Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I conquered the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale at Penang Times Square!

I made a random decision today and went to the Big Bad Wolf Books Sale at Penang Times Square after work. I went home with a great bundle of books. The total damage was RM111 (that's about US$34) for 10 books and 2 medium-sized notebooks.

The shopping environment was comfortable and air-conditioned. The books were neatly categorized ranging from fiction to non-fiction (design, architecture, photography, travel, general reference, etc.). Staff members were friendly and helpful. I was pleasantly surprised with the number of books I managed to find about Italy—see picture below.

My loot!

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton (RM8) has been on my wishlist for the longest time and when I spotted it at the sale, I didn't hesitate to put it into my "shopping basket" which was my Barnes & Noble tote bag I brought along.

The Tao of Travel by Paul Theroux (RM8) caught my attention first with its topic on travel, and second with its beautiful cover. I can't wait to dig in. I'm almost done with Marlee LeDai's Go Girl, also on travel, which is now full of yellow highlighter marks and handwritten notes.

A Florentine Death by Michele Giuttari (RM8) sounds good when I took a look at its blurb. I was looking for novels either written by an Italian or set in Italy, and so when I found this one looking at me, screaming out my name, I knew my prayer has been answered. The bonus: it's a crime fiction! This is the first novel (apparently a huge bestseller in Italy) by Giuttari who is a real-life police chief, and it offers a fascinating insight into both the beauty and darkness of everyday life in Florence.
Meet Michele Ferrara. Lover of a good bottle of local Rossi di Montalcino, smoker of Antico Toscano cigar and head of Florence's elite police force, the Squadra Mobile. With a rising murder rate and high level of Mafia activity, Ferrara has an unenviable job.
NEXT: Travel memoirs, also about Italy. YAY!

Vroom by the Sea by Peter Moore (RM8)—Riding his bright orange Vespa, Marcello, through some of the world's most stunning scenery, Peter meets a multitude of interesting characters and discovers a side of Italy that tourists rarely see. Need I say more?...

Ciao Bella by Helena Frith Powell (RM8)—Now this one was a bit tricky. I picked it up, I put it back down. Then I picked it up again. I couldn't decide to buy or not. I bought it anyway. 
Until the age of fourteen writer Helena Frith Powell had no idea she was half-Italian. In that year she received out of the blue a letter from the man who was her real father, inviting her to go on a Grand Tour of Italy. Running along Rimini beach looking for him, she was caught in his arms and he said: 'Ciao bella.'
Can't wait to read about her trips to Rome, Florence, Venice, Capri and other Italian cities. Wished I could have my own Grand Tour of Italy too. Oh wait. It is actually happening soon, in November!

Here comes the more serious stuff on the same beautiful Italy.

And, last but not least, Kick Ass Creativity by Mary Beth Maziarz (RM10). This one jives with my Three Words (for the word "creative")read here. I randomly picked a chapter to explore and landed on Chapter 6 Alignment. Into my Barnes & Noble tote bag. Done deal.

That is it! I've been on a self-imposed book-buying ban for so long, this feels like a dream.

Oh yes, before I end, the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale ends 31 March, so if you're in Penang, don't forget to visit the Penang Times Square between 9 AM and 9 PM. Happy reading!