Friday, September 27, 2013

Banana Mom’s Guide To Preparing For Chinese School by Mimi Koay

Summary  From

Are you a parent searching for a primary school for your child? Are you faced with the dilemma of which school to send your child to? Are you thinking of sending your child to Chinese school but you don’t speak Chinese at home? Now you don’t have to turn to forums or blogs for answers to your dilemma.

You can find the answers right here in this book. From choosing preschools to choosing primary schools. You will receive practical tips and know what to expect on orientation day and first day of school. Primary School Registration Procedures, School syllabus, Homework, Exams, Tuition, Dealing With Teachers. All this and more are covered in this book including How to Handle Differences In Parenting Styles with your spouse and the challenges you will face raising kids in the digital age.

Written by a parent for parents, everything you need to know about the challenges you will face as a parent to a primary school student, the next most important parenting stage you will face is here

My Comments:

For me this have been a valuable and insightful book as being a Banana Mom myself, I was undecided on which school to put my boy in when he starts primary one.

Naturally I would want him to learn an extra language but will he be able to cope with all the workload that Chinese school are famous for? Apart from that there are a whole load of pros and cons flying around.

From what I read here, Chinese Primary school is not that scary if there are support from the school side and the parents side.

I find that the part about school orientation, examination and tuition have been very helpful. Chapter 5 was very "scary" for me as there was a load of pros and cons listed there ...some of which I have not even thought of .

But overall, it had helped me . At least get a rough picture of what to expect should my son goes to Chinese Primary school.

Thank you very much to the author, Mimi Koay

Here are some links that may be helpful to those who are considering to send their child to Chinese school . The author is also giving a FREE chapter of the e-book for your reading pleasure.

1. Where to download free preview:

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Something Blue (Darcy & Rachel #2) by Emily Giffin

Synopsis from

Darcy Rhone has always been able to rely on a few things: Her beauty and charm.  Her fiance, Dex. Her lifelong best friend, Rachel.  She never needed anything else. Or so she thinks until Dex calls off their dream wedding and she uncovers the ultimate betrayal. 

Blaming everyone but herself, Darcy flees to London and attempts to re-create her glamorous life on a new continent. But to her dismay, she discovers that her tried-and-true tricks no longer apply--and that her luck has finally expired. It is only then that she can begin her journey toward redemption, forgiveness, and true love

My Comments

It was an "ok" sort of read for me. I have expected more of this book as I have heard good things about this author.

However, I was disappointed that 2/3 of the book have been about how self-centered the heroine, Darcy, is. I think that was a bit too much.

It was quite unbelievable based on this shallow character who was 5months pregnant being able to attract her Gynae to falls for her. It was a bit far fetch to me even in a chit lit.

Hence am giving this two stars out of 5 stars 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Something Borrowed (Darcy & Rachel #1) by by Emily Giffin

Synopsis by

Something Borrowed tells the story of Rachel, a young attorney living and working in Manhattan. 

Rachel has always been the consummate good girl---until her thirtieth birthday, when her best friend, Darcy, throws her a party. 

That night, after too many drinks, Rachel ends up in bed with Darcy's fiancé. Although she wakes up determined to put the one-night fling behind her, Rachel is horrified to discover that she has genuine feelings for the one guy she should run from.

 As the September wedding date nears, Rachel knows she has to make a choice. In doing so, she discovers that the lines between right and wrong can be blurry, endings aren't always neat, and sometimes you have to risk all to win true happiness.  

Something Borrowed is a phenomenal debut novel that will have you laughing, crying, and calling your best friend

My Comments : 

This have been an easy book to read.
Although Rachel was the third party in the relationship, but I find that I feel sorry for her. It was obvious that Darcy and Dex were not suited and it was such a pity that Dex took his own sweet time to decide on who he want to be with. I don't really like Dex.

Only one part which I find, not convincing is that how Rachel and Dex end up in bed. There was not much mentioned about the attraction between the two of them.

Overall I love this book because of Rachel. The character was very vivid and the crisis she encountered felt very real.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis by

THE BEST OF ME is the heart-rending story of two small-town former high school sweethearts from opposite sides of the tracks. 

Now middle-aged, they've taken wildly divergent paths, but neither has lived the life they imagined . . . and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever altered their world. 

When they are both called back to their hometown for the funeral of the mentor who once gave them shelter, they will be forced to confront the choices each has made, and ask whether love can truly rewrite the past

My Comments:

For me this is another one of his best book.

For those who are accustomed to Nicholas Sparks writing style, you'll won't find anything surprising in this book.  Story rather predictable. However, the emotions here are high. There seems to be no right or wrong when comes to love.

Same as many of his creation, this book will unfailingly make you sad. Not in a bad way rather in the sense of "what if"

What I like about this book is that it's not side-tracked by supporting characters.

Am giving this book 4 stars out of 5

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A Triumph For Sakura by Jason S. Ridler

Synopsis and Book Cover from

Famed fight coach Ned Bangs was down and out, until he saw Sakura fight four deadbloods like a champ. The catch? Unlike Ned, she was human.

Under Ned’s guidance, Sakura fights from the street to the big time, gather fame and enemies as they reach the arena of Cascadia. Can they both survive when her courage fans the flames of a human revolution against their vampire overlords?

What cost will they both pay for a Triumph for Sakura.

My Comments :

I was contacted by the author to review this book. Initially I thought there is nothing new that any author can add on to the existing Vampire and human series but obviously I was wrong.

The author certainly put new twist in "A Triumph For Sakura".
This book is like Hunger Games, Fight Club and True Blood rolled into one good novel. Very fast paced. The powerful against the weak. Will they be able to thriumph against a force that is so strong? 

Of all characters in the book, I think I like Ned best. Probably because of his flash back on the good old days before the undead become and elite race; and current time.

What I also love about this book despite all the fighting and everything, is that there are not much of foul language. In here, four letter words were being used at appropriate place. Yeah...I do sound snobbish but that's how I feel. I really hate it if nearly every page of a book being peppered with four letters words. Foul language doesn't really make a character in the book more macho.

Overall it has been a good read

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

I Am Second , Real Stories. Changing Lives By Dave Sterrett and Doug Bender

Synopsis from

There is nothing quite as compelling as a personal story—an account of someone’s life, radically changed.
This book is filled with some of these amazing stories.

 Across North America and around the world, hundreds of thousands of people are proclaiming a new anthem: “I Am Second.” No longer are they number one. These people have come alive to the truth that God has a plan for this world…a plan that specifically includes them. In this book you will discover their stories—some from notable people and some not so well known—who have had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ and are walking in radical obedience by putting Him first in their lives.

These stories are raw and real, dealing with the darkest moments of the human experience. Addictions, depression, infidelity, abortion, cancer, pornography, loneliness, jealousy, divorce, war…each story shows the redemptive power of Jesus who brings purpose and true joy to every secret place of life. Your story may not be included in this book…but you too can be a Second.

My Comments :

I have requested this book from Booksneeze to review a few months ago but had only managed to finished it recently. The opinion stated herein are just my humble two cents.

This is a wonderful compilation of real people experience and their stories. It's all about what they had gone through in life. All their hardship and trauma. These are not just your everyday people.Many of them are well know. Through all their trials from falling into substances addiction to being sexually assaulted, most of them had lamented how unfair life is. But then, they realised that they must have faith in God for he is First and we are the second. They must give their lives over to God for them to be able to overcome all their setbacks.

There are a lot of raw emotions involved here. I can't help feeling sad when I read some of it.

The one down side which I noticed here are the stories tend to be a bit short.

This would be a good read for everyone from young adults to the elderly for everyone will find some experience which he/she can relate to in this book. Hopefully, it can help those who are in need of spiritual guidance.

Am giving this book four stars out of five.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Seeds of Time by Shamini Flint

I am a follower of this author's Facebook. I love her books especially the "Inspector Singh Series".

Last week, I saw the author posted up in her Facebook that she is giving this book away for free . 

Here is what she wrote :  -

Dear Readers,


Like many of you, I caught the environmental bug some time back. I belatedly realised that our lifestyles are unsustainable and our children are going to inherit the mess. In a panic, I began to write books (printed on recycled/sustainable paper) about endangered species and did a lot of school visits to talk to kids about environmental issues.

Approximately five years ago I wrote a book, an environmental fantasy, called The Seeds of Time, for children aged 9-12. I wrote it to try and inspire children, the next generation, to care about the future of the planet (partly because I'd given up on us adults doing the right thing by our kids). It did pretty well, selling over 10,000 copies and is still widely available in bookshops, on online sites and as an ebook.

From the blurb:

"Honesty Smith and Spencer Jones - two ordinary children on a quest to save the planet. But is it too late for the orangutans of Borneo and the polar bears of Alaska?"

This week, we here in South East Asia, have been engulfed in unbreathable, hazardous air from the burning of the rain forests in the region.

I've been irate as I watch my children red-eyed and wheezing, shut into one air-conditioned bedroom ... unable to go outside.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, I was reminded of why I wrote The Seeds of Time in the first place.

To do what I can ... I've decided to give the book away for FREE (the entire book is downloadable from Goodreads if you're not a member, its easy to sign up and there's no cost or email me at to ask for the PDF). I would really appreciate it if you read it, give it to your children to read and generally spread it as far as possible. Please share.

I hope it makes a tiny difference!

Kind regards


PS If any teachers/educators would like bulk sets of hard copies for the kids, please let me know and I will make the necessary arrangements (while stocks last!)

Synopsis from :

Features Honesty Smith and Spencer Jones, ordinary children who are on a quest to save the planet. This title features a story that ranges from the plight of the Orang Utan in Borneo to the Polar Bear in Alaska and tells how the young people and the animals team-up to save the world.

My Comment : 

In the beginning it was hard for me to get the hang of talking animals relating to modern time. Yeah, am too used to Enid Blyton's books where talking animals are used in relations to ancient time. Gradually I got the hang of it.

The story started slow, probably to let readers get accustomed to the characters.

I love the character, Honesty. I feel that she really brings out the charm of this book. It's not easy to resist peer pressure. Nobody wanted to be unpopular in school . It's wonderful to see how she react to t and how she learn from her experience

The pace of the story started to pick up when Honesty met Spencer. The two characters mixed well together.

Personally, I think this is a good book to give to the young ones to read. To get then started at an early age on the importance of taking care of our environment.  Sometimes it's hard for adult who is fixed in their habit to change but there are still hope for the young ones.

Am looking forward to read Book 2 of this series.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Inferno by Dan Brown

Synopsis from

Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno, features renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and is set in the heart of Europe, where Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces.

As Dan Brown comments: “Although I studied Dante’s Inferno as a student, it wasn’t until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante’s work on the modern world. With this new novel, I am excited to take readers on a journey deep into this mysterious realm…a landscape of codes, symbols, and more than a few secret passageways.”

My Comment :

First, I would like to thank Cleffairy for giving me this copy of "Inferno" by Dan Brown to read.

It took a lot of patience to really start getting hang of this book. As usual, everything in the beginning was confusing and the short snippets of a chapter here and a chapter there did not help. Who is Provost? Why are there people chasing Robert and trying to kill him?

Plot wise it's pretty similar to Da Vinci Code and Angel and Demons, which I loved. It was full of suspense and thrill of the chase.

I find that reading this book feels "educational", not in a bad sense but rather it inspired me to google and find out more of the things that he mentioned in the book . For example, it made me want to read Dante's work. I have download Dante's work from Project Gutenberg. Hopefully I can find time to read it.

Also I learnt quite a few interesting facts such as the horrifying origin of Ring Around The Roses nursery rhyme.

I can't help feeling a bit upset at that ending. Let me give you a's something like what happen in Mockingjay (The Hunger Games)

Nevertheless am giving it full stars as I like the story very much. It's a book that inspire me to read more of other books and I can say that I've learn a lot of interesting facts and ideas from it. Aren't it wonderful to have fun while learning?

Saturday, June 01, 2013

The Witches by Roald Dahl

Synopsis from

This Roald Dahl classic tells the scary, funny and imaginative tale of a seven-year-old boy who has a run-in with some real-life witches! 

"In fairy tales witches always wear silly black hats and black cloaks and they ride on broomsticks. But this is not a fairy tale. This is about REAL WITCHES. REAL WITCHES dress in ordinary clothes and look very much like ordinary women. They live in ordinary houses and they work in ordinary jobs. That is why they are so hard to catch." 

Witches, as our hero learns, hate children. With the help of a friend and his somewhat-magical grandmother, our hero tries to expose the witches before they dispose of him.

My Comments :

It had been ages since I last updated this blog. Not because of I have not read any good books but rather lack off time. Too many books, too little time. Don't you sometimes feel this too?

Was at Bookxcess on Mother's Day and being "kiasu" I bought this to make up to RM50 purchase so that I can get a Carnation and photo session. Yup...It's kinda hard to that many books to buy in order to make up to RM50 coz the books were so cheap. 

Spotted this book. I have heard of Bigfoot and Matilda but have yet to read them. So far I think I have read Roald Dahl's My Uncle Oswald and that is on juicy adult book. 

Feeling kinda mellow hence grabbed this.

Oh boy ...I did not regret snapping up this book as it was a pleasure to read. It's an imaginative easy read. I guess Roald Dahl gets the last laugh after all since his school Master had put nasty comments in his Report Card where he was said to have "not a scrap of imagination".

This book certainly not for definitely not for those "logical" people who likes to question the logic of turning kids into mice.

Apart from that the book was full of witty humor. Can't help smiling at how he described the reactions of some people over some mice. 

I give this book full 5 stars.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Confessions Of An Old Boy: The Dato' Hamid Adventures by Kam Raslan

Summary from

Dato' Hamid The Old Boy and civil servant who's been everywhere and seen it all (even though he never wanted to). 

Here he 'spills the beans' on his adventures dating back to the 1940s, from Kuala Lumpur to Monte Carlo, Los Angeles to Algiers, London to Temerloh Rest House and much more. 

Along the way, Dato' Hamid tussles with a beautiful seductress-cum-diamond thief in Switzerland; is corrupted by a ruthlessly ambitious Malaysian banker in London;and helps solve the murder of a billionaire businessman in an isolated mansion on the east coast. And all the time he wishes he were back at home tending his orchids and nursing his favourite cognac. 

Shameless, exciting and funny, Dato' Hamid's life and adventures chart the financial, political and amorous relationships that have made Malaysia what it is today. You ll never meet anyone quite like Dato' Hamid, but you'll know him

My Comments :

Bought this book for a song from the Big Bad Wolf Books Sale last year. It's a steal at RM5.

I really love it. 

The Dato Hamid characters was really funny and "lovable" with his idiotic blundering.

Behind a successful man is a woman as the saying goes. His lovely wife certainly lights up the stories here when she ride up to his rescue each and every time he got caught in some ridiculous situation of his own making.

The only part I did not really like is his so call "romeo-ing" . It was a bit dry. But that was just in the beginning. 

Love the last part of the book. It was so mysterious .

Am giving it 4 stars out of 5.


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