Monday, August 27, 2007
I have read quite a lot of novels, some of which are marvelous, and some are ok, and a few are not worth mentioning at all. If I were to choose 2 authors, I would definitely choose Arthur Hailey and John Grisham. Since I can only choose one, I just tossed a coin and Grisham won. I have to give this man a lot of credits for making me read more and more of his books although law was not my cup of tea and still is not until today. Somehow Grisham has managed to make me understand more than just a few legal terms and got me interested enough to spend quite a lot of money to buy his books. He makes the legal jargons seem bearable to a lay person like me.
I also like the way he introduces his characters and the way he merges the plot together. The language which is used in his books (at least the ones which I have read) is not so offensive because I dislike books with too much offensive words. Most of them are unnecessary anyway.
Journal Entry # 3
I was never a reader during my secondary school years, especially reading materials in English. I contributed that habit or lack of it to my poor command of the language. However, I picked up the habit when I was studying in the US. I was impressed with the westerners who seemed to be reading endlessly, at the airport, at a bus station, in a fast food restaurant, at a bank (while waiting in line), and even under the trees around the campus. I guess my subconscious mind was succeeded in persuading me to start reading.
I read quite a bit of novels and magazines but nothing really stuck to my mind until I read a book titled “Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa” by Keith B. Richburg. The author is an African American journalist going on a tour to write a story on the African continent for the Washington Post. Before setting foot in the continent, he always dreamt of Africa being such a wonderful country where his ancestor came from, “like the adopted child imagines the birth parent”. His imagination encountered such a rude awakening. He witnessed so much suffering and senseless cruelty. When he finally got out of Africa three years later, he realized that black skin is not enough to bind him to Africa and that he is first and foremost a true American.
The great lesson which I learned from the book is that to always be grateful for what we have because the grass on the other side of the fence is not as green as it looks when you get to it.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Journal Entry # 1
Describe any experiences you have had with young adult literature. What do you think of when you hear this term?
Young adult literature… What? Literature? That term used to scare the daylights out of me. The first thing that comes to my mind when ever I hear the word literature is Shakespeare. The funny thing is that I didn’t even know what Shakespeare is all about, and still don’t know. I guess my fear was definitely related to the fact that my English was very bad when I was growing up. In case if any inquiring minds want to know, I got a 7 in my SPM back in 1980. Wow, has it been that long ago? I guess time really flies when I am having fun.
Well, let’s get back to our original topic, young adult literature or YAL. Frankly, I had no idea what I was heading for. But lo and behold, the first day of Dr Edwin’s lecture was riveting. I was thinking to myself… Hmm, this subject is not bad at all. If only I knew that, I would have taken one or two literature classes when I was studying for my first degree. I guess the old adage still holds true i.e. it’s better late than never.
I guess if I ever decide to become a lecturer at a college or university (by the way, I am currently working as an administrator at a college), I will definitely include many extracts from YAL novels as regular materials for my class. I really believe that reading is such a wonderful activity especially among the young ones. When you read, you are instantly transported to another world which is known only to you and the pages that are being flipped.