Tuesday, December 29, 2009

More Photos from K. Smokey Cormier

devil duck gone fishin'

blood orange web

rina's birthday present to herself


All photos copyright 2009 K. Smokey Cormier


Friday, December 18, 2009

Larry Sultan, Photographer and Teacher ... Rest in Peace

(c) 1990 Ross Andecman

Sometime in the mid to late 1980's, I took a class at UC Berkeley Extension. It was all about how to become a better Black & White darkroom printer. It was taught by the photographer Larry Sultan. He was a wonderful teacher -- smart, patient, good at explaining things, playful ... and so generous with his time. I learned a lot from him and became a much better photographer and printer.

I just found out today that he died this past Sunday. It's been years since I took that class, but I feel the loss.

Condolences to his family and friends.

Here are two obituaries if you want to read more about him:
New York Times obituary
San Francisco Chronicle obituary

Go here for a rememberance of Larry Sultan on Terry Gross’ radio program, Fresh Air. It includes a great interview with him. In that interview, he talks about photographing his parents and how it affected him.

And, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can see some of his work very soon. Here's an excerpt from his obituary in the SFChronicle:
Mr. Sultan was an artist trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which holds some 40 of his works in its collection. More than a dozen of them will go on display starting Saturday, when SFMOMA begins its 75th anniversary celebration. The shows have been in planning for a year or more, and the display of Mr. Sultan's work will be his 15th solo or group show at the museum.

"He's tremendously important, certainly to us," said Sandra S. Phillips, senior curator of photography at SFMOMA. "His work has always been about examining the special kind of life that is lived here in California, and the contemporary condition of the family. That is what motivated this really amazing body of work."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Kristin Chenoweth "A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas"

What have I been listening to in the past week? A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas by Kristin Chenoweth. And it's great!

Ms. Manitoba has a complicated relationship with Christmas. I was raised Roman Catholic and I was sincerely, deeply religious. Lots of thinking and feeling and observing and reading ... over time ... and I began to really resent the commercialization of the birth of the holiest. I started to feel that Christmas decorations and celebrations should be private. Spirituality is a private matter -- I still believe that.

So, I celebrate in my own way. * (Even though I eventually converted to Judaism, I celebrate certain things about Christmas because that is my upbringing, my memories, my connection to family and my past.)

One way is to listen to Christmas music. I love Christmas music. However, I do not like it played at work or in public areas. No, I want to pick when, where, and what.

And lately, I have picked Kristin Chenoweth. (Loved her in The West Wing and Pushing Daisies.) Her voice is so wonderful. And I love the variety of songs on A Lovely Way To Spend Christmas ... traditional, Broadway-showtune-style songs, Country twang songs. And, did I say ... her voice is incredible.

This is a disk that makes me happy when I play it. (And I rarely say stuff like that.) My 12-year old loves it too. We play it in the car. We end up in such good moods.

Highly recommended.

* Never do I decorate a tree. That's beyond what I want/need. Plus, folks, the trees ... I love them too much to cut them down.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Book List Updated December 2009

This is what the list looks like now:

Book List 2009

  1. A History of Cambodia - David Chandler
  2. A House in Gross Disorder - Cynthia B. Herrup
  3. A Journalist, A General, and An Army in Burma - U Thaung
  4. A Point of Light - Zhou Mei
  5. A Spy's Revenge - Richard V. Hall
  6. Agnes Smedley - J.R. & S.R. MacKinnon
  7. Armed Communist Movements in Southeast Asia - Lim Joo Jock, Vani S., Eds.
  8. Beating the Blues - Thase & Lang
  9. Before Kampuchea - GMilton Osborne
  10. Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
  11. Black Dog of Fate - Peter Balakian
  12. Captains of Consciousness - Stuart Ewen
  13. Chinese Customs - Henri Dore
  14. Colonial Masculinity - Mrinalini Sinha
  15. Comet In Our Sky: Lim Chin Siong in History - Tan Jing Quee and Jomo K.S., Eds
  16. Daniel Deronda - George Eliot
  17. Desis in the House - Sunaina Maira
  18. Extraordinary Popular Delusions - Charles Mackay
  19. Finnegan's Wake - James Joyce
  20. First Person Singular - Joyce Carol Oates
  21. Flashbacks - Morley Safer
  22. Folklore of Tamil Nadu - S.M.L. Lakshman Chettiar
  23. Gandhi's Truth — On the Origins of Militant Nonviolence - Erik H. Erikson
  24. How I Adore You - Mark Pritchard
  25. In Pursuit of Mountain Rats - Anthony Short
  26. Incursion: From America's Chokehold on the NVA Lifelines to the Sacking of the Cambodian Sanctuaries - J.D. Coleman
  27. Into Cambodia - Keith William Nolan
  28. Khmers Stand Up! - Justin Corfield
  29. Kranji - Romen Bose
  30. Meena, Heroine of Afghanistan - Melody Ermachild Chavis
  31. Minorities of the Sino-Vietnamese Borderland - Maurice Abadie
  32. Nakshi Kantha of Bengal - Sila Basak
  33. Niels Lyhne - Jens Peter Jacobsen
  34. Nonsense - Robert J. Gula
  35. No Cowardly Past - James Puthucheary
  36. Orientalism - Edward W. Said
  37. Outwitting the Gestapo - Lucie Aubrac
  38. Pearl S. Buck, A Cultural Biography - Peter Conn
  39. People's War, People's Army - Vo Nguyen Giap
  40. Pol Pot - Philip Short
  41. Primitive Art - Frank Boas
  42. Prometheus Rising - Robert Anton Wilson
  43. Reading Lolita In Teheran - Azar Nafisi
  44. Rosie - Anne Lamott
  45. Satyajit Ray: The Inner Eye (The Biography Of A Master Film-Maker - Andrew Robinson
  46. Screenwriting 434 - Lew Hunter
  47. Self Censorship: Singapore's Shame - James Gomez
  48. Shanghai Refuge, A Memoir of the WWII Jewish Ghetto - Ernest G. Heppner
  49. Sherpas Through Their Rituals - Sherry B. Ortner
  50. Singapore:Journey Into Nationhood
  51. Singapore & The Many-Headed Monster - Joe Conceicao
  52. Singapore The Air-Conditioned Nation - Cherian George
  53. Singapore's People's Action Party: Its History, Organization and Leadership - Pang Cheng Lian
  54. Sisters in the Resistance - Margaret Collins Weitz
  55. Slaughter and Deception: Batang Kali - Ian Ward & Norma Miraflor
  56. Strangers Always A Jewish Family in Wartime Shanghai - Rena Krasno
  57. Stress and Mental Health in Malaysian Society - Tan Chee Khuan
  58. The Art of the Novel - Milan Kundera
  59. The Autobiography of An Unknown Indian - Nirad C. Chaudhary
  60. The Bengal Muslims 1871 - 1906 - Ahmed
  61. The Birth of Vietnam - Keith Weller Taylor
  62. The British Humiliation of Burma - Terence R. Blackburn
  63. The Communist Struggle in Malaya - Gene Z. Hanrahan
  64. The Devil Finds Work - James Baldwin
  65. The Emergence of Modern Turkey - Bernard Lewis
  66. The Hungry Tide - Amitav Ghosh
  67. The Gift - Lewis Hyde
  68. The Lives of Agnes Smedley - Ruth Price
  69. The Mak Nyahs Malaysian Male to Female Transexuals - Teh Yik Koon
  70. The March of Folly From Troy To Vietnam - Barbara W. Tuchman
  71. The Mind's I - Hofstadter & Dennett
  72. The Plague - Albert Camus
  73. The Political Economy of Social Control in Singapore - Christopher Tremewan
  74. The Rape of Bangladesh - Mascarenhas
  75. The Remembered Village - M.N. Srinivasan
  76. The Rise & Fall of the Knights Templar - Gordon Napier
  77. The Singapore Council of Women and The Women's Movement - Phyllis Ghim Lian Chew
  78. The Syonan Years I - Lee Geok Boi
  79. The Syonan Years II - Lee Geok Boi
  80. The Tin Drum - Gunther Grass
  81. The Ugly Chinaman - Bo Yang
  82. The Ultimate Guide to Chinese Tea - Bret Hinsch
  83. The Way of All Flesh - Samuel Butler
  84. The Worst Album Covers In The World Vol. 2 -
  85. Time Bombs in Malaysia - Lim Kit Siang
  86. Virtual Reality - Howard Rheingold
  87. Vietnam: A Long History - Nguyen Khac Vien
  88. Vietnam & America: The Most Comprehensive Documented History of the Vietnam War - Gettleman, et al
  89. Warsaw of Asia: The Rape of Manila - Boni Escoda
  90. Who Killed Aung San? - Kin Oung
  91. Who Won The Malayan Emergency - Herbert Andrew
  92. Witness to an Era - Frank Moraes
  93. Women Against The Raj - Joyce C. Lebra
  94. Women in the Holocaust - Dalia Ofer, Lenore J. Weitzman, Eds.
  95. Writers' Workshop in a Book - Cheuse and Alvarez
  96. Your Memory: A User's Guide - Alan Baddeley

Needless to say, most of these books won't have been read by December 31st. But — there ain't no harm in trying. I started off with a book list of 180 titles. The number increased to 231. I'll publish the final book reviews and an updated list for 2010 on New Years' Eve, showing exactly how many books I've read.

Will I win my pizza? I worked for it! Remember that much of this time was spent lying flat on my back drugged out beyond readability! Plus there was the monumental editing task I undertook in late August/early September, that kept me from reading for weeks! Pizza! I can has!

Book Review November 2009

OK. This represents the books read between August 16th and November 16th of this year. I'll publish the updated (and very much added to, dammit!) book list soon. For the original book list (at the start of the year), go here. For previous book reviews, go here, and here.

  1. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian - Marina Lewycka

    Borrowed? Courtesy of Brian.
    Recommended? Highly. This is a first novel by the author, and a very good first novel it is, recommended by your friendly neighbourhood Cat to anyone in search of good writing about troubling issues. For the record, it's not *really* about tractors, except peripherally. It's about how to cope with your elderly Dad having an affair with some tart less than half his age with big bosoms and dyed hair.
    Reread? Probably not. Too many books, too little time.

  2. A Will For Freedom - Romen Bose

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? This is a book about Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and the Azad Hind Fauj (Indian National Army) in Singapore during WW II. A fascinating glimpse at a fascinating character. Highly recommended for anyone interested in history of India, British colonies, imperialism, WW II, Singapore, Japan, Southeast Asia.
    Reread? Probably not.

  3. Apache Sunrise - Jerome Boyle

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? The author wrote this chronicle of his experiences in VietNam as a helicopter pilot with the Army's 1/9 Air Cavalry. It's not great prose, but it is a sharp and sometimes painful reminder of what the military life does to people, and what makes them who they end up being. Written in a chatty, easy style that would put the author in there with the good guys, those pawns of a government intent on feeding the MIC with a "military conflict," not a "war." Recommended. Especially in light of Iraq, Afghanistan, and future elections. Especially for Americans.
    Reread? Maybe.

  4. Asian Labour In The Japanese Wartime Empire - Paul Kratoska, Ed.

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? This is a highly technical analysis of the various Southeast Asian nations and the effect on them (especially on labour) of the Japanese occupation and WW II. Although couched in dry academic language, it is painfully revealing. Recommended for those interested in the history of labour, S.E. Asia, WW II, war crimes, Japan.
    Reread? Probably not.

  5. Bizarre Books - Russell Ash & Brian Lake

    Borrowed? A certain book-dealer is responsible for this outrage.
    Recommended? It's a funny little collection of book titles. Actual books published in earlier years. Even a PoliticalCat needs a little humour now and then, so if you do too, enjoy this little book.
    Reread? No.

  6. Deeper - John Seabrook

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Very dated. I mean, read it if you're the kind of geeky geeky geek who finds Teh History of Teh InnerTubes totally fascinating.
    Reread? No.

  7. From Pacific War to Merdeka - James Wong Wing On

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? This short book is a series of interviews with MPAJA fighters in the Malayan Resistance against Japanese occupation in WW II. Although it's not a shining example of ebullient prose, it's a useful look at a largely neglected group of people who gave up everything for their dream of a liberated homeland.
    Reread? Probably, as needed.

  8. How To Avoid Huge Ships - Joel Rickett, Ed.

    Borrowed? A certain book-dealer is responsible for this outrage.
    Recommended? Another collection of unintentional hilarity in the form of actual book titles.
    Reread? No.

  9. In The Grip of A Crisis - Rudy Mosbergen

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Rudy Mosbergen was a child in Singapore when World War II broke out. This is his memoir of what it was like growing up under the Japanese occupation. The book could have used a good editor, but it's well worth reading if you're interested in history of Singapore, Southeast Asia, war, WW II in the Pacific Theater, colonialism.
    Reread? Probably not.

  10. Kinabalu Guerrillas - Maxwell Hall

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? An interesting little book on the resistance in Malayan Borneo against the Japanese during WW II.
    Reread? No.

  11. King Rat - James Clavell

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Clavell needs no introduction as a writer. I'm surprised at how good he still is, having read this book originally in the 1960s. Of course, he's writing about his own experiences, which gives the narration a certain power not otherwise easy to manifest. Highly recommended for a good (not-entirely) fictional look at the lives of British/American PoWs in Changi Gaol, Singapore, during the Japanese occupation.
    Reread? Probably.

  12. Labour Unrest in Malaya - Tai Yuen

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? An excellent, if academic, look at labour history in the British colony of Malaya, with some eye-opening information about the "liberal" British government's treatment of anyone fighting for their rights as working people.
    Reread? As needed, only.

  13. Life As The River Flows - Agnes Khoo

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? This is an excellent book about women in the MPAJA and the CPM ranks who fought for the liberation of their homeland from the Japanese occupiers and the British colonizers. The stories of these women are poignant, heart-rending, yet inspiring. They sacrificed everything to ensure that their descendants, their people, would have the freedoms they themselves lacked. Highly readable, fascinating, and recommended to anyone interested in the history of Malaya, the CPM, the MPAJA, Southeast Asia, the Communist Party, liberation struggles, women's history, war, WW II, Japanese role in Southeast Asia.
    Reread? Someday.

  14. Living Hell - Goh Chor Boon

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? This book describes the experiences of one of the survivors of the Japanese-engineered and built "Death Railway" featured in the film Bridge on the River Kwai. The author, a young Singaporean, was, like many other Southeast Asians, taken away by Japanese military authorities to labour on the bridge. Fortunately for him, he had medical training, which saved him from the terrible, indeed, criminal conditions under which much of Japanese slave labour perished. This is a chronicle of his horrendous experiences on the Death Railway. He's not kidding when he calls it Hell. Highly recommended for readers interested in the history of war, WW II, war crimes, Japan, Singapore, Southeast Asia.
    Reread? Probably not.

  15. Malaya and Singapore During the Japanese Occupation - Paul H. Kratoska, Ed.

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Dr. Kratoska is a veritable fount of information, of the academic variety, on the Japanese occupation of British colonial Malaya. This is actually a highly readable book for those interested in such subjects, and is highly recommended by the proprietors of this fine blog.
    Reread? Someday, if needed.

  16. Microserfs - Douglas Coupland

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Dated. Also, just not that interesting. The characters are too cardboardy. It's hard to feel any empathy for them and their travails. And it's not a literary masterpiece, either.
    Reread? No.

  17. Mountains Beyond Mountains - Tracy Kidder

    Borrowed? Brian's vast and fascinating library donates once again to TehPoliticalCat.
    Recommended? Highly. This is the story of Dr. Paul Farmer who has pretty much changed the way health care is delivered in Haiti - perhaps he hasn't healed the entire population yet, but he certainly is an admirable person with a genuine love for his fellow humans but not too blinded by rose-tinted glasses to understand that health care delivery must be different in Haiti and other such underdeveloped countries than it is in the developed. Dr. Farmer's love and concern for his patients (and the whole world qualifies, apparently, in his eyes) comes through with every word. Tracy Kidder has done a fine job of chronicling Farmer and his colleagues and their self-sacrificing journey to care for the forgotten. Please read this book. It will change your life.
    Reread? Probably.

  18. Odd Man Out: The Story of the Singapore Traitor - Peter Elphick & Michael Smith

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Peter Elphick is the author of the highly impressive book Singapore, The Pregnable Fortress. Although military historians have enjoyed taking potshots at that particular work, this Cat was nevertheless impressed by its readability and well-written record of the events leading up to the fall of the supposed Fortress. This book, however, is the chronicle of one Patrick Heenan, who apparently served as a fifth columnist for the invading Japanese during WW II. Heenan was never accorded a fair trial, and much of the evidence of his betrayal seems to have disappeared from the archives, but Elphick manages to lay out an interesting case for this interesting, if little-known, man. Highly recommended to those interested in the history of British colonies, war, WW II, Malaya, Japan, espionage, and the like.
    Reread? Probably not.

  19. Phantoms in the Brain - V.S. Ramachandran

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? A fascinating book by one of the leading neurologists in the world on the nature of the human brain and its function. Read it, if for nothing else, then for the chapter on religion and the brain. Amazing, fascinating, mind-blowing. Highly recommended.
    Reread? Probably. Science R teh hot.

  20. Raffles - Maurice Collis

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? A hagiography of Sir Stamford Raffles. Interesting, if somewhat cloying. I believe this book has been recommended by everyone but God to those interested in the history of British colonialism, with especial focus on Raffles. He was an interesting man, to be sure, although not as unalloyedly virtuous as Collis makes him out to be, like as not.
    Reread? No.

  21. Red Star Over Malaya - Cheah Boon Kheng

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? A very interesting, if academic, study of the role of the CPM in the resistance and politics of the Malay peninsula. Recommended for those interested in the history of the region, the CPM, resistance movements, labour, colonies, British colonialism.
    Reread? As needed.

  22. Rethinking Raffles - Syed Muhd. Khairudin Aljunied

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? An interesting look at a very different side of Raffles. Aljunied is to be commended for a serious yet interesting, readable work that shows British colonial policy and history at its ... most realistic. A decidedly required antidote to Collis' hagiography, see previous.
    Reread? Probably.

  23. Sabah Under The Rising Sun Government - Stephen R. Evans

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Not very well written, and very similar to a previously read work on the anti-Japanese resistance in (then) British Borneo. Interesting for those with an interest in the subject.
    Reread? Probably not.

  24. Scouts in Bondage - Michael Bell

    Borrowed? A certain book-dealer is responsible for this outrage.
    Recommended? Ahahahahaha. More of teh funny.
    Reread? Probably not. Too many books, too little time.

  25. Sea of Poppies - Amitav Ghosh

    Borrowed? A loan from the library of Ms. Manitoba, that ever-helpful little elf.
    Recommended? This is supposed to be Mr. Ghosh's opus, the first book in a trilogy that spans the Opium War and ranges from India to China to Britain and the Americas, taking in the islands of the Indian diaspora en route. A heavy read, but good. Although one really needs to know a little history of various different cultures to derive maximum satisfaction from this book, it's a rich source of information. It wouldn't hurt to have one's Hobson-Jobson close to hand, either.
    Reread? Probably not. Too many books, too little time.

  26. Silicon Snake Oil - Clifford Stoll

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? I read this years ago and decided to reread it to see how dated it was. The answer is, very. I really liked this book years ago, but couldn't in all honesty recommend it now. Cliff Stoll was wrong about a lot of things.
    Reread? No.

  27. The Dictionary of the Khazars - Milorad Pavic

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Highly. This is a poetic masterpiece, and my only regret is I waited so long to read this book. Like Ghosh's book, it helps to know a little of the history of Russia, Serbia, and the Khazars, but it isn't necessary. Enjoy it for the incredible beauty of the writing. Kudos to the translator, who did a terrific job.
    Reread? When?

  28. The Diving Pool - Ogawa Yoko

    Borrowed? From a certain Chan.
    Recommended? This is an eerily beautiful book. I'm amazed that I've never heard of this writer. I highly recommend the writer and her works. One of the few pieces of fiction that I will consider adding to my considerably overburdened bookshelves.
    Reread? Yes, but when, dammit.

  29. The End of the War - Romen Bose

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Bose writes about the aftermath of WW II in Singapore, and does a good job. For those interested in the history of that era and locale, this is a useful book.
    Reread? Probably not.

  30. The Feckin' Book of Irish Insults - Murphy and O'Dea

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Well, this was highly amusing.
    Reread? Maybe.

  31. The Inmates Are Running The Asylum - Alan Cooper

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Although anyone who's ever used software will agree with much of this book, parts of it read like Alan Cooper wants you to use HIS firm to analyze YOUR software! Annoyingly preachy and could have benefited from being about a third shorter.
    Reread? No.

  32. The Malayan Union Controversy - Albert Lau

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Academic treatise on a certain period in British Malaya's colonial history. An excellent book, but not of general interest.
    Reread? Probably not.

  33. The Old Wine Shades - Martha Grimes

    Borrowed? Ms. Manitoba's vast collection of murder mysteries is responsible for this outrage.
    Recommended? Martha Grimes is an excellent writer, though not, in this Cat's opinion, a likely successor to Dorothy Sayers as the many reviewers cited in the book insist. This is an entertaining and readable book.
    Reread? No.

  34. The Price of Peace - Foong Choon Hon, Ed.

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? A rather painful series of accounts, by people who lived through WW II in Malaya and Singapore, about their experiences of the Japanese occupation. Highly recommended but with reservations. War is ugly, and this book explains very well why.
    Reread? Probably not.

  35. The Housekeeper and The Professor - Ogawa Yoko

    Borrowed? From a certain Chan.
    Recommended? Brilliant writer. This is an amazingly interesting book about ... mathematics. Srsly. It's hard to imagine a novelist capturing the imagination with a subject that has so often been decried as dry, impenetrable, abstruse, but capture Ms. Ogawa does, and not just one's imagination but one's fevered eyeballs as well. I couldn't put it down. No kidding.
    Reread? Definitely.

  36. Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

    Borrowed? From a certain Chan.
    Recommended? Another must-read. This is the chronicle of Greg Mortenson's adventures in that part of the world where we are now sending even more troops to fight some ludicrous, undefined "war" that will benefit no one. Meanwhile, Mr. Mortenson is probably winning more friends and influencing more people from Pakistan to Afghanistan by the simple expedient of ... building schools. Relin captures Mortenson's naivete, frustrations, simplicity and most of all, his goodness. Read this book. It's another life-changing document and worth your money.
    Reread? YES.

  37. Unit 731 - Peter Williams & David Wallace

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? Oh god. This book documents the doings of Unit 731 of the Japanese Imperial Army. The doctors and scientists tasked with developing bacteriological and chemical weapons for the Japanese, that were tested on Chinese and Manchurian political prisoners and PoWs (including many European and American PoWs — I say this not because American and European lives are in any way more valuable than Chinese and Manchurian lives, but because of the denouement, the fate of the Japanese who ran Unit 731. After all, we tried the criminal Germans who experimented on the inmates of the concentration camps, right? Right. But we didn't try the Japanese who committed similar crimes. We let them go in return for their data, their live human experiments on women and babies and men who were members of an ethnic group that didn't deserve our consideration, I suppose. We told the American and European — oh, let's be honest — the white soldiers to shut the fuck up and denied them any compensation for their suffering or even a day in court, as is their right. And we took these secrets and turned these people loose to win high academic and professional awards from their grateful, if defeated, government and country. These war criminals continued to work in their various professions and were showered with accolades, and never held accountable for their crimes. Then we used their secret weapons, their tainted research, against the North Koreans and the Chinese in that bitter war. And we're surprised at how "paranoid" the North Koreans are. Jesus fucking Christ. This book is only for the strong of stomach. It was a bitter, depressing ordeal reading it. I'm glad I did, but be warned and keep your happy pills close to hand.
    Reread? Are you fucking kidding me? There aren't enough happy pills in the fucking universe to make me.

  38. Vietnam Moment - Brenda Paik Sunoo and Ton Thi Thu Nguyet

    Borrowed? Ms. Manitoba to the rescue (??) yet again
    Recommended? A beautiful collection of poems/sayings of Vietnamese culture married to some beautiful photographs of VietNam, its colourful people and beautiful countryside.
    Reread? Probably. Someday.

  39. War & Memory in Malaysia & Singapore - P. Lim Pui Huen, Diana Wong, Eds.

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? For those interested in the history of WW II, Malaysia and Singapore, Japan, war crimes, and the like. Grim subject.
    Reread? Only as needed.

  40. You'll Die in Singapore - Charles McCormac

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? The author's account of his life as a PoW in Singapore.
    Reread? As needed.

  41. You'll Never Get Off This Island - Keith Wilson

    Borrowed? No.
    Recommended? The author's account of his life as a PoW in Singapore.
    Reread? As needed.