On Michael Jackson By Margo Jefferson

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By far the only book written on Michael Jackson that lets the readers think and decide what they want to about him, instead of prejudicing their minds with what they think or know.

Margo Jefferson talks about Michael Jackson’s lyrics and music videos, his family members, the public’s fascination with child performers and freaks, and Michael Jackson’s evolving persona and his alarming appearance. She also criticizes the fact that there was not enough opportunity for talks about his mental illness in his circus-like child abuse trial.

Margo Jefferson does not accuse or completely sympathise with Michael Jackson. She tries to take both the aspects-positive as well as negative and attempts to weigh them with his life and situations that he had to face right since he was a child. She does not pass a judgement on him, which is the best thing that I liked about this book. It is a very short read and a must for all Michael Jackson fans. Believe me you will not be disappointed and at the end you still get to keep you own love for Michael Jackson (and bias, if any) safe.

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A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini

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Another brilliant work by Khaled Hosseini. Amazing character development and the plot is superb. He moulds his characters and then fits them into scenes in a way that even if you hate the bad guy entirely, you do feel sorry for his death.

From the 1960s to 2003, the book concentrates on the tumultuous lives and relationship of two Afghan women, Mariam and Laila. Mariam suffers from the stigma surrounding her birth as she is an illegitimate child, and the abuse that she faces throughout her marriage. Laila is born a generation after Mariam, so is comparatively privileged during her youth until the point their lives converge and she is forced to accept a marriage proposal from Mariam’s husband.

The story illustrates the servant-like treatment of these two women and their subjection to physical and emotional cruelty which was allowed and endorsed. At the same time it tells of their bravery, kindness and self-resilience, their humanness and compassion in the midst of trying to survive in such a brutal and oppressive environment. An extremely uplifting story despite the hostile and negative surroundings of its setting. I was completely engrossed in this book and even felt at times that I was living in Afghanistan. Great work and a must read for all.