Book 1: Growing Up in Trengganu by Awang Goneng
This book is the epitome of a compilation of picturesque descriptions. The words are clearly conjured, enough to make the reader imagine himself in the scene, so clearly painted. Emotions are evoked, and senses aroused. Food, characters, setting and emotions are all nostalgically captured. If you once drooled over Enid Blyton's cakes and scones, then you will definitely drool over Awang Goneng's beluda in cigarette tins. I don't think I have ever tasted a beluda ever, but now I'm dying to have a bite of Pok Mat's delicacy.
Being initiated by the works of Awang Goneng’s blog, http://kecek-kecek.blogspot.com/(thank you Bluewonder, but I have already visited his blogsince some time ago), it is not surprising that he often steps back, recalling bits of what he had already written in previous chapters. I am not from Trengganu but I had enough friends from that state who used the Trengganuspeak to clearly hear the words and phrases Awang Goneng uses, such as Doh Nok Wok Guane.
Being a person who was born and bred in the city, it is a wonder how the enticing words of Awang Goneng injects a feeling of balik kampung and familiarity. Nostalgia? How can that be when I was never really there before? That’s the power of Awang Goneng’s words – he transports you to the land of Trengganu through his magical words.
Book 2: Life is An Open Secret – 18 Inspirational Stories from Ordinary Life Experiences, by Zabrina A. Bakar
If you are thinking of looking for a storyteller for a story-time session, then look no further! Sis Zabrina is the person you’re looking for. Her book is a compilation of only 18 + 1 inspirational stories, but the stories are told with great impact. You can clearly imagine her, all flesh and blood, telling the story to you personally. To me, that is what makes the book special; it challenges you to reflect on your character.
The stories are simple, and some vaguely familiar, but the style of the writing beckons you to read on and turn the pages. You’d find yourself smiling at her nonchalant manner and slices of humour. Quotations are not only extracted from the Quran and Hadith, but are also from famous and wise people from all times and cultures. Among my favourite was this, by Charle Schultz:
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
It's already tomorrow in Australia.
Even though I had finished reading this book last week, I found myself rumaging through it again, when the cookie in me was crumbling a few days ago. With Allah's help, somehow, the words certainly helped me reflect on myself and the situation I am in. Well done and thank you, Sis!
For the other two, I shall have to come back some other frosty morning...