Tuesday, 3 October 2006

Reading List Update.

I am currently reading:

The Malayan Trilogy by Anthony Burgess
People keep saying Burgess is so irreverent in this one and I keep expecting the rudeness to appear, but it never comes. I've almost finished the first book, "Time for a Tiger", and so far, apart from the "orang darat" of whom I've never met, the descriptions seem to be generally accurate. Other than that, the book's a very fast and enjoyable read, especially so when you "know" what the real places are supposed to be and when you can understand the snippets of language the characters speak from time to time.

I have recently finished:

4 Sep 2006: after the quake by Haruki Murakami
Six wonderful but sad stories about the wide-ranging effects of a huge event (in this case the Kobe earthquake of 1995) and the emptiness of the human soul. Book ends on a carefully optimistic note.

5 Sep 2006: The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
A realistic portrait of life, confused identity and origins. Sad, uplifting and inspiring at the same time.

12 Sep 2006: Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Nine short stories that deal with the Indian diaspora in the US. Prose is simple and quick to understand. Wonderful light reading.

22 Sep 2006: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
Breathtaking! Both a homage and a send-up to gothic fiction such as from those of the Bronte sisters and Austen, this is one superb book.

3 Oct 2006: Reading Like a Writer by Francine Prose
This book is an oxymoron, a paradox for me - I like it and I hate it; what I like about it I hate and what I hate about it I like. My favourite chapters are the first chapter and the last two chapters. I enjoyed "Learning from Chekhov" the most.

I might be reading these next:
Previous reading list updates:


  1. Hmmm, since you know how I feel about clutter, Ted, can I borrow Diane Setterfield's book from you next time we meet? Pretty please?

  2. i wish i have 8 hours a day to spend on books. envy you people

  3. I wish I had 8 hours a day too. As it is I only have 1 hour 20 minutes per day on the LRT.

  4. Ted! I don't know how you manage to finish all these books! I am only halfway through Didion's which is a thin book, and only a quarter way through The Historian (admittedly more enticing since I love vampire tales).
    I would love to read How to read like a writer, but it sounds just like this book I have "how to read books". Good, good advice but in very headmaster-y language.anyway, selamat berpuasa.

  5. Well, to tell you the truth, three of the books were quite thin... but I'm also blessed with lots of LRT commuting time for reading. No astro at home either :p

    I think all these "how to read" books can't really help sounding headmastery! But I like them for showing me what I may have missed in my own reading.

    I'd love to read The Historian too. Maybe one day when I can find it on the cheap. I like how it's formatted like Bram Stoker's Dracula - told through a series of documents.

  6. The next time we meet, Ted, may I borrow The Malayan Trilogy please? Have always been curious what the book is all about that has gotten the "thought police" in the ISM to ban it.

  7. Er... sorry lah. I can't. I borrowed it from my uncle, and I don't lend out stuff I've borrowed from other people. Sorry ya.

    But do try to read it! It's a good book despite the controversy.


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