The Lost Symbol

Robert Langdon, the Harvard symbologist, received a call from his former mentor and close friend, Peter Solomon, early one morning. Could he please give a lecture that evening to replace a speaker who was suddenly taken ill? Langdon couldn’t possible deny the request of a dear old friend. So he boarded the private jet Solomon had waiting for him to Washington.

When he arrived at the National Statutory Hall, it was empty. There was no one there, no audience. It turned out that the person Langdon spoke with earlier that morning was not Solomon’s personal assistant. He spoke to a maniac who had kidnapped Solomon and now Langdon had to do his bidding if he wanted to save his friend’s life.

Langdon’s quest was to find the Mason’s ancient pyramid and solve a series of riddles to uncover a long lost treasure, a secret ancient wisdom, buried somewhere in Washington. The Masons had been guarding the secret for generations, waiting for the moment mankind is able to comprehend the powerful knowledge that will take human civilization to a new level.

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Gone Tomorrow

Out of habit, Jack Reacher observed and checked out his fellow passengers on a train in the New York subway. One woman checked all eleven bullet points of a suicide bomber checklist.

But something was not right. It was 2 a.m. Suicide bombers always try to do the most damage. There weren’t many people on the train and in the stations at that hour. Regardless, Reacher had to do something to prevent a disaster. He approached the woman to try to calm her down and reason with her. She pulled a gun and shot herself in the head.

At the police station, two government agents who refused to identify themselves asked Reacher what that woman told him and if she gave him anything. When Reacher left the police station, four men in expensive suits were waiting and asked him the same questions, and threatened him of a possibly fatal consequence if he didn’t cooperate.

That was enough to get Reacher to start digging for the truth.

As always, Lee Child doesn’t disappoint. This is another hard-to-put-down book. Get it from this store or that store.

Mandela: The Authorised Biography

Did you know that Nelson Mandela was royalty? He was the great grandson of King Ngubengcuka.

Before Mandela’s father passed away, he asked his friend, the Regent of the Tembu people, to take care of Mandela and provide him with a good education. The Regent kept his word and saw to it that Mandela received a good education. The Regent and his family treated Mandela as one of their own. But when the Regent tried to arrange a marriage between him and a young woman he didn’t quite like, Mandela and his cousin fled to Johannesburg.

In his youth, Mandela showed little interest in politics. When he joined ANC and became increasingly active in politics, it caused a rift between him and his first wife, Evelyn. She eventually left him due to her resentment of his political activities.

ANC organised protests and demonstrations to oppose the apartheid government, which was met by violence with the authorities who wanted to crush the dissenting voice. Mandela was not keen on armed struggle. He would like to use peaceful means to bring down the apartheid government, but when ANC was banned, Mandela and and many of his friends were forced to go underground and some fled abroad. After peaceful means were exhausted, Mandela had no choice but to agree to an armed struggle.

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Israeli Apartheid

This book starts with a definition of apartheid as specified in the International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid in UM General Assembly Resolution 3068. Then the author compares the similarities and differences between the apartheid policies in South Africa and Israel.

This book extensively documents Israel’s discriminatory policies against non-Jews — by-pass roads, land theft, illegal Jewish settlements (illegal according to international law), travel permission slips, checkpoints — to name just a few.

If you want to understand the root cause of the conflict in occupied Palestine, the first book I recommend you read is “The General’s Son” by Miko Peled. The second book I recommend you read is this book, which you can get from this store or that store.

Ini Sekolah Kita

Ini kisah kegigihan sekumpulan siswa-siswi Malaysia di Jordan menubuhkan sekolah untuk anak-anak Syria yang menjadi pelarian perang.

Ini kisah duka anak-anak yang menjadi mangsa peperangan. Dalam usia muda, mereka menjadi mangsa kekejaman dan kesedihan yang kita tidak terbayangkan.

Keperitan hidup mencampak mereka ke lorong-lorong dan jalanan. Mereka mengemis. Mereka menjual tisu. Untuk memastikan perut terisi.

Di sebalik semua kepahitan itu, mereka tetap nakal, manja dan mengada-ngada. Mereka hanya anak-anak yang mahu disayangi dan dibelai.

Sekolah untuk anak-anak pelarian ini menjadi ibarat syurga bagi anak-anak pelarian Syria. Ia tempat mereka boleh kembali menjadi anak-anak.

Ada yang sudah berusia 11 tahun tetapi tidak mengenal huruf pun kerana tidak pernah bersekolah. Perang merampas peluang mereka untuk belajar.

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Daddy’s Little Princess

Cathy Glass (a pseudonym) is a foster carer. When social service sent Beth to her home to stay while her father was in hospital for depression, Cathy thought it was just another foster child who was staying with her temporarily.

But Cathy’s instinct told her there was something not quite right about Beth’s relationship with her father. She couldn’t pin point what it was, but she knew something was off. When Cathy voiced her concern to Beth’s social worker, it was dismissed because there was no evidence that anything inappropriate had happened… until the social worker witnessed the way Beth and her father interacted.

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Dunia Tanpa Tembok

Pernahkah anda tertanya-tanya apa kisah sebenar di sebalik apa yang berlaku di pentas politik antarabangsa? Kalau anda mahu faham ‘wayang’ politik antarabangsa, anda perlu faham percaturan geopolitik.

Buku ini adalah himpunan artikel yang ditulis oleh Ayman Rashdan Wong mengenai isu-isu geopolitik. Apabila anda faham strategi dan taktik geopolitik, anda akan faham percaturan licik para pemimpin dan ahli politik demi menjaga kepentingan politik dan negara masing-masing.

Artikel pertama menceritakan asal-usul nama Malaysia manakala artikel kedua menceritakan asal-usul Jalur Gemilang. Saya pasti ramai rakyat Malaysia tidak tahu kisah menarik di sebalik dua sejarah ini.

Kalau sehingga sekarang anda masih keliru mengenai siapa di sebalik peperangan di Syria dan Yaman, dan apa yang mereka mahu, kupasannya ada dalam buku ini.

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