11 December 2013

The Amazon Kindle: An Update (and a U-Turn)

In an earlier post, I gave an overwhelmingly positive review of the Amazon Kindle. This was my first Kindle, and Amazon's first generation device.

Later, when my first Kindle broke, I posted a picture of my second Kindle, a Kindle Touch.

Since then, it seems that Amazon's new Kindles are all touch-screen ones.



05 December 2013

All the People Imagine & Other Short Short Stories by Lee Ju-Lyn

This is a little anthology of works, written and carefully hand-picked from the blog The Chattering Matterings of the Original Meekfreak by (full disclosure here) my good friend Lee Ju-Lyn.

Ju-Lyn started her blog in 2005 as a creative space for her many wondrously imaginative essays, poems and short works of fiction. In 2008, she decided to self-publish All The People Imagine. I love that she did that. I am grateful for the ability to hold this selection of her best works in my hand. I don't personally know any other writer, but here's a little secret: When you know the writer, the knowledge transforms your act of reading. And then, having it on paper cements the tangibility of it. Her ideas, thoughts and sheer effort flowed almost visibly from the pages into my hands and into my head and into my heart. To me, the paper is incredibly light for the weight that it carries.

On to the review.

27 November 2011

The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

I honestly have no excuse not to read Parrot and Olivier in America - yes it's stuck on my broken kindle but aunt Hwee did lend me her hard copy, two inches thick and all.  It's just that its size is hardly inviting, especially when compared to Julian  Barnes' compact little bestseller that's making headlines everywhere now.  So with my sincerest apologies to Peter Carey, and a promise that I will finish reading Parrot and Olivier if it kills me, here's my review of the Booker's recently declared winner.

The Sense of an Ending was surprisingly easy to read for something so thought-provoking.  Barnes writes about the imperfection of memory; the way it beguiles and deceives.  The narrator is Tony Webster, well past middle-aged and looking back at a particular point in his life, trying to make sense of the things that happened during a tumultuous time.  What he remembers and what actually happened are, of course, quite separate matters.

30 September 2011

Nocturnes by Kazuo Ishiguro


There it is, my faithful friend - broken. 

I can't quite bear the thought of replacing it yet, so it's a good thing I had Nocturnes sitting steadfast by my bedside.

Nocturnes is a collection of five short stories, all centered around the theme of music and the passing of time.  I suppose it says as much on the cover, much more poetically than I ever could - "Five Stories of Music and Nightfall".

The "nightfall" part requires a bit of thinking.  Certainly there are key events which happen at night or in the evening.  But that's a bit too literal - nightfall refers to the setting of the sun on - the close, the end of - relationships in a world where too many things, from friendship to marriage, are transient.  Ishiguro seeks to capture those fleeting moments in our lives when a connection is made with someone, but that connection is destined not to last, except in memory.