Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Over to You?


Must admit - am feeling a little tired and uninspired at the moment, and am busy with teaching practice observation which has me dashing off to schools all over the city. Time I think to throw things over to you guys - what are you reading and what do you think of it?

I've been in a very nibblish mood lately, reading bits and pieces of things but finding it hard to settle to a whole book. I've been mighty impressed by J.D. Salinger's short stories (my copy is one of Dina Zaman's pre-loved books) . Am also reading - among other stuff - Adeline Lee's short stories and Malaysian Essays 2, and about to embark on Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall. I'm also enjoying a compilation of the short short stories that won the Writers Digest competition last year - my own entry not among them (but now am beginning to understand what they were looking for).

The wonderful bookstairs above were found by Tan Twan Eng At Guagga Art and Books in Cape Town. (The bookstore's site appears to be down at the moment.)

18 comments:

Richard said...

Tony Parsons' My Favourite Wife. The reviews rip it to pieces but I find it quite pleasant. Basically about an expat family in Shanghai.

John Creasey's Murder in the Family. Love these delightful little paperbacks from the politically-incorrect 40s and 50s.

gnute said...

Seven Days In The Art World by Sarah Thornton
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4z5tlRKr0JM

Amir Muhammad said...

Am reading the book you passed to be at Hotel Istana :-)

Just reached this sentence: "Lynne, according to everyone who met her in Malaya, was rarely to be seen without a glass of gin in her hand unless she was actually unconscious."

katztales said...

I'm reading Georgette Heyer Faro's Daughter which is light, fun and oh so cheering. Also, reading Deadly Doses, a book about poisons and murders for mystery writers. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels...
hope it can sustain the purple prose and not bog-boy one down...

- Poppadumdum

sbansin said...

My grandmother would have been totally shocked to see that staircase of books!! Books were so valuable and treated with much respect in my village when I was growing up... stepping over a book was considered taboo and we were told not to even place it on the floor. I quite like the staircase book idea though since I have practically covered every wall in the house with book shelves :-)!
By the way, I'm reading an old book that my husband found at a closing down sale entitled "A Justice for All: William J. Brennan Jr, and the Decisions That Transformed America" by Kim Isaac Eisler. Really interesting read (to me). It raises issues such as interpretation of the Constitution, Bill of Rights, death penalty, quota system, racial discrimination - issues which are current in Malaysia..

Greenbottle said...

reading charles bukowski's ham on rye now, his semi-autobiographical novel of 1980s. ...this guy was a very bad man which is very good for his fiction...in the book he called chinese chinks...and at one point the young boy henry jr asked his father and i quote..."Who are the best fighters the Chinks or the Japs?" "The Japs. The trouble is that there are too many Chinks. When you kill a Chink he splits in half and becomes two Chinks". "How come their skin is yellow?" "Because instead of drinking water they drink their own pee-pee"....certainly not a 1Malaysia type of person at all....

Fadz said...

I'm reading Cassandra Clare's City of Glass, book 3 of The Mortal Instruments. And i'm not ashamed to admit it!

LOL.

I have to say, she's getting better with this third installment. Less weird similes and metaphors, making the flow more fluent. Her writing shows her confidence too. Can't say anything about the adverbs though. YA Urban Fantasy is definitely interesting to read (and no, Amir, I didn't start noticing YA Urban Fantasy only after reading Twilight. Sheesh).

PS: The series has Nephilim, werewolves who can Change at will, a vampire who can withstand sunlight (he doesn't glitter though), demons, and faeries. No witches. But there's a gay warlock, and incest-love-tension between the main protagonists. Not to be read by conservatives. No, sir. You have been warned.

Anonymous said...

Sbansin,

The books propping up the staircase are actually just wallpapers of books' spines :-) We've been taught never to trod on books, sit on them or even put our feet on them, so it would have upset me too :-) On the other hand, if they were old books and of no interest to anyone anymore, I think they would not have minded being turned into staircase-props for an antiquarian bookshop, supporting a customer's 'rise to knowledge' :-)))

- Tan Twan Eng

saras said...

Wallpaper, what a relief. It was distressing (old habits die hard)to see the staircase of books even though it looked pretty good. Like Sbansin and Twan Eng,we were taught the same thing - respect for the book - and in addition to other 'no-nos' already mentioned, you were not even allowed to step over a book - and what was it doing on the floor in the first place?
saras

Kak Teh said...

sharon, am back and reading Wena Poon's Lions in Winter. Sorry couldnt meet up - perhaps during another visit. Keep well. KT

sbansin said...

Tan Twan Eng, oh.. wallpaper...I was just thinking how to convert my staircase into a book shelf :-). Rise in knowledge is always a good 'step' forward for humankind... (feeble attempt here)..

Saras, I still can't step over a book even now :-)!! Yes, old habit die hard.

Anonymous said...

Anyone has any other examples of taboos told by our parents and grandparents revolving around books? We'll call it "Tabooks" :-)))


- Tan Twan Eng

Kristen said...

I have a serious case of jealousy over those steps!

As to what I'm reading right now, the list is long and illustrious but the most recent book I had in my hands was The Scenic Route by Binnie Kirshenbaum. I'm only a handful of pages in so far so am undecided about it. I don't think it's going to make for a good car book as it needs more concentration than carpool line time is going to give it.

Damyanti said...

Reading: "A fortuneteller told me" by Tiziano Terzani. It is a book of travel stories by an Italian journalist, an Asia correspondent, who has been told by a fortune teller that his flight would crash a particular year. For the lark, he decides to travel by land and sea. A very well-written and interesting read, especially the bits about KL, Penang, Singapore

sbansin said...

"Tabooks" - that's a wonderful idea!! :-)

Damyanti, I loved "A fortuneteller told me"... I really enjoyed reading it. Another travel story that I loved was "Holy Cow" by Sarah MacDonald :-)

lil ms d said...

i loved a fortune teller told me... what am i reading now? have a few books piled up but im slowly making my way through the original brothers grim's fairy tales.

KayKay said...

What I have just finished, and what you should be reading, if you haven't started, ahead of next week's book club is Amitav Ghosh's spell-binding The Glass Palace.