Monday, June 18, 2007

Grab a Bibliochaise

So what are you guys reading?

Me? I'm engrossed in Daniel Gilbert's Stumbling on Happiness which I got in Kinokuniya (hardback marked down to paperback price!) I'm reading it very carefully for review.

Am dipping in to William Boyd's collection of essays Bamboo which I picked up ridiculously cheaply at Big Bookshop Warehouse sale. (Yes, I know I said ...)

And also Nocturnes, John Connolly's collection of horror stories for those brain-dead moments. Kaykay insisted that I read it and lent me the book. Are the stories predictable? Yup. As all delicious chilling tales need to be, to make us feel safe and happy.

Just received Alina Rastam's first self-published collection of poetry Diver & Other Poems, also for review.

Finished Antares' Tanah Tujuh and intend to write about it but haven't had time yet.

Et tu, litteratis?


Anonymous said...

No Country For Old Men by Cormac McCarthy

What Is Cinema? by Andre Bazin

Tintin and The Cigars Of The Pharaoh

Tintin And The Lake Of Sharks

Guess Who

mel said...

Just completed '84 Charing Cross Road' (Helene Hanff). Currently into C.S. Lewis's 'The Four Loves'.

Kak Teh said...

I just received my copy of Kam Raslan's Confessions of an Old boy - deliciously funny!

Anonymous said...

Am enjoying Kam Raslan's Confessions of an Old Boy myself, gives me laugh out loud moments and makes me reflect on how true to life and frank this book is, with that nice tang of humour to keep it light. What a jewel.

sharkgila said...

I'm reading Ismail Kadare's 'The File on H' at the moment.

joshua said...

Just finished Nick Hornby's The Polysyllabic Spree. (Bought at Big Bookstore at a unbelievably cheap price. Such an interesting and smart book about books, I laughed out loud so many times reading his humorous remarks on books. Just started my reading column in a Chinese daily and this book gave me a lot of ideas)

Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri(felt the need to read the novel after watching the lovely movie version by Mira Nair. Don't miss it at the International screen!)

My Invented Country by Isabel Allende (also bought at Big on the previous sale)

Chuck Kramer said...

Cormac McCarthy's The Road continues to see his biblical style simplified and clarified while retaining its solemnity

Manil Suri's The Death of Vishnu again--it's a strangely seductive, gaunt little book

Bruce Chatwin's Utz, a lyric on art, life, authoritarian govts and aging. Exquisitely written

Amir said...

I had an hour to kill while waiting for my car to get fixed yesterday so I went across the road to a magazine stall. I ended up buying LOTS MORE LAT which I hadn't read before (published 1977). Found myself laughing to myself. Could have finished it there and then but decided to savour it. Will finish it today.

How does one show appreciation to Lat? He has been so consistently good for so long that we perhaps take him for granted. (And the Datukship doesn't count; all manner of conmen have one).

Chet said...

>> How does one show appreciation to Lat?

By buying multiple copies of his books and giving them to friends, especially friends from abroad curious about Malaysia and her people.

fizah said...

i'm reading moby dick for class. it's a fascinating book but it's also extremely long and sometimes it just goes on and on and on. i have an exam on it this friday and i'm hardly halfway through it! haha.

besides that i'm also reading Albert Camus's "The Plague". dark and interesting. putting it on hold for moby dick!

bex said...

Joshua - Did you buy Nick Hornby's book at the Big Bookshop warehouse sale? I've been there at least twice and I never saw it!!!

Greenbottle said...

into the first few pages of anthony burges autobiography "little wilson big god"...

was checking on him in wiki and found a lt of interesting info about the man...

for instance ...

he didn't like withe ladies but...
He enjoyed a miscellany of sexual partners from other lands, however, including Buginese, Japanese, Welsh, Malay, Chinese, Siamese, Italian and Singhalese women. And he wrote in the first volume of his autobiography, Little Wilson and Big God (p. 386 of the Penguin edition), that he had had sexual encounters "with Tamil women blacker than Africans, including a girl who could not have been older than twelve, but none with Bengalis and Punjabis". The vast majority of the liaisons had been, as he put it, "sadly commercial".

sounds like a very good read...

Kak Teh said...

amir, Lat will be showing an appearance in London next week. Am sure if he has his books on sale they will be snapped up. He will be talking abt his life as a cartoonist. Shd be good.

Ooops, orso leading a Concise Chinese- English Dictionary for Lovers.
Met Xiaolu Guo, the writer and had a chit chat by the roadside. Very interesting person. I bet she'll have her next book pout before I can finish reading this one.

Jade said...

"Perfume" by Patrick Suskind

But I'm tempted to chuck it aside and watch the movie instead. It's not setting the pace for me.

Rehman Rashid's A Malaysian Journey currently next on my TBR list.

bibliobibuli said...

dammit! wrote a great long reply to you all but lost it! let's try again.

the viz in an iron mask - no problem

mel - enjoyed that when i was still at school back in the '70's. the idea of two people sending letters (remember those?) seems quite quaint now.

joshua - i think you mean "the complete polysyllabic sprees" - there are actually two volumes and bbws had the second of these. bought my copy full-price at times. very enjoyable. the allende i bought at the sale too.

bookgila - do let us know how you like kadare. he won the first man international prize and many inc ignorant me, had never heard of him

uma, kak teh - glad you're enjoying kam's book

bibliobibuli said...

... continued. i'm doing this incrementally!

chuck - "the road" has messed with my head. my review of it in the star this coming sunday. i haven't read "utz" but have read most chatwin and particularly love "on a black hill". "the death of vishnu" has a lovely hardback cover. i'm regretting now i didn't buy it, but will snap it up if i see it again.

amir - lat is wonderful, and his pictures represent malaysian society in a way prose writers haven't thus far. never mind sir salman, lat should be knighted! (or rather tan sri-ed. i'm jealous of kak teh going to his talk next week.

chet - i also send copies of his books to friends overseas, especially "town boy" and "kampong boy". classic!

fizah - recently bought "moby dick" and need to read it to fill in a gap in my ignorance! "the plague" is pretty incredible.

bibliobibuli said...

... continued.

greenbottle - i really enjoyed "little wilson and big god". my husband was a little boy in king's pavillion (which was then used as part of mckk) when burgess was housemaster and still remembers him. the second volume of his autobiography "you've had your time" is also fascinating, especially when he revisits malaysia years later

naughty bloke, wasn't he?!

kak teh - want to read "the concise chinese-english dictionary for lovers" - looks very interesting

jade - i bought "perfume" in the bbws but haven't got around to it yet!

Anonymous said...

oh well, Arthur C. Clarke had a predilection for little boys too.


Chet said...

I have just finished The Secret History by Donna Tartt. Thank you, Sharon, for putting it on my pile of to-buys when we were at the Big Bookshop sale on Labour Day.

I am going to read Half a Yellow Sun next. I will have lots of time after today.

animah said...

I Love You Blue Kangaroo, Arthur Goes to School, Ben and Gran and the Whole Wide Wonderful World, Fairytopia and May 13.

Subashini said...

chet, what did you think of the secret history? i'm so glad to see it mentioned here... it's one of my all-time favourite books. when i took a classical greek course in uni (it was during a regular bone-chilling winter in manitoba, canada) i kept rereading it all throughout those 6 months... just dipping in and out. and you know, pretending i was part of that freakish, cultish group!

she can tell a great story in beautiful language, i think. that about sums it up. i read her second novel, the little friend during a very HOT manitoba summer *grin* and i was completely engrossed for about 2 days straight, not even wanting to go out or anything... but i haven't felt compelled to reread it again like i have the secret history.

and jade - i suggest sticking it out with perfume, it's really quite worth it. but then again if you're about halfway through and not enjoying it, you're probably not going to want to read the rest. i haven't watched the movie yet because i loved the book, and am afraid the movie might ruin it for me. maybe you could watch it and let us know? :)

also, i've wanted to watch the namesake for these past 2 weeks but didn't have the time... and now it's not playing anymore, i think? i'm sad.

Chet said...

Subashini - I enjoyed The Secret History very much. For me, it wasn't one of those books that kept me reading until I forgot the time, but something that I looked forward to returning to and continue reading. What was interesting for me was how Donna Tartt wrote from the guys' POVs, and especially the fact that the main character / narrator is male.

I guess, for you, the book will forever remind you of that cold winter in Manitoba, and when you think back to that winter, The Secret History will be a part of those memories.

joshua said...

Sharon, thanks for pointed it out. so do you mean the one i bought (The Complete Polysyllabic Spree) was only the first half of the complete volume?

Bex, I was at BBWS twice too, and I saw two stacks of Hornby's book. Hard back copy. Hope you manage to grab one :)

Jade & Subashini, the movie version of Perfume is great. Perhaps I should say the novel and the movie are equally great!Though one must admit no one could ever beat the originality of Suskind's novel it is still one of the best adaptations of novel into film I've seen in the cinema before. Just the efforts of turning those wild and sexy description on scent and desire into visual are worth watching for. And the "orgy" scene was just amazingly beautiful (was surprised the censorship board was quite lenient this time)

Greenbottle said...


my my! you certainly have a very fascinating guy for a hubby. anybody who has such disrespect for time and wakes up at 1.00 pm is my kind of guy.

wouldn't mind having teh tarik with him one of these days...

i too never wake up before 9.00 am (during weekdays) or 1.00 pm on weekend. but as a practising muslim & a fundamentalist myself i had to do my morning solat way past it's required time - what some people generally termed as 'subuh gajah'...ah well.

you ought to write a book about your hubby...

bibliobibuli said...

greenbottle - yeah we should fix something up. i think you'd enjoy a chat with him.

i do record his funnier moments. he has a great way with language.

joshua - both books stand alone so don't worry. there's this and then there's this

the first published 2004, the second 2007.

Jade said...

Have since continued to read Perfume, and ok! decided that it may be worth chance :)

Subashini said...

chet - yes, that's probably why i have such strong feelings for the book. good to know that you enjoyed it, nevertheless. i had a friend who read it and thought it was "weird" and have been on a mission to convert others since!

joshua, thanks for the brief synopsis of perfume, the movie. i have the VCD and am very much looking forward to the orgy scene (haha) just because it was written so well, and i am certainly curious to see how it came off on film.