Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Four To Score by Janet Evanovich

Synopsis :

Stephanie Plum, Trenton, New Jersey's favourite pistol-packing, condom-carrying bounty hunter, is back - and on the trail of a revenge-seeking waitress who's skipped bail.

With the help of 73 year old Granma Mazur, ex-hooker Lula, a transvestite musician named Sally Sweet, and the all-too-sexy Joe Morelli, Stephanie might just catch her woman.  Then again, with more mishaps than there are exits on the JerseyTurnpike - including murders, firebombs and Stephanie's arch-rival bounty hunter chasing after the same fugitive - Stephanie better watch her back big -time if she wants to live to crack this case.

Four To Score is simply the fourth book about the life of Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter extraordinaire (not) that is just very addictive.  It has been a while since I have my last fix so I thought it's time again to have my fix.  

I actually thought I read Four To Score already but it seems like I missed this one and I was quite surprised to find it among my yet-to-be-read pile of books.  Yes, in case you are wondering, I do sort out my books from read and not-read.  In fact, among the read pile, there's some that are sorted as to-be-read-again in the future too although when the future would be I do not know. One if these days, I do an inventory and share the information with you.

Back to Four To Score, it's your typical Stephanie Plum's adventure.  It is this book that she first met Sally Sweet. the cross-dresser who made appearances in future books.  It's also the book that Stephanie gets together with Joe Morelli and everyone including the mums and grand-mums thought they are getting married and this freaks Stephanie out.

At the same time Stephanie tried to bring in Maxine a waitress and was also a target of someone who wants her to leave 'her boyfriend' alone.  As usual, Stephanie's car and apartment got blown up and that's the reason she moves in with Joe.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Books Second Time Around In Kuching Again - November 2014

Hills Shopping Mall, a mall downtown which is rather quiet will be bustling with people these two months.  That is because Hills Mall is the annual new home of the largest second hand book sales in Kuching since last year.  Choosing to call their books Second Time Around, the books are all pre-read books brought in from the States and Northern American and they can be either from personal collections or libraries.

t was last Saturday, around 11 am that the princess and I made our way to Hills Shopping Mall.  There wasn't much of a crowd yet when we got there but I managed to meet some friends and we bumped into my dad there too!

The princess made bee-line for the young adults section but the choice wasn't much.  Perhaps they have not unpacked much of their books yet.  I was asked to keep an eye on the Divergent Series which the princess is starting to read but I wasn't successful in my search for this series.

Personally, I was looking for A Prisoner of Heaven by Carlos Ruiz Zafon but again, either the selection this year wasn't really there or the organiser has not really unpacked yet being it's just into the first two hours of the sales and they are going to be here until mid-December.

I did see a few of titles that I read previously and which I quite highly recommend to readers.  There are a few copies of The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edward so in case you see them, it's a great book.

I read a Wedding Blunder in the Black Hills as an e-book as part of a review programme that I did years ago, so it was quite refreshing to see this title.  I was quite tempted to get a copy just for my collection.

I didn't buy any books but the princess picked up a few Goosebumps Titles.  For some reason that I cannot comprehend, she is suddenly into scary books!

So, if you're in Kuching, head to Hills Shopping Mall from 10 am to 10 pm, Monday to Sunday from now till 21st December and bring home a book or two.  Who knows, we might bump into each other as I will certainly be going there again.

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Wrong Man by John Katzenbach

Synopsis :

Ashley Freeman, a beautiful, bright art student, had what she thought was just a fling with Michael O'Connell, a blue-collar bad boy.  But now, no amount of pleading or reasoning can discourage his phone calls, ardent e-mails, and constant, watchful gaze.

For Michael's brash, handsome features conceal a black and empty soul.  Control is his religion and rage is his language.  In desperation, Ashley turns to her divorced parents and her mother's new partner - three people locked in a cold triangle of resentment.  But their fierce devotion to Ashley is the common bond that will draw them together to face down a predator. 

For Ashley's family, her ordeal is a test of primal love that will drive them to the extreme edge - and beyond in a battle of wills that escalates into a life-or-death war to protect their own.

I bought this book for the purpose of my flea market sales recently.  It was one of thirty books that was recommended.  I didn't really know what I was purchasing as the sales was conducted in a parking lot and I didn't have time to flip through the books.  When I managed to just look through them, I discovered that the first eighty pages are missing!

Anyway, with nothing to loose, I thought I just try reading the book from page 81 onwards and see if it will make sense. Surprisingly it does.  Even more surprising is that it's a very good thriller.  The plot's quite unique as the focus is on stalking and being stalked.  The writing was good in that the author managed to bring the suspense to the surface and keep it there.   Because I missed about the first 15% of the story, there are parts that I wasn't really sure what it was all about.  However, towards the end of the book, everything quite make sense and I didn't really miss much after all...nothing that imagination can't contribute too.

As it is, it is simply good already. Imagine if the book is 'whole', it would have even been better.  If you come across this book wherever you are, do give it a try.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Scarlet Feather by Maeve Binchy

Synopsis :

Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather have decided to create the best catering company in Dublin.  They have talent, premises - even a few contacts.  But not everyone is as pleased by the idea of 'Scarlet Feather' as they are.  Tom's parents wanted him to follow in the family business, and Cathy's mother-in-law believes Cathy should be at home.  

Yet neither Cathy's marriage, nor Tom's relationship with his girlfriend, are everything they appear to be, and Cathy and Tom are struggling to maintain their emotional ties amongst the catering triumphs and disasters of Scarlet Feather.

Right after the delightful Evening Class and the challenging Tara Road, I am finally reading the final book by Maeve Binchy that I have with me, Scarlet Feather.  This particular title is slightly different from the first two titles and while it was an enjoyable read, there was something missing but I can't really put my finger on the missing ingredients for  now.

Scarlet Feather is simply Cathy Scarlet and Tom Feather, good friends and partners in catering business.  Cathey is married to Neil and Tom was dating the beatiful Marcella.  They are trying to grown their catering business with mixed support from friends and families - while some are encouraging, some are just waiting for them to fail.

I guess I can say that Scarlett Feather is rather charming in its way but it was rather slow and didn't really have a plot.  There are a couple of rich but abandoned kids from Neil's side of family that added interesting elements to an otherwise rather bland storyline.

I wont mind reading other titles by Maeve Binchy in future if I have an opportunity to do so but for now this is the last book that I have so it might be a while for that to happen as I won't be actively seeking out her titles.  However, if you happen to come across titles by this author, do give it a try.

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman

Synopsis :

Twenty years ago, Jane Hudson fled the Heart Lake School for Girls in the Adirondacks after a terrible tragedy.  The week before her graduation, in that sheltered wonderland, three lives were taken, all victims of suicide.  Only Jane was left to carry the burden of a mystery that has stayed hidden in the depths of Heart Lake for more than two decades.

Now Jane has returned to the school as a Latin teacher, recently separated and hoping to make a fresh start with her young daughter.  But ominous messages from the past dredge up forgotten memories.  And young, troubled girls are beginning to die again - as piece by piece the shattering truth slowly floats to the surface...

At first I thought this would be a rather 'dark' book but surprisingly it wasn't really so.  It was rather sombre as my initial impression was that the story will focus on teen suicide but as it happens, it turned out to be something rather different.

The Lake of Dead Languages is about Jane and the secret that Jane kept for twenty years and the secret is being slowly revealed as the story progress.  The plot is quite unique as things are not what they seems to be and the many characters are not who they say that are.  The story is a good example of how the burden of a secret can hold a person back and Jane is not able to move on in her life due to the incident twenty years ago.

However, it seems that she's not the only one and someone from her past is trying their level best to make sure she pays for they think she did or didn't do twenty years ago.

This book would not have been my first choice due to the title and the image on the front cover but it is a rather dark horse and it turns out to be rather interesting.  I highly recommend it to you if you come across this title.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles #1) by Rick Riordan

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1)


Since their mother's death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.

One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.

Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them —Set— has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe - a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs.

I decided to read the Kane Chronicles after reading The Percy Jackson Series.  Like the Percy's series, this was read as an e-book which I downloaded onto my PC.

Written by the same author, the Kane Chronicles is about a team of brother and sister, Carter and Sadie who came from a long line of ancient pharaohs.  While Percy' series about the Greek gods, the Kane Chronicles about Egyptian gods and it exist under then same universe as Percy's as there was mentioned of the New York event when Percy's final battle to defend Olympus took place.  However, it seems that the gods stay clear of one another as it's confusing already as it is.

Reading The Red Pyramid wasn't was exciting as reading Percy Jackson.  The characters are not very engaging. Both Carter and Sadie did not even get along well with each other at the start of the book.  Other than that, they are accompanied by Best, god of cats and Zia, a magician.

There are three titles under this chronicles with The Red Pyramid being the first and The Throne of Fire, the second and The Serpent's Shadow being the last title.  While I do enjoy the Egyptian mythology as much as the Greek ones, I somehow don't really like the way the mythology plays out in Kane Chronicles.

Will I continue with this series, I am undecided.