#ReadingOutsideTheBox

MOST RECENT

The Old Slave and the Mastiff by Patrick Chamoiseau (Translated by Linda Coverdale) // @dialoguebooks @shar_love_

The Old Slave and the Mastiff is an astounding love letter to Creole storytelling culture.

Concerned with the mass genocide of indigenous culture of imperial & slaving projects, and the culture of resistance that fought them, it's also a masterclass in respectful translation. The original language shines through and the entire story sparkles with Creole references.
Hailed as their heir to Joyce & Kafka takes you deep into a reverse heart of darkness. The deepens the old slave runs from apparent civilisation and order, he finds his voice, sentience and power. *FULL review link in bio*

#OldSlave #DiverseBookBloggers #ReadingOutsideTheBox #WeNeedDiverseBooks #translation #vscoreads #SparkingAConversation #bookishfeatures #unitedbookstagram #igreads #bookstagramfeatures

morning desk, between the flu and my mother’s accident, I haven’t spent much time here, but the flowers are opening and so is my mind for the words again which is itself perhaps the most wonderful gift in this week of beautiful presence (and presents :))

today in the good: a birthday spent among the books, the flowers, the sun, and the kids at work who sang me happy birthday with the most wonderful gusto ✨

🍰 Happy first day of #iftar!🍮
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Today is also:
📚 Hari Buku Nasional
🏳️‍🌈 International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia.
Isn’t it mystical ✨that these three celebrations fall on the same day this year? And really, it’s super appropriate! 💖
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Meanwhile, the pic is a #tbt to my last #bookhaul from @booksactually. The sophisticated books were for @harimau_belang, ofc. Mine is the mainstream one.
Also giving a S/O to @simply.laz of @imsamsi who mentioned @pvbakery. The place is a legit bakery, I went for what they’re famous for: cupcakes! (Red velvet, ofc!) I’m still not sure about the throwaways plates and cups and cutlery tho. I’m pretty sure latest research said those aren’t recycled-able.
(Also, Singapore’s waste is mostly managed by Veolia- YIKES!)
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Anw, happy celebrating what you celebrate! 🎉🎊
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#ramadan #ramadankareem #ramadanmubarak #selamatberpuasa #selamatberbukapuasa #day1 #idahot #emphaty #tolerance #bookstagram #ireadbooksactually #harukimurakami #ivoandrić #fernandopessoa #ReadingOutsideTheBox #unitedbookstagram #bookstagraminsta #plainvanillabakery #redvelvetcupcakes #cappuccino #coffeestagram #travelgram #singaporeculinary #sgeats #influencer #alienkeren

If I would have to describe “Fair Play” in only a few words, I’d say: a book about nothing, a book about everything, a book governed by eloquent silence and a gentle, deep sense of discretion. In this deceptively simple novel Tove Jansson seamlessly weaves together quiet moments and stories that are “almost transgressively, certainly anarchically, small and unexpected” as Ali Smith remarks in her excellent introduction. These are stories dealing with “people not usually included or given that much space in what we might call the extended family of literature”. These are stories that add up to something that transcends their sum. Stories about love and art and creativity. Stories whispering calm philosophical ideas that can stir large waves.

In structure, the book is a hybrid between a novel and an interlinked short story collection – a novel in short stories, if you will. It captures moments in the shared life of two women, both artists, Mari, a writer, and Jonna, a photographer and illustrator, living together “at opposite ends of a large apartment building”. They complement each other in a myriad tiny ways, blend life and art together, and find an intricate, yet perfect balance, between genuine human closeness and intimacy and giving each other space. “The kind of space that only someone who loves properly and openly can give”, as Ali Smith remarks.

Besides this “emotional wisdom” that lies at the novel’s core, the book is also a profound meditation on art and an aesthetic quest. On one hand there’s what Smith calls “a language so tightly edited that its clarity makes for mysterious transparency”, and on the other, there’s an abundance of subtle ideas about the process of creation that are as condensed as haikus, as resonant and lingering as aphorisms, as charged and radical as an aesthetic manifesto. A quiet little miracle of a book. Labora et amare.

Have you read it? Do you have a favourite novel on art and the process of creation.
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#tovejansson #alismith #recommendedreading #readtheworld #diversereads #bookishphotography #flatlayoftheday #unitedbookstagram #bookishallure #booksandflowers #openbook #readstagram #bookcommunity #readingoutsidethebox

ordered this little gem on a whim awhile ago and then geniuses @lauramvandenberg and @pattyycottrell mentioned it and so I doubled down on my excitement and took to stalking my front stoop, waiting for the day, which has come at last, when my much tasked mailman delivered, in his words, “another book huh?”

We couldn’t be more thrilled that the wonderful Haley @mylittlebooktique says of our book box : “It is easily my favorite book subscription box with its well-curated books. I mean books that are translated from its original language to English and it's always great to find gems like them because you might never know they even existed otherwise!”. .
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And Haley is hosting a ✨GIVEAWAY✨to win TWO book boxes: both the April AND June Book Boxes. The April Box featured books from Brazil & Iraq & we’ll be revealing sneak peaks of the June Box very soon. 😉 Hop onto her feed (and find this photo) to find out how to enter. The giveaway closes on May 17.
#worldliterature #wanderlust

Just started the book The Selection by Kiera Cass. So far it is really good. I am dying to know what is going to happen. I will keep you posted. It isn’t usually my type of book but I kept seeing so many people post about it. #readingoutsidethebox #theselection #kieracass #currentlyreading #books #bookstagram #awesomecover

last Monday life pivoted my mother and I into a different journey then we thought & now we’re learning all kinds of things about the brain and rest and healing & sometimes I feel sort of unprepared for the work of living and living amid and among and with all the dark and unexpected things that fly around, unseen until they are & back to the words I always swing. I’m reading The Road right now and something especially this week feels particularly resonant, the enduring bond between parent and child, the persistence against despair despite carrying it, and something about McCarthy’s prose feels as tired as I am right now, as aware as I am right now of the cost love requires of us, and I might not finish The Road, but I will eventually be back on the road to run, I will eventually pass the markers we need to for my mum’s brain, and so it goes, onward for now, more later, but as always, an ode to your words of comfort, an ode to endurance on and off the running trail, ode to the words that always reveal themselves, rise to meet you on the path.

・・・
I made the mistake of reading Nausea first and so failed to make heads or tails out of it untill ofcourse the very end. Besides, my opinion on Sartre got overshadowed by the brilliance that is Camus' "The Stranger".
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Anyway, this is a written record of Sartre's lecture on existentialism where he very clearly not only has explained what the word means in as much details without losing the listener/readers' focus as possible but also defends it from his non-philosopher auditors. He was attempting to market his views as humanistic' in nature l, or, benefiting humanity in some way.
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Then there is his commentary on Camus' "The Stranger" which was very illuminating. He traces the line of existentialism throughout the story, but also exposes Camus' literary talent. I feel like I understand the book even better than before and this is when I've had already given it a solid 5 star rating.

Existentialism is often discussed as if it is a philosophy of despair but after having read Sartre and Camus, I have come to believe that the truth might just be the opposite. See, one thing that comes out from reading these guys is not a sense of anguish about life so much as a real kind of exuberance. Feeling like you're right on the top. As if your life is yours to create.

#bookstagram #unitedbookstagram #books #sartre #jeanpaulsartre #beingandnothingness #camusandsartre #existentialism #booklovers #read #instareads #readersofinstagram #igreads #booklover #bookstagramindia #bookfeatures #absurdism #bookfeaturepage #bibliophilesofig #existentialphilosophy #delhibookstafam #met_createchange #yareads #libraryofinstagram #bookstagramista #maruti800

It makes us so happy to see many of you picking up and reading Dunya Mikhhail’s ‘The Beekeeper’ from the April Box. We have loved reading all the wonderful reviews so far! The Beekeeper (just released this year) is a magnificent journalistic work that talks of important & heartbreaking issues, all while existing in the domain of great literature. .
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It gives us great pleasure that Dunya Mikhail agreed to participate in ✨The Sound of my Language Project✨ with a reading from her book ‘The Beekeeper’ in Arabic, that she also co-translated. Thanks to @ndpublishing for making this reading happen! #womenintranslation
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Dunya Mikhail, journalist, translator & poet, was born in Baghdad, Iraq, where she worked as a journalist, editor & translator. After being questioned & facing threats from Saddam Hussein’s government, Mikhail fled Iraq in 1996, eventually moving to the United States.
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Arabic is a Central Semitic language that emerged during the Iron Age and is now spoken throughout the Arab world. It is an official language in many countries including Algeria, Iraq, Bahrain, Israel, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and more! It is also a recognized minority language in countries like Iran, Cyprus, Philippines, Senegal and Turkey. In the Middle Ages, a lot of scientific & cultural progress was happening in Arabic and so it ended up influencing several languages around the world. Among European languages it has profoundly influenced Spanish. It has also significantly influenced Persian, Turkish, Urdu, Hindi, Malay , Kashmiri, Kurdish and more. #arabiclanguage .
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We would love to hear the sound of YOUR language. To join us, please post a video of you reading in your native tongue. Tag us @theboxwalla and use the hashtag #thesoundofmylanguage so we (and others) can find you!

I read an interview recently where Joy Williams was asked whether she writes or reads to feel calmer, to feel less scared of death and other mysteries, to feel less ‘ bad.’ All Williams said in response was, “No.” If Williams’ reply not only makes you laugh a little, as I did, but also reflects a piece of your own reading experience back to you, then the odds of The Changeling enchanting you are favourable. The Changeling is not a perfect book, and nor is its primary character, Pearl, a drunk, who largely spends her life on an island with feral children. Pearl is suspended in alcoholic miasma, almost entirely passive, almost entirely too clear on the relentless “encircling never.” She is so acutely aware of time, of the layers of what could and has and never is, and yet time slips away so suddenly too. One moment Pearl is a young woman, a survivor of a plane crash that claims her husband, tears her infant son from her, puts her in the hospital, and the next the same Pearl, but not the same, is on an island with her dead husband’s brother, his menagerie of rag-tag children, her son, Sam, who she believes is not her seven-year-old son, Sam. Though she loves these children, they pull and pinch at Pearl. They talk incessantly, weaving a mythic creation story unto themselves. They throw off the advances of the adults on the island, they kick and punch and swim and shape shift. The sentences devolve and elevate and shape shift themselves—a storm is brewing, a few crackles of clarity piercing the novel throughout, a shocking, sizzling, heat of a moment that pulls the reader forward into the inevitable erasure of time, the salvation Pearl worries her son that is not her son has brought to the island; but before this, there is Pearl, in her wine glass, pool-side, the children piled about her, thinking, with absolute clarity, absolute sense, “She did not want to be responsible for maintaining the light in herself.”

‘Presently the smell of coffee began to fill the room. This was morning’s hallowed moment. In such a fragrance the perversity of the world is forgotten and the soul is inspired with faith in the future; when all was said and done, it was probably true that there really were far-off places, even foreign countries. Some day, incredible though it might seem, spring would come with its birds, its buttercups in the home-field.’



I started reading Independent People in January, then teaching (and other things) happened and it was impossible to keep up with any non-work reading. But now I’m back in Iceland, reading about the sheep-farming and the coffee! There are many descriptions of coffee brewing, which are so accurately and eloquently expressed.
Also, how real is this description of imagining a change in the seasons, a change that often feels so unlikely? It suddenly became warmer in London recently, after so many months of cold, and now it has gone back to being cold, and so I can definitely relate to this passage. Weather can be so disorientating and there’s an intensity to each season that always makes the others feel out of reach.
Right, back to Bjartur of Summerhouses...it’s quite hard getting into a novel after putting it aside for months. Does that resonate with others? I’ve had to go back about fifty pages and reread them, as well as scan the chapters before that. My memory 😳
#ReadingOutsideTheBox


#IndependentPeople #HalldórLaxness #halldorlaxness #nobelprizeinliterature #nobelprizewinner #translation #translatedfiction #readmoretranslations #translated #icelandicliterature #classicliterature #succulent #potplant #booksandplants #diversereads #currentread #currentlyreading #bookblogger #readersofinstagram #bookworm #bookstagram #writersofig

I’ve been sick and the dog is sick and the partner is sick and the house is in ruins and the fridge is half filled bottles of kombucha and open bottles of Tylenol cold and flu and I mistook the pile of laundry for a small intruder the other day but for all of this, the cure was an hour with @granta_magazine ‘s newest issue, which of all the litmags I’ve received over the past year, is the first that has truly seized me at the throat and kept me at attention and amid my sinuses and my swollen head and my general lack of oxygen, this issue hit my bloodstream with clarity, and if you are, like I am, in a long brooding about the earth and its animals, the rot we wreak upon both, the shape and contour and wilderness that might not be, of the future, then this issue is for you. If you, as I am, think in the bent forms of dystopia and modern fable and sci-fi, and images, then lose no more time to just living, start reading. If you, like I am, are caught in the warped gravity of Joy Williams, then feast upon this line from her contribution to the issue: “be not afraid and be not lonely, Wilhelmina thought, but could not bring herself to say it. She wanted to reflect on her pretty piglets but night had fallen and she and her friends were once again hopelessly caught up in trying to comprehend the terrible ways of men.”

Book piles for May 1st
Thinking stack makes ne go hmmm

#booksIove #bookpiles #reading #bookstack #readingoutsidethebox

“Sometimes you find the thing you needed to encounter at just the right moment. I’m only a few pages in but this is some of the most beautiful writing I have ever come across — what else do I miss with my myopic view of what *I* study and what interests me? Here’s to trying to stay open and create a space for things that are new or simply crowded out.”
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These lines by the lovely Julia @juliamegumi, detailing her initial impressions of ‘The Beekeeper’ by Dunya Mikhail (from the April Book Box), really resonated with me. There have been so many times in the past many years when I have thought that some thing: a book, a painting, a film, (even this particular book!!), may not be something that I might enjoy, may be outside my comfort zone. And I’ve found that I haven’t always been right about what I think I will not enjoy. You would think ‘The Beekeeper’, is a certain kind of book. It is after all a book that describes how the Yazidi women were rescued from the clutches of the Daesh/Isis terrorist group. It is heartbreaking, yes, often depressing, but it is also so much more than that. Not only the actual events that occur, but the spaces in between those events, are woven so beautifully. There is place to breathe and think and wander, like when the writer, Dunya Mikhail, tells you about the Arabic letter N, or when she details her experience of drinking coffee with the beekeeper, or sweeping the yard outside the Yazidi temple. And so I have slowly let go of just clinging to things and experiences that I think I will like, because there is no way I’ll actually know, if I don’t experience the other things. #readingoutsidethebox #worldliterature

‘There were people who had survived many deaths in the time of the dictatorship only to find themselves face-to-face with a pointless death in the age of “democracy” - when, for example, a motorbike ran into them in the middle of the road. Believers lost their faith when those who had shared their beliefs and their struggles betrayed them and their principles. Non-believers had become believers when they saw the “merits” and benefits of faith. The strange things that had come to light in the past three years were too many to count.’



I found Frankenstein in Baghdad an enjoyable read; it has a knowingness and dark humour that for the most part works, and a wide cast of characters that are well drawn out. I was less interested in the novel as an “update” of Shelley (which it really isn’t) and more affected by its depiction of the madness, fragility and perseverance of life in post-invasion Baghdad. The city and its fractures really come alive.
I know that a lot of readers will come to this translation because of the familiarity implied by “Frankenstein”, which is fine, but I do hope it becomes a gateway novel into other books from the region - as opposed to representative of contemporary Arabic literature. This is the problem with underrepresentation! A handful of books/authors stand for a whole continent (hello Adichie and Nigeria/Africa). So, by all means read Frankenstein in Baghdad. It’s a darkly playful novel that allows for all sorts of interpretations. But let it take you to other Iraqi and Arabic writers! There is so much more. #SophiaStoriesReviews #ReadingOutsideTheBox


#FrankensteinInBaghdad #AhmedSaadawi #iraqiliterature #arablit #arabicliterature #contemporaryfiction #literaryfiction #manbookerinternationalprize #diversereads #bookreview #bookblogger #booksandcoffee #penguinmug #frankenstein #oneworldpublications #independentpublishing #greenbooks #currentread #middleeasternliterature #alwaysreading #فرانكشتاين_في_بغداد #أحمد_سعداوي

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