Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Plateful of Bookers and a Side Order of Politics

So ... what are you guys reading at the moment?

I'm still on my Booker marathon, though I haven't been able get the complete longlist yet. That's probably not such a bad thing as I'm a slow (and thoughtful?) reader, especially now as my reading is done in odd moments between dashing out to schools to see trainees teaching.

In the last week I've finished Peter Ho Davies' The Welsh Girl, and am now about a third of the way through Nikita Lalwani's Gifted. Have much to say about both later on. (Supposed to be reviewing 'em.)

Also picked up a copy of Zaid Ibrahim's In Good Faith the other day in MPH. I don't usually read book written by politicians, but Zaid is a neighbour and a friend. (Should one admit to having friends who are politicians? Should politicians admit to having friends who are monkeys pondans karaoke singers bloggers?)

Anyway, he seems to be making the right noises about things like freedom of speech. (He's so distressingly sensible, he'd actually make a half-decent blogger, I think.)

So c'mon then, whet my appetite for the books currently in YOUR hot little hands!


Chet said...

I just finished Mr Eng's The Gift of Rain (him being called Mr Eng is definitely better than me being called Mr Mooi all those years ago), and think I'll finish The Tipping Point before I go off on my panda odyssey next month. Any suggestions what I should take with me to China?

Anonymous said...

I'd just bought 'The Complete Nonsense of Edward Lear' and plan to savour it with relish. I especially love his insanely offbeat illustrations. They're utterly wicked! :-D

Sham said...

The Road(!!),The Secret (!!!!!!) - no wonder I have been falling asleep promptly after getting into bed! Am looking forward to the weekend though - with all the writing there will also be reading.

I really really wish I had the courage to dump books instead of dragging my feet through..
Sharon - would I have access to classics at British Council library (sorry to divert here). I am looking for fodder, inspiration I suppose and want to get my hands on Borges, Schiller, Milton, Chaucer - not all of them English of course.

Eric Forbes said...

You might like to check out the following books. They are all contemporary American novels and should be out any day now:

1. Run / Ann Patchett
2. The Almost Moon / Alice Sebold
3. Away / Amy Bloom

bibliobibuli said...

chet - hmmm. i have a post on chinese fiction waiting in the wings. will put it up later.

s.cargo - your remind me of lear! (or wour work does, rather)

sham - bc library doens't have many 'classics' but focuses on contemporary british lit. you can scour my library. (i certainly have chaucer.) it also strikes me that machinist has a lot of books and has elevated tastes. and since he has had a book of mine for many many months ... i volunteer his library to you. (plus YOU are a good book borrower)

eric - many thanks. looking forward to being able to read american authors again

bibliobibuli said...

read@peace tried to post this comment and counldn't so e-mailed it to me:

Since you asked, my top picks. Rajiv Chandrasekaran, in a word - superb:


Also enjoyed Anupama Chopra’s ‘King of Bollywood.’ Very well written and even if one isn’t a Shah Rukh fan, the broader analysis of Indian cinema makes this a must read. Anu is Vikram Chandra’s sister – so writing is in their genes:


Read ‘Gifted’ this weekend and it didn’t have me wanting to get to the end of it. I found the prose meandering, the India bits, typically through the expat eyes and I found Mahesh and Shreene far more compelling as characters – would have liked to read more of them.

Halfway through ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ – love it.

Eliza said...

augusten burroughs - running with scissors, very amusing though I haven't got to the part where he's given away to the psychiatrist yet!

Plodding through the historian still..and started Knowledge and the Wealth of Nations

also dipping into farish noor's the other malaysia

Jade said...

Sharon, give young American writers a go... I just finished Nicole Krauss' The History of Love, and fell completely in love with it! It is about how a book changed several people's lives. The voices in the book spoke volumes to me. It made me laugh and cry, and I was so sad when I finished it (although I read it reeeaaaal slow).

Am now with Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist.

bibliobibuli said...

eliza - want to read the augusten burroughs but only saw it in crappy mass market paperback so might try to buy a prettier copy

jade - i have "a history of love" and will pull it to the top of my to be read pile! love anne tyler but haven't read "the accidental tourist" though enjoyed the film

jawakistani said...

Just finished Rehman's A Malaysian Journey and still reeling from the experience.

I'm trying to find something else for my Merdeka reading. I've sort of made it a point to read books on Malaysia as my own personal Merdeka celebration.

I'll probably be reading the Andayas' book after this...a bit heavy but not that bad.

Anonymous said...

My HANDS are cold. Like death. I'm cold. Religiously cold. The truth is I'm losing weight. I look like I'm dying of cancer.

It's a rude feeling.

Like reading AGAINST THE DAY. Or KISS ME, JUDAS or NAIVE, SUPER by Erlend Loe.

Mohani said...

i can no longer read books. i bought kate chopin's 'the awakening' the other day and have yet to get past page 1. my previous fervent concentration for books are diminishing. help! to compensate, i read essays.

Mohani said...

*is* diminishing.

sharkgila said...

I'm reading Marisha Pesshl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics, still.

Jane Sunshine said...

Atonement-trying to finish before the movie is released.

jawakistani said...

Mohani...I dont think I'll ever finish Kate Chopin's The Awakening. It's just so slow. It's so bloody obvious that she's not in love with her husband anymore but with the other guy...but the writer just went on and on and on till finally it's no longer interesting. All in all I dont think it's an interesting book.

Subashini said...

I had to read Chopin's The Awakening for an introductory English course and found it a slog, as well (and it's a pretty short book!). There is nothing memorable or outstanding about it, and you're probably better off casting it aside for the moment and reading something that *does* pique your interest!

I am rereading Claire Tomalin's Jane Austen: A Life which I read a few years back, but picked up again over the weekend after I watched an illicitly-downloaded version of Becoming Jane (I still have mixed thoughts about the movie...) Anyway, Tomalin's bio is a must-read for both Austen fans and lovers of well-written, thoughtful biographies.

Mohani said...

its not just with that book, its with most books as well. i seem to horde them and i end up not reading any. but picture books are great! hehe. i mean, photography books.

nurulazreenazlan said...

Am reading Kafka's Metamorphosis (and other stories) at the moment. But I'm sure you've read it.

Am also reading Landscape Urbanism Reader but that's for school.


Sham said...

I will mine through your library thing to find what I would like to borrow - but of course not too many at a time and hence an opportunity to do have more coffee!
You around and free this weekend? I'll pop by with some bread/cake.

Sham said...

Aiyo terrible la my England in that last post - not so high at all - well it's five thirty in the morning and I am incoherent....that's my excuse and I am sticking to it!!!!!

bibliobibuli said...

sham - break and cakes sounds good! should be in most of the time but not sat morning/lunchtime

nurulazreen - "metamorphosis" was an undergraduate text for me ... but still can't get it out of my head. time to reread it

mohani - as another hoarder, i completely understand! i love photography books too. wish i could afford to buy some.

jawakistanti, mohani - bought "the awakening" some time back and tried to read some of the stories but didn't get too far. thought it was just me!

jane - "atonement" is one i have to go back to and finish. it's one of my tbr challenge books this year.

sharkgila - have that on my shelf ...

anon - hadn't heard of erlend loe. sounds interesting!

Eliza said...

Sharon - you can borrow my crappy paperback one once I'm finished!

Jade - thanks for reminding me of Krauss's book - I had it on my to-buy list then forgot about it.

Nisah Haji Haron said...

The Thirteenth Tale! I enjoy reading a book about books and book lovers.

kamal s said...

Hey people! I'm FINALLY done with The Ruins (Scott Smith) -- don't read this book when u r alone y'all!; and also Everyman (Philip Roth. I love the latter more than the former. Can't wait for Roth's latest book, due out in Oct. It's the final book in the Zuckerman series.

I am now exploring The Emperor's Children and The Keep simultaneously. Am also planning to go to Kino to do more financial damages.

Happy Merdeka day! And Happy anniversary to On The Road as well.

P/S Can somebody pls tell me whether Half of a Yellow Sun is extremely readable?

Hsian said...

I am in Anne Tyler phase too, have just started Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant. Very good so far.

Due to interest in Japan after a recent trip, also have Hokkaido Highway Blues by Will Ferguson (Canada's equivalent of Bill Bryson, check out his other books - Why I Hate Canadians, How to be a Canadian) about hitchhiking through Japan following the trail of the Sakura blooms; as well as Japanese for Travellers by Katie Kitamura.

Also, William Moberg's (Swedish), The Emigrants (Book 1 of his 3 book epic series) as I just started work with Swedes. Last but not least, Asian Godfathers insights into Asia's most prominent tycoons.