Book Stash Part II

by - July 26, 2017

Have you read the Part |? If not, then here's the link.

Anyway, here's the continuation. I decided to make this list in line with my 2nd year anniversary with Singapore (buti pa kami ni SG may anniv, lol). I know, it's kind of lame. Blame the bookworm in me. Might as well, make this a monthly habit.

1. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is. 
Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

Have you ever read a novel when upon finishing it, you feel so broken hearted or you like you lost a friend from the book's main character? You felt like you didn't want it to end, so you hold on to it, and re-read your favorite parts just so you re-live what you thought you lost. That was exactly how I felt for this novel. This is a romantically heartbreaking story that left me in tears. Although, as much as possible, I try to stay away from "emotionally-disturbing" books. But needless to say, I liked the book so much. 

However, I strongly disagree with the ending (how Will chose to end his own life). Because there is hope, there will always be hope, no matter what the circumstances are. And I think, he was too selfish to do that to Lou and to his family. 

PS: The film adaption, I believe, did not give justice to the emotions that can loom up from this novel.

2. Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

Twenty-four-year-old Veronika seems to have everything she could wish for: youth and beauty, pleny of attractive boyfriends, a fulfilling job, and a loving family. Yet something is lacking in her life. Inside her is a void so deep that nothing could possibly ever fill it. So, on the morning of November 11, 1997, Veronika decides to die. 

Reading the title sounds depressing. But do not be deceive, as this novel by one of may favorite author, is exactly the opposite. If I could give an alternate title, it would be, "How Veronika Decided Not to Die". There you go, a give away. The story revolves around the two fundamental questions: "What am I doing here today?" and "Why do I go on living?" 

One of the line from the book that have had stayed with and inspired me says, “She would consider each day a miracle - which indeed it is, when you consider the number of unexpected things that could happen in each second of our fragile existences.” 

Please go and pick up this book. I highly recommends it.

3. The Return of the Young Prince by A.G Roemmers

So the Little Prince, now a teenager, one day returns to Earth and finds himself on a lonely country road in the vast, desolate plains of Patagonia. There he meets the narrator of this novel, who rescues him and takes him on a journey. Slowly the Prince shares the stories of his adventures, and together they begin to explore some of life’s most important questions, taking readers along with them on a wonderful spiritual journey.
The Little Prince is one of all-time favorite books. So imagine my anticipation to get a hand on this book which was advertised as sequel to one of the most celebrated books in history. 

Unfortunately, this book did not lived up to The Little Prince - not even close. It misses out the point of the TLP in every possible way. I find the conversation between the Young Prince and narrator to boring, like it was just a straight line leading to nowhere. It is more of a self-help book, I think. In any case, this one still ended up on this list as I remember picking up my copy when I had my insomnia attacks.

4. Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Written in his distinctively dazzling manner, Oscar Wilde’s story of a fashionable young man who sells his soul for eternal youth and beauty is the author’s most popular work. Just a few years later, the book and the aesthetic/moral dilemma it presented became issues in the trials occasioned by Wilde’s homosexual liaisons, which resulted in his imprisonment. Of Dorian Gray’s relationship to autobiography, Wilde noted in a letter, “Basil Hallward is what I think I am: Lord Henry what the world thinks me: Dorian what I would like to be—in other ages, perhaps.”
The one and only novel written by Oscar Wilde. Should he have lived a little longer, he would've written us more intriguing and beautiful novel like this one. For some reason, Wilde reminds me Alan Turing. Both of whom were eccentric, gifted and suffered the same fate due to their sexual preferences. But when I finished the book, I realized how our cruel world does not deserve a genius like Wilde (or Turing himself). It was beautifully and eloquently written. Such a classic.

(Quick history: Being homosexual used to be a crime against the English law. He was given posthumous pardon along with other 50,000 gay men.)

Anyway, my definite take away from this book is "Be careful what you wish for."

5. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor making a living treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. Just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a young neurosurgeon at Stanford, guiding patients toward a deeper understanding of death and illness, and finally into a patient and a new father to a baby girl, confronting his own mortality.
This was a recommendation from the book store staff. She told me it was one of their best sellers and upon finishing it, I fully understand why.

It is my first time to read a memoir or an autobiography. I find it a little ironic how one day, he was the doctor and then the next day, he became patient needing to be treated. The author died while working on this book. He was a gifted man with such an incredible talent but his life was taken away at such a young age. It will leave you saying "I should live my life fully". Although, I did not understand some of medical jargons mentioned on the book, the author was able his life learnings from his own experiences.

“Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’


I still have a lot of to-buy and to-read books, ten of which are already sitting at home, waiting for my lazy self to pick them up. 

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  1. Trying reading..
    - The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger - a controversial book

    1. Will definitely check out the book. Thanks!! :)