Where Do I Get My Books From

Long gone are the days where my mother sponsored my book buying habits and thus I had to resort to multiple avenues to get my source of books! Mostly legal and one very very ILLEGAL way… Do I still do said illegal way… no of course not unless its a rich writer from 1st world country then perhaps I will take it into consideration but for the majority after finding out there are many other ways to get free or affordable books, I have renounced my life of crime.

  1. Library

The library one is pretty much self explanatory because duh library. I borrow from the two main libraries available in Miri which is Pustaka Miri and Dewan Suarah. Now to compare the two I would say that Pustaka has more selections of non-fiction as opposed to fiction and Dewan Suarah is the opposite. Some books I can’t find in Dewan Suarah I can occasionally find in Pustaka.

2. Scribd

I subscribed to Scribd after seeing a thread on twitter at how cheap the subscription is… its only $4 so about RM 13 a month and for a huge selection of books why not? Especially if the selection is both ebooks as well as audiobooks.

Although after I heard a snippet of the audiobooks on Audible… I am so tempted to try Audible because man it sounds like a movie! The snippet I heard was Neil Gaiman Sandman.

3. Netgalley

Netgalley is essentially a website where you can request for review copies for FREE! The crux of that is you have to give a review for every book request to boost your score which will allow you to request for more mainstream books. To be honest I haven’t logged into my Netgalley account in years not that it isn’t good its more towards my inclination for either hardcopy books or audiobooks. I only read eBooks if I have to or the fact that the book is really good and I only have eBook copy.

4. Bookstores

5. Review copy

This is different from my Netgalley avenue whereby this is the author contacts me personally to review their book… this rarely happens as I unfortunately am but a small book reviewer but I mean I always go for random hiatus so that makes sense… look at my blog I have yet to return…. I’m more into videos now be it on YouTube or Instagram (follow me if you want to listen to book rants!)

6. Libby

Libby is another avenue for free books and is an app where you can borrow library books in app! Its super great! If I’m not mistaken you download the Libby app and then you choose the library as national library of Malaysia and your card number you can choose between pnm001 to pnm999.

7. Google books

Yup! I get free books from google books too. Is it a good quality book? Depends.., but again free books who am I to complain kan? Also, Buku Fixi is super cheap if you buy the eBook, it’s less than RM 10 and they also provide you with FREE EBOOKS. Anything that’s free is always great in my eyes. Which reminds me, Buku Fixi has more free books so must download now!

8. Pirated Books

Okay okay I know this is a controversial issue and believe me I get it… I now don’t condone using this avenue when there are so many resources to get cheap heck even free books LEGALLY buttttttt I do remember being a young and broke young adult… thirsting to read but having no way to do so because I didn’t have transport to go to the library… my internet data was shit at best at the time… I didn’t even know Netgalley existed let alone the existence of Libby and so i resorted to downloading illegal copies of books… Since I have shared 7 other avenues how I got my books I don’t want yall to illegally download books now… 

So that’s it guys! Those are the few ways I get my books…I would say book swap with other bookish friends but ill be honest I don’t do that because my friends don’t read as much as I do and our genres don’t match hahahah.

Review: Horror Stories by Tunku Halim

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Title: Horror Stories

Author: Tunku Halim

Published: 1 February 2014

Publisher: FIXI Novo

Rating: 3/5

Review

The book was okay for me. It wasn’t bad but neither was it mind-blowingly good. Most of the stories were mediocre for me, I didn’t feel scared nor horrified instead I felt confused by reading some of them and occasionally bored. It could be that I am just not a short story person but overall the book and its stories did not leave a lasting impact on my mind.

Sorry my review for this book is so short. There’s only so much I can say for a book I feel lukewarm about.

Review: Spellbound by Jane Green

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Title: Spellbound

Author: Jane Green

Published: 31 December 2002

Rating: 2/5

Summary

Alice knows she should be happy. After all she has a handsome husband, a beautiful house and membership to all the most exclusive clubs in London. So what if the rumours about her husband’s skirt-chasing are becoming harder to ignore? When Joe’s indiscretions force a transfer to New York, Alice hopes it might be a fresh start. And when they find a beautiful old house in Connecticut Alice is overjoyed. For a while she and Joe seem as happy as newlyweds. But then the late nights and unexplained absences start again. What should Alice do? Stay and fight for him? Or leave with her head held high?

Review

I had somewhat high hopes for this book and it is all because of the nice light pink with glitter book cover and the its title “Spellbound”. So, I was hoping that I too will be spellbound by this book but I wasn’t. Like at all. The book was a total DRAAAAAGG to read. It was just so utterly mundane and boring and just filled with so many fillers and sub-plots that were either forgotten or just doesn’t add much to the main plot anyways.

The main character is such a doormat and I cannot for the life of me understand her connection with her new beau, Harry? Or was it Henry? (something along those lines). The author writes that because these two had so much in common and that is why they fell in love but that’s just bollocks! Like if you enjoy gardening and you have a gardener are you going to magically fall in love with your gardener just because both of you like gardening?? I don’t think so. I did not read nor see any chemistry between the two and am so baffled at how they fell in love? Also, I must add that Harry/Henry is the ex-boyfriend of Alice’s best friend AND Alice and Harry/Henry kissed when those two were still together. I don’t give a rats ass of whether said best friend and her boyfriend fell out of love or whatever when they were in a relationship Alice wasn’t supposed to be all over her best friends man.

I just don’t have it in me to rant about this book because I have another book I need to reserve my ranting energy for. Main point, this book is boring and so not worth the read. Give it a pass is my advice.

Review: Garam by Ruwi Meita

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Title: Garam

Author: Ruwi Meita

Publisher: Buku FIXI

Published: 8 July 2016

Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Summary

Seorang pemain piano di Surabaya ditemui mati, terduduk di depan pianonya, dengan bibir terjahit. Biji matanya dicungkil, meninggalkan lubang hitam yang amat mengerikan. Rambut palsu merah panjang menutupi kepalanya. Sementara otak dan organ-organ tubuhnya telah dikeluarkan secara paksa.

Kulitnya pucat seputih garam. Tidak, tidak sekadar seputih garam. Tapi, seluruh tubuhnya itu benar-benar dilumuri adunan garam.

Inspektor Kiri Lamari, penyiasat kes ini, terus dihantui lubang hitam mata pemain piano. Mata yang mengingatkan Kiri Lamari akan mata ibunya. Yang juga dia temui tak bernyawa puluhan tahun lalu.

Garam? Kenapa garam?

Review

I read this book months ago but it took me so long to actually review it because I honestly didn’t have much to say about it but since it is a Malay book, I thought that my two cents for this book would be appreciated especially since my intention is to shed more light on local books (although this book is written by an Indonesian author but hey whatever).

Garam (Salt in Malay) is a surprisingly good and easy read and I highly enjoyed my time reading it but because I have read an array of crime fiction novels, the plot for for Garam feels a dime a dozen and it is disappointing because although the plot twist was interesting and I did not anticipate it, it at the same time also feels anticipated if that makes any sort of sense. Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was how the author inserts clues throughout the plot so the readers can figure out the true perpetrator of the killings along with the hero, Kiri Lamari.

So far those are all my thoughts regarding this book. Not much I know but honestly the book was just okay for me.

Review: The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo

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Title: The Duke With The Dragon Tattoo

Author: Kerrigan Byrne

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

Published: 28 August 2018

Rating: 3/5

Goodreads Summary

The bravest of heroes. The brashest of rebels. The boldest of lovers. These are the men who risk their hearts and their souls—for the passionate women who dare to love them…

He is known only as The Rook. A man with no name, no past, no memories. He awakens in a mass grave, a magnificent dragon tattoo on his muscled forearm the sole clue to his mysterious origins. His only hope for survival—and salvation—lies in the deep, fiery eyes of the beautiful stranger who finds him. Who nurses him back to health. And who calms the restless demons in his soul…

A LEGENDARY LOVE

Lorelei will never forget the night she rescued the broken dark angel in the woods, a devilishly handsome man who haunts her dreams to this day. Crippled as a child, she devoted herself to healing the poor tortured man. And when he left, he took a piece of her heart with him. Now, after all these years, The Rook has returned. Like a phantom, he sweeps back into her life and avenges those who wronged her. But can she trust a man who’s been branded a rebel, a thief, and a killer? And can she trust herself to resist him when he takes her in his arms?

Review

I have been busy with work and chatting up this guy from work although on this front it seems more like I am cornering myself into the dreaded friendzone which is such a shame because I would like to do the Devil’s tango with him if you get my drift so anyways back to the point, the point is that I just have been living life too much to be bothered to even read anything but when I received an email from a publisher asking me if I was interested in reading the next book from Kerrigan Byrne I was like…

“BITCH! You ain’t even gonna ask! It’s always YES to Kerrigan!”

Because girl, the last two books I read by her was just so bomb! I waited months to get the next book so as you can see my expectations are pretty high… pretttyyyy high so when I read it I was just so so confused by how disappointed I was.

The writing for this book felt so sub-par for me and the plot itself was flimsy AT BEST. Don’t even get me started on the atrocious dialogue present in this book. It

The first half of the book was great and I enjoyed the puppy love between Lorelai and Ash as it was so cute and innocent but towards the latter end of the book, the plot was borderline on non-existent and the dialogue/conversation happening between the two main characters were so repetitive and had no meaning nor resolution in sight.

Also, there were a lot of plot points in the book that in my opinion was written purely just for plot progression because honestly said plot point had no bearing whatsoever on the overall plot of the book one wonders why did the author even include it in the first place? One example for this is when Lorelai for some God damned reason fainted in a make out sesh with Ash and miraculously she never fainted again after that even though it was said that she does this FREQUENTLY as a way her body handles stress.

Another thing that annoyed me was how the author doesn’t show what happened to any of the characters and instead just tells us what happened as if that will satisfy our curiosity. By doing so, the author strips the readers empathy for the characters because I swear to God I could not give a shit about the characters whatsoever. I mean I can’t relate to Lorelai and her being a victim of abuse neither can I understand why Ash is so God damned pissed all the God damned time. Like bro, take a chill pill man. Jesus.

I think I was highly disappointed by the book because I waited months for it. MONTHS! Her other books were that good that I waited MONTHS! Will I continue to support the author, yeah definitely one disappointing book might just be a fluke because she is definitely talented.

* Book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in return for an honest review

**

I was supposed to upload this review on the 21st but my internet was down and I had to go for TBOSIET training and completely forgot so here it is hahahaha.

My Bookish Pet Peeves

“Pet Peeve: Something that a particular person finds especially annoying”

It took me awhile to think of book related things that annoy me because I am relatively low maintenance when it comes to books.

I don’t mind when a book cover is skewed or the dust jacket is lopsided or folded incorrectly.

I don’t care if the sizing of books I buy that comes in a series isn’t uniform or standardized.

I could care less if my books has stickers on them.

I am even fine with insta-love.

The standards are THAT LOW (as I usually say if I managed to read Fifty Shades of Grey AND Twilight I can read and plough through anything) but a few has managed to irk me and so read ahead and enjoy!

Recyclable vocabulary

I find it perplexing that in historical romance different authors from different publishing companies always recycle phrases, vocabulary or even metaphors to describe the male anatomy. They usually compare a male’s penis or other parts of the body to either wood or steel or worse… velvet steel. I understand that in this genre everything is stereotypical and comes in a template but it makes you wonder is that the extent of vocabulary knowledge that a historical romance authors have?

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Ignorant Beauty

Another trope that just grates on my nerves. Why is it that in a book usually YA or contemporary romance, the female lead never realizes their beauty when they are obviously drop dead gorgeous. It boggles my mind because this is not normal. I am not the most beautiful woman on Earth yet I realize that I am at the most minimum cute. So if I know this of myself why can’t these characters do the same? Why must their beauty only be validated by a man? Why must their physical beauty only be known after a man has pointed it out to them? Why can’t these women acknowledge that they are beautiful and just own it? Had said female characters for example suffer from mental illness such as body dysmorphia then that is fine because that in itself is a whole other can of worms to be discussed. I feel like this trope need to die already and die a horrible death.

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Bookception

I just recently came to know this as one of my bookish pet peeves to be honest. I realized it when I was reading ‘Bookishly Ever After‘. In this book I had to read not one but two stories of which both are equally bad. I am not interested in reading a book read by the main character and written in the actual book that I am reading and especially not when both of them are just badly written and not to mention boring. A snippet here or there is fine to increase the readers interest but chapterSSSS is truly pushing the limit.

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The Mary Sue

My ultimate NEMESIS. This trope is not even an annoyance any longer as it has evolved from being just an annoyance to being an absolute despicable inhumane species of a trope. The best example I can give is Rey from the Star Wars franchise. I am all for girl power and feminism and all round bad assery but when her skills and powers are given with no background no explanation no nothing that is just bad writing and a cop out way to appease the masses of SJW (social justice warriors). Isn’t it better to flesh out her character to show how she had gotten so powerful in the movie? To show that this girl who has innate talent had to work hard to get to where she is but no she can do no wrong, she is the best and will be the best. She has no character struggles. She is beautiful, she is powerful and is apparently perfect in everything. It annoys me because this is not realistic, yes one might argue that Star Wars as a whole isn’t realistic but character development and growth and struggles are the same regardless of genre or medium used to express it.

Another example is Feyre from the ACoTAR. She is perfect in everything, everybody loves her, powerful beyond her imagination blah blah blah blah.

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So, there you have it my bookish pet peeve. Feel free to comment on your bookish pet peeve maybe I would realize another one that I never knew I had I am quite slow on the uptake in these matters.

Also have a youtube video on this matter although in said video I am just a rambling idiot because I have yet to master the speaking my thoughts eloquently in front of a camera.

The Eighth Day by Mitsuyo Kakuta

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Title: The Eighth Day

Author: Mitsuyo Kakuta

Published: 1 May 2010

Publisher: Kodansha

Rating: 4/5

The year is 1985. Kiwako is an ordinary office worker, in love with a married man, until an unwanted abortion causes her to snap. She kidnaps her lover’s six-month-old baby and runs away with her, eventually taking refuge in an all-female religious commune. Here, she attempts to raise the girl.

Fifteen years later, the child, Elena, is an adult contending with the difficulties of returning to her “natural family,” made up of a mother who doesn’t come home, an alcoholic father, and siblings with whom she can’t connect.

Review

You would think that with a plot where a scorned woman kidnaps her ex’s baby and then took refuge in a religious commune aka A CULT (?!!!), there would be far more things happening in the storyline that would put the plot to the Mission Impossible movies to shame but alas it was not to be and I went into this book expecting action, drama, intensity and MORE action but what I got was the complete opposite which is a slice-of-life type of book which let me tell you is definitely lacking in the action-drama department but surprisingly I kept on reading even though nothing much was happening.

The book was interesting in subtle ways, it didn’t focus much on the kidnapping of the baby but instead focused on how Kiwako would raise the baby in the situation that they were in and it was the prose of the book that captivated me. The prose was simple and unassuming yet it is the main reason why I kept on reading even though half the time I was wondering where exactly is the plot going to take us and the ending of the book was realistic in a way that it was messy and a lot of things weren’t answered like how it is in the real world.

Whilst reading this book I really pity the baby who was kidnapped and the young woman she grew to be. I honestly pitied her. She was raised well by the woman who kidnapped her she had a happy childhood living on an island heck even living in the cult the kid had a happy childhood only for it to be destroyed due to adults selfishness.

Bookishly Ever After… A Review

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Title: Bookishly Ever After

Author: Isabel Bandeira

Published: 19 January 2016

Publisher: Spencer Hill Contemporary

Source: Netgalley

Rating: 2/5

Goodreads summary

In a perfect world, sixteen-year-old Phoebe Martins’ life would be a book. Preferably a YA novel with magic and a hot paranormal love interest. Unfortunately, her life probably wouldn’t even qualify for a quiet contemporary.

But when Phoebe finds out that Dev, the hottest guy in the clarinet section, might actually have a crush on her, she turns to her favorite books for advice. Phoebe overhauls her personality to become as awesome as her favorite heroines and win Dev’s heart. But if her plan fails, can she go back to her happy world of fictional boys after falling for the real thing?

Review

Well I had a whole rant review written for this book but I lost it and I just don’t have enough momentum in me to write another rant review so this review will be concise and short and straight to the point.

I did not enjoy this book at all even though every fibre of my being really wanted to because the protagonist is a book nerd who knits and let us be honest I can insert myself into the plot because all that can also describe me; a book nerd who crochet instead of knits but it is fine we all know crochet is knittings second cousin thrice removed.

The writing was too juvenile for my taste which threw me off from immersing myself in the plot because the main characters age is 16 yet the writing felt more middle grade than anything.

Then we have the characters themselves. Every character was a stereotype and all of them fell flat. They were nothing more than their stereotype and they weren’t worth the time to even warrant the need to get to know them better but the character I hated the most was the main protagonist, Phoebe.

I did not like how she has no personality nor wit nor anything she can call her own. She does everything that her favorite book character does. From her archery to how she was going to get her crushs attention. I honestly don’t mind if you use fictional characters characteristics and whatnot as inspiration to improve your own life but literally just following whatever they are doing without putting any forethought into it seems ludicrous. Had Phoebe been younger it would have been more believable but she is 16, so I find a 16 year old following everything she reads from a fictional book highly unlikely if it was from a magazine like Cosmo or whatever that is highly likely but from a fictional book? Really?

Another thing that annoyed me about Phoebe was how she has no character development. At the start of the book she is a shy book nerd out to get the attention of her crush and does so by reading fictional books and copies whatever is in it and at the end she is still a shy book nerd who now just has a boyfriend. She learns nothing from her endeavors.

Also, I did not like how she wants the guy to ask her out because she still believes in romantic gestures yet does nothing more pronounced to hint at her crush that she likes them. Yes, she dresses better, she wears make-up, she plays coy and what not but all that can be misconstrued as being friendly and all that does not warrant on how upset she gets because her crush doesn’t understand how she feels. She gets so upset over it she cuts their friendship, doesn’t explain why or anything and it is wholly unfair to the guy i question because maybe he did like her but is too shy himself to ask her out without a more direct hint.

The romance in this book is also very odd for me. At the start of the book she likes Kris, the schools star athlete but then just because Phoebe’s best friend, Em, says that Dev has a thing for Phoebe suddenly she goes all gung-ho for Dev immediately. I don’t understand why. Like why do you suddenly like Dev? Is he cute? Is he sweet? Is he funny? Is he drop dead gorgeous. You don’t just like somebody who MIGHT have a crush on you for no apparent reason. There must be something even though the reasoning might be very superficial.

Another problem I faced was the pacing of this book. It felt so slow for me. I felt like I was reading nothing because almost everything was just filler. Fillers that did not move the plot forward or create any intimacy between us as the reader towards the characters or heck even enjoyable fillers.

Talking about fillers I have found a bookish pet peeve because of this book and that is fillers in the form of bookception (book inception). Remember I told you that Phoebe gets all her tips and tricks to get Dev’s attention well she writes this all down in her notebook where Phoebe will legit write line by line from the chapter she gets her inspiration from and we get to read it. Yeay! Not!

If I wanted to read another book in this book I would have just picked up another book in real life or heck even contacted the author herself to write this fictional book she put in ‘Bookishly Ever After’ so I can read it myself and so that the plot just focuses on Phoebe and puts in more effort so that I actually care about this girl because at this rate due to the writing and the one dimensional characters I don’t give a shit about Phoebe and whatever she is trying to achieve so what makes you think by including a book within a book that I would care more? Like what are you doing? Are you trying to be meta? Had this bookception been complete slashed off or have half of it cut out would improve the pacing of this book tremendously.

I don’t care about Kaylee whatever and her indecision to choose to pursue music in the city or follow her heart and stay with a potato farmer boy for true love or how Maeve feels betrayed and hurt that she is only used as a pawn by her leprechaun-esque partner/lover.

This book was just a huge disappointment for me and I just can’t even anymore so I will stop here.

*Book was given by the publishers in return for an honest review

Ezza’s Random Wednesdays

For todays topic I thought of talking about the Sarawakian style of gardening. At least my version of gardening. This version of gardening doesn’t need a lot of tools. You just need one tool and everything else is optional… even shoes (I am legit not kidding).

Said tool that you need is….

A MACHETE!!!!

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or if you are a beginner like me and don’t want your finger to be accidentally chopped off then what you need is…

A SICKLE!!!

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Thus, once you have your tool sharpened and ready what you need to do next is legit RAMBOOOOO IT OUT! RAMBO IT ALL OUT AGAINST THOSE SO-CALLED MOFO GRASS!!!!

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Don’t hold back I tell you, just go absolutely manic with it!

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Now, the reason why I choose a sickle over a machete is due to:

  1. More control
  2. It’s just easier
  3. I almost chopped my finger off with a machete so will not repeat that process again thank you very much

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Yeah hahha nope not again

You might think I am completely overreacting with said gardening. No, my dear readers I wish I was. The grass behind my house is literally 3/4 of my height and I am 158 cm!!!! Okay so the picture below is the main grass behind my house which is called lalang in malay and when I google translate it it becomes thatch so take what you will.

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Just imagine all these lalang/grass all over my backyard and don’t get me started on the smaller grass which have hooks on them. JESUS CHRIST THOSE ARE THE WORST.

The name of said god awful weed is I kid you not “Shameplant” which I is presumably from its malay counterpart, pokok semalu. Yeah weed you better be ASHAMED OF YO SELF! Creating nothing but effin havoc!

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If you think I am done dear readers, no… no I am not done. I was just warming up. Aside from battling those god forsaken weeds you also must combat….

Mosquitoes!

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Fire ants!

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Centipedes!

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Also if you have Banana trees in your backyard you will also occasionally encounter

Snakes!

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You are considered lucky if its a python my backyard once became a habitat for Cobras

If you have trees then you again have an addition of handling

Wasps!

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Essentially when you attempt or do Sarawakian gardening, it is just you against the forest. What you want to achieve is not really gardening but more of a preventative measure of avoiding your backyard turning to the Amazon forests.

But with dedication and consistency your backyard can be conquered! Also know your limits, if you soooo cannot handle anything else except grass. Please call a professional which in this case is MY MOM!

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And with that folks is my version of gardening. 🙂

 

Top Ten Books On My Monsoon – Durian Season TBR list

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish and this weeks topic is “Top Ten Books On My Monsoon – Durian Season TBR list” okay not really it was originally “Top Ten books On My Fall TBR List” but I had to tweak it becausseeee of the reasons below 😀

Okay first of all I live in Miri, Sarawak which in turn is in Malaysia which is located in Southeast Asia and let me tell you about our 3 main seasons here:

Monsoon season

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In Miri it is not as bad as West Malaysia (which is where the picture above is located, Johor to be exact) but just expect to be chillin indoors for awhile unless you don’t mind being blown away by the wind

Haze season 

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Haze season is the worst! Even in Miri. You can’t see shit, you can’t breathe. Not a pleasant season.

and most importantly

DURIAN SEASON!

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It’s Durian man. ENOUGH SAID!

So, now if I am not mistaken we are currently in transition between the monsoon season towards the Durian season but I might be wrong, weather has been pretty funky lately with Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

Anyhoots, let’s just moooovvvee on to the TBR list.

Okay, I have recently watched the revamped film adaptation of IT from Stephen King’s novel and….

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Also helped that the actor playing the new Pennywise is pretty easy on the eyes.

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Not so in his Pennywise get-up but still one can appreciate a good looking Swedish man especially one who has been single since the dawn of time.

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So, anyways I watched it and now I am in my Stephen King phase. I have overcome my trauma of reading From a Buick 8 and am now ready to tackle on his other works! Such as…

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  • IT (DUH! I loved the movie so obviously you gotta go back and appreciate the source material)

 

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  • Misery (I watched the movie adaptation for this one too and LOVED IT! The suspense the feel, THE TERROR!!!!!)

 

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  • Thinner (Not much reason aside from I already own it and might as well read it)

 

Now, I didn’t put Carrie or The Dark Towers series in because, one, I feel that Carrie already has so much exposure and I know what you’re gonna say. IT has a lot of exposure too, I agree with that, BUT IT is a mammoth of a book with its pages clocking in at MINIMUM 1100 pages whereas Carrie is only roughly 200-ish pages and for The Dark Towers series, well it’s a series and I am not good in keeping up with a series especially if they ain’t free and publicly available at the library.

So far these are books I am planning to read before the end of the year is up. It might take me awhile what with saving my money and buying them and whatnot. Before I log off this post, tell me which Stephen King book are you interested in reading and most importantly DID YOU WATCH THE MOVIE IT??? DID YOU LIKE IT????