My Small Kucing Blog

Friday, October 25, 2013

Insurgent (Divergent #2) by Veronica Roth



Synopsis By www.goodreads.com

One choice can transform you, or destroy you.

Every choice has consequences, and as unrest surges in the factions all around her, Tris Prior must continue trying to save those she loves, and herself, while grappling with haunting questions of grief and forgiveness, identity and loyalty, politics and love.


My Comments:

Story begins with unrest starting everywhere. Seems that it's dead ends wherever Tris turned to. She seems to be torn between friendship and loyalty; love and the greater good of everyone.

The pace is fast enough for me but it was not as good as supporting characters are dropping dead left and right. A bit confusing. By middle of the book I feel kind of frustrated as every thing and everywhere seems to be hopeless and bleak.

But by the ending I was intrigue. There was a special twist in the end which makes book three promising. Hopefully it will deliver a good explaination about the things that happens in Book 2 here

Overall, I rate Book #2 3 stars out of 5

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Divergent by Veronica Roth



Synopsis by www.goodreads.com

In Beatrice Prior's dystopian Chicago world, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue--Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is--she can't have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles alongside her fellow initiates to live out the choice they have made. Together they must undergo extreme physical tests of endurance and intense psychological simulations, some with devastating consequences. As initiation transforms them all, Tris must determine who her friends really are--and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes exasperating boy fits into the life she's chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she's kept hidden from everyone because she's been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers unrest and growing conflict that threaten to unravel her seemingly perfect society, Tris also learns that her secret might help her save the ones she loves . . . or it might destroy her


My Comments :

This book was easy to "get into" for me. From the beginning it was like entering a whole new world.

What I like about this book is that the story was pretty much tensed . Very fast paced once the day of the choosing arrived. I really like the character , Tris. For me, Tris was like a real person instead of a fictional character. That's an accomplishment of the author in bringing realism into the book

However, I find that the romance between Tris and Four was a bit "forced". Does not have the "fire" and the "feel" towards it. Maybe it's because this is a dystopian tale and not a full fledged romance.

My friends had compared this book with Hunger Games and I some what agree with them that it's not as tense and mysterious as Hunger Games though it's fast pace.

Nevertheless, the pull is there for me to read the second book in the series.

For me, this book rated 4 stars out of 5.



Thursday, September 26, 2013

Inspector Singh Investigates : A Calamitous Chinese Killing



 Summary from www.goodreads.com

Inspector Singh's expertise is required in China in his sixth adventure, as he battles political intrigue to get to the bottom of a very murky and complex crime Inspector Singh is on a mission to China, against his better judgment. 

The son of a bigwig at the Singapore Embassy has been bludgeoned to death in a back alley in Beijing. 

The Chinese security insist that he was the victim of a robbery gone wrong, but the young man's mother demands that Singapore's finest (in his own opinion) rides to the rescue. 

But solving a murder in a country that practices socialism "with Chinese characteristics" is a dangerous business, and it soon becomes apparent that getting to the bottom of this calamitous killing will be his toughest case yet

My Comments : 

Shamini Flint has done it again. Another thought provoking book fill with suspense.

Cleverly blend in the story are issues on corruption, illegal organ harvesting, poverty, materialism, environmental issues and crackdown on fulan gong members. Did I miss out on any other issues? Qing's aunt had certainly voiced out what I felt about Mao's policies.

As usual, it was not easy to begin reading this book. The story jump from one character to another but as it goes, the story will come together.

The only downside is that I am not happy with the closure on Professor Luo issue. It feel just so unfair. I would have love it if it have a perfect ending. but then with perfect ending, the story will no longer have the realistic feel, right?

I wonder where will inspector Chen send inspector singh to next? will Mrs singh learn how to make szechuan food? will she be more involved in his investigation?


For the moment am giving this book 4 stars out of 5.


Thursday, September 19, 2013

The Ghost Bride by by Yangsze Choo




Original title :The Ghost Bride
ISBN :0062227327 (ISBN13: 9780062227324)


Summary at www.goodreads.com

"One evening, my father asked me if I would like to become a ghost bride..."

Though ruled by British overlords, the Chinese of colonial Malaya still cling to ancient customs. And in the sleepy port town of Malacca, ghosts and superstitions abound.

Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives an unusual proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family's only son, who recently died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, a traditional ghost marriage is used to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a home for the rest of her days, but at a terrible price.

After an ominous visit to the opulent Lim mansion, Li Lan finds herself haunted not only by her ghostly would-be suitor, but also by her desire for the Lim's handsome new heir, Tian Bai. Night after night, she is drawn into the shadowy parallel world of the Chinese afterlife, with its ghost cities, paper funeral offerings, vengeful spirits and monstrous bureaucracy—including the mysterious Er Lang, a charming but unpredictable guardian spirit. Li Lan must uncover the Lim family's darkest secrets—and the truth about her own family—before she is trapped in this ghostly world forever


My Comments : 

I grew up in Malaysia. Ever since I was a kid, I observed that my elders tend to mix Taoism, Buddhism and various local custom together when they pray.

It would be hard for those who have no background on the custom and superstition to digest the full effect and glory of this story

Yea, I have heard of the story of Ghost Bride. In fact, if my memory didn't fail me, I recall Mom mentioned one of my great grand aunt had a son/daughter who pass away and "came back" in his/her mom dream and told them that he/she met a mate in the underworld and they want to get marry. Hence the family performed the rites

Now i know why my elders had always deter me from picking up things from the roadside. Have heard of "spirits" being attached to some things . Hence sometimes people them away.

have heard and seen people burning all the belongings of the dead..hmmm...only now did I know that spirit have connection to the things they loved.

Enough about me. I should be writing about this book but how shall I start? Well, As you've read, it brings back a lot of memories. For me it has been a wonderful experience reading this.

At parts it was really eerie. Especially where the author mentioned the paper doll offerings and the paper houses.  I kept imagining the two red dots on the the paper servants cheek. It gave me goose bumps.

overall I love it very much. Hope the author would write more of this genre.  These superstition and believes is being abandon and forgotten in the age of technology. This has been part of our ancestors life. It would be nice to have it preserved in memory though we no longer practice them. Let it be part of our history.

Am giving this book full 5 stars. 
 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

True Believer (Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell #1) by Nicholas Sparks



Synopsis by www.goodreads.com

Jeremy Marsh is the ultimate New Yorker: handsome, almost always dressed in black, and part of the media elite. An expert on debunking the supernatural with a regular column in "Scientific American," he's just made his first appearance on national TV. 

When he receives a letter from the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, about ghostly lights that appear in a legend-shrouded cemetery, he can't resist driving down to investigate. 

 Here, in this tightly knit community, Lexie Darnell runs the town's library, just as her mother did before the accident that left Lexie an orphan. Disappointed by past relationships, including one that lured her away from home, she is sure of one thing: her future is in Boone Creek, close to her grandmother and all the other people she loves. 

Jeremy expects to spend a quick week in "the sticks" before speeding back to the city. But from the moment he sets eyes on Lexie, he is intrigued and attracted to this beautiful woman who speaks with a soft drawl and confounding honesty. And Lexie, while hesitating to trust this outsider, finds herself thinking of Jeremy more than she cares to admit. Now, if they are to be together, Jeremy Marsh must make a difficult choice: return to the life he knows, or do something he's never done before--take a giant leap of faith. 

A story about taking chances and following your heart, True Believer will make you, too, believe in the miracle of love.

Did You Know?---

True Believer is not inspired by any of Nicholas's family members, but the protagonist, Lexie Darnell, is named after one of Nicholas's twin daughters?

Boone Creek -- the setting for the novel -- is a fictitious town in North Carolina, modeled after Pamlico County?
True Believer was one of two books that Nicholas wrote in a year? (The second is At First Sight, the sequel to True Believer.)


My Comments: 

Mysterious lights in the cemetery of a sleepy town. This book had potential .

Unfortunately I find that it's not engaging enough. The sparks between Lexie and Jeffery was  strangely missing, unlike his others book.

Only redeeming grace for me in this book was the debate between Lexie and Jeffery on who is the one who is expected to sacrifice everything and also the part where the mysterious lights appeared.

Overall It had been an average read. I like it but am not in love with it

Monday, August 12, 2013

At First Sight (Jeremy Marsh & Lexie Darnell #2) by Nicholas SParks



Synopsis by www.goodreads.com

There are a few things Jeremy Marsh was sure he’d never do: he’d never leave New York City; never give his heart away after barely surviving one failed marriage; and never become a parent. 

Now Jeremy is living in the tiny town of Boone Creek, North Carolina, engaged to Lexie Darnell, the love of his life, and anticipating the start of their family. 

But just as his life seems to be settling into a blissful pattern, a mysterious and disturbing e-mail sets off a chain of events that will change the course of this young couple’s relationship.

How well do we really know the ones we love? How do we handle the inevitable doubts, fears concerning parenthood, and stumbling blocks that are sometimes placed in our way? 

Continuing the story of the young couple introduced in Sparks’s bestselling True Believer, this novel captures all the heartbreak, tension, romance and surprises of those who are newly wed. 

An astonishing tale about the love between a man and a woman and between a parent and a child, At First Sight is about endings that bring new beginnings . . . tragedies that lead to unexpected joy . . . and, most of all, the magic of everlasting love.

My Comments :

I made the mistaken of reading this book first before I read "True Believer". Hence, there were some parts which I felt that I was in the blind.

Nevertheless, after reading the first book; am still of the opinion that this is not one of his best work.

First half of the story was rather dry. All Jeffery's self doubts and their arguments was not engaging at all. It did jot endear me to either Lexie or Jeffrey

Things only pick up soeed when the baby was in distress

overall this has been an okay reads. For me this have been two stars out of five


Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling




Synopsis from www.goodreads.com

A BIG NOVEL ABOUT A SMALL TOWN ...

When Barry Fairbrother dies in his early forties, the town of Pagford is left in shock.

Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty fa├žade is a town at war.

Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils ... Pagford is not what it first seems.

And the empty seat left by Barry on the parish council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen. Who will triumph in an election fraught with passion, duplicity and unexpected revelations?


My Comments :

The story was painfully slow. Up to page 200, the author was still building up background of various characters in the story. However, the last 100 pages or so saved the story or else I would say it's a waste of time reading this

The words used here were rather stilted. It was like something out of Enid Blyton's fairy tales genre. Not very suitable for modern days story.

For example page 118 " Fats had been told by a reliable informant that the one fail-safe way of quitting the Winterdown grounds without being spotted from a window was to climb over the side wall by the bike shed. "...it would have been easier to say Fats decided to skip school. .." the word "quit" makes it sound so dull and "old English". 


I don't feel the sense of urgency to know what willhappen next nor want to know who will win the post. 

But as i have said earlier, story only pick up speed in the final 100 pages or so. The book could have done with more trimming off unnecessary long winded portion.

For me this book is worth two starts out of five.




Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Squeaky Green: The Method Guide to Detoxing Your Home by Eric Ryan, Adam Lowry


Hardcover, 158 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Chronicle Books
Title :Squeaky Green: The Method Guide to Detoxing Your Home
ISBN : 0811863913 (ISBN13: 9780811863919)
edition language : English



Synopsis at www.goodreads.com

When Adam Lowry and Eric Ryan founded Method, the environmentally friendly brand of cleaning products, they used packaging stylish enough to showcase on the counter top and pleasant aromas such as green tea and cucumber to transform household products into must-have lifestyle accessories. 

And when they coined the phrase "People Against Dirty," they weren't just talking about the stuff you track in on your shoes they also meant the toxic chemicals that make up many household detergents. 

Packed with helpful tips and surprising facts, their first book, Squeaky Green, is a totally informative and completely entertaining room-by-room guide to giving dirty the boot. Squeaky Green is rehab for chemically dependant homes.

My Comments :

I came across this book at Method's Blogger Tea Party earlier this month. Initially I thought this is just another books "teaching" us how to clean the house using their products.

Yesterday, they couriered some products to me together with this book. Nope, am not supposed to review this book. They just need me to try out their products. This book is just "additional information" for my reference.

As I flipped through the book, I found that it's actually very entertaining. Yup...usually I dislike reading Manuals or books that says Cleaning Tips as at the end each chapter they would tell me what product to use to get things clean. 

I was pleasantly surprised that this book is not one of such book. It did not drone on and on about how good is their products and nor highlight how to use their products. 

It is quite surprising that this is a straight forward book. I find myself "talking" to this book and it "answering" back. Am not cuckoo yet, okay....

Here are  example of my "conversation" :

On Antibacterial Soap 

Book : Antibacteria soap are pesticides. Meaning the ingredients in them are used to kill bugs...bla bla bla.....

Me : Oh yea? Then why is it they use it in hospital...?

Book : .American Medical Association does not recommend antibacterial soaps...they don't recommend using it at home  and don't even recommend them for use in pediatrician office...only place the recommend is in hospital... bla bla bla...antibacteria soap aren't effective at killing viruses that makes you sick.

Me : Uh...but what about flu ...touching surface that have someone with flu hand touched..I'll get from that too......

Book : ....you don't catch the common cold or flu from bacteria. You get them from viruses....

Me : *Palms on face* Science failed...

Book : .... keep in mind that antibacterial products are designed to kill living things, namely, bacterial. Guess what else is a living thing? You.

Me : .......

On Soap

Book : wash your hands with good old soap and water. Done properly, it's effective in getting rid of pesky germs

Me : But I hate to think of touching a bar of soap which others had touched with their dirty hand. Sometimes I see there are line of grimes on that bar of soup. It's just so gross

Book : Danny says, if you want to offer your family and friends a fresh piece of soap each time they wash their hands, look no further than your kitchen drawer. Run a vegetable peeler across the top to make individual soap curls' display them in a bowl in the bathroom and each guests can use a thin sliver to wash their hand clean.



Yup....this book have been fun to read.  There are a lot of helpful information in it and also opens my eyes on many things that I've taken for granted.

Overall, am giving this book full five stars and feels that every Mom or Dad should read this book at least once.






Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Cinderella & The Carpetbagger by Grace Robbins



  • Title : Cinderella & The Carpetbagger
  • Author : Grace Robbins
  • Publisher :Bettie Youngs Book Publishers
  • ISBN9780988284821
  • Price29.95
  • CurrencyUSD
  • EditionHardcover

Synopisis from Netgalley.com


Harold Robbins’s steamy books were once more widely read than the Bible. His novels sold more than 750 million copies and created the sex-power-glamour genre of popular literature that would go on to influence authors from Jackie Collins and Jacqueline Susann to TV shows like Dallas and Dynasty. 

What readers don’t know is that Robbins—whom the media had dubbed the “prince of sex and scandal”—actually “researched” the free-wheeling escapades depicted in his books himself . . . along with his drop-dead, gorgeous wife, Grace. Now, in this revealing tell-all, Grace Robbins rips the covers off the real life of the international best-selling author. 

The 1960s and ‘70s were decades like no others—radical, experimental, libertine. Grace Robbins chronicles the rollicking good times, peppering her memoir with anecdotes of her encounters with luminaries from the world of entertainment and the arts—not to mention most of Hollywood. The couple was at the center of a globetrotting jet set, with mansions in Beverly Hills, villas and yachts on the French Riviera and Acapulco. 

Their lives rivaled—and often surpassed—that of the characters in his books. Champagne flowed, cocaine was abundant, and sex in the pre-AIDS era was embraced with abandon. Along the way, the couple agreed to a “modern marriage,” that Harold insisted upon. But Grace has the last word, and the “original Beverly Hills Housewife” lays open their fascinating, provocative roller-coaster ride—and shares her own Cinderella tale.


My Comments : 

I admit I was intrigue at how it would be like to be the wife of the world famous author of hot, steamy and sexy novels.

This book is true to its title, Grace Robbins, certainly led a Cinderella life. Plucked  from a dead end marriage into the life fame and wealth. It was amazing reading how she poke fun of herself .

It was unlike some other memoirs which I've read before in which author seems to hide their negative side and push forward their good sides . I love the way where she was being candid of the mistakes that she made and at some parts even poke fun of it. For example, the part where she ruined the deck of their yacht.

Kudos to her for being brave enough to admit that she also took some responsible on the crack of their marriage. It's amazing how a wife willing to turn a blind eye on infidelity in the name of love. She must have been hurting a lot . Also I like that there was not much "bitchiness" involved when the inevitable ending came.

The only downside of this memoir is  that my copy is e-book . Hence it was lack of photographs which usually accompany any memoirs. It would have been great if readers also gets a glimpse of some of the events mentioned in this book. Am not sure whether there are any photographs in the Hardcover version.


Overall, am giving it four stars out of five.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho



Synopsis from www.goodreads.com

Eleven Minutes is the story of Maria, a young girl from a Brazilian village, whose first innocent brushes with love leave her heartbroken. 

At a tender age, she becomes convinced that she will never find true love, instead believing that "love is a terrible thing that will make you suffer. . . ." 

A chance meeting in Rio takes her to Geneva, where she dreams of finding fame and fortune. 

Maria's despairing view of love is put to the test when she meets a handsome young painter. In this odyssey of self-discovery, Maria has to choose between pursuing a path of darkness -- sexual pleasure for its own sake -- or risking everything to find her own "inner light" and the possibility of sacred sex, sex in the context of love.

My Comments :

I like to thank King Hua for giving me this copy of Paulo Coelho book when I mentioned that I wish to read more of his works.

Yea, am not a novice in his work. Have read a few of his book and the one I like a lot was The Witch of Portebello. It certainly "bewitched" me

As the synopsis mentioned, this is a story of self-discovery.

This is a hard book for me to read as I tend to stop and ponder how changes happens. Change does not happens overnight. It was amazing "watching" Maria breaking the boundary which she had set one by one ; the heart break...the "what if" and lastly the choice.

Many had commented on the ending. Has the author been pressured into writing the ending to please the readers? Oh well, I guess it would be up to you to comment whether you like the ending or not.

For me, this has been the perfect read.




Friday, June 28, 2013

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini



Synopsis by www.goodreads.com

From the no. 1 bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, the book that readers everywhere have been waiting for: his first novel in six years.

Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live with their father and step-mother in the small village of Shadbagh. Their father, Saboor, is constantly in search of work and they struggle together through poverty and brutal winters. To Adbullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled.

One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.

Crossing generations and continents, moving from Kabul, to Paris, to San Francisco, to the Greek island of Tinos, with profound wisdom, depth, insight and compassion, Khaled Hosseini writes about the bonds that define us and shape our lives, the ways that we help our loved ones in need, how the choices we make resonate through history, and how we are often surprised by the people closest to us


My Comments :

For me this book was certainly worth the wait. 

The story grabbed me from page one itself. Khaled Hosseini certainly a master in word play. It was like the words comes alive and shake you and demand that you pay 100% attention to them.

This is not only the story of Abdullah and Pari but also of people whom they came into contact with. Each person have their own story of loss and regret.

I think the main topic of this book is of loss and regret. Please don't get me wrong. This is not a depressing book. It's more of highlight the sense it.

I would say if I were to compare this book with The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid suns, I vote this book as his best work so far. Let's just hope that I don;t have to wait another 6 long years for his next master piece.

Am giving  this book full 5 stars.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Undone Years by Shamini Flint



Summary as per www.goodreads.com

On a rubber plantation in Malaya, on the eve of the Second World War, three teenagers enjoy their last summer of freedom and innocence. Matthew is the son of the English planter who runs the estate and his best friend, Rajan, is the son of his father's clerk - but despite their parents' disapproval of their friendship, they feel like equals. When beautiful, strong-willed Mei Ling arrives, both boys' heads are turned. But before any romance can blossom, the Japanese invade.

Against a backdrop of the fall of Singapore, the communist insurgency and the eventual Japanese surrender, The Undone Years is a very human story of love and betrayal in a time of war


My Comments : 

Have you ever read a book that is both complicated and yet simple? I think some of you would have encounter this feeling too if you are a passionate reader.

This is one of those complicated and yet simple.

I have read a few books that is based on the Japanese Occupation of Malaya. Hence for me the plot of this book is quite straight forward and simple. The story is pun in such a way that for first timer or those who doesn't know the Malaya history would find it easy to catch up with what's going on during that time.

The complicated part is the part where the author managed to highlight the emotion involved at that time . How each characters have been caught off guard when The Japanese invaded Malaya. Yup, many things that in normal days we swear we won't do but we might collapse and do it when desperate. Things that is done may have been meant to protect or an innocent act may in turn cause great harm to another.

The author really had a flare in manipulation the characters. And I salute her for having the stomach to put in words on how the tortures were meted out to the prisoners.Those with a weak stomach, would be advisable to skip page 313-316.

Overall I love the story very much. It would be nice if the chemistry between Matthew, Rajan and Mei Ling is more intense. As it is, I get the feeling is that they are just good friends. Only  at the ending did the feelings became apparent.

Am giving this book 4 stars out of 5 stars.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Bitter-Sweet Harvest by Chan Ling Yap(SPOILER ALERT)

Summary :

Story is set just after 13th May 1969 event where racial tension was at its height in Malaysia.

Two star-crossed lovers, An Mei, a Chinese girl and Hussien, a Malay boy, were studying in Oxfords and were convinced that somehow their respective sets of parents would somehow accept their love.

Ah Mei's parents migrated to England and was furious when they got to know about the affair. Hussien was due to go back to Malaysia and to be groom onto a politician as what his parents wanted him to be.

Hussien begged An Mei to follow him back to Malaysia and was convinced that he will be able to persuade his parents to accept An Mei as his bride. Hence here begin the story of the trials that they encounter for their love.

Would love be enough to see them through everything? And what happen if the one that you love the most started to change and disappoint you again and again?

My comments:

Bought this book from my recent trip to The Big Bad Wolf Books sale in Penang.

I can certainly say that this is a frustrating book to read. Again and again I wish I could reach in and shake the hero and heroine. It's just too much.

It was crushing to see how An Mei being let down again and again. How I wish she would stop being so soft heart. Oh well...guess first love is hard to let go.

The author did a very good job on how Hussien gradually being "brainwashed" and  succumbed to social pressure to conform. He used to be such an upstanding young man back on Oxford and would fight any injustice.

How could someone profess that they love the other very much and yet expect the other party to sacrifice again and again for him? To leave family and friends behind is one thing but to "emotionally blackmail" the other person to do what he wishes by saying "if you love me you would.....".

It comes to the stage where if there is such real Hussien standing in front of me, I would gladly give him one tight slap! What the .....An Mei gave up so much to be with him and he dares to emotionally blackmail her by saying if she truly love him, she would not mind not having a title(Wife) . They could be lover instead. That is just plain insulting!

Anyway, am happy with the ending. I hope I can read the first book "Sweet Offering" which also rated highly in Goodreads.




Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Big Bad Wolf Books is heading NORTH

Good news to readers up north.  I saw in their Facebooks that Big Bad Wolf Books will be heading to Penang this 22nd-31st March.

Venue :  Penang Times Square

Time : 9 am to 9pm

For those who have not attended any BBWBS sale before , here are some tips:-


  • wear comfortable clothing and shoes
  • bring own trolley bag if possible
  • avoid bringing very young children to the hall
  • cash, credit cards and BB1M vouchers are acceptable for payment
  • after you take a book and decided not to buy it, please return to the original table or the very least pass it to the staffs there so that they can return to for you.

For further information, do drop by their Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bbwbooks

and most important of all.....snap some photos for me to see please coz I can't go leh......sobs....sobs....

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng



Summary from www.goodreads.com:

 Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace among the jungle-fringed tea plantations of Cameron Highlands.

 There she discovers Yugiri, the only Japanese garden in Malaya, and its owner and creator, the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan.

 Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling seeks to engage Aritomo to create a garden in memory of her sister, who died in the camp. Aritomo refuses but agrees to accept Yun Ling as his apprentice "until the monsoon comes." Then she can design a garden for herself.

As the months pass, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But the "Garden of Evening Mists" remains a place of mystery.

 Who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?

My Comments :

I have been looking forward to get my hands on this book since I read its review ..however the price was just out of my budget. My thanks to Nylusmilk for helping me to get this book from Bookalicious at Summit USJ

This is another book which I found hard to finish. Its not that the book is hard to read or uninteresting but the opposite is true. I hate to have it end.

There are just so many plots and sub plots going on in this book and they are wonderfully incorporated into the story.

It leave me longing for more. I cant help feeling that I might have miss out something important in this book. Maybe that's why it took me so long to finish it. I kept going back re-reading some of the paragraphs to try and see if there is any other meaning behind it.

Although it involved the time of Japanese occupation which in most books involves blood and gory but in this book its different. Though there are some awful situation but these are soften and made poetic to me.

Am not good with words but I think this would appeal to many who loves this genre


Am giving this book 5 stars

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Lucy In The Sky by Paige Toon


Summary :

It has been 9 years since Lucy left Australia and have not seen her bestie Molly and Sam for that length of time. Sam was once the love of her life and now the both of them are getting married. Lucy had to attend their wedding.

She felt that she had got over Sam as she have now a gorgeous boyfriend James who is a successful lawyer.

However, as she got onto the plane, a text message came in which made her life turned upside down. What worst is that when she got to Australia, she became attracted to Sam's little brother, Nathan.

Oh what calamity....at one hand a "perfect boyfriend" and at the other "the love of her life".

Comments:

Gosh Can't believe myself. It has been one month since the last I posted. Getting lazy. Nah...too many books to read and not enough time for book reviews.

I have read this book a few weeks ago and found that it brings a smile to me.

Actually if you just "read" it like that, there doesn't seems to be anything special about this book. At certain parts, you might feel irritated by the heroine's attitude where she kept hanging in "limbo".

What attracts me in this book is the feeling of "young love". The anticipation of what life will bring on the next level. The sense of wonder. The "what if". It's like there is a million possibility going on. Should she choose what she is familiar with or should she goes for the unknown?

Maybe am just an foolish old fool but it feel good to read something light like this.

Am rating this 4 stars out of 5 in my goodreads

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Big Bad Wolf Aftermath Sale 2013

Found in Facebook. Yup! Finally announced that there will be an Aftermath sale

Date : 28 February 2013 to 4 march 2013
Venue : MIECC, Seri Kembangan
Time: Unknown yet. Guess will be similar to BBWBS time.

Prices of books will as low as RM5.

But let the buyers beware ...from my past experience there is no guarantee the books are in pristine condition as these are books leftover from last year Big Bad Wolf Books Sale.

But still RM5 a book is still a steal though the book maybe somewhat damaged.


Wondering why I have not been blogging regularly? Well, this is the reason. The Twin Towers of books. These are the ones read. Bought these from last year's BBWBS. A busy month for me.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend by Matthew Green, Matthew Dicks



Summary at goodreads.com

Budo is Max's imaginary friend. But though only Max can see him, he is real. 

He and the other imaginary friends watch over their children until the day comes that the child stops imagining them. And then they're gone. Budo has lasted a lot longer than most imaginary friends - four years - because Max needs him more. 

His parents argue about sending him to a special school. But Max is perfectly happy if everything is just kept the way it is, and nothing out of the ordinary happens. Unfortunately, something out of the ordinary is going to happen - and then he'll need Budo more than ever...

My Comments:

If I were to judge a book by it covers, I think I would not pick up this book. For me, the cover did not stand out. But I end up putting this book in my trolley back at the last Big Bad Wolf Book Sale because the word "Jodi Picoult" . Yup...she praised this book.,

After I came home, I put this book aside as I have plenty of others to read. Don;t know when I would come to read this book. But thanks to a friend, Yoong, who contacted me and said she is reading this book. Asked me to look out for it. That was when I recalled seeing this book but was unsure whether I bought it or not.

Finally found it among my tonnes of books. Read it and I must say I love it very much.

The book have the innocent of a child and yet was thrilling and moving enough to make me wish things could have been fairer.

It was heart warming to see the things that Budo done for Max.

I think this is a good read for readers as young as 10 years old to 80 years old. Each would find something that remind them of their life in this book. It's hard for me to describe the feeling. Maybe when you read it the you will know.

I am giving this book full marks.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Tales From The Kopitiam Vol 1, Vol 2 & Vol 3 by Andrew Lim



Summary :

These are collection of short stories of paranormal activities that would send shivers down your spine. Most stories are based in Singapore.

Among the stories in Vol 1 are :-

"Little Boy Bad" where Lim Poh Choo and her children moved into a new apartment and they found that an evil spirit had already occupied the apartment.

"The Devil Blade"  where Mr Seah bought an antique dagger from a shop in Chinatown and discovered that his life have changed forever. Nightmare and murders started.

"Ghost at My Door " where Shamsul and his mother had a surprise visit from his good friend Farouk. But then, aren't Farouk supposed to be in Tokyo

PLUS 16 other stories

Among the stories in Vol 2 are :-

"Fangs" what would you do if your baby is born with teeth and had acquired a taste for human flesh?

"Green Warrior". Have you watch reality show where Paranormal Investigator go to haunted house? Well, in this story, two Paranormal Investigators encounter the ghost of Japanese soldier

"Shophouse Curse". What would you do if you encounter shophouse that has been cursed? You can't demolish it to build new project.

PLUS 12 other stories

And in Vol 3 :-

"My darling Pontianak"  When Tham Kok Wei sees a Pontianak(a vampiric ghost in Malay) in his garden and it was love at first sight.

"The Ghosts of the Sunset Hotel " guests are terrified when they see a dark-suited ghost floating through the hotel corridors. When they begin to see burning apparitions in their rooms, things starts to get out of control

"One Less For dinner" A group of friends goes for dinner and one of then gets a fortune cookies that reads "Next time there will be one less for dinner" and the next thing they knew one friend was dead. The next reunion, will they have the same fortune?

Plus 13 other stories

My Comments :

These are actually not my books. In fact am too "chicken" to buy and read these books as I know that I would not get a good night sleep after reading them.

Actually , a friend asked me to get them for her from the Big Bad Wolf Books Sale.

Seeing these book sitting there waiting to be pass to my friend was just too much temptation.

Can't help myself from taking a peek on Volume 1. Am surprised that i find myself got caught in the book. The stories actually were not as terrifying as some others that I have read. In fact it was quite enjoyable.

I like Volume 1 and Volume 2 as the stories are more interesting to me. It have the "scare" factor and the "ironic and mysterious" factor like in the "Twilight Zone Series".

Volume 3 was okay. Could be due to me reading 3 books from the same author continuously hence the "surprise" factor had diminished.

Overall, am quite pleased with the stories. I wonder if they have anymore left for the Big Bad Wolf Books AfterMath Sale(if any)





Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Midwife's Confession by Diane Chamberlain


Summary :

Tara, Emerson and Noelle are three good friends for many years. They thought they knew each other inside out. Noelle was a midwive and had helped them to deliver their babies into this world. They thought they have no secret among themselves.

Things suddenly come to a halt when Noelle committed suicide . Among her things a letter was found in which she wrote with great regret to a woman named Anna.

Unknown of the terrible consequences that would befall them, Tara and Emerson seek to find out who is this mysterious Anna. he revelation of the secret would change their life forever.

My Comments:

Happy New Year everyone. I have been missing from this blog for a few weeks. Yup...covered myself with the loads of books which I bought from The Big Bad WOlf Books Sale last year. I went 4 times. Can't get enough of it.

I was super hyper when I found four Diane Chamberlain books at the sale. I feel in love with the work of this author since I read her first book which I pick up from Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme.

This book have been a delightful read. There are surprises at every corner . Don't expect a straight forward tale. Some parts are far fetched but it was enjoyable all the same

Only one thing that deter me from ranking it as five stars is the suicide scene where Noelle was found. It was written "her hands folded across her rib cage, still and quiet as though she were meditating....." .

Sound pretty impossible to me for someone to lay there and die "peacefully" after swallowing a bunch of pills. Usually human body when encountered with overdose, it will tend to try to regurgitate the poison out. There would have been traces of vomit or at the very least her hands won't be like she was meditating.


Anyway, it's still a good read for me.

I had finished the other 3 books too and they were just as good if not better than this one.