Tag Archives: book

i got plenty of time

20 May

london 7.42pm 18C cloudy monday 2019

this morning my email told me one of my books that i borrowed from the library is due for renewal. i can renew online but when i did, i find that the book cannot be renewed, as there was someone else has wanted to borrow it and so has reserved it. this means i have to go to the library to return it today. but i have not finished reading it, so i took it out and began to do so. i have allready read half way, and it was quite quick to finish it in about 2hrs or so. and it was still only about 11am. it was a fantasy novel called truthwitch, by susan dennard. its ok as a novel , at least it interested me enough to want to finish it before i return it.

but i was thinking, i have a luxury that i have that not many people get. i mean i got time. that is something we dont think much of until we are so overworked and got no time to do everything at work. or no time at home to do anything we like, because most of us have things or people that demand our time. but not me. haha.

then when i took the bus to come back, the 360 bus came first and that takes me to vauxhall and i decided to take that as i just decided to go to the tesco to buy sultanas, which i have run out of. so that is what i did, at vauxhall taking the 196 bus to the tesco instead of walking there.

the bus services esp the 196, is much more frequent during weekdays so there is not long to wait for a bus to come. there was no bargains so early at the tesco, so i just bought the sultanas.

it is one of the quirks of marketting, that sultanas in the cake section, (so it is meant to be used for baking) is much cheaper than if u buy it on the other sections. the strange thing is this… other dried fruits similar to sultanas, like raisins for eg, are much more expensive. it always puzzles me why it should be so. both are from grapes. i use my sultanas in my porridge so i like the cheapest i could get. 

there was basmati rice laila rice on a special reduced price of £10 for 10kg. it is not always present on the shelf, as it can get all sold out. but this time, there were plenty of bags of it. i had allready bought one before, and thought of buying another. but when i lifted it to put in my basket, it was so heavy that i changed my mind. i can wait to buy it another time, maybe when i got my shopping trolley with me. there is no hurry to buy another 10kg of rice. 

 

 

simple pleasures

2 Apr

london 8.24pm 5C it had been raining, the ground is damp. tuesday 2019

its been quite cold , at one time it even dropped hailstones, but it is light. it was light as late as 7.30pm which took the edge off the cold. somehow, the daylight makes it not feel as cold psychologically than if it were dark. so i am glad we changed the clocks.

even though we are in spring, it is not unusual to have a very cold april, it kinds of turn the seasons topsy turvy. it can even snow during this time, which i recall it did. cant remember what year it was though.

but this time of year,  one tries to enjoy small pleasures rather than big grand gestures of enjoyment. a small pleasure for me to enjoy is eating a croissant that i buy from lidl. its so delicious and is a real pleasure to eat. washed down with coffee. i enjoy the bus journey there too. it is a direct bus 88 from my flat so no need to change buses with all the waiting that will be involved.

i had borrowed kevin kwan’s 2nd book about rich asians, called ‘china rich girlfriend’ and read it to find out what really rich people do to make their lives supposedly much better than the ordinary people who are not so filthy rich.

but i could not finish it, it got a bit boring to read, with all the name dropping of designer stuff and supposedly wonderful stuff that they can order at a whim, and that is supposedly gives them pleasure. but it is obvious none of it gives them any pleasure, they buy it and then move on to another thing because the pleasure is fleeting.and what they buy dont really mean much to them as it is so easy to get for them. it costs a lot and most people wont be able to get it, but there is no long enjoyment of that feeling, that u can get something that no one else can get so easily. and then there is the human interactions that he describes and it is all quite petty and small minded and just like the vitriol that happens amongst poor people .

being rich does not make you immune to all these petty human feelings. so i still do not know what is so good about being filthy rich , what special enjoyment that only rich people can get because of their riches that the rest of us who are not rich can never experience. so far, at least as far as the pages i have read before i gave it up and returned the book to the library… i have not discovered it.

at least being poor, i can get to enjoy the intense pleasure i get from eating my croissant, and pleasure from being able to do my own shopping and delights when i bag a bargain, or enjoy my own cooking, and deciding what favourite food i can chose to make and eat.

there is a lot of pleasure in that, for me anyway. it is like making your own tea to your own satisfaction or what you fancy that moment, and getting a lot of pleasure out of it;  rather than have some servant make your tea for you and being served by them hand and foot. some might say that is the height of what wealth can buy you , someone else to do all the legwork, but to me, they take away the pleasure of just doing the ritual of it and enjoying it for its own sake. 

 

a little life, hanya yanagihara

16 Oct

london 2.57pm 14.1C cloudy friday 2015

found this book in the library, today. the machine ask me to go to the desk to get it borrowed, and the librarian said they have 3 copies, and 2 are allready being reserved. well, i read a bit of it in the library whilst waiting for my chromebook to charge. its very new york, in that it talks about the lives in new york of these 4 main characters, all men. i like listening into the lives of men so that makes it more to my liking this book. it has a lot of angst , with each character having an internal mind think which we are allowed to access… so it is that kind of book, where u listen into the mind of each character and hear their interpretation of how they relate to others, to their parents, friends, each other etc. also the book will make a sweeping statement like the flat is shit… but when u actually read the description which the author provides about the flat, i dont get to see what is so shit about it. for eg, the flat they rented, from a friend of a friend, who recently came to inherit that flat and wants someone to stay to look after it… or so the writer said, it was supposed to be shit because it has brown painted wall, and is very small… so to a reader, at least to this reader , me, it isn’t really shit. i mean no mouldy walls, peeling plaster, leaky and water stained ceilings, etc, so i wonder if that is the intention of the writer to let us know that these guys are really spoilt buggers and entitled self absorbed people who are pretentious people who dont have any careers (yet) and cant afford to make their way, scrounging on parents whilst resenting it, or on friends,  whilst still pretending to have high standards and critical …. if that is the intention of the author , it is very well done. and maybe if i can anticipate it a bit, knowing from the book reviews of it, that the story gets very horrific at the childhood of one of them, that it shows to the reader that he is wrong to think so of these people. they really have cause to angst. well, it does make me curious to read on…. 

satin island

22 Sep

london 4.09pm cloudy, occasional rain heavy at times, 14.1C tuesday 2015

saw tom Mccarthy’s book satin island on the new book shelf, and took it to read whilst my chrome book is charging. i have read a review of it online. it is quite interesting, i read half the book and decided to borrow it. it is like him trying to study modern man and modern life, as if he is studying primitive societies. and also him trying to find a unifying theory to tie up all the bits and bobs of seemingly unrelated events that happen in life and coming to one big great explanation of what it is all about.  so far i have no idea why he chose that title for his book. 

added 8.09pm. finished the book. ( it did not take me that long. there was a long shopping trip i made in between the library and now)

i dont quite see the plot of it, maybe there isn’t any.

i enjoy it for the stream of consciousness style of writing and the huge amount of research help he must have got to come up with all that bits and bobs of information and ideas. i can imagine it written as a blog with all the post listed and numbered as he had done… each paragraph in each chapter has a distinct number. for eg, the 6.7 being the 7th paragraph in chapter 6.

it is rather arbitrary what is put in the paragraphs. at least it is to me.

 sometimes it is entirely different subject matter, other times it is a continuation of a story. but the whole thing reminds me of someone who is blogging , in a stream of consciousness way writing whatever comes to mind, or whatever took his attention, via news, or other people, or just remembering something; stopping writing when he has run out of things or ideas for that moment  and then resuming posting another paragraph when he is inspired to write again and differentiating one post from another by adding a number to that chapter. it was interesting enough and intrigueing enough to keep me reading till the end and finish off the book in one day. it is a fascinating exercise. still dont know what it is all about, though. haha. 

the abduction, jonathon holt

16 May

london friday

I read the book last night till 3am. it is a gripping tale and mixes facts with fiction and weaves them together very well. we might well see the invention of a new genre, which for want of a better word, i shall call  faction. a combination of fact and fiction.  I can see a lot of new authors using this because now that we got the internet and freedom of information , we can access old records that have been kept hidden and can quote them verbatim and be able to gather together various facts and weave a story round them.  he writes well, which helps make it readable and enjoyable. the danger of course is that the reader can be quite affected , as i was, and confuse the fiction with the facts, and the facts to be fiction. you know the old saying, facts are stranger than fiction, and in this book, some of the facts are so unbelievable, and yet at the end notes, he mentioned those facts and i find it hard to believe such things can happen.  

It is possible to discern his modus operandi in writing faction. garner facts from the real world, for eg in abomination, he uses human trafficking which goes on in the real world and weave a story round as many of these facts and real people as possible and use his  imagination can conjure as many permutations and interactions that sound plausible to make up a book. Or in his case, a trilogy.

the writing style is everything of course as u can take as many of these facts as u want, but if your writing style is heavy handed it wont be an enjoyable read. 

I would love to write in more detail about the book, but i dont want to spoil it for you. it is best u come to this book cold and not know what to expect. it is more fun that way. i could not put it down , it was that good. 

reading a crime novel

15 Jul

London
I have just finished a crime novel and normally I am not a fan of crime novels, but this one, the bull of mithros, anne Zouroudi, has a lot of background atmosphere of life in a small greek island , one that depands on tourists for its livelihood.

I think I would like a crime novel if it has this kind of background setting. Thus I would pick up a crime novel set in venice, for eg, as I like venice.

I first came across a novel about greek islands in Durrell’s ‘my family and other animals’ and found I was captivated at his description of the island and its flora and fauna; so if the background is well written I like reading these novels about murder.
The murder becomes incidental, to me anyway… and it is only of passing interest to me how it was solved. Sometimes they used a very convoluted trick which is quite far fetched. I am sure every trick in the book must be used by now. Haha. Agatha Christie must have used them all…

This one shows how small islands depanding on tourists need a gimmick, a statue or myth to hang a tale on that would entice tourists to visit. And it depands on a rich man or a rich family to support the islanders or a family business to sustain the livelihoods of all those who live there, and gives rise to loyalty and rivalry. Quite a fertile ground for setting up murders I suppose.

The book shows how the small island mentality that must be common in all small islands plays its part in the murder.

When I read a murder mystery, it always amazes me how the writer can so casually have the people in the novel commit murders. To me who find even killing a chicken for dinner quite horrendous, the very idea of killing a human being is quite outside my scope. And yet in these crime novels, people get killed at a drop of a hat.

Anyway I borrowed another two of her novels, today. The library seem to have a stack of her past novels. I borrowed the messenger of Athens, and the whispers of nemesis.

Today I read that j k rowling is the secret writer of a crime novel, the cuckoo’s calling. Under the pen name of robert galbraith, and it seems it is a better effort than her ‘casual vacancy’ which I could not finish because I did not really find the problems and petty rivalries of those people in her novel that interesting.
Already that crime book she wrote is in the number 1 slot. If u are famous, and can write, u can make money. but only if u are famous allready, because before people know she is the writer, that book was no where. From the reviews it looks like she copied Agatha Christie but make it more modern.

But I think what u write is important too. The casual vacancy is about poor people and middle class people and their petty troubles. I think there are lots of us around who know well how boring poor and middle class lives are , and not wish to buy a book talking about it. Most of us read a book to escape from our present lives.

don’t get me wrong, I like my life, and would hate it if any of those things in those murder crime novels happen to me;;; but if I am going to read a book, I want it to be full of twists and turns and excitement and terror and fright… not things I like to happen to me in real life, but if it is fiction that is alright then, as those people in the novel are not real.

added.19.7 it seems the leak came from rowling’s lawyer. a partner told his wife’s best friend and she twittered it. the leak may be a blessing in disguise as it is now topping the best seller list. it just goes to show nothing succeeds like success. if u are famous for one thing  to start with, everything u do will become well known and brings success. it is like a brand name.

the heretics, will storr

17 Feb

London17.2.13 Sunday 8.55amI wrote finding the book yesterday and thought I shall not post it till after I read the book. But I don’t know when I shall finish the book, and anyway I have a feeling my view will remain the same even after reading the book. So I shall post it anyway.

Digital StillCamera

16.2.13 Saturday.

I have read in a blog about this book, the heretics, by will storr.

It more or less says we all make up stories on the evidence that comes into our brain via sight, sound, feelings, touch ,emotions, what we read, or have people, (our parents, teachers) tell us what to believe, etc. and it says we all do see very selective viewpoints. The brain cannot take in everything, all the input from sight, sound, hearing, touch etc and so constantly edits and selects.

So we make conclusions, (and it means we will get really extreme views) find it seems to work and make our lives seem easier to understand and so we stick with it. Even though we might find later evidence to the contrary but what replaces it is not so good to live with, so we stick with our views.

Some of us do change our views when we remain open to new evidence and so we change our story.

For eg, I used to be told and believe that life is difficult. We have to work hard if we want to succeed, and there is no pain, no gain.
But I discovered that life can be easy, if u let it. If u don’t cook up difficulties in your life by your actions . So I changed my story and now my life is really easy.

Well, this morning I was at the library to read the papers, and saw the book on the shelf. So I borrowed it.

And in today’s independent in read this review of it.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/the-heretics-adventures-with-the-enemies-of-science-by-will-storr-8495338.html

I suppose I would not have bothered to borrow it if I had not read the reviews about it. I figured I already agree with him. So why bother to read him? He will only be preaching to the converted. And I don’t need my views to be reinforced and supported by others. Haha.

I am egoistic enough to hold on to my views irregardless of how many agree with me or not. And I am egoistic enough to believe that I will change my views on my own bat, if there is any evidence to convince me to change.

So there u are, reviews and people talking of it do influence me. I read them and they persuade me that it might be interesting to read how he goes about it and read about his interviews with all those heretics… esp when his approach is entirely how I would approach it too.

My view is let them all believe what they want. Their souls want it.

For all I know, if we are to believe in multiple universes, all these viewpoints may be true in one or more of the many universes that exist all at once, right now.

For all we know, hitler in another universe, have won the war, ( it is not difficult to at least concede that the dice could have swung either way, and given hitler victory instead of the allies; for eg, he quickly invaded and defeated Russia before the winter set in and so never experienced the huge loss ) and there is a world now where Nazism reigns supreme, and is the way of life, and all evidence of the holocaust have been erased from history and jewism as a people or culture is no more, gone like the countless many cultures and societies that have disappeared even in this world of ours now and of which we never knew about.