Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Books Galore

My room mate, Sayda gave the most earnest type of laughter when she discovered that the first purchase I made when the allowance came in was a book I've been eyeing on for a while... (owh, nina did so too!). To tell you the absolute truth, I found that the money was well spent and that was the best purchase I've made this month. And let me assure you that I have been spending quite a bit despite my new years' resolution to start saving more money for the future (damn it!)... hahaha

Anyway, a friend requested through another friend of mine that I should update the books I've bought or have read so that the former can get some recommendations which was actually kind of sweet but puzzling, don't you think so? Pressure tak kau?? Ngeh ngeh ngeh...

So far, I've finished reading a book I bought three weeks ago, Confessions of An Old Boy: Adventures of Dato' Halim by Kam "Gorgeous" Raslan(the brother of Karim "Handsome" Raslan). I think the main character in the book, Dato' Halim must be the oldest Malay male bimbo you'll ever come across in your life and I find it surprising that it is not a true person, although Kam does acknowledge that he is a fiction based on truth. Dato' Hamid is a man who is not afraid to be weak when he have too but will never appear to be on the losing side. And he owes it all to The Wife, of course... I feel this is simply one of the best books I've read thanks to the fluid language as well as the clever portrayal of the characters so much so that you feel they are one of our uncles/aunts/friends.

Another book I've recently read is the much awaited release of Glimpses by the very vivacious Adibah Amin who resumes the style of As I Was Passing(1)&(2) which compiles the bits and pieces of living here in Malaysia. Considering it has been almost 30 years since the highly recognised As I Was Passing series were published, it's of little wonder why Glimpses is selling like hot cake as I think people are eager to know if Malaysia has in fact change in any way, at least in Adibah's eye. I'll just tell you that As I Was Passing is still very much relevant while Glimpses only helps to put it in new perspective. It's not of comparison as Glimpses could easily be As I Was Passing (3). However, one thing I can assure you is that there is almost no doubt about Adibah's ability to relate her experience like she's your best friend while writing in what seems like an effortless manner to capture the readers interest to continue exploring her thoughts. Quoting Amir Muhammad in the pre-face, "if you had a neighbour like Adibah, you wouldn't want to live elsewhere"

Before both Glimpses and Confessions of An Old Boy, I've only just finished reading A.Samad Ismail: Journalism and Politics that was a gateway to the not-so-long-time-ago when Malayans/Malaysians still had the romantics of an ideal political system garnered by all, irrelevant of their race. Compiled in the book are a few newspaper articles written by the man himself as well as some other essays about him written by people in his life, namely his colleagues and one from his wife. Hardly any regret was expressed by any of them about working with a man who has a reputation of being hot-tempered and crass because they all knew they worked for perfection and for a common cause (which is what we all should keep in our heart when we function in an organisation). Reading his wife's recount was also a revelation of how much love can stand the test of time or obstacle. A. Samad Ismail was and is still is a Malaysian intellect who questions the right stuff and gets the right answers for all of us, even if it comes with a price.

I also made a discovery about Paulo Coelho when Sayda introduced him to me and just then, I remembered that a lot other people have also recommended him to me. Some of them strongly suggested that I'd definitely love him and indeed, that I did. I finished reading Like The Flowing River in just 5 hours and I truly enjoyed his view on the world. His views made me feel somewhat.... normal, if I may use that word. He is a proof that optimism is the core of humanity and compassion is a result of devotion to what you believe. Aku teruja giler masa baca and felt that Paulo was saying all the right words while pressing all my right buttons. A simply moving piece...

I'm currently reading The Writer and The World: Essays by V.S Naipaul which is essentially a collection of his experiences all around the world and his reflection of it. I've been immersed in the thick book and been carrying it around despite the weight. I won't ever question his Nobel Laureate title because this is a man of different calibre than the others I've read.
In between that book, I've sneaked in a Syed Ali Tawfik Al-Attas' book titled Eh, Wat Yu Talking: Chronicles of Malay Humour which I just bought yesterday. As a keen fan of Syed Ali Tawfik Al-Attas' works, I must say since I don't know him personally, I'm surprised that he has this incredible sense of humour and the ability to shed that scholarly cloak that he has wrapped around him... I'm only have way through the book and already I'm smiling to myself when I remember any of the jokes. Not bad for an accidental comedian, eyh??

Some of you must be bored to death reading all these details, so tell you what? Bore me back with list of books you've recently read or mere suggestions... Then, we'll call it even :p


tasha said...

waaahhh. ana, u bole geng ngn ayah i sebab buku a. samad said tu die bace and other political books yg die ade u might suke jugak haha

annddd, since u dah ade glimpses i x payahla beli. i pinjam k. heheh

i still nak try suke paulo coelho. maybe i kene bace buku lain die plak.

Ana Shirin said...

saya geng dengan uncle harun?? boleh ajaaa.. kalau ada buku2 best, kasiklah pinjam ye?? hehehe

glimpses tu nina punya yaaaa.. sile masuk line meminjam sikalang...

sayda said...

nak sambung gelak sini lagi boley ka?

entry pasal kucing high tanak buat?

Anonymous said...



Thanks for this entry:)

-The former one who wants recommendation

PS: Buku VS Naipul tu yang Syada punya ek?

Ana Shirin said...

owwhhh... hehehe.. yeah, V.S Naipaul tu buku Syada...