and these are some of my favourite things

Here are some of the best reads among all books i’ve read, for different reasons:

The Lover’s Dictionary for its creative concept and bittersweet honesty about love, which is actually not cliched for once

Nocturnes for the imagery and melancholic atmosphere woven magically by words about the night

Frank Sinatra Has a Cold for the witty prose by a journalist, and his candid observations and interesting encounters with people from all walks of life

The Great Gatsby for Fitzgerald’s powerful writing, building up to that famous last line

A House in the Sky for its social importance, truths about human morality and the workings of fundamentalism that is so relevant and vital to understand, from a first person perspective of a survivor

The Kite Runner for similar reasons, and also class division in a society and how it impacts individuals from young. And also its sharp examination of how good and evil, kindness and cruelty are often filled with ambivalence

Sightseeing for a local understanding of Thai society, and the social and cultural issues entrenched in not just Thailand, but also other Asian cultures, as well as more deep-rooted human dilemmas we can all relate to

Never Let Me Go for its startling yet humanising portrayal of a very controversial ethical topic even till today, and even more shocking if you read the book without having watched the movie (no spoilers here)

The Little Prince because…I don’t even want to say anything because this is THE book everyone should read, especially adults, although it seems like a children’s picture book. No book has ever hit me so hard with such abstract simplicity about human nature and the workings of society. And the fact that the writer wrote it at his most jaded…having been through war as a fighter pilot. And also the fact that he wrote it as a children’s book with deceptive simplicity……….

1Q84 because of its crazy mind-bending plot across multiple genres that somehow all weaves together in the end, and also because it doesn’t have a depressing ending for once in a Murakami novel (lol)

Lastly Nineteen Eighty-four because of how insanely accurate and relevant it still is today, and because it examines the nature, purpose and power of language and writing itself, as a tool for constructing knowledge and living a meaningful life. As well as one million other social and political issues – definitely not just another dystopian novel.

Also including the clever cover design update from Penguin Books – a perfect example of how the medium can be the message.

Happy reading everyone!

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The meaning of design

A design studio is not a factory. Design – whether a website or app, a packaging or visual – is not a cookie-cutter product.

Design is a visual manifestation of something that is deeper – a belief, an idea to communicate, or an extension of a company’s values.

A design has to say something and mean something to the client, for the client, and to the end user.

Been doing some self-reflection recently. Reading through my past journal entries, I find a passion burning in me that cannot be extinguished.

Perhaps my biggest strength (and sometimes weakness) is that I question everything (deeply), and have a strong set of beliefs. Sometimes, that just doesn’t sit well in society. I have learned to tone down my passionate self-expression, but I am still trying to find the balance between living true to myself, and making a valuable contribution to the world I live in.

So much has changed over time. The core in me has never left, but my thoughts and mindsets have matured through a lot of weathering. Which can be a good thing I guess.