My Small Kucing Blog

Friday, September 30, 2011

Joss & Gold by Shirley Geok-lin Lim

The story is set in 1969, a few year just after the formation of Malaysia. This is the story of Li An and her two friends (Ellen and Gina).

Ellen, young and brave and yet does not know what to do with her life.

Gina, comes from a traditional Chinese family who "fell in love" with a Punjabi guy.

Li An married the wealthy Henry who loves her very much. At first she was contended till Chester, an American, comes into her life. She was attracted to him. During the tragedy of 13 May, something happen that changed her life forever.

It was quite frustrating to read the part about Gina and her boyfriend. They said they are in love and yet they give a lot of reasons when Li An and Ellen tried to help them. It was like they are happy to be drama queen and drama king.

The plot of this book was quite predictable. But what I love about this book that it touches the relationship of all races in Malaysia.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Unfortunate Miss Fortunes by Jennifer Crusie, Anne Stuart, Eileen Dreyer

When Lizzie and Mare were still young, their eldest sister Dee kidnapped them. They ran away from their Aunt Xan who is a source of danger to them though only Dee knows what sort of danger it was.

The three sisters have special powers though they can't control their power properly yet.

Dee have the power of shape shifting. Lizzie turn things like forks into rabbits and she is aiming to turn straws into gold to help the sisters financially.

Mare have power to move things.

One day, the sisters true loves came into their life out of the blue. It was the work of their evil Aunt Xan. It caused a lot of havoc. And they have to battle it out with their Aunt in the end.

Personally, I don't like this book. It's magical but lack of the page turning power for me.

Please don't let my review affect your opinion in this book. Many others have read it and liked it. In terms of books, there is just no right or wrong. Each person have different taste in books.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm Not Sick, Just A Bit Unwell by Yvonne Foong

This book was recommended to me by nylusmilk when I went to the Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme last Sunday.

Actually I notied this book in their website earlier on but was in doubt whether it's still available or not. Glad to find it there.

This is the journey of Yvonne Foong, a Subang Jaya residents who was diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis. I have never heard this word before this.

From what I gathered from the book, it's a type of nervous system illness. It causes tumour to grow in the body, anywhere and anytime.

Yvonne's health started to deteriorate when she was 13 years old. When she was finally taken to the hospital, she was diagnosed with NF2.

She undergo spinal surgery and brain surgery to remove the tumours that affect her everyday life. However, there are much battle to be done yet.

This book was written to raise fund in order to finance another of her surgery.

This is a very frank and emotional book on what she had gone through. Mentioned in the book was our Malaysian Government Hospital treatment and what she had encountered there. Also mentioned were all the good people who had helped her along the way.

And in publishing this book, she had encountered many rejection letter when she submitted the manuscript to the publishers. However, in her words , "when you keep knocking tirelessly on doors, someday, one door is bound to let you in."

What I like about this book is that it's written in a very calm and rational manner.

I have read quite a few "Biography" that are fill with self pity and written in such manner that makes me doubt whether "salt and pepper" been added into it. This is not one of such book.

I am not qualified to rate this book but I would highly recommend you to get a copy to read for yourself. It's amazing how calm she was when she was faced with so many obstacles.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Charm School by Nelson DeMille

Young Gregory Fisher was an American on a holiday trip in Russia. He was young and daring. It was most unusual for tourist to drive around on their own there. Normally tourist would join a tour group but not Fisher. He drove around on his own.

All was well till he "bump" into an unexpected man when he was on his way to Moscow. The man was a U.S P.O.W on the run. He held a terrible secret which he passed on to Fisher with instruction that he contact the U.S. Embassy soonest possible.

Fisher managed to reach Moscow and contacted the Embassy. His call was pick up by Lisa, an embassy liaison. Upon hearing the news, Lisa immediately contacted Colonel Hollis who rushed out to meet with Fisher. Unfortunately, he was too late and Fisher was missing.

Hence start a series of life threatening events for both Colonel Hollis, Lisa and people who are involved. In fact some innocent lives were affected too.

I have always love Nelson DeMille's novels. They are always full of suspense and action.  This book is no exception. There is even a hint of romance in this.

I love Colonel Hollis ironic sense of humor. My only complain is some part of the story tend to dragging.

Overall, this has been an entertaining read.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

George Washington's Socks by Elvira Woodruff

Forgotten when I bought this book but I know it's from BookXcess bargain bin. RM3 only. Not bad ya?

It's about the adventure of 5 children. They were camping out at their backyard and reading a historical book on George Washington when they were transported back into time. They landed back into time where the battle at Trenton was to commence. Would they be able to survive and finds their way back to their own timeline?

I know this book is a bit "young" for me as it's actually meant for young readers. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the story very much. It's very detailed and helps the readers to think as they read.

Am sure you have swotted for your History papers exam. Cramming all those dates and events while hoping you will be able to write it out again during your examination. Well, this book really makes the events easy to remember. Not doubt its history mixed with fiction but surely with proper guidance, young readers will learn which is facts and which is fiction. They will sure to have fun for their history lesson.

In page 144, Matt said " I thought this was supposed to be one of the good wars. The rebels were supposed to be the good guys, but maybe there's no such thing as just good guys fighting bad guys. It seems there's good and bad on both sides. And you know, the funny ting is that sometimes they're really fighting for the same things. My friend Israel, I don't think that he was all that different from Gustav, except for the uniform. Maybe if it weren't for the different uniforms, they could have been friends, instead of ending up like this"

I love this part. Not only that this books gives history lesson but also lesson in humanity.

How I wish someone would write a book like this for my country's history. Maybe then, our kids would enjoy the History subject more. I recall some of my classmates hated History lesson. To them, it's a dead subject. Just have to memorise the facts and dates then write it out again during the test.

However, I like History lesson. It comes easy for me as I treat it as reading a story book.

Gordon Ramsay's Playing WIth Fire

Synopsis from

Not a sausage. That is what Gordon Ramsay had when he started out as a chef, working 16-hour days, 6 days a week. When he was struggling to get his first restaurant in the black, he didn't think he'd be famous for a TV show about how to run profitable eateries, or that he'd be head of a business empire. But he is and he did. Here's how."In the beginning there was nothing.Not a sausage - penniless, broke, fucking nothing - and although, at a certain age, that didn’t matter hugely, there came a time when hand-me-downs, cast-offs and football boots of odd sizes all pointed to a problem that seemed to have afflicted me, my mum, my sisters, Ronnie and the whole lot of us. It was as though we had been dealt the ‘all-time dysfunctional’ poker hand.I wish I could say that, from this point on, the penny dropped and I decided to do something about it, but it wasn’t like that. It would take years before the lessons of life, business and money began to click into place - before, as they say, I had a pot to piss in.This is the story of how those lessons were learned."This is Gordon Ramsay at his raw, rugged best. PLAYING WITH FIRE is the amazing story of Gordon’s journey from sous-chef to superstar. In his no-holds-barred style, Gordon shares his passion for risk and adventure and his hard-won success secrets
 Gordon Ramsay has launched a string of internationally celebrated restaurants in London with ten Michelin stars between them, with his stable of highly talented chefs, and has restaurants in Dubai, Tokyo, New York and Florida, with more planned.The author of nine best-selling cookery books and an autobiography, Humble Pie, Gordon is one of the biggest television personalities in the UK with his hit shows, Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares, Hell's Kitchen and The F Word.He was awarded an OBE in 2006.

My Comments :

I got this book from BookXcess more than a year ago. Didn't get around to read it till recently.

It's a pretty impressive book. Yes, I have heard of Gordon Ramsay and knows that he is a famous Chef but I didn't know that he is this impressive.

Reading this book made me realised why he is so successful at what he does. I think those who have aspiration to open a business of any type should read this book. The way he manage his restaurant business is very good.

For example, treating customers complaint as a source of feedback and way to improve on customers service. Following up with customers and the complaints. Then trying to make it up to the customer without loosing too much of foot ground. Some companies would just throw away customers' complaint letters instead of following up with the customer.

He also trained his staffs to pick up the phone within 3 rings. Also to give service with a smile. All these small thing goes a long way in turn a business into a successful one

At some part of the book he may sound cocky but can't fault him as he have talent. Even this book is not free from the "F" word but it was not too much that it hinders ones reading.

What I admire the most in this book is that not only that he put in good things about himself but also talks about his own short comings. It really impressed me coz normally people would also want to say good things about themselves more over it's in a book; recorded for perpetuality.

Hope to get my hands on his others books

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wrapped in Rain by Charles Martin

Book Description from

"Life is a battle, but you can't fight it with your fists. You got to fight it with your heart."

An internationally famous photographer, Tucker has traveled the world and seen both the serious and the strange. But when his brother escapes from a mental hospital and an old girlfriend appears with her son and a black eye, he is forced to return home and face the agony of his own tragic past.

Back in rural Alabama, Tucker comes to terms with the ghosts he left behind. Miss Ella Rain once loved Tuck and his brother like they were her very own. Hiring her to take care of Waverly Hall and to keep them out of sight was the only good thing their father ever did. And though Miss Ella has been gone for many years, Tuck can still hear her voice. And she keeps telling him, encouraging him, that by reaching out to this young boy he can redeem his father's tarnished legacy and pass on the good she brought into his life

My Comments

For me "Wrapped In Rain" is a powerful book. Emotionally charged and a page turner indeed.

It made me sad reading the part about Tucker and Mutt's childhood. Having a rich and alcoholic father leaves them same as having no father at all. All the child care responsibility was pass to Miss Ella Rain. Though she have her own dreams and desire, but she sacrificed them in order to bring up the two kids.

Maybe some of the goodness of Miss Ella had rubbed off on Tucker as he too have similar characteristic as her.

The author indeed is very good with word play. Each sentence is beautifully phrase. Some may find this tedious and long winded but not me. For this enable me to enjoy the story to its fullest and yet feel the feelings that each characters were generating.

Kudos to the author for he not only tried to tackle the matter of alcoholism, abuses, faith in God but also the matter of  mental illness which is on the rise these days. He also many to draw vividly to the readers on how hard it is for family members to deal with that. All the heartache involved.

Yes, this is a truly good book to read. I give it 5 stars

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book 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, September 9, 2011

Summer In The City by Robyn Sisman

Synopsis from

Suze Wilding and Lloyd Rockwell are complete strangers. She lives in London; he lives in New York. But when their advertising firm sponsors a job swap, having them trade apartments and jobs for the summer, they find themselves living each others lives.

From the beginning, these two seem polar opposites—Suze is impetuous, brash, and commitment phobic, whereas Lloyd, cautious and thoughtful, is looking to settle down with his suitable girlfriend. But when Suze discovers a plot at work to get Lloyd fired, the two begin communicating long-distance, and can’t help wondering if they might just be perfect for one another.

From the internationally bestselling author of Weekend in Paris, Summer in the City is a wickedly funny, irresistible look at modern romance.

My Comments

I love this book. To me it was a romantic comedy wit a hint of intrigue added in.

Most of the books I read before, Londoner is portray as always prim and proper. Hence the character, Suze, bringing a freshness to this book. She is impetuous, daring and does not comply to the norm.

The plot is also well planned. There is enough suspense and intrigue to keep me from putting down the book. In fact I finished this book in on sitting.

It's indeed a good buy for me . Got it from BookXcess for mere RM9-90.

Now, am looking forward to getting my hand on"Weekend In Paris" by the same author. Hope it can bring me the same if not more enjoyment as compared to this book.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes (37 Short Stories and 1 Novel) by Arthur Conan Doyle

I missed the days where I go book hunting with my two crazy friends. Those were the days where PayLessBooks(PLB) stores were still around. PLB is still around now but now mostly consist of warehouse sale.

Last year went to a few of their warehouse sale and found that the books does not suits me. It's entirely my fault as I have bought so many from them previously that I found that I am in an awkward position. I already owned most of the books that capture my interest from their previous sales. Hence, I seldom go their warehouse sale anymore.

This is one of the books which one of my friends, Newton, spotted at one of PLB stall. He telephone me and told me I must get over the quickly. He said that he will ask the staff there to hold this book for me. I was reluctant at first because I have read most of Sherlock Holmes Mysteries. But he told me how nice this book was and the fine condition it's in. Well, that was how I end up buying this book. Mind you, it's not cheap. It was RM55-90.

After getting this book, it ended up in my storeroom under the piles of "Pending to be read" books.

My interest on this book awaken again after reading The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle by Russell Miller two weeks ago.

I found myself being captivated once again by the stories of Sherlock Holmes. And it's more meaningful now since I have read about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

This round, I admired not only the clever way Sherlock Holmes solve the cases but also I fell in love the proper English which this book was written. It's definitely different from many modern books. It's softer and refined.

There are 356 original illustration by Sidney Paget.Can you see the fine print? There were 636 pages in this book. That's the reason I took so long to finish this book, around a week. And I have skipped reading The Hound of Baskervilles. One fine day am going to come back to this book to read The Hound of Baskervilles.

For now, am happy that I have added this book for my collection. It's priceless to me if not to others