Ruby Ramblings

April 11, 2010, 10:47 am
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There is so much going on in Kabul Beauty School that I want to write a bigger post about it later. There are so many parallels to things I’ve done in my own life, and things that I want to do more of. For now, I’ve been distracted by some music, some stronger daydreams, and dinner plans.

Final Tally:
Pages in current book: 134
Total pages read on a lazy Sunday afternoon: 275
Charity: Child Upliftment Center Nepal

And onto book 2…
April 11, 2010, 9:05 am
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I wanted to pick something that look relatively short that I could possibly finish in a few hours. This lead me to cruise my small but well-rounded bookshelf, and pick:

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil

To be perfectly honest, I’ve kind of had it with all the silly puns about “going behind the veil.” The western world has turned the veil into a kind of demonized symbol of Muslim oppression. When I worked at a tutoring center for refugee students in Maine (most of whom were Muslims from the Sudan and Somalia), the veil was a gorgeous piece of culture that at least these girls felt was a choice for them. Somedays they wore it, somedays not, but it was an expression of their identity and cultural history. Now this gets more complicated when you get into the burqa and the Taliban, which is really much more about control, violence, and the power of zealots then it is about keeping your hair covered.

So far, this book is fantastic. It moves quickly, and Rodriguez gives a vision of Afghani culture without clouding the writing with judgements and assessments.

Pages read in current book: 56
Pages total: 197
Charity: Child Upliftment Center Nepal

To Nowhere and Back
April 11, 2010, 7:48 am
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To Nowhere and Back

One book down. I have to admit to some hesitancy about this book after all these years. I was afraid of missing out on the magic that I felt so many times as a kid reading it. But it didn’t let me down, it really is a fantastic little story. The author, Margaret Anderson, is a biologist who got the idea to write this book in 1972 while staying at a cottage in England called “Random.” Random plays an important role in this book as the starting point to the main character’s, Elizabeth, ability to travel back in time and become one with a little girl her same age.

There is so much more to this book than I recognized when I was elementary school. One of the main themes of the book is Elizabeth’s realization that her life is actually quite wonderful and privileged after spending time as Ann and being denied the right to go to school. She also works at ten years old as a kitchen maid in her uncle’s inn.

There is a point where she has a change of heart about her life, and really starts to understands Ann’s time and troubles.

“But there was a drudgery and the poverty and the cold and the hunger. And there was ignorance. Ignorance went beyond not knowing how to read and write. It meant knowing nothing outside your own life. It meant not having the doctor come when you were sick. It caused fear – an evil kind of fear.”

An idea that never seems to become irrelevant no matter how advanced the world becomes.

The copy I have now is stamped as being added to the library collection in 1978, the year before I was born. It’s the same edition I used to read as a kid – the kind where the cover photo is printed right on the hardcover instead of having a jacket. I think that used to be common for library editions of books. Anyway, it was a pleasure old friend.

Pages read: 141
Charity: Child Upliftment Center

24-Hour Read-A-Thon
October 18, 2009, 4:46 pm
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Next weekend I’m going to join in on my first 24-hour Readathon hosted by Dewey.

My friend Bybee has done it a couple times, and she got me super excited about it. Actually she only mentioned it, I got excited about it on my own. So I have at least one cheerleader, and one friend, who I will refer to as JG who is threatening to be a heckler.


The books on the left are books I have to read for various obligations on Bookobsessed and Bookmooch, and the books on the right are books I just really want to read right now. I’m going to try to tackle all the shortest most enticing books, and hopefully get a few of my obligations out of the way. It’s not really about reading, it’s about the obsession….