The WH Smith – That Al-Salasil in the Airport

By | June 10, 2013

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Last May I was in Kuwait International Airport for the first time in many months, perhaps since October 2012, when I noticed a familiar white W and H on a blue background near passport control. I had to blink, for I thought I saw WH Smith’s logo on a bookshop in the airport and then it registered: it is WH Smith! It used to be That Al-Salasil bookshop only, but now its WH Smith as well. Read more »

Book Review: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

By | June 3, 2013

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I’ve always been a fan of Sophie Kinsella’s writing and novels, ever since I’ve gotten my hand on the first Shopaholic book. Therefore, you can understand how happy I was to get my hands on a copy of her latest novel, Wedding Night. To me, a Sophie Kinsella novel always meant laughter: tears streaming out of your eyes and laughing out loud in the middle of the night when you are supposed to be reading quietly in bed kind of laughter.

In this book, Lottie is Read more »

My Summer 2013 Reads

By | May 30, 2013

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I haven’t had much time to read recently and I miss grabbing a book and losing myself in words dressed up in ink and dancing between the pages. This summer three of my favourite authors had new novels out and I know, I just know, that a nice reading  hibernation period is just around the corner.

I read a chapter from Read more »

Blast from the Past: Baby-Sitters Club and Point Horror Books!

By | April 28, 2013

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I’ve been unpacking some moving boxes, something that’s about a year over-due but it’s better late than never I suppose. One of the boxes I opened was labeled “books” and what was inside? My old Baby-sitters club books! Read more »

These are More of my Favorite Things…

By | March 24, 2013

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Another Sunday is here and again I’m longing for my beautiful weekend with my few hours of peace and quiet. Why does time fly when you want to savor it, and crawl like a snail when you want to get something over with? I wish the time would come when humanity would realize that a three-day weekend is the ultimate solution to the weekend blues. Imagine Read more »

The Select Photography Book

By | February 19, 2013

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I like it when new interesting books are released into the world. I like it even more if I can get my hands on a copy as soon as I know if its release. The “Select” book is a big black album-like book with dazzling photographs printed on its glossy pages. The photographs are all taken by talented photographers from Read more »

Book Review: Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger

By | February 5, 2013

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The first time I saw Arnold Schwarzenegger was while watching Terminator with my father. When the terminator came ion the screen, my father pointed at him and told me “This actor? This is the world’s champion in bodybuilding”. Of course, an athletic person going Read more »

BooK Review: Men I’ve Loved Before by Adele Parks

By | January 22, 2013

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The story in this novel started out brilliantly, Nat is preparing to celebrate her husband Neil’s 35th birthday with friends and family and a modern restaurant in King’s Road. Life is good for the couple, they live in a small house in London with decent jobs they love and are madly in love with each other. They both want Read more »

Book Review: The Sealed Letter by Emma Donoghue

By | January 9, 2013

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The first book I’ve chosen to read for 2013 is “The Sealed Letter” by Emma Donoghue, the author of “Room”. This is the third book I’ve read that’s written by Emma and my second favorite so far.

Ever had a friendship you cherished end up abruptly? Ever wished for friend who had done you wrong to come back and mend everything, to resume where you stopped last and have the good old days back? That’s what happened to  Read more »

Book Review: Julie & Julia, My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell

By | December 31, 2012

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I’ve never heard about either Julie or Julia before I saw the movie “Julie/Julia” on board a BA plane heading to London. Its become a favorite movie of mine and I’ve seen it 20 times since, last time was a last weekend btw. Intrigued, I got myself both the Read more »

My Book Featured in a Year of Reading the World Project

By | December 20, 2012

A while back I was contacted by Ann Morgan, a journalist from the UK who working on a project to read a book from differnt countries in around the world in one year. Her project attracted attention from CNN, two newspapers in the UK, and made it to the UNESCO’s list of list of initiatives for World Book Day. Her book reading journey is document on her website www.aYearofReadingtheWorld.com

Guess what book she read and featured from Kuwait? My humble Dathra’s book! Let me tell you this, having my little book read in a worldwide reading project and actually making a good impression was -and still is- a bit surreal. I still cannot believe it but I think it this calls for a little celebration. What a nice way to end 2012 and start 2013!

You can read Ann Morgan’s quest in tracking down a Kuwaiti book written in English to include in her book and her thoughts regarding my book here (link). I’m typing this with a big stupid grin on my face and if you are a Dathra fan, you might feel a nice tingling sensation in your heart as you read Ann Morgan’s words too and see Kuwait featured in the list. Also, I’m interested in the other book from around the world that were read and featured in the project, a nice way to add a few more international books to my shelves.

Thank you Ann Morgan, you totally made my day and the rest of 2012 for me, I’m glad to have been of service. Much obliged :)

Shraykom?

Book Review: Astray by Emma Donoghue

By | December 11, 2012

Another book by Emma Donoghue that I had the pleasure of reading. Astray is a collection of fourteen short stories all revolving around one theme: immigration. The charachters in these stories are either heading to somewhere or Read more »

What I Got from Kuwait’s Book Fair 2012

By | December 4, 2012

I didn’t get the chance to go to the book fair until last Thursday night. Big mistake as it was very crowded and swarming with people. If I wanted to look at a book I’d have to Read more »

Things 2 Do in London: The Cinema Store

By | November 18, 2012

There is this quirky little shop in London I frequent whenever I’m there called the Cinema Store. From its name you’d know what its all about: stocking everything Read more »

Book Review: My Life in France by Julia Child

By | October 15, 2012

Ever since I saw the movie Julie & Julia I was itching to know more about Julia Child, the American culinary legend. I got myself the book that was partially responsible for inspiring the movie, My Life in France, and a while ago I began reading.

The book, published in 2006, describes a period of Julia Child’s life when she lived in France, learned how to cook in the Le Cordon Blue, and then began her career by teaching cooking, writing her two famous cookbooks, and her cooking show. Its mesmerizing, learning how life was back then in the 1940’s onwards. How, at the ripe age of 38 when you think you would want to retire she began a full new career path.

Through the pages I could almost see Julia & Paul Child’s life playing in front of my eyes. Often I’d pause while reading and remember sadly that this couple having the time of their lives are no longer alive, their time was up. Sadness also creeps in on you as you read the last pages, mentioning how this person died or this person no longer functions well. If the book teaches you anything, its about how to live your life. Live for today, don’t be afraid on embarking on new adventures no matter what age you are, cease the moment and simply live. In the end, all that remains are the good times: the happiness, the laughter, the gathering with friends around a fine meal.

Another lesson? Eating butter won’t kill you! The Childs lived a long and prosperous life. Julia Child lived until she was 91 and her husband lived until he was 92! Now that’s a thinker.

The book is very entertaining. Its like opening a window to an amazing time long gone. There is also another biography about Julia Child that was released in 2012 that I’m going to look for next. Highly recommended.

Book Review: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

By | October 2, 2012

I picked up this book last year because it was highly acclaimed with positive reviews everywhere even though It was small and the cover was grey and a bit dreary, not something I’d usually pick up while book hunting. Not the most alluring looking book, I didn’t start reading it until last week and Read more »

Book Review: The Doctor Will See You Now by Max Pemberton

By | September 23, 2012

Back in March I read and loved a book “Trust me, I’m a junior doctor” by a British medical doctor called Max Pemberton (post). I liked it so much I set out to find the other books written by the same author/doctor and yesterday I managed to Read more »

Book Review: Catch Me if You Can by Frank Abagnale & Stan Redding

By | September 11, 2012

Though not a Leonardo Di Caprio fan myself, I loved him performance and role in the 2002 movie “Catch Me if You Can”. I knew it was based on a true story and I’ve seen the movie many times but it never occurred to me that there actually is a book where the story originates from. Then one day I thought to myself that there might be, and of course there was, and of course I got it and couldn’t wait to read it.

Published in the year I was born, 1980, and became one of New York Times list best sellers, its mind blowing to be reading a 32 years old biography of a cheeky teenager who roamed the entire world and conned financial establishment for millions, posed as an airline pilot, a Pediatrics doctor, and a Harvard graduate lawyer, and retired to live in peace all before his 20th birthday!

Of course the book is way way better than the movie. Not because the adaptation was bad, but because there are so many details that cannot be fully incorporated on the screen. You have to read them to understand them and with many of his cons I found myself laughing out loud even though I knew what he did was wrong. 32 years on and the book is still a very interesting read. I only wish there was more of the book after Frank ran away the first time after being extradited back to the USA, his jailing sentence, and how he ended up working for the FBI and all that.

The book is highly recommended. If you loved the movie you would love the book and its quite a quick and entertaining read. Its available on Amazon (link).

Book Review: Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes

By | September 5, 2012

Searching through the shelves at Waterstones I saw this book by Marian Keyes. I’ve read for Marian Keyes once before very recently, a book by the name “The Brightest Star in the Sky” and I set about buying more of her work. Luckily, I didn’t only find a novel, I found a collection of articles previously published and unpublished all about the writer’s life.

The woman is hilarious! I love her sense of humor and her wit. Her honesty in dealing with alcoholism, growing up, and weight loss. I could totally identify with some of her stories, especially the one about becoming the husband’s finder of things, I actually sat my husband down and read him that part while shooting him daggers with my looks because apparently men are the same all over the planet. Plus, it seems we are not the only nation suffering in trying to celebrate Mother’s Day, not everyone is happy about it it seems :p

I loved the book. I laughed out loud and kept laughing out loud while supposedly trying to sleep, jerking the poor husband awake from his slumber!

The book is a great read and I am more than glad to purchase the second book of its kind, “Further Under the Duvet”. I’m only sorry it took me so long to realize its out there. Highly recommended. You can buy the book from here (link).

Book Review: The Rose Petal Beach by Dorothy Koomson

By | September 2, 2012

Mere minutes ago I set down my iPad, sighed, then turned on my laptop to write this review with my head still buzzing with Dorothy Koomson‘s latest novel.

I love Dorothy’s books. She is one of my favorite authors if not the favorite. I love her jumbled up story line where points in the story go back and forth in time. I love her realistic scenarios and even more realistic endings. No sappy endings in Dorothy’s books. The last book I read was in February 2011 and I stumbled upon it by mistake in Dubai (post). Afterwards I vowed to keep track on when the next novel was due and here newest one, The Rose Petal Beach, was out on 29th August 2012.

Sadly I was flying out of the UK on the night of 29 August so I couldn’t get a physical copy and we all know how hard it is to get books on time here in Kuwait. I really, really, really wanted to read the book ASAP so I had sadly resolved to checking out the iBook library while tossing and turning in bed on my first night back and lo and behold, I found it there! I downloaded it immediately, tucked the edges of my duvet tightly around me, and read and read until the battery of the bloody iPad died on me. That was Thursday night.

I’ve just finished it -I’m writing this book at 1 am on 2 Sep by the way- and I have to say it didn’t disappoint at all. I loved the story, I loved the different characters and how the story moves and gets narrated from their point of view.There was never a boring moment and at one point in the book I had lifted my head up, sighed in happiness, and went back to reading the book. I didn’t get out much either because its the kind of story that keeps you wanting more. I also had a tug of hate-love war with some of the characters but I don’t want to say too much so this doesn’t turn into a spoiler post.

Now that its, very sadly, finished, I have to say I’ve enjoyed it a lot. If you’ve ever known someone your entire life and then just had them stab you in the back. If you’ve ever fallen out with someone and thought to yourself was it all real before it went down hill. If you thought that people didn’t change, either to grow old or grow up or sometime grow more childish, then this is the book that’s going to set your perspective straight. Nothing is certain in life and you can never know if the next knock on your door will mean the end of your life as you know it, therefore, make the most of what you have right now and be grateful for it.

Also, there is a reason why the book is so special to me. You see, I’ve discovered that the author Dorothy has a twitter account (god bless social media!) and I’ve sent a tweet to her about missing the publishing date of the book. Guess what? She replied!!!

Yes I screamed a bit when I woke up and read the tweet. I’m so happy! Imagine if I did indeed get an early copy? I’d be over the moon! That was so sweet of Dorothy. I hope that one day I’d get to be as successful and amazing as a writer as she is :)

If you are interested, and frankly you should, here are the first two chapters if you are interested (link). You can also buy it on Amazon (link). Plus, here is a summary from the back cover of the book:

“Every love story has a dangerous twist. Tamia Brenett is horrified when her husband, Scott, is accused of something terrible – but when she discovers who his accuser is, everything goes into freefall. Backed into a corner and unsure what to think, Tamia is forced to choose who she instinctively believes. But Tamia’s choice has dire consequences for all concerned especially when matters take a tragic turn. Then a stranger arrives in town to sprinkle rose petals in the sea in memory of her lost loved one. This stranger carries with her shocking truths that will change the lives of everyone she meets, and will once again force Tamia to make some devastating choices…” 

Diet Care’s Healthy Cooking Cookbook

By | August 17, 2012

A few days ago I received a big fat new cookbook from Diet Care. Being from Diet Care meant it wasn’t any ordinary cookbook, it was a “Healthy Cooking” cookbooks with recipes that would satisfy your appetite without adding to Read more »

Chef Adoola’s Special Ramadan Cookbook is Out

By | August 16, 2012

I received an invitation to attend Chef Adoola’s Ramadan book signing last Friday in souq sharq. I couldn’t make it because I had plans that evening but I really really wanted to get a copy of the cookbook given my slight obsession with books in general and fondness of cookbooks in particular.  Read more »

The New 52 Degrees and their Ramadan Exhibition

By | July 17, 2012

Last week I received a Ramadan gift and an invitation to attend 52 Degree’s Ramadan exhibition for home accessories and dara’as (post). What I didn’t expect though is Read more »

The Dathra Book Launch Party – Part I

By | July 15, 2012

For some reason wordpress is eating up my Party post. I’ve written it three times already!!! It could be because its too long so I’ll have to sadly break it down and re-post it :(

I bet everyone with an instagram had already seen -and felt like being invited to- the Dathra Book party I had at home :) Let me show you the party from the party planner’s point of view… how I chose and put everything together in about 3 days time! The theme Read more »

Yawmyat Wa7da Q8ya Dathra Volume II is Now on Sale

By | July 11, 2012

 

The book is FINALLY done and out for sale! This time it took almost a month from publishing date to hit the market! Woah! If you are in Kuwait you can find a copy in 52 Degrees for the time being and will be on sale in other places soon. Read more »