The Paperback Book Club: February 2015 meetup

Are you a bibliophile who enjoys intense book discussions? If you live in Kuala Lumpur or Selangor, check out The Paperback Book Club.

The book chosen for December is ‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J.K. Rowling. A summary of the story is written below:

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils … Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?

‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J.K. Rowling

Here are details of the next book discussion:

Date:  28th of February 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 3 – 5 pm
Location: Nook Aloft Kuala Lumpur Sentral
Who is invited? Any readers aged 18 years and older
What will be discussed? Themes, characters, plot, style, takeaway points from the book, etc.

RSVP at the website or Facebook page if you are keen to join the discussion.

For latest news on the meetups, check out their official website and Facebook page.

It’s @boroughpress’s turn to host #bookadayuk this month

Hashtag #bookadayuk is back on Twitter after a month of absence. In case you have forgotten, #bookadayuk is a Twitter campaign to discuss about books. There is a different topic of to talk about every day.

In February 2015, the hashtag is hosted by The Borough Press. If you would like to tweet your book suggestions, don’t forget to include hashtag #bookadayuk and @BoroughPress. Here is a list of topics:

#bookadayuk topics for February 2015p

Check out my tweet for today. 🙂 Which author would you like to meet? Tell me in the comment box below!

How you can get involved in the Romance Festival

If you are a fan of romance novels, be sure to check out Romance Festival. I participated in last year’s events and it was really fun to chat with authors & fellow bloggers.

Starts: 7th February 2015 at 2 pm GMT
Ends: 8th February 2015 at 8 pm GMT

Sign up for the free event here

For more details, read this reblogged post!

romance festival

We are very excited to announce our next virtual festival and we’d love you to be involved. For those who took part last time, you will know that we have a program of events on Twitter, Facebook and a few Google Hangouts.

Again we plan for the Saturday to be a professional development day for authors (last time we had Script Doctor sessions with editors, Goodreads, tips on getting reviews and much more.)

On the Sunday, we will focus the programme for romance fans which last time included author interviews, romance in YA, discussion around romantic places, steampunk, the men of romance etc.

This event is open and inclusive; everyone is welcome.

If you are an aspiring or established author and you’d like to get involved in a live event, then do let us know. Or if you aren’t around that weekend, we also have a Q&A you can complete…

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Ten Books I’d Love to Read With My Book Club

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of SS Readers Corner. This post contains spoilers so kindly skim it to avoid too much information.

Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme started by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week there is a specific bookish topic, which will be discussed and shared among bloggers. Today’s topic excites me because my friends & I initiated a book club for a youth organisation close to our hearts. We have wonderful discussion on a particular book every month. I always look forward to our book discussion.

My choice of Ten Books I’d Love to Read with My Book Club are…

‘The Rosie Project’ by Graeme Simsion

Cover by Simon & Schuster; published in 2013

I noticed this novel a couple of months ago when Sony Pictures bought the rights to adapt the novel. My interest piqued when Bill Gates posted about the book on his Facebook. I got a copy at a book sale and am looking forward to reading it next year.

Possible topics of discussion:

  • Is there any difference of writing styles between male and female romance author?
  • Can true love be found using a formula? What about matchmaking websites?
  • Don Tillman’s peculiarity

 

 

‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Cover by Scholastic; published in 2011

I enjoy reading novels with dystopia theme and ‘The Hunger Games’ trilogy is one of my favourites. I believe the books need to be discussed individually. ‘Mockingjay’ is my favourite book because of its darker themes. Therefore I would love to hear other people’s views on:

  • Reality tv shows – compare them to ‘The Hunger Games’
  • Propaganda & tokenism – Katniss as a “symbol” to unite other districts
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after winning the Hunger Games – I’d love to read more about Haymitch’s point of view

 

‘Animal Farm’ by George Orwell

Cover by Penguin; published in 2008

 

George Orwell’s books are popular for book club discussions and some consider this as a children’s book. So why not use this book to lure more members to come to a book discussion?

Possible topics of discussion:

  • Propaganda against communism / Russia
  • If George Orwell had used human characters instead of animals, would the novel still be influential?
  • How do young readers comprehend the political aspects of the novel? (I’m intrigued that this novel is marketed as a children’s book)

 

 

‘My Sister’s Keeper’ by Jodi Picoult

Cover by Washington Square Press; published in 2005

This novel provokes a lot of after-thoughts, such as:

  • The novel is told from many different viewpoints. What do you think if it was written in just single (Anna’s) or double viewpoints (Anna’s & Sarah’s)?
  • What do you think of designer baby? In this case, a baby was conceived to save an older sibling.
  • What do you think of the parenting style?

 

 

 

Cover by Harper Perennial, published in 2006

 

‘We Need to Talk about Kevin’ by Lionel Shriver

I was emotionally exhausted when I finished reading this book. Nevertheless, I would love to spend 1-2 hours talking about this book. Questions that still linger in my mind:

  • Did Kevin respect and love Eva at all?
  • Who do you blame for Kevin’s atrocious behaviour? Himself or the parents?
  • Contrast the parenting styles of Franklin and those of Eva.

 

 

‘Looking for Alaska’ by John Green

Cover by Speak; published in 2006

I have only read ‘Looking for Alaska’ and ‘The Fault in Our Stars’. I really enjoyed the former than the latter even though ‘Looking for Alaska’ is a much older work and less popular work (this might change once the movie goes into production). I like how human existence is dealt in this book. Some questions I would ask in a book discussion are:

  • John Green divided the story into two parts: ‘before’ and ‘after’. What do you think of this structure of storytelling?
  • What happened the night Alaska died? Did she kill herself or was it an accident?
  • What is the most important question human beings must answer? Choose your question wisely, and then examine how Islam, Buddhism and Christianity attempt to answer it.

 

‘In Cold Blood’ by Truman Capote

Cover by Penguin; published in 2012

I watched ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ a couple of years ago when I was in a ‘Hepburn’ phase. After watching the movie, I assumed he wrote fluff pieces. Whoa, I was so wrong. This book was compelling – I couldn’t believe that ‘In Cold Blood’ is a true crime! There are many questions that I’d like to explore:

  • What kind of men were Richard Hickock and Perry Smith? Compare and contrast their backgrounds.
  • Do you think Mr Capote give a just/unbiased representation of Richard Hickock and Perry Smith?
  • If the murder victims weren’t as white, prosperous, or well-liked as the Clutter family, do you think this book would be well-received and adapted into a movie?

 

‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ by Neil Gaiman

Cover by Headline Publishing Group; published in 2014

 

I have only read one of the author’s work – ‘Neverwhere’. I enjoyed the depictions of London but I dislike Richard Mayhew and the pacing of the story. Nevertheless, I am keen to give Mr Gaiman another go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘A Monster Calls’ by Patrick Ness 

Cover by Candlewick Press; published in 2013

 

This is another book in my ‘to-be-read’ list. I have never read Patrick Ness’s work before but I purchased this novel after reading about its book-to-movie adaptation. I’d like to recommend this book to my reading group because of (1) the adaptation and (2) the genre – we don’t have a horror book in our list!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘The Little Prince’ by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Cover by Harcourt, Inc. Published in 2000

 

My former housemate gave me a Spanish copy of ‘The Little Prince’ as a parting gift (hablo un poco español :)). I was curious about the book so I searched for it via Google. The book seems to be a favourite choice amongst book lovers. By adding this book to my book club’s reading list, I hope more members will attend the monthly discussions.

 

 

 

 

 

 


Are you part of a book club/reading group? What questions should I ask during a discussion? I would love to read your book suggestions as well as discussion questions. Please share them in the comment box below.

KL Book Exchange: Special Event on 25th of January 2015

Are you looking to give away old-but-in-good-condition books?

Check out this book exchange event organised by KL Book Exchange:

Date: 25th of January 2015
Time: 9 am – 6 pm
Location: SS Two Mall
Event is part of The Mustard Seed charity day

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Bring your books for a one-to-one exchange. You could also buy their books at RM5 each. All proceeds go to the Mustard Seed charity.

For more details, visit the Facebook page.

Do you observe print book readers when you commute?

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine and do not necessarily reflect those of SS Readers Corner.

I read an exciting article a couple of minutes ago: a. Reinier Gerritsen photographed print book readers on New York subways. Click here to read the whole article.

I do agree with the photographer on the dwindling numbers of print book readers. When I lived in London 3 years ago, there were many Kindle users on London tubes. It was rare to see commuters reading print books even though there were many libraries in London. It’s a much sadder situation here in Kuala Lumpur. It is very uncommon to see people reading a book while on a train or a bus.

‘Emotional Ride’ by Stefano Corso / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Another point I like about Gerritsen’s social experiment is his observation of readers’ book choices. Three years ago, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ was a popular choice among female commuters because it was the most talked about book in the UK that year. I don’t know what Malaysians read that year. I don’t see a clear trend in Kuala Lumpur/Selangor unless you count Lonely Planet’s Malaysia, Singapore & Brunei guide books. They are popular among tourists.

Do you enjoy observing people’s choice of novels/books? Feel free to share your observation/analysis in the comment box below.

Paperback Book Club: Meetup on 24th January 2015

If you live in Kuala Lumpur or Selangor and enjoy book discussions, why not join of the few book clubs in the area? The Paperback Book Club is a Kuala Lumpur-based book group that has discussed more than 40 books since it was founded in October 2011.

The book chosen for the first discussion of the year is ‘The Namesake’ by Jhumpa Lahiri. If you haven’t read the book nor watched the movie version, here is a synopsis:

‘The Namesake’ takes the Ganguli family from their tradition-bound life in Calcutta through their fraught transformation into Americans. On the heels of their arranged wedding, Ashoke and Ashima Ganguli settle together in Cambridge, Massachusetts. An engineer by training, Ashoke adapts far less warily than his wife, who resists all things American and pines for her family. When their son is born, the task of naming him betrays the vexed results of bringing old ways to the new world. Named for a Russian writer by his Indian parents in memory of a catastrophe years before, Gogol Ganguli knows only that he suffers the burden of his heritage as well as his odd, antic name. Lahiri brings great empathy to Gogol as he stumbles along the first-generation path, strewn with conflicting loyalties, comic detours, and wrenching love affairs. With penetrating insight, she reveals not only the defining power of the names and expectations bestowed upon us by our parents, but also the means by which we slowly, sometimes painfully, come to define ourselves.

One of the many covers for ‘The Namesake’

Here are details of the book discussion:

Date: 24th of January 2015
Time: 3 – 5 pm
Location: The Local
D-7-G Jaya One, 72A Jalan Universiti,
46200 Petaling Jaya

Kindly RSVP by 17th of January 2015 so event organiser would be able to book enough seats and tables for attendees.

For latest news on the meetups, check out their official website and Facebook page.