My Small Kucing Blog

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Nejla by Barbara Hicthing

Pick this book at the Floating Book Fair  on the ship Logos Hope.

I quote from the cover of the book " A true to life story of love and tragedy in the Middle East".

Nejla got to know about the Bible from her stay with a cousin and she feel in love with it. When she went home, she brought along a copy of the Bible. Each day she reads it and learn to let Jesus into her heart.

Nejla is very close to her sister Leila. In fact, their father have arranged for them to marry two brothers, Hussien and Hamid. Leila is unhappy with the match as everyone knows that Hussien heart is blinded with rage. Nejla tries to help Leila by telling her about the Bible and God.

Subsequently, Nejla married Hamid and they found love. However, her mother-in-law hated her and tried as much as she can to make life miserable for Nejla. Nevertheless, Nejla with the love of God in her heart tried to forgve and love her mother-in-law and love her husband. And this love subsequently broke her.

First of all, I am not sure this book is a work of fiction or non-fiction. In some website, this book is classified as Biography while some classified as fiction.

Notwithstanding whether it's a work of fiction or not, I find that this book is hard to believe. There are so many bad things that happen to Nejla and yet she stayed calm.

Her conversion and the conversion of the people around her seems to be so "easy". For example the conversion of her Father-in-law.

The conversion of Leila is more believable as Leila made bargain with God if God would help her so that she don't have to marry Hussien, she would believe in God. That was what she believed until Nejla corrected her. Yes, that part is more believable as many had "bargain" with God although it does not work this way.

And why is that her Mother-in-law hates Nejla and Hussien's ex-wife, Serap, so much? The reason given was her mother-in-law wants her sons to love her and her alone. The idea does not hold water for me as it is the norm in the Middle East to arrange the marriage of their children. If that is the case, at some point of time, her MIL would have agreed to take Serap and Nejla as her Daughters-in-law.

In my opinion, the solution to the problems presented in this book is too simple. Nejla sounds like a Saint.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Diamond Smugglers by Ian Fleming

I pick up this book at the Subang Jaya Book EXchange Programme.

This is not another James Bond book but it's a non-fiction work of Ian Fleming. It highlighted the truth about a huge diamond smuggling operation. An estimated ten million pounds worth of diamonds were smuggled out from Africa every year.

It's interesting to read how the diamonds were smuggled out and also why the diamond company decided to band together to form monopoly of the industry.

Overall, it was an informative reads but not a page turner.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

Weezie Foley is an antiques dealer. It's a week before Christmas and she is in a frenzy to decorate her little shop for the annual Savannah Historical District Contest.

Most of all, she wanted to beat her nemesis, Cookie and Manny. They have been trying to take away her business since they commenced business.

Things got worse when her decorations and things from her display went missing . To top it off,  she seems to be visited by some mysterious person.

Apart from that she is really looking forward to Christmas. But she don't understand why as Christmas draws nearer her long time boyfriend grow moodier.

I truly enjoyed this book. It's light, it Chrismassy and with a bit of intrigue. It warms my heart to read though Weezie gone through so many things and yet she managed to go on with a smile on her face.

For me, it's  well written and brings much cheer to me when I read it.

At the last few pages, the author have added some recipes, her Christmas Playlist and tips on keeping the happy in holidays. I love it especially the tips.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Mrs MisMarriage by Noelle Chua

This is a little bit of light reading that I pick up from Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme.

The story is about Audrey Lee who is a Singapore girl, studying in Harvard and have a terrific boyfriend, Paul. She had no intention of getting married.

But one day, Paul, unexpectedly pop the question to her. On top of that he got a good job position in Singapore.

She know that Paul and her goes well together and yet she was unprepared for marriage. But refusing him, may lead to them breaking up. In the end, she married him and they moved to Singapore.

Unfortunately for her, Paul had become engrossed with his work after their marriage that they had no time to talk at all.

Suddenly, Audrey found herself lonely. To complicate the matter, many attractive men pop into her life during this period.  This seems to be a recipe for disaster.

I have no high expectation of this book . However, I was not disappointed.

This book is well written. The issues discuss was not far fetched and it could happen in real life. The neglected wife, the suspicious text messages, the online chatting and the non communication, it's all so real.

It's written with much humour too. I can't help laughing when Audrey end up flashing Paul's Boss.

Yes, I like this book.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Hindi-Bindi Club by Monica Pradhan

Synopsis from

For decades they have remained close, sharing treasured recipes, honored customs, and the challenges of women shaped by ancient ways yet living modern lives. They are the Hindi-Bindi Club, a nickname given by their American daughters to the mothers who left India to start anew—daughters now grown and facing struggles of their own.

For Kiran, Preity, and Rani, adulthood bears the indelible stamp of their upbringing, from the ways they tweak their mothers’ cooking to suit their Western lifestyles to the ways they reject their mothers’ most fervent beliefs. Now, bearing the disappointments and successes of their chosen paths, these daughters are drawn inexorably home.

Kiran, divorced, will seek a new beginning—this time requesting the aid of an ancient tradition she once dismissed. Preity will confront an old heartbreak—and a hidden shame. And Rani will face her demons as an artist and a wife. All will question whether they have the courage of the Hindi-Bindi Club, to hold on to their dreams—or to create new ones.

An elegant tapestry of East and West, peppered with food and ceremony, wisdom and sensuality, this luminous novel breathes new life into timeless themes.

My Comments

I find that this book is strangely echos Amy Tan's Joy Luck Club. In that book, there were mothers highlighting their experience and the daughters highlighting their personal life as an immigrant in America.

However, I find that some characters in the book were given a lot of space and time while character like  Uma Basu McGuinness and Meenal were not given enough space.

It's really interesting to read about the Indian culture and history. The author did a good job in describing the rivalry between the Muslim religion and the Hindus. I didn't know there was a holocaust. The only one that I knew of was the Jews by Hitler.  I learnt something new here .

I think with more practice and experience, one of these days the author can be the next Amy Tan.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

An Amish Wedding by Beth Wiseman, Kathleen Fuller and Kelly Long

Synopsis From

Three Amish women yearn for the perfect wedding.
"The Perfect Secret" by Kelly Long
Rose Bender has recently become engaged to handsome but somber Luke Raber. She agrees out of a sense of duty and a willingness to settle for solid friendship as a basis for the engagement. But as she watches her friend's excitement over her soon-to-be wedding, Rose wonders if there shouldn’t be more to her relationship with Luke. She begins to examine Luke and his life more closely and is amazed when she stumbles upon an exciting, secret side of him that engages her mind and heart.

"The Perfect Match" by Kathleen Fuller
Naomi Fisher has had great success at matchmaking her family members and friends. Now with her sister’s wedding right around the corner, Naomi wonders why she’s able to find husbands for her friends and family, but not one for herself.
"A Perfect Plan" by Beth Wiseman
Priscilla King has been planning to marry Chester Lapp since she was sixteen years old, and when Chester proposes on Priscilla’s nineteenth birthday, wedding plans begin immediately. What wasn't planned was all the problems the couple encounters as their big day approaches. A house disaster, a ruined wedding dress, and a sick attendant all make the couple wonder if God's sending them signs to call things off.
My Comments :
This is not my first time reading Amish fiction. In fact I have read "Amish Love" by the same authors which I have enjoyed very much.
This time, I was rather disappointed by Kelly Long's "The Perfect Secret". I feel that the story was a bit dragging. I wish the pace of this story is a bit faster.
As for "The Perfect Match" , it was fun. I am not sure how many of you would categories this story as fun but for me I enjoyed it. The character Naomi was a very charming lady.
Beth Wiseman's "A Perfect Plan" is not bad too. It houses many interesting things that would or may happen dring planning a wedding.
Despite some what disappointed by the first story, I find that the link between these 3 novella makes this book an enjoyable reads. It's perfect for those who are thinking of marriage.
Many thanks to the authors for thoughtfulness in adding a Glosary at the beginning of the book. It certainly helped me understand the story much better.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com   The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Thorn of Lion City by Lucy Lum

Synopsis at

Lucy Lum was the third of seven children, born in Singapore in 1933 into a Chinese immigrant family ruled with an iron hand by Popo, her fearsome and superstitious grandmother. Popo is a firm believer in the old ways, in stomach-churning herbalist remedies, in the dubious fortune-telling of mystics, and in mischievous little girls like Lucy knowing their place. She is forever dispensing her own wicked brand of justice, much to the despair of her adopted family.

This is Singapore in the 1940s, a former British colony now living under the specter of the invading Japanese—the hungry worms crawling down from the north, as Lucy knows them—and fear floods the streets. Lucy's father, a kind-hearted and talented linguist, finds himself being used by the occupiers as a translator, and brings back terrifying stories of his merciless employers, which he confides to his daughter under the heavy teak table they use as a make-shift air raid shelter in the bedroom.

With a fresh and powerful voice, The Thorn of Lion City breaks the long silence of the Singaporean Chinese. Heartbreaking and ultimately triumphant, it speaks of the softly-spoken, redemptive love between a father and daughter.

My Comment :

This is a truly an amazing writing. The way she wrote have an easy flow and easy for me to understand. I can imagine the scenes that she described.

I have read this book before but some how it's still good to read it again.

My heart really goes out to her for being an outcast by her shrew of a mother and grandmother. Her poor father suffered silently.

It was very touching to read about she being framed and the tortured by the two elders. Reading that, I wished that this book have been a work of fiction and not at Memoir. At least, those dreadful thing would have happen in the author's imagination only.

This bring up a malay proverb "Berat mata memandang, berat lagi bahu yang memikul". The meaning is that we are sad to see people going through hardship but it's much worse for the one who had to go through the hardship.

This is a good book to read to remind us how lucky we are now.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Diplomatic Corpse by Anne Marshall Zwack

Synopsis from

When Maggie's husband, smooth, silver-haired, patrician Jeremy, the British Ambassador to Vienna, drops dead unexpectedly of a heart attack, she is stunned.

But her shock soon turns to fury when she discovers that he died in the arms of a beautiful blonde Viennese hostess - and that moreover while she, Maggie, was expected to make all sorts of domestic economies on behalf of the British tax-payer, Jeremy and the athletic Mausie had been indulging in expensive sea-food dinners, skiing trips and all manner of luxuries. But Mausie turns out to be, as it were, only the tip of the iceberg.

As Maggie uncovers a trail of infidelities conducted under her nose in every one of the European cities she had so dutifully made her home in Jeremy's majestic wake, she determines to exact her revenge.

With Zoltan, Jeremy's mournful Hungarian driver, she embarks on a magnificent Grand Tour of their former postings, wreaking a pleasurable havoc wherever she goes.

Along the way, Maggie undergoes her own transformation and learns to re-evaluate her marriage, her own abilities - and just who her friends really are!

My Comments:

Picked up this book from the Big Bad Wolf (BBWS) 2011. I thought it would be just another mindless Chick lit.

However it turns out to be quite different. For me it was entertaining full of humor.

The story like is funny and witty. Maggie is a genius in thinking up uncoventional plans to extract revenge against those who had wronged her.

It's something like Olivia Goldsmith's "The First Wives Clubs" less the heavy discussion stuff.

I guess, it's a good read if one is in need of some cheering up.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Flower Drum Song by C Y Lee

Synopsis from

Originally published in 1957, The Flower Drum Song was a groundbreaking work of popular literature. An immediate bestseller, it inspired the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

This charming, bittersweet tale of romance and the powerful bonds of family tells the story of Wang Ta, who wants what every young American man wants: a great career and a woman to love.

Living in San Francisco's Chinatown-with his widowed father, Old Master Wang, who misses the old way of life in China, and his younger brother, who just wants to be a normal American teenager-Wang Ta becomes involved with a series of women as he searches for love and the American dream. Comic, poignant, and sexy, The Flower Drum Song is an astute portrayal of immigrants struggling with assimilation. This edition features a new introduction by David Henry Hwan

My Comments :

I got this from Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme thanks to nylusmilk.

At first I have no idea why this book is so popular. Everyone that noticed this book was exclaiming "wow!".

After reading it, i know the reason. It's really a wonderful book.

It describe the crash of the old Patriarch trying to get his sons to retain the old Chinese culture and the pull of modernisation and western culture.

It also described vividly what was happening at Chinatown during that time.

The character, May Li and Old Man Li, added much charm in the book. It's refreshing to read of their naivety and how innocent they were despite that they have been in the service for General White before.

I like the story very much and I wondered Chinese girls at America during that time were as selfish as described by the character Chang.

Yes, this has certainly been an entertaining read for me. My only regret is that I was not born soon enough to watch the musical.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Emily The Strange : Stranger and Stranger by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner.

This is the second Emily The Strange book that I have read.

In this book, Emily, some what of an inventor with a mischievous strike got in trouble when she accidentally created a duplicate of herself.

Maybe that's why the synopsis at the back of the book says Double Trouble?

In the beginning, all are well. But at a longer time, more and more strange things happened.

For example the fake Emily trying to kill her when she was sleeping or that her golem, Raven, was holding an axe as Emily woke up.

Then there is the curious case of their neighbor, Venus Fang Fang who seems to have a grudge against Emily.

This book reminds me of us human have their good and evil sides. Just like in Harry Potter, there was a scene where even Dumbledore dare not trust Harry completely. Even Harry himself was afraid that his evil side would take over.

Frankly, I enjoyed this book more than "Emily The Strange : The Lost Days". Could be attributed to I have grown accustomed to their style of writing or that the story in this book is easier to understand. Good versus evil

I recommend this book for young adult both boys and girls.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Emily The Strange : The Lost Days by Rob Reger & Jessica Gruner

I stumbled upon this book at The Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme.

I picked it up due to it's unique cover.

When I open the 1st page, I discovered the print is upside down. After careful thinking, I guess it's not printing error. It is done purposely for marketing purposes maybe.

Anyway, this caused me to examine this book further.

I discovered that it's being written in a unique way. The book is full of illustration and at times, point form is used. Very interesting.

The story is about this 13 year old girl called Emily. She "appeared" in the small town of Blackrock without her memory.

She got no identity. Nothing on her that can give any clue on who she is and what she is doing there.

Temporary she stayed in an old refrigerator cardboard box behind the town bar cum Museum cum others.

In her search for her identity, she met the mysterious monosyllable Raven and weird kid with a parrot Jakey. More suspense awaits as she gradually found out more about herself.

I sort of like this book coz it's so unconventional. Don't expect logic in this book. It's really wonderful to immerse myself into the mysterious and strange world that has been created by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner.

To me this book suit young adult no matter if is a boy or girl.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

More About Boy: Roald Dahl's Tales From Childhood by Roald Dahl

Would you like to know a funny thing? I didn't know Roald Dahl is well know author of Children books until the recent years.

I have always had the impression that he wrote adult books. His first book that I read was a Hardcover book which housed 6 of his famous book - "Kiss Kiss; Over to You; Switch Bitch; Someone Like You; Four Tales of the Unexpected; My Uncle Oswald". I love those.

I bought More About Boy: Roald Dahl's Tales From Childhood from Book Tree not long ago. Obvious from the title, the story is about his childhood staring with his Norwegian father who travel away from his village and had become a successful man. His first wife pass away and during one of his trip back to his homeland, he married Roald Dahl's mother.

His father pass away when he was young but his mother held on with the family and believe that education British education is the best. He was sent to a boarding school till he graduated.

Reading this, I did not feel bored. I found that Roald Dahl could be an imp at times. His mischievous plots sometimes lead to the cane meeting his bum.

There are plenty of photographs and letters that his mother kept, printed here.

There were also School Report/Report Card from his school to his mother which mentioned that his "idea limited" "consistently idle: too pleased with himself" "I have never met anyone who so persistently wrote words meaning the exact opposite of what he obviously intended".

For me this is certainly and entertaining book.

Have you read Enid Blyton "Malory Tower Series" and "St Claire Series"? or  Elinor Brent-Dyer's "The Chalet School Series"? The stories about boarding school, pranks and the school master/mistress are fictional. If you enjoy them, then you will surely enjoy reading about Roald Dahl's experience with boarding school.

I give this book 4 stars out of 5. It's a keeper.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

My Great Picks From Big Bad Wolf Aftermath Sale at South City Plaza

Fuiyo!! Crazy man! Me and my friend  justgot home from the Big Bad Wolf Aftermath Sale at South City Plaza, Serdang.

Super great buys! All books are from RM5 and below.

Of course some books are slightly torn and damaged but we have expected it coz The Big Bad Wolf have already warned us about that in their website.

Despite the warnings, we found that it's not that bad. Most of the books are in a rather good condition. We managed to dug up quite a lot of books. I even managed to find a lot of titles which I missed at the 2nd Wave of BBBWS.

Gosh! I nearly fainted when I saw those hardcover Disney books going for RM5 each. Grabbed some which I missed the last round.

Here are some of the books that we managed to pick from the BBW Aftermath Sale.


It's happening this 24th to 28 November 2011 at South City Plaza, Lot G-29 (20 Ground Floor), South City Plaza, Persiaran Serdang Perdana, Seri Kembangan.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Mango Season by Amulya Malladi

Synopsis from

From the acclaimed author of A Breath of Fresh Air, this beautiful novel takes us to modern India during the height of the summer’s mango season. Heat, passion, and controversy explode as a woman is forced to decide between romance and tradition.

Every young Indian leaving the homeland for the United States is given the following orders by their parents: Don’t eat any cow (It’s still sacred!), don’t go out too much, save (and save, and save) your money, and most important, do not marry a foreigner. Priya Rao left India when she was twenty to study in the U.S., and she’s never been back. Now, seven years later, she’s out of excuses. She has to return and give her family the news: She’s engaged to Nick Collins, a kind, loving American man. It’s going to break their hearts.

Returning to India is an overwhelming experience for Priya. When she was growing up, summer was all about mangoes—ripe, sweet mangoes, bursting with juices that dripped down your chin, hands, and neck. But after years away, she sweats as if she’s never been through an Indian summer before. Everything looks dirtier than she remembered. And things that used to seem natural (a buffalo strolling down a newly laid asphalt road, for example) now feel totally chaotic.

But Priya’s relatives remain the same. Her mother and father insist that it’s time they arranged her marriage to a “nice Indian boy.” Her extended family talks of nothing but marriage—particularly the marriage of her uncle Anand, which still has them reeling. Not only did Anand marry a woman from another Indian state, but he also married for love. Happiness and love are not the point of her grandparents’ or her parents’ union. In her family’s rule book, duty is at the top of the list.

Just as Priya begins to feel she can’t possibly tell her family that she’s engaged to an American, a secret is revealed that leaves her stunned and off-balance. Now she is forced to choose between the love of her family and Nick, the love of her life.

As sharp and intoxicating as sugarcane juice bought fresh from a market cart, The Mango Season is a delightful trip into the heart and soul of both contemporary India and a woman on the edge of a profound life change.

My Comments:

I like this book. It's rich with Indian culture and  tradition. On one side, "Priya" was Americanise but her root kept pulling her towards obeying the family tradition. I can understand why she kept delaying or unable to tell her family about her American "fiance".

The plot had kept me in suspense throughout the book. Even at the ending, the author still managed to knock me off my feet by the secret that she revealed. The author have pretty good sense of humour too. At some parts I can't help chuckling at the jokes that she slotted in especially Priya's brother whom deliberately avoid the family gathering by giving all sorts of excuses.

To me, this book is a light-hearted sort of book. Not one of those heavy and emotional novel. There is no killing the bride for not being a virgin and stuffs like that. It portray a middle class family where they are starting to open up to modern days influence and even the family Patriarch is not excluded.

A gem find for me from the BBWS 2011.

I rate this book 4 stars out out 5.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Two Lives of Miss Charlotte Merryweather by Alexander Potter

Synopsis from

From the "fantastically funny" (Elle), "sharp" (Salon) author of the international bestseller Me and Mr. Darcy, an enchanting drive down the road not taken, in the most surprising company

At age thirty-one, American Charlotte Merryweather has spent ten years in London pursuing personal and professional perfection. Yet her present-day success- heading her own PR company, owning a gorgeous apartment, planning a future with her devoted boyfriend- only heightens the shock of a visit from the past.

"Lottie," Charlotte's twenty-one-year-old self, drives onto the scene at the wheel of a rusty, orange Volkswagen Beetle identical to Charlotte's first UK ride. Charlotte pursues a friendship aimed to bestow upon Lottie a decade of wisdom. Yet Charlotte's prosperous polish proves a pale substitute for Lottie's innate, youthful graces- openness, passion, and kindness. Will the student become the teacher in this witty turnabout?

The clever plotting and winning characterization that made Me and Mr. Darcy a bestseller are on full display in these pages.

My Comments :

I finished this book in four hours.

This is a pretty easy read . Plot were rather smple. Not much surprise there.

Charatcher wise was pretty much ordinary. For the first part of the book, I find it lack of challenge. Nothing much to chew on. Things only git better when Olly the bartender was introduced.

However, the ending was rather clever. Love the twist that the author added there.

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

Craig Gilner is a 15 years old teenager who is highly ambitious. He had his life planned out. He wants to succeed in life. And this means have to get good result in high school, get into the right college in order to get the right job.

He managed to get into the  Manhattan's Executive Pre-Professional High School. However, the pressure become unbearable. He could not concentrate and he stopped eating. Suicide thoughts were constantly in his mind. His friends thought he is weird for he always carries flash cards around him.

Lucky for him, he have an understanding family. When he told his parents about his depression, they very very supportive and got help for him. Sent him for psychiatric treatment. He was alright for some time till he stopped taking his med.

One night the pressure was so hard that he dialed Suicide Helpline and he checked into the Hospital by himself. This is the story of his stay in the psychiatric ward where he met new "friends", which includes a transsexual sex addict, a girl who scarred her own face and self elected President Armelio.

I find that this book was very insightful. Probably because the author had spent 5 days in adult psychiatric in Methodist Hospital, Park Slope, Brooklyn 29 Nov to 3rd Dec 2004. The way it is written was sensitive and the issue touched here are common issues faced by teenagers today.

What I like is that the issue were dealt in a sensitive and respectful way. Not overtly emotional. For example, Craig did not look down on Charles when he found out that Charles is a transsexual person.

Am amazed at the standard of the health care there whereby anyone, even a 15 year old,  who is feeling suicidal can check themselves into a hospital to get help. It's very unlike here were we have to get all sort of "certification" before we can get any psychiatric then we might have been a goner already.

However, I find that the ending was a bit too tidy. All well that ends well?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Starting Over by Tony Parson

George Bailey came from two generations of cops. He was happily married with a near adult son, Rufus, and a teenage daughter, Ruby. His wife, Lara had always care for him.

One day while chasing a felon, George suffered a heart attack. He was given the heart of a 19 year old. From that day onwards things started to change. He feels younger and more "open" as compared to previously patriarch figure.

He felt closer to his son and more relax to his daughter.

He sort of fell in love with his wife, Lara, all over again. Even went as far as getting a tattoo of her name on his body.

However, things was not all rosy and sweet. This new change brought disaster to the family. Without the stern-old school dad around, the family started to unravel. George had meant to do some good but somehow they backfired.

Pretty soon he was kick out of the house. The son dropping out of school, the daughter takes up with some unsavory character while his wife found herself with a new man.

For me this had been a difficult read. Many things in thing book were not straight forward. There was a lot of hinting and readers are to come up with their own conclusion. Hence some part things came up disjointed.

Scene seems to flash here and there. For example, his son Rufus, from a Comedian wannabe to suddenly dating a waitress and going to be a father.

I have read several of his books before this and this book is definitely not one of my favourite book of his.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Baker's Wife by Erin Healy

Geoff Bofinger was a pastor until he was fired from the Ministry based on a lie which rocks the community. However, both Geoff and his wife Audrey were not the type that give up easily.

They start up a new business that blossom from their hobby. They opened up a Bakery. Helping them to run it was their son Ed. Life was challenging enough for them. Nevertheless, the family struggle to hang in there and face the storm that comes upon them.

One morning foggy morning, Audrey hit something when she was driving to work. When she got down and investigate all she saw at the scene was a  motor scooter and there was blood everywhere. The weird thing is that there was no body insight.

The motor scooter belongs to a local school teacher who happens to be the wife of Police Detective, Jack Mansfield.

As the case hits dead end, Jack was convinced that Audrey had something to do with the disappearance of his wife's body. He stormed into the bakery and took everyone hostage. Gave Audrey time to produce his wife body or else......

Audrey had to relay on her special gift and the help of two person of which one was an ex-convict while the other was a teenager to help her solve the mystery and save her family.

This book is a page turner for me as the storyline was well paced  and exciting.

The characters were well developed and believable. Each have their good and their bad.

What I like about this books is that Audrey have the ability to sense what other people is suffering. Something like psychic power. It makes the story feel more mysterious and thrilling.

I would recommend this for those who love to read a good mystery .

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com  The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255  : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Friday, October 28, 2011

Swimming Pool Sunday by Madeline Wickham

"Swimming Day" is an annual tradition with the Delaneys for many year. The whole village would come and enjoy themselves at the Delaney's swimming pool. It's for Charity.

This year is no exception. Louise and her estranged husband, Barnaby were there with their daughters. The kids were playing at the pool while she was sun basking  dreaming of her new boyfriend, Cassian, a lawyer. It was prefect till an accident happened. Recrimination started to fly  and the village is divided in opinion of whose fault is it.

This is the first book which Madeline Wickham(Madeline Townley) that I have read. I have read some of her other books which she wrote under the pen name "Sophie Kinsella".  I was expecting something similar in the likes of the Shopaholic series. It's not. This is something more serious in comparison.

I can't help feeling de javu when reading this. Jodi Picoult's "House Rules" plot is pretty similar to this book. I find that I enjoyed Jodi's book more and the characters are more believable.

I find that the character, Louise, was pretty shallow and cold. She had a husband who loves her and who is responsible and yet she went hankering after Cassian. Her reason? Cassian offers a more glamorous life. She was warned by Ursula Delaney about the children at the pool and she choose to ignore it. When accident happen, did she fell guilty? Instead, she felt only anxiety about the daughter till she neglected the other daughter. It's like there is not enough "spices" in the character. Throughout these "episodes", I don't feel anything for her. I just can't connect with the character.

There weren't much connection of the supporting characters to the main story too. Meredith is Hugh and Ursula's daughter in-law who live with them after the death of her husband and have feelings towards Alexis, the family friend. Nothing much elaborate after that.

Alexis having an affair with Daisy who is 18 years old and young enough to be his daughter.

It would be better if the characters have more depth in them and more involved in the story instead of just the surface. Can't say I sympathised with any characters in this book.

This is a nice book. If I haven't read Jodi's "House Rules", I would say this book is pretty good.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

Another germ...oppss...I mean gem from BBWS. (RM8 hardcover)

The story starts with a Peeping Tom Sheriff, snapping photos of naked sunbathing co-ed girls.He was "caught" by a mysterious stranger with a fierce dog. The mysterious strange was Logan Thibault, an ex-US Marine.

Logan have been extremely "lucky"during his tour of duty in the Marine. In fact, he was so lucky till his fellows Marine were kinda scared of him. His team members were killed and injure in the war. However, Logan again and again was safe.

His lucky streak begin on his 3rd tour of duty in Iraq where he picked up the photograph of a young woman. Nobody claims the photo. His best friend, Victor, believes that this photo is Logan's Lucky Charm.

When he came home he can't get his mind off the photo. Victor had cautioned him not to loose the photo else bad luck will come to him and that he owes a debt to the woman in the photo. Victor told him that he must go and find the woman in the photo to settle his debt or else things would never be balanced.

Something happened and it pushed Logan to start his search...on foot. He walked alone expect for his dog Zeus, search for the woman in the photograph. And when he finally found her, he thought he knew what he must do . But there seems to be more to it that what meets the eyes.

The woman in question is Elizabeth, a single mother to a delightful boy Ben. Her ex-husband  is still very possessive towards her. And Logan found himself falling for her.

This story really gives me the creeps... in a good sort of way. Why not? There a ghost, a pretty outspoken granny and a damsel in distress. If that is not enough to keep the page turning, I don;t know what will. I wish I can tell you how clever the ending is but I guess it's better to read it for yourself. Its enough to say that the ending will bring out your tears or sorrow and tears of happiness.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Marrying Mom by Olivia Goldsmith

I picked up this book at the recent BBWS. Can't say that I liked all her books but since this cost only RM8, it was worth the risk.

The story about three siblings, Sigourney(Susan), Sharon and Bruce, who panicked when their widowed mother Phyllis decided to move to New York City from Florida. She was not the best mom in the world and had not been there for them when they needed her but out of the sudden, her conscience got to her and she felt the need to go NYC to help straighten their lives.

Sigourney changed her name from Susan coz it was too plain. She seems to have a hard time getting a man of her own and had always felt responsible for her siblings.

Sharon married a slobs who was too happy to stay unemployed while Sigourney help out financially with the kids educations and needs.

Bruce is gay and had hard time on commitment. His business is going down the drain.

When Phyllis decided to pay them a visit, they were horrified and worried that she will interfere with their life. Out of panic, the hatch up a plan to marry off mommy dearest to the next available man (preferably rich and can help them financially).

This may not be as good as The First Wives Club but it was sure entertaining and a hilarious read. Definitely pick you out of your gloom.

Some parts were a bit corny but does spice up the story.

The author sure had a lot of sense of humour and put in many punchline in this book.

I love it

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

Sorry for the long silence. Been rather busy with my hoard of books from the Big Bad Wolf Sale. Went there three rounds. Bought over 100 books. Getting book mad already

Here is a book that I got from the BBWS "The Last Song" by Nicholas Sparks. I finished this in just a few hours. Guess this speaks how much I like this book.

The story is about 17 years old Veronica(Ronnie) who was "forced" to spend time with her father. Her parents was divorced and she was angry at her father. The out of the blue, her mom thinks its best that she and her brother to spend the summer with her father in North Carolina.

Her father was a former concert pianist and was her former teacher. He now lives in a small town by the beach. When Ronnie arrived there she rejected all her father's attempt to be her friend.

Unwittingly she got caught up with the town's gang headed by the scary Marcus. Marcus wanted her but he gives her the creeps.

Ronnie bumped into Will. He is the town heartthrob. Slowly, Ronnie let down her guard and fell in love. In doing so, she also got to know her father better.

This is a story of young love, friendship, love between parent and their child and most important of all is the love of God. How the love can hurt us and how it can heal us.

Some people may not like this book as it's not that realistic coz all the condition were very ideal to begin with. There were no grudged between the divorced parents; Ronnie and Will were sensible kids to begin with.

For me, this book leaves me with a warm and fuzzy feeling. It's like being young again with no encumbrance in life, bright future with a dose of uncertainty ahead and stuffs like that. When I read this book, I felt light.

I felt that in this book, the author had reveal more of his relationship with God than in any of his other book. There are many reference made regarding God's will.

As usual, be prepare for a hint of heart break at the ending though things are made stronger by it. I recommend this book for those who needs a dose of hope and to feel young again.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Angels by Marian Keyes

Synopsis by

A new Marian Keyes novel is always something to celebrate, and her sixth novel, Angels, will have you cheering. From the first couple of sentences: "I'd always lived a fairly blameless life. Up until the day I left my husband and ran away to Hollywood, I'd hardly ever put a foot wrong" to the hugely satisfying last page, you're immediately involved in the story of Maggie Walsh's life; of how it went wrong, and then went right again.

The Walshes starred in a previous Keyes novel, the delightful Rachel's Holiday; Maggie is Rachel's older sister, (one of five) and the only one who "never did any of that nasty sleeping around business". Instead she got married to her first boyfriend Paul Garvan and everything was fine, until they suffered a couple of "setbacks".

Unable to face sorting out the difficulties, Maggie hightails it to Los Angeles to stay with her old pal Emily. Emily is a script writer, her short film A Perfect Day was a big hit in Ireland, but her working life is a little tougher in the land of sunshine and fat-free Pringles.

My Comments

When I pick up this book, a lady told me it's quite dry. She can't get pass page 5 of the book. I did managed to get beyond page 5. Read it till the end and I agree with her opinion.

The main character, Maggie, was weak. I find it that it's hard for me to love her despite her pitiful plead that her husband is two timing her by going out with another woman. For one thing, who is she to complain as she was pining for a "closure" from her ex-boyfriend who ditched her without a word.

The plot was rather tame. Nothing much in terms of surprising twist or things like that.

However, this will not deter me from reading other books from this author as a friend told me this author have some real good books.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Koyal Dark, Mango Sweet by Kashmira Sheth

Synopsis from

Jeeta’s family is caught up in the whirlwind of arranging marriages for her two older sisters, but the drama and excitement leave Jeeta cold.

Even though tradition demands the parade of suitors, the marriage negotiations and the elaborate displays, sixteen-year old Jeeta wonders what happened to the love and romance that the movies promise?

She dreads her turn on the matrimonial circuit, especially since Mummy is always complaining about how Jeeta’s dark skin and smart mouth will turn off potential husbands. But when Jeeta’s smart mouth and liberal ideas land her in love with her friend’s cousin Neel, she must strike a balance between duty to her tradition-bound parents, and the strength to follow her heart.

My Comments:

I like this book. It's written in the voice of Jeeta and it have a very innocent ring to it. She is just beginning to discover life and that there is something more in life than getting married and having kids.

The author have put in many scene where Jeeta's character can bloom. There is very strong reference in the tradition and I love to read about the traditions in other country.

It's a very clean book. No inappropriate sexual reference not violence involved.

I would recommend it to young adults.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Golden Bones by Sichan Siv

Bought this quite some time ago. Only got around to read it last week.

This is the real story of a Cambodian boy who made it to America and to the White House. It's an amazing journey.

Sichan Siv was the youngest son of a Police Chief and have love to learn since young. He continued his studies even though after his father passed away and the family was not financially well off.

He came to be an employee of U.S relief agency. But Pol Pot overthrew the government his life was in danger along with his family members. It's known that the Khmer Rouge hates educated people and would execute them in a blink of an eye.

His dear mother and sister had told him to run and never to give up hope. He cycled across Cambodia hoping to go to Thailand. He survived due to his fast thinking. But the he was captured and put into a slave labour camp. He was ready to give up hope when he remembered what his mother had told him "never give up hope".

He reached Thailand in the end but not without some horrifying experience. He was selected to be sent to America.

He reached America, he felt homesick and worried about his family back home. And yet he did not let this deter him from starting a new life there. He worked as an apple picker, a cab driver and burger flipper but he never give up hope. He improved himself and was offered a job in the White House. He was US Ambassador to the U.N.

This is a very impressive biography if I do say so. Not many could have done what he had done.

The book was quite detailed. However, there are some places where it's a bit dry. This can't be helped as he was trying to give the readers a complete background on the political situation in order for them to understand what he was trying to say.

A good read

Friday, October 7, 2011

Purchases from Big Bad Wolf Sale Preview

Guess most of you know that The Big Bad Wolf Sale 2011 is starting on 7th - 16th October 2011. Today, I was lucky to be invited for the preview of the sale.

What is that to say? Wanna guess what's inside this big black bag?

Palm size books for kids costing RM3 each

Kids books costing RM5 each

Kids books costing RM6 each

Kids books costing RM8 each

Fiction. non-fiction. sci-fic and romance RM8 each.

Total damage enough to get half of the yearly Annual Tax Rebate for purchases of books

Check out for the Big Bad Wolf Sale Preview