Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cooped Up

It's that time of the year where we crane our necks looking at the handful of clouds that have migrated next to each other and strain our eyes trying to catch that first droplet of rain. So far, nothing. But then again, we haven't had much (any) rain in the past three years. Why do people claim that speaking about the weather is a downer of conversations? It's not. It's such a great opening that would lead you to things like "One time, I slipped on the rain stained marble at my university and broke my ankle" and from there, onto other escapades.

For disclosure's sake, I haven't slipped on any rain stained marble at my university. Well, at least haven't slipped and broken my ankle.

I have been reading lately, quite an erratic list. Several non fictions that I glide through, and read what marks my interest. And several fiction books that happen to be on my bedside table, or father's desk, or kindle's storefront. I'd like to try out an audiobook before the end of the year, so now I'm focusing my energies on searching for the best audiobook out there. Yesterday I read a whole book - Heads in Beds - on my iphone. Yes, apparently, you can read on that small screen, but you'll get tired switching the pages because there's just so little that you can display on that kind of screen. Speaking of Heads in Beds (My Review), I finally understand why my darling mother would always make a point of washing the glasses in hotel rooms before pouring water or drinks. And, I wish I had not read what happens to toothbrushes. Disgusting. 

My current kindle reading list

Here's my review of Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby. His other book that I've read, About a Boy, had left quite an impression on me previously.

Juliet, Naked marks my second Hornby book, and while it was enjoyable enough, I liked the first one I had read - About a Boy - more than this. In Juliet, Naked we meet Annie & Duncan a couple who have been together for 15 years, and who reside in a small seaside English town, adequately named Gooleness. Duncan has always been obsessed with Tucker Crowe, a singer who stopped recording songs and went into 'hiding' many years ago. And while Annie appreciates Crowe's music, she has not yet reached nor wants to reach Duncan's level of obsession. Annie's relationship with Duncan leaves a lot to be desired, and now that she's 39 she invokes on a self reflective trip.

A period of self reflection is what Annie & Tucker seem to be going through, with a dosage of guilt thrown in Tucker's conscience. All three main characters regret a phase of their past, or all of it, and are coming to terms on how to handle the aftermaths of past decisions. I did not especially like any of the characters, but thought they were realistic. Duncan's character showed the least growth, and I personally wanted to clap a pair of drums on his ears to wake him up from his stupor.

Peppered with some witty dialogue, and writing that's engaging, it wasn't hard to read this book and for that I'm giving it 3 stars.

Right, so from the very beginning it's apparent that Annie & Duncan are not fit for each other and yes, a lot of couples go through a phase where they hate each other (as Annie points out), but in this case, the hatred Annie feels stems from bigger issues (Duncan not wanting kids, for example) that can overshadow everything else. She has probably known for a long time that they don't quite click together, but stuck it out.

Duncan came across as very annoying, very lazy, very complacent and ho hum about everything except Tucker Crowe. People are obsessed about things, and will always be obsessed about things, but Duncan judges every one else through his obsession. When Annie wrote that scathing review, he started doubting how well he knew her, for example. He distances himself from other instructors at the college because he perceives himself a cut above the rest since he knows so much about Tucker. He cheats on Annie, but doesn't really feel any guilt. Just a sense of slight annoyance that his life would change from what it was.

Tucker's self reflection on how he wasted so many years and so much time was interesting to read. His lack of parenting skills and acknowledgement of that showed internal growth in his personality, but there was no reaction to that knowledge. It was like his thought process went from "Oh, I'm a horrible father" to "Well, who cares, no matter what I do it won't make a difference, so let me just go on as usual".


Well, I would say that's enough reading for a day. Or reviewing, rather. I wish I was one of those folks who wrote reviews on the same day they finished the books. But I'm not. I review every couple of books together. The thing is, I review in my mind, as I read, but by the time fingertips come to contact with keystrokes, all the witty and quite intellectual sentences I had strung together seem to no where to be found.

Oh. Speaking of witty, there was a line in Juliet, Naked where Annie realizes her London friend and Duncan have a lot in common. It was quite hilarious.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Rules of Civility

Sometimes, I come across a book that I get lost in, and even days after I've finished turning the last page I find myself reminded by a scene or chuckling over a joke. Rules of Civility was such a book this year, I first heard about it in January and it's been on my radar ever since, but I only got around to it this month when it fit the tag the book group I'm in chose for October.

It's very rare that I start a book with high expectations and find myself star struck at the end, wanting to give it another whirl, just for fun. This is definitely going on my top five for 2012. 

Kate and Val attend a photo exhibition in 1966, and there she recognizes someone from a photo that takes her back to 1938. In the New York of her twenties, Kate celebrates the new year with her room mate Eve, and Tinker Grey, a banker whom they've just met. Through Tinker, Kate & Eve step into a different society in New York and their friendship takes a turn for something else.

This is a book that could just as well be a time machine. The descriptions are very much alive and can effortlessly take you to the time, and place. I loved the way the dialogue was written; I felt that the lack of quotation marks made everything just blend wonderfully, and made the reader blend in with the story if that makes sense. 

It's a story of friendship, and love, and yes, a city. It's coming of age in a way, and observations in retrospect. Kate's voice came across very clearly and I really did not want to finish this book. I had several things to do this week and my reading time was chopped up, but this was just perfect for this book. I did not want to finish it in a day or two, and now that I've finished I suspect it's the kind of book that would have me walking around aimless for a few days before picking something else. Some books just do that to me!

On a side note, did anyone notice that a lot of cars made an appearance in the book? My knowledge of cars is absolutely zilch, so goodness knows if I've imagined them correctly (I have a feeling I'll be researching 1920's bentleys and mercedes' just for fun sooner or later). After the first two or three cars were mentioned I found myself doubting that Katey with her background, her literary dreams, and apparent non driving skills could make out so many models. But then again maybe not everyone is as car blind as I can sometimes be. Not that all the car descriptions took away from the enjoyment of the story!

I liked how Kate's personality developed, and how she always seemed to stay true to her character but was willing to try new things. Her observations on people's actions and her ability to read people. I liked Wallace too, and like how his friendship with Kate seemed to make her more open to things, and sort of more understanding of herself and others. Eve, on the other hand, I found to be too selfish and spoilt. Even though she wanted to be independent and did not accept help from her parents, her actions were not in line with her ideals. 

Tis a book I'll be recommending right and left. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Psychotic People

The past few books I've read have been strangely disturbing. Most dealt with psychotic characters, dysfunctional families & homicide. And no, I did not pick them up based on these very enticing criteria! Not to say that I did not enjoy them, I loved some of them but I haven't binge-read certain genres like these before.

I picked up 2 Shirley Jackson books because I read somewhere that she inspired quite a few authors, Stephen King included. Now, 11/22/63 was a favorite this year so I thought I'd give her a chance. Then one day, I was at Kinokuniya and saw a yellow cover with bright pink fonts yelling "Hello Kitty Must Die". I picked it up without even reading the back cover. It was certainly nothing like I expected. Next was Gone Girl. I downloaded a sample on my kindle, and a day later had finished the book. Mama mia, talk about what goes behind closed doors.

I was out today and bumped into a really old althetics-mate of mine. You meet people, keep in touch with a few, loose touch with most and then you bump into them from time to time, even if you don't even live in the same city or country anymore. It's a small world after all, right?

A few weeks ago, I was in MCC and entered the Marina furniture store there. I wasn't looking for something specifically but wanted to be inspired, and then I spied a furniture set with very familiar words scrawled on them. I noticed "and don't make dreams your master". I went around and found a few other pieces with Kipling's poem printed on them. It just made me wonder whether the furniture designer was a Kipling fan, or just chose the words because Kipling lived in India, and the furniture was made there.

Thursday, July 05, 2012


The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano
4 Stars

Physicist Paolo Giordano weaves a hard to put down, binding tale that is intricate, and yet simple. It transcends beautifully into English, having been written originally in Italian. The story covers a number of years, but is very fluid and smooth. Alice Della Rocca suffers a skiing accident because of her overbearing father, at age 10, and is left with a permanent limp. Her struggle to fit in with her classmates and be like them is a daily battle, and anorexia is her escape from her reality. 

Mattia also suffered a traumatic experience in his childhood. Born a twin, he was the brilliant one, whilst his sister was born with a mental disability. Being forced to have her around him all the time makes him an easy victim for bullying in school, until one day his decision leaves greater consequences, and the guilt and responsibility he feels mark him for life.

Mattia moves to Alice's school in high school. She finds herself attracted to him, and a friendship blossoms. Mattia the mathematician likens their friendship to prime numbers (numbers that are only divisible by the number 1 and themselves), and twin primes: a set of close prime numbers that are separated by one even number (like 3 & 5). Things change after high school. Both leave things unsaid, simply because they are twin primes and can not cross that space between them. And yet, they still make appearances in each others' lives, now and then.

There's an air of melancholy throughout the book, but it is also a very contemplative book. It's serene, in a way. The experiences both Alice & Mattia went through for example, could have not been so self destructive had they had different environments. An experience could be nudged to take a different path by many other variables and factors, i.e, different school/parents/etc.

I picked this book at the Emirates Literature Festival  earlier this year - I think the author was present - but unfortunately didn't hear him talk. I am always on the look out, however, for literary mathematicians. I love the blend of math/science & literature, and after reading this book, I couldn't help but imagine that Mr. Giordano has made up several stories about all things physics. 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Paper Towns

Paper Towns by John Green
3.5 Stars  
Margo Roth Spiegelman has been 17 year old Quentin's crush for a long time; she lives next door, used to be his childhood friend, and they both go to the same school. However, they're in different cliques, and travel in different circles, although Quentin suspects that Margo is the sole reason why his band stopped being the school's bully target.

One night Margo climbs through Quentin's window and demands he accompany her - in his car - in order for her to finish accomplishing 11 items on her list. He agrees, although he isn't told what exactly it is that Margo intends to do.

After their spree, he looks forward to seeing Margo at school but finds out that she ran away from home. Because she had turned 18, she isn't considered missing, and her parents have had enough of her disappearances, and do not bother looking for her (I found that unrealistic, but it didn't really take away from the story for me).

Quentin's sees it as his mission to find Margo and enlists his friends for help. Margo usually leaves clues when she runs away and Quentin is set on finding her. He becomes obsessed with the thought and tries to crack the few clues she left behind, one of them being papertowns -fictitious towns. This part of the story was kind of slow, but otherwise, I enjoyed reading my second Green book. It was less dramatic than Looking for Alaska, but quite enjoyable.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Sweetshop of Dreams

Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan
3 Stars
This was the perfect book to shake me out of my lack of reading stupor (I blame The God of Small Things for that). Rosie Hopkins is an auxiliary nurse who lives in with her boyfriend of 7 years, Gerard, in London. She gets a call from her mother, Angie, who's moved to Australia to be with Rosie's brother's family. Angie tells her that she must pack up and go to her grand aunt, Lillian, who lives in the village of Lipton and runs an old fashioned sweets shop. Lillian has had hip surgery and needs help - and will probably have to move to a home, so Rosie is expected to handle the selling of the shop, and the move to the home.
Mainly set in present day England, the book flits to the 1940s to connect us with Lillian's story as well as Rosie's. Rosie's move to Lipton seems to be exactly what she needs to get perspective on how her life is moving on with Gerard. And Lillian's story - this is where it gets the 'war' tag - is moving. I loved both parts (the past/present) feel of the book.
I was browsing this bookstore that I rarely go to nowadays - it was where I used to get all my books from when I was a kid, when I found this book. I couldn't wait to finish the book that had been taking so much of my time..and this was just perfect for those lazy hazy days, when you're in-between books.
Having sweets at hand will not be such a bad idea whilst reading...

Monday, April 09, 2012

Incredibly Tired & Extremely Sleepy

When you're sick, you start appreciating the small things in life. Like the ability to sit with a straight back and not fidget because every muscle is having a little dance. Or even the art of walking from place to place without feeling like your bones are going to poke out of your foot. I entertained the idea of heading out to the gym, but the image of me actually jumping or running sent shivers down my spine. You also appreciate things you take for granted, like your health; and how every little bone, muscle and fibre make a huge difference. That line of thought usually ends up in a dark territory for me - the people who can never have their full health back because of an ailment, or impairment, and I'm grateful for all that I have.

What started with a horrible three day migraine turned into flashes of on going and off going hot and cold fevers, muscle pain and sever back ache. I've taken lots of panadol pills, but I have finally mustered up enough courage for a doctor's visit. I only semi trust two clinics in my city, but will venture out of my comfort zone and try a new clinic. Unfortunately most of my personal experience, and my family's experience at the so-called well known hospitals in the area have been atrocious; which is sad. But I am too tired to venture out to the good places outside the city - an hour saved, an hour well spent. Hopefully, I'll be feeling like fine in no time, and will not wince at the thought of gym. 

To better healthcare services worldwide!

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

The Great Perhaps

Miles Halters is a 16 year old who loves reading biographies and memorizes last words of famous people. So when he read about Rabelais' last words "I go to seek a Great Perhaps" he tells his parents he wants to change his school and go to a boarding school in Alabama, the one his dad graduated from; to seek his own Great Perhaps, and to leave his boring, not very social life in Florida.

His roommate is Chip, the super smart scholarship kid, and through Chip he meets Alaska, Chip's best friend. Alaska is smart, beautiful and mysterious. And also a dare devil of sorts. Together with Chip, she introduces Miles to a life of pranks, smoking and mischief. 

As you read you notice that everything is headed by a number of days Before something. There's a sense of foreboding that builds up with every day, and the second half of the book is titled after, with the days also meticulously recorded. It makes me think how sometimes, when something happens in our own lives we split our histories in Before Something happened, and After, and you go on for the rest of your life, with that calendar in mind. 

I loved the character development, and the way the story unfolded. It seemed very realistic. And now, I'm off to read more about Rabelais. On another note, I couldn't help but find Miles habit of reading biographies weird. I mean, since he doesn't read any of that person's work. I mistakenly read Istanbul by Orhan Pamuk a few years ago, and stopped a few pages in when I realized it was a biography. I then went and read My Name is Red, and intend to read more of his book before reading his bio. 

An Uncommon Education

One of the first books I read for April was An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer. I got the book from the amazon vine program, and I sort of have mixed feelings about it. I loved parts of it, but other parts were just bleh. On another note, this was a book that made me search for more info regarding Jews and Judaism. There are some really observant - to an extreme, sects out there! But even that was interesting to read. Here's my review:

An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer
3.5 Stars

A 9 year old Naomi Feinstein finds comfort in the multiple visits her father takes her to the Kennedy's home, but when her father suffers a heart attack after such a visit, the idea of becoming a doctor, a cardiologist, forms in her mind. Her mother suffers from bouts of deep depression and rarely interacts with her, whilst her friendship with her father only grows stronger. Being an outcast at school, he is her only friend, until a new neighbor moves in next door.

As Naomi grows, so do her aspirations. She enrolls in Wellesley college to study premed and hopes to make new friends in this new place. Yet, throughout most of her first year there, she remains lonely as ever, until she saves a girl and gets invited to join the Shakespeare group.

I loved the first part of the book, and enjoyed the rest, but felt like it was lacking. The first part was laid back and the rest was too rushed. Would have enjoyed it more had the Wellesley years been more focused, and had there been less of a sense of foreboding.  Loved the themes of religion, family, culture, and friendship, and the way Naomi's personality developed.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Song of Fire & Ice

A succinct review of all 5 Books in the series so far (The Song of Fire & Ice by G. R. R. Martin)
4.5 Stars 

After spending a whole month and a half immersed in the world of G. R. R. Martin, I still find myself wondering at what is happening in Westeros at the moment. Whether the Wall still stands. Whether the North has been recaptured. What fronts the King, or rather the Kings and Queen are fighting at, if any. I've scoured the internet for any tidbits about the forthcoming sixth book but haven't found much. I can wait, I suppose. Fantasy readers always have to wait!

Westeros is a continent of sorts that has seven Kingdoms. Once upon a time, they were ruled separately, but right now they're all united under King Robert's rule. The first book starts with King Robert visiting his friend Eddard Stark in the North, and the position he offers to Eddard, or as he is known amongst his friends and family, Ned. Ned then journeys with the King to the capital, King's Landing, where the weather is not as cold. In Westeros, seasons span years & the northern parts are always colder than the southern. When Eddard reaches King's landing, he is surprised at how his old friend rules. He had known a courageous Robert who struck fear in his enemies, but the Robert of the battlefields was not the Robert in King's landing.

After the King's death, several successors are announced through out the seven kingdoms, and beyond. All claiming to be the birth right heirs - and the kingdoms of the past yearn to rule their own lands again. Wars erupt all across Westeros and as kings die, more intricate plots come to light. You never know what to believe, and enemies from the islands and other places pore in Westeros.

I read somewhere that the plots and wars in Song of Fire and Ice resemble that of Medieval Europe and England, specifically. That made me want to do some research - which is always a mark of a good book imho - and I've piled a couple of history and historical fiction books to read for later on. It also sort of reminded me of Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follet which I had read - and hated - a couple of years ago. If I remember correctly, one of the things that I found jarring in Follet's book were the recurring scenes of rape and brutal crime. Apparently, it seems, this was a common trait for that speck of time because if The Song of Fire & Ice is inspired from that era, then it is certainly very explicit. Even more so than Follet's books. There is rape, sex and incest. Details of gory deaths. Bucket loads of torture and killings and if that all is not enough, the murder of characters can happen quickly, and with succession. 

Tuesday, March 06, 2012


I'm craving truffles. BIG TIME. Not the little pieces of chocolate heaven that I won't say no to. But these kind of truffles.

Image from here.
I had some a couple of days ago, made into machboos. I'm craving some that are simply boiled, warm and with lots of salt. There are several kinds of truffles, but the best I've ever had were ones that a family friend got from Libya. That was almost 10 years ago!!

I'm currently reading the fifth book of A Song of Fire & Ice. It's hard to put down, but was a tad slower than it's predecessor's in the beginning. I don't know how long the author's going to have us wait till he publishes the next installment. He'd better be fast!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Those who have been following sadia, would probably have come across her latest post about our first meeting of our book club, Albarzeh. It started with a comment, a flurry of instant messages, and then finally a meeting on the 31st of January. C'est la vie, oui?

The Help by Kathryn Stockett
We will be meeting on the last Monday of every month (we are still undecided about Ramadan however). April's read is The Housekeeper & the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, in March we will be reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King and our April book will be The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

A Game of Thrones

A Game of Thrones by G. R. R. Martin

I generally like to read almost everything. I can't think of a genre that I hate, although I do not think I'm going to be picking up any book soon with aliens thrown somewhere in the plot. Aliens are not my thing, long gone the days of Mulder and Scully. Recently, I picked up A Game of Thrones and it was one of those page turners. I could not stop reading it, busy as I was. I haven't read fantasy for quite some time, so this was exactly what I needed. Here's what I thought of it.

A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice & Fire Book 1 by G. R. R. Martin
4 Stars

Lord Eddard Stark is lord of Winterfell and lives in the North, in a time where winter and summer are measured by years, rather than months. His friend, and King of the seven kingdoms, King Robert Baratheon, comes unexpectedly to visit with his wife, kids and brothers in law. He offers Eddard a position serving him in King's Landing as the Hand of the King, and Eddard accepts and leaves Winterfell with the King.
Westeros is a continent of sorts, that is ruled by Robert, and bordered by the land beyond the Wall, where the Others and wildlings live. The wall is protected by the Night's watch who take an oath to guard it as long as they live.
The book is told from different character's point of views, the Stark kids, Catelyn (Eddard's wife), etc. In the beginning I found it very difficult to keep track of all the characters, and wished there was some sort of page where they were all listed (most fantasy & historical fiction novels have maps and family lists). I got the hang of it, eventually. And after finishing it, I found the appendix with all the names! I read this on my kindle, and had no idea it was going to be at the end. Don't they usually have those at the beginning of a book?
Greatly enjoyed it. Mid way through the second already, and can't wait to finish the series. I miss reading fantasy. I think this was exactly what I needed to motivate me to finish reading The Eye of the World (stopped at book 9 in that one, but I could definitely see the similarity in both EotW & GoT). My complaint about A Game of Thrones, however, was that I found it too explicit; there were several recurring scenes that I wish I could've just skipped.

Monday, January 16, 2012


Hello, my name is kaliedo and I have a problem with procrastination.

There. I've said it. Maybe now I'll come to terms with SOLVING it.

The funny thing, I know that all it takes is to break up things. I always have a problem starting something. And when it's something big, the problem becomes bigger. Then, I decided I'd compartmentalize. Make the big thing into several smaller things, and attack full force. It wasn't so scary. And yet, sometimes, I find it easier to just walk away.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


One Star.

It took me more than a week to trudge through this under-200 paged novel. In the beginning, it reminded me a teensy bit of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. I loved The Road, so I was happy. Soon enough, I discovered that it was nothing like The Road, but still, it seemed decent enough. A few pages later, I realized I hated the book, but forced myself to finish it. A dying man, George is surrounded by his family, and in the few days before his death, he remembers random things from his past. His jobs, his dad and family, his passion about clocks and fixing them. I usually like lyrical prose, and I have no qualms about stories that aren't packed with action. However, I found it very very difficult to like Tinkers. It seemed to be like an assortment of beautiful sentences strung together, and that do not necessarily add anything to the story. The only thing I could visualize whilst reading was the caravan George's father had. That was it. I found the characters dull and boring, except for the hermit. Too bad he only had a few paragraphs.

Monday, January 02, 2012


I've been thinking a lot about my resolutions. I know I've already mentioned I wanted to read more this year. But there are other things I want to work on. Like..

Try something new.
Do something scary.
Continue an old hobby.
Finish things I've started.

With every passing year, you find out who your true friends are. And its not something you realize on January 1st of every year, its the accumulated experiences of the past year(s), the chances given, and the not so pleasant feeling of I-guess-so-and-so-wasn't-who-I-thought-she-was.  We all change, that's a given. But we do not have to change for the worst. Like Holden once mused, there are certainly a lot of fakes out there. You can chose whether to lament the experiences you went through, or make the most of it. And I will definitely not be the lamenting type :)  To the people who finally put away their masks, I thank them for showing me who exactly I was dealing with, and to my true blues, I love you even more! xoxo
Nothing like Karak to jingle those grey cells.

Bookcount '12

This year will be a better year. To new friends xoxo

1)- The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
2)- Tinkers by Paul Harding.
3)- One Fifth by Candance Bushnell.
4)- Still Alice by Lisa Genova.
5)- A Game of Thrones: A Song of Fire & Ice (Book 1) by G. R. R. Martin.
6)- A Clash of Kings: A Song of Fire & Ice (Book 2) by G. R. R. Martin.
7)- A Storm of Swords: A Song of Fire & Ice (Book 3) by G. R. R. Martin.
8)- The Housekeeper & the Professor by Yoko Ogawa (reread).
9)- A Feast for Crows: A Song of Fire & Ice (Book 4) by G. R. R. Martin.
10)- A Dance with Dragons: A Song of Fire & Ice (Book 5) by G. R. R. Martin.
11)- 11/22/63 by Stephen King.
12)- بيكاسو و ستاربكس ليلسر حارب.
13)- An Uncommon Education by Elizabeth Percer.
14)- Looking for Alaska by John Green.
15)- The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.
16)- Rosie Hopkins' Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan.
17)- Papertowns by John Green.
18)- The Solitude of Prime Numbers by Paolo Giordano.
19)- Hello Kitty Must Die by Angela S. Choi.
20)- The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.
21)- We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson.
22)- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.
23)- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett.
24)- Gold by Chris Cleave.
25)- I am Number 4 by Pittacus Lore.
26)- 52 Fights by Jennifer Patterson.
27)- Wonder by J. Palacio.
28)- I Think of You by Ahdaf Souief.
29)- Rules of Civility by Amor Towles.
30)- What to Expect When You're Expecting by Heidi Murkoff & Sharon Mazel.
31)- Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby.
32)- Heads in Beds: A Reckless Memoir of Hotels, Hustles, & So-Called Hospitality by Jacob Tomsky.
33)- Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan.