Friday, December 30, 2011
In Flower Net, Lisa See rips the veil away from modern China -- its venerable culture, its teeming economy, its institutionalized cruelty -- and highlights the inextricable link between China's fortunes and America's. This is a Gorky Park for our time, a complex, suspenseful, beautifully written novel in which a Chinese cop and an American attorney team up to uncover the deadly conspiracy of Chinese gangs, government and big business that lies behind a series of gory, high-profile murders.
In the depths of a Beijing winter, during the waning days of Deng Zioping's reign, the U.S. ambassador's son is found dead -- his body entombed in a frozen lake. Almost simultaneously, American officials find a ship adrift in the storm-churned waters off Southern California. No one is surprised to find the fetid hold crammed with hundreds of undocumented Chinese immigrants -- the latest cargo in the Chinese mafia's burgeoning smuggling trade.
What does surprise U.S. District Attorney David Starke is his discovery that among the hapless refugees lies the corpse of a "Red Prince," the name given to a child of China's political elite.
The Chinese and American governments both suspect that the deaths are linked and, in an unprecedented move, they join forces to solve this cross-cultural crime. Stark heads for Beijing to team up with Liu Hulan, whose unorthodox methods are tolerated only because of her spectacular investigative abilities. Their investigation carries them (and the reader) into virtually every corner of today's China -- from the glitzy karaoke bars where the nation's new elite cut deals, to the labyrinthine hutongswhere working-class Chinese have lived and died for centuries.
Here is China as readers have never seen it: a surprisingly strange nation at once admirable and frightening. Here too is an utterly original story more taut and timely than anything else on the fiction shelves today.
This is not the first book of Inspector Liu by Lisa See that I have read. Am pleased to say that this book did not disappoint me.
The pace of the story is just fast enough without readers having to lost track what they are reading.
Love the chemistry that shows up in Inspector Liu and her ex-boyfriend David Stark. I like the way how their relationship was reveal slowly in the story.
Food for thought : is there really such thing as elite group of Red Princes and Princess in China ?
Well, be it real or imaginary, it was a good read for me.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Do you ever wish for something without thinking? Maybe like when you go out of the house, you just wish the day be sunny and that the car would start properly?
Well, Heather Hamilton was forever wishing for things. Some she does consciously and some unconsciously. But luck doesn't seems to be on her side.
One day, things had gone pretty bad for her. She was drenched in rain when a gypsy peddler stopped her to sell he a lucky heather. In order to get the gypsy woman off her back, she bought it.
And from that moment on, everything goes smoothly for her.
Cab stopped for her. She was able to find parking anytime she wish for.
The gorgeous man, James, that she had a crush for asked her out for a date. And he seems to be the Perfect Man that she had wish for. But how come even though things are perfect, she still feeling like somehow things are not complete?
And there is this handsome American came to rent a room at her flat.
I love this book. Reading it gives me a happy feeling.
The plot were smooth and light heart. Although the story does not have heavy emotional stuff, I find it not too sweet. Not like the plot is unbelievable.
I can see this book have good potential to be make into a romantic comedy. The character Heather and Gabe were fun and complement each other well.
Monday, December 26, 2011
Only one woman marred her perfect life...Martha Zinsser who is a self sufficient and confident lady.
Taylor thought this is her only problem till one day suddenly out of the blue her credit cards wouldn't work anymore and her husband suddenly on an "extended" business trip.
Then thing start crashing down on her. Those whom she thought were her friends avoided her like a plague. And unexpectedly, she received help from one corner which she had never expected...Martha Zinsser.
For me, this book is just okay. Nothing much outstanding about thing.
The plot and story were pretty much predictable.
However, it is commendable that the author managed to bring up the image of Taylor from a weak woman into a pretty determined woman in the end.
I didn't quite catch what character Taylor's husband is supposed to play in the story. In the beginning he was portray as strong and confident but at the ending he was something like a crying baby. or me the changes was not as convincing as the changes in Taylor. It could be due to the husband figure was not given enough space to expand.
Nevertheless, this book has been a good try. There is potential for development.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
Leona Hewitt, disguised in men formal evening clothes, has secretly made her way into Lord Delbridge's private museum to retrieve a relic stolen from her family. But someone else is in the dimly lit gallery on the same errand: a tall, blackcloaked man whose very voice is enough to cause her to fall into a trance.
Thaddeus Ware, a mesmerist with psychic gifts, is accustomed to fearful reactions from others' women, in particular. After all, a man who can control the minds of others could rob a lady of her virtue—completely unbeknownst to her. But Leona shows no trace of hysteria in his presence. A gifted crystal worker, she exerts a rather hypnotic power over the hypnotist himself. And she is determined to keep the coveted crystal they manage to recover by giving him the slip at a run-down London inn.
Thaddeus, on assignment for the Arcane Society, knows the menace Leona is courting by absconding with the crystal. A source of remarkable energy, it holds the potential for great destruction. Lord Delbridge has already killed to acquire the crystal, his key to membership in the elite, shadowy group known as the Third Circle. And, with the help of a ruthless hunter of preternatural skill—dubbed the Midnight Monster by the press Delbridge intends to find Leona. With the stolen crystal in their possession, the danger is only beginning.
The beginning of this book was full of suspense and mystery. However, the suspense sizzled out for me in the middle of the book.
For me the plot was rather predictable.
Sad to say, the Chemistry between the hero and heroine did not really spark off for me. I think it's my fault as I have read many of her romance. Guess, this one is not one of her best work.
However, I like the way she added super natural element into the story instead of the usual boy meets grl and they fell in love.
Overall, for me this book was okay. Good for light reading.
Thursday, December 22, 2011
To Libby Mason, Mr. Right has always meant Mr. Rich. A twenty-seven-year-old publicist, she’s barely able to afford her fashionable and fabulous lifestyle, and often has to foot the bill for dates with Struggling Writer Nick, a sexy but perpetually strapped-for-cash guy she’s dating (no commitments–really). So when Ed, Britain’s wealthiest but stodgiest bachelor, enters the picture, her idea of the fairy-tale romance is turned on its head. Libby soon finds herself weighing the advantages of Nick’s sexual prowess and tender heart against Ed’s luxurious lifestyle and unlimited retail therapy. But when the diamond shopping commences, Libby is forced to realize that the time for “maybe” is up.
Taking romantic comedy to a hip, sparkling new level, Mr. Maybe is a classic tale of what happens to one girl when her heart and her head aren’t looking for the same thing. With a laugh a minute and a heroine whose struggles in the dating jungle will remind you of your own, Mr. Maybe is a story that will leave you smitten
My Comments :
This is my first Jane Green book. Someone recommended this author name to me. I was unsure what to expect when I bought this.
I find that the main character, Libby, is quite shallow. Nothing much outstanding about her. At times, I found myself irritated by her indecision.
For me it was just an okay type of read. Plot were pretty much predictable.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
The House in Amalfi tells the story of a widow, Lamour Harrington. Her husband had recently pass away in an unfortunate accident. To her she had lost the love of her life.
Her best friend did not want to see her ruin her life just like that and hence told her a devastating truth about her late husband.
Unable to find peace, Lamour decided to return to her childhood home in Italy. The home which she neglected since the mysterious disappearance of her father many years ago.
Her presence there opens up a lot of old wounds for the people there. There are some people who would not want her to be there nor poke around the past.
She acquired a hostile neighbour and also a suitor. But in this circumstances, can she find love?
This book is certainly has its charms. It describe a place where its Paradise. Wonderful sun, sea and sand. With an admirer or two. The scene was very serene. Good for those who wish for a little escapism.
The little mysterious plot about her father's disappearance also added a bit of suspense in the story.
What I dislike about his book is that she is flirting with both the father and the son at the same time which lower my opinion about Lamour.
Overall, it's an acceptable read for a quiet day.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
From what I gather Opal Koboi was the leader of an uprising in the second book. Opal was defeated by the LEPrecon Unit with the help of Artemis Fowl. But as she was captured, she faked a coma. Currently she was held in asylum.
Opal managed to escape without anyone noticing and planned revenge herself against all who had foiled her plans.
First to go was Commander Root and Captain Holly Short. Captain Holly was framed for something that she did not do.
Meantime, continued on with his criminal ways after he and his bodyguard were mind wiped. He was trying to steal a famous painting. Unknown to him , he was being watched by his nemesis, Opal koboi.
Captain Holly Short came to his rescue just in time.
Despite not being able to recall who is Captain Holly, both of them teamed up against Opal.
And at one point of time, Artemis and his bodyguard, Butler, regained their memory.
At the end of the story, Holly Short was so frustrated that she didn't something unpredictable.
Overall it's an enjoyable book. I love the part where Artemis was very optimistic of everything eventhough they were in dire circumstances.
I hope this book won't be turning into a romance in the following instalments as there seems to be some under current going on between Artemis and Captain Holly. Maybe I just read the clues wrong.
Frankly am amazed that Eion Colfer put codes under each page of the book. It must have taken a lot of hard work and attention. Kudos to him.
It's not easy to write a fantasy novel let alone with an added excitement for readers.
I am sure there are plenty of die hard fans for Artemis Fowls Series who are delighted to dechiper the codes. Hence I cheated and read up the translation of the codes in www.goodreads.com.
Friday, December 16, 2011
In this instalment, Artemis Fowl had invented device called C Cube that can do a million thing that current computer can;t do. If this device is released to the whole in general, the whole computer technology industry now would be made obsolete.
He attempted to sell C Cube to Spiro a master criminal who also holds a very large share of the current world technology. Unfortunately, Spiro would not deal. Instead he took the C Cube by force. During the shoot out, Artemis trusty bodyguard whom he considered as his closest friend was mortally wounded.
Artemis had no choice but to seek help from the Underworld. And should come to his add but Captain Holly Short. But in order to gain the help he required, he has to make a hard bargain.
Like Book 1, this is an exciting and fast paced book. The plot were unpredictable hence keeping readers to their toes.
To me it's like reading Sherlock Holmes. At times I was unable to understand why he do a certain action for example agree to a mind wipe. But all will be revealed at the end of the book.
This books is not only about the action but also shows the importance of friendship and the bonus is that there is humor in the book. That is what I like best about it.
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
The story is about 12 years old Artemis Fowl is a millionaire and a boy genius devising a plan to increase his family fortune after the disappearance of his father. His mother was not in her right mind after his father disappeared.
Left alone, Artemis Fowl had become a master criminal.
Now he had devised a plan to capture the Leprechaun Gold. He doesn't know how much trouble he is in when he kidnapped a fairy, Captain Holly Short of the LEPrecon Unit. The whole force were out to take back what was theirs.
Hence in came the better of the magic and human wits.
Despite this book being targeted at young adults, I find myself enjoyed this book immensely.
The story is fast paced and exciting. Descriptions were vivid and colorful.
It's fun to learn that it's not your normal story. The fairyland here is similar to our world with laws and orders.
Yup, am giving this book a thumbs up.
By the way, there is a special code at the bottom of each page of the book if you care to try and decipher it but if you can't just login to www.goodreads.com and read the translation there.
Monday, December 12, 2011
My mother wrote this book. She did not want my voice; she wanted the beat of her own heart, her anxieties and laughter, her dreams and nightmares. She wanted her own voice.
Brought up in poverty in a village in southern Lebanon, Kamila never had the opportunity to go to school, although she longed to.
She was nine years old when she moved to Beirut and only eleven when her brothers tricked her into getting engaged to a man - her uncle, eighteen years her senior. Kamila was expected to be stone-bearing donkey - to live a domestic life.
But it is the sounds, stories and imagery of poetry and films, and a beautiful boy called Muhammad, that fascinate Kamila. Muhammad is enchanted by her spirited and wily nature and they fall in love.
Despite scratching, screaming, biting and crying, Kamila's battle against her arranged marriage is fruitless. At fourteen she is forced to marry and share her husband's bed. That night, her first daughter is conceived.
Her second, Hanan, is born three years later.
What follows is an incredible story of love and loss, tragedy, community and strength.Risking their lives Kamila and Muhammad continue to see each other in secret, sharing ideas, poetry and laughter.
It takes eight years before Kamila can bring herself to divorce her husband, as to do so means abandoning her daughters. Evoking the dusty streets of Beirut and the fabric of life in Lebanon this is a remarkable and moving memoir about an extraordinary woman told with heartbreaking insight and raw honesty.
My Comment :
I bought this book from the Big Bad Wolf Warehouse Sale 2011. In fact, I bought this book twice. Guess I just fell in love with the cover.
However, I am glad to have bought this book coz to me it is a good book.
Many books that I have read, the woman involve are from Royal family or some rich family who are forced to marry a brute. However, this is the story of a woman from a poor family standing up for what she believe is right for her.
It's really amazing to read of her life journey. She is not a Saint but she have a good heart. There are time where she is ruthless in chasing her love.
The book makes me feel like I can relate to what she had gone through. Despite all the heart break and tough life, she managed to create happiness for herself.
Don't say I didn't warn you. Better get ready a box of tissue paper when you start reading this book.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
A modern twist on "The Twelve Days of Christmas," this collection of playful tales makes a perfect stocking stuffer.
"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…" From a partridge in a pear tree to twelve drummers drumming, here is a collection sure to please even the Scroogiest of readers. Taking the classic Christmas song as inspiration, these twelve stories from some of Britain’s finest contemporary writers are in turn playful, funny, poignant, suspenseful, and magical. No matter what you feel about the festive season, you will find stories here that will lift the spirit, warm the heart, and entertain.
My Comment :
As with most compilation of short stories, there are bound to be some stories which i like and some I don't really care about.
In this book, I found myself disliking many of the stories rather than liking them. On particular story that I like was Nine Ladies Dancing by Lauren Henderson
Some authors are born to write novel and not short stories. Maybe that's why when they write short stories, I find that the short are lacking in character and the unique charm which each of the author had when they write novel.
For me it's not a very Christmassy read.
Sunday, December 04, 2011
Have been reading average 4 to 5 books a week, so fast that I haven't had the time to post up any review.
This is one of the good books that I have pick up during one of the book hunting trip. This round it's from Bookalicious at Summit USJ .
What would you do if you are approach by your Rabbi, Pastor, Priest or someone who is the Religion Leader of the community with a request to do his eulogy when he is gone?
That was what happen to Mitch Albom. He was request by the Rabbi. He decided in order to deliver the complete eulogy, he had to get to know of this old man more. At first he thought maybe it would takes 2 or 3 weeks to get to know him as a person but the weeks drag to months and then years. And pretty soon, friendship formed.
Simultaneously, the book also tell the story of another person. Henry Covington was introduced to Christ at a very tender age but again and again he fell away from the religious part. He become a thief, robber and a drug addict. How did he found his way back?
As Mitch understand more of these two men lives, he also understand more of himself.
I like this book but there are some parts which is hard to "process". Guess, ones have to have a calm mind to read this book.
This book promote religion tolerance. No mater what religion it is, all religion promotes goodness. It's men that twist and turn the thing.
Yes, I would certainly pick up this book again to read.