Ordinary Girls + Silent Invasion

As always, I buy more than I can ever read.

Currently halfway through Ordinary Girls by Jaquira Diaz. I’m enjoying the book, and it is the kind that could be read in one setting. This would make a good movie, except not a movie that the world wants to see. They do, but they would refuse. Not every movie is a slumdog millionaire. But this, is worthy of anyone’s time. We tend to forget them. We tend to ignore them. We tend to overlook their cries for help.

This Covid-19 pandemic has also given me much free time to connect with friends around the world. I was chatting with AL, a close friend of mine who was formerly a Chinese citizen. He’s now downunder and really making it in life and he’s the kind of model immigrant that any country would like to make him theirs. I’m not exaggerating.

So we were chatting about how scary XJP is, and skipped the dumb part about Trump on purpose. After all, what’s the point, wasting our time talking about Trump? Long story short, he was telling me that he just read Silent Invasion by Clive Hamilton and that I should be reading it now. And I told him it’s been on my TBR pile since it was released but haven’t really gotten to it just yet.

Halfway through our “XJP is the scariest CCP leader in history” chat, I bought it. $9.99, bearable. Bearable because I spend so much on books that every single cent counts when it comes to books.

Looking forward to finishing these two before our lockdown ends on 28th April 2020. I don’t see this as a long way to go. Because the pandemic is no joke…

This is it. Isolate. Read more.

Currently Trying to Read: The Gift of Anger

There’s my book! Do you think I’ll be able to finish it this week? The answer is definitely impossible. It’s really not comforting to be reading at such turbulent times. How do you people do it? Reading like a dedicated bookworm at such times? I really wonder…

Welcome to the decade where average people are required to remain indoors while heroic and selfless doctors, nurses, food delivery folks and service staff battle a deadly virus…

Surabaya + Neglect + Pandemic

I have been neglecting this blog on purpose. I have been reading, but I haven’t been updating. And even with the reading, it was just mediocre.

My last update – Was two days before I flew out to Surabaya, Indonesia. I went there to escape Lunar New Year. I went there to escape a whole lot of things. I went there to escape reality. I succeeded, and I came back with a new tattoo. A tattoo that says “Avec Toi, Je Suis Moi”.

Last night, I finished reading Black Boy by Richard Wright. Started on The Gift of Anger by Arun Gandhi. It’s not going to be an enlightening read for me. Simply another read about another person’s journey.

I’m rather fortunate to have travelled right before the pandemic hit. It was quite a stupid move, but nevertheless, it happened, and so it happened. My wanderlust is no longer that strong, and I do not care to explain why, although I know why. I did visit the Russian submarine, of all places. And yes, the tattoo. Made new friends too. Had a blast using Gojek travelling around the city and also ordering in. I lived opposite Tunjungan Plaza, and yet I ordered in. Like I said, the wanderlust – wasn’t with me this time around.

This pandemic has taught me nothing. I am so numb from life that it has taught me nothing. 21,000 deaths today, but that’s just “official figures”. We know that’s not believable. Come on, you’re not that stupid, are you? Do you know how many people died in 1994 in Rwanda alone? Do you know how many people died in the 2004 tsunami? What about Syria? What about Sudan? What about Xinjiang? What about history?

One thing reading has taught me – is to be resilient and keep an open heart for the poor, the weak, the oppressed. They are the ones who always suffer the most. Literally, the most. If I die from this virus, my eldest, who’s living with me, might perish, too. But if he doesn’t, it will be devastating to him, but he will carry on, just like the rest of the world. I will soon become a distant but loving memory to him. I will be missed. Life goes on.

The least I could do, right now, is remain indoors – so that the frontline heroes can do their jobs better with one lesser covidiot (if I go out, I will be one), and go home to their loved ones and live to fight another day.

That’s all for this post. That’s all.

Slump

I’ve been on a life slump lately. Not just reading. But life in general. So much has happened, it’s a shame that I do not wish to blog about it. I might turn it into a book, though. Now, isn’t that something relevant to reading?

Okay. Let me get to something more important than what’s been going on in my life.

I’m currently reading:

  • Stolen Girls by Wolfgang Bauer.
  • Gomorrah by Roberto Saviano.

I was previously reading but stalled:

  • From The Ground Up by Howard Schultz
  • and dozens more.

It’s nearing the end of 2019. So much has happened. So much is still happening. I am overwhelmed, but I’ll never give up on reading because it’s the only escape I have. Peace out.

Read: Boy Erased

Boy Erased by Garrard Conley

I didn’t know this was turned to a movie prior to reading it. Didn’t know nothing about Nicole Kidman. Nothing. Which is a good thing because everything was left to imagination and getting right into the characters themselves.

There were many insightful quotes. I wouldn’t know where to begin. I’ll try to post some of my favorite quotes another day since I don’t have my Kindle with me and I’m too lazy to check on my synced notes on Amazon or Goodreads.

Of course, highly recommended. I could resonate with the author especially on the religion bit. I spent the bulk of my teenaged years in a Baptist church. The church, youth fellowship and everything else was perfect. There wasn’t anything superficial nor hypocritical about it. Put that aside, the whole idea of Christianity and religion and how it represents themselves to determine our sexuality is beyond my reach.

That is all. Be who you want to be. Be who you really are.

Tomorrow I’m facing an uphill battle. It’s the end of an era. And I’ll be moving on to something even more challenging, and that – is my destiny.

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.

Reads from July

FFS! July is about to hang itself out to dry and I haven’t even written a single post! Of course this shouldn’t count.

So… I’ve been reading. I was slacking, especially the month of May. My average of four books per month – well, I broke the spell. I broke it. Not proud of it, but life happened, and I broke it.

I’ve read 22 books this year, which means I’m six books short.

SIX! Since I can’t quite explain the reason behind the slack, so be it.

Walk Through Walls by Marina Abramovich has officially made my top three list. It’s such a DAMN GOOD BOOK. Damn amazing life, damn amazing everything. I wish I had known about her sooner.

So I finished Brave by Rose McGowan in 3 days. Quite a feat for me because I can only read during certain hours in a day.

A Dark Night in Aurora by William H. Reid was a good read, I managed to resonate with something though I’d rather not talk about it in real life.

Ordeal by Linda Lovelace. Doesn’t matter whether I believe her or not. What matters is that she managed to get it out in a book. Again, I know what’s it like to be attached to a bloody abusive pig.

Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich. I don’t need to explain why it should be a compulsory read for people in general. Lies, cover-ups, more lies.


So the above’s what it is.

What am I currently reading? Gosh, plenty. Bookishly speaking, I am shameless. So here goes.

I’m still reading Megan K. Stack’s Every Man in this Village is a Liar. I’m also still reading How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gill. Also, still trying to finish The Body Book by Cameron Diaz (which isn’t an easy read because it’s a rich-people-only kinda book. And there are two more books. One’s Facing the Wave by Gretel Ehrlich and I can’t remember the other.

I have few other reads waiting in my Kindle. Okay. Hundreds. I keep buying. I just don’t have enough time in a day to bloody read.

August is around the corner. Still, SIX books short. Who cares but I!