Tag Archives: classics

Book Quotes: Lord of the Flies

As a non-native English speaker, I always felt at a disadvantage from most native English writers not only because any given writer would be better practiced than I am in his native language, but also that any one of my peers has read several great works of literature at school while I haven’t. Most schools in Lebanon never give students reading assignments—except for short stories in academic books which have no literary merit whatsoever.

If you know me well enough, you will know that I don’t make excuses when it comes to improving my craft. Even though I’m way behind many writers when it comes to reading, it’s never too late to catch up– especially for a fast reader like myself. One of the books on the list was Animal Farm by George Orwell, which I read and finished in two days this week. The other is Lord of the Flies, which I’m currently enjoying. While I don’t have an English literature teacher slash aspiring writer to help me analyze the book as I go, I will have to rely on myself to do that. I will also be sharing my favorite quotes from the book. Here’s one of my favorite so far.


Book Review: Of Human Bondage

I finished and much enjoyed reading the classic Of Human Bondage. I hope some of you started reading, or rereading, this beautiful book; and I hope you enjoyed my little pieces briefly analyzing some of its pages. In other news, Atlantis Magazine published my review of the novel. You can read it here: http://www.atlantismagazine.net/Entertainment/Of-Human-Bondage.html

Besides book reviews, Atlantis Magazine features movie reviews and travel articles.


Book Review: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens


There is a reason Charles Dickens’s book stood the test of time. The story of the protagonist, Pipp, will resonate with people for generations to come. Dickens takes us on journey of the life of Pipp, from the time he was young, to his adolescence, and into the years of his early adulthood. Throughout those years, however, Dickens weaves a tangled web of events. Every word, every action, and every incident makes sense in the end.

The title “Great Expectations” was given since Pipp, a poor boy, finds himself on the verge of becoming a nobleman. An anonymous benefactor, whom he assumes to be the adoptive mother of his beloved Estella, financially adopts Pipp and opens wide doors of opportunities which he never knew existed. Pipp moves to London, leaving his sister and her husband, Joe, behind – the people who raised him after his parents died.

As his fortune and love for Estella grow, Pipp finds himself moving further away from Joe. Great Expectations explains how money changes individuals, and makes them forget the people who were closest to them. There was a sentence, which I particularly loved. At the beginning of Pipp’s new journey he leaves alone without letting Joe walk him. He admits to himself the reason of walking alone, which was his shame of being seen with the humble-looking Joe. As he walks alone toward the carriage that would take him to London, Dickens writes, “…feeling it very sorrowful and strange that the first night of my bright fortunes should be the loneliest I had ever known.”

Another thing I adored about this book was the characterization of Estella and her adoptive mother, Ms. Havisham. Perhaps this sentence I wrote in italic will explain more than my words would.

“What have I done! What have I done!” She wrung her hands, and crushed her white hair, and returned to this cry over and over again. “What have I done!”

I knew not how to answer, or how to comfort her. That she had done a grievous thing in taking an impressionable child to mold into the form her wild resentment, spurned affection, and wounded pride found vengeance in, I knew full well. But that, in shutting out the light of day, she had shut out infinitely more; that, in seclusion, she had secluded herself from a thousand natural and healing influences; that her mind, brooding solitary, had grown diseased, as all minds do and must and will that reserve the appointed order of their Maker; I knew equally well. And could I look upon her without compassion, seeing her punishment in the ruin she was, in her profound unfitness for this earth on which she was placed, in the vanity of sorrow which had become a master mania, like the vanity of penitence, the vanity of unworthiness, and other monstrous vanities that have been curses in this world?

Showing here how vengeance, grief, and holding on to pain and anger can be destructive, Dickens had yet again given us an important lesson in life.

The book I bought had another ending which was written by the editors, followed by the original ending written by Dickens. Dickens did it better. He tied the knots beautifully and left me with a beautiful afterglow.

All in all, I believe this book is worth a read. It certainly is one of the best classics I have read so far.

Confessions of an Online Shopper


What great joy has been brought to my heart today to have received the bundle of books I had bough from Amazon. In attempt to save myself the costs of shipping, I have found a new way by which to ship my purchases. The idea behind it is more of paying the shipping charges in installments rather than at a discounted rate; however, it still come in handy for the days you’re waiting for the paycheck, need to buy that book, and need that last $100 bill all at the same time.

The idea behind creating the “Bordelinx” account on DHL, a express mail company, is that people can purchase items in the US and store them in a DHL premises for a month for free. After a month, the items would cost $5 a day to be stored — yes, outrageous!

Here’s the funny thing that happened to me a couple of days ago. Now, I have had items shipped to me from DHL and Bordelinx before, so I wasn’t exactly new to this. When I shipped my first bundle of items, I registered in my mind that I needed to ship my next item by April 14th, since it arrived at Bordelinx at the same date in March. When the 14th arrived and I received no email reminders from DHL, I assumed that it was still early for me to ship my items. Little did I know that I was in for a shocker.

On the 16th of April, I received an email reminding me with Bordelinx rule of charging customers for storage beyond 30 day mark. I logged in to my account thinking that I was on time or two days late tops. What took be by surprise was not only the fact that I was considerably late, but also that I was charged on multiple products. See, at Bordelinx they don’t charge you per account, like if you have items in your storage box they charge you for the whole box regardless of the number of items in it. Instead, DHL charges per object, so I had four object stored beyond 30 days, one of which was being charged the storage fee for 11 days, others arrived later and were being charged for a lesser time. By the time I checked my account, I owed DHL $160 in storage fees.

Naturally I went into panic mode. I shipped all my items and commenced writing a disturbed email. I told DHL that the ethical thing to do would have been to send me that reminded the day before I was going to start being charged. Ethical companies operate in this way! Without further delay, let me tell you that Bordelinx waived my storage fee for this time. I will try to post a reminder on my desk or schedule one on my phone, as the company made it clear that they only send reminder once a year. Regardless of what I still think of their policies, I’m glad that they treated me with integrity in the end.

To my doorstep today came several interesting books, one of which I started reading immediately. Of Human Bondage is a classic with an edge. I have read 50 pages so far and enjoyed them immensely. Instead of the regular review, I’m thinking of taking you on the journey of exploring the book with me while I read it. I’m planning to post a brief review and analysis of the things I read daily, followed by a review of the whole book once I finish it. Before I do that, however, I will post a review on another book I completed recently: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. Let me just say that it’s the best classic I read so far.

I’m off to bed in a bit. Have a great evening everybody and beware of unethical businesses!

Book Review — Where Angels Fear to Tread by E. M. Forster (1905)


E. M. Forster’s book is not recommended for those who are looking for suspense. In spite of the ominous title of the book, the plot actually isn’t as dark.

Where Angels Fear to Tread discusses social differences and their effect on people’s characters and relationships. It shows how people who are forced to behave in certain manners seldom do, and that leads to undesired consequences.

What I liked about the book: the weaved web of social and interpersonal events which gave the plot a certain amount of depth.

What I disliked about the book: the showing instead of telling; and the jumping from one era to another sometimes within the same line.

I just discovered that this book was made into a movie. Did anyone watch it? What do you think of the movie version of the book?