Arab Crescent

Fun and Games Literature Reviews

Agatha Christie: Death on the Nile (Kenneth Branagh audio)

24 Festive Tasks: Door 22 – Kwanzaa, Book: Read a book written by an author of African, African American or Caribbean descent or a book set in Africa or the Caribbean, or whose cover is primarily red, green or black, or with crops of the earth or a native African animal on the cover (lion, […]

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Books Read for School

24 Festive Tasks: Door 9 – World Philosophy Day, Task 4: Did you love or hate the books you had to read for school?  Looking back, which ones (good or bad) stand out to you the most?   By and large, I think it’s fairest to say “I didn’t mind” the books we read in […]

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An “Out of My Reach” Book Wishlist to St. Nick

24 Festive Tasks: Door 14 – St. Nicholas’ Day / Sinterklaas, Task 1: Write a book wish list to St. Nick / Santa Claus for books that you’ve been eyeing but can’t justify the expense of purchasing.  (E.g., art books? Collector’s editions? Boxed sets?)   Dear Saint Nick, it would be really nice if one […]

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2019: The Year’s Greatest Book Catches from my TBR

24 Festive Tasks: Door 12 – St. Andrew’s Day, Task 3: St. Andrew was a fisherman by trade: Which book(s) from your TBR that you read this year turned out to be the year’s greatest “catch”? Of my favorite reads of 2019, surprisingly few already were on my TBR at the beginning of the year, […]

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Books With Antonyms in Their Titles

24 Festive Tasks: Door 5 – Bon Om Touk, Task 4: The South Korean flag features images of ying / yang (the blue and red circle in the center) and four sets of three black lines each representing heaven, sun, moon and earth and, in turn, the virtues humanity, justice, intelligence and courtesy.  Compile a […]

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Literature Reviews

Kofi Annan: Interventions: A Life in War and Peace

Mr. Annan was far and away the most influential and important Secretary General of the United Nations in its more recent history; his memoirs set forth with great passion and understanding how the experience of a lifetime, from growing up in post-WWII Ghana all the way to serving as Under-Secretary for Peacekeeping under Boutros Boutros-Ghali, […]

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Redeeming Renée Ahdieh’s “The Wrath and the Dawn”

24 Festive Tasks: Door 7 – International Day for Tolerance, Task 1: Find a redeeming quality in a book you read this year and didn’t like.   I’ve never understood the rave reviews that this book is getting, but then, I’m not its target audience; and I suppose if you read it as a straight-up […]

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Halloween Bingo 2019 PreParty — Question for 08/03 (Day 3): Favorite Ghostly Tales?

      As I said in my first pre-party post, I’m not much of a horror reader, and the ghost stories I like almost all either feature a ghost who is the author’s messenger for some larger point, or they’re chiefly characters who have had such an impact on another character’s life, or on […]

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Renée Ahdieh: The Wrath and the Dawn

DNF @ 146 out of 432 pages …. and I’m out. This is insufferable. Granted, I’m not the target audience to begin with.  But it’s not even the concept of “1001 Nights as a YA love story” that is putting me off the most, even though that does have at least something to do with […]

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16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Square 14 – Dies Natalis Solis Invicti

Tasks for Dies Natalis Solis Invicti: Find the sunniest spot in your home, that’s warm and comfy and read your book. –OR– Take a picture of your garden, or a local garden/green space in the sun (even if the ground is under snow). If you’re in the Southern Hemisphere, take a picture of your local […]

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Literature Reviews

Chris Bohjalian: The Sandcastle Girls

Not an entirely bad book, but boy, this could have been so much more. Ostensibly, it deals with the Armenian genocide perpetrated by Turkey in the middle of WWI.  What we really get is — at least chiefly — the love story of an American volunteer nurse trainee who has accompanied her father on a […]

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Iliya Troyanov: The Collector of Worlds

The Twelve Tasks of the Festive Season — Bonus Entry Task the Fifth: The Kwanzaa: – Read a book written by an African-American author or set in an African country. I blacked out my card on Dec. 19 using the “activity” entry for the Kwanzaa square, but since thereafter I did read a book set […]

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Literature Movies Reviews

CASABLANCA

You must remember this … Aaaahhh … Bogey. AFI’s No. 1 film star of the 20th century. Hollywood’s original noir anti-hero, epitome of the handsome, cynical and oh-so lonesome wolf (with “Casablanca”‘s Rick Blaine alone, one of the Top 5 guys on the AFI’s list of greatest 20th century film heroes); looking unbeatably cool in […]

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Cooking - Food - Drink Literature Reviews

Lorenz Books: Around the World Cookbook

Around the World in 350+ Recipes “Holidays in far flung places have increased our awareness of different foods, and restaurants on every street corner now offer dishes that no so long ago would have been unfamiliar,” the editors of this volume say in their introduction. And indeed: This is nothing less than a lavishly illustrated […]

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Literature Reviews

Boris Zubry: Miles of Experience

Diamonds in the Rough I often wonder: How is it that there is a lyrical quality to the works of every Russian writer, unmatched by those of any other provenance with the exception of the Irish? Oh, I am aware that Boris Zubry has been living in the U.S. for close on four decades and […]

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