Tuesday, May 31

Books I love... by Rox

Written by Rox

1. Hunter S. Thompson – The Gonzo Papers Anthology

I have loved Hunter. S for many, many years - ever since reading The Rum Diary. So when a friend recently gave me this epic three parter, I was very excited!

The Gonzo Papers Anthology comprises of three collections: The Great Shark Hunt, Generation of Swine and Songs of the Doomed. The good Doctor doles out some epic views, reviews and other such madness, spanning across the 60s, 70s and 80s. For any Hunter S. Thompson fan, this is a must-read!

2. Haruki Murakami – Kafka on the Shore

I love every single Murakami book I have read (and that’s been a lot!), but of all of those, Kafka on the Shore is my favourite. His stories combine a bit of magic, a bit of innocence, a bit of craziness and most of all, an ethereal aspect that leaves you thinking about the books long after you finish.

Kafka on the Shore is about a boy, a librarian, an old man, a bad man, a young man and a quest for answers and meaning. It’s impossible to explain further without ruining the story – just read it and see for yourself!

3. Charlaine Harris – Dead to the World

I’ve read every single one of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, and I love all of them – dare I say, I even love them more than the True Blood series!

Of all these books, book 4 is my favourite. Plenty of Eric and Sookie moments, loads of action and some delectable twists! True Blood season 4 is about to come out in June, so I can’t say any more than that without ruining it… what I will say is that Eric fans will adore this book for many, many reasons!

4. Paulo Coelho – The Alchemist

Paulo Coelho is one of the most amazing writers ever. I love The Alchemist because it gives me so many lessons and things to remember in life. Much like The Little Prince, this is one of those books you will read over and over again at various points in your life.

On the surface, The Alchemist is about a boy in search of a treasure, who discovers a lot more than he expected to find on his epic quest that takes him to the faraway land of pyramids and desert. It’s so much more than this though… finding meaning and realising what we are searching for in the first place.

Please note: "Books I love..." is a new series. Each week an awesome, book-loving lady will share a few of her favourite books with us.

Monday, May 23

I often hear people say...

"I often hear people say that they read to escape reality, but I believe that what they’re really doing is reading to find reason for hope, to find strength. While a bad book leaves readers with a sense of hopelessness and despair, a good novel, through stories of values realized, of wrongs righted, can bring to readers a connection to the wonder of life. A good novel shows how life can and ought to be lived. It not only entertains but energizes and uplifts readers." - Terry Goodkind

Tuesday, May 10

Notes From My Kitchen Table

For my upcoming birthday my lovely mommy bought me a copy of "Notes From My Kitchen Table" by Gwyneth Paltrow (which I picked out). I don't usually buy or use cookbooks - mainly because im what I like to call a "simple cook" & most recipes you can find online anyway -  but this one I wanted.

Initially Gwyneth Paltrow's face got me curious about the book, but as soon as I browsed through it,  I saw quite a few recipes I wanted to try and I liked how it's not written by an actual chef.

Since my mom has insisted on wrapping it and giving it to me this weekend (which is closer to my actual birthday), I have not had a chance to read the book properly. I am really looking forward to trying some of the recipes soon and sharing them on my main blog.

Here is a bit about this cookbook (via Waterstones.com):
The Academy-Award-winning actress Gwyneth Paltrow is an icon of style and taste around the world. But for her, family comes above everything, and cooking and eating together are the key ingredients of a happy home. Now she has put her passion for food into her first cookbook which is full of 150 fresh, original and practical recipes (both healthy and indulgent) that all the family will love. Both accessible and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated and easy-to-use cookbook is full of lavish photographs, many featuring Gwyneth's family and friends. This is Gwyneth Paltrow as you have never seen her before - a busy working mum who understands the time pressures on all of us as well as the desire to cook delicious and original food. Inspired by precious memories of cooking with her father, it is a truly personal book that celebrates cooking with - and for - the ones you love.

*UPDATE - I have the book at home with me, finally, and I am loving it. Gwyneth favours very interesting ingredients, does not seem to eat red meat (she prefers Turkey, fish & chicken) and even embraces vegan cooking sometimes. I have found a few great recipes that I am dying to try (mainly because the recipes all sound healthy and yum). Check my main blog for recipes.

Monday, May 9

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

A review by Kelly
(She can also be found  here and here)

A bit about the book:

Witty, entertaining and provocative, this is a unique and important memoir that will transform your perspective of parenting forever.

A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what Chinese parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it’s like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I’ve done it…

Amy Chua’s daughters, Sophia and Louisa (Lulu) were polite, interesting and helpful, they had perfect school marks and exceptional musical abilities. The Chinese-parenting model certainly seemed to produce results. But what happens when you do not tolerate disobedience and are confronted by a screaming child who would sooner freeze outside in the cold than be forced to play the piano?

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is a story about a mother, two daughters, and two dogs. It was supposed to be a story of how Chinese parents are better at raising kids than Western ones. But instead, it’s about a bitter clash of cultures, a fleeting taste of glory, and how you can be humbled by a thirteen-year-old.

Read an Excerpt from Amy Chau's  book over here

My Review:

How great is this book’s cover treatment? Simple, Clean and Bright. It stands out on the shelf and definitely on my list of Things to Read. I am not a mother, nor do I have the urge start learning parenting skills just yet (Yes Dad you can wipe your brow). I picked this book up purely because of its cover (ok and because I was hearing such wonderful things about it), the wonder of this book lies purely in Amy’s writing. She displays her family out for you to see and do with what you please (well make assumptions, pass judgement & marvel at). You can see Amy loves her family with every fiber, bone, piece of skin & nerve of her body and soul. She before you situations of any family, but the catch is that she is telling you how she raised her children the ‘Chinese way’. The Chinese way? Yup! The musical-talent-mathematician-hard-worker-self-disciplined-genius baby maker model of parenting. A no nonsense way to allowing your children to be who they want to and discover their talents.

I have to admit Amy’s methods seem a tad extreme and, in some parts, flawed. I didn’t say it – she did. That is what is so great about this story – everything is a learning curve. Amy did what she, the Chinese mother, could do for her children and accepted the hardships and cuddles that came with it. Hard lessons are learnt in this book; lessons that encourage Western parents to accept only mediocre from their kids because of the fear of damaging them. Amy also points that it sometimes doesn’t work, but only once out of twice.

I loved this book, filled with wit, laughter, tradition, excruciating fights (I am all too familiar with) and family.