Questions courtesy of MindFul Mimi who had some thought- provoking ones this week; thank you, Mimi!

I'd love to feature your questions, if you'd like to leave some for future use please feel free!

1. For me to not doing anything is the opposite of creativity.

2. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult was the last excellent book I read was.

3. I like fill-ins because not only it is fun but also, I enjoy reading other participants' replies as well.

4. In nature I like looking at everything, because each thing is unique and beautiful in its own way.

5. Anyone who is capable, responsible and has a strong leadership should win the US elections.

6. The last time I laughed with all my belly was when my four-year-old daughter performing a silly little dance for us.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading The Thirteenth Tale and Fire and Ice after I have put my daughter to sleep, tomorrow my plans include cooking and spending time with my family and Sunday, I want to take a little break and read some more!



Suggested by: Thisisnotabookclub

What is reading, anyway? Novels, comics, graphic novels, manga, e-books, audiobooks — which of these is reading these days? Are they all reading? Only some of them? What are your personal qualifications for something to be “reading” — why? If something isn’t reading, why not? Does it matter? Does it impact your desire to sample a source if you find out a premise you liked the sound of is in a format you don’t consider to be reading? Share your personal definition of reading, and how you came to have that stance.
(Two weeks late for Reading is Fundamental week, but, well…)

Reading is both a hobby and a pleasure to me. There are several reasons I read. I read because I enjoy the storytelling by the authors; I often find myself lost in the characters' world if their stories are engaging. Then again, I read to improve on my vocabulary/grammar and to broaden my knowledge because there are so many new things out there waiting for me to explore, and it is always interesting to learn about other countries and their cultures.

As for comics, graphic novels and manga, I consider them storytelling too though it is the pictures that speak louder than the words. The only thing I have not tried is audiobooks, and I find e-books too inconvenient and straining to the eyes to read. Nonetheless, all of them are reading to me, although I would still say that novels comes off the top amongst all, partly because it is the traditional and original form of reading and moreover, it has been around for decades. The only thing that does not classified as reading is when we read instructions or anything that does not fit into storytelling.


Your Ice Cream Personality:

You are an incredibly modest person. You don't feel comfortable bragging about yourself... or even receiving complements.

You are a pretty cautious person. You look before you leap, and you don't leap often. There's a bit of a wild child within you, but it doesn't get out often.

You are a somewhat open minded person, but deep down you're fairly conservative. You don't like trying new things very much. And if you do find something new you like, you stick with it.

You are a natural multitasker. You feel alive when you're doing more than one thing at a time.
You are a serious and contemplative person. You definitely do your own thing in life.

Hmm...quite true. So what's yours? ;-)
From Dewey's post:

"This week’s theme was suggested by Renay. She says, “I thought it would be cool to ask people to talk about other forms of story-telling.”

This week’s theme is once again one you could approach several ways. You might want to tell about the forms of storytelling (aside from books) you love. Maybe you enjoy TV shows, movies, music, narrative poetry, or Renay’s favorite, fanfiction. You could give us an overview of a type of storytelling, such as listing your favorite movies. Or you might pick a more specific story, one particular favorite. I just finished watching an episode of Lost, for example, so I could tell why I enjoy that series, or I could get more specific and focus on one character’s personal story. Some people might post youtubes of the songs whose stories they find brilliant, or some might share family bedtime stories. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!"

Another great topic this week! I have been thinking my answer for this and finally decided on this one - Manga (since I think this is another form of storytelling, besides books and movies that is.)

I am sure most of you must be surprised that I chose this topic because I hardly mention them on my blog as I mostly dedicate it to the books I read and my ramblings. The truth is, I read manga as early as I was in Primary School - that was also the time when I started getting hooked to Nancy Drew and Enid Blyton's books. Manga comes in later after that, and it was only by chance when I stumbled upon them when I visited my elder cousin's house one day. (She is the only daughter of my mother's elder sister, and she is three years my senior.) I remember I really looked up to her at that time, and although I was envious that she got to buy all the things she wanted (her family is considered above average class), I was quite satisfied with borrowing books from my neighbour and the school library. She introduced manga to me, although she dislikes reading books. And I understand why manga seems appealing because you don't have to concentrate on the texts and imagine the story yourself, you get the story just by looking at those little columns filled with sketches. Besides, the sketches are just brilliant, and I often find myself oohing and aahing over the artists' works. If it takes time for a writer to write a book, I can not imagine how much time it would take for the artist to complete his/her manga especially if they are in several copies! (The most I had read comes in a set of 23 volumes.)

I was hooked to them immediately after she lent a few to me, although my mother thought she preferred that I only read books because she felt I could learn more new words through reading them. I think her other reason was that there are romance themes in those mangas and she didn't want me to be influenced by the characters at that age, although there were nothing explicit in them except some kissing scenes. I continued reading them all the way to high school (although I didn't borrow from her anymore and rented them with my allowances), and it was only that I had my first job that I started buying and collecting them. Now I have a small shelf dedicated to my manga, although they still stood pale in comparison with my books collection. And I am quite choosy when it comes to manga because I only read romance and fantasy themes in them, unlike the books which I can read any genre that sparks my interest. I don't understand why. Although most of these manga are translated from Japanese into Chinese, I am glad that some of them are also translated in English language.



Questions courtesy of Michelle this week, thanks! I'd love to feature your questions, if you'd like to leave some for future use please feel free!

This is my very first attempt!

1. On my laziest day I like to do nothing but read and relax!

2. Clearing all my book piles (be it read or unread and especially those kept in the storeroom) makes me feel like I'm being productive.

3. I love little gestures and big hearts.

4. This summer I want to go to the cinemas and catch some movies with my husband since we haven't been to one for quite some time.

5. Reading and curiosity made me start my blog.

6. Red Washington apples and orange cantaloupes are two of my favourite fruits.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to spending time with my daughter and catch up with some of my reading, tomorrow my plans include doing household chores and watch Barney videos with my daughter and Sunday, I want to rest and relax!


ISBN-13: 9780743454551
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Trade
Published: November 2005

Well, it seems like lately I have been reading books that are thought-provoking or stories with a sad premise, isn't it? As some of you may tell, my reading mood varies. At times, I can read the same genre in a row, or other times I just switch from one genre to another. And then, there are also times that I pick up a book just because I am attracted to its cover. I know I am not a consistent reader when this is concerned, but I try not to limit myself to read a book just because I feel there is a need to (unless you are talking about reading challenges here, and I am running way out of time!). But still, reading pleasure always comes first. Oh well, I think I have enough of my ramblings and it is time to get on with this review.

Delia Hopkins has been living with her father since she was four. Now at 32, she works with law enforcement agencies to help them find missing people, together with Greta, her beloved search-and-rescue bloodhound. Although she feels the satisfaction of every successful missions, it gives her a loss feeling because she knows that she would not be able to find her mother, no matter how hard she try for she had died in a car accident. But she is going to put this sad memories behind her as she is happy with her four-year-old daughter, Sophia, and she has a fiancé, Eric, who is her childhood friend (who is also Sophia's father) until one day, a cop knocks on her door and have her father arrested for kidnapping. And Delia happens to be the child he had stolen.

Shocked and feeling betrayed, Delia couldn't understand what made her father commit the act but later she learns that he did it out of love, though it seems he had done it in an inappropriate (and not to mention, illegal) way. He feels Elise, Delia's mother, is incapable of taking care of Delia since she has a drinking problem, nor do he trusts Victor, her lover with Delia. He and Elise are already divorced when he took Delia with him. Delia later meets her mother, and found out she indeed had a drinking problem. Once again, she feels betrayed that she is misled that her mother is the victim. At this time, her father has already been extradicted to Arizona where he committed the 'crime'; and Eric, being an attorney agrees to take on the case, but he is going to face a big challenge as not only he will get tossed off the case or disbarred if he tells Delia what he has learnt, but the prosecutor is a pregnant lady who believes that kidnapping is a serious offense no matter whatever the circumstances is. And then, there is Fitz, who is also childhood friend of Delia and Eric and he has liked her since then. He is a writer with the New Hampshire Gazette and he is asked to cover this story. All of these add complexity and climax to the story.

There are various POVs throughout the book, as readers will get a glimpse inside each character's world and read their inner thoughts. The hearing in court is the scene which I most look forward to, as I was very eager to find out the outcome. While reading and anticipating the tension at the same time, I have also learnt that sometimes, things are not always seem to be what you think.

Jodi Picoult has the ability of merging moral issues into her fictions and makes them seem real, and this is another reason why I enjoy reading her books, besides the emotional and thought-provoking parts. I think this story will stay in my mind for quite some time.



Suggested by: Superfastreader:

Books and films both tell stories, but what we want from a book can be different from what we want from a movie. Is this true for you? If so, what’s the difference between a book and a movie?

I do not mind having my favourite books made into movies. In fact, I should be thrilled because that shows how successful and popular these books are to be made into movies! But then, what we read from the books might differ from the movies, due to some unnecessary (mundane) scenes and the time constraint. I do understand these issues from the film-makers' point of views, however it annoys me when they also cut off some scenes which I feel are relevant to the plots. There were a few times I felt some movies were a bit rushed, or worse, leaving me confused when one scene did not link with the other.

So, my view is, books and movies do differ from each other. I enjoy the flow of the story in books, as it slowly unfold before my eyes. But then again, I do enjoy watching the movies so I can visualize the characters through the artistes performance and watch their roles being played on screen. I will be most happy if the movies will follow as closely as the books, so it is like seeing my favourite books coming to life.


I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

And my result is... Elinor Dashwood!

"You are Elinor Dashwood of Sense & Sensibility! You are practical, circumspect, and discreet. Though you are tremendously sensible and allow your head to rule, you have a deep, emotional side that few people often see."

I have yet to read Sense & Sensibility, although I have it in my TBR pile. Now Elinor Dashwood had me intrigued!


ISBN-13: 9780812976182
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Published: August 2006

I have not read anything by Anna Quindlen, but this book has caught my attention while I was browsing at a bookstore one day. I suppose it is the sad premise of the story, and the relationship between a sick mother and her daughter and the journey they chose to take that intrigued me.

The book begins with the narrator, a 24-year-old Ellen Gulden winding up in jail for killing her mother. It is only when this prologue ends that we get to read the real story of Ellen, and how this story all begins.

With a good career as a journalist in a popular magazine, a boyfriend and a bright future ahead of her, Ellen couldn't have asked for more. But when her father requested her to move back home one day and take care of her mother who is diagnosed with cancer, she is completely unprepared for it. It is not only she has nothing to fall back on once she is home, but she has never had a strong relationship with her family anyway. In the end, she quitted her job and went home to care for her mother, because she thinks it is the right thing to do.

Her mother, Kate, on the other hand isn't about to let anyone thinks of her being a useless invalid. There is an extent that she refuses to let herself be seated in a wheelchair when she is too weak to move, but had to succumb to it in the end as her condition deteriorates day by day and morphine is prescribed to relieve her pain by Dr. Cohn, the oncologist whom she is seeing. Ironically, it is also the same drug which is believed to have killed her (an overdose) and Ellen is charged for murdering her mother since she is the last one to be seen with her, and then again there is an essay which she has written and won when she was seventeen, about a veterinarian putting a dog to sleep to end its suffering. They think this coincides with Kate's death and she is linked to it but she did not tell them that there was a brief moment her father has spent time with her mother, or a silent plea from her mother to end her life because she just couldn't see herself dying slowly.

One True Thing is a beautiful, well-written story that tells a relationship and the journey between a mother and daughter. In this story, I read about Kate's determination and her desire to bond with Ellen, and how one scene touches me when Kate chose to re-read some books with Ellen so that they have something to talk about, though Ellen is unaware of it. I suppose it takes all these little gestures to strengthen their bond, as Ellen slowly began to fathom the meaning of love. But in the end she has a difficult choice to make, for she either has to plead guilty for an act she did not commit, or to divulge the name of the person whom is believed to have painfully committed as an act of love. This book will make you think about life and the relationship between mothers and daughters.


I say: you think

1. red bright
2. book piles
3. seven up
4. grass green
5. song rhythm
6. pen ink
7. apple crunchy
8. sneakers running
9. classic timeless
10. penguin adorable

This week's Weekly Geeks theme: Choose a political or social issue that matters to you. Find several books addressing that issue; they don’t have to books you’ve read, just books you might like to read. Using images (of the book covers or whatever you feel illustrates your topic) present these books in your blog.

I rarely read books with a political or social issue, but this week WG has given me an opportunity to explore such books and though I won't say I will look out for these books sooner, but they are definitely books that have interest me and that I might want to read in the near future:

"Based on 25 years of research by NASA, this guide shows how common houseplants can combat sick building syndrome and cleanse the home or office of common pollutants."

"Roy Spencer shows that fears about global warming are vastly exaggerated and are driven by politics, not truth. This ground-breaking book combines impeccable scientific authority with great wit to expose the hysteria surrounding the myths of global warming and climate change."

Freedom Writers Diary: How a Teacher and 150 Teens Used Writing to Change Themselves and the World around Them

"Shocked by the teenage violence she witnessed during the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles, Erin Gruwell became a teacher at a high school rampant with hostility and racial intolerance. For many of these students–whose ranks included substance abusers, gang members, the homeless, and victims of abuse–Gruwell was the first person to treat them with dignity, to believe in their potential and help them see it themselves. Soon, their loyalty towards their teacher and burning enthusiasm to help end violence and intolerance became a force of its own."

"Prefaced by a page of suggestions for parents and teachers using the book, The Right Touch deals with the subject of preventing child sex abuse. The story features a mother who chats with her children following a tickling session before bedtime. She continues to talk about proper and improper touching of children by adults, and gives several examples. There is discussion on the parts of the anatomy where improper touching may occur. Strategies for protecting oneself are explored."

Where The Heart Is

"An Oprah Book Club selection. Letts's debut novel concerns a pregnant teenage girl who finds a new life among the quirky inhabitants of a small town in Oklahoma."

I am sure there are other relevant books that I wish to explore further, but for the moment these will have to do. I hope everyone has a great weekend!

ISBN-13: 9780446698337
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: April 2008

I always look forward to Nicholas Sparks new releases. Though some of his books are tearjerkers and might not have a happy ending, I do enjoy them and find them meaningful and thought-provoking. Most of the times, his stories strike a chord in my heart even though they are fictional. His stories often reflect the reality of life and how the difficult situations always made the characters into better persons which I find inspiring. It is no wonder his books made it to the bestselling list.

Set in a small town in North Carolina, The Choice is a beautiful love story of Travis Parker and Gabby Holland. Travis first meeting with Gabby is not a pleasant one. Gabby, whose job is a physician assistant, thinks Travis is a good-for-nothing and organizes too many barbecues parties outside his house. Worse still, she thinks Moby, his boxer impregnates her collie, Molly and she has made up her mind to confront him because she feels she has had enough of his inconsiderate behaviour.

On the other end, Travis is intrigued by his new neighbour who moves next to his place, and despite his friendly attempt towards her, she seems to give him a cold shoulder. And when Gabby accused his dog for impregnating her dog, he tried to explain things to her but she refused to give him the chance to talk, leaving him bewildered and amused. Their second encounter took place in a veterinary clinic when Gabby decided to have Molly examined, and this time Travis is the vet. Gabby asked him why he didn't tell her about his position when she confronted him that day, he told her that she didn't give him a chance to explain anyway. And after the examination, it turned out that Moby wasn't the one responsible for Molly's pregnancy at all, and Gabby felt bad. She thought he would be angry at her but to her surprise, he didn't seem to mind after all. It was through this incident that she began to see him in a new light.

Although they are slowly attracted to each other, Travis isn't sure if this relationship works for him because not only he enjoys his single lifestyle, but he thought his previous relationships with women are a failure. And Gabby isn't sure of Travis either as she has a long-term relationship with her boyfriend although Kevin didn't show any sign of commitment to marriage. It is at this point that there is a turn for Gabby and Travis, as both couldn't fight the attraction off of each other anymore. I think Mr. Sparks had done a great job here writing about their dilemmas and how they had came to accept each other in the end.

In the later part of the story, Gabby and Travis are married and had two young daughters. Gabby and Travis met in a car accident on a windy, rainy night. Travis blamed it on his carelessness, but it was too late, as it resulted Gabby in a state of coma. And Travis had to make a tough choice in the whole of his life.

Although the plot in The Choice is not new, I still find it a good and meaningful read. There are questions that one will often ask while reading this: What would happen if Travis had handled the situation differently? Was it he or Gabby to blame? What would happen if he took the other choice? et cetera. But the top of all is, how far would you go to keep the hope of love alive?

I also love this part where it described marriage perfectly:
Marriage, each of them realized intuitively, was about compromise and forgiveness. It was about balance, where one person complemented the other.

This is an emotionally charged book which I find it worth reading, especially towards the end.

Note: I have decided to temporarily give up reading Succubus in the City by Nina Harper. I just couldn't get sucked into the story, despite it has an interesting premise and the protagonist is a sexy succubus who works with a she-demon, Satan. I liked the part where the hero is a mortal man, but regrettably I just couldn't find myself reading more, and partly I blame it on my reading mood. I have picked up the book at a wrong time. Nevertheless, I hope I will enjoy it at a later date although I have no idea when I will pick this up again.



Following up last week’s question about reading writing/grammar guides, this week, we’re expanding the question….

Scenario: You’ve just bought some complicated gadget home . . . do you read the accompanying documentation? Or not?

Do you ever read manuals?

How-to books?

Self-help guides?

Anything at all?

Well, I don't really like reading products manuals. I mean, I will skim through them in case they have any special instructions or anything, but I just don't read them for pleasure or even to kill time. If I'm stuck with the problem, I will usually approach my husband first before referring to the manual. It's faster that way, haha. (Unless he is clueless and he will be the one who will refer to them instead of yours truly.)

But when it comes to self-improvement books, then that is a different matter to me. I enjoy reading them, depending on the subjects and how much I find them informative and/or useful. Another scenario is, if I'm stuck with a computer or internet problem, I will google it. I don't know why, but I find searching answers online is so much easier than looking them up in manuals, partly because the web is so wide and you can just find anything there with only a click of your mouse.

Kim from Bold. Blue. Adventure tagged me with this meme about blogging tips (read her two related posts here and here). And on top of that, she is also giving away a $15 Amazon giftcard to a lucky winner who will post the tips and leave a comment and a link via Mr. Linky on her blog.

Well, frankly speaking, I do not have many tips to share with everyone because I am sure what I have learnt are already "old" news to most of all. Still... I came up with the following and hope anyone out there who is new to blogging will find it helpful (some of them only applies to Bloggers).
  • Want a new template for your blog? I suggest visiting FinalSense for some ideas. They even have some 4-columns layout which I think are pretty cool. There are a few various themes to choose from too.
  • Love to read someone's blog and wants to be notified ASAP once a new post is up? Subscribe to their RSS Feed (FeedBurner), or you can even register for your own blog so that other readers are able to subscribe to your blog and also, you are able to access your blog traffic.
  • Create a search widget on your blog so that other readers are able to search a topic within your blog easily (in this case, I recommend Lijit).
  • Pictures do speak louder than words, sometimes! Post a few relevant images to go with your post as this will add some colour and liven up your blog.
  • Get a Cbox if you want anyone to leave you messages instead of leaving them in the comment box.

To spread this meme, I'm going to tag the following friends (please feel free to tag as many as you like):

Labels: 13 comments | edit post

ISBN-13: 9781582349060
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Published: September 2006

First, I would strongly advise readers to read The Goose Girl before reading this sequel because most of the characters in this book were already introduced in The Goose Girl. There, we see Enna and Princess Anidori-Kiladra Talianna Isillee became good friends after all the hardships the Princess had gone through. Frankly speaking, I hate to see that story came to an end and you can imagine how thrilled I was when I knew Shannon Hale had another book released and this time, Enna has her own story in Enna Burning.

Two years have passed after Princess Anidori (Enna calls her 'Isi') married to her Prince Charming, and Enna returned to the forest; her home after the death of her mother. She missed home, though she yearns for the days spent at the kingdom where she worked as an animal worker. Just when she thought life will be peaceful for her and her brother, Leifer, a mysterious vellum found its way to Leifer and he began to learn the secret of the fire language. Enna fears he is not able to control the power, although she is fascinated by it and wants to learn it especially when Tira, the other kingdom has already claimed some of their Bayern borders. And when the ruler of Bayern asked for volunteers to prepare for the war, Leifer, as well as the others from the city and the forest all came forward and supported him. It is not an easy fight for Bayern, and unfortunately Leifer died in the process when summoning the fire as one would get lost easily if one doesn't exercise enough control.

Intrigued with the gift of the fire, the urge to fight against Tira and finally to learn the truth behind her brother's death, Enna unfolds the secret of the vellum and learn the fire language. However, during the spying mission she was captured and she is threatened to tell the secret of it to Captain Sileph, who is her captor, in exchange not only to save her life but her other two friends, Razo and Finn as well.

Enna Burning is another fascinating story after The Goose Girl. I find this story different and a little darker as compared to the latter. Though I find Enna a brave girl (like Isi), her character is just the opposite of Isi. Enna is more stubborn and quick tempered, unlike Isi who is more calm and rational when facing in a difficult situation. I also find the part where their friendship being tested especially touching, where Isi had her long hair cropped and disguised herself when she sneaked into the tent where Enna is being held so that she can indirectly convey a message to her. This is not only a wonderful fantasy story, but also a great story that tells about war and loss, love and friendship and trust and forgiving.

I really enjoyed reading this and can't wait to read the next sequel, River Secrets which is about Razo's story.

Other Bloggers' reviews:
Nothing of Importance
Things Mean A Lot

This week's theme comes from Samantha, who suggested we should write about our fond memories of childhood books.

"You could approach this several ways. I’ll probably list my favorite childhood books with maybe a paragraph about each book: why I loved it, how old I was when I read it, where I got the book, etc. You could also just pick one childhood favorite and review it as you would any other book. Or, if you’re fast, you could make up a meme other weekly geeks might like to use. It’ll be interesting to see how everyone personalizes this theme. Don’t forget to come back and leave a link to the post in your comment once you’ve written your post. No wrap-up post this week; just the one childhood books post."

I don't think I will choose to review the book since I haven't been reading any of them for such a long time (but I do have a few of them in my keepers stack!), so I will pick the other option instead.

I remember my first book is an Enid Blyton book. I was probably nine-year-old then, and her books are very popular during that time (probably still are now). I didn't own any of the books (didn't have much allowance for them anyway) and I borrowed them either from the school library or from a neighbour. I remember she had a shelf of Enid Blyton's books (as well as some of The Hardy Boys Mysteries) and she didn't mind lending them to me (even though her mother always gave me her disapprovingly look as though I would not return them!).

Besides Enid Blyton's books, I was also a big fan of Nancy Drew. I find her courage and intelligence inspiring, and she is the first heroine I read and look upon to. I had read most of her books, and I find each mystery is so exciting and the adventure is set differently from one another. However, when I got into high school I didn't read them as much and instead turned to Bantam Sweet Dreams Romance for teens (which was then a big hit during the 80s). Again, I borrowed them from the school library, and to make things better, I had the privilege of borrowing two books instead of one since I was the librarian. Sadly, I can hardly find them nowadays as I do not think the publisher print them anymore, although I do spot them on rare occasions in some used bookstores.

I love this week's topic, as it has brought me some wonderful memories. Ah... those were the days!
To all the mothers out there...



When someone smiles at you, do you smile back?

Yes! It's always good to smile anyway.

Describe the flooring in your home. Do you have carpet, hardwood, vinyl, a mix?

Tiles for our living room and kitchen, and parquet flooring for all our bedrooms.

Write a sentence with only 5 words, but all of the words have to start with the first letter of your first name.

Monday mornings make me moody. (Haha!)

Main Course
Do you know anyone whose life has been touched by adoption?


Name 2 blue things.

The sky and the sea.



Writing guides, grammar books, punctuation how-tos . . . do you read them? Not read them? How many writing books, grammar books, dictionaries–if any–do you have in your library?

Yes, I do read them although not as much as I read fictions. Although I find them a great help to my writing, I don't have too many of them in my library (I have two dictionaries and a Chinese-English dictionary though). Recently I have also mooched a copy of Fiction Writer's Workshop and am reading it in between with my other books. There are also innovative exercises after each chapter which I find it useful. This is a great guide for those who are keen in honing their skills to better fiction writing.


ISBN-13: 9780060515225
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published: September 2006

I have to admire Neil Gaiman's versatility not only because he is a great storyteller but the stories he writes are always so different from one another and best of all is, he is able to weave them all with style. After reading Coraline and Neverwhere and liking them, I decided to look out for his books but since I have not read any of his short stories, I figure Fragile Things will be a great start.

I like the way he described the title under the introduction:

As I write this now, it occurs to me that the peculiarity of most things we think of as fragile is how tough they truly are. There were tricks we did with eggs, as children, to show how very strong they really were, tiny load-bearing marble halls; while the beat of the wings of a butterfly in the right place, we are told, can create a hurricane across an ocean. Hearts may break, but hearts are the toughest of muscles able to pump for a lifetime, seventy times a minute, and scarcely falter along the way. Even dreams, the most delicate and intangible of things, can prove remarkably difficult to kill.

Stories, like people and butterflies and songbirds' eggs and human hearts and dreams, are also fragile things, made up of nothing stronger or more lasting than twenty-six letters and a handful of punctuation marks."

So beautifully written in my opinion, and so meaningful.

Fragile Things not only consisted of various short stories, but a few poetry as well. His short stories featured various genres like dark fantasy, horror, sci-fi etc which I think is refreshing as I get to read different genres in this collection. There are twenty-seven stories in this book; and although I won't write my thoughts on each story, I will however write a few which are my favourites.

In A Study in Emerald, we see Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is caught in a mystery with detective Henry Camberley in the late 19th century, in a little H.P. Lovecraft horror style. This short story won the Hugo Award in August 2004 as Best Short Story. In October in the Chair, I liked how the story unfolds when each month has his or her own little story to tell; how light or how dark it is depending on the season where they belongs. This won the 2003 Locus Award for Best Short Story.

In The Flints of Memory Lane, the narrator believed some places to be haunted and avoided them as a child. He had none horror story to share, until he was fifteen and he met a woman dressed like a gypsy queen standing beneath a street-lamp, staring up at a house and how this lingered in his mind and became his personal ghost story. In Locks, it is believed that everyone owe it to each other to tell stories, not as father and daughter but as people simply. In this story, 'Goldilocks and the Three Bears' is shared and analysed in poetry-like style.

Feeders and Eaters is a creepy one. The narrator met Eddie, an old friend at an old cafe and wondered what had happened to his once good-looking friend when Eddie told him his encounter with an old woman and her strange looking cat. Goliath is a good sci-fi story, one which is thought provoking and sucks me in from the start although I am not a big fan of this genre. And Pages from a Journal Found in a Shoebox Left in a Greyhound Bus Somewhere Between Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Louisville, Kentucky led me to think how one will pursue something endlessly and cluelessly, like a vicious cycle, over and over again.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties is another good one which I think will appeal to many teenaged boys as it tells about two boys from an all-boys school and how they stumble into a party full of pretty girls but the fantasy ends there after they had found out what they are. And finally, there is The Monarch of the Glen, a novella of another Neil Gaiman's bestselling novel American Gods. I have yet to read this novel but I know I will get to it soon since I have listed this for one of the reading challenges.

Fragile Things is a fine collection of short stories and wonders. I am definitely looking forward to more in Smoke and Mirrors.

Other Bloggers' reviews:
Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic

I had a great time visiting new blogs after Dewey came up with the theme for her Weekly Geeks #1 - Discover New Blogs Week. In this week, the challenge is to get book bloggers to link their reviews to other blog reviews of the same book (which Dewey borrowed the idea from Darla at Books and Other Thoughts). How does that sound? Not only I think it's fun but it is also great to read what other bloggers think about the books we read. (Please click here for more details.)

I have reviewed and linked the books I read on my right side bar (as well as books read in 2007) so if you happen to have read them and would like your link to be added to my review, please email me at melreadingcorner (at) gmail (dot) com and I will do the linking. Likewise, I will be doing the same.

Happy linking, everyone!

What is Book Binge?

Well, for the month of May, participants will keep track of the books they read and blog the list at the end of the month. This begins today (Monday, May 5th) and the list will be published on June 1.

I decided to join since I list the books I read monthly anyway. ;-)

Other rules:
  • You can include books you re-read, so long as you re-read them in between May 5 and 31.
  • You may also include books you start but don’t finish, just note the page at which you gave it up. Something like, “Quit, page 47 of 322″.
  • You may only include books you read aloud to your children if they are at least 125 pages long.
  • Students may include textbooks (if they’re at least 100 pages long).

Please leave a comment here if you wish to participate.


ISBN-13: 9780755329113
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing, Limited
Published: May 2008

Two young female artists are murdered. Somehow, these two cases are believed to be connected and DCS McGuire?? and DI Steele are called in to investigate. But both of them have a hard time looking for anything that leads to the murderer as he leaves no clues and moreover, there are no signs of violence shown on the victims' bodies. Both appeared to have died serenely with their palms down, it is as though they had died peacefully in their sleep.

Davor Boras, a millionaire businessman and the father of the second victim decides to bring in the Home Office, MI5 and CIA into the case, and this is where DCS Bob Skinner steps in and the plot leads to a more complex direction. Frankly speaking, I had a hard time reading this. No, it wasn't that I didn't enjoy the story. The premise is great, and it did get me hooked from the beginning, but after reading a few chapters I realized there are a lot more characters than I can handle and I was confused. I have myself to blame because this is part of a series of the DCS Bob Skinner and I thought it could be read stand alone. I was wrong. At least it didn't work for me. Another thing about this book is, there are a lot of dialogues going on and I often find myself wondering who is this so and so because I wasn't familiar with some of the names (Again, that leads to why I should read the series from the beginning).

I wouldn't say this is a book review, for I didn't really finish the book. I think it is better if I will to give it another chance after I have read the rest.


Week of May 4: Random Nosy Questions

1. What is your favorite time of the day? I don't have a favourite time of the day. I guess it depends on my mood. There are times I like morning because it is the beginning of a new day and there are things to look forward to (e.g. it's weekend and I don't have to rush to work so I can laze around and relax); or there are times I like evening because I enjoy watching the cities night scene and the stars in the night sky.
2. Who is your hero? A hero is one whom you look upon to and feel you are safe when you are with him. Naturally, my husband is my hero.
3. What is your favorite television program? I don't have any; I seldom watch television. Though some of them are entertaining, to me they are great for killing time.
4. Do you have a hobby? Yes! Reading. Haha.
5. How long have you been blogging? I started blogging in July 2006.
6. What is your dream job? One that I enjoy and will never get tired of it... say like opening a bookstore.
7. What is your favorite place to buy clothes? Again, I don't have any favourites. It varies from shopping malls to online shopping.
8. Do you have any bad habits? Yes! Procrastinating!
9. Do you feel younger or older than your current age? I guess I am more mentally matured after seeing my mother passed away two years ago. It made me realize that life is so short and fragile and that one should live life to its fullest and most importantly, be positive and happy.
10. What is your dream vacation? I'd love to visit US or Europe one day!

Thank you everyone for participating in my books giveaway. It is always a pleasure to host them and moreover, good books are meant to share! I am happy to see my three books have found their new homes ( made the decision). Here they are:

Cold Mountain goes to Aaron from That's the Book!;

Little Face goes to Alice from Hello, My Name Is Alice; and

From Black Rooms goes to Nymeth from Things Mean A Lot.

Congratulations!!! Please email me your name and your snail mail address to melreadingcorner (at) gmail (dot) com and I will have them sent as soon as possible. :-)


What was your favorite cartoon when you were a child?
Too many to list! Let's see... I'm fond of Strawberry Shortcake, Care Bears, Smurfs, Scooby Doo and a few Japanese animations that feature beautiful girls with long flowing hair with magical powers. I am sure there are a lot more but I just couldn't think of any right now.

Pretend you are about to get a new pet. Which animal would you pick, and what would you name it?
Either a rabbit or a hamster. Because they are so soft and cuddly, and I think they are easy to tame too. I'm not good in giving names, so I'd probably name it "Weeny" due to its size.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how much do you enjoy getting all dressed up for a special occasion?
8. It is not like I get to dress up nicely for a special occasion every now and then, haha.

Main Course
What kind of music do you listen to while you drive?

As long as they are soothing and relaxing.

When was the last time you bought a clock? And in which room did you put it?
Gosh, I cannot remember! And I think it is rather my husband who bought it, not me. He put it in our bedroom, so that if one runs out of battery, the other is able to serve its purpose!!

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After participating in several books giveaways by fellow bookbloggers, I am glad to announce it is now my turn to hold a giveaway. I have three books to give to three lucky winners. These are the books:
  1. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

  2. Little Face by Sophie Hannah

  3. From Black Rooms by Stephen Woodworth

Please leave a comment with the title you are interested in winning. You may enter all the titles but you will only be able to win one. Entries must be received by 1 May, Thursday (GMT +8.00) and the draw will be held the following day (Will try to post the result on the same day if possible).

Good luck and thank you in advance for participating!



Quick! It’s an emergency! You just got an urgent call about a family emergency and had to rush to the airport with barely time to grab your wallet and your passport. But now, you’re stuck at the airport with nothing to read. What do you do??

And, no, you did NOT have time to grab your bookbag, or the book next to your bed. You were . . . grocery shopping when you got the call and have nothing with you but your wallet and your passport (which you fortuitously brought with you in case they asked for ID in the ethnic food aisle). This is hypothetical, remember….

I am sure there will be at least one bookstore in most airports, so I will just find some books there. If unfortunately there isn't one and if the waiting time isn't long, I guess I will just try to walk around or people watch, hoping that time will pass quickly. Then again, I think reading will be the last thing on my mind since I will be worried for my family. I don't think I will be able to concentrate on my reading until I am assured that they are fine.