Friday Fill-Ins

This week Michelle provided most of the questions; thank you, Michelle! we go!

1. When I'm sick I'm moody because I can't do all the things I like.

2. When I take a walk, I think about the beauty of nature and happy thoughts.

3. Money can't buy happiness but it can provide some comfort to the people who need it, especially during emergencies.

4. Cotton makes me think of clouds and leather makes me think of upholstery and some luxurious products.

5. The strangest person/character I've had lewd thoughts about was no one (can't think of any at the moment).

6. My favorite color these days is blue because it is calming to me and not too loud.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to spending some time with my family, tomorrow my plans include visiting my dad and Sunday, I want to enjoy a little break and meeting up with my ex-boss at his son's wedding dinner!


Friday Finds

It is no wonder I cannot catch up on my reading pile because with all the recommendations from fellow book blogger friends and the unresistable visits to the bookstores (never mind if they are online or any other physical bookstores), I will always end up bringing home several books (and not to mention burning a big hole in my purse).

Here are my latest finds:

  • The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder
    (Synopsis: At fifteen, Georg comes upon a letter written to him by his dying father, to be read when he comes of age. Their two voices make a fascinating dialogue as Georg comes to know the father he can barely remember, then is challenged by him to answer some profound questions. The central mystery of The Orange Girl is the story of an elusive young woman for whom Georg's father searches in Oslo and Seville--and whom Georg finally realizes is his mother. A thought-provoking fairy-tale romance imbued with the sense of awe and wonder that is Jostein Gaarder's hallmark.)

  • Out Backward by Ross Raisin
    (Synopsis: Sam Marsdyke is a lonely young man, dogged by an incident in his past and forced to work his family farm instead of attending school in his Yorkshire village. He methodically fills his life with daily routines and adheres to strict boundaries that keep him at a remove from the townspeople. But one day he spies Josephine, his new neighbor from London. From that moment on, Sam's carefully constructed protections begin to crumble—and what starts off as a harmless friendship between an isolated loner and a defiant teenage girl takes a most disturbing turn.)
  • Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe by Jennie Shortridge
    (Synopsis: When she learns that her college sweetheart husband has been seeing another woman, Mira Serafino's perfect world is shattered and she wants no one, least of all her big Italian family, to know. She heads north—with no destination and little money— stopping only when her car breaks down in Seattle. She takes a job at the offbeat Coffee Shop at the Center of the Universe, where she'll experience a terrifying but invigorating freedom, and meet someone she'll come to love: the new Mira.)

  • What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
    (Synopsis: A lost little girl with a notebook and toy monkey appears on the CCTV screen of the Green Oaks shopping centre, evoking memories of junior detective, Kate Meaney, missing for twenty years. Kurt, a security guard with a sleep disorder and Lisa, a disenchanted deputy manager at Your Music, together become entranced by the little girl they keep glimpsing on the security cameras. As Kurt and Lisa’s after-hours friendship grows in intensity, it brings new loss and new longing to light.)

  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
    (Synopsis: The narrator of The Gargoyle is a very contemporary cynic, physically beautiful and sexually adept, who dwells in the moral vacuum that is modern life. As the book opens, he is driving along a dark road when he is distracted by what seems to be a flight of arrows. He crashes into a ravine and suffers horrible burns over much of his body. As he recovers in a burn ward, undergoing the tortures of the damned, he awaits the day when he can leave the hospital and commit carefully planned suicide—for he is now a monster in appearance as well as in soul.

    A beautiful and compelling, but clearly unhinged, sculptress of gargoyles by the name of Marianne Engel appears at the foot of his bed and insists that they were once lovers in medieval Germany. In her telling, he was a badly injured mercenary and she was a nun and scribe in the famed monastery of Engelthal who nursed him back to health. As she spins their tale in Scheherazade fashion and relates equally mesmerizing stories of deathless love in Japan, Iceland, Italy, and England, he finds himself drawn back to life—and, finally, in love. He is released into Marianne's care and takes up residence in her huge stone house. But all is not well. For one thing, the pull of his past sins becomes ever more powerful as the morphine he is prescribed becomes ever more addictive. For another, Marianne receives word from God that she has only twenty-seven sculptures left to complete—and her time on earth will be finished.)

  • Tumbling Through Time by Gwyn Cready
    (Synopsis: In her sparkling and hilarious debut, author Gwyn Cready introduces Persephone "Seph" Pyle, a total control freak who plans for everything -- until a pair of killer heels sends her back in time and into the arms of a ruggedly handsome sea captain straight from the pages of a romance novel.)



    If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next?
    Or, um, is it just me?

    When picking a book to read, what most attracts me first is the story. Like any curious person, I want to find out where the stories would bring me to, and then I would like to know what would happen to the characters in these stories. In my opinion, a good story consists of having a good plot and engaging characters.

    So what about you? I would love to hear your thoughts.


    ISBN-13: 9780340924761
    Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
    Published: November 2007
    592 pp

    First sentence: Picture a summer stolen whole from some coming-of-age film set in small-town 1950s.

    In 1984 in a small suburb in Dublin, three twelve-year-old children wandered into the woods and only one managed to walk out alive. The boy has no memory, nor any clue to the disappearance of his other two friends, except his blood-stained sneakers when he was found gripping a tree trunk, terrified. The two children could not be found.

    Twenty years later, that boy is now known as Detective Rob Ryan and working in Dublin Murder Squad. No one knows about his secret past except his partner and best friend, Cassie Maddox. When they are summoned to investigate a murder case of a twelve-year-old girl, Katy Devlin, who was found at the local archeological dig, it eerily reminds Ryan about the unsolved case of his two childhood friends, Peter Savage and Germaine Rowan.

    To add complexity to the case, there is something about the Devlin's family that arouse the two detectives' suspicions, and then there is the Move the Motorway Campaign which Katy's father, Jonathan is an outspoken member against the project. Ryan knows his career will be over if his superior finds out about his identity, but he is very determined to solve the case, and most of all he is hoping to find some answers to the case which happened twenty years ago.

    In the Woods is a highly addictive read as I was drawn into Tana French well-woven debut story involving Detective Ryan's childhood and the taut pacing murder case of Katy Devlin. The chemistry between Ryan and Maddox is another interesting read; as both of them have their dark past and issues to deal with. There is also a psychological element in this story, which had led me to ponder about each characters' minds and their behaviours.

    This book is also the winner of the 2007 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. I cannot wait to read The Likeness, where in this next sequel, Detective Cassie Maddox will take the lead of another intriguing case.

    Other review:
    Bookgirl's Nightstand
    Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?


    The winner of my audio book giveaway goes to ... Elizabeth of BlueViolet!

    Congratulations, Elizabeth!

    Please email me your snail mail address and I will send the CD set to you as soon as possible. Thanks everyone for participating! :-)
    {STICKY POST ! ~ Please scroll down for other entries}

    Thanks to bellebooks, I have one audio CD to give away to one lucky winner.

    Before Garden Spells (click here to read my review) and Sugar Queen, Sarah Addison Allen wrote some lovely stories for bellebooks and they are now compiled into a novella, In My Dreams, available in audio CD and narrated by New York Times bestselling author Deborah Smith.

    Six charming stories illuminate the everyday magic of life in the small North Carolina town of Clementine. With the help of her wise and colourful Great Aunt Sophie, young Louise learns to deal with life, death, love and friendship.

    Genre: Novella, Women's Fiction, Southern, Contemporary
    Appropriate for YA as well as adult audiences

    Leave a comment on this post if you are interested to win this CD set. Closing date for the draw is 26 August (GMT +8.00). The winner will be announced on the following day. Good luck!


    Teaser Tuesdays

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

    I am currently reading a crime thriller, In The Woods by Tana French. It has an intriguing setting and I cannot wait to finish the book soon!

    ~ ~ ~

    The finds shed was less impressive than I'd expected. In spite of what Mark had said about taking away the valuable stuff, I think my mental image had included gold cups and skeletons and pieces of eight. (Pg 51)


    Musing Mondays

    So, what do YOU do when you find yourself in a reading slump? How do you get out of it? Do you keep trying different books until you find one that draws you in? Do you just give in to the slump until it passes, and do something other than reading for a time? Do you ask for help? And, if you ask for help, what great (or, not so great) advice have you been given on how to get out of the slump?

    To avoid getting myself in a reading slump, I find not reading the same genre in a row helps unless it is part of a series and I just cannot wait to jump into the next book. I always try to find something to read from my TBR pile even though if I have a reading slump because I treasure my reading time and it is not everyday I can get a chance to read (especially after work and during weekends since my time will be spent on my family).

    I find reading other book bloggers' recommendations is another great option because there are just too many books out there waiting for our explorations! I have found a lot of new authors (and good books as well) through reading their reviews and some of them have became my favourites. Well I do not have any great advice to offer, but I think as long as you do not stop reading, I am sure there are bound to be some books that will catch your attention along the way!



    Last week, I posted a link about Book Blogger Appreciation Week hosted by Amy. I visited her blog earlier and am thrilled to find out that the nominations are now open. Here is what she wrote:

    "It's time to open nominations for Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008!

    Listed below are the categories of awards. There are many. You may not have a nomination for each award. It doesn't matter. Nominate up to two blogs per category and send an email to BbawawardsATgmailDOTcom with your choices. You DO NOT have to have a blog to make nominations. Comments left on this post will NOT be accepted as nominations. Each category will be narrowed to the top five blogs by number of nominations received, so don't be shy!!! Support your favorite blogs and bloggers! Nominations will close on August 31st.

    And the categories for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008 are:

    Best General Book Blog
    Best Kidlit Blog
    Best Christian/Inspirational Fiction Blog
    Best Literary Fiction Blog
    Best Book Club Blog
    Best Romance Blog
    Best Thrillers/Mystery/Suspense Blog
    Best Non-fiction Blog
    Best Young Adult Lit Blog
    Best Book/Publishing Industry Blog
    Best Challenge Host
    Best Community Builder
    Best Cookbook Blog
    Best History/Historical Fiction Blog
    Best Design
    Most Chatty
    Most Concise
    Most Eclectic Taste
    Best Name for a Blog
    Best Published Author Blog
    Best Book published in 2008
    Best Meme/Carnival/Event
    Most Extravagant Giveaways
    Best Book Community site

    Write In--think we missed something? Write in your category and nomination and if there are enough other write-ins of the same category it will be added!"


    Friday Fill-Ins

    This week Amy provided the questions; thank you, Amy!

    1. Dancing to the music while humming to myself makes me relax and happy.

    2. The last time I viewed through my old photo albums I nearly cried because it brought me lots of wonderful memories.

    3. When I drive I make sure everyone has their seat belts on.

    4. I saw my colleagues standing by the copier zapping some documents.

    5. Give me time, give me books, give me a reading space and I will be a very happy person.

    6. Next week I am looking forward to meeting up with my ex-boss since I am invited to attend to his eldest son's wedding dinner.

    7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to meeting up with my friends, tomorrow my plans include visiting the hospital for viewing of the maternity ward/delivery suites and Sunday, I want to spend some time with my family!


    Booking Through Thursday

    Inspired by Booksplease

    Whether you usually read off of your own book pile or from the library shelves NOW, chances are you started off with trips to the library. (There’s no way my parents could otherwise have kept up with my book habit when I was 10.) So … What is your earliest memory of a library? Who took you? Do you have you any funny/odd memories of the library?

    My very first visit was at my Primary School library. At that time, my school was just about a fifteen minutes walk from home and although the public library is bigger and has more varieties, nothing beats the convenience so I spent much more time in the school library than in the public library.

    I remember I would stay in the library after class dismissal (perhaps once in a week) and would browse through the shelves to look for my favourite Nancy Drew series while I enjoyed the cool air from the air-conditioner because it was always so hot outside. I would rest my back against the bean couch provided on the carpeted floor as I read; we were also requested to leave our shoes outside the library since we might dirty the carpet.

    I cannot recall if there was any funny/odd memories of the library though, except that I always had a wonderful time there. Sadly, the school was demolished several years back and now thinking back, I really missed those days.


    ISBN-13: 9781934246634
    Publisher: Peppertree Press
    Published: June 2007
    (Reviewer Copy)

    First sentence: It seems like I've been single...forever.

    Delaney Moore is thirty-six year old and a successful advertising executive. Suddenly, life is no longer a bed of roses for her when she finds herself suddenly dumped by Ryan, her husband of eight and a half years because he thinks their goals are way too different while she blamed it on their young and naïvety when they first got married. Anyway, the failed marriage torn her apart but she is very determined to get her life back and thus, she set out on a mission to find companionship again.

    She met Amanda, Lindsay and Jen along the way and they became good friends. Like Delaney, the other three women are single too and Delaney no longer feels like she is alone as they share their stories and give moral support and advice to one another. Delaney is also grateful to have Abagail, a cocker spaniel to keep her company during all these times despite she is only a pet.

    The novel goes on to describe Delaney's dating tales, starting with a rebound relationship to meeting boy toys, meeting someone at the pubs and from an online dating site to vacation flings, and having a one-night stand with a stranger for the experience because she had never done it in her life et cetera, until she meets Donald "Soup" Soupart, a loan officer when she purchases her new house. Their relationship is mutual and very businesslike initially, but Delaney thinks he is the one and thus, she is very cautious about maintaining their relationship. Soup likes her too, and they went on several dates and became lovers. Two years later, Soup decided that they needed a break. Though heartbroken, she felt she has grown after having experiencing a series of dating throughout the years and it is through these that she has found herself and decided that being single is not something she feel a need to run from anymore. Most importantly, she learnt that love comes in many different packages.

    I liked the following passages of the last chapter:

    The destination in life is not about "not being single"; it's about being happy - regardless of your relationship status.

    Life is always moving forward and always changing. That's why through it all you have to find happiness in simply being alive and experiencing all of these adventures. In the end, the greatest love of your life is really yourself.
    Jackie Mahaney wrote about a single woman life's personal relationships with honesty, integrity and humor in Meet Delaney. An inspiring author, Ms. Mahaney is also a dating and relationship journalist and is widely known for her dating and relationship articles, published on various internet sites.

    ISBN-13: 9780316032148
    Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Published: August 2008
    Series: Twilight Saga Series, #4

    First sentence: I'd had more than my fair share of near-death experiences; it wasn't something you ever really got used to.

    This is the final instalment of the Twilight Saga series. Like other readers and/or Twilight fans, I was excited to get hold of this book during the release but yet in a way I felt sorry that this series is finally coming to an end.

    The first chapter began right after Eclipse had left, where Bella agrees to be Edward's bride and she is eagerly awaiting for the big day to arrive. Excitement aside, she is still feeling sorry and worried for Jacob, her werewolf best friend since she had not heard from him after he knew about her decision of marrying Edward. Besides this, she is also worried about her father, Charlie, and how the overall immortality transformation will affect everything since she is not allowed to discuss this issue with just anyone.

    There are lots of emotions and stuff going on in this instalment. I have no idea how to share my thoughts without revealing a few spoilers so please stop reading further if you do not want the surprise to be ruined.

    *** Contains Spoilers ***

    The first part of the book covers mostly on Bella and Edward's wedding and honeymoon, but it is her pregnancy condition that is the main focus and this is where it gets really interesting.

    Here we see Edward being anxious for Bella because the fetus is growing tremendously inside her womb. Though worried for herself and the baby, Bella is however feeling fiercely protective of her baby. I also read with great interest about Rosalie being supportive and protective of Bella, after all it is not like they are the best of friends initially. And frankly speaking, I have no idea that Bella would get pregnant in this story. It is the least I expected and although I was a little taken aback, I was not completely unhappy about it. After all, it is a natural outcome since Bella and Edward consumated their marriage. I suppose it is due to their age that made some readers skeptical about this whole pregnancy issue.

    I was glad Jacob decided to return and accepted the fact that Bella was meant to be together with Edward. I could feel his anguish when he learnt about Bella's difficult pregnancy and then, there is another issue about him imprinting on Bella's baby. In a way, I had expected this to come. He and Bella are best buddies, and naturally he loves Renesmee because she is part of Bella. Honestly, I do not know how to react to this because it seems there is no right or wrong with it. I was however perplexed and unconvinced over Bella's power after her transformation because it seems too easy for a newborn in her. I read about the instability of newborn vampires in Eclipse and I was anticipating that to happen to Bella after her transformation but unfortunately it did not happen. Bella acted as if nothing has changed in her, except she had greater power now.

    The relationship between the vampires (at least where the Cullens family are concerned) and the werewolves clan have improved after Jacob and his pack decided that Renesmee posed no threat and that they are to unite together to prepare a battle with the Volturi. Alice's and Jasper's departure after knowing about this confrontation was a surprise to me because it was just not their style to turn back on the family and I have to applaud Stephenie Meyer for building this tension. The part where the Cullens family in search of other vampires as witnesses was an interesting read too. I had anticipated the climax to build when they finally met the Volturi but sadly, nothing major happened (here I am referring about the battling scenes). Like Bella's transformation, nothing much happened and everything seemed too easy in my opinion.

    *** End Spoilers ***

    I did enjoy this instalment. It is darker as compared to the previous three instalments. And I think this story suits more to adult readers than the younger readers due to some scenes. I could not say I loved it or hated it. Stephenie Meyer is a great storyteller, but I felt it would be better if she would explain more in certain scenes. I wanted to read more conflicts instead of having some things easily laid out. That said, it did not take away my reading pleasure because it is an entertaining story. I am looking forward to reading Midnight Sun which this will be told from Edward's perspective on Twilight.

    Other Bloggers' reviews:
    Becky's Book Reviews
    Book Binge
    Hello, My Name Is Alice
    Maw Books Blog
    Rhinoa's Ramblings
    Stephanie's Written Word
    Where Troubles Melt Like Lemon Drops


    Teaser Tuesdays

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

    I am currently reading Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, and I decided to choose something romantic for this week's teaser (page 50). :-)

    ~ ~ ~

    He kissed me tenderly, adoringly; I forgot the crowd, the place, the time, the reason . . . only remembering that he loved me, that he wanted me, that I was his.

    He began the kiss, and he had to end it; I clung to him, ignoring the titters and the throat-clearing in the audience.


    Musing Mondays

    Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about choosing a good book to read…

    How do you choose the books you read? Do you like the cover art on a book? Do you rely on reviews? Do you let friends and/or family recommend books to you? How about books you find on other people’s blogs? Do you read the blurb/description?

    Before internet and blogging, I used to rely on the book blurbs as a guide. If they interest me, I will pick them up. Sometimes, I will also read a page or two just to 'test the water'; if the premise is interesting enough and/or the writing is good, I will read them. Interesting and attractive book covers is another factor that makes me pick up a book, but if the blurbs do not interest me, I will not bother to read further.

    Now when internet and online bookstores are so accessible, choosing what to read becomes easier. I have to say it also changes my reading habit especially I stumbled upon the blogging world two years ago and get to know so many wonderful book bloggers out there. Reading their reviews have made me read some books which I might not pick up for myself. In other words, I am not as picky now when it comes to choosing what kind of book or which genre to read as compared to the past.

    Even though nowadays I rely mostly on fellow book bloggers' recommendations, it does not mean I will read whatever they read. I will still pick the books that are appealing to me, though the only difference is that I have a wider choice to choose from (or if they are new authors to me). Occasionally, I will receive a few reviewer copies which I think is another great way of finding new authors/new books to read too.

    It is Bookworms Carnival #14! One of my lovely blogger friends, Florinda is hosting this month's carnival and the theme is "You're Never Too Old!". Her carnival post consists reviews on children's and young adult's literature, as well as links to other readers where they wrote about their favourite childhood reading, sharing their love of reading with their children, etc and many more! I hope you will drop by Florinda's blog and say hi! And don't forget to visit and leave a comment to her carnival's participants too! Have fun reading!

    @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @ @

    Amy is hosting the Book Blogger Appreciation Week in acknowledging the hard work of book bloggers and their growing impact on book marketing and their essential contribution to book buzz in general. Readers without a blog are welcome to join too! Go on, check out her post. I know you are interested! :-)


    1. The last meal I had at a restaurant was some vegetarian dishes and they were real delicious.

    2. Arrogance is something I intensely dislike.

    3. The full moon reminds me of Mid-Autumn festival, mooncakes and all the colourful lanterns.

    4. "I'll try my best" is one of my favorite local expressions. (Someone mentioned this in the local papers that "trying" is not good enough, however "do my best" will be more effective! In case you are wondering what this is all about, the article is referring to some of the Olympics participants' comments when they were being interviewed.)

    5. Sometimes it's best to leave things as they are.

    6. The Dark Knight is the best movie I've seen so far this year! (I didn't watch many movies this year anyway!)

    7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to reading Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer, tomorrow my plans include doing household chores and laundry and Sunday, I want to spend time with my family and read some more!



    You, um, may have noticed that the Olympics are going on right now, so that’s the genesis of this week’s question, in two parts:


    • Do you or have you ever read books about the Olympics? About sports in general?
    • Fictional ones? Or non-fiction? Or both?

    And, Second:

    • Do you consider yourself a sports fan?
    • Because, of course, if you’re a rabid fan and read about sports constantly, there’s a logic there; if you hate sports and never read anything sports-related, that, too … but you don’t have to love sports to enjoy a good sports story.
    • (Or a good sports movie, for that matter. Feel free to expand this into a discussion about “Friday Night Lights” or “The Natural” or whatever…)

    (For the record, I am not a sports fan at all, but I’ll watch almost any Olympics event, have indeed read books about the Olympics–and strongly recommend The Second Mark, which yes, is about Figure Skating, but was a fantastic story and particularly enthralling in its view into life as an athlete in China, so no sneering at the sport, okay? The book was fascinating. I’ve also read a history of the 1896 Olympics (there’s also a good mini-series which just came out on DVD).

    I am not really a sports fan, although I enjoy watching the Olympics (especially the gymnastics and the swimming events). And I do not think I have read any books which are sports related, unless you are talking about the characters who have an interest in sports (but the stories focused on other things rather than the sports itself).

    So, are you a sports fan and have you read any sports related books?


    ISBN-13: 9780316160209
    Publisher: Little, Brown & Company
    Published: August 2007
    Twilight Saga Series, #3

    First sentence: All our attempts at Subterfuge had been in vain.

    Bella has her heart set for her graduation at high school, but that also means she will enter into the immortal world but yet she is torn of hurting Jacob's feelings. She worries about the consequences it will bring after being a vampire. Moreover, it hurts her too much to sever her ties with the werewolf clan, for she knew the vampires and werewolves are never friends to begin with. Then again, somewhere deep in her heart, she is not sure if she is ready to be Edward's bride, although she wants to be with him physically.

    Then something happened that freezes the Cullen's family. When they heard of a series of homicides committed in Seattle, they suspected something more dangerous and more sinister on the loose than an ordinary serial killer as speculated. It happened that Victoria is still seething over the death of her vampiric lover and she vowed to seek revenge from the Cullen's family. Thus, a new breed of newborn vampires are created and now they are moving on from Seattle to Forks to get their hands on Bella, knowing her connection with the Cullen's family.

    Not willing to alarm The Volturi, the Cullens' have no choice but to seek a truce with the werewolves clan, though it annoys Edward since this also means Jacob will gain more chances of seeing Bella now that she needs extra protection from the newborn vampires.

    The strain between vampire Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black continues in this third instalment, as both of them are vying for Bella Swan's attention, a mortal girl whom they fell in love with. Bella is still in a dilemma; though she loves Edward, she does not want to loose Jacob as a best friend either. She shows her vulnerable side and appears to be more pessimistic as compared to before. Unlike the previous instalments, I find this leans more towards the emotional part than the real actions.

    The scene about how the werewolves and the legend comes about is an interesting read. I also liked the idea of the vampires and werewolves working together to protect Bella, though at times her negative thoughts annoys me. The ending with Jacob's POV is intriguing, so I cannot wait to devour Breaking Dawn next.

    Other bloggers' reviews:
    Becky's Book Reviews
    Book Binge
    Hello, My Name Is Alice
    Reading Adventures
    Rhinoa's Ramblings
    Stephanie's Written Word
    Where Troubles Melt Like Lemon Drops



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

    I am currently reading Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer but I am about to finish it soon. Anyway, here is my teaser (page 500):

    "But you left because you didn't want to make her a bloodsucker. You want her to be human."



    Do you read book reviews online? In newspapers? Elsewhere? If so, do you let those reviews stop you from reading a particular book, if the book was poorly reviewed? Or, do you read the book anyway?

    The blurb is the first thing that I would read, followed by the reviews. I want to know the gist of the story before deciding if I want to read the book. Reviews come in thereafter, as I am also interested to hear what other readers think of the book. I read the reviews from fellow book bloggers, book magazines and online bookstores. If I came across any negative reviews, I will try to understand them from the readers' point of views. However, they will not stop me from reading the books because I know everyone's reading preference is different. Amongst all, I rely most recommendations on fellow book blogger friends' because I feel that we know one another's preferences from the communications we share through blogging. Sometimes, I will pick up the books they recommend even though if they are not what I will read under normal circumstances but because I am interested to read what they are reading, and morever I want to form my own judgement. And the best thing of all is, I ended up liking them.

    Dear friends & readers,

    I would like you to re-subscribe to my RSS feed again as I have accidentally messed up with the codes and the previous feed address no longer work. I would like to apologise for this inconvenience and hope you will continue to support my blog.

    Thank you!

    ISBN-13: 9780307386830
    Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
    Published: September 2007

    First Sentence: No one who had ever seen Catherine Morland in her infancy, would have supposed her born to be an heroine.

    This is the second book I read by Jane Austen. After reading and watching the movie adaption of Pride and Prejudice, the characters and the premise had imprinted on my mind; thus I am not sure if Northanger Abbey will live up to expectations as compared to Pride and Prejudice. However, I find such thoughts to be unncessary, for Elizabeth Bennet and Catherine Morland are heroines in each of her own way.

    Since young, Catherine was fond of all boys' plays, and does not have much interest to music and art but that all changed when she reaches fifteen. However when she reached the age of seventeen, she has yet to catch a young amiable man fancy. But opportunity calls on her when she is asked to visit Bath with the Allen family, whom are friends of the Morland family. There she meets Henry Tilney and she falls in love with him, and at the same time she also befriended a young lady by the name of Isabella.

    When General Tilney, Henry's father, invited Catherine to spend some time at Northanger Abbey, She is delighted for she has a passion for reading gothic novels and naturally, she is fascinated with the atmosphere of the old mansion. Imagine her thrills when she found locked cabinets and explored the dark passengers in the mansion; and adding to this mystery is the death surrounding the late Mrs Tilney as she let her imagination runs wild. As I read further, I came to realize that the things she discovered in the end is none of the supernatural sort.

    Northanger Abbey starts off a little slow in the beginning, but the pace picks up towards the middle. I liked it that Austen created a gothic feeling in this novel; and the exchanges between Isabella and Catherine's brother, James, is also a joy to read. I was intrigued with some of the words being phrased though, particulary the word 'shew' as I had seen this being used several times throughout the novel. It then came to me that it is a variant of 'show' after reading the passages for a second time. Is it not amazing to find some words changed along with the time?

    Other bloggers' reviews:
    Becky's Book Reviews
    Reading Room
    Trish's Reading Nook


    1. You know you're old when your memory starts to go downhill.

    2. My heart is divided between my family and my work.

    3. A cup of steaming green tea is what I need RIGHT NOW!

    4. I have felt the loss, I have known the depths of pain when a family member passed away two years ago.

    5. Gah, won't these people read rather than wasting their time on some other meaningless stuff?

    6. Please leave me a comment as soon as you can!

    7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to reading Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer, tomorrow my plans include meeting out with my friends and Sunday, I want to spend some time with my family!


    I would like to thank everyone who participated in my book giveaway under my Weekly Geeks post last week. It is a great joy to me to host every book giveaway because I just love the feeling of sharing books with fellow book lovers. has helped me to draw a winner and a copy of Taken by Barbara Freethy goes to Shana of Literarily.

    Congratulations, Shana!

    Please email me your snail mail address so I can send the book to you as soon as possible.
    I took an afternoon off from work yesterday (as I mentioned some time ago that I need to clear some of my annual leave), but since I did not have the intention of going home, I visited the bookstore instead. Below is my latest acquisitions:

    Cotillion by Georgette Heyer;

    Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs;

    Wish You Were Here by Rita Mae Brown;
    and finally...

    Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

    I was glad I reserved my copy of Breaking Dawn in advance because when I browsed through the shelves, I could not find a single copy of it! (Although I did see a stack of reserved copies behind the payment counter.)

    From what I read from some of the reviews circulating around the blogosphere, I noticed there are a mixture of both positive and negative reviews (I avoid those with spoilers though). I cannot wait to read this book, but since I have not read the previous installment, Eclipse, yet, it looks like I have to forgo my plan to read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro next and devour this instead.

    Labels: 13 comments | edit post


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

    My teaser is from Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen (page 32).

    "...Do you know, there are two odious young men who have been staring at me this half hour. They really put me quite out of countenance..."

    I found two book giveaways which I though I would share and might interest you. I know most of you are huge Neil Gaiman fan (and this including yours truly), thus I am excited when I read about this great giveaway hosted by Fashionista Piranha. If you are looking forward to reading his newest book, The Graveyard Book, this is your chance to win an ARC copy (as well as other goodies). (Click here for more details.)

    I have also read a lot of great reviews on The Gargoyle written by Andrew Davidson, so I am definitely looking out for this one (even though if I do not get to win)! Ruth from Bookish Ruth will be giving away one paperback ARC of this title (click here for more details); and on top of that she is also giving away Kaimira: The Sky Village by Monk and Nigel Ashland (click here for more details).

    Onto an unrelated note, has anyone read Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer? This is the final installment of her Twilight series. Based on some reviews I read from blogs and on online bookstores, readers who had read it either love it or hate it. If you ask me, I can tell you that I have not read the previous installment Eclipse yet! But I am definitely getting this copy today.

    Finally, I would like to thank Alice and Julia for passing this Bunch of Tulips Award to me. Both of them are good friends of mine and I really treasure our friendship despite the fact that we have not met one another. And this, I think is the wonderful part of blogosphere, because you do not need to travel to know new friends. To spread the love of friendship, I would like to pass this award to all my book blog friends (you know who you are!). Thank you for your wonderful book recommendations, and for reading and leaving comments on my blog. You know I really appreciate them!

    Thank you, everyone!



    MizB wrote: Again, my good Book-a-Week group friend, SuLu, has asked a question that sparked some blogging fodder! She wanted to know WHY people join in on reading challenges… what’s so appealing about them?

    First, I enjoy the excitement and fun of joining a reading challenge! It is always a pleasure to find out what other participants are reading and reading their reviews. Most of the times, I get my book recommendations from them. Moreover, I have this 'bad' habit of buying more books and having them stacked in my TBR pile, and I need some motivation to read them. That is where these reading challenges comes in! They help in clearing the TBR pile (even though not in such a big way since I will be adding new ones anyway) but at least they will clear some of the older books which I have neglected in the past. And finally, getting to know more book blog friends!
    This week’s theme is a sort of meme. The basic challenge is to post author photos.

    Using the meme-like list below, post photos of authors in response. Please feel free to skip any you don’t like. You’re also free (encouraged!) to add your own, but if you do that, please be sure to indicate which are yours, so that people can credit you if they use yours.

    But don’t put words/names with your photos. Ask your readers to guess your answers! If you have a book to give away, you may want to offer a prize, maybe draw a name from those readers who guess correctly.

    # # #

    1. Photos of your favorite author(s).

    2. Photo(s) of the author(s) of the book(s) you’re currently reading.

    3. A youtube of (an) author(s) you’ve heard speak. (I attached the picture since I couldn't have it linked.)

    4. A photo of the author of the book you’ve most recently finished.

    5. Photos of the hottest author(s)!

    Bonus Question:
    List any title written by this author. (Hint: She writes historical fictions. One of her works was shown on the big screen this year.)

    Note: You will stand a chance to win a copy of Taken by Barbara Freethy if you can answer this bonus question correctly. Please send your reply to melreadingcorner (AT) gmail (DOT) com; deadline is Thursday, 7 August (GMT +8.00) and the winner will be announced on the following day.

    Good luck!



    Finally I have completed on one reading challenge! Gosh, I felt like such a slow reader as compared to my fellow book blog friends, most of whom I am sure participated in more reading challenges than I did. Nevertheless, I am glad I am done with the 8 books as requested.

    Here is the list of books I read:

    I have to say my best reads are: Fire and Ice, The Blood of Flowers and Garden Spells. Because this is about books published in 2008, it is still not too late if you wish to join now.

    Finally, thanks to Michelle for hosting this challenge!


    ISBN-13: 9780553385885
    Publisher: Bantam Books
    Published: April 2008

    First line: Every smiley moon, without fail, Claire dreamed of her childhood.

    Claire Waverley lives in a beautiful Queen Ann style house in Bascom, North Carolina. It has been occupied by the Waverley family for generations. It has a beautiful garden and the plants they grow have magical quanlities in them. Amongst all, the most magical one has to be the apple tree because not only it bears fruit all year round, but it is known to the Waverley that whoever eats the apple from that tree will see the biggest events in their life.

    Besides using some of the plants for her dishes, Claire devotes most of her time to her catering business. She will include these plants as part of an ingredient into her dishes, depending on her clients' needs or preferences. For example, honeysuckle enables one to see in the dark, pansy encourages the eater to give compliments and surprise gifts, while the rose geranium produces memories of past good times.

    Alas, just when she thinks her life is quiet and peaceful, Tyler Hughes walks into her life. She only realizes he is her neighbour after a short introduction when she catered for a party event at Orion college. Tyler Hughes is an arts professor and he told her he had moved into Bascom for a year since he took up the teaching position. Though intrigued with him, Claire does not bother to know more about him, after all she is not an extrovert. And most Bascom residents think the Waverley members are different and a little weird anyway.

    Then things just got more complicated when she finds Sydney, her sister back into her life since she had walked out of the family and left Bascom ten years ago. Tagging along with her is her five-year-old daughter, Bay. They are on the run from Sydney's abusive husband and she knew home would be the safest place. Claire knew Sydney is not particularly happy being a Waverley and living in Bascom in the past, but in spite of that Claire welcomes them home. They settle down quickly, though Sydney is not prepared to meet her first love and his wife, and the gossip surrounding her from the past.

    There are a lot of things happening towards the middle of the story and most of the times I find myself flipping through the pages eagerly as I could not wait to find out what happened next. I liked the characters in this story, especially the quirky Aunt Evanelle who is a distant cousin of the Waverley family. She is funny and she somehow possess the ability of predicting something will happen next and will come up with all the necessary stuff. I also enjoyed reading the 'tension' between Claire and Tyler, as well as her reconnection with Sydney. I also liked reading how an outcome of events have helped Sydney changed her outlook on life and being a Waverley member.

    Sarah Addison Allen has weaved a heartwarming, magical story in Garden Spells. If you enjoy mystical fictions with a little romance element, this book will surely entrance you.

    Other reviewer:


    Questions 1 and 2 this week are courtesy of Sherry, thanks!

    1. If I could travel back in time, I'd go to my childhood days because they are the happiest and most memorable moments to me.

    2. Give me a vacation or give me more time to catch up on my TBR pile.

    3. I am listening to the humming of my computer while I am typing this sentence.

    4. Somewhere, someone is thinking about what to do during the weekend.

    5. I'll always be an avid reader.

    6. My idea of a good time includes relaxing and spending time with my family.

    7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to going out with my husband, tomorrow my plans include visiting my dad and do a little shopping and Sunday, I want to do some household chores!