Friday, September 30, 2011

Slightly Shady by Amanda Quick

Lavinia Lake have a strong feeling since Tobias March burst into her little antiquities shop in Rome and insisted she and her niece to get away from the shop. He insisted that he was trying to save them as a gang was using the shop to exchange message.

She and her niece went back to England but as fate had it, Tobias March is not that easily banished from their life.

Lavinia was blackmailed by someone and she decided t find out who it is. That was how she bumped into Tobias March again over a corpse. They had to join forces in order to find the one who is holding the secret. And it leads to some very awkward situation for the two of them

I feel that this is not one of the author's better historical romance. The plot at the beginning of the novel was not that convincing as based on Lavinia's strong characteristic, it's quite impossible that she would listen tamely to Tobias and evacuate from the shop and never to go back there again especially her antiques and beloved books are still in the shop.

For me the romance level rated around 2 stars out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

With a Delicate Air By Pearl S Buck

This is another great find from Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme thanks to nylusmilk.

There are a total of 14 stories in this book which covers stories from the West and of the East as Pearl S Buck's trademark

In the story of "A Certain Star" a father found time and started to understand his own family.

While in "The Beauty" a wife went in search for her husband who strayed and met with the woman that had entertained her husband. The become friends.

Personally, I love "The Gift of Laughter" the most where a mother found herself face to face with the woman which her son loved.

It's also amusing to read "The engagement" which is about the couple faced with doubts whether they should get married or not.

My only regret is that I was unable to enjoy the last story, "Francesca" to the fullest last two pages were torn from the book.

Overall, this book is something different from the modern novels nowadays. I love it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Yacoubian Building by Alaa Al Aswany

The story is set in Cairo. It's something like the Chinese movie "The 72 Tenants". It's about this grand building which once was one of the grandest building in Cairo. The richest and famous people stayed there. That  is till the war changes everything.

The building started to be occupied by the high officers and their family. It's still grand but some people from the lower class moved on to the rooftop of the building. It was like two different world.

Among those staying in the building were an aging playboy, a gay editor of Le Caire, the ambitious son of the door keeper and the beautiful daughter of an old widow.

At first I was apprehensive whether to buy this book or not as I have another book "Chicago" which is written by the same author. Have tried reading that book but kept getting stuck in the first few pages. Maybe will return to it later on.

Anyway, I found that I like this book pretty much. Love the author's sense of humor and the corruption that he revealed in this book. Makes me wonder if the world is as corrupted as that. Nevermind the said, it was still fun to read about how the way things works over there.

This book makes me feel happy and yet a bit sad at how some of the things ended in the story.  The author is brilliant and able to draw readers to feel the emotions that the characters are feeling.

Overall I give it 4 stars out of 5.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Asimov's Mysteries by Isaac Asimov

First of all, a big thank you to Nylusmilk for helping me to get this book from Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme. Do check out their Facebook for the dates of the next book exchange.

People say "don't judge a book by it's cover". I'll say the same for this book. The cover maybe old and worn out but in it there are 13 terrific stories which captures ones imagination. Included was foreword and sometimes afterwords in nearly each story.

It's hard to write sci-fi let alone sci-fi with mysteries. It sure takes a lot of imagination and a lot of up todate science knowledge. But not matter how up todate ones is, there is always a danger on future event or discovery may mess up the plot of the story.

This is seen in the story of  "The Dying Night" where in the Afterword Isaac Asimov commented that the story was published in 1956 where Mercury was thought to keep one side always to the sun. The plot of the story was built on that. But later in 1965, Astronomers discovered that Mercury have a rotation period of about 54 days. Hence all side would be exposed to the sun at one time or another. Well, that does spoil the plot a bit but it does not affect the enjoyment of the story.

I particularly like "I'm in Marsport without Hilda" where Max had to solve settle a "problem" fast and get to the place of his female "friend" for a little good time. Another good one was "Obituary" where a domineering husband who wanted to be famous somehow got the chance to read his own Obituary".

Yes, this book is for keeps.

A Cry In The Jungle Bar by Robert Drewe

Synopsis from

Big, bullish Dick Cullen, light sleeper, former rugby star and present expert on water buffalo, is lumbering through his tour of duty with a UN agency in Asia. Totally out of his depth among his small, deft, knowing colleagues, he lurches sweatily from bar to bar across various tropical states of emergency. Only in the Nameless Nightclub does he realise it is just a matter of time before his nightmares become reality...

My Comments:

I have tried reading this book but can't seems to be able to connect with it.  Can't make the head or tails of it. 

Guess this book is just not for me.

This is just my personal opinion as not everyone will have the same opinion on this book. I have read through some review who give this book high rating. Maybe you can have a go at it and discover what a gem it is.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Sweet Dates in Basra by Jessica Jiji

Synopsis from

Just when her family should be arranging her marriage, Kathmiya Mahmoud, a young Marsh Arab maiden, is sent from her home in Iraq's idyllic countryside to the unfamiliar city of Basra, where she must survive on her paltry earnings as a servant. Her only asset her exquisite beauty brings more peril than peace. Worse, her mother appears to be keeping a secret about her own mysterious past, one that could threaten Kathmiya's destiny forever.

In this lost Iraq of the 1940s, a time of rich traditions and converging worlds, Kathmiya meets Shafiq, a Jewish boy whose brotherhood with his Muslim neighbor Omar proves that religion is no barrier to friendship. But in a world where loss of honor is punishable by death, the closeness that grows between Kathmiya and Shafiq becomes dangerous as a doomed love takes root. When British warplanes begin bombing Iraq and the country's long-simmering tensions explode, the power of an unbreakable boyhood bond and a transcendent love must overcome the deepening fractures of a collapsing society.

Set during the tumultuous years surrounding the Second World War, Sweet Dates in Basra is the redemptive story of two very different cultures, and a powerful reminder that no walls can confine the human spirit.

My Comments:

I finds that this books is very refreshing from the ones that I usually read. The story here is about young loves and the frustration in life where their love is forbidden.

Am quite surprised that the character, Kathmiya, is quite relax. No terrible torture nor gory involved. Hence, I find this to be a rather fun read. It might have spicy up the story if the hero and heroine got captured and was tortured till half dead. But most of the book about Iraq and Iran have things like that already. Now it had become too common. And at times it makes me feel depressed.

What was written in this book is mostly about Kathmiya emotional life. How she feel and stuffs like that. I can feel sad without being depressed about it.

I like how the author brought Kathmiya to life. Not only that she have her strenght but also portray her weaknesses.

However, there are still room for improvement. I hope I can get my hands on the author's first novel "Diamonds Takes Forever".

Sunday, September 04, 2011

Cherished, by Kim Cash Tate

Book Description from

How can she believe God cherishes her when she can't forgive herself?
Kelli London once dreamed of being a songwriter. As crazy as it seemed, she hoped that God would use the lyrics that came to her while she slept. She dreamed about Brian too, that the love they shared would be a forever kind of love. But choices she'll forever regret upended her hope . . . and turned her dreams to dust. When those dreams come knocking once more, she's forced to deal with the pain of the past.
Heather Anderson's life has spun out of control—first, an affair with a married man, then a one-night stand with the drummer of a popular Christian band that left her devastated. Broken and alone, she cried out to the only One who can save her. And He did. But that's just the beginning, because now she must leave behind the only life she's ever known.
Two women with shame-filled pasts form an unlikely friendship. What does God's forgiveness look like for them? Will they ever believe that He loves them . . . and can still offer them a life where they are cherished?

My Comments :

The first thing that strikes my mind when I read the synopsis of the book was  "Yes, the story of these two young ladies lives  could have been true stories".

I discovered it was rather hard for me to start reading the story as I kept mix up who is who in this book. But after awhile, the story flows smoothly for me. 

Both Kelli and Heather had encountered personal set-back. Made some mistakes in their lives. They have regrets and had wish that they could turn back time but however, God have different thing installed for them

I am not perfect and I am prejudiced.  I can say that I don't sympathised with Heather much for having an affair with married man when I read the synopsis. But when I started to read the book, am amazed on how good Kim is in plotting out the story. It made me felt Heather's anguish and regrets.

After many years, both of them found ways to heal their pain and open their hearts to God. 

Even if this book is a work of fiction, it does gives hope. Hope that things will be fine in future and that no matter how dark today is, the sun will come out tomorrow and happy days will be back again.

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.”

The Perfect Holiday by Cathy Kelly

Is there such thing as a Perfect Holiday? That is the title of the book. Well, the holidays of the three heroine were far from perfect.

Claire and Anthony went to this idyllic Greek island to see if they can savaged their marriage and if they can banish the demons that is haunting Anthony.

Jessica was recently widowed with two grown sons. Both were not living with her. She felt that she must do something to heal the emptiness inside of her. This is the first holiday which she took without her husband by her side. Hopefully she can start to heal and learn to live her life again

This holidays is one of Susie last girlie holiday getaway with her best friend, Chloe. Susie will getting married soon. They thought they have booked into a resort with a lot of night life and stuffs like that. Unfortunately, a mis-spelling had cause the dearly.

Things comes to the climax for each of them during their flight home. And by the time they landed, they learned what is important to them and what they most do next.

I like this book. It's a quick read with only 87 pages and the font were big.

But most important of all is that this book gives hope. Yes it did. It teaches that when bad things happen, we must take a step back and look into what is really important to us.


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