A Generous Majority
For me, reading is essential not only just for English. This is because I also read, write and understand Mandarin/Chinese. Now I may not be the best at Mandarin. In fact I’m pretty sure I am by far one of the worst. But I am trying to change this using a very simple technique Iused to learn English. Reading.
I figured if I read many Chinese books, then I would also improve my vocabulary and fluency. Having learnt that I could link two different subjects together just through words, I realised maybe I should look at simpler more relative text and try to make a correspondence. The poem from “Notes on the Art of Poetry”, found from Mr Mahoney’s Medium depicted reading in a sense that it was another world we step into when absorbing the black arranged ink. And I believe the poem is totally truthful and descriptive about reading and it makes me delighted to know that somewhere in the world, someone also has an imaginative view to bring reading alive as real as each and every human.
Then there is Neil Gaiman’s speech in 2013. He told everyone how much he valued reading and how the libraries were one of the most unappreciated edifices standing in society. Many of the topics he brings up, I discovered were true and even though there may have been any other variations, reading and imaginative was what built society and cities and creates the mega populated we know today.
I have just read “The Narrow Road to the Deep North”, by Richard Flanagan. It is a fantastic story about Australian POWs forced to build a railway for Japan in Burma. Even though there were a few explicit scenes Mr Mahoney did not warn me of, I still enjoyed the opportunity to relate to events in WWII. At home, I am reading “Mister Pip”, by LLoyd Jones. I read it to and from school because I cannot find the time after all my extra curriculum to read. Though very different from The Narrow Road to the Deep North, it has more of a fantasy twist with a hint of reliability and conflict between each character. Currently in my inventory, also have “Skios”, by Michael Frayn, “Of a Boy”, by Sonya Hartnett, and “The Children’s Book”, by A.S. Byatt. Furthermore, I have about 10 more books I have held at Watsonia library.
If I was stuck on an island, this is the list of 10 book I would bring.
- Hatchet, Gary Paulsen
- The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
- Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
- David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
- Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twaine
- Misery, Stephen King
- The Green Mile, Stephen King
- The Maze Runner, James Dashner
- The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
- Naruto Shippuden, Masashi Kishimoto
Hatchet is just a fantastic book on a kid surviving in the wild. This would be the kind of motivation I require to survive on an island so when all hope is lost, I will read the book and remind myself that even a kid could survive with just a hatchet.
The little prince is a very short book but I find it very enjoyable and even after reading it over 7 times, I still find some other missed detail or inference. It reminds me that even when I am lost, I should always be finding a way to get home even after meeting unhelpful acquaintances.
Great Expectation is for when I feel as though I will go insane. I think it would help me feel better about myself as I can refer to myself as Pip. Then I can imagine me going through the adventures Pip went through even though I’m stranded on an island.
David Copperfield is still a very good story and there is a pattern with me reading a lot of Charles Dickens. It may not be as good as Great expectations so if a plane flies by, I can always burn it to try to get the pilot’s attention.
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn would represent me being an outcast except being outcasted by the sea. It’s also just a great book to exercise the thought of injustice.
Misery. Just like the protagonist in the story, I feel immobile and rely on the island as my medication of bliss. The same way I need to cultivate the island, hopefully.
The Green Mile is just a fantastic book which I have read when I was very young. I also watched the movie and found the story very touching. I have a friend who owns a lot of brilliant movies and that is where I found this movie and realised it was the same book I had read so long ago.
The Maze Runner can remind me of how in the rules set my the maze, there is still a possibility to prevail and escape, like escaping the island.
The Hobbit is just another of my childhood favorites and is to help exercise the creative part of my brain so I won’t turn into a zombie that fast.
Naruto is one of the greatest mangas and I only read the whole series in year 7. Even though it’s a manga, I felt as though every character was very real and I could mirror each person I met with one character. There was a weeb who got me into reading the series in the first place but it was definitely a good choice. In addition, the series is very long which can help me burn the time I spend stuck on the island.
So these are my 10. Honestly, there are some terrible books out there and sometimes I don’t even know why they are published, but there will always be a generous majority.