The New Classics

PBW Book Blog 005.jpgLate last year I came across this list on Enterntainment Weekly‘s webiste. Called “The New Classics” it highlights what they consider to be the 100 best books published between 1983 and 2008. I love lists such as this as it gives me not only new ideas for the TBR List but also shows me where my interests stack up against those of critics or other readers. Sometimes that can be quite humbling!

Out of the hundred, I’ve only read eight:

Continue reading “The New Classics”

The 30 Day Book Challenge: Day 1

bookworm002.jpgToday’s subject is “The Best Book You Read Last Year.”

I had quite a bit of difficulty choosing my best read of 2010 as there isn’t a single book that really stood out above the rest (2011 will be much easier as I haven’t yet found anything to surpase The Passage).

I could take the easy route out and say, Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird. Many of my friends and family members are already aware that this is my all-time favorite book (a close second being The Grapes Of Wrath). Last year also happened to have been the 50th anniversary of the novel’s publication so it was in the news quite a bit. And, on a related note, it was back in the limelight just a couple of months ago when the U.S. Postal Service issued a stamp commemorating Gregory Peck as a “Legend of Hollywood” — the stamp portrayed the actor in his most famous role as Atticus Finch in the movie version of To Kill A Mockingbird. However, I’ve decided to disqualify the book in this category as it was a re-read (one of the few books I’ve ever read more than once).

Continue reading “The 30 Day Book Challenge: Day 1”

Largely Links

Largely Links 01.jpgI don’t like to waste money so I tend to budget everything, maximizing my usage to the nth degree. That includes using the internet cafe, even more so now that they’ve increased the cost per hour from 15 baht to 20 baht at the one I frequent. That means I’m now paying 60 baht (almost USD $2.00) for three hours online compared to the 45 baht (USD $1.50) it used to cost me. It’s a significant amount when you’re as poor as dirt like I am — and have an online addiction.

In maximizing my online usage, I don’t do a whole lot of reading while in the internet cafe. Time is money so I do a lot of skimming — downloading stuff to read later. I’ll be armed with a ton of links to follow, gleaned from emails and news feeds downloaded on a previous visit. If I’m researching a topic such as “schools in Hat Yai, for example, I’ll run a Google search and then open the most interesting/informative-appearing links in multiple tabs and then save the pages for perusing upstairs where my time is my own. I throw the best of these articles, etc. into Microsoft Office’s One Note — I prefer this to Evernote — for future reference.

I’d like to share a few of this week’s most interesting links with you today — there’s some local news and bits on books and what not.

Continue reading “Largely Links”

The 30 Day Book Challenge

bookworm001.jpgI love memes. They are the blogging equivalent of writing prompts. Good memes give ideas for something to blog about every week — every day in the case of “The 30 Day Book Challenge” found at Icarus Also Flew. I now have ideas for thirty book-related blog entries. I certainly won’t be able to post an entry on this for each of thirty days straight but there’s nothing that says this must be completed in a single month! I’ll post my first entry over the weekend.

The complete list follows the break.

Continue reading “The 30 Day Book Challenge”

Anticlimactic Return to Stormy Phuket


I’m back in Phuket and it’s been pouring rain since I returned to the province early Wednesday morning.  My stay in Malaysia was fairly uneventful, my few accomplishments satisfying as I easily obtained my desired visa and had no hassles upon re-crossing the Thai border.  I was unable to do much in the way of sightseeing due to a twisted ankle within an hour of my arrival in Penang nor was I able to visit any schools as they were all closed on a two-week holiday!  However, my brief hobbles through George Town intensified my desire to eventually make this my new home.

Continue reading “Anticlimactic Return to Stormy Phuket”

PBW Stats Summary for March/April/May 2011

Welcome to the third installment of my monthly stats summary.  I neglected to publish summaries for March and April so this includes details of the last three months.  While I did a significant amount of reading in the earlier months, I really didn’t manage as much in May, reading half as many pages as in April and finishing only five books.  I did read a bit each day but not as many pages as I had been going through.  Nor am I listening to as much music or watching as many movies now as compared to earlier in the year.  I don’t know why that is – I’m certainly not going out any more than I had been.  June is also starting out fairly slow – I’m going to have to finish twelve books this month to stay on-target for my goal of 100 books by the end of the year.  At this rate, I’ll be lucky to finish half of that number.  As for movies, there are many nights when I’d like to watch one but just can’t find anything around the apartment that I’m in the mood to watch for a second time.  Recently I visited the local open-air market in search of some interesting DVD’s but didn’t find anything there, either (I stay away from the camcorder-shot movies).  I tried to download a few things while in Malaysia earlier this week but the connection was simply too slow.  I miss being able to download new things to watch and listen to.

And now for the stats…

Continue reading “PBW Stats Summary for March/April/May 2011”