Friday, October 05, 2007

Trengganu - Blooked!

I predicted way back that with some of the freshest, most interesting Malaysian writing emerging on the blogs, and it was only a matter of time before publishers noticed.

Biggest congratulations to Awang Goneng whose forthcoming Growing Up in Trengganu (due to be released in a couple of weeks) is Malaysia's first blook (book based on a blog). Congrats to to Philip Tatham of Monsoon Books in Singapore for being so proactive and not waiting for printed manuscripts to hit his desk.

Pak Awang writes:
The book has been my top secret project this year, and even my better half Kak Teh only knew about it when the editing work was nearly done. My regular readers will know that Growing Up has been a regular and eccentric feature in my blog and if numbers are to be believed, the series has gone through many hundred thousand parts. But fear not, it is not coming out in many volumes but in just one small collection with cover design by a talented lady in Ireland, published by a small but reputable (and no doubt talented) publishing house in Singapore, and a cartoon of me on the writer's bio page was drawn by a talented but no small cartoonist called Lat; and it is even embellished with photographs sent in by readers from as far away as New York and Canada. I am, needless to say, over the moon.

The idea of Growing Up in Trengganu being snuggled between covers was one that never really seriously crossed my mind, though I did — once or twice, in moments of fanciful thought — toy with publishing it myself. And then Monsoon books came in with an email asking if there's a book there: and of course there was, and so it now is.
And I can't wait to have a copy.


Cheryl Hagedorn of the excellent blog Blooking Central has put up an excellent post about this book/blook. Amazing that such a buzz is created even before the book is out.


lil ms d said...

oooo this is great!!!!!!!!! i will get the book!

mahaguru58 said...

Assalamualaikum Sharon,

Wasn't Datuk Kadir Jasin the first to do that with his 'Blogger' blook?

I for one am thinking of doing the same, soon.

Would appreciate some tips.


bibliobibuli said...

hi mahaguru - maybe kadir jasin was the first and maybe i just wasn't paying attention! can you tell us a bit more about it?

i do hope that you blook too, it's a truly great idea and something i hope to do too from this blog.

if you follow the tag at the bottom of the post "blooks" it will take you to the pieces i've blogged before.

and one of the best sources of information on blooking is the novelr blog written by a young malaysian writer who is longing to blook his fiction. (i think he should blook his blog posts on blooking since this is the best blog on the subject i've come across!)

please do let us know how you get on mahaguru (btw saw you but did not have a chance to talk to you at that bloggers meet)

power to the bloggers!!!!!!!!!

animah said...

The cover is gorgeous. I want to go to Terengganu now!!! Ok, my Dad has a hut by the Tj Jara beach so I'm one of those fortunate ones.

On blooking, authors should just be take extra precautions in terms of copyright issues - give real name, country/city and date (year is good enough and copyright notice in prominent place in blog. Proper legal advice should be sought.

bibliobibuli said...

i think we should ask mph to organise a writer's circle on blooking soon ... when pak awang comes back to promote his book as i really hope he's going to

Kak Teh said...

Sharon, on behalf of Pak Awang, thanks for this entry and I have yet to thank you properly for directing Philip to the blog.

bibliobibuli said...

welcome kak teh - but phillip knew the blog and was in love with it before i gave him your contacts!

maybe the big fat cat who sits on your keyboard is also blogging when you're not there??

Kak Teh said...

How right you are sharon! Go see pictures in my blog. Cats galore!

Cheryl Hagedorn said...

There's a lot of information at Blooking Central. I've looked at 188 blooks and 32 blooks-to-be as of yesterday :-)

Jeff Ooi had a post about Malaysian blooks in January.

bibliobibuli said...

thanks so much, cheryl. i hope interested readers cehck out your blog on blooking, and also take a look at jeff ooi's post.

so there were 3 previous blooks, so i stand corrected. but this is the first entirely in english, so it is still a first in a way.

i predict that there will be plenty more to come!

svllee said...

Dear Kak Teh,..pls send my congratulations to Pak Awang on his new book!, yes, I agree, the cover image is wonderful.You must be so proud. Hope to obtain a copy soon. Looking forward to your review, Sharon.

bibliobibuli said...

will you be in kl with haliza for the lauch of your new book? that also looks wonderful!

svllee said...

Hello Sharon, yes! In fact I am in Heathrow right now waiting to board my flight to KL. Hope to catch you there!

Eli James said...

Oh gosh, Sharon. Thank you for the plug. Posting has really slowed down on Novelr ... I've been caught up with real life.

Happy Reader said...

Is 'Growing Up in Trengganu' available in US yet? I am unable to find a copy at Amazon.

bibliobibuli said...

i didn't see it when i checked on amazon either which is strange because most of monsoon books are there. i will check with the author when i see him. you could also contact the publisher or buy by post from

the book has gone for second printing as the first edition sold like hot cakes.

love your blog by the way!! a lot of books there that i'm meaning to get around to!

Happy Reader said...

Sharon, Thanks much for visiting my blog! Just sent you my postal address in the email.

Azhar Ahmad said...


Dear Sharon Bakar

I'm attracted with this word

Biggest congratulations to Awang Goneng whose forthcoming Growing Up in Trengganu (due to be released in a couple of weeks) is Malaysia's first blook (book based on a blog).

For me, it is not.

Please refer this BERNAMA news article at

The idea of publishing these entries evolved and thus "Jiwa Kacau", the first blook anthology was born in 2005, compiled by Basri.

The following year saw the first blook by Tok Rimau and Sinaganaga "Ayah Kita Bos" (2006), followed by Mat Jan with "Goblog" (2006) arranged by Dhani Ahmad, and "Masuk Barisan" (2006) by Basri, Jigo and Attokz.

bibliobibuli said...

thanks. yes. i already realised thanks to the folks who left comments that this wasn't the first, but i am so grateful to you for filling in further gaps in my considerable ignorance!

this is what i love about blogging - you only have to say something daft and everyone corrects you ... and in the process you learn.

i think all this is great testimony to the power of blogging.

maybe pak awang has the first english language blog to be blooked?