It’s so weird to have something so consume your daily attention and be so completely oblivious to the world at large.

Here I am, in the midst of preparations, this year it’s our turn to host Eid and the logistics of doing that are tough to say the least!

But one day at a time, I’ve been cooking, baking and freezing, getting ready for the big day, reading Quran, pondering, praying and watching the moon shrink as it has already waxed and is now on its waning period before it disappears altogether a few nights before it will be reborn as the new moon, and a new month Shawwal, the first of which is Eid ul Fitr.

One of the things that invariably happens is that I tend to read a lot during Ramadan. One of the reasons for that is that I’m kind of the ‘book aunty’. I do give books as Eid gifts and some of my nieces and nephews even seem to appreciate my picks for them.

I’ve very careful in choosing books. I choose the ones I think the child in question would appreciate, and not necessarily what I would appreciate.

But also, I have to make sure the book doesn’t contain anything too controversial.

Not so easy now that the kids are all getting older.

So I bought some copies of John Green’s books: Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns. Finished the first one, tried to read the second, and omigosh, couldn’t get through it.

A dear friend had talked about his tendency to employ the ‘manic pixie girl’ and I get it now.

Basically the manic pixie appears in both books. For some reason a male author thinks that portraying a girl as manic, and sexy hot, is empowering???

Not sure what’s going on there.

Not sure why the books are even that popular. I suspect it’s because he shows a lot of respect to teens. The teens in his books are bookish and smart, kind of, I guess.

And yet Looking for Alaska is full of sex, alcohol, smoking and drugs. There’s even a bj in there.

Now the thing is if the narrative actually deals with such material in a responsible way, rather than just for the sake of titillation then I actually don’t have that much of a problem with it.

These are realities that teens are facing. As an author, you can’t shy away from it. Your writing has to reflect reality, it’s as simple as that.

And the ultimate point of LFA is kind of good.

So I was torn as to whether or not to give it to the teens I was thinking of giving it to. Speaking to the parents though, I realized that nope. It wasn’t appropriate.

On another note, I finished reading a book by a promising new Muslim author named Ausma Zehanat Khan (no relation). It’s called The Unquiet Dead, and is a mystery set in–get this!–the Scarborough Bluffs.

And it’s good, but oh why oh why can’t these authors get their facts straight???

She has lilies blooming in the fall!!!!!!

Everyone knows that lilies bloom in high summer! In fact my lilies are currently in the process of blooming or are already in full bloom. By the fall they’ll be nothing but greenery!

Don’t these authors realize that such a slip up detail will take the reader completely out of the story???

Oh, and there’s a character in the book that is SUCH  a floozy that it’s over the top, and jarring.

It just breaks your heart.

It’s a book that could have been incredible!

And in fact it’s still quite readable and has moments that are brilliant…if only…

Oh well, I guess my rant is over.

It’s still a good enough book that I will most assuredly give it to some nephew or niece one day. I did really like it, and it’s clean enough.

I’m glad my nephews and nieces don’t read this blog! Hee hee.