dear friend

Last Friday, I went out to buy new running shoes. The reason I needed new running shoes warrants a post of its own, so I’ll leave that for another time. Anyway, as I was already out, I figured I’d stop by at the Lifeline Bookfest. I’d gone the week-end before with a friend, but hadn’t found anything I wanted, so I left empty-handed. This was kind of to make up for that, and I was sure I’d find something.

After much wandering, I found a Russian for Dummies book, which will hopefully be a good introduction to Russian whenever I decide I’m finished with learning Persian and want to move on to Russian; and I also found a decent copy of The Hobbit, which I bought because I’ve been wanting to re-read the Lord of the Rings trilogy for ages, and had started Fellowship of the Ring earlier this year, but stopped after a few pages because I thought I really should re-read The Hobbit first. Continue reading

perceptions and illusions

Over this last week or so, I’ve been reading Eckhart Tolle’s book A New Earth. I bought it at the Lifeline Bookfest last week-end. It’s kind of funny because I wasn’t looking for it at all. I was browsing through the paperback fiction tables, being incredibly picky because I have an incredible backlog of books from previous Bookfests that I still need to get through …and then suddenly I saw this book.

Possibly the only reason I know about this book at all is because a friend from work told me about it, and he highly recommended it. Initially, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to buy it or not: it’s in good condition, but a $5 price-tag is kind of a bit much by Bookfest standards; and although it was recommended by someone I know and respect, I wasn’t sure if I’d get much out of reading it – spiritual / self-help books aren’t really my thing…

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sought & found

After a dreadful week-end of hot and humid weather where the very thought of going outside, away from the comfort of aircon can make you sweat profusely, it looks like maybe we’re finally getting some relief.

On Saturday, I went to the bi-annual Lifeline Bookfest, which is thankfully held in the pleasantly air-conditioned Convention Centre. As I still have many books from previous years that I have not yet read, I made a short list of wanted titles/authors, and set out determined to stick to this self-imposed limit. Now, before you all go and predict the obvious outcome to this, let me tell you that there were only eight things on the list, and at the end of the day I came out with only five books. Amazingly, one of the books was from the list. So, overall, I’d say that’s not too bad…

For those who are interested/curious, the listed novel was “Never let me go” by Kazuo Ishiguro. He was actually on my “authors” list, so I was quite excited when the one Ishiguro novel that I (eventually) found was the only one that I’d actually heard of before. However, as soon as I picked it up and saw that it had the film cover, I swear the change in my expression must have been plain as day. For one, I don’t like book covers with pictures of people (especially if they’re photos of real people), and secondly, I just don’t like movie tie-ins. As much as I try to not be judgemental of book covers, I will admit that these two, very superficial things are enough of a deterrent to make me put down a potentially very good book. Well, almost enough.

I did actually have to phone a friend on this one. Of course, by “phone a friend” I mean I messaged a friend who I thought could understand my dilemma (apparently there aren’t many people these days who like talking on the phone). So, ever the voice of reason, she asked me if I want to look at it or read it. That was easy enough to answer; totally put it in perspective.

The other four fortuitous acquisitions were “Wool” (Hugh Howey), “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” (Truman Capote), a Readers’ Digest “Select Editions” book which included “The Rosie Project” and “Six Years” together in the one tome, and “Catch 22” (Joseph Heller). Strangely, the one that I’m particularly stoked about is “Catch 22”, even though that’s the one novel in the list that I have read before. The reason I was so excited to find it was because, as you may (but probably won’t) recall, that was the one book that I had really wanted to find a few Bookfests ago. After a fruitless search, I then despaired that I would never be able to find a second-hand copy, as no one who had read it would just give it away to charity.

I did buy a new copy after that time, but I subsequently lent this to a friend who, shortly thereafter, moved to the other side of the country… Not to worry! I have another copy now! Well, I had another copy; I’ve already lent this one to a friend as well. In truth, however, I’m not too fussed about getting it back any time soon. After all, I have so many other novels to read before I get back around to re-reading it!

As I’ve been typing this, we finally got some rain – some refreshingly cool rain. The only unfortunate thing is that we have to keep the windows closed when it rains, and hence miss out on the cool breeze. Summer rain also seems to bring mosquitos. Sorry, usually I’m more of an optimist, but this heat has just been positively stifling! But now, as I finish this post, the rain has stopped, which means it’s time to get the windows open again, and let the cool air in! I’m looking forward to not waking up in the middle of the night feeling like I’m in some sort of gigantic slow-cooker.