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...


zafi said...

From the list, I have read Mitch Albom - For one more day! Truly deeply nice book! :)

Lately I don't have much time to read books except related to my research purposes... :D I keep buying new book and some used book from car boot sales here. :D

Oldstock said...


I've read the first 2 books from Mitch Albom, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and Tuesdays With Morrie. Liked them very much. Previously had already wanted to buy For One More Day, but the price made me hold back for a while, but now thanks to BBW I have one in my collection.

doc said...


For One More Day is a classic - very touching & make you want top call your mum & say I Love You to her! seen it on astro as well. occasionally, look out for it on ch 702.

Al-Manar said...

I would have grabbed the John le Carre before you!

Amelia said...

Hi Oldstock, happy 5th blog anniversary. Keep up the good job, hope to read more posting from you.

You sure love reading and it's not easy to maintain reading habit. I'm sure you must be a very patience man. :)

Those books are really good bargain,too bad we don't have this kind of book fair in JB.

Have a great day ahead. Regards.

Jehan Bakar said...

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is the higlights in my kids life! They who do not get to watch much TV are always enthusiastic of the Bad Wolf Sale.

We also had the Bad Wolf over here in Kuantan over the weekend recently. Two bags full of books were looted from there.

It is indeed a joy, to be able to read and to love reading

Oldstock said...


Sorry for the late reply. Been engaged in some pressing matters, as you can probably guess. Didn't know that For One More Day is on Astro. Will surely look out for it. Thanks.

Oldstock said...

Pakcik Al-Manar,

I now into reading the third book in that bundle and it is The Constant Gardener by le Carre.

Oldstock said...

Hi Amelia,

Thanks for the wishes. I love to read although must say that it is not as frequent as I wish. great news, Big Bad Wolf is finally coming down to JB sometime at the end of this month. I hope to be there to pick out more stuff.

You have a great day too...

Oldstock said...

Ahan, when I first saw the pics you posted on FB of the BBW in Kuantan, I was a bit jealous. But then, BBW announced they are also coming down to JB. Yippee!