Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Book Exchange from Urban Street Library

Remember my post here about the Urban Street Library which made an appearance at one of the malls in town?

Well, I went back about a week later bringing with me some titles that I have read and was happy exchange them for new title.  It was quite difficult to select but in the end I came home with the following titles.

Thyme Out by Katie Fforde.  Read a few of Katie's title.  Didn't like it initially but grew to enjoy what she wrote.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. I think I read this title already and actually wanted Inferno but mistakenly thought this was the title I haven't read.  Ah well...maybe will read it again.

A Suggestion of Death by Marianne Wesson. This is a wild card/title. Just to see if it's good.

The Other Side of the Story by Marian Keyes.  At one time my favourite author.  I still like what she wrote but haven't read any of her titles for quite a while now.

So, technically I didn't purchase any new books for the year yet, other than this one which I am keeping for a forthcoming holiday.

Currently reading Thyme Out by Katie Fforde and will be sharing with you what I think of it in the next post.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tribute to May 2018

image taken from web. credit to the owner

The month of May is a rather special month for my country. Specifically, last week, on 10 May 2018, the people voted in a new government.  It's the first time since the country's independence and to say that it's pretty euphoric would be rather mild.

May is also the month of celebration for mothers so a special shout out to all mum out there. 

May is also when I start the second and final year of what I embarked on last year and it's one of the reason that kept me away from reading but I am enjoying it at the same time.

There's lots to do in May cos June is a month of many festive celebrations and holidays so this month is the month to get as much done as possible too.

So, let's get to work, May :)

Friday, May 11, 2018

Fame by Tilly Bagshawe

Synopsis :

The raw, sexual beauty of Sabrina Leon demands the attention of all who come into contact with her. Plucked from obscurity at the age of 17 she's the new darling of the film scene, bagging lead roles in the hottest blockbusters. But Sabrina Leon has a problem. There's a YouTube sensation that's set to destroy everything she's fought for.

Hotshot movie producer Dorian Rasmirez has struggles of his own.  A bitter feud with rival producer and playboy, Harry Greene, has resulted in the plug being pulled on every project he goes near.  Casting Sabrina Leon in his remake of Wuthering Heights is a risk that might cost him.

Viorel Hudson was always destined for great things.  Now he's scored a role that every A-lister in Hollywood auditioned for - the brooding Heathcliff.  He may be at the height of his career, but is he ready for his latest role... not to mention his latest co-star?

This is what I say :

Fame is more Tilly Bagshawe's identity than any of her Sidney Sheldon's thrillers. Trashy (but in a rather good way) with hints of Jackie Collins but more milder version. Tilly's more controlled and restrained in her descriptive.  Even her villainous characters are pretty mild.  It's like she's trying to play gown up but at the same time tries to restrain herself.

Having said that Fame is an addictive read and while her effort to pair up the characters are rather predictive, it's quite fun to read how she pairs them up.

It's a great book if you want something light, quick like time to kill in between assignments, if you know what I mean..... :)

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Jewel by Bret Lott

Synopsis :

In the backwoods of Mississippi, a hand of honeysuckle and grapevine, Jewel and her husband, Leston, are truly blessed; they have five fine children.  When Brenda Kay is born in 1943, Jewel gives thanks for a healthy baby, last-born and most welcome.

Jewel is a story of how quickly a life can change, how, like lightning, an unforeseen event can set us on a course without reason or compass. 

This is what I say :

Jewel is a wonderful tale of total acceptance and love. It's a heartwarming story of a family and sacrifice and how a mother knows that because of one special child, she has to 'give up' her attention and focus on the other children but never giving up the love.

It is also a story on obedience and submission even though a bit unwilling but it was all good at the end.  In a way, I felt the book was a bit too 'smooth' and that the characters were a bit stereotype (in a good way) which made the story a bit mundane here and there but then overall, it was still good.

This is yet another book that I inherited and that I was very much drawn to read and so very glad that I did.  

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sidney Sheldon's Angel of the Dark by Tilly Bagshawe

Synopsis :

When an elderly multimillionaire is found brutally murdered in his Hollywood home, his young wife raped and beaten, and his art and jewels stolen, the motive seems pretty clear.  Ben when the investigation doesn't turn up a single lead, the case is closed and his stunning widow vanishes.

Nearly a decade later, the victim's son, Matt Daley, makes a shocking discovery : three murders identical to his father's have taken place across the globe in recent years.  In each case the widow, the sole beneficiary of the will, donates everything to children's charities.

As the case is reopened and another murder is discovered, Matt becomes besotted with the latest widow until she, too, disappears. It's only a matter of time before the killer strikes again.

This is what I say :

The late Sidney Sheldon is truly a master storyteller and my younger self would read his titles over and over and over again with If Tomorrow Comes being an all time favourite.

Since his death, his estate has allowed Tilly Bagshawe to come out with thriller and sequels under his name.  To me, it's pretty much hits and misses with misses being more prominent and my expectations are never very high.

However, with Angel of The Dark, I think Tilly has nailed it.  I loved this title and read it over one weekend.  Very easy to read, the story just flow and intriguing factor was high.

As reason, you might know storyline and plot in general, it's the little titbits that Tilly added in that made the title worthy of Sidney's name.  I know that certain critics are not very kind and demand closure for this and that and I can only say that if they read it properly, the closure were mentioned.  

And the epilogue - classic!  Some critic says that they hated the book due to the epilogue but to me, that's the cherry on top of the cake.  It spins the ending to a totally new paradigm.

Do give it a try.  I don't mind reading this again in the future when I ran out of reading materials!

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Mysteries of Eleusis by Margaret Doody

Synopsis :

In the winter of 330-329 BC Athens itself suffers a series of alarming thefts and home robberies. It seems that nobody is safe. The great philosopher Aristotle helps his former student Stephanos investigate a break- in and brutal murder at the house of one of his Athenian neighbours. The man fingered for the crime turns against Stephanos just as he is planning his marriage. It is difficult to arrange a big fat Greek wedding when someone seems to be trying to kill you. 

Elsewhere bodies begin to pile up--who will be bludgeoned or stabbed or strangled next? Stephanos' bride is Philomela. Her parental home is Eleusis, famous for the Sanctuary of Demeter and Persephone, home of the sacred site of the Mysteries of Eleusis. 

Religious initiation is open to all adult Greek speakers, slave and free, with the exception of anyone guilty of homicide. Stephanos, Philomela and Aristotle undertake mystic initiation in a complex ritual whose ultimate secrets cannot be spoken, on pain of death. Eleusis conceals many secrets, and revelation of the truth must await the night of the Mystery celebration itself. 

This is what I say :

This is a historical mystery fiction set in ancient Greece and features who else but well know philosopher Aristotle.

To me this reads a bit of Sherlock Homes mysteries in ancient Greece and if you enjoy SH, you might enjoy this but instead of Sherlock you get Aristotle and Sherlock and his former student Stephanos could probably pass as John Watson.

It is quite interesting to have a glimpse of ancient Greece and although it's a fiction, I am sure culturally and socially, it would be quite an accurate interpretation and portray of society then.

It was quite difficult for me to read as the names are difficult to remember and I quite confused as to who is who and hm...the men then seems to be pretty openly promiscuous and seems to be socially accepted to a certain extend.

Can't say I enjoy this title.  If I am not mistaken, I inherited this copy from an ex-colleague who migrated to another country so than you JW for this copy :)

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe by Alexander McCall Smith

Synopsis :

A kindhearted brother and sister have taken in a woman known only as “Mrs.”—a woman with no memory of her name or of how she came to Botswana. And so it’s up to Precious Ramotswe and her new co-director, Grace Makutsi, to discover the woman’s identity. 
Meanwhile, motherhood proves to be no obstacle to Mma Makutsi’s professional success. As she settles into her role as partner at the agency, she also launches a new enterprise of her own: the Handsome Man’s De Luxe Café, a restaurant for Gaborone’s most fashionable diners. But even Miss 97 Per Cent isn’t fully prepared for the temperamental chefs, drunken waiters, and other challenges that come with running one’s own business. Help may come from an unexpected source, if only Mma Makutsi can swallow her pride and ask.
And next door to the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni is all too familiar with the difficult decisions of business owners. He is finally forced to make a tough choice, one that will bring major changes to both Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors and the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency—and that will require all of Mma Ramotswe’s finesse and patience to sort out. 

This is what I say :

It seems that the last book that I read in the series of No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency was book 9 and that was around three years ago.

The Handsome Man's De Luxe Cafe is book 15 in the series so I guess I have skipped five books.   In this title Mma Makutsi has given birth to a baby boy but is still having a career as a detective.  I have to be careful here as Mma Makutsi is rather sensitive and if I am to say that she is working in the detective agency, she might take offence as she viewed herself as 'co-director' of the agency.

She has also started a restaurant business, with her husband's investment and who else but long time nemesis, Violet Sepotho is now a restaurant critic.

Other than there, time seems to have stood still and Mma Ramotswe is still the same and so is her husband, Mr J.L.B. Matekoni.

I have always enjoyed the No 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Series but I don't think I have another title in my collection and unless and until I do, this would be the last book in the series for me.