Friday, December 31, 2010

Top 3 read of year 2010

I have read so many good and interesting books and discovery many new and great authors this year that it's difficult to nail down my top 3 favourites.  Anyway, I think the following would be my top 3 choices, each for different reasons and I'm glad to have read them.

They are (in no particular order) :

1. Outlive your life by Max Lucado

2. Forgiven (2nd book in Firstborn Series) by Karen Kingsbury

3. Overheard in a dream by Torey Hayden.

I certainly look forward to a new 2011 - lots of new books (hopefully!).


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What I bought from BookXcess

I made my first order with BookXcess recently and here they are :)  Arrived save and sound courtesy of PosLaju Malaysia :)

From L to R :

1. The Burning Girl by Mark Billingham - yet another of Mark's book. 
2. Paths of Glory by Jeffery Archer - only for RM9.90. Who can resist that!
3. House by Ted Dekker - to scare myself silly!

I can't wait to get started.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Read - The Heaven Trilogy

** Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year **

Wishing you a blessed Christmas.

May your stockings be filled with lots and lots of books.

Love from
Purple Queen Fairy

What I got for Christmas :)
The Heaven Trilogy (Heaven's Wager, When Heaven Weeps, Thunder of Heaven)
by Ted Dekker

Monday, December 20, 2010

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinesella

I can’t believe that I read another Sophie Kinsella so soon after Shopaholic & Baby. I was at the library recently (and so far I do have good luck in the library) and what do I come across but Twenties Girl. I have been yearning for it since Chirstmas last year and was just thinking whether I should get a copy while at the bookstore recently.

Lo and behold, there it was, right in front of me. All I have to do is to reach out and take it home and I can start reading it that very night. That’s exactly what I did and it took me a week to read it and I enjoyed every minute I had with the twenties girls!

Synopsis :

Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they?

When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie – a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love and the right way to dance – mysteriously appears, she has one last request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, and Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara, on the other hand, has a number of ongoing distractions. Her best friend and business partner has run off to Goa, her start-up company is floundering, and she’s just been dumped by the ‘perfect’ man.

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different ‘twenties’ girls learn some surprising truths from each other along the way. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humour that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.

Sophie Kinsella showed another side of her in Twenties Girl. Different from Shopaholic and from her stand alone title like Undomesticated Goddess, Remember Me, etc. Slightly more serious but equally enjoyable. I love Lara as much as I love Sadie. They are really good together and even though Sadie’s from the 20s, she seems more liberal than Lara who’s more uptight. They do have chemistry together and I would have loved for Sadie and Lara to have another adventure together in another book - perhaps Sadie came back to ask Lara to do something else for her again.

Whether funny serious or quirky silly, Sophie Kinsella is a great storyteller and it would be awesome if this was adapted into a movie too. I can just imagine the vibrant 20s coming alive. Who do you think can play Lara and Sadie wonderfully?

Go and get your copy of Twenties Girl. You’re in for an enjoyable time.

Tally ho!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Jane Austen

Today, 16th December is the 235th anniversary of Jane Austen's birth. The wonderful people in Google did a wonderful doodle in celebration of this annivesary. 

Here you have a couple that could come from Sense and Sensibility or Pride and Perjuice, both books which I read for English Literature in High School.  I have another of her book, Mansfield Park somewhere at home.

I dont read a lot of literature but if I do, Jane Austen would be the top in my choice.  Perhaps it's time to dig out Mansfield Park.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Books by Neil Gaiman - you either love them or you don’t. After a few titles from Stardust to American Gods to Coraline and Anansi Boys, I finally decided that I don’t really like what Neil Gaiman produces. His books are too bizarre for me.

I first knew of Neil Gaiman from the movie Stardust which was adapted from his novel with the same name. After watching the movie, I read the book and decided that I enjoyed the movie more than the book which says a lot as I normally never like much about movie intepreted from novels.  Next, I read an e-book on American Gods when a publishers offers it for free on-line for a limited period of time. Subsequently, I was presented with Anansi Boys and here we are.

Anansi Boys is about Charlie Nancy whose nickname was Fat Charlie for obvious reason and whose estranged father recently dropped dead on a karaoke stage. It was then that Fat Charlie found out that his father is actually Anansi, the trickster spider-god. Anansi is the spirit of rebellion, able to overturn the social order, create wealth out of thin air and even baffle the devil. With this knowledge, Fat Charlie’s world, as he knows it, turns upside down.

First, he found he had a brother whom he never knew about who has certain powers and then his future wife, Rosie fell in love with his brother, Spider, thinking that he’s Charlie and the he was framed by his boss on some white collar crime and with trips to the Caribbean and Charlie fell in love with another girl, things starts to get bizarre for Charlie and for me too!

After all the bizarreness, the ending was just ok. Perhaps I have higher expectations after being brought on a bizarre ride but it was just a-o-kay. By the way, how many times did I use bizarre? Real bizarre.

His other famous book Coraline was also adapted into a movie recently and no, I’m not in a hurry to watch it. It will probably be too bizarre for me.

Friday, December 10, 2010

POPULAR – warehouse sales nationwide

POPULAR – the well known bookstores in Malaysia is having a nationwide warehouse sales. This is not the same as the sales at the bookstores but held in different venue like an exhibition hall or warehouse. I saw the notice when I was in Penang recently and when I’m back home, I saw the banner proclaiming the sales from 7 – 12 December 2010 in Permata Carpark, Kuching.

The selection is quite good if you have the time to slowing look through the messy stacks of books. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella going for 50%, books by Jeffery Archer, Dean Koontz, James Petterson, David Baldacci and lots more all going for 30% - 70% discount. Even Goodnight Nobody was there! I stay far away!

Went there during lunch break and left with these four, all at 50% discount.

1. The Eye of Jade by Diane Wei Liang  (hardcover) – the China version of No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency.

2. Lifeless by Mark Billingham (paperback) – it’s difficult to find books by Mark in the bookstores.

3. Twilight Children by Torey Hayden (paperback) – I was awed by Torey here.

4. Valentine Princess by Meg Cabot (hardcover) - it’s pink and has the word Princess. It’s for my Fairy Pink Princess. :)

See you there!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Dining with Joy by Rachel Hauck

I love to cook and I look cooking show too so a book about cooking show is just too hard to resist.

Joy Ballard is a host of her cooking show ‘Dining with Joy’ but she can’t cook. It’s a secret that only few know about and when her show is picked up by a major network and given prime time slot, it was just a matter of time before her secret is out especially since her television rival is stopping at nothing to bring her down. When Luke Redmond, a handsome, creative but jobless chef was asked to co-host with Joy on her show, Joy sees him as her way out of the secret that’s consuming her.

Joy holds on to a promise from God taken from John 4:34 ‘My food is to do the will of Him who sent me’. By saying that my food – my substance, my reason for existence is to do God’s will, surely she can’t expect to keep her secret and continue with living the life of lies? It just doesn’t work that way. God won’t allow it because what He has for us is a life without lies. Joy found out the hard way but it brought her freedom and opens her eyes and her heart to love.

This is my first time reading Rachel Hauck and I quite like this book. However, I think the writing wasn’t that captivating but it was quite light and fun.  I was annoyed with Joy but sympathise with her at the same time. I was annoyed with Luke too for he fell so quickly in love Joy but at the same time rooting for him as he is a nice guy.  I like the message and the originality of the story.

So, will I read Rachel Hauck again? Yes, I think she has great potential to produce good books although she needs to develope her writing to be less descriptive at times.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pastures Nouveaux by Wendy Holden

Synopsis :

Cash-strapped Rosie and her boyfriend Mark are city folk longing for a tiny country cottage. Rampantly nouveaux-riches Samantha and Guy and also searching for rustic bliss – a mansion with a mile-long drive and hot and cold running gardeners.

The Village of Eight Mile Bottom seems quiet enough, despite a nosy postman, a reclusive rock star, a glamorous Bond Girl and a ghost with a knife in its back. But there are unexpected thrills in the hills. The local siren seduces Guy while a farmer fatale rocks Rosie’s relationship. Then a mysterious millionaire makes an offer she can’t refuse but should she?

Correction on the synopsis - Rosie‘s the one who is tired of city life and longs for life in the country. She managed to persuade boyfriend Mark who has just got his own column in the papers. However, life in the country isn’t really what they expected and it wasn’t long before things get out of hand. Likewise, beautiful has been actress (although she won’t admit it) Samantha also ‘persuaded’ her rich husband, Guy into moving to the country so that she can get a part in a TV series. It wasn’t long before she gets out of hand and brings chaos to the country! We must not forget the postman - country postman seems to be in the thick of things and knows a lot more than just delivering the post. Relationship gets topsy turvy and I can’t tell you who ended up with whom how did it all end. You will have to discover it for yourself and enjoying yourself while doing so!

Definitely a chic lite and quite delightful and entertaining too. It’s pretty funny, amusing and will certainly appeal to many chic lite fans. The uniqueness of Wendy’s books is that her characters can turn up in other titles too. This is the first Wendy Holden that I read. Next is the Wives of Bath and who knows, if I have a chance to get hold of her other titles in the future, you will certainly see her here.

Wendy is married with two children and lives in Derbyshire although she lived a few miles from the home of Charlotte Bronte when she was young. Her official web is and her personal web is

Friday, December 3, 2010

Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith

Synopsis :

Tears of the Giraffe charts the adventures of Precious Ramotswe, Botswana’s only and finest female private detective. It’s going to take all her intuition and eminent sensibility for Precious to crack her hardest case yet : the decade-old disappearance of an American on the edge of Kalahari. And if that wasn’t enough, there are plenty of matters closer to home to concern her: her highly talented secretary, Mma Makutsi, eager to be promoted to detective, the unscrupulous maid of her husband-to-be, the wonderful Mr J.L.B.Matakoni and the sudden and unexpected increase in her family by not one but two.

The book is slightly bigger than the normal paperback but smaller than trade paperback so I’m not sure what it’s called at this size. At only 230+ pages, it’s an excellent book to bring when travelling as it will not take up a lot of space and weight.

I quite like Tears of the Giraffe. I don’t love it but finds it very refreshing to read about another culture other than then normal western based culture. I am not sure if generally the good people of Botswana address each other in practically full name or it’s just this book. I can’t get over the fact that Mr J.L.B. Matakoni is being address as Mr J.L.B. Matakoni throughout the book even by Precious Ramotswe and he was her future husband!

I also like the culture implications of having hired help is to ensure that those who are not so well off are taken care of by society by being employed. And if you can afford it but still do not employ hired helps, you are perceived as being not socially responsible. Let me quote from the book : ‘It was inconsiderate not to have a gardener if you were in a well-paid white-collar job. It was a social duty to employ domestic staff, who were readily available and desperate for work. Wages were low, but at least the system created jobs. If everyone with a job had a maid, then that was food going into the mouths of the maids and their children. If everybody did their own housework and tended their own gardens, then what were the people who were maids and gardeners to do?’ Wow! I never thought of the honourable aspect of employing hired help.

But one thing will never change in any part of the world and in any circumstance are that diamonds will always, let me emphasise, always be a girl’s best friend! Mr J.L.B. Matakoni seems to think that just because Precious Ramotswe is different as she is a detective, she would not think it’s necessary to have a diamond ring. Well, he’s wrong. Even though he might think that it’s a waste of money even though the ring it’s for a special occasion, she, like every other female thinks that they are essential when one gets engaged! Haha...I really enjoy reading the conversation they had on buying her an engagement diamond ring. But she does show her true value when she requested for a non showy small modest diamond ring. What a woman!

Anyway, Tears of the Giraffe wasn’t exceptionally exciting but it was an enjoyable read. Next up is The Kalahari Typing School for Men.