Saturday, July 14, 2012

Feed Your Mind

On my wedding, a friend gave me a Sogo gift card, which I can use in many MAP retail stores: Sogo, Starbucks, and most delightful of all: Kinokuniya bookstore.

Now, at first I didn't realize that I could spend it in any other store than Sogo itself. Until one Sunday I went to Plaza Senayan, visited the bookstore, and saw a sign on the cashier: "Sogo/MAP gift card is accepted." I almost shrieked with joy. I haven't bought new books in such a long time. For a year, or more. And not only I'm an avid reader, but a book collector, as well. And yes, I read my collection. I may have less time now that I have to share my down time with my husband, but I still love reading.

In Indonesia, when you get married, people will not give you presents, unless they are close friends who know what you need or want. People will give you money, with which you can buy things suitable to your needs. However, I'm so glad to receive this gift card, because I fully realize that if I was given money, my frugal side will kick in and only spend it on things that I need, not what I want. Like books.

Now thanks to this thoughtful gift, I could indulge and buy things for pure enjoyment, totally guilt free.

Aaaaand, I came home with these two heavy loads of Kinokuniya plastic bags, full of books.

You might think I went nuts, but actually I still have plenty of credit left on my gift card. Guilt free!

Besides Maeve Binchy, Debbie Macomber is another of my favorite "feel-good" author. Reading her books make me feel like wanting to be a better woman. I'm not really into romance novels where the story revolves only about two people finding each other. Well, maybe except Barbara Cartland's romance novels - I love historical stories.
Debbie's novels spin much more tales than romance, which I immensely enjoy. Debbie, like Maeve, writes about daily lives or ordinary people: family, friends, travels, money, food, motherhood, girlie things, cooking, homemaking. She writes about young people, old people, children, teenagers.

Mind you, writing styles matter, too. I don't enjoy just any "feel-food" novels. Sometimes I read some works from an author, and without knowing why, after maybe a second book, I'd skip all works by that particular author altogether, since it's not my cup of tea. Even if he/she is a best-selling or putlizer-winning authors. Same thing goes for more serious literature. In choosing my readings, I follow my own rules. What I think is a swell book might be cheesy according to my Mom - who is also an avid reader - , and vice versa, which is totally fine.

I'm also a sucker for Little Black Book chick lit stories. It's more about thirty-year-old women instead of twenty-year-olds, so I can relate much better. I've finished reading Bittersweet, and it doesn't disappoint. I don't really dig Heartless, though. It claims to be a thriller romance, but it's more thriller, I guess. Though I enjoy light mystery novels like those of Susan Wittig Albert's, this one is far too graphic in its description of murder and cruelty. I think I'll just sell it to used book store, with another one of a LBD book disappointment: a story about Hollywood celebrity or something like that. I'm glad to say that other LBD books are good read and entertaining, if not perfectly educating.
Now, what have we got here. Whenever I see a Peter Mayle's which is not yet in my book collection, my hand automatically grab it from the shelf. Peter Mayle writes about two of the joys of life: food and travel. I also like his writing style. I love food. And I love travel. I'm not a big eater, as you can see from my skinny frame, but I do enjoy food. I love reading about food and cooking and wine. Which is weird since I don't cook nor drink wine. And I've always wanted to go to the South of France, especially Provence, but haven't got the chance - or the fund - yet. Reading his novels is the next best thing. Well, maybe on the same rank as watching cooking and travel chanel on TV. And I don't often watch TV. Hmmmmm... can't wait to get lost in Peter Mayle's yummy stories of Provence once - or twice - again!
Again, since I enjoy reading about food, I also enjoy knowing how they were prepared. Hence, I love to read about farm lives. I used to read the Little House series when I was little. Well, I still do, from time to time. I was with Ma and Pa and Laura and Mary during harvesting time and butchering season, how they made sausage and cheese and bread from sratch. A Year of Food Life tells a story about a modern family who choose to leave their suburban life to live on a farm and grow their own food. I'd never want to do that, but I think it would be a fun (and educating) story to read!

The Land of Painted Caves is the last installment in the Jane Auel's Earth Children series. Now, it's not very often I follow series in which I have no loves for the characters. And I don't really like Ayla - the main character -, nor her husband Jondalar. But, how Jean described in mesmerizing detail about how human live in pre-ice age is just too hard to resist! And of course, a lot to read about how these ancient people hunted for and prepared their food and and made their clothing from scratch, which is my weak point in choosing books, if you don't know it by now!
This one is not mine. My husband asked if I would buy it for him. "It looks interesting," he said. Well, my husband doesn't read very often, except comic books, he was more into gadget than books, reading e-books from his iPad and news from his iPhone, so I was kind of surprised at his request. But considering that I bought myself 12 books, it's just fair that I bought him this one book he desired, rite! Ow, and a cup of his favorite caramel latte, too! ^_^

I can't wait to start reading all these books!o:

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