Since I last posted, I’ve enjoyed two writing successes:
- My story The Facebook Identity placed in Words with Jam’s Genre Spoof contest.
- My vignette ‘Singapore City’ was chosen for the Best of Vine Leaves Literary Journal 2014 collection.
These two successes have proved bright lights on a path littered with rejection notes!
Over the last five years, the publishing landscape has changed dramatically with the advent of the smartphone and e-readers like the Kindle. Whenever Nathan Bransford ran his poll, I’d silently vote for the option ‘you can pry my paper books out of my cold dead hands’. Between the library and online retailers offering huge discounts, I didn’t think I’d ever move away from print books.
This year, however, I’ve done most of my reading on my smartphone using the Kindle App. I can’t be thankful enough for this device that has lit up my lunch and snack breaks in office!
Some amazing e-books I’ve read this year:
Lost for Words by Edward St. Aubyn
I’d read quite a few reviews of this book which aroused my curiosity. It is a satire centered on the Elysian Literary Prize, based apparently on the Man Booker prize. Critics disliked it, but I found it extremely funny, and though I hadn’t read any books by this author earlier, I’ve added the Patrick Melrose novels to my TBR list.
The Kite Runner by Khalid Hosseini
Many years ago I’d seen the movie based on this book, and found it quite touching. I came across it while browsing titles on the Kindle Store and purchased it immediately.
This is a beautiful novel, with simple but lyrical prose that touches the heart.
Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mom by Amy Chua
They say if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. If that wasn’t the case then I might have written a separate blog post on this book alone.
The way Amy Chua obsesses about her parenting style, it sounds as if her children have discovered a solution to world peace or invented a viable alternative source of fuel.
Reading this book, I discovered that I’m almost a ‘Western parent’, one who gives their children freedom of choice and doesn’t force the kids to do something they don’t want to. Of course, some tenets of Asian-style parenting are common and ingrained in me –being respectful of parents, aiming for first place in studies etc. But forcing a ten-year-old to practice the piano for three hours straight without a bathroom break? No thank you. I’m happy to forego such madness, even if it means I or my child won’t ever perform at Carnegie Hall.
14 Stories that Inspired Satyajit Ray by Bhaskar Chattopadhyay
Satyajit Ray, who received an Academy Honorary Award in 1992 while on his deathbed, made many films from short stories and novels, but he imbued each film with his own touch even without straying too far from the original storyline. This book contains 14 of the stories that inspired the great director’s movies, and though I’d read many of them before, it was a delight to return to them again.
Also, do take a look at these helpful blog posts I came across recently:
A list of reasons for writers to be thankful
If you’re writing short stories, polish them and send to Short Story Competitions 2015
How to write 1000 words a day every day
Any interesting books/articles you’ve read recently?