Wednesday, May 31, 2006


“Be strong! Do not give in! Do not buy anymore book!” I reminded myself like six times as I walked into the book fair last weekend.

“What else do you buy in a book fair? Why do you go to a book fair if not to buy books?” I hear you asking.

See, I might have bitten more than I could chew. I’m currently reading three books, on and off. First one is The Art of War by Sun Tzu. This one is a tough cookie as it’s in ancient Chinese, not exactly a page-turner. I bought it actually first to improve my Chinese pronunciation, second to learn and hopefully improvise the some of the war strategies and philosophies. Therefore, I always read this book out loud. That limits the venue to my room only, normally before going to sleep, ending up putting me to sleep.

I then started on Daughter of the Killing Fields by Theary C. Seng, the memoir of the author surviving the Khmer Rouge regime since she was four and ultimately confronting Pol Pot, the man she said responsible for the death of her parents and 1.7 million Cambodians, 21 years later. It should be a compelling and heart wrenching account of her struggles and sufferings during the dark period in the Cambodian history.

I say should because I barely made it past the author’s note before I bought and dived straight into a new book, The Snows of Kilimanjaro (TSOK) and other short stories by Ernest Hemingway. Though Hemingway is renowned for his simple, direct and descriptive style, I had to read TSOK twice, not because I love it that much, but because I could hardly grasp what the story was about. Well, second time reading of this hunting tragedy did reveal the brilliance of Hemingway’s mastery in descriptions and imaginations as well as his love for Africa and passion for big-game hunting. I want to go to see Africa, now!

On top of that, I have got two magazines to flip. I am a Men’s Health (international edition) regular as it has got tonnes of useful stuff written in simple and informative way with at times laugh out loud funny lines. Since I’m a photo-nut. I also read Practical Photography, almost religiously.

As I was packing during the recent move, I found out that I also have three new books waiting for me, two of which still in plastic wrap: The Republic by Plato, Between Blood and Bombs: A Journal of War by Shahanaaz Habib and A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson. Of these three, I can’t wait to start cracking on Bryson. I think he’s absolutely funny. Between Blood and Bombs is the story of the author’s two trips to war torn Iraq in April and November 2003. Needless to say it’s going to be a heavy read. That will have to wait. The Republic, I don’t even know why I bought it. Was I feeling philosophical then? Or was I trying to get the tax rebate?

So many books, so little time to read!

I spent two hours at the book fair. In the end I succumbed to the temptations. I bought a book: The Art of Magic and Sleight of Hand.

What can I say? I’m weak!

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