twenty-something who likes reading, orange & oranges, & science fiction, among other things. often dreams of parallel universes, multiple timelines & the purpose of her existence; however she has yet to find a satisfactory answer to that last point.
books (fiction / non-fiction / comics / graphic novels) / life / poetry / quotes
Regret nothing. Not the cruel novels you read
to the end just to find out who killed the cook.
Not the insipid movies that made you cry in the dark,
in spite of your intelligence, your sophistication.
Not the lover you left quivering in a hotel parking lot,
the one you beat to the punchline, the door, or the one
who left you in your red dress and shoes, the ones
that crimped your toes, don't regret those.
Not the nights you called god names and cursed
your mother, sunk like a dog in the living room couch,
chewing your nails and crushed by loneliness.
You were meant to inhale those smoky nights
over a bottle of flat beer, to sweep stuck onion rings
across the dirty restaurant floor, to wear the frayed
coat with its loose buttons, its pockets full of struck matches.
You've walked those streets a thousand times and still
you end up here. Regret none of it, not one
of the wasted days you wanted to know nothing,
when the lights from the carnival rides
were the only stars you believed in, loving them
for their uselessness, not wanting to be saved.
You've traveled this far on the back of every mistake,
ridden in dark-eyed and morose but calm as a house
after the TV set has been pitched out the upstairs
window. Harmless as a broken ax. Emptied
of expectation. Relax. Don't bother remembering
any of it. Let's stop here, under the lit sign
on the corner, and watch all the people walk by.
A timely reminder to myself; nothing makes much sense these days.
It's Sunday and I'm back again, so hopefully I'll get back into the groove of writing and posting here on a regular basis~
Bookshelves in public spaces are interesting — in most bookstores you'll find the goods displayed with in stacks where you can see the front covers and the spines, or on the shelves with both the spines & front covers facing you (I believe this breaks the monotony of solely having the spines face the customers on the shelf, and helps promote the sale of newcomers, bestsellers, special editions, etc. in a subtle manner... and this is why I'm always a bit poorer than I should be). Libraries are different in the sense that almost all books on the shelves are displayed with the spines facing you, with the exceptions of the few in the Highlights section.
With these observations, the way I procure new reading material (that aren't newspapers) differs:
- I am itching to spend some money but I have no idea what I should bu—OOO LOOK BOOKSTORE! Other less cringe-worthy circumstances include discounts at bookstores I frequent, or when I want to read a specific book as soon as I get home* and not have to wait weeks for Book Depository purchases to arrive.
- Do I want a specific book or cover that I cannot find in a physical store? Am I on a tighter budget? The Book Depository it is.
- For design-related literature I tend to visit stores that specialize in such books, or go straight to the publisher's website.
- Am I in desperate need to escape the sweltering heat while I wait for someone / time to pass and not have any one bother me, or do I want to catch up on some crime fiction? You'll probably find me in the library.
So, in a library, I tend to skim over the shelves and stop when I find a spine that visually excites me, or with an author's name whose books I've previously enjoyed.
Last weekend, I woke up realizing that I had a library book that was overdue for two weeks (!!!), so I begrudgingly dragged myself out in the intense heat and humidity to return it. My lateness amounted to $2.05 (I have a vivd memory of paying the fine and heaving a loud sigh), and I couldn't stand leaving the comfort of the air-conditioned library to go home immediately, so I decided to browse the shelves instead.
Somewhere in the B section of the fiction shelves, I spotted an irregularity which annoyed me: this particular book** had its bottom edges facing me. Evidently I wasn't thinking while I was skimming, but the book was too tall to fit the shelf with the spine facing me, which was why the librarian slotted it in that way.
So I stopped, pulled out the book (which led me to the conclusion that I wasn't making full use of my brain), and saw the prettiest single-colour illustrated cover I've ever seen. Then I saw the author's name, and remembered admiring her book covers for the Penguin Clothbound Classics series.
I borrowed it immediately, and now I want to get a permanent copy for myself which makes this book incredibly special in my opinion.
The Fox and the Star
is Coralie Bickford-Smith's first work as an author & illustrator, and comes in a beautiful clothbound hardcover (I checked Book Depository and there's a paperback edition available for pre-order
, if you're not into hardcovers). I believe the cover illustrations are stamped in white foil, and I like how the textures of the cloth and the foil help enhance the physical beauty of this book.
The illustrated endpapers are beautiful, and remind me of the Arts and Crafts movement that I learnt about in school. A quick google search reveals that Bickford-Smith was inspired by said movement and the work of William Blake.
The story itself is a charming one about loss and acceptance. Look how adorable the Fox is! As the story moves on, the illustrations and layout of the words on the pages get a little darker and less colourful, which really adds to the story. It was so hard to pick just one page to feature, as I didn't want to spoil the story...
Here's a picture of the back cover, even though it's pretty similar to the front. I like how the Fox is easier to spot because of the space above him where the blurb lies — look at his dreamy face!
I'm dreading the day I'll have to return this — I am this close to getting my own copy but I have to set some money aside for household expenses, like a Responsible Working Adult.
* I hardly read on public transport these days because I don't like the thought of having my picture taken in a sneaky manner as I read without my permission
, and then posting it online for everyone to see / scrutinize — I can understand where they're coming from but ughhh it just makes me so uncomfortable.
** Turns out that the Penguin imprint that published this is called Particular Books (pun unintended)!
P/S: Today's photos may look a little different — my camera's battery has no juice in it and I seem to have misplaced the charger (NOTE TO SELF: FIND THE DAMN CHARGER), so I used my phone instead.
P/S/S: I forgot how much I disliked typing in sentence case.
Labels: comics / graphic novels, fiction
somewhere on the train in hokkaido, dated 8th march 2015
time flies. the title explains it all, really.
i have quite a number of thoughts floating around in my head, but just when i'm about to put pen to paper / smash them out on my keyboard with two fingers, they vanish and i'm left feeling quite frustrated with myself... which leads to me avoiding avoiding certain activities, one of which includes updating this blog of sorts.
at the start of 2016, i had a list full of things that i wanted to complete, and it included reviving this dead corner of the internet. half the year has gone by, and somehow i've managed to cross out a few items on the list (good job, self), but now as i look back those were the ones that were relatively easy to accomplish — striking those off my list may have made me feel slightly better about my inability to see things through, but i really missed doing the more difficult things that made me happier. i was packing my room a couple of weeks back and i found my old lettering sketchbook and flipping through it reminded me of why i stopped in the first place (which was fucking ridiculous, come to think of it — i am going to start afresh in a new sketchbook). then i realised i had my bed surrounded by piles of books & comics that i loved (or enjoyed enough to not sell them away) and wanted so badly to talk about, but i had no one to talk to about them — except for this blog. i may have been shouting into the void when i used to post here on a more regular basis, but at least i was creating an exchange of sorts between my past & current / future self.
i have more books than i did before, and i still want to write about their plot lines and art. why did i stop?
TL;DR: i wrote an incoherent mess above, but i'll be back. soon. maybe even by this sunday, we'll see.
...maybe i'll even throw in some pictures i took while i was in korea~
One of the first comics I started reading was Captain Marvel
(written mostly by Kelly Sue DeConnick & drawn by David Lopez + a bunch of other talented artists in the past — all the art is beautiful and asking me to pick a favourite artist is difficult...). I can't remember how I started on her adventures in the first place, but over the past few months Captain Marvel / Carol Danvers has come to hold a very special place in my heart (that sounds really cheesy), and I'm excited for her solo movie to hit the big screens**.
The second run has recently ended, and for their huge & mostly confusing Secret Wars event/reboot*, Marvel has a new series for my favourite shark-punching sparklefisted high-flyer: Captain Marvel & the Carol Corps
Props to John Tyler Christopher for making me shell out extra for a fancy variant cover — I couldn't resist.
Look at the little scuff marks, ahhh. I wish the action figure was a real thing.
So. I don't want to talk too much about the plot — there are a bunch of pretty well-written reviews out there. What you should know about the comic, however, are these:
- Great art & character design by David Lopez, who drew most of the previous run. What I liked about this first issue was how he managed to inject unique visual quirks into a group of military pilots in uniform, making the pilots (and their planes) stand out.
- A not-so-little friend (not anymore, for now at least) makes a little guest appearance! I just was wondering when we'd see Kit again, right before I got my hands on this issue.
- Going against authority!
- Girl power ('nuff said).
All in all, this was an exciting first issue, and I can't wait to see what happens next!
* I tried reading some of the other titles in this huge crossover thing, and the only one I liked so far was A-Force (which I have a subscription for, yay). I tried reading the main Secret Wars series but so far it's been a hit-and-miss for me — I guess they're just not my cup of tea. What really annoys me is the fact that the few other series I enjoyed are not getting the endings they deserve (seriously, what's with Spider-Gwen #5?!), and the whole premise of this retcon hurts my head so much, blergh.
** The most important question in my mind: who will they cast? I'd love to see Anna Torv as Carol — she did such a wonderful job on Fringe and it's a little disappointing to see that she hasn't been in any major role since.
I went to the doctor yesterday for the third time in the past two months — this was apparently something I never really recovered from. Hello, gigantic antibiotic tablets, another decongesting nasal spray, and two days off from work.
It's a good thing this little break ends tomorrow — I am quite bored from sleeping all day because of the antibiotics.
Labels: comics / graphic novels, fiction
I'm slowly trying to get back into blogging, but after work the last thing I want to do is to get back on an illuminated screen. Don't get me wrong — I love my job (is love
too strong a word? I don't really know), but my eyes tire easily these days. On top of that I just haven't been in the mood to take pictures with my actual camera (my phone's camera annoys me to no end), and I guess this lack of motivation has been accumulating for a while...
But today, I come with some pictures, yay!
The stack of physical comics that I've accumulated since March. Not pictured above: Volume 1 of Alex + Ada
(I lent my copy to a friend yesterday).
These are mostly trade paperbacks / collected editions, though recently I've started subscribing to individual issues at a comic book store (A-Force
+ Fight Club 2
, if you were wondering). That hardcover edition of Sex Criminals
at the bottom looks a little out of place — it's pink (and I hate pink ack), and isn't something I'd usually read, but it's pretty hilarious and tackles the (usually) taboo topic of sex (and mental health, although the mental health bit has nothing to do with the sex bits, ahaha) in a very well-written manner.
I have my eye on a bunch of other titles to add to this stack; they're mostly physical copies of whatever I've read on my computer screen but now that I have to pay for transportation and other things I guess I have to take tiny steps...
I bought these two weeks ago, and am still somewhere between the first few chapters of No Longer Human
(because I got distracted by all the wonderful illustrations in comic books...).
+ I had been looking for the Kobo Abe books I haven't read (prior to this I'd only read + owned + enjoyed The Box Man
and The Woman in the Dunes
, and was feeling a bit iffy about ordering from the Book Depository because they take forever to arrive), so when I chanced upon the last copy of The Ark Sakura
at the bookstore I had to buy it.
Also, I got a new pair of glasses!
I never really liked transparent frames before these, but I was itching for some sort of change at the optician. Then I stumbled upon this pair and fell in love with the arms, and the rest is history.
Labels: books, comics / graphic novels, fiction, life