Sunday, June 28, 2009

an Hour to Live an Hour to Love by Richard & Kristine Carlson

An easy read that teaches you about love, life and appreciation. What I enjoyed reading most is Carlson's favourite poem by Norma Cornett Marek, Tomorrow Never Comes:

The beginning is my favourite:

"If I knew it would be the last time that I'd see you fall asleep,
I would tuck you in more tightly, and pray the Lord your soul to keep.
If I knew it would be the last time that I'd see you walk out the door,
I would give you a hug and kiss, and call you back for just one more.

If I knew it would be the last time I'd hear your voice lifted up in praise,
I would tape each word and action, and play them back throughout my days.
If I knew it would be the last time, I would spare an extra minute or two,
To stop and say "I love you," instead of assuming you know I do.

So just in case tomorrow never comes, and today is all I get,
I'd like to say how much I love you, and I hope we never will forget.
Tomorrow is not promised to anyone, young or old alike,
And today may be the last chance you get to hold your loved one tight."

Thanks dear, for appreciating us everyday. I love you :) Mmmuax!

P/S It's a nice little gift for family and friends, as long as it's RM5 or below :P Anything more than that, a big no no. If you wanna read it, just borrow it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Call for Help...

The Dram Projects is making this appeal particularly to those who know how books and reading can make a difference.

Let's pledge to give RM1 a day for the next 12 days.

Accept this invitation or email dramprojects@gmail.com to register for this fundraising exercise, and tell your friends whose lives have been changed or touched by books to pledge their RM1-a-day too!

Pledge Period: 22nd June to 3rd July 2009

Charity: Burmese refugee schools
The money collected will be used to buy books for the Burmese refugee schools supported by Bless Community Services.

The Dram Projects will publish your name and your pledge on Facebook, via email and on its website.

If you want to donate (RM12) you can do so by sealing the money in an envelope.

Or, you can write a cheque to:

Dram Projects Sdn Bhd

Or transfer the money to ...
CIMB Bank Berhad
Account number : 1209-0001698-057

Or you can post them to ...

c/o Daphne Lee
146-0-1 Villa Flora
Jalan Burhanuddin Helmi
Taman Tun Dr Ismail
60000 Kuala Lumpur

dramprojects.wordpress.com

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Little Face by Sophie Hannah

A mom returns home from the gym, looks for her baby in the nursery and finds that the baby isn't hers. She goes berserk and starts to suspect that her baby has been swapped for another. Nobody believes her, not even her husband. They think she's just suffering from post-natal depression. It is one-against-the-world battle for her, until when a previous family murder case unravels that people around her begins to wonder what the truth is.

'Little Face' is certainly not her best. I personally preferred her 'Hurting Distance' which was thrilling, disturbing and full of unexpected twists and turns. Unlike this one, you could easily tell who the devil in disguise is and foresee the plot. The storytelling rhythm was draggy to a point of exasperating. Don't bother guessing the ending, because it's exactly what you'd expect. (Well, close enough for me :P) By the way, the ending is disappointing!

My verdict? 2 out of 5 stars.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike

Just the other day, a close friend of mine poured out his worries to me. Much have happened at his work place lately, both good and bad, and he's overwhelmed by doubt and fear.

Coincidentally, he asked me to recommend him some books to read. Prior to the conversation, I suggested the Bartimaeus trilogy (but, of course!). But after our little chat, I recommended him Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike. Here's why.

When diagnosed with testicular cancer, the once confident, ruthless Armstrong, felt weak and lost, mentally and physically. But gradually, he picked himself up and decided to not give in without a fight. And it is this journey that we see how Lance turns fear into strength, uses it to fight his doubts, worry and disappointments with courage, perseverance, endurance and determination. And most importantly, to bring back once again, the belief in himself to be able to overcome a challenge. This part, best describes it:

"I believed in belief, for its own shining sake. To believe in the face of utter hopelessness, every article of evidence to the contrary, to ignore apparent catastrophe - what other choice was there? We are so much stronger than we imagine, and belief is one of the most valiant and long-lived human characteristics. To believe, when all along we humans know that nothing can cure the briefness of this life, that there is no remedy for our basic mortality, that is a form of bravery. To continue believing in yourself...believing in whatever I chose to believe in, that was the most important thing."


We're given only one life. So, whatever comes our way, embrace it. Whatever the challenge, face it. Whatever the outcome, accept it. But not without first giving your best.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Meeting up with Tash Aw

Met up with Tash Aw yesterday (Saturday) in MPH 1 Utama. Sad to say, the evening was kinda disappointing. We didn't have much time with him, and it felt like a rush, having to 'run through' my 'interview' with him. It was supposed to start at 7pm, but as usual, Malaysians, being very punctual, arrived only at about 7.30 or so. (Yours truly arrived at 7 sharp) By the time we were done with dinner, it was already 8.15pm. We were then ushered to a cosy area, where Tash sat right in the centre, and the rest of us sat around him.

After the quick introduction, Tash spoke for awhile before proceeding to the autograph session. I bought his book while I was there, just to get his autograph and to have an opportunity to 'chat' with him. He was quite friendly, a little aloof at times, and looked pretty tired (he had been travelling for 4 weeks). Asked me a few basic questions, like if I'm an MRC member, what does MRC usually do during the book clubs and what kind of books I read. Told him I just completed 'The Road', which by the way, he loved deeply and thought it was McCarthy's masterpiece. (I didn't have my chance give him my standpoint, as I felt that he kept looking at his watch and couldn't wait to end the 'chat'). But I managed to ask him 4 questions (initially I had only two, but I got carried away haha):

Me: How do you choose a good opening to your story?
TA: Well, that's a million dollar question. A tough one. To be honest, my initial opening was the one in chapter two. After much thought,it somehow didn't feel right, so I ended up writing another opening which is what you see now in chapter 1. When that happened, it just felt right.

Me: What about your title?
This one, 'Map of the Invisible World' was actually my working title. I had a few others, but kept falling back to this one, because it felt right.

Me: Do you find writing a chore?
No. Definitely not. I write because it's my job. (This part, I don't quite understand...I mean, if one writes because it's a job, isn't it like a 'chore' already? Something you HAVE to do and not something you WANT to do? I had many other questions to ask him. But because he kept looking at his watch, I stopped myself :P)

Me: May I have your email address?
Oh, to be honest, I rarely check my emails because when I write I like doing it in seclusion; away from every distraction possible - no tv, no internet, no emails, no telephones. So you might have to wait for quite awhile for my reply. (to which I answered: No problem! I'll wait patiently! And yes, he gave me his email add :P)


Picture courtesy of my hubby, Benny Khoo :)

I felt utterly disappointed with the whole arrangement due to the 'rush' and the tardiness of some Malaysians. If everyone was punctual, we'd have more time with Tash. The next time we have such 'evenings'...I beg you participants and members, PLEASE BE PUNCTUAL!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Father and son on a boring journey of survival. Boring. Got nothing out of it. 3 days of wasted time. Too much repetition throughout. Couldn't feel the proximity of the father-son relationship. Conversations were boring too.

Love the font type though. What put me off really, was the non existent quotation marks, the pages that went on and on without chapters (almost sounded like the story teller was rambling to himself and caught in his own world), and some weird combination of words (2 words made into 1).

This is by far, the only book which I didn't enjoy reading. Sorry McCarthy. I just couldn't and didn't get it.

My ratings? 1 out of 5 stars

Image taken from: http://swingleydev.com/blog/wp-content/the_road_lg.jpg

Monday, June 1, 2009

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