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Monday, February 25, 2013

February's Catch



The first two on February's stack are from Popular Bookstore (my choice for books shopping because of it's permanent 10% discount and occasional 20-30% discount for member~despite the lack of varieties, the bookstore is the most reliable in terms of value for money). The rest are from MPH, Spring, Kuching (if i can help it, i'd rather buy my books from any other MPH store than here). there's something really alarming buying books from people who clearly don't read much.

my favourite bookstore is still Kinokuniya at KLCC and in Borneo, it'd be Times Bookstore at Suria (the only reason i step in Suria KK). lets just say, i was impressed with their sales people. 

what do i expect from sales people in a bookstore?
1. when i ask question, they listen attentively.
2. if they don't get the title/ name of the author i requested, they give me paper and pen to write it on/ they ask me to spell it out.
3. if the said book is not available in their store, they tell/suggest me where can i get it.
4. in their free time, they're busy reading.

the catch:
1. The Magician King by Lev Grossman (Arrow books, 2012) (RM 31.90)
    because: if you have read The Magician you'll understand the meaning of 'under the spell'
 
2. Ampun Tuanku by Zaid Ibrahim (ZI Publications, 2012) (RM49.90)
    because: upcoming PRU13, its exciting to know what this person has to say. bah! seriously, being a Sabahan with limited knowledge of how the monarch works and fit in the current political situation made me bought this.

3. Born To run by Christopher McDougall (Vintage books, 2009) (RM49.90)
    because: i'm starting to run long distance this year.

4. Running Made Easy by Susie Whalley and Lisa Jackson (Collins and Brown, 2008) (RM24.90)

5. Running a Marathon for Dummies by Jason R. Karp (John Wiley & Sons, 2013) (RM59.80)

i'm running my first 10K this Sunday (03/03/2013) Brooks Half Marathon. without proper training and stamina. wish me luck.

Have a good week people!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Crocodylus porosus v Buaya darat

croc in captivity, Sandakan
i finished reading this very informative and interesting book about saltwater crocodiles in Borneo yesterday. its a slim volume, but, because of time constrains, i spent almost 4 days to finish reading it. and i am glad i picked this book and read on. 

i spent a lot of time poring over Borneo Publications books on Flora and also Soil or even general biodiversity of Borneo for my research. but, their animal related books were out of my sight. the publication house published many interesting volumes on natural history of Borneo. and most (if not all) are of scientific nature/ academic background (that tend to be dull and monotonous). 

rest assured, this book by Ritchie and Jong is one of the exception from the above para. written in a narrative, everyday words (with lots of typo~mr editor: i listed down the typo and i caught more than 10), the read is exciting and very informative. i never took any interest in knowing about the term "Bujang Senang" before, but, i do now. the story of man-eating crocs is insanely interesting. my colleagues are enduring my insistent sharing over breakfast. poor them.

addendum:
i realized i was a little over the top with my sharing after i shared it with the senior class in my last class with them before they went for their CNY holidays. some of the boys at the back noisily commented, apa kaitan croc ya dengan topik miss?. brazen, i said, oi.. buaya.. the class suddenly came alive with catcalls and teasing. nah.. kawu, buaya darat..poor boy. i teach them health system research, and i was trying to convince them that reading a new material, not necessarily connected with our main field can be a surprising new facts, new knowledge to us.

oh! i found the publication house website featuring this book. go there for the book's brief. and their other books too.

pic: nhp.com
and no, i wont tempt myself to write about buaya darat. after reading this book, the term is a little awkward for me to use . according to the definition given by this website: buaya darat = lelaki yang selalu memperdaya perempuan. i think, crocs made it very clear to us of their intention, we court the risk when we invade their territory. maybe there's the similarity hits, buaya darat's intention usually can be seen, but, we dare  to court risk, courting.

i will update this post with pictures and more ramblings. DONE!

until then, have a good weekend people!
Happy Chinese New Year to those who celebrate and Happy Holidays to all.

p/s i had a very sumptuous and delicious CNY dinner over at Dy's aunty. thanks aunty Julia! and booo to  PSY performance in Penang (or, boo to that certain political party). now, that's a laughingstock.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Swimming Home

pic by Amazon.co.uk
By nightfall of Friday (feb, 1st), i'd done reading this book. i struggled reading it. i dont like all the characters. Especially Kitty and Mitchell. and the theme: the power of the unspoken, hits home, bulls eye.

During the weekend i reread the book because i cant resist it. reading this book was a whole new experience in reading for me. Remember those mystery/thriller books in our primary school library, the one requires us to choose the next action to do (eg: turn to pg 7 if you want to proceed or go to pg 12 if you want to back off). i love those books! it gives you a sense of being one with the book, a sense any reader should experience with a good book. Deborah Levy gave me that experience in Swimming Home.

The story: a famous poet with his equally famous journalist wife went for a holiday in southern France together with their 14 years old daughter, Nina and their life long friends Laura and her fat husband, Mitchell. Then enter Kitty Finch, a skinny, gorgeous red-head swimming naked in the swimming pool of their villa. somehow, Kitty was invited to stay with them. the next seven days with Kitty is the story in this book. nothing really peculiar in the storyline. But, why did Isabel (the poet's wife) invited Kitty(a stranger) to stay (knowing her husband has weakness with young woman)?. who is Kitty Finch?

if you ever experienced looking at a painting/ photograph/ any art objects and connect (feel a story behind that object), this read is almost similar to that. its like reading a series of painting, interconnected but, fiercely individual. maybe it's just me. maybe my present situation heighten the feel of the theme given.

The power of the unspoken. this theme holds strong throughout the book and i like the grasp, the repetition, the consistency. because, its real. most of us like the guessing games. we assume. we shy away from asking/ telling the truth. instead of facing reality, we make a circle of imaginative comfort around us.

motivated by this book, i point blankly asked a person a very sensitive question (I've been longing to know for weeks) and got a point blank answer. ya, that's why we keep most of the questions to ourselves. we're scared of the answer. the power of the unknown keep most of us afloat. but, if we're honest, barely floating wont help us to swim home.

and going home is a tough business when we don't know where home is. sometimes ago, i found a shelter for me, a place my heart calls to. a place I'm keen to call home. 

i wish all of us, have a home. a place where we swim to, run to, live in. a place we long to be. a place to belong. all else will matter less. 

have a good week people!

p/s: as we search for a place to belong in this world, let us not forget where we truly belong. keep our eyes up to heaven and the promise to be reunited with our father. Keep on rejoicing: Mercy me ~ I can only Imagine

Homeland ridiculous story: 3 mil for PSY performance. He is a joke. no matter how successful he seems to be.  

Friday, February 1, 2013

The Prisoner of Heaven

pic by book smuggler.com
My reading frenzy is on. i have trouble sleeping and variation in my diurnal activity greatly affected. my body protested and viral infection hit me bad, i slept yesterday off. i feel better this morning, still having slight headache (dull, persistent throbs). but, basically fine. and i'm starting on Swimming Home by Deborah Levy.

The Prisoner of Heaven is the third book in the cemetery of forgotten books series. it can be read alone but, better read with book #1 The shadow of the wind and book #2 The Angel's game (a book, so disappointing, i almost forgot its in the series)

so, how do i define a disappointing book?
  1. predictable story line
  2. incoherent narrative
  3. flat climax (ugh!)
  4. wrong facts/terms (ya, fictions need to be believable too)
Based on these definitions, I'd say, The Prisoner of Heaven is safe at 6/10 scale. and yes, i'm done with the series. i am not going to buy the next book (if there's any). Zafon is still a dear author to me. i absolutely love his style of writing. the lucidity of description and magic of his maze like story lines. i'm just tired with the theme of the series: revenge. 
 . 
Reading for pleasure is a heart matter. sinister themes like loneliness and revenge are not good for the soul. unless in the end, we dwell on the lighter sides of the matter instead of the matter itself. 

The only redeeming factor for this book is the jovial and crazy sense of humour of Fermin. 

if you're interested on reading the series, read the first book. its a magical experience. then, the second, and if you're still up to it, come to this The Prisoner of Heaven (it's much more lively than the boggy second, i promise). 

Life is our temporary prison. its up to us how to perceive it. Don't be a prisoner in hell, read, let go. find your own heaven. yes, its possible. its a book away.

have a good weekend people!

p/s: have you check The Lonely Island's YOLO? its super fantastic. not to mention Adam Levine is in it! and for 6 minutes of your life, please spend it watching Walt Disney's Paperman. it's dead romantic.
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