Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Reading Marathon


Finally, all that I am supposed to do are done!! *happy dance*

In fact, as at yesterday, at five in the afternoon local time, it was a temporary jail break for me...at least until after the new year :) before the next challenge begins.

Technically I have one month to focus on my work, my reading, my house cleaning, my everything else before I have to delve into another world again...

This weekend and during the forthcoming holidays, I intend to do some marathon reading.  For some of you, that's normal but for me it's not but it's a luxury to be able to do so nowadays.

So which book gets the privilege?

Well, say hello to

Sing Them Home by Stephanie Kallos - a family saga with a bit of peek on life after death.,

I am thinking of attempting a couple more books.  However, am not too confident if I can do it.  What do you think?

If I can identify a couple more titles, I shall update them here.  So, do come back, ya :)

In the meantime, wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Family of Women & Miss Purdy's Class by Annie Murray



Family of Women
A story of three generations of women:

Bessie: scarred by a childhood of poverty in the slums of Victorian Birmingham and left a young widow with four children, is a hard, bullying woman who will go to disturbing lengths to keep her family under her thumb.

Violet: one of Bessie's four children, marries young to escape, into the arms of a man whose life will be broken by war,

Linda: grows up on a large housing estate in the 1950s with older sister Joyce and her beloved young sister Carol. Intelligent and energetic, she craves education and something more than the life she sees around her. Torn from her longed for place at the grammar school, she gives up hoping for anything better. It takes a tragic love affair to make her question the limitations of her life and the secrets which haunt her family.



Miss Purdy's Class
In the New Year of 1936, Gwen Purdy, aged 21, leaves her home to become a schoolteacher in a poor area of Birmingham. Her parents are horrified, but she has the support of her fiance, a recently ordained clergyman. Her early weeks in Birmingham are an eye-opener: at the school she faces a class of 52 children, some of whose homes are among Birmingham's very poorest. 

Little Lucy Fernandez is a 'cripple' and an epileptic. Through her, Gwen meets Daniel Fernandez, the elder brother in a fatherless household. The family has roots in a Wales' small Spanish community, and Daniel is a young man as fierce and passionate in his emotions as in his social concerns. Gwen falls in love, and is quickly engaged in his battle to win rights for the working classes. As the Brigades are mobilized to fight the Spanish Civil War, Gwen has to face the fact that Daniel has secrets in his past which she would rather not face up to...



This is what I say :

When I bought this book years ago, I thought it's a great deal to have two stories in one book. I don't think the same anyone as the stories weren't really the type that I enjoyed.

There's a lot of bitterness in Family of Women. Perhaps because of the circumstances at that era.  The story is more on Violet than the others. It's an eye opener of women in that generations.

Miss Purdy's Class was all about Ms Purdy..not so much about the children in her class.  She started off well but in my opinion she wasn't a role model towards the end.  To me she wasn't a very responsible person.

I really cannot understand where the author is going with her characters.  Maybe I am too impatient or I am just too different.  Perhaps others might appreciate these characters more than me.


However, I do appreciate the opportunity. 




Monday, November 6, 2017

Books Second Time Around 2017


Books Second Time Around has been around in Kuching for the past years.  The standard variables are :

  • They will be in Hills Shopping Mall
  • They will be here in November and December
  • There are lots of books
  • There are lots of titles
  • Some books are super old 
  • Some are relatively new - depends on your ability to locate
  • All books are second hand
  • They are very reasonably priced
  • I love going there
  • I am scared to go there as I know I will leave the place rich in books but poorer in wallet
  • It's actually the only time I go to Hills Shopping Mall
  • I went there last night
  • I know I will go again...and again...and again...


They have a whole section this year just for Chicken Soup.

I am in trouble.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Books without k become boos!!


Is it even possible to wish someone 'Happy Halloween' when it's a season that is associated with fear and tricks and pranks?

Anyway,  Halloween  is a culture that is not celebrated in my part of the world but due to cultural exposure and commercialism, Halloween is being celebrated here in recent years and it's mostly associated with parties and dressing up in costumes, having fun and etc.  It certainly is not a family celebration and I quite doubt that those partying Halloween style even know what and why they are celebrating.  In my opinion, it's just very much a case of an excuse to have fun

Anyway, I would just associate this celebration of boos!! with some pretty creepy books. that I have in my collections and which I must just have a go at them once I am done with what's keeping me away from reading.

What are the titles? you might ask :)...well in the spirit of treat or trick, let me firstly present to you, my version of Trick or Treat.



First up, a trick in the form of  Investigating the Unexplained by Paul Roland.  This book have contents such as ancient mysteries, paranormal puzzles, extra-terrestarial enigmas and comes with some interesting photos too.   However, the whole thing can very well be a hoax and turns out to be a trick after all right?



Reader's Digest Great Ghost Stories have been sitting on my shelf for ages.  It is a collection of short stories from authors such as Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Bram Stoker, Oscar Wilde, Emile Zola and even Frederick Forsyth and Elizabeth Gaskell.

I have half the mind to read one story one Halloween but it would then take me more than twenty years to finish it!!!  How about one story a month for the next one year?  Should be quite a treat to read them don't you think?

So, which do you prefer?  Trick or Treat?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Mayada, Daughter of Iraq by Jean Sasson

Synopsis :

A member of one of the most distinguished and honored families in Iraq, Mayada grew up surrounded by wealth and royalty. 

But when Saddam Hussein’s regime took power, she was thrown into cell 52 in the infamous Baladiyat prison with seventeen other nameless, faceless women from all walks of life. 

To ease their suffering, these “shadow women” passed each day by sharing their life stories. Now, through Jean Sasson, Mayada is finally able to tell her story—and theirs—to the world.

This is what I say :

By the fact that I am having this post, you might probably would have guessed that I brought this title with me on a recent holiday.   

Mayada, Daughter of Iraq is a real story...pretty much an autobiography and I am always caution in reviewing such books.  I mean, who am I to review what a person has gone through and say that it's a good read or otherwise.

All I want to say about Mayada is that I am humbled by her.  It is heartbreaking and I was quite reluctant to continue at times but yet,I want to know what happened to her and the other women. 

I got to find out what happen to her but not so much the other women in the cell.  I think neither did she.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Book Exchange (2 for 1 deal)


Recently, I took eight titles from my collection that I no longer read and have them exchanged for new titles.

The place where this took place is a coffee cafe in town that hosts a book corner.  Their offer is 'two for one' that is for patrons to bring and exchange two titles/books for one title/book from their collection.

Some might say 'hey, that's not fair, shouldn't it be a one for one' but to me it is quite okay.  I do not mind exchanging two titles that I no longer read anyway for a title that I would want to try reading.  Yes, I would end up with less books but when reading it concern, quantity is not the game plan here.  Moreover they are not selective of the titles and accepted all the titles that I brought whereas I have a choice of my preferred titles from their shelves.

So, from the eight books that I brought, I selected four of the above and the madamoiselle  was kind enough to let me take another title when she saw me still browsing through the shelves even after the exchange.

And with that I increased my TBR pile by another five titles. 

With author such as Maeve Binchy, Nicholas Sparks and Amy Tan, among others, I think it's a good deal and am extremely happy.

I have been so good in managing my inflow of new titles the whole year.  In fact, I am still managing that pretty well as I have not been doing any book shopping this year..or not that I can remember. :)

I can't wait to go through them but due to current commitment, these will have to wait till December.