Tuesday, January 21, 2014

So far so good

I started this year with a lot of worries and apprehension - actually kinda describes how I am usually. I'm a worrier. Hubs is the guy who does the right amount of worrying. I over-worry. Sometimes I under-worry. Then I worry that I'm not worrying enough. Oh boy.

Anyhoos at least one of my worries is over and done with. Last week we took care of my son's post-secondary education. In Singapore, most kids at aged 16 take a national exam (GCE 'O' levels). Based on the results, you get to choose where you want to pursue your further education. It was an eye opener for me as this is the first time I'm going thru' this process as a parent. Luckily I could call up a friend to explain the system to me. We went to a few open houses and my son chose the junior college route. We do have to wait to find out which school he gets posted to. Hopefully, he enjoys his next 2 years of education.

So last week was kind of different for me as I was mostly reading up on the post-secondary stuff. Too many choices! It's mind boggling. And after we had wrapped up the application, I got exhausted and decided the best way to unwind was to do a lot of shopping. Chinese New Year is just round the corner after all! Maybe I'll show you a dress I bought? It's my first dress in decades! Next post then. Oh, I'm afraid we plonked money down for a bigger TV. It's all hubs. Men! It's never big enough.

Remember in my last post I unearthed some forgotten books? I'll show you some of them. Not all, I promise.

Once upon a time I was attracted to such books. I'm not saying these are terrible books or anything. Just that I don't read them anymore. I remember I shed tears reading Angela's Ashes. Would you call these "chick books"?

I started reading Japanese novels translated in English when I was 13. Back then I found it really hard to get such books. My only source was the library.

The first Japanese translated novel I read was I am a cat by Soseki Natsume. I was hooked. Since then I've gone on to read many other authors. Next time I'll tell you more about them. I still read Japanese translated novels. Sometimes I re-read the ones I've already read. Pathetic, right?

I used to have a thing for "Oriental" books. Weird huh?

The first "Oriental" book I read was The Good Earth by Pearl S Buck. I was still in primary school and during the long school holidays, I enjoyed raiding my older sisters' Literature text books. Many, many years later, I discovered Pearl S Buck wasn't Chinese. When I read The Good Earth, I really thought it was written by a Chinese. That's really something! (Her name clearly wasn't Chinese but somehow that escaped me.)

John Irving is one of my favourite authors. I find his books hard to read though. The first few chapters are usually draggy but once you get past them, you'll be rewarded. His stories usually cover a long timeline and as the characters age, you grow with them. At least that's how I feel. A Prayer For Owen Meany took a while to enjoy but when I finally did, I felt I wanted more.

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Christel Goh said...

Hi Jane, Chinese New Year is just round the corner! How's your pendant and beading? :)
And, may I ask which JC did your son choose? Wishing him all the best; The next 2 years will be really, really hectic. :(

Projects By Jane said...

As it turned out, I may not need to make my pendant in such a hurry after all. See, I bought a dress and it doesn't go with the pendant. So the beading can wait.
We chose the schools closest to our home. Won't know the result until after CNY.

tamdoll said...

Good luck with the school selection, I hope everything goes well.

Such serious books! I think I'd be embarrassed to show most of the books that I read on my blog - but on goodreads, everyone can see (are you on there?) Do you ever read books on your computer? I've been listening to a lot while I knit, audio books are easy to get from the library.

Linda said...

I have read The Good Earth twice. Once in high school and once a year ago. I also read A Prayer for Owen Meany after seeing the movie Simon Birch. I LOVE that movie, although it is quite a departure from the book. John Irving liked the movie, but requested the title and character's names be changed because of the differences in the book and movie. If you haven't seen it, you might enjoy it.
Before the fire, my husband and I had an extremely large library. We are a family of readers. Except for the Japanese novels, most of those books were on my shelves. (Now I am enjoying my Kindle)
Congratulations on your son's transition into college.

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