Saturday, December 31, 2016

Reflections 2016

Year 2016 is pretty uneventful but equally busy with many things that went on .

I read much less this year compared to previous years and there was a couple of times when I totally didn't read at all and that's reflective in my review posts.

I also didn't buy much novels this year as at the last count, I have nearly 150 copies of to be read novels.  If I successfully read 1 novel a month, it would take me 12 years to finish them..provided I don't buy any books at all from now onward!  If I read 2 books a month, it would take me 6 years to complete them. Wow!

So yup, that's where I stand.  But I know I read more than 2 novels a month so there!

My work travel also has reduced drastically since the last couple of years due to change of job and that pretty much relates to my reading habits too as I used to read a lot while on work travel as there's nothing much else to do in the hours in between.

On the other hand, I have stop doing any committed review for Netgalley and the likes for quite a while already so yes, I have confident in tackling them TBR pile!

I shall end year 2016 with 50 posts compared to 68 in year 2015. For year 2017, it will be an attempt and challenge to at least match this year in terms of posts and perhaps slightly more consistent and I would be pretty satisfied.

Favourites for the year....hmmm.... I would have to say it's discovering Joseph Finder, the author and so far I read two of his titles, Buried Secrets and Paranoia.  Hope to read more of him next year.

I hope you had a good 2016 and looking forward to 2017 with much anticipation and hope for better things ahead for everyone.

Good bye 2016. Love ya.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Call The Dying by Andrew Taylor

Synopsis :

Love and need make unexpected bedfellows, and both are blind. As the grip of a long hard winter tightens on Lydmouth, a dead woman calls the dying in a seance behind net curtains. Two provincial newspapers are in the throes of a bitter circulation war. A lorry-driver broods, and an office boy loses his heart. 

Britain is basking in the warm glow of post-war tranquillity, but in the quiet town of Lydmouth, darker forces are at play. The rats are fed on bread and milk, a gentleman's yellow kid glove is mislaid on a train, and something disgusting is happening at Mr Prout's toyshop. 

Returning to a town shrouded in intrigue and suspicion, Jill Francis becomes acting editor of the Gazette. Meanwhile, there's no pleasure left in the life of Detective Chief Inspector Richard Thornhill. Only a corpse, a television set and the promise of trouble to come.

The storyline is set in the rural countryside of UK and started off rather mellow and slow with just a bit of hint of excitement.  This continues on almost throughout the book and the excitement builds slowing and gradually and if readers are patient (like me :), you will be rewarded with something unexpected that made it all worthwhile.

I kept this book in my car and read it while being caught in traffic and such until almost towards the ending then only I brought it home and read completed it over coffee during a particular weekend.

There's some history among the characters that might have started in previous books but even then, it doesn't really affect my enjoyment of the story. 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Christmas Greetings - 2016

Taking this opportunity to wish everyone a very 

Merry Christmas 


Purple Queen Fairy and the royal household.

God bless you all 


may you have lots of books in your Christmas stockings!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

For The Sake of Elena by Elizabeth George

Synopsis :

Elena Weaver was a surprise to anyone meeting her for the first time. In her clingy dresses and dangling earrings she exuded a sexuality at odds with the innocence projected by the unicorn posters on her walls. While her embittered mother fretted about her welfare from her home in London, in Cambridge—where Elena was a student at St. Stephen's College—her father and his second wife each had their own very different image of the girl. As for Elena, she lived a life of casual and intense physical and emotional relationships, with scores to settle and goals to achieve--until someone, lying in wait along the route she ran every morning, bludgeoned her to death.

Unwilling to turn the killing over to the local police, the university calls in New Scotland Yard. Thus, Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner, Detective Sergeant Barbara Havers, enter the rarefied world of Cambridge University, where academic gowns often hide murderous intentions.

For both officers, the true identity of Elena Weaver proves elusive. Each relationship the girl left behind casts new light both on Elena and on those people who appeared to know her best—from an unsavory Swedish-born Shakespearean professor to the brooding head of the Deaf Students Union.

What's more, Elena's father, a Cambridge professor under consideration for a prestigious post, is a man with his own dark secrets. While his past sins make him neurotically dedicated to Elena and blind to her blacker side, present demons drive him toward betrayal.

The above synopsis was taken from

 This is my second time reading Elizabeth George.  The first book was about six years ago.  I wasn't very wowed by her then but am glad to say that For the Sake of Elena fares much better.  With so many to be read books, I tend to get impatient if a particular book did not live up to expectation.  While For the Sake of Elena wasn't great, it was quite good and I was quite patient with it.

Sad to say, I wasn't able to guess who the murderer was but it was revealed quite suddenly and there wasn't any clue for me to pick on as to who it might be. Perhaps I am not as good as I was in picking up clues nowadays in such detective novel. :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Shinning by Stephen King

Synopsis :

Danny was only five years old but in the words of old Mr Halloran he was a 'shiner', aglow with psychic voltage. When his father became caretaker of the Overlook Hotel his visions grew frighteningly out of control.

As winter closed in and blizzards cut them off, the hotel seemed to develop a life of its own. It was meant to be empty, but who was the lady in Room 217, and who were the masked guests going up and down in the elevator? And why did the hedges shaped like animals seem so alive?

Somewhere, somehow there was an evil force in the hotel - and that too had begun to shine...

This is one of the BEST horror book ever!  I read this when I was much younger many, many years ago and I decided to re-read it again recently.

Re-reading it doesn't make it less scary.  I remember being spooked out at home one night recently after reading this in bed and I refuse to venture into the kitchen to get a glass of water!

Readers have to pay attention to the details described by Stephen King.  One of my favourite part is of course the lady in room 217. That is just pure classical horror and the animal hedges that came alive....another superb narrative.

Danny's story continues in Doctor Sleep which was written by Stephen King in 2013, 16 years after The Shinning.  I have yet to read Doctor Sleep.  Will keep a lookout for this book in the store.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Paranoia by Joseph Finder

Synopsis :

It was only a prank: diverting cash from Wyatt Telecom's executive slush fund to throw a retirement bash for a member of the loading dock crew. But when corporate security catches up with Adam Cassidy, a low ambition junior staffer at the high-tech behemoth, they call it something else: embezzlement, to the tune of nearly $80 grand.

Ruthless CEO Nick Wyatt is impressed by Adam's scheming, and offers him one way out-take on the role of a rising corporate hotshot and infiltrate Wyatt's rival, Trion Systems. His mission is to get close to Trion's legendary founder Jock Goddard, and his ultra-secret "Project Aurora," and report back to Wyatt.

With Wyatt pulling the strings and a dramatically improved identity, Adam is set up as Trion's new boy genius. Suddenly, he's got a sweet new Porsche, a closet full of $1,500 suits, and even a lovely lady who thinks he's a dream. But it's all just a mirage, because Adam is about to learn that nothing is what it seems and that it isn't paranoia...everyone is out to get him...

Having greatly enjoyed reading Buried Secrets by Joseph Finder in August this year, I have been on a lookout for his other titles each time I went book shopping.  It was such an excitement when I came across this title recently when I was least expecting it.  Actually, I didn't bother much about the title. As long as it's written by Joseph Finder, I will certainly want it.

Paranoia did not disappoint.  It's a corporate espionage thriller which was both engaging and thrilling.  I wasn't supposed to read this yet as I have a few other titles  that take precedent but I was too impatient to wait.  Character development can be better but plot wise, it was exciting and I am always a fan of twist in the storyline and I certainly got that.

I think Joseph Finder is a wonderful thriller author and having just read two of his titles, I want more!

By the way, a movie adaptation of this book was released in year 2013. If I am not mistaken, it's very different from the book.  Knowing me, I prefer the book anyday.

Friday, December 2, 2016

My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Synopsis :

Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged... until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister—and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

A provocative novel that raises some important ethical issues, My Sister's Keeper is the story of one family's struggle for survival at all human costs and a stunning parable for all time.

Books by Jodi Picoult are never straight forward. It has to either be thought provoking or heart tugging.  In this book, it's gut wrenching but in a good way.

Anna filed a petition against her parents to prevent them from harvesting her kidney for her sister who is suffering from leukemia.   But is that all there is? Are there no other reasons?  Is that what she really didn't want to do?

I read this book over a couple of days.  I am glad I read it while at home cos I was crying buckets on and off.  Some people didn't like the ending but then I always like a twist in a story and I certainly get unexpected twist in this title.

I have yet to catch the movie.  I shall one of these days.