Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Books Review

I've been wanting to do this for so long but just recently I've got the chance.

You see, one of my all time favourite hobby is to read, and I do read almost all kind of books and reading materials available. I read the daily newspapers, my Mom's magazines and even my bro's football mags and his pile of fiction books collection. But I'm very selective when I am the one whom buying. The books that I would buy myself must worth every cents of my money (or at least, that's what I believe). Recently, my passion are simple literature, political, provocative and controversial non-fictions, civilization histories, self-development fictions and everything in between.

The above is my recent collection for the past few weeks. Yes you might see some quite `heavy' books judging by their titles but I assure you, those are very good books and they are not as complicated as you might thought. But after all, your choice of books always depends on your personal preference right?

The above book must be very familiar especially for the MPH, Popular or other huge book stores' regulars. Yes there is another one in the collection, the Khalid Al-Walid. I've got it though but I've misplaced it somewhere, nonetheless that means I basically have the entire collection. These biographies are very exciting with simple words, structured sentences and basic Bahasa Melayu usage in the writing, that made the wonders of constant page-turning like you are reading the commercial fiction books! Seriously, if you want a good sirah books that do not make you sleepy after 5 minutes, these are the good choices. You will understand better about Perang Muktah, Perang Tabuk, Perang Hunain, the details on how Salahudin Ayubi succeed Jerusalem and Tariq Ziyad succeed Cordova and the whole Spain. Without a doubt, these books are absolute must-have for sirah lovers.

Not all books that I bought meet my expectation though. Like the above book by Randa Abdel-Fattah, I'm hoping to buy a controversial fiction like her first one, `Do My Head Looks Big in This?' which referred to the conflict experienced by a young modern Muslim girl when she wants to wear a hijab (headscarf). But this one, really disappoint me. It even similarly written like a chick lit book which I used to read during my tender age. The conflict is about a young girl who have two personalities at home and at school, that she tried to keep her Muslim identity as a secret so that she won't become a discrimination victim and referred as `uncool' by her peers. I just don't like the story because I think it doesn't portray Islam in the best way. It may confuse the young reader on perspective towards Islam. Dah la buku tu mahal. Haha tak kesah la.

Despite its cute cover, this is another provocative and controversial book, but honestly it was quite fun. When I read this book, it doesn't mean I totally agree with the author. I just love to know and understand about other people's perspective on certain issues, although I'm never agree with her point of view. This book talks about liberal-view (is it the right term?) on the Muslim practice on Malaysia, by Malaysians. But seriously, you must equipped yourself with good, sufficient understanding of Islam first before you actually read it. Try to consult reliable ustaz, Muslim scholars, or pious, truthful individuals first and open up your mind before you read the book. Really, with it refers to Quranic verses and hadith every now and then,which might be translated differently from what you actually know, you might be confused yourself at the end of the day. However, I might recommend you to have discussions with other people regarding the book so you won't be self-absorbed in your own understanding. I did that too :)

Ok these are the books that I recently read, I even haven't finish halfway of each. Yes, my way of reading is to read fiction and non-fiction book side-by-side so that when I bored with one, I can turn to another. If you think `Tautan Hati' is the normal Alaf 21's alike novels, you are totally wrong. Try it first, then you will know what I mean ;) As for the `May 13', it comprised real documents taken in the secret chamber (that keeps confidential documents) in London, and unbiased writing on what actually happen then. Just can't wait to finish it.

Other books might take a few days or months or years for me to finish, Like Faisal Tehrani's `Tuhan Manusia' that needs a very sharp mind before you can actually consume what he's trying to convey. While `Pengembaraan Ibn Battuta' is the direct translation version of Ross E. Dunn's English version, I think you can imagine how complicated the sentence structure and everything. And there are several others that I haven't even finish, I just hope I can finish those as soon as I can. Nevertheless, I love reading good books. This is one of the most practical way for us to open up our mind and increase our knowledge that eventually will enhance our ability of thinking and maturity of actions.

So people, let's read ;)

P/S : You won't be a nerd just because you like reading, right Hazel? Haha


Anonymous said...

agree with the last line. i read, am i a nerd? LOL.

i am muslim - lama nak try baca but tak pat2 lg. 10 things i hate about me seems good. i think you can try reading it from the psychology point of view - how afraid to be herself as a Muslim; why, what, when, how, reaction, perception, people acceptance.

it wont portray Islam in the best way la kan, but reading human psychology is interesting too.

(terasa mau mintak pinjam buku tuh. tee hee hee~) :P

what's the story about tautan hati? tajuk dia jer membuatkan aku ada perception its the normal-alaf21-romantic-tanpa-arah-tujuan novel.

manggishitam said...

haha perluke letak name aku kat last line itu?

ciri2 nerd: specky,ske bace buku berat2, ske g loyat, pegi mane2 pun masuk kedai buku (walaupun sebenarnye carik komik)dan yg paling penting; orang panggil ko nerd!

sume ciri2 tu aku ade hahaha..

shah nnt wat la review pasal may 13 tu.. aku cam interested nk tau details die ehehe bley?

Shierrahh Ivy said...

nak pinjam buku? u're more than welcome to ;)
tautan hati tu mmg bukan "normal-alaf21-romantic-tanpa-arah-tujuan novel", actually it's quite Islamic since I want to know how people from sekolah agama carried themselves and their beliefs.I always envy these people, since i'm from a normal co-ed sbp school anyway. And they portray human psychology-kind of situations a lot! since i've given u a sneak peek maybe its not ur type of book though, but it doesn't hurt to give it a try.

when i'm done, nak pinjam? haha

Anonymous said...

ehem, don't read me from the cover aa.. i love psychology-kind of situations book.

nnt dah done.. gtau. siyesli mau pinjam :D

p/s: like its so easy to pass me the book. tee hee hee~

Shierrahh Ivy said...

hazel : ahaha wey ko lupa satu lagi ciri2 nerd yg ko ade - pandai dan genius!! ahaha ape2la but i never see u as a nerd geek sket maybe lah ahah sorry no offense ;P ok babe, when i'm done i'll do review May 13 tu tp lama sket la lg kot..

re-arrange : i will reside in PJ area soon (hint hint)so if its easy u are most welcome to pinjam. aku mmg suke bli buku tapi bace skali je ;)

Ja Alif Sa Alif said...

hazel..shah kate ko geek...isk2..tapi senanye same je geek = nerd...hehe :p

Anonymous said...

Apa komen anda tentang hal ini?

The author of the novel Tuhan Manusia, Faisal Tehrani (FT), is growing the seed of hatred to a particular group.

In his recent novel, read page 28-28 or 148-49, FT is attacking “an Aris”.

We don’t know this fictional character unless/until we check the real life.

Aris is described as:

(1) “seorang tokoh yang sering saya baca tulisan pojoknya di akhbar”,

(2) “memiliki sebuah laman web yang agak kerap dikemaskinikan” (maybe a blog?)

(3) “… ramai anak muda yang menjadi pengekor Aris Iskandar. Mereka mabuk dengan nama-nama dan istilah-istilah serta bermacam-macam falsafah”

(4) “… seorang pemikir daripada kelompok liberalis yang pernah bergayut di bawah dagu seorang ahli politik yang disingkirkan daripada kerajaan.”

(5) “… memimpin sebuah majalah atau jurnal yang mempertahankan idea Islam liberal dan sekularisme, … juga seorang peguam.”

So, my guess is, FT is referring to some personalities and a particular group in our society.

“Aris” is perhaps Haris Ibrahim (a lawyer), Dr Farish A. Noor (a distinguished academic) or Fathi Aris Omar (a long-time columnist, freelance writer, journalist and activist) or … all of them!

But among the three, only Fathi has been associated (at least, for some years — if not now) with “kelompok liberalis yang pernah bergayut di bawah dagu seorang ahli politik yang disingkirkan daripada kerajaan” (i.e DS Anwar Ibrahim).

Fathi is known to have worked with Khalid Jaafar of IKD and Telawi group of students & youths. This Telawi group is quite prominent in promoting philosophy, literature, progressive Islam, art, democracy and political liberalism. They are also active in writing & publishing.

See their website and their book ‘Islam dan Pluralisme’

The issue is: Why does FT hate the Aris in his novel so much?

Is FT for Islam or for personal vendetta?

Addendum: FT’s literary friend of the same ideological background is S. M. Zakir, another talented short story writer & essayist (about the same age).

Zakir once condemned this Telawi group in his blog “Mata Kaca” (see: article ‘Mazhab Frankfurt dan Sosialis Baru’ or in English ‘Frankfurt School and Socialist Baru’, 9 Jun 2006) as such:

Di Malaysia selepas pasca-krisis Mahathir-Anwar, muncul beberapa kelompok golongan muda yang mula menaja ideal-ideal tentang kebebasan, liberalisasi, dan rasionalisasi. Mereka menuntut ruang kebebasan yang mengatasi bukan sahaja campurtangan politik tetapi juga campurtangan budaya dan agama. Nilai dan norma yang sedia ada tidak terkecuali tradisi dilihat sebagai kota purba yang mengekang kehidupan pascamoden yang bebas daripada sebarang batas dan sempadan. Hubungan Negara yang diikat dengan nilai dan keperibadian Melayu dilihat sebagai bentuk ‘authoritarian personality’ yang menjadi regim budaya-politik lama. Sementara kepercayaan dan agama dianggap sebagai milik peribadi yang hanya wujud sebagai ritual dan bukan sebagai pengawas tingkah masyarakat. Perjuangan emansipasi melalui gerakan feminisme, hak asasi, individualiti, etnik minoriti, dan sebagainya dianggap sebagai misi suci masyarakat pascamoden. Selain daripada itu mereka juga mencari ruang ekspresi di dalam dunia jaring teknologi maklumat, penulisan, muzik, teater dan filem. Mereka menuntut ruang dialog dan tafsiran semula bukan sahaja terhadap nilai, norma dan peraturan di dalam masyarakat tetapi juga di dalam kepercayaan dan agama.

Frankfurt School refers to Fathi’s interest in Habermas’s “public sphere” and Marcuse’s “authoritarian personality”.

And coincidently (what a coincidence!!!), Fathi once criticised Zakir & FT in his article ‘Merobek-robek citra Cak Nun’ (see Fathi’s book Patah Balek, pg 140).

Is this the real reason for writing “Tuhan Manusia”?

5:23 AM
Anonymous said…
Thursday, October 30, 2003
Artikel di bawah adalah hasil ihsan saudara Fathi Aris Omar

Merobek-robek citra Cak Nun

Budayawan dan seniman kita dihantu bayang-bayang estetik luahan seniman dari negara jiran tetapi tidak sanggup memikul peranan kepolitikan yang turut mengangkat darjat mereka di republik itu.

“Seperti yang disebut oleh (sasterawan muda berbakat dan terkenal) Faisal Tehrani … kita tidak boleh menggunakan situasi di Indonesia untuk mewajarkan ruang idealisme di Malaysia,” tulis SM Zakir, juga pengerusi forum ‘Seni dan Politik’ awal tahun ini.

“Dan bagi saya pula, sehebat mana pun Goenawan Mohamad, WS Rendra dan Pramoedya di mata Fathi (Aris Omar), mereka tidak menyumbang apa-apa kepada pembentukan ruang awam di Malaysia,” tambah penulis muda ini, dalam polemik ringkas kami tentang keperluan ruang awam untuk kelangsungan seni budaya.

Pada minggu lepas, di DBP, saya tidak fikir kumpulan seniman dan budayawan yang mengikuti bicara Emha itu dapat menerima kebulatan ideanya. Cak Nun akan disaring dan dirobek-robekkan.

Penyaringan itu pula sejajar dengan kehendak “meta-wacana” yang dipopularkan oleh pihak berkuasa negara ini – penyahpolitikan seni dan budaya. Kerana terlalu biasa, mungkin seniman, sasterawan dan cendekiawan kita tidak sedar mereka sering menapis.

Saya kira, usaha merobek- imej Pramoedya, Rendra, Goenawan atau Emha di sini, datang daripada kebaculan, kejahilan serta kemalasan seniman dan budayawan kita. Seniman dan budayawan yang terlalu lama dibelai oleh subsidi dan kebergantungan kepada kerajaan.

Seniman dan budayawan kita, khususnya yang tua-tua, tidak mungkin berjaya mencerahkan minda kita, apatah lagi menganjak peradaban bangsa. Mereka enggan melihat pertembungan budaya, dalam konteks ini, hubungan Malaysia-Indonesia, sebagai langkah menyiasat kelemahan diri dan akur pada kebenaran yang lebih tinggi.

Dalam bahasa lebih ilmiah, “wacana antarabudaya”, kata Bonnie Marranca. Mereka enggan mencari kebenaran yang lebih dalam dan tuntas, seperti telah disuarakan oleh wakil muda mereka, Faisal Tehrani dan SM Zakir.