Stand Out

​We give too much weight to people’s opinions
We have truly become society’s minions
Placed on our shoulders unnecessary burdens
Criticizing glares denigrating our every action
Trapping us in imaginative prisons
Strengthened with our own handmade battens

Now, it seems we’ve forgotten the foremost key
To living with ourselves peacefully
Our lives are not about what others think or see
We don’t have to cool in the mould blindly
In the end, alone we’ll face the consequences and when all is destroyed, no one will respond to our pleas

You wanna be an artist a writer, then, be
Medicine and Business are not the only faculties
Your choice should depend on your ambitions and abilities
If it takes you a step closer to your dream,
don’t be distracted by other paths gleams

Not only our big life decisions did they stalk
But started constricting how we should sit and walk
To be a lady, don’t laugh and always wear frocks
To be a man, never cry and never balk
Apparently there are rules for how we should even talk

But for how long?
This is just on so many levels wrong
Fortunately, you, my fellow, do not have to play along
Never be afraid to stand out among the throng
Swim against the tide, for you are strong

Sketch by: Mariam Ali Ibrahim


Just Be Yourself.. Right?


“Just be yourself” will advise the society, the irony

They know full well that they’re to be partially blamed for my insecurity

See, they don’t show you curves, pimples and gap teeth on the tv screen

Only tall and skinny models with thigh gaps for the whole world to see

They don’t represent people like you and me

Put my confidence to the ground, destroyed my self-esteem

I couldn’t even hold a conversation without saying sorry

Like 90 million times, apologizing for just being me

They say just be brave and gain some self-confidence

I always replied “It’s not that simple, not that easy”

Until I did it!

You know how they say fake it till you make it

For your first step, this is the key

Everyone will tell you a different definition of beauty

Not only looks, it can be be mental capacity, charm or personality

Ultimately, you, and only you get to to make your own history

So, for one day let yourself breathe, and be free

-Thank you for reading my humble poem. I’ve been playing with the idea of recording a video of myself reciting it. Shall I actually do it? I’m super nervous so let me know what you think!

Study, Eat, Sleep.. Repeat

Higher grades means you’re smarter

And to get them, you need to work harder

Study, eat and sleep, you see lightning before you hear thunder

Answer pastpapers till you develop a mental disorder

Building your personality? Learning to be happy? You have time for these later

Then when all a graduate knows is how to calculate the resistance of a wire,

Instead of how to survive in the wild, how to find water, start a fire

How to write a resume, how to act when a situation is dire

How to socialize, build relationships, be healthier

“Where did we go wrong?” you all wonder

-This is my first poem ever, so I’d genuinely appreciate a feedback. I’m not sure this is even considered a poem, but anyways, let me know you opinion 🙂

A Change of Heart

I’ve been playing with the idea for a while now, but just had the courage to actually do it. As some of you know, this was a book blog under the name ‘Book and Shady Nook’, but I’ve recently started to feel like putting my blog under a certain genre restricted me from writing on other different topics, whilst this was the reason I’ve originally created the blog. I believe this was what caused my inactivity lately.

So, and after an immense amount of considering, I decided to change the blog’s name, address, and start over. My former reviews will be kept and I’ll continue to review whenever I feel like it, not only books but movies and maybe products. Also, I’ve started to develop a taste for poems, so I might be brave enough and post some of my doings. I want to insure that this blog is a fun activity and remains one. I want it to be an outlet to all my thoughts, to share and discuss them with you and also as a personal journal.

Sorry for all those who followed me under the impersonation of a specialized book blog, but I discovered that this is not my way. I want to be able to share my life with you regarding everything, not only books.


Review! | Cold Burn Of Magic (Black Blade #1)

Overall Rating:



Book Details: 

Author: Jennifer Estep

First Publication: Published April 28th 2015

Pages: 323 pages


There Be Monsters Here. . .

It’s not as great as you’d think, living in a tourist town that’s known as “the most magical place in America.” Same boring high school, just twice as many monsters under the bridges and rival Families killing each other for power.

I try to keep out of it. I’ve got my mom’s bloodiron sword and my slightly illegal home in the basement of the municipal library. And a couple of Talents I try to keep quiet, including very light fingers and a way with a lock pick.

But then some nasty characters bring their Family feud into my friend’s pawn shop, and I have to make a call–get involved, or watch a cute guy die because I didn’t. I guess I made the wrong choice, because now I’m stuck putting everything on the line for Devon Sinclair. My mom was murdered because of the Families, and it looks like I’m going to end up just like her. . .–Goodreads


Note: I’ve read this book about a month ago, so my memory’s not so fresh. I’ll try to do my best, though.

Good writting. Intriguing main character. Likeable supporting cast. Fast pace.Throw in a bit of swordplay and a bit of mystery and you have the makings of an exceptional novel. I remember it was sometimes a little predictable. Not so much for plot twists.

So why is this book on my favourites shelf? The main character, Lila! She’s tough, independent and feisty with a bit of a soft spot. She accidentally gets in the middle of a mob feud. Her mother was killed because of the Families and Lila has been trying to avoid them since. But it seems she have no choice but to get entangled in their issues. After she saves the heir of a magical family, she is forced to work as his bodyguard.

I was a little disappointed that she and Devon (the heir) didn’t get together *ship failure*. The will be so cute together -in a tough way, mind you.

All in all, COLD BURN OF MAGIC is definitely a fun read. And while I’m hoping for certain things to happen, I’m also looking forward to the ride that Estep will take us on in Dark Heart of Magic, the second installment in the Black Blade series. I’ve already got the ebook!

Have you read this book yet? Did you like it? If not, are you going to? Do tell in the comments below! And keep reading!


My trip to the CIBF (A recount or book haul?)

I’ve already posted a blog about what is the Cairo International Book Fair You can see it here.

So, I thought I’d share this wonderful experience with you. I went last week and I’m already wishing I could go again. This isn’t the first time for me to go, but it was the first for me to choose my own books and decide what to get and what to not – I felt like an adult 🙂 . Anyway, so I started by casually checking out the publishers and bargains before I buy anything. It was impossible to see all the fair ground then come back again, so I ended buying from first sight. The first place I bought something from was Dar El Shrouq. They had 50% discounts on 250 titles and 150 other titles for only 5, 10 or 20 EGP (0.3, 0.5 or 1 $). Here’s what i got from there:

  • Beatrice & Virgil by Yann Martel hardcover – 30 EGP (1.6 $)
  • Trash by Andy Mulligan paperback – 20 EGP (1 $)

Next was the AUC Press (they had to drag me out of there).

What I got from the AUC Press:

  • Instinct by Ben Kay – 32 EGP (1.7 $)
  • Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb – It doesn’t have a price sticker on it but I think it’s the same as the one above or maybe cheaper.

After that I sauntered around for a few hours. My sister got some Arabic novels and my dad got a business book for him and children’s books for my other sister at home. And then we reached the Azbakia section. This is where second-hand, old and fake copies are sold. They are usually the cheapest books in the fair. I got quite some books from there. All of those are paperback:

  • The Selection by Kiera Cass – 20 EGP (1 $)
  • All the Light We Cannot See – 25 EGP (1.3 $)
  • 5 books for 50 EGP (2.7 $)
    • City of Ghosts by Bali Rai
    • Drama Girl by Carmen Reid
    • Distant Waves by Suzanne Weyn
    • The Black Sphinx by Matt Hart
    • A beautiful Lie by Irfan Master
  • 1984 by George Orwell – 20 EGP (1 $)


I just noticed the post ended up being a book haul and not a recount. Anyway, what do you think of my purchases? Any idea which book should I start with first?

Review! | The Year I Became Isabella Anders (Sunnyvale #1)

Overall Rating:



Book Details: 

Author: Jessica Sorenson

First Publication: September 2nd 2015 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Pages: 246 pages


Isabella Anders has always been the girl that never fit in. Most days she feels invisible, especially when she’s around her older sister, Hannah, who catches the eye of everyone, including Kai and Kyler, the boys who live next door.

Isabella has had a crush on Kyler for years, but knows he’ll never see her as anything more than Hannah’s little sister, unless she finds a way to standout.

When Isabella gets an offer from her grandmother to travel overseas for the summer, she seizes the opportunity, hoping she’ll discover more about herself. And she does, but not in the way that she expected.

Three months later, Isabella returns home an entirely new person. The change is enough to catch both Kyler and Kai’s attention. But Isabella is still struggling with what she discovered over the summer and until she deals with the truth, she’ll never truly be herself. –Goodreads


I’ve always heard a lot about this author and finally got to read something by her. And I wasn’t disappointed!

The main character, Isabella, who is a down-and-out quirky girl gets a make over and comes back home with a new level of confidence. Her journey from baggy clothes and reading mangas to tube dresses and clubbing is no easy one. It takes a trip with her grandma around Europe and a wonderful cousin to get her out of her comfort zone.

But this isn’t everything! She discovers a truth that will permanently change her life forever. Will she be able to find the rest of the truth?

Aaaaaand, dear gentleman and ladies, here’s our cliffhanger of the year. Make sure to buy volume 2 before you finish this book! Believe me you won’t be able to wait.

This book is super cute and I would recommend it to anybody who can read English.


Have you read this book yet? Did you like it? If not, are you going to? Do tell in the comments below! And keep reading!


What is the Cairo International Book Fair? And why should I care?

Finally!happy woman tv show zooey deschanel talk show

I’ve wanted to write this post for over a week now, but I just kept postponing it. A procrastinator’s typical life. Here we go!

Note: All prices are converted into dollars by the price of the day Feb 2nd 2017

The What:

The Cairo International Book Fair is one of the biggest book fairs in the world, drawing hundreds of book sellers from around the world and about 3 million visitors each year. It is the largest book fair in the Arab world,as well as the oldest. In 2006, it was the second largest book fair in the world after the Frankfurt Book Fair. The Fair is considered the most important event in the Arabic publishing world.

The When:

It takes place each year in the last week of January and the first week of February. However, the exact starting date is announced at the beginning of the year. This year it will be open daily from 10am until 7pm for book selling, and until 9pm for cultural events. Tickets are sold in front of the fairgrounds for 1 EGP (0.054 $).

The Where:

Cairo, Egypt. Obviously. It is organised in the Cairo International Fair Grounds in Madinat Nasr.

The Why:

As for why you should be keen on attending this fair (if possible), there are a couple of reasons:

  • Sales. As simple as that. You can get a book worth 200 EGP (10.767 $) for only 10 EGP (0.5 $).
  • Variety. The book suits every reader’s taste. You can get academic books, specialized books (history, economy, politics, religion etc.) or as in my case novels. Also you can find books in about 10 languages (that I know of). Arabic and English being the most popular, followed by German, Chinese, French and Russian.
  • The fair is a perfect place for a family outing or picnic or even for a group of friends or an intellectual date.


  • Lots of books! This year we will see 670 publishers, 451 Egyptian, 200 Arabs, 13 international, and six from African countries.
  • Book signings. The fair is the ultimate chance to meet all of your favourite authors, poets and novelists and all in the same place!

    I’ll post my own trip in another post for the sake of organization. Have you gone to the fair this year? What do you think of it?

Review! | The Girl On The Train

Overall Rating:



Book Details: 

Author: Paula Hawkins

First Publication: January 13th 2015 by Riverhead Books

Pages: 323 pages


The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? –Goodreads


After all the hype this book got, I have to say I was really excited to read this book. However, when I started reading it last year it bore the hell out of me and I thought maybe I’d leave it for a while and then give it another try later. I have to say it wasn’t worth it.

First off, the title. How is a 30-something YEARS OLD WOMAN considered a “girl”?!  I honestly thought the book would talk about a young adult 20 years old or on the very max 25. But not a divorced alcoholic. “The Woman On The Train” would’ve been a less beguiling but much more suitable title.

No one can deny Hawkins’ beautiful style of writing. The woman can write. Honestly. And I liked the multiple points of view (Rachel-the girl on the train, Anna-Rachel’s ex-husband’s wife and Megan-the girl who goes missing). She did well with the unreliable narrator thing. And beware, guys. This book has some real dangerous plot twists. I mean it.

So why didn’t this book ring a chord with me? I think it’s the characters. Three messed up women and two abusive men. None of the characters was relatable or even likeable enough for me to root for them. Maybe Hawkins has gone too far with messing up their lives.

I would recommend this book to a mystery/thriller/crime/unreliable characters lover, but not if this kind of book isn’t your usual. In the end, you are the judge. Go on and give it a try. I know some friends who gave this book 5 stars and put it on their favourites shelf!


Again, I haven’t watched the movie, but I saw the trailer and some clips for the sake of the review. Watch the trailer from here. I was shocked by the cast, actually. Supposedly, Tom and Scott are both handsome and Rachel is fat-sorry, it’s what in the book- and Anna is very beautiful. That’s different in the movies. There aren’t major differences in the plot, though. I think… again, think the movie in this case might be better than the book. I personally prefer crimes and thrillers as movies.

Have you read this book yet? Did you like it? If not, are you going to? Do tell in the comments below! And keep reading!