Some book treasures from my childhood
2/02/2012 7:46:17 PM
 

 

We moved into our new house last year and I was finally able to open boxes of my books that had been living in storage for three years. Of every possession I own, my books are my most treasured. I've been a book collector ever since I was little and I can remember the story behind buying/inheriting/being given almost most of my books. I especially love sorting through the books of my childhood and teenage years. I've found all my Roald Dahl books, my name written in my hesitant writing. I had an odd habit of writing my address in all my books. I mean, really, where was the book going to go?  

Also, I wrote my name as Randa Fattah. I think I was under the misunderstanding that Abdel was a middle name, rather than my surname being hyphenated!

In my worn copy of George's Marvellous Medicine the inside jacket reads, in texta, 'RANDA DON'T TOUCH GRADE 3'. Hmm. Calm down....

Then there is my collection of Babysitter's Club and Sweet Valley HIgh which I read religiously as a young girl. I remember every second Sunday my father would take me to Caribean Gardens markets in Melbourne- about an hour's drive from our house- to update my book collection at the same second-hand book stall (there would be absolute panic if we arrived and the stall wasn't there). I vividly remember the anticipation on the drive to the markets: would there be a new book to add to the series? We would essentially arrive, head straight to the stall, buy the books and leave. In and out in fifteen minutes. An hour's drive each way.

Now that's what you call parental love. Because I can't think of a greater gift to give to your child than a love of reading.

In my collection of books are rows of English classical literature. The Austen, Bronte, Hardy et al rows of books. Want a nerdy confession? My copies of Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre and Tess of the D'urbevilles all smell of Calvin Klein's Eternity perfume. Want to know why? Because I loved these books so much I used the cards you get at Myer's perfume department as bookmarks so my precious books would smell nice. Woah! Can you get more dorky than that? And guess what? I've still got the 'perfumed' bookmarks and I'm holding onto them tightly! 

I went through lots of different reading phases. During my Babysitter's Club phase, I'd hang posters and pictures of the Babysitter's Club all over my bedroom. 

I was obsessed with RL Stine and Christopher Pike when I was in Year Eight and read those horror books voraciously. 

Then there was Virginia Andrews who I read behind my mother's back (I hardly think she'd believe Flowers in the Attics was about horticulture and a heritage property). The funny thing is how I mixed books like 'Dawn' with classics like 'The Quiet American'. But that's the beauty of reading. Absorbing and embracing as varied and eclectic a collection of voices and narratives as possible. I love reading chick lit (although only in small doses) and literature. Children's books, YA and adult fiction. Autobiography and fantasy. And that range of genres is reflected in my very diverse collection of books.

I found this big book of fairy tales which I haven't opened for more than twenty years.

I remember exactly where I got it from. I was in upper primary school, probably grade 5, at Melbourne's Vic Markets with my parents. As we walked back to our car I spotted a giant book containing stories by Hans Christen Anderson, the Arabian nights, Grimms fairytales and so on. My parents never said no to a request for a book. And now I'm reading it to my daughter.  

Speaking of my daughter she asked why this Enid Blyton book (The Book of Brownies) has 'property of Randa' written inside. 

How do I tell a five year old her mother had, well, a slightly over-the-top obsession with her books?

Easy. Tell her with pride and hope she picks up the same love and passion as her mum! 

 
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20/06/2013 7:30:21 AM

I love your books. Even though they are based upon a particular culture: muslim but I believe Muslim and any other religion has the same basic such as getting an education. I just read your book "Does my head look big in this?" I love this dialogue on page 6: "But at the same time my passion and conviction for Islam are bursting iinside m and I want to prove myself that I'm strong enough to wear a badge of my faith." In that your words have so much power eventhough they are less
 
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17/06/2013 12:36:07 PM

I LOVE ur books!!<3 Keep up the good work. I especially love Does My Head Look Big in This?, Where the Streets Had a Name, and Ten Things I Hate About Me!!!!!
 
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Scott Hastings  says:
27/05/2013 8:18:14 PM

I could not help myself to search you out and make comment on your piece in today SMH. Other than anything else your comments in relation to the Bible that points about how it too has verses of violence are scandalous. That is an easy argument to make but the difference is, Randa, no one "today" is using these verses to inflict their will against others in society. Unlike your Muslim fundamentalist friends. And I say friends because I must say it appears that way. If you can use a major paper and comment to justify the obvious bloody attack against innocent people you are, for mine, just as bad as the perpetrators. If you wish to advocate the killing of people both Muslim and non Muslim people because they do not follow the same beliefs as the likes of those whom practice the likes of Wahhabism, you lady are just as bad as them! s.hastings@optusnet.com.au
 
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Fatima wardak  says:
10/04/2013 11:54:41 AM

Hi randa I love you so much please reply remember me in Australia international academy you came I wrote the speech you hugged me it was in 2012 now I am reading the friendship matchmaker i am up to chapter 14 I think not to sure but please remember and please do reply your one of my favourite author I have 2 favourite author one is you and the other one is Sally rippin. I really love you please remember me and reply I am in year 5 remember you brought your son to aia and you were talking about the book and you showed us the trailer and it was your 3 rd day in Melbourne and the day before you came here you drive past please remember.please remember and please reply I love you very much. And when you hugged it meant a lot I love u I hope you come soon and again and I hope by the time you will come I am not in year 6 please if I am came to the high school please I love u so much. I'm the same one that wrote this please remeber
 
Fatima wardak  says:
10/04/2013 11:51:29 AM

Sorry randa my name isn't lollies it rights that my name is lollies I wrote 2012 to my comments is there please reply.
 
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10/04/2013 11:51:26 AM

Sorry randa my name isn't lollies it rights that my name is lollies I wrote 2012 to my comments is there please reply.
 
Lollies wardak  says:
10/04/2013 11:49:30 AM

Hi randa, My name is fatima and I'm in AIA the school you use to go to and I'm in year 6 right now and in year 5 I remember I wrote a speech and you hugged me! You just made my day I wish you remember who I am please remeber😊😊
 
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15/03/2013 11:44:52 AM

Doing a book report on the friendship matchmaker right now!
 
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10/03/2013 5:21:58 PM

That's real cute. > < (:!!!
 
Me ;) ( otherwise known as وند)  says:
23/02/2013 6:49:39 AM

You are by far the best author ever!!! You know what hasn't been done and do it yourself. No matter how young I am, I have read alot of books and I know a great author when I see one. Not only do you write with purpose, your books deal with the problems in life that most writers would not want to face due to its Complexity and people's strong opinions. That's why I love you. Keep on going!!!
 
Me ;)  says:
21/02/2013 11:10:17 AM

Mashallah alaech!! I am only 12, and I've read both does my head look big in this? And ten things I hate about me. I never thought that I'd find a book I could relate to in such an extent.....the first ' book' I wrote was in 2nd grade...it was 6 pages long but I was very proud of it :) I am an extreme bookworm( my parents worry about how much I read)..... I hope I have the ability to Iive up to such a great writer like you =D
 
Jenna   says:
9/02/2013 6:09:50 AM

I am in australia remeber when we met at the International academy. you said I was your biggest fan and u hold up the book the friendship matchmaker. and u thanked me there.I had a awsome time there meeting u.your my FAVOURITE author!!!!! Keep up the fantastic
 
Jenna  says:
9/02/2013 5:58:45 AM

I love your books.I'm your biggest fan. Hope you write back soon.
 
Jenna  says:
9/02/2013 5:56:20 AM

I love the book the friendship matchmaker. I'm doing that book for my book report.
 
bee  says:
5/02/2013 11:49:02 AM

i just finished reading the friendship matchmaker and it was awsome!!!!!!!
 
Amina kilani  says:
20/01/2013 11:57:33 PM

Hi randa,i just finished reading the friendship matchmaker goes under cover! I loved it! I have does my head look big in this and where the streets had a name also.I LOOOVVE your books!! Oh and i think you know my dad,ahmed kilani? I hope to hear from you soon,from your best fan,amina.
 
Elva  says:
6/01/2013 10:29:27 AM

Hi Randa, I love the blog!!,but I especially love your book 'Does my head look big in this?' So far its the only book I have read from all of your books but I am looking forward to reading Friendship Match Maker book..... I just finished the 'Does My Head Look Big In This?' and to see if there was a sequel for 'Does My Head Look Big In This?' but there isn't, I am studying your book for Year Nine at Clonard in Geelong Its a really good book Randa!!!.... I really like your books how it shows the perspective of Different religions, Cultures,and other things keep up the good writing.... because I can see your getting quite a lot of fans !! :)
 
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Is that really all there is to it because that'd be flabbergsating.
 
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Fatima  says:
8/09/2012 6:00:01 PM

Please reply
 
Fatima  says:
8/09/2012 1:27:00 PM

Hi randa I love you so much please reply remember me in Australia international academy you came I wrote the speech you hugged me it was in 2012 now I am reading the friendship matchmaker i am up to chapter 14 I think not to sure but please remember and please do reply your one of my favourite author I have 2 favourite author one is you and the other one is Sally rippin. I really love you please remember me and reply I am in year 5 remember you brought your son to aia and you were talking about the book and you showed us the trailer and it was your 3 rd day in Melbourne and the day before you came here you drive past please remember.please remember and please reply I love you very much. And when you hugged it meant a lot I love u I hope you come soon and again and I hope by the time you will come I am not in year 6 please if I am came to the high school please I love u so much
 
NEK  says:
1/09/2012 11:17:11 AM

i HAVE THE FRIEND SHIP MATCH MAKER BOOK AND i HOPE IT HELPS ME BECAUSE I GET TEASED AND IN TROUBLE AT SCHOOL FROM MY TEACHER WHO IS NEW AND PEPOLE SAY I AM DOING THINGS WRONG
 
Fatima   says:
31/08/2012 8:30:36 PM

I love your books I thnk you remember me I wrote the Speach when u came to australian international academy I am a a big fan of you and you gave me a hug on stage remember? I love so much I wish you come again
 
Haajira Dhooma  says:
23/08/2012 12:15:24 AM

i absolutely love your books! u are a genius
 
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27/06/2012 10:30:47 AM

The Friendship Matchmaker
 
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Book Worm  says:
8/06/2012 11:05:37 PM

I love your personality and stories and i absolutely adore your book the friendship matchmaker.I just found out all about you and your books by a simple bookmark i read continuously over and over again cause believe it or not I had a wide interest in it. I also have perfume bookmarks.I think we are very alike. :)
 
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30/05/2012 12:55:01 AM

comment4,
 
salam2345  says:
17/05/2012 4:13:20 PM

i love your books and when i read when the streets had a name i was touched because wallah its a really good insight on palestians lives.
 
salam2345  says:
17/05/2012 4:13:18 PM

i love your books and when i read when the streets had a name i was touched because wallah its a really good insight on palestians lives.
 
sharif wehbe  says:
10/05/2012 8:31:01 PM

what was your Favorited book
 
Yusuf Rana  says:
7/05/2012 8:17:51 PM

are you having lara and emily in it
 
fahmida tanzim  says:
29/04/2012 3:02:46 AM

Brilliant books and great blog.
 
yemeni  says:
11/04/2012 1:54:16 PM

First I want to say that you are AmAZinG writer wallah I read Soooo many books in my life but I never found interesting. Books like yours ...especially does my head look big in this Trust me all my arabic friends and I are proud of you ... You made BIG difference for arabs in americans by your beautiful books.. Keep it up we need more from U!:)
 
yemeni  says:
11/04/2012 1:53:18 PM

First I want to say that you are AmAZinG writer wallah I read Soooo many books in my life but I never found interesting. Books like yours ...especially does my head look big in this Trust me all my arabic friends and I are proud of you ... You made BIG difference for arabs in americans by your beautiful books.. Keep it up we need more from U!:)
 
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4/04/2012 6:08:46 AM

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Jameela  says:
2/04/2012 3:56:31 AM

Hey, i'm a muslim and i wear the hijab to school :D i love you books, i'm a bit slow, but i've finished 'Does my head look big in this?' It was amazing and going to read 'Ten things i hate about me' As it was name after me!!! Jamilah, Jameela!! Same thing rite? Thank u, ur are my rolemodel !!!!
 
aqsa  says:
1/04/2012 2:24:59 AM

i love your books i only read 10 things i hate about me and im in love with you your books and other books
 
Samantha  says:
31/03/2012 4:10:51 PM

Really, Nawal... thats really funny.lol i wanna read that book now cuz i cry at everything
 
nawal  says:
31/03/2012 9:23:05 AM

when i read when the streets had a name i cried :((
 
nawal  says:
31/03/2012 9:21:19 AM

:)
 
Sammy  says:
30/03/2012 12:25:33 PM

OOOooooOOOoo cool!
 
Samantha  says:
30/03/2012 8:31:47 AM

Ahsia, how is she trying to act like a Christian? This website is a place to admire Randa, not say mean things about her, so maybe you should look in the mirror and think about yourself other than trying to say mean things about others. Judge yourself first then go along judging others.
 
ahsia  says:
24/03/2012 10:43:15 PM

If you r a muslim then why are u tring to act like a christian. it just doesnt make sense. FYI
 
ahsia   says:
24/03/2012 10:40:15 PM

I really love your book and why are you putting yourself in your own book as the main character.
 
Liv  says:
19/03/2012 8:08:54 PM

i love 5 year olds and just accept who they are dont worry if they wont read just accept it!!!
 
Laura  says:
19/03/2012 8:07:31 PM

just try it and it might just work
 
Jasmine  says:
14/03/2012 12:22:56 PM

I really REALLY love your book: Does My Head Look Big In This. I know i am still only 11, but I love how Amal has the guts to do what she did with her Hijab. To me, she is a really good romodel. I really like how she stuck up for what she believed in, (AKA her faith.) I really want to be as strong as her someday
 
eda  says:
25/02/2012 3:10:20 PM

i really adore u randa!!
 
emily  says:
12/02/2012 9:07:03 PM

as a follow up to the my comment, i do want to get my own books, and i did sometimes get book, for birthday presents from people who are not in my imediate family and all that whatnot
 
emily  says:
12/02/2012 9:04:16 PM

i never really bought my ovn books, i read through the books i have so quickly, me parents never saw the point in buying them. also, we are living in a non-english counrtym, do i didn't really understand he books we did find as they were in frech.
 
Fatima  says:
6/02/2012 12:50:16 AM

Randa abdelfatah is like me in so many ways i love reading all kinds of books and i have collected most of them by the way why doesnt randa wear the hijab
 

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