Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Bali High

Off to Bali in the morning for the Ubud Reader's and Writer's Festival.

Will be back next week with tons of exclusive stories and gallons and gallons of gossip - promise.

In the meantime, try to be good. Read lots of improving stuff. And if you're feeling bereft without my posts, why not talk among yourselves while I'm away? I give you the comments section as a space to hold a party. The icebreaker:
What are you reading at the moment and what do you think of it?

39 comments:

aryan said...

i am currently reading
1. 1984 by george orwell
2. maximum city by suketumehta...

to be brutally honest, 1984 is kinda dull . its talking abt dictatorship govt etc. i know mr orwell's concept is relevant even today , still its kinda dull. but nonethless i am enjoying the book thoroughly...
maximum city by suketu mehta is all about mumbai city. it talks abt the people of mumbai and what keeps mumbai vibrant and at the same time potentially dangerous . a open breeding ground for religious fanatics, terrorists and riots..
i haven completed their books yet, so can shed much light into what i feel about the book
today i also started reading - " SACRED GAMES" by vikram chandra..

acid burn said...

Have a good time in Bali!
I'm now reading David Suzuki's The Sacred Balance: Rediscovering our place in nature.
Non-fiction isn't exactly my favourite reading choice but he's doing a rather good job holding my attention. Suzuki is an excellent scientist and I'm looking forward to attending his talk when he drops by Canberra next month. Now, if only someone could give me some money to buy his latest autobiography...

Ted Mahsun said...

Am reading Francine Prose's Reading Like A Writer.

It's very slow going but interesting. Sort of like trying to sit through a class where you like the subject, but the teacher's as boring as heck.

Am also reading Anthony Burgess's Malayan Trilogy (finally). I don't know what to think of it yet.

Spot said...

Have a good time and safe flights, bibs!

Not reading anything at the moment, but have recently finished Wicked: The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch Of The West by Gregory Maguire and this is what I have to say about it...

IT'S SO BLOODY GOOD!!!!

A revisionist look at the Witch from Wizard of Oz, this book explores the nature of Evil and how whether something is deemed as good or evil really just boils down to a matter of perspective.

If that sounds dreary, do not be deterred! Some people have concised the plot to "two chicks fighting over shoes".

It's very hard not to laugh and cry along with the protagonist, the Witch as we read about her birth, her college days and her friends' kinky sex.

It's On Liberty meets Harry Potter meets Mallory Towers meets Animal Farm meets Catcher in the Rye.

Yes teacher, I know I shd go write a proper review abt it now.... :)

madcap machinist said...

I am also reading Burgess' Malayan Trilogy. I am taking offense and laughing along with it. :-)

Wicked is To Be Read. Looking forward to read it after the glowing review from Spot -- songs from the musical already in my 'pod!

marisa said...

i'm so jealous! but you and dina have fun, and don't forget that pic of aunty madhur for me. ;)

currently reading:

1. "as seen on tv" by chris kerr. tagline: an off-beat novel about tv reality and (in)action heroes - which sums it up just right.
2. since it's ramadhan, i'm spending my post-iftar reading "mohammad" by karen armstrong (banned here, of course, but got it at changi a while back). as with all of armstrong's books, it's steeped in history and facts but is not dry nor dull. it's definitely not THE authorative biography but can do lah as an engaging first look at the life of the prophet.

Eliza said...

Joan Didion's Year of Magical Thinking - coming to terms with grief and loss
The Historian (Kostovo) - because I have a morbid fascination with vamp stories

And of course my corporate yuppie books

Anonymous said...

Tim Cockey's "Hearse of a Different Color". It's not that good, but then I'm a book addict. As long as it's a book, I'll read it.

The Visitor said...

how can you find it dull and enjoy it at the same time?!

Anonymous said...

Visitor :

I have no idea. Maybe you should ask a drug addict if he enjoys doing drugs. I've never actually read a dull book.

lil ms d said...

YOOHOOOOOO from Bali!

Sharon and I are doing well. The api went out last night while we had our showers, so aiyoyoyo, we had to crawl out of our bathrooms and shout for help. The villa's beautiful. We have been eating non-stop, the men are KIYUT (MM!!! MM!!!) and we've made friends.

We're planning to become Balinese Goddesses.

We've already gone shopping. Sigh. How lah wey...

Erm, are WE reading anything? Sharon's reading Kiran Desai and I am reading Brokeback Mountain.

Next year, we'll go to the Festival ok? Do a Malaysian contingent or something, siap with kompang and bunga manggar, har har har.

Have fun in KL...

bibliobibuli said...

hi guys. thanks for all the recommendations!

have snuck into a lovely cool cyber cafe with ms d for a little respite from the heat and the temptations of the shops ... and also because i needed to draft a review of the kiran desai book (due the day i get back - help!)

saving up all the stories to tell you in glorious detail. but have already chatted up william darymple and madhur jaffrey. trying to persuade some interesting writers to drop by KL to do readings or run workshops.

plenty of stuff to blog in my notebook already ...

aryan - doesn't 1984 remind you of ... anywhere? it keeps running through my head ... the ultimate cautionary tale ...

acid burn - a new zealander mistook my husband for david suzuki one time when we were flying to brisbane. guess there is a resemblance! tell me how you enjoy the book ...

spot - hadn't even heard of that! what fun!

ted - funny lah, your comment on the prose. glad it's doing you good.

and machinist is reading the malaysian trilogy too - will be very interested to hear more about what you guys think

marisa - shoulda come.

eliza - the didion is one i want to read, heard good things about it

anonymous and visitor - i also read books that are dull sometimes ... just because. and sometimes i appreciate a book for more in retrospect than i enjoyed it at the time. funny!

ms d? bali godesses? let's go get on with it then! why are we stuck in a cybercafe of all places??

Greenbottle said...

learn a new word today from nick hornby's article in the guardian...

xenagorabibliomania - an obsessive curiosity about the books that strangers read in open spaces


don't know what the term is for the curiosity about what strangers read in private...

like most of you i'm reading several books at the same time and as such find it mightily difficult to finish one till the end as i keep jumping from one to the next...

anyway here are some of my 'active' list of books i'm currently reading

1) Nothing but you: Love stories from the New yorker (ed Roger Angell)

2)Crabwalk - Gunther Grass
3) Shadow on the hudson -isaac beshevis singer
4)The Orientalist - Tom Reiss (Bio/hisstory)
5) Miller's Crossing (screenplay by Joel & Ethan Coen)
6) Haunted -chuck palahniuk (mainly because i saw his bbc interview recently)
7) Granta vol 84 "Over there" How America sees the world

8) Jihad - Ahmad Rashid
9) Bin Laden - The man who declared war on America - Yossef Bodansky

by the way...some guy in the furious blog discussion in the guardian newspaper recently ( related to a mozart opera that was cancelled probaby for fear of islamic ire due to inclusion of a scene where prophet mohamed's -and jesus', and buddha's and poseidon's heads were cut ...)

referred to syariah's laws as "sharon's law or whatever"...i thought that was ignorant of him but very funny....

Anonymous said...

I don't know about 1984.. I keep meaning to read it, but I never get around to it. Read Animal Farm though, found it a little too preachy. Must all writing be cautionary ? someone writes a story, and all of a sudden everyone calls it a cautionary tale. And the poor guy is like, I thought it was just a story. Not a great fan of Orwell (but "Down and Out in Paris and London" was fun.)

Chet said...

because i needed to draft a review of the kiran desai book (due the day i get back - help!)

Sorry, forgot about your Bali trip, or I would've offered you one of my AlphaSmarts to bring along and write in.

Actually, I didn't forget, but it didn't connect for me about your trip and AlphaSmart. I'm getting old ...

bibliobibuli said...

miss you all! am sitting here in cybercafe to do some research on a couple of writers because i'm chairing their sessions tomorrow ...

greenbottle - will slip new word into conversation with literary types. ...
wow that's a long list of books! you're more of a bookaholic than i am

anonymous - quite possibly animal farm was written as anti-communist propaganda. i didn't blog about it but there was an interesting article - i think in the guardian - a week or two back. of course literature shouldn't preach ... though writers of course have a position

chet - never mind. internet cafes all over ubud and brain is too full work on review at the moment anyway.

have a big fat notebook of material to blog ... so don't give up on me!

Eternal Wanderer said...

I'm wondering which one of my books to read now for my 7th read book. It'll most likely be either Murakami's Birthday Stories or Neil Gaiman's Stardust

There's so many more on my reading queue. I had even bought another book by Orson Scott Card, one of his classics titled Speaker of the Dead.

Have a really great and enjoyable trip, Bibs! My boss was not particularly fond of covering the event as it is not a KL event. Oh well!

Ted Mahsun said...

eternal wanderer, skip both Murakami and Gaiman and go for Speaker of the Dead. It'll rock your world. But don't expect the awesomeness to continue in Xenocide or Children of the Mind (ugh!).

idham's directory said...

aha...enjoy bali!

i hv just finished ...eleven minutes by paulo coelho. engaging piece! have read all of coelho's books...

:)

idham

Celina said...

Island-Aldous Huxley

its changing my life, even better than Brave New World if one can imagine that.

Eternal Wanderer said...

I'll just do that, Ted! I've enjoyed Card's first book in the series Ender's Game and have always wanted to get his follow-ups to the engaging but tragic story of Ender Wiggin.

The book must be really great for you to praise it. I'll have to read the book first before I decide if I want to read the rest...although I did thought Xenocide has a rather interesting story to tell.

Anonymous said...

Life of Galileo, a play by Brecht.
Absolutely brilliant, it portrays the conflict between the Church and Galileo as he prooves Copper Knicker's hypothesis that the earth is not the centre of the universe, whilst hoodwinking the university of Padua into paying him a large sum of money for a new invention of the telescope which was readily available for a few pennies on the streets of Holland and Venice.
It shows how human he is as he eventually recants to save his skin.
By his recanting, did science fall back hundreds of years or did he save his precious manuscripts which were then smuggled over the Italian border.
Reading it, I felt a strange sense of deja vous regarding writers today and another religion that shall remain unnamed.
Animah

Anonymous said...

"Absolutely brilliant, it portrays the conflict between the Church and Galileo as he prooves Copper Knicker's hypothesis that the earth is not the centre of the universe, whilst hoodwinking the university of Padua into paying him a large sum of money for a new invention of the telescope which was readily available for a few pennies on the streets of Holland and Venice."

Can you say "Creative Commons License" ? :) The guys who wrote that got a whole lot of money to simply put a name on what has existed on the web for ages :)

Eliza said...

Lil Ms D: Yes, would like to go next year, too.
Eternal Wanderer: I've never read Ender's Game but have a book on writing by Orson Scott Card.

animah said...

To Anonymous (10.26pm). Kindly elaborate on the duration of "ages" in "what has existed on the web for ages".

This play was written, in part, during the second World War by one of the 20th Century's leading playwrights Bertold Brecht (I think I have spelt it correctly). I suggest Anonymous checks his/her facts before making sweeping accusations.

Anonymous said...

"ages" means, well, since the Internet began. Not only the Internet, people have been telling each other what they can and can't do with their IP since humans starting creating things. So here comes this guy and basically says, I'll say the same thing _for_ you, and then he gets paid a lot for that. He adds almost no value, he changes nothing, and yet he gets paid a lot to do it. All he did was pick up on what others were already doing for free and just got someone to pay him a lot for it. What exactly is the difference between a license I write myself and a "creative commons license" ? not a lot right ? both are equally unenforceable. So what exactly did he get paid for ?

Anonymous said...

Animah, I think you misunderstand me. What I meant to say was, the guy behind CC is like Copernicus, he took something that's always been done for free (or almost free,) and got someone to pay him a lot for it.

bibliobibuli said...

hi guys - doing my cybercafe drop in during a break between sessions

am in the dilemma of having so much material and not wanting to rush into posting it because i want to do a proper job of putting in links etc. so crave your patience. today is the last day of the conference and i have 2 notebooks full of material and a lot of photos.

really enjoying all the recommendatiosn but as usual feeling that drowning sesne of helplessness - so much to read, so little time! and of course it's made worse by all the great books on sale at the festival ALL of which i want to buy, but can't because air asia isn't kind to people with overweight bags. (have concentrated on harder to get hold of stuff)

celina - i must try "island". i haven't read huxley beyong "brave new world" which is a book i keep coming back to. a kind of benign dystopia! thanks for the list of books about dystopias on your blog - more stuff i want to read

animah - must read "galileo" too. love brecht and have seen several of his plays performed - some more than once ("the resistible rise of arturo ui" was the most powerful for me)

eliza - hope you can make it for the festival next year (though don't know if i will be able too because it may clash with the rugby world cup which my husband is deperate to attend) - great atmosphere

anonymous - echo animah's sentiments exactly! are you trying to mislead and confuse everybody?

bibliobibuli said...

oh ... and i'm reading some short stories by tamil writer ambai and am just about to begin hisham matar's booker shortlisted "in the country of men"

Ted Mahsun said...

I think what anonymous means is that Galileo used the Web to do his research (probably from Wikipedia) and when he finally published his paper that disproved Copernicus hypothesis... he did it without using a Creative Commons license! The cad!

These Italians are all the same! (And by that I mean all 17th century Italians.)

Anonymous said...

Exactly. People have been writing "creative commons" licenses since time immemorial. All he (the CC "founder") had to do was call it a "creative commons license." I'm sure if you asked any playright, he would be more than glad to tell you what you can and can't do with his work. Bib, I'm not sure what Animah's beef is either. Unless she thinks I think Copernicus was behind the CC, which would be absurd :)

PS. And when are you gonna send them books LOL. I've gotta find out how much they cost to courier. Or maybe I can send them to BC ?

XMOCHA! said...

Sharon & Dina,

WOWW, so jealous.. next year i will try to come with you all.. yah, will pack the bunga manggar and kompang..

SM

Chet said...

I was at Borders The Curve earlier this evening to look at journals. Then wandered over to the 3 for 2 table and got the following:

1) blink by Malcolm Gladwell - highly recommended by a good friend I have a lot of respect for
2) Pomegranate Soup by Marsha Mehran - bought it because of the title and the cover, both very delicious!
3) The Merck Manual of Health & Aging - need something like this around the apartment

I'm going to start on Pomegranate Soup in a while. Despite the exotic title and author's name, the story is set in the little Irish town of Ballinacroagh and about gastronomic delights!

Off I go ...

Chet said...

Pomegranate Soup is good! Reminds me of Like Water for Chocolate, but with a Middle Eastern flavour.

Krishna said...

Ah!I envy you girl, as I have nothing but fond memories of Bali,it being my Honeymoon destination.

Bookwise, finished Nirpal Singh's Tourism (Filthy,Sexist and Racist-Loved it!!), took a detour into Thriller Land for Barry Eisler's Hard Rain and am now onto Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap( Any book that begins with a pig named Clint Eastwood definitely Makes My Day).

animah said...

Ted, that's hillarious!
If anyone is in London or going there, Life of Galileo is playing at the National Theatre. Wish I watch it. I believe it had rave reviews.
Sharon, when are you coming back???!!!

lil ms d said...

heya all

sharon is flying back as we speak. i got back earlier. she was a hit! and she's made tons of contacts, so writers, get busy!

last i saw sharon she had gone to a jazz cafe and spent the night dancing, while i stayed back to pack and leave...

acid burn said...

it's interesting that your husband resemble's Suzuki! Suzuki's book was great reading in that it really made one think about where we stand in nature and how we connect with all living creatures and the living Earth. the good thing was that it wasn't all just scientific, ideas like the importance of spirit and love were also put forth. it's books like this that would encourage people to do more to save the environment. unfortunately those who do the most damage wouldn't bother with reading a book like this..

jading said...

Nice ice-breaker you got going, Sharon.

I'm actually reading "ender's game" for the first time at the moment by Orson Scott Card and was surprised to find it mentioned amongst the posts. Serendipity!