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  1. The Book of Wisdom

    Simab said:

    'I shall sell you the Book of Wisdom for a hundred gold pieces, and some people will say that it is cheap.'

    Yunus Marmar said to him:

    'And I shall give away the key to understanding it, and almost none shall take it, even free of charge.'

    — Idries Shah, Thinkers of the East


  2. Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape our Decisions is a fascinating behavioral economics book by Professor Dan Ariely.

    If you’ve followed this blog for any amount of time, you might have noticed my obsession mild fascination with human behavior. I love me some Malcolm Gladwell and I often talk about symbolism and personal struggles of protagonists in most of the books I read.

    This book should’ve been called “The Power of the Human Mind” because it uncovers all the different things we think of when making everyday decisions from ordering food at a restaurant to making a choice to cheat or not cheat on an exam. Professor Ariely makes use of very relevant research studies he’s conducted, mostly at universities like MIT and Duke where he’s held teaching positions, to tell stories about various everyday behavior patterns.

    For example, do you know that you’re better off ordering anonymously at restaurants instead of saying your orders out loud? Or that you’re more likely to steal a pencil from your office than 10 cents that a pencil costs? Or that we tend to be attracted to certain people because of the people that surround them?

    Not only do I question every purchasing (and life!) decision I make after reading this book, I can’t stop recommending it to everyone I know. Don’t let the somewhat dry-ish title fool you, it’s actually an extremely entertaining read.

    Pages: 325

    Time to read: ~1 week (things were busy at work)

    Rating: 5/5


  3. bookbackmountain:

    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a book I’ve read 6 years too late. A deserving winner of the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this novel revolves around a boy obsessed with love who doesn’t fit in with the rest of his world, set against the backdrop of the real-life political turmoil in the Dominican Republic under dictator Rafael Trujillo

    I often say Junot Diaz is the king of honest literature, and what I mean by that is that his writing doesn’t conform to any set rules of what’s right or wrong. He doesn’t care for quotation marks or italics when including words from another language. He doesn’t stick to a golden rule of a maximum number of characters in a story or divide his book into equal parts. He just tells really good stories.

    This book will take you through accounts of several people’s lives guided by the narrator of the book, Yunior. It might get confusing at times and you may not remember all the politicians and characters, but treat it like short stories that connect to each other somehow. From a writer who is well-known for his short stories, setting his novel up this way is a genius move on Diaz’s part.

    It’s not an easy read, but it’s not a dull one either. If you’re in the mood to learn about some political history of a country that is not the United States, this is the book for you.

    Pages: 335

    Time to read: ~2 weeks

    Rating: 4/5


  4. Considering I don’t have a job locked down (just yet), I probably shouldn’t be book shopping. But oh well.


  5. This is where all my money goes. Books and cheese.


  6. A glimpse into my mom’s library at home in Jeddah. I remember making a database for her books. Can’t remember the exact number, but there were several thousands of them. I owe my love of books (and a bajillion other things) to her.


  7. Few things in life compare to the simple pleasure of reading a good book on a warm, sandy beach.


  8. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: my Fall Reading List!

    When I was about 13 years old, I discovered and devoured the entire Agatha Christie series. So the ones listed above I’ve already read and will re-read for purely nostalgic reasons. I was also in the bad habit of reading every book that came my way regardless of whether it made sense when I was a kid. So I read Crime and Punishment when I was way too young for it and am hence re-reading it to make better sense of it all. The re-reading kinda books are lower in priority this fall than all the other ones.

    Some books that I’m waiting for and that will be added to above list:

    • Islam and the Arab Awakening by Tariq Ramadan (will release on October 15th)
    • The sixth book in the Song of Ice and Fire series (might not be released in time for fall!)

    *Note: This does not include thesis-related reading, which will mostly comprise of Responsive Web Design and Mobile First books.


  9. Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.
    —  John Green, The Fault in Our Stars