After Thoughts: The True Naomi Story by A.M Goldsher

Another Little Black Dress Book

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The back of the book goes,

Want to know what really happens on the tour bus/at the after-party? 

Not so very long ago Naomi Braver was waiting tables in New York’s East Village and wondering why no one ever wanted to kiss her. But that was before she signed a record deal, released an album, and became the Next Big Thing overnight. These days guys (and girls) throw themselves at her 24/7.

Catapulted into a world of celebrity, it’s as if all Naomi’s dreams have come true at once. But stardom isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – soon she’s lost in a world where lovers are players, where friends become enemies, and where she never quite knows who to trust. Can Naomi master the game of fame before it’s too late?

After thoughts:

Was it a fun book to read? Yes. Was it an outstanding book? No. Another typical Little Black Dress book which plays around typical girl’s fantasy and this time what it is like to be a rock star.

But it is a book dedicating to all pairs of bff/girlfriends out there! It is more of a story on friendship for me.

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Something from my roots

I am a pure Kayan, one of many races who called Sarawak home from God knows hundreds years ago.

When I was handed the assignment to interview this American anthropologist who actually really going out there and put all Kayan epics into writing, I thought the job was going to be easy.

But as I went into my research, I learnt more about my culture and ancestors.

It was familiar; all about it. The stories faces, names, places everything was so familiar.

The familiarity smelled like Christmas. I remember years back when I sat in the kitchen with my mum baking Christmas cookies, she told me some legends of my ancestors.

In one way, I was impressed by the anthropologist. I was impressed by her work and dedication into it.

I was also inspired by her. I want to do what she does.

But can I? I have so many things in my hands now. Well, not exactly. I pretty much have a lot free times.

I don’t know. Maybe one day. One day, I just pack my bag, go to a random Kayan longhouse and start to write their stories.

Here is the article on Stef Morgan and her work in writing down Kayan epics. Click this link.

The Guy Who Died of Syphilis

My colleague, Danielle* and I were at the Literature section of bookstore this afternoon. We browsed through the books available there. The books are selected stories of famous writers without the titles, just the authors’ names. And we had one of the most interesting conversation.

“I know this one! Sherlock Holmes!” she exclaimed as Danielle pointed to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s.

Gesturing toward Leo Tolstoy’s book she said, “He sounds familiar”.

“Anna Karenina?”

“Owh Yeah!”

“How about this one?” I asked. I was referring to Guy de Maupassant.

“That’s the guy who died because of syphilis!”

 

*Danielle is my fellow writer at The Borneo Post SEEDS. Her degree background is in Medical Lab Technology. That was what happened when you combined those two interests.

*We only learnt a tip of the iceberg when comes to literature here in Malaysia. For instance, the only Shakespeare’s we learnt was Life Brief Candle. The rest? They are purely out of our own passions.

Let Me Walk My Own Way

DSC_0144Let me walk my own way

Let me stumble

Let me fall

Just let me walk my own way

Let me scratch my knee

Let me fall on my face

Let me stable myself on my palms when I fall

Let me walk on my way

Let me get lost

Let me circle the place

Be it dozen times

Be it hundred times

Be it thousand times

Let me walk my own way

Because

Eventually I will stop circling

Eventually I will walk ahead

Eventually I just pick myself up

Eventually the scratch will disappear

Eventually the wound will heal

Eventually I will find my way

If you just let me walk my own way

Copyright belongs to Patricia Hului.

Oct 16, 2014. 

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo Part 1

This book wasn’t on top of my reading list. I never heard of it until a series of A-list actors came together to act in a movie based on it. 1232 pages long novel was just sat there, at the highest row of shelf in the Teenage section in my local bookstore. It was the only copy there. I think the staffs knew no one from a small town in Malaysia would bother to read this book. Why it was in the Teenage section? I have no idea. But I saw it, couldn’t even reach it so had help to get it and finally walked away with it.

Let me make myself clear; the closest thing that I read with French words inserted here and there is Anna Karenina. I never watch a French movie or drama in my entire life. So you can understand how much I can grasp when comes to this foreign language. French was taught in my university back during my undergraduate days but never cross my mind to take it. The closest I have to a French figure in my mind is the skunk in Looney Tunes cartoons whose name I don’t even bother to remember. Here I am reading a Victor Hugo novel with the words Monsieur, Madame, Mme. Putting aside my difficulties to pronounce a handful of words as I read, I must say this novel, is one of the most of beautifully written novel I ever read.

 

I just finished part one of the novel, Fantine. My personal conflict reading these translated novels is my fear of not knowing what the original author really meant and being misled by the translators. I thought about this when I read Anna Karennia, wondering what would it sound or meant in Russian. Norman Denny, the translator for Les Miserables version that I’m reading understood perfectly what I meant quoting him the book’s introduction,

‘It is now generally recognized that the translator’s first concern must be with his author’s intention; not with the words he uses or with the way he uses them, if they have a different impact when they are rendered too faithfully into English, but with what he is seeking to convey to the reader.’

After reading this, I knew I was in good hands.

I will not brief the synopsis here but just to share why this book somehow able to bring out the poetic side of me. Synopsis is easily be found in wikipedia but the essence of the novel is rarely being captured in words.  

I guess it’s easier for me to relate the religous part of this novel with my Catholic upbringing. Book one of part one, An Upright Man went smoothly because I always have been fascinated by the sanctity of religous life. Nor I was anxious to know if the old bishop to have anything to do with Fantine as the part one was named. Denny described Hugo in a perfect manner, ‘He had little or no regard for the discipline of novel-writing. He had to say everything and more than everything; he was incapable of leaving anything out.’ After I turned to the next book, I began to feel my brain juice was draining because it was overloaded with information, storylines and descriptions. So I did the big ‘No-no’ of reading, I skipped two books of Part Two: Cosette; Waterloo and The Ship Orion. Not that I’m saying I’m proud of what I did. One day I might rereading this book and pray that no page is left unturned. For now, I just want to know what is going to happen to Valjean and Cossete and couldn’t care less of the war and politics.