Friday, December 2, 2011

Reading in Hong Kong

If anyone has read my previous post, then yes, I did buy more books in Hong Kong. And read a decent number in that time, considering the fact that I did spend most of my time doing vacation-related activities (in my family, reading books does not count as a vacation-related activity). And to make things easier (for me to write and you to read), I'm limiting myself to actualy books I read, not ebooks.

Before I even got on the plane, my family had a one or two hours to kill at the airport (midnight flight you see). So basically, my 'reading count' was at 2 even before I set off. Has anyone heard of the Arcane Society? Well, you should. Aunty Florence introduced me/lent me two books set in that society: The Perfect Poison (Book 6) and Burning Lamp (an Arcane society novel and also, rather confusingly, Book 2 in the Dreamlight Triology), both by Amanda Quick.

The Arcane Society deals with psychical gifts. Something like the gift of Hunting/Strategy/Blending into Shadows, etc. I don't fully understand what it's about, but I take it that they're talking about 'powers' of a form, and I just don't bother pretending it's real. It's a good narrative vehical, and makes for an interesting alternate reality, but still, definitely can't happen.

That being said, both books seem to revolve around romance. While I tend not to like 'adult' romances, since I have no interest in reading about two people and uh, how physical they can get, I managed to stomach the minute amount of scenes. Admitedly, the romance thing is integrated nicely into the plot, and I managed to skip the worst. Basically, this is a caution not to let little kiddies read this book, unless you feel they're ready. But really, there are worse books (in terms of this sort of content).

Plot-wise, the books are fantastic. The Perfect Poison deals with poisonous plants, and Lucinda, the protagonist is wonderfully crafted. In fact, I liked this book better because there there was more plot, Burning Lamp seeming to consist more of action scenes. And like the Discworld novels (yes, it's coming up), the way the novels interact is really enjoyable. Oh, and Burning Lamp is more psyschical, which may be why I don't like it as much. 

Skipping over the first few days, which is mostly yam cha (basically, dim sum) and some insane amounts of shopping (my feet died). And oh yeah, Hong Kong Disneyland (I need to brush up on my photography skills). To those considering going there, don't expect much thrill rides, but there is a really adorable ride: The Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, that takes you through a book. Amazingly, both my sisters considered buying books, and one of them, Eugenia, actually followed up on it. I think my influence is growing ^^

I only start to properly read when we stay at my grandmother's place. She lives in the countryside (yes, Hong Kong does have a countryside), in a village, so I managed to walk to the nearby farm and such. There, I read The Diary of Amos Lee: I'm Twelve I'm Tough, I Tweet (Eugenia's purchase) and The Apprentice Smurf comics (Eusebius's purchase).

The Diary of Amos Lee: I'm Twelve I'm Tough, I Tweet by Adeline Foo is a made-in-Singapore product, and if you ask my, way better than the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. While unrealistic (I don't think it represents the Singapore Student well, although I could be just an anomaly), it's quite fun and Amos Lee reminds me of Paddy Clarke (good with words). In this installment, Amos juggles his new magazine 'Poop Fiction' while trying to run for his school's Tween Idol contest, dealing with bullies in the process. Reading such books, I think that Singapore is starting to produce better quality books (sorry Catherine Lim, I don't like your books much).

The Smurf Apprentice is a comic my brother saw and fell in love with. Being a smurf comic, I don't need to say much, but that if you are hesitating: IT'S IN COLOUR!

On one of the last days (second last day), we went to an outlet mall. In a typical manner, the only things I bought was from the bookstore (yes, and Outlet Bookstore!). I managed to buy my sister's Birthday Present: The Sister's Book (Which I can't read until after her birthday), and a photography guide specifically for my camera (I really need the help).

Lastly (I hear sights of relief), as per the newly minted tradition that started when I went to US, I bought a Terry Pratchet book at Hong Kong International Airport's Page One bookshop. And one other book called The Practical Napper.

The Practical Napper has no coherent content, but is a fun book of quotes/facts/tips about napping. Needless to say, I laughed out loud when reading this. My favourite quote? "Nap Long and Prosper". After this, I should go take a nap (well, I would if taking naps was a habit).

Making Money by Terry Pratchet is a Moist von Lipwig novel. He has apparently starred in Going Postal (sadly, I haven't read it yet), but here, he is tasked (ok, coerced) into taking over the Royal Mint. What happens is a humourous saga that pokes fun at how banks are run. The plot is good, with an unexpected twist and blah blah blah the usual praise for Pratchet.

What I really wanted to see though, was more footnotes (that's why I can't really read his books in ebook format). The footnotes are what makes the Discworld novels not only more comphrehensible (it is a world, like yet unlike ours after all), but also more humourous. Sadly, this book had very few footnotes. If there was an ode to footnotes, I would paste it here, but fortunately for you, I don't know any.

The only other (hey, assonance!) comment I have is how for some reason, I don't really like Adora Belle Dearheart. This is beyond strange since I have loved/liked every other character so far, and as far as I can objectively see, she is a well-written and likeable character. I guess there's no accounting for human tastes, although I did like her much more by the end of the novel.

No comments :

Post a Comment

I really do appreciate all comments, and I'll try my best to reply within 24 hours!