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.