Book Review – American Psycho

American Psycho American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Interesting read and journey into the mind of a ruthless, troubled soul. Not for the faint hearted though. Far more graphic than the film.

View all my reviews >>

The Golden Treasury

The Golden Treasury Bookshop After just 5 hours sleep it was always going to be a struggle to get up and drag myself to visit London’s largest Independent Children’s bookshop, The Golden Treasury, on a cold, grey Saturday Morning. It helped that, being the father of a walking, talking near 2 year old toddler, I have a very effective and persuasive natural alarm clock to force me out of the comfort zone of my warm, cosy bed. I don’t get out of bed for just anybody, and my daughter know’s what strings to pull.

After witnessing her demolish the carefully constructed Mega Bloks plane I had so lovingly made for her, after she “requested” (more like demanded) that I play with her and the myriad of large, multi coloured blocks she had thrown all over our lounge floor, I thought very seriously about going back to bed. However my wife had somehow transferred herself to said daughter’s bed in her nursery and this allowed my energetic young child to jump all over our bed pointing furiously at the bookshelf asking me to read her “Toad Makes  a Road“. I gave in and as I lay down next to my now calm and non jumping daughter reading about the Toad who lacked the foresight to build his house on a sensible, easily accessable place, I saw the look of enchantment, focus and joy on her cute, little chubby face and I was overcome with a sense of extreme fulfilment and satisfaction (a rare feeling for me).

Sharing my love of reading with my daughter, and being able to combine 2 loves of my life (reading and my daughter) are powerfully positive experiences that I must nurture and encourage as much as I can.

With that in mind I managed to drink my regular dosage of double coffee, add a can of Diet Pepsi, take 10ml of Metatone, 1 multivitamin with multi minerals and my Hydrocortisone and Thyroxine tablets and forced myself to wake up enough to join my wife and daughter in their first trip to London’s largest Independent bookshop.

The Golden Treasury is a great find. My wife’s colleague at work actually told her about it and although I had fantastical dreams of a wondrous, magical kingdom with cute, furry talking animals and fake snow amongst the hundreds of cherished children’s books, I was not actually disappointed when I stepped into the shop and discovered it was far more attractive on the inside than out. It was also larger than it looked, not Narnia sized larger, but large enough to be able to split the books by age group and then by topics such as Animals, Geography, Science, Baby Books etc. They also had specific sections for various popular children’s characters like Peppa Pig, The Cat in The Hat and Thomas the Tank Engine. There were sections dedicated to signed copies of Children’s classics such as The Gruffalo. Even Axel Scheffler himself (the illustrator of The Gruffalo) has visited the shop, as this link shows: http://twitpic.com/t99cb

So there may not have been snow , large bewitching Christmas tress, Elves or Fauns but I was transported back in time to a more innocent and joyous part of my life and a world full of stimulating characters and ideas. There is something special about a small independent shop where the loving care for the subject being sold oozes out from every corner, not in a crude, manipulative way but in a subtle, sublime manner. I hope that this store never gets taken over by a large chain or is forced to sell up and go online. I may virtual worlds and the places that cyber space can take your imagination but sometimes there is nothing like the real thing.

Thankfully my daughter was as enchanted by The Golden Treasury as I was and we ended up buying 2 books, one with rockets going to the moon (she loves the moon more than anythign else at the moment with exception of homous) and another about a girl who misses her mummy when the mummy goes to work but gets over it, as one needs to in these economically challenging times. The best part of it for here was being able to spin the Dr. Seuss rotating bookshelf and pick up as many books on tractors as she could. They also had a bean bag with one of her new favourite characters, Maisy, plastered all over it.

When it came time to leave (she was havign her haircut with Mama and the stimulating effects of my caffeine and pill popping were fading fast) she refused to stop chanting “Bookshop, bookshop” for the entire jounery back home.

I was glad that I found the energy to visit The Golden Treasury and go there with my little one as it brought back a piece of my childhood that I rarely get in touch with, which is something I must do more often, especially If I am to stay positive in these increasingly bleak times.

Why the sudden feelings of satisfaction you ask? I love reading and even though I struggle to find the time and energy to read as much as I would like to I still think that reading, both fiction dn non fiction, has a very important place in human society. Stimulating the imagination and chasms deep within our minds like no other form of media, reading books, with their magical descriptions of characters, places, events and emotions, and their imaginative illustrations, is a part of life that I really want my daughter to cherish. the pervasive intrusion of modern forms of edutainment, such as TV, Video Games and the Internet, may have made absorbing creative entertainment and culture easier, but it has also made it too passive, and these forms of education/ entertainment are not a substitute for reading a good book.

I love TV, Gadgets, modern technology, the internet, my iPhone and any advances in media distribution but there is nothign that quite replaces the feelings of suspense and excitement I get from reading a good book. This maybe why I love bookshops so much. Like the beautifully illustrated, carefully bound hardback classics, a bookshop owned and run by book loving enthusiasts is a place like no other. It is like entering through a portal into another world. A world with much more colour, magic and excitement than the Traffic ridden Southfields High Street outside The Golden Treasury.

Welcome to the Escape

Life has become too complex for me. With an ever increasing number of responsibilities and conundrums arriving through my letterbox every day I have decided to stop running around like an electrocuted Duracell Bunny, trying to fight each and every little fire that pops up around me, and take a break. If I had money and a private jet, or just money, I would take a holiday and go aboard, probably to Southern Spain and bask in the mystical beauty of the Palaces at Alhambra in Granada, letting the cool breeze of the Sierra Nevada mountain air cleanse my hyperactive mind of the neural burn out it is currently experiencing. I don’t have any money so I have resorted to finding solace through sheer escapism and it is to blogs and the pixilated 2-D Virtual universe of cyberspace and the thoughts of the many people who feel the need to commit their experiences and stories to cyber ink that I turn.

My aim is to immerse myself so fully in the world of blogs that I completely forget all the mounting troubles facing me in the real world. Hopefully when i am dragged away from my cheap plastic computer screen and battered keyboard I will be stronger and more centred, and therefore more capable of facing reality and all the punches it throws my way. Whether or not finding inner peace through distraction, avoidance and escaping into a world of diverse blogs will actually give me the ability to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee, who knows. All I know is that you do not have to fly 5000 miles away and take a road trip to find yourself or go on an adventure. Although that would be fun.

I am being pro active and trying to use the resources I have around me to go on a journey that will leave me enlightened, centred, stimulated, healthier and wiser. OK maybe forget about the last point, that is a lost cause, but at least I will visit exotic lands and ponder intriguing concepts through the medium of other people’s blogs.

To date this is my 7th blog, and it is the 4th Blog that I have created this year. The aim, as is always the case, is to present my won diverse background, ideas, complexities and adventures (if you can call them that) in a coherent manner. That is why I aim to make this my main, general blog, and it will link to a myriad of other sub-blogs each focusing on a specific aspect of my unpredictable rollercoaster journey.

So Far I have another general, main blog in blogspot:

http://razakam.blogspot.com/

I have 3 other blogs in WordPress:

Escape to Books – my adventure sin the world of literature as an aspiring author/ novelist, avid book lover, literary freak

http://escapetobooks.wordpress.com/

Escape to Weightloss – My journey into the world of WeightWatchers, healthy eating, healthy cooking, brining balance to my usually destructive food obsession (I live for sizzling, juicy Kebabs and Burgers):

http://escapetoweightloss.wordpress.com/

Rebuilding Raza – The blog that charts my current battle with Chronic Fatigue syndrome, that most perplexing of illnesses:

http://rebuildingraza.wordpress.com/

I also plan to create another blog about my forays into the metaverse of online Virtual Worlds, such as Second Life and World of Warcraft, the ultimate escape from reality and immersion in fantasy. I will post the link to this blog as soon as it is created.

Until then enjoy my random ramblings and all the various links, photos and thoughts I post up and any feedback is always appreciated and welcomed!

The Alhambra in Wikipedia

Alhambra Info

Alhambra