Monday, August 14, 2017

Time Flies

Image from web.  My exact sentiments.
Time seems to be going by faster than I remember them.  As it is, it's already mid August and in another four and half months, the year 2017 would end and  we would start a new year all over again.

This year, I am again reading so much less than the years before.  One good 'excuse' hahaha... is that I embarked on a new course of studies early this year and it will take me two years to complete this course so I am still reading but just that I am reading stuff of a different kind than what I normally do.

With that and with work and family and other stuff, leisure reading is really taking a back seat and a quick count shows that I have read just about twenty seven books since the year began.  That is very much less than what I am used to so with just four and half months to go, my goal of fifty books for this year might not be achievable.

However, with three holidays to look forward to these few months, I might be able to squeeze in about a dozen of so titles so hopefully I would be happy to end the year with forty titles. Let's see how it goes.


With such limited windows for reading, it is very difficult to decide what to ready first.  I am currently reading Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger who is also the author of The Time Traveler's Wife so if I don't complete it by the time my holiday rolls by next week, it might just come along with me to the land below the wind.

But knowing me, I will just have to bring along another title and trying to figure out which title would be half the fun and half the frustration I can do without so which title would it be, only time will tell (hint).

Friday, July 28, 2017

Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green


Synopsis :

Andi is a woman who has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan—divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia—is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own.  But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. 

When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives and in their hearts.

This is what I say :

I got extremely frustrated when reading this book.  Another Piece of My Heart made me want to give the characters a piece of my mind!

Basically no one stands out.  Andi was quite a contender for being outstanding but her character took a change and she just somehow blend into the landscape of characters.  Ethan was pathetic throughout the book.  Emily was unpredictable, swinging from annoying to even more annoying to goodness knows what else.  And that's just about sums up who's who in the story as the rest are just wallpaper in the story.

I really don't get what the author wants the theme of the story to be as there seems to be no theme to get the storyline together.  Is it about extended family dynamics? Is it about teen pregnancy?  Is it about childlessness and adoption?  There';s no focus to bring the story together.

It's a bit like doing an assignment.  Started with something in mind but halfway change the direction of the assignment but not willing to waste what has been researched and written and ended pretty confusing.  A bit like what's happening now too, so I better end here!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Second Wind by Philippe Rozzo di Borgo

Synopsis :

The true story that inspired the major motion picture The Intouchables As the descendent of two prominent, wealthy French families and Director of Pommery Champagnes, Philippe Pozzo di Borgo was not in the habit of asking for help.  

Then, in 1993, right on the heels of his beloved wife's diagnosis of a terminal illness, a paragliding accident left him a quadriplegic. He was 42 years old and unable to do anything - even feed himself - without help. 

The only person who wasn't bothered by Philippe's condition was someone who had been an outsider his entire life - Abdel, the unemployed Algerian immigrant from the outskirts of society who would become Philippe's unlikely caretaker.

As they say never judge a book by it's cover.  I certainly made the mistake of judging this book by it's cover....and it's title.  I thought it's a book of second chance, of hope and motivation and going on against all odds.  Maybe in a way it is about that but mostly the book is dark...it is depressing...sad....full of despair at time and generally, I had a hard time reading it.

However, I must remember that this is the story of one man...one who has lost almost everything including his movement and he is constantly in pain.  Who am I to judge that?

I do feel sorry for what he has gone through....and pray that the real Philippe has found peace in every aspect possible.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Touch & Go by Lisa Gardner

Image result for touch and go lisa gardner spoiler


Synopsis :

This is my family:  Vanished without a trace…

Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life that looks good in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year old daughter, Ashlyn. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s elite Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by friends and family.  A perfect life.

This is what I know:  Pain has a flavor…

When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives at the crime scene in the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and Taser confetti in the foyer.  The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their most personal possessions remaining behind.  No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive.  Just an entire family, vanished without a trace.

This is what I fear:  The worst is yet to come…

Tessa knows better than anyone that even the most perfect façades can hide the darkest secrets.  Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices. Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family?  And how far would such a person be willing to go?

This is the truth:  Love, safety, family…it is all touch and go.



This is what I say :

This is my first time reading Lisa Gardner.  It will not be my last time.  Touch & Go is really a refreshing thriller.

Because it's my first Lisa Gardner's book, I really didn't know what to expect and with totally no expectation, the reading experience really paid off.  It was exciting without been too overly so.  It was thrilling but at a controlled pace and not all over the place.  

While investigator Tessa Leoni seems to be the the main character in this series, Libby Denbe seems to be the one with the back story.  Plot wise and story wise it was enjoyable.  However, character development wise seems to be lacking and we don't really know the characters for who they really are. However, since the story line is good, I am quite ok with that.

I guess Lisa being a female author would appeal greatly to the women out there.  I am not sure how the men would find her books as I have come across some male readers who discriminate against female author.  All I can say is, it's their loss.

I exchange this book with a fellow reader as I was really keen to explore this author and I can safely say, no regrets.  Currently the book is with another friend and I think she's enjoying it too. :)

Friday, July 7, 2017

Finger Lickin' Fifteen by Janet Evanovich

Synopsis :

Unbuckle your belt and pull up a chair. It's the spiciest, sauciest, most rib-sticking Plum yet.

Recipe for disaster: Celebrity chef Stanley Chipotle comes to Trenton in a barbecue cookoff and loses his head - literally.

Throw in some spice: Bail bonds office worker Lula is witness to the crime, and the only one she'll talk to is Trenton cop Joe Morelli.

Pump up the heat: Chipotle's sponsor is offering a million-dollar reward to anyone who can provide information leading to the capture of the killers.

Stir the pot: Lula recruits bounty hunter Stephanie Plum to help find he killer and collect the moolah.

Add a secret ingredient: Stephanie Plum's Grandma Mazur. Enough said.

Bring to a boil: Stephanie Plum is working overtime tracking felons for the bonds office at night and snooping for security expert Carlos Manoso, aka Ranger, during the day. Can Stephanie hunt down two killers, a traitor, and five skips, keep her grandmother out of the sauce, and solve Ranger's problems and not jump his bones?



This is what I say :

I am getting slightly bored of Stephanie.  After fifteen books, I would have expected her to move on at some point in her life but she still seems to be the same, doing the same thing, facing the same issues both at work, love and parents. 

I mean I dont want to be the same me after fifteen books so I don't know why she wants to be the same...I would like for her to communicate with the author to make her different and it might go something like this :

Hey Janet,

This is Stephanie.  I am pretty tired of doing the same old thing book in and book out.  I mean, it's been fifteen time and I am quite tired (not to say costly) for my car to blow up all the time, my apartment too come to think of it.  I am tired of the losers my mum seems to parade in front of me. Can you get her to parade some rather good contenders?  Also if you intend for Joe and I to be together, I don't mind trying out the marriage thingy...I want to do the grown up thing for a change.

Can you also give me a make over, I seems to be in jeans and tees and ponytail hair for the past fifteen books and while that's good, something along the line of 'How do I look?' would be great too. And while I like Lula, she needs a change as well. Pls don't forever keeping her in her flashy and loud clothes  Can you like cause some life defining moment for her and give her a total change...perhaps she can get a concussion and get a personality make over...even temporary would be fine too.

Oh ya, and if I am not married to Joe, I don't mind trying out with Ranger then.

Love Stephanie

What do you think?  Anyway, somehow  I have a feeling aht Stephanie will always be Stephanie but one can wish right?

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

House of The Hanging Jade by Amy M. Reade

Synopsis :

A dark presence had invaded the Jorgensens' house. On a spectacular bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean, something evil is watching and waiting . . .

Tired of the cold winters in Washington, D.C. and disturbed by her increasingly obsessive boyfriend, Kailani Kanaka savors her move back to her native Big Island of Hawaii. She also finds a new job as personal chef for the Jorgensen family. The gentle caress of the Hawaiian trade winds, the soft sigh of the swaying palm trees, and the stunning blue waters of the Pacific lull her into a sense of calm at the House of Hanging Jade--an idyll that quickly fades as it becomes apparent that dark secrets lurk within her new home. Furtive whispers in the night, a terrifying shark attack, and the discovery of a dead body leave Kailani shaken and afraid. But it's the unexpected appearance of her ex-boyfriend, tracking her every move and demanding she return to him, that has her fearing for her life . . .


This is what I say :

I didn't buy this book. I read it as an e-copy and it took me 2 days.  I read it thinking that it's a horror story.  It is not.  I'ts more like a suspense romantic thriller but it wasn't very suspenseful and neither was it very romantic and thrilling.  It's a rather lukewarm in many ways.

The focus of the story is Kailani and the family she is working for as a personal chef.  I was quite bored with her character and it wasn't difficult to guess what was going to happen next.  I wasn't very impressed by the writing as well.  It wasn't that bad but unfortunately the story line and content was not able to contribute at all to zest up the book.

Sorry to say this but I wont be recommending this title to anyone at all.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Raya Greetings 2017

Beautiful image from web. credits to the originator

Taking this opportunity to wish those celebrating

SELAMAT MENYAMBUT HARI RAYA ADILFITRI

MAAF ZAHIR DAN BATIN

AND 

HAPPY READING