Just when I thought I have signed up enough reading challenges to last me for a year (or perhaps two), I found some more new challenges coming right up my alley! Didn't I mention to you guys that this stuff is addictive? :D You bet it is. Anyway, let me share these with you and hopefully you will join in the fun as well.
  1. From The Stacks Reading Challenge

    The rules: Read 5 books that you have already purchased, have been meaning to get to, have been sitting on the nightstand and haven't read before (No buying of new books, and no getting sidetracked by the lure of the holiday bookstore displays).

    Time Frame: November 1, 2007 through January 30, 2008

    (Please click here for more details.)

  2. "What's In A Name?" Reading Challenge

    The rules: Choose one book from each of the following categories.

    1. A book with a color in its title. Examples might include: The Amber Spyglass, The Red Pony, Blue Blood

    2. A book with an animal in its title. Examples might include: The Hound of the Baskervilles, To Kill a Mockingbird, Julie of the Wolves

    3. A book with a first name in its title. Examples might include: Jane Eyre, the Harry Potter books, Anne of Green Gables

    4. A book with a place in its title. Examples might include: From Russia with Love, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Out of Africa

    5. A book with a weather event in its title. Examples might include: The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Red Storm Rising, Tornado Alley

    6. A book with a plant in its title. Examples might include: Where the Red Fern Grows, The Name of the Rose, Flowers for Algernon

    You may overlap books with other challenges, but please don't use the same book for more than one category. (For example, you can use The Red Pony for either a "color" book or an "animal" book, but not for both.)

    Time Frame: January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2008

    (Please click here for more details.)


ISBN-13: 9780060833985
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 419pp
Pub. Date: October 2005

This is a true story of a Labrador retriever named Marley and the Grogan's family. When John and Jenny first started their marriage life together, they thought it was good practice and experience to get a dog before planning for a family. And that was when they found Marley, and life will never be the same for them then.

And so, under the great care of the Grogan's family, Marley has grown into a ninety-seven pound canine and he was so hyperactive that even the obedience school had to 'kick' him out. Everyone thought he was a disaster, but in fact he just wanted a little fun and some attention. I was both glad and relieved to read that the Grogan's family didn't give up on him despite his behaviour. But what most touches me was this scene:

"As the days turned into weeks and the weeks into months, Marley came to accept Patrick as his new best friend. One night early on, as I was turning off the lights to go to bed, I couldn't find Marley anywhere. Finally I thought to look in the nursery, and there he was stretched out on the floor beside Patrick's crib, the two of them snoring away in stereophonic fraternal bliss.

Marley, our wild crashing bronco was different around Patrick. He seemed to understand that this was a fragile, defenseless little human, and he moved gingerly whenever he was near him, licking his face and ears delicately. He was a gentle giant around Patrick, and he accepted his second-fiddle status with bonhomie and good-natured resignation."

And then finally when it was time for the Grogan's family to say goodbye to Marley, I cried. (He seemed more like a child than a pet to me.) I have never own any dog in my life, but yet I could feel the emotions that the Grogan's family had gone through.

John has a writing style that captivates the readers from the beginning. And I applaud him for writing this book as a tribute to Marley.

Other Bloggers' reviews:
Dog Ear Diary
Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic
Guess what? I managed to make it to the NaNoWriMo Launch Party on Saturday at the Earshot Cafe at The Arts House (with the accompany of the hubs and our daughter)!!! It was nice to see old faces, and also I was glad to see there are more newbies joining in too!

Participants signing up at the Launch Party.

These are some stickers found in our goodies bag.
Mine read "Be Nice To Me or I'll put you in my NOVEL". LOL!

Once we have signed up, we are asked to play this game. The rules are pretty simple: You just have to construct a sentence based on the last sentence on the screen (which was done by the participant before you). And you are not allowed to scroll up and down to peek what others were writing, you just have to follow the flow of it. We have had a good laugh when the Municipal Liaison (ML) read out our "full story" after that.

Our ML (known as "Rozen" at our Nanowrimo local forum) kicks off the party by introducing everyone. (You won't see me on the pic as I was the photographer, hehe!)

Everyone sat back and enjoyed the warm and cozy ambience while sharing jokes and playing some quizzes. The winner gets to win this book! (Unfortunately it wasn't me! Sniff...sniff...)

Here's a peek of our goodies bag. The items we received are:

  • A blank CD to store our Nanowrimo Novel;
  • Some candies to perk your creative juices;
  • A temporary tattoo to stick on as a reminder;
  • "BE NICE To Me or I'll put you in my NOVEL" sticker;
  • A rubber band;
  • A small note on the definition of Nanowrimo;
  • A clip;
  • "My Internal Editor" Sheet for scribbling;
  • A strip of yellow dots sticker;
  • A 'surprise' red packet which was labelled "Emergency Plot Item". (I find a nice tiny plastic toy in there!)

All in all, it was a great launch party! I was glad I went although I'm still debating whether or not to participate in NaNoWriMo this year...and that only leaves me a day to consider since it will begin on this coming Thursday! Woohoo!

Once again, Darla has tagged me with this meme. Here goes:

A Little About Us

The basic facts:
Who is your significant other? Johnathan
How long have you been together? 10+ years.
Dating/Engaged/Married? Married.
How old is your S.O.? Don't laugh...but what is S.O. anyway? (Edited: I have finally figured out the initials. I can't believe it has stumped me at first! I must be dreaming, haha! Let's put it this way, we are the same age; his bday is in Nov while I'm in Dec, hehe.)
What’s his/her middle name? N.A.

Which one?
Who eats more? He does.
Who says "I love you" first? Him.
Who weighs more? He does.
Who sings better? Him. I don't really like to sing anyway.
Who’s older? Him.
Who’s smarter? Him.
Whose temper is worse? I admit I'm more quick tempered, hehe.
Who does the laundry? Me.
Who does the dishes? Me.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me. Then again, it depends if we are staying in a hotel or something.
Whose feet are bigger? His, of course.
Whose hair is longer? Mine, definitely.
Who’s better with the computer? Him.
Who mows the lawn? We don't have a lawn as we are staying in an apartment.
Who pays the bills? Him.
Who cooks dinner? Me.
Who drives when you are together? We don't own a car.
Who pays when you go out to dinner? He does.
Who's the most stubborn? Er... I guess it's me. Hehe.
Who is the first one to admit when they’re wrong? Depends on the situations.
Whose parents do you see more? His. Couldn't help it when we are staying so near to one another, hehe.
Who named your dog? We don't have a dog. But his parents have one and his name is Junior. It was his younger brother who named it.
Who kisses who first? You mean during our dates? He initiated them, I just went with the flow. LOL.
Who asked who out? We started hanging out as friends. I was shy then so I wouldn't ask a guy out even though if I was interested, LOL.
Who's more sensitive? Me.
Who's taller? He is.
Who has more friends? I think he has more friends than me, though he hasn't been hanging around with them since most of us have families. But we do get-together on occasions like Chinese New Year or when someone is throwing a birthday party for the child.
Who has more siblings? Him. He has an elder and a younger brother. I only have a younger sister.
Who wears the pants in the relationship? I think it's him more than me, which I wouldn't mind as long as we respect each other's decisions.

I will tag Alice, Kathy and Wendy and anyone who's interested in playing this meme.
Labels: 6 comments | edit post
Friday's Feast

Name a great website you would recommend to others.
One is definitely not enough. I would recommend B&N, Amazon and a few book blogs you see at the right side of my blog. ;)

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 as highest), how often do you dream at night?
Probably a 3. I don't often dream, and most of the times I don't recall the details unless they are real shocking or frightening.

Did you have a pet as a child? If so, what kind and what was its name?
I kept some pets during my primary school days (a chick, tortoises, hamsters etc). I didn't name any of them though.

Main Course
If you had the chance to star in a commercial, what would you choose to advertise?
Anything to do with food! Haha.

What is your favorite kind of hard candy?
Ricola candies. And the best thing is they comes in several flavours.

Today’s suggestion is from Cereal Box Reader

I would enjoy reading a meme about people’s abandoned books. The books that you start but don’t finish say as much about you as the ones you actually read, sometimes because of the books themselves or because of the circumstances that prevent you from finishing. So . . . what books have you abandoned and why?

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!

Most of the times I will finish a book because I hate to give it up halfway through since I have already spend half of my time reading it. However, there are times that I find it is just impossible to carry on reading so I will just give it up. This is the case where I find the story is going to nowhere (e.g. the plot drags and/or beating around the bush) or when I find the plot doesn't interest me anymore. And finally the last reason is that the book just isn't my cup of tea.

Two examples of the latter will be:

1) Paulo Coelho's Veronika Decides To Die (I just find the story depressing.)

2) Stephen King's Cell (I admit I wasn't interested about zombies story.)

Don't get me wrong. Although both of them are great talented authors and I did enjoy some of their other works, it was just that the above stories didn't hold my interest. I'm sure there are some other books which fits in this category but I couldn't recall them at the moment...


Your Love is Represented by a Purple Rose

For you, love is all about chemistry and attraction. You totally believe in love at first sight.

If a relationship is right, you know it from the start.

You're often sure of your feelings. And you're not afraid to express them.

WoRdS oN WEdnEsDay

Word for 24 October: ignoble

  • Of low birth or family; not noble; not illustrious; plebeian; common; humble.
  • Not noble in quality, character, or purpose; characterized by baseness, lowness, or meanness.
Noun: ignobility, ignobleness
Adverb: ignobly

1. degraded, dishonorable, ignominious, contemptible.
3. lowly, obscure, plebeian, peasant.

1. honorable.
2. superior.

ISBN-13: 9780380807345
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers, 162pp
Pub. Date: August 2003

I absolutely love this story! And I don't care if this story is meant for the children/YA. I just love it! Neil Gaiman is such a talented fantasy writer. It is no wonder there are so many readers (regardless of young or mature) love reading his books.

Coraline often wonders if her parents truly love her, because they seem so busy about their work. She is bored with her life until a day she stumbles upon a locked door in the drawing room. She managed to get it open with her mother's help, but to her disappointment it reveals only a brick wall. She is very curious about this door, so she tries again another day and finally she sees something different this time. Inside the room it reveals a passageway which leads to another place. That place looks exactly like her home, but she could feel something's strange about it.

Later she gets to meet her "other" parents in this place; they look exactly like her own parents except they have creepy black button eyes and they appear to be move loving to her. However, Coraline begins to realize that her "other" parents are being possessive, and at this time her real parents are under their hands and Coraline has to think of a way to get her real parents back. Coraline then made a deal with her "other" mother, and that is if she managed to find her real parents, all of them will be released, otherwise Coraline will have to be with her "other" parents forever.

So Coraline begins her nightmarish task, with the help of a cat and a stone she received from her neighbours earlier. Towards the end of the story, she even came up with a clever plan to be rid of her "other" mother.

I started reading this book last evening and finished it early this morning, not because it is an easy read but because the story is so exciting! Neil Gaiman has delivered a great creepy story that will stay in my mind for some time. And another thing I like about this book is there are some illustrations (by Dave McKean) that makes this story so much interesting and intriguing. I will definitely check out his other books (and this includes the children's fictions).

Other Bloggers' reviews:
Hello, My Name Is Alice
Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic
The Hidden Side of s Leaf

Darla tagged me with this meme.

The Alternate Name Meme.

1.YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car)
NA (I don't recall naming my first pet, plus I don't own a car)

2. YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (fave ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
Vanilla Oreos

3. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name) M-Lee

4. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
Blue Penguin

5. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, city where you were born)
NA (As a Chinese, I don't have any middle name)

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first)

7. SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)
The Pink Green Tea...hmm...perhaps it's better to be 'The Pink Jasmine Tea', that sounds so much better, haha.

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)
My grandfathers were no longer around since I was young, so I have no idea what was their full names except their surnames.

9. STRIPPER NAME: (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy)
Green Tea Chocolate

10.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )
NA (see #5)

11. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)
Tan Texas

12. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)
Autumn Tulip

13. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)
Mango Skirty

14. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree)
Bread Willow

15. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)
The Reading Cloudy Tour

16. Your Porn Name: (First Pet + Name of street you grew up on)
NA (see #1)

I won't tag anyone but if you are interested in playing, consider yourself tagged! :D But don't forget to leave a comment here as I'd love to read your answers.
Labels: 3 comments | edit post

ISBN-13: 9780843952407
Publisher: Leisure Books, 371pp
Pub. Date: September 2003

I have never read anything by Graham Masterton, but I read a review on this book somewhere and was intrigued by the plot, so I decided to read it. Also, this is my pick and the last book I read for the R.I.P II Challenge which will end in October. I cannot believe that I have finally completed the list!

The Doorkeepers
is a creepy read in my opinion. Julia Winward thought she has found a great job, but she never expected it would be the last day of her life when her boss asked her to go with him to meet a client after work one evening. She was brutally mutilated and her body was tossed in the Thames river. The police didn't have a clue about the murder and its motive, but one thing they were sure of was this wasn't the first case they had encountered.

When Josh heard that her sister was murdered, he was determined to find out what had happened to her. So together with his girlfriend, Nancy, they left for London. But instead of finding answers, they came up with more questions. For example, the company where Julia worked and the place where she used to stay didn't exist. Later, they met one of Julia's friend, Ella who also happens to be a psychic. Together with Ella's help and some clues of a nursery rhyme left by an elderly woman they met by chance, they then found a doorway which leads to the other dimension, where Oliver Cromwell was the patron saint and they had to escape from the dreaded hooded men who would take down people who came uninvited to their world. But what most terrifying was this place was also where Julia was first murdered.

This book was a page-turner to me. The story is intriguing and it just gets better especially the part where Josh and Nancy had gone to the other dimension to look for Julia. I find it very creepy about that scene and often wonder if there is such a thing in reality.

You may or may not have seen my post at Punctuality Rules Tuesday, about a book I recently bought that had the actual TITLE misspelled on the spine of the book. A glaring typographical error that really (really!) should have been caught. So, using that as a springboard, today’s question: What’s the worst typographical error you’ve ever found in (or on) a book?

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!

Although I don't recall seeing any major typographical error in (or on) books (at least nothing like having the title misspelled), but I did come across some minor errors like misspelled or a repeating of a word which I don't think will affect my reading pleasure. I think I can cope with that since I understand that human makes mistakes, unless there are a few mistakes made in various chapters of the book which I think is really unbelievable.

ISBN-10: 0312939930
Format: Paperback, 352pp
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Pub. Date: June 2007

This is the fourth installment of Lora Leigh's Tempting SEALs series. This is one of my picks for the 2nds Challenge Read, and I had a great time reading this with Julia.

Ever since Senator Stanton ruined drug lord, Diego Fuentes' plan, he had feared for her daughter's safety. In the past he had had several bodyguards to keep an eye on Emily, but due to her stubborness and her fierce independent character they didn't last, until Kell Krieger came along. However this time, Senator Stanton had came up with another strategy. He wanted Kell to pose as Emily's lover in order not to have his cover blown. Emily strongly objected to her father's plan, but Senator Stanton was firm about his decision.

Kell Krieger knew the Stanton's family for years, and he had watched Emily in between his missions. Haunted by his past, he vowed to himself that he would protect Emily at all costs but Emily didn't make things easy for him as she wanted to be in control of her life. It didn't matter even if she had loved him all her life when she was younger.

But the attractions they had for each other was getting on too strong, and little did they know that Diego Fuentes was slowing catching up on them as the latter had a spy who had been feeding him information.

I enjoyed reading this steamy romance suspense. It is always a joy to read those sexy Alpha male heroes and how they fell in love with their heroines during their missions. In this case, the hero had known the heroine since they were young so I could feel the strong and intense attractions they had for each other. I liked the heroine's never-say-die attitude even though there were times that her behaviour annoyed me. But nonetheless I still admire her bravery for standing up for herself and saying no under some circumstances.

There is a short excerpt at the end of the book so I knew there will be another installment featuring these sexy SEALs. I can't wait to read it.

Here is a list of Lora Leigh's Tempting SEAL series:
  1. Dangerous Games (Read my review here)
OK, so I'm already married and have a kid, but that doesn't stop me from playing this quiz. LOL!

You Will Be a Modern Bride!

While you aren't ready to throw away all wedding traditions, you want a wedding with a twist

You're more inspired by celebrity weddings on E! than from bridal magazines

Whether this means getting married on the beach barefoot or a mariachi band for the reception...

Your wedding will be a blend of old and new - white dress cocktail, personalized vows, whatever suites you!!!


wOrDS oN WEdnEsdAy

Word for 17 October: puckish

Definition: Whimsical; mischievous; impish

Adjective: puckishly

Noun: puckishness

OK, so Julia tagged me with this meme. Here goes...

The Library Thing Meme

These are the top 106 books most often marked as 'unread' by LibraryThing's users.
The rules: bold what you have read, italicize what you started but couldn't finish, strike through what you couldn't stand and underline those you have no intention of reading.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (149)
Anna Karenina (132)
Crime and Punishment (121)
Catch-22 (117)
One Hundred Years of Solitude (115)
Wuthering Heights (110)
The Silmarillion (104)
Life of Pi: a Novel (94)
The Name of the Rose (91)
Don Quixote (91)
Moby Dick (86)
Ulysses (84)
Madame Bovary (83)
The Odyssey (83)
** Pride and Prejudice (83)
Jane Eyre (80)
A Tale of Two Cities (80)
The Brothers Karamazov (80)
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (79)
War and Peace (78)
Vanity Fair (74)
The Time Traveler's Wife (74)
The Iliad (73)
Emma (73)
* The Blind Assassin (73)
* The Kite Runner (71)
Mrs. Dalloway (70)
Great Expectations (70)
American Gods (68)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (67)
Atlas Shrugged (67)
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a Memoir in Books (66)
Memoirs of a Geisha (66)
Middlesex (66)
Quicksilver (66)
Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (65)
The Canterbury Tales (64)
The Historian: a Novel (63)
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (63)
Love in the Time of Cholera (62)
Brave New World (61)
The Fountainhead (61)
Foucault's Pendulum (61)
Middlemarch (61)
Frankenstein (59)
The Count of Monte Cristo (59)
Dracula (59)
A Clockwork Orange (59)
Anansi Boys (58)
The Once and Future King (57)
The Grapes of Wrath (57)
The Poisonwood Bible: a Novel (57)
1984 (57)
* Angels & Demons (56)
The Inferno (56)
The Satanic Verses (55)
*** Sense and sensibility (55)
The Picture of Dorian Gray (55)
*** Mansfield Park (55)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (54)
To the Lighthouse (54)
Tess of the D'Urbervilles (54)
Oliver Twist (54)
Gulliver's Travels (53)
Les Misérables (53)
The Corrections (53)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (52)
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (52)
Dune (51)
The Prince (51)
The Sound and the Fury (51)
Angela's Ashes: a Memoir (51)
The God of Small Things (51)
A People's History of the United States: 1492-Present (51)
Cryptonomicon (50)
* Neverwhere (50)
A Confederacy of Dunces (50)
A Short History of Nearly Everything (50)
Dubliners (50)
The Unbearable Lightness of Being (49)
Beloved (49)
Slaughterhouse-Five (49)
The Scarlet Letter (48)
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (48)
The Mists of Avalon (47)
Oryx and Crake: a Novel (47)
Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (47)
Cloud Atlas (47)
The Confusion (46)
Lolita (46)
*** Persuasion (46)
*** Northanger Abbey (46)
The Catcher in the Rye (46)
On the Road (46)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (45)
Freakonomics : a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything (45)
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: an Inquiry into Values (45)
The Aeneid (45)
Watership Down (44)
Gravity's Rainbow (44)
The Hobbit (44)
In Cold Blood: a True Account of a Multiple Murder and its Consequences (44)
White Teeth (44)
Treasure Island (44)
David Copperfield (44)
The Three Musketeers (44)

* TBR Pile
** Currently Reading
*** To-Buy Next

I almost hung my head in shame after doing this meme. (If this is a test, I would have failed miserably.) It definitely seems like there are lots of books which I haven't read...yet. This further shows that I need to catch up with all my reading! :P

I am not going to tag anyone, but please leave me a comment if you are interested in playing so I can come visit!
Labels: 5 comments | edit post
Thanks to Melissa, now I have found Cafe Writing - another great site that will help with my writing...

Here is my entry for the October Project:

Option Five: Pick Three

Pick at least three of the following eight words, and write a paragraph, essay or poem using them. It’s fine to change tenses, or pluralize if you have to, but please bold the words you chose.

dream, weed, spirit, listen, crisp, shallow, tenuous, mischievous


I was pulling the weeds at my backyard in the crisp October morning when I heard a scream. I paused and listened, but there was nothing but the rustling sound of the dry leaves as the wind blew them across the cement pathway, and a mischievous squirrel scurrying on a tree branch after it noticed my head jerked towards its direction.

“I must be dreaming and hearing things,” I told myself and went back to pulling the weeds. Just when I decided to brush the thoughts away, I could hear the scream again and it was louder this time.

I dropped my gardening tool and stood up. It was time for an investigation. I was outside the gate of my house when I saw Madeline, my neighbour’s child holding an empty bottle in her hands. Her face looked hot and flushed to me.

“What happened, Madeline? You seem to be in a high spirits,” I said.

“It’s Jason, Aunt Cherie! He’s scaring people with his frogs!” Madeline pointed towards her house’s backyard. Jason was her seven-year-old elder brother.

“And what are you holding on your hand? I suppose you’re his accomplice?” I teased.

“No! He wants to put those little frogs into this bottle, but I refused! They'll surely suffocate in it,” She held the bottle tightly against her chest as if she was worried that I would snatch it away from her and gave it to Jason.

“I promise you I won’t do anything. Now will you lead the way and show me where Jason is?” I asked.

She hesitated for a few seconds and finally nodded her head.

She led me towards their backyard and I could see a shallow pond with murky waters. There wasn’t even a trace of a frog and Jason was nowhere to be seen.

“Where’s Jason?” I asked, looking around.

“That’s strange. He’s here just now,” Madeline was puzzled too about his sudden disappearance.

Then I felt something wet and spongy brushed against my naked toes. I looked down and saw there were five frogs at my feet. At that moment, I wished I had worn a pair of boots instead of a pair of flip-flops because I had a phobia with frogs since I was younger and unfortunately it didn’t go away as years went by.

I couldn’t help it; it was my turn to scream this time.


Note: Cheesy eh? But that's me because I'm really scared of frogs, hehe...

PS: This also can be found on my new writing blog.

I feel so honoured to have received this award from one of my dear bloggie friends - Alice. And it's my pleasure to know her because she is such an easy-going and a thoughtful friend. Do visit her blog to find out more about her and her thoughts.

Thank you, Alice! :-)

Finally, I would like to share this award to my following bloggie friends:
  • Wendy of Musings of a Bookish Kitty (Her book reviews rocks!)
  • Melissa of Bibliotica (I love the way she writes!)
  • Kathy of *RittyRats* (She has great photography talents! One of her submissions has been selected for the upcoming 2008 calendar!)
Labels: 8 comments | edit post

Week of October 14: Have you ever seen a ghost?

Keeping with the 'spirit' of Halloween this weeks questions are: Have you ever seen a ghost? Know someone who has? Do you believe in ghosts?

This week's topic is interesting. I'm not sure if the encounter I had experienced several years ago can be considered one, but still it gives me goosebumps whenever I thought of it.

During my high school days, the flushing system for the restrooms was all manual (although I'm sure they must have changed now), so you simply couldn't flush the bowl without pushing down the lever. But on one particular day, I heard the flushing sound coming from the far end of the cubicle. And the strange thing was, the door was opened and no one seemed to be using it (because if she had, she would have came out the time while I was washing my hands). And remember I said the flushing system wasn't manual, so that left only one explanation... Of course I didn't go ahead and have it checked, I was simply too terrified so without saying, I left the restroom quickly.

As for whether or not do I believe in ghosts, I don't think anyone can explain stuff like this. Someone might say they believe in this wholeheartedly, while someone might say there is no such thing as ghosts in this world... However, I will say I prefer the word 'soul' rather than 'ghost'.

It was the last day of our vacation! I can't believe our five-day Taipei trip had finally came to an end. *sniff sniff* We had enjoyed ourselves and not to mention the trip was an eye opener for us. I will definitely visit Taipei again if I have the chance in future.

We didn't go to many places that day because the coach picked us at 11.20am to the airport. However, we made an effort to wake up extra early so we could walk around nearby. We stumbled upon a fruit stall at a nearby market (I love fruit!), and I am thrilled to find passion fruits because I don't think our local stalls have them.

Some shops we found nearby the streets.


So we didn't get to see many places because the time to leave Taipei has finally arrived! The hubs managed to shoot this pic when we were in the coach on our way to the airport. And I love seeing the clouds - so beautiful that they made me think of cotton candy.

Taipei Taoyuan International Airport. Time to check in our luggage and so forth. (Yeah, that's me holding onto my daughter with her Doraemon bag.)

Looking out of the window from the plane.

More cotton candy... Oops, I mean clouds.

So that's it, folks. My brief summary of our Taipei trip is done. I hope you have enjoyed reading them.

(Note: While typing this, I'm still thinking of their wonderful Mango Ice... ahh...Bliss.)


I said in August, when we talked about fan mail, that I planned on expanding that to live meetings when the time was right. Well, that time is now!

  • Have you ever met one of your favorite authors? Gotten their autograph?
  • How about an author you felt only so-so about, but got their autograph anyway? Like, say, at a book-signing a friend dragged you to?
  • How about stumbling across a book signing or reading and being so captivated, you bought the book?

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!

Nope. I have never been to any booksigning or have the chance to meet any of my favourite authors (the reason being I'm not living in the US, or I might have missed when they were here). Although I didn't get to meet them in person, I am very fortunate that I managed to get some of their autographs - in the mail! This happened a few years back when I visited their websites and left them some comments, telling them how much I love their books and if it is possible for them to send me an autograph. Most of them replied they will, and some even go to the extent of sending me bookplates and other goodies. I was so thrilled! Even though we didn't meet face-to-face, but I felt the exchange between the author and myself which is another great experience for me.


Right... I'm helping to spread the words.

If you are living in Singapore and would like to participate in Nanowrimo (National Novel Writing Month) which begins in November, please register yourself at its official website and stick a yes to the thread in our Singapore forums if you are keen to attend the launch party. This will be held on 27 October (Saturday) from 2.30pm till 5pm at the Earshot Cafe (The Arts House). What's more, they have goodies bag to give away too!

I had a great time meeting all wannabe writers during the Nanowrimo launch last year, and I will definitely attend this party again if nothing crops up at the last minute! :D


ISBN-13: 9780060898915
Pub. Date: February 2007
Format: Paperback, 464pp
Publisher: Eos
Series: Signs of the Zodiac Series, #1

With the paranormal genre flooding the market lately, I'm just glad that Vicki Pettersson's debut doesn't disappoint. She has a unique voice (not to mention an original plot and the beginning of a great new series) that stands out from the other authors.

The heroine, Joanna Archer escaped the hands of death during a brutal assault when she was sixteen. She then learnt martial arts in the following years, and telling herself she would not let anything hurt her again. But trouble seems to find her anyway, and now she has to force herself to shed away her old self and take on another in the form of a member of the Zodiac of Light, after when her blind date nearly have her killed and that she sees her sister dead before her eyes. Thus it begins Joanna's adventure where we see her defeating their villian, the Shadow Zodiac with the team.

But Joanna is more than what she seems, for she is born of equal parts Shadow and Light. And she has to prove to herself, as well to her other members that she will save the city from further destruction.

This story is emotionally charged and fast paced. I am sure readers of Laurell K Hamilton or Kim Harrison will like this new series.
(Note: I have been sick yesterday...sorry about the late post!)

How time flies! Before we knew it, we were already at our fourth day in Taipei. By this time, we were already used to the route we took from the hotel to the nearest MRT Station (Longshan Temple Station). Our itinerary on this day was as follows:

This is an outside view of Dalongdong Baoan Temple (大龍峒保安宫). Notice we didn't shoot any pictures inside any temple due to respect to the Buddhas.

So after having our lunch at Danshui Station, we took this bus to our next destination - Fisherman's Wharf. We have heard good remarks about this place, and that it's beautiful at night but of course we couldn't wait until evening because the distance from here back to our hotel isn't nearby.

There it is - Fisherman's Wharf (渔人码头). If the daytime view is considered pretty, I can't imagine about the evening view.

The bridge is also known as the 'Lovers' Bridge'. I heard this is one of the hotspots for the dating couples, hehe.

Look at these boats! Can you count how many of them? I couldn't as there were too many! I was glad the weather wasn't too hot then, although the sky did look a little gloomy.

I like this particular boat with the Fisherman's Wharf logo on it.

A capture from the bridge looking down.

We found this interesting tree during our walk to the wharf. We gather the tree must be quite old by looking at its roots.

So after visited the Fisherman's Wharf, we took the bus back to Danshui Station. We saw this dessert shop before we went to Fisherman's Wharf but of course we saved the best for the last. LOL. If the mango ice we took on the previous day was good, this one was even greater! Just one look at the toppings (chunks of mangoes, strawberries & kiwis plus a scoop of mango ice cream) is enough to have you drooling... Originally I wanted to order a bowl of Strawberries Ice, but the staff told us that it will only be sold during winter season. Oh! What a pity! (Although I didn't ask further, but don't you find it strange that they could serve bits of strawberries here?)

After having the yummy-licious dessert, we stopped at Jiantan Station to visit Shilin Night Market. I find the interior of the station interesting.

This is the Shilin Market (士林夜市). You can find many eating stalls over here. We only tried the fried chicken cutlet because there was a queue and we thought it should be good. And indeed it was!

Inside Shilin Market. I found several stalls that are selling desserts. (I think I will grow fat if I keep on having their desserts here, hehe.)

We mingled with the crowd and did some more 'exploring' before we returned to the hotel to have a good rest because we were be leaving the next day. Ahhh....

End of Day 4 - To be continued...

WorDS on WedNeSDay

Word for 10 October: abulia

Definition: Loss or impairment of the ability to act or to make decisions

Adjective: abulic

I would like to thank everyone for your participation. It has been a pleasure (and not to mention fun) to hold this draw. And on top of it, it is always great to give and share.

And so, I have the names randomly drawn this morning... and the winners are:

Congratulations to all winners!

Please email me at melreadingcornerATgmailDOTcom with your name and mailing address so that I can send out the book as soon as possible.
This is a sticky post! Please scroll down for more new entries!

This week is the BAFAB (Buy a Friend a Book) Week. As stated in my previous post, I'm going to give the following 3 books to 3 lucky participants:

  1. The Dollmaker by Amanda Stevens
  2. Before Sunrise by Diana Palmer
  3. The Mathematics of Love by Emma Darwin (different cover from Amazon)
How to win:

Just leave a comment here and state which you book you would like to win and I will put your name in the draw. The closing date is 7 October. I will then randomly draw the names and post the results on 8 October.

Good luck!

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you look forward to your birthday?

10. Well, birthday falls only once every year, so of course I'm looking forward to it.
(By the way, Happy Birthday to Julia! :D)

What is one word you don’t like the sound, spelling, or meaning of?

(Ack! Enough said. Not that it happened to me before though...)

Do you wear sunglasses when you’re outside? If so, what does your current pair look like?

Nope. I don't have any sunglasses.

Main Course
If you were to write a book, to whom would you dedicate it?

How I wish this is true! Miraculously if this happens, I'd like to dedicate it to my mom. She had always told us to have faith in ourselves no matter what we do.

Name a beverage that you enjoy.

Green tea! And I never get tired drinking it everyday!


ISBN: 0007160631
Format: Paperback, 304pp
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Pub. Date: July 2004

This is a fun read. Kavita Daswani has written this story with dry wit and humor that is so entertaining that I laughed out loud at some of the scenes. I have also learnt a lot about Indian culture through this book and will definitely look out for more books written by Indian authors.

Priya (the protagonist of this story) comes from a conversative Indian family, and her parents would like to see her getting married one day. So they were overjoyed when they found Sanjay being the man for their daughter. So Priya and Sanjay got married after they had just met for a week, and Priya moved into his family in America since Sanjay had been living there all his life. She is also advised to talk less and obey his family and everything will be great, but she is bored and not knowing what to do being in another country.

Finally, her mother-in-law allows her to look for a job but it has to be simple and doesn't bring "disrepute" to the family. Priya managed to find a receptionist position at the Hollywood Insider, where they cover stories on all the mega superstars. Then a strange twist of fate led her to become a journalist, but she had to keep it a secret from her in-laws because she knew they will never approve of her job. And she has difficulty sharing the news to Sanjay because being the only son in the family, she knew her husband will listen to his parents. Priya took pride in her job, but towards the end when the secrets were out and Sanjay thought she was insane of thinking they needed a counselling course, Priya decided she had to make a tough decision between her work and family.

This is not an original story, but it mentions issues that some women are dealing with today. Another plus side of this story is the characters are real to me, right down to their dialogues. Although I find the ending a little abrupt and cheesy, but I'm sure this is what some women might have hoped for in their real life.

Do you have “issues” with too much profanity or overly explicit (ahem) “romantic” scenes in books? Or do you take them in stride? Have issues like these ever caused you to close a book? Or do you go looking for more exactly like them? (grin)

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!

Well, I suppose I can read anything and definitely have no issue with it, but of course there is a limit to it (i.e. if the book focus mainly on sex and not much story plot). Being a reader of the romance genre, I can fully understand the sexy scenes in the books because we get to see the passionate side of the couple being in love. So far, I'm quite comfortable with the scenes unless you are talking about erotica, which is another different matter.

We are back to our own schedule on the third day. We didn't visit too many places on our third day. I think partly because some of our planned trip were already covered in our city tour the previous day (e.g. CKS Memorial Hall and National Palace Museum).

So we visited Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall (国立国父纪念馆). And here is the statue of Sun Yat-sen.

An outside view of the Memorial Hall. My husband shot this angle to show a comparison between the traditional and the modern architectural (Taipei 101).

Front view of the Memorial Hall.

So after lunch, we took the MRT to City Hall Station and from there, we took a free shuttle bus to Taipei 101 (台北101). As you have guessed, there are 101 stories in this building. What a spectacular view!

Besides that, there is also a mall in this building. How cool is that?! Of course I had to shop around! And on top of that, I found a bookstore! I bought two books there - School's Out and Broken For You.
(Note: Wendy, thanks for your great review! Because of this, I bought the latter :D)

Interesting ceiling we saw inside the mall. What does it makes you think of?

We saw these interesting 'pyramids' located outside the building. When I stepped closer to have a good look, I could see some shops beneath.

So after visited Taipei 101 (we spent almost the whole afternoon here), we took the MRT to Ximending to have our dinner. (Seems like we couldn't get enough of Ximending. There are so many things to see there!) Anyway, I found this shop where they are selling desserts and just couldn't resist this. Chunks of mangoes on top of grated ice. This is yummy!!! Reminds me of our good ole Ice Kachang.

We happened to see a full moon at Ximending. And then it dawned on me that it was Mid-Autumn Festival that day. No wonder the moon looked so big and round.

So that's the end of our third day in Taipei. To be continued...