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Thursday, December 17, 2015

Books by Nick Hornby

OOOOO.. boy. 

I'm on a marathon read of Nick Hornby's books. So far, i'd read 4 of his books and i have 2 more book at home to read. i got the books from my last BBW purchase. Yeah! i went to BBW 2015, the first day and got 42 books. I tried to buy female authors this time (because books at home are mostly written by male authors), but, somehow i got hooked to these Hornby's. 

I absolutely love Nick Hornby's.

I love the witty, funny and brazen voices of characters in his books. simple daily issues written in a deep sobering thoughts. of the 4 books i'd read, i think, i like best: A Long Way Down. It's a story of 4 suicidal people who ended up being not so-suicidal after their meet up at the Topper tower. I like the way the author give different (authentic) voice for each of the characters.

Nick somehow reminded me of Ika Natassa (Indonesian writer) style of writing. I really like Ika's books.

Apparently, there's a movie for A Long Way Down. So, if you're not into reading, maybe you can try watching the movie. Thank you Google for providing the pic. yeah.. there's YT trailer too.  Pierce Brosnan yaw!


I went to the Philippines last week for a week-long vacation and was awe-struck by the availability of books and good magazines at  a very reasonable  price there. I bought 2 books (95 Peso each - thats about RM9?, its a hardcover btw, and pre-loved of course, but its look okey) and a NG magazine on natural remedies. (I flew Cebu Pacific and didn't buy luggage allowance, therefore the minimal amount of books buy). 

Now, time to read another 2 books by Hornby and Stephen King's very thick book; Under The Dome. That's my TBR for the Christmas holiday.

Cheers! Happy Holiday!

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Little Black Dress

I remember making a statement not so long ago, that i can't stand reading a chick lit and specifically mentioned Little Black Dress books. Oh.. well, i need to take those words back.

After an intense couple of weeks doing exam related works with no weekends (yes, the poor kids sat for their exam on weekend too!), its a huge relief to just lounge off on a weekend with books. I read 2 black dress books on Saturday and spent the whole of Sunday of daydreaming. (ya, that's what you do after reading a black dress-sigh!)

Not another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson
Sunnyside Blues by Mary Carter 


I enjoyed both books. But, if i had to point which is better, its the 'not another bad date', maybe because i identified myself with the heroine in that story better than the other. Ya, i secretly wanted my hair to be curly--i tried perming my hair once. it was disastrous. my brother asked me "kenapa kau mau rambut macam om?" (why you wanted a timorese hair?). yes. racist him!

I grew up reading lots of Mills & Boon and Harlequin books (for the lack of options). I guess having read so much of that kind gave me the overdose. desensitized.

Maybe its akin to my dislike for red spinach. There was a year when mom cooked red spinach in every meal at home for months (a community nurse remedy to baby kurang darah). Red spinach and chicken liver! grossest food ever. I refused to eat red spinach and chicken liver until recently. Red spinach and chicken liver are actually okey-ish food. 

Me coming back to that Little Black Dress book is something like that. They're certainly not  my favourite, but, on a lazy, rainy Saturday morning, i'd settle for one. if only to take off my mind from the bleak reality. I know, life is pathetic.

Anyhow, Cheers! it's December. 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Backcast

backcast
ˈbakkɑːst/
noun
  1. 1.
    a backward swing of a fishing line preparatory to casting.
verb
  1. 1.
    make a backcast.

Backcast by Lou Ureneck

Saya menghabiskan masa lebih kurang 3 hari untuk membaca buku ini. kalau dihitung dengan jam, mungkin dalam 5-7 jam. buku ini tidak sukar dibaca. Ayatnya mudah, perkataan yang digunakan juga biasa-biasa. Ceritanya juga sederhana; seorang ayah yang suka memancing bersama anak bujangnya mengembara ke kawasan baru (Alaska) untuk memancing (hobi mereka).

Penceritaan buku ini jadi menarik sebab ini adalah biografi bapa tersebut (Lou Ureneck) yang melalui perceraian selepas lebih 20 tahun berumahtangga dan kesannya pada kerjaya, hidup dan hubungannya dengan anak-anak. Terutama anak lelakinya, Adam.

Untuk memahami keadaannya, pembaca dibawa kembali ke zaman silamnya melalui teknik penceritaan 'flashback' yang dilakukan bersahaja. Bagaimana dia dibesarkan oleh seorang ibu tunggal, isu beliau dengan ayah kandung dan ayah tirinya. Bagaimana dia mula-mula jatuh cinta dengan hobi memancing dan kesukannya pada alam semulajadi. Dia ceritakan berselang seli dengan cerita 10 hari mereka di Alaska.

Saya suka penceritaan buku ini sebab, si penulis tidak berusaha keras untuk memenangkan diri beliau. Dalam keseluruhan cerita ini, beliau berusaha untuk jujur. Walaupun ada bahagian/ isu yang saya kurang setuju dengan pendapatnya. buku ini memberikan perspektif lain kepada saya terhadap perceraian, nilai seorang bapa dan hubungan kekeluargaan.

Saya dibesarkan oleh bapa yang bukan setakat sayang, tapi akan melakukan banyak perkara yang sukar (kalau saya mahu) demi saya (dan adik-beradik lain). Saya tidak akan pernah ragu pasal kasih sayang dan dedikasi beliau. Mungkin sebab saya terbiasa dengan fierce love seperti itu, saya jadi kaget bila kawan sekolah saya cakap "kau senanglah, bapa kau sayang kamu". Saya jawab "bapa kau pun sayang kau bah. semua bapa sayang anak dia". Dia jawab "Tidak. bukan macam bapa kau sayang kamurang". Saya di sekolah rendah masa itu.

Jadi, rasanya saya faham tu keinginan si Lou untuk menjadi bapa yang 'sempurna' untuk anak-anaknya. Saya rasa, saya faham juga tu keinginan untuk menjadi diri sendiri dan sukarnya mencari titik keseimbangan untuk memuaskan hati ramai orang yang mengharapkan kita.

Bapa saya tidak sempurna. Dia ada banyak kelemahan dia sendiri sebagai manusia.Tapi, saya bangga dengan dia. Dia tidak pernah berputus asa dan saya rasa, dia berkorban banyak, membelakangkan keinginnya sendiri untuk mempertahankan keluarga yang dia bina. 

Pernah sekali, masa saya umur 8 tahun, ibu bapa saya bergaduh besar. saya tidak ingat pun apa yang mereka gaduhkan. Tapi, saya ingat, gama saya sampai mengugut mahu balik ke kampung keluarganya. Saya bagitahu bapa "kalau bapa sama gama berpisah, saya ikut gama". Dia tanya "kenapa? kau tidak sayang bapa?". Saya jawab "bapa akan faham kalau saya ikut gama, tapi gama tidak akan faham, kalau saya ikut bapa".

Sayang itu begitu. Berat kepada yang mengerti.

No. I don't really get all the fishing jargon in this book (and there's a lot!). I'd tried fishing, it requires lots of patience, which i have in short supply. That, and i hate worms too.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Grace

Grace by Richard Paul Evans
image from: www3.vitrola.com.br

This is the 5th book read for this year. I'm hoping to at least reach 52 book read this year. A book for each week. and to write about the read, if i can. 

Last year was quite disappointing. I lost track of my own reading. I can try tracing, but, i'm too lazy to do that. So, 2014 book read compilation will be void. I'm not going to compile the reads. Lets not dwell on that (depress the hell out of me).

Earlier this year, i went with my good friends for a night stay at Mesilau. I never bothered to go stay there because its only about 1 and a half hour drive from our kampung home. i also based my research at Kinabalu Park (some time at Mesilau Research Center) for more than a year for my postgrad study, that i never really have the urge to 'holiday' at this place. I'm glad i went along with my friends.The place is awesome. Maybe, because i was with good people whom i truly want to be with. The 'feel good' feel lingers to this day, whenever i look up pics taken from the stay.

Good friends are hard to come by. These friends i mentioned are my good friends for more than 10 years (except for DC's brother- i barely knew him) but i have a feeling that he's a good man - a gentleman (i've been around for more than 30 years, and that's a rare occurrence). For me, good friends are those who stayed with you through the years, in your ups and downs, without prejudice. Not exactly latching to you, but, around when you need them.They provide comfort and ease. They are your favourite people. 

Because i have them, i truly believe in the grace of God. How else can i explain having good friends like them if its not the grace of God? because on my own, i don't deserve them. Yes, i don't usually text/ call my friends, they do that to me. I am not the most comfortable of friend you can ask. I am way too opinionated, too frank, too critical. I wonder, how can they stand being with me all these years?

One of my favourite quote in Grace by Richard Paul Evans is:
"Have you ever been in love?"
"I don't know, How do you really know when you're in love?"
"When you don't have to ask"

Grace is a story about a run away girl named Grace. She ran away from her abusive stepfather and found shelter at a shed built by two brothers.The story was narrated by the older brother of the two. The older brother fell in love with Grace and did everything he can do to help her (he's 16 and dirt poor) and you can imagine its a hopeless battle. everything went haywire when Grace's parents filed a report of her missing (alleged kidnap case). In the end, the older brother has to let her go back to her family. Grace fought her emotional battle (being impregnated by her stepfather and being ignored by her mother). Her stepfather killed her in a drunken stupor.   

Grace's life might be very short. but her determination, kindness and love inspired the brothers well into their adult life. 

If you have spare time, you might like to read more about the author Richard Paul Evans. Grace is a fiction book, but, the author's spirit and life are dedicated to help children like her. For me, that change my attitude in reading the book. The book changed my perspective of grace, of God's grace.

Its not what we tried to do that matters. Its when we allow God's grace to flow through us for others that make life so worthwhile. and by doing so, we cannot claim that its our efforts that hold a friendship, a relationship, good deeds and so on. We're able to love others (despite all the shortcomings) by grace.

Its a new year, a new beginning. I know, its going to be an awesome year. Happy New Year.
 
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