Archive for December, 2008

Switched back to Blogger

I’m very sorry to confuse everyone, but I’ve switched back to my previous blog on Blogger again.



I won’t erase this one though (wordpress), just in case.


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The Reader is a book by the German author, Bernhard Schlink.

On his way to school, a 15-year old ill with hepatitis named Michael throws up and is assisted by a stranger old enough to be his mother.

After Michael gets better and pays a visit to the stranger, whose name is Hanna, he and Hanna fall in love with each other. Soon, Michael is obsessed with her and starts visiting her daily at her apartment.
Hanna doesn’t tell Michael a lot about herself, and after Michael betrays her, she disappears.

In part two, Michael is a law student, and Hannah is being tried for a crime regarding the Nazi.
As Michael observes the hearings, he realizes that Hanna has been concealing a secret – one that she considers more shameful than the Nazi ones – all this time.

This was a haunting and mysterious read, yet it is written simply.

The Reader is absorbing and unputdownable. It makes you want to finish it in one quick read.

The story was very wise and you could feel the guilt and perplexity of the protagonist. It leaves you thinking even after you’ve finished the book.

This is a book you should add to your reading list.

The story is now a motion picture starring Kate Winslet (Titanic) and Ralph Fiennes.

My rating: 9 ½ (a memorable, worthy read)

Buy at amazon

The Reader movie site

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a new home

I haven’t been posting or responding to your comments lately because we have just moved to The United States the day before yesterday! My father and I are staying at a place called Ithaca in New York state, since he’s coming as a visiting scholar at Cornell University.

I’m very excited to be here and I’m also curious about how different my school will be from that in Sudan. The schools are on holiday here, so we will search for schools after the holiday.

We’re currently staying at my dad’s friend’s house till we get to buy some stuff for our home.

I’ll tell you once we settle.

Oh, and I’m turning 13 today! It sure will be an unforgettable birthday.


sorry, no pictures


I’d like to thank Priscila and Stephie from Argentina very much for remembering my birthday. You are great friends.

I’m also happy for having made friends with Lauren and Mallorie.

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Hello everyone

Ok, this is going to be my new blog.

I’ve imported all my previous posts from Blogger and I will continue to update this one.



note: my previous blog was http://zawan.blogspot.com/

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CNN Business Traveller: reading

This month’s edition of CNN Business Traveller (hosted by Richard Quest) is about reading and books: the things I’m most interested in!

I watched it twice on TV, and it was very good. Anybody who is a traveller or an avid reader (or both) should watch this edition.

It will introduce you to some historical bookshops such as Shakespeare & Company (in London).

It compared the new books of the future: Sony’s e-Reader and Amazon’s Kindle. And 3 city guides were laid side-by-side to see which one showed you the most exceptional of places.

Did you know what “readers in residence” and “writers in residence” mean?

You can watch the 30-minute show below.

Visit the CNN Business Traveller site to learn more and know when the show airs.



Embedded video from CNN Video

Embedded video from CNN Video

Embedded video from CNN Video

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Title: The Catcher in the Rye

Author: J. D. Salinger

In The Catcher in the Rye, an odd teenager called Holden Caulfield narrates his experiences in New York after being expelled from his fourth prep school, Pencey.

Holden states that he is undergoing mental treatment, and throughout his narration he criticizes and judges people and likes to stand out from the crowd. He alienates himself from the world: he says he doesn’t like the adult world because it is full of deception and betrayal, even though he’s a lying fiend himself. He prefers the innocence and honesty of childhood.

Holden wants to find an identity in New York, but he falls into a lot of trouble. He misinterprets people’s actions and irritates everybody he meets.

His little sister, Phoebe, is an important character in the story because Holden accepts her advice and she shows the reader Holden’s faults.  

Some people were offended by the slang in Catcher in the Rye, but I think it’s ok. It also makes the book stand out among others.

This is a very good story because I could empathize with the phases Holden goes through, especially loneliness and being rejected by people. Holden Caulfield is a very unique, memorable character. He is naive yet intelligent, but the people around him don’t understand him nor appreciate him for that.

I think that any teenager should read this book because they can relate to it and the narrator, a teenager himself, speaks very openly.

The Catcher in the Rye SparkNote


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Kite runner.jpg
image via wikipedia

Yesterday, I finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, which is definitely a favorite of mine.

During their childhood, Amir and Hassan shared an inseparable friendship, despite their different beliefs, ethnicity and status.
Hassan is supposed to be the son of Amir’s father’s servant.

After a kite fighting tournament, Amir witnesses Hassan being raped by the bully, Assef, and doesn’t defend him, which haunts him all his life.
Now Amir is an adult living in the United States and he has a chance to atone for what he had done in his childhood.

The Kite Runner is set in Afghanistan during the period of its invasion by the Soviet Army and the ruling of the Taliban.


Gripping and poignant, The Kite Runner is very well written. The twists and events in it are totally unexpected and moving.

Khaled Hosseini successfully manages to put you in the state of emotion of his characters. I like the way he portrays many different feelings, especially panic.

While reading, the story shifts to memories from the past very neatly.
I’m also very impressed at how the characters and events all link together in the end.

The story is heart-warming yet it is very realistic.

The Kite Runner is not just a dramatic story of a long-lost friendship; it vividly shows you through the eyes of the protagonist the effects the war left on Afghanistan.

The Kite Runner is a stunning read about friendship, betrayal and guilt. It also gives you an insightful understanding of the writer’s homeland and its people.

If you haven’t, you must pick-up this book and read it.

My rating: 10/10 (outstanding!)

I’m very eager to read Khaled Hosseini’s other book, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and I’m also looking forward to seeing more from this author.

The Kite Runner has been made into an Oscar-nominated movie. Visit the official site.

Khaled Hosseini’s website

Buy the book at amazon now

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