My Small Kucing Blog

Saturday, April 30, 2011

To The End Of Hell by Denise Affonco

I told my friend about Inspector Singh In Cambodia book and how I was sadden by the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge soldiers. She the passed me this book. It's a real story about how Denise Affonco survived the Khmer Rouge regime.

She was born and brought up in Phnom Penh to a Vietnamese mother and a French father. She worked in the French Embassy and married to Seng a Cambodia of Chinese origin who is a communist sympathiser

She was trapped in Cambodia when the Khmer Rouge came in power. She had the chance to get out of the country with her children as she is a French citizen but that did not include her husband who is a Cambodian. In the end she stayed, rather that to split up the family Moreover, her armchair Communist husband had convinced her that life would soon return to normal when Khmer Rouge wins.

When the Khmer Rouge came in and they evacuated everyone from the city of Phnom Penh and everything was done in the name of Angkar. They were moved from place to place and soon Seng was taken away never to be seen again. Later, her son also taken away from her to do the work of a man. She also had to work and they were not given enough food to eat. Many died.

In fact, maybe that is the purpose of the whole thing. To work and starve them to death as their life does not worth the cost of a single bullet. Poor Denise had to see her sister-in-law, niece, nephew and her daughter die due to lack of food and medication. She also nearly died for Malaria.

This has been a difficult book to rad as I know of the ending already. I guess, war brings out the worse in human beings

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Inspector Singh Investigates : A Deadly Cambodian Crime Spree by Shamini Flint

This is the 4th book of Inspector Singh Series. This round the chubby and funny Inspector Singh landed in Cambodia. Got kicked by his "boss" to be an observer to the International War Crime Tribunal in Phnom Pehn.

When a key witness of the trial was murdered, Inspector Singh was roped in to help out with the investigation.

The authorities are determined to write off this murder as random acts of violence but knowing Inspector Singh, we know that he would certainly leave no stone unturned.

The investigation brings up a lot of heart ache and pain for everyone inclusive of Inspector Singh.

Before reading this book, I was really like "A frog under the coconut shell". I have no idea of Cambodia have such a violent past coz I never really bother to read up the country history and current event.

Frankly, I was horrified by the acts of violent against the so call "intellects" and their family members. The Khmer Rouge were so cruel against women and children. The scenes in this book were very vivid and descriptive.

I had a good laugh at page 137. Just too bad they didn't use the image of Ganesha statue and Inspector Singh side by side as the book cover. It would be very funny.

This is definitely a good read. Full of human and mysterious elements

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Meet & Greet Author, Shamini Flint

Good news for fans of Shamini Flint!!!

She is coming to Kuala Lumpur for book signing. Interested to meet her?

She is the creator of the cute and funny Inspector Singh. Mamarazzi just finished reading Inspector Singh In Cambodia, haven't have time to post up the review yet. This book is terrific.

For your information, Shamini Flint will be at Kinokuniya Cafe, KLCC on 28th April 2011 from 1pm to 2pm.

Those who are interested to go do RSVP by 25th April 2011. Tel : 03-56310794 Ext 217
Faster call up and RSVP!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Max On Life by Max Lucado

Max Lucado is a well known voice in motivating people working towards their goal as well as living a much more fulfilling Life. Max on Life is a very inspiring masterpiece from Max Lucado and it certainly does not disappoint.

Readers who happens to be lucky enough to get a hold on this book would find that this book is not only motivating, but provides some probable answer to some question marks that you may have at certain point in your life.

Thumbs up for Max Lucado's Max on Life. It is highly motivational, and anyone who needs a little bit of those boost that cannot be found anywhere else can be sure to expect that in Max on Life.

Max on Life ought to be rate 4 out of 5 stars simple for captivating and making the readers look on a much more positive side of life. This is one book that ought to be on everyone's coffee table. Max on Life would also make a wonderful addition to one's permanent library.

I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publisher in exchange of an honest review. I was not compensated in any ways for writing this review.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Death Spins The Platter by Ellery Queen

Thomas Heng, a former colleague of mine introduced Ellery Queen(EQ) books to me. Since then I tried to get my hands on as many EQ books as possible.

He gave me a compilation of EQ's short stories. He got duplicate. Too bad I lend it to another person and that person never return the book to me. I really hate it when things like this happen.

Anyway, I was delighted to find this novel at one of the Pay Less Books Warehouse Sale.

Tutter King was a Star disc jockey. But then he was link to something shameful. During his final show, he announced that there will be a special announcement at the end of the show. During the intermission,  he was found dead in the dressing room with an ice pick in his chest.

There are the usual suspects. The low profile wife, the slutty mistress, the employer and the colleague. A reporter, Jim Layton, a reporter is trying to uncover the truth.

I may say this is not one of their(EQ is the pseudonym for two cousins) better book. Not much of a challenge in finding out the murderer. The pace of the story was quite slow in comparison to their other stories.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Eye of Jade By Diane Wei Liang

Mei is a Private Investigator in the new China. There is no P.I. in China. It's not allowed. Thus, she had to register herself as a Consultant instead of P.I.

She was approached by an old family friend "Uncle Chen" to look for a piece of missing jade from Han Dynasty which is supposedly taken by the Red Guards from the museum during one of the Cultural Revolutions raids.

On top of the investigation, her mother was taken ill suddenly. She had to worry about her mother and she had to deal with her gorgeous but self-centred younger sister who is married to a rich man.

There seems to be many layers of deceptions here. During the investigation, Mei found out that things might be link to her family.

I find that this book is rather slow paced for a suspense/thriller type of book. Mentioned and elaborated a lot on Mei's relationship with her mother and younger sister instead of the investigation. Seems like it is a secondary issue.

The plot at the ending was rather confusing on how everything was linked up. I sense that this book could have done better and need some improvement.

Friday, April 8, 2011

For One More Day by Mitch Albom

Charley(Chick) Benetto had lost everything. He lost his career, lost his wife and finally lost the love and respect of his only daughter, Maria.

The crushing blow comes when he received a letter from his daughter enclosing two photographs of her wedding. He was not invited to the wedding.

He just can't stand the blow. Felt himself a total failure and decided to end it all.

For some weird reason, he felt compelled to go back to his childhood home for one last time.

Unexpectedly, the first person to meet him there was his mother welcoming him home as if nothing had happen. He was surprised beyond believe as his mother had died eight years earlier.

He was given one more chance. One day with his mother. The one day that might change his life.

Love this story. It spoke of regrets and things that perceive by one may not be the truth.

Sometimes things seems to be darkest during the night. Some times it just need somebody to understand and stand by you to help untangled things. To sort out the unhappy thoughts and find a way out

The plot is very clever. I did not know whether Chick was dreaming up the experience of that he had died and gone to heaven till the true ending was revealed in the end of the book. There is a special twist in the end of the story.

This is the second time I read this book. Yes, this book is for keeps.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom

This book is about the relationship between Mitch Albom and his mentor, Morrie Schwartz. And this book shall be their last thesis together.

You see Morrie have an incurable and terrible disease which eats him up bits by bit. It'sAmyotrophic lateral sclerosis(ALS). Morrie was Mitch Professor but they lost touch when he graduated.

One day, Mitch saw the news about Morrie and he contacted him. Henceforth this is the beginning of a journey by the two of them. Journey to learn about life and of course death.

This is the 2nd time am reading this book. The first time was when a friend presented me with this book when he got to know that am looking for this book. He is a fan of Hardcover book and have vast knowledge about book. He had collected quite a few copies of Tuesdays With Morrie, all in near brand new condition. He chase after Pay less Book Warehouse Sale.

The first time I read this book, it leaves me with a very strong impression. Shed some tears when Morrie dies.

On this second reading, I discovered something new. Page 92, Para 2 "This is part of what a family is about, not just love, but letting others know there's someone who is watching out for them. It is what I missed so much when my mother died - what I call your "spiritual security" - knowing that your family will be there watching out for you.Nothing else would give you that. Not money. Not fame."

In my opinion, this book is not to be read once only. This is a book that is to be read time and time again. It will give you insight when you read it at different stages of your life.

Definitely a must have in your bookshelves.

As I was getting my camera to snap a photograph of the book, I noticed a 3 legs spider crawling around on the table. Amazing. It's still alive and can move quite fast. I have not got the chance to focus the camera properly, it had disappeared.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Read and Share: Stories About Jesus by Gwen Ellis

This is a board book suitable for children age 5 to 7. In it there are 13 stories about the life of Jesus. These are The Man Who Ate Locusts, John Baptizes Jesus, Jesus Heals a Sick Boy, Jesus Brings a Girl Back to Life, Jesus Walks on Water, Jesus Loves the Children, Zacchaeus, A Blind Man Sees Again, Jesus Stops a Storm, One Lost Sheep, Jesus' Best Friends, One Man Says Thank You, and Jesus Goes to Heaven.

The story my son loves the most is One Lost Sheep. Because his aunt gave him a toy lamb when he was just a few months old and he have it till now. The sheep looks a bit like his toy lamb.

I like the hard board book as it is easy for my son to grip and it's harder for him to "destroy". Yes, he does tend to flip through all his books rather roughly. Board books are more durable.

At the end of each story there is a box with questions and comments for you to ask your kid. To make them think deeper. As usual with books related to bible, there is the scripture reference at the title of each stories so that you can refer to the longer version of the story in the Bible.

Yes, this is a good book to get for your kids and as a gift.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com 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 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Ivy Chronicles by Karen Quinn

Ivy Ames seems to have everything. Two lovely daughters in private school, a handsome though out of job husband and holds a high position in a corporation. Her life is near to ideal.

But in a blink of an eye, she lost almost everything. She have been retrenched from her high power position. Came home , found her husband in the arms of another woman.

With no job and no husband, her funds is running out fast. They have to make drastic adjustment. The girls being pulled out of Private School. They moved to a cheaper rent rate neighbourhood.

Ivy went for interview but the job still did not materialise.

As she was chatting with her best friend Faith, they discover a niche for Ivy. She is going to go into business. What business is that? To help upscale New Yorkers get their kids into the most exclusive kindergartens in the city.

For the first season, she selected 7 candidates. The job should have been manageable. Simple enough. Just need to coach the parents and the kids what to do and what not to do in order to get the kids accepted into the Kindergarten which they have selected. But that is where the hard part being.

Ivy unknowingly is turning into a person which she can barely recognised. She lies and she cheated. Would she wake up in time to mend her ways?

I  can't connect with the character, Ivy. At times she was a responsible mother trying her best to make ends meet but then she jumps into bed with the first guy that catches her eyes. When she was dump by one guy, she would go to another. 

The issue on getting kids in to exclusive or private school is a hot issue in many country now. Yes, the scenario portrayed in this book is pretty much believable. Parents would go to any lenght to have their kids studying in a good kiddy.

Well, there is still room for improvement in this book.