Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good bye 2014 and Hello 2015

I felt it was just yesterday that I did my good bye 2013 and hello 2014 post but in actual fact it's 365 days ago.  Where did those days go?

So, how was my year like?  You know what, it was a great year.  It was a year of change as I survived my first year in a new position in a new organisation with new portfolio and new set of accountability.  It wasn't really a change I want to make if I am perfectly honest but it is a change that's absolutely necessary to move on.

The family went on an unexpected holiday to an unexpected country and it was a wonderful experience for each and everyone of us.  It certainly brought us closer as a family unit and I thank God each and every single day for His blessings in our lives.

This post also marks a total of 70 posts did this year in Purple Queen Fairy's world which is exactly the same number of post as last year so I am pretty pleased about the consistency I have towards this blog.  It wasn't easy at times, I tell you but I am extremely glad.
However, admist all these thanksgiving, my heart can't help but aches for those going through a much trying time with families and friends lost and perished in flood and flights.  My heart and prayer goes out to them and reminding that in all things God is with us.

Nothing in this world is permanent. This is our temporary home and we can be called back to our permanent home anytime by our maker. Are we ready when the time comes?

In that let me still wishes everyone blessings for the forthcoming year.  Happy New Year from me to you. Thank you for dropping by.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas Everyone!

The lights are all out, the hubby's sleeping off his dinner :) and the princess is busy with her presents and here I am, taking this opportunity to wish each and everyone a very Merry and Blessed Christmas.

Indeed, it was joyous for us as we celebrated Christ's birthday with family and friends.  The celebration started early this week and will probably go on till this weekend and on to the end of the year as we welcome in the new year.

We were at a book fair this evening in one of the malls in the city and the only excitement for me is this Christmas tree made from stacked up books.  Needless to say, I didn't do any shopping at all which is a good thing as I bought quite a lot of books at another book fair in the city which ended last weekend.

Anyway, it's time for a read before bed, so once again, thank you for being here and here's wishing you great cheers for the Christmas!

I quite like this song this year so here's to you. God bless :)

Monday, December 22, 2014

Live Wire by Harlan Coben

Synopsis :

A beautiful woman walking into Myron Bolitar's office asking for help should have been a dream come true.  Only this woman, Suzze T, is in tears - and eight months pregnant...

Suze's rock-star husband has disappeared, and she fears the rumors questioning her baby's paternity have driven him away.  For Myron, questions of fatherhood couldn't hit closer to home.  His own father is clinging precariously to life, and the brother who abandoned the family years ago has resurfaced - with danger following close behind.  Myron is soon forced to confront deep secrets in Suzze's past, his family's mortality - and his own....

Since I enjoyed reading my first book by Harlan Coben a few months back, I was quite excited to try out Live Wire recently.  I can't remember exactly where or when did I get this copy from but it has been with me since last year so it could have been part of my windfall or perhaps I bought it from one of the book sales I went to last year.

With that expectation, I thought quite highly of Live Wire.  While it didn't really deliver on that expectation, it was rather good as it's very different from the first book that I read.  Myron is actually an agent and Suzze is his client so it wasn't like he's an investigator or anything but for all that he does, he could have been.

It wasn't long before Myron gets caught up in the investigation and are forced to deal with some personal issues especially from people from his past and before you know it , there are no boundaries between past and presence.  The boundaries between what's real and what's fiction in the lives of these characters were rather blur too.

So, do I like it...ya, I quite. It wasn't too bad but no, it would not be a book that I would want to read again but trying out Harlan's book in the future is something that I would do.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

Synopsis :

In the spring of 1984, high school students Amanda Collier and Dawson Cole fell deeply in love.  Though they were from opposite sides of the tracks, their love for each other seems to defy the realities of life in the small town of Oriental, North Caroline.But as the summer of their senior year came to a close, unforeseen events would tear the young couple apart, setting them on radically divergent paths.

Now, twenty-five years later, Amanda and Dawson are summoned back to Oriental for a funeral. Neither has lived the life they imagined...and neither can forget the passionate first love that forever changed their loves.

Forced to confront painful memories, the two former lovers soon realize that everything they thought they knew - about themselves and the dreams they held dear - was not as it seemed.  And in teh course of a single, searing weekend, they will ask of the living, and the dead : Can love truly rewrite the past?

Having enjoyed reading The Rescue a while ago, I was quite eager to read another Nicholas Sparks.  I bought both books from a lady that wants to downsize her library.  I must say she and I have a bit of similar interest in  the type of books that we enjoyed as there are a few titles that I bought from her that I quite like. 

The Best of Me is officially my favourite title by Nicholas Sparks.  I just enjoyed the book so much that I decided that it belongs to my library and I will find a spot for it among other titles that I really really like.

The story you can say is about forbidden love and started with Dawson Cole surviving an explosion in an oil rig that killed a few of his friends.  During that moment of trying to stay alive in the sea, he saw a man that seemed to motive him along and that contributed to him being alive.  Returning to Oriental, he seems to glimpse this man there as well and each time, it was when he's about to face danger.

Amanda was Dawson's first love and now they are meeting for the first time in twenty five years and you can say most of the book took place during that weekend they are together.  The Best of Me has a rather bittersweet ending and I confessed that I cried buckets!  It was sad but it was a very good read.

The movie of The Best of Me was released in October 2014 and no, I have not seen it yet and I am happy to keep it that way.  In case you are interested, here is the official trailer for your viewing pleasure.  Enjoy.

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Perfect Holiday Read

Year 2014 has been a pretty busy year for the family and the decision was made last December that we would be going on a long vacation this December.  Well, it's December already and plans were made throughout the year for this fantastic holiday that we are embarking.

Any plannings that I made would not be complete without planning on what to bring along to read and that planning and decision alone is a major project itself and took me quite a while to consider.  However, after much considerations which includes lots of elimination, the final two books are hereby shortlisted.

First is an autobiography on Aung San Suu Kyi, Perfect Hostage.  This would be a good book to read in the long flight to and from and I am confident that the life of Aung San Suu Kyi would be captivating enough but yet at the same time, i can stop anytime and pick it up again without having to be concerned about storyline and plots and so on.

Next is Heaven Is For Real which was made into a movie.  I was told by the princess that the movie's great.  I have not seen it so perhaps I'll start with the book first. I had an opportunity to get a free copy of this book a few years back via a review programme but I didn't choose this book. Such, it's a blessing to be blessed with this book this year.

So, with two perfect book, here's to a perfect holiday.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Murder in the Marais by Cara Black

Synopsis :

Aimee Leduc, the half-French, half-American detective in Paris, is approached by a rabbi to decipher a fifty-year-old encrypted photograph and deliver it to an old woman in the Marais, the old Jewish quarter.  When she does so, she finds a corpse on whose forehead, a swastika has been carved.  

With the help of her partner, a small people with extraordinary computer skills, she sets out to solve this horrendous crime and finds herself in the middle of a dangerous game of current politics and old war crimes.

Again, like this title that I last read, Murder in the Marais was also recommended to me.  I wasn't really that keen to start on it.  The cover of a rather large, gloomy and morbid building didn't encourage me at all.  The only reason I read it was because I appreciate the recommendation.

Reading Murder in the Marais was both enjoyable and a dread.  I enjoyed the plot that weaves in survivors of the second world war.  There were victims of the war who were denounced by their friends and suffer deadly fate.  There were women who sympathized with the Nazi either by choice or by force and were branded for their actions which followed them throughout their lives and then there were those that denounced their friends and have now changed their names and hiding in the midst of society.  For these people, the war might be over but the battle continues and but one wrong step, everything came tumbling down.

So, to read or not to read, it's up to you if you come across this title.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Absence of Nectar by Kathy Hepinstall

Synopsis :

If only Alice could get rid of her new stepfather, then everything would be as sweet as it had been before Simon Jester wormed his way into her mother's heart.  No one wants to believe that the pieces of Simon's tragic past don't seem to fit - or that he is trying to poison Alice and her older brother.

The ranting of an eleven-year-old girl don't amount to much in East Texas - until the one night her mother comes in to kiss she good night and instead whispers a single word ' RUN'.

When I bought this book from a vicious reader, she told me that this is an extremely good read.  I took her word for it and it is true that it's an extremely good read. I read in within one days as I could not put it down.  Thank goodness that I had a sore throat that day and reading this did keep my mind off my sickness and made the day more pleasant.

Alternating between creepy and disjointed but yet captivating at the same time, I have conflicting feelings on this story.  Alice seems to be mature for her age and her older brother seems very naive for his age.  Mother seems like a very weak woman who went to pieces when dad left the family and clung on to the first man that showed her interest and ended up with a monster in her home.

Enters another girl who was institutionalized for poisoning her family complicates the storyline but certainly adds a lot of punch to it. This is especially so when Alice's brother who is really hero-worshiping her tried to preach to her. The ending was just twisted, way beyond what you can imagine especially right at the very end.

The run of story is quite expected but at the same time there are twist throughout the book that I wasn't expecting and the book really kept me on suspense the whole day. It certainly was a very good recommendation.  Thank you.