Saturday, December 12, 2015

The Sinner (Book #3) by Tess Gerritsen

Synopsis :

Within the walls of a cloistered convent, a scene of unspeakable carnage is discovered. On the snow lie two nuns, one dead, one critically injured - victims of a seemingly motiveless, brutally savage attack.

Medical examiner Maura Isles' autopsy of the murder victim yields a shocking surprise, but the case takes a disturbing twist. The body of another woman has been found. And someone has gone to a lot trouble to remove her face, hands and feet.

As long buried secrets are revealed so Dr Isles and homicide detective Jane Rizzoli, find themselves part of an investigation that leads to an awful, dawning realisation of the killer's identity

I bought this book here and I brought to it with me to our holiday here although I was initially supposed to bring other titles, I changed my mind at the last minuter as The Sinner seems to be more appealing.

Indeed, while it wasn't really as good the the first book that I read, it was good nevertheless.  Because I have been watching the series adaptation entitled Rizzoli and Isles, the characters are all very familiar to me and such it was very easy to get right into the story.

The character focus in this title was more on Maura Isles.  As I understand it, it's the third title in the series and the earlier two titles were focus more on Rizzoli.

Overall, the story was quite thrilling and enjoyable as fillers of time during the downtime of my holiday.

Monday, December 7, 2015

When Sparrows Fall by Meg Moseley

Synopsis :

A widow and mother of six, Miranda Hanford leads a quiet, private life.  When the pastor of her close-knit church announces his plans to move the entire congregation to another state, Miranda jumps at the opportunity to dissolve ties with Mason Chandler and his controlling method of ruling his flock.  But then Mason threatens to unearth secrets from his past, and Miranda feels trapped, terrified she'll be unable to protect her children.

College professor Jack Hanford is more than surprised when he gets a call from his estranged sister-in-law's oldest son, Timonty, informing him that Miranda has taken a serious fall and he has been named legal guardian of his children while she recovers.  Quickly charmed by Miranda's children, Jack brings some much-needed life into the sheltered household.  But his constant challenging of the family's conservative lifestyle makes the recovering mother uneasy and defensive - despite Jack's unnerving appeal.

As Jack tries to make sense of the mysterious Miranda and the secrets she holds so tightly, Mason's pressure on her increases.  with her emotions stirring and freedom calling, can Miranda find a way to unshackle her family without losing everything?

I started this book expecting it to be very spiritual but surprisingly it wasn't so.  It was more a bout a woman's courage and love for her family but also at the same time trying to break free from the threats of the secrets of her past.

It's a very pleasant read and Miranda's children were very adorable although the focus was more on the eldest son Timothy and the character of the rest were not really developed as it's not really their story but more of the mum.

Jack was initially the brother in law of Miranda being her husband's half brother but he develops to being a friend to her and as the story it, there's more potential there.

It's a sweet and encouraging story.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ape House by Sara Gruen

Synopsis :

Sam, Bonzi, Lola, Mbongo, Jelani, and Makena are no ordinary apes. These bonobos, like others of their species, are capable of reason and carrying on deep relationships - but unlike most bonobos, they also know American Sign Language.

Isabel Duncan, a scientist at the Great Ape Language Lab, doesn’t understand people, but animals she gets - especially the bonobos. Isabel feels more comfortable in their world than she’s ever felt among humans... until she meets John Thigpen, a very married reporter who braves the ever-present animal rights protesters outside the lab to see what’s really going on inside.

When an explosion rocks the lab, severely injuring Isabel and “liberating” the apes, John’s human interest piece turns into the story of a lifetime, one he’ll risk his career and his marriage to follow. Then a reality TV show featuring the missing apes debuts under mysterious circumstances, and it immediately becomes the biggest - and unlikeliest - phenomenon in the history of modern media. Millions of fans are glued to their screens watching the apes order greasy take-out, have generous amounts of sex, and sign for Isabel to come get them. Now, to save her family of apes from this parody of human life, Isabel must connect with her own kind, including John; a green-haired vegan; and a retired porn star with her own agenda.

I was initially rather confused and rather uncertain on what I would expect from this title.  However, I love the cover of the book and the feel of it and against all instinct, I decided to gave Ape House a try.

It wasn't a bad book.  Not difficult to read at all. Rather entertaining at times but rather annoying at times too.

It's a strange experience reading a book on ape and I am still feeling pretty undecided if I actually enjoy it.  I must have cos I read it cover to cover and it took me less than a week so at least the captivating power in there.

Isabel Duncan is character you can grow quite fond of. I grew quite fond of her.  John Thigpen is another character that I quite like too but to be honest, I was actually rather sorry for him.  Perhaps it was that sympathy towards him and Isabel and all that they lost within a short time and their determination to pick themselves up that made me cheer them on.

Ya, I have decided after writing that last sentence that I rather like Ape House.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Holiday Read

We will be off in a week or so for a family holiday.  After our holiday in the Land of The Rising Sun last year, we decided to go local this year and to coincide our holidays with a convention that we are attending.

As I do my packing for the clothes and other stuff for the trip, I pack also for what I am going to read on the trip.

I have not decided yet and most probably will wait till the last minute to decide. For now, it's a choice between I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella or Breaking the Rules by Barbara Taylor Bradford.  Whichever title I decide on, it would be something that I have to stick with for about two weeks as I only want to bring along one title.

I am extremely keen on I've Got Your Number but I am not sure if it'll last two weeks as I ran read Sophie Kinsella's title quite fast

Breaking the Rules might last me two weeks but what if I am tired of it after a while as I didn't have good experience with what Barbara has to offer from the last few books that I read.


Sunday, November 22, 2015

Books Second Time Around - Hills Shopping Mall Kuching

IF you are a residence of Kuching and you love to read, you would have known that Hills Shopping Mall has been hosting a book fair in the months of November and Decembers for the past two years.

This year, it's no different.  The 'Books Second Time Around' Fair started on Saturday, 14 November and will run till around 21 Decemeber 2015.

Readers will have a great selection of books at rather good prices to choose from. The only thing is that these books are second hand books as in they have been bought and read and used to belong to a public or private libraries in the United States.  However, some of the books can be so crazily new that you would not believe that they are second hand books.

I was there on the second day of the fair and managed to bring home a few books only as I wasn't in the mood to really purchase any.  Out of the 6 titles that I bought, five were for the princess and I only bought one for myself.

 Say hello to The Sinner by Tess Gerritsen, author of one of my favourite fiction characters, Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles.  I first read them in Vanish and have been wanting to read her again since.

So, what are you waiting for? If you love the read and have not been to the book fair, do make your way there and let me know if you bought any interesting titles.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Yesterdays Stardust by Becky Melby

 Synopsis :
Two Stories—Decades Apart—Converge on a Secret

With an award-winning series to her name, journalist Dani Gallagher is anxious to find her next big scoop. . .she just doesn’t expect it to come from the past. But while searching for answers connected to her latest story, Dani discovers a tattered journal in an alley near Bracciano, an Italian restaurant run by Nicky Fiorini. The diary, written in the Roaring Twenties by a young girl caught in a web of organized crime, mentions Nicky’s restaurant, and despite an explosive first meeting, Dani persuades Nicky to help her uncover what happened to the girl—and what her story has to do with their present. 

Nicky is frustrated. No matter what he says, he can’t seem to convince Dani that she’s treading on thin ice. Her zeal to make a difference for others is leading her into some precarious situations—and just might get her hurt. 

Attraction soon ignites, but in the struggle to reveal the truth, will Dani and Nicky miss the real story while clinging to secrets of their own,

Another wonderful story by Becky Melby from her Lost Sanctuary Series.  Book 1 was called Tomorrow's Sun which I read a few year back (Note : I actually read this a few years back too but just never got the review published).

Anyway Becky is very good at infusing past and present that is based in the same location into her story which she did for Tomorow's Sun and which she does here too in Yesterdays' Stardust.

The story wasn't very exciting but decent enough for me to enjoy and if you like contemporary and clean type of novels, this would be for you.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Cover Her Face by P.D. James

Synopsis :

Sally Jupp seemed the ideal girl to help Mrs Maxie run a large house and look after her invalid husband.  She was pretty, docile and grateful, or so it seemed, until murder shattered the tranquility of her new home.

A puzzling, disturbing killing that brought Chief Detective Inspector Adam Dalgleish to the quiet village in search of the murderer.

Cover Her Face is P. D. James's electric debut novel, an ingeniously plotted mystery that immediately placed her among the masters of suspense.

I can safely say that if you enjoy readying Agatha Christie, chances are you would quite enjoy some of what P.D. James offered.  This title was written in 1962 and was the first of may titles wrote by P.D. James until her death last year at the grand age of 94 years old.

What can I say except that it was an honour to read the first case of Chief Detective Inspector Adam Dalgleish.  There are millions of readers out there who have been thrilled by P.D. James and I am thrilled (pun intended) to be one of the many.

Back to Cover Her Face,  it was captivating, right to the very end.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Alaska Twilight by Colleen Coble

Synopsis :

Haley Walsh has returned to remote Alaska to come to terms with her past. Twenty years ago a tragedy occurred, and Haley has been living with her grandmother in Phoenix ever since. Haley's parents stayed behind to work on an archeological dig, and with their recent deaths, Haley has decided to face her troubles head-on. She joins Kipp Nowak, a television wildlife star, and his crew, who are making a documentary about bears. Their group is also accompanied by Tank Lassiter, a biologist who is less than thrilled with Kipp's easygoing approach to the dangerous bears.

As Haley begins to delve into the circumstances surrounding her parents' deaths, she uncovers evidence that the fire that killed them might not have been an accident. Tank, although fighting a battle of his own to retain custody of his daughter after his wife's suspicious death, joins forces with her to uncover an evil force at work in the Alaskan wilderness.

It is very relaxing to read Alaska Twilight.  The story started off with a suspense but the suspense disperse quite early in the story and never really picks up but it was a pretty even momentum throughout the book right until the end.

There are moments of comical humour and sadness here and there but not too much to drag the story down.  There is a rather unexpected twist to the story at the end and I can't say I like the twist but it certainly was unexpected.

Overall, I enjoy the book.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Through The Looking Glass

Not relevant to this post...just sharing with you my ideal study room. Image from web

I was browsing through my old post a while ago and was just marveling that I managed to keep up with this blog for quite a number of years  One of the purpose I started this blog was because I wasn’t able to properly keep track of what I have read.  There were many instances when I have double titles in my collections all because I forgot that I have that particular book already and bought another one.  While that still happens, it is happening much, much infrequent.  There were also instances when I started a book only to realize that I have read it in previous occasions.  What that happened, I would end up being extremely annoyed with myself for the time and sometimes resources wasted.  This blog has helped me in keeping track of all these especially from the INDEX page, I was able to see at a glance where I am at particular with series.

Like my subtitle says, I also love to talk about what I read except I can’t really talk to family and friends  about it as not everyone in the family nor my friends share the same hobby and I can’t very well discuss a book each time I meet up with friends who enjoy reading nor do I want to spoil it for others with ‘spoilers alert’ which might happen in a discussion.  Such, this platform serves me extremely well too in this aspect as it allows me express my opinions over the books that I read without any prejudice.
Image from web. not relevant. Just thought it's beautiful
During one of the years, I did a lot of committed posts which I committed to publishers who sent me ARC (Advance Reading Copy) of new titles, either physical book or e-book.   I have stopped taking part in such activities as I find that it can be quite a tiring experience and I wasn’t able to really enjoy reading title that I truly like and the whole process became quite a chore and pretty pressuring after a while in trying to observe the deadline in finishing a book and posting up the review.  I won’t mind picking it up again in the future if I have the time to do so but for now, I am just grateful for that experience.

A photo from last year
 Another extension of my love for reading would be my flea market sales.  I have been doing this a few times a year, time permitting for the past couple of years.  This year I think I took part in about six flea markets which usually run over the weekend.   As I am sure you will agree with me, there are books that you keep as collections and there are books that you are quite happy to let go off after reading them.  The opportunity to be able to sell my books to other readers out there is quite encouraging.   Not only I can manage my collection more wisely, the income from the sales  contributes back to purchase of new titles which otherwise, can be quite limited as books are not cheap!

A photo from two years ago
It is also a lot of fun to recommend titles to people I would meet during the flea market.  There are those who knows very well what they like and don’t like but there are also some who are open to new titles and authors and welcome recommendation which I enjoy doing.  It is quite joyful too when I met someone who like a particular author that I do too or a particular series and we would have a quick animated chat over it.  I remember feeling worried that there might not be many readers out there who would like this series and I have two books from this series to let go off.  Imagine my surprise when a lady says she loves the No. 1 Ladies Detective Series (which I do too, which you know!) and it was so easy to recommend these two books to her as they are from the same author and thus she is so open to trying them out.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

October 2015 Flea Market Preview

For many reasons, I missed the flea markets for the months of August and September.  I actually booked and paid for my booth but I have to give it a miss and while I was bumped about that, it was unavoidable.

I also didn't get to read much these two months comparatively due to a lot of happenings in the family but it was decent enough to keep me happy and sane.  There wasn't any exceptionally fabulous read but still I enjoy what I went through.

The unexpected sale that I had in August certainly added an 'umph' to the whole scheme of things and I am still feeling happy to have cleared off quite a fair bit of my collection.  In relation to that, I am happy to share of my upcoming flea market happening this weekend from 31 Oct - 1 Nov in Green Heights Mall.

The market will most probably be the last flea market I will be taking part in for the rest of the year as I foresee a rather busy year end coming right up with personal activities and also work related matters.  There is also a possibility that I might be starting a new project that if I start, will take about two years of most of my free time and my opportunity to participate in such sales will be minimised not to say, opportunity to read will be much lessen as well.  However, that is yet to be confirmed so enough said.

Anyway, here's a peek on what you can expect from my upcoming flea market :

I just read and reviewed these titles.  From left is American Wife by Cutis Sittenfeld.  Next is The Miracle at Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith and Ellie Andrews has Second Thought by Ruth Saberton.

A creepy book or two like The Hungry Ghosts by Anne Berry would be quite appropriate at this time of year although to be very honest, this would be more suitable for the Chinese Hungry Ghosts month.

It is also my intention to bring the autobiography of Nicole Kidman by James L. Dickerson. So far, I don't really have a lot of autobiography and this happens to be one that I have.  I shall have a Leap of Faith that it will sell well and that also happens to be a title by Danielle Steel which I am not so keen nowadays,

And if I brought along the earlier title by Alexander McCall Smith, I must also bring along  the eight book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Series which is The Good Husband of Zebra Drive which I reviewed here.  I might as well also sell off The House At Harcourt which I reviewed here.

There will be a few more which I will unearth over the next couple of nights so if you wish to know what I will be letting go off, see you this Saturday and Sunday in Green Heights Mall. :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Miracle At Speedy Motors by Alexander McCall Smith

Synopsis :

Under the endless skies of Botswana, there is always something Mma Ramotswe can do to help someone and here she finds herself assisting a woman looking for her family. The problem is the woman doesn't know her real name or whether any of her family members are still alive. 

Meanwhile, Mma Makutsi is the recipient of a beautiful new bed that causes more than a few sleepless nights. And, at Tlokweng Road Speedy Motors, Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni has come under the influence of a doctor promising a miracle cure for his daughter's medical condition, which Mma Ramotswe finds hard to accept. 

Nonetheless, Precious Ramotswe handles these things in her usual compassionate and good-natured way, while always finding time for a cup of red bush tea.

When I need a break from the world, I pick up the next book in No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series and for a couple of days or maybe even hours (depending), I would be transported to a gentle, simple and logical world of Mma Precious Ramotswe.

This time round, it's the 9th book in the series entitled The Miracle At Speedy Motors and like usual it's so different to be in Mma Ramotswe's world.  Not that everything is easy cos on the contrary, life is difficult but the perspective of life is very different and can even be said to be extremely logical.

The cases that Mma Ramotswe were asked to solve were not really that extra ordinary but her approaches are certainly as interesting as her results.  

We must also not forget Mma Makutsi who together with her fiancee bought a bed but the bed was left accidently to the harsh elements of nature and was destroyed.  I certainly hope that this is not a reflection of Mma Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti's future relationship as husband and wife.

For the rest of the titles under the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series that I have wrote about, please visit my Index page.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

Synopsis :

A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was seventeen shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck. So more than a decade later, when she met boisterous, charismatic Charlie Blackwell, she hardly gave him a second look: She was serious and thoughtful, and he would rather crack a joke than offer a real insight; he was the wealthy son of a bastion family of the Republican party, and she was a school librarian and registered Democrat. Comfortable in her quiet and unassuming life, she felt inured to his charms. And then, much to her surprise, Alice fell for Charlie.

As Alice learns to make her way amid the clannish energy and smug confidence of the Blackwell family, navigating the strange rituals of their country club and summer estate, she remains uneasy with her newfound good fortune. And when Charlie eventually becomes President, Alice is thrust into a position she did not seek–one of power and influence, privilege and responsibility. As Charlie’s tumultuous and controversial second term in the White House wears on, Alice must face contradictions years in the making: How can she both love and fundamentally disagree with her husband? How complicit has she been in the trajectory of her own life? What should she do when her private beliefs run against her public persona?

There are some books that I would read quite fast and then there are some books that would take me a long time to complete.  American Wife fits into the later category.  I can't remember how long it took me but in between reading this book, I finish read a couple of other novels.

First of all, I am so attracted to the cover of this novels.  It look very elegant with the wedding dress and quite reminded me of this book of which I love the cover too.  Storywise, they are quite different and while American Wife is has a rather nice story, there are elements of inconsistency to it.

The timeline development was rather haphazard and some plot was rather hurried.  For example, when Alice reconcile with Charlie three quarter into the story, the next thing readers realised is that more than twenty or so years have passed and Charlie is already a President.  Three quarter of the story didn't really paint Charlie as being President material but painted him as a rather spoilt useless rich kid.  Some of Charlie's siblings were kinda eclipsed upon him being President and ceased to be mentioned subsequently.

Perhaps I dont really know where the author is coming from for it was mentioned that the story is based loosely on the life of Laura Bush, an ex-First Lady but still I feel justice wasn't really done towards American Wife.  Perhaps, the author realised that he has dwelt too much into the past and didn't have enough pages subsequently and thus shortened the story to as it is.

Do I recommend this book? Yes, if you dont' mind taking your time with it. No, if you want something fast paced.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Last Days by Adam Nevill

Synopsis :

When guerrilla documentary maker, Kyle Freeman, is asked to shoot a film on the notorious cult known as the Temple of the Last Days, it appears his prayers have been answered. The cult became a worldwide phenomenon in 1975 when there was a massacre including the death of its infamous leader, Sister Katherine. Kyle's brief is to explore the paranormal myths surrounding an organization that became a testament to paranoia, murderous rage, and occult rituals. 

The shoot's locations take him to the cult's first temple in London, an abandoned farm in France, and a derelict copper mine in the Arizonan desert where The Temple of the Last Days met its bloody end. But when he interviews those involved in the case, those who haven't broken silence in decades, a series of uncanny events plague the shoots. Troubling out-of-body experiences, nocturnal visitations, the sudden demise of their interviewees and the discovery of ghastly artifacts in their room make Kyle question what exactly it is the cult managed to awaken - and what is its interest in him?

It has been a very long time since I read anything so scary.  This really takes the cake.

I was at the local library with the princess when I came across a couple of titles by Adam Nevill. Although I have never read anything by this author, I was quite intrigue as I came across his name before that he's the king of horror...hang on! I thought that title belongs to Stephen King.  Well, no more it seems...Adam Nevill certainly lives up to that title if all his books are like Last Days.

Right from early on in the book, the suspense and horror builds up.  The ending wasn't really as expected and I thought it was kinda too neat and tidy but I still have no complains as generally it has enough horror to scare the bejesus out of me.

for those looking for a horror book, look no further. Just pick up Last Days from your local bookstores. You can be sure I will be keeping my eye open on other titles by this author from now onwards!


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Heirs Of Ravenscar by Barbara Taylor Bradford

Synopsis :

As the First World War draws to a close, all seems golden for Edward Deravenel, charismatic head of the house of Deravenel. His wife and young family are safe, ensconced in the family seat of Ravenscar, and his business empire has survived.

Yet beneath the surface lies discord.  Elizabeth Deravenel, his beautiful society wife, is jealous of his mistress.  Her lies and gossip begin to damage the family name.  But worse still is Edward's brother George.  His reckless behaviour and treachery lead to blackmail and betrayal.

The furtunes of the house of Deravenel suffer a terrible reversal as one disaster follows another, and tragedy strikes.  It is Edward's daughter and her son Harry, who must rebuild Deravenels to greatness - whatever it takes. 

It has taken me quite a long time to complete this book.  I read it, put it aside, picked it up again, put it down again and the process just repeats itself until I am pretty tired of Edward Deravenel and everyone else in the book.  It is very disjointed and not what I would expect from such a great storyteller such as Barbara Taylor Bradford whose A Woman Of Substance is hailed as a great saga.

Unfortunately Heirs of Ravenscar has not much substance.  I didn't enjoy it.  Maybe I am just not into such genre anymore but it was pretty much a chore to complete this book.  It is just not for me.

I won't be picking up a Barbara Taylor Bradford for a long time to come.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Ellie Andrews Has Second Thoughts by Ruth Saberton

Synopsis : 

Ellie Andrews is finally getting married..or she will be if her wedding dress still fits and she drinks enough champagne to pluck up the courage to walk down the aisle.  The problem is Ellie's never felt more distant from the man she's supposed to love.

to reassure herself, Ellie reflects on her old flames...there's Rupert - adoring, perfect but dull, Jay - the teenage crush; Marcus - sexy but very bad; and Xander - a real friend.

As the sun rises and the ceremony looms ever closer, only one question remains - who will be waiting for her at the alter?

The is a typical chic lite...however, it's written in a rather clever way and quite different from the norm.  The story is about Ellie who's getting ready for her wedding and the story flashed back to the past and to the boyfriends of the past

The uniqueness is that the person whom Ellie is getting married to is not revealed right up the last last few words  in the book.  Readers are kept in the dark on who she is marrying and if you are like you, you would attempt to guess and eliminate potential husband-to-be from the way the story progresses but I was quite correct in my guess.

And that's the way the author intended for it to be so and that's to me, is the uniqueness of this book.

Recommended to all chic lite fans out there.

Monday, September 28, 2015

New books - September 2015

Because I have been busy and have not really had the time to read, I thought it would be a change to end the month by sharing with you some news books that I bought recently.  I just realized that this made it the third 'new books' posts for the month of September and I have not started on any of the books yet!

Anyway, these are titles by totally new authors to me but it was during a book fair and it was mark down so why not give it a try.

First there's The Broken Man by Josephine Cox.  Seems pretty exciting from the synopsis.

Next, there's Take a Look at Me Now by Miranda Dickson - a lite chic and one can never have too many of those for that girly moment.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Nothing To Lose by Lee Child

Synopsis :

Two small towns in the middle of nowhere : Hope and Despair.  Between them, nothing but twelve miles of empty road.  Jack Reacher can't find a ride, so he walks.  All he wants is a cup of coffee.  What he gets are four hostile locals, a vagrancy charge and an order to move on.

They're picking on the wrong guy.

Reacher is a hard man. No job, no address, no baggage.  Nothing at all, except hardheaded curiosity.  What are the secrets that Despair seems so desperate to hide?  With just one ally - a mysterious woman cop from Hope - and many enemies, Reacher goes up against a whole town, hunting the rich man at its core, cracking open his terrifying agenda, asking the question : Who has the edge - a man with everything to gain, or a man with nothing to lose?

I am not really a fan of Jack Reacher.  I don't really understand this character.  Having first read his book a few years ago, I didn't really seek out any of his book since then.  I must have bought this quite long ago too as I found it recently in my collection.

Anyway, with nothing to lose, except time, I gave it a try as the book I was reading wasn't very appealing and if not anything, at least Nothing To Lose was pretty thrilling although I am rather flabbergasted by it too.  I really don't know why Reacher did the things he did.  Along the way,  I think he also regretted some of his actions.  In this case, I think he regretted his on inflexibility and his steadfast hold onto some of his ways and principles which doesn't really make sense.

As a whole, the book entertains me when I have to sit for endless hours in the hospital but at the same time I was quite happy to finish it too.

Ironically, Reacher was between two towns, Hope and Despair and you can say at this point of life, I am quite in between these two feelings as well...and while I want to choose to have hope, I can see how easy it is to feel despair and many times, that feeling is just so overwhelming....however I still choose hope because Jeremiah 29 :11 promises me so and I am claiming that.

Friday, September 18, 2015

New Books - Durian Runtuh 2

Sorry, to say I really do not have much time to read what more to do a review as a lot is happening right now with families and not all are good.  I really missed my read and my posts so the best I can do at this point is to share with you some new books that I received recently.

It was in year 2013 that I posted about my 'windfall' when someone I know left me boxes of her books as she and family moved back to Singapore.

This time round, another friend is moving away back to her home country as well and asked if I want some of her collections as she's bringing some back and leaving some behind.  I was happy to inherit whatever that she left behind.

Anyway, here's the whole lot in no particular arrangement or order. I really do not have time to look through them but I do see a couple of PD James and some authors I an not that familiar with other than Toni Morrison and Ken Follett.

When I have the time only would I look through them. Until then, I just have to put them aside and be grateful for this blessing.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Steig Larsson


 Synopsis :

The stunning third and final novel in Stieg Larsson's internationally best-selling trilogy.

Lisbeth Salander - the heart of Larsson's two previous novels - lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She's fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she'll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge - against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest started off very excitingly as it continues immediately from where The Girl Who Played With Fire left off.  I actually did not own a copy of this title so when I saw it at the local library, I just borrowed it as I just want to complete this trilogy.

I can say that I very much preferred this final book compared to the earlier two starting with first title,  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  I just felt that everything came together and Lisbeth seems to be more mellow and matured compared to her much earlier self.

I am also glad to see the people who care for her coming together to her aid in her times of needs and the unique situation is that Mikael and Lisbeth did not meet face to face throughout the book and only did so at the end of it.

All in all, it is a great ending to a trilogy by Steig Larsson.  While I am aware that there is a new title in the market to continue with Lisbeth and Steig's story, The Girl in The Spider's Web is written by another author, David Lagercrantz, alittle-known Swedish writer entrusted with the task of picking up The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo franchise from its deceased author.  

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

New books from Charity Sales

Sorry, no time to do a review just yet as have been super busy but here are two recent purchases from a charity sales held recently.

I've Got Your Number by my all time favourite lite chic writer, Sophie Kinsella and As The Crow Flies by Jeffery Archer.  I might have read As The Crow Flies before but I am not too sure and since it's for a good cause, I do not mind purchasing this title.

Could you believe it that I have not read  Shopaholic To The Stars yet also by Sophie Kinsella that I bought recently as I have been saving it for when I can really sink my teeth into it.  I guess I've Got Your Number will have to take a number as well :)

Thursday, September 3, 2015

The Mark of Athena (Book #3 of The Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan

The Mark of Athena (The Heroes of Olympus, #3)

Synopsis :

Annabeth is terrified. Just when she's about to be reunited with Percy—after six months of being apart, thanks to Hera—it looks like Camp Jupiter is preparing for war. As Annabeth and her friends Jason, Piper, and Leo fly in on the Argo II, she can’t blame the Roman demigods for thinking the ship is a Greek weapon. With its steaming bronze dragon masthead, Leo's fantastical creation doesn't appear friendly. Annabeth hopes that the sight of their praetor Jason on deck will reassure the Romans that the visitors from Camp Half-Blood are coming in peace.

And that's only one of her worries. In her pocket Annabeth carries a gift from her mother that came with an unnerving demand: Follow the Mark of Athena. Avenge me. Annabeth already feels weighed down by the prophecy that will send seven demigods on a quest to find—and close—the Doors of Death. What more does Athena want from her?

Annabeth's biggest fear, though, is that Percy might have changed. What if he's now attached to Roman ways? Does he still need his old friends? As the daughter of the goddess of war and wisdom, Annabeth knows she was born to be a leader, but never again does she want to be without Seaweed Brain by her side.

The Mark of Athena is the third book in The Heroes of Olympus Series.  First was The Lost Heroes and second book was Son of Neptune.

By now readers would know of the Greek gods and their alter ego as the Roman gods and while Percy is the heroic demi-god from Camp Halfblood, Jason is the heroic demi-god from the Roman camp and together with Annabeth, Frank and a few others, they are the seven heroes mentioned in the great prophesy at the ending of Percy Jackson Series.

While the Heroes of Olympus offers more variety, the excitement and thrill is still rather lacking compared to the first Percy Jackson Series.  In this third book (of a total of 5 books), I can't even say they are halfway through as the civil war among them seems to be more severe than the war against the monsters.

I do intend to complete this series but seeing how I am not able to find the following two titles n the local library, I might just be catching a break from this series for the time being.


Friday, August 28, 2015

The Son of Neptune (Book #2 of The Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan

Seven half-bloods shall answer the call,
To storm or fire the world must fall.
An oath to keep with a final breath,
And foes bear arms to the Doors of Death.

Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn't know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn't ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth

Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn't do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem — when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her "gift" for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn't say no. Now because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wished she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.

Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn't see it. He doesn't even know who his father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery — although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely — enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.

Beginning at the "other" camp for half-bloods and extending as far as the land beyond the gods, this breathtaking second installment of the Heroes of Olympus series introduces new demigods, revives fearsome monsters, and features other remarkable creatures, all destined to play a part in the Prophesy of Seven.

The Son of Neptune continues from where the Lost Heroes left off and is the second book in the Heroes of Olympus Series.

While Lost Heroes was about Jason, it is very natural that The Son of Neptune is about Percy.  I really enjoyed Son of Neptune as Percy is still very much my favourite demi-god created by Rick Riordan.  In Neptune, Percy found himself in the Roman camp and being unaware of who is he.  Basically, he is experiencing what Jason went through in Lost Heroes but in a more Percy way if that is even possible.

While in the Roman Camp, he actually met Nico Do Angelo but Nico pretended that he didn't know Percy.  Now, that was really strange but then you are reading a book on Greek gods after all and strange has always been the theme of the series.

Next up is The Mark of Athena and if you know who the daughter of Athena is, you would know what the story focuses on.

Wait for my review of The Mark of Athena coming right up.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

An Unexpected Sales - Car Boot Sales

At the end of the sales

It was an unexpected sales because it was....well extremely unexpected and it happened like this....

One recent hot bright sunny day, I received a call from a gentleman who bought some books from me last years and wanted to know if he can pick up some books from me again and he asked if he can do so the next day!

I was surprised beyond speech but agreed to meet up somewhere near where I work with some selections of what I think he might like based on his previous purchases. 

That night itself, I did the selections (a few rounds of it) and came up with  about forty titles of thrillers, murder mysteries and generally books of such genre as these were records of what he bought from me previously.  I am actually running low of such genre so it took me a couple of searches on my various shelves to come up with these forty odd titles.

I forgot to take an image of the books prior to the sales but it was two basket full and two paper bags full and at the end of the 10 mins sales, these are what was left of the collections that I selected.

It was a wonderful sale to this nice gentleman who runs an extremely unique homestay in the mystical island of Borneo where you get a taste of simple lifestyle in a beautiful tropic settings with simple organic meals planted right in the farm itself.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Black or White by John Aubrey Anderson

Synopsis :

Missy Parker is a seven-year-old white child.  She is beautiful, wealthy, willful and vulnerable
Junior Washington is an eleven-year-old black child.  He is a committed Christian, relatively poor and loyal.

On the shores of Cat Lake, in the midst of the most defined segregation in our nation's history, Missy and junior are best friends.

The synopsis doesn't say much does it?  In fact, if I am to base on the above synopsis when I was doing my selection of books, I would not purchase this particular book.  However, purchase it I did as I has an assumption of what Black or White has to offer and as they say of assumption, it is baseless and true enough I was wrong in my assumption and the book wasn't what I expected it to be at all.

Looking at the cover and from the synopsis, readers including myself will not know that it's a book based on the Christian faith.  The concept of accepting Christ and being a read Christian runs throughout the book. 

The book also deals with spiritual warfare and angels and demons especially guardian angles.  That are some parts of the book that are just beautifully written which I really enjoyed reading.  There are some parts that is rather disturbing if your faith is not strong.

Overall, it was an unexpected book but unexpected in a good way.

I believe I bought the book in a book sale end of last year and it was generally a good buy.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

The Lost Hero (Book #1 of Heroes of Olympus Series) by Rick Riordan

The Lost Hero (The Heroes of Olympus, #1) 

Synopsis :

 Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who;s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunk mates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason's amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts.

Finally, after a rather long hiatus, I came across the above title in the local library and just have the urge to pick it up, bring it home and curl up with some juice for some Greek adventure.  However, Heroes of Olympus Series not just features Greek gods but their Roman alter ego as well.  Zeus is Jupiter, Hera is Juno, etc.

Jason is a new hero from the Roman camp. Revealing this would not really affect your enjoyment of the story but this fact was not revealed in the book until three quarter into the story.  But Jason has lost his memory and he wasn't aware of his Roman side and was assimilate into Camp Half-Blood.  He went on a quest with Piper and Leo and the book focus on their relationship as well as the quest.

Percy wasn't really featured in this book other than the fact that he's lost too and no one from Camp Half-Blood especially Annabeth is able to locate him.  We will get to know what happen to Percy in the second book of Heroes of Olympus Series, Son of Neptune.

I quite enjoy the Lost Hero.  Much better than the other series by Rick Riordan which features the Egyptian Gods which I read just the first book and did not continue thereafter.

Watch out for the review of the second book Son of Nepture which is coming right up.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella

Image from the web as there's something wrong with my webcam
Synopsis :

Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose, but then his big question involves a trip abroad — not a trip down the aisle. Completely crushed, Lottie reconnects with an old flame, and they decide to take drastic action. No dates, no moving in together, they’ll just get married . . . right now. 

Her sister, Fliss, thinks Lottie is making a terrible mistake, and will do anything to stop her. But Lottie is determined to say “I do,” for better, or for worse.

I did promise you a review of Wedding Night and here it is.   I was very excited to read Wedding Night as I haven't ready any Sophie Kinsella for quite a while already.  I can't really remember when was the last time but it can most probably be when I read Can You Keep a Secret.

That was two years ago.

Wedding Night is an independent novel by Sophie Kinsella.  The characters are new and I can't say I like both Lottie and her sister Fliss.  I find both characters rather uninspiring and stereotype of women in their circumstances.  Lottie who is rebounding from a failed proposal ended up with the first man she come across.  Fliss who is super bitter from her divorce just can't wait to trash her ex to anyone within distance.

I am quite surprised that someone who created characters like Becky Bloomwood and Samantha Sweeting (from the Undomestic Goddess, my favourite title by Sophie Kinsella) birthed out characters found in Wedding Night.

Anyway, fans of Sophie Kinsella will still read it no matter what but if you have not read any of her title, then this would not be the one to start with as it has high possibility to leave pretty bad impression.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Medusa by Clive Cussler

Synopsis :

In the Micronesian Islands, a top secret, U.S. government– sponsored undersea lab conducting vital biomedical research on a rare jellyfish known as the Blue Medusa suddenly . . . disappears. At the same time, off Bermuda, a bathysphere is attacked by an underwater vehicle and left helpless a half mile below the surface, its passengers—including Zavala—left to die. Only Kurt Austin’s heroic measures save them from a watery grave, but, suspecting a connection, Austin puts the NUMA team on the case. He has no idea what he’s just gotten them all into. A hideous series of medical experiments . . . an extraordinarily ambitious Chinese criminal organization . . . a secret new virus that threatens to set off a worldwide pandemic. Austin and Zavala have been in tight spots before, but this time it’s not just their own skins they’re trying to save—it’s the lives of millions.

Filled with the high-stakes suspense and boundless invention unique to Cussler, Medusa is the most thrilling novel yet from the grand master of adventure.

I have been a fan of Clive Cussler since the very first book I read, Atlantis Found, more than 10 years. For a while, I was diving into his titles on quite regular basis but I have stopped for many years already.  I guess I was quite tired of Dirk Pitt(R) .

I thought of picking it up again with the recent read of Rise the Titanic! but it didn't really appeal to me and Medusa also failed to seduce me even though generally, it's a good thriller.  Maybe I have outgrown the adventures of what Clive Cussler has to offer or maybe I have just changed my reading preferences.

For fans of Clive Cussler, you will not be disappointed by Medusa.  Although it features another of Clive's hero and not Dirk Pitt, Kurt Austin is pretty heroic too.  By the way, Dirk is now the Director of NUMA so I guess he's pretty desk bound so it's Kurt now who's getting all the adventure.  But I am sure there's a couple of adventures out there which features Dirk still but for me,  I won't be jumping off my boat for them anytime soon.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

New books - July 2015

I am ecstatic to have new books to add to my collection, especially to my Sophie Kinsella collection.

First, there's Wedding Night which is a totally stand alone book with new characters and the more prized book would be Shopaholic To The Stars which is the latest in the Shopaholic Series where Becky Brandon (nee Bloomwood) is in Hollywood!

It takes off from Mini Shopaholic which I read three years ago so yes, I am extremely happy to have this in my collection.  If you are new to the Shopaholic Series.  it would be nice to read it from the first book which is The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic (also published as Confession of a Shopaholic) but even if you don't it's quite alright as well.

I just read Wedding Night and review of that is coming right up. 

I can't wait to sink my teeth into Stars but I think I want to wait a bit for when I can give my time totally to Becky which I can't at the moment so yup, do keep an eye for my review on it.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Impulse - Three Complete Novels

Impulse is three complete novels in one book. These are romance novels are well known authors and I can't remember when did I buy them.  It wasn't during the book fair towards the end of last year so it must have been bought a few years ago.

Fist, you have A Single Rose written by Barbara Delinsky.  The synopsis read 'Shaye Burke wasn't surprised at the invitation - a Caribbean treasure hunt was just aunt Victoria's style.  But a beat-up old sloop with no engine?  And an honest -to-goodness pirate at the helm?  And the skipper's arrogant nephew? Noah Van Baer was rugged and sexy, and too late she recognized her aunt's hand at matchmaking.  She and Noah hated each other on sight!'

I share the same sentiments.  I didn't like it at all too. I read the first chapter and realized that this is not for me.  I am not a fan of romance novels and I certainly don't intend to waste my time on it.

Second title is Keeper of the Bride by Tess Gerriten.  This I read as I recently discovered Tess Gerritsen and I like what I read and although this is classified as an earlier work of the author as classified as romance, I thought I can live with that and give it a try.  Its' a romance thriller and not too bad and certainly wasn't was good as her other novels but I can say I'm happy with it.  Synopsis 'Nina Cormier would have been a beautiful bride, had the groom bothered to show up.  But when the empty church exploded, Nina got the message.  Someone was after the bride-to-be.  And Portland cop Same Navarro was no white knight.  he'd protect her, but no way would he put them both at risk by falling for her..

The third title is Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard.  I didn't read this as I know I can't handle romance.  Why did I buy this book in the first place?  Here is the synopsis in case it interests you 'Was Jane Hamilton Greer just a wealthy socialite in over her head, or was she really engaged in espionage that could comprimise U.S. interest?  She was being held captive, and Grant Sullivan had agreed to rescue her, but getting her out was something else.  Especially when it became clear that this man and this woman, from two different worlds, should never have met.

So, fans of romance novels, you will be over then moon with this book as like some beverage you can find in the market, it's a 3 in 1. :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The House At Harcourt by Anita Burgh

Synopsis :

It is 1859.  At the tender age of three, Eliza Forester is left motherless when her father orders his wife from the house, accusing her of infidelity.  he keeps the child not out of love, but to spite his wife, whose name is never mentioned at the beautiful Jacobean house and estate near Exeter where they live.  Eliza grows up believing her mother is dead.

Her happiest times are spent with Ruby and Jerome, the children of tenant farmers on her father's estate.  When, at sixteen, Eliza's innocent friendship with Jerome turns to love, her father, furious, forces her to make what could be the greatest mistake of her life.

This is the story of a woman who loses everything - the man she loves, her inheritance, her child and very nearly, her sanity - due to envy and greed of those who should love, not hate her.  But Eliza Forester is determined to lose neither her confidence nor her soul.

I can't say I totally agree with the above synopsis.  It's taken from the back cover of the book.  It isn't wrong but yet the synopsis isn't right either.  For one, I don't think her father kept her with him to spite her mother but more because she is his daughter although at times he doubts it and her very presents seems to torture him..all in all, I think he is quite sadistic in nature.

Eliza also didn't really spend that much time with Ruby and Jerome as a child. She only did so in her teens cos as a child, she sends more time with her governess, Ms Fanny as well as her Uncle Charles who is the husband to her father's sister.

Uncle or Sir Charles was painted as a father fine gentleman but halfway through the author seems to change her mind about him and portray him to be rather of a charismatic rogue.  For a while there, I actually thought Sir Charles might be Eliza's father.

I really dont' know where the author is going as towards the end Eliza's mother too was made out to be a selfish woman who cares about herself more than her child and towards the end Eliza's father seems to have a change of heart about her presence so yes, it's all very confusing.

I can't say I like The House At Harcourt very much.

Friday, July 10, 2015

The Good Husband of Zebra Drive by Alexander McCall Smith

Synopsis :

In the life of Precious Ramotswe–a woman duly proud of her fine traditional build– there is rarely a dull moment, and in the latest installment in the universally beloved No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series there is much happening on Zebra Drive and Tlokweng Road. Mma Ramotswe is experiencing staffing difficulties. First Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni asks to be put in charge of a case involving an errant husband. But can a man investigate such matters as successfully as the number one lady detective can? Then she has a minor falling-out with her assistant, Mma Makutsi, who decides to leave the agency, taking the 97 percent she received on her typing final from the Botswana Secretarial College with her.

Along the way, Mma Ramotswe is asked to investigate a couple of tricky cases. Will she be able to explain an unexpected series of deaths at the hospital in Mochudi? And what about the missing office supplies at a local printing company? These are the types of questions that she is uniquely well suited to answer.

In the end, whatever happens, Mma Ramotswe knows she can count on Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni, who stands for all that is solid and true in a shifting world. And there is always her love for Botswana, a country of which she is justifiably proud

 After a long absence, guess who decided it's time for a 'visit''s non other than Mma Ramotswe, the owner of the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency.  The last time Mma Ramotswe dropped by was in May last year as you can read from here.  Time sure flies, doesn't it Mma when we're busy with family and this and that and Mma would know about being busy with her married life with Mr J.L.B. Matekoni and their two adopted children not to mention her rather well established now No 1 Ladies Detective Agency which she owns.  But in all business, Mma Ramotswe knows it's important to sit back to have a cup of tea especially her favourite bush tea so this time round in The Good Husband of Zebra Drive, Mma dropped by with plenty to tell.

As I have my own tea, I get to know that Mma had a fallout with Mma Makutsi, her assistant who is engaged to the owner of the furniture shop, Mr Phui Radiphuti and Mma Makutsi actually resigned from No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency!  Oh my, that's terrible news because Mma Ramotswe and Mma Makutsi work well together.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni also decided to try his hand in being a detective and Charlie, one of Mr J.L.B. Matekoni's apprentices decided to set up No. 1 Ladies Texi Service and just to have a bit of suspense, I can't really tell you if that works out well but if you know Charlie, you can have a guess.

There was also a request to investigate some death in a hospital among others.

And that is how I felt reading book number eight in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency Series by Alexander McCall Smith...a good friend whom I ahven't seen in a year, dropping by for tea and brought with her stories about her life.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson

Synopsis :

Mikael Blomkvist, crusading journalist and publisher of the magazine Millennium, has decided to run a story that will expose an extensive sex trafficking operation between Eastern Europe and Sweden, implicating well-known and highly placed members of Swedish society, business, and government.

But he has no idea just how explosive the story will be until, on the eve of publication, the two investigating reporters are murdered. And even more shocking for Blomkvist: the fingerprints found on the murder weapon belong to Lisbeth Salander—the troubled, wise-beyond-her-years genius hacker who came to his aid in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and who now becomes the focus and fierce heart of The Girl Who Played with Fire.

As Blomkvist, alone in his belief in Salander’s innocence, plunges into an investigation of the slayings, Salander herself is drawn into a murderous hunt in which she is the prey, and which compels her to revisit her dark past in an effort to settle with it once and for all.

The Girl Who Played with Fire is the second book in the trilogy by Stieg Larsson.  It's the continuation of The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo.  Although the story in Tattoo ended, a the continuation of the story of Lizbeth continues.

The story is very fast paced. Much faster than Tattoo and readers get to know so much more about Lizbeth's past.  A few incidents in Tattoo that was thought as random was revealed to be not so random after all.

I am really at a lost as to what to say about this book except that it's very good.  Extremely thrilling and fantastic in every aspect a thriller is.

You can read Fire without Tattoo but it's best you read Tattoo first and subsequently the final book, The Girl Who Kick The Hornet's Nest.  I don't have Hornet's Nest so I am now looking for it.