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review 2016-11-08 16:21
Yes Please - Amy Poehler

I fell in Love with Leslie Knope character from Parks and Recreations and this book is just as good! 



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photo 2015-03-08 01:32
The Heroine Next Door - Zeena Nackerdien
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer - Siddhartha Mukherjee
Speak Memory: An Autobiography Revisited - Vladimir Nabokov,Stefan Rudnicki
Men Without Women - Ernest Hemingway
Of Warriors, Lovers and Prophets: Unusual Stories from South Africa's Past - Max du Preez

Hi everyone!

I am so excited that my first book is finally in print.
My earliest memories of growing up involve sitting next to my father, as he drove a green truck filled with chattering children, to a Muslim primary school located in the whites-only neighborhood of Paarl. This prosperous South African tourist attraction and home of the Afrikaans Language monument can trace its roots of its name (Afrikaans for "pearl ') back to the description given by a Dutch colonist, Abraham Gabemma, when he saw a granite rock on one of its mountains gleaming after a rain storm. Three years later, in 1660, different Dutch settlers would give a street the same name after the oysters found in a New York river. Little did I know, as I watched my father teach overflowing classes of children the three R's (reading, writing, and arithmetic) and I learned about nature from my mother (an avid gardener), that I would one day find myself in New York City.
Had I been the meticulous diarist of my later years, the stories of analyzing geraniums for signs of viral infections and probing the plump, yellow flesh of loquats in a tree (while hiding from my mother for some long-forgotten transgression), would be chronicled in glowing detail and cross-referenced with comments from my brothers. Instead, in my incarnation as a writer and given the vagaries of lost memories, I chose to write a work of fiction that is inspired by people and events that I have had the privilege to witness over the years. Because I am South African by birth, "The Heroine Next Door," has a strong regional flavor, focusing on the pre-and post-apartheid era, before transitioning to the USA and Europe, and the impact of path-breaking infectious and non -communicable disease research on the lives of people in Africa. However, the core identity and relationship issues that the main character, Leila, struggles with are ones that resonate with me and hopefully with the readers. With that in mind, I plan on continuing to write about relationships, sometimes in the idiom of the religion in which I was raised, Islam, and to creatively meditate about my other great loves, including history, news (I am a news junkie) , education for all, and science.
Source: heroinenextdoor.com
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review 2014-07-14 09:09
Evocative Escapism... Literally.
Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts

Evocative Escapism... Literally.


Shantaram was, for me, one of those rare books that held the power of true transportation - and for that reason, I will always love and remember my (vicarious) adventures in Gangland India... 


The tales of Lin (Gregory David Roberts) are by his accounts, entirely true. Major criticism levelled at Shantaram elsewhere centres on the near impossibility of this fact, but isn't that the point of fiction? To take you into another life, another way of looking at the world? The author totally lives up to this brief, even if he had to escape multiple prisons (mental and physical) and war zones to do so. 


Shantaram is truly epic, with sweeping scope - which to be honest, I feel was so vast, I would have appreciated a little *more* towards the end. How did Lin manage to write, publish and promote the book whilst being one of Australia's most wanted men?


There must (as always) be more to the story, which perhaps fizzled somewhat in the caves of Afghanistan (but then, war is always a full stop for me personally) - or perhaps it was in the umpteenth different description of love-interest Karla Saraanen's eyes? (And every other person he met... if you like eyes, you'll love Shantaram).


I forgive it all of this. For every smile of his friend Prabaker, for every beautiful simile and metaphor (of which there are many)... for making me feel like, for a few short days, I was in Mumbai in all her heaving glory. 

It's not a light read, but let yourself be moved, and Shantaram will take you.

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