Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What To Read For Halloween

If you're not out trick or treating this Halloween, why not sit down and read a really scary book to scare yourself out of your wits? I've done a little bit of research through Google and here are some links for you to choose what books to settle down with a cup of coffee and some chocolate cookies!

Well, that's all then. Have fun reading!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Vote For Your Favourite Books At Cybils

Just a little quick update for today. I was merely blog hopping and found a blog called 'the cybils blog'. If you have recently read a good book that was published this year, 2007, you can nominate it in its respective category on cybils' blog. Be part of The Children's and YA Bloggers' Literary Awards (The Cybils 2007)! Nominations are open until 21 November 2007.

There are 8 book genres involved and they are Fantasy/Science Fiction, Fiction Picture Books, Graphic Novels, Middle Grade Fiction, Non-Fiction: Middle Grade and Young Adult, Non-Fiction Picture Books, Poetry, and Young Adult Fiction.

Remember, the books that you want to nominate have to be published in year 2007 and do nominate them in the right categories! If you are not sure, you can post your question in their comments section. Someone will most likely help you out with it.

By the way, I've added some extra stuff in my blog. Check out the ultra-cool FeedJit widget! I like knowing where my visitors come from and so far, FeedJit works for me.

I've also updated on my 'Shared Items' section. I've picked interesting posts from other blogs and you can read them when you click on a post's title in my Shared Items box.

In addition, I just found out that Blogger has a new add-on, which is the Polls widget. Do check out my poll (How often do you buy books?) on the left side of this blog and cast your vote! I'm curious to know how often other people buy or don't buy books. It'll only take a few seconds of your time to vote. =)

That's all for now. Have a pleasant day!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Read With Abandon? - BTT #2

I'm going to answer another question posted on Booking Through Thursday!

Today’s suggestion is from Cereal Box Reader

I would enjoy reading a meme about people’s abandoned books. The books that you start but don’t finish say as much about you as the ones you actually read, sometimes because of the books themselves or because of the circumstances that prevent you from finishing. So . . . what books have you abandoned and why?

It's quite rare for me to not finish reading a book because I don't know since when, I've vowed to try to read a book from beginning to end. No skipping pages, no jumping to the ending. But a few years ago, my sis gave me 'Diary of a Girl in Changi' for Christmas. It was a pretty dull book to me. I only read it halfway then I stopped. I thought I might read something else and I'd get back to that book soon. I never did. After 3 or 4 Christmases, I still haven't finished the book.

Another book that I skipped some pages was Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I know, I know it's a classic! But, somehow it was too long-winded for me. I just wanted to go to the ending and finish the book so I could freshen myself up with another book.

I think there aren't anymore books that I never completed. Even if some books are really boring now, I'll still try to finish them even if it takes me weeks and months. I shouldn't give up!

The Alanna Book

Now that I think back, the first fantasy book I ever read was probably Alanna: The First Adventure. The RM12.90 hardcover book belongs to my sister. I think she brought it over one day for me to read. I don't remember how old I was but I know I was still in primary school so it's quite a long time ago.

When I finished the book, I loved it! I wondered if there were any other books written by Tamora Pierce but didn't bother to really find out. Last time, I had no computer, no Internet, and I didn't read newspapers. I have no idea what I did back then!

The most vivid memory is me playing with my neighbourhood friends at the field. Reading fantasy books wasn't a priority. But, I had lots of Enid Blyton books though. I thought I'll only read Enid Blyton books for as long as I live because I love her books so much! However, my sis did advise me to read a variety of books. I asked her why and she said it's better to read a variety. That's all, I did't ask anymore!

Anyway, after reading that book by Pierce, my sis took it back and I forgot all about it. At times, I did think about it but like I said, I did not take the initiative to find out more about it. During secondary school, I read mostly Sweet Valley, especially the Junior High books. I could only afford such books by the way. Books were a luxury to me. I preferred to spend my pocket money on food. =) Plus, I did not always visit bookshops.

But now, I'm so glad I found out more about the Alanna books! That book I read is the first book in The Song of the Lioness series. There are 4 books altogether in this series. Here they are in order:

1. Alanna: The First Adventure
2. In The Hand Of The Goddess
3. The Woman Who Rides Like A Man
4. Lioness Rampant

I couldn't find 'In the Hand of the Goddess' in Borders and MPH. I didn't check Popular though but it's ok, I found it on Acmamall! Yeah! So, I'll buy sometime soon. All 4 books are available at Acmamall. I'm disappointed that those books are out of stock on MPH Online. Hmm, Borders? I don't remember. I know they have Trickster's Choice and other books from her other series. If possible, I'll try to read as many books by her!

Wow, I just checked out Wikipedia - Tamora Pierce about Tamora Pierce's books. She wrote so many! I'll have to go on a Tamora Pierce marathon some day.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Exciting England!

I’ve always wanted to go to the United Kingdom. London buses, Buckingham Palace, Oxford University, etc! Guess what. I’ve dreamt of attending Oxford University before but since I’m not a genius or anything, that dream never really came true. Anyway, I can always go to England for a holiday or something. The main thing is: books!

Yes! If I ever find myself in the UK, I’ll definitely go to the big bookshops there. Places like Waterstones and Foyles. Oh yeah, those places are unquestionably at the top of my list of places to go when and if I’m in England.

Besides those bookshops, I’ll make sure that I stop by Notting Hill in London too. Uh huh, that movie starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts. The Portobello Road Market sells books, furniture, clothes, food, etc. Well, I wouldn’t buy the furniture but I’ll check out the other smaller stuff that I can bring back home easily. London would be really exciting.

The Portobello Road Market

Now, what about going to Manchester too? The name should sound familiar to you if you have some knowledge in football. Yup. Manchester United. You guessed it right. But if you’re not the football type, you can always pay a visit to the Manchester Art Gallery at Mosley Street. The Imperial War Museum North would be another interesting place to go in Manchester. Admission is free!

Manchester United logo

Let’s go to Birmingham now. Hey, I didn’t know that it is considered the ‘second city of the United Kingdom’. The first city is London, of course! Oh, and check out St. Philip’s Cathedral too. Incredible, isn’t it?

St. Philip's Cathedral

Wow, the UK! Hold on there, I’m definitely flying off to this amazing place sometime in the future. See ya!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Young Adult Challenge 2008

Now, this challenge caught my eye and I decided to check it out. Guess what? It's quite a simple challenge where you're only required to read 12 Young Adult books in 2008 at your own pace! So, I guess it's suitable for me as my reading pattern now is not so regular due to assignments and other readings for my courses.

By the way, this YA challenge is hosted by Joy from "Thoughts of Joy...". Also, I haven't chosen yet what books I'll read next year.

Well, anyone else who's interested in signing up for this challenge? It's fun!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Booking Through Thursday #1

It may not be a Thursday today but it's still okay to do it today on a Tuesday! Plus this is my very first time participating in 'Booking Through Thursday'! This is an interesting question and I might just take some time to answer it.

Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.

What do you read?

(Any bets on how quickly somebody says the Bible or some other religious text? A good choice, to be sure, but to be honest, I was thinking more along the lines of fiction…. Unless I laid it on a little strong in the string of catastrophes? Maybe I should have just stuck to catching a cold on a rainy day….)

Man, that really sounds like a beyond awful day to me. It couldn't possibly get any worst! The only thing that I'd want to do is to eat and eat and eat all my favourite food. But if I had resorted to reading books, then the books that I'll probably choose are funny books that might make me laugh, if it's even possible.

Actually, I like it when it's cold and raining, especially at night. Rain during the day wouldn't be so nice because the clothes won't get dry. Anyway...reading indoors while rain is pouring down outdoors is totally blissful! I'd rather it rain at night, then it's nice.

There are so many kinds of books that I'll read. I will read books where the characters are in much more trouble or have more bad luck than me. Like that, I'll probably feel better. I may also read books with humour like 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time' by Mark Haddon. Or 'The True Story of Lilli Stubeck' by James Aldridge. I don't think I'll ever get bored of this superb book.

When I was younger, in my early teens, I would sometimes find comfort in my Sweet Valley Junior High books. Those books are easy to read and quite funny at times.

Well, it all depends on my mood. Sometimes I may have the mood for this book but sometimes it'll be that book. It depends.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Book Meme Time

I'm going to steal this book meme from Bibliolatry.

1. Hardcover or paperback, and why?

Paperbacks. Cheaper and lighter to hold.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it...

Maybe Books Love Me? Haha! I don't know. How would it sound? The Books Love Me Bookshop? Too long... Or perhaps The BLM Bookshop. Sounds like the BLT sandwich!

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is...

Erm...I'll get back to this question later.

4. The author (alive or deceased) I would love to have lunch with would be...

Enid Blyton! Charlotte Bronte.

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be...

Only one? Then, I'll really have to savour each and every page! I guess it has to be a thick classic book because it takes me a long time to finish them. Maybe Jane Eyre.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that...

keeps dust off my books.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of...

I like the new smell of books.

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be...

Bella from Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse. You don't normally get to make friends with vampires.

9. The most overestimated book of all times is...

Overestimated book? What about Harry Potter?

10. I hate it when a book...

has missing pages!

There, done! Except for number 3, which I'll get back to it later. =D

Anyone else who would like to try out this book meme, do it! Then drop me a line, ok?

New Way of Taking Notes in Class

Gone are the old-fashioned way of taking notes in class, which is holding a pen and writing your notes down on paper. Now, students are taking out their cameras and snapping pictures of their notes in class.

In university, blackboards and whiteboards are rarely used. The projector and transparency screens are used most of the time now because it's quick and easy although it wastes electricity.

However, in my Tamadun Islam dan Tamadun Asia classes, some students can be seen clicking their digital cameras away. For one thing, it's quite effective because some lecturers don't give you much time to copy everything down. So, taking photos of your notes is one way to make sure that you can have everything taken down!

Effective but waste of camera battery and electricity!

Friday, October 5, 2007

Buka puasa stalls and food

It’s that time of the year again where there are numerous Raya stalls springing up everywhere, including outside of my university hostel! The hawkers have begun setting up their stalls around 5 p.m. and I’m not sure what time they close. But when I checked around 10 p.m. something, there wasn’t a stall in sight! They must have gone home to continue ‘buka puasa’.

Anyway, yesterday I bought some food from them for the first time. Beef kebab, murtabak ayam, leng chi kang and some jellies. That’s a lot of food for one person, huh? Well, never mind. For me, it means only one thing. Party time!!!

It’s true; I can be a glutton at times but this only happens once in a while. I don’t always stuff myself with food. Ah, I like to stuff myself with books. Story books. ;D

Well, the summary. The beef kebab was okay. I first tasted kebab when I was in Form 5 and I’ve never tasted the same kebab again. The kebab I ate in Form 5 was absolutely delicious!

The murtabak ayam came with the pink-coloured onions. The murtabak was just fine, too. When I bought from them, it was already cooked long ago so it wasn’t hot or even warm anymore.

Next up: the jellies. I love jellies but not these jellies. My favourite jelly has always been the regular dark pink, syrup-flavoured jelly that you can usually find at Malay stalls. Anyway, I bought three kinds of jellies. All were multi-coloured and had ‘nata de cocos’ in them. I like ‘nata de cocos’, if that’s the right term for those quite solid cubic jellies.

The ‘best’ one was the leng chi kang. I’ll never buy leng chi kang from that stall ever again. Yeah, sure it had all the jellies and fungus and those small frog eggs in it. I still don’t know the right name for that. I’ll find out later.

And all that was my dinner yesterday. Tomorrow I’ll buy other types of food from other stalls. It won’t hurt to try. =D
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