My Small Kucing Blog

Sunday, October 31, 2010

How the Hangman Lost His Heart by K.M Grant

Won this book from one for BookXcess Blog Bonanza quite sometime ago.

This is a historical comedy book where the heroine, Alice de Granville, is the niece of a "traitor". Her Uncle Frank was beheaded and she went for the execution. She went to take his Uncle Frank's body back but the King had proclaimed that all traitors head have to be put on a spike and to be display for the public.

Alice was convinced that her Uncle Frank body should be "reunited" with his head. She went and stole the head.

Hence begin a series of hilarious and thrilling escapes.

A light hearted book. Easy to read. Suitable for teens.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Message From An Unknown Chinese Mother By Xinran

Just finished this book last night. It's about adoption in China and the anguish of the women who give birth to female baby.

At first I thought main it's because of poverty but as I read on, I really felt heart sick for the women in China during that era. Giving birth to a male heir is the up most important thing in China. The first child must be male or else woe will come to the woman and child

Baby girls have very low chance of survival in China especially during the One Child Policy was implemented. Should a woman give birth to a baby girl. The baby girl would be killed/murdered. Some killed by the mid-wife, some by the in-law and some even by the mother herself. And if the woman kept on giving birth to baby girl, she is considered as useless.

Apart from that baby girls were given up for adoption so that the baby girl will have a better life in other country.

The stories in this book really opened my eyes.

One of the touching part of this book is that Xinran hungers for her mother's love. She have a mother but it seems that love was being withheld.

I guess what makes this book so touching is that all the stories there are real life stories. And even Xinran herself have experienced loosing her foster daughter. I hope someday she will be reunited with her foster daughter once again.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Big Bad Wolf Sale Is BAAACCK!

Saw this book listed in BookXcess Facebook page the other day. Cannot stand it. Immediately e-mailed them to reserve this book for me. I love Xinran's book. Got hooked on her book since I read "The Good Women of China".

Went and pick it up yesterday afternoon.

Surprise..surprise...I found this bookmark in the book I've just purchased. Yup...The Big Bad Wolf Sale is BACCCCKKKK!

Hopefully I'll be able to attend coz am dying to get my hands on The Time Travellers Wife book. Haiz...came home. Login into Facebook and saw that BookXcess have posted more photos of the new arrivals. Among them is The Time Traveller's Wife. Guess I have no luck to read this book gua.

How I wish Bookxcess would start a page called MY WISH LIST. Then customers list the books that they are looking for and BookXcess would notify them if as and when they have stock of the books in the list. Or maybe some kind hearted friends can purchase for them? Just like it's done for Ang Moh's wedding gift.*hint*hint*

Meantime, have started to read this new Xinran book. Loving it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Christmas Treasures- Betty Neels & 2 others

This Mills & Boons is a 3-in-1 book.

1) Always and Forever by Betty Neels

Amabel is a "small dull creature that wears the most appalling clothes". She kept the B & B(not blackberry but Breakfast and Bed) while her mother went to Canada to visit her sister who have just gave birth. Amabel was a bit scared as this is the 1st time she is all alone and was hoping that her mom would come back soon

People thought she should close the B & B while her mom was away but money is a problem. Her mom had to take up a loan to go visit her sister and the new baby.( I don't understand, why so desperate to see the baby till have to take up loan for it.)

One day a guest checked in with his mom. That guest was Dr Fforde, a doctor, and he seems to be very concern about Amabel staying alone there keeping the B & B. He kept contact with Amabel

One day Amabel received a shocking letter. Her mom met a man and married the man. And they plan to convert the B &B into a greenhouse. Her mom hinted that Amabel should find work. (Grrrr...such a selfish woman.)

Her mom and her new stepfather came home suddenly. The darn man didn't like Amabel but expect her to work in the Greenhouse for him. Her mom sid she should do it and after she help her stepfather then maybe she can go out into the world to find a job (Habis manis, sepah dibuang).The final step came when the man planned to destroy her cat and dog. She ran away.

When Dr Fforde found out, he helped her again and again. But he have his own problems too.

I don't like this story at all. There is no clear time frame for this story. Don't know it's set for which era. Modern or historical.

Amabel seems to be such a pushover. Worry too much. I don;t seem why Dr Fforge sees in her apart from she being so "helpless".Very frustrating to read about her. Thought the story have a happily ever after, but if in real life, I wonder if this marriage would work.

2) The Perfect Christmas - Caroline Anderson

Julia is a widow with a young daughter, katie. her "husband" was a terrible flirt who abandoned her after she gave birth coz she is not sexy anymore. He managed to wrap his car and himself onto a tree one night and left Julia with a mountain of credit cards debt. She had to sell the house and work herself to the bone to payoff the debt. And she had swore off man as she want to protect her daughter

She is a nurse and one day she saw a roadside accident. She helped. And there was this man who is a doctor who also help. When she arrived to the hospital, she found out that this man is a new doctor in the hospital.

The doctor, David, was attracted to Julia from the first moment. But Julia tried to hold out as she does not want any messy relationship for the sake of her daughter.

This is story have the regular feel of a typical M & B. Enough romance and stuffs. Like it.

3) Christmas At His command - Helen Brooks

Marigold Flower...yup that's the name of the heroine was a woman scorned.. She borrowed the Cottage from her colleague Emma to hide during Christmas period to lick her wounds.

But unfortunately on the way to the cottage, her car broke down. To make the matter worse, she twisted her ankle very badly.

Then a car stop . A man came down to help her but before that he "shoot" her. Not with a gun but with words. He thought she was Emma. From his description, Emma and her family seems to be a horrible bunch. Nevertheless he did help her. Took her to his home and nursed her.

Then he found out the mistaken identity. He was attracted to her and vice versa. But as usual, there are obstacles.

A whirlwind romance. Good read.

Well this book seems to have a bad beginning but the later two stories were good. Satisfying. Worth the money.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Lovely Bones By Alice Sebold

Just finished this book. Am feeling extremely sad and depressed. Guess I will have to stop reading this sort of book. But can't help myself as this book is very good.

Story start with Suzie Salmon narrating about her life in heaven and how she observed her family and friends on earth getting on about the news of her murder. And later on how they deal with that

Suzie was murdered. But her body was never found with exception of an elbow.

She even have the opportunity to observe her murderer.

What got me so sad and depressed was the hopelessness of the situation. From Suzie's description. She can have everything in Heaven. Even the air was tuned to her personal preference. Everything seems to be perfect but how come I feel so empty reading that? She should have been happy but instead she felt "comforted". What if life in heaven is THAT mundane?

I also felt sad for her dad. He "knew " who was the murderer but nobody believed him till it's too late. On engrossing himself to hunting for the murderer, he had also pulled himself away from his beloved wife. His wife had felt lonely and restless for so long.

Am not satisfied with the ending of the story for I love good ending. But then, nothing in this world is perfect, right? Perfect ending don't happen for every case in this world.

Really a very touching story.  I wonder how Alice Sebold managed to come up with such a sad story.

 bought this book from BookXcess last week. It's in their new shipment. Go and grab this book if you want a good cry. Worth cry for.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

THe Last Promise By Richard Paul Evan

This is another good book. Thanks to Jenna for lending me this Book.

It's a Cinderella story turns bad. Eliana, a small town girl who went to Italy for her last two month study was swept of her feet by a handsome Italian man. His name is Maurizio and he is well connected.

When they were courting all things are fine but after marriage, Maurizio turned out to have the Male chauvinism  trait. He expected Eliana to serve him hand and foot. He very much controlled her entire life. Not only that. He frequently left Eliana with their asthmatic son for business trips and these trips involves many love affair. Eliana know about this but she can't do anything about it  as Maurizio had threaten to take their son Alessio away from her.

Eliana thought she can turn a blind eye on the love affairs. That is until the arrival of their new tenant, Ross. An American who is working illegally as a Tour Guide Assistant.

Their attraction is mutual that is until Maurizio got to know about it. He took Alessio away from Eliana. Eliana was frantic and was willing to sacrificed everything to get her son back and this include her own happiness.

I am glad that I did not give up on this book. At the beginning I find it hard to start reading. But as I get along, things starts to reveal themselves.

Lovely book. Now I hope get my hands on his other books especially "The Christmas Box"

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A Perfect Day By Richard Paul Evan

A friend loan me two Richard Paul Evan's book for nearly a year. I have tried reading this a few months ago but the "mood"  just wasn't there.Have you ever found yourself to be in need of a certain mood to read a certain book? I have considering to return the books to her without reading but decided to give it a try once again.

Robert met Allyson before her fathers death.  Allyson's mother had pass on some years ago and her father single handed raised her. Their relationship was very close. So close that her father wanted her to have a perfect day before he tell her that he was dying. He hopes that the man who marry Allyson would love her as much as he loves her. Robert promised Allyson's dad that.

Robert wanted to be a writer his whole life but he had to keep his dream in abeyance and take up a job in a Radio Station in order to support his family.  However, the family was happy

One day, lightning strike. He was fired from his job. Ally then urge him to go after his dream of being a writer. For more than 3 months he gave all he have and wrote a book.

The book was based on Ally and her father's relationship and their last days together. He sent to 25 agents but on and on he kept receiving rejection letters. Ally was always there to comfort him and urge him not to give up hope. He was like a zombie when he kept receiving those rejection letters. He gave up hope and went to work as a water sprinkler installer with his brother.

Then he received a call from and agent. The agent love the book. From then on he gain fame and fortune. He suddenly have millions of fans and constantly on book tour. This leaves Ally and their daughter very much alone at home. There were constant broken promises to Ally.

The gulf between them deepen till they could no longer stay together. Like Chinese saying "able to through hardship together but unable to go through being wealthy together".

The book agent felt very bad at this. Coz she felt it's her fault . Somehow she had managed to break up this wonderful family unit.

Then Robert had a strange encounter. A man he met told him that he have till New Year to live. At first Robert did not believe him but then the man seems to know everything about him and even things that he didn't tell people  and the man even managed to predict a few future incidences.

This convinced Robert and he suddenly realised his folly and set on to rectify his error. He dare not hope to win Ally back but at least he hope to be there for his family with what ever time he had left.

I finished this book in a day. This just show how good this book is. I am so glad that I gave this book another try. Sometimes I just need the mood to be right to read a certain book.

Thank you very much, Jenna, for lending me this book for such a long time

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Haris

Clarice Starling, a FBI newbie is under training and was selected to approach Hannibal Lecter, a Pycho who is being detained in a high security asylum . This is to garnet information of psychotic killer. A research.

Hannibal was a psychiatrist before he was apprehended. Very clever fella.

At the same time, Jack Crawford who is Starling superior is chasing after a pycho killer nick named Buffolo Bill. His speciality is to kill and skin the victims.
During the course of research, Lecter hinted that he know the identity of Buffolo Bill. And Starling was given hints

Suddenly, Catherine Baker Martin, the daughter of Senator Ruth Martin, was kidnapped. This lady will stop at nothing to get her daughter back

Starling was forced to get closer to Lecter for information. But then the jailer got jealous. He planned a trade with Lecter. If Lecter would give him the name of Buffulo Bill, he would ask for a more comfortable place/jail for him from the Senator.

The senator agrees and during the transfer, Lecter escaped.

But Lecter is specially fond of Starling and had contrived to give her hints on who is Buffolo Bill.

Though Starling encountered a lot of obstacle but she kept on at it.

Finally found Buffolo Bill in time to rescue the senator's daughter
This is a good book. Hannibal was really psycho and love to play games with minds. Manipulative. Well, can't blame him. Maybe he learn from his folks and the people around him
Have you noticed that parents loves to play mind games too? Especially the older generation. They would pit one siblings against another and later on wonder why the siblings relationship aren't as close. How to be close if there resentment constantly building up?
Why is it parents love to compare one kid against another? Some parent would say something like this..."why you are not as hardworking as your bro/sis?" or "if you don't do this, never mind, I'll get your bro/sis to do it". It's as if the kid is easily disposable.

Whatever it is, I wonder if someone would write a book on this.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Stepmother by Carrie Adams

3 main characters. Bea - the ex -wife, Tessa-the future wife and James-the man

Bea and James used to be the perfect couple. In fact everyone called them Jimbean. But then Bea divorced James for some reason. In everyone eyes, she is the perfect mother. Volunteers in school and totally devoted to her kids and husband. She is the SUPERWOMAN. Then why did the perfect marriage failed?

Tessa nearing 40s and still single. She is a successful lawyer. She fell in love with James who is a divorcee with 3 kids, one which is a teenager. James seems to be the perfect man.

James,seemingly the most attentive ex-husband. In fact Bea had hopes of getting back together with him. But the suddenly James burst her bubble. He found himself a girlfriend, Tessa. Bea wanted to hate Tessa and so does her kids. In their opinion, Tessa is the evil stepmother.

Tessa, young, slim and beautiful and have a successful career as an entertainment lawyer but she is totally at lost on how to deal with the kids and the "clinging" ex-wife.

Meantime, James seems to be not taking any sides and in fact look to be running away from responsible.

But somehow, the three of them managed to find away around all the emotions.

There is really no right and wrong in this book. It depend on ones perception. At first, I hated Bea for divorcing James and then wanting him back But then later on she gave good reason.

Then I hated James for not being there when Tessa needed him and when he refuses to see reason when Tessa tried to reason with him. However, he managed to admit his mistake and he was doing what he had thought is best for everyone.

As for Tessa, she seems so childish at times. Bearing grudge against her eldest step daughter. And she have a reason to dislike the step daughter.

At first I thought this book is just another Chic-lit book. No need to use brain. But I was wrong. A lot of emotional stuffs in it. Not a book to be read when you are tired or emotionally drained.

I give this book 3 out of 5.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Inspector Singh Investigates " A Most Particular Malaysian Murder by Shamini Flint

Inspector Singh is with the Singapore Police Force. Kinda black sheep if the force coz he doesn't do thing according to the rules. He was sent to Malaysia to "help" out with a murder case. If he managed to solve the murder then "hooray!" but if he failed, the Singaporean Police Force will have a reason to force him into an early retirement.

The case? Involve the murder of a Timber Tycoon, Alan Lee. The main suspect is his ex-wife, Chelsea Liew, a Singaporean who used to be a famous model until she married Alan Lee. She stopped working after she married him. They have 3 kids. And there are rumours that Alan beats her up and that Alan had numerous affairs during their marriage

Finally she can't take it anymore and filed for divorce. They were fighting for custody of the kids. Looks like Chelsea have public sympathy. That is until Alan suddenly announced that he had converted to Muslim and declared all his kids to be Muslim.

Chelsea was outraged for this nasty trick of his. And had out of anger threaten to kill him.

Soon, he was found dead with a gun shot wound. Chelsea was arrested. This is where inspector Singh comes in. In normal case, this would not have involve Singaporean police. But this case had turned into media circus especially with the conversion to Muslim and all that.

There are several unexpected turns of events.

I love this book. Shamini seems to managed to touch a few controversial issue. Like what happen if conversion to Muslim is fake, what happen to the death body of the so call convert, the "harta pusaka", wife beating, environmental issue and a few others.

The only thing I don't like is the misplaced usage of the word "lah" in this book. She doesn't seems to get the hang of how the word "lah" is supposed to be use. For example page 122 "Don't go to airport, lah!" spoken by Mrs Wong to warn Rupert. The "lah" seems to have diminish the urgency.

Overall, I give it 4 stars out of 5. Am looking forward to her next book "Inspector Singh Investigates : A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul".

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Unhurried Thoughts At My Funeral by Catherine Lim

Thank you very much, Chen Chzan for this book. Just finished reading this two days ago but haven't have time to post about it.

This is a fiction about the 3 days that Catherine Lim had pass away where she lay in the coffin before being cremated. Her thoughts and her doubts.

There are parts where people come to pray to her for help, part where Natas(Satan) came to seduce her, part where her love ones show their true colours and part where she "bargain" with God.

The part where Satan made her question the existence of God and doubtful whether God is a forgiving God or not was interesting

In Asian society, I guess it's rather a taboo to be speaking of death and let alone writing about oneself being dead. This lady really have guts.

Very fascinating story. Cleff, this story is definitely not for you. Could be depressing also.