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I read widely and in most genres but romance and westerns. Here you'll find my reviews since 2007, with a few reviews of previously read books as well.


In 2012, I completed an "authors of the world" challenge, reading a book for every country (and a few other entities) by someone who'd lived there for at least two years. I expect to tag these books by challenge and country in the near future. I'm still refining my list by adding books that better meet my challenge criteria.

The Emergence Of Qatar - Habibur Rahman Qatar. Speaking of which, I'd still like to read Qatari poetry, a novel, or a memoir. Suggestions?Despite 300 years of turbulence, this is a slog. There are around 260 pages of declarative statements punctuated by names. There is little in the way of dramatic tension or causality, but rather a begat-style unspooling of and then, and then, and then with little in the way of because. It's like a horrible dry pastry that crumbles into stale arid crumbs because there's nothing juicy enough to hold it together, like an adjective. That Qatar is strategic and its waters full of pearls is recorded but alas, not much explored. The dull recitation of event then event then event makes me glad that I've read so many histories that were vivid and engaging.It wouldn't be so bad if I were a Qatari town limits buff, but a lot of it reads like this (actually, a lot of it is less interesting than this):Although it was anticipated by Lieut. Arnold Burrowes Kemball, officiating Resident (April 1843 to December 1843) that bin Tarif would stay at Bahrain and gain supreme authority there because of his strong personality and support from a large number of people in Qatar as well as in Bahrain, he instead went directly to al-Bida in May 1843 to establish Shaikh Ali bin Khalifa, brother of Shaikh Mohammad bin Khalifa, as the in-charge of al-Bida and made the necessary arrangements to transfer his residence from Qais island to al-Bida. (p. 50) While I love to follow the exploits of those wacky bin Khalifa brothers, the prose is tedious, and unleavened by much in the way of explanation: Why did the popular bin Tarif leave Bahrain to set up Ali in al-Bida? This and other mysteries remain unanswered.