Read: Small Fry

This just in.

*spoiler alert* Though, I don’t write ‘review-reviews’. I write what I feel. Felt. Am feeling.

I cried toward the final 20% of the book.

Also, I have been sitting on Walter Isaacson’s bio on Steve Jobs since it was published. Now I know why.

It was meant to be sat on.

I’m not an Apple fan. I may have had a MacBook Air, have a MacBook Pro, used an iPhone 4, 5, owned two iPads and own two iPads, plus other Apple stuff; but I’m not a fan. I just buy things that appealed to me, randomly. I don’t idolize Steve Jobs (never cared about Apple launches). Brilliant, but I’d pick Anderson Cooper over him any second. And yeah as if I’d even ever get to do that.

I cried because of Kevin and Dorothy’s kindness. There’s a quote somewhere by someone random who said something along the lines of,

Lisa may one day realize she can never replace her parents, and Kevin and Dorothy can never buy a daughter.

What a stupid thing to say. Really. But you’ve been mentioned in her book so, congratulations, I guess?

The part where Steve’s bio on some corporate website mentioned he has three instead of four children.

The parts where her father keeps saying, or hints, “You need to be part of the family, Lis,” – I’m sorry, but isn’t that some form of gaslighting? The author’s so kind with her words. Probably doesn’t wanna upset her siblings, especially the youngest one, named Eve, because Eve said, out loud, “She was daddy’s mistake,” – Kids, they always say the darnest things and get away with it, though I hope, not for life. Eve, if you’re reading this, I hope you’ve since grown to realize that you could process thoughts before you speak.

It’s easy to read this bio without the late Steve Jobs hovering around the pages because I’ve never read much nor finished watching videos with Steve Jobs in it. I believe it has a lot to with my disliking of what’s ‘trending‘. I was working closely with consumer technology for a decade and yet I couldn’t be bothered.

So, once again? Now I know why. Strange, but it’s so that I could dive in clean into this memoir of a wounded soul. I visualized her father as her father, first. Mostly, even. The way she wrote this memoir, it wasn’t about her father, who happens to be Steve Jobs.

It was about a child’s relationship with her father.

Did I know Steve Jobs was cruel towards his “mistake of an unwed family he didn’t want”? Not until I read this book.

Did I know he was stingy? Same answer, no, not really.

All I knew was that he was a genius with a temper, and had a kid he originally refused to acknowledge paternity. That, was, it.

So, for me, it’s as though all these years dealing with condumer technology and the media, I was miraculously saved from all these insignificant details, until Small Fry was written and published.

I’m glad, I’m really effing glad, that I had sat on Jobs, the biography.

I don’t know what kind of surprises will be waiting for me, but I hope it would address Steve’s parents (not much of the birth ones), their relationship, and how he came to be one of, well, the cold people his wife Laurene openly declared during a session with the author’s therapist (“We’re just cold people”, said Laurene. The author was also present during the session). I am also curious about Laurene. She’s gotta be his twin, otherwise, there’s no way their relationship had continued to work.

Despite all the negativity, I do agree with the author’s father on this, which is possibly (should damn be) the greatest quote by him, ever –

Passage taken from the book, chapter ‘Runaway’:

My father gave a speech in which he said that it wasn’t love that brought people together and kept them together, but values – shared values.

How’s Laurene not his twin, I will never be able to comprehend.

I’m drained from this read, in a good way, I suppose. I can never begin to imagine the sorrow she’s been carrying since she was a tiny, curious, hungry for acceptance, child. Ms. Brennan-Jobs, you will pay it forward. Thank you for sharing your story.

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What Reading Spree?

“I just went on a reading spree!”

If you have days or times when you can ‘go on a reading spree’, well, I’m jealous of you, though not happy for you. There’s no happiness in seeing somebody, or anybody, for being able to read and read and read, and then, finish – done – next!

This book has been sitting on my dining table for two months. It’s not that I don’t want to finish it in one day or even within a week or two. The book is good. The author is fearless, passionate even, as she needs to interview talk to druglords who are incarcerated across few of the most notorious prisons in the world.

It’s funny how people pass comments like, wow, “You’re still reading that book?”, or, “You took that long to finish one book?”

It’s as if people who read don’t necessarily have lives beyond books (we wish we hadn’t, really), or, as if people who don’t read, knows what’s it like to actually spend quality time reading a book.

Some people could finish 700 pages in one setting, sure. They have different reading speeds, they could comprehend the context better, they didn’t have other commitments, they probably have no kids, grown kids who don’t need them, or they work in jobs that enables them to read, or they prefer to screw up their jobs and family or whatsoever so that they could read.

Who knows? Who are you to know?

I couldn’t read all day and night. Not even all day. There’s work, there’s chores, there’s kids, there’s texts to respond to otherwise they’ll call (which is worse) if you don’t respond.

Then there’s moody days and gloomy skies.

It’s so stupid, seeing bookworms belittling each other over “you just started that?! I finished that last month!”

Shut up, b*tch. Better, f*ck off.

This is why many people are discouraged from reading. Well, at least one of the reasons. People just wouldn’t leave them alone.

If you come across a snobbish bookworm, send them the link to this post. May this be a STFU reminder for those morons.

“Reading sprees” are a privilege, never a right. Sure, neglect everything else and naturally everything will become a right for/to you. I hope our paths will never cross, and by that I mean literally and digitally.

#oldbooks: The World’s Best Fairy Tales

The World’s Best Fairy Tales, Reader’s Digest (1976)

I practically grew up with this book. I read it over, and over, and over, simply because the writing was so easy to absorb and imagine (and the stories were classics too). My mom got this copy for my brothers in 1976, when they were aged 3 and 2, respectively. I only came along in ’82.

This was an era where Reader’s Digest was a noble company (still is) that had a cult following all around the world. My parents would buy most books they sold (medical reference books, cook books, story books, encyclopedias etc.), because they’re always of good quality and content.

Reader’s Digest is still around, but we know people have since shifted their magazine interests elsewhere. Times have changed, though not necessarily for the better. I don’t know what are people reading nowadays (as in, similar context to Reader’s Digest, maybe Oprah magazine? What do I know), but what I do hope, is for Reader’s Digest to remain resilient, and keep adapting, evolving. Although I’m not on a monthly subscription, I still buy a copy every few months, whenever I happen to see it on display.

Here’s to Reader’s Digest. May you continue to prosper and grow.

Reading + Snacking: Small Fry

What’s better than coffee?

Taiwanese Boba – Pearl Milk Tea (with a brown sugar twist). It’s ridiculous how people (people are people and I am people) associate it with a “younger crowd”. I’m 37 this year and I drink it like I’m 17. Screw people!

A brilliant afternoon with my Kindle and one of my minions (not pictured).

Currently (still) reading: Small Fry by LBJ.

Reading Slump: Chocolates

Trying to read again, after a couple of days on hiatus. My worst, unhealthiest craving has got to be chocolates in bed, before bed, just so that I can get my reading mojo back 😅 It’s either chocolates or nachos, but I ran out of nachos…


Haven’t read much lately. Wonder if it has anything to do with my last read (I, Who Did Not Die), which was rather heavy on the heart?

Don’t know.

I was so ‘tired’ yesterday that I listened to Columbine (Dave Cullen) on Audible (I am still not that into audiobooks), and in less than 5 minutes, Zzzzzz was creeping in so I quickly switched off my Fire and fell asleep almost immediately. Audiobooks, no matter how revolutionizing and important (specifically toward the visually impaired), isn’t my cuppa tea… Not quite yet. Great lullabies, though…

This is all. Came in here to rant about a reading slump and chocolates. Brilliant. Now back to bed. Back to reading. Back to chocolates…

Read: I, Who Did Not Die

I, Who Did Not Die by Zahed Haftlang and Najah Aboud with Meredith May

First book completed this year. I started in December 2018.

This book, is heavy. I came crashing into this book after decades of media absence from the Iran-Iraq war.

By ‘media absence’, I mean I haven’t read anything in-depth on the said war since the late 90s. As a teen, I read a lot of newspapers and news magazines, and I’ve read about the tortures and all the inhumane stories from this very war. But to relive it, with even gorier details (how they hang you), once again drags you back to hopelessness. The world, as we all should realize, by now, a year shy from turning 2020, is hopeless. There’s little hope left in humanity. Torture is still going on. So are wars. What’s new?

For Zahed and Najah to have survived the war and torture let alone found each other – proof that there’s still hope.

Thank you, Meredith May – for bringing this story to life, for writing this legacy. How is this not a bestseller, I have no idea. Probably the cover. This has got to do better than Educated by Tara Westover or that Crawdad book.