Monday, October 31, 2011

BOOK: City of Thieves by David Benioff

i tried perming my hair once and was chided by my younger brother for looking so 'timorese'. but, i really love curly, fluffy hair. ikal-ikal gitu. however, i stick to my straight hair (after a year of failed permed hair). i dont know how others did it, but, i refuse to spend hours to tidy up my hair. so, i'll just go with my straight, no fuss hair. it's not glamorous, but, its certainly not disastrous either.

NOT Eric Bana. David Benioff

(now, you got what i mean by loving curly locks eh?--- look at his hair! YOU'd die to run your fingers to that lovely head).

two innocent prisoners, Lev and Kolya were thrown together in a mission to find a dozen of eggs. sound easy? this was in 1941, in the coldest winter in history, in a starving city under siege. they were given 6 days to fulfill the mission or they'll die. they scoured St Petersburg for eggs and chicken. after failing to get any (they did get a rooster), they traveled out of Piter. they got involved with the Partisan and held by German soldiers after trying to save some prostitutes. their salvation came when a senior officer agreed to play chess with Lev (he's very good with chess). thrown together in the deal is a dozen of eggs if they win. they killed that senior officer and Lev managed to runaway with the dozen of eggs and sent it to the colonel just in time. Kolya died protecting Lev. the eggs are for the colonel's daughter's wedding.


Monday, October 17, 2011

BOOK: For All The Tea in China by Sarah Rose

For All The Tea in China

Earlier this year, i made a list of 'must do' this year. #12. read more of culture and history. this is the first 'history' book i managed to read so far.

the first book from BBW book sale i finished reading. it's a petite volume, so it took just a few hours to get done. Jane took picture of this book with my other treasures from the book sale. click to her blog.

this book caught my eyes not because it's a history book. its the plant's outline that hooked me. (if you ever cross-stitched, you'll know what i mean), and i did amateurish plant sketches when i was younger and eager to study them (theses in environmental science with a chapter of plant taxonomy). and i am a tea drinker. how can i resist a book with acaption on it's cover: how England stole the world's favorite drink and changed history?

England accumulated it's wealth in the East by East India Company's monopoly over opium and tea trade. however, the company had no influence over tea price, as the best tea were produced far inland of China. Chinese are mischievous and intelligent businessmen, and they controlled the price of their produce. thus, began the dream of the Company to produce their own tea. but that require seedlings and technology of making tea, which was known only to the grower in the remote places of China. and the greatest quest of all, they need to do it in big scale with utmost secrecy. came Robert Fortune, a passionate horticulturist, great spy and thief, a brave adventurer. he's the man responsible for stealing seedlings and transporting them safely to Saharanpur, northern India for planting. he also stole the skill of tea-making by transporting experts from China to India.

as always, my synopsis is oversimplified. this is a great read with no footnote of references to distract from straight reading (eventhough, i have to admit, i love footnotes). and the author made this book as simple as possible by giving general basic information before probing deeper into each subjects.

BTW, i drink Lipton. Polos*

*Polos = Just tea. no sugar, cream or lime added. (indo lingo, teh polos)

Sunday, October 16, 2011


updates on the killing attempt at BBW.

it was glorious and i'm not exaggerating. the turnout was unbelievable, people actually bought books by boxes, and who says Malaysian doesnt read?. oh.. ok, buying books and actually reading it is entirely different matter. but, still... my point is, if the price is okey, people might consider buying more books and eventually read it.

i almost cried looking at so many youngsters eager faces, considering and reconsidering on which book to haul, and i totally get them (i was them, once, decade ago-sigh!-tight budget) . i even overheard some of them negotiated with each other to assign who bought which books for book swap later on.

i spent a little over RM500. with more than 60 books, half of it hard covers, i'd call that a real bargain. (i usually got 4 paperbacks and maybe a couple of magazines for Rm150-my monthly allocation for books). my only regret is the Nora Roberts' purchase, i was always reluctant to get acquainted with her works. but, for RM8 per book, i thought, i have nothing to lose. after all, i have a sister who read cerita pontianak/ hantu jerangkung, i'll just dump all those books to her. so, congratulation Pong, you have your Christmas present a bit early this year.

thank you: Jen, for the ride and help hauling the books (i'll bring more homemade jeruk to you. muahahaha..). BookXcess, for the sale and BX's helpful staff, thank you guys.

to those who missed the BBW, your loss.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I am heading to that bad wolf galore.. muahahha.. and i feel like a vampire smelling blood. and i hope i can bully somebody to drive me up to do the killing. and to pacify me when the taking get too serious.

For more info and direction to this place, click on this link

the magician. Lev Grossman

I am discovering the magic of Lev Grossman. the handsomest and smartest author i've discovered so far. well, second smartest actually, my genius author is still Stephen Jay Gould. i'll post a review on Lev's book, The Magicians sometime next week.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

in no particular order

we managed to handle the mid-term exam okey-ly.
18/46 of my diploma kids failed chemistry. devastating.

Steve Jobs died.

PM abolished ISA and proposed a more humane acts (?)

that loud Chinese guy keep on hitting on Lim Guan Eng (i started to feel really sorry for him-Lim)

i bought 'Ainuddin Pejuang Melayu Degil' and think its a very well written book. thoroughly researched.

Alternately reading Straub's a dark matter and Grossman's The Magicians. not really wise, as i tend to mixed them up. i'm experimenting on how my mind compartmentalizes. Next, George Eliot's Silas and Poe's collection of short stories.

The mere mention of Bosou (pekasam) mengecurkan air liur. its foolish to even think of satiation. mana mau cari owh?

Budget announcement is due this afternoon.

i read the ETP's exec summary after watching 'Eat that peanut' video. somehow it shifted my mind to believe, the transformation is actually achievable. realistically. we, shall make this work.

i should be writing a book review/ synopsis. instead this list for a blog post. pathetic. i know.