Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Nonfiction: Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner

Sorry for not updating for so long. It wasn't for want of reading, because I have been reading most faithfully. It's just that it's NaNoWriMo month and whatever time I've had for writing, I've spent it writing my novel instead of my blogs. =) It's been a good month! But back to the review:

Freakonomics by Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner (242 pages)

Date Started: 31st Oct 2006
Date Finished: 1st Nov 2006


This was one of the most thought-provoking non-fiction books I've ever read. It really makes you see the world in a different perspective. How cause and effect actually work, how the single proverbial butterfly could change the whole outcome of the future...

Who knew that economics could be so fun? Freakonomics, as its name suggests, is economics with a freakish perspective. The hidden side to everything, you think keeping a gun in your house is dangerous? Your children might stumble upon the gun and have a tragic accident? Well, how about if you had a swimming pool in your backyard for your kids? Do you think that would end with a tragic accident?

Absolutely thought-provoking! It amazes me, many of the topics covered in the book, and it was so fascinating that I finished the book in a day! Which wouldn't be surprising because I used to do that, except that I don't read the way I used to, and this is the *only* non-fiction book I have ever finished in a day!

You have got to read this. Everyone should! Just to have a different perspective at the world and how a simple tiny action could have major consequences. Read this book!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Nonfiction: Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (254 pages)

Date Started: 29th Oct 2006
Date Finished: 31st Oct 2006


I enjoyed this book very much. It gave me many many interesting facts and a lot to think about. I must say though that the blurb is misleading, and it's pretty much useless for the purpose that I bought it for.

It says on the cover title, "Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking", but not once did Gladwell actually gave us a method of how to implement thinking without thinking. In fact, many times he tells you how you should trust your first impression, and then in another chapter he says how your first impressions can lie to you.

So I have no idea what Gladwell was trying to achieve with this book. Helping readers to think more? Think less? What?

However, I gathered a lot from the book. Not about how to think without thinking, but about how people think, and how our brains and thought processes work. I'm amazed by many of the stories he tells; how our faces actually can't lie, no matter how good we are at acting, and that not only our feelings manifest in our expressions, but our expressions manifest our feelings as well. How our bodies can be primed to do thing we're not aware of doing, just because we were exposed to certain ideas we didn't even know consciously that we were exposed to.

It's all very interesting, and while useless in giving us solutions on how to think or trust our judgement, it does give a lot of food for thought and more understanding on the workings of the human mind. Which fascinates me. That's why I'm giving it four stars. =D

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Fantasy: A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin

A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin (852 pages)

Date Started: 19th Oct 2006
Date Finished: 29th Oct 2006


The absolute best book in the world!!! This is my favouritest, favouritest book in the whole wide world!

It's the fourth book in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, and they just keep getting better and better.

I started reading the first three books about three years ago, and was waiting for the fourth book to come out for a very long time. I couldn't wait to continue the epic adventure of the Seven Kingdoms which started with:

  1. A Game of Thrones
  2. A Clash of Kings
  3. A Storm of Swords

And now A Feast for Crows. The next one will be A Dance of Dragons, I truly can't wait.

The Game of Thrones started the adventure with the kingdom still in one piece, but dangerously near its end. As its name suggests, it tells about the trecherous game of politics that the characters are forced to play in the ruling of the kingdom. In A Clash of Kings, the kingdom is split, with too many kings and divided loyalties. A Storm of Swords depict all the wars and battles fought over the divided kingdoms.

A Feast for Crows doesn't really show us much about the Black Crows, however, which I thought weird, but then again, the name was decided on before the book was finished. So...

But it was great anyway! I could never have anything bad to say about Martin's work. He's a genius! And so meticulous with every single detail! How I admire him!

A Song of Ice and Fire is the Lord of the Rings of today, but so much better. Richer, deeper, more exciting, more unbelievable, more engrossing than any other book written!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, if I could only ever read one book in my whole entire life, it would be this series! (I count the whole series as one book, else I couldn't survive not knowing what happens next!) Trust me, fans of fantasy...you will absolutely love this series! =D

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Shopping Spree!

I went to Borders on Wednesday with Lone, just to do a little browsing. I didn't plan to buy any books... I ended up buying SIX! Dammit! LOL!

But it's such a guilty pleasure! I love books and I should've known I wouldn't have been able to resist! It's all Lone's fault for bringing me to Borders!

I bought:

  1. Following the Wrong God Home - Catherine Lim
  2. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  3. Blink - Malcolm Gladwell
  4. The World is Flat - Thomas L. Friedman
  5. Freakonomics - Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner
  6. The Closers - Ben Gay III

It's been awhile since I last bought so many books in one go. Oh, but it feels sooooo good!

I'm happy! =D

Fantasy: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (373 pages)

Date Started: 16th Oct 2006
Date Finished: 18th Oct 2006


This is the best book I've read so far this year!

I love it! I love Thursday Next and I love the way the story of Jane Eyre was woven into the story. I haven't read Jane Eyre yet, but I just bought the book and I probably will enjoy it all the more because of having read this book.

I love how the whole alternate universe works, and the action, the wit, the sarcasm, the humor, the fun! Wheeeee! I felt like I was in another world. A world where anything was possible! Where you could jump right into the book with the characters, where you could be taken to the places in the books...

Fforde is a genius! Honestly, it's brilliant how he manoeuvered the story of Jane Eyre into The Eyre Affair. I never had so much fun reading a book! I'm in the middle of reading George R R Martin's A Feast for Crows, but I'll probably be reading Jane Eyre after that!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Feast for Crows is finally out in paperback!!! Yayy!!

I finished reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde yesterday, and I was gonna blog about it but couldn't coz I had to prepare some contracts for my client today. So I thought I'd blog about it today, but... I went to MPH earlier today, and...


Finally! Yayyyy!! OMG! I am sooooo happy! I waited three whole years for the book ok! I finished book 3 long time ago, and I was waiting for him to finish this book, book 4 of the series, A Song of Ice and Fire. So he finished it about a year ago, finally! But still I didn't get the book, because it was only out in hardcover and it's too damn expensive for me.

I can be a patient person, so I decided to wait. Since I have other books to keep me distracted in the meantime, right? =D So I waited, and one year has gone by, and it's finally out in paperback!!

And of course I bought it! I practically grabbed it off the shelf! LOL!

So originally, I was going to say The Eyre Affair was the best book I've read this year, (Really, it's damn good! And I loved it!) but seeing as how I'm going to be reading A Feast for Crows I think The Eyre Affair will only be coming in second. =D

And also, I'll post my review of The Eyre Affair much much later! Probably when I've finished A Feast for Crows. =D I am sooo going to enjoy it! I deserve it! After being patient for so long!

Sunday, October 15, 2006


I've decided to join NaNoWriMo this year!

I've known about it for a long time, and I joined a few years back, but unfortunately I didn't make it then. I've put off joining for the past few years because it was 'never the right time', but honestly, I've just been afraid of not being able to make it.

I finally decided to join again this year because I figured, if not now, then when? 10 years later? 20? I'm not getting any younger, so I'm doing it now. =D

Wish me luck!

Two Books for my Birthday! =D

I got two new books for my birthday from Lone! Yayyy!! =D

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde and Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel! Two books I've been wanting for a very long time! Thank you so much, Lone dearest! You're the best! Muah! =D

Monday, October 09, 2006

Mystery: The Clocks by Agatha Christie

The Clocks by Agatha Christie (246 pages)

Date Started: 8th Oct 2006

Date Finished: 9th Oct 2006


This is an oldie but goodie. I remember spending days in the library when I was in Secondary 1 reading all the Agatha Christie's books I could get my hands on. That was my first introduction to Agatha Christie, and surprisingly, when I switched schools after Secondary 1, I haven't read another Christie mystery until now.

I remember loving all of her mystery novels and devouring handfuls of them at a time, but unfortunately, I must have been spoiled by more modern mystery novels, because there seemed to be a lot which lost me in this book.

The book and the plot was still masterfully woven, and it was amazing how everything tied up and made sense at the end. It's the classic mystery novel in which the atmosphere and writing style really appeals to me. You really never know who did it until the end, and then you think, wow...how did I miss it?

Mysteries nowadays are more engaging, with more characterization, and many of them give you false leads and red herrings, making you suspect one and then another person, which is of course, enjoyable reading in their own right too. But it was such a treat reading a classic mystery written by one of the best mystery writers of all time again.

I so wanna get my hands on more of her books now. =D

P.S. By the way, I'm still in the middle of reading Waterbabies, which I will put aside for now because I suddenly realized that with all my variety of books, I hadn't read a single mystery novel. So I picked this book up, and suddenly I'm on my mystery phase. LOL! More to come soon!

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