Monday, January 23, 2017

Visions of Sugar Plums by Janet Evanovich

Synopsis :

It’s four days before Christmas and things are not looking merry for fugitive apprehension agent Stephanie Plum. She hasn’t got a tree. She hasn’t bought any presents. The malls are jam-packed with staggering shoppers. There’s not a twinkle light anywhere to be seen in her apartment.
And there’s a strange man in her kitchen.

Sure, this has happened to Stephanie Plum before. Strangers, weirdos, felons, creeps, and lunatics are always finding their way to her front door. But this guy is different. This guy is mysterious, sexy–and he has his own agenda. His name is Diesel and he is a man on a mission. Diesel is unlike anyone Stephanie has ever met before in her life. The question is, What does he want with her? Can he help her find a little old toy maker who has skipped out on his bail right before Christmas? Can he survive the Plum family holiday dinner? Can he get Stephanie a tree that doesn’t look like it was grown next to a nuclear power plant? These questions and more are keeping Stephanie awake at night. Not to mention the fact that she needs to find a bunch of nasty elves, her sister Valerie has a Christmas “surprise” for the Plums, her niece Mary Alice doesn’t believe in Santa anymore, and Grandma Mazur has a new stud muffin. So bring out the plastic reindeer, strap on your jingle bells, and get ready to celebrate the holidays–Jersey style. Visions of Sugar Plums–the world of Plum has never been merrier!

You can't really hate this book if you are a fan of Stephanie Plum.  I almost came close to but at the end decided that it should be taken lightly (after all, it's Christmas!) and with that mindset, it was a fun read.  Grandma Mazur never fails to get a chuckle out of me.

Ranger did not make any appearance at all and Diesel seems to hog Stephanie's time. Even boyfriend Joe seems to take a back seat.

This is the first Holiday Novella and to be read between book eight and nine, if not mistaken but I wasn't really following the sequence because I read Hard Eight and To The Nines much earlier.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins


Synopsis :

EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?


The Girl On The Train is a psychological thriller by Paula Hawkins who has a few chic lite titles under her belt (under a pseudo name).  According to an interview that I read, this book was basically her last attempt as a writer and if  it flops, she will not pursue her writing career any longer.  Lucky for her, and for us readers too, the book was a major success.

I received this book in lieu of payment for a transaction towards the end of last year.  I heard quite a lot about this title and I have seen the title in the bookstores as well but I wasn't really willing to pay retail for it (as I wasn't sure if I would like it) so when an opportunity arises for me to get hold of a copy, I just go for it.

I love it.  It's very entertaining and exciting and thrilling and reading it while on holiday is the best as I don't have other commitments other than to just relax and chill :)  So, when the family's enjoying their own interest during the holidays, I spend quality time with The Girl On The Train :) and it left me feeling happy and relax to have such a good read while away as it's always my phobia that I end up with an unreadable book while on hols and having no other book on hand as back up.

For now I have decided that it's a keeper for I might want to read it again in the future.  

There's a movie adaptation as well.  I might catch that too if I have a chance.

Friday, January 13, 2017

A Great Leader & A Fellow Reader

Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Adenan Satem (third from left). Image from his FB page


Quote :


"I can tell you that the worst thing in life is being stupid. And stupidity comes because you are ignorant. And ignorance comes because you never read any books in your life.

When I read a book, I am transported into another world. When I read War and Peace, I think of Russia and the Napoleonic Wars. When I read about the civil war in America, I'm a soldier. When I read Shakespeare, I'm back in the Elizabethan age.

Thank you to the efforts of Asia Foundation, University of Malaya, Pustaka Sarawak & Sarawak Foundation for the joint efforts to provide books for the people in Sarawak to read."


The above is a quote from Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Haji Adenan Satem in February 2016 during a launching event.

In another separate event I attended in 2015, his wife who was the Guest of Honour for that event said that Datuk Patinggi was a great reader and loved to buy books and read.

Datuk Patinggi was the Chief Minister of my state. He was much loved and respected by my people.   I can't think of another local leader who was as loved and adored by the people as he was.

He passed away on 11 January 2017.

My heart grieved.  Condolences to his family.  He will be missed.


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Chasing Tomorrow (Sidney Sheldon's) by Tilly Bagshawe

Synopsis :

Once upon a time, Tracy Whitney made the people who destroyed her family account for their sins. Now someone is looking for payback . . .

Tracy Whitney never thought she wanted to settle down. With her suave and handsome partner, Jeff Stevens, she'd been responsible for some of the world's most astounding heists, relishing the danger and intensity of life on the wild side.  At first, "going straight" feels like a new adventure. Tracy makes plans for a family, while Jeff indulges his passion for antiquities working at the British Museum. When a mysterious and beautiful stranger enters their lives, Tracy and Jeff's once unbreakable partnership is suddenly blown wide open. Jeff wakes one morning to find Tracy gone, vanished without a trace.

For more than a decade, a broken Jeff struggles to carry on knowing Tracy is out there somewhere. But the rest of the world believes Tracy Whitney is dead . . . until a series of murders leads a tenacious French detective to her doorstep. Eleven victims, in ten different cities, over nine years—all bearing the hallmarks of the same killer. Madrid, Lima, London, Chicago, Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, New York, Mumbai . . . all the cities where Tracy pulled off some of her most brilliant capers. Someone is targeting her, manipulating a series of disturbing events and raising terrifying ghosts she thought were dead and buried. Once again, this clever woman finds herself out on the edge, playing the odds in a desperate game of roulette. But this time she's got everything to lose—including the man she cannot forget.
 

Tomorrow has come at last. But it isn't the future Tracy bargained for. . .

I feel that the synopsis above is a bit too dramatic but it pretty much sums up the story.

Tracy Whitney was my favourite character for a long time and I can't remember then number of times I read If Tomorrow Comes.

Chasing Tomorrow continues on the flight immediately where it ended in If Tomorrow Comes. However, we must remember that it's being written by a different author.  Such, if you want to truly enjoy this book, it would be better not to expect it the way Sidney Sheldon would write it.

So, without any expectations, I can say it's quite a good book.  Pretty unbeliever storyline and acceptable.  I mean, there's many persona Tracy can evolved into and I guess this is one of  them.   The break of one decade in the story feels too long for me but I guess anything can happy in the hands of the author.

There's a third book in this series, Reckless.  I won't be in a hurry to get a copy of the book but when I have the opportunity, I will.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year 2017


I hope it's not too late to wish everyone here a very Happy New Year 2017!

We have been away on a Christmas and New Year family vacation and even though we didn't really travel far (we just went to a rather historical town :), it was a very good time spent together and for the first time in quite a while, we had a good view of the countdown fireworks without leaving the comfort of our hotel room!


With three days into the new year and today being the first day to work and school, we still have three hundred and sixty two days to go before we have to say good bye to this year, there's plenty to look forward to and plenty to do.

One of my resolution this year would be to clear as many of my TBR books as possible and yes, I did managed to complete two books during the vacation especially during flight time and that's about 1% of the total TBR but hey, I have three hundred and sixty two days to do so! *confident & fingers crossed*

Another resolution would be to be more consistent with my posts as hopefully it supports my attempt to have consistency in my reading habits.  Unless I managed to clear what I have, I do not foresee myself making any major purchases this year.

This is also to support one of my resolution of 'less is more' and to declutter my home and to get rid of what I do not need.





Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflections 2016


Year 2016 is pretty uneventful but equally busy with many things that went on .

I read much less this year compared to previous years and there was a couple of times when I totally didn't read at all and that's reflective in my review posts.

I also didn't buy much novels this year as at the last count, I have nearly 150 copies of to be read novels.  If I successfully read 1 novel a month, it would take me 12 years to finish them..provided I don't buy any books at all from now onward!  If I read 2 books a month, it would take me 6 years to complete them. Wow!

So yup, that's where I stand.  But I know I read more than 2 novels a month so there!

My work travel also has reduced drastically since the last couple of years due to change of job and that pretty much relates to my reading habits too as I used to read a lot while on work travel as there's nothing much else to do in the hours in between.

On the other hand, I have stop doing any committed review for Netgalley and the likes for quite a while already so yes, I have confident in tackling them TBR pile!


I shall end year 2016 with 50 posts compared to 68 in year 2015. For year 2017, it will be an attempt and challenge to at least match this year in terms of posts and perhaps slightly more consistent and I would be pretty satisfied.

Favourites for the year....hmmm.... I would have to say it's discovering Joseph Finder, the author and so far I read two of his titles, Buried Secrets and Paranoia.  Hope to read more of him next year.

I hope you had a good 2016 and looking forward to 2017 with much anticipation and hope for better things ahead for everyone.

Good bye 2016. Love ya.


Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Call The Dying by Andrew Taylor

Synopsis :

Love and need make unexpected bedfellows, and both are blind. As the grip of a long hard winter tightens on Lydmouth, a dead woman calls the dying in a seance behind net curtains. Two provincial newspapers are in the throes of a bitter circulation war. A lorry-driver broods, and an office boy loses his heart. 

Britain is basking in the warm glow of post-war tranquillity, but in the quiet town of Lydmouth, darker forces are at play. The rats are fed on bread and milk, a gentleman's yellow kid glove is mislaid on a train, and something disgusting is happening at Mr Prout's toyshop. 

Returning to a town shrouded in intrigue and suspicion, Jill Francis becomes acting editor of the Gazette. Meanwhile, there's no pleasure left in the life of Detective Chief Inspector Richard Thornhill. Only a corpse, a television set and the promise of trouble to come.

The storyline is set in the rural countryside of UK and started off rather mellow and slow with just a bit of hint of excitement.  This continues on almost throughout the book and the excitement builds slowing and gradually and if readers are patient (like me :), you will be rewarded with something unexpected that made it all worthwhile.

I kept this book in my car and read it while being caught in traffic and such until almost towards the ending then only I brought it home and read completed it over coffee during a particular weekend.

There's some history among the characters that might have started in previous books but even then, it doesn't really affect my enjoyment of the story.