31 October 2016

Land of the dead amidst the living

Mayhap there be a hand emerging from the gaping maws of that grave? (Glasgow Necropolis)

Cemeteries are one of Halloween's favorite source of creepiness, full of tombstones and skeletons, ghosts and ghouls. Superstitions abound about the undead, vengeful spirits, and untimely death. Cue the muhahaha (cue: the laugh at the end of the Thriller music video)...

In daylight hours outside of October 31st, though, these resting places for the dead are actually a favorite of mine to visit -- even to have a picnic. My travel agendas often include finding a local graveyard, right alongside touring famous museums, monuments, and neighborhood cafes. Nope, I'm not a particularly morbid person, nor do I relish getting scared (note: I really really don't). But I find them to be places of beauty and memory, filled with interesting carvings and cultural turns. I follow in history's footsteps, when graveyards were initially integrated right into the city fabric and, later in the 1830s, became the first "rural" public parks.

05 October 2016

Bookishness / The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon

Read _ mostly at night before bed, on Kindle

To say this book is just about a kid growing up in a refugee camp wouldn't do it justice. It wouldn't do justice to Subhi, his family, nor the real families behind this story. Nor would it do justice to the seemingly simple yet lyrical way in which it was written. It's a book that surprises and delights, while not shying away from the harsh realities of our times.