Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Book Review: Big Magic & Me Before You



Assalamualaikum and Hi,


Another book review (sorry if you are expecting something fancy)


Title: Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Published Date: Sept 2015
Price: RM 74.95                    
Pages: 276 pages 
Shop: Popular


I had been anticipating this book since I knew it’s the latest from Gilbert. Surprisingly the anticipation turned to pause. Plenty of pauses.  It took me 5 months to finish this book. The pace wasn’t my best. I guess it’s been a while since I pick up something from the motivational shelf as lately my nose was frequently in fiction.

Seeing the title “creative living” brought the idea that this is finally something that will not loop “Don’t give up”, “Strive for the best”, or “Have the courage”. Well it still is, after all encouragement words are in the same constellation.  But the book captivatingly answered questions on dealing with creativity, how does inspiration works? What should we do with ideas? Does talent matter the most? Can we make living out of creativity? Should creativity be approved with higher education?

The book is divided to 6 chapters namely Courage, Enchantment, Permission, Persistence (my favourite), Trust and Divinity. Gilbert offers insights on creative living in every human. Her wisdom and experiences as a best-seller, award winning author gave away perspective on how to tackle creativity in everyday live. She encouraged the idea that everybody can embrace creativity in the most wondrous and practical way at the same time. Some taste of this book includes fear should not be making decision, defending weaknesses, decorating yourself and authenticity overruling originality.

After I got off the last page, I spend a reasonable time reading the review and clearly the thumbs down were everywhere. You see, many people were not fond of her work (annoyance towards Eat, Pray, Love is real mann) . And you think only One Direction gets dislikes and hate. Well, they actually have points on why this book was not their cup of tea. Gilbert claimed as self-centric, egoistic author where she tried to “humbly” reject everybody’s opinion. She denied Stone, Capote, Harper, this unknown young man and so many others on their creativity engagement.

Nonetheless this book still blew me away. It answered a lot of questions that went around my mind whenever I get too serious with creative part of my life that obviously doesn’t pay my bills.

The personification game in this book is quite strong. The narration somehow put me off. The way she described her perspectives is cheesy and too sensationally grand (am I making any sense here). Let me bring you two examples.


When an idea thinks it has found somebody--say, you--who might be able to bring it into the world, the idea will pay you a visit. 


It is only through a human’s effort that an idea can be escorted out of ether and into the realm of the actual.



See, for a motivational book... macam grand sangat ayat dia.

Rating: 4.5/5 (I bookmarked every page)







Title: Me Before You
Author: Jojo Moyes
Publisher: Penguin Books
Published Date: 2012 (mine is 2016 movie cover edition)
Price: RM 39.90                    
Pages: 512 pages 
Shop: Popular


I’m not going to dwell much on the storyline. I think many of you have read the book and seen the movie.

Again, no book to film adaptation survived without butthurt reviews, coming both from the book and movie lover. The criticisms mainly on disability, suicide choice and omitted storyline.

I started with movie, then only I proceed with novel- which is totally a different situation if you read first then watch. So coming from someone who enjoyed both, I can say the movie was great and served justice to the plot. Better than The Fault in Our Stars.

SPOILER ALERT. The movie indeed focused on Will’s choice and his burgeoning relationship with Lou. Some of the major issues in the book were omitted. Sexual assault and infidelity didn’t make it to the big screen. But rule number one when watching a book to film adaptation is to expect less. There’s no way to fit everything in 2 hours.

Moyes made me literally laughing when reading and I was only in the tenth chapter. By the twentieth, my heart swollen. How she shaped Lou’s character, the English jokes (somehow the accent was like resonating in your head) and simply how the story progressed and ended.


“So this is it. You are scored on my heart...” 


“I chose to believe that God, a benign God, would understand our sufferings and forgive us our trespasses.”



Rating: 4.8/5 (made me googling Dignitas, Exit and Euthanasia on Raya’s eve)