Thursday, August 27, 2015

Carolina Beach

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

2015 | Book Challenge No.3

My library stack has continued to grow due to my inability to say no to a book. Consequently, I have to tear myself away from each book - currently Susanna Kaysen's Girl, Interrupted - to write about the previous reads.

further reading: intro / part 1 / part 2

11. A book set in a different country - The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
It's been a while since I've read a book written as a frame story - the novel takes place during a single evening in a cafe in Lahore, where a Pakistani man named Changez relates his life and experiences in New York before and after 9/11 to an American visitor. The book is entirely one-sided; Changez's words make up the entirely of the prose, and though he often replies to questions the American asks, we never see the American's exact words. The Reluctant Fundamentalist is full of apprehension despite the lack of violence and the book ends on an uncertain note, leaving a suspenseful feeling long after the novel is finished.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Returning to the Known

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”
- T.S. Eliot

It's a strange feeling returning to ordinary university life after eight months away. Everything is the same yet different; I'm living on campus again on the same side of campus but in a single dorm with new suitemates, my friend group has remained the same but each person has changed in their own ways, and my classes have familiar subject material but are more challenging. Though I've seamlessly slipped back into campus life, I feel like I have irreversibly changed. Not that I have really changed - in the words of a good friend, "you still wear black and your hair's always in a bun so you're still the same Kate" - but I feel as though I've grown more into myself, if that makes any sense. Living on my own in a foreign country, far out of my comfort zone, constantly experiencing new, unexpected things - both good and bad - made me realise my boundaries and what I must learn to adapt to. My time spent back in the States has not so much been "where do I fit now" but rather a re-exploration of what I already know. I can say it no better than T.S. Eliot; I am knowing my home, my starting point for the first time, and I cannot wait to see what the new semester brings.

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Friday, August 7, 2015

2015 | Book Challenge No.2

I currently have a monstrous stack of library books beside my bed waiting to be read and I've poured all my literary focus into those instead of writing about the ones I've already read (oops). With the fall semester fast approaching it's time to get through the posts sitting idly in my drafts folder and write about the remaining borrowed books on my shelves.

further reading: intro / part 1

6. A graphic novel - The Sandman: Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman
I had never read a graphic novel before but decided to try one of Neil Gaiman's as I have loved everything else by him that I've read. To my surprise I really enjoyed it and even read the next three novels in the Sandman chronology. Preludes & Nocturnes, the first of the series, follows Dream, one of the Endless, after he escapes the captivity of  a magician and tries returning to his home realm, only to discover that it has fallen to ruins and he must recover his totems of power. The illustrations are fantastic and the dialogue is dark yet comical, and the series once again solidifies Gaiman as one of today's great writers.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Day in New York City

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