I didn't realize I have overspent this month until I received my bank statement. Yikes!!! So I have been doing a lot of online shopping for the past few weeks... And although I would still prefer the 'traditional' style of shopping - browsing the stores, seeing and touching the stuff before I buy, I do find pleasure in shopping online because it is all so convenient (especially when it comes to books that I couldn't find at bookstores; and the online bookstore which I shop frequently usually have their stocks). All I need to do is just a click of the buttons and the items will be delivered to me. How convenient, but I have also forgotten how this convenience will make a drastic effect on my bank account, haha.

Anyway, back to the issue on online shopping. So what did I buy recently? I bought this handmade basket tote which comes with a matching eyeglass pouch and don't you have to agree it is sweet?! I fell in love the moment I set my eyes on it, so of course I have to have it! Moreover, I am obsessed with bags the way some others are obsessed with clothing or shoes. ;-P

(Picture provided by the seller at Etsy)

And there of course, I bought books! I have been adding a lot of books to my wishlist after reading all the great reviews (Thank you, my dear blogger friends!), so naturally I have to add them to my TBR pile (Maybe next I need to buy a bookshelf since I have already run out of space and my poor books have to find their place in our storeroom!).

Here is a list of books I bought:

Edited to Add:

... and finally, a subscription to Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazines which I received my first copy yesterday. I have not browsed all but I had a great time reading a few articles. There is one column that grabbed my attention about whether or not should the authors stop the series, and how long is too long for a series to continue? I find it interesting to read the authors and the readers' point of view. The magazine also features the upcoming releases which I find it informative (so that I won't miss them when they are out!) and a few authors' interviews as well. I am definitely looking forward to reading it when I get home from work today.

So did you buy anything lately? :-)

Dewey from The Hidden Side of a Leaf is hosting the Weekly Geeks (please click here for more details and how to join) and in this week the theme is Discover New Blogs Week!

It's always fun to explore new blogs and make new friends along the way, so let me share with you the blogs I have visited:

Kay's Bookshelf - Kay has written some good reviews, which range from short stories to memoirs. I happen to find a few new authors after reading them too.

Naked Without Books - Bybee, another avid reader who is living in South Korea! Maybe I can learn more about their culture and their lifestyle from her besides reading her book reviews that is.

Maw Books Blog - Natasha has a great site! Not only do I love the look of her blog but also she has some interesting links to read (Book clubs, Book lists, Bookish websites etc... just to name a few).

Mysteries in Paradise - Kerrie is a big fan of crime fictions. Perhaps I can find some new titles and new authors from her since I enjoy reading this genre too.

Can I Borrow Your Book? - I was first attracted to Juli's template. Very eye-catching! She also participates in various reading challenges and I have a great time reading her reviews.

I have a great time reading their blogs... There are a lot more blogs to visit and I will slowly catch up with the rest. Happy blog hopping and reading!

Finally, kudos to Dewey for coming up with this brilliant idea. Weekly Geeks is fun and you bet I will be looking forward to a new theme every week.

ISBN-13: 9780756404635
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Published: February 2008
Book One of the Magister Trilogy

Everything has its price. In this first book of the Magister series, author C.S. Friedman weaved an original and imaginative fantasy about how sorcery is achieved at the cost of the ultimate sacrifice of one's life.

Kamala has a bitter childhood. Having born to a poor family, she has seen through life and often wishes she is someone different. Her life changes when she visits a Magister one day and she asked him to take her as his apprentice. However, no Magister is a female and Magister Ethamus isn't sure if it is a wise decision to train her but Kalama is insistent and shows her determination that she is willing to do anything as long as he accepted her proposal. He gave in finally, and Kamala is to become the first female Magister although she will have to remain discreet and hide her identity as a lowly witch with limited powers. Being a Magister is different from a witch for he gets the life essence of a consort until that person dies and he will find another replacement. A Magister is the most powerful amongst all sorcerers.

On the other end, Prince Andovan is dying soon. His father, King Danton Aurelius calls his Royal Magister as well as the others to find a cure to his son's mysterious illness but all of them know there is no cure for he is dying from the Wasting, in which he is used as a consort and his life is wasted away by an unknown Magister but no one knows who he is. Magister Colivar then probes deeper into this mystery and soon find out that this unknown Magister might be a female who has broken the gender barrier and decides to find out more. Prince Andovan wants to know about the person who believes to have taken his life essence so together with Magister Colivar's help, he makes everyone believes he has ended his life himself to protect his undercover so that he is free to search for this Magister. King Danton couldn't take his son's death so he commanded Ramirus, his Royal Magister to leave and finds himself another new Magister, the evil Kostas who already has an agenda on his mind.

Though Kamala stays low profile, her secret identity is on threads as she has killed a Magister through fury and self-defense and soon she will be a hunt for other Magisters as they all knew a Magister cannot be killed (at least not that easily) and they intend to find out the culprit.

Feast of Souls is a wonderful start to the trilogy which is filled with excitement and suspense. C.S. Friedman has created unforgettable characters in this story, and through them we learn about the positive and negative of the human's nature disposition, and also how some overcome their difficulties through courage and determination. I see the latter in Kamala and Prince Andovan, for both are courageous in their own ways. I liked Kamala; she has a soft side in her where there is a scene that she assumes a young child is her consort and she cries for him because she feels so helpless. Another thing I liked about this book is, it makes you to think that sometimes it is the hearts of the humans and not the evil magic which is the scariest thing of all.

I can't wait for its next installment, Wings of Wrath to be released soon.
Margaret from BooksPlease tagged me for this meme. All you have to do is:

1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people, and acknowledge who tagged you.

This is one of the memes I enjoy doing because the answer changes no matter how many times you play, and moreover it is always fun to read what other readers are reading at the moment.

I am currently reading Death's Door by Quintin Jardin. The sixth, seventh and eighth sentences are:

"If he had sported a small moustache, Mackie thought, he might have been taken for the television incarnation of Hercule Poirot. That image vanished in the instant that his gaze fell on the police officer. There was none of David Suchet's charm and bonhomie, only a cold, hard stare, full of rage."

I have not read to this part yet, but it sure looks interesting. I will now tag Alice, Julia, Debi, Nymeth and Valentina as well as anyone else who is keen in playing this. :-)
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Well, here where I live, Spring is sprung–weeks early, even. Our lilac bush looks like it will have flowers by this time next week instead of in the middle of May as usual. The dogwood trees, the magnolia trees–all the flowering trees are flowering. The daffodils and crocuses are, if anything, starting to fade. It may only be April 24th but it is very definitely Spring and, allergies notwithstanding, I’m happy to welcome the change of season. What I want to know, is:

Do your reading habits change in the Spring? Do you read gardening books? Even if you don’t have a garden? More light fiction than during the Winter? Less? Travel books? Light paperbacks you can stick in a knapsack?

Or do you pretty much read the same kinds of things in the Spring as you do the rest of the year?

This week's question is pretty easy for me. Why? Because I'm living in a tropical country and our weather is like, having summer all year round. Our weather is at its hottest towards middle of the year, and more shower storms expected around October onwards (the monsoon season). For the past few weeks, the weather has been pretty unpredictable because it could be sunny in the morning and rainy in the afternoon.

Anyway, the weather has nothing to do with my reading preference but rather it's my mood that will dictate what I shall read next.


Your Personality at 35,000 Says...

Deep down, you prefer spending time alone to spending time with others. You enjoy thinking more than talking.

You are good with your place in the world. You are confident and comfortable with who you are.

Your gift is having a way with words. You know how to express yourself well.

You are inspired by what is possible. Real life is often too ordinary for you.

It's very easy for you to feel happy. You can find peace with any situation.

I have seen this floating around on other bookblogs and decided to participate in this reading challenge as well (moreover the button is too adorable to pass!).

Hosted by Renay, the aim is to make a list of 10 books you like and share this on your blog, leaving a link on the comments section of the challenge site (Please click here for more details). You then pick 3 books from the other participants' lists (Click here for the Master List) and read them from May 1st - November 30th. There is also a link where you can put your reviews too after you have read them.

Here is a list of books which I like:
  • My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  • Talyn by Holly Lisle
  • The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  • Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos
  • Tokyo by Mo Hayder
  • The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan
  • Red Leaves by Thomas H. Cook
  • Sacred Cows by Karen E. Olson

Here are the books which I'd like to read (subject to changes as there might be new titles added to the Master List) :

  • Books of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
I'd like to thank Jen from Up Close & Personal With Ladytink for presenting me the You're Tinx Approved Award. Jen's blog is one of my regular reads and please also do visit her other blog for more books and movies reviews.
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ISBN-13: 978-0330442329
Publisher: PAN BOOKS (2006)
128 pp

I cannot remember when I was first introduced to Matthew Reilly's books (perhaps two or three years ago), but I can remember very well it was my coworker who has recommended Ice Station to me, which features the brave US Marine Lt. Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield and his dynamic team. From then onwards, I am hooked to his books.

Shane "Scarecrow" Schofield continues his thrilling adventure in Hell Island which I am sure fans of the US Marine hero will be glad of his return in this story. This book can also read as a stand-alone since it is a short story.

Schofield is both curious and surprise to find his team, along with three other specialized units (i.e. Delta Force, Navy Seals etc) are sent on a top secret mission together which they are to land in a remote island - Hell Island, to carry out their special assignment. The thing about Hell Island is, it doesn't appear on the maps and due to its secret location, military experiments are conducted here for the confidentiality.

However, something has gone terribly wrong and the crew of the US Nimitz have disappeared mysteriously from this island and this is where Schofield's team and three other specialized units comes in.

Matthew Reilly has penned a fast pace and exciting adventure in Hell Island. I had a great time reading Ice Station and needless to say, I was delighted to see Schofield's appearance in this book. Unfortunately, I find there are too many things happening at such a short time and that the idea is a little too far-fetched from reality (I can only elaborate that much as I do not wish to spoil the story) . Then again, this is a short story so I can understand the endless action-packed scenes at such a limited time. I am sure this story will do better (with more well-developed characters) in novel length just like his other books are.

ISBN-13: 9780758216410
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Published: March 2007

This is the first book of the Georgina Kincaid's series, where it features the alluring succubus who has the ability to shapeshift and seduces and pleasures mortal men.

Besides being a seductive succubus, Georgina Kincaid also works in a bookstore by day and finds time reading her favourite books and daydreaming about one author, Seth Mortensen. But she has other things to concern now that she knows somebody (whom everyone believes to be a vampire hunter) is stalking other immortals and killing them as well. To make matters worse, Jerome, her immortal superior is suspicious of her because it appears that a vampire is dead after she has exchanged verbal attacks with him. This again happens to another immortal whom she had a disagreement and it is no sooner she becomes a prime suspect.

And as if things don't get any better, she mistook Seth Mortensen as another of his fans and flirts with him before the book signing, later to discover he is none other than her favourite author. Feeling mortified for behaving like a fool and not sure how to react in front of him thereafter, she keeps a distance from him although she finds it hard especially when her job is concerned, after all she is the bookstore assistant manager and there are a few occasions her superior asks her to show him around Seattle city after hearing he has decided to move into the area. To complicate things further, she meets an attractive man when he offers her his coat on one occasion and though she resists his invitation every time he asks her out, still she finds him a little irresistible.

Richelle Mead has written a fast paced paranormal story in Succubus Blues. The story is filled with suspense and twists to keep you guessing right till the end of the book. There is also a little romance element in this story which I find it enjoyable, especially the part where Georgina is caught in between Seth and her admirer. Both have their attractive traits and are charming in their own ways, although it is Seth's shy and humble personality that attracts me more.

I also enjoyed reading the interactions between Georgina and her immortal friends - Hugh the imp, Peter and Cody, both her vampire friends and a few others. Though Georgina is one strong female character, but like any other ordinary mortal woman she also has her insecurities and a vulnerable side which I think makes her real and not just some kickbutt 'superwoman'. There is a scene where I find her decision to become a succubus moving, and that she is brave to admit she has erred although I feel the step she has chosen to take is unnecessary. I am definitely looking forward to its next installment - Succubus On Top which I have ordered a few days ago.

ISBN-13: 9781582349909
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA
Published: May 2005

Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isilee (Ani) is the Crown Princess of Kildenree. Besides having born with a title, she also has a gift of hearing and understanding the birds, her beautiful horse, Falada and the wind. Ani's mother, the queen doesn't believe in this and wants her to master the gift of people-speaking so she will be able to take over her place one day but Ani isn't interested and doesn't think she has the talents. Feeling disappointed, the queen decides to marry her off to a prince of the next kingdom, Bayern.

So this begins Ani's journey, with a small number of guards and her serving maid, Selia to accompany her. But along the journey, Selia and a few of her cohorts kill her guards so that Selia can take over Ani's place. Ani manages to flee from their grasp, and she finds help in a forest woman named Gilsa who looks after her welfare until she is well enough to continue her journey to Bayern, hoping she will reach before Selia before everything is too late.

However, when she reaches Bayern she is dismayed to find Selia and her gang have already reached the place and Selia has took over her place being the princess. Feeling unsure of her plan and afraid that the King might not believe her tales, Ani becomes a goose herd instead, looking after the King's geese and waiting for a chance to strike. During this time, she has also befriended the children of the forest folk and fell in love with Geric, who claims he is the prince's guard.

But when Selia has taken a way too far by instigating a war between Kildenree and Bayern to hide her treachery, Ani decides she has to do something and to stop the war after telling her real identity to her friends.

The Goose Girl is a beautiful retelling of the Grimm Brothers' fairy tale. I was totally taken away by the story through Shannon Hale's skillful writing and her rich imagination. There is never a boring part as I find the story slowly unfolds before my eyes when flipping through the pages. It is indeed an engrossing read, a wonderful tale filled with adventure, danger, suspense and lots of twists and turns. I hated the story to end when I came to the last page of the story, and it was only after reading the interview with the author that I closed the book with a satisfactory sigh. This will be another keeper and a re-read for me.

Other bloggers' reviews:


Suggested by Nithin:
I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?

This is an interesting question.

Most of the times, I will just continue with my reading. But if I am working on a computer, I will make it a point to google it. However, there are times that some words just rouse my curiosity (be it the pronunication or the spelling) and I will stop my reading and check with the dictionary, otherwise I will check the words whenever I have the chance if I still remember them.


ISBN-13: 9780142408162
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Published: March 2008

"No one likes to think it of their father; but there are days when I can't help but feel that somehow I got stuck with the biggest loser of all loser dads." And so, this sentence begins the story and adventure of Miguel Schreiber, a seventeen-year-old high school senior after he meets a girl called Lainey, whose family has moved from Australia to New ford at a lakeside beach town.

Miguel is fascinated by her instantly the moment she steps into his father's used comic and records store one evening, and not to mention she has a dog the size of a large German shepherd which its fur is the exact same colour as her hair. Miguel soon finds out that she is trying to get out of Johnny Ward's way, who also happens to be Miguel's long-term enemy from school. Miguel assures her that he and his two friends wouldn't dare to step into the store as he told her the 'history' between his father and Johnny. After this incident, the friendship between Miguel and Lainey blossoms and soon they became a couple.

But Lainey has a secret; and Miguel seems to have strange dreams after his encounter with her but that doesn't stop him from finding answers behind everything. And as it turns out, Lainey and her twin sister are shapechangers and they are half human, half dingo. Tallyman, their father is sent to capture them by Warrigal, the first Dingo, so that he can have one of their blood to free himself from being held prisoner in a tree.

And now it is up to Miguel and Johnny to find a way to defeat these two powerful enemies so that the girls will be free from their grasps ever.

Well, what can I say about this book? It was a page-turner and it has got me hooked from the first page right to the end. I have never read anything by Charles de Lint, but this story is so good and intriguing that I will make sure to check out his books in future.

Charles de Lint has portrayed all the characters very well in Dingo; and I feel connected with the protagonists in this story. And what most rewarding I find this book is, I find hope and love in this magical story. And although Miguel doesn't think he is a hero and is just an average boy, but he shows great determination and courage which I greatly admire. Dingo is one great read and I am sure it will please not only to young readers but to the adults as well.

(Click onto this link to learn more about dingo.)

Note: Again, thanks to Rhinoa for sending me Spirits in the Wires by the same author. I know I will find another winner in this book.

ISBN-13: 9780764157912
Publisher: Barron's Educational Series, Incorporated
Published: September 2004

I bought this during a booksale. Needless to say, the title is the first thing that has caught my attention.

Asides from the title, the cover glows in the dark which I find it pretty cool. And don't you agree it fits the theme and adds an intriguing feeling to the book?

Bo is a little girl who loves to read. Then one evening, when she is reading a story about a witch who had smelly feet, suddenly the lights go out. She hears whispers in the dark, then one clammy hand grabs her book which she is holding onto as she is being whisked away into the night sky. When she opens her eyes next, she finds herself in a Ghost Library, where she finds herself surrounded by empty shelves in a big room.

Just when she thinks she is dreaming, the three ghosts appear and they began to introduce themselves as Magpie, Twit and Puddle Mud. They tell her they want her book and that they collect books for their library. Bo thinks their remark is weird, since she can't find a single book on the shelves. The ghosts' explanation is that, they don't have their own books so they take children's books, read them a few times and return them. They look sad after they said this, but Twit recovers quickly from the sadness and asks Bo to read them a story instead.

Soon, ghost after ghost flew into the library and popped out of the shelves, all waiting to hear Bo's story. Bo sighed and begins the story about the witch who had smelly feet. After she has finished the story, she wants to hear about their stories but they claim they have none to tell. Then Bo has an idea, and a story is created!

And for the next few pages, author and illustrator, David Melling made use of illustrations to have their story told and how Bo's idea will lead to a library filled with books. I love the ending, and what most attracts me is there is a page that folds and pulls out to enhance the illustrations. All in all, it is a fun and entertaining little read.
First of all, a BIG Thank You to Alice from Hello, My Name Is Alice for presenting me with this award - Blogging Friends Forever (BFF) Gold Card Award! Alice is one of the friendliest and sweetest blogger friends I knew in blogosphere, and I am happy to call her a friend.

I would like to pass this award to the following blogging friends (in alphabetical order):

Thank you everyone for visiting and of course, for your friendship! Cheers! ;-)

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What if....

1. were stranded on a deserted island, name one person you would chose to be stranded with. What would you do to survive?
I'd chose to be with my husband and my daughter, as both are equally dear to me. I don't think I'm able to do without any of them. I suppose catching the other people's attention is the first priority at this point of survival (aside from hoping my cellphone works that is), and once I have set up the necessary things (e.g. raising a fire or writing 'SOS' on sands), I'll try to look out for source of water/food and pray that help would arrive soon.
2. could have one superpower, what would it be?
Have healing powers.
3. could bring one character from your favorite book to life, who would it be?
Wow, this is a tough one because I have so many favourite characters whom I wish can bring to life from books. could solve one of historys unsolved mysteries, which would it be?
I'm not a big history fan, so I can't think of any. But I'm interested to learn more about the Bermuda Triangle mystery.


ISBN-13: 9780452287891
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Published: November 2006

Love comes in various forms. This is what I learnt after reading Love Walked In penned by Marisa De Los Santos.

Thirty-one-year old Cornelia Brown is a true romantic. She sees Cary Grant being the best man in the world, after watching The Philadelphia Story and fell in love with the movie and the actor himself. She often dreams of someone like him who will sweep her off her feet at the cafe she is running, and she finds him in Martin Grace when he happens to walk through the door to her cafe one day.

Meanwhile, on the other side of town, eleven-year-old Clara is upset that her mother is experiencing a mental breakdown and just walked out of her life as if nothing has happened. Clara and Cornelia then cross paths at her cafe, where Martin announces to her that Clara is her daughter. He has already divorced from Clara's mother although he didn't mention it to Cornelia in the beginning. With no one to turn to and disappointed that her father doesn't offer any advice and often brushing her concerns aside, Clara began to get closer to Cornelia. And as for Cornelia, she feels she cares about Clara more than she knew and grows to be attached with her.

Then enter Teo Sandoval, whom Cornelia has knew all her life. He also happens to be Ollie, her sister's husband although her family didn't think he and Ollie makes a perfect couple. When her relationship with Martin begins to get distant, Cornelia finds herself falling in love with Teo, but nothing as strong as her love for Clara. And when Clara's mother shows up at her place one day, telling her she needs Clara, Cornelia feels she is at a loss.

Love Walked In is a moving story that will touch your heart as you flipped through the pages. It is also a heartwarming story that tells about love and it comes in various forms - between men and women, mothers and daughters and between a girl and a woman. I can understand why Cornelia reacts to Clara in a maternal way, after all Clara and Cornelia are almost like each other; Clara's looking for a happy family life and reunion with her mother, while Cornelia's looking for a man she truly loves and having her own family. They find comfort in each other's company, and little do they know that they have already formed a deep bond to each other.

I liked the characters in this story. Also, I find it extremely touching about the bond between Clara and Cornelia, after all they are strangers initially but what most touches me is the power of love of a mother to a daughter. Cornelia has shown her love to Clara exactly in that way although she isn't Clara's biological mother. And when Clara's mother show up and said this to Cornelia: "I need to be the one she needs. She's my life. Please." It is just heartwrenching.

I miss my mom.


  • Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.)
  • Turn to page 123.
  • What is the first sentence on the page?
  • The last sentence on the page?
  • Now . . . connect them together….
    (And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that’s cheating!)

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!
(Oh, and I’ve added one little thing to the sidebar–a donation button. JUST in case you feel so inclined. I’d love to upgrade BTT to its own hosting, but only if it can afford to pay its way over the course of the year. Absolutely no pressure–I’m glad to have all of you! Just, you know, in case.)

I'm currently reading Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos.

First sentence: "Of course his name is Hayes," groaned Linny. "No normal names in this joint."

Last sentence: "She's starry-eyed about him, that's for sure."


Here's my take; sorry that it's short & simple.

"Of course his name is Hayes," groaned Linny. "No normal names in this joint."

"The way you said that it's as if he's a gigolo working in a nightclub. So tell me, what did Katherine say about him after their first date? Is he really the top chef in this restaurant?" I asked as I leaned forward to hear her answer, not caring if she already had her attention on someone else, like the cute waiter who was serving at the next table.

She ogled at him for a few more seconds before turning her attention to me. "Oh, she's starry-eyed about him, that's for sure."

I was tagged by Alice to do this little meme about myself; and also I'm flattered that she wishes to know about me.

What I was doing 10 years ago:
I think I was adjusting quite well with my second job; the working environment and the culture are so much different from the first. And most importantly, no more working on Saturdays!!

Five things on my to-do list today:
1. Check emails and visit blogs
2. Prepare and send the books requested by BookMoochers
3. Doing Booking Through Thursday once the new topic for this week is up
4. Do grocery on my way home
5. Read, of course!

Snacks that I enjoy (Please note they are not in any particular order):
1. Potato Chips
2. Apple Chips
3. Popcorn
4. Ice cream
5. Chocolates

Things I would do if I were a billionaire:
1. Invest
2. Buy a bungalow
3. Travel around the world
4. Donate to charitable organizations
5. Open a bookstore

Three of my bad habits:
1. When I read, I never dog-ear the pages of a book. And neither do I bend the spine of the book for easy reading. I'm that obsessive when the books are concerned. When I read hardcovers, I make sure I remove the flap before I read as I don't want to dirty/wrinkle it, and moreover it's much more easier to read without having to adjust the flap most of the times.
2. I can also be quick tempered at times!
3. Procrastinating!

Five places I have lived:
Unlike other countries, Singapore do not have any states or provinces; and I don't think I want to list out the area where I'm currently living, hehe.

Five jobs that I have had:
I was considered very lucky that I didn't have to spend some time on vacation jobs during my school days. Although I think it's good exposure with some working experience, I think my mom was very protective of us then and thought we should enjoy our (school) life the way it is before we step into the working society in future. She loved us that much. So after my graduation, I went to work in a French company. Loved the office work, but most especially the bosses and the colleagues there. I stayed with that company for a year and moved on to another for a better pay after gaining the experience and had the relevant qualifications from some part-time courses while working. I have never looked back since and am still currently working in this public listed company.

Five people I want to know more about (A nice way to say TAG!)
I'm not going to tag anyone. Please feel free to play along if you feel up to it. :-)

What Your City Walk Means

You are optimistic and hopeful. Sometimes you do get disappointed by expecting too much.

You are generally confident and friendly with strangers. You are well mannered and sociable.

Money is fairly important to you. You aren't super greedy, but you enjoy spending money on yourself.

You are curious about ideas. If you had the means, you'd like to explore the whole world.


ISBN-13: 9781400063567
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Published: August 2007

Lillian Leyb comes to America alone, after her family is destroyed in a Russian pogrom. Foreign in a new land and speaks little English, she struggles to fit into this new life of hers and finds work as a seamstress at a Yiddish theater on New York's Lower East Side. There, she meets theater owner Reuben Burstein and his son, Meyer Burstein, a homosexual yet quite a matinee star. She later became their mistresses, though she had a daughter, Sophie and her husband is dead.

Then when she receives news that Sophie might still be alive, she sets her way to Siberia hoping to find her. And there begins her journey and along the way, she meets various kind of people and through these turn of events it will make her to be a stronger person.

Frankly speaking, I had a hard time writing this post. I wanted to like this book and I bought this after reading a good rating from an online book review magazine (And no, I am not going to name it). Besides, there is so much hype about this book so I figure I won't go wrong with it. However, I was greatly disappointed with it. Although I find Away is beautifully written and I think the premise is promising, there were times I find it slow and a drag that I almost wanted to give it up. Still, I really sympathize with Lillian's situation and I applaud her for her determination in finding her daughter under these difficult circumstances, but her encounters with several men made me thinks she is nothing but degrading in herself. I could no longer tell if she is in for the money or if she is just a lonely woman. Towards the second half of the book, I find some of the characters not well developed and things seem to be moving on fast. I regret to say this book is definitely not my cup of tea, although I am fascinated with the cover art.

Week of April 6: Random Word Association

I think

1. red bold
2. wash washer
3. computer internet
4. land sea
5. kiss smooch
6. trophy winner
7. books bookstores
8. shoe fashion
9. email communication
10. turkey christmas


ISBN-13: 978-0340899496
Publisher: Hodder Paperback
Published: April 2007

Well, the title is the first thing that had caught my attention when I found this book randomly on the New Releases shelves last year. I have never read anything by John Connolly, so I thought I will give this book a try since the blurb intrigued me. I am glad this book doesn't disappoint.

Twelve-year-old David lost his mother to cancer. It was also at that time that England is at war; and while David is still mourning for his mother and wary of how the war will affect them, he spends most of his time indulging in his books and fairy tales as they are the only thing that could keep him company. His father is away at work most of the times, and it doesn't help when his father remarries and he has to adjust having a stepmother and a new half-brother at home.

Later, he finds himself hearing things from the books and he is able to tell from their 'behaviour' if they are excited or angry. He didn't dare tell anyone about this for he fears everyone will think he is insane and lock him in somewhere else. It is as if the real world and the fantasy began to meld as one, and there he enters into a strange place where he will encounter a pack of hungry wolves and all the various strange creatures but nothing scares him more than the Crooked Man, which is an evil troll who will try all ways to tempt David in order to gain his power over the kingdom.

While searching for a way home, David soon finds he will learn some lessons about bravery, loyalty, sacrifice and finally the acceptance and the love for his family.

As much as I enjoyed reading The Book of Lost Things, I also find this story has touches my heart in many ways. I can totally relate with David about the loss of his mother, but it is his acceptance and the love for his family towards the end that warms my heart. Besides John Connolly's great imagination and his wonderful plot, another thing which intrigues me most is the re-telling of various fairy tales/folk tales that he put into this story (e.g. Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs, Goldilocks etc... just to name a few). And as a bonus, I also get to read these origin tales at the end of the story, before reading the interview with the author and his thoughts about this book.

The Book of Lost Things is a wonderful fantasy tale which I am sure will suit both adults and the young. It is definitely a keeper for me.

Other Bloggers' reviews:

Everyday Reads
Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic
Stuff As Dreams Are Made On
The Written Word
Valentina's Room


ISBN-13: 9780373772483
Publisher: Harlequin
Pub. Date: February 2008

This is a reissue copy, and a refreshed version revised by author, Cherry Adair which was originally published in 1994. Because this book is printed this year, I will add this book to The Pub Challenge.

T-FLAC is an elite antiterrorist task force and agent Alexander "Lynx" Stone went missing. When his sister, Victoria Jones, a sensible bookkeeper, finds out that her brother is being held prisoner, she approaches his brother's T-FLAC partner, Marc Sarvin to rescue him. However, Marc left T-FLAC after his lover Krista is dead and what's worse was she used to be a double agent and had lied to him from the start. Marc then decided to live a solitary life on a ranch and wanted nothing to do with T-FLAC anymore.

So when he finds Victoria came uninvited to his house, he is surprised because he just couldn't picture she and Alex being siblings. In the end, Victoria managed to convince him after she has told him about the special assignment Alex was in before he had gone missing, for no one knew about this and Alex has told her to look for Marc in case she hasn't heard from him for some time. Marc is reluctant to help her in the beginning; he is sure Alex is dead and she is just wasting her time but Victoria explained that she and Alex are twins and they have a special ability of communicating through telepathy. She is very sure that Alex is alive and is being held captive somewhere.

With Victoria's special ability, Marc brings her along for this rescue mission as they travel to various locations to find the man they love, and couldn't help falling in love with each other along the way.

The Mercenary starts the beginning of Cherry Adair's T-FLAC series. I didn't know about this until I read her note to her readers from this book. As I have yet to follow the series, I couldn't comment much but the heroine in this book has left a deep impression on me. Despite Marc giving her a cold shoulder in the beginning, she still manages to grit her teeth and stand her ground through the whole "confrontation" with him. Some might be put off by Marc's attitude towards Victoria initially, but then he had had a bad experience and was hurt before so that explains his behaviour and his outlook of life. I was glad he had overcame it all in the end, and that the readers of romance suspense genre will enjoy this revised copy of The Mercenary.


Due to some medical problems, I was told by the doc to stay in bed for the past few days, thus that explains my absence from internet/blogging. Believe me, it was boring and wasn't fun at all, but I did spend some time reading a few books and clearing some from my TBR pile! I can't wait to catch up with reading everyone's blog and I too hope you all have read some good books as well. :)
Yesterday, I had posted about Nymeth's one-year blogiversary and her book giveaways... And this morning I visited some more of my blogger friends and found out they are giving away some of the books too! Woohoo! So I'm going to share with you about these cool blogs and their great giveaways:
  • Jaimie from Bell Literary Reflections is giving away three books. Because these books are her favourites, so the winners will be getting brand new ones! (Click here for more details.)
  • Dewey from The Hidden Side of a Leaf is celebrating her one-year blogiversary too! She's giving away a book and the winner will get to choose any book under $20. On top of that, she's also giving away two $20 Amazon gift certificates for Buy a Friend a Book Week. (Click here for more details.)
    Edited on 5 April: I have misunderstood Dewey's post about this giveaway. The following is actually what she meant. As quoted: "I have two amazon gift certificates for $20. I am not giving them away. I am letting two people (one for BAFAB, one for my blogiversary) choose any book available at Amazon for under $20. And I will use the gift certificates to pay for them. Hope that clears things up! :)"
  • Katrina from Stone Soup is giving away some books from her bookshelves! She has a great list there; please click here for more details.

Have fun blog hopping! And of course, good luck with the giveaways! ;-)