More a Monster Than a Worm

I love big, fat books, because deep down inside, I wish all books would never end. When I finish reading a book, I feel this deep panicky sadness, as if I have just said goodbye to friends and family, and boarded a plane to some unknown destination.

Memoirs, Parsi Literature, and Mystery

I have a tendency to snack while reading. For some reason, I feel that reading becomes a more complete activity with a “few” snacks. You could say that I am a two-handed reader: One hand to turn the page, and the other to pop something into my mouth.

On Tea, Arab Women, and Radical Islam

On a bright spring day, with just a hint of chill in the air, I visited Topkapi Palace in Istanbul. I decided to sit on the pavement, among the blooming tulips, with the blue waters of the Bosphorus Strait on my left, and with a book about Turkish literature in my hands. Ah, could there be a more romantic thing to do as a reader?

I could not get past the first two pages. With a sigh, I closed my book and surrendered to the beauty of the place and the moment. Sometimes, a book just is not enough.

The Jewel of Medina (Book Review)

There’s something not quite right about seeing a citation for One Thousand and One Nights in a bibliography for a novel about the Lady Aisha, Prophet Muhammad’s famous wife.

When Words Become Bullets: A Long Way Gone (Book Review)

If there was such a thing as a mental flak-jacket, I would highly recommend it for anyone who plans to read A Long Way Gone. Each sentence crackles like a red-hot bullet, tearing into our safe and imagined illusion of humanity and civilization, ripping it to shreds.