Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In my good books

Tagging an editor to blog about books is like asking a bartender at the end of a long hard day to go home and make a drink for himself/herself. However, Wendelin has 'booked' me so here I go!

The book that changed my life

Microelectronic Circuits
Authors - Sedra and Smith

Considered the bible of engineering students, this is one book that changed my life. When I was a student of engineering, the drawings of the various circuits, diodes vividly described in agonising detail in this book made me resolve that I shall not let my life be governed by the things shown in the book. And that is the story of how I left the world of engineering where everything makes annoyingly logical and mathematical sense, to the world of the arts where erm, nothing makes sense. But it is beautiful and I love it. And I have Sedra and Smith to thank for it.

Once I finished my degree, my first thought was - how do I get rid of this damning evidence of my utterly boring past? I put an ad on the university public folders to try and sell it to an unsuspecting junior. I got no responses. I lowered my asking price. No responses still. I buried it deep in the storeroom and forgot about it. Sometime last year, while packing to move into a new place, I discovered the book lying in a carton. Not wanting to lug the heavy book along, I advertised again, and this time I actually said I'll give it away free. I got one response. But the person never picked the book up. :

The books I've read more than once

The lost girl and the scallywags
Author - Demykina Galina

Jolly Family
Author - Nikolai Nosov

Ah. Two of my favourite childhood books. My sister and I read a lot of children's books by Russian authors and these were two of the best. Then we grew up and Dad locked all of the books up in what he calls "the bachpan box" for safekeeping for his grandchildren. Sheesh. I recently found the downloadable version of the second one here.

Book I would take to a deserted island

My sketchbook, of course!

Book that made me laugh

Dave Barry is not taking this sitting down
Author - Dave Barry

This is seriously the funniest book I've ever read. I remember chuckling out loud each time I read it. Barry is one serious funnyman.

Book that made me cry

Walk through cold fire
Author - Cin-Forshay Lunsford

I had just entered my teens and my friend lent me this 'trashy novel' - it was my first and only trashy novel - except that I did not find it so trashy. Ah the appeal of teenage rebellion to a teenager like me who was always "the good girl" both at school and at home. I loved the book to bits, but unfortunately for me, the friend had a good memory. Last year, I had a sudden craving to read it again, but the libraries and bookstores here did not have it. Amazon and E-bay were selling old copies but I wasn't sure I wanted it for a frickin' 69-bucks-plus-shipping.

Books I wish I had written

The Harry Potter series
Author - J.K. Rowling

No contest here. Not that I'm a fan of the HP books, or could have ever matched her writing in my dreams, but if I had written them I'd be rolling in the millions that Rowling is rolling in right now. Muahahaha! I may not possess the talent to write those books, but I certainly possess the talent of spending all that money! (any killjoy who attempts to point out that if I'd written the books, there wouldn't be the millions will really get it from my hypothetical rolled-up newspaper!) And with those millions and millions of dollars and pounds and other currencies, I'd have a bought a big house with a swimming pool and a big garden and a swing and... oh wait, that is a different tag!

Book I wish had never been written

Science PSLE Revision Guide
Authors - Three foolish editors who had great foresight for children but none for themselves

At my last company, where I was working as a children's book editor, a few years ago three of us editors conceptualised this amazing book for the PSLE (the PSLE is a scary examination that 12-year-olds in Singapore take that causes more anxiety attacks in Singaporean parents than any other cause.) The problem was that all the authors we approached freaked out at the deadlines and turned down the project. It was imperative that the book be out before the exam, so the three of us took a bold decision - to write it ourselves! Since the book was written by 'employees', we neither got royalties (only a small bonus), nor were we featured on the book cover (only on the title page). Since it was a new idea, we played safe and printed only 5000 copies in the first run. They were snapped up in no time, and reprints orders poured in two weeks after the book had released. The book sold 45000 copies in half a year and was declared the best-selling SM (Supplementary Material, a term used in the Singapore school books market) in Singapore of all time.

Damn I wish that book had never been written. :/

So that I could have written it now and pocketed the royalties. :D

Book I am currently reading

Second form at Malory Towers
Author - Enid Blyton

Even though she was born in 1897, Enid Blyton was like my Dad's third daughter. He had stocked up all her books when I was a kid, and my sister had I just couldn't seem to get enough of her books. Last year, I found the Malory Towers and St. Clares series going for a dollar each at Queensway. Needless to say, I snapped them up. I have been reading them again and again, and this morning, I was so engrossed in one that I almost forgot to bathe before going to work!

Book I've been meaning to read

Author - Candace Bushnell
I'm a big fan of the television series, and one of my bestest friends Starbreez even gifted me the book based on the series. But I am yet to read the book the series was based on! I've been scouring the libraries here and apparently all copies are lent out. People, will you return your books on time! :/

Book I have been meaning to finish

Atlas Shrugged
Author - Ayn Rand

My friend who's a big fan of Ayn Rand recommended the book to me, but when I took a look at his copy I refused to borrow it. I have a minimum font size requirement, you see. I refuse to read books that are set in a font size so tiny you wonder if the inside front cover had a magnifying glass stuck to it. So he gifted me the big font version of the book, which turned out to be so thick that I could not get past the first chapter. Someday when I have nothing to do, perhaps I will read it.

That's it, folks. And oh, I tag all my book editor friends. I shall not be the only bartender to go home and make her drink herself! :D


Sudeep said...


i now wish tht i shld have at least opened up my engg books so tht i would have taken a wise decision too :(

Nidhi said...

Silver!!! :D

bubbles said...

omg malory towers :) m glad someone else still likes to read enid blyton. I love Darrell and her temper

angada said...

Hi Sayesha,
I have been reading your blogs for sometime now. Though I knew that you were an ex-engineer, it was really surprising to know that Sedra-Smith we the people who catalysed this process!
Good luck and take care...

kashika said...

hey sayesha

well, i had science till class 12th, tht too biology which was damn scary and considering tht a look at a few drops of blood is enough for me to faint, it was the worst decision of my life so far. then i changed to arts this year in college. my teachers believe that it is the only correct decision i've taken in my academic life till date. others think i m nuts to not appear for PMT and all. you, on the other hand, give me motivation that i can and will succeed. thnx :)

kashika said...

oh and BTW, you knw i thought Enid Blyton was a boy till i was 12. silly me :o

but these English names are darn confusing.

shub said...

abbey-o-editor!!! bacchon ko Engineering se daraake mat bhaga re! :P

Nakshatra said...

malory towers! darrell rivers and her school with a swimming pool carved out of the sea. loved the book so much,that i asked my parents to send me to a boardin such luck though

Bivas said...

talking of engg bibles...can't seem to forget BLT & Parker-Smith...
Harry Potter:- No offence meant but I think only JKR cud hv pulled it off :-)
Royalties:- Try now...who knows thr might just be a change of mind for ex-employees who are spl ;-)

nycbewda said...

Bachpan mein apun science records mein drawings apun ka didi se karvatha tha aur books/novels apun ka dictionary mein nahin tha. sala abhi computer field mein har roj naya technology, kuch nahin kar sakthe baitke padne ka bus.

Sayesha said...

Ahahahahaha! Book khola hota toh aaj tu engineer nahin hota! :D


I still LOVE those books! :D

Thanks! :P Actually I can't give all the credit to Sedra and Smith, I think my idiosyncratic personality also had something to do with the switch. :P

Hehehe! It was quite the opposite for me. After 10th, both my Bio and Maths teachers wanted me to pick their subject (we could only pick one). They had such an argument that the school changed the rule and students could pick both! Sheesh! And I did. It was fun though. :)

//oh and BTW, you knw i thought Enid Blyton was a boy till i was 12.

Haha! And I used to think her name was 'Gnid Blyton' (if you see her signature on any of her book covers)! :D

Muahahaha! Step back you engineer, I'm leading them towards moksha! :D

Hehehe! Yeah I was fascinated by the school! :D

//Harry Potter:- No offence meant but I think only JKR cud hv pulled it off :-)

Duh! You think I don't know that?? Hahahaha! :D It's a wish re. Wishes aren't all realistic. :D

//Royalties:- Try now...who knows thr might just be a change of mind for ex-employees who are spl ;-)

Hehe, I am. Ex-employees are treated like any other authors. Already signed a contract. :)

And I used to love drawing the Bio diagrams, apun aisa artistic way mein banata tha ki poochho mat! :D

Harshi said...

I Loved reading the Malory Towers St. Clares series! I am sure I will find them as engrossing even now if I pick it up. I guess I still have those books somewhere in some peti.

Ab said...

enid Blyton was actually real fun. I still read th Brer Rabbit series whenever I go home, and Mom will be like, 'look at how old he is'!

Lehmunade said...

Mein Gott it's Sedra and Smith! Of MicroE fame. Of the many nights we've spent trying to understand the stupid thing that wiped off half my allowance with it's cost.

There's a special suite in Hell for people like this. Right down the alley from Dean Langdell and the guy who designed the NUS Online Judge.

kashika said...

the school changed its rules for you. :o :o :o

along with being 'that girl' you must have been one of their most brilliant students. :D

Sigh! some ppl can only wish.

Clueless said...

Sayesha Rani, Badi Syani,
Khati Golgappe, peeti pani,
Sayesha Rani, Sayesha Rani.

'Bar' bulati apne blog ko,
baatein karti badi mastani,
Sayesha Rani, Sayesha Rani.

Sunti sabki, karti man ki,
bole to chalegi 'bhai' ki manmani,
Sayesha Rani, Sayesha Rani.

Care karti apne friends ki,
Hai 'aish' aur 'viv' ki deewani,
Sayesha Rani, Sayesha Rani.

Bollywood ki hai total fan,
Munnabhai, sunny deol ya ho asrani,
Sayesha Rani, Sayesha Rani.

Aisi hi tum bani raho,
sade dil wich yahi dua hai aani,
Sayesha Rani, Sayesha Rani.

Jerry said...

Hi there, Jus wanted to tell you that SATC is quite disheartening. The kind of person that you are.. I dunno if you'd like it. Also instead of Atlas Shrugged you could try reading The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.Awesome.

Sayesha said...

Ah the petis! I have a treasure hidden away in the petis! :D

Hehehe! :D

Hey! Long time no see! I see you were a victim too! :D

Hehehe... those were the days! :P

HOLY COW! Hahahahahaha! How long did you wait to write this? And when?? Hahahaha! OMG! >:D<

Hmmm... you mean the book SATC is disheartening or the series? I've watched the series - all seasons. Will get to the Fountainhead too some time. :)

Clueless said...

Oye! That Clueless isn't me! I'm the one with the "clueless" picture! *points to profile pic*

Damn it, that poem was quite nice, though. I still want the hug! :(

Sayesha said...

#Clueless (original),
WHOA! I always open the direct link to my posts when replying to comments ( and that doesn't show any pictures! Gosh there is another Clueless????????????? :O :O :O
ps: Bigger hug for you babe! >:D<

Siddhu said...

If u dont mind, I'd like to tag myself, please! Like this tag, and am anyway outta ideas, innit.

V said...

Havent tried Hitchikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams? I would recommend that book to anyone who likes humor!

Clueless said...

I'm the one with the poem :-), that hug was mine :-):-)

PizzaDude said...

I was recently gifted a copy of 'Atlas Shrugged' by my ex-team members. Should catch up on that sometime.

Kais said...

hehe ..that's an unusual take on 'book that changed your life'!


Iday said...

I really hope u find urself with nothing to do very very soon. Atlas shrugged is mindblowing. Read it soon...

Ranjini said...

Hey.. u like Enid Blyton too haan. You can read some of her adventure ones here