Book Reviews

Is it February already? I wrote this last week and realise I havent posted it. So here goes my book reviews for January:

Oh wow, I actually have surpassed my own expectations of my personal book challenge this year. Last year, I read about 25 books which is a whole lot more than I have done in the last few years. I was aiming to read 1-2 books a month and Alhamdulillah, achieved it. This year, I thought I’ll go for 50 books a year.

Now this month, I have read 5 books! Ermigash. How did I manage that? Ok so two of them are really easy reads but I loved them and brought me joy, so who cares? 

Books completely read

1. Hogfather by Terry Prachett

This is really not my kind of genre but it was the book for December in the FB book club that I’m in. I started reading it mid December and found it a bit hard to read. Completed it just after the new year. Maybe I’m just a bit slow really haha for these kind of books. It is a outwardly ‘magical’ kind of book (but not happy, ahh no it was all about the Devil here) and had a lot of philosophical meanings to the story. Sorry ah, I’m deep but not THAT deep.

Anyway I’m glad I finished it and actually enjoyed the Devil’s character and do find some humor in the book. From the book club comments, apparently the books featuring the Devil characters are more entertaining so I might dip in again to challenge my intelligence. But yes, it was a hard read.

🌟🌟🌟 and a wintery ⛄️ to match.

2. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah 


I have been wanting to read this for ages. I actually have lots of paperback books that is in my ‘to read’ pile but I cant help it! I have embraced the new year’s attitude of C’est La Vie! And so, I will get on with things that I’ve been meaning to do for ages. 
Now this book… I dont want to give spoilers but it is so heartwarming and heartwrenching at the same time. I’ve learnt so much more on the apartheid – for which I only knew the basic facts before this. It bogs the mind that it was still happening in the 80s and only ended in 1991. That is not long ago!! And yet the racial profiling and ethnic minority inequality still prevails in many many parts of the world. 

Trevor Noah speaks his mind and boy, is he a funny guy. I have smiled and LOL-ed, imagining his voice as I read through the book.

Definitely recommend this!! 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 ❤️❤️❤️ (haha labih)

3. Maximise your child’s bilingual ability by Adam Beck

This is exactly the book I’ve been looking for in my quest to improve Zayan’s malay. Amongst the many ingenious practical suggestions, it also emphasises on why its important to stick to our resolve to teach the minority language.

Zayan and Ayman is understanding more and picking up more vocabulary nowadays. Just this morning, Zayan got annoyed at me because I kept talking in malay. “Why do I have to learn it? I know enough already!” Even after explaining why (amongst all was so that he can use it to speak to his Nini boy, nini girl, Pak Wa, Ngangah, Uda and all his abang and kaka….etc), he was still stroppy and refused to talk or look at me. My only retort was that: “Zayan, one day you’ll be happy I taught you this…” 

And this is what the book emphasized. To stay strong through these challenges, because there will be plenty a time when the kids will react like this. I do think that no bilingual kid ever think ‘Man, I wished I didnt know this language…’ – you’ll always be of benefit the more languages you know I feel.

(Fast forward a few hrs later, he asked what the different words are in malay, without my prompting.) 

He also has a website called Bilingual Monkeys, lots of great advice and tips there!

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 

4. Sofa So Good by Scarlett Moffatt

Ok so this feels like a guilty pleasure book. First up, I love autobiographies… of anyone! I’ve read Michael Crichton’s – the guy who wrote Jurassic Park. Did you know he used to be a medical student? I even used his book in my scholarship interview as my ‘what books have I read recently’. I also have read Alex Fergusons – blame my brother there, it was his. Truly any biography – I love to read. 

So as a fan of Scarlett Moffatt from Gogglebox, I thought it might be a laugh and cheer me up this winter January. And so it did. She is so unbashedly happy with what she have, so ‘uncool’ in her appreciation of celebrities (though I love Ant and Dec too) and so motivating. She ends  each chapter with a motivational quote and themed her chapter that way. May be a bit cheesy but it did make me smile.

🌟🌟🌟🌟

5. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Now I really love this book. I must say, I thought the character was painted OTT formal but the writer evolved her beautifully and gave her character much more personality as the book went on. It gave me warm fuzziness at the end. Also a bit chilling on the account of the mum. Anyway not gonna spoil it but I like this one!! 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Books that I completed but tbh jumped a lot during reading:

6. Raising a Bilingual child

This wasnt what I expected. Esp since the cover says ‘step by step guide to parents’! It was more theory and research and less practical tips. It talked a lot about benefits of having bilingual kids – I know what the benefits are! I do not deny the benefits, thats why I am reading books like this. Sigh. Anyway, not worth reading unless you’re into the research or not convinced with benefits of acquiring more than one language.

Books currently read: 

7. Pengabdian – Brunei Malay novel book. Will do proper review once I finish reading it.

8. What’s up Turks – about a malaysian marrying Turkish guy and living in Turkey

Books I read in December

This is going to hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay 

Very accurate writing of the workings of NHS. Lots of LOL moments. He was working as obs & gynae registrar and was probably working up till the point where I am now (halfway through registrardom). I feel for him when he said he no longer works in NHS – he wrote of his story behind it and the reasons and many of us have been there, I’m sure. The book is both hilarious and touching. 

🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

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