Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Preview - May 2015 Flea Market

There is something charming and sweet about May.  While January is hopeful and dreamy, February is in a hurry, March and April are all about work, come May, I can just relax a bit and have a cup of coffee and put my feet up (I hope I am not jinxing it by saying so!)

Jinx no jinx, I am now preparing for this coming weekend to put my collection out in the market again.  I only made it partially during the March market and didn't go at all to the April market.  If I am to achieve the objectives I have set out where my book sale is concerned, I would need to make it for the May flea market which is happening this weekend in Green Heights Mall.

These are quite recent read, whose reviews are coming right up.  There's Kaitlyn by Kevin Lewis which is about a girl growing up in the wrong side of the city.  The Immigrant by Manju Kapur is a story of an Indian bride/wife through arranged marriage who found herself halfway across the world in Canada.  Standing in the Rainbow by Fannie Flagg is a charming story of middle class American in a small town at an era where rock and roll rules and where everyone knows everyone.  Blood Storm by Colin Forbes which is a crime thriller out to thrill.

There's quite a few books that didn't get sold during the March flea market so I would be bringing them too.

These educational books for kids are quite good too so they would come along to the sales as well.

I will also be bringing some Christian books like these here which are pretty brand new copies and excellent for personal collection or as a gift to someone.

So, if you have the time, drop by Green Heights Mall either on Saturday or Sunday and I shall see you there.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Logos Hope is currently in Kuching

If you are living in Kuching, chances are you would know that the floating bookstore in the form of the ship, Logos Hope is currently docked in the Sim Kheng Hong Port in Pending, Kuching.  It arrived on the 2 April and will be opened to the public until probably 28 April which is just a few days to go.

Yes, I am rather late with my post but I have been working without a day off since early April so it wasn't over the weekend that I managed to make my way there and it wasn't just a couple of days ago that I managed to find time to work on this post.

The arrival of the ship generated excitement among the community and here and there you would have people you know asking you if you have been on 'the ship'.  I have been asked that and my question back to them would be 'How many books did you buy when you went on 'the ship'?'  Most of the time, the answer would be negative.  They go on the ship just for the sake of doing so and going for the ice cream and salted popcorn and not certainly for books shopping.

Which to me is rather sad as there are many great books there and these are titles that you will  seldom find in the local bookstores so it's great opportunity to stock up but then, generally, people don't really read do they?

Anyway, that's another topic for another post. 

For me, I was extremely pleased with all the titles there are.  I can't help but attracted to titles by one of my favourite Christian authors, Karen Kingsbury and to commemorate my visit and the fact that I survived two month's of crazy work schedule which is ending, I decided to buy Coming Home which is about the Baxter family from the Redemption and Firstborn Series.

I thought that would be all as I am on a strict budget but then while at the 'special offer' section, the deal was too good to be passed up so I brought all these home with me :)

Aren't they colourful.  I feel so happy just looking at the cover.  I bought three titles by Angela Hunt just to try her out.  I bought Dead Heat by Joel C Rosenberg as I thought the storyline is quite currently and at the very last minute, I saw titles by Randy Singer (there are a few titles) and without knowing which would be good, I just simply decided on one, Self Incrimination

I don't know when I will read them but you can be sure that I would read them sometime in the future and I would be sure to tell you all about it.

In the meantime, if you have not been on 'the ship', do go as they will be here for a few more days and if you do go, do pick up a book of two and don't just go for the ice cream or popcorn.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Second Assistant by Clare Naylor and Mimi Hare

Synopsis :

No political science degree could prepare Elizabeth Miller for her job as a second assistant at The Agency, whose clients include everyone you've never met - but you know who they're sleeping with.  

 A former intern in Washington, Lizzie made a bid for a life change that landed her a job a world away, where ethics and First Amendment debates take a backseat to pleading the Fifth for Ritalin-snorting boss Scott Wagner.   He's the hottest agent in Hollywood, who devotes his days to playing online poker - that is, when he's not closing a $30 million deal for one of his AAA - list clients.  
And while getting six hundred dollar highlights from Cameron's colorist or organising the strippers for George's birthday party comes close to causing heart failure for this East Coast girl, the real dangers lurk elsewhere.  But Lizzie is a survivor, and no Machiavellian assistant, lecherous producer, or power struggle at The Agency can douse her dreams of climbing up the Hollywood ladder.  But first she has to run down to the Coffee Bean for that triple espresso, or Scott is going to throw something....

This was an impulsive buy at a book sale end of last year.  The image on the cover gave an impression that it's a chic lite and I was quite low on chic lite at that time so I gave in to my impulse. For the price I paid for it, The Second Assistant was an extremely good buy.

Like what the synopsis says, Lizzie is new to Hollywood, extreme end of what her life was in Washington.  However, she took to it like fish to water and before you know, she's part of the system.  Her frequent trips to get coffee for her boss and the rest of the office brought her acquaintance to Jacob a writer who has written a screen and Lizzie ended up trying to produce it while trying her best to be the best second assistant that she can...juggling her time between her boss, the boss's wife, the first assistant as well as other players in the field, a couple of which has romantic interest towards her.

For a chic lite, it was a fun, quirky and relaxing read, a great therapy for a rather crazy and busy weekend.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Hogarth Conspiracy by Alex Connor

Synopsis :

Could a single scandalous painting rock two British monarchies, centuries apart…and threaten the lives of everyone who knows of its existence? It could--if the painting contains proof of a liaison between a prostitute and a prince.

 The evidence, a painting by William Hogarth done in 1732, was supposedly destroyed. But hundreds of years later, on a private jet, Sir Oliver Peters learns that it still exists. Dying of cancer, and desperate to secure his family's well-being, Sir Oliver resolves to find the missing work. But when a fellow passenger who also knows the secret is murdered, he realizes he's battling more than time.

The main reason I bought this books was because I needed a couple more copies to make up a bulk price and this book looks brand new among the others found at the book fair.  A quick glimpse of the synopsis revealed a rather acceptable storyline and that were the two reasons how I ended up with The Hogarth Conspiracy.

Because of how I ended up with the book, I wasn't expecting much from it.  Because I wasn't expecting much from it, I ended up being delighted with it.

The storyline revolves around a masterpiece painted in the 1700s.  The art was thought destroyed but it wasn't so.  When the story starts in current timeline, it was discovered that the masterpiece was recently stolen and in the hands of a rich art dealer.  Due to the subject matter in this masterpiece, if it were to fall into the wrong hands, it could very well topple the British monarchy.  From that revelation, the race to be the first person to next get hold of the masterpiece starts and murders and bodies started t pile up.

While The Hogarth Conspiracy could turn out to be a masterpiece just like the art piece in the center of the storyline, it didn't really hit the mark.  The plot is rather confusing, the characters are rather disjointed and yes, some of the plot did come towards the end of the book, it didn't really add any substance to the whole storyline.

It is rather suspenseful but rather violent and rather gruesome at times.  The double cross and the twist and turns are there and somehow, it could have been a great book but it wasn't and while it's readable, it certainly no masterpiece.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Vanish by Tess Gerritsen

Synopsis :

A blessed event becomes a nightmare for pregnant homicide detective Jane Rizzoli when she finds herself on the wrong side of a hostage crisis in this timely and relentless new thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of Body Double.

A nameless, beautiful woman appears to be just another corpse in the morgue. An apparent suicide, she lies on a gurney, awaiting the dissecting scalpel of medical examiner Maura Isles. But when Maura unzips the body bag and looks down at the body, she gets the fright of her life. The corpse opens its eyes.

Very much alive, the woman is rushed to the hospital, where with shockingly cool precision, she murders a security guard and seizes hostages . . . one of them a pregnant patient, Jane Rizzoli.

Who is this violent, desperate soul, and what does she want? As the tense hours tick by, Maura joins forces with Jane’s husband, FBI agent Gabriel Dean, to track down the mysterious killer’s identity. When federal agents suddenly appear on the scene, Maura and Gabriel realize that they are dealing with a case that goes far deeper than just an ordinary hostage crisis.

Only Jane, trapped with the armed madwoman, holds the key to the mystery. And only she can solve it–if she survives the night

Vanish features dynamic duo of Jane Rozzoli and Maura Isles, two characters so uniquely interesting that they have their own television series since two years ago.  The series is currently in it's fifth season so I guess they are still going strong.

In Vanish, Jane is about to give birth and was caught in the middle of a hostage situation while in labour.  Situation was tense with her friends, family, partners and husband going crazy with worries over her. But the hostage situation is just a tip of a much larger iceberg.  Maura seems to take a back seat this time round and I was rather disappointed that she kind of fade away towards the end of the story.  Other than that, I have no complaints.

Tess Gerritsen is a master of her trade and she did not disappoint in Vanish.  The story is indeed thrilling and certainly worthy of being a suspense thriller.  The subject matter is something more deep and dark and certainly a cause that is worthy of attention.

Time just vanished for me while reading Vanish.  If you are a fan of Tess Gerritsen, you would like this particular title but if you have yet to pick up a copy of Tess Gerritsen's, then I encourage you to do so if thriller is your kind of genre.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Synopsis :

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children was published in 2011 but it seems to have gained it's popularity only last year.  I have this book with me since 2013 but I wasn't all that keen to read it.  I was more keen to keep it and thought I'll just keep it to enjoy the many strange, odd and creepy photographs within the pages of the book. 

The stars of the books are these photos. Most of them are of children but there a a few with adults as well and you will get the chills of you stare at them long enough!  For ordinary photographs they are not but of rather unusual and the peculiar kind they are.  And the story in Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is weaved around these photographs.

Like I said earlier, I seems to come across this book quite a fair bit in the social media especially towards end of last year that I finally decided to bring it down from the warm cosy comfort of my bookshelf and give it a go.

I first read it just right before bed.  The story wasn't that scary.  Jacob's rather mild and easy going.  Nothing else seems to be scary at all, even the horrific family tragedy which was rather tragic but wasn't that horrific.  It's the photographs that were creeping me out.  They were all in black and white, have a real vintage feel.  They were rather disjointed but the story was supposed to bring them together but I don't think the author was successful in doing that as I didn't really like the storyline and where it's going.  It's a bit ridiculous but then we must remember that the author is not really an author but someone trying to inject some story into the photographs.

I wouldn't really recommend the book to you other than if you wished to be creep out by the photos.  By the way, there's a sequel to Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children entitled Hollow City.  I don't think I would be in a hurry to get hold of it.

I have also read on the web that filming of a movie adaption for this book has began by the famous movie director Tim Burton. It stars young British actor, Asa Butterfield as Jacob.  I think it would be an interesting movie the way the book wasn't.