Tuesday, November 06, 2012

The Laughing Sutra by Mark Salzman

Summary :

Wei Ching was a monk from a monastery that have been destroyed by fire. During the fire, he had rescue many scrolls and sutra from the monastery and hence on made it his life work to protect them. But among all the sutra that he had accumulated, there is one sutra that elude his grasp, The Laughing Sutra.

It was said that the one who read and understood  The Laughing Sutra will have immortality.

Hsun-ching is a orphan that was saved from a certain death and was given to Wei Ching to raise. Initially Wei Ching was reluctant to take on the responsibility as he wanted to go hunting for The Laughing Sutra. However, it was not meant to be. 

In turn, Hsun Ching took on the task of seeking out The Laughing Sutra for Wei Ching. This task brings him to the mysterious Colonel Sun. Together, they travel all the way from China to Hong Kong and then to San Francisco in order to retrieve The Laughing Sutra. 

The journey was fill with hardship and danger. 

My Comments:

This is typical modern "Journey To The West" story plus "Tom Sawyer" all mixed together.

I must say I have enjoyed the story very much. The East meets West. It is very rich in the eastern culture. I like the part where the mysterious Colonel Sun appeared in Hsun Ching life in China, Hong Kong and San Francisco. Can help laughing when Colonel Sun was mystified by the modern days convenience like the Lift.

The pace of the book and plot was fast enough for me. The adventures was suspenseful

The only thing that I feel uncomfortable or not satisfied with the book is the part where Hsun Ching was force to join the Red Army. The time frame and things around there felt rather "brief" . Could have do without that part. Just write about the mystical part and their travel to Hong Kong and San Francisco would have been much better.

Overall am giving it 4 stars out of 5.

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Theodore Boone: The Abduction (Theodore Boone #2) by John Grisham


 Theodore Boone, the kid "lawyer' is back in action. This time, his best friend April had gone missing from her bedroom in the middle of the night. The night before Theodore had just talked to her over the phone and the next morning she had gone missing.

It is up to Theodore and his friends to find out what had happen to April as the Police seems to be hitting the wall at every turn.
Would Theodore with his knowledge of legal system going to be able  save April in time? 

My Comments:

This is the second Theodore Boone's book that I have read. Not sure what this book official classification is but in my opinion it should be under Young Adult.

I have a feeling that this will be a whole new series of Theodore Boone's adventure that the author John Grisham going to write. Should be pretty exciting.

Just in case parents out there is wondering, I can say this book is pretty "safe" for young adults to read. It's something like Enid Blyton, The Famous Five. And may even inspire kids to wanna be a lawyer. 

The book have the element of surprises and Theodore is as cunning as a fox.It was sure a page turner for me.

Then why am I giving it only 4 stars out 5 stars? Well, it's because...I feel that it could still be better.

Now am looking forward to getting my hands on Theodore Boone : The Accused. I wonder what the boy is up to next.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom

Summary by www.goodreads.com

From the author who's inspired millions worldwide with books like "Tuesdays with Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" comes his most imaginative novel yet, "The Time Keeper"--a compelling fable about the first man on earth to count the hours. The man who became Father Time.

In Mitch Albom's newest work of fiction, the inventor of the world's first clock is punished for trying to measure God's greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world--now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began--and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

Told in Albom's signature spare, evocative prose, this remarkably original tale will inspire readers everywhere to reconsider their own notions of time, how they spend it and how precious it truly is.

My comments :

Received this book from a friend.

I have always liked Mitch Albom books as they are easy to read and meaningful. Unfortunately, I can;t say the same for this book. It took me "forever" to finish reading this. Most probably one of the contributing factor was that the book I've got is an e-book.

First of all the characters in this book were nothing really special and just doesn't "connect" . 

Dor, the Father of Time, was too busy inventing and discovering something to measure time till he neglected the world around him. Even neglected his own family. He only regretted it when he lost them.

The other two characters, Sarah and Victor, too did not shine and expected. They are just your average everyday person. One wanted love and acceptance and the other wanted more time . Both neglected to view what they were having in front of them.

The ending was rather predictable. 

However, I have to mention is that the word play and the flow of the sentence in this book is still as "delicious" as ever. I liked the way he uses words as he made them come alive.

Overall, am giving this book 2 stars out of 5 star.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Guilty Pleasures by Tasmina Perry

Synopsis in www.goodreads.com

In the world of the fabulously rich, fashion can have a very high price. 

Saul Milford, owner of one of England’s oldest and most prestigious luxury goods companies is dead, but who will inherit his estate? 

Saul’s niece Cassandra, editor-in-chief of glamorous fashion magazine Rive? Roger, Saul’s handsome brother with a demanding, scheming wife? Julia the art-dealer sister with a dark and brooding secret? 

All have their reasons for wanting the company. But only one of them will go to any lengths to secure what they believe is rightfully theirs. 

It’s a gilt-edged tale of lust, glamour and intrigue around the world’s most luxurious locations

My comments :
I should update this blog more but then recently I have been reading some books which I think rate around 1 or 2 stars out of 5 stars, hence I feel no point updating here. Actually am rather lazy.

However, I feel I should highlight this book. I bought it for just RM8 brand new from last year Big Bad Wolf Books Sale.

At first when I saw the book was so thick, I felt intimidated. Thought I may lose interest halfway. However, am glad to say this book is a real page turner.

I like the way the author introduced each character chapter by chapter and no all jumble up together. The story goes on from there on. No flash back here and there to confuse readers.

This is not just another Chick-lit but there are suspense too. Can't help noticing how the author artfully kept the suspense up to the very end before revealing the person who is plotting to murder for money. Oppsie...looks like I have revealed a bit spoiler. 

Anyway, this is a good book to read if you are tired of the usual no brainer Chick-lit. This book is just nice as a vacation reads by the beach or swimming pool.

For me, I rate this book 4 stars out of 5 stars.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Gold Diggers by Tasmina Perry

Synopsis from www.goodreads.com

Glamour, intrigue, lust and betrayal merge as New York billionaire Adam Gold moves to London. 

He’s sexy, single and about to come face to face with The Gold Diggers: 

Karin the jet-setting swimsuit entrepreneur, 

Erin the naive country girl who snares the job as Adam’s PA, 

Molly, a fading eighties supermodel with an expensive drug habit 

and Summer, her beautiful daughter. 

Who will succeed where so many other have failed – and what will they do to get him? From Monte Carlo to Lake Como, St Moritz to St Barts, Gold Diggers takes us on a heady journey through a world of sex, murder and betrayal

My Comments 

This is the first time am reading books for this author. Got it cheap from the Big Bad Wolf Sale. At first I not sure whether to but this book or not as it was very thick. Did not have the confidence it finish it. But seeing that it was only RM8, I bought it anyway.

What I like about this book is that the writing style is similar to Louise Bagshawe and Judith Michael. It's something like Chick-lit and yet the book have a bit of "meat" for me to chew on.

Most of the characters in the book have very shallow view of life with exception of Erin and Summer.

It was fun to read the spats between Molly and Karin. Molly being portray as very shallow, money minded and would not hesitate to"pimp" out her daughter if it benefited her. But I pitied her. It seems that she is always the second best in everything. All her evil scheme back-fired against her. It was hilarious.

What I don't like about this edition is that it have poor proof reading. Spotted several spelling errors.

Ones have to be very careful when reading the ending as it's link to what happen in the beginning of the book.

Overall, I rate it 4 stars out of 5 stars. This is my kind of drug.


Friday, September 07, 2012

Death Of A Red Heroine (Inspector Chen Cao #1) by by Qiu Xiaolong


Inspector Chen Cao is an unusual character. He does not only investigate but also a poet and a translator of American and English mystery novels.

When the naked corpse of a woman was found in a canal, Inspector Chen was assigned to investigate the case. It turn complicated when it was discovered that it was the body of a "National Model Worker". On the surfaces, she seems to lead a model citizen life.

Inspector Chen got in trouble with different sections of the Communist Party when he start to unravel the mysterious death. Some section of the Party wants him off the case by all means. Whether it's by bribery or by darkening his reputation.

Would Inspector Chen be able to dodge the bullets and solve the case?

My comments:

I bought this book two years ago at the Big Bad Wolf Sale Preview 2010. I was lucky that year to have won a Pass to the Preview.

Many of you know that am a fan for books from Asian Authors. Hence, I did not hesitated to pick up this book despite its being 464 pages thick.

I must say, I enjoyed reading this very much as it's something "fresh"  compared to the usual sad stories or political stories that emerge from China.

What I love about the character, Inspector Chen, is that he is the underdog in the story. He is hindered from his investigation every turn he made and yet he did not give up. Instead he used the round about way to get to the bottom of the case.

What I dislike about the story is that the author spent too much time in describing Inspector Chen's personal life which I found a bit tedious. But am guessing the author is just laying the foundation for the subsequent instalment of Inspector Chen's series.

 am giving this book 4 stars out of 5 stars. It's good. It could have been excellent if the page count could have been reduced by editing some part about Inspector Chen personal life.


Thursday, September 06, 2012

Love You More : The Divine Surprise of Adopting My Daughter By Jennifer Grant

Synopsis by Booksneeze.com

Following the invisible thread of connection between people who are seemingly intended to become family, journalist Jennifer Grant shares the deeply personal, often humorous story of adopting a fifteen-month-old girl from Guatemala when she was already the mother of three very young children.
Her family's journey is captured in stories that will encourage not only adoptive families but those who are curious about adoption or whose lives have been indirectly touched by it. Love You More explores universal themes such as parenthood, marriage, miscarriage, infertility, connection, destiny, true self, failure and stumbling, and redemption.
Sections include:
A Whisper
The Waiting
Learning to Know
In Love You More, Jennifer describes the way she feels God has brought her family together and completed it with the adoption of her daughter.
 My Comments:
This book I about Jennifer's life and experience that lead her to adopting a child from Guatemala altho0ugh she is already a mother of three.
What I liked about this book is that it's not procedure orientated. It's more "memoir" like. Readers are given a picture of what Jennifer's and her family life was liked before the adoption and what prompted her to think about adoption. It's really good to know that she did not preach to the readers why they must adopt kids. She just placed the facts upfront and let the readers decide for themselves. As she had mentioned several times, adoption is not for everyone.
 What I don't like about this book is that it's lack of family photos. As people said a million times before, a photo is worth a million words. It would have been good if they published some photos too.
Overall I rate this book 4 stars out of 5 star. It's not that informative on adoption procedure but it certainly helps readers to understand better what they have to expect when they adopt a child. It's not enough that the future parents wants to adopt just for the sake of charity, but they really have to have enough love for the child. To treat the child as if it's their biological child.
I would like to thank the publisher, Thomas Nelson for sending me this book to review. All opinion stated herein are solely mine.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Sparkles by Louise Bagshawe

Synopsis from the back cover of the book :

From the U.K. mega-bestselling author Louise Bagshawe comes a delicious story of a diamond heiress in Paris

Fabulously wealthy, internationally adored, the aristocratic Massot family owns one of the last great jewelry firms in Paris. But seven years have passed since the disappearance of the patriarch, Pierre Massot. With hope of his return all but extinguished, his beautiful young widow, Sophie, reluctantly declares her husband dead and takes control of the family business. But even as Sophie begins to look to the future, forces are conspiring to destroy the Massots by unearthing the devastating secret from their past that Pierre may have died trying to protect.

Bagshawe's sweeping story takes readers from the murky diamond mines of Soviet Russia to the cultural whirl of modern-day Paris, unraveling the mystery of Pierre Massot's fate and the scandal and deceit that lies behind the Massot family fortune. Spanning continents and decades, Louise Bagshawe's Sparkles is an addictive tale of ambition, betrayal, and romance.

My Comments :

Does anyone know if there is a connection between Louise Bagshawe and Tilly Bagshawe? Are they the same person? I tried to google it but without much result.

Anyway, books from both authors are pretty similar though I would love Louise Bagshawe more currently as  I feel that the story have more depth to it and her books are more consistence in terms of reading pleasure for me.

This books is not excluded. It was fun to read how the weak Sophie Massot turned into someone strong and able to put her presence forward after her husband was declared dead. It was quite amazing to see her transformation.

I love the way the author slot in the story about Sophie's husband alternate life in between of the chapters. In the beginning I did not know what the connection is but it was later explained fully near the ending.

I didn't really like the ending as it was too perfect. But then let's just say everyone got what they have just deserved.

Am looking forward to read more of Louise Bagshawe's books.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Mummy or Ramses The Damned by Anne Rice

Synopsis :-

 Ramses is doomed to walk the earth after he drank the elixir of life. He decide to retreat from life after his doomed romance with his beloved Cleopatra.

All was fine till one day his "tomb" was dug up by Lawrence Stratford. Awaken in the modern era, he became Dr Ramsey an expert in Egyptology and the constant companion of Julie Stratford who is Lawrence daughter.

He thirst of learning can never be quenched. But as he awaken, memories of his past affair with Cleopatra came to back to haunt him. As during a visit to the museum he came across the mummified Cleopatra and there he made a horrible mistake that would changed the fate of many.

My comments:-

Many years go I love Anne Rice books. I love her Witching Hour and Lasher. But when I tried reading her Vampire series, I found that it's hard to understand. Hence I stopped buying her books.

Then I saw this book up for 50% discount at BookXcess the last round that I went there. Well, who says people won't buy books? if the price is low enough, people like me would buy. No harm buying if it's less than RM10.

Am glad to say that I liked this book a lot. It's easy to read very a page turner.

What I like about this book is that the pace is quite fast. It kept me wondering what would happen to the "bad guys" of as the heroine had ban Ramsey from "taking care of him".

Then comes to his relationship with Cleopatra of the old days and the new Cleopatra...it was interesting. The author managed to rise some point of concern on what is happening to Cleopatra now as a result of Ramses' action.

What I dislike about this book is the ending. It was a bit abrupt. Could is be due to editing and trimming off the excess wording in the book? Am not sure what is the reason but I feel that a slightly longer explanation of the ending would have been nicer.

Overall, it's a good read for me. Am giving it 4 stars out of 5.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Tiger Hills by Sarita Mandanna


Devi is the first female child born into the Nachimanda family in over thirty-five years. She was the apple of every ones eyes.

Devanna is a shy boy whose mother had died in a tragic circumstances and he had some how formed an attachment to Devi and her family the first time he set eyes on her. From young she had always protected him fro his tormentors. Those who saw the two of them would assumed that they will be married to each other when they grew up.

But then one night they attended a"Tiger Wedding" and Devi fell in love with the tiger killer, Manchu. Although he is much older than her but she vowed to marry him when she is of age. It's a love triangle in the making with Devi, Devanna and Manchu lives entwine. 

This tangle had a far more devastation as it involves the life of their children.

My Comment:

I found that this book is a hard book to start reading as the beginning was a bit to poetic and long winded for me; with the sunset, the birds and the omen.

But the pace picks up after the first few chapters.

I felt so sorry for Devi and Devanna. It seems that fate is not helping them at all especially Devanna. In the beginning, I pitied Devi for what she had to go through but later on when comes to the kids part, she had lost my sympathy. Near the end of the book she felt like a self centered woman. But then after all that she had gone through and the hatred that she had inside of her all these year, it's not a great wonder that she changed into something ugly.

I salute Devanna's determination despite lack of response from Devi.

The supporting character who was the missionary whose name I had forgotten (just to show how unimportant to me he was) does not really helps the story. His rejection Devanna after Devanna asked for his help doesn't really improve the story.

Anyway, this book was a passable read for me. It could have been better if the author had shaved off a few chapters. This book is great for those who loves sword play with words. The author is good at describing things in  a romantic way


Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Scandalous by Tilly Bagshawe

Synopsis by www.goodreads.com

Sasha Miller comes to Cambridge with a dream and leaves on a mission. After falling for the lies and charms of her Director of Studies ′Theo Dexter′ she finds herself betrayed, humiliated and nursing a bundle of broken dreams. Heading to the US she is determined to rebuild her life.

Years later, Sasha emerges from Harvard Business School with one thing on her mind, the downfall of the now famous Professor Theo Dexter.

Meanwhile Theo′s long suffering wife Theresa also finds herself betrayed and cast aside for a younger and prettier model. Unable to cope she returns to Cambridge a broken woman and tries to rebuild her life away from the scheming Theo Dexter.

One night Sasha turns up at Theresa′s door, she wants revenge at any cost, will Theresa help her?

From the deepest betrayal comes a shocking alliance.

Two vengeful women, one very unlucky man ...

My Comments :

I have been a fan of Tilly Bagshawe books since I read  "Sidney Sheldon's Mistress of the Game". After that, I have been buying her books non-stop or at least on those that is of afforable price to me. 

Found this book at Bookxcess last week . The synopsis sound interesting.

 The story was intersting and fun. However, the plot was rather predictable to me solely because I had read too many of her books. For new readers or fans, am sure this is a gripping read . After all who wouldn't wanna know what happens when a woman wants to seek revenge.

The pace was a bit slow for me as the first 3/4 of the book was mostly about Sasha and how she claws her way back to begin a new life after being "devastated" by what Theo Dexter did to her.

The juicy parts only begins atthe last quarter of the books.

For me this may not be one of her best work but it certainly captured enough interest for me to finish it in a few sitting. 

I didn't like the ending as I don't feel like they deserve what they have got as in the process they had inadverttently hurt another person and I don't mean Theo Dexter.

Hopefully, the plot of her new books would not be so predictable.

because I had read too many of her books, I found that the plot was rather predictable for me

Friday, June 29, 2012

Nanyang The Lure of the Southern Ocean to Lands of Opportunity & Danger by Khoo Kheng Hor

Synopsis at www.goodreads.com

In this absorbing historical saga, Khoo weaves and engaging tale linking the multi-racial peoples who inhabit [Malaysia and Singapore] : the orang asli (ie. The aborigines), the people from various parts of Southeast Asia collectively known as the Malays, the Chinese (migrants and Straits-born Peranakan), the Indians, and of course, the Eurasians, descendants of intermarriages of the natives and the Europeans, such as the early Portuguese who came to colonize the wealthy Malacca Sultanate, before being chased out by the Dutch, who, in turn were outmaneuvered by the British, who thereafter systematically colonized the land to be known as British Malaya and the Crown Colony of Singapore until they too were driven out by the invading Japanese

My Comments

For me, I fell in love with his book since I read "Mamasan". All his books are well researched and storyline blend into the history of Malaya/Malaysia. I can't help loving them 

This book is of no exception. It's the story of three generation of the Yap family from the time where Yap Kee came to "Tanah Melayu"(Malay Land) till the time of his grandchildren during the inception of Malaysia.

The plot is good and fast paced. 

The only down side of this book is that there are too many characters involved. I tend to get confused on who is who. However, the three family chart at the beginning of the book helps a lot to countering the problem.

Some parts of the political scenerio is an eye opening "experience" for me. Yes, I have read Malaysian History during school time and I can say that history is not one of my strong subject. I read and memorize the dates just to pass History examination and have no thorough understanding of what I memorize. 

When reading the part about the Communist and the political situation in this bout there were several times when my brain just went "TING!!". Like I finally got what the history books have been trying to say about the war and stuffs like that.

To me this book is fantastic and a must read

Friday, June 22, 2012

That Gallagher Girl by Kate Thompson

Synopsis from www.goodreads.com

Times are hard in the village of Lissamore on Ireland's West Coast. So it's lucky that free-spirited Cat Gallagher knows a thing or two about breaking and entering.

Times are hard in the village of Lissamore on Ireland's West Coast. So it's lucky that free-spirited Cat Gallagher knows a thing or two about breaking and entering. When her beloved houseboat burns down she finds herself eyeing up the abandoned Villa which seems to suit her purposes admirably. But when a mystery buyer turns up, Cat is in a quandary. She needs money, a roof over her head and for the first time in her life Cat needs a helping hand…?Rio Kinsella is also in a predicament. She is in possession of a secret that has the potential to transform not only her own life, but the lives of those dearest to her. Before long, Rio finds herself lost in a labyrinth of lies, deceit and good intentions gone wrong. Can the two women find a way through their problems? That Gallagher Girl takes us back to the wonderful world of Lissamore with another heart-warming tale filled with a wonderful cast of characters.

My Comments:

Bought this book sometime last month from Bookxcess for RM9-90. The price not bad considering this is a new author for me and I have never read her books before. 

I would say I am lucky to have bought this book as it gave me much needed entertainment after reading some depressing books. 

Unlike the usual Chick-lit. This book have romance and mystery.

I fell in love with the character Cat as she is so daring. On one side she seems to be vunerable and at others her innocent and guts really flare up my imagination.

 What I love about this book is that the characters in it have extreme opposites. Its hard for me to describe.

Anyway, I look forward to reading more books from this author.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Death of Vishnu by Manil Suri


Vishnu was an odd job man for the residents of an apartment building in Bombay.

This is the story of Vishnu as he lies dying on his abode which is the staircase landing of the building. It's also the story of his life when he was young with his mother and later on with the love of his life.

Entwined in the story are the lives of the residents of the building; the warring housewives, the lone widower, lovesick teens from different religion and the Muslim man looking for enlightenment.

My Comments:

I've bought this book from the Big Bookshop Clearance Sale some time ago and had forgotten about it .Last vacation, I encountered this book again in a Cafe. Just the other day, as I was digging out some books to read...I found it again and so the journeys begin

It was rather difficult for me to understand what I was reading as the story flash from one person to another. However, the part that is most difficult for me to understand and imagine was the Vishnu. At times he was the alcoholic dying man, then it flashes to his childhood. After a few chapters it tells of the love of his life, Padmini. The author lost me at the part where Vishnu turn God like.

Despite everything, I still enjoyed reading the part about the residents of the building. Each family have its own woes and crisis.

For me it was a bit of a sad read.

i give it 3 stars out of 5.

Monday, June 11, 2012

All You Need is Love by Carole Matthews

Synopsis from www.goodreads.com

This is a romantic comedy set in Liverpool about Sally Freeman - a twenty-something single mum and superwoman - and her bid to make her world a better place. Hopelessly in love with her is Johnny - an artist with not a penny to his name - and Spencer Knight - a rich city slicker with a Porsche and a penthouse apartment. Sally wants to improve the dreary estate where she lives and she enlists the help of the locals to plant a garden and build a community centre. But will she choose the right man to love?

My Comments :

In the beginning I thought this book is another trash that I have picked up coz I did not like the first chapter. It sounded a bit like one of the moaning about life and everything under the sun type of book.

However, I am glad the story improved as I read on. 

I can't really say that I love the main character, Sally Freeman. Yes, she had been through a lot. Getting pregnant at a tender again, being single mom, having an alcoholic dad and having to move out on her own and all that stuff. But look here, nearly everyone in this world is going through these type of things one time or another.

What saves the book for me is her son, Charlie and her ex-boyfriend Johnny. Both of them have sunny character and an endearing innocents. Reading how they react and does things certainly brightens up the reading for me. 

One thing still puzzle me even at the end of the book is why did Spencer Knight falls in love with Sally. That is the only thing that I feel that the author did not address satisfactory.

Overall, this is certainly a relaxing read by the pool. For me it was four stars out of five.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

The Confession by John Grisham

Synopsis at www.goodreads.com

An innocent man is about to be executed.

Only a guilty man can save him.

For every innocent man sent to prison, there is a guilty one left on the outside. He doesn’t understand how the police and prosecutors got the wrong man, and he certainly doesn’t care. He just can’t believe his good luck. Time passes and he realizes that the mistake will not be corrected: the authorities believe in their case and are determined to get a conviction. He may even watch the trial of the person wrongly accused of his crime. He is relieved when the verdict is guilty. He laughs when the police and prosecutors congratulate themselves. He is content to allow an innocent person to go to prison, to serve hard time, even to be executed.

Travis Boyette is such a man. In 1998, in the small East Texas city of Sloan, he abducted, raped, and strangled a popular high school cheerleader. He buried her body so that it would never be found, then watched in amazement as police and prosecutors arrested and convicted Donté Drumm, a local football star, and marched him off to death row.

Now nine years have passed. Travis has just been paroled in Kansas for a different crime; Donté is four days away from his execution. Travis suffers from an inoperable brain tumor. For the first time in his miserable life, he decides to do what’s right and confess.

But how can a guilty man convince lawyers, judges, and politicians that they’re about to execute an innocent man

My Comments:

Bought this from BookXcess last week. I can say that I am some sort of a fan of John Grisham despite some of his recent books were a miss for me. 

Anyway, just finished reading this book yesterday. Not bad. I like it although the story seems just barely touching the surface. Did not really whet my appetite. 

Plot and pace of the book was fast enough. However, there was a lacking of "feel" when I was reading it. I did not get the "rush" when reading it. 

Anyway, it's still a good read for those who likes story about law and the chase against time.

I wonder why he wrote this book. From what I see it seems that this book is written to advocate against the law of Death Penalty. It centered around how the Death Penalty could be missed handled and that innocent man could be executed. For this I applause his efforts. 

I am no angel if you are thinking, "oh ..that's good. She is against Death Penalty". Nope, for me, it's better for the criminal to rot in behind bars rather than adding sin of killing to our life. We have enough burdens on our shoulders as it is. 

Yes, "life time" does not really mean the criminal will be jailed till the day he die but maybe the juries or judge could make it a few life time imprisonment that runs consecutively instead of concurrently?

Anyway, good job to John Grishan. 


Saturday, May 05, 2012

The Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Summary from www.goodreads.com

A reimagining of the world-famous Indian epic, the Mahabharat—told from the point of view of an amazing woman.

Relevant to today’s war-torn world, The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Panchaali, the wife of the legendary Pandavas brothers in the Mahabharat, the novel gives us a new interpretation of this ancient tale.

The novel traces the princess Panchaali's life, beginning with her birth in fire and following her spirited balancing act as a woman with five husbands who have been cheated out of their father’s kingdom. Panchaali is swept into their quest to reclaim their birthright, remaining at their side through years of exile and a terrible civil war involving all the important kings of India. Meanwhile, we never lose sight of her strategic duels with her mother-in-law, her complicated friendship with the enigmatic Krishna, or her secret attraction to the mysterious man who is her husbands' most dangerous enemy. Panchaali is a fiery female redefining for us a world of warriors, gods, and the ever-manipulating hands of fate

My Comments : 

Bought this book from BookXcess at Amcorp Mall last month. It was a day before their World Book Day promotion. If I had know earlier, I would have waited for the promotion coz then I would get extra 20% off the shelf price.

Nevertheless, I am glad I bought this book. To me this is indeed an interesting and engrossing read.

But I have to caution you that this book is not for everybody. Some knowledge of Mahabharata is required for optimum enjoyment of the book. Those who have no knowledge about Mahabharata would find it hard to understand some of the things mentioned.

This is not the first book of Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni which I have read. All a long I have liked her books but up to now this is the book that I like the most.

The story is unusual as is it being told from the point of view of a woman. It saws Draupadi as a girl/woman/wife with feeling of her own instead of a single dimensional character. Some would say this book is too slow or too much female wails but to me these wails and woes are what made this book interesting.

Overall, I rate this 5 stars out of 5.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Girl Who Played With Fire (Millennium #2) by Stieg Larsson, Reg Keeland (Translator)

Synopsis at www.goodreads.com

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all

My Comments :

I picked up this book from  Subang Jaya Book Exchange Programme(SJBEP). It's the community book exchange programme which is held every fortnight on the 1st & 3rd Sunday of the month at the USJ 2 Community Hall, Subang Jaya.

Personally, I have heard many people raving about works by this author. I didn't know that this book comes in 3 and this is Book two of the 3 books. 

Hence I was a bit confused in the beginning. However, it did not hinder my enjoyment of this book. It was full of suspense.

Love the plot which was fast paced. Love the way the author using the words. Genius.

I found myself rooting to Salander to beat the system. There was a surprise in the ending. It's certainly an enjoyable book.

However, I would not recommend this as reading material for young adults as it's quite violent in my opinion. There were description of rape and brutality. 


Monday, April 09, 2012

The Wedding Dress By Rachel Hauck

Book Description from Booksneeze.com

Four brides. One dress.
A tale of faith, redemption, and timeless love.
Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift—and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress—or feel certain she should marry Tim?
Then Charlotte purchases a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new, shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Who welded the lock shut and tucked the dog tags in that little sachet? Who left it in the basement for a ten-year-old girl? And what about the mysterious man in the purple vest who insists the dress had been “redeemed”?
Charlotte’s search for the gown’s history—and its new bride—begins as a distraction from her sputtering love life. But it takes on a life of its own as she comes to know the women who have worn the dress. Emily from 1912. Mary Grace from 1939. Hillary from 1968. Each with her own story of promise, pain, and destiny. And each with something unique to share. For woven within the threads of the beautiful hundred-year-old gown is the truth about Charlotte’s heritage, the power of courage and faith, and the beauty of finding true love.

My Comments:
I have read the author, Rachel Hauck, work before and like her writing style very much. 
After finishing The Wedding Dress I felt that she had exceeded what she had done so far in the previous work. 
I like the way the author stacked the odds against Charlotte and Tim's relationship.
In the beginning when I was reading the story of Charlotte and Tim, I did not give much chance between the two of them. 
After all, it was a whirlwind romance in which after the proposal, Tim seemed to have cool down a lot on the idea of getting married. Charlotte was also hounded by Tim brother's wife, Kathrine, who is a know-it-all type and over bearing. Then, in came the ex-girlfriend. Well, lets just say it's juicy enough to  keep the pages turning.
I love the way how she switch the story from Charlotte who is the latest recipient of "The Dress" and Emily who was the first owner of "The Dress". The switches were adequately spaced out. I did not loose track of what I was reading and of who is who in the story. 
Only one down side which I can comment about this book is that I felt that the other two recipients of "The Dress", Hillary and Mary Grace,  should have been given more space too. 
I like the way the book is written. Although there were many mention of Lord God, but it was inserted with such grace that it become part of the natural flow of the story without making the book  too preachy. I like the mysterious man in purple that kept making appearance in the story.
This is not just another romance fiction. It give a mysterious feel and there is an unexpected twist in the end of the story.
And to the author, Rachel Hauck, if you are reading this review, I what I would like to say is keep up the good work and I am looking forward to reading more books of yours.
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.”

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

China Ghosts: My Daughter's Journey to America, My Passage to Fatherhood by Jeff Gammage


This is the story of journalist, Jeff Gammage and his wife Christine, journey across the world to adopt a child from China.

It line out how he felt about the adoption process in his country which leads to their decision to adopt a child from China. It tells how they fell in love with their daughter, Jin Yu and the worries that they had about her health.

later, it tells the story on how the challenges they faced with when they came back to their home country

It also out line how much their life had changed due to Jin Yu and it led to adoption of a second baby from China

My comments:

Picked up this book from Popular Bookstore Sale last year.

The thing that I liked about this book that the language is easy to understand and the author had describe some things that readers might not know. For example the plague that happen in one orphanage which lead to change of policy in China.

Love the photos accompany with the story.

However, I felt that the title of the book does not really match with the story as it highlighted. It's more on what the author went through instead of the daughter, Jia Yu.

Some parts makes me felt that the author had gone poetic.

For example in page 114 where the author wrote that "I wonder, who took the time to find the likeness in our faces and in our hearts?How did this person know that Jin Yu was a good fit for us, and us for her? How did he or she create a family as similar as a family could be, consistent  and alike but for DNA?"

When I read this paragraph, I was thinking, "Gosh! I don't think the officials in China have the time to do this although there were a lot of stories floating in the printed and non-printed media about China's thoroughness and the red tapes there."

In page 165, the author was talking about how guilty he felt when he was wasting time in going to doctor's office and fertility clinic while Jia Yu was in China all alone, waiting.hurting, wanting and wasting her life. Where he wrote "she needed warmth and food and medicine. She needed laughter and love. She just needed just a little of what I had in abundance, and I did not offer. More appalling, it never occurred to me to do so. Not until I needed something from her, not until I wanted something from China, did I even think to ask."

I my opinion, the author was laying too much guilt trip on himself. How could he had known that Jin Yu was there waiting to be adopted when he and his wife were going through the process of trying to have a baby of their own? They had enough to think about at that time without thinking about the poor children in China, famine in other parts of the world, or child labour or green movement and other stuffs alike. 

All these section, makes me feel that this book is more about what the author had gone through and felt rather than about his daughter's journey. This must have been a hard book for him to write.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

Synopsis from www.goodreads.com

One miscarriage too many spelled the end of Max and Zoe Baxter's marriage. Though the former couple went quite separate ways, their fates remained entangled: After veering into alcoholism, Max is saved in multiple senses by his fundamentalist conversion; Zoe, for her part, finds healing relief in music therapy and the friendship, then romantic love with Vanessa, her counselor. After Zoe and Vanessa, now married, decide to have a baby, they realize that they must join battle with Max, who objects on both religious and financial grounds. Like her House Rules and several other previous Jodi Picoult novels, Sing You Home grapples with hot button issues. The novel also includes a CD of songs, each matched with a chapter in the book. Perfect for book clubs

My Comments

This is the most frustrating book by Ms Jodi that I have ever read. It simply draws out all sorts of emotions from me.

Most of all is my hatred against Max(the ex-husband), Pastor Clive and Wade Preston. Would you not feel anger against Max who walked out on Zoe and preach to her of her sin for being involved in a lesbian relationship while he, himself did the same thing though it's the opposite sex.

Then Pastor Clive and Wade, talked about God and twisted God words as a way to get what they wanted. Fame, glory and in Wade's case $$$. Pity those poor blind sheep that follow them and listen to their twisted words. I really can't stand their double standard and their holier than thou attitude. Thank goodness, these are just fictional characters.

I think Ms Jodi is very brave to write about this. There might be such people in real life. They preach one thing and does another thing or does not practice what they preached. Maybe they thinks that those things is not applicable to them.

Another kudos to Ms Jodi is her bravery in highlighting the plight that are encountered by gay couples. Hope she won't get much bashing from it.

Yes, I love her writing. Her writing is has become more daring from her previous books. I can say that some may not like this book as it brings out anger in them and Ms Jodi had portray some characters to the extreme end where some people like me would happily give them a piece of my mind if they are real people.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

Friday, March 23, 2012

If Today Be Sweet by Thrity Umrigar


Tehmina is a 66 years old Parsi woman who have to make a tough decision in her life after the death of her beloved husband Rustom. That is whether to live with her son, Sorab and his wife, Susan in Ohio which meant to leave everything that she is familiar with or to live in Bombay.

Her hesitation causes a lot of tension between herself, her son and his wife.

Story is told from Tehmina point of view. She worries that she might not be able to change and grow accustome to living in Ohio as the way they do thing here is simply very different from what's done in Bombay.

My Comment :

I have fell in love with Thrity Umrigar works since the first time I got it from BookXcess and I was very happy to find this book at the last Big Bad Wolf Sale.

Some may not like this book as Tehmina seems to be dragging her feet in deciding what she wanna do. But for me it was interesting as many things are not black and white as ones may perceived.

We get to see thing from Tehmina point of view. I am sure each of us have things that they fear.

Anyway, I guess, you will have to read this book to understand it better. Not an easy read but it certainly is an eye opening read.


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Metal Tigers By Peck Soo Hong


Peck Soo Hong had written an absorbing tale of friendship. Set in the 60's, Metal Tigers will transport you to the era gone by.

Peck Soo Hong pulls you into the heart of the story with her memorable characters and breathtaking drama. A deeply touching book that will make you think about your true friends.

(Source from the back flap of the book)

My Comments :

I agree fully with the description above. It is truly a deeply touching book

Do you remember your first love? Love during school days? Well, this is a story from school days to adult life. The wonders and the pain.

Guess, am moved by this book as it brought back a lot of old school days memories. I can still remember "dating" is prohibited and frown on. However, many "couples" still did that in school. Some couples got called up for "counselling" and even parents were notified.

"Dating" then was frown upon as the reason being it affect their studies and yet some couples did well in their studies. The same goes here in this book.

Aahhh...the joy of young love. Innocent, uncomplicated and untainted by anything else. But this is also a book about friendship and sacrifices.

Kudos to the author who managed to bring the characters to life. The scene and feeling were so real.

The author managed to bring me to tears with this book. Or was it because of all the cough syrup that I have been taking for the cough. No matter what, I love this book.

I love the ending and the song "Tell Laura I Love Her". 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The Big Bookshop Warehouse Sale at Subang Avenue

Saw in Inspired Mom1x Blog talking about the BigBook Shop Warehouse Sale yesterday. Hence, decided to drop by there in the evening.

Pleasantly surprised that there were not much people there. There were still a large variety of books to choose from.

Am not sure whether it's influenced by the BBWS, but I noticed that the price for fiction are average priced at RM8. Those with a larger page size were around RM10 only.

Found these coin boxes at RM4 each. The water battle is to let you judge the actual size. I think it;s very worthwhile. to get these. Can be as birthday pressie for kids and stuffs like that.

Also bought a pack of Buncho Poster Color for RM20. There are 18 colours in there. I noticed that they have Water colours too priced at RM8 and RM12 or was it RM13. Not bad.

 Magic Pen RM2 a packet. Haven't test out the pen yet. Not sure have ink or not but RM2, hentam aje la. Moreover my kid is very "ganas'. Sure very soon will destroy this.

 Pencil sharpener at RM5 each. There are a few colours to choose from.

Quite a lot of Faber Castell product. Bought this pack of pen for RM3.

 Disney book at RM1.

 Pop out book at RM5 each.

There were a few titles to choose from but I bought these two only. Still in good condition.

A Children/young adult book at RM6
Worthy buys.RM2 each.

 Many titles to choose from.

Bob The Builder book RM3 each.

 A book of photograph at RM1.

 Various stories from Malaysia and Singapore at RM2 each.

 Chick-Lit, RM5 each.

Not sure how much but I think it was less than RM5. Inspired Mom 1x told me this is RM2.

One of my favourite author Tilly Bagshawe. I like her mystery but not so fond of her Chick-lit. This Chick lit os only RM5. Not bad lah.Hope I don;t have this book sitting in my "pending to read" pile of books. But even if I have the duplicate, I can always give it away as gift or drop it at Subang Jaya Book Exchange programme(SJBEP).

By the way. SJBEP will be having a book exchange session on Sunday 19th February 2012, 3pm to 5pm at the USJ2 Community Hall. Do bring a book or two and drop by.

Check out their Facebook for regular updates

All the above Fictions are RM8 each.

Don't miss out this golden opportunity to grab some good buys. Here is the address Subang Avenue Shopping Complex (Next to Carrefour Subang Jaya. Still unsure? Hmm next which is next to Subang Parade ). Time is 10am to 10 pm. It's ongoing now till 19th February.


Related Posts with Thumbnails