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Flashback to July 2008

While cleaning out my hard drive, I came across one forgotten file. It was drafted for my email to my friends, before I started a book blog, so now I am going to paste it here for the record.

It is interesting to note that while I am unemployed I had enjoyed the best reading period of my life. There are only 3 such periods for the past 11 years since I had worked full time. First was when I was recuperating from my jaw surgery in 1998, in 1.5 months I had finished 15 books, mostly books that I had bought and never gotten around to read them, mostly books on Christianity and self-help. Second period was when I gave birth to my eldest son and had 2 months of maternity leave, completed 5 books of Harry Potters series, which is not anyone’s idea of an intellectual read. And now, from beginning of May 2008 to date (I think it was July 2008, when I wrote this).

My book reading record brought me to the following enlightenment (summarised):

  • I have picked up some tips on digital photography book.
  • Understand a little history about King Henry VIII and his many wives on The Other Boleyn Girl
  • Feel fortunate to be a woman on a progressive society as opposed to the Afghan women in “A Thousand Splendid Suns” at themost hopeless situation the story had offered hope.
  • Laugh at the various antics of shopaholic in “the secret dreamworld of a shopaholic”.
  • Appreciate the workings of free market capitalism and economicsand life ofAlan Greenspan in“The age of turbulence”
  • Filling in the holes for political reasoning of what Greenspan doesn’t not say in his book by reading “the confessions of an economic hitman” to understand how America and corporate America had a focused mission to sabotage governments or nations that gets in their way.
  • Read a friend’s recommendation on “The Secret” and practice to think your way to your future. What you think is what you get. Sounds trite? but I really needed a morale perk.
  • Relish in the mating ritual and nature of love in Animal kingdom an affirmation of the power of love enabling a human being to surmount incredible feat in “the random acts of heroic love”, very inspiring, great stuff!
  • thought that the book P.S. I love you is overrated and bad writing, though the idea is original, it does not warrant a budget blown on a making of a Hollywood movie starring Hilary Swank. On a positive note, everyone, or anyone can be a writer these days, if you inspire to.
  • Can’t relate to why someone had to suffer to the whims and fancy of Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada, and that was the ultimatum for me to stay off chic list for a long while.
  • Swooned by a suspense thriller Fieldwork of why an anthropologist killed a Christian missionary in the hills of Northern Thailand, and learnt so much about the cultures and ways of hill tribes in Thailand, the work of an Anthropologist, the motivation of a Christian missionaries (the last one is not new to me). I can relate to the Anthropologist feeling alone in strange culture. great stuff!
  • Understand how Google makes money in The Google Story and picked up a few search tips.
  • Reflect on my life on how it would have been different if I had not met my husband in “The post birthday world” which writes about Irina at a juncture of a kiss with a man named Ramsey would change the course of her life whether she stays with her current boring, intellectual, good provider lover Lawrence or abscond with Ramsey the championship snooker player who is at the end of the road, temperance and passionate.
  • Understand that the secret of marriage is to see every woman in one woman. That lust without love is like tasting without the meat, that love without lust is like meat without spice, sustaining but without flavour. So the best is to have love and lust in one everlasting banquet in The lost diary of Don Juan. Don Juan is the Spanish version Casanova or Valentino.

The virtue of reading more than one book at a time is the ability to seek multiple views on one subject, or to find related thread or common theme in various books. Say for example there were a plenty of serendipity in a common theme for the books that I have read (usually back to back):

  • Read about Russians in Anna Karenina and The short history of Ukranian tractors while listening to Alan Greenspan’s observation on the fall of the red curtain.
  • A woman’s destiny is not her own in The Other Boleyn Girl and The thousand splendid suns. Although one set in the era of Tudors and another in Afghanistan, it bears a similar theme and sense of helplessness of women.
  • Read about grieving for the death of love ones in “PS I love you” and “Random Acts of Heroic Love” and how to overcome the pain of losing love ones.
  • The decision to choose love over lust, and lust over love in The post birthday world and The lost diary of Don Juan.
  • And to read about The lost diary of Don Juan and watched a short excerpt of opera in the Royal College of Music on Don Giovanni.

About JoV

A bookaholic that went out of control.... I eat, sleep and breathe books. Well, lately I do other stuff.


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Ratings Defined

0 = Abandon the book after first chapter

1 = Waste of paper, we will see what the environmentalist say about this!

2 = Skip it, read the book if you have got nothing better to do

2.5 = An average book, easily forgettable.

3 = A good read.

3.5 = A good entertaining read, a page-turner

4 = So glad that I read the book, a book with substance and invaluable for future reference

4.5 = So glad that I read the book, would pester everyone to read it, invaluable, I would want to own it and wouldn't mind a second read (something that I seldom do)

5 = The book is so good that I feel like I am on scale 4 and 4.5, and more, it blew me away and lingers on my head for weeks!

Books Read

JoV's bookshelf: read
Hold Tight
The Fault in Our Stars
The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon
The Thief
Catching Fire
A Tale for the Time Being
Into the Darkest Corner
The Liars' Gospel
Goat Mountain
Strange Weather In Tokyo
Strange Shores
And the Mountains Echoed
Ten White Geese
One Step Too Far
The Innocents
The General: The ordinary man who became one of the bravest prisoners in Guantanamo
White Dog Fell from the Sky
A Virtual Love
The Fall of the Stone City

JoV's favorite books »
Share book reviews and ratings with JoV, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Reading, after a certain age, diverts the mind too much from its creative pursuits. Any man who reads too much and uses his own brain too little falls into lazy habits of thinking. - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955)

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