Summer Reads

Hmm.. well for the longest time I had been reading nothing but Finance, tons and tons of it. So the instant the exam was over I started catching up on my fun reading, as the stack of untouched shiny new books in my library had a hypnotising distracting effect for the duration of the study months.

So, a quick scan of the aftermath of an insanely hectic summer. We’ve been moving premises at work, undertaking the whole process of selecting a flat, designing the decore, selecting furniture and overseeing execution. Hence in addition to our normal jobs we’ve all taken on some (lets for the sake of the argument call them that) “artistic” duties. Moreover, we’ve been working office-less (also read out of my car, off my dinner table, out off the boss’ living room) and hence have been a rather virtual office.

I digress.. I, amidst some time off to myself and this madness, have had the pleasure of some non-CFA reading. Some overdue quick reviews.

1) The Unbearable Lightness of Being (June mainly):
See here for review.

2) ظل الأفعى (End of June – Beginning of July):

Youssef Zidane’s first novel. A short yet highly entertaining highly informative read. If you are fanatic or offend easy in any way, don’t bother. Book is a historical trip set in the context of a modern day marriage and the wife’s mystical correspondence with her ominous mother. Zidane shows off his knowledge and his vast reading as he effortlessly jumps eras, topics and cultures pausing at random bits of time to shed some light on forgotten beliefs and times. The book is an homage to the divinity of the sacred female; hence if the topic would be remotely offensive to you, once again don’t bother, your loss.

For a flavour of the book, see here.

3) Twilight (Starting Mid-July)

Ok, Stephanie Meyer’s HIGHLY recommended best selling international phenomena! I didn’t like it! Seriously. Yeah ok, spare me the tomatoes and the booing. I went in expecting a masterpiece and what I got was childish, obvious, sappy and naive.

On a side note, I found it quite charming that even when in FICTION, a female author invents the perfect man (brilliant, gorgeous, strong, protective, sensitive, caring and deep), her mind recognizes the impossibility of it and feels the need to make him a vampire! So basically the perfect human man does not exist OR whenever something feels too good to be true.. than he probably is a blood sucking vampire.. i.e. has a flaws big enough to outweigh all perceived perfectness. Figures!!

4) Eat Pray Love (End of July)

Going through this book I was sure it was written by a woman I know, it was her style, her life, her fears.. strengths and disappointments. I actually went to the extent of asking her if this was another of her mystery literature ventures. Yet she denies the allegations, despite similarities, upon further consultation with Google, apparently this Elizabeth is legit.

Anyways, book is a light read, a dumped hurt woman’s journey of recovery, self discovery; search for God, earthly pleasures and balance! I am on the fence on liking it and being neutral about it. On one hand, I have tons of pages I’ve earmarked with quotes I liked. On the other, I can’t relate to the woman. She is a tad light and a tad simplistic.. plus doesn’t really act as if any of it was her fault. I don’t know. Not very useful; I realise that, but I do promise to follow up with a post of some of my fave quotes and commentary.

5) When Markets Collide (current reading)

Will give you a decent review when done. Went through hell to find a copy following last year’s Euromoney conference where every minister in Egypt managed to end up quoting this guy in their speech. He’s CV puts wanna-bes like me to shame. On the plus side, for the first time in a long time I actually have a practical role model.

6) The God of Small Things (also current readings, I read in overlap)

I bought this based solely on the fact that it won the Booker prize. Woman thinks in beautiful imagery. Yet is highly chaotic and quite difficult to follow. I like how she expresses emotions, her descriptive abilities are sensational and heart felt. Oh and it has been ages since a book has kept me running for my dictionary so often. Props to her on that! She has an impeccable ability of finding the best word for the sentence, which also happens to be the most complex possible word choice 🙂 Still early in the book, will give you more decent feedback when done.

So Gjoez et all, what did you end up reading over the summer?

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4 thoughts on “Summer Reads

  1. I read Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Love & Pray” this summer and I think it’s not everybody’s coffee although I personally enjoyed the book so much! She was simply looking for the balance!

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