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The Observer's choices for the best books of 2009

Sultan Ahmed

Issue date: 12/4/09 Section: Focus
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10. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders by Daniyal Mueenuddin
This wonderfully intricate and entertaining work takes us through lies, sex, and politics in suburban Pakistan. Following the lives of the rich and powerful Harouni family and its employees, Mueenuddin gives us a quirky look at the unknown world of Pakistani aristocracy. The reader witnesses backstabbing, lying, cheating and sexual promiscuity. Mueenuddin's debut work is definitely one that should be picked up by every reader.

9. The Case for God by Karen Armstrong
Long ago, most if not all religions would fundamentally function through their practices to help people deal more effictively with the trials of life and death. With the advent of science, however, religion has become a theory, a series of propositions to be analyzed and debated in logical context. Armstrong argues that the spiritual and ritualistic component of religion has been lost and that people should to work to find it again.

8. Lark and Termite by Jayne Anne Phillips
Phillips has constructed an inspiring tale chronicling a sister, (Lark) and her brother, (Termite) through a difficult phase in their lives. Since his early life, Termite has been perceived by most people as retarded. However, he possesses unusually keen senses and an ability to discern truths that even the most sophisticated minds cannot. Lark realizes this unique ability that her brother possesses, and this becomes the basis for a relationship that is unbreakable. Although a little sappy at times, this book is still worth reading.

7. The Post-American World by Fareed Zakaria
Zakaria continues to be his usual prolific self by cranking out yet another well -constructed political analysis. In this latest work, Zakaria outlines a hypothetical world where America is no longer a major world player. His hypothetical world not only points out the large presence of the United States in the operations of the world but also what the near future, with the rise of powers such as China and Japan, could potentially hold.
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In This Issue

Cross Country

  • Women finish 15th in nation; Simpson has best finish in university history


  • A conversation with Christina Mastrangelo
  • CWRU students among thousands at SOA protest
  • CWRU's Great Lakes Energy Institute honored as "Center of Excellence"
  • Relay for Life 2010 kicks off with recruitment fair
  • Smart holiday spending tips
  • USG Minutes

Spartan Spotlight

  • Spartan Spotlight: Reid Anderson

Sex and Dating

  • Are you tired?


  • All-American, UAA honorees back
  • Building starts on Mather Park
  • Dukes, Criss keep grapplers strong in the middle
  • For Spartans, Allegheny is splitsville
  • Revolving door is no good for the Browns
  • So far, it's been so good for women's basketball


  • Early Ending: Spartans eliminated from playoffs by Trine University

Fun Page

  • Combo Scramble Solution
  • Crossword Solution
  • Sudoku Solutions

Worst Case Scenario

  • Reading days and salad days


  • Column on smoking misinformed
  • Copenhagen summit may not be effective
  • Divisive politics dilute meaningful discourse
  • Editorial: Semester grades
  • Junior year abroad - wait, a whole year?
  • Take some time to earn your coal
  • What are your plans for winter break?


  • Director Peter Jackson discusses film adaptation of The Lovely Bones
  • M.U.S.I.C. assembles talented group of musicians for 24-hour recital
  • Surviving the home stretch
  • The Buzz
  • The Observer's choices for the best books of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best films of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best music of 2009
  • The Observer's choices for the best video games of 2009
  • The Spectrum Drag Ball
  • tUnE-yArDs' debut record merges folk music with noise
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