Saturday, January 29, 2011

Ghost! by Yolanda Yeo and others

Forgot where I bought this book from. Maybe coz f the scary cover or what that this book was stashed away. Found it again recently.

There are 23 stories in this book. The setting are mostly in Singapore.

Rather interesting book. Not that scary.

Overall an average read

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Map of The Invisible World By Tash Aw

I have been waiting for this book to come to BookXcess since the first day it was released.

Can you imagine my delight when I spotted this book in BookXcess Facebook updates? I nearly missed it coz I was very busy earlier this month. When I spotted it, more than a week had passed.

Hoping against hope, I "FB-ed" them and sent them an e-mail to reserve a copy. Too bad the paperback copies have all been sold out. Left are the Hardcovers. Still, I managed to secured a Hardcover copy of this book thanks to their efficient Customer Service.

What is this book about? touches a bit of everything that happen in Indonesia around 1950-60s.

Story is about the life of two orphaned brothers, Johan(the elder) and Adam(the younger).

Both were in an orphanage after being left there by their mother. Johan was adopted by a rich Malaysia couple when he was around 10 years old. He was tricked into the car that carries him away from his 5 year old brother.

Can you imagine the heart-break for Johan to see Adam chasing after the car with his little feet till Adam collapse on the dusty road?

Johan grew up in a privileged environment but he was rebellious and seems to have a dead wish. Later it was shown that he had something akin to "Survivor Guilt". He had promised that he won't leave his brother but he did.

Meantime, Adam was adopted by a Dutch man name Karl. Karl lives in tiny island of Indonesia and loves Indonesia very much. He consider himself an Indonesian though many disagree with him.

One day when Adam was near 16 years old, the Army came and took Karl away. Adam was at a lost. He dug into his father stuffs and found a picture of a woman and an address. That woman was Margaret Bates. Karl's ex-girlfriend.

Alone, Adam journeyed to Jakarta and found Margaret and seek her help in finding Karl. Margaret was shock but immediately took Adam under her protection. But something gone wrong in which Adam end up on the street.

After many things happen, they managed to be reunited again and with a new friend's help they managed to find Karl.

I am not familiar with the history of Indonesia nor it's politics situations back then. This book really opens my eyes. It highlight the internal battles around the Islands especially after the Transmigration Policy which seems to have failed and resulted in many broken families.

Then at the city center, the political party are at each other throat. Ones need to have $$ to get anything done there.

The ending was not quite what I had expected. Guess the are many "Invisible World" out there which we can't see with our naked eyes.

This is indeed a terrific book to read. I can see that a lot of research and efforts have been put into the creation of this book. Each words that I read in this book gives me a sense of euphoria that one can only enjoy after reading a good book.

I really look forward to Tash Aw book.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Crime And Punishment by Fyodor Dostoesky

I have heard so much about this book. Fellows bookworms have been raving about this book for a long time but I only got to know about it in the recent years through the former Paylessbooks forum.

It seems to be a book for any serious reader. I have chance upon it a few times but hesitated to buy. Worried that I might not be able to understand the story nor appreciate it. But the one the last Big Bad Wolf Sale, this book calls to me again. RM8...worth the chance, right?

Started to read this book 3 days ago and finally finished the 551 pages of it, though at some parts I did speed reading.

The story is about an impoverished ex-student in St Peterburg, Rodian Romanovich Raskolnikov who comes up with a plan to murder the local pawnbroker woman. It was a perfect crime although he had some narrow escape.

His reason for the murder was for money and he reasoned that the death of the evil pawnbroker would benefit mankind more than if the pawnbroker had lived.

He got away with the crime but his conscience would not let him rest. He would fret about the crime and had times thought of confessing to it.

There are many interesting and thought provoking sub-plots to the main story, like stories of his family, friends and acquaintance. And how everything is entwine to one another.

What do I think of this book? It's a masterpiece. Dostoevsky managed to bring out the mental anguish face by Raskolnikov when he was contemplating the murder and after the murder. Very dangerous book also as the reasons for the murder which seems so wrong could be viewed in another point which makes the murder seems alright.

Definitely a book for a serious reader.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Born in Shame by Nora Robert

The final book in the trilogy. 

In Born of Ice, Maggie and Brie found secret love letters to their father by a woman named Amanda. The name which he calls out to just before he took his last breath on earth. From the letter, they got to know that Amanda was pregnant when she left their father.

They decided to hire a detective to find Amanda as they feel that she has the right to know that their father called out to her just before he died and they also wanted to know about their step sister/brother.

The book begins with Amanda in her death bed visited but the ghost of Thomas Concannon and the ghost of her husband, Colin Bodine urging her to tell their daughter, Shannon Bodine, the truth about her birth.

Amanda died after she told Shannon the truth. As she was burying her mother, the detective found her. She resented that but letter from Brianna somehow makes her changed her mind. 

She decided to pay a visit to Ireland to meet her sisters...with some reluctant and resentment. Sparks starts to fly when Shannon met Maggie as both are very temperamental but Brianna was there to calm the situation.

But when Murphy(Maggie & Brie's Best pal) saw Shannon, he was stunned. Immediately he knew that Shannon is his destiny. He pursue Shannon mercilessly. The two of them seems to have some unending love from the past though they have never met each other before in this lifetime.  Shannon kept having a recurring dream of Murphy but the scene was from a time far beyond and so does Murphy.

This book is far off the best of the 3 books. There is enough romance and mystery in it. Kept me wondering what is the story about Murphy and Shannon in their past life. 

It was a master stroke how Nora Roberts ties up all the loose ends.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Born In Ice by Nora Roberts

This is the second book in the Born series.

Brianna Concannon is the second sisters. She is the cool and level headed sister. Even in anger, she would be cool as ice.She does not like loosing control. Her only passion is to run her own Guest Inn.

Brianna is also nursing a broken heart for 10 years. Her fiance, Rory left her just two weeks before the wedding without a reason and the whole county knows about it.

One night, the storm blew in an unexpected guest, Grayson Thane. He is a famous thriller writer who came to Ireland to research his new book.

Immediately he was enthralled by Brianna and vowed to have her by hook or by crook.

They two of them are as different as day and night but each of them had a secret of their own. Would they be able to overcome the wall that they each built around them?

Yes, this is a book to read when you want romance. There is enough bartering between them to make me smile. I like when Gray was exasperated by Brianna coolness and Independence.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Born In Fire - Nora Roberts

I was presented "Born Trilogy" by Joanna for Christmas.

Born In Fire is the first book of the Trilogy. Each book is about a story of each of the sisters.

This first book is about Maggie Concannon, the eldest sister who have a fiery personality and passionate about her work. She is an artist - glass blower.

She is constantly in loggerhead with her mother who is a bitter woman due to something that happen in the past.

Maggie love her dad very much. But he died one rainy day by the seaside calling the name "Amanda"

Maggie's skill as a glass blower bring her to the attention of Rogan Sweeney, a businessman who is very interested to market her product. But to Maggie, her work is any art and she have attachment to her art. She refused to communicate with Rogan...that is until Rogan forced to come over to Clare County to meet up with her.

That was where it all began. The "fight" and soon they found themselves attracted to each other. But can their love survive as Maggie loves her privacy while Rogan work is to meet with many people.

It was kind of fun reading this book. The clashes between Maggie and Rogan was interesting. The event of the past which leads to Maggie's mother bitterness was very intriguing also.

Overall, it's a good read.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Precious Moments Storybook Bible

 I saw this lovely book available in Can't help myself and requested it.

It's a 179 pages of hardcover book.

The first part of the book was a page where you can fill in the book belongs to who, by whom, on what occasion and date. Followed by pages for you to fill in the Family Tree, Church Record, My Favourite Things.

Page 2 to Page 62 consists of "Favourite Bible Classic" like Creation. Garden of Eden, Noah, Moses, David and of course Jesus.

Page 64 to page 101 are "words of Praise and Wisdom". I love this part. It's like a prayer.

Then it was followed by "More Stories of The Faith" which consist of stories like Jonah, parables and the stories that Jesus told to teach people to be good and kind.

Last but not least comes "Songs and Prayers". I don't really know the songs except from Amazing Grace. The prayers part are great. It's simple and easy to read.

I think this is a good book for keep sake or as a gift for kids. Suitable for kids from age 5 to 10.

My son is going to be 3 soon and he loves the pretty illustration in the book.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from the publisher through the BookSneezeThe 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.”

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

The Bookseller of Kabul by Asne Seierstad

The first person that Asne Seierstad, a veteran Norwegian journalist, met in Kabul when she enter it with the commandos of the Northern Alliance in November 2001 was a bookseller, Sultan Khan.

Sultan not only sold her 7 books but also become her friend. And he even invited her to his home for dinner. This give Anse an idea of writing a book about Sultan Khan and his family. Sultan agreed for her to moved into his home to observed.

At first, Anse thought Sultan is an unusual Afghan man who is open minded. But when she moved in, she got to know that he is not much different from other Afghan man. He is a typical Patriarch like everybody else. His words is law. Women speaks only when they are spoken to.

She saw many things which she thought is not right especially in terms of the woman rights.

There was the story of Sultan's first wife who is old and Sultan replaced her with a younger version. She had to bear with it as there is no other life that she may lead. If she were to divorce, she would have been an outcast in the society.

Then there are the story of Sultan sons and brothers who wanted more to life than to take care of Sultan's business and live under his thumbs.

But worse of all is Leila. Sultan's sister who is a very bright young woman. But her life is not for her to direct. She don't even have any say on man whom she is to marry.

This is a hard book for me to read. It took me about a week to finish this book.

There are many stories in this books which I read and read again. Can't believe that it's so outrageous. Like the part where Sultan's first wife being forced to accept the younger wife. And pity those young women who are forced to marry older man who can be cruel to them.

And most heart broken is the story of Leila.

This is a 5 stars rate kind of book. But don't expect it to be an easy read.


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