Excerpt of the Day: Strange the Dreamer

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor is perhaps one of the most beautiful fantasy novels I’ve ever read. It contains sharp observations of the human mind and heart in a manner expected of a literary novel, however it’s an adventure containing librarians, scholars, magic, dreamers and strange enemies.

strange the dreamer

It is an incredibly unique Young Adult Fantasy novel, which incorporates original concepts in a breathtakingly fresh manner, the story weaved with such true emotion and wit that it seems real, allowing the reader to fall into the lush world Taylor has created . The quality of writing is amongst the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. The thoughts, desires and experiences of the protagonist, Lazlo Strange, are enough to touch any heart and fill it with wonder, joy and, yes, the longing to dream just a little more fearlessly.

Lazlo Strange is a war orphan and junior librarian. He has been obsessed with the mythic city of Weep since he was five years old, but it would take someone much bolder to make his way across half the world in search of it. But then a stunning opportunity presents itself and he gets the chance to travel to Weep with a band of legendary warriors passing through his hometown, and he seizes the chance to make his dream come true. Everything that unfolds from that moment on in a pure adventure, full of unexpected turns, wonders and magic.


 An excerpt from page 14-15. 

“Some manuscript were expected at the Great Library of Zosma, and Lazlo was charged to deliver them.

He never came back.

The Great Library was no mere place to keep books. It was a walled city for poets and astronomers and every shade of thinker in between. It encompassed not only the vast archives, but the university, too, together with laboratories and glasshouses, medical theatres and music rooms, and even a celestial observatory. All this occupied what had been the royal palace before the current queen’s grandfather built a finer one straddling the Eder and gifted this one to the Scholars’ Guild. It ranged across the top of Zosimos Ridge, which knifed up from Zosma City like a shark’s fin, and was visible from miles away.

Lazlo was in a state of awe from the moment he passed through the gates. His mouth actually fell open when he saw the Pavillion of Thought. That was the grandiose name for the ballroom that now housed the library’s philosophy texts. Shelves rose forty feet under an astonishing painted ceiling, and the spines of books glowed in jewel-toned leather, their gold leaf shining in the glavelight like animal eyes. The glaves themselves were perfect polished spheres, hanging by the hundreds and emitting a purer white light than he’d ever seen from the rough, ruddy stones that lit the abbey. Men in gray robes rode upon wheeled ladders, seeming to float through the air, scrolls flapping behind them like wings as they rolled from shelf to shelf.

It was impossible that he should leave this place. He was like a traveler in an enchanted wood. Every step deeper bewitched him further, and deeper he did go, from room to room as though guided by instinct, down secret stairs to a sublevel where dust lay thick on books undisturbed for years. He disturbed them. It seemed to him that he awoke them, and they awoke him.”

A Poem: Ageing Aches


forgiveness is no longer a choice.
it is a given,
for there is no other way left
to live.
so close to the end of the
longest walk.
all you have left to give
is goodness and hope,
and all the memories that crawl from
the folds of your aching skin and
latch onto those who once held
such firm hands
are like sunlight caressing the
curves of a tree that
withstood endless seasons and tides,
that has yet so much life to give,
and yet has nothing to give at all

Excerpt of the day

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We can all talk. The challenge? Getting people to listen.

Your ability to influence others, build your career, and achieve your personal goals is dependent on how effectively you communicate and engage with people.

And here’s both a harsh and sad fact. Some people have values and views many would find offensive. But they get heard. They get noticed. Not simply because of what they believe, but because of how well they communicate their message. Criminals and politicians can manipulate minds because they’ve developed the skills of knowing how to persuade others. Yes, other factors and skills do come into play, but if they’re unable to communicate effectively their influence is weakened. Their voice is less likely to be heard.

Think about the ways you communicate your messages to others. Could your approach ever be described as boring or bland? Do you say things the way you’ve always said them? If not, great; but if you do, then perhaps it’s time to freshen up your style… see how you can make your message more sticky and memorable. First, repetition – be prepared to repeat your message in different ways. Second, use less-familiar language – language that gets people’s attention and causes them to want to know more.

How to Speak so People really Listen – Paul McGee (Pp1. 5. 7. 24)



Excerpt of the day

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“The first step is so define what success looks like for you…

Serial achievers all have their own definitions of success, with the common feature that they want to test themselves and deliver the very best – that’s where their personal fulfilment comes from.

What do we mean by success?

First of all, what we are talking about here is your idea of success, not what other people believe or expect of you. Their definition will always be based on their own measure, which may be very different to yours, so let’s put them on one side for now.

The symbols of success vary from one person to another and from one time to another. Getting the degree you want or running the marathon in the allotted time are goals that give you something to reach for. They are also tangible measures that others can see and respect, which is always gratifying.

The intangibles of success are more subtle. They span your life to this point and include your hopes and fears for the future. When it comes down to having a successful life or not, then the essence remains the same for all of us.

The Psychology of Success – Judith Leary-Joyce (Pp13-14)

A poem: Grace Fervour

blog image for poem

My limbs are piled on top of
one another.
But it is not messy or unclean, it’s
the mysterious, alluring tangle of the
of an old, robust tree.
This is the only place I know now,
where there is no
And the stretching of my redbud arms as
the sun caresses me, to prosperity,
is not pride; desire; greed, but
prayer and
grace fervour.

Anam Iqbal 

Excerpt of the day

wolf image

“By turning names into things we create false models of reality. By endowing nations, societies, or cultures with the qualities of internally homogeneous and externally distinctive and bounded objects, we create a model of the world as a global pool hall in which the entities spin off each other like so many hard and round billiard balls. Thus it becomes easy to sort the world into differently colored balls, to declare that “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.””

Eric R. Wolf Europe and the people without history (Pp6-7).


Excerpt of the day

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‘And what good’s theory going to be in the real world?’ said Harry loudly, his fist in the air again.
Professor Umbridge looked up.
‘This is school, Mr Potter, not the real world,’ she said softly.
‘So we’re not supposed to be prepared for what’s waiting for us out there?’
‘There is nothing waiting out there, Mr Potter.’
‘Oh, yeah?’ said Harry. His temper, which seemed to have been bubbling just underneath the surface all day, was reaching boiling point.
‘Who do you imagine wants to attack children like yourselves?’ enquired Professor Umbridge in a horribly honeyed voice.
‘Hmm, let’s think…’ said Harry in a mock thoughful voice. ‘Maybe… Lord Voldemort?’
Ron gasped; Lavender Brown uttered a little scream; Neville slipped sideways off his stool. Professor Umbridge, however, did not flinch.

J.K Rowling Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Pp220).

A poem: Blood

anam blog post

They told me:
‘endless blood must be spilt for peace’
and you are naive if you imagine a
different world.
You must wake to bitter gun shots, and
the soft chirping of birds, alike.
You must find tranquility in the:
indebtedness of your time,
labelling of your body,
exploitation of your beliefs, or
you will never know any at all.
But I told them:
softness is rifled
when there are sharp, unforgiving
And bleeding dry won’t bring us
freedom only war.
And they said I would stand alone,
among the perilous bridges
that I’d tirelessly built from our end to theirs,
so there would no longer be ours or theirs.
I waited… waited… waited.
My longing hope painted across my face
in flashing lights.
And then, I saw their dancing silhouettes.
They had come.
And my eyes glazed like the surface of a
thundering ocean.
And then, we were like branches, reaching for the
blossom-strewn sky and humble truth together.
And the only blood that was left
was the one in the sunset
we beheld.

Anam Iqbal