Book Club Meet-up this Morning

Silent Book Club Kota Kinabalu, April 14th Meet-up

This morning started out perfect. Really, perfect. Hugged and kissed the kids goodbye, thankful for the NBA playoffs – the partner’s dose – with Rockets vs. I-don’-care-who-since-Jordan-retired; drove to the library, set-up the table, and waited blissfully (inside, waited blissfully inside. Bookworms don’t show nerdy bliss on their faces until another bookworm shows up) for others to show up.

In total, five of us showed and it was just a nice group at the table which had chairs for eight.

B was the first to arrive (after yours truly), and since it was her first time at our new library, she placed her book and her bag at the table and went sight-seeing before settling down to read. She owns “Daughter of Smoke and Bone” here.

M came later, it was probably her third time at the new library. She didn’t bring a book and decided to use this meet-up to borrow some books instead. “The English Monster” and “The Blind Assassin” were her loot of the day.

W came next, she reads on her mobile. She loves literature (it’s my first time meeting her too!) and that’s all I know! It didn’t occur to me to ask her about her current read!

E came last (also my first time meeting her). She, too, decided to use this meet-up to borrow some books from the library. She chose “Dark City” by Xeus.

As for me? I’m still trying to finish my physical book – Hiroshima. Had we stayed there for another hour, I’d have finished it! I even took a break by standing and reading facing a pillar, which had mini wall-mounted tables – again, perfect. I am hoping to QUIT my Kindle for a while and focus on this read tonight, or tomorrow night… I’m horrible.

That is all! Perfect day with fantastic company!

#oldbooks: The World’s Best Fairy Tales

The World’s Best Fairy Tales, Reader’s Digest (1976)

I practically grew up with this book. I read it over, and over, and over, simply because the writing was so easy to absorb and imagine (and the stories were classics too). My mom got this copy for my brothers in 1976, when they were aged 3 and 2, respectively. I only came along in ’82.

This was an era where Reader’s Digest was a noble company (still is) that had a cult following all around the world. My parents would buy most books they sold (medical reference books, cook books, story books, encyclopedias etc.), because they’re always of good quality and content.

Reader’s Digest is still around, but we know people have since shifted their magazine interests elsewhere. Times have changed, though not necessarily for the better. I don’t know what are people reading nowadays (as in, similar context to Reader’s Digest, maybe Oprah magazine? What do I know), but what I do hope, is for Reader’s Digest to remain resilient, and keep adapting, evolving. Although I’m not on a monthly subscription, I still buy a copy every few months, whenever I happen to see it on display.

Here’s to Reader’s Digest. May you continue to prosper and grow.

#FriendsWithBooks: A Long Way Down

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby

What my best friend Amal is currently reading – A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. She was half-asleep when I extorted texted her. She told me she’ll send it ‘in an hour’ once she properly wakes up because she’d had a long night facetiming with her sister. I rolled my eyes and reluctantly typed ‘okay.’ I’m that understanding when it comes to books her.

And she kept her word. And it was 10am+ on New Year’s Day when I texted. And there’s no time difference between our very different worlds. A friend, I am.

ASL of my best friend: 30s/F/Perth WA

#LMFAO: Dispatches From The Other Side

Saw this today. It’s not funny. I’m not saying it’s funny. Because it’s not. Okay FFS. OF COURSE IT IS FUNNY!!! It is somewhat difficult for a nonfiction me (you see, I’m not even saying ‘nonfiction readers’) to comprehend it because I am people. And people are people, and people are mean pricks.

I have read quite a shelf full of distressing reads (FGM, torture, famine, rape, execution, you know, stuff that makes the world go around in circles). But to beg ask for books to emotionally destroy me would be quite, morbid. Sadistic, even.

The irony is – If that question came out of my mouth, I’d be damned. Especially if it’s in a nonfiction group. But of course, we’ll never be able bring ourselves to ask such a question. It’ll unlikely cross most of our minds to phase it that way, I reckon. Can you imagine people racing to recommend nonfiction five star reads that are emotionally destroying? That’s kinda f*cking, weird f*cked-up, no?

FFS, stop making fun of fiction, you mean prick!

But, wait. Nonfiction has been similarly mocked as boring as f*ck and prudish so let me have my I-am-superior post day, okay?

Without further mockery, let me think of imagine an emotionally destroying read for this young lady…

Okay. How about this: A chicklit (duh), where Barney’s goes bankrupt, the entire 5th Avenue is sold to a real estate tycoon who wishes to turn it into Wall Street #2, make-ups are banned across the bloody world, and the leading dashing and dapper bloke Ryan Reynolds look-alike marries the antagonist b*tch? Perhaps that would emotionally destroy this reader.

Nah. I gotta try harder next time.

p.s. This mean prick (yours truly, who else) will attempt to leave this group the minute a similar post pops up. But seriously, I still think I am having too much fun… So…

[2018] May The Best Book Win!

Over the past week, posts on my Facebook groups has been filled with hashtags #2018fav6, #2018fav9, you get the idea. I didn’t participate because it would be too hard to pick 6! But then along came a true genius who cooked up a fed-up post, asking us to share our least favorite books of the year. Needless to say I jumped in because that was super easy for me. I even thanked her for that!

Back to May The Best Book Win!

Here are my favorite books of the year. Some genres are intertwined (supposed to, for example, some memoirs are of war and history but I didn’t categorize them under that genre). So to get around that, I compartmentalized them under the genre intended by the author or publisher (“it’s a memoir about war and history, therefore it’s a memoir”).

Here’s the list! For a brief version click here.

Best in Memoirs, Autobiographies

Tie!

I’d Like to Apologize to Every Teacher I Ever Had: My Year as a Rookie Teacher at Northeast High, by Tony Danza

&

She’s Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan

Best in Biographies

In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum

Best in Current Affairs, War, History

Fire And Fury, by Michael Wolff 

Best in Business

Bad Blood: Secrets & Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou

Best in LGBTQIA

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family, by Amy Ellis Nutt

Best in True Crime

Mossad: The Greatest Missions of The Israeli Secret Service, by Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal

Best in Fiction

房思琪的初戀樂園, 林奕含 著 
Fang Si-Chi’s First Love Paradise by  Lin Yi-Han

You’ve reached the end of this post and the year – Thank you for reading my posts (or this blog). I hope you’ve found what you were looking for. Keep reading, stay foolish!

Read: The Anatomy of Cheating

The Anatomy of Cheating by Nesly Clerge

I read three fiction this year, and this is the worst read of the little lot.

The plot was predictable, although toward the end, say, 3/5 into the book, the twist was kinda cool though I somewhat saw it coming. There’s no way else to twist and turn at that stage, unless you add another murder, or another lover, and the book will just go on and on until it ends at page 743.

My girlfriend (no offense to you, my lovely Too Much Trouble – love your initials btw! p.s. remember ‘Dolphin’ from Beijing 2008?) recommended this read to me as a means to distract me from my reading slump. Also, the three of us (tsk, Vuckovic) were talking about something naughty and we all love to read so this semi-naughty read came up. I remember how TMT was telling me how this book changed (some of) her perspective in a good way. I don’t think it had impacted me in any way, because, murder – that ain’t common where I grew up/live!

(Yeah, who knows. I know.)

I won’t recommend this for serious or casual nonfiction readers, not even as a ‘quick break’ from reality. Also, I think the author came up with a great title for a not-so-great book! What a waste!