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Rinn Reads

I've always been a big reader - it runs in the family. I read pretty much every genre, but my particular favourites are sci-fi and fantasy, with the occasional thriller, historical fiction or YA novel thrown in.

Currently reading

Dear Fatty
Dawn French
Progress: 37/368 pages
Throne of Glass II
Sarah J. Maas
Progress: 233/432 pages
From Dunes to Dior - Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar I am an archaeology graduate. All I know of Qatar is that a lot of people I've met on excavations have worked out there - and that is the shameful extent of my knowledge. I felt that I really should know more about the country, since there seems to be a lot of archaeology going on there: hence my choice of reading From Dunes to Dior over Love Comes Later, plus the fact that I really enjoy memoirs. Mohana sets up the perfect introduction for those who, like me, know absolutely nothing of Qatar - yet she avoids the easy mistake of giving us too much detailed information at once. An interesting mix of demographics, geography and history combined with a fluid writing style make for an easy-to-read background of the country, that doesn't read anything like a textbook despite all the facts and numbers. Whilst the topics covered are 'basic', this doesn't mean they are any less interesting - Mohana has a true talent for discussing everyday occurrences and creating a real story out of them.It is fascinating just how multi-cultural Qatar actually is - Qataris are a minority in their own country - despite the strict citizenship laws (which are reminiscent of ancient Rome, pre-Caracalla). Mohana clearly points out and dismisses stereotypes, yet her essays show that racism is still quite evident, which is sad in this day and age.A mix of serious and light-hearted essays balance the book out - I particularly enjoyed a humorous one on Dunkin' Doughnuts. Mohana is a strong woman, making a life for herself in a country that alienates her for many reasons; her book is an intriguing study of cultural stereotypes and the mixing of cultures, as well as a brilliant introduction to Qatar. I did notice a few spelling errors, but nothing too major. If you are a fan of memoirs or love reading about other cultures I would highly recommend this book. It is presented as a series of essays, but don't let that put you off - they are well written, humorous (where appropriate) and simply fascinating.Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.