Thursday, 27 August 2015

Book Marks: A Little Shorter And Less Frequently

Yes, it's been a while since I've does lists like this, but I wanted to be even more selective of what to highlight. Plus, I've been busy sorting out my life, with little progress. Right now, I might be dealing with insomnia.

GB Gerakbudaya has just announced the release of a collection of essays on what is it like to be young and Malay in Malaysia: "Edited by Ooi Kee Beng and Wan Hamidi Hamid, the collection features nine young writers — Haris Zuan, Zairil Khir Johari, Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, Altaf Deviyati, Izmil Amri, Syukri Shairi, Raja Ahmad Iskandar, Edry Faizal Eddy Yusof and Wan Hamidi himself — who share their experiences about growing up in Malaysia."

Borders bookstore manager Nik Raina Nik Aziz's legal nightmare is finally over as the Federal Court dismisses JAWI's latest prosecution bid against her.

This case should never have stretched on for this long. Employees of a bookstore chain cannot be held solely responsible for whatever the company sells, and Nik Raina did nothing more than to earn a living. Can a Muslim employee be charged for selling beer at a 7-Eleven?

One hopes that this is truly the end of this case.

Some people aren't happy with Kate Breslin's romance novel For Such a Time. "Re-centring the story of the prisoners of Theresienstadt on a tale of Christian conversion and the salvation and redemption of a Nazi commandant who committed genocide reframes and erases history," says one critic, "and forgives the horror of the execution of more than 17 million people in order to advance a larger religious perspective."

Anne Rice has hit out at "internet lynch mobs" attacking controversial books, and this book in particular. After tweeting about this, someone helpfully provided this bit of news where Rice was alleged to have unleashed her followers' wrath on a critic of her own work.

That aside, I'm not certain that romance novels about Jewish concentration camp prisoners and Nazi officers can ever "forgive" the Nazi horrors rubbed into our faces every time they face the threat of being forgotten by whiny social justice types - what are history books for, anyway?

After her latest book, Furiously Happy, was chosen as a top book US librarians would like to share with readers, Jennifer Lawson, a.k.a. The Bloggess penned a love letter to libraries (especially the librarians). It's a poignant piece, especially with Lawson's background:

When I was little my favorite places were libraries. You weren’t expected to speak, which was heaven for a shy girl with an anxiety disorder. Thousands of small secret stories were hidden in plain sight all around you, just waiting to be held in your hands and discovered. As a small girl in rural Texas, I knew that the best chance I had of seeing worlds that would never be open to me, and meeting fantastic people I’d never be bold enough to speak to was through books. I was able to see places that exist (or that had existed, and or that would never exist) through the words of the storytellers whose worlds had been bound up and shared and protected through generations of docent-guardians who called themselves “librarians”.

...sometimes you’d get lucky and there would be a special librarian there. Of course, all librarians were special when you were little. They were the guards and they were larger than life. They knew the secret codex of books. They were good witches and wizards who kept small keys around their necks, keys to special, sacred artifacts you had to know the secret password to see."

A case of a curious banning of a book in Florida unfolds as Mark Haddon's novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was pulled from a school's reading list over swear words.

A local daily, according to The Guardian, even "tallied up the appearances of swear words in the novel: 'the f-word is written 28 times, the s-word 18 times, and the c-word makes one appearance – in Britain that word is less charged than it is in the US,' reported the [Tallahassee Democrat]. 'A few characters also express atheistic beliefs, taking God’s name in vain on nine occasions.'"

Far more F-words and S-words can be found on the Internet. And if one goes through hours of TV programming in the States one might find lots of people "taking G*d's name in vain" on more than nine occasions.

Britain’s best joke at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival features Germany and a mobile phone. At The Daily Beast, Tom Sykes disagrees.


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