My Small Kucing Blog

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Joy From Net Galley

Hello! Hello! Fellows "bookworms".

Good news. I have stumble across a great website

NetGalley is an inexpensive and green way for publishers to share their digital galleys securely.

At Net Galley, reviewers, media, bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers and educators can all use NetGalley for FREE to read and request galleys they want to review.

I have joined and the selection of books are vast! Many publishers there. Am dizzy with the selection of books there already.

Do check out this website if you have the time.

For your information, I did not received any $$$ to spread the news. In fact, when I signed up, they did not even required me to blog about this website. Just thought of share some joy of reading to all who is interested in reading

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

An Amish Love By Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller & Kelly Long

"An Amish Love" consist of 3 novellas in a book. "A Marriage of The Heart" by Kelly Long, "What The Heart Sees" by Kathleen Fuller and "Healing Hearts" by Beth Wiseman.

In "A Marriage of The Heart", Abigail Kauffman was desperate to get away from her strict father. The opportunity come in the form of Joseph Lambert, a man who is pleasing to her eyes. Joseph just return to the community of their small town of Paradise PA.

Unfortunately the plan did not go like what she had hope for. She married Joseph but they still live under her Dad's rule.

Although, being forced to marry Abby, Joseph did not really hold much resentment. In fact they slowly come to love each other.

Then there is a "hiccup" where Joseph's past came back to haunt them.

In the end, Abby got to know the reason why her Dad was so strict with her.

"What The Heart Sees" tell the tale of Ellie Chupp who lost her sight in an accident.  Not only that, her boy friend also left her for obvious reason. She had resigned to be alone till the day she die that is till Christopher Miller literally "Bumped" into her leaving a big bump on her forehead.

Chris have come back to the community after 5 years of the accident which took the life of her beloved, Caroline. Chris was shunned when he went to the police to report Isaiah. After 5 years, he thought he can forgive Isaiah

To his shock, his sister Sarah is to be married to Isaiah. Once again Chris was put into a dilemma. Can he forgive Isaiah who is going to be his brother?

This brought Ellie and Chris closer together. But Ellie have a secret of her own.

There is a twist at the end of there story

In "Healing Hearts",  Naaman Lapp walks out on his wife, Levina for one whole year. No reason given except the he is going to visit his cousins in Ohio. Levina thought it would be a short trip but as days past, her heart tells her otherwise.

Then out of the blue, Naaman shows up after one year of absence. Naaman told her that he is home to stay. But can Levina believe him?

And to make it more complicated, a Sheriff from Ohio had show up in the community looking for Naaman. Why is the Sheriff looking for Naaman? What did he do while he was staying with his cousin in Ohio?

In this story, there is also a twist in the end.

I have read books about Amish community before. Thus, this did not come much of a cultural shock for me.

Generally, I like this book. The love there is so innocent and sweet. The way the stories were written also very captivating. Especially the twist at the end of the tale. Something like Jeffrey Archer books.

And most of all, the fonts are of standard size. Not those tiny size. I really dislike reading books with tiny fonts.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5.

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson, the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
At the back flap of this book I saw "The Amish Gathering". I hope I can get my hands on this book.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

More Than Half The Sky

Another gems stolen from The BIG BAD WOLF. It's a compilation of creative writing by 30 Singaporean women which consist of dramas, short stories and poetry.

It highlights the life of the women in Singapore. Their relationship in work, with their husband, with their kids, with their parents and the society. Very thought provoking

As with these type of book, I find that some stories would hold my interest while some would just fall flat.

I like "The Matchmaker", a drama that highlight more and more Singapore woman stayed single and the reason why.

I don't like "Bandong"  as the story was too confusing and consist of too many four letters word though the words are there to make the story a more realistic feel.

Overall, this book is quite good.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Summer Harbor by Susan Wilson

Ever since she was a kid, Kiley Wilson, have loved the summer coz during summer they will go to the family summer house at Hawke's Cove.

She had two best friend there, Mack(the rich boy) and Grainger(the poor boy). But to the three of them nothing  matters as they are the best of friends.

As they grow up bit by bit, both boys seems to be attracted to Kiley.

Then something happened during one summer. And Kiley never been back there again.

That is until recently when her son, Will, was caught smoking dope. And her parents planned to sell off the summer house to finance Will's education.

Kiley was reluctant to go there to check out the things there but her parents were unable to go also due to health problem

Kiley had to go and bring along Will to get him away from the friends influence.

Kiley had to face up to her past and Will was curious of the identity of his father for Kiley had never told him nor her parent about Will's father.

This is overall not a bad real. Enough suspense to keep me wondering. A nice books to curl up during a rainy day and a day when you need romance

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Sight Of The Stars By Belva Plain

The story is began in the early 1900.

Adam was just a kid born out of wedlock. His father loved his mother but when his mother got pregnant, the church refused to marry them. In the end his mother died and his father left to take care of him

His father loves him a lot and subsequently remarried to Rachel. A humble and gentle woman. Adam have two step brothers, Jonathan (the gentle one) and Leo( the bookish, ugly and snobbish one)

Adam father owns a small store and Adam helped him. But Adam is an intelligent and bright fellow. He i not make for the small town.

One day an investment banker told him that he should go out to the world and seek his fortune. Adam was reluctant to leave his father and yet he wanted to go out and see the world

He had his father's permission to do so

In 1907 he went out and seek his fortune . He came to a town where he met with the beautiful and intelligent Emma Rothirch. He stayed and worked for Emma's aunt.

To him, Emma is like an unreachable star. She is a gentle lady while he is just a poor man.

But with his hard work and bright brain, he soon made a small fortune. The aunt finally relented and let him marry Emma.

But soon because of a moment of weakness he nearly lost everything that was important to him.

An enchanting love story and of a man who have made it from zero to hero and then back to earth again.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Conspiracy Club By Jonathan Kellerman

Dr Jeremy Carrier, a young psychologist, was dating a nurse, Jocelyn Banks when she was brutally murdered. As usual, the police would make the boyfriend as their suspect first. There is no difference in this case.

As a result from that, he had become a blacksheep in the hospital where he worked.

Then more women turns up murdered and the police paid a a few more visit.

Jeremy started to wonder and wanted to investigate himself. And out of the blue he started to received notes/ hints in his mail. These hints are very suspicious. It could be a clue or it could be a trap

Then there is another doctor, Arthur who was formerly attached to the hospital who also aroused his curiousity.

Jeremy does not know who is the friend and who is his enermy

I don't really like this book because the pace was kind of slow and not that much of suspense unlike his others novel.

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Wedding By Nicholas Sparks

I have been reading Nicholas Sparks novel non-stop for the past few days. Chen Chzan lend me a stack of them. This is the last book(I think).

The Wedding is a sequel to The Notebook. Here, Noah is old and Allie had pass away. Noah is staying in a Home.

The Wedding continue with Noah's daughter, Jane.

Wilson Lewis is an attorney and had been married to Jane for nearly 3 years. They fell in love when they were young. But somehow they have grown apart.

It is not that they no longer love each other but first works comes in the way. Wilson was always busy with work. Making ends meet.

Then comes the children. Jane was busy with them.

Later the children grew up. House were empty. Just the two of them. Don't know what to talk about. So the distance grew.

Till one night Jane let out a sob. Wilson was curious. Then Jane wished him "Happy anniversary" and then Wilson saw the gifts for him on the table. It was their 29th anniversary and Wilson had totally forgotten about it.

He felt horrible. The next day he went and order flowers for Jane.
All seems to be normal till Jane said she wanna visit their son. Wilson offer to go with her but she told him she wanted time alone. She doesn't know when she will be coming back.

Only then did Wilson knew how much he had hurt her. Wilson does not know how to get her to forgive him/ He visited Noah often and one time he mentioned this to Noah. Then Noah told him a story which gives him an idea.

Wilson started to court Jane all over again. Spending more time with her.

Then something happen less than a month before their 30th anniversary. Their daughter Anna suddenly announce that she had fell in love and want to get married in just a few weeks.

Jane was shocked as she had wanted Anna to have a beautiful wedding but Anna wanted a simple wedding. Just register with the Registrar and nothing else.

Wilson managed to persuade Anna for a compromise. Hence, Jane got to help Anna to arrange for a reception., wedding photograph, wedding gowns and all that.

All went well till the day of the wedding.

I think this is the 1st story that Sparks write which is without a hit of bitterness in the ending. A beautiful book

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Walk To Remember by Nicholas Sparks

Landon Carter is a 57 years old man who recounted back the year where his life changed. It was 1958 and he was 17 years old boy

His family was not rich but life was not bad. His father was a Congressman. His grandfather was not a good man. He was a bootlegger and was sort of a loan shark.

Landon was not entirely a bad boy but neither was a good one also. He and his friend used to tease the town's Baptist Minister, Hegbert.

Meantime, Hegbert also seems to dislike the Carters much.

Hence it was very surprising that Landon fell in love with Hegbert pious daughter Jamie.

Jamie is an angel. A good girl. The two of them have nothing in common except Drama class. As they got to know each other, Landon start to like Jamie while being teased by his friends. Landon gradually sees the side of Jamie which makes him fall in love with her.

Unfortunately, this love was not meant to be unless there is a miracle.

As always with Sparks's books, the is always a hint of sadness in the end.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks

 My friend, Chen Chzan, went and dig out her collection of Nicholas Sparks books when she got to know that I like his writings.

The Guardian is a bit out of the norm for Nicholas Sparks usual style which is mostly about love. This book have is a book about love and a hint of thriller.

Julie Barenson's husband, Jim, died when she was just 25 years old. They were so in love. Knowing that Julie will be lonely after his death, Jim had arranged for a puppy to be delivered to her after his death together with a letter stating that he will be her watching over her even though in death.

Strangely enough the dog which she named "Singer" have an almost human like attitude and seems to understand her every word.

For a long time, Julie mourn  for Jim.

During this period, Jim's best friend Mike fell in love with Julie but he dare not voice out.

Then Julie started to date again. There were some disastrous dates till she met the mysterious Richard who seems to be every woman dream man. Richard courted Julie in the earnest .

Mike also came out of his shell and started to express his feelings to her and Singer like Mike. Julie was not sure whether to choose Mike or Richard for she didn't want to jeopardise her friendship with Mike should their romance does not work out.

But then Julie noticed something about Richard which makes her feel uncomfortable. When she tries to break off with Richard, strange things started to happen. There is more to Richard than what's meets the eyes.

Mike tried to protect her but even Mike also got in trouble with the law because of that.

Things started rolling and till the end of  the book

I love this book very much. It have just the right hint of romance and the suspense. Am a bit sad also as Sparks seems to love to put a bit of sadness at the end of his books

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Rescue By Nicholas Sparks

It was a dark and stormy night. Denise is a single mother and she was travelling alone with her 4 year old son, Kyle. Kyle is not your normal boy. He have speech problem and can't really communicate much with the people around him. Denise love Kyle very much. He is her life.

Denise car went in to a spin when she tried to avoid a deer. She woke up in the dark. A man face was at the window. He was Taylor McAden, a volunteer fireman. Taylor is not your ordinary man. He was a contractor but also a dare devil. Whenever there is a risky mission, he is the 1st one that volunteer for it

Denise was horrified when she discovered that Kyle was no longer in the car. There were a search an rescue team.

Taylor managed to find and rescue Kyle.

Taylor and Denise was mutually attracted to each other. But then, Taylor have a problem. Whenever a relationship grows closer, he would break off with the woman. His previous girlfriends said there is one part of him where they can't seems to reach. He want to rescue people but deep down inside he hide a dark secret and needed rescuing.

I like this book very much especially the character, Denise. Though she was young and made a mistake in her life, she did not give up. In fact she started to build a life of her own with her son even though the son have some problem. She gave up a lot for him

I hate Taylor's character. I really don't know what the heck he wanted. He wanted to "rescue" people but then in the end he is the one who hurt the people he rescue. His previous girlfriends all were having problems of their own when he rode in like a knight in shining armour to rescue them. But when they wanted more, he back out.

The way he giving them hope like that and the dashing them is just  despicable. If yes, say lah yes..if no, then say lah no.

The way that he hurt Denise and Kyle by backing away like that is just too wicked even though he had his own devil to deal with.

I guess this book aptly portray what people like to do nowadays.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Claire Tham Collection

When I spotted this book at The Big Bad Wolf Sale, I was like 15..16...whether to buy or not. It's a case of judging a book by it's cover. The cover looks dirty and "worn". I tried to find a "good" copy. But every copy looks the same. Moreover, I had two boxes  full of books in my trolley.

In the end I was won over by the author's name. Those who know me know what I meant.

By the way, I discovered when I came home that the cover has been purposely printed that way. It's not dirty nor worn out.

There are 3 Collections of short stories in this book.

First being  "Fascist Rock : Stories of Rebellions". There are 8 stories in this part.True to the title, it contains stories of rebellious youth.  Stories based in Singapore, Britain and etc.

I find most of the characters in this part at first were mostly portray and brats but deep in their soul they were searching for the meaning of life. Some are pretty must abstract.

The Second collection "Saving The Rain Forest and Other Stories" have a more matured story line. There are 7 stories here.

Stories are about the desire for individualism and the social norm. What happen when these two doesn't go along with each other.

The being "The Gunpowder Trail and Other Stories". 6 good stories here.

Here, it show what happen when an individual takes a step further for self gain and to continue with self destruction.

A girl who watches silently when her father is being kidnapped; a traffic policeman who accept bribe; a banker who escape town and etc.

This is a case of do not judge a book by it cover. A good book to read when you are emotionally stable. Be forewarned, it is not a book for one who is easily depressed because some parts are very depressing.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: December 3-6, 2010

Book Blogger Hop

This is my 2nd round joining the Book Blogger Hop. This week question is "What very popular and hyped book in the blogosphere did you NOT enjoy and how did you feel about posting your review?"

I can't say that The Associates by John Grisham is very popular and hyped, but it's popular. I did not enjoy reading this book as there was not much depth in this book. Just barely brush the surface.

I felt like a traitor for posting a negative review of this book because I have been a fan of his since the first book that I read(The Firm) . I was swept off my feet when I read the 2nd book "Run Away Jury".

Friday, December 3, 2010

Skipping Christmas By John Grisham

Christmas is just around the corner, so I thought of reading something "Christmassy".

Luther and Nora Kranks thought of skipping Christmas this year since their daughter Blair had gone to Peru to help out with the poor children there under the Peace Corp.

Luther convinced Nora to "skip" Christmas this year and join a Caribbean 10 days cruise.

They are not going to put up any Christmas decoration, buy any gifts nor hold Christmas Party.

However, this does not goes well with their neighbour who are into Christmas spirit. The neighbours were horrified and had used various method to convince the Krank to join in the Christmas fun. The more they push, the more Luther got angry. It's their life and if they want to skip Christmas this year, then nobody should stop them and that nobody CAN stop them

That is till when they received a sudden call from Blair. The fun begin.

There was a movie based on this book. I preferred the movie to the book coz I love Tim Allen in that show. He was pretty funny.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

BookXcess Christmas Promotions & Charity Drive

It's that time of the year again. Lotsa joy and sharing everywhere.

Looks like my favourite local book store have also join in the spirit of giving and sharing.

Bookxcess have all along been sharing good books with bookworms at a low and affordable price. This round the price got even lower.

Not only that! They are also having Charity Drive for Children homes. They do this annually

I just have to pop by their store, pick a book and pay. Select a child name and write a simple message for the child. Then Bookxcess will send the book to the child. On top of that, they will give one more book to the child.

Hope this weekend I will have the time to drop in and do some charity and scout for more books

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Real Time Stories & A Reminiscence By Amit Chaudhuri

There are 16 short stories in this 184 pages book.

Stories are mostly of the modern Indian subcontinent. A wide range.

Among the stories, I like the most is A Man From Khurda District. It's about a man trying to help someone and end-up getting into trouble for himself and his family.

I don't really like the stories in this book. Too many of it with not clear ending and clear story line. More like hanging threads of thoughts. For example"Confession of a Sacrifice". The lady said she was aware that she is being prepared for a sacrifice in the future. But there is no mention of what sort of sacrifice that she is being pushed to. It was left hanging there.

I like story where there is a beginning, middle and preferably and ending. If no ending, at least a hint of it. Instead of just hanging there

1star out of 5.