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.

[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!

Deal: Book Dash!

Guilty. The 15% credit means something, but not everything because it expires in 30 days. My love-hate relationship with Amazon, not just books, is really fucked-up. I’m gonna have to dig up another book from my wish list to make it worthwhile. And they are really good with this whole ebook credit thing over the past year. Well done, Bezos…

And so it was a great excuse to buy two books I’ve been shamelessly putting off, hoping it’ll go on sale some year down the decade. Here’s my loot (adding to my dangerously growing unread-but-purchased pile):

  • In Extremis by Lindsey Hilsum
  • Small Fry by Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Here’s🥂to great reads📚, courageous authors✒️, and a brilliant 2019 Reading Challenge!

TBR: In Extremis

Marie Colvin (January 12, 1956 – February 22, 2012)

Finally, a book on Marie Colvin, although not by Marie Colvin. This is what the world needs, a biography of a fearless journalist, a written legacy to remind us that we need journalists like Marie Colvin, and of course, Lindsey Hilsum, the author herself.

I bought Sandstorm (Lindsey Hilsum’s first book) but I haven’t gotten to it yet, and now this! Sometimes it’s hard to get my priorities right. Should I blog about books, read my books, take a break from my books, be a parent, do some chores, make some money? The answer will always be – do it all at once!

p.s. For those of you whom might be interested, there’s a tribute book on Marie Colvin, titled On The Front Line: The Collected Journalism of Marie Colvin. As I write this, it is currently priced at $0.99 on Kindle, though not for long. If you’re in my vicinity and would like to check it out, I have it in paperback as well, just drop me a line.