December 1, 2007 -- Saturday afternoon

At the San Francisco shopping center

Her favorite book of all time--Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray. (For another Vanity Fair lover click here.) Usually she reads a book only once, but she read this one three times. Set at the time of the Napoleonic wars, it's about a woman who grows up poor but develops manipulative skills to bamboozle society. It's a satire on society. What's great about it? It's very long--about 1,000 pages--which is good because she doesn't like to let books go. Her favorite part--when the character meets a rich old aunt who can see right through her.

Another good book that's made her life better--If the Buddha Dated, by Charlotte Kasl. It's a stupid self-help book that is not really that stupid. It's not even about dating at all. It's about being open and complete. She read it right after she broke up with her boyfriend. A friend recommended it, someone whose recommendations she usually doesn't hold to heart, but she benefited from the book. A piece of Buddha dating advice: expect good things to happen.

The book she's reading now? The Subtle Knife, by Philip Pullman. It's book two in the series, and she's about to see the movie based on the first book. They're kids books, good Harry Potter substitutes.

Another book that's changed her life, one that she's bought both the first and second edition of, and had in her bag for easy reference--Staircase Walks in San Francisco, by Adah Bakalinsky. The book is full of beautiful places to go.

If she were to write her own book, it'd be a mystery/fantasy, set in an urban environment, maybe in Egypt where she lived up until age ten, when she moved to Houston. Her family is Egyptian.

The pyramids? They're cramped, humid, weird, and steep--you climb up for thirty minutes and all you hold onto is shipping crates. It's not safe, not up to code.

When she left Egypt she was reading comic books--the usual Daffy Duck, but also adult ones. Though, adult in the most conservative sense possible. It's like, she said, "guy hates mother in law--haha."

When she moved to this country she found solace in reading and writing. The first award she received in school was for a descriptive essay. Writing was the one thing you could do on your own in the weird world she was transported into. In Egypt she'd gone to an all girls school. Being a fourth grader in Huston was a traumatic transition, one that her mother still apologizes for! Luckily, there were books.


Anonymous said...

it's "houston."

Sonya said...

Thanks! Correction made.