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.