Thursday, December 23, 2010

Great Books Found in Net Galley

Christmas is just around the corner. Have you done all your Christmas Shopping?

Or do you plan to curl up with a good book during the holidays?

I have stumbled upon this terrific website

NetGalley is an inexpensive and green way for publishers to share their digital galleys securely.

The good news is Reviewers, media, bloggers, journalists, librarians, booksellers and educators can all use NetGalley for FREE to read and request galleys they want to review.

I have joined and the selection of books are vast! Many publishers there.

If you have the time, do check out this website.

For your information, I did not received any $$$ to spread the news. In fact, when I signed up, they did not even required me to blog about this website. Just wanna share some joy of reading to all who is interested.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In Custody By Anita Desai

I have been trying to read this book for two days. Still cannot understand what this book is about. Will put it aside and attempt to read it again in a few months time.

The Editor Review from

Meek and self-effacing, Deven is resigned to his life as a lecturer in an obscure college in Mirpore. When, unexpectadely, an old friend Murad, invites him to go to Delhi to interview the greatest living Urdu poet, Deven sees a chance both to achieve fame and to fulfil his dreams.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Crazy In Love By Chris Manby

Birdie Sederburg is a celebrity heiress. Her parents died in an avalanche. Her only living relative was her grandfather Julius Sederburg who is too busy with his business empire to take care of her. Hence under the care of a series of nanny.

Julius was ruthless in business and let Birdie do as she likes as long as she don't disturb him. She grew up to be a rich, spoilt and over pampered young lady who care for herself only. Anything she wants, she must have.

One day, she got into her head that she is in love with a hot young actor, Dean Stevenson. Dean was horrified but at the pressure of his agent, Dean, "entertained" Birdie's attention to him.

But soon, Dean, found a new love. Birdie is willing to do anything to get him back, including getting herself kidnapped.

And this kidnapping episode really changed her life and she saw what an empty existence that she was having all this time. She also found her true calling and love.

I have read some of Chris Manby books and they are good. But I can't say the same for this. I had a hard time finishing this book.

First of all, the font was quite tiny making it hard to read. I wonder why she want to have this book printed in such a tiny font. To save paper and the environment so that it's coincide with a part of this book?

Secondly, the first half of the book of the book are dedicated to describing what a pampered and empty live that Birdie and her friends were having. Nothing better to do than updating their Facebook with every tiny things that they do and also creating false news for the Paparazzi to write.

The second half of the book was about how she want converted from her selfish ways to seeing the light of her empty existence and turn into a pro-environment supporter. Pretty much unbelievable.

For me it rate 1 star. Maybe I am getting to be too demanding in my reading?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In 5 Easy Steps by Lum Kit-Wye

Elaine Chan was just spectacularly dumped by her jerk of a boyfriend, Patrick, at her class reunion in front of all her classmates who had laughed at her during her school days. To make the matter worse, she also lost her job when Patrick fired her. She was working for Patrick father.

Then she read in a magazine which teach her to re-invent herself in 5 easy steps. When her mom start match-making her with every Tom, Dick and Harry, she had to take a drastic step. She grab the chance to work in Singapore when the opportunity arise.

The first night she arrived Singapore, she was locked out of the apartment. Lucky there was a nice neighbour, Kai, a guy who is staying next door with his grandmother and his father. And soon, Kai, become his best friend and "partner in crime".

Her first day at work as a secretary in a law firm were nearly disastrous but she bump into a gorgeous hunk who looks like Aaron Kwok.

The gorgeous hunk name is Evan and he is a successful lawyer in the firm. Soon he became Elaine's boyfriend.

There were a series of very comical incidents when Elaine tried to be the model girlfriend for Evan

Throughout all this, her neighbor Kai was there to help her...including the time when she tried to play sleuth to find the missing maid of an abusive neighbor.

Kai's relax attitude about life makes Elaine questioned her own happiness and of Kai's happiness as he seems to be heading into a disastrous relationship again.

This is the first Asian Chic-lit which I have come across and I must say, Ms Lum Kit-Wye had out done herself in writing this book.

For me this book beats Sophie Kinsella's Shopaholic series hands down! She really deserve to win "The Inaugural Chic Writing Competition 2009"

Her writing style are easy to read and characters are well developed. There are many aspects in the story which is believable and not too outrageous. The heroin was perfect. Appear to be helpless without being brainless and too feather headed.

I laughed out at the part where she describe how Kai's grandmother's denture got glued together when eating "Nian Gao"and the part where Elaine put too much pepper into her cooking.

This is a very enjoyable novel. I hope that Lum Kit-Wye will come out with a second novel soon.

To give you a hint on what is instal for you in this book here is something about the author extracted from the back of the book/

About The Author

Kit-Wye has written numerous best-selling novels and divides her time between her beach house in the Bahamas and her New York Penhouse where she lounges around on her designer furniture seeking inspiration for her next best selling book....JUST KIDDING! Actually, Kit=Wye spends all her time in Singapore where she works hard at her lecturing job and, together with her two equally hardworking husband, runs after their two young sons, trying to stop them from destroying the Ikea furniture. This is her first novel.

(Extracted from the back of the book)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Finally got my hand on a copy of the most raved novel "The Time Traveller's Wife" written by Audrey Niffenegger from Big Bad Wolf Sale last month. Just RM8 only.

What is this story about? It's a love story between Clare and Henry. Henry meet Clare when he was 36 and she was 6. And they married when he was 30 and Clare was 22. You see...Henry was born with a genetic disorder which allows him to travel in time. He had no control on this.

After they got married, they struggle to have a normal life. Tried to have children. It was real tough.

What I like about the story is that the author have a real vast imagination. She managed to highlight the emotional plights of the characters well.

But reading this book also makes me angry. Why? Coz at one time, Henry inadvertently leaked the future to Clare that they are married in the future. And I think because of that Clare had no desire to date. In fact because of her lack of desire to date other guys, she was beaten up by one of the guys.

And there is one part of the story where i don't really understand. The older Henry time travelled and had meet the younger Henry many times and taught the younger Henry the survival skills needed to handle time travelling.

Is it possible that the older Henry would not have mentioned anything about Clare to the younger Henry?

The reason I said this is that at page 178 where Clare confronted Henry about Ingrid, he claimed that he didn't know Clare existed at the time. But then, a few paragraphs later he said "Clare, very few people meet their soul mate at age six. So you gotta pass the time somehow. And Ingrid was very - patient..."

Gosh this statement really makes me boil. Why is it always the woman who is the one portray as waiting patiently while the man can go sow and many "wild oats" before they return?

Darn...this book really makes me emo...reminding me of this sad song.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Lost Memiors Of Jane Austen By Syrie James

During one of my rampage at BookXcess not long ago, I discovered this book. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen. 

I love Jane Austen works. Pride & Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Northanger Abbey and etc. I was real curious when I saw this book.

This is a work of fiction but the way it was written makes it seems so real. For a moment there I had my doubts. I thought maybe it was really Jane Austen secret diaries

Events were based as near to what happen to Jane Austen during her life time.  Some are true and some are just fiction

In this story, it was supposed that someone had discovered a hidden chest of memoirs. They were Jane Austen. 

It was her hidden "diaries". Story tells about her life and insight of the events that took place after her father death.

Her sister, mother and Jane depended on the charity of her brothers. 

Also of her personal life where she received two ridiculous proposal and she had fell in love with a Mr Ashford. 

Reading this book makes me missed Jane Austen works. Her books are always easy to read and so is this.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Nights in Rodanthe By Nicholas Sparks

Another love story by Nicholas Sparks. Lovely. I recall watch the movie on this.It was very moving.

Story starts with Adrienne Willis, a divorcee looking on her daughter Amanda's pain. Amanda had recently lost a husband which she loves a lot. She wanted to comfort Amanda but Amanda thinks that her mother does not understand her loss.Seeking ways to comfort Amanda, Adrienne decided to tell her the secret which she had kept for a long time

The secret begin when Adrienne flee to a small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina, after her divorce. Her husband had "traded" her in for a younger model. Nursing her wounded heart, she went to Rodanthe to help take care of a friend's inn for the weekend

There was only one guest scheduled to stay there for that week. His name was Paul Flanner. Paul  just sold his medical practice and had come to Rodanthe to nurse his wounds too.

There was a storm brewing. Nobody was around. These two wounded person got to know each other better and soon seek comfort from each other.

But as their wounds healed and love blossomed a tragedy happen.

Gosh! I really hate Nicholas Sparks books. Why do they make me sad most of the time?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

"Big Red" Holy Bible - Contemporary 3-D Art

I am not a baptised Christian but I have a Bible of my own given to me by a cousin sister. And I can say that I enjoy reading it very much though some words are too hard for me to understand, let alone explain it to my son.

When I saw this full-text of the International Children's Bible being offer for review, I took to opportunity to request a copy for my son.

I can't tell you my delight when I received this Bible. Love the 3D cover and the colorful pictures that accompany some of the stories inside.

The writing is simple and easy to understand for a child. At the end of the Old and New Testament there is an extensive dictionary. There is also a "Where do I find it?" section which list down the alphabetical listing of people and events and where to find them in the scriptures. Apart from that, there is also a section of God's promises, memory verses and some maps.

The only that I don't like about this Bible is that it is not hardcover. I feel that since it's intended for the Children, they should should make it hardcover so that it would be more durable.

I gave this 4 stars .

For your information, this complimentary copy was provided by the publisher, Tommy Nelson(a division of Thomas Nelson Publishers) through their 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.”

Monday, December 06, 2010

Sweet Mandarin By Helen Tse

This is another book that I picked up from The Big Bad Wolf Sale. Ya..time to "dig in".

At first I thought this is just another novel coz I bought this book due to the author's name. Love reading books from Asian writers.

Later when I read through, I discovered that this is not just any novel. It's a true story of the courageous journey by 3 generations of Chinese women in a family.

Helen Tse's grandmother, Lily Kwok, came from a very poor farming family in China. When her great grandfather tried to make a life for his family by venturing into business, his life was cut short by an unfortunate incident.

His widow and 6 daughters were left at the mercy of his relatives. They were bullied. But Lily Kwok was a bright child and managed to get herself some sort of education and become an Amah.

She married for love and had two children, Arthur and Mabel(Helen's mother). But love does not survive.

During Japanese Occupation she was with a Dutch family and since the Dutch were not fighting with the Japanese, she was "protected" . She even learnt a bit of Japanese which probably have saved her life.

After the Occupation she went to work with a British family. And subsequently had the hard choice of following the family back to UK or to stay in Hong Kong.

At last she went to UK. There she managed to built a life for herself and bring her children to stay with her.

She worked hard and managed to built a small fortune. Arthur moved away and Mabel got married. Then they lost everything.

It was very hard but their perseverance paid off. Lily, Mabel and later on Helen with her siblings re-built what they have lost.

There is one part which really moved me. Helen's restaurant have been broken into and everything was stolen. Helen asked Lily how could Lily sit there and be so calm when faced with the destruction. you know what Lily replied?

She laughed and said " when you get to be my age, you'll stop asking why things happen and learn to accept them".

I guess she is right at some point. Like the recent petrol and sugar price increase. Guess we'll just have to learn to accept them and find a way to deal with it.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Paddington Here and Now By Michael Bond

I have read two Paddington Bear books earlier on. I love "A Bear Called Paddington" and "Paddington, My Book Of Marmalade"

This is my 3rd. Got this from BBWS last round for RM5 only.

In this book Paddington had settled down with the Brown family and he is pretty well known around the town. He is known to drive a hard bargain. 

There are a few funny incidents that makes me laugh like mad. Like when his basket on wheels gone missing, when he "invited" the grumpy Mr Curry over for Halloween, or when he was "forced" to paint Mr Curry's pipe.

Best of all is a surprised visit by Paddington's Uncle.

This book maybe a a bit childish for me but it was a really delightful experience. To see Paddington's innocent and what mishaps it leads to.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Christmas Promotions and Charity Drive By BookXcess

Great news! Just saw this delightful promotion in BookXcess Facebook. Cleffairy, GoldFlower, Chee Yee, Chen Chzan...everyone...anyone...apa macam? Wanna go?

Hey! not only borong books for oneself, friend and family but also can do Charity. How about it?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The Root Of All Evil By Dewi Anggraeni

Komalasari had left Jakarta, Indonesia for 9 years and reside in Australia. She have a husband, Drew and two kids who loves her.

One day, she got to know that her father was seriously ill. She just had to go back and see her father.

When she arrived in Jakarta, she had a real cultural shock. So many things had changed.

The people in Australia are always straight forward. In Jakarta, everything is not as it seems to be. One word can have a thousand different meaning. Injustice seems to be a way of life. To them, it's fated.

She met her ex-boyfriend who had jilted her and now assumed that they can continue where they left it last time.

Then she also met a night club hostess who had to do what she is doing for the sake of her children. But when injustice done to her, everyone kept quiet.

I don't under stand the tile of this story. The Root of All Evil. At first I thought it had to do with some mambo jumbo. But then it seems to me this story is about cultural shock. Ones can have cultural shock when one returned to own country

To me this book worth 1 star. Too long winded and a lot of hesitation


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