21 October 2010

A note on the Amazon Kindle

[See here for an update to this post.]

With the release of the third generation Kindle not too long ago, people this side of the world are starting to take notice. The common remarks I often hear are 'maybe I should just get an iPad' or 'but it will never feel the same as reading a real book'. Here are a few reasons why I've always been a Kindle advocate.

17 October 2010

Cloudstreet by Tim Winton

I am ashamed to say that in all my years of living in Sydney, I never picked up a Tim Winton novel to read. And that Cloudstreet, my first Tim Winton, was bought at the Sydney Airport, as I was just about to get on a plane to start my life back in Singapore.

I'd always scoffed at the thought of Aussie literature. Despite friends recommending a whole host of great Aussie novels, I resisted. I was a foolish snob. Thankfully, the beauty of books is that they never expire. A good book will sit there, faithfully waiting for you to pick it up, realize its worth, and devour it. Better late than never. I've learnt my lesson.

I think I will always remember Cloudstreet as the book that made me ache for Australia. It is quintessentially Australian, and for every reason that I thought I would hate this kind of book, I loved it. I shall now, as a form of atonement, list those reasons here.

16 October 2010

Solar by Ian McEwan

 Ian McEwan is the only author whose books I refuse to buy on my Kindle. When Solar was released earlier this year, I went out to the bookstore and bought a hard copy of it so I can display it on my bookshelf along with the rest of his books. Not because I am vain about my book collection, but because I feel, rather absurdly, like I'm doing something for him in my own small way. No no, Ian, thank YOU.

For the reasons stated here, On Chesil Beach remains my favourite McEwan novel.  Notwithstanding, Solar was wonderfully enjoyable and well worth writing a review about, so here goes. My maiden attempt.