Showing posts with label Books~. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Books~. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

99 Cahaya di Langit Eropah


I haven't been writing about the books that I read for nearly 5 years! I used to love doing book reviews in the past and occasionally I did get email of appreciation from the authors too! Nowadays, I only updated my Good Reads bookshelf once in a while but I never leave reviews. Just to keep track whether I have reach my number of books read per year target or not. My target is very low, just 12 books per year; that's one book per month.

This one is my latest favourite, written by an Indonesian lady. It's not that hard to understand since there are not many Indonesian words that are unfamiliar to me. It's basically a travelogue while her husband and her lived in Austria for a few years. It was about how they had to adapt from living in an Islamic country to being a minority in Europe. And how they discovered the history of Islam all over Europe and come to love Islam more and more thereafter.

The first part of this book tells about how the expansion of the Ottoman empire was halted in Austria. Then they went to Paris and was accompanied by a historian who brought them into the Lourve where she showed them the exhibits that proves how Islamic culture was highly regarded for centuries in the past. Then they went to Spain to learn more about the Al-Andalus.

I'm quite familiar with the Islamic history and I remember them quite well from watching many documentaries but this book tells me a lot of things that I've never  heard of like how Croissant is related to the defeat of the Ottoman. I also love how the couple responded when their devotion were questioned by those who didn't believe in God and how the other characters that they met worked hard to portray that Islam is a religion of peace.

I love how she can incorporate the Quranic verses and Hadith in the paragraphs. This reminds me of "Ayat-ayat Cinta" the first book that made me fall in love with Indonesian books; they are just full of reminders that make me stop and ponder for a while or if it's something unheard of, I will search for itand get to learn something new.

What made it so exciting while I was reading this, I was in Europe! And I was in Spain when I finally get the time to read it since there were a lot of moving about while we were in Norway. The film is good, I was told but I decided to read the book first before watching it. I highly recommend this for leisure read (^^)

This book really made me think of how Islam reached its peak in the past. It was how the people of that time really understand and follow what was taught in the Al Quran and Hadith; they put knowledge on top of everything and observed good akhlaq. As oppose to people nowadays, there are even group of 'intellects' who are trying to challenge the interpretation of the Al Quran and Hadith to suit their lifestyle. Unbelievable~  

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Best Little Book Club in Town..

I haven't been writing about the good books that I read recently. So here's one, The Best little book club in town.

This is a book that picked rather hastily because we were doing our shopping for Beijing and I thought I would need one good book in Beijing because the flight to Beijing is 6 hours and no plans during the night.

But then I only start reading it on the flight back to Malaysia. Anyway.. I LOVE THIS BOOK!!! It is one of the best then.. Why??

This book is pretty much for adult. I think teens who are expecting for lovey dovey fantasy won't like this much. It's actually filled with short stories from various authors; some that I've known of but some are just new to me. So I love the variety of writing styles, the unexpected endings, the mysteries, the 'moving on' stories...

Most of the stories are about characters that are in their 40's who are facing that midlife crisis. Who are at the stage where they started to realize there are forgotten dreams, who suddenly realize they've been living with the wrong person, who are trying to move on because being left by that person who realize he'd been living with the wrong person.. Stories about one who regret past mistakes.. Stories about apology and forgiveness..Stories about everlasting love.. And a pinch of mystery too!

My favourite would be this story about this old man who was invited for a television interview and he insisted to have his wife beside him because it'll make the memory clearer; he was to tell about this spy he'd written in his book named Tony Jackson. He told the story of how Tony Jackson went to Russia for a mission to find his 'shadow'. Then suddenly Tony Jackson met a girl, Magda and spent days with her and was distracted from his mission. On the fifth day, he was arrested and imprisoned. Suddenly, the door to his cell was opened and it was the girl he'd spent time with. Magda was his 'shadow'... He escaped with Magda's help.. At the end of it, the interviewer asked, "Are you Tony Jackson?" He said yes. And the interviewer turned to his wife of 30 years and asked "And you're Magda, isn't it" and she nodded with a smile :)

I know the way I wrote it is not that interesting. But the way it was written by the author is interesting because he mixed it with some thrilling action stuff. And there's something that's very sweet about this story too! okay I wanna marry a spy too! Like Tuck Henson in 'This means war' haha

(^^) Love this book.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mornings in Jenin

Yup! I just finished another book :) But before I go on with my review, I've a story of my own..

Recently, one of my staff went to Israel for pilgrimage. I was excited to see the pictures. I wanted to see what the land of Palestine have become these days. As I was browsing through the album..

Staff: Saya rasa bagus lagi bha dorang di bawah Israel. Maju.. Yang bahagian2 orang orang Palestin ni semua miskin..

I'm very bad at hiding my facial expression. I think I gave her a frown that says "What da..!!??" I, of course, don't agree with this. Never! The Palestinians are gradually being banished from their own land and this has been going on for almost a century. Just imagine if Sabahans are being exiled from their own land by some intruder.. Owh how sad that would be. Being colonized is a different thing. You're still staying in your own land but have to abide to the rulings of strangers.. But when you're being exiled, you have to abandon your own land and could only live with memories~

But then... Many people are not aware of the issue. They heard from the news that Israel is the bad guy but don't know what it's all about...

Sooooo.. Now about the book... I like it very much!!!

The characters are fictional but the chronology of attacks on the Palestinians are true. The author goes back to the days when there is still Palestine. She described how they'd lived in normalcy; nothing to be afraid of and can just go on with daily living without fear of death.

The story actually tells about the story of a family of 4 generations. The ones who'd lived in Palestine, the ones who have to deal with exile, the ones who have to deal with massacres and the ones who'd survived and have to deal with loss.

Actually, books like this are in a way kind of similar to each other. There'll be fear, uncertainties, longings, rage and whatnot. But the cliche' never bore me because that's the reality; those are the definite emotions that will arise when you're living the life of those in the stories.

The part that touched me most is their unwavering hope to go back to their own land. Like in From Beirut to Jerusalem, the characters in this book are also persevere and very good in reconstructing life.

I also like the author's style of writing; poetic and very detail that you can clearly imagine the how it was before the war and after that.. (^^) If you like Kite Runner, you'll like this very much

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Stanley and Sam.. :)

Lately, I didn't have time to finish any fiction. But I've been reading these thin books; <300 pages. Lessons from Stanley the Cat and Letters to Sam.

I bought Lessons from Stanley the Cat first and finished it in mere minutes. It's very simple yet the messages are clear and concise. It tells you of what life lessons you can learn from a pet and I deemed all in it are undeniably correct but are the things that I've failed to notice all these years of having cats in my house.

The author have been observant alright. I love the way how she connects the behaviour of a cat to our daily living. Like this part that I love..

Pursue your goals like prey. Take time to make a good plan and have patience to follow through a number of times. Failure is simply another opportunity to create a different strategy. Do not take mistakes personally

And with these words there is an illustration of a cat in a pouncing position. This is very true, you see. My cats never give up when it comes to getting something that they want. Like if they're hungry, they'll be pestering you by rubbing their body against your feet endlessly. Or they'll just annoy you with their high pitch mewing or just bite your toe and that's when I finally give up and give them what they want.

Letters to Sam~ Hurm.. I've been flipping through the pages of this book in different bookstores for so many times already. Too expensive for its small number of pages. But I finally dicided to buy this book because I needed a book that contains a collection of short stories during my travel. So, this book suits my preference since the letters are divided into several parts.

Daniel Gottlieb, the author, is a Jewish psychologist who'd been a quadriplegic for so many years due to an accident. Sam is actually his grandson who is autistic so he wrote these letters to convey his message about love and life.

In this book, we can see the world from the eyes of the disabled; how he had to deal with sudden changes, heartbreaks, acceptance and finally starting anew. My favourite part in this book would be the part when his wheelchair tires got stuck in a gopher hole. No one was home to assist him so he got stuck there for hours and got frustrated. He yelled and yelled to his frustration. When he got tired, he stopped, and start to notice the singing birds and suddenly he found peace. The birds have been singing all along but he didn't notice it because he was too busy fighting to be 'released' from the gopher hole and was too frustrated when he failed.

The moral from that part of this book is that life can get hard sometimes and we'll cry and rage over it that we can be blinded of the things that give us peace although the things have always been there all along...

So that's it for Books~ Highly recommended for those seeking motivation and inspiration :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Hector And The Search For Happiness

I've been doing a lot of reading as usual but haven't got the time to post it here. Have been trying different authors just to look at their style of writing but for this one, I was simply attracted by the cartoon on the front cover. It was a standout from the rest of the books whose covers are a cliche of an adult novel..

So, when I saw this book, I quickly grab it to have a read of some sentences. You know, just to get the hint whether I'm going to like or not. I immediately liked it!!!!!!! I like the naivety of the writing style. The story start off with

"Once upon a time there was a young psychiatrist called Hector who was not very satisfied with himself."

And then goes Hector's journey all over the world in search of what makes people happy. Hector make a conclusion at the end of each encounter or an event and my favourite was when he was in China. He was walking towards this monastery on top a mountain and he felt serenity throughout his walk. Then he pulled out his little notebook and jot Happiness is a long walk in beautiful, unfamiliar mountains.

Hector actually went to many countries and met a lot of people. I like it that the author made me guess the countries that Hector went. The author wrote something like 'it's a country that speaks Hector's language' or 'a country where people always want more'. I just made a wild guess, though. Not very sure myself hehe

I also think it's good that Hector's character is not all perfect. He slept with women, had to deal with uncertainties and discontent. I think this book is nice for leisure read; witty!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Eat Pray Love.. (-_-")

I don't know whether I'm the first person to say this.. I DON'T LIKE THIS BOOK...

I saw quite a lot of positive reviews from bloggers about the book, so that's why I bought it. And another thing is because Julia Roberts starred the motion picture. This is the book that I searched for two hours and finally saw two copies of it cloaked by towering books around it. There were two copies only!!! Obviously lots of pepole have been buying it~ But now, after having read 1/3 of it, I decided to stop because I just can't find any reason to proceed till the end...

This is an honest memoir indeed.. Honestly boring.. I was expecting the EAT part will make my mouth water just like Recipe for Life did.. But the author just go about telling about her depression, her dillema with men in her life, with her wanting to learn Italian.. And she goes all around the bushes before getting to the main point.. Maybe that's her way of making the book thicker..

I was expecting the EAT part would describe the taste of the food, how beautifully they are being served, the aroma.. Things like that... But the author just mention what she ate.. Just mention the names~ Like I know what those food are like by their names.. Even the way she describe Rome is so simple that it seems like there's nothing special about it..

Actually, my books are like a doorway for me to explore the places that I couldn't reach. My books are among the reasons why I'm so eager saving money to travel and see the places mentioned in the books with my own eyes. But this book doesn't excite me.. I wish I never bought it.. I should've bought another book...

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Thousand Splendid Suns

So.. After Recipe for Life which was somewhat a leisure reading that stimulate the secretion of gastric juice (chewah! ayat pharmacist), I opted to read something overwhelming that'll bring me to tears.. So.. Yeah.. I picked A Thousand Splendid Suns.

This is another brilliant work of Khaled Hosseini's. An absolute page turner and it took me only 3 days to finish it up (I'm actually a slow reader..).. The setting is still the same, the war-inflicted Afghanistan and in this book he addresses the oppression of women..

I really love how he blend history into this fiction. The story started off with when Afghanistan was under Communist in which women were treated almost equally (from what I understood) and were allowed to be educated; that's up to University level.

But then things change.. There were so many exchange of powers, so many killings and finally he brought readers to the Taliban era in which they practiced strict Islamic rulings
(extremely strict that is)

Most of the plots are actually stories from the household of the main characters. There are two main characters in this book, Mariam and Laila, and their stories are being told in alternate chapters. In this story, we can see how sons are favoured over daughters and how a woman's needs are often ignored.

There's a love story too.. I love the love story part because I think it's like a buffer that eases the agony throughout the whole story. It's a friendship turned into love, then separation, then reunion...

I guess, the most heartbreaking part was when women were deprived from recieving proper treatment for ailments. In the extremely strict law, the Taliban only allow female doctors to treat women. This is very ironic you see, because in their era, women were also not allowed to be educated so the number of female doctors were scarce. They were ordered to do procedures with their Burqa and that compromises the hygeine of a procedure..

The author described how hectic the women hospital was. So much clamour going on; people pleading to be treated first, wailing voices of pain, weeping family members, dusty air.. Gave me goosebumps as I imagined how it was..

After reading this, I'm so grateful to have been fated to be born in Malaysia, enjoying the peace and harmony. Grateful to have been granted a good mind and the opportunity to build up my potentials. There's so many things to be grateful of if we look at how actually people in the other parts of the world are being terrorized... Alhamdulillah~

Sometimes I wish I could help change the world.. Or give a helping hand...

\\(".) A helping hand.....

Monday, July 18, 2011

Recipe For Life...

I love floating~ That's the period when you finish the provisional training and wait for the posting. My shoulders are free of burden.. I can work in my own pace and do the things I love like read books for hours... Hehe So yeah I just finish another novel (^^)/

Recipe For Life~

One word to describe this book.. DELICIOUS..

This time this bewitching square object took me to Italy. Well, the first part was set in London and then the main character was in so much trouble that she finally decided to go to Italy to spend her summer and learn how to cook...

Delicious is because the author described the Italian food in a rather intricate detail.. I can imagine the simmering tomato sauce.. The tantalizing aroma of the herbs.. I'm a big fan of Italian food!!! I can say reading about them is kind of vexing because they only hover in your mind but not linger with your tastebuds.

Well, I guess the synopsis made me put high expectations for this book.. Like to really 'learn' about the 'recipe of life'. I was expecting a hidden message like the one in 'The Alchemist' by Paulo Coelho but then the story line is rather straightforward.

The story was about this woman in her twenties, Alice, that acquainted with an old lady, Babetta, that she met during her summer holiday. Well both of them have their own dilemmas to solve.. I was trying to catch what is it that Babetta have taught Alice about.. But I just can't find any until the end.. The old woman wasn't showing any examplary deeds and actually the story just revolve around Alice's tumultuous life.

But I found something to like about the book though.. The book actually tells about the reality of life; the low and high tides. The book start off with Alice being raped and her boyfriend cheating. And then she got hold of things again and start to progress in cooking. Then as things seem to be in her way, suddenly new problems arise. Then she gave up her dream and got involved in a relationship for decades. It was a relationship that defer commitments. She lives with the guy in a big mansion but there was no love between them and she was not happy though she didn't realize it at first..

And then.. At the end, it conclude that if things don't seem to suit you in the beginning, it doesn't mean that it won't suit you in the end.. And yes.. All of us make wrong decisions sometimes.. Hehe That's how God have made our life.. Full of surprises which are beyond our limited knowledge..

O yeah.. I've a favourite phrase too

"Cooking is the most intimate thing you can do for someone. I make something for you with my hands and then you put it inside your body. What can be more intimate than that.."

So.. Conclusion seterusnya.. Mesti pandai masak baru bole kawen :P hahaha

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Never Let Me Go~

Again.. I judged a book by it's cover....

Ok.. Cover x nampak.. So actually the cover is from the movie's poster..

My first impression from seeing the cover was.. This must be a very vey sad love story.. The synopsis at the back doesn't tell much so that made me more curious. And suddenly it's on my shelf (^^)v

The storyline is not that straightforward and I'm actually quite confuse right now on how to actually make the review of this book..

The whole story consist of 3 parts; that's when they were kids, when they were teenagers and as adults. The first part was about their life in Hailsham, the boarding school where they live in. There were terms like 'donors', 'carers' and whatnot. At the end of the first part, I was still confused of who these kids really are because their life are different from normal kids, they have weird teachers whom they called the guardians and some weird routines in their daily living too. Finally I googled and read about the book in Wikipedia and found out that they're actually clones. And I was like "OMG! I actually bought a Sci-Fi!!!!" but kept on reading anyway.

The second part was about their life in the Cottages. I say their teenage life is my favourite because it was when they start to explore the outside world. Their adulthood somehow filled with agony because they start becoming donors. That's what they were created for; to donate their organs to 'normal people'. So it's really sad the part where they have to endure complications from the donations. Usually a clone could put up until 3 donations before they die.

All in all, I say this book is very plain. But what keeps me to the end is the way the author wrote about their friendship, about their feelings, their curiousity and how they care for each other, especially the bond between Kathy and Tommy (the main characters in the book). Both of them were so close that they didn't realize that what they have is actually love.

One more thing, I'm actually amazed by how a male writer can actually write about girls' friendship in an almost precise details. The friendship that Kathy had with her friends were almost like the ones that I had during my schooldays hehe Yeah maybe that's what keeps me going to the end though I've decided this is not my favourite genre since long long long time ago...

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Half the Sky..

I've just finished reading about Oprah's book collection when I'm suddenly reminded of writing the review about "Half The Sky"; a book I bought a month ago.. So here goes

I've always been the kind who judge a book by its cover. So obviously I was drawn to this book by the enticing phrase under the title "How to change the world". And also the reviews written inside those clouds are very encouraging too and one of them is actually by Khaled Hosseini.

Basically, this is another book that puts the limelight on human rights; particularly women. It narrates a lot of stories from all over the world about oppressed women; mostly due to traditional taboo in which women are stigmatized or put to a standard lower than that of men. As I read through chapter by chapter, I would sometimes run to my laptop and start typing the name mentioned to know more about the story. Some stories are just so unimaginable. The thing done to those women were so hineous that I would just stop reading, inhaled a deep breath, and then resume my reading...

One story that gave me goosebumps was about this thug in one of the slum in India who steal, molested men, raped women and murdered those who retaliate. This thug and his gang once sliced a woman's breast in front of the public, and then killed her and cut her into pieces. One man who wanted to report to the police was then burnt to death. So, one day this thug and his gang wanted to steal from this family whose daughter is the only university graduate in the slum. So, the daughter refused to open the door and even threaten the guy that she'll blow them all up by releasing the gas from the kitchen stove. Seeing the girl's bravery, the rest of the slum started to throw things to the gang that they finally retreat.

Not long after that, the thug was arrested and brought to trial. During the trial, as he walk to the stand, he saw a woman he once raped and arrogantly said to that woman, "When I'm released, I'll rape you again". The woman stood up, and slapped his face with her sandal. Then suddenly hundreds of women came trashing into the court. They are the victims of rape. They start to punch and stab the thug to death in the courtroom. Those women just can't stand it anymore and had brought justice into their own hands.

A handsome face and a golden heart.. Hehe

I got kind of excited too when I came across a story that was once mentioned in one of Oprah's talkshow. It was about how rape is rampant in Congo as a war weapon. I remember that particular episode because Ben Affleck went to Congo to assist the aid mission there hehe (^^)v

There are many more stories inside; such as about how women are forced into prostitutions and being stigmatized due to gender inequality.

I have to admit that it is kind of depressing to read this kind of book but I think it's another way of bringing myself out of my comfort zone and help me to realize that despite of all the bad things that befall me at times, I'm still very lucky than some other people somewhere in this world. Alhamdulillah... I say, this book is also galvanizing; that is it galvanizes you to want to do something about it.. Now one of Micheal Jackson's lyrics is hovering in my mind...

"If you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Kite Runner~ T_T

I know I'm like more than half a decade late.. This book was published in 2003 and Khaled Hosseini already has his 2nd novel published.. I just finish reading this book recently and I have like tons of praises to laud this author for this very fascinating piece of work!

The book was known to me about 2 years ago when Len pointed at it during one of our strolls in MPH Midvalley. She said lots of people recommended it to her and she saw the book in our library in Kuantan. I wasn't paying much attention back then because I already had another book in mind but I'd kept the detail in my mind

The Kite Runner; good book. Must read one day~

I've to say it's the price of English books that deprived me from buying them during my study years. Soooooo discouragingly expensive! Now... I can buy them as much as I please!! Muahaha!! So back to the book.. Let me tell you what it did to me...

I started reading it on the flight back to Kota Kinabalu from Penang. It was undeniably a page-turner and I manage to read half of it during the flight. I was sandwiched in between two chinese girls; one was sound asleep with her head propped againts the window and the other one flipping through a chinese magazine. There I was; the book clasped in my left hand and my right hand was continuously pulling plies of tissues because tears kept running down my cheeks! I think I cried in 2/3 of the journey hahaha

So what's so0o0o0 special about the book???

1stly. The Language... I say Khaled Hosseini is a great story teller.. The words, the adjectives he used was in every way perfect to enable readers to imagine every single plots clearly. You can feel the sorrow, the guilt, the love and whatnot of every character. He didn't need bombastic words to make his story beautiful~

Then of course the story itself.. It starts off with the beauty of the friendship between Amir and Hassan. Hassan's loyalty towards Amir was unshakable and he was so naive! And I was very touched by Baba's generosity and humility. He accepted his own servant as family, built orphanage, help the poor, stood up to what he thought was right and many more. Baba's character has its own flaws but I say he's like a Hero! hehe

I was also touched by the love of the Afghans towards their land.. When Amir came back to search for Sohrab, at first he thought he had forgotten Afghanistan and Afghanistan had forgotten him.. But then he still feel the sense of belonging to the land when he was there despite how horrific the condition was due to wars.. He didn't recognize most of the places he visited after years of exile.

Everybody have to read this!!!!

This kind of story kind of remind you to put your feet on the ground no matter how high you soar above the sky~

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Have a little faith~

This book made it into my birthday wish list last year. I finally manage to have it on my bookshelf somewhere in October and finished reading it just before my 24th birthday. So now, I officially have the full collection of Mitch Albom's (^^)/ Yeay!!!!

So about the book.. It's a true story alright.. About a Jewish Reb and a Christian pastor.

Two stories combined in one book..

The story starts off with Albom recollecting the memory of his childhood. How he'd belonged to a devout jewish family and had ardently attended all religious classes. He mentioned that if he were to be 'the man of God', he'd all the chance to become one. Then, as he grew, his life evolved and his commitment towards his religion starts to insidiously slip away from his fingers. Visits to congregation become lesser and lesser and finally nil. And as he drift and wade in the worldly tide filled with obligations towards his job, his love life and whatnot, suddenly, the Reb whose sermonts he used to attend requested him to write a eulogy.

He reluctantly agreed to the Reb's request and then he'd decided to make some visits to really get to know the Reb in person. The visits was suppose to be for a few weeks but weeks turned into months and months turned into 8 years. The visits were quite similar to the once he made to his late Professor, Morrie. They'd talked about life, belief, death and many more

There were of course parts that I like in the book. One is when the Reb said,
"Religion doesn't fight, it's human who fight."

I like how the Reb had respected other religions during his lifetime. He mentioned that it's a human free will to choose a belief. He was saddened when the Israeli brutally attacked Palestine in the 60's. And there were also fables that he told that I really really like...
"One who sleeps in the storm"

About the Pastor.. That part to me is kind of a cliche. From a notorious drug dealer he become a Pastor; was enlightened when he was saved from being murdered. After the incident, he repented and become a pastor and what I like the most would be that he also provide shelter to the homeless. He welcomed homeless people to his church, give them food and that was when he preached.

When I mentioned the book to my cousin, she was surprised to why I was reading such book.. You know, like rabbi and pastor instead of imam.. But again, as I've mentioned in my other book reviews, it's the lessons in it that matters. I have chosen my belief and no book can shake what I uphold, inshaAllah.

To think about it, the Albom part at the beginning was kind of familiar.. You know, when you were small or when you were in the hostel or school, you tend to fulfill all religious obligations and some even manage to do additional supplications; the one posed as sunnah. But then, many would start to forget all those practices when they leave the place.. The ibadah become lesser and lesser and finally nil (nauzubillah..)

Overall, in a way this book could remind us on the importance of understanding our belief, what it meant to be istiqomah and to respect others belief.. I like it but... I still favour Five people I meet in heaven

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Lost Choice~

To tell you the truth, this book has been shelved for quite some time (probably more than a year). I finally had this hunch to read it somewhere during Ramadhan. And man! this book is actually amazing! I should've read it earlier~ I'm not really sure if everybody would love this one as much as I do, but I was definitely touched by the plots...

The story is actually about a couple's effort to unravel the mystery of an object that their little son found in the ditch. They were intrigued by its ancient looks and by the message written on it which was traslated by an acquaintance.. The message reads "By your hand, the people shall be saved". They later found out there were other similar objects with different messages.

They persistently dug for information and later found that these objects were once possesed by great people in history.. And every now and then the author actually takes us back in time to appreciate the deeds of the great people meantioned..

George Washington Carver
Alfred Vanderbilt
Oskar Schindler
John Adams and Jonas Salk
Queen Elizabeth I
Joan of Arc etc.

The story was made so interesting that I actually googled all the names and yeah.. They were like unsung heroes; only known to those keen of history, I presume.. Let me share with you some of my favourite parts in the book..

George Washington Carver made a lot of discoveries during his lifetime and he has this one habit that amazed me to the hilt. He regulary woke up at four every morning to 'talk' to God and will ask for inspiration and after that he'll start his work in the laboratory. His 'conversation' with God was specific.. He asked speific things such as "why God made peanut" and most of the time he is answered.. When you read this part of the book, you'll definitely see that Carver was asking God on how he could contribute to the people everyday..

It was dawned on me while reading this part of the book that this is very applicable to Muslims since we are obliged for morning prayers.. We could pray and ask Allah to enlighten us on what to do to contribute to the people each day... I mean, in a more specific way...

Another story that extremely moved my soul was the story about Alfred Vanderbilt. A millionaire from an eminent family in American history. He board the Lusitania bound to Liverpool and this unfortunate vessel was actually topedoed by the Germans (man! my favourite team~) and sunk into the Atlantic ocean in 18 minutes; that's thirteen times faster than the Titanic!

His deed? He actually gave his life jackets to others as the ship sank and he did this twice! (and that's why life jacket is plural there) He also collected as many life jackets he could find and fastened them on children. He perished along with his valet. And I did cry while reading this part.. This is something that I don't think I could do..

There's this part that moved me most

"The world has just set onto a better path. And that path will echo through generations because of your actions today"

T_T cry cry cry~

All in all, this book actually emphasize that every individual has their own part to play in making this world a better place fo everyone. It's just a matter of choice... There's one part that says something like

"What you do matters, what you don't do actually also matters but we seldom realize that"

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Choice~

Let me tell you one secret of mine~ Since I broke up about 2 years ago, I've never been able to finish a love story book; even the ones written by my favourite authors. I would either lose interest as I flip the pages or fall asleep in the course of reading the most intriguing part of the story, only to find the book lying on my chest as I open my eyes. But congratulation to me for breaking the habit. Another indication that I'm moving on~ cewah!

In all honesty, the tittle is rather plain. I think if it weren't for the fact that I love Nicholas Sparks', the normalcy of the tittle might've caused me to pick up another book instead. But 'The Choice' is another brilliant piece of work by Spark..

The story is about Travis Parker, an overly laid-back guy who fall for his neighbour, Gabrielle a.k.a Gabby. Their first meeting was unpleasant. Gabby stomed into Travis' yard and confronted him for being at fault to the pregnancy of her dog because he'd let his dog to wander around. Gabby was later abashed to find that Travis' dog was actually neutered.

Then the story goes on with the occasions in which they get to know each other. I like the conversations between the two. They were casual and to some extend amusing. I was smiling and even laughing as I read them. And then of course, like any other love story they got married.

There were actually
choices that the characters have to make. Firstly, when Gabby finally realize that Travis is her soulmate, she had to gather all her might to tell her boyfriend she'd fallen for another. It didn't took her long to choose between her boyfriend and Travis.

Then, as the story approach its end, Travis was dealing with a tough decision that he have to make that involve the life of his beloved wife. And he'd chosen a choice that's against Gabby's will but was fortunately the right one..

One thing that I like about Sparks' love stories is that they don't simply revolve around romance and lust like other story books do. I really hate those that tell love-making in details. I love it when the love story is blend with family values and friendship. What stirred my heart to the hilt is when Travis was so consumed by the ordeal that befall their family; his emotion was unstable and his heart was dwelled by guilt. He several times debated with himself about the right things to do as he struggle alone in parenthood. And he'd constantly showered Gabby with unconditional love even when Gabby was unable to give anything in respond. I really like it when Travis finally choose to be strong for his daughters and continue his normal living for he knew that's what Gabby would've wanted~

This kind of story really makes you believe that true love does exist hehe (^^)

*Am wondering whether it is true that it'll find you when you least expect it?? hehe

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Palestine.. From Beirut to Jerusalem~

This is a book I borrowed from Shifaa. She sort of dug this out from her library to show it to me after the Mavi marmara incident. I sort of delayed reading it since I was trying to finish one of the shopaholic series. But once I start leafing through the pages of the book, I just couldn't get it off my hands~ This book made hot tears running down my cheeks...

This book is actually the account of a doctor's experience while she was working in Beirut as a volunteer in one of the hospital near Sabra and Shatilla. She came to Lebanon amidst a devastating war and when she first set foot on the camps, she was flabbergasted by the aura of agony waft around the refugee camps.. In the middle of the war, the surronding was etched with potholes from bombs, grenades and shells... The homes of the Palestinians and other buildings were reduced into rubbles and ruins.. There were even stench from dead bodies..

Ceasefire was established after the evacuation of the 'terrorists' from Beirut. Only the women, children and old folks were left and the evacuation gave promise to new hope and reconstruction of life. Believing this, the Palestinians left in Sabra and Shatilla gave up their weapons to the authority for the sake of peace. 3 days after rebuilding the camps, a group of militants thrust their way into the camps and start their massacre. Women and children were herd in a stadium and shot dead~ Pool of blood were everywhere; even the newly painted walls are now smeared with the red colour of blood. They were unable to resist for all the strong men were already shove off from the land~

The author described how terrible she felt for not being able to do anything about it. She was kept hostage in the hospital where she was working. Discomfited by the sounds of shots and exploding bombs outside, she waited in horror for the time to be released and face the aftermath of the atrocity.

The most touching part would be the part where she described the kindness, hospitality, generosity and the strength of the Palestinians. She often wonder where did the Palestinians acquire such resilience and perseverance. Everytime war broke, everything they've built were crumbled but the Palestinians always could reconstruct almost immediately after the war ends at an incredible speed.

In the book, the author often mention the incredible people she encountered. Palestinians, Lebanese, dedicated volunteer workers who come from various countries and of various religions and beliefs. I was so touched by their unshaken spirit to uphold the rights of the Palestinians.

A mourning mother who'd loss her family said this..

"We will get back our homeland. Not too soon.. Not too late.. But just in time"

And I was very moved by the hospitals motto

"Treat friends and enemy alike"

And this was proved in an incident where the doctor refused to treat Israeli soldiers and a Palestinian counterpart of hers came to her and said,

"They may have killed my forefathers and my family members, but still they have the rights to have our treatment"

I also admire how the Palestinians accept the deaths of their fighters and honoured them as heroes and never as defeat.. When a war ends, the living children would stand together and held their hands up high and some making peace signs with their hands for they've survived the war.

I really think I should stop now hehe I'm very excited about this book that if I don't stop now, I'll end up writing another book about this book in here hehe

so this book is highly recommended! O yeah~ actually the author tells about her visits in 1982, 1985 and 1987 but I only highlighted the story about Sabra and Shatilla in 1982 so I saved all the suspense about other massacres of the later years~

O0o0o0 Palestine~

*am thinking of buying this book for my own collection =)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

That thing that makes a man look SEXIER~

First and foremost, I'm just a normal girl with the tendecy to eye on good-looking guys. This is just a recollection of when I first found out what makes a man more appealing...

I was sitting on the beach in Sapi island with my cousin. We were in the middle of a chat when suddenly we felt a swoosh of wind passing us. It was no ordinary wind.. It was from the stride of a young, tall, nice built and handsome caucasian man. The attraction was irresistable as if there was a magnet forcing our eyes to leer on his every moves.

He stopped and spread a garment on the white sands. He lied down and put his sunglasses on. So that's it~ we thought he was going to lie down flat and enjoy sunbathing.. Typical~

But then, what made him worthy of our second glance was when he pulled out a book, which seems like a novel to me, from his bag and start reading it... Pergh! that was seriously alluring. There was like a magical charm there.. I thought it might be due to the good looks plus em.. intelligence perhaps hehe I gave him 10/10!

A bookworm can be rare among the male stock but they seriously don't have the idea how books can actually draw women to them...

I remember one time I sort of accidently blurt this out,

"You know, if one day a Beast come to me and offer me his library just like how the Beast offered Belle his library in Beauty and the Beast, I'll definitely marry him"

But at the end of that conversation I sort of retract that since I don't think marrying a beast is that cool unless he turns into a normal human being in the end :P

So yeah~ That thing that makes a man look sexier is actually BOOKS and this brings me to some wishes about books~ here goes

1. I wish to write a book and get it published one day

2.Other then aspiring to have my own pharmacy one day, I actually would love to have my own bookstore hehe

I've always been an avid reader but I sort of slow down a little bit a few years back but now since I'm so free, the habit seems to reemerge and I just can't stop reading books these days.. so I figured that I'll do some book review in this blog because I do find lots and lots of beneficial books these days and I really think it's worthy to share them with all of yous =)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Paulo Coelho~

Hurm.. Tracing back my favourite authors...

Francine Pascal-->> Sweet Valley (Jr.. high..mid school..mystery.. I had them all haha)

R.L Stine-->> Goosebumps and the Cheerleader Saga where there's this cheerleading team that seem to be haunted by evil spirits~

Sidney Sheldon-->>Fell in love with "Nothing Last Forever" and started to collect his books.. They are thrillers~

J.K Rowling-->> Harry Potter is an all time favourite...

Nicholas Sparks
-->> My favourite author for romance.. Mature storyline with the least obscene plots if compared to other romance books hahaha My favorite would be "The Wedding" but I also like "The Walk to Remember" (Nangis masa baca time kelas add math masa form 5)

Danielle Steel
-->> My favourite "Granny Dan"

Mitch Albom-->> One more to complete my collection...

Well.. There are more but these are amongst those that I collected..
But seriously, I realized that my reading materials are turning more philosophical and abstract these days.. Rather than favouring fiction, where there's an idealistical story which I'm supposed to be eager to finish, I prefer real life stories now.. Real life stories where each line is contemplated into a greater meaning of my own.. Which to some extend will influence the actions that follow after I close the book.. Okay~ enough said so now I want to talk about this new-found favourite author...

Hurm.. I really don't know what drives me to talk about this author's writing.. I think I'm just mesmerized by the way he perceive the world around him.. By the way he sees things whereby he note that every single element of the world are parts of the unique circle of life.. And he has this gift of making great analogy from the things around u
s and relate it to the things we do in life.. He also have this collection of stories that he gained from years and years of travelling and interaction with people..

Yup this is my first book of Paulo Coelho's.. This one comprise of short stories.. About the things he encountered, his ideas from the phenomenon that he observed.. His language are so easy to understand, gracefully written because he did mention that the most important thing is to make readers understand what he's trying to convey.

He's a Brazillian and is quite a devout Christian.. I always think that Brazillian are like that because I remember during one World Cup, when Brazil won, after a few leaps of joy after the victorious penalty (I think it was a penalty that time), the players formed a huge circle and they prayed together for a moment right in the middle of the field and then start to celebrate their triumph again...

So.. For this book, there are some parts where he did mention about missionary, chapel and stuffs but really from my opinion, that shouldn't deprive us from extracting the positive messages.. You can just read it, ignore it and not let it influence your faith...

Yeah~ so if you favour Mitch Albom or any other known author who loves to write about what matters in life, you'll definitely like this one..

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Last Lecture

Happy Birthday to ME~ Hehe

Guess what did I pick for my birthday present?? It's an inspirational book entitled "The Last Lecture"

Well... I came to know about the book months ago when I was searching for articles to read in the internet.. And fortunately a few days ago I saw it here in Labuan. You just can't imagine how ecstatic I was that I immediately ran to get my mommy and asked her to buy it for me as a birthday present.. In a few minutes, the book was safely kept in a plastic bag held tightly in my hand :) so0o0o0 HAPPY...

So what is it about this book that attract me so0o0o0 much..? Well, I consider the author is one of the concrete reason to love this book :) The book is written by Randy Pausch who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.. He was one brave man who'd opted the most agonizing treatment to keep himself alive for as long as he could.. Can you imagine that.. He chose to endure all the pain and discomfort just to have more time with the people he love... WOW! He several times repeat...

"Time is all that you have. You may have less than you think"

This guy got his own way to inspire others... The whole story was well-plotted and well-delivered. He started it off with how he'd reached his childhood dreams.. Followed by how he'd helped others to reach their dreams and then finally the lessons he'd learnt throughout 47 years of living... This guy is one strong man who chose to response optimistically towards what he had to deal with.. He did not choose to grieve but chose to spend his remaining time to prepare his family for his "departure" ... He wanted to have his legacy...

So I would love to quote some phrases and also tell you some parts that seem to give a lot of meaning to me... Hurm.. Lets check them out...

"When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you... You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you, and want to make you better.."

Lessons Learnt...

1. Earnest is better than Hip.. -->> Translation-->> Ikhlas is better than willing to do something... They are a lot of people who are willing to do the things we ask them to.. But ikhlas... That's just rare these days...

Can you distiguish them..? Hurm... *Ponder*

2. Dream Big... Well.. there are people who accomplished their impossible dreams right?? So why don't we just step out from "being realistic" when it comes about dreams???? Pausch reached almost all of his childhood dreams.. Why?? Because he badly wanted them..

3. Don't complain.. Just work harder... Hurm this one will be an uphill climb for someone like me who like to bersantai2.. Adoi...

4. Look for the best in everybody.. "If you wait long enough,people will surprise you and impress you.. When you're frustrated with people when they've made you angry,it just may be because you haven't given them enough time.. But in the end.. People will show you their good side.. Just keep waiting it will come.."

5. Help others...

6. Show gratitude...

7. What you have is what you bring with you...

8. Sometimes it is worthy to consider others' happiness.. Because when we make others happy, the happiness within us will spark magically...

There are just too many.. Hehe just borrow it from me if you are curious to know the rest of it...

This book reminds me of Mitch Albom's writing "Tuesdays with Morrie".. Almost similar.. The lesson of life from those who are near to their demise...

At this rate.. Both individuals showed the things that really matters in life in their point of view when their time is almost over.. Both were fighters in the battle to live longer and I'm very awed by their inner strength....

As you browse through the pages... You'll definitely realize how everything seem to meet all the divine teachings that we receive as Muslims.. These men were meeting with what we call as fitrah but they did not find Islam.. We have it all in our perfect religion.. But so little of us realize it.. If we do realize what really matters like these men did... We surely will meet with ultimate triumph insyaAllah.. There are always rooms to improve.. What really matter is to make "today" be the best everyday...

Randy Pausch passed away on July 2008.. He surely left a legacy..