Sunday, May 18, 2008

Published Novel by Newbie ~ Saradha Narayanan

The Freedom of Choice by Saradha Narayanan
I read Saradha's book in one seating. Copies of the lovely hardcover book are available at Silverfishbooks!

REMEMBER THIS ARTICLE FROM NST? Correction is in order ~ According to Saradha, Dr Mohan and his family members mentioned there are not related to Saradha ~ although her husband is also Mohan and a Dr too! What a coincidence!

"The journalist, Ms Malina Jeya Palan, had been hovering at and around our stall the whole time when Dr Mohan and family were seen visiting our stall! She managed to corner the entire clan and whisked them off to the back room for the interview! Dr Mohan pointed out one particular book "How I Became Stupid" to one of his young charges. I believe Katie's new friend, Saradha is Dr Mohan's wife?"

Another KLAB piece in StarMag

Not your regular fair

This was the one where I was (wo-)manning the Bookcrossing booth alone when the guy came along and asked a few questions about Bookcrossing. Refused to give him my name so we settled on my BC nick instead, haha.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bookcrossers Meet-Ups

During KLAB, we tried promoting BC and our activities to the public. One of the questions asked was what do we do during our monthly meet-up? Well, here's a short report posted on our yahoogroup site of the last meet-up we had on 27 April for the preparation of KLAB. You are welcome to join us at our next one. More details of the event will be posted here later.

"Well, it was a meet-up that was meant for us to discuss the preparations of our participation in the upcoming Kuala Lumpur Alternative Bookfest. When I arrived at Sri Melaka at 1pm, AuntyJo had already set-up the table with our signage and mountain of books laid-out. Soe Chin had already started enjoying her meal when I said hello, so the echo of greeting came back from those who were not masticating their food i.e. Emily, Diyana and Azmi.

It was lunch hour so we all got down to business ordering our food la when Azwan (our VIP of the day, since we had to pay him for the participation fees, heh-heh) sauntered in wearing his “Alif-ba-ta, Pak Ali mata buta, nak cium anak dara, tercium buntut kuda” t-shirt. And when Tim arrived a little later, the conversation was already going earnestly.

So what did we talk about? Honestly, I now have no clue. With a group whose reading tastes ranges from children’s books to erotica and everything else in-between, well, our conversations as you can guess are equally as eclectic. Did we actually discuss books? Errrr… a little, I remember discussing whether or not that fountain scenein Atonement is one of the most erotic scenes in literature (subtle,but erotic. The movie did that scene well as well, heh-heh), Emily encouraging me to go to Bookxcess and me reading excerpts from that survival guide (to which Azwan remarked that a specific survival guide needs to be written especially for me since the scenarios Iget myself into are so improbable and are unique only to me, sigh :P) Yes, that’s pretty much all I can remember what we discussed on books (and as you’ve noticed, all that I remember concerns only me,muahahahahahah! Narcissistic isn’t it? :D

Anyways, as always, our meet-ups are always enjoyable as the company and the conversation is always rocking! By the time we had our desserts (ais kacang, sago gula Melaka & coffee if you must know), ZZA walked-in with the plastic bag of books to be released at the meet-up. Tim and I also brought some to pass to the rest to release next weekend, since we all will not be able to make it to the event. Anyways, summary of what is decided for the event
- Instead of a table, Emily will bring a mini-bookshelf (a.k.acolouring box) for us to place our books
- Azwan will bring his notebook to walk people through theregistration process and tayang the website and all
- Emily will print-out the flyers explaining what BC is all about

Sesiapa yang free, silalah datang pada hari-hari tersebut to placeyour books and to help out with promoting BC. Well, that’s pretty much what happened yesterday. I’ve also uploaded the pix in our Photos folder on this site, Emily, you may wantto add yours in. Azmi, since there’s gaps in my memory (ok la,selective memory), please add-on whatever else you remember from yesterday ya. Hope you all show up at the KLAB! TA!"

AND here is our March 08 Meetup:

AND a special meetup in Melaka:

AND the very first meetup of Year 2008:

Monday, May 12, 2008

Bookcrossers Malaysia In NST

Thanks Soe Chin for the great news!

And you can read the article HERE

The journalist, Ms Malina Jeya Palan, had been hovering at and around our stall the whole time when Dr Mohan and family were seen visiting our stall! She managed to corner the entire clan and whisked them off to the back room for the interview! Dr Mohan pointed out one particular book "How I Became Stupid" to one of his young charges. I believe Katie's new friend, Saradha is Dr Mohan's wife?

Among the books picked up by Dr Mohan's family that day were:

1) Digital Fortress by Dan Brown (released by Zarina)
2) Mitigating Circumstances by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg (released by Zarina)
3) Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison (released by AuntyJo)
4) A CONNECTICUT FASHIONISTA IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT by Marianne Mancusi (released by Taty)
5) The Stupidest Things Ever Said by Ross Petras (I believe its one of Tim's?)

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Thursday, May 8, 2008

More pix of Day 2 of KLAB

Hathyia trying to attract customers

Aaaaaahh, we got some!

Azwan melayaning some customers

Our next-stall-neighbour looking on

Catching-up among friends

Soe Chin & Azmi manning the stall

Thanks CheJo for the pix! :D

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Kuala Lumpur Alternative Bookfair

I've had friends and family who asked what KLAB was all about. Here's a short write-up in the STAR to promote the event.

Sunday April 27, 2008

Where books are the celebrities

KLAB represents a brave effort to raise the profile of local publishers and authors, and to introduce readers to something other than the usual fare.

ON KLAB's (KL Alternative Bookfest) events page at social networking site Facebook, the description of the event says: "Oh you ain't gonna find swashbucklers here or how to become rich in 200 pages. You're not going to even get a VVIP launching his coffee table book. We're literary snoots, we like to believe, but we're edgy, cool and a lot more fun than a titled personality."

KLAB, the organisers go on to say, is "where book lovers, hipsters, politicos, film-makers, anyone who's anyone who love books which feed the mind and soul and champion causes, gather."
Columnist, author and filmmaker Amir Muhammad is one of the people behind this event and got the bright idea for it following the successful launch of New Malaysian Essays 1, published by his independent imprint, Matahari.

Local publishers Gerakbudaya and SIRD also hawked their books at the launch.

"We all sold many books," Amir said in an email from Buenos Aires where he was attending the 10th Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Films.

"I called up Zulhabri (from Gerakbudaya) and we both agreed it would be fun to have a longer event devoted mainly to local books by small publishers."

It is hoped that KLAB will raise the profile of local publishers and authors, and to introduce readers to something other than the usual fare they find in mainstream bookstores, book fairs and warehouse sales.

Commenting on the recent KL International Book Fair held at Putra World Trade Centre, Amir said, "When compared to similar-sized events in countries like Bangladesh and Indonesia, our reading tastes do appear to be a little restrictive, no? So many text books, religious instruction manuals and romance novels. KLAB, on the other hand, has the launch of a photobook on the Bersih rally, so there!"

Other books that will be launched at KLAB are Hishamuddin Rais' new book Keganasan, Penipuan & Internet: Hegemoni Media Daulah Pecah; a compilation of plays from Kakiseni's Playwriting competition; Religion Under Siege: Lina Joy, the Islamic State and Freedom of Faith; and Aweks KL, a collection of new writing in Malay.

And speaking of edgy, there will also be a forum on Malay Politics Affecting Malaysian Elections, with panellists Liew Chin Tong (MP for Bukit Bendera) and Wong Chin Huat from the Writers Alliance For Media Independence (Wami) and the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih).
The organisers hope that KLAB will be yearly event.

"It should take place less than a month after the KL International Book Fair. We had no trouble filling up 20 booths for this first one, so we hope for the best," said Amir.

Although most of the booksellers at KLAB are local publishers, the Project Connect booth will be offering readers a selection of non-Malaysian second-hand books of all genres, from classics to popular and literary fiction, children's books and non-fiction titles.

As PC is selling books to raise money to fund its ongoing arts projects with marginalised communities, the organisers decided to waive the Malaysian books and Malaysian publishers rule.

KLAB will also feature Book Giveaway, a booth where readers can donate their books in exchange for some new titles.

Asked to describe his dream scenario for KLAB, Amir said "We would like to take it to several other cities/towns in Malaysia, so the acronym can keep changing: from PAB (Penang) to SHAB (Shah Alam) to KBAB (Kota Baru).

"This will require some logistical capability that we don't have at the moment, but it will be nice if the festival can travel, like a Mawi roadshow or something."

KLAB is on from May 3-4, noon to 6pm, at The Annexe, Central Market, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Kuala Lumpur.

Monday, May 5, 2008

KLAB Day 2 Pix

Our shelf being checked-out

Me registering a book

While being supervised by Azmi

The action at Booth 14

Sunday, May 4, 2008

KLAB Day 2

Here’s my update at approximately 5pm which was posted at our yahoogroup.

Hello folks, A quick update before the madness of the wedding starts. Checked with Azwan and Soe Chin yesterday how many books we have left for today, and from the reports, apparently there were about 20 left at day-end. So, by hook or by crook, I decided to pop over for a shortwhile to drop-off the 50 odd books I have (only managed to register 30 late night though, and that took about 3 hours! Sigh ... I hate dial-up!!?!) Anyways, when I got there at approx 2pm (yeah, I got lost getting to Central Market), Azwan, Jojo and Hath were already manning the booth and there were more than enough reinforcement. A short while later, Monast and Azmi came with more books so we were set for the rest of the day. Response was really encouraging or as Azwan put it "Wah! Laris!".

While we were there, there were a few who dropped by and when we enticed them to pick-up some books, claims that they were already BCers. Wow! Hope to see them at our meet-ups. Most who dropped bywere also quite intrigued by the concept, so hopefully we will see more of them. Hath and Jojo took some photos of the day, so hopefully we will see them here or in the blog that Emily just set-up. Oh ya, we were also talking about setting-up another OBCZ (Official Bookcrossing Zone) at a cafe somewhere. Let's discuss this at our next meet-up.

Well, that's all for the update folks. Gotta go. Ta!

And here’s Azwan’s update at day-end.

When the event officially closed at 6.00pm, I was the last bookcrosser there. I left the place with these: Emily's tablecloth, extension power chord & blue Ikea canvas bag. And only those things, which means, yup, all books have been taken! Yes, all books! Not even one! The last set of books on the table which was consistedof some old/classic accounting, corporate management books, 'How To Deal With Shares' etc, even that were taken! (and the old cookbooks, Sweet ValleyHigh stuffs, that thin excerpt book, very old How To Learn Mandarin books,books that we at first suspected would never be picked up by anyone there!)Totally unbelievable! I'm still in a state of excitement with the result.

The leftover bookcrossing flyers, printed & brought by Hathiya I think, I left them inside Ricecooker Shop (that independent music shop one floordown). Around 4.00 or 5.00 pm, I wild released one book by Sue Grafton, just left it outside the hall, somewhere at the stairs. After few minutes, I checked it back, it was gone! Jojo & Mona have also done some wild release around the Central Market, I hope by now, the books have the same luck too. And yeah, the lists of potential bookcrossers are with me. We need to do follow up later. Maybe by now, some of them have already registered in the main website. Can immediately invite them to join this Yahoo group. Celebrities, well-known & high profile people took our books too, likeKhatijah Tan (the award-winning actress), Zainah Anwar (Sisters In Islamdirector), Lina Usman (the late National Laureate Usman Awang's daughter), local writers & art people, professors & academician from local universities, etc.

Thank you everybody who showed up with books & helped around, especially Emily & Jojo. To be honest, the event is one of my best moments in my lifeso far, really! (And I managed also to finally meet & talk to Nik Nazmi (the young & new Yang Berhormat & Selangor MB's assistant who came to launch Kakiseni's script book. He is the one who published my poem through theonline magazine back in 2001/2002, my first poem ever to bepublished publicly. He remembered it. He wrote about it in his blog. Andtoday he bought Aweks KL too, also the first book for me).

Pictures will come later.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

1st Day @ KLAB

New member approaching table not know what she's in for!
Azwan helps her to register her bookshelf ID!

A writer friend of Azwan's
OrangeMarmalade and Yusri with author (Azwan's friend)
Azwan the Sandwich Man!

Just to say a big THANK YOU to all members who came by to help out and visit:
Azwan, Soe Chin, Katie!, Azmi!, OrangeMarmalade (who brought along Yusri!), CheJo! and of course lah moi! A mystery bookcrosser also came by and dropped off a book!