"We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open." ~ Jawaharal Nehru

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Good reads

Can't believe its only 2 months before 2013 comes to a close. My... how time flies! And what's worst is sometimes you hardly realize the tick-tocking of the clock. Especially if you're busy having fun or occupied at work or with life! Or like me - having fun at work and in all that I do! Hahaha!

Anyway, remember earlier in the year I blogged about my target to read 50 books before the year end? If not, here's a link:
to refresh that cobweb-ed memory!

Sad to say, I don't think I will be able to achieve it. It probably was an overestimated, unachievable target to begin with, but in reality I seriously underestimated the amount of work/ projects/ travelling I would be doing in Song and Sarawak over the past months. That will come in another blog post...I promise. So I decided to cut that total down by half to 25. Reading material that excludes my catch-up issues of Asian Geographic and various academic reading. Will give myself a pat on the back if I achieve the target, if not I guess I will just have to carry it forward to 2014. At the moment, that means another 3 or so books in the next 2 months. Me thinks its manageable!

So here's a low down of the books I read so far and reviews of some I particularly enjoyed. 

1. Think Big - Ben Carson 
2. Water for elephants - Sarah Gruen
3. The monk who sold his Ferrari - Robin Sharma
4. The night circus - Erin Morgenstern

This was an e-book I downloaded into my Ipad. Pretty good as a debut for Morgenstern. Basically a fantasy duel against 2 magicians who are employed in a mysterious circus which only opens its gates at night. Unbeknownst to each other, the magical duel is fought with each magician trying to out-do the other with conjurings such as an origami menagerie, a floating house of cards and a winter wonderland! Somewhere down the line, they fall in love but the duel to the death has to go on. I would love for this book to be translated into big screen. 
(Just googled it and found out my wishes might just come true in 2014, so am waiting with bated breath for its release) 

5. Who moved my cheese? - Spencer Johnson
6. What the dog saw - Malcolm Gladwell
7. Micro - Michael Crichton & Richard Preston

Must declare I have always been a fan of  Michael Crichton and this might have biased my review about the book. When I discovered Crichton passed away, I was devastated at the lost of a great author. I have enjoyed every single book he wrote, except for Pirate Latitudes and must say Micro did not disappoint either. Basically a ramped up, more suspenseful version of "Honey, I shrunk the kids" with some industrial espionage thrown in. Loved the detailed but not overwhelming physiological and anatomical description of the 'Mega' bugs, since the humans have been shrunk to micro level. This was definitely a page turner and forsee that it will eventually land up on the big screen too.

8. Multiplying light & truth - Stan Rowland
9. The hippie guide to climbing the corporate ladder & other mountains - Skip Yowell

What attracted me to the book was its cover and catchy title. Plus the fact it was only at a fraction of its price at the Popular sale. Clearly not your usual management guru style book but an interesting combination of Skip's go-getter if not hippie experience to bring JanSport where it is today. I like that he has very people-oriented company principles. The main 4 are:

  • We'll succeed because we will work the hardest
  • We value and appreciate each person
  • We believe there's more to life than a day's work
  • We'll make fun a part of everything we do

How I wish I had an employer like him! This book also details how he made a radical idea a reality and literally how to conquer mountains - both physical and figuratively. The pretty interesting pictures were another plus point!

10. Salmon fishing in the Yemen - Paul Torday 
11. Beatrice & Virgil - Yann Martell (thought this book was just plain weird)
12. Empress Orchid - Anchee Min
13. Across many mountains - Yangzom Brauen

Another stunning read that features mountains - this time in Tibet. It chronicles 3 generations of Tibetian women who face various challenges of their time. But in adversity there are opportunities. Also provides an introduction to the various oh-so-mystical Tibetian cultures and life in some of the most challenging and remote areas on this planet.

14. The world of Suzie Wong - Richard Mason

This book is a must-read classic. 'Nuff said.

15. The perfect match - Kevin Leman
16. Like a flowing river - Paulo Coelho
17. The witch of Portabello - Paulo Coelho
18. Brida - Paulo Coelho (these last 2 by PC are not one of my favourites works by the author - abit too new-agey for my liking)
19. Catching the sun - Tony Parson
20. When I was a kid 1- Boey 
21. When I was a kid 2 - Boey

Yup, that's me with Boey, the Sharpie maverick!

Shiowch gifted me his first book as a birthday pressie and I so happened to be in Kinokuniya during the launch of his second. Because he's of the same generation, could relate to many of his stories, especially the one about going blind if you accidentally rub the powder off a moth's wing into your eye! Incidentally, the parents thought this book was funny 'cept mum who thought the second had to much #@&*^%!

22. Vanishing acts - Jodi Piccolt

Also read through various issues and segments of the Lonely Planet to do pre-trip planning but this does not count towards my book list. In fact got featured in The Star in a spread about the Lonely Planet.

As close as I'll ever be to becoming a
front page model!

As you can see, I tend to max out my book and magazine tax rebates every year (Thank God for those rebates!). At the moment, these are the books that are by my bedstand. Ya, I tend to read a couple of books at a time as to not get bored with the plot of the story. Sometimes you just want a change.

So, whats on your reading list this year?

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