Saturday, October 30, 2010


I don't know about most people, but I really really like reading the classics. And by that, I mean like Dickens and such. Sadly, I've never really read much of them, but I've keep meaning to read the works of Wilkie Collins, after a really good book about him (fiction though).

For the past two days, I've been reading two "classic" books, Eight cousins, by Louisa May Alcott and Vanity Fair, by (wait for it).... William Makepeace Thackeray (that's a long name). And these two books couldn't be more different.

Eight cousins, by the author that gave us Little Women (though I hated the sequels cause I though Jo should be with Laurie), is a really sweet novel, which may be too slow for some people. Maybe most people. It's basically about a little orphan girl, who goes to live with her six aunts and seven boy cousins, under the care of her uncle, who's a doctor that plans to make her better (a one year experiment to increase her health). She's so nice that she almost becomes a Mary Sue. I say almost, because she's likeable enough to escape Mary-Sue-dom. She's a little bossy, which is the best part of her; and she's the princess/queen of her cousins. It's fun, (for me) and is those ideal childhood type of stories, like Enid Blyton and the chalet series of books (which was fine at first, but I hated once the original characters had kids, I think that if the kids are protagonist, and you're not writing an epic, you should let them stay kids).

If you're wondering, the amazon link is here: (same cover as mine)

Vanity Fair, on the other hand, couldn't be more differerent than Eight cousins, even though I think it's set in the same periodwriten in the same period of time. This is because historical novels are those set in a different (past) time, while contempory novels, were set in their time (and just happened to survive the hundred or so years). It has the same name as the magazine (which I've never read), but reminded me first of the town in Pilgrim's Progress (the one allegory I can take). And according to Wikipedia, that's where the book title comes from. The book's fun mainly because of the narrator. Although the characters are real and likeable enough, the novelty (for me), is the third person narrator that talks to the reader, which increases the reader's engagement with the book, the prologue alone is a good indication. And the book takes itself lightly, talking about its characters, dismissing some as unimportant, skipping around time periods (because there are two plots, it's neccessary). It's also a very very very long story (my edition being 800 pages), but which is fine because it sustains interest. Another really cute thing are the titles (stuff like The Subject Continued), which (to me), pokes fun at itself, and provides a nice summary (sometimes not) of the chapter.

And once again, the amazon link:

Apparently, because these novels were serialised, they have a U sort of structure, with cliffhangers (eight cousins admits to being serialised, but I have no idea about Vanity Fair); and I wouldn't mind having a magazine that has lots of installments of novels, kinda like the manga magazines (the same thing happens in Japan, serialisation first, and if its popular, book form). Such a fun way to read, although, if the story is too exciting, it's horrible to have to wait to find out what happen, even though it'll probably result in a whole lot of fanfiction. (:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

MG Fun Fair ^_^

PJust yesterday, I wrote about this book: So many books, so little time. And after finishing it, I really didn't expect to be able to get any of the books mentioned inside, or to be able to read new books for that matter. But, today, I went back to MGS (^_^), and bought 7 books~ Total:$13. とても安い(totemo yasui)!

Among the books is one titled "Bird in Bird", which although I haven't read yet, I wanted to, since I read about it yesterday. And since I didn't conciously set out to find that book, finding it (and only for a dollar) was a really pleasant surprise. I'm even happier that Senior Admin gave us the day off, so I can go to the MG Fun Fair.

So far, I've only read one book. And that is part comic. Even though I didn't intend to blog about comics, this one is quite special. It's titled "The Chinese Code to Success" and is basically full of short comics that intend to illustrate Chinese maxims on how to live life, such as "simple things are better (The real thing goes something like dishes made out of pottery are better than those made of gold and jade)". Kind of reminds me about Essays in Idleness by Kenko, which I want to buy and reread (: If you can read Chinese, bonus, cause they set out the maxims in Chinese, and write the meaning in Chinese too. If you don't, there's hanyu pinyin and English translations. Plus, all the comics are in English. All in all, really interesting, and full of practical advice.

Currently, I'm halfway through Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women too. I should finish it by tonight/tomorrow (:

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

So many books, so little time

"When things go right, I read. When they go wrong, I read more."

Because I'm such a bookworm, Aunty Florence (my paino teacher) lent me this book (among others) called "So many books, so little time", subtitled "a year of passionate reading". And when I read it, I was like "Wow! すごいですね (sugoi desu ne)!" And although she only set a target of one book a week, I wanted to kinda be like her and chronicle the books I read, as well as my impressions, both good and bad ones; and I'm not only gonna write about fiction, I hope I can write about non-fiction. And because my handwriting and spelling is AWFUL, I figured a blog is the best way of keeping record.

Although, since I can (easily) read one (or two) books a day, I'm not that motivated when it comes to writing. However, I'm gonna try. ^_^ Sadly, next year is gonna be IB year 6, so the amount of books I can read is probably going to go down T.T. Oh well, I hope this blog lasts longer than a year (which was the time period in the book). I hope this will be fun (:

Anyway, I really like this book (So many books, so little time), because, well, because I'm a bibliophile. So I suppose I can connect to it. My wishlist just got longer by one (plus all the books I want to read because she wrote about them so excitingly).

If you want to read more about the book, or any book for the matter, you should go to Amazon, where you can also read lots of reviews, and sometimes, take a sneak peak. For shortcuts, the link is here: