Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Excerpt from Zoe Rice's Pick Me Up (a Little Black Dress book)

"I'm wondering if that's what I really wanted. Perhaps the gratitude just hasn't sunk in yet. Come on, gratitude. Sink faster."

I like!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Under Renovation

Book Gila is currently under renovation. Sorry for the inconvenience.


Monday, November 12, 2007


From today's Star paper:

Ban on books distorting Islam

KUALA LUMPUR: The Internal Security Ministry has banned seven books whose contents distort the sanctity of Islam and its true teachings.

They are Tajul Muluk; Fiqh Perempuan; Tasawuf Perenial Kearifan Kritis Kaum Sufi; Kumpulan Ilmu Ghaib; The Muslim Jesus: Kisah dan Sabda Yesus dalam Literatur Islam; Penyembuhan Cara Sufi and Kitab Kaysf Al-Asrar.

The ban order, signed by Deputy Minister Datuk Mohd Johari Baharum, was gazetted under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, the ministry’s Publication Control and Al-Quran Text Division said in a statement yesterday.

Under Section 8(2) of the Act, it was an offence to print, import, produce, reproduce, publish, sell, issue, circulate, distribute and possess banned publications, it said.

Offenders are liable to a jail term of not more than three years or a fine of not more than RM20,000, or both, if convicted.

The books could create confusion and anxiety among Muslims and harm public peace if their publications were allowed to continue, said the statement. – Bernama

I'm waiting for the ban on public figures who routinely spout excellent mind-numbing wisdom. After all, they could create confusion and anxiety and harm public peace.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


Coffee .. yum.. Coffee goes very well with reading.

Free Connecticut Dating

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Towards 100 Books : 75 !

Two months before the year ends, and my book count stands at 75 with these additions.

1) Special Topics in Calamity Physics Marisha Pessl
2) Memoirs Are Made of These Swan Adamson
3) Malaysian Politicians Say the Darnest Things comp. by Amir Muhammad
4) My Name Is Red Orhan Pamuk

The goal of 100 books this year suddenly seems not achievable. I blame Togo!

Pearson & Penguin Books Warehouse Sale

Lately there has been a slew of tempting book sales, but I've managed to keep away. This one caught my interest, though. I like Penguin!

From ShoppingNSales

Monday, October 29, 2007

Today's Buy: 25 October 07

After a hiatus of not visiting any bookstores, I 'accidentally' walked into MPH Sunway Pyramid and came away with these:

Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things
compiled by Amir Muhammad
with illustrations by Shahril Nizam
RM 24.00 (20% disc)

Blue Shoes and Happiness
Alexander McCall Smith
RM 36.00

A Spot of Bother
Mark Haddon
RM 25.42 (25% disc)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Stealing Books

Found on Yahoo! Odd News

Great news! They're stealing our books!

Mon Oct 15, 10:44 AM ET

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The Frankfurt Book Fair has an indicator to help publishers gauge public interest in the new offerings presented at the annual exhibition -- the unofficial "most stolen book" index.

Bild am Sonntag and Germany's ZDF television have come up with lists of titles most stolen from 15 leading German publishers' stands set up in the Frankfurt trade fair grounds.

"The most-stolen books are usually the most-sold later on," Claudia Hanssen of the Goldmann Verlag publishing house told Bild am Sonntag newspaper, which published a list of the 10 most stolen German-language books this year.

"They're the popular ones and are most likely to end up on the best-seller lists," Hanssen added.

The German translation of Nobel Peace prizewinner Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth," outlining the dangers of global warming, featured among the mainly German titles on the list.

More than 100,000 people attended the book fair, which ended Sunday. There were 7,448 exhibitions where publishers from 108 countries presented some 400,000 different books, videos and other products.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Coffee with Red

I'm currently reading Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red, and its giving me a severe coffee craving.

The book is hardly about coffee, but there's so much coffee dripped all over the story. You can almost smell that wonderful aroma from the bits and pieces of coffee-text.

Relieving it has just upped my craving. I'm off to make myself another cup of coffee.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Read (past tense)

Recently I reviewed my credit card statements, to get a feel of my spending patterns. No surprises that entries like MPH, Borders and Kinokuniya regularly crop up. But do I really read all the books I greedily buy?

Ha.. that's why I keep lists. I like ticking things off. Let's do a quick one on recent buys.

29 April [100%]
READ The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood
READ The File on H Ismail Kadare
READ She'll Take It Mary Carter

2 June [100%]
READ More Work for the Undertaker Margery Allingham
READ The Color Purple Alice Walker

27 June [42%]
TBR To The Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
TBR The Trial Franz Kafka
READ The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie Muriel Spark
TBR Going Sane Adam Phillips
TBR Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
READ The Outsider Albert Camus
READ A Clockwok Orange Anthony Burgess

8 July
READ Testing Kate Whitney Gaskell
READ Marley & Me John Grogan

12 July [100%]
READ In The Country of Men Hisham Matar
READ Special Topics in Calamity Physics Marisha Pessl
READ Confessions of an Air Hostess Marisa Mackle

2 Aug [55%]
TBR The Man Who Was Thursday G. K. Chesterson
READ King Solomon's Mines H. Rider Haggard
TBR The Lost World Arthur Conan Doyle
READ The Sky is Crazy Yvonne Lee
READ The Accidental Tourist Anne Tyler
TBR My Name is Red Orhan Pamuk
TBR The Story of My Life Helen Keller
TBR Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands Jorge Amado
READ The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Agatha Christie
READ Memoirs Are Made of These Swan Adamson
READ Lost For Words Lorelai Mathias

MORAL : Don't buy books in bulk, especially at sales.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Excerpt from Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red
I was told that scoundrels and rebels were gathering in coffeehouses and proselytizing until dawn
1. To induce someone to convert to one's own religious faith.
2. To induce someone to join one's own political party or to espouse one's doctrine.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Writing Togo

I like reading. A lot.

Way back then, I liked to write too. Somehow I ended up writing codes instead, and that love for writing got lost somewhere.

Now the itch is back.

I've been reading some books about words, about people who write, about living the writing life, and the prospect of writing suddenly seemed so interesting again. [What books? Floozy Little Black Dresses! Lost in Words by Lorelei Mathias and Memoirs are made of This by Swan Adamson. Also Marisha Pessl's Special Topics of Calamity Physics - this beautifully composed book can inspire just about anything.]

I'm going to try writing again. The easiest way to write and be published is - do it yourself with a blog! Haha. The easiest things to write about - those dear to your heart.

So I've started a little project on that little tyrant I'm keeping. The site might be liberally strewn with photos but I'm hoping to pen some stuff to brush up on my writing. And one fine day make a book out of it and be a bestseller and make millions (like John Grogan, author of Marley & Me). Ha, dreams.

Some things I've written:
Howling Togo

Do visit Togo the Tyrant's site at

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Arsonist's Guide to Writers' Homes

Here's a book with a very attractive title.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Calamity Physics, Ended

Finally! Finished! All 669 wonderful pages of it!

I begun reading this around Juy 24th, see this post. It's been a long read partly because it's very thick (duh), but mostly because it's so beautifully written I keep re-reading sentences and passages.

The words are so beautifully composed, some strains of it made me want to weep with joy. (Think I'm exaggerating? Read it and let me know ;)

This is one of the few books I felt sad to finish reading. I wish there were more of it. Boo hoo.

Marisha Pessl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics - highly recommended.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Recent Library Additions

Recent additions to my library (and my to-be-read list!)

Gifts from my brother - 2 Little Black Dress books
Pick Me Up by Zoe Rice
I Take This Man by Valerie Frankel

Gifts from Mr.Gila's parents - 2 Amy Tans
Saving Fish From Drowning
The Bonesetter's Daughter

Both gifts were not gift-wrapped, since there's no surprises what the gifts were. Both parties called me up beforehand to check if I already had the titles before buying. Haha.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Book Availibility at MPH

Did you know..

... that you can check for book availability in MPH stores by contacting them at 03- 2938 3818 or 03- 7726 9003, or via email at .

They're very helpful. Good way to check which stores carry the specific title you're looking for. With zillions of stores in the Klang Valley, this certainly helps.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Browse a HarperCollins

Coolness. HarperCollins let's you put their book on your site. Your readers can then browse the book for a peek inside.

A simple copy & paste is all that it takes. Here's an example, this book caught my eye from their 'Most Viewed' list.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


My most recent purchase is this book from MPH Subang Parade.
New Complete Dog Training Manual by Dr Bruce Fogle.

There were many available books on dog training, but I chose this because it has less words and more pictures. I like that the training steps are explained in step-by-step pictures.

Time to try on the little tyrant! Let's try with "Sit"




"Sit" Yippie!!

Now if only I can teach him to understand "Don't bite"
(And "Don't $#@% bite")

Monday, September 17, 2007

Writing - A Quote

This quote tickled me.

Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing. Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Towards 100 Books : 71 !

I've upped my book count with another four tomes, thanks to reading with dog. Yippie.

1) King Solomon's Mines H. Rider Haggard
2) The Accidental Tourist Anne Tyler
3) A Nyonya in Texas Lee Su Kim
4) Lost For Words Lorelei Mathias

p/s - oho. Special Topics in Calamity Physics is still in progress.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Lost For Words

I like the drawing on this cover. Reading, surrounded by books, on a gently swaying swing under a shady tree... bliss.

Cover from Lorelei Mathias' Lost For Words. [ a LittleBlackDress book]

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I want to start writing again. Let's start with something simple.
Oh, no. It's that unfortunate time of the year where we mixed-breeds of discoloured features have a hard time eating in public.
Ho. And there. I've just begun writing again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Making of Penguin Great Loves

This is the interesting story behind the simple covers of Penguin's Great Loves editions.

David Pearson, Penguin Press Designer explains his design methods for creating the covers of the Great Loves series:

'As with the previous Great Ideas, this series makes use of a seriously-reduced palette to ensure a recognisable, coherent look across all 20 titles.

Design for books on this subject can often appear cliché-ridden and hackneyed so we decided on a more abstract, symbolic approach, using botany as the chief source of inspiration.

I wanted the images to be as evocative as possible so I considered more traditional printing methods such as screen printing or lino cutting. However, the time and budget constraints were such that this wasn’t a realistic option so I began to look for ways to create similar effects at a reduced cost.

The most successful experiment by far consisted of the generation of flat artwork (Pic 01)...

...which could then be made into rubber stamps (Pic 02).

Stamping the images added layers of texture, creating a much more tactile appearance and one more befitting this subject (Pics 03 and 04).

Once the artwork had been stamped, it went back into a layout programme (Pic 05)...

Click on the link to view Pic 05 pdf. that it could be easily assembled into a print-ready graphic (Pic 06).

As with any series, the main challenge was keeping the ideas looking fresh across a range of titles (and not slipping too far into chocolate-box territory). I think I have Sigmund Freud to thank for this!'

Monday, September 10, 2007

Penguin Great Loves

Simple yet so beautiful - covers from Penguin's Great Loves editions.
More here.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

proxemics, haptics, oculesics, kinesics, olfactics

Excerpt from Lee Su Kim's A Nyonya in Texas

"Our sense of proxemics, the non-verbals we employ, our haptics, oculesics, kinesics and olfactics are culture-bound, internalised by us as the result of the cultures we grew up in."

What a mouthful!! Here's the meanings of those big big words.

- Sociology, Psychology. the study of the spatial requirements of humans and animals and the effects of population density on behavior, communication, and social interaction.
- Linguistics. the study of the symbolic and communicative role in a culture of spatial arrangements and variations in distance, as in how far apart individuals engaged in conversation stand depending on the degree of intimacy between the

- the branch of psychology that investigates cutaneous sense data.

- the use of the eyes in a communication setting. Whereas in most Western cultures, the use of direct eye contact symbolises listening and attention, direct eye contact is seen as unfavourable by, for example, various Asian cultures.

the study of body movements, gestures, facial expressions, etc., as a means of communication.

- is the sense of smell driven by the detection of volatile or, in the case of the accessory olfactory system, fluid-phase chemicals. The chemicals themselves, generally at very low concentrations, are called odors.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Reading with dog

I haven't been blogging much, cos this little tyrant has invaded my life and is keeping me away from the computer.

But not the books, I find myself spending more time reading in the early mornings and late evenings, as we spend his play-time in the garden.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

... global case of

Excerpt from Anne Tyler's The Accidental Tourist

"She was obviously intelligent, but she counteracted that with the most global case of superstition that Macon had ever witnessed."

Such a beautifully constructed sentence.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Towards 100 Books : 67 !

I am STILL wonderfully lost in Marisha Pesshl’s Special Topics in Calamity Physics, so much so this August read book list is a miserable three books. That's less than half my monthly average!

1) The Mystery Of The Screaming Clock Robert Arthur
2) The Sky is Crazy Yvonne Lee
3) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Agatha Christie

And yes, go get Special Topics in Calamity Physics, it's a very good read.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Book Pile

There gonna be a new addition to our home this weekend, a furry four legged friend to keep me company. Before he comes, though, I gotta stash this stack - but I've run out of bookshelves!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Disturbing Kiddie Book

You just HAVE to go read the children's book pictured in this link.

Either you'll be horrified or amused, depending on your disposition. Like, I bet this friend of mine will find it extremely amusing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

In Remembrance

funeral (noun)
1.the ceremonies for a dead person prior to burial or cremation; obsequies.
2.a funeral procession.

funereal (adjective)
1.of or suitable for a funeral.
2.mournful; gloomy; dismal: a funereal aloofness that was quite chilling.

So long, goodbye, rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Buying Books - A Quote

Hahaha. Now this is a quote that strikes too close for comfort.

Buying books would be a good thing if one could also buy the time to read them in: but as a rule the purchase of books is mistaken for the appropriation of their contents. Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860), German philosopher.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Previous Buys : 2 Aug 07

Of course I could not resist visiting the recent MPH Members Merdeka sale. I went browsing in MPH Mid Valley, where there's a number of books I've had my eyes on.

After an hour I had an arm full of shortlisted books, and I had to decide which few I can afford to bring home with me. In the loooong time it took to decide the final selection, I got an sms from Mr.Gila (sitting drunk in a pub somewhere) that my birthday prezzie is to be a RM300 MPH voucher, and I can go ahead and spend the amount at the sale instead if I don't mind not having physical vouchers.

Yippie! Thank God for beer!

And of course I went crazy. (I love you, too).

1) The Man Who Was Thursday G. K. Chesterson @ rm 23.37
2) King Solomon's Mines H. Rider Haggard @ rm 23.37
3) The Lost World Arthur Conan Doyle @ rm 23.37
4) The Sky is Crazy Yvonne Lee @ rm 25.41
5) The Accidental Tourist Anne Tyler @ rm 36.46
6) My Name is Red Orhan Pamuk @ rm 26.32
7) The Story of My Life Helen Keller @ rm 17.81
8) Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands Jorge Amado @ rm 38.16
9) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd Agatha Christie @ rm 16.91
10) Memoirs Are Made of These Swan Adamson @ rm 16.91
11) Lost For Words Lorelai Mathias @ rm 16.91

* prices after discount

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