Resolution Full Fillers | Searching Saturday #2

     Searching Saturday is a weekly meme hosted by: The Night Is Dark and Full of Books where I search for a new-to-me book that fits the weekly topic provided at the host’s site, and write a post about the books I found. It’s an awesome way for discovering new books I wouldn’t have even considered before!

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This week’s topic is “Resolutions Fullfillers”. Now, since I didn’t write my resolutions before, I’m going to mention under each book why did I choose it and what resolution of mine does it fullfill.

1) The Catcher in the Rye

the-catcher-in-the-rye“The hero-narrator of The Catcher in the Rye is an ancient child of sixteen, a native New Yorker named Holden Caulfield. Through circumstances that tend to preclude adult, secondhand description, he leaves his prep school in Pennsylvania and goes underground in New York City for three days. The boy himself is at once too simple and too complex for us to make any final comment about him or his story. Perhaps the safest thing we can say about Holden is that he was born in the world not just strongly attracted to beauty but, almost, hopelessly impaled on it. There are many voices in this novel: children’s voices, adult voices, underground voices-but Holden’s voice is the most eloquent of all. Transcending his own vernacular, yet remaining marvelously faithful to it, he issues a perfectly articulated cry of mixed pain and pleasure. However, like most lovers and clowns and poets of the higher orders, he keeps most of the pain to, and for, himself. The pleasure he gives away, or sets aside, with all his heart. It is there for the reader who can handle it to keep.” -Goodreads

-One of my most important resolutions for 2017 is to read more classics. Of course I’ve heard about this book before. But it’s not a complete cheat, I did search about the book because I didn’t know anything about it other than it’s title. I chose this book because of this answer on a question asked on goodreads.

(Q): Am i the only person who fails to understand why this book is considered a classic, to me it was boring and tedious and the plot failed to engross me as many other books have?

(A) by Jean Cole: We have to consider it in the context of the era in which this book was released. The era is post-WWII America. We had just defeated two evil empires, and our soldiers were coming Home Sweet Home to their happy-to-be-housewives and their 2.5 kids who were to be seen and not heard.

Readers who were born and brought up after the 1960s don’t realize what a revolution occurred in the 1950s and 1960s. Today being a free spirit and expressing your individuality is celebrated and encouraged. In those days you were expected to (as I was told) “Do as I say, not as I do.” That may sound outrageous and unreasonable but it was, in fact, exactly what was accepted as good parenting.

And here we have 1) a main character who curses constantly, and unashamedly rejects the values of his parents and society in general and 2) a narrative style that is casual and conversational. These two factors were shocking and dismaying to some, refreshing and delightful to others.

And so Holden became a hero to some. Not in the conventional sense of the word, but because people related to him and they sympathized with the way he felt. He personified all that was wrong with society. If you don’t go along, if you don’t play the game, then the vast machine that is society will knock you down and even lock you away. Holden is not intended to be a hero in the conventional sense of the word. He is a tragic victim of the crappy world in which he has no control and where no one understands him.

I imagine that in 1951, when this was published, there were those who said “Yes! It’s about time someone was honest!” and there were those who exclaimed “What is this world coming to?” There was change coming, that’s for sure. This book was just one sign of the impending cultural revolution. That’s why it’s a classic. Think of it as a brick in the foundation of the revolution to come.

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 2) Hex

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“Whoever is born here, is doomed to stay ’til death. Whoever settles, never leaves.

Welcome to Black Spring, the seemingly picturesque Hudson Valley town haunted by the Black Rock Witch, a 17th century woman whose eyes and mouth are sewn shut. Muzzled, she walks the streets and enters your homes at will. She stands next to your bed for nights on end. Everybody knows that her eyes may never be opened.

The elders of Black Spring have virtually quarantined the town by using high-tech surveillance to prevent their curse from spreading. Frustrated with being kept in lockdown, the town’s teenagers decide to break their strict regulations and go viral with the haunting, but in so doing send the town spiraling into the dark, medieval practices of the past.”    -Goodreads

-This year I want to go outside my safe zone of sci-fi and dystopian. I want to discover more genres and give them a try. For example, I have never read an horror book (or anything horror related, period). So this book is a great one to start my journey!

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3) Popular: Vintage Wisdom for a Modern Geek

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“A touchingly honest, candidly hysterical memoir from breakout teen author Maya Van Wagenen

Stuck at the bottom of the social ladder at pretty much the lowest level of people at school who aren’t paid to be here,” Maya Van Wagenen decided to begin a unique social experiment: spend the school year following a 1950s popularity guide, written by former teen model Betty Cornell. Can curlers, girdles, Vaseline, and a strand of pearls help Maya on her quest to be popular?

The real-life results are painful, funny, and include a wonderful and unexpected surprise—meeting and befriending Betty Cornell herself. Told with humor and grace, Maya’s journey offers readers of all ages a thoroughly contemporary example of kindness and self-confidence.” -Goodreads

-This book combines two of my resolutions: 1) Start reading non-fiction 2) Read more unpopular or underrated (depending on the reviews and ratings) authors. What attracted my attention to this book is the author, a fifteen years old teen. I’m  curious as to how she managed to write a whole book and even get it published at such young age!

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4) God’s Land (أرض الإله)

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“When this foreign Egyptologist calls for a diplomatic intervention to force the Egyptian authorities to renew the exploration permit that has been canceled when the Antiquities Service discovered a manipulation in a cemetry records, and they refuse, he rages and threatens that if he did not receive sufficient satisfaction and fair, he will reveal to the world the texts of papyri found in the burial chamber of  the King, unearthing some seriously dangerous secrets that we did not know before.

In his fifth novel  Ahmed Mourad, retraces a secret of the Ancients hidden cleverly before our eyes between the lines of the holiest books of Egyptian civilization. The secret, may change forever your reading of one of the most important moments in Egyptian history.”

-As an Arab, I feel that I’m entitled to at least read an Arabic book a month, starting this year. Obviously, I couldn’t find an English synopsis to this book, so I hope my quick translation will do 🙂 This book was recommended to me by lots of people, including family members. It also got the first place in many 2016 Arabic Lit lists. I’m interested in Egyptology, so I think this book will be my thing.

 

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