TBR: Midnight in Chernobyl

Available for pre-order. This is so hard to resist. Too hard. There are few other accounts but somehow all these years I waited. Others had great reviews, but maybe I was busy with other books then to notice.

Chernobyl happened when I was old enough to grasp hard news. The theories and conspiracy theories. Years and years after. I never got around to reading one single book about it, and here it is, in all its tragicity, right when I’m no longer busy with building a career and thus have time to read.

Here’s a link to the author, who’s a journalist (my weakness and passion point). I have a feeling I’m gonna be adding it to my read pile soon…

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.

Currently Reading: Gypsy Boy

Gypsy Boy: My Life in the Secret World of the Romany Gypsies by Mikey Walsh

Hard to put down. But as always I’ll take at least a week to finish it since I read few books at time and only read an average of two to three hours a day, before bedtime.

I have two books about and written by Gypsies, the other one’s Bury Me Standing (#125 here), which I started two years ago but somehow lost interest less than halfway through. Not this one.

Not much to write for now, but a gentle reminder to everyone: Hate comes from ignorance, intolerance. And it comes and goes both ways.

Still Reading: Hiroshima

Hiroshima by John Hersey

My post on Litsy this morning:

I know I take too long to finish a real book. But who’s keeping score but yourself? Just keep reading.

In other books, I’m 80% through with Mercury. I accidentally stumbled on a one star review, which had fellow one star reviews posting as ‘replies‘, on Goodreads. The women all agreed it was trash.

Well, the author has more than 20+ years as a journalist for a national newspaper. And actually spent real time with Freddie Mercury. If the book is trash – then the person who’s reading it must be trash if not trashier. Because all they see is trash.

p.s. See image below. Ladies, if you think you can write a better book, by all means, go ahead. Just make sure you never publish it. Because it 👏 is 👏 gon 👏 na 👏 suck.

(from my Fire 7)

p.s. Yeah. I’m Gina. Today.

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, preferable first-person accounts.

Thursday, April 11th, 2019.