Sunday Salon: Fantasy and Fairytale

I used to like reading about Dr Scarpetta and her niece, but recently borrowed ‘Black Notice’ from the Library only managed to get through few chapters until the part about the forensic doc  shouting at Lucy and her girlfriend before driving off crying I gave up.  The plots are always similar, both aunt and niece never see eye to eye and I’m starting to dislike Lucy’s attitude.  I had even wanted to return before the Nov-23 due date but only yesterday then remembered to dig out from the clutters on my desk.   These days when I see thick books they scare me a bit.  Either I will read very slowly or I don’t read them immediately until the day my reading mood comes when I can finish it in one sitting, or at least keep me going for few chapters at one go.

Another 2 both recommended from a colleague, about spiritual awakening and seeking one’s destiny kind of stuff by Robin Sharma, whom he said had visited Singapore before yet I’ve never heard of him until now.  Started on ‘Discover your Destiny with the Monk who Sold His Ferrari’, gave up after only first few pages – tough read, too philosophical.  My first impression of the author’s name was he’s some kind of yoga guru though lawyer in profession and his book is very similar to Paulo Coelho’s writings.  Perhaps I just do not like reading self-help or motivation leadership kind of stuff.  My colleague said his first book ‘The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari’ was better, which I agree after reading – like a story, but after the chapter about the protagonist climbing the mountain to find the great holy sages of Sivana to attain enlightenment I stopped.  The name of the monk was called Yogi.

Despite the above unsuccessful reads, glad I finished reading ‘Neverwhere’ by Neil Gaiman, who was here few weeks ago with his girlfriend attending the Singapore Writer’s Festival.  This was enjoyable, like something out of Harry Potter & Aladdin with a lot of creative imaginations and magical adventures.  I have mailed it out to the next reader in Bookcrossing, hope she will have a fairytale Christmas reading it.  Will start on ‘The Constant Princess’ by Philippa Gregory soon but erm…. waiting for the mood 😛 

Paulo Coelho’s

Finished reading a Bookcrossing book – Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho yesterday, found it to be somewhat better than his other books I have read. Though his books are known to be very spiritual and philosophical, at least this one did not touch so much on the language of omens, our soul of the world or even heating metal for many years will free itself of all its individual properties until what was left would be the “Soul of the World” and other challenging-to-the-mind topics. Instead it’s about a young Brazilian girl’s innocent brushes with love which leaves her heartbroken, convincing her at a tender age that “love is a terrible thing that will make one suffer, and ends up working as a prostitute. And how drifting farther and farther away from love, she develops a fascination with sex, and how she learns from her experiences & adventures and grows up along the way. Though interesting it may be, some parts can be real boring as the author drones on and on.

I’m no Coelho’s fan, especially so after reading “Veronica Decides to Die”. In fact I always skipped getting his books in bookstore, but why I bought The Alchemist was only after watching an info-educated program about Singaporeans working overseas, engaging in life very different from what we are used to, then the change of mind. The series took the host to locate these fellow Singaporeans in the most faraway places as far as Kenya, and as unknown as Gorakphur. In the course of the journeys, the programme offered viewers some extraordinary insights into the lives of these countrymen who have chosen to live, work and even made their careers in these far flung places. And also, because in Switzerland there’s a Singaporean working there, and while chatting he said he has read The Alchemist many times, cos the author was his boss, that’s why I got the book.

Frankly speaking, I don’t really know what Alchemist is. After reading the book it makes me even more confused. Do people nowadays still practise Alchemist? But I do admire Coelho for having the inclination to imagine the successive transformation of metal to a final point (a limit), which he suggests is the revelation – Soul of the World. What exactly does this “Soul” look like is also too deep for my limited mind to fathom its depths. If not all these wisdom talks, the travel part is actually quite interesting. Basically it’s telling us to listen to our heart and fulfil our dreams lest we regret when we grow old in not having taken any steps at all. And the treasure we are looking for may be very near to us instead of having to search far and wide for it.

As for Veronica Decides to Die, of course it’s about Veronica committing suicide by taking an overdose of sleeping pills, and found herself woke up in a mental hospital, admitted for depression. So her voyage starts with all the philosophical questions and answers about what life is etc…

So far, these are the only 3 I’ve read. Someone from BookCrossing said she likes The Devil and Miss Prym better. If anyone of you have read any his books, drop a note in my comment box to share/recommend.

Cheers to good reading & sharing 😀