Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bad Luck And Trouble by Lee Child

Synopsis :

September 11th changed Reacher's drifter lifestyle in one practical way. As well as his folding toothbrush, he now carries photo ID.  Yet he is still as close to untraceable as a human being in America can get.  So when a member of his old Army unit finds a way to get a message to him, he knows it must be deadly serious.

You do not mess with the Special Investigators.  They always watched each other's backs.  Now one of them has shown up dead in the California desert. And six others can't be found at all.

You do not mess with Jack Reacher. His old buddies are in big trouble, and he won't let that go.  Not now, not ever.

It is not too difficult to read Bad Luck and Trouble.  First of all, the chapters are all rather short, between 3 to 6 pages long.  Second, the writing is rather crisp and straight to the point with a lot of 'he said' and 'she said' and 'they said'.  It can get rather descriptive at some point but nothing that can't be tolerated.

Having said all that, there is something missing in the whole scheme of writing, story, plot and so all.  I can't really put a finger to it but it wasn't really that thrilling for a thriller.  I rather hope that I have not become too cynical in my expectation but somehow I just felt it wasn't really that good to the extend of being rather annoying at certain part.

Reacher is not very charismatic to me as a main character.   He just doesn't appeal to me like some characters in books do. 

And Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher in the movie - he can't be more the opposite (in terms of size, at least).   I can imagine lost of other Hollywood actors who might be better suited for Reacher.  I can't wait to watch the movie, just to see if Tom Cruise managed to capture the essence of what Jack Reacher is.  I hope he has better luck than me as I can't.

I guess if you are a fan, nothing I said would make you change your mind. But if you're not one and Bad Luck and Trouble came your way, you might as well made lemonade out of it.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Movie related read

These are what I am reading now.

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, reading a free e-version from my tablet.  Progressing very slowly.  It's very different from the musical or the movie that's for sure.  I'll tell you more about it another time.  Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway just won their Golden Globe recently for their respective role as Jean Valjean and Fantine so I'm rather motivated to read about these characters in the book.  I'm taking my time with this particular one.

I am also reading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien and currently in Chapter 2 (out of 18 chapters).  The Hobbit, first movie of the trilogy is currently showing in the local cinema.  I haven't seen it yet. I quite like to wait for all the movies to be out before I watch them all at once.  I kinda dislike having to wait for the next part so, ya,  in the meantime, book first. I started reading this quite a while back but not frequent with it.  Only when I feel like it.  I think I'll bring it along with me for my work travel next week.

I also borrowed Bad Luck and Trouble by Lee Child which features Jack Reacher from the local library over  last weekend.  Jack Reacher, the movie which starts Tom Cruise is also currently in the local cinema.  I have not read Lee Child prior to this so I thought I'll give it a try.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Bookmarks Colllection

I should think everyone know what a bookmark is.  If you need a definition, a bookmark is define as a marker, most commonly made of paper or fabric or even leather and plastic.  It is used by readers to place in a section of a book, most probably to remind them of the pages where they have read so that it would be easier when they decided to continue from where they left off.  In a more casual context, they are accessories to books. :)
This is my collection of bookmarks.  I kept them in a little plastic container.  I have quite a lot as I'm not particular and anything can be a bookmark for me.

It can be a nicely printed purpose made bookmark like this pretty twin set that I bought some time ago.

It can also be a homemade version that was given to me.  I do cherish such bookmarks as quite a lot of effort went into making it.

 Heck, a bookmark for me can even be clothes' tags.  Here's a few really cute ones.

I even use be commercial promotional tags and used luggage tags/hotel rooms tags also do not escape my clutch...hehehe...*evil laugh*

Even pieces of paper folded or post-it notes work pretty well as bookmarks too.  Having said all that, I do have a few very nice ones which I kept for remembrance rather than using as they are gifts from friends.  This include this lovely butterfly here which is made from some metal.

Or these which are made of paper and treebark which friends got for me in their travel.  I still have a few more, some of which are made from fabric.

Of course, to avoid all these, the easier option would be to fold to top corner of the page but if you are a book lover, correct me if I'm wrong, that's one practice that you would not been keen to do.

So, what do you use as bookmarks?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Can you keep a secret? by Sophie Kinsella

Synopsis :

Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her

Here I am, once again, with my Sophie Kinsella fix.  I thought I can do without her for quite a long time but obviously I can't last too long without a dose of what she has to offer now and then. I would think this is the 2nd time I read Can you keep a secret?

Like the rest of Sophie's heroine, Emma is both the girl next door or the simple ordinary girl from the street but yet it seems that she has certain charm that managed to captivate and draw the attention of even a stranger to the extend that he remembers all the secret that she told him in a moment of panic.  And the stranger turned out to be the head of the company she works for.  I mean how real is that that she doesn't even know how the head of the company she works for looks like, no matter how elusive he is.  I find it a bit unbelievable. 

Emma didn't warm up to me like Becky (Shopaholic Series) did. Even Samantha (Undomestic Goddess) and Lexi (Remember Me) fare better. I actually feel she's the weakest of all of Sophie's girls.

Likewise, I didn't really like the story but I guess I like it enough to read it two times but I don't think I'll do a third round of it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tiger, Tiger (a memoir) by Margaux Fragoso

Synopsis :

I still think about Peter, the man I loved most in the world, all the time.

At two in the afternoon, when he would come and pick me up and take me for rides, at five, when I would read to him, head on his chest, in the despair at seven pm, when he would hold me and rub my belly for an hour; in the despair again at nine pm, when we would go fora night ride, down to the Royal Cliffs Diner in Englewood Cliffs where I would buy a cup of coffee with precisely seven sugars and a lot of cream. We were friends, soul mates and lovers.

I was seven. He was fifty-one.

Let me warn you that this is a rather disturbing book to read.  Especially if you are a mother. Even more so if you are a mother with young children.  Such, it's rather disturbing for me to share this review with you.  I read this book sometimes toward the end of last year and I have put aside doing this review for quite a while. First, it was that I didn't want to end the year with a review of such book. Then it was because I didn't want to start the year with a review of such book.  Then I realised there's not right timing and I should just get it done.  However, by then, I was rather lost on what to write.  After opening and closing the draft for like hundreds of time (it felt like hundreds of time!) I realised that I should just grab the bull by the horn and run with it.  Here goes....

This book is a first person narration of the author's relationship with a man 44 years her senior. His name was Peter and he was 44 years old when Margaux she was born.  Margaux met him with her mother one day in the park when she's about 6 years old.   From then on, they begin to visit him and his family in his house and you can say that's how it all started.

The author was quite vivid in some of her description of what they did together, to the extend of describing what his anatomy looks like.  It was done not for any erotic reason but more, I think, with the intention to shock and to put across the message through that the experience that she went through was really real to her and for her and it was part of her life. It was part of her.

From Tiger, Tiger, we know that the man was a pedophile (although she didn't use this word to describe him) and she shared in the book how he worked his charm to bring forth her trust in him. His seduction of her was slowly (over years) but surely.  She let us have glimpses of how his mind worked and how it affected her in every aspects of her life even when she wasn't aware of it, the mental brainwash that he put her through and telling her that what they were doing are okay, the emotional jail that she was in and her inability to break free.

I really had a difficult time with this book but yet, I read on as I learned a lot from it.  Many times, I just felt like not continuing and just left it in the storage rack (yes, i didn't even want it on my bookshelf but left it in a rack) but I felt compelled to just compete it.  It is a tragedy but the author seems to be able to overcome the experience after attempts of suicide, etc.  You can say she rose up like phoenix from the ashes and one of the reason she said she wrote this memoir is to let people know not just her story but how it is real in our society and how important it is for us to open our eyes to see, to read certain signs a victim might exhibit and know ways the perpetrator do to gain trust and acceptance from its victims.

There. My review of a tragic tale. Finally I got it done. Tiger, Tiger (a memoir) by Margaux Fragoso.  I will never forget this book.  I will never want to read it again.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

Happy New Year everyone.

I am having a great start to the new year.

I must quickly say that this is not an attempt to review Les Miserables, the novel by Victor Hugo.  Far by it.  This post is just to let you know where I have been disappearing to for the past few weeks.  You can say I have caught the Les Miz bug and I have been hooked, line and sinker.

I have downloaded the book in my tablet, downloaded the songs and practically live, breath and eat Les Miz for the past few weekends.  I count Jean Valjean, Fantine, Cossette, Javier, Marius, Eponine and Enjolras my personal friends for now! 

Currently I'm still in Part 1 - Just A Man of the novel. I don't know when I'll complete it but with 1800+ pages, I will certainly be still at it 'when tomorrow comes' and I probably need lots of 'one day more' to complete the book :) But I'm not complaining. I will take my time and come out for air once in a while.

However, the most unique situation is that I have not seen the movie yet!

On that note, let me go back to being 'on my own' now and leave you with my favourite song in the musical.  Just listen to Alfie Boe and Ramin Karimloo.  They were great as Valjean and Enjolras. 
Update : sorry, the video was taken down.