sure, why not.
If Not, Winter: Fragments of Sappho by Sappho, Anne Carson
If Not, Winter irresistibly combines the ancient mysteries of Sappho with the contemporary wizardry of acclaimed poet and classicist Anne Carson in what is sure to become the standard translation of Sappho for our time. Presented with the Greek on facing pages, her verses appear here as if on the ragged scraps of papyrus that preserve them. Together with Carson’s introduction and notes, they provide a tantalizing window into Sappho’s genius.
this book was very different and brilliantly refreshing.
read sappho’s fragments here (via scribd)
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity. There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in America—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.
guest reviewer: mohamed (@mazloum) - 5/5
Once upon a time, we used to think about the future and the many wonderful things we would be able to do online, and we used to say ‘one day we’ll be able to do this.’ and now we live in a time period where the mentality’s changed from ‘one day we’ll do it’ to ‘now we can do it, and we should.' And we mostly do that without pausing to wonder what the repercussions may be. The Circle explores this idea with stomach-churning gusto.
The Circle is a disturbing book, not only because of the troubling ideas and themes described within, but more importantly, because we live in a world where The Circle (a clear surrogate for Google) could easily happen. I cannot begin to mention the number of times I stopped and thought ‘wow, this could happen right now and no one would bat an eyelash.’ In fact, a chase near the end of the book brought to mind the Reddit manhunt for the Boston bombers. It’s a timely book, almost terrifyingly so.
Halfway through the book, I’d mentioned that this is 2013’s 1984. At the time, I wondered if it was exceedingly high praise. But by its end, I was sure of it. This is a book that will cause you to pause repeatedly while reading it, pondering if the tale it tells isn’t so far removed from the world we’re living in right now, and that maybe - just maybe - we’re just as doomed.
Essential, essential read.
download epub (message me)
Samuel Barclay Beckett (13 April 1906 – 22 December 1989) was an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet, who lived in Paris for most of his adult life and wrote in both English and French. His work offers a bleak, tragicomic outlook on human nature, often coupled with black comedy and gallows humour.
Haruki Murakami (村上 春樹)
a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as 'easily accessible, yet profoundly complex'.
Since childhood, Murakami has been heavily influenced by Western culture, particularly Western music and literature. He grew up reading a range of works by American writers, such as Kurt Vonnegut and Richard Brautigan, and he is often distinguished from other Japanese writers by his Western influences.
Murakami studied drama at Waseda University in Tokyo, where he met his wife, Yoko. His first job was at a record store, which is where one of his main characters, Toru Watanabe in Norwegian Wood, works. Shortly before finishing his studies, Murakami opened the coffeehouse 'Peter Cat' which was a jazz bar in the evening in Kokubunji, Tokyo with his wife.
Margaret Eleanor Atwood
Margaret Eleanor Atwood (born November 18, 1939) is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the honored authors of fiction in recent history. She is a winner of theArthur C. Clarke Award and Prince of Asturias award for Literature, has been shortlisted for theBooker Prize five times, winning once, and has been a finalist for theGovernor General’s Award several times, winning twice. She is also a founder of theWriters’ Trust of Canada, a non-profit literary organization that seeks to encourage Canada’s writing community.
حبة هوا - وليد طاهر
يقول الكاتب بلال فضل عن هذا الكتاب الممتع: وليد طاهر واحد من أبرز رسامي الكاريكاتير في مصر.. يبدع ويتألق دون أن يستعير أصابع أحد.. فهاهو يهندس لنا في هذا الكتاب البديع فنا معماريا خاصا ومسجَّلا باسمه يمزج فيه بين الفن التشكيلي والشعر والمعمار.. الفن ستراه والشعر ستقرأه .. أما المعمار فستلمس تأثيره على تعمير دماغك بعد أن تنتهي من القراءة وتعاودها مجددا
the best way to describe this glorious book is to say ‘the arabic version of shel silverstein’.
simple and beautiful illustrations, accompanied by tiny poems (that rhyme most of the time). it’s written in an egyptian dialect, making it more special and probably personal to the writer, which was a nice touch.
even if you don’t read arabic, just download it and check out the illustrations.
recommended by ali al ghamdi
All My Friends Are Superheroes - the only one i read and the reason i’m reading the rest (and pretty much everything by this writer)
All Tom’s friends really are superheroes.
There’s the Ear, the Spooner, the Impossible Man. Tom even married a superhero, the Perfectionist. But at their wedding, the Perfectionist was hypnotized (by ex-boyfriend Hypno, of course) to believe that Tom is invisible. Nothing he does can make her see him. Six months later, she’s sure that Tom has abandoned her.
So she’s moving to Vancouver. She’ll use her superpower to make Vancouver perfect and leave all the heartbreak in Toronto. With no idea Tom’s beside her, she boards an airplane in Toronto. Tom has until the wheels touch the ground in Vancouver to convince her he’s visible, or he loses her forever.
The Weirds have always been a little off, but not one of them ever suspected that they’d been cursed by their grandmother.
At the moment of the births of her five grandchildren Annie Weird gave each one a special power. Richard, the oldest, always keeps safe; Abba always has hope; Lucy is never lost and Kent can beat anyone in a fight. As for Angie, she always forgives, instantly. But over the years these so-called blessings ended up ruining their lives.
Now Annie is dying and she has one last task for Angie: gather her far-flung brothers and sisters and assemble them in her grandmother’s hospital room so that at the moment of her death, she can lift these blessings-turned-curses. And Angie has just two weeks to do it.
What follows is a quest like no other, tearing up highways and racing through airports, from a sketchy Winnipeg nursing home to the small island kingdom of Upliffta, from the family’s crumbling ancestral Toronto mansion to a motel called Love. And there is also the search for the answer to the greatest family mystery of all: what really happened to their father, whose maroon Maserati was fished out of a lake so many years ago?
A thief charges into a bank with a loaded gun, but he does not ask for money; what he asks for, instead, is the object of greatest significance currently in the possession of each patron. The thief then leaves, and the patrons all survive, but strange things soon begin to happen to them: One survivor’s tattoo jumps off her ankle and chases her around; another wakes up to find that she’s made of candy; and Stacey Hinterland discovers that she’s shrinking, incrementally, a little every day, and nothing that her husband or son do can reverse the process. The Tiny Wife is a fable about losing yourself in circumstances and finding yourself in the the love of another.
Rebecca has a most unusual problem: no matter how hard she tries, she can’t stop broadcasting her feelings to people around her. Luckily, she’s discovered how to trap and store her feelings in personal objects - but just how much emotional baggage can Unit 207, E.Z. Self Storage hold? Lewis is grieving for his wife, Lisa, Rebecca’s sister. Inconsolable, he skips Lisa’s funeral, flies to Winnipeg, gets a haircut and meets a woman who claims to be God. At the wheel of a stolen Honda Civic is Aberystwyth, aka Aby, driving across Canada to save the soul of her dying mother. She is green, gill-necked, and very uncomfortable out of the water. An unexpected encounter with Aby sets off a chain of events which sends each of them on a personal quest. Can Rebecca, Lewis and Aby find redemption before a terrible flood destroys their chance at happiness?
download epubs (message me) - the last book is in english, i just liked that cover more.
Ephemeral Colloquialism by Meshari Bin Hasan
"To those trapped between the tiny letters in their notebooks refusing to come out.
To those who talk around with a book of poetry in their hands because they know the world out there will never be as beautiful.
To those who fell in love with people that never lived.
To those who hide behind a canvas because it’s through the paint that they speak.
To those who bathe with colors.
To those who make love with music notes.
To those whose parents think that they have no future.
To those who find themselves with every stroke of a pen.
To those whose spirits wander the universe as as they lay in bed.
To those who see god every time they open a book.
To those who sleep inside their cup of coffee.
To those who have infinite words spiraling within their minds.
To those who lose themselves and never find the way back.
To those who worship beauty.
This is for you. “
the best way to describe this book is that it’s meshari’s journey over the couple of years that i’ve known him. that’s what i had in mind when i arranged these glorious pieces.
meshari is one of my favorite young poets and partially the reason i started this e-books project. after reading this book, you’ll know why.
this book is also special because it features his photographs which are ridiculously stunning.