Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Take A Seat While I'm Away!

Am off today to the deepest wilds of the Pahang for the next three days, not for fun, but for work: I'm visiting trainee teachers in their schools and am looking forward to the change of scene very much. While I'm away, let me leave you this space to talk about the good books you're reading ... though I suspect most of you are deep into your hard-won Harry Potters.

I have books to write about when I get back. Recently read Mukhtar Mai's In the Name of Honour (which took me only a couple of hours!), and a novel from my to-be-read shelf - William Boyd's Brazzaville Beach. I've been dipping into Tunku Halim's collection of spooky stories 44 Cemetery Road in odd moments too and leave it on the dining table so I can have a quick snack on it while I'm waiting for something to cook.

Now I'm trying to decide what to put in my bag for my trip ... hmmm ... lots of books shouting Read Me! Read Me! Impatient devils!

I also leave you with some pictures of bibliochairs which I've been waiting to post for a while. Can't remember where I found the first two or who sent them to me, for which I apologise profusely, but I think they're all pretty clever!

An end to storage problems?

A novel way of using up remaindered books?

And a clever use for old Yellow Pages! (This one was on display at Central Market Annexe recently but I can't find my note of the artist's name.)


Tunku Halim said...


Thanks for dipping into my book. Since you're doing some cooking, you must read "Paradise Revisited". It might give you some recipe ideas!

bibliobibuli said...

haha! will do! you have a very ... quirky imagination!

mel said...

"let me leave you this space to talk about the good books you're reading"

I'm now reading "We Need to Talk about Kevin". Am so glad Kevin's mum wasn't portrayed as the stereotypical suburban soccer-mum. She's definitely more complex than I thought she would be when I first picked up the book.

Anonymous said...

Mel, is that good? i've seen the book in the stores and been tempted.

my status report:

continuing my current Kurt Vonnegut obsession: Slaughterhouse Five. not as funny as The Sirens Of Titan but still great.

Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale. what a long book!

oh, and Tintin In The Congo, ya that "racist" episode. the Americans and the Brits have complained about Herge's portrayal of the Africans (drawn like black-and-white minstrels and they talk like monkeys) and the depiction of cruelty to animals. they've taken it off the children's section in the US and UK and moved it to the adult section. over here it's still in the comics section, which i think caters to both adults and kids.


mel said...

"Mel, is that good? i've seen the book in the stores and been tempted."

It is! Plenty of details. Very human voice - 3-dimensional. Am enjoying it.

Chet said...

I'm more than halfway through Isabel Allende's The House of the Spirits, and looking for the Chinese translation for my sister. That's how much I'm enjoying it, that I want to share it with my sister.

My next read will be one of the two unread Annie Proulx in my TBR.

Madcap Machinist said...

reading your book now, tunku halim! can't say i'm keen on horror fiction, but i started reading at breakfast and "paradise revisited" made me wonder...

you know about cattle being fed on beer (among others surely) and sold at a premium because the meat is much more tender than normal beef...or so I am told lah...I'll never be able to look at a beer-chugging party girl the same way ever again.

Jordan said...

Currently on a James Joyce kick. Enjoying Dubliners and am just getting into A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Rescued both books from a bin at (gasp!) Tesco for RM6 each.

animah said...

MM, How did you look at a beer-chugging party girl before?

Madcap Machinist said...

animah, it depends on where I am standing.

Tunku Halim said...

Sharon - "quirky" is to put it mildly me thinks. How about just plain weird.

MM - You're giving me new ideas for a story. "Beer-chugging party girl", I like it!

Jordan - you have more patience than I!

Anonymous said...

'The Tartar Steppe' by Dino Buzzati. Translated, of course. Midway through 'Out' by Natsuo Kirino (hope I got her name right), 'The Middle Parts of Fortune' by Frederic Manning, and 'The Ballad of the Sad Cafe' by Carson McCullers.

All bargain bin (shelf? metal rack?) books from (dun dun dun dun...) hypermarkets, with the exception of 'Out', which I got from a friend who was about to discard it.


sharkgila said...

I'm reading Marisha Pessl's Special Topics in Calamity Physics. I'm so hooked on her style of writing.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for getting off topic but does anyone here know if books are subjected to custom tax?

I remember reading somewhere that books are tax free but I'm not 100% sure, anyone here know?

Plan on getting some books from Amazon...

animah said...

Hey All, Sharon sends her love, she misses you all. She is now in the middle of Pahang, where she apparently had to wade through mud and get on a boat to cross the river to get a decent meal. So be grateful for what you have (this last morality plug bit is from me, not Sharon).

Anyway, with Sharon's permission, I am posting a link to a petition re Raja Petra and freedom of expression. Please sign if you agree. Don't feel obligated to explain your rationale for not signing - somehow my last petition posting sparked off a debate and I don't want to hijack this post.


Kamal S said...

Hi Sharon! Come back safe and sound! I am finishing Joyce Carol Oates' HIGH LONESOME (story collection) and Keith Donohoe's THE STOLEN CHILD. The former is a real treat for Cheever and Faulkner fans, while the latter is a magical fantasy for us official grown ups with a young heart! Makes you wonder, Harry who? I might pick up Pynchon's AGAINST THE DAY (which I've abandoned 5 months ago, don't ask) or start a new book, or two. I just bought E.L. Doctorow's A WORLD'S FAIR. Or should I keep that for year's end?

Jeffrey Hardy Quah said...

A little off-topic, but thought you might be interested to know that, because every bookseller around the world sold the last Harry Potter book at ridiculous discounts, apparently no one's going to make any money out of it. Not even Amazon will, after getting a million preorders.

Anonymous said...

Jeff :

That's not true. Rowling will make a lot from the advance :) also not everyone sold at a loss, even if you make 10p per book, one million 10p pieces = 100K pounds. That's hardly "no money" now is it ? :P

That's how it works. If you know something's going to sell well, you can bring in lots and deeply discount it, because you'll make it up with volume.

Anonymous said...

Animah :

what are you doing if not hijacking the post ? :) you're tacking something completely irrelevant to something completely relevant, that's the very definition of hijacking :)

I don't think anyone is obligated to explain anything, they just want to.

And if people were ever grateful for what they had, we'd still be living in trees.

Jeffrey Hardy Quah said...

anon: Yeah, I neglected to mention J.K. Rowling's earnings. Good for her!

But the earnings the booksellers are getting won't be worth squat once you weigh them against how much they paid for the books in the first place.