Distraction, Informal

Daily Prompt: Fortune

via Daily Prompt: Fortune

Every Christmas season, we are prompted to give to the needy and the less fortunate. The ‘less fortunate’, of course referring to those who have less than you. I am fortunate that I live in a middle-class family, have a job and no major spending responsibilities. I have a healthy body. Both my parents are still alive and can take care of me. I am the eldest so I get more privileges. All this contributes to my ‘fortune’. Therefore, this Christmas season, I should definitely make more of an effort to think of the less fortunate. There are the wars happening in Asia and Africa leading to mass evacuations. There are people who are terminally ill and cannot afford proper health care. There are also terminally ill people for whom there is no cure. Violence leading to murder is taking place everywhere even in my country. So this Christmas season, I will give thanks to God for my fortune in life.

 

P.S. It may be that my parents intended for me to have all this fortune because they named me ‘Saidah’ which means ‘happy and fortunate’.

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Distraction, Informal

Time Does Fly

via Daily Prompt: Vanish

Today is the fifth of December, 2016. In sixteen days, the year will end. Quite a number of things happened to me this year. I officially graduated from my Master’s programme. I got my first real job as a librarian. I celebrated being born a quarter century ago. And now the end of the year is coming up. That’s not all. I can still remember being a high school student. Twenty was a long way away. I enjoyed being a child. (I was one of those who considered even the teenage years part of childhood). Now I am an adult- legally and physically. I can vote and have voted. I can drink (but I don’t because alcohol tastes nasty). I can drive (but I don’t want to because I have younger brothers who are perfectly ‘willing’ to drop me wherever I want). *Muahahaha*- Eldest sibling privilege. *sigh* Time really does fly. Yet, I wouldn’t want to go backward. I have gained a lot of things now that I am older and I will experience lots of new things as I grow older. Time moving forward allows me to learn more and grow wiser. And it makes memories so much sweeter when you can look back like this.

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reviews from Goodreads

The Irregular at Magic High School Vol. 2

The Irregular at Magic High School, Vol. 2: Enrollment Arc, Part II (The Irregular at Magic High School, #2)The Irregular at Magic High School, Vol. 2: Enrollment Arc, Part II by Tsutomu Satou
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The story was great. However, there was something wrong with the translation or the editing. There were too many question marks that cannot be explained away as extra punctuation. It was more like a question, like the translator was asking if that was the right word used. Also, in more than two instances, the wrong name was used even though further dialogue revealed the correct person to whom the speaker or the narrative referred. One bone I have to pick with the original author, though, “Why can’t you simply say who is speaking?” Though since this is a translation, you would think that the translator could include it for the benefit of English-speakers.

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reviews from Goodreads

Afterworlds

AfterworldsAfterworlds by Scott Westerfeld
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Scott Westerfeld is one of my go-to authors. When books are being released, I always consider reading his books. That’s why when this book came out in 2014, I got myself a copy to read. Now, almost two years later, I have finally started the book. That’s already a bad sign- waiting over a year to read it. The plot seemed interesting and I read anything that interests me. However, my main interests are science fiction and fantasy and this book disappoints in the fantasy area. I am not exactly a fan of YA paranormal romance. I have to be in a special mood for that. I also do not like the ‘child as an adult’ protagonist. That turned me off the first story. I was willing to go with the second story but I do not like skipping parts of a book. I’d rather leave it unfinished. So I have stopped reading this book at chapter 16 and I will not continue.
Another minor issue is the characterisation of the protagonist. She is apparently Indian-American but this is not apparent until she recounts a tale about her mother coming from India despite the fact that her last name makes multiple appearances in the first chapter. It just did not dawn on me that Patel is an Indian name (despite the fame of Dev Patel from Slumdog Millionaire). That and another issue which I would not name to avoid political incorrectness firmed my resolve to drop this book and never pick it up again.

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reviews from Goodreads

The Rest of Us Just Live Here

The Rest of Us Just Live HereThe Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I’d read the Chaos Walking trilogy and I was just blown away. However, I have been dithering about reading Patrick Ness’ other books based on their synopses. Now that I’ve read this one, I think I may have been right to dither. The synopsis of this book led me to believe that I would be reading about normal people with superhumans in the background. That was not the case. Maybe, it is just me but I disliked the protagonist. I may just be some horrible unsympathetic person but I had no sympathy for that protagonist and that coloured my whole perception of the book.

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Informal

Who Said ‘The Pen Is Mightier Than the Sword’?

Interesting Literature

‘The pen is mightier than the sword’. The phrase has the ring of proverb about it, and most proverbs don’t have an author: they’re anonymous nuggets of wisdom handed down from generation to generation, part of an oral rather than written tradition. But we can actually trace ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’ to a clear source – at least, in a sense.

The phrase came about in 1839 when it was invented by a nineteenth-century writer named Sir Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1803-1873), in a play about Cardinal Richelieu. Bulwer-Lytton was himself a fascinating figure who would also gain notoriety for inventing the most laughably clichéd opening line in all of literature, as we revealed in a post on five fascinating facts about him. He would also inspire the name of the drink known as Bovril, as well as being offered the throne of Greece – quite an eventful life…

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