Monday, May 31, 2010

Finding Wilderness Tips in Mont Kiara

A few days back I had lunch with David T.K. Wong and Saras at Plaza Mont Kiara, and afterward David took us to visit a second-hand bookshop, Just Haven, which I had not known about before.

The stock wasn't huge, but there were certainly some good titles on the shelves and the prices were fair (around the RM10-12 mark).  It's a very welcoming space and Leslie, who runs the place, is extremely helpful. He's also beginning to organise book-related events.

It's funny kiasu-ism kicks in when a book-lover loves books.  I'm actually culling my shelves at the moment so that I can donate books to a library Daphne Lee and I are helping to build at Learning Works where I teach my creative writing courses, but how could I resist picking up a battered copy of Margaret Atwood's Wilderness Tips, a short story collection?

I'm so glad I did too because, two stories in, I'm really enjoying it.  The first story True Trash set in a summer camp, beautifully parodies the pulp romance novel of the 1950's and does things you don't expect in a short story - including juggling a whole cast of characters.

I began reading Atwood with Robber Bride which I got for free in a branch of Waterstones. (In the late '80's they had the great idea of giving away books with a voucher from their quarterly magazine but created interest in the author's new release.)

I can be excused not having read the earlier works at that time because I'd lived in places where books were hard to come by, but I think I can't be excused for not having completely caught up with now, especially as everything the lady writes gives me such great pleasure. It's good to take this small step.

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