Category: Books

Having to listen to EDM for three weeks

The other day I posted a picture of Alexander Chee’s How to Write an Autobiographical Novel book on Instagram, with the cover clearly visible. My friend E, the passionate Turkish Aries of whom I met during my year doing MA in London, who has the tendency to talk with her hands flailing and who blushes […]

What can you trust of what you can’t see?

In his The Guardian essay, Teju Cole wrote about his love for photobooks, in what he described, “In an age of mayhem, everyone needs ballast and, for most people, I would guess, that ballast is made of several different things.” Other people’s ballasts, one that grounded them against all of the political squall and many […]

If you like this book, ask me out

Over the weekend, I read two essays related to reading and relationships which made me think of two questions — of which we shall come back to later. But a little bit of disclaimer first: all throughout my life I don’t think I have ever had any long-term relationships with anyone who are avid readers […]

On bibliotherapy

Today I learned about the existence of ‘bibliotherapy’ — which is the name for an ancient practice of encouraging reading for therapeutic effect — through this The New Yorker article. Its first use was traced to a 1916 The Atlantic article, where the acquaintance of the author ran a ‘bibliographic institute’ from the basement of […]

… then all collapsed

Very happy to find out that just like me, Octavia Butler is also a polygamous and diverse reader (thanks Austin for the link): I generally have four or five books open around the house — I live alone; I can do this — and they are not books on the same subject. They don’t relate […]

On solastalgia

Interior Views of the Central Social Institution in Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1937 How do you write when the planet is falling apart? “Can you still just tend to your own garden once you know about the fire outside its walls?” These are the sort of questions that not only Jenny Offill asks herself, but I do […]

Your boss may track your every keystroke

I wanted to write about the fiasco surrounding Iowa Caucus app beyond its technological failures — as how every technological failure should be analysed — but I figured I wasn’t really prepared in terms of materials, so perhaps I am going to hold off on the post for another day. I just finished re-reading architect […]

We don’t give voice to anyone

Last week there was this whole fiasco about the novel American Dirt, a novel about the Mexican migrant experience who received flak from the Latinx community due to the tones of appropriation and the dehumanisation of the Mexican experience as portrayed in the book. It was written by Jeanine Cummins who isn’t Mexican and whose […]

How to lose a country

(First of all, FINALLY SUBMITTED MY THESIS!) Last week, I finished reading How to Lose a Country: The Seven Steps from Democracy to Dictatorship by a Turkish journalist and political thinker in exile, Ece Temelkuran, which is a brilliant memoir/nonfiction on how countries, regardless of geography or administration, can quickly slide into dictatorship once we […]

Cathedrals we built

I think everyone who had any experiences working on any projects that are considered significant, in a way, must have experienced a mixture of excitement, relief, and not to mention anxiety in its culmination. At least that was how it felt the time I was writing the acknowledgements section for my thesis three months ago. […]