Smaller Signs of the Day by Muhammad bin Bayyumi

* Picture from Amazon*

Format read: Hardback

Genre: Islamic

Rating: 7 out of 10

Plot: This goes through some of the minor signs of the Day of Judgment.  The minor signs are signs that occur prior to the events that signal the end of the world and are divided into three categories: signs that have occurred and will not occur again, signs that have occurred and will continue to occur, and signs that have not occurred yet.  This book covers some of the signs from each category.

Opinion: This was a quick read for me; I managed to finish it in a day.  As far as editing goes, this is one of the better jobs that I have seen: there wasn’t a lot of redundancy and I didn’t notice any nonsensical sentences.  I think this book is written clear enough for someone who doesn’t know a lot about the Muslim version of the end of the world to understand without much difficulty.  There were only two areas that I was disappointed in: first I think the book should have included more of the signs, and secondly, I think the author should have gone into a little more detail.  Overall I don’t think this is a good book for someone who is somewhat knowledgeable about these signs but it is a great book for a new Muslim or someone who is just curious about what Muslims believe about the Day of Judgment.

Next book: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

The Waste Lands By Stephen King

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Format read: Paperback

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 8 out of 10

Plot: This is the third book in the Dark Tower series, so I won’t spoil the previous books.  This book is a continuation of Roland the gunslinger’s quest to reach the Tower.

Opinion: This is my favorite book in the series so far.  It started a little confusing, but that was quickly cleared up.  I felt myself being sucked into this book and even stayed up late last night just to find out what happened.  My only real disappointment with this book is that it ends on a huge cliffhanger, but luckily I own the next book so I can continue on this journey soon.

Next book: Smaller Signs of the Day by Muhammad bin Bayyumi

The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

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Format read: Paperback

Genre: Post-Apocalyptic

Rating: 4 out of 10

Plot: Julia wakes up one morning to discover that the earth’s rotation has slowed.  As the days past, it takes longer for the earth to complete a rotation, going from 24 hours up to 60 hours.  Julia watches as not only plants and animals struggle to adapt, but also the people around her too.  When the government decides to standardize the day to 24 hours despite it taking much longer for the earth to complete a rotation, some people rebel and set up colonies where they sleep as long as it is dark and work as long as it is light, regardless of how long that may be.  Julia watches paranoia and fear sets in, all while dealing with the normal challenges of being a pre-teen.

Opinion: I thought this book had a good premise, but it didn’t live up to it.  First, instead of giving an explanation as to why the earth was slowing and why the animals and plants were affected in the ways they were, the author just repeatedly stated that scientists didn’t know why any of this was happening.  Second, there was a big deal made about the differences in the lives of those who decided to live on “clock time” versus those who lived on “real time”, but I never brought into why this was so important.  Third, this story is told in flashbacks, but I thought it lacked any real explanation as to how they ended up adjusting to the changes in their world; the story just kind of ended with about two pages’ worth of vague references to how things are in the present day.  I felt as if there was no real conclusion to this book, and I didn’t get the impression that this is part of a series, so I’m left with a lot of unanswered questions.  Overall, I think this book was okay, but it would’ve been better with more details, at least enough for me to buy into the whole premise.

Next book: The Waste Lands By Stephen King

A Girl Like You by Maureen Lindley

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Format read: Paperback

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: 5 out of 10

Plot: Satomi Baker grows up in rural California in the years prior to World War II. Satomi’s mother is Japanese and her father is Caucasian, which puts her in an awkward position for her time, not belonging to either community. Her father senses trouble ahead and decides to enlist in order to save his family from any repercussions of the coming war. When the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor, Satomi’s father is killed, but unlike other families of fallen soldiers, Satomi and her mother are treated as if they were responsible. When the round-ups begin, Satomi and her mother are taken to Manzanar, where Satomi is once again having to figure out where she belongs. After the war, Satomi is left to pick up the pieces of her life and move on in a country that still distrusts Asian Americans.

Opinion: I think that books on the issue of internment are more important than ever given the current climate.  I believe that we should never forget that our own country essentially sentenced whole ethnic groups to prison without trial; we must never forget the damage done to innocent peoples’ lives for no other reason than their ethnic origin.  However, I felt this book failed to live up to what was promised in the synopsis.  I thought the book was going to primarily be about Satomi’s time in Manzanar, but she was released about halfway through the book.  The second half of the book had subplots and twists that honestly distracted from the story and were predictable.  I found myself getting bored and just wanting the book to end.

Next book: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

September Wrap-Up

For the month of September, I read five books, which is slightly better than average for me.  I didn’t read anything that I thought was spectacular, but my favorite book of the month was The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King.  I thought that book was a definite improvement over the first book in the series and I flew through it.  My least favorite book of the month was Whatever Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Ferrell, which despite having an interesting plot line, I found to be pretty boring.  These are the books I read along with the rating I gave them:

1. The Red Queen by Phillipa Gregory (5 out of 10)

2.  The Drawing of the Three by Stephen King (7 out of 10)

3. Whatever Happened to Baby Jane by Henry Ferrell (4 out of 10)

4. Signs of the Hour by Mufti A.H. Elias (4 out of 10)

5. Goodbye, I love you by Carol Lynn Pearson (7 out of 10)