My Small Kucing Blog

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Villa In Italy by Elizabeth Edmondson

I got this book from BookXcess to make up the amount in order to get the Members Discount price. Typical "kiasu" of me. Well, no regrets there.

The story is about four people from different background received a letter from solicitor telling them that a Beatrice Malaspina had bequest them something. Beatrice Malaspina was an unknown person to them. They were required to travel to a Villa in Italy to claim the bequest.

The four persons were :-

Delia, an opera singer
George , an atom scientist
Marjorie, a detective novelist
Lucius, a Boston Banker

When they arrived, they found that even the solicitor doesn't know what is inside the Will. There was instruction from this mysterious Beatrice that they are to stay in the Villa for 33 days to search for the Will. Failing which, their bequest would be donated to some organisation which they truly detest. And the search begins.

There is a little bit of everything in this delightful novel. Each of them have their own secret past and the sadness cum regrets that they had to bear till today.

The beginning for the novel was interesting. The pace slowed a bit by the middle of the book. Nevertheless it still holds my attention. Bits and pieces start to reveal themselves. Mainly of the four person's past. Mystery still continues on. Nobody seems to know how Beatrice managed to get so much personal information about them and knew their darkest secrets.

The end of the book was very fast paced. There are some parts where I felt lost on who is related to who.

Overall, it was a relaxing read. A charming book. A mystery with a hint of romance.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dragon Rider By Cornelia Funke

I was apprehensive whether to buy this book or not during the last BBWS as it looked a bit "young" for me.

I am glad I bought it in the end coz the other day I really need some "happy book" to read after reading Peony In Love. That was a very good but sad book.

Dragon Rider is about a quest taken on by Firedrake, a brave young dragon. The dragon have been in hiding from human for a long time because human likes to kill them. They hid in a peaceful valley but one day the serenity of the place was broken by bad news. The humans are coming. The dragons will have to find a new place to hide.

Then come a story from the old ones that there was once such a place long time ago where the dragons originated from. It was called The Rim Of Heaven. However, it was so long ago that nobody remembered where it s located and many thought it was just a myth.

Firedrake would not give up and he volunteered to go and seek out this place. The old ones cautioned him to beware of "The Golden One".

Hence Firedrake set off in search of Rim of Heaven. Along the way he had many magical adventures. Made some friends who helped him in his quest. However, his quest also attracted the attention of The Golden One, who wish to seek out and destroy every dragons.

This is a very good book to read especially for teens and those who love fantasy. It was like East meet West. The dragon, brownies, elves and fairies were very much western. It was very entertaining when she add in Djinn and Lama. No regrets in getting this book.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Dispeller of Worries By Lau Siew Mei

This is a story of two different culture of Chui Hong and Rysiek. Their lives collided. Each have their own hidden past.

Chui Hong the 2nd daughter from a Peranakan family who grew up in Penang and her parents subsequently migrated to Singapore. She grew up in the midst of local believes in "Pantang" and the supernatural.

Something happen in the past which shadowed and shaped her life. Two men seems to hold the answers that can free her, Naga and Rysiek. Naga is her step-cousin while Rysiek is a Polish man.

Rysiek, is also a very confused man. A filial son who was felt guilty on not being at his mother bedside when she pass on. Married a nice girl but subsequently the marriage lost its charm. They migrated to Australia but that didn't help. The wife left him to go back to Poland. He was offered a job in Brunei where he met Chui Hong.

For me, this is a rather hard book to read. Too many ambiguous scene. The first part of the story was devoted to Chui Hong and her feeling about her sister. Then there comes the part of bomoh, pocong and charms.

This part was rather eerie for me as I was reading that in the middle of the night. The things that Chui Hong's Amah described was very scary. Good job on this.

The second part was devoted to Rysiek. That one is easy to understand. Quite straight forward.

As for Naga....hmm...not very sure of his part in this book.

Till the end of the book, I am still not too sure how Chui Hong and Rysiek supposed to heal each other. What I saw is that they had an affair. But what does that have to do with Chui Hong and Rysiek's past?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Devil In Me by David Kraal

I nearly miss out this book during The BBWS last round. It was hidden at a corner. I spotted this book only on my 3rd or 4th round at the same table after the "kiasu mode" strike.

You see, I am actually like "Katak Dibawah Tempurung"(Frog Under the Coconut Shell, means not world wise). I didn't know David Kraal is a celebrity in Singapore.

Frankly, the cover was not that attractive. What attracted me to this book was the word "Devil" and "Singapore".

At first I thought it's another travel book about Singapore written by an Ang Moh. What the was The Fire Sale. RM5 only. I have nothing much to loose if it turns out to be no good.

Finally read this book. Wow! it's a really interesting book. David Kraal is a veteran journalist in Singapore. This book is a compilation of his columns from The Straits Times. He shares with readers his observation and thoughts about life in Singapore. Not only that. There are stories of his family life too.

Nowadays, when we say "Singapore" words like "Kiasu" and "Strict" comes to the minds of many people. Mostly due to jokes circulated in the Internet. However, David Kraal gave me a very different impression of Singapore and highlighted the uniqueness of Singapore.

It's a really good book to sink my teeth into and this review does not really do the book any justice as my words are clumsy.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Message In A Bottle by Nicholas Sparks

I like to state that I hate Nicholas Sparks books. But like a moth to the sparks of a candle, I am fatally attracted to them.

A Message In A Bottle is no difference from his other books and yet he still managed to come up with something that pull the readers' heart string.

Theresa a divorcee with a twelve year old son though she would never love again. Never wanted to open her heart to be hurt again. That is until one fateful day when she saw a bottle on the beach. She thought she was going to do a good deed for the environment by picking up the bottle to throw it into the rubbish bin.

Then she saw it was not and ordinary bottle. In it, there was a letter. Her fate was in the letter.

It was a love letter from someone name Garrett addressed to Catherine.It was a very moving letter. She cried when she read it.

at the persuasion of her mentor, the letter was published in her news paper column. She received a lot of respond from readers about the letter and there was one particular reader who persistently wanted to talk to her. There she for the second letter also from Garrett to Catherine with the same tone it was written in the first letter. Then she came upon the third letter.

This aroused her curiosity and she started to dig around. She found the real Garrett and went to see him.

The two of them hit it off immediately. But would they be able to put their past behind and look forward to the future?

Well, here is where the wonderful Nicholas Sparks put an unexpected ending to the story. Gosh...I really hate his books.....

Monday, February 14, 2011

The Purpose of Passion By Kurt Bruner and Jim Ware

The Purpose of Passion with the sub-title Dante's Epic Vision of Romantic Love, co written together by Kurt Burner and Jim Ware is one of the most fascination Christian book about love that I've ever read before. It amazed me even at the first chapter and I find it amusing that they decided to use Dante Aligieri's work as their reference, for as far as I'm concerned, 'Dante Aligieri is well known for his work 'Inferno', not for his love stories. The irony of it amuses me in a good way.

I like how the author(s) starts off the book-with reference to their own wives/people that they have come to know and how they relate their experience about love with their own. Yes, indeed, this book is no fiction, and I suggest you not to read this if you're looking for made up stories. In the first chapter, the readers are introduced to Alicia a woman who has been raped by her own father and how she deal with it.

This book, teaches you about the higher kind of love, for human love does not last forever. This book teaches you on just how you can achieve it, and also the power of forgiveness. This is really an amazing book, and I enjoyed it very much.

Highly recommended for those broken souls or individuals who are doing some soul searching. I rate this book 3.5 stars out of 5. I seriously thought the cover did no justice to the book at all, and it needs improvisation.

Note :Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinion exressed herein are mine.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bangkok Days by Lawrence Osborne

Speak of Bangkok, all kinds of thoughts would comes to mind. City of entertainment and tourist attraction. People comes to Bangkok for Many reasons but Lawrence Osborne comes to Bangkok for its cheap dentistry.

He found that he can live in Bangkok for just a few dollars a day. He preceeded to explore Bangkok. There he venture to No Hand Restaurant where he was feed by the waitress and he was not allowed to use his hands. There was the story where he waited at the Bar to be pick up by women who would pay him for sex.

The things he described should have been interesting and exciting but from the way it was written, I feel it's a bit of tedious. I find that I cannot "connect" with his style of writing.

Well, one man poison is another man's meat. I may not like this book but others may love it.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A Nyonya In Texas by Lee Su Kim

Picked up this book not so long ago from BookXcess through their Facebook.

So far I have read so many books from Angmoh describing life in Malaysia. But very seldom did I managed to find books about Malaysia describing their stay in Overseas. The closes I can find was Yvonne Lee's books about her life as a Air Stewardess.

In this book, Lee Su Kim describe her life in Texas and the initial cultural shock when she arrived there. Hmm...rupa-rupanya, Mat Salleh also have their quirks.

A very fun book to read. Love the art where she poke fun of the Mat Salleh and even Malaysian over there. Some remarks was rather pedas.

I rate this as a great read. Finished this overnight.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Madness Aboard By Yvonne Lee

I have read "The Sky Is Crazy" and love it.

Then a few days ago, Florence, lend me this book. This is another book about funny incidents that happens when she was flying

In this book, she reveals the sexual harassment that she had encountered. And also she had personally witnessed... ahem ahem...passengers who had decided to join the "Mile High Club".

There was also a story on spooky incident on the plane.

This is truly witty and entertaining book. Well written and made me laughed at some of the things that she wrote there. Gosh...the life of a Stewardess is not all glamour and glory.

The only thing that I don't like about this book is the paper quality is not as good as "The Sky Is Crazy".