Sunday, 21 April 2013

Buku lima

Some time in early March last month, I managed to drop by the Big Bad Wolf book sale at the Mines Convention Centre in Serdang. Although I have heard of this spectacular book sale before, it was my first time visiting the event. As I stepped into the convention hall, I became awestruck... I thought I had reached book heaven. Klang Valley folks are so lucky. If such a fair is held in Johor Bahru, I'd be a regular customer for sure.

I caught the BBW book fair on the very last day of the extended sale period and even that was at late evening after settling the work stuff at my KL head office. If not for the need to drive back to JB, I could have stayed right up to closing time. There were simply tons of books that I wanted to browse through. Anyway, I made full use of whatever short time I had to return with a haul of 14 books. At a mere RM5 per copy, the total purchase cost me only RM70, which is about the normal price I'd have to pay for 2 brand-new novels. It was a mix of works from new authors (new in this sense, meaning that I'm reading them for the first time) plus some writers whom I'm already familiar with. Three of the fourteen are non-fiction.

The full list of my selection is as follows :

1. Boris Akunin - Turkish Gambit
2. Mitch Albom - For One More Day
3. Bill Bryson - The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid
4. Harlan Coben - Long Lost
5. Michael Crichton - Pirate Latitudes
6. Alan Furst - The Foreign Correspondent
7. James Hamilton-Patterson - Empire of the Clouds
8. John Le Carre - The Constant Gardener
9. John Le Carre - The Mission Song
10. Elmore Leonard - Up in Honey's Room
11. Sue Miller - Lost In The Forest
12. Christopher Priest - The Dream Archipelago
13. Colin Tudge - The Link
14. John Wood - Leaving Microsoft to Change the World

This particular stack should cover my reading appetite for next 6 months
From the pile, I chose to start with Bryson. Having read three of his books before, I was pretty confident this work would not disappoint. Indeed, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, a biographical account of life in the US in the 60's, is very hilarious.

I am presently digesting the second pick, a first-time read of Alan Furst who's fiction novel titled The Foreign Correspondent, is a spy/mystery thriller set in Europe before the start of World War II. Readers of this blog can now sort of guess why my postings have been a bit sparse of late.

Okay then... what has the title of this post got to do with a collection of books I got at a bargain?

`Buku Lima' is a Malay idiom that does not translate to mean `five books' (but if we really want to apply the direct translation rule, it could actually mean the `fifth book' or `book no.5', as in a specific book from a series of books... but then I digress). The phrase denotes a clenched fist and by extension, if displayed in a provocative manner, would mean a threat or an invitation to physically punch it out. Buku lima is also the name given to the hand-held weapon known in English as brass knuckles. Bizzare, isn't it?

But hey... I don't want to be scaring off my readers with unnecessary aggression. It's just to let you know April 2013 marks the 5th year this blog has been in circulation. Thanks to all for the company...