Wrong Place and A New Place

I don’t usually find correlation between the book I read and the place I read it at. For me there’s no such thing as beach read or fall read or winter or summer, it just doesn’t matter to me that much.

But there’s a particular read at one time that made me think, gosh I’m SO reading this at the wrong place. And that was:

Reading Rebecca at Indonesian ferry

I was reading Rebecca during my trip of Lombok-Bali-Java in Indonesia and took this picture at the ferry that we used to cross the Lombok-Bali channel. The ferry was quite horrible. It was dirty, it was dark, it was hot, it was full pack of poor people, selling trinkets, selling bananas, sitting and sleeping on very unhygienic-looking floor.

Then I was reading about this very well-off spoilt young woman living in a mansion who is paranoid about her husband’s dead wife.

It just did not fit. There were poor ragged people all around me and I was slightly worried about people robbing us in the daylight. I could not care less about Rebecca. The daydreaming whinny silly rich Rebecca. It was just so inconsequential.

Needless to say, I didn’t feel much about Rebecca at all. I thought it was really quite boring. And only at the end of reading (and the trip) that I figured out that the place I read it probably influenced a lot about what I thought of the book. (Although I’m still not completely convinced that I would like it much more given a different reading environment.)

So that was more like a lead to what I’m going to reveal actually. As you know, since I arrived in London almost exactly a year ago, I haven’t been blogging or reading much. I have literally been spending my time doing real live traveling than armchair traveling. Any spare time I have on the weekend is mostly spent exploring London and roaming around the free museums.

After some thoughts and considerations, and weeks of crawling and trying to find my footing, the ideas have finally taken shape, and I have decided to embark on a new project, which is a new blog on, you guess it, traveling! It’ll have lots of stories, photos, travel and moving tips, anything I can think of from my 14 years of living in 7 different cities and traveling lots more.

And since you’ve been here with me for a while (newcomers very welcome of course) I would love to share this with you. I know lots of you probably have no interest at all, but maybe some of you do. So I hope to see you around :).

Now let’s hop on to:

Wandering Mee

ps: Bookie Mee will continue its usual snail-slow activities…


The TV Book Club 2012

A couple of months ago I was invited to be audience for the last episode of the TV Book Club (yes that’s how much my post is lagging these days). I have been audience of the Australian First Tuesday Book Club, so it was a nice opportunity to do the same for the UK counterparts. And unavoidably, make some comparisons.

A few points that came to me straight away:

The UK TV Book Club felt a lot more promotional than book-club-y. The authors of the selected books talked about their books (shot separately at different time, not at the studio) and I imagine it’d be pretty awkward to say truthfully that you don’t like the book during the discussion. I’m always ambivalent about the idea of discussing a book in close proximity to the author. It just doesn’t work to me.

The Australian First Tuesday Book Club discusses 2 books for each episode, a contemporary novel and a classic novel. Back to it being promotional, the UK TV Book Club just picks one contemporary novel for each episode and you can see these books being promoted anywhere at bookshops around the country. Not the case with the Australian show. In fact, one of my favorite things about the First Tuesday Book Club is the classic segments. They’re wonderful. The classics are usually picked by the guests (either authors or prominent figures) who seem to be very passionate about their selections. They talk about why they loved the books and how the books influence their writing. For example Sarah Waters chose Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as her favorite classic

In the UK TV Book Club, the discussion of the book itself went very quickly, definitely shorter than the Australian book club. More time spent on talking with the guest, like their recently published book. (Then during the book discussion, he looked a bit bored and did not contribute much. I haven’t seen the other episodes though – so maybe it was just him.) In First Tuesday Book Club, the discussions can get quite heaty and exciting. The group is always divided into the love camp and the hate camp which can lead to interesting and funny, yet intelligent, debates. After years of watching, the only book that I remember rendered everybody into the love camp was To Kill A Mockingbird. Everyone was smiling and nodding (which was kinda boring for a book club I guess – good for the book, but slightly bad for the show).

There’s no real audience for the UK TV Book Club, unlike the Australian First Tuesday Book Club in which there are shots of the full audience, clapping included (check out my coverage of the Australian shooting here). When I went to the TV Book Club, there were about 15-20 of us in the audience seat, trying to be as quiet as a mouse. For the Australian show you can register to be an audience and they seem to need audience to make the studio looking full. You can only be invited to the UK show.

The best thing about the UK show though was the free books :D

tv book club books
the free books weee

I brought home You Deserve Nothing by Alexander Maksik (the book discussed that night), The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson, Before I Go to Sleep by SJ Watson (which was promptly borrowed by a friend who enjoyed it very much), Girl Reading by Katie Ward, and Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes.

There were also finger food and drinks before and after the show, which were quite delicious. I had conversation with Sakura and Jackie and we got to roam around the studio a little bit. I used my iPhone to take pictures, which reminds me that I need to be more prepared next time and bring a better camera when I plan to write about an event.

the tv book club
three bloggers at the TV Book Club studio: me, Sakura, Jackie (left to right)


the TV Book Club studio
the TV Book Club studio

None of us didn’t think to take picture during the shooting (or maybe we were thinking to, but forgot to ask if we could), and I wish I had done so ugh!

Thank you for the MEC folks to invite me! I really enjoyed the experience!

ps: Cision notified me last week that Bookie Mee is one of the Top 10 UK Literature Blogs, again! Even no 2 this time, right after Book Depository blog! I don’t know how it worked, but it felt nice :)


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