Book lovers, don't throw away last Sunday's (Dec 2) Sunday Star yet. Look for the feature section - StarMag - and turn to page 21. Look at that nice ad below Daphne's article. And now, read the fine print. Yup it's a 20% discount coupon for books storewide. That means if you present the ad when paying, you can buy any book at Kinokuniya for 20% off. It's one coupon per purchase, which means you can buy as many books as you want in one purchase and apply the discount coupon. Until the end of Dec. Gulp. Yours truly was quite greedy. I cut out 4 coupons already! Never mind that I can ill afford to spend yet more money on books. My pocket and my apartment space can't afford it. (I need to buy a new bookshelf, like, now.)
But I couldn't resist these books when I visited Kino yesterday:
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
I've heard so many things about this book, and it was a pleasure to get a brand new copy 20% off. And it lived up to the hype - from the moment Susie Salmon describes in vivid detail how she was raped and murdered, you can't tear your eyes away. Susie watches from heaven as her family disintegrates at the wake of the tragedy, and her friends learn to live without her. I'm currently at page 80, and I'm reading far too quickly to suit my taste (I want it to last, damn it!). Very rarely do books grab my attention this way.
China Syndrome by Karl Taro Greenfeld
I still remember when SARS swept through South-east Asia; how the border between Singapore and Malaysia was equipped with special sensors to detect if you're having a fever, how I waited anxiously each day for the paper to announce the number of people infected. There was this heavy gloom over our part of the world. Living only half an hour from the ward that housed the SARS-afflicted, I kept wondering when the disease will reach our doors. By the grace of God, SARS slowly disappeared, some scientists say that it has gone into 'hibernatioin', waiting for another season to strike.
I'm surprised and sad that I've not seen books on SARS from the Malaysian and Singaporean's perspective yet (or maybe it's there, but not well-publicised). So I make do with Greenfeld's version. He was editor of Time Asia when SARS struck, and the magazine did much of the groundwork during the epidemic.
The book reads like a novel, and it begins with the life of one Fang Lin, how he decided to move from a village in China to the big city of Shenzen. Am not sure what direction Greenfeld is taking me, but it seems interesting so far.
Mail Vol.1-3 by Housui Yamazaki
Manga can be so expensive. But these manga were sold in a group at 30% off. And since I like ghost stories - and the Japanese can tell them so well - I grabbed them, despite my brain admonishing me for my lack of control.
The worse thing about this whole Kino exercise is that I know there's going to be a Round 2. And possibly, a round 3. (I mean, I cut out four coupons after all.) Kino's non-fiction selection is just plain dangerous, and I just can't stay away! Oh well ... tis the season for book shopping.