'The Night Circus is a book for the imagination'


The Night Circus is a book for the imagination

Talking books with Zhora Qureshi, Director of Al Rawi Bookstore and Café

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Published: Fri 11 Oct 2019, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Fri 11 Oct 2019, 2:00 AM

What are you reading right now?
Currently, I am reading The 48 Laws of Power by American author Robert Greene.

A book that changed your life?
When I was younger, I read a book titled Under The Hawthorn Tree by Marita Conlon-McKenna, about a family struggling through the Great Irish Famine. As a nine-year-old, I wondered how three children could survive on a slice of bread shared between them, without their parents. It set key values in me very early on, to appreciate all that I have and not to waste precious time with loved ones.

A book you think is underrated?
A book I love, which isn't very popular among my friends and associates, is The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. It's a book for the imagination, one to get lost in, when you've had a busy day and need to unwind.

A memorable literary character?
One of my favourite literary characters is Kunta Kinte from the novel Roots by Alex Haley. Kunta Kinte is a young boy taken from Africa, to become a slave in 18th-century America. The story follows his life and those of his descendants. His character depicts the true meaning of persistence, determination and humility. Even though Kunta Kinte is a fictional character, what he experienced is, in fact, very real.
Your favourite book quote - and why.
"Use absence to increase respect and honour" - The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. The author is saying "create value through scarcity"; the less available you are, the more you are admired and respected. I always thought you needed to be visible at all times to create strong bonds with people and achieve great things in your life, but that's exhausting and, honestly, not realistic. This quote resonates with me, as it lessens the feeling of guilt when you're not constantly socialising on your phone or present at every social event of the season.
 - As told to Karen Ann Monsy

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