Wednesday, February 9, 2011

January Read

Okay, I've read three books for the past month of January - which is relatively good since one of my new year's resolutions is to read at least 10 books this year. I know that's quite a laughable figure, but I'm taking baby steps here. Is 'laughable' even a word?

Here are the books I've read in January:

1. 'The Lost Symbol' by Dan Brown.

This is another laughable point for this post. I'm about two years late to pick up this book, since the first print was only hardcovers. I can be cheapskate and calculative at times, alright. By the time the paperback was finally released, I ended up downloading it straight into my iPad - better still, it was free. Now who's laughing?

I know most of you must've known how this book goes. Perhaps, a movie adaption was being made while I'm typing this (who knows?). For the remaining handful of people who have yet to read this, The Lost Symbol follows the quest of Professor Robert Langdon (of The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons fame) to save his friend, Peter Solomon who has been kidnapped by a mysterious person known as Mal'akh.

In order to save his friend, Mal'akh wants our protagonist to interpret and solve an ancient mystery, safely kept for hundreds of years by the Freemasonry Brotherhood, in which Solomon is a member. So, the whole story depicts Robert Langdon trying and solving clues and mysteries of the ancient secret, while generously educating the reader about the history, misconceptions, symbolism and purpose of the Freemasons.

Like Dan Brown's previous works, all of the names, artworks, monuments and buildings mentioned in the book really exists (I Googled all of them) but whether they are really connected to the Freemasonry is unclear and needs deeper studies.

Read This If You Like : Dan Brown, symbolism, fast-paced storyline (the story takes place only in one night) and short chapters.

2. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

First glance of this book in Kinokuniya KLCC didn't entice me much to pick it up, what more to read. Thankfully my friend Mie bought it, so I just borrowed from him (hehe). I told you I'm cheapskate.

Set in the early 1960's in Jackson, Missisippi, this book is about three women who tried to make a difference in their community. Back in that time when African Americans were still called as Negroes, a white woman (Eugenia Pheelan) decided to stand up for the black people in her community by writing a book about their experience working for white families as housekeepers, or help - hence, the name of this book.

Although many of the black people were skeptical of her action initially, she managed to gain support from a dozen other black housekeepers, with the help of her friend's housekeeper, Aibeleen and the latter's friend, Minny. Together, they record the experiences of the black housekeepers - both pleasant and not-so-pleasant ones.

The hardship the three of them faced while writing the book adds some reality to the story. Otherwise it is another cliche been-there-done-that story about racial discrimination.

Not much to say, since all of us must be familiar with the theme by now. Nonetheless, it was an enjoyable ride with plenty of humor put in without overshadowing the values in the book - friendship, courage, loyalty and perseverance.

Read This If You Like: Hallmark channel, Sidney Poitier and everything about Oprah.

3. Pride & Prejudice & Zombies by Jane Austen & Seth Grahame-Smith

One word to describe this New York Times bestseller - hilarious!

Like the original one, written by Jane Austen, this book is concerning the love-hate story between Elizabeth Bennett and the dashing Mr Darcy - with a twist of some action, gore, ninja (!!) and of course, zombies.

Although the book still keeps its romance theme, some changes are put to give this book an interesting twist. Elizabeth Bennett is no longer just a pretty, ambitious and intelectual young lady, but a brave one too with great martial art skills.

You won't be able to appreciate this book if you're not familiar or have yet to read the original Pride & Prejudice. The author still maintains the same plot line and the entire book is written in the same 19th century English to give it the same air as the original book but, of course, with a silly and humorous twist.

For instance, originally Elizabeth Bennett's hem was dirty due to her long walk from home to Netherfield park. But in this version, her dirty dress is caused by fighting with the zombies ( or the 'unmentionables') on her way there. You will find numerous of other quirky twists such as this one as you read.

I loved this book so much that I finished reading it within two nights.

Read This If You Like: Jane Austen's works, Plants vs Zombies and Scary Movie.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Suhaimi said...

Wow.. You're really a fast-reader...

Envy you.. isk.. isk..Can't wait to have time to read more books..

Read more, review more and update more please..


exabelle said...

Ohmigosh, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, seriously?? How would you rate it? I'm a die hard fan of Jane Austen's. Pride and Prejudice is my all time fav from her collection :)

P/S: Rmbr my "Finding Monsieur Right" book? I hvnt got a chance to finish it :'( I suck.

Ri said...

cool recommendations, thanks!

especially looking forward to the pride & prejudice & zombies ;)

Kye. said...

No problemo, mi amigos :)

Mie: Now you can take back your book from me. Hehe thanks.

Eza: I liked it! I think it's funny because I've read the original one and reading this was like reading a parody of the book itself! Hilarious!

Ri: Don't hate me if you dislike the book okay :)

Dan said...

Hmm...I dunt read much.You guys mind introducing me a good book?babay steps here but I am excited to ee the whole bunch of keen readers here.Anyway,I enjoy reading this blog.Seldom see you online now.


ibby mueller said...

aku guna title 'pride, prejudice & zombies' tu utk buat presentation explain pasal consequences of shock. hahaha

er, pinjam? :D