Monday, June 30, 2014

The Prequel to Mr Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Seriously, I didn't see this coming !
I was queueing at the counter of Kinokuniya Bookstore last Sat, and looking at the shelves nearby almost absent-mindedly while chit-chatting with my incredible about some anime light novels.  Out of a sudden, this book caught my attention.

First the cover, then the title :
1969 -
24-hour bookstore -
Penumbra -
Prequel ?

Without hesitation, not even browsing, I asked my incredible grabbed me a copy.  I love the first printed book Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore.
Definitely, I will love this one too.

I was right.

It tells the story of Mr. Penumbra’s first trip to San Francisco—and of how he got entangled with the city’s most unusual always-open enterprise ......
San Fransisco, 1969. The summer of drugs, music and a new age dawning. A young, earnest Ajax Penumbra has been given his first assignment as a Junior Acquisitions Officer – to find a single surviving copy of the Techne Tycheon, a mysterious first volume that has brought and lost great fortune for anyone who has owned it. After a few weeks of rigorous hunting, Penumbra feels no closer to his goal than when he started. But late one night, after another day of dispiriting dead ends, he stumbles upon a 24-hour bookstore and the possibilities before him expand exponentially. With the help of his friend’s homemade computer, an ancient map, a sunken ship and the vast shelves of the 24-hour bookstore, Ajax Penumbra might just find what he’s seeking…

There are questions and answers with the author at the end of the book which I appreciate :

3. Technology is obviously having a huge impact on daily life, particularly in the world of publishing. What do you feel literature can do for technology and vice versa?
I would reframe the question slightly, because technology and literature have been fused together from the beginning of both. Books themselves are a technology - a hugely successful one - and so the emergence of things like tablets and e-readers is less of a grand reckoning and more an interesting development in a long-running saga. We only have the literature we have today because of technology. Or, to put it another way: technology is no stranger to the bookshop.

5.What would your bookshop of the future look like?
I don't think it looks that different from the very best bookstores of the present - but that's the key, isn't it? The very best. The great bookstores of 2014 do more than sell books: they serve as public spaces and gathering places. They organize events and convene conversations. In short, their shelves and their stock are only the beginning of what they have to offer, and that will only become more true as time goes on.

I wholeheartedly agree.  Book and technology surely can co-exist.

I myself like to take photos with my beloved Samsung mobile whenever I am on a trip or merely seeing something that interested me, and am not a bit satisfied just to share and view them on digital screen.  I got them printed out in book form.  Undoubtedly, I am able to to so with the help of modern technology - Photoshop to beautify the images and create the layouts, internet to transfer the image files over to the printer who in turn use Indigo Digital Press Machine to print them out.

I do believe we humans like to own somethings that are 'physical' for which we can touch, smell, taste and treasure.  That's why good stories originally published online will end up in book form. ^_^

Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Recent bonding moments with my incredible are watching anime. ^_^ 

We started with Sword Art Online Season1. Total 25 episodes.  highly recommended by him.  It is a Japanese light novel series written by Reki Kawahara and illustrated by abec.

Sword Art Online (SAO) is a Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (VRMMORPG), released in 2022. With the Nerve Gear, a virtual reality helmet that stimulates the user's five senses via their brain, players can experience and control their in-game characters with their minds.

On November 6, 2022, the players log into SAO for the first time, and later discover that they are unable to log out. They are then informed by Akihiko Kayaba, SAO's creator, that if they wish to be free, they must reach the 100th floor of the game's tower and defeat the final boss. However, if their avatars die in-game, their bodies will also die in the real world. One of these players is Kazuto "Kirito" Kirigaya, who was chosen as one of the 1,000 beta testers in the closed beta. Since he had previous experience and knowledge of the game, he felt that he could beat the game easily. As a result, he set out to beat the game on his own. As the game progresses for two years, Kirito eventually befriends a female player named Asuna with whom he ultimately falls in love. After the duo discover the identity of Kayaba's avatar in SAO, they confront and destroy him, freeing themselves and the other players from the game.

Upon being sent back to the real world, Kirito learns that Asuna and 300 other SAO players have still not awakened yet. Following a clue about Asuna's whereabouts in another VRMMORPG called Alfheim Online (ALO), Kirito also enters the ALO's mainframe. Helped by his sister Suguha Kirigaya, known as Leafa in the game, he learns that the trapped players in ALO are part of a plan conceived by Nobuyuki Sugō to perform illegal experiments on their minds to put them under his control, including Asuna, whom he intends to marry in the real world in order to take over her family's company. After Kirito foils Nobuyuki's plans, he finally reunites with Asuna back in the real world.

I truly enjoy this anime.

Now we are watching Black Bullet.

In the year 2021, mankind is decimated by the epidemic of Gastrea, a parasitical virus, and is forced to live within the Monolith walls, which are created from Varanium: a metal that is able to subdue Gastrea. Soon, children born with the Gastrea virus and obtained superhuman abilities as a result, are discovered and dubbed "Cursed Children". Due to the Gastrea virus' intervention, the Cursed Children could only be female. Civil Securities are formed to specialize fighting against Gastrea, operating with the pair of an Initiator, who are cursed children, and a Promoter, serving to lead the cursed children. Ten years after the epidemic, Rentarō Satomi, a high school student who is also a Promoter in Tendō Civil Security Agency owned by his childhood friend Kisara Tendō, along with his Initiator, Enju Aihara, conducts missions to prevent the destruction of the Tokyo Area and the world.

He has already prepared a list for the next, next and next.

SEA Aquarium @ Resort World Sentosa

Been awhile since our last visit.  Initially we were to Trick Eye Museum but the queue was too long ...... imagine 4 hours of waiting time.  By the time we manage to go in, it will be around 7pm.  So we decided to forgo.

The jelly fishes are truly beautiful, aren't they ?

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ting Tinh Jahe

Ginger sweet from Indonesia.  Soft and nice.

Monday, June 2, 2014

@ Beijing NAMOC

Lovely oil paintings by Russian Artist Vasili Nesterenko are currently on display at National Art Museum of China in Beijing.

Gorgeous !!!