To Marguerite – Continued

By Matthew Arnold Yes! In the sea of life enisled, With echoing straits between us thrown, Dotting the shoreless watery wild, We mortal millions live alone. The islands feel the enclasping flow, And then their endless bounds they know. But when the moon their hollows light, And they are swept by balms of spring, And…

I Am Macbeth, and IB is my Lady.

Forget the small issue of conflicting gender roles; we are all Macbeths, and IB is our Lady Macbeth. Admit it. We started off this journey fresh-faced, seduced by the allure of being inquiring, knowledgeable students of the future, compelled by the thought of being challenged intellectually… But over time, we’ve struggled to catch the false…

New Year, Old Concept, Same Life

At the debut of every new year, the vast majority of the 7 billion (and steadily increasing) human inhabitants of this earth sit down at their desks (or stand in their showers, take a run in their parks, do handstands in their rooms for all I know) and mull over the past 365 days with…

Household Gods, by Philip Hobsbaum

Household Gods “I mirrored their breaking lives,I saw their pale Distraught coming and going, lined despair, His shaken bulk, her calm pose in the doorway— I saw them. I was there.” “I have so long been silent, even now Hardly at all remember how her slim Long fingers once caressed me—was that how At one…

While the Light Lasts, by Agatha Christie

I spotted this gem amidst the rustic bookshelves of Sister Srey café, a charming little nook along the riverside of Siem Reap’s bustling Old Market area serving good ol’ Aussie nosh tosh. The amazing food aside, this petite café had a charming shelf-load of books on its second floor free for anyone to take. Having…

The Outsider, by Albert Camus

Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee? It is this strange  insouciant detachment that characterizes ‘The Outsider’; that makes it such an unsettling and yet morbidly compelling read. It is a story that leaves you with an aching sense of gaping vacuity, a feeling that perhaps life has no meaning, and no…

It’s All in the Mind.

It’s that time of the year when work starts piling up- multiple IAs and assignments lie in a stack of unkempt, disheveled papers at the corner of your desk- constantly reminding you, beseeching you to pay some thought to your neglected duties. But all you can think about is how to avoid studying for your…

Taking a Nap: A Break from the World

I never really believed in the power of naps – quite frankly, I considered them a waste of precious time that could be put to use productively. It pained me to think of wasting thirty minutes on pure lazing around: there was simply too much to do to take a break just for the sake…

Lost Horizon, by James Hilton

There are books that, after an intense and exhilarating read, leave you perturbed and agitated; there are books, incidentally, that, after a calm, mildly thought-provoking rumination, leave you calm and collected. Then there are books that coax the life out of these two worlds; long, undulating colorful strands, plucked from the most delicate of glowing…

Perfume, by Patrick Süskind (Translated by John E. Woods)

If no one asks me about it, then I know what it is; but if someone asks me about it and I try to explain it to him, then I do not know what it is. ~ St. Augustine, quoted by Patrick Süskind in On Love and Death A quote intended to describe time, but aptly adapted…

Busy.

I like the pace of my world. It’s busy, but for me, the less I do the lazier I get. Another incredibly hectic week. After a frenzied week of missing school intermittently for Tobacco Summits, Director General of Education visits, etc.- I was greeted by a week of tests (that abashedly I only studied for the day…

In Praise of Idleness, by Bertrand Russell

I made the mistake of bringing this book out with me one day- being seated across people on the bus inevitably means being uncomfortably scrutinized by the brash auntie, the self-righteous uncle, or even the occasional pony-tailed student (albeit more discreetly). The usually surreptitious glances evolved into somewhat tactless gapes and frowns, which confused me-…

Freakonomics, by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J.Dubner

The problem with non-fiction books is that they inevitably become outdated one day. No, not even your most basic Math 101 textbooks can withstand the test of time, and are usually swept off the shelves within a few years of publication, woefully lost to some newer, shinier edition with a sleeker cover. However, there are…

Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand

A colossal tome reflective of Ayn Rand’s literary greatness, her magnum opus- a beautiful volume brimming with burning conviction, fierce challenges to societal values and morals, packaged in a deceivingly modest-looking paperback. Ayn Rand- in her complete appreciation for individuality- pays homage to the driving forces of the world, the men (and women) without whom…

The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde

I had absolutely no intention of reading another book today (well, in this case, a script), but spending lunch alone inevitably results in excessive munching and extensive reading. It’s no help that the largest book shelf in the house is virtually two steps away from the kitchen, conveniently flaunting its alluring tomes for easy perusing….

The Time Machine, by H.G Wells

The title of this book brings back those fun-filled days spiritedly running through the meadows of blooming creativity and imagination, brimming with childish naivety and a profound love for the new and exciting. That’s right, there’s something charming in the foolish thought of exclusivity in a child’s wanderings- I had, at the raw age of…

Farenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury

I read two brilliant books in the last 24 hours, the first being a wonderfully simple and heartfelt book (which I will review later, it has become my favorite book of all time and hence deserves a second, third, fourth, or dozens of reads before I can review it objectively), and the latter being the…

Time Must Have a Stop, by Aldous Huxley

I picked up this beautifully laminated paperback at Citylights in San Francisco- a rustic and sublimely homely book shop that contains shelves upon shelves of books. If I had the choice I would’ve willingly remained there for the rest of eternity. The comfortingly earthy smell of heavenly tomes blended right in with the roughly cut…

The Scarlet Letter, by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Just finished reading The Scarlet Letter. I’d been looking forward to finishing it (I read three quarters of it during the IGCSE period), but although I found it an intriguing read I can say I was a little disappointed. Not that I thought it wasn’t a good book, on the contrary I thought it was…

Sweet 16.

It’s my birthday today! Had an additional maths and chemistry exam today, but today’s unofficially the end of my exams. (Only multiple choice left.) I’ve never really understood what the hype about birthdays was/is about. After all, birthdays do come every year. And if statistics hold any meaning, I technically have 83 of these to…