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Revisiting Old Books

Chi talks about her reading list for the first few weeks of 2019.

Chi talks about her reading list for the first few weeks of 2019.

First of all, Happy Lunar New Year, everyone! It’s the year of the Pig (more specifically, the Earth Pig), and I hope that all will be well to all my good fellas. I hope that 2019 will treat you well, and bring you good fortune throughout.

Personally, I would like to start off a new year with a new list of books to read for the first few weeks, and slowly building up the list as I go, and I am quite excited and keen on sharing mine with everyone else. Frankly, I have never been the biggest fan of reading books (I do read very lengthy fanfiction on AO3 — but that is a completely different story), but after a crazy reading routine that the professors forced me into, alongside my roommate’s positive influence, I decided that it might be worth trying out.

1. And Then There Were None

I am not quite a fan of Agatha Christie’s works, not having read any of them before. Admittedly, I have looked through the first few pages of Murder on the Orient Express, but I cannot really absorb it. So I diverted my attention to And Then There Were None. I remembered it as Ten Little Indians, as told by my Literature teacher during my 6th grade, and I must say that the effect the story had on its readers was unlike any other. My friends expressed their concerns for their safety after listening to the story, saying that they had to watch their backs everywhere they went from now on. I myself grew wary of sudden noises.

Although I have heard the story before, it was just a retelling by my teacher, and so I hope the revisit will bring me more joy and excitement than that I experienced when I was just an eleven-year-old girl.

2. Le Petit Prince

As a child, I absolutely hated Le Petit Prince. I found the storytelling way too tedious, weird, and unconventional, but as I grew up I found comfort and grew quite a liking to those very same elements that drove me away from the story. When I was younger, I interpreted the story as a world as seen through a child’s eyes, with elephant inside a snake that adults mistook for hats, and roses as beautiful things, and adults dull and lame. It’s funny, really, that upon revisiting this masterpiece (I dare say), I recognize a soft yet sad undertone to it, which brought tears to my eyes.

3. Debating Truth: The Barcelona Disputation of 1263, a Graphic History

Believe it or not, it was actually one of the required readings for my religion class. I really like how the content of the book was expressed: in a form of comic (hence, Graphic History). It truly is amazing, the amount of effort and time put into this work. If you are a fan of history and religion and history of religion as a whole, this book is worth checking out. I will not spoil the content for you, but, the Barcelona Disputation of 1263 is essential to understanding the relationship between Judaism and Christianity during the Medieval Time.

4. Istanbul: Memories and the City

My favourite! Seemingly I have grown quite fond of melancholic tone in books throughout the year. The book talks about the cultural changes that happened to Turkey throughout the year, the battle between modern ideas and receding past. About lost family values. An excellent culture piece, an ok memoir (though the part where the author talked about another Orhan was really captivating).

5. Crime and Punishment

My favourite book from my favourite author. I have been a huge fan of Dostoyevsky for so long. The book is a great psychological thriller, with every single chapter and detail bringing us closer to Raskolnikov’s mentality, which was tormented by guilt from day to day. It was rather depressing and heartbreaking to follow his worsening conditions, but that’s the beauty of it. The book had left great impressions on the then-thirteen-year-old me, whose mind used to be simple. Yet Crime and Punishment brought upon me many questions regarding law, nature of crime, and utilitarianism (thanks John Stuart Mill).

So you see, the first few books on my list were all about revisiting old pieces that I used to read when I was a child. I think that when we were younger, it is more difficult for us to enjoy reading some more symbolic pieces like Le Petit Prince or Crime and Punishment. Therefore, I recently feel a very impulsive urge to reread everything that I used to be so fond of, and to see if I can dig out some other underlying meanings. But at the end of the day, reading should be just for fun, and you should not stress too much about discovering what the author was trying to symbolise within their pieces, for it could be quite disheartening. And well, you would not want that, now would you?

Chi is a self-proclaimed insomniac freshman zombie that always complain about not getting enough sleep, even though she deliberately goes to bed at 2am and wakes up spontaneously at 6am thanks to her roommate’s closet door. She constantly talks (obsessively) about how much she yearns to major in Chemistry and German, yet she’s starting to eye the awesome dark art that is called Geology with much desire. Meet the other bloggers!