Saturday, April 27, 2013

My recent purchase - flea market

I was at a flea market recently (not the one that I took part in)  and was rather happy to see second books being sold there.  Most of the time, I only see clothes or accessories, etc.  Upon close inspection, these 2 books caught my attention.

I bought The Host by Stephenie Meyer for RM7 (about US2) and The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts for RM5 (about US1.50).  Both are in pretty good condition with Pagan Stone being almost brand new.

The Host is currently in cinema and no, I have not seen it and I don't think I will be watching it anytime soon as I would prefer to read the book first.

The Pagan Stone is book 3 in the Sign of The Seven Trilogy. I read book 1, Blood Brothers and book 2, The Hollow some time back so it's a good feeling being able to get my hands on the third and final book in the series. :)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Drowning Man by Michael Robotham

Synopsis :

Everyone knows that Mickey Carlyle is dead and a man is in prison for her murder.  Everyone, that is, except DI Vincent Ruiz who cannot stop searching and hoping.  He is discovered one night clinging to a buoy in the River Thames with a bullet in his leg and a bigger hole in his memory.  

Under investigation by his colleagues and accused of faking amnesia, Ruiz's only hope of unraveling the puzzle is to trace his steps and relive that night.  But there are further dangers lying in wait and oher ways for a man to drown.

This is a psychological thriller by Michael Robotham.  I have never read Michael Robotham but a web search reveals that he has 8 of such psychological thriller under his name.

I quite enjoy this book.  The writing wasn't overly descriptive and boring. The plot was rather unique too and as a reader, I was rather keen to find out if Mickey Carlyle really died or maybe something else happened to her?  The author kept the suspense right up to the last chapter!

The book wasn't really much character driven but more the story itself and as such, we don't really know much about the main character except the background to his family and his birth.  The story development was quite acceptable except that I felt the ending is rather 'rushed' - like the author suddenly realised that he has readed the allocated number of words/pages and such, it's time to end.  I would have prefer if the pace equals that of the whole story.  Other than that, no complaint. If you ware looking for a thriller, then you would enjoy Drowning Man.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Spring Cleaning - Books Sales

What will you be doing this Sunday (21st April)?

If you are in Kuching do drop by Green Heights Mall.  The mall management is organising what they called a 'Bargain Fair'.  It is basically something like a flea market for registered vendors to sell their ware just for the day.

Starting at 9 am to 3 pm, it will be held on the 1st floor of the mall.

Guess what?  I shall be there as a vendor.

The last time I sold my books was last year, also in Green Heights Mall.  That was held in the basement carpark but this time round it's in the mall itself. I nearly took part in a flea market last week but the timing wasn't right.

These will be some of the books I'm letting go.

So, what will be on offer?  Well, my Jane Green collection (The Other Woman, Life Swap and Bookends). some of my Dorothy Koomson collection (Chocolate Run, The Cupid Effect, Ice Cream for Breakfast), some of the Christian novels that I got directly from US, etc.  The Princess Pink Fairy also wants to let go of some of her kiddies book that she has outgrown.

So, ya, do drop by Green Heights Mall this Sunday. :)   See you there!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Valentine Read revealed

Remember about my post on what I got from the man during Valentine this year?  Well, I haven't unwrapped them till now cos I know what they are but the time has come to see just exactly what they are all about.

Both books are my choice. One is by an author which I enjoyed while the other would very much be a fun read as the author is actually a fictitious character in a hit TV series. 

The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson is about a husband and wife and how the wife found out out some stuff about the husband's first wife and worried that she would ended up like her.  Intriguing!

Head Rises by Richard Castle is the second book by Castle.  What the story is all about is beside the point here as my attraction is the author himself.  For you see, he's also fiction character whom in the hit TV series, Castle, is a best selling author who is shadowing a NYPD detective to get inspiration for his book and this is the result of his 'shadowing' effort!  It was fun to watch how this book was launched in the series.  Castle is like a small boy in the series.  I am wondering if the book is a reflection of the character.  I can't wait to read it.

Both books are bought from Bookxcess in Amcorp Mall. it was my first visit there.  I'll share my experience on that the next time  :)

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Life Swap by Jane Green

Synopsis :

Amber Winslow has got the kids, hubby, the suburban house in Connecticut, USA - and the feeling that somehow life is passing her by.

Vicky Townsley is features editor of Poise! magazine in London - she's single, solvent and seriously successful but she'd ditch it all for marriage, a country house and kids.

So when one day, Poise! offers one lucky married reader the chance to life swap for a month with a glamourous, single journalist, Amber puts pen to paper.

But neither Amber nor Vicky gets quite what they were expecting and soon they find themselves asking why does the grass only look so much greener from the other side?

Well, what do you expect?  Jane Green is pretty much on top of her game in writing chic lite and this is chic lite to the core.

I have enjoyed, to a certain degree, some of Jane's writing like Bookends and The Other Woman but I don't like some of her writing too - like Jemina J.  What about Life Swap then, you ask.  Well, Life Swap is about just as good as it gets, I answer.   Whatever do you mean, you ask again.  Well, it is entertaining.  Amber was so superficial in the beginning with her designer decorated home and near perfect children but as she starts to realise what's more important in life, I began to warm up to her.  She is really blessed in many ways but she was blinded by materialism to see the people in her life that love her.

What about Vicky then, you ask again.  Well, Vicky is a career minded woman to the core but is beginning to realised that her time bomb's ticking and wanted very quickly to settle down and have a family.  I guess the life swap with Amber makes her realised that while settling down and having a family would be something she would like, she needs time to really focus first on finding someone who loves her like the way Richard loves Amber and not someone who just comes by at nine o'clock at night for some you know what.

Overall, it's a pretty delightful read. Not one of her finest but not one of her worst either.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Angel's Game by Carlos Riz Zafon

Synopsis :

In an abandoned mansion at the heart of Barcelona, a young man, David Martin, makes his living by writing sensationalist novels nder a pseudonym.  The survivor of a troubled childhood, he has taken refuge in the world of books, and spends his nights spinning baroque tales about the city's underworld.  But perhaps his dark imaginings are not as strange as they seem, for in a locked room deep within the house lie photogaphes and letters hinting at the mysterious death of the previous owner.

Like a slow poison, the history of the place seeps into his bones as he struggles with an impossible love. Close to despair, David receives a letter from a reclusive French editor, Andreas Corelli, who makes him the offer of a lifetime. He is to write a book with the power to change hearts and minds.  In return, he will receive a fortune, perhaps more.  But as David begins the work, he realises that there is a connection between this haunting book and the shadows that surround his home.

Set in the turbulent 1920s, The Angel's ame takes us back to the gothic universe of the Cementery of Forgotten Books, the Sempere & Sons bookshop, and the winding streets of Barcelona'sold quarter, in a masterful tale about the magic of books and the darkest corners of the human soul.

 I love The Angel's Game.  I know that some reviewers have written quite badly about this book after comparing it to the author's first,The Shadow of the Wind but I just love it as much as The Shadow of the Wind.  While this is Carlos second book, it is actually a prequel, set in a time before The Shadow of the Wind (about 20 years before if I'm not mistaken)

I do think that Carlos Ruiz Zafon is such a genius in creating a character like David Martin, a man who is so complex and so unreal and whom the author has given so much talent as an author too.  Maybe David was trumatized after witnessing his father's death when he was just about 10 years old and after suffering rejection by his mother but the adult David Martin appears rather normal for most part of the book.  His complexity and dark side stays hidden and it's only towards the end that I got a glimpse of who he might be but yet at the same time I was still rather unwilling to believe and rather prefer the ending that David gave himself for in actual fact that might not be what it is.

However, the author gave a hint on where he could be in Rose of Fire, a short story that tells about the origin of the Cementery of Forgotten Books.  His location is also revealed in the third book, The Prisoner of Heaven and having known all this, it really makes one think of the reality of all that took place in The Angel's Game.  The book ended in year 1945 but if you manage to read Rose of Fire, the date stated is 1940 so it's either David managed to get himself out of the 1940 situation by 1945 or he is still where he is and the ending to The Angel's Game is just in his mind.  I just love it!

If I choose to believe that all that happened to David was as what he said it was, then that also gives me an idea of who Andreas Corelli actually is and his part in what we shall call the insanity of David Matin and that really elevates the storyline for me.

It has been a long time since I read a book that really makes me think about it even weeks after I read it.  It really is memorable and I have a feeling that I will continue to marvel by it in days, weeks and even years to come.  I really hope someone will come around and turn this into a movie and with the right director and actors, it has award winning qualities.

I can't wait to read book #3, The Prisoner of Heaven.