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: Hiroshima

I came across this book while reading In Extremis, a book about the life and death of Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum.

I’m reading three other books concurrently, among them:

  • Sandstorm by Lindsey Hilsum
  • (Forgot the title, but it’s about Anne Perry and the murder in 1954)
  • Operation Playboy by Kathryn Bonella

I’m actually used to juggling few books at a time. Some wonder how I do it. Because it’s literally more than two.

I have three reading devices (Kindle basic, Paperwhite, Fire). Then there’s the hard copies of few of the books I’m reading.

So there’s four reads now.

One I read at night (underneath my pillow).

One I read while at the dining table (on the dining table, always).

Two I read when I’m outside in between breaks and other errands (one’s a book while the other is in one of my devices – both are always in my go-bag).

It’s not hard for me to get back into the book provided that it’s sort of under the same surroundings or setting.

At least it works for me.

I don’t have to go back a few pages in order to recall where I was (was I). Just turn the page, look at the previous page or paragraph, and I’m there.

The key, I believe, is to read every, single, day, and night. This helps me to stay ‘on track’ with all these reads.

I don’t know why I had developed this habit, or under what circumstances had this habit came to me. Probably because I have so many books which I want need to read, and also because my daily, mundane, noisy routine has compelled me to read even more so as to make up for all those noise.

How do you read? Whatever it is, be grateful that you can read, able to read. Because it’s beyond a privilege. It’s a blessing.


So far (2019), I’ve managed to finish four books:

  1. I, Who Did Not Die
  2. Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs
  3. The Return by Hisham Matar
  4. Ten Days in a Madhouse by Nellie Bly

Happy reading, everyone!

Read: Small Fry

This just in.

*spoiler alert* Though, I don’t write ‘review-reviews’. I write what I feel. Felt. Am feeling.

I cried toward the final 20% of the book.

Also, I have been sitting on Walter Isaacson’s bio on Steve Jobs since it was published. Now I know why.

It was meant to be sat on.

I’m not an Apple fan. I may have had a MacBook Air, have a MacBook Pro, used an iPhone 4, 5, owned two iPads and own two iPads, plus other Apple stuff; but I’m not a fan. I just buy things that appealed to me, randomly. I don’t idolize Steve Jobs (never cared about Apple launches). Brilliant, but I’d pick Anderson Cooper over him any second. And yeah as if I’d even ever get to do that.

I cried because of Kevin and Dorothy’s kindness. There’s a quote somewhere by someone random who said something along the lines of,

Lisa may one day realize she can never replace her parents, and Kevin and Dorothy can never buy a daughter.

What a stupid thing to say. Really. But you’ve been mentioned in her book so, congratulations, I guess?

The part where Steve’s bio on some corporate website mentioned he has three instead of four children.

The parts where her father keeps saying, or hints, “You need to be part of the family, Lis,” – I’m sorry, but isn’t that some form of gaslighting? The author’s so kind with her words. Probably doesn’t wanna upset her siblings, especially the youngest one, named Eve, because Eve said, out loud, “She was daddy’s mistake,” – Kids, they always say the darnest things and get away with it, though I hope, not for life. Eve, if you’re reading this, I hope you’ve since grown to realize that you could process thoughts before you speak.

It’s easy to read this bio without the late Steve Jobs hovering around the pages because I’ve never read much nor finished watching videos with Steve Jobs in it. I believe it has a lot to with my disliking of what’s ‘trending‘. I was working closely with consumer technology for over a decade and yet I couldn’t be bothered.

So, once again? Now I know why. Strange, but it’s so that I could dive in clean into this memoir of a wounded soul. I visualized her father as her father, first. Mostly, even. The way she wrote this memoir, it wasn’t about her father, who happens to be Steve Jobs.

It was about a child’s relationship with her father.

Did I know Steve Jobs was cruel towards his “mistake of an unwed family he didn’t want”? Not until I read this book.

Did I know he was stingy? Well, not really.

All I knew was that he was a genius with a temper, and had a kid he originally refused to acknowledge (paternity). That, was all.

So, for me, it’s as though all these years dealing with consumer tech and the media, I was miraculously saved from all these insignificant details, until Small Fry was written and published.

I’m glad, I’m really glad, that I had sat on Jobs, the biography.

I don’t know what kind of surprises will be waiting for me, but I hope it would address Steve’s parents (not much of the birth ones), their relationship, and how he came to be one of, well, the cold people his wife Laurene openly declared during a session with the author’s therapist (“We’re just cold people”, said Laurene. The author was also present during the session). I am also curious about Laurene. She’s gotta be his twin, otherwise, there’s no way their relationship had continued to work.

Despite all the negativity, I do agree with the author’s father on this, which is possibly (should damn be) the greatest quote by him, ever –

Passage taken from the book, chapter ‘Runaway’:

My father gave a speech in which he said that it wasn’t love that brought people together and kept them together, but values – shared values.

How’s Laurene not his twin, I will never be able to comprehend.

I’m drained from this read, in a good way, I suppose. I can never begin to imagine the sorrow she’s been carrying since she was a tiny, curious, hungry for acceptance, child. Ms. Brennan-Jobs, you will pay it forward. Thank you for sharing your story.

What Reading Spree?

“I just went on a reading spree!”

If you have days or times when you can ‘go on a reading spree’, well, I’m jealous of you, though not happy for you. There’s no happiness in seeing somebody, or anybody, for being able to read and read and read, and then, finish – done – next!

This book has been sitting on my dining table for two months. It’s not that I don’t want to finish it in one day or even within a week or two. The book is good. The author is fearless, passionate even, as she needs to interview talk to druglords who are incarcerated across few of the most notorious prisons in the world.

It’s funny how people pass comments like, wow, “You’re still reading that book?”, or, “You took that long to finish one book?”

It’s as if people who read don’t necessarily have lives beyond books (we wish we hadn’t, really), or, as if people who don’t read, knows what’s it like to actually spend quality time reading a book.

Some people could finish 700 pages in one setting, sure. They have different reading speeds, they could comprehend the context better, they didn’t have other commitments, they probably have no kids, grown kids who don’t need them, or they work in jobs that enables them to read, or they prefer to screw up their jobs and family or whatsoever so that they could read.

Who knows? Who are you to know?

I couldn’t read all day and night. Not even all day. There’s work, there’s chores, there’s kids, there’s texts to respond to otherwise they’ll call (which is worse) if you don’t respond.

Then there’s moody days and gloomy skies.

It’s so stupid, seeing bookworms belittling each other over “you just started that?! I finished that last month!”

Shut up, b*tch. Better, f*ck off.

This is why people are discouraged from reading. Well, at least one of the reasons. People just wouldn’t leave them alone.

If you come across a snobbish bookworm, send them the link to this post. May this be a STFU reminder for those morons.

“Reading sprees” are a privilege, never a right. Sure, neglect everything else and naturally everything will become a right for/to you. I hope our paths will never cross, and by that I mean literally and digitally.