Sunday, February 27, 2011

Poison by Sara Poole

Sara Poole's Poison called to me in the Borders outlet of The Curve. I felt it to fulfill all the points of my checklist and bought it without reading it through first, a rarity. I spent the whole afternoon and night reading it, and I can't believe I thought I would be able to defer the second half to the morrow. I couldn't put it down, as draggy as it seemed to be at certain parts.

Before the Tudors, there were the Borgias.

I would recommend YOU to read this book, except I know that it may not be to everyone's tastes. Here's a short synopsis.

      It's a historical fiction based on the house of Borgia. The Borgias were like an earlier, Vatican version of the Tudors in early Renaissance Rome. Known as the original crime family in history, it is this family that Mafian The Godfather was based on. This was in the late 15th century when everyone killed everyone and slept with everyone and cardinals counted away the days until which the blood-drinking pope would finally die. In this book, the main character is Francesca Giordano, the poisoner's daughter very skilled in poison herself. When her father is murdered she seeks justice, and in order to put herself in a position of power Francesca kills her father's replacement and becomes the employed poisoner of Cardinal Borgia himself. Somewhere on the way she murders/attempts to murder quite a number of other people and her internal indecision at the state of her soul is very intriguing. She also has to help the zuperr corrupted Cardinal Borgia become Pope Alexander VI. All this is set against the historically accurate backdrop of a very screwed up Catholic Church.

(Yes, this is what I've filled my head with when I ought to be studying.)
If you actually read through that and are feeling rather nonplussed right now, I don't blame you - I'm kind of shocked at myself as well. But, if you are not, this book is a must read!

I don't know if I'm happy or not that this book is the first in a series yet to come. Sometimes, books that are great as a stand-alone novel are stretched out to become a series and it's not always a good thing. Ah well, I'll wait for April 2011 and then we'll see.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Attempting to Explain Reading

The way I find my favourite books is rather indescribable. I'd be walking in a bookstore, I'd see a title that catches my eye, I'd read the back, stare at the picture, start reading, and know that this is it. It's a calling, really, a calling of books to me.

I'm always at a loss when people ask me what sort of books I read. What a question. Well. I read classics. (Mostly I slug through them so I can triumphantly claim the accomplishment of finishing it, so it's more of an obligation for me to do so than personal enjoyment, with the odd exception.) I read modern-setting books as well, of course. I shy away from hardcore science fiction and hardcore chic lit. Hmm. I don't have that many books in my house. So, I'm forced to re-read more than I read. You see, I kinda read every day. Even if I'm tired shit or have exams or whatever. You can't read every day and claim you have enough books to read. So mostly every book I have in the house gets re-read at certain-number-of-months-long intervals. Which makes buying books is a big deal if I don't wanna buy a book I can't reread. See the curse that has been inflicted upon me.

But thanks to the influence of Tamora Pierce, whose books I have an amount of twenty-six, my favourite type of book more or less needs to fulfill this checklist.

Foreign pre-Industrial Revolution setting

Main character an able female striving to prove herself in a man's world

The character's coming-of-age mission of good principle, however conflicted

The main plot not being one that focuses on getting the girl together with a guy

A love story on the side that isn't annoying/stupid/disgusting

The presence of royalty/nobility

Yeah. I think that's it.

This is the type of book I will be willing to forgo sleep and food for, in order to finish it in one reading and don't have to spend a night waiting to continue it in the morning.

So now you know, and so do I.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Christchurch 2011

I nearly cried when I saw the Christchurch report earlier.

It was so bad, you know?

And they had just required from an earlier earthquake.


How do you even begin to start rebuilding a city? How do you go about doing it?

I was in Christchurch, when I was eight. Loveliest two days. I loved Christchurch. It was such a beautiful city. I still remember it. Now it's pretty much half destroyed. If I had all the time in the world I'd scour through the unorganised New Zealand pictures in scattered photo books to post up photos of us touring the amazing cathedral in Christchurch.

This one.

Which now looks like this.

No more pictures. If you want to fill your screen with horrifyingly heartrending stills, feel free to utilise google image.

I read in the article about the survivors who said they only lived to tale because of their split-second decision to dive under a desk or something like that.

Imagine that blind, panicked, split-second choice you make determining whether or not you live or die.

Imagine people screaming and running all around you and you have no idea where to go.

Imagine seeing a woman with a baby in her arms being killed right in front of your eyes.

Imagine being trapped under rubble for days while the people who call the shots decide not to search in your area as the odds of finding any survivors are just too slim and they have other places they need to be. And then dying. Alone, unnoticed,  unheard.

Imagine having to have your leg or arm cut off, left under the huge slab of cement crushing it, in order to get the hell out of there.

And then the aftermath.

How lucky are you, really? If you're alive but your loved one is not. If your home and everything in it is dashed to bits, and you have nowhere to go, nowhere to live. If you're alive, but dismembered.

Just that one thing I love about Malaysia.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Fact vs Fiction

They say we go to school to learn new things, to be educated, to find out how things work, and why things are, and that we come back with our minds filled with knowledge so we may see the world in a whole new enlightened way.


The more I learn, the more miserable I get. This happens in Physics class more than anything else. The most prime example:

What is an echo?
An echo is a nymph, a lovely fairy who lives in dells and open spaces, who imitates your voice perfectly in the way that only she can.

Yes, I suppose I really believe that.
(This in response to the incredulous question posed to me by people whom I've told this to.)

I wish that rainbows were really the path of the Greek messenger Iris between earth and heaven. Chase it to its end, you'll find a leprechaun with a pot of gold. That every tree - a proper, woodsy tree, has a dryad. That sleep is a place, which is why we go to it every night. That stars don't die in supernovas and end in blackholes - they move on to be reborn as something else, mostly in human form. That Helios the sun-god drives his fiery sun-chariot from the east to the west each day. That when night falls, an immense curtain of dark velvet is actually being stretched across the bright sky - stars are the holes in it, so you can see light shining through. That the moon - no, don't get me started on the moon. 

No, by the way, I'm sadly not brilliant enough to come up with all this on my own - these are just some of beautiful things that you could get from books, legend, and cartoons. But no bemoaning, right? With every day, every hour I'm not in school, or wasting time on the Internet, or studying for SPM, or lazing around or hanging out - every hour I reserve for myself for things like this, I will be able to learn.

 "I was very much provoked. Of course, I knew there are no fairies; but that needn't prevent my thinking there is." -Anne of Avonlea

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day Fourteen of Month II

A thank you to Chalystha for our lovely valentines. :')

The day of year when all those not in relationships are either whining or hurting and all those in relationships are... not.
(A sweeping statement - a generalisation.)

For the latter, do cherish this day. It's St. Valentine's Day, and it's supposed to be very sweet and special.

For the former, knock yourself out on these posts author Kristin Cashore posted.
She calls it Interplanetary Be Who You Are Day, a step up on Singles Awareness Day.

And whether you belong to the first group or the second, here is the sweetest most loveliest thing in the world everyone should share in.

In Taylor Swift's album Speak Now, there is this song called Enchanted. I've always loved loved loved that song, and later I found out it was supposed to be meant for Adam Young of Owl City. Well yesterday I found out that Adam finally responded to Taylor by doing a modified cover of Enchanted.


Please don't be in love with someone else,
please don't have somebody waiting on you.

Oh Taylor I was so, enchanted to meet you, too.

I was never in love with someone else
I never had somebody waiting on me
'Cause you were all of my dreams come true
And I just wish you knew
Taylor I was so in love with you.

Happy Valentine's Day, or Happy S.A.D., dears.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Reid Cover


why hello




of what?

omg dont tell me of reid



Chalystha Lee.
Gotta love that girl.

Last year, I found a picture of Merlin and Arthur posing for the Merlin in Need charity programme with a very cute yellow Pudsy bear. It was so ridiculously adorable that I stretched it out to A4 size and got my mother to colour print it for me. I then proceeded to use it for my school file cover.

This year, I decided to use Matt Bomer (who plays Neal Caffrey), and so I went a-hunting. Finding hot pictures of Mr. Matt Bomer is an understandably thing to do - all I had to do was find one the right size, and I got it, in the end, courtesy of those lovely people on tumblr.

But now it's February and I've gone mad and I've decided to let Mr. Caffrey-Bomer stay on one side of the file while I give the other to - Dr. Spencer Reid/Matthew Gray Gubler. Since Reid cut his hair, he has turned much more photogenic and almost all the people I follow on tumblr are Reid fans and they flood my dashboard each day, thus providing me with so much fuel for my Reid fangirlism, and, well, after an hour or so of very hard work (look, I don't know how to edit pictures and all that so all I could do was move them around a bit but still I was a novice even at that), I finally got my Reid collage together.

Many thanks to tumblr (I laugh every time I remember that I once swore I wouldn't get addicted to it) and my mom. She's my rock. I love you mommy. I couldn't have done this without you. What a life achievement. Tolong print cantik-cantik ya.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Monday, February 7, 2011

The song meant something?!

Sorry I haven't been updating.
But free time is precious now, and I've spent every moment of it I have on attempting to write, which really really really sucks, because I suck, or watching Criminal Minds, and tumblr-ing Criminal Minds - go and visit my tumblr *link!* and you will totally get what I mean. Yes I am in a Criminal Minds/Dr. Spencer Reid/ Matthew Gray Gubler phase, I've noticed tyvm!

Hui Jan this is for you.

Things about this 1-minute video that make me deliriously happy:

Morgan strolling in like the hot guy he is.
Morgan looking so crinkly-eyed and happy to see Reid.
Morgan greeting Reid with his "Pretty boy!"
Reid accustomedness to being called "pretty boy" by Morgan
JJ's happyface.
Prentiss, Morgan and Reid's confusion.
JJ singing!
Morgan's jealous face.
Morgan's jealous storming off.
Prentiss' utter delight.
"Didn't you hear JJ?"
"No - no, I missed it!"
Prentiss at a loss for words.
Just... Reid's face at the end there.

(If only Hotch were in it too.)

I'm sorry, did I just narrate the whole video for you? Suck it up.