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In the Name of God بسم الله
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What Are You Reading Currently? [OFFICIAL THREAD]

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Hezbollah: A short review by Augustus Richard Norton.

Short review:

Okay besides the fact that the authors name is pretty cool, this book is fantastic. Mister Norton is a very honest academic and in this very short book gives us an objective perspective on the history of Hezbollah. The writer is very informed about shia rituals and culture and knows all its subetelity espechially in relation to the rise of Hezbollah.  He even knows the subtle differences and influences different marjaia have amongst Shia, which is something very hard to understand for an outsider.From a political perspective he presents all the context that is neccesary to understand the rise of Hezbollah, including for once a clear explanation of the Lebanese civil war and its ties to Syria and Israel.   Espechially the parts about Syria read like a revelation in understanding the modern day civil war in Syria. If you know were sunnis in relation to HEzbollah come from you can see the links with the syrian war. Maybe im a n00b but Inever looked at the conflict in Syria from a lebanese perspective but its highly relevant. Anyhow if you want to know everything about Hezbollah, Lebanon, Syria, Shii'tes in a short time  read this book. Try to ge your hands on the 2014 version , which has a long epilouge that describes a detailed interpretation about what Hezbollah means ''today'.

5 out of 5

I dont know about you guys but this topic totally motivates you to read.

 

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On 12/19/2015 at 10:03 PM, CaptainGalaxy said:

Read more about it here : Orientalism

Most certainly and most undoubtedly one of the best book written in the 20th century. A monument that had a profound influence on academia as well as popular culture. 

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Nationalism in contemporary Japan

Short Review:

This book came out in 1995, but when I started it I couldve sworn it was from 2007, espechially after it talked about the 'Iraq War' and alike. But I Realized most of the data it used is from the early 90s and I found out that this book is not from 2007. So this book is not so contemporary anymore. And with Iraq war they ment the 1991 gulf war.

But I have a bad habit : I feel guilty if I stop reading a book I started with. Reading this book made me realize how troublesome that bad habit of mine actually is.

I picked up this book in the hope of learning something about nationalistic parties , groups and movements in Japan that somehow try to resist that status quo. I was wrong, this book is first of all written by an American..and it pro-Americanism is all over this book. I think this book is a reflection of the existiental dread America went through after the cold war ended. America realized it was out of enemies and felt insecure about everything including her allies she had during the coldwar. These same allies might want to embrace other alliances that America has no control of, including Japan. So this book kind of read as a desperate comfort making sure Japan atleast wont leave America.  I think AMerica needed that espechially after a time where Japan looked as if it was competing with America on an economic level.

Even still, one could argue this is a serious political piece. It is not, it is a orientalistic introduction to Japanese politics and culture. It read more like a sloppy manual for american university students who are studying abroad in Japan, than a serious political book. I have to give it credit for  the short history of modern Japan  that was included, that was well written and interesting. But his whole comtemporary description of japan  had such a negative vibe , it almost felt like an infantalization of Japan and the Japanese. In contray to the things written about the free and individualistic democratic  adult America.

It had some interesting points though it was not totally silly and stupid. He argued that Japanese do identify with Japanese culture and are nationalistic in that sense. They however do not identify with the state and thats why Japan is different. A japanese person does not identify himself as a Japanese because of his relation to the Japanese state but because of his cultural idenity.  Its an interesting point, making Japan almost like most 3rd world postcolonial countries, who also rarely idenitify themselves with the state and more rather with their religion or culture. This is even more interesting if you realize that the postwordlwar state of Japan is a product of the American occupation (1950s).

Anyhow, this book is old and very outdated, its pro-American, American centric and it is not what you expect of it.

2/5

 

Edited by CaptainGalaxy

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2 minutes ago, Marbles said:

Two classics. 

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Charles Dickens - Great Expectations

 

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The Book of Disquiet - Fernando Pessoa

Translated from the Portuguese.

That 'like' was for Charles Dickens - my father used to encourage me to read his work. Good choice.

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10 minutes ago, apofomysback said:

That 'like' was for Charles Dickens - my father used to encourage me to read his work. Good choice.

Yeah, you can never go wrong with Dickens. He is a great teacher of language and a supreme artist. 

But I'm finding it hard to tear away from Pessoa's book. He's such a brilliant writer.

Edited by Marbles
typo

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3 minutes ago, Marbles said:

Yeah, you can never go wrong with Dickens. He is a great teacher of language and a supreme artist. 

But I'm funding it hard to tear away from Pessoa's book. He's such a brilliant writer.

I'd look it up if you highly recommend it

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9 minutes ago, apofomysback said:

I'd look it up if you highly recommend it

I do. Go for Richard Zenith's translation. 

Pessoa will challenge your idea of a conventional novel with a series of vignettes about the enigma of being and belonging, about how it is to live in a mass of contradictions we call life.

 

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Currently reading (and will be attempting to read over the break):

 

Arms and Influence - Thomas C. Schelling

Man, the State, and War - Kenneth Waltz. 

Great Games, Local Rules: The Great New Power Contest in Central Asia - Alexander Cooley

The New Old World - Perry Anderson

Studies in Early Hadith LiteratureMustafa Azami

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:salam:

I have just read the Duchess of Malfi, a play by John Webster because I had to do a presentation on it (I'm a literature student at university). A really powerful and disturbing piece of writing.

So excited because I've just ordered some Islamic books from Amazon. Alhamdulilah :D I can't wait to read the following:

The Ten Granted Paradise by Dr Sayed Ammar Nakshawani

Ramadan Sermons by Dr Sayed Ammar Nakshawani

Hurr ibn Adi: Victim of Terror by Dr Sayed Ammar Nakshawani

An Introduction to Shi'a Islam by M Momen

 

Amy :) 

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Human Zoo: For Centuries, Indigenous Peoples Were Displayed as Novelties by Sara Shahriari

http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2011/08/30/human-zoo-centuries-indigenous-peoples-were-displayed-novelties-48239

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Item-Book-ThriveDiet-Vegan_Large-284x300

4/5 (I took a star off because the recipes were either expensive or didn't taste that good).

This book has given me so much perspective on what the food we consume does to our body. I recently turned vegan (for physical performance and disease prevention) and I've seen a lot of positive results in my physique and performance. 

Brendan explains how stress is mostly caused from the food we eat and less to do with environmental and work factors. He talks about how some of the food we eat for extra energy increases our stress levels after its effects have left the body/subsided. It also contains information on why meat shouldn't be eaten everyday (I have also read a hadith that is against eating meat for 40 consequent days) and why. There are tons of other information inside the book; I really recommend it. It'll be a good read if nothing else.

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On December 9, 2015 at 7:42 PM, Chaotic Muslem said:

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I picked this up yesterday, started reading the first pages and it sounds cool. Do you reckn i'll finish it?

Sent to the trash of civilisation, it and all the other things written by that author.

 

 

“Our interest's on the dangerous edge of things. The honest thief, the tender murderer, the superstitious atheist.”― Robert Browning . Learned from "Snow" by Orhan Pamuk...I hope i'll get a better companion in my train trips this time

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