Category Archives: Writings

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Poll: 100 Words Review

BooksAvenue has always been a small initiative to bring about changes to the existing market. It is a Not-For-Profit company and has always been the same till now.

The 100 Words Review is one of the small changes that is implemented along the way. It has been ongoing for quite a while already. A simple poll has been created to hear from our friends if more focus should be on this initiative.

Naturally, it is a simple platform for readers to interact with others, bringing people together, bridging the gap between books and people. So do give your thoughts at :

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FBooksAvenue%2Fposts%2F2074275379254212&width=500

 

Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life

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Originally published: 18th Feb 2013
Original Title: Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life
Author:Héctor García  (Author), Francesc Miralles (Author)
Page count: 208 pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: Penguin Books (August 29, 2017)
Genre: Self Help
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143130722
ISBN-13: 978-0143130727
Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches

 

100 Word Book Review:

Ikigai a Japanese word describing the art of doing something, where work becomes not work anymore but a way of life. It is the sweet intersection point between passion, mission, vocation, and profession, imbue into daily life. Work becomes second to breathing, an uninterrupted flow in the process of working, immersed and focused. It is an enjoyable journey to see one’s creation comes to fruition. With cited interviews of seniors living past a century, they remain active and work at what they enjoy. It is clear that they’ve found a real purpose in life, living and working every waking moment.

 

 

The Politics Book – DK Publishing

 

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Series: Big Ideas Simply Explained
Originally published
: 18th Feb 2013
Original Title: The Politics Book
Author: Sam Atkinson ( Senior Editor)Rebecca Warren (US Senior Editor)Kate Johnsen (US Editor)
Page count: 352pages (Hardcover)
Publisher: DK (February 18, 2013)
Genre: Politics
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1465-402-144
ISBN-13: 978-146-540-2141
Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 1.1 x 9.5 inches

 

100 Word Book Review:

An excellent summary of political ideas that have evolved over aeons ago. It beautifully illustrated shadow-like cartoons, succinct quotations, and accessible text that break down even the most difficult concepts so they are easier to grasp. No doubt it has a textbook feel which absolutely aids beginners to gather information. Arranged in a chronological order, it details the birth, development and evolvement of different ideologies. At the same time discussing different perspectives and possibilities. Towards the end, it has a summary page of Terrorism too. A simple, clear, concise yet detailed book for all who are keen in political science.

 

 

The Marriage Market

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Originally published: 29th September 2006
Original Title: The Marriage Market
Author: Nisha Minhas
Page count: 485pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Pocket Books (A division of Simon & Schuster)
Genre: Chick Lit, Romance, Adult
Language: English
ISBN-10: 141-652-256-5
ISBN-13: 978-141-652-256-0
Product Dimensions: 112 x 178mm

 

 

 

100 Word Book Review:

Aaron and Jeena are from 2 different worlds. With no understanding or knowledge of the Indian culture, much less the idealism, they proceed with the marriage of convenience. Written in a light and humorous way, it shows the different perspectives. Alas, it tends to focus more on race than culture with a stereotypical and biased view of males. Towards the end. it is a straight happy ending. Simple and beautiful with no plot twist or unexpected scenarios. A romantic chick lit of 2 unlikely persons who together for a short passion, yet ends up in a lifetime commitment.

 

About the Author:

In her early thirties, Nisha Minhas lives in Milton Keynes with her partner and two cats. A former employee of the Inland Revenue and an avid reader, Nisha couldn’t find any novels that really appealed to her, a young woman born in the UK to Indian parents. So she decided to write a book that she herself would really like to read.

Fridays with Philip

 

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Originally published: Aug 2008
Original Title: Fridays with Philip
Author: Philip Lee
Page count: 196 pages (Paperback)
Publisher: Epigram Books
Subjects: Political Science, History, Weekly column
Language: English
ISBN-10: 981-08-1128-4
ISBN-13: 978-981-08-1128-0
Product Dimensions: 133 x 203mm

 

 

100 Word Book Review:

A compilation of weekly column by Philip on Streats during 2000 to 2005. The writings are arranged by subject matter namely, Language, People, Nostalgia, Anecdotes. It compromises largely on local (Singapore) trends and Philip’s observation and thoughts, such as the Speak Good English campaign, American Idol’s William Hung and dignity, why Singapore women go for ang mohs (non-Asians), our youth, local’s perception of foreign workers and etc. The content is very much close to heart, expressed in a sharp witty manner, much from local’s perspectives. It is a great book for short reading and reminisces Singapore in the 2000s.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:
Philip Lee has been a journalist since 1974 when he left the civil service to join The Straits Times as a reporter. He spent the first seven years covering politics, the civil service and reviewed local plays. He rose over the years to become Associate News Editor, News Editor (The Sunday Times) and Chief Copy Editor of The Straits Times.

In 1990, he left for a new life in Vancouver, Canada but returned in 2000 to work again as Copy Editor with The Straits Times. He also had stints as a copy editor with the tabloids, Streats, and The New Paper. He works as a writer with the Special Projects Unit in the Marketing Division of Singapore Press Holdings. He cooks, enjoys The New York Times crossword puzzles and sings the oldies when in the company of songloving friends.

The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew

 

 

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Originally published: 12 September 2012
Original Title: The Singapore Story: Memoirs of Lee Kuan Yew
Authors: Lee Kuan Yew
Page count: 680 pages (Hardcopy)
Publisher: Prentice Hall; 1st edition (October 14, 1998)
Subjects: AutoBiography, Political Science, History
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0130208035
ISBN-13: 978-0130208033
Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 2 inches

 

 

100 Word Book Review:

A factual and concise book documenting Singapore’s history from Lee Kuan Yew’s perspective, illustrating his challenges, frustrations as well as personal observations of people and events. From a brief background of his childhood through the colonial days, the Japanese Occupation, then the post war and internal self-government, then finally the merger with Malaysia and subsequent Singapore’s Separation from Malaysia. Each chapter details the dangers and opportunities, the hardship that Lee Kuan Yew and his team faced internally and externally. It brings clarity to historical events during the forming years, documenting Singapore’s arrival in the global village of nations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Genres

Came across this list of genre definitions. It is very concise yet detailed. This is by far one of the most accurate and summarised versions of the literature genre.

Taken from: https://catonthebookshelf.wordpress.com/genres/

 

LITERARY GENRES

(California Department of Education)

All Fiction

  • Drama — Stories composed in verse or prose, usually for theatrical performance, where conflicts and emotion are expressed through dialogue and action.
  • Fable — Narration demonstrating a useful truth, especially in which animals speak as humans; legendary, supernatural tale.
  • Fairy Tale — Story about fairies or other magical creatures, usually for children.
  • Fantasy — Fiction with strange or other worldly settings or characters; fiction which invites suspension of reality.
  • Fiction — Narrative literary works whose content is produced by the imagination and is not necessarily based on fact.
  • Fiction in Verse — Full-length novels with plot, subplot(s), theme(s), major and minor characters, in which the narrative is presented in (usually blank) verse form.
  • Folklore — The songs, stories, myths, and proverbs of a people or “folk” as handed down by word of mouth.
  • Historical Fiction — Stories with fictional characters and events in a historical setting.
  • Horror — Fiction in which events evoke a feeling of dread in both the characters and the reader.
  • Humor — Fiction full of un, fancy, and excitement, meant to entertain; but can be contained in all genres.
  • Legend — Story, sometimes of a national or folk hero, which has a basis in fact but also includes imaginative material.
  • Mystery — Fiction dealing with the solution of a crime or the unraveling of secrets.
  • Mythology — Legend or traditional narrative, often based in part on historical events, that reveals human behavior and natural phenomena by its symbolism; often pertaining to the actions of the gods.
  • Poetry — Verse and rhythmic writing with imagery that creates emotional responses.
  • Realistic Fiction — Story that can actually happen and is true to life.
  • Science Fiction — Story based on impact of actual, imagined, or potential science, usually set in the future or on other planets.
  • Short Story — Fiction of such brevity that it supports no subplots.
  • Tall Tale — Humorous story with blatant exaggerations, swaggering heroes who do the impossible with nonchalance.

All Nonfiction

  • Biography/Autobiography — Narrative of a person’s life, a true story about a real person.
  • Essay — A short literary composition that reflects the author’s outlook or point.
  • Narrative Nonfiction — Factual information presented in a format which tells a story.
  • Nonfiction — Informational text dealing with an actual, real-life subject.
  • Speech — Public address or discourse.

FILM GENRES

(Dirks)

Main Genres

  • Action – Usually include high energy, big-budget physical stunts and chases, possibly with rescues, battles, fights, escapes, destructive crises (floods, explosions, natural disasters, fires, etc.), non-stop motion, spectacular rhythm and pacing, and adventurous, often two-dimensional ‘good-guy’ heroes (or recently, heroines) battling ‘bad guys’ – all designed for pure audience escapism.
  • Adventure – Exciting stories, with new experiences or exotic locales, very similar to or often paired with the action film genre.
  • Comedy – Light-hearted plots consistently and deliberately designed to amuse and provoke laughter (with one-liners, jokes, etc.) by exaggerating the situation, the language, action, relationships and characters.
  • Crime & Gangster – Developed around the sinister actions of criminals or mobsters, particularly bankrobbers, underworld figures, or ruthless hoodlums who operate outside the law, stealing and murdering their way through life.
  • Drama – Serious, plot-driven presentations, portraying realistic characters, settings, life situations, and stories involving intense character development and interaction. Usually, they are not focused on special-effects, comedy, or action.
  • Epics/Historical – Take a historical or imagined event, mythic, legendary, or heroic figure, and add an extravagant setting and lavish costumes, accompanied by grandeur and spectacle, dramatic scope, high production values, and a sweeping musical score.
  • Horror – Designed to frighten and to invoke our hidden worst fears, often in a terrifying, shocking finale, while captivating and entertaining us at the same time in a cathartic experience.
  • Musicals/Dance – Cinematic forms that emphasize full-scale scores or song and dance routines in a significant way (usually with a musical or dance performance integrated as part of the film narrative), or they are films that are centered on combinations of music, dance, song or choreography.
  • Science Fiction – Often quasi-scientific, visionary and imaginative – complete with heroes, aliens, distant planets, impossible quests, improbable settings, fantastic places, great dark and shadowy villains, futuristic technology, unknown and unknowable forces, and extraordinary monsters (‘things or creatures from space’), either created by mad scientists or by nuclear havoc.
  • War – Acknowledge the horror and heartbreak of war, letting the actual combat fighting (against nations or humankind) on land, sea, or in the air provide the primary plot or background for the action of the film.
  • Westerns – A eulogy to the early days of the expansive American frontier.

Sub-Genres

  • Biopics. . These films depict the life of an important historical personage (or group) from the past or present era. It covers many other genres.
  • Chick Flicks. Include formulated romantic comedies (with mis-matched lovers or female relationships), tearjerkers and gal-pal films, movies about family crises and emotional carthasis, some traditional ‘weepies’ and fantasy-action adventures, sometimes with foul-mouthed and empowered females, and female bonding situations involving families, mothers, daughters, children, women, and women’s issues. These films are often told from the female P-O-V, and star a female protagonist or heroine.
  • Detective/Mystery. Focuses on the unsolved crime (usually the murder or disappearance of one or more of the characters, or a theft), and on the central character – the hard-boiled detective-hero, as he/she meets various adventures and challenges in the cold and methodical pursuit of the criminal or the solution to the crime.
  • Disaster. Big-budget disaster films provided all-star casts and interlocking, Grand Hotel-type stories, with suspenseful action and impending crises (man-made or natural) in locales such as aboard imperiled airliners, trains, dirigibles, sinking or wrecked ocean-liners, or in towering burning skyscrapers, crowded stadiums or earthquake zones. Often noted for their visual and special effects, but not their acting performances.
  • Fantasy. Fantasies take the audience to netherworld places (or another dimension) where events are unlikely to occur in real life – they transcend the bounds of human possibility and physical laws. They often have an element of magic, myth, wonder, and the extraordinary.
  • Film Noir. Strictly speaking, film noir is not a genre, but rather the mood, style or tone of various American film. Noirs are usually black and white films with primary moods of melancholy, alienation, bleakness, disillusionment, disenchantment, pessimism, ambiguity, moral corruption, evil, guilt and paranoia.
  • Guy Films. Composed of macho films that are often packed with sophomoric humor, action, cartoon violence, competition, mean-spirited putdowns and gratuitous nudity and sex.
  • Melodramas/Weepers. Characterized by a plot to appeal to the emotions of the audience.
  • Road Films. An episodic journey on the open road (or undiscovered trail), to search for escape or to engage in a quest for some kind of goal — either a distinct destination, or the attainment of love, freedom, mobility, redemption, the finding or rediscovering of onself, or coming-of-age (psychologically or spiritually).
  • Romance. These are love stories, or affairs of the heart that center on passion, emotion, and the romantic, affectionate involvement of the main characters (usually a leading man and lady), and the journey that their love takes through courtship or marriage. Romance films make the love story the main plot focus.
  • Sports. Films that have a sports setting (football or baseball stadium, arena, or the Olympics, etc.), event (the ‘big game,’ ‘fight,’ ‘race,’ or ‘competition’), and/or athlete (boxer, racer, surfer, etc.) that are central and predominant in the story.
  • Supernatural. They have themes including gods or goddesses, ghosts, apparitions, spirits, miracles, and other similar ideas or depictions of extraordinary phenomena. Interestingly however, until recently, supernatural films were usually presented in a comical, whimsical, or a romantic fashion, and were not designed to frighten the audience.
  • Thriller/Suspense. They are types of films known to promote intense excitement, suspense, a high level of anticipation, ultra-heightened expectation, uncertainty, anxiety, and nerve-wracking tension.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

 

 

 

The 100 Words Book Review

This idea went into cold storage about 3 years ago. Back then, we were focused on book sales, book swaps, sourcing and delivering books. And being a uber small team to run BooksAvenue, we didn’t want to burden ourselves with additional tasks. After all, there are sites like goodreads.com and the local SG review site, singaporereviewofbooks.org.

Now that we have revamped the model to focus on book swaps only, it’s the right time for us to do up an additional section for book reviews. Getting book reviews from international sites gives an assurance and a certain degree of preview and expectation of a particular title. Wouldn’t it be better if there is another local perspective for consideration?

Indisputably, it is not our aim to compete with international major sites as mentioned above. It is, however, our humble efforts to contribute and to give everyone a great reading experience.

And so we started this 100 Words Book Review today. This 100 words Book Review allows everyone to contribute and write a review on any titles that you have finished. Certainly, this is not revenue or sales driven. Our fans can be assured that all the reviews are unbiased and not motivated by publishers or whatsoever. The only condition is it has to be 100 words. Literally.

As usual, we do not ask anything in return. We only want you to have a great and terrific reading experience. Afterall, BooksAvenue is all about bringing people closer to Literature and Art.

Peace.

 

To read or post a book review, go to:

booksavenue.boards.net/board/11/100-words-book-review

Reviews will be subsequently posted on this website Booksavenue.co

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading. Fake news. And Donald Trump.

Reading is often recommended as a good pastime and a way to widen one’s mind. Sadly, though, today’s world is so filled with other alternative forms of recreation that people rarely have the opportunity to pick up a book and spend a couple of hours devouring its contents.

What we have plenty of, we take for granted. In earlier centuries, reading was confined to a priestly elite, with the rest of the laity deprived of even the skill of recognising letters. This was due in part to the cost of book-making. Early books were made of leather and parchment. They were sewn by hand and the words copied manually by meticulous scribes. Hence, owning a book was beyond the means of all ordinary folks.

In the past, unscrupulous political and religious leaders made use of the ability to read, or the lack of it, as a short leash with which they tyrannised the masses. Those who took up reading were punished, most times with execution, for fear that they might actually start thinking for themselves and expose some shortcoming of the governmental powers.

Latterly, comes about a problem of fake information being disseminated virally, misleading and misinforming the masses. Questions about Facebook’s role in spreading fake news were raised almost as soon as Trump shocked the world with his victory. BuzzFeed and other news sites began publishing reports about how a small town in Macedonia turned fake election news into a cottage industry.

It appears the authors of the fake news reports had no partisan agenda. They were just in it for the money. One creator claimed he could make US$10,000 per week in ad revenue from stories that were shared among Trump supporters.

US$10,000. Think about that!

Not to mention, during the campaigning with all the noises around, it’s not too difficult to get bits and pieces of truth, concocting all into something believable and official.

With no direct censorship or any authorities answerable to, this is very good money. Maximum benefits with minimum effort. Simply send it out, watch the numbers grow and count the advertising revenue increasing at an exponential rate.

BooksAvenue started as a site to garner all book lovers to come together, sharing interesting articles, videos and titles. And in the recent years, we have also started a forum with humble intentions to provide an avenue for the reading community to do book swaps and other related interests.

Although the team behind BooksAvenue are a group of non-US citizens (Singaporeans here), we do follow the recent US elections with great concerns and zest. Whether it fake news got a role in tilting the odds in favour of Trump, it is not important anymore.

What more important are 2 things of greater importance; political stability and economic progress. Not just for US or Singapore, but in terms of the regional and global context. We would be happy to elaborate more, but perhaps in another post in another day.

Peace.