The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair

* Picture from Amazon*

Format read: Hardback

Genre: South Asian

Rating: 9 out of 10

Plot: One summer, Rakhee’s mother suddenly took her to India to meet a family that for the most part, she’s never heard of before.  Rakhee quickly realizes that the various members are hiding dark secrets from her and from the world.  As the summer goes on, Rakhee begins to unravel the web the family has built around themselves, and she comes to understand why her mom fled India all those years previously.

Opinion: I really enjoyed this book.  I was invested the story and kept reading because I was so curious to find out what was really going on.  I think this is a good book if you want something that keeps you guessing, but it deals with some real heavy topics, so it’s definitely not a beach read.

Next book: Harry Potter and History by Nancy Reagin

Faith Versus Materialism: The Message of Surah al-Kahf by Sayed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi

* Picture from  http://kitaabun.com/*

Format read: Paperback

Genre: Islamic

Rating: 7 out of 10

Plot: This book discusses the lessons to be learned from Surah al-Kahf.  It is not a tafseer, so it doesn’t go into details about the verses themselves, but rather focuses on what we can learn from those stories to improve our own lives and to guard against the dajjal.

Opinion: Overall, I think this was a good book.  It reminds us not to get trapped up in the life of this world as this life is transitory.  I think the author did a good job in taking the stories and showing how the lessons are very much relevant to our lives today.  However, I think there were places where the author got so wordy it was hard to understand what he was trying to get across.  Some of the paragraphs read almost as if they were just one long run-on sentence and more than once, I had to go back and re-read paragraphs because they were confusing.  Despite this, I think that the author did get his point across and has made me think a little on how I view the society we have today.

Next book: The Girl in the Garden by Kamala Nair

The Gunslinger by Stephen King

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* Picture from Amazon *

Format read: Mass Market Paperback

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 6 out of 10

Plot: Roland is a gunslinger and the last of his kind.  He is on an epic quest to get to the mysterious Tower, but to find the tower, he must first catch the Man in Black.

Opinion: I was warned that this wasn’t the best in the series, but it’s necessary to read it to understand the others.  To be quite honest, I was confused a lot of the book.  The narrator wasn’t that reliable, so it was hard to figure out what was reality, what was dreams, and what was visions from the past.  I like books that keep me guessing, but even at the end, I wasn’t sure what just happened.  I think this book was good enough for me to continue on, and maybe it will make more sense as I read further along.

Next book: Faith Versus Materialism: The Message of Surah al-Kahf by Sayed Abul Hasan Ali Nadwi

Intro

I’ve been blogging about books for over a year now, but I’ve had a lot of problems with the site I was using, so I’ve decided to try this site.  (If you want to view my old blog, it’s: http://cbiley1984.blog.com ).  I mainly review books that I’ve read, but I also will occasionally post things such as my TBR goals for the year, book related sites that I’ve found, and recently my participation in a read-a-thon.  Here’s some book “facts” about me:

  1. I mainly read Islamic, historical fiction, memoirs, and fantasy books.  I will read other things that catch my fancy, but those are the genres that I read the most.
  2. I mainly read adult books.  I will occasionally read a YA book, but even when I was of the age those books are geared towards, I read adult books.
  3. I love to read, but hate having assigned reading.  There’s something about being told that I have to read a certain book by a certain time that I don’t like, even if it is a book that I would have picked up on my own.  I don’t do well with book clubs or read-a-longs for that same reason.
  4. I do take suggestions for books, but I look at them as just that: suggestions.  Sometimes I will be told about a book and when I look it up, it looks like something I would like, so I get it.  If not, I don’t.  Even if I do buy a suggested book, I make no promises as to when I’ll read it because I make reading choices based on my mood at that moment.
  5. I’m Muslim and during the month of Ramadan, I focus solely on Islamic books.  It’s not a rule, but Ramadan is a time when we’re supposed to focus on growing in our knowledge about Islam, and I choose not to be distracted by non-Islamic books/movies/etc. at this time.
  6. My favorite book (aside from the Quran) is A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith.  I’ve loved that book since I read it the first time as a high school Freshman.  My favorite series is the Harry Potter series, which is ironic because it took my friends a while to convince me to read them since they’re children’s books….I didn’t actually pick up one until the fourth book came out, but as soon as I read the first one, I immediately went out and brought all the rest that were out at the time.

Well, that’s pretty much it about me.  I’m going to try to post the entry that I attempted to post on my old blog site after I finish this one.