Friday, November 28, 2008

Friday Finds: November 28 2008

fridayfinds What great book titles did you hear about, or discover, this week? SHARE WITH US YOUR ‘FRIDAY FINDS’!

My Finds:



Chalice by Robin McKinley


I've been a big fan of Robin McKinley ever since I read her retelling of Beauty and the Beast. This is her latest book, about the new Master of Willowlands and his Chalice. The Master was believed to be killed in a fire, but has now come back from the dead, changed, and the Chalice has to save him from the suspicions and the plots surrounding them. amercy







A Mercy by Toni Morrison


Told primarily in the voice of a 16-year-old African slave, this book lets the reader take a close and painful look at the lives of slaves in the 17th century and the effects and circumstances of their situation.





PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Friday Finds post, or share your finds in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #2

Graphic courtesy of Kelly @ Diary of the Nello


This week I'm doing 13 books I bought from this year. Usually if I buy from, it means that I can't get it in my local bookstores, and trust me, there are a *lot* of books I can't get from local bookstores. =( 


I used to buy a lot more from Amazon, because the shipping isn't so expensive in bulk, and the exchange rate was lower before. Recently though, I can't afford it anymore, so it looks like I gotta stop buying for a while. =(


Oh well, it's time for me to start reading the books I've already got anyway!


Presenting, 13 books I bought from this year!


The_china_study 1. The China Study by T. Colin Campbell

I bought and read this early last year when I found it recommended on a blog because I was so impressed with what the blogger wrote about how it affected him. It was the best book I have ever read about health and diet, and I highly recommend it to anyone who cares even remotely about their health. I ordered 5 more copies earlier this year from for my father and his friends who were interested.
78degrees 2. Seventy Eight Degrees of Wisdom by Rachel Pollack

This book is supposed to be about the Tarot, but I was interested because it actually contains a lot of wisdom in its pages. The Tarot cards, their histories, and their symbolizations to life are very enlightening. I'm reading it very slowly because I have to stop every few sentences to think and reflect, and meditate on their wisdom. Wonderful book!
blackthorn 3. Black Thorn, White Rose edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

This is one in a series of fairy-tale retellings, each book is filled with short stories of an alternate perspective of a fairy tale. I read my first book of the series many years ago and I've been hooked since. I'm trying to collect the whole bunch.
powermyth 4. The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

I've heard of Joseph Campbell but never knew what he was about. So I browsed for his books and decided to start with this. I've only looked through it, I haven't started reading it, but it looks very thought-provoking.
CriticalPath 5. Critical Path by R. Buckminster Fuller

I heard about Bucky from Money N' You, he's almost all they ever talk about, but some of the stories about him and the radical ideas that he had are really interesting. What pushed me to buy it though, was when they talked about how hard it was to read, but someone they knew were able to read it in a month. I took it as a personal challenge, but I haven't started it, so I don't know if I'll actually read it faster.
redchamber 6. The Story of the Stone by Cao Xueqin

This is only the first book in the series of five. A friend asked me to order them for him as he couldn't find them here. Apparently, they're about some Chinese history that written on a stone or something to that effect. I'm not so sure, I was only able to browse through them for a while before I had to pass them over to him. They're worth finding out more about though, I think. I'll do it soon.
stitchbitch 7. Stitch 'N Bitch by Debbie Stoller

I'm trying to learn how to knit. I'm doing ok, I guess... still on the simple stuff at the moment, but the book gives some really great tips.
secretmaster 8. Secrets from the Masters edited by Don Menn

My fiance's a very talented guitarist, and I was looking all over for the perfect gift for his birthday. I asked him, very subtly, what kind of books would he buy if he wanted to learn more about playing guitar, and he told me he wanted to read bios of guitarists but full length bios are too long and there are too....(cont'd)
rockguit 9. Legends of Rock Guitar by Pete Prown and HP Newquist

(cont'd) many guitarists for him to read each one's bio one by one. So I spent a lot of time browsing for books that had a compilation of short bios and interviews of guitarists. I found these two, and surprised him with them. He loved them!
unmasques 10. Unmasqued by Colette Gale

I found this while browsing's Bargain Books, and it intrigued me because it was an erotic novel about one of my favorite stories, The Phantom of the Opera. There are a lot of conflicting reviews about it, but I personally thought it was great.
septembersacrifice04 11. September Sacrifice by Mark Horner

Another friend asked me to order this for her. I don't know much about it except that it's true crime and she saw it on TV.
enchanted 12. The Enchanted Forest Chronicles (Boxed Set) by Patricia C. Wrede recommended this to me, and it seemed like the kind of book I'd love, so I got it and it was great! I love stories about dragons, and this series is fun and hilarious!
swansister 13. Swan Sister edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling

Also recommended by, it's just the kind of book I like, fairy-tale retellings, and any book with Datlow's and Windling's names always catches my attention.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good Books Lately by Ellen Moore and Kira Stevens

goodbooksGood Books Lately: The One-Stop Resource for Book Groups and Other Greedy Readers by Ellen Moore and Kira Stevens


I found this in a bargain bookstore, and I thought it was a book about good books. I must admit that I didn't look very closely at what it was about, and because I was in a hurry, I just went ahead and bought it.


When I realized it was about book groups, I was surprised, but still interested in what the book had to say. I had almost given up on ever finding a 'physical' book group a long time ago, at least, one which I thought would suit my tastes. But I thought I'd read the book just for the sake of learning something new.


It was either the biggest mistake or the best thing I could have ever done! I got so excited while reading the book, and so envious of all the things that were happening in book groups that I always wanted to have but never got the chance to, and I got so fired up that I decided that if I couldn't find a book group, I would form my own.


I wrote a post that asked for local readers to join my group, quite a specific one, in fact, and I forwarded it to all my friends through email and even on facebook. Sadly, I only got *one* reply(!) and I thought that perhaps I should forget about a 'physical' book group. So I racked my brain, trying to think of the next best thing I could do.


The result is an online real-time book club, where readers can choose a specific book to read each month, and then discuss it together in a real-time chat room on a specific day and time.


The first chat is scheduled for January 9th and 10th, depending on your time zone, and since I launched it last Monday, 7 people have already signed up for it!


The best thing is, since I set up the online book club, I've gotten 3 more members for my 'physical' book club, which makes 5 of us! Although I originally wanted 10 to start of with, I think 5 is a great number too, and we're meeting up this Saturday for a getting to know you session.


To think that neither one of my book groups, online or in real life, would have happened at all if I didn't pick this book up and read it!


More books about Book Groups:


Monday, November 24, 2008

Un Lun Dun by China Mieville

Un_Lun_Dun Un Lun Dun by China Mieville


This book was recommended to me by's 'Recommended for You' program, apparently because I'd been adding a lot of fantasy books into my wish list.


Un Lun Dun is about the world of UnLondon, where all the lost, broken, and unwanted things of London end up. There's a war brewing in UnLondon, and the citizens are counting on Zanna, the chosen one, to save them from the enemy, a sinister cloud called Smog.


Zanna's just an ordinary girl from London, she's scared and confused and not really sure what she's supposed to do. The only thing anybody knows is that Zanna was written in the Book of Prophesies as their savior from Smog, but is the Book really accurate?


Thankfully, Zanna's not alone, her best friend Deeba, goes along with her to the world of UnLondon to help defeat the evil Smog. What comes next is some interesting encounters with strange and wonderful characters, a surprising twist of events, a hero's quest, and a whole lot of excitement.


I found this book really entertaining, and very, very, creative. Mieville's mind really works in wondrous ways, and I'd probably never be able to come up with half the ideas and concepts she came up with in the book. I found the book to be reminiscent of Neil Gaiman's style, and well, everyone knows how much I love his books. Even the illustrations in the book were drawn by Mieville herself.


This is my first book by Mieville, but it's definitely not going to be the last. I'm looking forward to reading more from her.


More books from China Mieville:



Friday, November 21, 2008

Book on your Left Meme!

I got tagged by Jo-Jo, who got tagged by Jessica, who got tagged by Wendi, who got tagged by AusJenny, who got tagged by Wyn who started this meme!!

Whew! This is fun already and I haven't even started! Thanks so much for tagging me, Jo-Jo!

Ok, here it is:

1. What book is on the left hand side of your computer or closest to the left hand side?

Singer from the Sea by Sheri S. Tepper

2. Are you reviewing it, is it your favourite, or is it there for some other reason and specify.
Well, I haven't started reading it yet, but I'm planning to read it soon. My first book by Sheri S. Tepper was Beauty, which I loved and I thought was amazing! Then I read Grass, which I also loved and reviewed here. So Sheri S. Tepper has become a favorite author of mine, and I bought this book, and another, The Visitor, both of which I haven't read yet. I'm planning to read this one soon, and I'm sure I'll love it too. =)

3. Go to page 38 and write down from the 2nd paragraph, the first 4 sentences.

'They were not looking at the Marshal, who was his usual impeccably
dress-uniformed self, the black of his bemedaled and gold-braided jacket serving for proper setting for his long, vertically grooved face, each set of grooves delineating one small fold beneath his chin. The man everyone was staring at was beside him, and Genevieve was staring too.

"Oh, my," she said to herself. "Oh, my." She almost started to applaud the casting before realizing he was not an actor but a real person.'

4. Tag 4 friends and pass them this avatar.
Beth F. @ Beth Fish Reads
Gautami @ Reading Room

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Booking Through Thursday Thirteen - 1st Edition

bttToday's BTT question is:

I receive a lot of review books, but I have never once told lies about the book just because I got a free copy of it. However, some authors seem to feel that if they send you a copy of their book for free, you should give it a positive review.

Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?

I've answered using Thursday Thirteen's meme below. This is fun! =)

Thirteen Things about Betty and Honesty in Reviewing Books:

1. I have reviewed free copies of books, CDs, DVDs, and graphic novels from authors and publicists.

2. I used to feel obligated to give them good reviews.

3. Some I disliked so much that my conscience won't let me give glowing reviews.

4. My conscience also won't let me tear them to shreds.

5. So I give them the most honest and constructive reviews I can, so that the review will help the author/musician/producer to improve their work too.

6. I point out bad things as gently and clearly as I can.

7. I also make sure to highlight the good things.

8. When I first started reviewing, I tore a book I didn't like to shreds.

9. And was promptly flamed for it by fans of the book.

10. It was scary!

11. I learned my lesson and do my best not to give such scathing, unhelpful reviews.

12. I think the important thing is to give helpful reviews, no matter your feeling about the review material.

13. I once reviewed Paolo Coelho's The Alchemist, which was then featured on his blog!

That's all this week! =)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: November 18 2008

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My 2 Teasers:

"“Here comes a highfish," said Jones, and the girls jerked back in horror at the
approaching jackknifing body, its ferocious teeth and unmistakable shark fin.
Where its ocean cousins' side fins were, it had grown dragonfly wings." ~p.72, China Mieville's Un Lun Dun

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays p
ost, or share your 2 Teasers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Musing Mondays: November 17 2008

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is a short meme:


I'm reading Un Lun Dun by China Mieville. It's about Zanna, who is the Chosen, and Deeba, her friend, who stumble into the world of UnLondon, the alternate reality world of London.


I just finished Unmasqued by Colette Gale, an erotic novel about The Phantom of the Opera. It was my first erotica, and I quite enjoyed it. You can read my review if you want to know more about it.


I plan to read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen next for an online real-time book chat I'm setting up soon. My idea is to have a group read every month, where interested parties can read the book together and sign up for the chat where the readers can discuss and talk about the book in real time, kinda like a book club except we meet up and discuss the book online.

This idea is borne out of my frustration of not being able to find a 'physical' group to form a book club with. I sent out countless emails to friends and posted in several Malaysian forums looking for readers interested in joining a book club and I only got ONE reply!

So anyway, I decided the next best thing is an online real-time book chat that works somewhat like a regular book club. And you don't have to join every month too, only the ones you're interested in. Anyone interested in this?


I don't think so, I don't have many holiday-themed books and anyway, we're not really big on Christmas here.

Please leave a comment with the link to either your own Musing Mondays post, or share your answer here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Unmasqued by Colette Gale

Unmasqued_largest Unmasqued by Colette Gale


I found this book while browsing's Bargain Books.


I'm not so much a fan of The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux, but I love both the movie and the musical so much that they more than make up for the book.


I was intrigued by this book firstly because it was a retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, and then I became more intrigued by the fact that it was erotica, and then finally, the controversial reviews convinced me that I had to buy this book. Along with Colette Gale's other erotic novel of The Count of Monte Cristo (of which I hated the movie but loved the book).


This is the first erotica I've ever read and although I blush to say so, I really enjoyed it. There are considerably more sex scenes and details in those scenes than in your regular trashy romance novels, but in Unmasqued I felt that they served the story well.


I never felt that the sex scenes were forced or added for the sake of it, although sometimes I did feel like it was a little too much information. But in fact, most of the scenes and the characters' actions and reactions in them only served to help us see the (sick natures of the) characters' personalities more clearly.


I felt also that it made sense that the characters were having sex, and a lot of it, as it's set in a theater in France in those days when actresses and singers weren't really looked upon respectably, and were more likely to be someone's mistress than not. I felt as if I was reading something out of Michel Faber's The Crimson Petal and the White or some other similar book.


Sex scenes aside though, I loved, loved, loved the book! I loved how Gale stayed true to the original story's plot, yet twisting it and allowing us to see it from a new light from a whole new different perspective. The poor Phantom has always been portrayed as the bad guy and Raoul the hero, but what if things were what they seemed?


It's really not so different in real life after all, is it? There are two sides to every story, and most times depending on who tells the story, the hero and the bad guy are interchangeable. I've always had the hots for the Phantom, and Colette Gale's Unmasqued has made me fall more in love with him. I love her version of the story, and although there are many who would disagree with me, to me, this will always be the 'true' story of The Phantom of the Opera.

Friday Finds: November 14 2008

fridayfinds What great book titles did you hear about, or discover, this week? SHARE WITH US YOUR ‘FRIDAY FINDS’!




My Finds:



The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Found on Ms Ulat Buku's blog, check out her review.


I haven't read any of her Twilight series although reviews sound really good. This one really intrigues me though.







The_Gargoyle The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson.


Found on Ms Ulat Buku's blog, check out her review.












Bel Canto by Ann Patchett


Found referenced in a book I'm reading, Good Books Lately by Ellen Moore and Kira Stevens.








PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Friday Finds post, or share your finds in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why Buy? - BTT

btt  In today's BTT, Deb asks:

I’ve asked, in the past, about whether you more often buy your books, or get them from libraries. What I want to know today, is, WHY BUY?

Even if you are a die-hard fan of the public library system, I’m betting you have at least ONE permanent resident of your bookshelves in your house. I’m betting that no real book-lover can go through life without owning at least one book. So … why that one? What made you buy the books that you actually own, even though your usual preference is to borrow and return them?

If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?


I usually buy my books, I hardly borrow or even go to the library. And it's not even that I want to buy rather than borrow most of the time, I'm not always happy about having to spend so much money on books, but I have to spend if I want my books.


There are a couple of reasons why I don't borrow from the library. Firstly, the libraries are quite far and difficult to access. I could probably go about once every 3 or 4 months, but they don't allow you to keep books that long, and it's very inconvenient for me to plan trips to the library just to return or borrow books. Secondly, it's not like they even have a good selection of books. The books are old and outdated and there's usually nothing that I really want to read on their shelves.


I know it's frowned upon, but if I wanted to just read a book without buying it, I go to the bookstores and read there. Don't worry, I take good care to make sure I don't damage any of the books, and I always put them back where I got them. I spend so much money in bookstores from books I discover by browsing anyway. But even so, there are many books I can't get here, so I order through Amazon, which makes me have to shell out more money for the shipping.


I seldom go to used bookstores either because the prices are still never that low, the prices are only about a third cheaper than if you bought them new, and most of the conditions of the books aren't worth the price.


The only place I get books 'cheap' are from online communities like Bookmooch and Bookcrossing. Technically, the books people send to you are free, but then you still need to spend money for shipping your own books to them, on swaps, trades, or to get points, etc.


I hear so much about people getting whole bags of books for ten dollars or less during library or used bookstore sales, and the books on Amazon are considered really cheap if you lived in the USA and get free shipping, and I can't help being soooooo envious and wished I lived in the USA too.


I promised myself that if I ever went to US to visit, I would go to all the used bookstores, buy as many books as I can for as little money as possible, order as many books as I can with free shipping from Amazon, and then ship them back to Malaysia myself. And I'm absolutely serious! My whole family have heard me say this many many times. LOL!


So, why do I buy books? Because that's the only way I can get them, and I need them badly in my life.


Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Book Bloggers Christmas Swap 2008



Secret Santa for book bloggers hosted by Nymeth and Dewey here!


Here's how it works:


You sign up by sending an e-mail to xmasswap08 at gmail. You have until the 18th of November to do so. You will then be randomly assigned as another blogger’s Secret Santa.

What you have to do next is send that person a little something - it can be a book, a journal or bookmark, a box of Christmas cookies, a mixed CD, whatever you can think of. It doesn't have to be anything pricey, of course. Second hand books are perfectly acceptable, as are homemade gifts.

A different person will be assigned as your Secret Santa, and you'll only find out who they are when you get their package in the mail.


For more information, please go to the official page here. Sign up quick, there's only five days left until the deadline!

Tithe by Holly Black

Tithe by Holly Black


This is my first book by Holly Black, and I really must say, why haven't I heard of her sooner?!

I mean, seriously, where have I been?! She wrote the Spiderwick Chronicles, and while I haven't read the books, I watched the movie and I absolutely loved it! I had no idea who she was at all, until now, and for someone who particularly loves the kind of stories she tells, that's really bad.

Well, the past is over, I know who she is now, and you can be sure I won't ever forget.

I love faery tales and Tithe was an enchanting story. Kaye and her rock star mother moves back with her grandmother and Kaye starts seeing her old 'imaginary' friends again, the faeries she used to know when she was younger.

She also meets a deliciously hot faery, Roiben, who could be dangerous but so thrilling to be around. They are on opposite sides of an apparent war between the Seelie and the Unseelie courts, and Kaye is supposed to be the sacrifice, the tithe, of mortal blood, that will bring change to the faery world.

The constant tension between Kaye and Roiben was sizzling off the pages, and the unintentionally silly antics of some of the little faes were adorable and humorous. I enjoyed Holly Black's telling of the story, although the first couple of pages were a little confusing, and the ending was perfect except that it left me wishing for more. I'd definitely be looking out for The Spiderwick Chronicles and more of her other books!

More books from Holly Black:

Reading Challenges

Ok, I spoke too soon about not finding reading challenges that I wanted to join! These last couple of days I've become addicted and found lots to join, so I'm going to list them all here together so that I can keep track of them. The good thing is that most of them can be crossover books, so one book can be counted for a few of the challenges.

The Countdown Challenge started from 8/8/08 and goes on until 9/9/09, so I'll start with this first. The rules are as follows:

  • The goal of this challenge is to read the number of books first published in a given year that corresponds to the last digit of each year in the 2000s — 9 books from 2009, 8 books from 2008, etc. The total number of books required, therefore, is 45.
  • This challenge lasts from 8/8/08 through 9/9/09. Yes, it is retroactive to August 8th!
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed and your lists may change at any time.

Interested readers can still sign up here. You can follow my progress here on my dedicated page.



The Chunkster Challenge is to read fat books! For more info, go here.

I'm taking the 3rd option:

Mor-book-ly Obese - This is for the truly out of control chunkster. For this level of challenge you must commit to 6 or more chunksters OR three tomes of 750 pages or more. You know you want to.....go on and give in to your cravings.

My dedicated page is here.



The World Citizen Challenge is for non-fiction books. Here's the link to the
official page and the rules.

I'm doing the Majors, which is:

The Major Level Despite the occasional, impertinent “And what are you going to do with a degree in that?!” question, you’ve realized that World Citizenship is where your passion really lies, so you declare your major. For this level, you need to commit to five books, from at least three different categories.

And here's the suggested reading list. And my dedicated page is here. 


The Read Your Name challenge is to read your name in book title first letters, ultimately spelling out your name. You can use any name you want, your real name, your blogger name, the name you always wished you were called, like maybe Princess Aurora, or Superman. LOL!

The challenge runs from Jan. 1st 2009, to Dec. 31st 2009, you can join anytime before Dec. 31st 2009. (Well, if you join on Dec. 30th, you can always just read one book that starts with your initial. *g*)

You can sign up with Mister Linky at the
Read Your Name Challenge blog. And you can follow my progress on my dedicated page.


Mission: Read 12 books you deem "dangerous." between January 1st and December 31st 2009. They may be banned or challenged books, new-to-you genres, books that seem to inhabit a permanent space on your stacks, or authors you're afraid of. The possibilities are endless! If it's dangerous to you, it's challenge-worthy to us!

For more information, go to the Challenge blog.

I'm taking this one up because there are some books on the recommended list that I plan to read anyway, but I do have to add more later that I didn't plan to read. That's ok though, that's what challenges are about. =)

To see the list of books I will be reading for this challenge and for more information, go to my dedicated page.

The Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge runs from Jan 1 until March 31, 2009. The goal is to read three(3) books that:

have a food name in the title / be about cooking/eating / have a place name in
the title / be about one (or more) person's travel experience / be about a
specific culture / be by an author whose ethnicity is other than your own

More information and sign-ups here. My dedicated page is here.

The Casual Classics Challenge starts on Jan 1, 2009 to Dec 31, 2009. The challenge is to read four(4) classics in 2009. Easy enough, I guess. Sign-ups here.

Visit my dedicated page to see the classics I've read.

The What's in a Name (Part 2) Challenge is great and I think I'm going to have lots of fun with this one. The challenge is to read one book from each of the categories:

  1. A book with a "profession" in its title. Examples might include: The Book Thief, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Historian
  2. A book with a "time of day" in its title. Examples might include: Twilight, Four Past Midnight, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  3. A book with a "relative" in its title. Examples might include: Eight Cousins, My Father's Dragon, The Daughter of Time
  4. A book with a "body part" in its title. Examples might include: The Bluest Eye, Bag of Bones, The Heart of Darkness
  5. A book with a "building" in its title. Examples might include: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Little House on the Prairie, The Looming Tower
  6. A book with a "medical condition" in its title. Examples might include: Insomnia, Coma, The Plague

For more details about this challenge and to sign up, go here. Follow my progress on my dedicated page.

The New Author Challenge is to read books by new authors (kinda obvious, isn't it?). It's for the whole of 2009, and you can set your own goal for how many new authors you want to read. More info and sign-ups here.

My dedicate page is here, click to see new authors I've read. 

And lastly, the 2009 - 100+ Reading Challenge to read 100 books or more in 2009. Info and sign-ups here. My own dedicated page can be found here.


That's about it for now, and hopefully, that's gonna be it for 2009!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Teaser Tuesdays: November 11 2008

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

My 2 Teasers:

“She thought she dimly remembered an old story about someone having their heart turned to stone and then restored by tears, but she wasn't sure where the memory came from. No, riddles usually had simple, commonsense, one-word answers.” ~p.215, Holly Black's Tithe

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Teaser Tuesdays post, or share your 2 Teasers in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Musing Mondays: November 10 2008

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS is about the giving & keeping of books!

If you keep your books, where do you keep them? And, if you give them away, who do you give them to? Do you participate in Bookcrossing, BookMooch, PaperbackSwap, or the like? Do you give your old books to family & friends, or donate them? Are any of your books in storage due to not having enough space for them all? Or, are you one of the lucky ones who has their own “library”? Feel free to share pictures, if you have them!

I'm a lucky one who has my own "library", but it's a small one, and I still can't seem to get all my books to fit. Actually it's my own fault coz I want them all to be organized, I would probably have enough space if I double-stacked, but I refuse to do that, so I'm left with not enough space.

I used to be a very active Bookcrosser, but I ended up buying and getting more books than I was giving away, and although it was really fun and one of the best times of my life, I couldn't keep up with all the books anymore, not to mention the money I spent sending my books overseas on trades and bookrings and all that. I'm using BookMooch, and it's not too bad actually, but kinda slow in helping me get rid of all my excessive books.

I've got lots of books in storage now, and I'm just waiting, waiting, waiting...for the day that I will have a house big enough to have a huge library. I can always dream, can't I?

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your thoughts in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie

Over the years, I've gotten many books as gifts, and there were many I loved, but perhaps the most notable book I ever received as a gift would be The Light Bearer by Donna Gillespie.

Monday, November 03, 2008

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Neil Gaiman is one of those authors whose books I buy simply because they've got his name on the cover. It doesn't really matter what the book's about, I know I'd love it just because he wrote it. Every new story he comes up with always seems fresh, new, and exciting.

He has created so many new worlds for the delighted child in me to play in; with the magical Princess Bride-like world of Stardust, the earth-as-the-gods'-playground theme of American Gods, the nursery-rhymes-turned-reality of Anansi Boys, and my favorite world of all, Neverwhere's surreal, darker version of Alice's Wonderland.

His latest work, The Graveyard Book, creates yet another delightful world, one that I never imagined I would like at all. You can probably guess from the title of the book that it's a world set in a graveyard. One whose inhabitants can be kind and charitable, loving and nurturing, irritable and old-fashioned, friendly and dangerous....

Supposedly listed as a children's book, Gaiman nevertheless has many adult fans, and though the book is written simply in Gaiman's easy manner - the reason I love reading his writing - the story itself is mature and sophisticated.

It revolves around a boy whom the graveyard's inhabitants named Nobody Owens, Bod for short, when a ghostly couple adopted him after his family was murdered. Throughout the book, we follow Bod as he grows up in this unusual setting and learns the ways of the dead while trying to live his life. It isn't easy as he has many dangers to avoid, both from the world of the living and the world of the dead. Worst of all, the man who murdered Bod's family is still out there, looking for Bod so that he can finish what he started.

In many ways, Gaiman's The Graveyard Book is sad and poignant, yet it has its funny moments and terrifying ones as well. I felt sad at the ending, but then I usually do whenever I finish one of Gaiman's books. The wonder of reading a Neil Gaiman story is well worth the pain of saying goodbye to it at the end though, so I'm pretty sure I'll keep reading Gaiman's stories as long as he keeps writing them.

More books from Neil Gaiman:

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Book Meme

Book-related, and fun! I found this meme on Booking Through Thursday, and i thought it'd be fun to answer, so:

What was the last book you bought?

Master, an erotica novel about The Count of Monte Cristo. Hey, I love The Count of Monte Cristo, and although I've never read erotica before, I've heard so much about it that I figured this book would be a great place to start. =)

Name a book you have read MORE than once

Whoa, I've got loads! Some I've read so many times that I don't even keep track anymore. The list includes:

  • Gone With The Wind
  • Scarlett
  • Daddy-Long-Legs
  • Anne of Green Gables
  • Season of Passage
  • The Light Bearer
  • Imperial Woman
and so many more

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Of course, every book I read makes me question things, some more than others, perhaps the one which started the change was The Valley of the Dolls, but that's probably because it was one of the first 'adult' novels I read.

How do you choose a book? eg. cover design, summary, reviews, recommendations

It depends on the type of book; if it's chic-lit, I choose by cover design, if it's literary fiction, I choose by recommendations and reviews, if it's non-fiction, I choose by subject matter....etc

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

I honestly can't say. I enjoy both, and I probably couldn't choose between either. They both have their place and purpose, and both have contributed to my improvement and growth.

What's more important in a novel - beautiful writing or gripping plot?

Well, again, it depends on the type of book, doesn't it? =)

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

Hmm....I have plenty and I like them all for different reasons. At the moment, the ones that come to mind are; Tyrion from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, Aurianne from Donna Gillespie's The Light Bearer, in fact, at the moment, many characters from A Song of Ice and Fire are quite interesting to me, like Jon Snow, Arya Stark, Jaime Lannister, but Tyrion Lannister stands out the most. I'm really quite intrigued by him.

Which books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

Some chic-lit for light reading, a non-fiction book about book groups called Good Books Lately, an enlightening spiritual book called Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom, which talks about wisdom in relation to the 78 cards in a Tarot deck, a fantasy short-story compilation simply entitled Fantasy, and a book I'm reviewing called The Soul of Money.

What was the last book you've read, and when was it?

A Little Black Dress chic-lit, I stayed up late last night to finish it. =)

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Many times. Some I gave up for good and will never ever pick up again, some I still hold some hope that I will finish eventually.


That's about it. Anyone else who wants to have fun with this meme is welcome to play. Please put your link to your post in the comments too, so that I can check them out.

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