Books, Glorious Books!

Holidays are the best times for you to READ! Don’t just sit around playing games, spend time with your nose in a phone or watch Netflix day in, day out! Make the most of that free time and get stuck in a good book! And if you’re travelling to spend the holidays someplace away from home, even better! Kill time by reading a book! Whether you’re on a plane, in a car, travelling by bus or cruising in the sea, read! You can read anywhere: in the kitchen, in the garden, at the park, at the beach, or even in the bathroom!

Here’s my latest catch, some of which were bought by Mr Dad (thank you so much!), but most borrowed from my local library. So far, I have managed to read 8 of them, which leaves me with another 9 to go! Stay tuned for my next posts, I’ll be sharing more about the books I’ve read with all of you fellow bookworms!

“When people ask me if I like reading, it’s like asking me if I like breathing.”

mukhtar books.jpg

Here’s a complete list of the books as seen in the picture, from top to bottom:

  1. Through The Mirror Door – Sarah Baker
  2. Grandpa’s Great Escape – David Walliams
  3. The Wonderling – Mira Bartok
  4. The Bolds In Trouble – Julian Clary
  5. Book 3 of All The Wrong Questions: “Shouldn’t You Be In School?” – Lemony Snicket
  6. Wildwood – Colin Meloy
  7. Under Wildwood – Colin Meloy
  8. The Midnight Gang – David Walliams
  9. My Arch-Enemy is a Brain in a Jar – David Solomons
  10. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – Mark Twain
  11. Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
  12. A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  13. The Song From Somewhere Else – A.F. Harrold
  14. The Tiffin – Mahtab Narsimhan
  15. Wilderness – Roddy Doyle
  16. Where The World Ends – Geraldine McCaughrean
  17. Where My Wellies Take Me – Michael Morpurgo *missing from the picture*
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Lemony Snicket’s ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’

a series of unfortunate events

Many people have requested me to share what books I like to read. Well, over a period of time, I will be posting my favourite books on my blog. I’ll start off today with something written by one of my favourite authors.

‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ is written by Daniel Handler under his pen name ‘Lemony Snicket’. It is one of the best fictional works I’ve ever read! Mystery is one of my favourite genres, and here, Snicket has really pulled it off.

lemony snicket

There’s just the right amount of action, suspense and humour, making it an enjoyable experience to read. There’s clear distinction between the characters, so you’ll know who’s like what without having to struggle. ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ also contains surprising plot twists, guaranteed to make the story even more interesting! It’s also similar to a dictionary because of its high vocabulary, and it will enrich your word bank! Here’s part of one of Snicket’s books:

“My, my, my, my, my,” said a voice from behind them, and the Baudelaire orphans turned to find Stephano standing there, the black suitcase with the shiny silver padlock in his hands and a look of brummagem surprise on his face. “Brummagem” is such a rare word for “fake” that even Klaus didn’t know what it meant[…].

-The Reptile Room (2 of 13 books)

Chapter 7

You can see an example of his use of rare words in this part of a book. So if you haven’t heard of ‘brummagem’ before, you’ll find it in ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’! Another impressive aspect of Snicket’s writing is the figurative language. This feature really paints a clear image in the reader’s head, adding to the brilliance of the story.

The illustrator Lemony Snicket worked with, Brett Helquist, also produced stunning drawings, so we have a better understanding of what things look like in the story. The pair make a story that is truly unforgettable!

movie poster

Other than reading the books, I have also watched both the movie and the TV series adaptions. However, I prefer the books over the movies as they have much more detail. It’s easier to understand what the characters are thinking and better to incorporate suspense as it is told from certain characters’ perspective. In the movie, you would be able to know what was happening as you could see all around. There are also more ways that humour can be incorporated in through the narration, not just the action of the characters.

book collection

Overall, ‘A Series Of Unfortunate Events’ is a great collection of books and if you’re looking for something adventurous to read, it is definitely the best to start with. It’s not too fast, not too slow, and there are some brilliant writing ideas to find! Lemony Snicket has nailed mystery and dark comedy with this story – out of 5, I would rate it 5 stars! Watch out for my next posts: I’ll be sharing more on what books I’ve read!

“There are those who say that life is like a book, with chapters for each event in your life and a limited amount of pages on which you can spend your time. But I prefer to think that a book is like a life, particularly a good one, which is well worth staying up all night to finish.”

-Lemony Snicket

*Media Source: Google Images*

Want To Write? Start With Reading!

I’ve received many requests to share my writing tips. Well, to be honest, I don’t really have any, but I’ve always loved to read. It’s been a major part of developing my writing skills and I have to admit, I have ORD – Obsessive Reading Disorder! Just one book a day can stimulate my mind into creative mode and get those imaginative juices flowing. So no, I don’t really have any tips, but I believe there is one core, essential practice which is the foundation of writing.

You. Need. To. READ.

Seem daunting? It might sound like that at first, but it is the key to writing. You’ll need to read to find ideas and check your work. It happens whilst you’re writing! When I say read, I don’t mean read for a day or two then stop, I mean read everyday! Make it part of your daily routine. Make it part of your LIFE! Keep a book close wherever you go, so if you have spare time, you can open it up and peruse with ease.

At an early age, we all learn to read and as we get older, we start to read more difficult texts. We’ve been reading naturally all this time, and yet some people sweat at the thought of having to read something. If you could do it so young, why can’t you do it now?

The action of reading has many benefits. Books can teach us grammar and punctuation skills and language basics. Your vocabulary will be enriched too. Books are like dictionaries – there’s bound to be new words on show! The human brain is similar to a sponge, so it will absorb everything it reads. For me, reading also enlarges my imagination and stimulates my creativity. Books have many other benefits, such as improving your health, helping growth and much more. It’s clear that books are a writer’s best friends!

So now you see why reading is so crucial. We shouldn’t just give up reading because it seems hard or boring. If you did, you wouldn’t be reading this right now! But then there’s the choice of what to read and what’s good to read and what’s bad. Well, like I have said in the previous post, there is nothing good or bad, it’s just what you personally prefer! I love reading science fiction and fantasy, but other people might not. However, even though I like these specific genres, I still read a broad range of books. It’s great to read many books, but if you want, you can find the genre that suits you. The best way to find your perfect genre is to read a range of them, and work out their pros and cons so you will be able to find the one that you like the most. Once that’s done, you can read with relaxation and soon write! Remember, reading is an important step towards making yourself a better writer!

Yes, I think it’s great to read, but when I say ‘read’, I don’t mean just in English. You can read in your own mother tongue or your preferred language! Be it Malay, Urdu, Thai, Arabic, Gaelic, Chinese…you can read in any language you want! Don’t let language be a barrier that stops you from reading! And of course, remember to be bold, be brave, challenge yourself to read, readREAD and never stop reading! Now, if you’ve managed to read up to this point, then you’ve successfully read 581 words! So that’s me sharing my experience with you. Hope you find it useful.

Keep calm and carry on reading so that TOGETHER WE CAN CHANGE THE WORLD!

“Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them.”

– Lemony Snicket

mukhtar book in park.jpg