I am so glad to have completed From The Stacks Challenge which is held from November 2007 to January 2008. The rules of this challenge is to read 5 books from our stack of purchased to-be-read books. Here is a list of books which I have chosen and completed:

I have enjoyed reading these books, especially The Treatment which I have shortlisted for my Book of the Year this year. It is a page-turner, filled with suspense that held my attention from the first page till the last page of the book. I also enjoyed reading Sharp Objects, another great crime thriller novel which was the winner of "The CWA New Blood Fiction Dagger 2007". As for Atonement, I liked the story premise. It was so beautifully written, and I think the movie is equally great. I was excited that one of my favourite books has made it to the big screen! And Little Face was a scary read because it described a mother's nightmare very well. And then, there's Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere which had me mesmerized from the first page, which is not a surprise to me anyway.

I would like to thank Michelle from Literature Is The Thought of Thinking Souls for hosting this reading challenge.

First of all, I'd like to thank Iliana from Bookgirl's Nightstand for giving this award to me. Wow, I feel so special. Thank you so much, Iliana!

And now, I'm supposed to pass this award to 10 more bloggers... I find it hard to do so because I don't wish to leave anyone out. Still, I'd have to pick some and here they are:

Jennifer - I feel we have known each other for ages. She's like a sister to me... if only we were living closer!
Julia - We knew each other through Lori Foster's forum a few years ago. We have became good friends then. I feel we can talk about anything.
Alice - She is always so cheerful and friendly. Her posts will make you smile! And she always leaves comments on my blog too.
Kathy - She always has interesting photos to share! She even sent me a calendar some time ago which features one of her photos. Yes, she's amazing!
Wendy - She writes great reviews, and most of them always ended up in my TBR pile! And another thing I like about her is she's so modest.
Jaimie - She is another great book blogger that I love to visit, and I enjoy reading her reviews too!
Debi - She is a great mom! I really admire her and I feel I have so many things to learn from her. Her daughter, Annie also loves to read and is currently hosting the What's In A Name? Challenge.
Darla - She's another great reviewer. Her Thursday Thirteen themes always amazes me because most of them are creative and so different from others.
Rhinoa - I have discovered a lot of great fantasy books through her, not to mention a few classics too.
Nymeth - I'm still pretty new to her blog. Like Rhinoa, she reads a lot of fantasy books. And she always have nice things to say.

Before I end this post, I'd like to thank everyone (regardless of regular or new readers) who visits and leaves comments on my blog. You all have no idea how much these means to me. Thanks again! :-)
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I snagged this from Darla ...
Who Should Paint You: Pablo Picasso

Your an expressive soul who shows many emotions, with many subtleties

Only a master painter could represent your glorious contradictions

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
... and can't resist doing this quiz as well.

You Are a Banana

You are mellow, easy going, and a total softie on the inside.

People find it really easy to get along with you. You suit most tastes.

And while you're very sweet, you're not boring or ordinary.

You have an attraction to the exotic, and you could show up anywhere... doing almost anything!

You are spirited, energetic, and a total kick to be around.

You're also quite funny. Your sense of humor is on the goofy side, and it fits you well.

Edited to Add: My husband and I went to watch Atonement last evening. It is a great movie, and it was so beautifully filmed that I was totally engrossed in it from beginning to end. I think my husband enjoyed the morale of the story more, ha! I felt everyone has done a great job in making this movie a successful one. All in all, both of us agreed this is a good movie. I can already foresee myself rereading this book in the near future.

ISBN-13: 9780061245084
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: October 2007

Catherine "Cat" Crawfield is considered a half vampire, a result from a human mother and a vampire father of an unwanted pregnancy. Feeling bitter about her "mixed" blood heritage, her mother has always warned her about his kind. Hoping to avenge for her mother, she is always on a hunt for her so-called father and his kind and kill them with her stake.

During a hunt for them, she stumbled upon Bones but she was no match for him. It turns out that Bones is a vampire bounty hunter. Bones captured her and made a pact with her. In exchange for finding her father, she will join him in battling evil vampires but first he has to train her to be a better fighter. Having not much choice, Cat reluctantly agrees. Slowly sparks fly between them and Cat began to wonder if there is such thing as a good vampire like him exists, and also if they will capture the cunning Hennessy as Bones has chased for years.

Halfway to the Grave is the first book of the Night Huntress series. I really enjoyed reading it partly because I like a strong, sexy heroine as the protagonist and who knows how to kick some butts. I also like the way how Jeaniene Frost portrayed Cat in an insecure position due to her heritage and how she overcomes it in the end. I too enjoyed reading how Cat and Bone's attractions for each other slowly develop and that their dialogues had me chuckling at times.

Told from a first person perspective, Halfway to the Grave is fast-paced and filled with action packed scenes. Readers who love paranormal genre with a little romance element will enjoy this first installment. I am already looking forward to its second book - One Foot in the Grave which is scheduled to release end April.
I am very blessed again to receive the You Cheer Me Up Award from one of my sweet blogger friends, Alice Teh from Hello, My Name Is Alice.

Alice, thank you so much for honouring me with this award and knowing that I manage to cheer you up. ;-) I'd like to say that your cheerful, bubbly personality always cheer me up too. It's always a pleasure to read your posts.

I would like to share this award with all my blogger friends because I think everyone of you deserve this award too. I always find it a joy to receive everyone's comments and to be able to share or exchange our thoughts even though we might not have the chance to meet one another.

Thank you, everyone, for your friendship! I really appreciate it and will always treasure it. :-)
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I was tagged by Stephanie for this meme which was first created by Eva from A Striped Armchair.

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Well...this is a tough one. I guess I will choose The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai. Several time I walked into the bookstores, I was very tempted to buy it as it is listed as one of the bestselling novels but regrettably it didn't hold my interest.

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

When I think of afternoon tea, I think of scones, pastries, English tea and anything that accompanies with the 19th century (perhaps I still cannot forget the scenes from the Pride and Prejudice movie, haha). I'd love to have an informal interview with Mr. Darcy himself, and of course not forgetting to ask about his relationship with Elizabeth Bennet.

As for clubbing, I want someone who's fun to be with and not afraid to show off his funky self. And Reno (hopefully will have a story of his own in the next Ice series by Anne Stuart) fits in this category. He seems like a fun person to be with, although he gives me the impression he's cold and that he doesn't care two hoots what the world think of him.

Well, as for world cruise... can I bring Harry Potter and gang? In this case, we don't have to worry about transport and save us all the hassle!

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?

Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, even though this is rated as one of the bestselling novels around.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalise the VIP).

This is a tough one. Wait a minute, perhaps I should recommend The Kite Runner to the VIP. In fact, I'd recommend this to anyone because it is so thought provoking. There's friendship, family, loyalty, betrayal, redemption, and others as well all packed in this book. I felt I have learnt a lot from this story. What's more, this novel is made into a movie so the VIP can watch it if he/she thinks that reading is too much for him/her!

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

Oh, this one is easy. It's either French or Japanese. I started my first job in a French company, and the French bosses there always greeted their staff in their native language. I guess I was fascinated by their language then, and wouldn't mind learning it provided I have the time!

A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

Let me see... there are so many books that I'd love to reread! But since the fairy said I will reread this once a year for the rest of my life, I suppose I have to choose something entertaining and an easy read, right? Coraline is the first book that sprang to mind. I LOVE that book. And the author is none other than Neil Gaiman, enough said.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

Book blogs have certainly helped me in exploring more books which I have not read or heard of before. In this case, I'd choose the Annie Seymour series by Karen E. Olson because I have read so many great reviews about her books. I also love the cover arts of her first and second book (Sacred Cows and Secondhand Smoke) because the colours used are bright and outstanding.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

A library that I can call my own, how nice! There will be rows of floor-to-ceiling wooden bookshelves lined against the walls, stacked with classics and the latest releases of all genres. Hardcovers and paperbacks will be available as well. Big comfy chairs is a must. Although I'd love to have a fireplace, but living in a hot and humid climate country makes it impossible so an air-conditioned library have to do.

As per the rules, I have to tag 4 people for this meme so here they are:

Darla from Nichtszusagen

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What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”

And, folks–Becca was nice enough to nominate Booking Through Thursday for a Blogger’s Choice Award–while you’re here, why don’t you head over and vote for us, too. Because, a vote for BTT is a vote for all of us who play each week!

I guess this has to depend on who the other reader is. If I know them, I will more or less know their reading preferences and/or which author they have heard of or read. However I can't tell if you are talking about other readers whom I don't know personally because what I have heard about doesn't mean they have too. Or to put it from another angle, if I recommend my favourite book to a friend whom is not interested in a particular genre, she might not have heard of the book because it is outside her reading genre.

Despite my views as above, I'd like to recommend this author - Matthew Reilly, because he writes great thrillers in my opinion. Most of his books are action packed and will send your adrenaline pumping (Please click here for a list of his books). I am not sure if everyone has heard of his books though as most of my booklover friends told me they have not heard of his name until I have mentioned it.

Finally, I'd like to thank Deb for putting up this blog as an exchange for booklovers around the world. I'd also like to congratulate BTT being nominated for the award; it is truly well deserved.

ISBN-13: 9780385494243
Publisher: Knopf Publishing Group
Pub. Date: November 1999

Clive Linley and Vernon Halliday meet each other when they pay their last respects to Molly Lane at a crematorium. Clive is a successful composer, and Vernon is one of London's newspapers editor. Both are Molly's ex-lovers. But Molly had another lover too, and he is none other than Julian Garmony, whose designation is a Foreign Secretary and also a candidate for the Prime Minister role. To make things more complicated, Molly also had a husband by the name of George although their relationship is nothing but bland.

Then, things began to heat up when George finds some photographs of Julian with Molly in a compromising position and he makes them available to Vernon, hoping this scandalous episode would bring Julian down. Clive, on the other hand, thinks this deed is a betrayal and humiliation to the deceased Molly. So the misunderstanding between Vernon and Clive deepens, and one thing leads to another and that is when the story reaches its climax. The ending took me a little aback, which is a good thing because I like a little surprise here and there.

I have expected something more from Amsterdam after reading Atonement. I really enjoyed reading the latter, but frankly speaking I am not really into this story despite this book is the winner of the 1998 Booker Prize and that it has received lots of good reviews. I like Ian McEwan's writing style, but this story just didn't suck me in. I am not a great fan of political issues, so this must have explained how I felt about this book.

On a side note, the movie version of Atonement has finally released today. I have made plans with my husband to watch it next week. I can't wait. I wonder what everyone thinks of this movie?

Because I am still excited about the poppet, I took a few pictures of it looking up at the pile of books which I bought recently...

  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
  • Every Breath You Take by Sheila Quigley
  • The Unquiet by John Connolly
  • Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline
  • Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Severed by Simon Kernick
I just love the way the poppet tilted its head, as if it is mesmerized by the things it sees...
Such creative work. Kudos to the artist, Lisa Snellings-Clark!

You Have A Type A- Personality

You are one of the most balanced people around

Motivated and focused, you are good at getting what you want

You rule at success, but success doesn't rule you.

When it's playtime, you really know how to kick back

Whether it's hanging out with friends or doing something you love!

You live life to the fullest - incorporating the best of both worlds

Edited to note:
By the way, I am so excited that I have received my very first poppet yesterday which I bought from Lisa Snellings-Clark some time ago! And don't you think this little thing beautiful? I LOVE it! I have also placed another order with her for the Valentines Gift Poppet and can't wait for it to arrive! Both poppets will be standing side by side in my bookshelf! Yes, I know I'm rambling, so please excuse me. ;P


ISBN-13: 9781594480003
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: April 2004

"I became what I am today at the age of twelve, on a frigid overcast day in the winter of 1975..."

I knew after I read this opening line, I would expect something great from this story. And I wasn't disappointed.

In this debut written by Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner is a story about two motherless boys who shared the love of kite running. Growing up in Kabul, they treated each other like brothers. Amir is the son of a wealthy businessman while Hassan is the son of the household servant. Amir often takes life for granted while Hassan is a simple and humble boy who always look up to Amir. But Amir isn't really happy, and he wants to win his father's approval badly by proving himself that he has the makings of a man. He figured that by winning the kite-fighting tournament he would be able to gain his father's approval, although deep in his heart he had wondered why his father treated Hassan better than himself.

Amir finally won the tournament, and Hassan ran after the opponent's runaway kite because both of them knew he was good at it (tracking down the kite that is). Unfortunately, the neighbourhood bullies Assef and gang managed to catch up on him, due to an incident that happened some time ago when Hassan had stood up to them. Amir was too terrified to do anything then, and it seemed that history is repeating itself when he witnessed his childhood buddy being bullied and raped by Assef. Thereafter, Hassan and his father decided to leave town and Amir continued to haunt by his cowardice and guilt through his adulthood, where by then he and his father had fled to America and started a new life.

Then Amir received word from Rahim, his father's old business partner from Pakistan that he wanted to meet him, and that there was a way for Amir to make things right. Soon, Amir would learn the truth about what had happened to Hassan throughout the years, and what he would do to redeem himself...

The Kite Runner is beautifully written, filled with memorable characters and an unforgettable story that will have you mesmerized. It is also thought provoking and emotional that will cause a lump in your throat even after you have closed the book. I am looking forward to the movie version which will open end of this month and can't wait to read the next release A Thousand Splendid Suns.

Other Bloggers' reviews:

Week of Jan 20: This or that?

1. soda or water? Water (a simplest thirst quencher)
2. mustard or ketchup? Ketchup
3. lake or beach? Beach
4. rent a dvd or go to the theater? Theater (always enjoy the large screen and the sound effects)
5. log onto the internet or go for a jog? Internet (I just don't think I'm an 'exercise person')
6. read a book or watch a movie? Depends
7. italian food or chinese food? Depends
8. summer or winter? Winter (it's boring when you have summer all year around)
One of the best things about blogging is, not only you get to write and share your thoughts with other readers, but you also get to know a lot of wonderful bloggie friends along the way. I am glad to say that Ms Alice Teh is one of them. I would like to thank her for giving me the Blog Friend Forever Award.

Thank you, Alice! Cheers and long live to our friendship!

I would like to pass this award to some of my wonderful bloggie friends:

Besides receiving the award, I have another sweet surprise which I received in the mail today. I have won a book over at Rhinoa's blog during the BAFAB Week - Spirits In The Wires by Charles De Lint. I had chosen this book because the story premise sounds interesting, and moreover I have not read anything by this author. So you can imagine how thrilled I am when Rhinoa claimed I am the winner of this book!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Rhinoa for hosting this contest as well as sending me the book. I will post a review after I have read it, although not at this time since my reading 'cards' are full.

Thank you, Rhinoa! :-)


This week’s question is suggested by Puss Reboots:

How much do reviews (good and bad) affect your choice of reading? If you see a bad review of a book you wanted to read, do you still read it? If you see a good review of a book you’re sure you won’t like, do you change your mind and give the book a try?

This is a great topic!

If I am in a bookstore, the first thing that attracts my attention is the bookcover (besides the names of the authors that is), but of course there is this famous saying that you can't judge a book by its cover, so I give each book a fair chance by reading the blurbs from the back covers. If it interests me enough, I will buy it. Occasionally (and if I have the time), I will also read the first few pages of a chapter to get a glimpse of the story premise.

But there are also times that I buy books online, thus I will read some reviews just out of curiosity. However, I try not to let a bad review affect my choice of reading because each person reading preferences varies. In fact, I have came across some bad reviews on a book, but I liked what I read from the blurb so I decided to give it a fair chance. And guess what, I ended up liking it.

On the other hand, if I came across a good review on a book which I don't think I will like, I will give it a chance too but this has to depend if I am interested in that genre. I read most genres, but I tend to shy away from sci-fi and I have no idea why. But if the story premise is real good, I think I will give it a try because well, you can never say never.

ISBN-10: 0340840323
ISBN-13: 978-0340840320
Publisher: Hodder Paperback; New Ed edition (24 Aug 2006)

Alice Fancourt is excited about being a new mother. But when she finds her baby girl, Florence has gone missing from the cot and instead replaced by a nearly identical baby, she gets hysterical. However her husband, David thinks she is hallucinating and suffering from post-natal depression and brushed off her remarks.

But what most scary is, Alice thinks David is responsible in this in a way. She knows she has no reason to suspect him, but still she couldn't understand about the death of his first wife, Laura Cryer and thought he was upset when she brought up this subject from the beginning. She has dismissed it and thought he was upset then. Then again, there is Vivienne, her mother-in-law who wants the best of everything for her since the day she walked into David's life. She felt flattered at first, but what if there is an ulterior motive behind her kind gesture?

No one seems to believe Alice, except DC Simon Waterhouse who has a soft spot for her. But Waterhouse has his own issues too, for his superior DS "Charlie" Zailer has had a major crush on him and thinks he is overeacting with Alice's case. But when the baby and Alice disappear, Charlie begins to look into the case seriously....

Sophie Hannah weaved a taut and suspenseful thriller in Little Face. Readers will be enticed in this story through her two narrative voices - Alice as her own and Simon through a third person. While reading this book, I often wondered to myself if there was more to Laura Cryer's death, or was it simply an abduction case? As the story slowly unfolds, I realized that there is more than meets the eyes, and didn't see the twist coming until towards the end. It was a fascinating read. I can't wait to read her latest release, Hurting Distance which I have it in my TBR pile.
I found this over at Stacy's blog.

What Melody Lee Means

You are confident, self assured, and capable. You are not easily intimidated.

You master any and all skills easily. You don't have to work hard for what you want.

You make your life out to be exactly how you want it. And you'll knock down anyone who gets in your way!

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are relaxed, chill, and very likely to go with the flow.

You are light hearted and accepting. You don't get worked up easily.

Well adjusted and incredibly happy, many people wonder what your secret to life is.

You are well rounded, with a complete perspective on life.

You are solid and dependable. You are loyal, and people can count on you.

At times, you can be a bit too serious. You tend to put too much pressure on yourself.

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.

You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.


Last Friday, I had a shock when our washer decided to boycott us. As usual, I loaded my daughter's clothes into the washer but after ten or fifteen minutes later, I heard a loud sound coming from the kitchen. Initially I didn't let the noise bothers me too much because we are so used to its loud vibrating sound during the spinning cycle. Then after a while, I heard another sound coming from the kitchen again and this time it was getting louder. Feeling curious and puzzled, I walked into the kitchen and was shocked to find the washer had toppled over. I couldn't believe my eyes! Just when I thought things didn't get any more worse, the electricity power tripped due to the incident. I felt so hopeless, and didn't know what to do since my husband wasn't back from work yet. So I called his mobile, and asked him to come back as quickly as possible.

Fortunately, it wasn't a long wait for me as he was on his way home. I began babbling non-stop to him about the situation once he was back. I must have sounded like a hysterical wife to you, but you couldn't blame me under that circumstances when I had no one to turn to and that it was getting dark with no electricity power. Anyway, my darling husband got the electricity part fixed, but as for the washer we have to call the service staff to have a look at it. Anyway, the reason behind this inconvenience? The suspension is old, and that the electricity tripped because of the wires when it toppled over. So the friendly and chatty service staff helped to have the wires changed and tested the washer before he left our house. It seems like we don't have to buy a new washer until it decides to boycott us permanently, haha.

Anyway, I am glad to have my washer back even though it is not near to perfect. I shudder whenever I thought of handwashing those piles of dirty clothes. I know this doesn't sound like a big deal to some people, but just imagine I have to do this after a long day of work and by the time I am done with the washing and drying of clothes, the time is getting late. And there I thought I need more time to play with my daughter, watch some TV and catch up on my reading.

Oh, mentioning of reading, here is a list of books I bought recently:
Well, nothing cheers me up more than the mentioning of books! I hope everyone has a great weekend, and happy reading!
Friday's Feast

What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?
I don't have a middle name. And I don't believe in changing my name either, since it is given by my parents. I believe they must have a reason for giving me that name.

If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?
I love cotton, because it's comfy. Silk is pretty too, but it needs a lot of extra care (I will probably use this fabric for evening wear). As for colours, I love anything that's blue, pink or lavender. I can't say about the styles since everyone has their own unique style, and I also believe that trend plays a critical role in this.

What is your least favorite chore, and why?
Washing bathrooms/toilet bowls! Do I need to explain more? LOL.

Main Course
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?
I can't think of anything that really frightens me except an incident when I was chased by a dog when I was about ten years old. Someone didn't tie a leash and just let it run about the park (I was relieved that I wasn't bitten!) Anyway, this was one scary experience to me but I'm glad this incident doesn't lead me to have a phobia with dogs! (As long as I stay clear from them if they appear to be grouchy or unfriendly, hehe). Nevertheless, they are adorable animals, besides kittens and penguins that is. :D

Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.
I'm currently at work (tea time! Hehe). I can see my working documents, my desk calendar with compliments from my boss (it features different types of colourful birds) and my telephone.

  1. How did you come across your favorite author(s)? Recommended by a friend? Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?
  2. Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?

I came across my favourite authors through several channels. Some of them I found on my own while stumbled across at the libraries or bookstores, while some of them are through friends' recommendations. I will then check their blurbs and if they interest me, I will read them. And then, there are some books which I am attracted to their covers and ended up liking the stories and the authors as well.

I started blogging two years ago, thinking it was fun to write my thoughts on the books I read and nothing more. Thereafter, I began to explore other booklovers' blogs and as time goes by, we became friends. Now I can say half of my reading depends a lot from their reviews and recommendations. It is through them that I explore more new authors and open to more genres.

A big thank you to my bookblogs friends for their reviews and friendship. :D Long live, bookblogs!


ISBN-13: 9780380789016
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: March 1999

I have only read two books by Neil Gaiman so far (Caroline and The Wolves In The Wall), and although they are classified under Children/YA genre, still I enjoyed reading them a lot. Neverwhere is actually my first attempt of his full length 'grown up' novel.

Richard Mayhew is a businessman living in London, and he has a fiancee named Jessica who demands a lot from him. Anyway, on his way to meet her superior for a meal, he sees a homeless and injured girl on the street. Although Jessica threatened him that she would call off their engagement if he had decided to help the girl, this doesn't stop Richard from doing so. Thus he brought her home and nursed her, although he doesn't understand why he would help her in the beginning.

The girl, whose name is Door, is actually fleeing from a pair of hired assassins whom had killed her family and that was when she stumbles upon "London Above" and meets Richard. Asides from the strange place she is from, she is also able to communicate with rats and pigeons. But it was until when Richard realizes people could no longer see or hear him, he has to join Door's quest to "London Below" to find out about her family's murder and prepare a battle to save this strange underworld from the others whose aim to destroy it.

Neil Gaiman once again has succeeded in weaving a great fantasy story filled with thrill and suspense. Through his great imaginative mind and skillful writing, he took his readers on a fantastic journey in Neverwhere. This is an extraordinary fantasy story in my opinion, and I am definitely looking forward to more of his books in the near future.

Other Bloggers' reviews:
I can't believe that the BAFAB Week is almost over. But first, I would like to thank all readers for participating in this little contest of mine. It has been fun hosting this.

My darling daughter had a great time helping me to pick the winners. I wish I had taken a picture of her doing that. And here are the lucky winners:

(Gautami Tripathy from My Own Little Reading Room)
- The Road by Cormac McCarthy

(Dev from Good Reads)
- Men of Courage by Lori Foster, Donna Kauffman & Jill Shalvis
Congratulations to my three lucky readers! Please email me your name and your snail mail address to: melreadingcorner AT gmail DOT com
* * * STICKY POST! Please scroll down for more new entries. * * *

Happy New Year to all readers! And because this is the first week of January, so that means Buy a Friend a Book Week (BAFAB) is here! What are the rules? I could hear you asking. It is pretty simple. Below is a list of books which I am going to give away to 3 lucky participants, and all you need to do is:

1. Leave a comment on this post and tell me which book(s) you want to win. You may enter your name for each book but you can only win one book (so that other participants will have a chance to win too);

2. Your name will be entered twice if you do a post about this giveaway, so please send me the link to your post.

Closing date is 8 January 2008 and the names will be drawn randomly by my three-year-old daughter. The winners will be announced on 9 January 2008.

Here is the list of books to be won:

  1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy (different cover from the link shown)
  2. Men of Courage by Lori Foster, Donna Kauffman & Jill Shalvis
  3. Left to Die by Taylor Kincaid
Thank you for participating, and good luck to all! :D
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ISBN-13: 9780440236177
Publisher: Dell Publishing
Pub. Date: November 2002

I first read about the protagonist, DI Jack Caffery when I read Birdman some time ago. The story left me a deep impression, because it was dark and so intense. I decided to look out for more of Mo Hayder's books then, because I like her writing style and her stories are usually deep and complex, which make me ponder over the cases which has to be solved by DI Jack Caffery.

In The Treatment, DI Jack Caffery was called to solve the case where a nine-year-old Rory was found missing, and his parents Alek and Carmel Peach were found prisoners in their own home, suffered from beatings and in serious dehydration. When they found out Rory was dead after, this further reminded DI Jack Caffery of Ewan, his brother's disappearance some years ago which made him feeling angry and frustrated because it remained unsolved, although he thought his neighbour, Ivan Penderecki was the one who did it. Together with DCI Danniella Souness, they looked for clues but as they dug deeper into the case, things became more complicated. And to make things worse, it seemed that the killer has moved on to another family and everything seems to be happening all over again. But this time, DI Jack Caffery wasn't about to let the killer gets what wants, as he puts the forensic evidence together and tries to get into the killer's dark mind. But then again, time was running out fast and besides this, he also had to deal with his girlfriend, Rebecca who recovered from a brutal rape and it wasn't easy for any of them.

The Treatment is a dark and intense story, filled with suspense and at times, horror. Mo Hayder has succeeded in weaving an unforgettable crime thriller, and as I flipped through the pages I was very eager to find out about the real killer, which the author has kept it from her readers until nearing to the end of the book. Even after I had finished the story and closed the book with satisfactory that I have learnt the truth, I still have that 'wow' feeling. Not surprisingly, this is a keeper and will be shortlisted for my Book of the Year this year.

You Are Eggs

Traditional and totally grown up, you truly believe that breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

You don't skimp on nutrition or quality. You're likely to take the time to make yourself a decent meal each morning.

You're a great cook, even if you aren't a showy one. You can make a feast out of simple ingredients.

The food you eat may be basic, but you prefer to think of it as classic.

Oh yes, I totally agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. My daily breakfast consists of three pieces of bread (spread with peanut butter, jam or margarine depending on my moods) and a cup of green tea which I will have it at work, since I'm always early. However, during the weekends I will try something entirely different since I have more time to play around, so at times I will make a pot of sweet potato soup (cut into cubes and put to boil, adding some sugar after they are boiled), or sometimes I will have a bowl of cereals with fresh milk. And if I run out of the above items, I will just cook instant noodles, haha. However, I am not a good cook, even though I wish I am.

Friday's Feast

When was the last time you received a surprise in the mail, and what was it?

I received 3 packages from my U.S.A. friends - Jennifer, Kathy and Julia for the past two weeks. Although they had told me earlier that they would send me some stuff, but still it was a great surprise to me to receive them in the mail! Thank you, my dear friends!!! :D

If you could have a summer and/or winter home, where would you want it to be?

We went to New Zealand several years ago and it is such a beautiful country, with lots of scenic places to visit. And I'm most envious about their lifestyle, not that hectic unlike ours. I think it'd be a nice place for my retirement, hehe.

Pick one: pineapple, orange, banana, apple, cherry.

I love fruit, but I'd pick cherry from the list.

Main Course
Describe the nicest piece of clothing that you own.

Probably a few simple long dresses for occasions, since my wardrobe mainly consists of work clothes, T-shirts, jeans and bermudas shorts. I'd prefer my clothings to be casual and comfy.

If you could forget one whole day from your life, which day would you choose to wipe from your memory?

I think no matter if it's a good or a bad memory, I'm sure there is always a lesson learnt from the experience.

ISBN-13: 9780515143805
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA), 336pp
Pub. Date: November 2007
Series: Sign of Seven Series, Book 1

Caleb, Fox and Gage were only ten-year-old boys when they accidentally released an ancient evil at their Maryland town when they sneaked off home to celebrate their birthdays. The three of them not only were good buddies but they also borne on the same day and year. Because of their 'deeds', the town plunges into madness when unexplainable things would happen for a week every seven years.

Twenty-one years later, the three boys now fully grown hoped to find a way to stop the evil before the evil plays havoc to the town again, and as the years passed its power was getting stronger.

Enter heroine, Quinn Black who was a writer and she was eager to report this paranormal event for her next book. Sparks fly as they get to know each other more, and they were determined to 'solve' the mystery together with two other women, Layla and Cybil who believed everyone of them have some connections to this paranormal experience.

Blood Brothers is an entertaining read, and as I flipped through the pages I was keen to find out what would happen next. The plot is intriguing, and in usual Nora Roberts' style, she has once again created engaging and well-liked characters in this book. I also enjoy reading her witty dialogues. However, I thought the romance between Caleb and Quinn was a little rushed. This isn't a flaw in my opinion as I think Nora Roberts focused more on the paranormal element than the romance in this book. It is still considered a good read, although I'd love to read more of the romance development between Caleb and Quinn. I am looking forward to reading how the protagonists are going to defeat the evil in this trilogy.

As usual, it has been a great pleasure reading with Julia and Alice. I am sure we will be reading together again with Nora Roberts' next installments.

Other Blogger's reviews:

Last week we talked about the books you liked best from 2007. So this week, what with it being a new year, and all, we’re looking forward….

What new books are you looking forward to most in 2008? Something new being published this year? Something you got as a gift for the holidays? Anything in particular that you’re planning to read in 2008 that you’re looking forward to? A classic, or maybe a best-seller from 2007 that you’re waiting to appear in paperback?

I am really looking forward to this year's reading. I have had a great reading year last year, and participating in various reading challenges really help me in catching up with my TBR pile (but this doesn't really work as I will add onto the pile by buying more, hehe). I have several books that I'm most looking forward to this year, with Mo Hayder's Ritual being the top on my list. She writes great crime thrillers in my opinion, and some of her books are not for the faint-hearted as they could be dark and haunting. But that is one reason why I like her books so much because Mo Hayder really knows how to build up the suspense tension and that's why I find most of her books to be page-turner.

Aside from Ritual, I am also looking forward to Stephenie Meyer's The Host because I like her Twilight series so much. I have yet to read Eclipse (the 3rd book of the Twilight series) but I know I will get around to it sooner or later. Coming on next is Kelley Armstrong's No Humans Involved which will be released in the coming February in paperback. Her books are an auto-buy for me because I was hooked to her Women of the Otherworld Series. Then again, I am also looking forward to any new releases by Neil Gaiman, Anne Stuart, Matthew Reilly etc and any other books that manages to capture my attention. There are so many books out there waiting for my exploration, the only thing I need is more reading time!
Just when I told myself I have had signed up enough reading challenges for Year 2008, this reading challenge comes along and I have to participate in this because I love the button so much. On top of that, the following books have been sitting in my TBR pile for some time and I need an extra push so this challenge arrives perfectly on time.

For this reading challenge, I have chosen Option 5.
As quoted from the post of the host, Kate's Book Blog: (Option 5: This is the custom option under the rubric of which you can tailor your reading list to best meet your personal reading aspirations. You might wish to craft a list that focuses on a particular place, or era, or genre. Or you might wish to include reading about short stories as well as of short stories, for example, such works as Frank O’Connor’s The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story. It’s entirely up to you.)

I chose the following for its paranormal/fantasy theme: