"On this stormy night, it dawn to me that I lost the edge of imagining anything pretty, let alone create one."
""Four," I say.
And then we’re kissing."
Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Reality is a leash that keeps me away from the reality beside you.
we are meant to be broken down slowly.
Flowers from your boy,
voice of my heart,
you and me and him.
不过，这也是作者试图了解并写出精神病患者的心声。靠近结局时， 刀大就写了，“作者就是同学眼中最接近疯子的正常人”。 我读了满是感动，因为要创作就要有丰富的想象力。眼中所看到的外星人不是疯狂而是一种与众不同的力量。要做出不一样的东西就要有不一样的眼光。在故事里，他对一个整天和外星人相处的青年说“你以为你是疯子？是的，你的确是，但是没有人不需要朋友，疯子也不例外，你眼中那些外星人可以是幻觉，也可以是朋友，关键在你们之间的友情……你们如果真的是朋友，就会一辈子都是，不会因为那个丑八怪的几句话就让你们分开。拥有随时都可以交谈的朋友，这不是多重人格，也不是幻视，是一种幸福，至少，他们真的很有趣，嗯？” 真是一个很有趣又温馨的看法。
这本书让我看到了刀大的丰富想象力和他随心所欲的态度，要写就写。人成了神族（也是外星人）的后代，女娲，宙斯等人是对抗恶魔外星人的超级人类。主人翁被逆境解放有像神一样的力量。（注：主人翁也姓“柯”）因为他有把自己当神的想象。他写“宙斯不安分的鸡八 耶和华的妒恨 奥汀的小家子气 玉皇的排场 女娲的善良 释迦的孝顺 阿拉的天怒 这些当然是我的刻板印象 但我从他们身上 看到了最平凡的影子. 人依着自己的形象，制造出神的样子 要是狗会说话，牠会告诉你神的样子是一条狗 要是马会画画，牠会画出一只叫神的马。 ——苏菲的世界 我心中的神，柯宇恒，就是满嘴脏话的自己。” 我读了只有满口的“哇！”
Below is my personal notes I had compiled on and off during the course of this week. These are the authors whom I had read extensively and I had written my opinion about them. I believe this will help me remember their works better. I also attached certain information like their age or nationality in hope that I could some draw possible correlations between the authors I like to read. I have yet learn much on that part though. My notes on certain authors might not be as complete as I have not read enough of their works to describe their style of writing. They are in alphabetical order.
notable for her Mortal Instruments series
Very “Twilight-ish” in a world of demonhunters, vampires, werewolves, warlocks and fairies. Thus, it is might not be as original as you would like to be, but it was drawn in nonetheless.
Half of the time you might wonder if Clare had an incest fetish.
Note: the online community accused her for plagiarism for it being similar to Harry Potter. I never read Harry Potter or Twilight, everyone shall be their judge.
Some relation made by others.
Jace = Draco Malfoy + Luke Skywalker
Clary = Ginny Weasley + Leia Skywalker
Simon = Harry/Ron + Hans Solo
Luke = Sirius Black
Valentine = Voldemort.
Made me fell in love with red haired girls.
Cheesy love scenes.
Personal reference:; Mortal Instruments is better than Infernal Devices.
Both begins with a girl of mysterious origin, but the mystery of Tessa was dragged through the entire trilogy making it very irritating.
Tessa, Will, Jem
Magnus Bane, Alec
25 August 1978
notable his Killer series and You are the apple of my eye
Writes black humor, absurd horror and romantic love
Likes his tone of writing, never fails to remind me of my Taiwan trip.
His choice of words can be very laid back, absurd and vulgar at times.
His love stories never fails to melt my heart though.
notable for Norwegian Wood, 1Q84 (A Wild Sheep Chase, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Kafka on the Shore. Yet Read.)
"often criticized by Japan’s literary establishment, is frequently surrealistic and nihilistic, marked by a Kafkaesque rendition of themes of loneliness and alienation."
I am trying to describe his work as a whole and I took a while and I realised I can’t.
It is very out of the world I would say, magical, dark and strange.
His books often require deep imagination and let go all the logical assumptions you had to visualize the marvels of the worlds created with his words.
Norwegian Wood will always has it place in my heart, for I enjoyed the times I read with a special someone.
Toru, Naoko, Midori, Reiko
Aomame, Tengo, Fuka-Eri
Kaoru, Eri, Mari
notable for his Pantheon series.
Great perspective and mix of mythology and SF fiction
lots of high tech, futuristic weapons with logically sensible description, if you are a fan of.
Poor in world building
Poor in character building
Sam Akehurst, Rick Ramsay
Gideon Dixon, Freyr
notable for TFiOS, Looking for Alaska, Paper Towns
Young adult, high school, coming-of-age love stories
Stories normally revolves around another book from other authors.
Looking For Alaska uses Francois Rabelis’s last words, “I go to seek a Great Perhaps”
Miles, the male lead in LFA is crazy about biographies and memorizes last words.
Colin, male lead in AAoK, is way too crazy about theorems.
Paper Towns revolves around Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass
TFiOS revolves around An Imperical Affliction, a virtual book
Personally felt that there is a link between Margo Spiegelman and Margot Tenenbaum from The Royal Tenenbaums.
Ridiculous and irritating nicknames pulls me out of focus from the story. Spending more time thinking about how their nicknames come by before it was finally explained.
Alaska, Miles (Pudge)
Katherines, Colin, Lindsey
Jubilee, Stuart, Tobin, Duke, Addie, Jeb
Margo Spiegelman, Quentin
Hazel Grace, Augustus
notable for her Graceling series
follows the growing market for strong female lead characters like Hunger Games.
a little like Games of Thrones, simplified.
offers a strong female alternative in young adult literature, heroines need not marry, give birth and live happily after. However, the strong childless, no marriage stand might come off a little too strong.
tough childhood behind the heroines
Fire is an outcast, had to learn to guard from his father
Bitterblue had to wary of his father’s mind controlling abilities, had to right the wrongs for his reign at a young age.
notable for Percy Jackson series (Others include Kane Chronicles, 39 Clues)
Lovely story behind the development of the series.
The series started out as bedtime stories for Haley, his son, who had ADHD and dyslexia, much like Percy.
Simple, easy to read for young readers (which I slowly out of.)
His adventures had a simple twist of mythology in modern context and never fail to amaze me as a kid.
Favourite childhood stories.
Heroes of Olympus pales a little as compared to Percy & the Olympians as it is less straight forward, a lot more things going concurrently and narrated from about 7 different perspectives. With so many characters, naturally there will be a certain degree of biased feelings towards certain characters.
Leo, Nico, Luke
*To add Neil Gaiman, Kazuo Ishiguro, David Mitchell*
*To add favourite quotes. Will become incredibly too long to glance through though*
The Book “Borrower”
I like the book, I wanted the movie to be the same, but it wasn’t.
While the book is much darker and more in depth, the movie seems moderated to cater to a wider audience especially the young ones.
Death’s introduction in the book, is well, very dark. “Personally I like a chocolate-colored sky. Dark, dark chocolate. People say it suits me.”, it says. And in the movie, death’s introductory speech was voiced over serval white clouds! Who would have thought? I mean which grim reaper would introduce themselves with a visual of clouds? Stormy ones maybe but not those white clouds. Only angels, cupids or babies can I associate them with white clouds. The mood at the start is so wrong. Then again, it seems reasonable from a film perspective. The next scene is a white snow landscape to illustrate the death of Liesel’s brother, in accord with the book. Okay, point half forgiven.
The death of Liesel’s brother left a very deep mark in me. It was an experience that shape the Liesel we knew in the book or the movie. I wished it was touched on a little bit longer than what it had in the movie.
In the book it writes, “Liesel was sure her mother carried the memory of him… She dropped him. She saw his feet and legs and body slap the platform
How could that woman walk?
How could she move?”
I imagined myself in young Liesel’s shoes, incredibly helpless, walking by her mother while she held him. Young Liesel wanted to hug her mother and cry, she lost her little brother, but her mother isn’t holding it any better either. Young Liesel had to be strong, silent, maybe bury some feelings and let them die inside. She had to grow up too quickly.
I wanted to see this, but it might be too heavy for the younger audience I think or this isn’t what Zusak and Percival had in mind.
Fortunately, at the scene where Hans asked Liesel about the origin of the book and expressed how desperately she wants to read it with tears lingering her bright blue eyes. I cried.
They are many parts I wished they never change or cropped.
Liesel in the movie is all angelic and all good. She didn’t scold Frau Herman, and she never stole apples. The little thief gang of hers never appeared. Bad influence for kids, I guess. Liesel and Rudy’s interaction with other kids are mainly focused on Deutscher’s bullying. Without all the thieving and the brief mention that she is always borrowing books to read to Max, she isn’t the sneaky little book thief I had in mind but a mere book borrower. Character development for Liesel seemed lacking and incomplete. (*inputs sad face. :(*)
The little champagne secret between Hans and Liesel. It is very trivial in a sense, but it showed Liesel’s deep admiration for Hans. How he would help his neighbour for almost nothing and wanted Liesel to experience something special. When Zusak wrote ” when she wrote about her life, Liesel vowed that she would never drink champagne again, for it would never taste as good as it did on that warm afternoon in July.” It gave a warm fuzzy feeling inside me.
In the book, Max and Rudy had a bit of a fighter in them. Rudy ran as best as he could. Max did push ups and fought with the Hitler in his dreams. The main point is that, Max is always so rugged. He even breathes without a sound. However, Most of the time he is sick in bed but has neat hair and short facial hair throughout his refugee with the Hubermanns. Even Liesel’s hair got longer!
The biggest disappointment came when Hans never gave any bread to any Jew who was marching towards a concentration camp. While the story still flows well anyway with Hans standing up for one of his Jewish neighbour but that scene is very important in the creation of the book. Zusak wrote the Book Thief because of the stories he heard from his parents after the war. One of which is a boy giving bread to a Jewish prisoner. “On one hand you have pure beauty which is the boy giving the bread and on the other you’d got pure destruction which is the soldier doing what he did and you put those two things together and you got humans and what we are capable of.” That’s what Zusak said during one of the book interview. I would hope that they could at least recreate this one important scene.
Other than that, I wished I saw the Word Shaker and Liesel’s little gifts for Max.
On the better side, I liked everything else that was screened. The acting is marvellous, a great deal had been covered for a two hour movie and it was decent. I simply loved the snowman in the basement scene. It is the happiest scene there is. Sophie Nelisse’s big blue eyes and bright blonde hair made Liesel such a lovable and adorable character. One better part of the movie would be that the ending felt more complete than what I read in the book. And the reason for not scolding Frau Hermann is justified in the end as well, so that it is easier to transit into the next phase in which the Hermann family adopts Liesel is much more easier to accept.
In short, the movie is decent but I would recommend to the book over the movie any time.
Rainy days make me wanna..
Own a Crocs… Here is why.
So you guys might have or have not known, Singapore is facing its driest period since 1869. Grass are dried up everywhere. It is a sad sight. I realised that a couple of weeks back when I was back in camp at Tekong settling my ORD documents. I saw withering grass, kittens looks sad under the sun, I thought about how terrible it must feel to train under this weather. And I thought this only pertains to the Tekong island, after all it is rumored to be always 1C hotter than in mainland Singapore. It will feel it first. And then I was back, I saw my evergreen garden city turning a shade of yellow. Sadness looms my heart.
Then rain came again, yesterday and today. Writing this, I was reminded of this SGAG I saw yesterday afternoon.
(Courtesy of SGAG) It reminded me of a lullaby we loved to sing to chase away the rain.
Anyway, back to the topic, i faced an very important dilemma when I wanted to go out this morning. I don’t know what shoe to wear on a sunny day! Specifically, I don’t know which shoe I would wear to “sacrifice”, making it wet and dirty. In the end, I chose my red macbeth, my go-to shoe currently, but i just have to walk carefully then.
On my way to the driving centre (yes, learning driving, like finally), my mind was full of shoes. I wanted a shoe that I can go dirty with, easy to clean and dry, and at least a little stylish. I could always resort to slippers anytime, but I had always referred covered shoes anytime. A habit I kept since young.
One shoe came to mind. The Crocs rubber boat shoes from its 2013 spring collection. Nope, they are not those ugly looking clogs. I never owned a Crocs. However, after seeing them, I hestiated. At least. My first contact point was from a fashion blogger, David Guison who wore those boat shoes on most of his beach shoots. They seemed nice but I could do with it. Sperry looks good anytime. However, the walk under the rain gave me another perspective, would I wear a Sperry on a rainy day as I would with a Crocs. No. I have yet to own a Sperry, but I won’t want my future pair under the rain anytime. At least for a long time. I would want mine to look classy and laidback, but not too rugged. Then, these Crocs will make a great addition to any shoe collection. I see myself wearing them in rainy days running to school, on beaches, after any water sports when you need a covered shoe but hate it when your feet can never be fully dry when you have to put back your shoes. And TADA! This is how it looked like on Guison.
(Courtesy of David Guison)
Would I get it still? Maybe. Rain aren’t that frequent. Sadly :( I don’t hang out at the beaches everyday. Then again I saw a sale going on. Hmm..
Extras: Watch this and read the comments!
Age of Pantheons.. and demigods.
Recently, I finished the Pantheon trilogy by James Lovegrove. It covered the three most popular mythologies of the world, namely the Egyptian, Greek and Norse Mythology. I was introduced to The Age of Zeus by a colleague during an overnight work we had to do. We had some intimate talk to spend time and one of the topics we talk about about was the books we grew up reading and loved.
My answer was simple. Percy Jackson. I loved mythology and history so badly. I believe I spend half of my childhood daydreams thinking about how the world was before I was born. Percy Jackson’s adventures fueled my interest endlessly.
Back to the Pantheon trilogy, unlike the Percy Jackson series, it was, firstly, every book stands alone in their own universe while Rick Riordan tries to mix around the mythologies, with Percy meeting Jason, his roman counterpart and a spinoff where Percy meets Carter Kane, his Egyptian counterpart. In James Lovegrove’s worlds, the stories are more militarised and futuristic. It has a more mature feel to it and it had started growing in me. It became the perfect read for me at the moment especially when I just finished my national service. I was more adept of imagining all the near impossible military skirmishes that the protagonists in every book tries to embark.
However, the storylines as a whole seemed very typical to me. Guy/Girl finds himself/herself in a world dominated with different pantheons in control of the world, finds a group of people, fought alongside with them, finds love interest, get lucky, the big showdown. And everything afterwards end abruptly. They have poor endings. Gideon woke up from his near death dream, his personal Ragnarok. David sits by the beach with Ra and Bast while the war continue. By far, the Age of Zeus has the best ending. At least Sam and Ramsay formed a family after all. James Lovegrove is actually good. He retold the stories in a different light. For instance, in the Greek mythology, the gods are always the good ones and the titans are bad, in the age of Zeus, the roles switched. That was interesing. And since when Horus is a mindless god who helps Set after a kiss? It was such a pity the endings were not as convincing as his novel concepts.
Pantheons and its world.
In James Lovegrove’s alter realities, they mirrors the current world. The change in Pantheons have no effect to the major powers in place or the way of life.
In the Age of Ra, the world is dominated by Egyptian gods. Osiris and Isis were worshiped in the US and Europe, Horus in South America, Set in Russia, Nephthys in Africa, Anubis in Japan. Weapons varies from mummy, solar powered scarab tanks, ba powered lance and the crook and flail.
In the Age of Zeus, it is the big biological and technological showdown. Biological enhanced gods vs the hi tech Titan suits. Mythical beasts appeared in all parts of the world where they seemed logical. Griffin in Kashmir, Chimera in Russia, Gorgons in Singapore etc.
In the Age of Odin, Asgard is hidden from the world. US still dominates the world but with Loki as the president. Characters mostly fought with conventional guns and ice spears while Loki summons his hi tech mythical monsters.
Age of Ra and Kane Chronicles
Age of Zeus and Percy Jackson can’t really be compared as the former is a family struggle disguised in a Greek manner while Percy Jackson involves prohecy and demigods. Age of Ra , on the other hand, surprised me on the little knowledge I knew of Egyptian mythology and what built on with the Kane Chronicles. In the Kane Chronicles, the protagonists are magicians who hosts gods to gain power. In AoR, priests prayed for ba to infuse into lances and bombs. Horus is a brave warrior god in KC as compared to the Horus who was mainly out of action and supports Set in AoR. Bast has a lot of voice in KC. Ra is a senile old man in KC while he is a powerful mediator in AoR. Secret name or Ren is a huge part in KC for reviving and destroy gods, while the word is only mentioned once in AoR.
I saw a lot of potential in the Age of Ra. The lightbringer’s rebellion against the gods felt like the Arab Spring in reality. I wanted them to overcome so much that it was a major letdown when he is a hoax and the war never ended.
Overall, the pantheon trilogy is a great mix of mythology and military fiction. It is mature, futuristic and offers a very interesting approach towards retelling the tales. That is, if you do not mind a poor conclusion at the end. And it is time to hit the books again. This time, Mythology by Edith Hamilton.
The 'oh so Sarra!' moment. I miss her.
- David Westwynter: "I meant no offence, Sorry"
- Zafirah: "Apology accepted - just. What is it with you, though? I don't get it. Most of the time you're so self-assured, completely in control of whatever you do, and then all of a sudden you're this awkward little boy who doesn't know how to act around grown-ups."
- It stung, because it was true.
- David: "Aren't all men that way?"
- Zafirah: "Perhaps, but with you the difference is so marked.'' She fixed her jade-and-topaz gaze on him. ''All I'm trying to say is, I can't figure you out, David Westweenter."
- David: ''But you want to?''
- Zafirah: ''I think so. For a long time I've felt like I shouldn't be interested in you. I've needed to keep you at a distance. I don't know why. In denial, I suppose.''
- ''In de Nile,'' David said, regretting it the instant he said it.
- ''That's just it!'' Zafirah exclaimed. ''That - that pathetic schoolboy humour of yours. Here I am, trying to say something serious, and you just make a joke. I don't know why I bother.''
- ''No, please bother.''
- - From The Age of Ra by James Lovegrove
"On one hand you have pure beauty which is the boy giving the bread and on the other you’d got pure destruction which is the soldier doing what he did and you put those two things together and you got humans and what we are capable of."
Markus Zusak, on the inspiration behind “The Book Thief” from the stories he heard from his parents.
Just sorted my iTunes based on the countries the artists they originated from. Part of my music ocd and knowing my bands better.
I see that I listen to a wider range of genre from American artists. There are the main stream artists like Lana Del Rey and PATD, heartthrob kind of bands like Parachute and A Rocket to the Moon and the indie ones like Cold War Kids and Gem Club.
UK bands are more personal to me, I feel, the ones that I would find myself listen to more, the genre as a whole feels very specialized and similar. I just don’t know how to name it. Chamber pop in an overall sense, I guess.
Australian bands has an eccentric way of naming themselves, after safari, jungle kites. It feels very natural and wild.
Then again, this list of band is a very biased sample, me.
*This list is sorted in a very generic manner*
One can’t simply listen to chasing cars by snow patrol with the end of the world chapter of the book thief.
the imagination of them in the raid, liesel’s reading while the himmel street flattens.
They laid there, hid there. The world forgets. But not death.
And this is exactly what I did.
The Bali Dream, an amazing time with my buddies. (Jan 2014)
Solution VX 200
Coloursplash Flash Red.