Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What I did with RM 2500 in MPH vouchers...

I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to list all the books I bought with the RM 2500 MPH gave me in prize vouchers for the MPH Search last year. Basically, they gave me that much money to be spent within a period of three months, so you can imagine the kind of shopping I did!

In order to help me finish the vouchers while they were still valid, I stuck by two principles:
1) Buy books for other people
2) Buy expensive books of the sort I would otherwise never dream of buying

Some of these friends only replied with their 'wish list' after the deadline, so I didn't buy those books with the vouchers; I still bought them though, because a promise is a promise!

* * * * *

The list that follows is of the books I bought (in chronological order, more or less) for others with the vouchers, with recipient in parentheses:

Glorious Appearing by Tim Lahaye and Jerry Jenkins (Kevin)
Corinne Bailey Rae - audio CD (LS)
The Cloudspotter's Guide by Gavin Pretor-Pinney (LS)
Ginger, Garlic and Green Onion Cookbook (Mum)
Papaya as Medicine (Mum)
Mushrooms in 60 Ways (Mum)
Mini After-Work Cookbook (Mum)
Five Have Plenty of Fun by Enid Blyton (Sara)
Five on a Secret Trail by Enid Blyton (Sara)
Night by Elie Wiesel (Denise)
The Pact by Jodi Picoult (Cass)
Ideas and Opinions: Collected Essays of Albert Einstein (Mrs Loo)
The Get Fuzzy Experience by Darby Conley (Why On)
Calvin & Hobbes: Scientific Progress Goes "Boink" by Bill Watterson (Mich)
Five Go to Billycock Hill by Enid Blyton (Sara)
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb - down payment for order (Dad)
The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis (Tien)
A Room Called Remember by Frederick Buechner (Pn Jaya; decided to buy it for her as she abducted my copy and loved it so much)

There were also a number of books I shared with Simon as gifts for the school Christian Fellowships/Unions involved in the KL/PJ SCF Leaders' Convention this year:

The Fight by John White (SBU CU)
Ordinary Men Called by God by James Montgomery Boice (CHS CF)
Called to be God's Leader by Henry and Richard Blackaby (Taman SEA CF)
Steadfast in Your Word - reflections by Martin Luther (PESS CF)
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis (MBS CF)
I Believe by Alister McGrath (VI CU)

Some of the vouchers I gave to Miss Shanti, Sara and the Church. All in all, I spent about RM 1400 on others.

* * * * *

The remaining RM 1100, I spent on myself. These are the books, and the reasons I bought them:

Mister God, This is Anna by Fynn
Little girl and a whole lot of faith. Go figure.

Selected Books of C.S. Lewis
The Pilgrim's Regress, Prayer: Letters to Malcolm, Reflections on the Psalms, Till We Have Faces and The Abolition of Man... all in one volume! (I've already read Abolition, but never mind that!)

The Cost of Discipleship by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
A book I'd been meaning to get my hands on ever since I saw it for the first time in MPH 1 Utama. Discipleship has been a recurring theme last year.

A Room Called Remember by Frederick Buechner
I've also been meaning to read Buechner, after coming across some quotes in Philip Yancey's books. Indeed this is a book that is worth every sen paid.

The Challenge of Ethnicity
Readings on Ethnic Relations in a Multicultural Society
Two books I bought to help me with an essay I was supposed to write for the Perdana Leadership Foundation's essay-writing competition last December. In the end, I decided I'd written enough essays last year and thought I'd just take a break.

(Some trivia: I actually read through a number of the essays/papers during the six-hour ceramah amali prior to getting the 'L' licence.)

Poetry Speaks
A collection of poems (in hardcover coffee-table book form) by the who's who of 20th (and a little of late 19th, I think) Century poetry, read by the poets themselves on CD! Worth the RM 148, most of all to hear T.S. Eliot read 'The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock'.

Introduction to Augustine
Originally meant for a Christmas party that was cancelled at the last minute. I'm still wondering what to do with it.

Relativity by Albert Einstein
A hardcover, concise exposition on one of the most groundbreaking theories of the 20th Century, by the genius himself... for only RM 23! Need I say more?

The Creation by E.O. Wilson
At first I thought E.O. Wilson was writing as a Christian to Christians on why conservation of the environment is an integral part of the faith. I later realised, halfway through the book, that he was writing as an atheist. It is, nonetheless, a sound book, scientifically and theologically, by this eminent biologist.

From So Simple a Beginning: Four Great Books of Charles Darwin collected by E.O. Wilson
I have heard it said that an enemy can sometimes offer the most constructive criticism of your work. I don't agree with Charles Darwin on some fundamental elements of existence, but I figured it would be good to read this most revolutionary scientist and keen biologist, for my line of work may very much resemble his someday.

U2 by U2
At RM 170 for the book, a poster and the U2 18 Singles CD, this was a steal. Probably one of the best biographies around, simply because the entire text is taken from interviews with the band, so the words are 100% theirs. Offers an incredible insight into the beginnings of the 'greatest band on earth', their songs and what keeps them together and thriving after nearly 30 years of 'making music with your high school buddies'.

(By the way, I already have the U2 18 Singles CD--bought the version that came with a live DVD and booklet--so I intend to give it away. Any takers?)

I Believe by Alister McGrath
A book on the Apostles' Creed by this eminent Oxford scientist-theologian. I think it's advantageous to be interdisciplinary in terms of education and interests; I straddle the literary and scientific worlds, and I think it's going to stay that way for some time. Adds a whole new dimension of fun and life to... life!

The Reluctant Politician by Ooi Kee Beng
Don't ask me why I have a book on Tun Dr Ismail on my bookshelf; I'm not one for politics, as interdisciplinary as I may be. Just so happens The Star had a discount voucher for the book, and I thought the book might come in handy someday.

The Language of God by Francis Collins
The head of the Human Genome Project, also an outspoken Christian, discusses the compatibility of faith and science. Along the way, he invents a word which is worth the RM 90 spent on the book, and will probably set the tone for my career if I become a biologist: BioLogos.

Sister Act - DVD
Don't recall watching the movie, but since Li-Shia has been telling me all about its wonderful arrangement of 'I Will Follow You', I decided to try it out. RM 30 for an original DVD... not too bad lah. :-P


lidotshia said...

so have you watched it yet????

WeiYun said...


WY: Let's go to MPH.

(Everyone steals vouchers off her FORCEFULLY)

In the end, I spent less than RM 500 on myself; everything else went to my sisters and relatives. And as presents.

Ah well, never mind.