Book Review: The King of Taksim Square

The King of Taksim Square by Emrah Serbes and Mark David Wyers

Why I picked it up

This was offered as a Kindle First and I thought the premise sounded interesting. On a recent trip to Ukraine, I got the chance to visit the Maidan square in Kyiv, where a recent uprising took place, and while there I thought to myself, it would be interesting to read a novel set within a revolution like this, but not too politicized, just something with some characters trying to get along in such an environment. So when I saw The King of Taksim square I thought hey, someone actually wrote something that I thought of!

Yay

Story is based in the Arab Spring, with a young teen trying to help his sister get famous to boost her self-esteem. If you take out the random rants, the negative ways Caglar treats his mother, and his creepy obsessions with his sister, some parts of the novel are decent and enjoyable, a satire on modern culture, how we idolize people we love, and how everyone wants their 15 minutes of fame. Gives a great glimpse into life in Turkey as well as the personable desire to want something more in life than what we are given. Also appreciated the father-son moments.

Nay

Everything as stated above: pages of random rants, his weird behavior towards his mother and other women in the story, no real explanation on why he hates his uncle so much, and jeez, Caglar, stop touching your sister when she’s sleeping!

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At the end, the novel just kind of ends in a strange meandering way. At this point I would’ve preferred even a cliche ending of his sister actually becoming a Youtube star!

It was a frustrating read because I feel like the story had so much potential, and it almost reached it at some parts, but there was too much dragging it down at the end.

 

 

 

Book Review: Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry

(I received this from NetGelley for an honest review. Thanks!)

Why I picked it up

I work in finance, so I read about these groping coworkers with an eyeroll and “oh that is so like so-and-so”. Very accurate, especially the whole “raised rich and given a cushy, high-figure job where they goof off while the women do all the work”. I’ve seen and experienced that first hand and it’s soooo frustrating.

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I’m also obsessed with the 2008 financial debacle. Especially after seeing The Big Short, I wanted to read a women’s perspective on what happened.

Yay

Insider look into some attempts of bringing girl power into Wall Street. I enjoyed reading scenes criticizing the one-percenters of New York so that I could compare it to my dismal life and think to myself “Ugh thank god I’m poor.”

Nay

Character seemed a bit flat. Things just happen to her and she goes along with it, not much emotional depth or growth.  A lot of rambling whining about her situation that could have been cut. I was bored around the middle when things would happen and then the next scene would jump elsewhere. We get it: your husband sucks, your coworkers suck, your job sucks, you make too much money. It got a bit:

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The whole Henry thing and how it unfolded was weird and unbelievable. I kept reading because the end was building towards some drama and then all of that was just glossed over and we jump to the future where all is suddenly well. I would’ve liked to have experienced those moments instead of them just being skipped over like an afterthought.

Also, lots of typos and a serious need for commas, but that could be because I was reading an ARC. Hope they were able to fix that all before publication because I found it distracting.

 

 

These Things Only Happen to Me: Rolling Fruit Edition

It’s the Tuesday after a long weekend. On my way back to my desk from the kitchen, I’m carrying two mandarin oranges and a cup of tea. I casually stroll past my crush’s office, planning a sexy smile and wave if he looks up from my desk.

But no, Crush1 (yes, he is one of many) has his back turned. Half asleep and unprepared, an orange slides from my hand. I watch in horror as it rolls and rolls and rolls across the hall. Please bypass his office, I beg the errant orange. Please don’t roll into his office!

The orange hates me. It rolls into his office.

From the hallway, I watch as my fruit rolls to a complete stop under his desk. Crush1 is completely oblivious.

I’m frozen. I have two choices.

a) Run away back to my desk and hide in shame. Pretend it never happened. After it starts to rot and smell funny, he’ll look down and find a random orange and have no idea where it came from.

b) Rescue my orange!

I’m not known for making the smartest decisions. I decide to go after the orange. Besides, I wouldn’t want him to get sick from the pungent stink of a rotten random fruit. I’m also worried for his sanity. What’ll he think, random people are hiding oranges under his desk?

I creep into his office. So far, so good. His back is still turned to me. Maybe he won’t notice if I bent down, snatch the orange, flee to my desk, and-

“What are you doing!?”

Dammit. Crush1 has spun around and sees me creeping into his office.

“My orange.” I bend over, snatch it, and wave it in the air. “It rolled.”

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If you need me, I’ll be under my desk. Laughing and crying.

These things only happen to me, I swear.

 

 

 

 

Today’s Writing Location

Since I work full time, it’s hard to make time to write. But I still always make time to write.

Today I spent my break writing at Toronto’s St. Lawrence Market.

Why’d I choose this location? Well I had to pick up some things, saw a chair, and figured I’d sit down.

Pros: Free. Nobody cares if I’m not eating or buying anything. I could sit there for an hour or so and not be bothered. Also chance of running into people from work who will start talking to me and ask me a million questions about what I’m doing.

Cons: Lots of tourists. Dim lighting. Tons of distractions.

But hey, I still got shit done. 👍🏻

New Leafs Logo

After a lot of hype, the Toronto Maple Leafs revealed a new logo:

toronto-maple-leafs-logo-for-2016-17

My reaction:

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Expectation: I wanted to see something modern. Innovative. Fresh. Although change can be scary, I still wanted to see something brand new. I mean a lot of teams make disasters out of new logos (See the Edmonton Oilers’ third jersey circa 2003), but I was hoping for something sleek and sophisticated, like some of the more recent Team Canada re-dos (as a Canadian yes, I get bonus karma points for including Sidney Crosby into a post).

Reality: Um, I’ve seen this before. It’s not modern. And definitely not innovative. It’s basically a re-do of some of the vintage Leafs logos.

I mean, sure, the symbolism is great:

17 veins = 1917, the year the Leafs were created
13 veins = 13 Leafs Stanley Cups
31 points = Maple Leaf Gardens’ opening in 1931

I love that kinda stuff.

But other than that…no. It’s 2016. We should be looking forward, not backwards.