Showing posts from March, 2010

Reading's Healing Powers...

Does reading really help one out of depression? Early this year, I posted an article about reading out of depression - where the writer wrote about how Saul Bellow's Herzog helped her out of depression. She said, "....I was able momentarily to forget my own problems and lose myself completely in the richly detailed and beautifully rendered world of the novel."

Emma Thompson, an English actress, also sought refuge in reading. She claimed that she was "saved" by immersing herself in Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility.

I'm sure there are many of us who find reading therapeutic. I'm one of them *wink* Anyway, did you know there's this term called 'Bibliotherapy'? It's an expressive therapy that uses an individual's relationship to the content of books and poetry and other written words as therapy. The Wikipedia explains,

"The basic concept behind bibliotherapy is that reading is a healing experience. It was applied to both genera…

Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother by Xinran

Title/Author: Message from an Unknown Mother/XinranPublisher: Chatto & Windus
No. of pages: 212
ISBN: 978-0-701-11840-25

In a nutshell
Ever wondered why there are so many orphaned girls in China? Why many were given away for adoption? They have been adopted overseas, by around 120,000 families in 27 countries, but some others have suffered a worse fate. Just today, as I was about to complete my review of Xinran’s Message from an Unknown Mother, I came across this appalling headline: China Hospital Dumps 21 Babies as Medical Waste into River. This atrocity never ends.

In China, it is known that most families are to have only one or two children, preferably sons, and abandoning, killing or aborting girl babies are common. In the West, many believe that it’s the ‘one-child’ policy that is responsible for unwanted girls, but from her research in the last 20 years, Xinran began to discover, there’s more to that. In a typical Chinese culture, the males have a higher status in the family espe…

South Park on Salinger's The Catcher In The Rye (FUNNY!)

Oh my goodness, this is extreeeeeeeeeeemely funny! The gang was assigned to read 'The Catcher In The Rye' for school. They got super excited about reading it when Mr. Garrison told them, "It has some very risque parts and strong vulgar language. And in fact many schools across the country still ban this book because it's thought to be so inappropriate." And they wanted to read the entire book there and then. (You know, it has the same effect on me when 'so-and-so' started confiscating some books from our local bookstores. That's why I went out to get 'Where Is Justice'" And I'm glad I did! :D)

Here are the clips :)

And their reaction after reading the book LOL!

Have you read 'The Catcher in The Rye' before? Do you think it was controversial? Too vulgar? Or you share the same sentiment as the kids of South Park?

South Park image from Google Images

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

Title/Author: The Vagina Monologues/Eve Ensler
Publisher: Villard Books
No. of pages: 223
ISBN: 0-345-49860-1

In a nutshell
The Vagina Monologues is an episodic play written by Eve Ensler, which has been staged internationally. Every monologue relates to the female's 'down there'. No. Sorry. Vagina. There you go, Ensler. I said it :P There's sex, love, rape, masturbation, orgasm, the various names of the vagina, etc. There are sections where Ensler asked questions like, "If your vagina got dressed, what would it wear?", and "If your vagina could talk, what would it say, in two words?" and "What does a vagina smell like?"

What I likedand didn't quite like
When Ensler asked a six-year-old girl some of the questions above, and "What's special about your vagina?" to which the little girl answered, "Somewhere deep inside it I know it has a really really smart brain." (Now I know why we're the smarter species. We have 2…

Books Make Great Gifts!

Do you think books make great gifts? I DO! And so do these celebrities :) Do you share the same opinion as them? Hear what they have to say. My favourites are Jon Stewart's and Maya Angelou's ;)

I usually give books as gifts to all those near and dear to me (Unless they tell me not to haha)! Because I think a good book can make a difference in one's life! When I buy a book for a friend, I either buy them a favourite book of mine, or a book I think they'd enjoy or a book they could learn something from.

These are some of those which I can remember:
1) Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: to a friend who was struggling with a divorce.
2) Horseradish by Lemony Snicket: A book that I enjoyed reading and thought he might like it too
3) Falling Leaves by Adeline Yen Mah: to a friend who loves family drama and thought the best are the HK drama series, until she read this book.
4) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides: to someone who feels she's alone in this world.

What about you? Do …

Anna Karenina Pure Rubbish???

That's shocking, isn't it? Wait till you read the rest:

In a tale as old as time, here is a short list of classic books and other literary works that were originally attacked by critics and subsequently given bad reviews.

* A Midsummer Night's Dream- William Shakeaspeare - performed in London in 1662.
"The most stupid ridiculous play that I ever saw in my life."
- Samuel Pepys, Diary.

* Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift - 1726.
"..evidence of a diseased mind and a lacerated heart."
- John Dunlop, 'The History of Fiction', 1814.

* Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert - 1857.
"Monsieur Flaubert is not a writer."
- Le Figaro.

* Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy - 1877.
"Sentimental Rubbish"
- The Odessa Courier.

* The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald - 1925.
"What has never been alive cannot very well go on living. So this is a book of the season only."
- New York Herald Tribune.

* Catch-22 - Joseph Heller - 1961.
"Heller wallows in …

Something that happened on the way down from the Christ

I came across this post and thought of sharing it with you...I wonder what would have happened if the incident took place here LOL

The famous Christ the Redeemer that overlooks Rio de Janeiro was somewhat smaller than I had expected. (But then again, this is true of all the iconic structures I was introduced to first in pictures, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower or the Kaabah.) But it is undergoing extensive renovation, which makes the statue more interesting. The main point of the trip up the mountain, however, was the spectacular view of the city at magic hour, as well as the invisible line of the Atlantic sprawl meeting the sky. My mobile phone camera won't do any of that justice, so I will leave you with the statue instead:

On the way down the Corvocado mountain, the train (which was the last of the day; it was almost 7pm and dark) shuddered to an unscheduled halt. We were surrounded only by jungle, but the train was packed with people, mostly Brazilian. And this …

Learning a New Language (FUNNY!)

Received this from a friend via email. This guy wrote a super short story using numbers 1-10, then from 10 back to 1. It's HILARIOUS! hahaha

TO NOTE: Malaysians and Singaporeans will find it easier to understand :)

1 day I go 2 climb a 3 outside a house to peep. But the couple saw me, so I panic and 4 down. The man rushed out and wanted to 5 with me. I ran until I fell 6 and threw up. So I go into 7-eleven and grabbed some 8 to throw at him. Then I took a 9 and try to stab at him. 10 God he run away.

10 I put the 9 back and pay for the 8 and left 7-eleven. Next day I called my boss and told him I was 6. He said 5 , tomorrow also no need to come back 4 work. He also asked me to go climb a 3 and jump down! I don't understand. I am so nice 2 him but I don't know what he 1.

One day I go to climb a tree outside a house to peep. But the couple saw me, so I panic and fall down. The man rushed out and wanted to fight with me. I ran until I fell sick and threw up. So…

The Girl Who Could Fly by Victoria Forester

Title/Author: The Girl Who Could Fly/Victoria Forester
Publisher: Square Fish
No. of pages: 336
ISBN: 978-0-312-60238-3

In a nutshell
Read ‘The Girl Who Could Fly’ and you' get X-Men, the TV series, Heroes and probably, some of ‘Glee’ (without the singing) all in one book. Piper McCloud was born to fly, and being brought up in a small town like Lowland County, Piper’s parents, Betty and Joe McCloud, thought it was best they send her away to a ‘special’ school led by Dr. Hellion who promised that people like Piper will be in good hands.

Although Piper missed her parents terribly, she grew to like the school as she met people who are ‘different’, just like her –there’s Conrad’s exceptional intelligence, Lily who’s telekinetic, the Mustafa twins who can create their own weather and Smitty who has X-ray vision; she slept on a bed that was more comfortable than the one at home; ate food that was personalised and catered to her liking, and she was Dr. Hellion’s favourite student.

But soon, Pip…

Popular's Price Tag Problem Rectified!

Ok I think Popular either realised their mistake or someone pointed out to them, as the price tag problem on the recipe book Yum Yum has been rectified. Checked it today at their Ikano sales.

Side note:
Came across a piece of news in our local papers, The Star, today about appointing Michelle Yeoh as our reading ambassador to encourage reading. A reading ambassador to encourage reading??? I find this amusing HAHhaha I mean, a reading ambassador??? What's that? Also, don't they have any other more effective ways of reaching out to the people to encourage reading? Like making our national library MORE ACCESSIBLE??? Or lowering the prices of books??

The Day The TV Died

Here it is, my first Saturday Night Story story!

"The Day The TV Died" is a story about a couple whose TV broke down a few days before CNY eve and the drama that unfolded when they were told that they won't be getting their new TV delivered on time.

It was two days before Chinese New Year Eve, that our 10 year-old, second hand television, acted up again, and man, were we furious, as we were half way through watching ‘Shutter’ on DVD! First, my husband tapped and thumped to revive it. Usually, that worked. But this time, even as we caressed and cajoled, it didn’t react! Not even a flicker of hope! Instead it gave us a blank, black screen, leaving us agonised and tortured in suspense.

“Arggh! What do we do now?! Stupid, old TV. Of all days, today! And nearing CNY somemore. Damn suay lor!” I let out my frustration. “What to do. Angry also no use. Have to buy a new set lah,” my husband, responded in his usual, calm manner. Nothing gets on his nerves easily. Even I.

Since we w…

Popular Book Fair Not That Fair

Okay, if you’re planning to go to the recent Popular Book Fair, please be very wary of the prices, because some of the prices weren't correct, maybe due to human error, I'm not sure, because my mom spotted it and she only mentioned it to me when we came home.

My mom told me one of the cookbooks (Yum Yum) was priced at RM15, and a 20% discount was given, so the book was RM12 after discount. She remembered paying lesser than RM12 for this book, but wasn’t quite sure. When we came home, she double-checked and realised, that the price should be RM10 (printed on the book itself, as shown in the picture. Yeah, it's really blur coz the print is small), not RM15 (as stated on Popular's price tag on the book). This has happened before when my mom bought a female magazine, and Popular tagged it at RM8, when it should be lower (as printed on the magazine, but my mom didn't notice it. If I recall correctly, this happened a few years back), and gave a 20% discount.

I'm just …

Cool Handmade and Readymade Bookmarks! :)

I lurrrrve bookmarks! And fell in love with these when I saw them on youtube! Gonna make one of them myself! haha

A braided bookmark

A great personalised gift!

With some creativity, I think you can make this too!


The World's Top 10 Bookstores!

I saw this on and thought you book lovers might love this too! :)

Top shelves
Every booklover has their favourite shop, and while it's true that many independents have been driven out of business by online sales and supermarket bestsellers, you still don't have to look too hard to find one that's thriving. To prove it, Sean Dodson chooses the 10 bookshops from around the world which he considers to be the fairest of them all

1) Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen in Maastricht
What does a city do with an 800-year-old church with no congregation? Well, it could make like the Dutch and convert it into a temple of books. The old Dominican church in Maastricht was being used for bicycle storage not long ago, but thanks to a radical refurbishment by Dutch architects Merkx + Girod it has been turned into what could possibly be the most beautiful bookshop of all time. The Boekhandel Selexyz Dominicanen, which opened just before Christmas, retains the character and charm of …

Coffee Break with Ellen Whyte, Author of Katz Tales

Hi Ellen. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to have an interview with you. You’ve written 10 books to date. Which one do you enjoy most writing? Why?
Hey this is fun! My first email blogger interview…. Oh boy that question is a tough one. Writing Tales is like keeping a diary or talking to my family because it’s all “everyday cat stuff” and I’m so chuffed at how many people like it that it is one of my faves. BUT, Logomania takes so much work that I am proud of the amount of effort it represents. And then again, I love Ollie the Orang Utan because he is fun. In fact, I’m going to try and refurbish Ollie. He didn’t really have a chance first time round; it’s time he got a break.

What do you enjoy most about writing?
Writing is a compulsion; I get twitchy if I don’t write. Reading is the same for me. I usually have 3 or 4 books on the go at the same time.

What or who inspired Katz Tales?
My cats! I thought people might enjoy upbeat friendly stories about cats. It took years to sell t…

Katz Tales by Ellen Whyte

Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
No. of pages: 200
ISBN: 978-967-3035-64-9
Price: RM28.00

In a nutshell
Join Scoop, Bones, Au and Target on their adventures and witness their paw-raising cat fights, learn to interpret their meows and growls, know when to give them treats and be rewarded with free deliveries of rodents, and be charmed by their big, round, adorable eyes that help them get away with almost anything. Their mischievous antics and brainy, well-thought-of tricks would tickle you to the bone! And... they have taught me my first cat lesson: you can’t outsmart a cat.

You could also learn a thing or two about cats in Katz Tales’ Part 2 Cat FAQs. Learn from how you can toilet train your cat, to how to keep your cats off the furniture, what to do when your cat’s upset, and how to have catty chats with your cats!

What I liked
Even for a non-cat lover, I find it hard not to fall in love with indomitable Scoop, low-key Au and shy Target after getting to know them in Katz Tales. One of my favou…

Horseradish: Bitter Truths You Can't Avoid by Lemony Snicket

Publisher: HarperCollins
No. of pages: 176
ISBN: 978-006-1240-06-5
Verdict: 4/5

In a nutshell
The bitter truth about life is that it's tough, rough and unfair. And who best to reveal these truths in hard, cold, words, but Lemony Snicket himself? If you've always loved the way he wrote his books, then you might like this too.

This book is divided into 13 topics - Home, Family, School, Work, Entertainment, Literature, Travel, Emotional Health, Affairs of the Heart, A Life of Mystery, The Mystery of Life, An Overall Feeling of Doom that One Cannot Ever Escape No Matter What One Does and Miscellaneous, and wrote quotes based on these topics. Something like what you read in fortune cookies.

As usual, Snicket didn't steer from his normal satirical self. So you'd pretty know what to expect if you've read his stuff before.

What I liked
Some of them were quite smart, and some, pretty amusing. These are some of my favourites:

On Literature:
"No matter who you are, no matter where …

Popular Book Fair!!

Heya bookaholics! Time to check out Popular's book fair! :)
(Click on the poster to view a larger image)

Neil Gaiman at the Oscars!

One of my favourite authors :)

Find more videos like this on AnneCam

Where Is Justice?

Recently, some books in Malaysia, namely ‘Where Is Justice’, ‘1Funny Malaysia’, ‘Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Thing Vol. 2’ (I looked for this book in most major bookstores, and I could only find the first volume) have been confiscated. Thank God I was able to purchase the first two titles.

I’m writing from the point of view of a person who has been ignoring politics her whole life. I have never once voted. I’m one of those who strongly believe that ‘ignorance is bliss’. Thanks to ‘Where Is Justice?’ I realised my selfishness is one of the many reasons my country is still stuck in this political turmoil and I feel utterly shameful by it.

The book started with Teoh Beng Hock’s case, one of the many cases that raised innumerable issues and unanswered questions. Teoh was a 30-year-old assistant to Selangor Executive Councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah and was a witness in an investigation on his boss Ean Yong, who was alleged to have spent RM2, 400 on Merdeka flags in 2008, but to have …


hahahaha exactly how I would react should anyone 'ill-treats' my books!