Book and Compass

writing, reading, posing the occasional bad question

The Outdoorsy Reader’s Guide to Santa Barbara

I had the idea for this post a week or two ago, when I happened to be sitting outside in the objectively lovely Santa Barbara, CA. I like reading, but I also really like existing next to nature while I’m doing solitary activities, so I decided to put in a little legwork and add to my already decent list of nice outdoor places to enjoy a book in Santa Barbara. Someone has probably done this before, but I honestly just got too excited about the idea to pass it up.

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Book Review — Mahfouz, The Cairo Trilogy (Palace Walk, Palace of Desire, Sugar Street)

I have had a long relationship with this particular book. It’s not a short volume, with three originally separate novels back-to-back in the same volume, totaling about 1313 pages. My only comment, for people daunted by this number, is that the endeavor is entirely worth it.

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Book Review – Shaarawi, Harem Years: The Memoirs of an Egyptian Feminist

So I’ve been interested in Huda Shaarawi since I first came across a small reading section about her life and work in our Arabic textbook in college (Al Kitaab fi ta’allum al-arabiyya vols. 1 & 2 in the second edition, and Alif Baa for the alphabet, for those of you who are nosy). But the story of how she and another Egyptian woman dramatically unveiled when disembarking from a train in Cairo station upon returning from a conference in Rome really struck me for some reason.

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Book Review – Hubert & Kerascoet, Beauty

As if I didn’t have enough nice things to say about Miss Don’t Touch Me, I at the same time came by a copy of Hubert & Kerascoet’s Beauty.

Quick summary: A plain girl makes a wish of a fairy to be beautiful, with unforeseen and dire consequences for her and everyone around her (essentially, there’s so much more but I’ll get to that).I have a couple moments during this review when I dont-quite-spoil but do discuss events or themes in the book that you wouldn’t know at outset. Be warned!

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Book Review – Hubert & Kerascoet, Miss Don’t Touch Me Omnibus

Disclaimer: I’m not an artist, illustrator, or anything near learned on art, comics, graphic novels, and the like. I just read a lot of them in my spare time. This is kind of out on a limb from what I’ve reviewed before, but I’ve been screaming at anyone and everyone who may get it about this one (and another by the same creative team) for weeks.

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Book Reviews [two for one] Painted Devils & Dark Entries, Robert Aickman

I requested this book from another library because at the time it was getting close to Halloween and I was wanting something that was spooky, but not in the straightforward jump-in-your-seat thriller kind of way. I’d had the pleasure of discovering a newer edition of a different volume of Aickman’s work in a WHSmith earlier in the summer (Dark Entries).

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Book Review – The Island of the Day Before, Umberto Eco

Another book review! It seems like I’m reading books very slowly (when in fact the opposite is true, I’m just picking which ones I’d like to write about up here). Preface: I am just a random human, and this is just my opinion of a random novel.

Anyway, as a preface something that has ‘New York Times Bestseller’ stamped on it is usually code for “you’ll at least enjoy this a little even if its not your cup of tea.” Though I’d never tried this before on a book that came out before I could actually read myself — literature, like fashion, tends to take very different shapes in different years. I also will not lie, I skimmed to the back and felt a little daunted at a 500+ page novel.

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Book Review #1 – If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler

            Because I suddenly got the compulsion to do this, I’ve decided to broaden my repertoire and start reviewing books that I read. I love reading, I love thinking about what I’m reading, and I particularly love talking to people about the things that I read. Since I’m starting to annoy the people I know in real life, I’m going to start bothering the internet with it.

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