To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

>> Monday, April 18, 2011

Credit to image source

No wonder the book won a Pulitzer Prize and has been dubbed a classic. It's a beautiful story, told beautifully. Set in a small town in Alabama in the 1930s, the story is told in a first-person narration of a young girl called Scout in the span of about 3 years. Although the crux of the novel is the trial of a black man and the crises and issues surrounding it at a time when racial discrimination and prejudice is prevalent, the novel offers so much more.

I love reading about the relationship between Scout and her older brother Jem and how close they are. I love reading about Atticus, Scout's father (who was also the defense lawyer of the abovesaid black man on trial), who is such a noble and righteous character and also a wonderful (single) father. The story told of innocent childhood, innocent thinking, coming of age.

And it's so true what I read once about that novels has a way of preserving history. It's fascinating to read about what it was like at that place at that time - the customs, culture, lifesytle, activities, etc. I have high regards for the book and its author, what a pity it's the only book Harper Lee had written.


Mesra Buku book swap

>> Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Last month, I blogged about Hidayah's Book Club, and last week Lydia has shared her list of books available for swaps. Here's my own list, in no particular order:

1. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt
2. 'Tis by Frank McCourt
3. Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
4. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
5. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
6. A Prisoner By Birth by Jeffrey Archer
7. The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell & Dustin Thomason (also available for sale at RM12 inclusive of postage)
8. The Bone Collector by Jeffery Deaver (also available for sale at RM12 inclusive of postage)
9. Magician by Raymond E. Feist
10. Stephen King Goes to the Movies (5 fictions that got adapted into the silver screen)
11. Dingin Salju Indiana by Nurulsham Saidin
12. Sinergi by Hilal Asyraf
13. Menara by Isa Kamari (also available for sale at RM10 inclusive of postage)
14. Tenggelamnya Kapal Van Der Wijck by Hamka
15. Travelog Haji: Mengubah Sempadan Iman by Muhd Kamil Ibrahim
16. Salahudin AYubi by Abd Latip Talib
17. Imam by Abdullah Hussein
18. Bagaikan Puteri by Ramlee Awang Murshid
19. Cinta Sang Ratu by Ramlee Awang Murshid
20. Hijab Sang Pencinta by Ramlee Awang Murshid
21. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood (also available for sale at RM12 inclusive of postage)
22. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (also available for sale at RM18 inclusive of postage)
23. Kekasih Sam Bo Po by Faisal Tehrani

- I will add links to synopsis/review (probably not my own review) to these books later/from time to time
- I may change or add books to this list from time to time
- I may add photos of the books also available for sale so that you can view the physical condition later
- Please take care of my books, don't dog-ear them please
- Just email me at emel.siti@ with the books you'd like to borrow together with your name, address, and phone number

I just discovered a book swap site called in the US which I think is so cool. Each member post the books she can offer for swaps and for each book she mailed to someone who had ordered it, she can request for any other book in the pool (it's not a one person to one person swap). And you can keep the books you received, unless you wish to post it back to the pool. There's currently 5 million books in the pool to be chosen from! I wonder if it's possible to have something similar to this in Malaysia?

Sharing, for the love of reading! (ooohh, but publisher/distributor/author won't like this though ;p)


Nama Beta Sultan Alauddin

>> Monday, April 11, 2011

Credit to image source:

Meskipun buku ini sudah lama di rak buku, saya tidak lekas memilih untuk membacanya. Barangkali kisah sejarah biasanya 'berat' bagi saya. Jangkaan saya meleset. Dalam buku ini, kisah Sultan Alauddin diceritakan oleh seorang datuk kepada cucu-cucunya. Penceritaan yang ringan dan menarik membuatkan buku ini enak dibaca, dan amat sesuai untuk kanak-kanak.

Saya sudah lupa sebarang fakta berkenaan Sultan Alauddin daripada buku teks Sejarah sekolah menengah dahulu. Menguliti buku ini membuatkan saya teruja membaca bagaimana beliau merupakan seorang pemerintah yang warak dan berwibawa. Sayang sungguh, tempoh pemerintahan beliau tidak lama, akibat perbuatan khianat musuh-musuh dalam istana.

Saya akui, saya seorang yang naif barangkali, tetapi 'kuasa' memang sesuatu yang tidak dapat saya fahami. Saya tidak dapat mengerti bagaimana seseorang boleh menggadai kemaslahatan umum demi kepentingan diri dalam perebutan kuasa. Ah, senanglah saya berkata begitu, setelah peristiwa dan kesannya berlaku (on hindsight/restrospectively). Barangkali sewaktu kejadian tersebut berlaku, setiap pihak menyangka masing-masing yang betul dan berhak.


Giveaway Tinidewi sempena Hari Buku

>> Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Kak Tini, saya nak masuk giveaway sempena Hari Buku! :)

Kalau terpilih dalam cabutan bertuah, hadiahnya adalah ini:

Best, kan?


Giving up on a book

>> Sunday, April 3, 2011

I'm giving up on a book, unwilling to plough on - 100 pages and I still remain unengaged and uninterested. I will therefore delete 'Guns, Germs and Steel' from my Reading List (right column). The premise of the book is interesting enough. In the authors own words, the essence of the book in one sentence is "History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples' environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves."And indeed iti s quite fascinating to learn that geographical attributes for example proximity or barriers like ocean (to other civilisations), whether the land is suitable for agriculture, natural resources, and weather contributed to mankind history (for example, who invaded who and why not the other way). Perhaps its the way the facts are presented, that made the book seems a bit too academic for my liking. I felt as though I was reading a textbook and a few times I literally fell asleep. The book didn't give me the same excitement, the feeling of anticipation, looking forward to the next available opportunity to pick it up again and resume reading from where I left it, which is one of the many joys of reading.

Do you have qualms about giving up on a book once you started reading it? I used to, I admit. But I soon realize that time is too limted (and thence, life is too short) to be spent reading something I don't want to read. About ten years ago, I gave up on Tolkien's Lord of the Rings after about 200 pages of the first book. Somehow, I couldn't follow the narration. Am I glad they made the movies based on the books. More recently, I gave up on Tetsuko Kuroyanagi's Totto-chan's translation into Bahasa Indonesia, because I found it less 'smooth' to read because I'm not fluent on the language. Another one is Asam, Garam, Gula & Kopi by Abd Jalil Ali which is a collection of articles, half of which pretty interesting but not the other half, and in most cases I found myself disagreeing with the author's approach.

Which books have you given up on?



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