Page Turner Kuwait

Happy new year dear readers! The last day of the 2016 was so hectic for me, my husband and I enrolled in gym, for me to lose weight and for him to gain muscles. We spent the day on the beach, had lunch in Pizza Express (our favorite) and did some shopping.

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But what was so interesting that day is that I got my first Kuwaiti blogging/social media gift from a juvenile startup business run by young girls who love books. They sell used or previously owned books and buy your old books, kind of a recycling website. This website is called Page Turner Kuwait, which finds new homes for old books.

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The girls run their own website, do their own delivery and orders personally. I didn’t know that when the assignment came my way, but when I received my package yesterday I learned much about this new promising business.

Mais Dawleh sent me an instagram message back in early December saying:

Hello Dana!

We’ve noticed that we share a passion for books and reading and we would like to introduce ourselves. Page Turner is a new online platform for people across Kuwait to sell and buy books and is run by a group of students and alumni. Page Turner’s objective is to encourage people of all ages to become as passionate as we are and develop a love for reading books in addition to increasing the level of readership in Kuwait.

We’re fans of both your blog Dana’s Sanctuary and Instagram and would be delighted to offer you the chance to order a book via Page Turner (free of charge) to allow us the opportunity to present to you all that Page Turner has to offer.

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To encourage them to success, I order three extra books, but I think for used books the prices should be lower, even if they are like new.

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I got The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis, The Sweet Spot by Stephanie Evanovich, If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins,and Diary of a Manhattan Call Girl by Tracy Quan. But there was a complication in delivery time punctuality, though the cute packaging made up for that.

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It’s great to encourage startup businesses to success, I hope everyone would visit their website and check what they have to offer!

Happy New Year and keep on reading! x

Year in Books

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My year in books!! I have always LOVED this yearly ritual on Goodreads! It feels like an infographic (it actually is!). I have always wanted to screenshot the whole thing and add it to my blog! I finally did! Here it is! Thank God for Google!

My 135 books/reads in one beautiful photo! Thank you God for 2016! Keep on reading people! x

P.S. I accept friend requests from any book lover, so feel free to add me!

Bookie in Cap Eating Paella

A couple of week ago, Hamad and I were invited to a farewell gathering to one of Hamad’s acquaintances in the Contemporary Art Platform, and since the last time I visited all I wanted was to raid their art stocked bookshelves… or at the very least get photographed with them. I kind of did both.

For the gathering I wore my new H&M yellow blouse which is airy, with slightly sheer fabric and a printed pattern and a pair of ankle-length jeans in washed stretch denim with ultra-slim legs and a high waist which is super slimming and flattering and a pair of light yellow high heels with faux patent leather, high-gloss finish and rounded toe from ZARA.

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For accessories I wore my metal necklace “VAEDIEN” from Aldo which I absolutely love, to enhance my outfit I added my colorful gorgeous “JUHI WOW ENVELOPE CLUTCH BAG” (that I was asked about a lot) from Accessorize, its embroidery, sequins and tassels combine to create this statement clutch. Perfect for that special occasion, this bag has a roomy main compartment and internal pocket with zip closure.

Hamad and I met friends, chatted, took photos and most importantly ate Paella! One of my absolute favorite dishes, that I’m planning on making lots of time in the next few months. Of course we were blown away by the size of the cooking pan, secretly I wanted to take the whole thing home with me, it was that good!

My mom always likes to experiment with new recipes, I guess I take that from her, she once told me the story of Paella and what it means, not sure if it’s an accurate story or not but it’s beautiful, Paella comes from Spain, and from an Arabic word “بقايا” which means “leftover”; once an angry hungry king under siege, demanded food, there wasn’t anything fit for a king or enough in the kitchen so the cook decided to create a mess, she gathered all the available rice, vegetables and poultry, seafood and meat into one huge pot, the king fell in love with the dish (as he should!) and asked the cook what it’s called, she said “Paella”. Beautiful story, right?

Where to Shop for Books in Kuwait

Since I came here, I was vastly disappointed by the lack of books and variety, so I needed to discover all the bookshops available, form an opinion and go from there to what to do next. Which is naturally to order through internet and use a shipping company such as Aramex.

Here is a list of all the available shops I discovered and their locations and what they have:

Number One
That Al-Salasil | ذات السلاسل

That Al-Salasil has many branches, I discovered 5 locations so far, but there isn’t different variety in the collection. It has two branches in the Avenues Mall, the main one is larger, but I prefer the smaller one because it has more English books, and it’s closer to Frozen Ice Cream (another story, another post… soon!). The third branch is in Al Hamra Tower, tiny but has good YA novels. The fourth one is in the Marina Crescent, and the last one is on the way to Old Salmiyah, too tiny and old for my taste.

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In the Avenues Main bookstore.

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In the Marina Crescent.

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The small shop in The Avenues also.

Number Two
Jashanmal |  جاشنمال

Jashanmal is by far my favorite bookstore in Kuwait, it’s located in the ground floor in 360° Mall, it has a good collection of books and sometimes magazines, the latest cooking books I got were from this cute shop.

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Number Three
Jarir | جرير

Jarir is not just a bookstore, it has many stationary and art supply, and by far I think it has the largest updated collection of both Arabic and English books. I just wish that books weren’t a taboo here, I mean if they don’t like the cover or the title, they either don’t bring it OR worst, they would tarnish it with black marker as they do magazines to me this is a crime of first degree! Jarir of course isn’t the only place that does that, all the other bookstores are also under this terrible spell.

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Number Four
Bayt Lothan | بيت لوذان

Bayt Lothan kind of reminds me of Books@Cafe in Amman, it sells used books only in great condition, most of the sold books haven’t even been used, the spines usually are intact, you can find great editions there, but don’t count on finding the whole series! Bayt Lothan also is a great place to give your books to or exchange it with. Some local groups have their book club meetings there which is cool.

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Number Five
Al Muthana Complex | مجمع المثنى

I don’t remember the name of this shop for many reason, the first that it’s horrible, a messy old bookstore that’s about to close, that’s why I used the name of the building rather than the store. Seriously, it has nothing except a collection of withering books collecting the dust. Don’t bother visiting, not worth the effort.

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Number Six
S&S | أس أند أس

This tiny bookstore is located in Layla Gallery which is a mall, ground floor, mostly sells kids books and very few YA books, but it has an order service, so if you want a certain book they will deliver, haven’t tried it because I still order from my book dealer back home.

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I guess that’s mostly it, which is depressing, if you dear reader know any other good bookstores I’m all ears. I wish Kuwait will expand its horizons not just in trade and commerce in other department such as book, and food products, some brands are overpowering the market which isn’t fair to anyone, especially people like me who like quantity and variety. On a last point, I think it’s time to change and be more open-minded about books, magazines and womanhood. There’s nothing wrong about the female body or even romance in books. It’s all healthy.

Stay “ocean” minded. x

Until I Die

While Edith Piaf’s La vie en rose played in the background softly while I coughed and sniffled irritated by the fever and flu, I flipped open the gorgeous purple cover of Amy Plum’s sequel book [the red one] to “Die for Me“: “Until I Die“… and I was transferred to Revenants’s Paris and I got lost in Kate and Vincent’s story, yet again.

I simply loved the first book, read it 3 times over since I discovered it and I still feel like rereading it again.

Kate is an art lover, bookworm and cinema goer who lost her parents tragically in Brooklyn and had to move to Paris with her social-butterfly of a sister Georgia, who is a year or so older than her. I love Georgia and Kate’s relationship. I wish I had a sister.

Anyway, the girls move in with their grandparents who are antique and art devotees. The whole description in each page from food to art is so FRENCH and so beautiful… it’s like poetry for my bookaholic ears.

Than one day fate decided that Kate must move from her grieve into the arms of a gorgeous mysterious boy named Vincent. Who is so charming and yummy and loves to call her “mon ange“. Kate had a horrible accident while reading in a local cafe and was rescued by her hero Vincent’s friend.

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Vincent is always accompanied by two other handsome boys: Jules and Ambrose. Through many events I don’t want to spoil to people who haven’t read this book (but I am sure are dying to right now), Kate discovers that Vincent actually isn’t a normal 19-year-old boy at all, that he actually died years ago and now he guards and saves people lives and dies for them over and over again. And his kind are called “Revenants“.

revenants plural of rev·e·nant
Noun
A person who has returned, esp. supposedly from the dead.

Here the true action begins and things start running between romance and horror and Kate trying to get used to the concept of loving one of the “undead“.

Everything in the book is gorgeous until the very last word.

Until I Die carries off exactly where Die for me ended things. That’s what I absolutely loved in this book. I had it months ago but was afraid to read it because usually great first books have horrible sequels.

This is not the case here. Until I Die has the same feeling of the same book, everything that I loved is still there. Everything was well-connected and in strong harmony. For instance, I hate it when an author, remove or make the appearance of supporting characters less important or shallower when couples get together. I hate when authors change the setting or the rhythm of the series. People who fell in love with the first book usually love everything about it without any need for a change.

So Amy Plum aced it. She knew what to serve her readers and how much to keep and how to add new things. The book so far is refreshing. I can’t wait to finish it and get the third book.

Bonne nuit everyone!

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