Reading Slump

Terrible, terrible, terrible reading slump. I have been reading, I did finish a couple of books over the past few weeks, but things have been really unstable as of late and hence, affected my reading goals.

I am 62% through J.D. Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. It’s a really good read, and it could be easily finished in a setting. Yes, that kind of book.

I just started Madame Mao: The White-Boned Demon by Ross Terrill. No shit but I misplaced the book around the house somewhere. So I’m probably gonna be stuck at page 12 for a very long time.

Also, just bought No Turning Back by Rania Abouzeid. This is a read I’d want to be 100% with. So I doubt I’ll be able to start anytime soon.

I think that’s pretty much it. I can’t remember whether I wrote about finishing The Slaughter by Ethan Gutmann but yeah I did and I really don’t want to talk about it.

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.

Currently Reading: The Marcos Dynasty

“The Marcos Dynasty” by Sterling Seagrave

Mind-blowing, and I’m barely at 1% (the book’s 506 pages). Having relatives from the Philippines, growing up in a multicultural, multiracial community, and being next door neighbors with them, I literally had no idea how bad (read: fake) it was. And this is only page 14.

However, having highlighted this paragraph (along with 12 others), I find myself unable to identify with it, though I was born and raised in (“Malay”) Malaysia. On the contrary, having lived in Beijing, China, for nearly 10 years, I agree with it, almost completely.

99% to go.

Read: The Return

The Return: Fathers, Sons, and the Land in Between by Hisham Matar

The author didn’t quite address how he felt – When the revolution was happening, when Qaddafi/Gaddafi was captured, tortured. There’s almost nothing on that, so in case you were hoping for a wee bit on that, don’t.

The book is literally what it presents itself to be – The author’s search and yearning for his father, who was betrayed by the Egyptian SS, imprisoned by the dictator, and of course, disappeared by the regime.

*spoiler alert*

The body of the author’s father was never found. He never met anyone specifically who could give him a straight answer, or closure, on what happened to his late father.

There were dry facts in between the pages, which is beyond necessary for those who are not familiar with the regime’s history.

There’s also no talk of the country post-Qaddafi. Like I said, it’s about him, his father, and the regime in between – and Egypt is part of the narrative as well.

If you are looking for a dose on the revolution and other issues which were not addressed in The Return, I think you should consider “Sandstorm”, written by Lindsey Hilsum. I’m currently reading that book, so hopefully I’ll get to learn more about Libya then.

Read: An Ordinary Man

You should read this before watching Hotel Rwanda (in case you planned to watch it). It would be wrong to use the cliché, “the book’s always better than the movie”, because this isn’t a just a book. This is historically disturbing. This is heavy. Very heavy. Graphic, even.

If you’re clueless about Rwanda’s history, this is the book to begin with (I have read more or less 7-8 books on the subject matter). The author delved a bit deeper into the history of the tribes, mentioning life during his forefathers time and also life with neighbors of different tribes. Unlike other accounts I’ve read, the author also wrote somewhat intensively about the roles played by the radio stations, the build up on how ignorance and hatred was turned into propaganda, and from propaganda into a 100-days bloodbath.

Many parts of Africa and the Middle East are still at war, tribal or religious. Asia is not spared. Recommended reading for everyone. Appreciate what you have and never take anything for granted.

Read: Left To Tell

This book, if judged from the cover, screams religion. “Discovering God”, the cover states. But it wasn’t the case, at least not for me (Kenneth Bae’s book was one that was a bit too much for me). Recommended reading for all.