Ordinary Girls + Silent Invasion

As always, I buy more than I can ever read.

Currently halfway through Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz. I’m enjoying the book, and it is the kind that could be read in one setting. This would make a good movie, except not a movie that the world wants to see. They do, but they would refuse. Not every movie is a slumdog millionaire. But this, is worthy of anyone’s time. We tend to forget them. We tend to ignore them. We tend to overlook their cries for help.

This Covid-19 pandemic has also given me much free time to connect with friends around the world. I was chatting with AL, a close friend of mine who was formerly a Chinese citizen. He’s now downunder and really making it in life and he’s the kind of model immigrant that any country would like to make him theirs. I’m not exaggerating.

So we were chatting about how scary XJP is, and skipped the dumb part about Trump on purpose. After all, what’s the point, wasting our time talking about Trump? Long story short, he was telling me that he just read Silent Invasion by Clive Hamilton and that I should be reading it now. And I told him it’s been on my TBR pile since it was released but haven’t really gotten to it just yet.

Halfway through our “XJP is the scariest CCP leader in history” chat, I bought it. $9.99, bearable. Bearable because I spend so much on books that every single cent counts when it comes to books.

Looking forward to finishing these two before our lockdown ends on 28th April 2020. I don’t see this as a long way to go. Because the pandemic is no joke…

This is it. Isolate. Read more.

Read: Boy Erased

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

I didn’t know this was turned to a movie prior to reading it. Didn’t know nothing about Nicole Kidman. Nothing. Which is a good thing because everything was left to imagination and getting right into the characters themselves.

There were many insightful quotes. I wouldn’t know where to begin. I’ll try to post some of my favorite quotes another day since I don’t have my Kindle with me and I’m too lazy to check on my synced notes on Amazon or Goodreads.

Of course, highly recommended. I could resonate with the author especially on the religion bit. I spent the bulk of my teenaged years in a Baptist church. The church, youth fellowship and everything else was perfect. There wasn’t anything superficial nor hypocritical about it. Put that aside, the whole idea of Christianity and religion and how it represents themselves to determine our sexuality is beyond my reach.

That is all. Be who you want to be. Be who you really are.

Tomorrow I’m facing an uphill battle. It’s the end of an era. And I’ll be moving on to something even more challenging, and that – is my destiny.

Currently Reading: The Girls Who Went Away

The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades before Roe v Wade by Ann Fessler

This is one of the books that should be made compulsory reading for anyone who’s able to procreate.

I am at chapter 4, and naively hoping to come across interview subjects from the opposite gender. I know it’s likely impossible, but it would be nice to hear from them. How they felt after their girlfriend were disappeared, what they took and carried with them to the Marine Corps – and some, the Vietnam War – after their families told them they are never to marry the girl they impregnated and love, how they felt all these decades knowing they have a daughter or a son out there.

But I know it’s not gonna happen. I’ll make do with the women’s testimonials. It’s tragic enough.

Read: Mercury

Mercury: An Intimate Biography of Freddie Mercury by Lesley-Ann Jones

I read this before watching the movie. The movie could only cover this much, plus there are tens other biographies of the late Freddie Mercury. I decided to go with this because it’s written by a journalist – someone who was actually there, having bore witness to, and living it up during one of the greatest decades of music production.

To each their own. Love prevails. 5 stars.

Read: Men We Reaped; Gypsy Boy

Men We Reaped

Worst part of the book? I think it’s about the Chinese girl trying not to get bullied and hence chose to hate on blacks so that she could “be” left alone by the whites – by hating on the blacks. It’s disgusting, having to publicly express hatred toward another race in order to survive in a f*cking school. A f*cking school. Only in America? Don’t think so. I didn’t go to school with kids from other races until my teens. Even then, they were considered ‘exotic’ because there were so few of them. We actually wanted to make friends with them, because their culture is different, intriguing, something we don’t get to experience probably because our country’s school system is so segregated it’s f*cking ridiculous.

Gypsy Boy

Before reading this book, I never had to have an opinion about their way of life, their culture. After all, I live in Asia. There are no Gypsies here. While I’m aware of how certain people hate them (why, what for), I never dug deeper beyond the stereotypical “all Gypsies are thieves and uncouth” line. I did have first-hand conversations with Europeans (friends, ex-colleagues) about the Romany people, but they weren’t white supremacists so there weren’t much to hate on beyond those lines. So I’ve finished the book – Still no opinion. It’s their way of life. To the normal society, they are in dire need to change or “be changed” (i.e. continue to be discriminated against until their culture vanishes altogether). It’s sad, it’s tragic. It’s no different than oppressed little girls forced to go through FGM or marry old men at the tender age of 5.

Read: Sandstorm

Sandstorm by Lindsey Hilsum

This post has been sitting in my drafts folder since March 6th. It’s a good time to clear my drafts this morning, once and for all. Yeah, wishful thinking.

This is my first full-on book on Libya. I came into this book with limited understanding on the average-sized African nation, having read quite a fair bit of Time and Newsweek magazines (shhh, please just leave the word ‘biased’ out of this) in the 80s and 90s as a kid. I wasn’t even a teen yet when I started skimming and half-reading those magazines.

I vividly recall Gaddafi gracing (I was a kid, what much do I know) the covers of those magazines, in his flamboyant robe and headgear. I even thought he was rather charming, as he was sometimes clad in his camouflage gear complete with a pair of black Docs (I assumed it was Docs since he did have quite a lot of contact with Marie Colvin, who was living in the UK then. Who knows. He might have gotten a pair of Docs just to impress her, am I not right?).

I wouldn’t be able to say anything substantial nor smart about this book (I don’t usually do so on this blog, anyway), because I have always considered myself a rookie in world affairs despite having read quite a number of books on current affairs and dictatorial regimes.

I always come away from these books with a fresh new understanding on how certain countries function. The way they function isn’t always the way a ‘normal’ country functions. There’s developed countries, developing countries, and then, there’s countries that are no where close to the ‘developing countries’ line, as dictated by certain, ‘accredited world governing bodies’. Libya is one of it. It is still, in 2019, a new country, though people elsewhere around the world are expecting it to be built into Rome in 8 years (Gaddafi was ousted from power in the wake of the fall of Tripoli to the rebel forces on 20 August 2011).

If you have another nonfiction, good read on Libya, please send them my way. Thank you. Also, preferably first-person accounts.

Thursday, April 11th, 2019.

Read: We’re Going to Need More Wine

We’re Going to Need More Wine by Gabrielle Union

Summary:

  1. Reading “Between The World and Me” by Ta-Nehisi Coates before this helped, a, lot.
  2. I wish there were like, 22 more chapters, at least.

That is all. Gave it a 5 on Goodreads.