Tagged – Love of Literature ………..

I have been tagged … on the Love of Literature by Absolut Ginger.  Great timing, given that I’ve had the opportunity to read a number of really good books lately …… What better way to escape into other people’s lives, escape into another culture, escape into another country, escape into the world of glitz & glamour other than through reading I say ……

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading?

I have my dad & my brother to thank for this. My dad used to work in the British Council & he used to bring home all sorts of books for me to read.  As for my brother’s contribution, he used to subscribe to the Reader’s Digest & I used to love the book section at the end & the short snappy articles written in the publication. Those days, the Reader’s Digest packed a good read unlike the Reader’s Digest of today which I find a bit too commercial.  Thank you for enforcing this habit in me …. it is important to feed the brain for a healthy mind!

What are some books you read as a child?

Does “Bambi” the picture book by Walt Disney count? The abridged version of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.  Mallory Tower series, Famous Five series by Enid Blyton. Nancy Drew series by Carolyn Keene.

What is your favorite genre?

Crime fiction  but anything goes for me, really, as long as its well written with good character development…… ……. and I don’t fall asleep while reading it.  

Do you have a favorite novel?

Don’t torture me by asking for ONE favourite novel. I have many favourites…. so please bear with me!  

Recent favorites:

Some of you might be scratching my head from my list, but here they are…..

“We Need to talk about Kevin” by Lionel Shriver. A killing spree occurs in high school. You have the Killer. You have the Mother. The book sets you thinking whether a person is born evil or is it a result of circumstance? The narration style is very interesting as it is actually a series of letters written by the mother to the father, analysing what went wrong. And…the ending is mind blowing!

“House of Fog & Sand” by Andre Dubus III – contemporary literature. Great read. Read about how fragile life is where a simple mistake  or misstep can turn into a disaster if managed wrongly. You really feel for the characters. No right or wrong here. Just tragic.  

“Grotesque” by Natsuo Kirino – translated by Rebecca Copeland. A prostitute is killed. An office worker is murdered. Are both the murders linked? Don’t be fooled by the fact that its translated. Its a great crime read. Although some have complained that it lacks focus, I enjoyed the book immensely. The book also gives you an insight about life in Japan, how materialistic & plastic society is.

“Triptych” by Karin Slaughter. Crime fiction. Great bedtime read with unexpected twists here and there, & I mean UNexpected twists.

“A Thousand Splendid Suns” – Khaled Hosseini. I chose this over the Kite Runner because the theme is closer to  heart, me being a female. The book gives you an idea what it’s like to be a woman in Afghanistan. It begs the question, when you are somebody’s daughter or when you are somebody’s wife in this part of the world, are you part of the family or just a piece of chattel or trophy to be showed off? Cried buckets.

(Disclaimer: The order of the books does not in any way reflect their ranking in my favorite list …)

Old Favorites:

Exodus by Leon Uris. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier. Both epic classics that do not need any introductions. Great read both these books.

When/ Where do you usually read?

Wherever and whenever I can snatch some quiet time (not necessarily a quiet place …as long as its quiet time to myself) …. so I can read even in noisy restaurants when I lunch alone, in the LRT, in bed, etc …. (if only I could read at the park while jogging …that’d be cool – ahahahahahaah!)   

Do you usually have more than one book you are reading at a time?

Actually no. Thanks to my obsessive compulsive behavior, I tend to focus on one book at a time …

Do you read nonfiction in a different way or place than when you read fiction?

Not at all! But that’s because the nonfiction that I pick usually has some element of action, horror, terror or mystery to it. So, it really is as exciting a read as any piece of fiction goes.

Just like the latest non fiction  I read –  “Sold” which was ghostwritten by Andrew Croft. It tells the true story of how Zana & Nadia Muhsen, 2 Birmingham teenagers were sold as child brides against their will to Yemen by their father. Suspenseful read in its own way.

I tend to shy away from super dry i.e. political autobiographies like Bill Clinton, Lee Kuan Yew in general …  The only real autobiography I have read was Mao Tze Tung’s & that was filled with drama drama drama coz apart from his political exploits, you get to read about his sexual exploits, his personal hygiene habis etc (Did you know he NEVER brushed his teeth? He washed his mouth with tea only. Theoretically, he wasn’t that far off I guess, since tea & toothpaste both have alkaline properties).

Do you buy most of the books you read, or borrow them or check them out at the library?

All bought. Mostly from Popular Book Store in fact coz I feel they are most genuine when you buy a membership card with them, they give you 10% discount flat out. No need to wait for rebates or accumulate points, like other book retailers. Very sincere. Thank you Popular.

Do you keep most of the books you buy? If not, what do you do with them?

Fat Dragon & I feel a sense of attachment to our books, so it’s all kept in our house library.

If you have children, what are some of the favorite books you have shared with them? Were they some of the same ones you read as a child?

Toughie. We don’t have children so I’m not sure if the books I read as a child is relevant & exciting for the children of today.  (after all – I read the Harry Potter series, as an adult ….. )

What are you reading now?

“Out” by Natsuo Kirino, translated by Stephen Snyder.

Do you keep a TBR list?

Nope ………. I just go by what catches my eye when I browse at the bookshop. Although there’s Leo Tolstoy’s WAR & PEACE still lying unread & gathering cobwebs in the bookshelf … (I admit it is one of those snob purchases of mine …since its a ‘must read’ piece of literature) … sigh … at least literature books are cheap.

What’s next?

War & Peace????????????????????? 🙂

What books would you like to reread?

I don’t have a habit of rereading books. I like to move on to new books really … but if you really push me for an answer maybe I’d say its Leon Uris’ EXODUS. Damned good book. Such a well researched epic of a book! Feels like a History Lesson but minus the boring element. 

Who are your favorite authors?

Recent read. Khaled Hosseini. Old read. Leon Uris.


7 responses to “Tagged – Love of Literature ………..

  1. Eh!Thanks for doing this so fast! 😀

    Anyway, I have the book “Out” also. Now it’s somewhere out there in my book shelves.. will get to it soon! 😀

    Oh.. dad’s working at British Council. No wonder your english command is so damn good! 😀

  2. Hey…it was my pleasure. Like I said.. the tag was timely.

    You’re gonna be reading “OUT” too. Find the translation in this on a bit more choppy than the other book “Grotesque” but then again, I’ve only just started.

    Yah, my dad worked in BC before. But that was a long long time ago! Now, there is no more library in BC …SAD

  3. Read the Kite Runner, but A Thousand Splendid Suns is still sitting next to my bed, next in line once I finish light-read The Secret Life of a Slummy Mummy, which will only get done once I’ve finished reading the prerequisite number of Continuing Education articles to renew my pharmacist registration. Also awaiting my attention is The Russian Concubine, and some classics which I don’t promise I’ll actually get around to reading.

  4. PJ: Hmmm…. seems like you’ve got a whole lot of reading lined up…. as for the titles “…Slummy Mummy” & “Russian Concubine” .. do give us a review…. YUP…reading classics requires a bit of a push eh?

    KY: Finished “OUT” … Horrifying!

  5. I think I better start reading “Out”! Don’t seem to have to momentum to read at the moment.

  6. Well, I must tell you I finished the Slummy Mummy book by Fiona O’Neill which was actually pretty absorbing and oh, so hilarious. If the British can write such rocking humour, why can’t their sitcoms be like that? Verdict: An easy read.

  7. PJ: Hey there! Thanks for the review … Sounds like the book is good for laughs… will look out for the title!

    BTW if you’re into “chiller thrillers”, there’s a British female writer called Mo Hayder. Titles: TOKYO, Birdman, The Treatment. ….Be warned: quite a bit of blood & gore (as in Tokyo)

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