Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Saturday, November 26, 2011
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
Friday, August 12, 2011
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
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)
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~
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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 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..
John Adams and Jonas Salk
Queen Elizabeth I
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
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
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..
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
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~
*am thinking of buying this book for my own collection =)
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
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 us 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..