Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July 2015 Flea Market Preview

The month of July is just round the corner and once we welcome July, it would also mean that we are saying good bye to the first six months of the year.  Pretty scary thoughts but I guess we will just have to make the best of our time.

Speaking of time, it's time again to preview my next sales which is taking place this coming weekend, 4 - 5 July.

I do have quite a lot of books to let go off as I have been doing some serious books shopping recently and I really need the space on my shelf so I did some major clearing as well.

So, what can you find at my flea market this weekend? First, my double copy of Last Night At Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger.  I didn't know I have one copy at home and went and buy another copy recently, so one has to go.

All these have to go...The House at Harcourt by Anita Burgh, The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant, Stardust by Joseph Kanon.

Love Letters by Katie Fforde which I read recently, The end of your life book club by Will Schwalbe and A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly which is an extremely delightful book.

I am rather undecided if I should bring The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and it's sequel, The Girl Who Played With Fire as I haven't got the third book, The Girl who Kicked The Hornet's Nest so I am uncertain if I should just wait till I have it and sell them as a whole collection.

There will be a selection of Christian spiritual books.  There will not be any management or business related books this time round as I have just recently put them aside awaiting collection from an organisation who wises to equip their staff library with some of such books.

Well, since my last book sales was early last month, I am quite excited and looking forward to this weekend.  Naturally, whatever that didn't get sell off then will make an appearance again this time round so do drop by Green Heights Mall this Saturday and Sunday if you are interested in purchasing some of my much loved collection at flea market price.

I look forward to meeting you too.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Synopsis :

Sixteen year old Mattie Gokey has big dreams but little hope of seeing them come true.  Desperate for money, she takes a job at the Glenmore, where hotel guest Grace Brown asks her to burn a bundle of secret letters.  Bu when Grace's drowned body is fished from the lake, Mattie discovers the letters reveal the grim truth behind a murder.

Set in 1906 against the backdrop of the murder that inspired Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy, this astonishing novel weaves romance, history and a murder mystery into something moving, real and wholly original.

A Northern Light is classified as a young adult book.  Because it's classified as such, I wasn't quite keen to read it at first until I kinda chide myself to stop being so choosy as I was rejecting books left right and centre without really much good valid reason.  I kinda felt it might have something to deliver and I am glad to share that I was absolutely correct in this case.

A Northern Light is a wonderful read.  The story is about Mattie who is sixteen and who loves to read and loves to learn.  However, her mum's death has left a big gap in her family's life and with a couple of younger siblings to look after and a whole lot of other responsibilities expected of her around her dad's farm, it's a challenge for her.  In order to study needs money too and there's non to spare and Mattie starts working in the hotel to help out with finances around the home and for herself.

Grace Brown was a guest who asked Mattie to get rid of some letters but Mattie forgot to do so in her business and Grace Brown was found dead.  While the death of Brown wasn't the focus of the book, it was both haunting and inspiring Mattie in her struggle in her sixteen year old existance.

Grace Brown is not fictional.  She is real and if you google her, you will be able to find stories of her death.  That was one uniqueness of A Northern Light other than good writing and story development by the author.

Even if you are not a young adult, you will appreciate this book too.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Love Letters by Katie Fforde

Synopsis :

With the bookshop where she works about to close, hopeless romantic Laura Horsley, in a moment of uncharacteristic recklessness, finds herself agreeing to help organize a literary festival deep in the heart of the English countryside. But her initial excitement is rapidly followed by a mounting sense of panic when reality sinks in and she realizes just how much work is involved - especially when an innocent mistake leads the festival committee to mistakenly believe that Laura is a personal friend of the author at the top of their wish-list. Laura might have been secretly infatuated with the infamous Dermot Flynn ever since she studied him at university, but travelling to Ireland to persuade the notorious recluse to come out of hiding is another matter.

Determined to rise to the challenge she sets off to meet her literary hero. But all too soon she's confronted with more than she bargained for - Dermot. The man is maddening, temperamental and up to his ears in a nasty case of writer's block. But he's also infuriatingly attractive - and, apparently, out to add Laura to his list of conquests ...

I have never read any title by this author before and this book, together with a few more were given to me by someone who is moving out of town.. The cover of the book is very casual and very chic lite but story is more towards a romance.  I mean what else can the story be with a title like Love Letters, right?

Generally Love Letters falls rather flat for me.  My interest in this book is more in the character, Laura.  Laura is a book lover and quite a literature critic although she is not a writer and neither is she related in the literature world other than working in a bookshop.  I find it quite amusing that everyone seems to think the world of Laura just because of that.  

Other than that, it was just Laura falling in love with Dermot and thinking that she' not good enough for him and how everyone thinks that she's so incredible which leads her to think that she quite incredible too and can be a literature editor and critic and a fabulous literature festival organiser just because she used to organise some book events in the bookshop where she used to work but now jobless because business was bad so the shop has to close the business.

I guess you can tell I don't thinking highly of Love Letters.  Unless you are the really romantic at heart and don't care much about anything else, I won't recommend it to you and that's just my personal opinion.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

 Synopsis :

Mikael Blomkvist, a once-respected financial journalist, watches his professional life rapidly crumble around him. Prospects appear bleak until an unexpected (and unsettling) offer to resurrect his name is extended by an old-school titan of Swedish industry. The catch—and there's always a catch—is that Blomkvist must first spend a year researching a mysterious disappearance that has remained unsolved for nearly four decades. 

With few other options, he accepts and enlists the help of investigator Lisbeth Salander, a misunderstood genius with a cache of authority issues. Little is as it seems in Larsson's novel, but there is at least one constant: you really don't want to mess with the girl with the dragon tattoo.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is the first of three books by the late Stieg Larsson.  The other two are The Girl Who Play With Fire and The Girl Who Kick the Hornet's Nest.  I will leave the other two books alone for now as I have not read them but it's with great pleasure that I share with you The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

I actually have watched the movie a few years back.  It was quite a good movie that kept quite closely to the book but for some reason, I wasn't really captivated by it.  Maybe it's because I always have an issue with movie based on books but to be fair there are some movies based on books that are quite good, Stardust being one of them.

I totally enjoyed The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.  It is well written with much patience and dedication.  The author really paid good attention to his characters with great care.  The plot's well developed and drew readings into what the main character was researching on.  I am sure other readers also tried to look into the clues and see if they can solve the mystery of Harrieta like what I was trying to do.

Pairing Mikael with Lisbeth was rather unique as Lisbeth's totally different and I feel Mikael wasn't really good enough for her but then, there's two more book so let's see what happen.

I can't wait to get started on the second book, The Girl Who Play with Fire.

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant

Synopsis :

Orange Prize winner and shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2008, Linda Grant has created an enchanting portrait of a woman who, having endured unbearable loss, finds solace in the family secrets her estranged uncle reveals. In vivid and supple prose, Grant subtly constructs a powerful story of family, love, and the hold the past has on the present.

Vivien Kovacs, a sensitive, bookish girl grows up sealed off from the world by her timid Hungarian refugee parents, who conceal the details of their history and shy away from any encounter with the outside world. She learns how to navigate British society from an eccentric cast of neighbors -- including a fading ballerina, a cartoonist, and a sad woman who wanders the city and teaches Vivien to be beautiful. She loses herself in books and reinvents herself according to her favorite characters, but it is through clothes that she ultimately defines herself.

Against her father's wishes, she forges a relationship with her uncle, a notorious criminal and slum landlord, who, in his old age, wants to share his life story. As he exposes the truth about her family's past Vivien learns how to be comfortable in her own skin and how to be alive in the world.

Two things attracted me to this book. First, the black and white cover evokes a feeling of nostalgia, mystery and glamour.  Second, the book was shortlisted for the coveted Man Booker Prize. Not forgetting the author was a winner of the Orange Prize, currently known as the Women's Prize for Fiction.  With so many awards enveloping this book, I thought it's a sure bet.  Well, I guess I won't get any award for thinking so as I was far from being right.

The story is about Vivien and how she tries to figure out her family and sort out her life.  Her parents are immigrant from Hungary and shuts her from their past. After going through a rather devastating incident, Vivien is feeling rather lost and is hungry to know about her history and the history of her parents and that is when she decided to seek out the estranged uncle, her father's brother who is of a rather notorious character and who can't wait to off load his story to his niece.

I got rather lost myself reading through this book.  Vivien just wasn't an endearing character and I didn't warm up to her. I find her father hopeless and helpless.  What happened to her was pretty unfair and while she didn't really point fingers, she didn't really didn't do that either.  So, for a book that was nominated for a prize written by a prize winner author, it didn't get any prize from me.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Popular Book Sales - City One Mall Kuching

It's been ages since I went to a Popular book sales.  I used to go quite regularly whenever they had a sales but I kinda stopped after a while after I wasn't able to find what I wanted.

However, during this recent weekend holiday break, since we neither went for any holidays, whether inbound or outbound, we basically just chill in the house.  On one of the days, we decided to check out the sales at the mall and the above are what we came home with.

The following titles are my share of the loot :

1) Last Night At Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger - ops....I already have a copy of this at home which I kinda forgot.

2) Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus - I know this is not a new title but I haven't read it yet wor....

3) The Priest's Graveyard by Ted Dekker - I love the spooky cover. I hope the story's good too.

The rest belongs to the princess.  She collects Geronimo Stilton's Fantasy Series and The Enchanted Charms is the seventh book in the series.  She has also decided to start on the Divergent Series and we managed to find only the first two books.

I will start on Last Night at Chateau Marmont as soon as I can as I don't want to make the mistake of buying it again in the near future. 

Happy Reading to everyone!