ISBN-13: 9780312426989
Publisher: Picador
Published: May 2007
257 pgs

Dear Goat,

How does one fall in love? Do you trip? Do you stumble, lose your balance and drop to the sidewalk, graze your knee, graze your heart? Do you crash to the stony ground? Is there a precipice, from which you float, over the edge, forever?

I know I'm in love when I see you, I know when I long to see you. Not a muscle has moved. Leaves hang unruffled by any breeze. The air is still. I have fallen in love without taking a step. When did this happen? I haven't even blinked.

I'm on fire. Is that too banal for you? It's not, you know. You'll see. It's what happens. It's what matters. I'm on fire.

As ever,

Helen MacFarquhar, a 42 year-old divorcée and a bookseller, stumbled upon the above anonymous love letter when she was sorting through her pile of mails one day (there are more to the letter in which I did not post). Because the letter is written with such longing and passion, she was intrigued by the mystery surrounding it and even wondered if a secret admirer had sent her this letter. She could think of no one initially because she knew almost everyone in town; moreover she liked flirting around and coaxing her patrons into buying books from her.

It became part of her obsession to an extent that whenever someone speaks to her in everyday terms, she would start to imagine and wondered what if that person is the one who had penned that letter. Until a day, twenty-year-old Johnny Howell, a college student and her part-time assistant picked up this letter when she had asked him to fetch a bottle of wine and thought it was from her and had meant for him to read it.

As if being struck by cupid, he gradually fell in love with her from then onwards. On the other hand, Helen thought he was the one and through a series of misunderstandings, they consummate and began their secret affair. However, their relationship became a chore as they had to stay in low profile but we all know that one could not always hide the truth forever. Helen was aware of this too, thus she had decided to come clean with her mother, Lillian when she and Helen's grandmother decided to spend some time in Helen's house. Plus, Helen's eleven-year-old daughter Emily was also coming home from camp vacation.

But before Helen disclosed her secret to Lillian, to her surprise she discovered a shocking secret about her mother that in years to come, she would think about Lillian's secret (this is where the twist comes in) and how that love letter will always remind her about her affair with Johnny.

I encountered a few surprises myself while reading The Love Letter. First, it was a good surprise when I came upon this book at a booksale. I became intrigued with the blurb so I bought it, not knowing that Helen's secret lover is in fact a twenty-year-old boy (the blurb stated "Helen is swept up in a fiercely tender affair with a thoroughly unsuitable suitor"). I should have guessed it but I was so caught up with the thrill of finding more bargain books, haha.

The Love Letter is a forbidden love story mixed in with a twist. Helen is one captivating character: she is independent, opinionated, bossy and flirtatious and at the same time, she is vulnerable too. I have to confess her character bothered me a little. Aside from this and the age difference being the main issue (no matter how passionately in love she and Johnny are, somehow I still cannot picture them being lovers but more like mother and son), the other thing is Helen frequent usage of the 'F' word irked me at times (perhaps it is her style of venting her frustrations?), but I thought this diminish the overall effect of the book.

I can't think of anything to say about Johnny though. Perhaps he is indeed in love with Helen, after all. I wonder if he would still think of her after he and Helen moved on their own life. Would he look back at the relationship the way Helen did? Why Helen look back of her past is natural and made you think about the whole stuff if you get to the end of the story, in which I can't tell you as it is yet another surprise that had totally thrown me off-guard. I do not know if I should pity Helen or just laugh over the whole episode, but I have to say the suspense definitely keep me engrossed if not the forbidden affair.


1. I'm happy, I'm excited, I cannot wait for the weekend to come.

2. Why do I have the passion for books and not audiobooks, I do not understand why.

3. How does this blogging platform work, anyway? (I meant it in technical terms)

4. Every morning, I put jam, peanut butter or cheese on my bread for breakfast, depending on my mood (or tastebud) for that day.

5. I consider myself lucky because I still have a job and a wonderful family.

6. One day we’ll see about visiting my best friend in the U.S. and touring around Europe.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading a new novel, tomorrow my plans include visiting the paediatrician (a routine check-up for my little one) and Sunday, I want to do household chores and spend time with my family!


Booking Through ThursdayCheck Spelling

    • Hardcover? Or paperback?
    • Illustrations? Or just text?
    • First editions? Or you don’t care?
    • Signed by the author? Or not?

I love all covers, no matter if they are in hardcover, tradesize or paperback (although I have to admit hardcovers are more expensive and difficult to store as compared to other sizes). I buy paperbacks all the time, and hardcovers are limited to my favourite authors (or certain titles I can not wait for the paperback version to release which usually takes about a year!).

Besides fictions, I also buy mangas, picture and children books. In other words, I devour them as long as their premises hooked me! I do not really mind about the editions though, as long as nothing is cropped from the original version!

It always excites me to have my books signed by authors. But since I always get books from the bookstores, plus chances of authors having a booksigning event here is near to nil, most of my copies do not bear their signatures except for a few reviewer copies sent by the authors or their publicists.

How about you?


Someone forwarded me a powerpoint slide consisted of various images. The above is one of them, and it happens to be one of my favourites since it is related to books and reading. It looks like a photo, isn't it? But it is actually a painting. I am so in awed!

Iman Maleki, an Iranian artist, is considered the world's greatest realist painter. His greatest skill, however, is not only that his pictures are photo quality, but mostly in his subject matters, composition, and the profound expressions on the faces of his characters. Click here to view the rest of his works.
Labels: 18 comments | edit post
Here are the rules:

  1. Pass this award on to the blogs that are in your daily "must read" list.
  2. Name the blog/owners and tell us why the blog(s) is/are like your "everyday supplements".
  3. The blogs that are awarded are automatically tagged to do the meme. So this keeps the circle going and hopefully, we will be able to introduce one another with some life-enriching reads.
  4. Optional: You can also include public blogs that are updated weekly/monthly but one(s) that you religiously follow during every update.
First and foremost, I want to thank Alice of Hello, My Name Is Alice for passing this award to me. Although I could not recall when we were first acquainted (Is it through Booking Through Thursday? Well, I tend to have a short memory!), I find her friendliness, her cheerfulness and her positive outlook both in her work and life are inspiring and all these have left me a deep impression. And of course, not to mention she is a bibliophile too and I always am in awe of her reading speed. Oh yes, she takes good pictures too! [Alice, thank you so much for this award and for your friendship! I am passing this award back to you! :-)]

Now I will pass this award to every one of you (take a look at my blogroll) because you all are my "everyday supplements" (And here I am still discovering more bookbloggers and adding them along the way). Although I may not comment on every blog but I do visit them regularly; and each and every of them are special and a joy to read.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for stopping by and comment on my blog. It always pleases me to read your comments - no matter if they are long or short, or even just to say hello. Thank you!

This is another picture taken by my husband when he was in Dusseldorf, Germany. Here I am thinking that it would be a sight if the whole exteriors are taken over by those greens!
ISBN-10: 0099448777
Publisher: Vintage Books
Published: 2003
299 pgs
Translator: Alfred Birnbaum

It all begins when a young advertising executive (whose name is never revealed throughout the whole story but based on a first person narrative) receives a postcard from a friend. It is a snapshot of a herd of sheep but amid of these sheep there is one unique breed with a star on its back. He had used this shot as an illustration onto a newsletter for a company and it seems it has captured someone else's attention.
That someone is a mysterious person dressed in black who refuses to indulge to his questions but gave him a time limit to track that one particular special sheep or else he would face a consequence (meaning he would lose everything).

The narrator and his wife had divorced some time back and it is not like he is committed to anything, moreover his life is a blah but he get acquainted with a girl with a pair of beautiful ears (in fact he is obsessed with them). You will find out more about his acquaintance with the girl though but this is not the main issue of the story (which it led me into believing it in the beginning).

The girl encouraged him to this wild sheep chase, not that he has a choice to begin with. And thus, the narrator begins his quest which takes him from the urban Tokyo to the remote, snowy mountains of northern Japan. From there the story takes on like a detective story as the narrator will have to find all means and he will meet some strange people (a Sheep Man who wore a full sheepskin costume and speak with a rush) and some unexplainable events that will throw you offguard.

To tell you honestly, I was a little confused with the story in the beginning and it took me a while to get into it. In Haruki Murakami's style, there is always something extraordinary about his stories that make his readers get sucked into them. And then, there is something beautiful about his writing that made me forget about the confusion in a while and be drawn into it. The more I read it, the more I am drawn to the narrator's chaotic world (never mind if it is all caused by a sheep or dreams and hallucinations are parts of it). At times, it read like a mythology but yet it seems more like a mystery especially towards the middle half of the story. To me, these two are enough to make me get sucked into this wild adventure.

I will leave you with some passages about the sheep (whether or not if they are true, I do not know) that had me chuckling :
"Do sheeps quarrel?" asked my girlfriend.
"You bet they quarrel," said the caretaker. "It's the same with any animal that goes around in groups. Each and every sheep has a pecking order in the sheep society. If there's fifty sheep in a pen, then there's number one sheep right down to number fifty sheep. And each one knows exactly where it belongs."
"But if they all know their place, why should they fight?"
"Say one sheep gets hurt and loses its strength, its position becomes unstable. So the sheep under it get feisty and try for better position. When that happens, they're at it for three days. The sheep that gets the boot, when it was young, gave some other sheep the boot, after all. And when it all comes down to the butcher block, there's no number one or number fifty. Just one happy barbecue."

"When you're raising sheep, the most important thing you got to keep an eye on is mating. So you keep 'em separate, the males with the males, the females with the females. Generally, it's the strongest number one male. In other words, you're serving up the best seed. After a month, when all the business is done, this stud ram gets returned to the males-only pen. But during the time the stud's been busy, the other males have worked out a new pecking order. And there' s no way he can win a fight. So all the other males gang up on him. Now that's a sad story."
"How do sheep fight?"
"They bump heads. Sheep foreheads are hard as steel and all hollow inside."

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!

My teaser sentences for today [A Wild Sheep Chase by Haruki Murakami (Pg 133)]:

"But it's actually quite simple. All you have to do is find one sheep, right? It'll be fun."

"Nobody's going to find anything. Hokkaido's a whole lot bigger than you think. And sheep - there've got to be hundreds of thousands of them. How are you going to search out one single sheep? It's impossible. Even if the sheep's got a star marked on its back."


Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about the library…

How often do you visit the library? Do you have a scheduled library day/time, or do you go whenever? Do you go alone, or take people with you?

I love visiting the library, but I rarely do so now due to time constraint and the fact that I would prefer to read books at my own pace rather than being pressurized to read and to return them on time. Most of the books I have at present are bought from either the bookstores or used bookstores; occasionally I will get them from BookMooch and that is about all.

However, I will answer these questions based on the time when I had just started out to work. I remember during those times, I would visit the library once in every two weeks after work. The library is situated very near to the place where I worked so distance is not a problem to me at all. There were also not many people at that time as most students would have gone home then, and moreover it was near to dinner time. I loved visiting the library during the weekdays because it was quieter as there were not many people as compared to the weekends. Weekends were mostly for families as the parents would bring their children along.

Even though I hardly visit the library nowadays, that does not mean I will stop visiting again. Who knows? I might visit the library very soon now that my eldest daughter is five and it is about time I should bring her to the library.

How about you? Do you visit the library and how often do you do so?



1. Give me a book voucher and I'll be a very happy person.

2. Whenever I leave home to work, I'll hug and kiss my daughters before stepping out of the house.

3. I wish there are more than 24 hours a day.

4. Chicken noodles was the last thing I ate that was utterly delicious.

5. To live in this world means you have to accept all the ups and downs in your life.

6. Other than this one, Things Mean A Lot is the last blog I commented on.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to catching up on my reading, tomorrow my plans include laundry and household chores and Sunday, I want to spend more time with my family!


Booking Through ThursdayCheck Spelling

This week’s question is suggested by Kat:

I recently got new bookshelves for my room, and I’m just loving them. Spent the afternoon putting up my books and sharing it on my blog . One of my friends asked a question and I thought it would be a great BTT question. So from Tina & myself, we’d like to know “How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?”

Once upon a time, my bookshelves are divided into two categories: one shelf will hold all my read books, while the others to-be-read books. I always arrange them according to their genres. But because these shelves are long fully filled, thus I moved all my read books into boxes and store them in our storage room.

However, it does not end there as my bookshelves are once again filled with to-be-read books (I am sure most of us can relate to this, hehe) so any newly purchase books will have to be moved to the storage room thereafter. The thing is, I stack them up against a corner instead of putting them into boxes for easy access but this has posed to be another problem for me since that means I will have difficulty finding books behind the staggering stacks, or if I want to get the very first book from the bottom. (I suppose it is time to buy more bookshelves!)

So, how do you arrange your books? Do you face the same problem as I do?

ISBN-13: 9780765319111
Publisher: Tor Books
Published: September 2007
176 pgs

The year is 1963 in a small Midwestern town setting. Everyone in that town knew about the October Boy (otherwise known as Ol' Hacksaw Face, or Sawtooth Jack). Every year towards Halloween, he will rise from the cornfields and make his way towards town with his tattered jacket full of candies.

The boys in town are ready for this because they have been going through this ritual for years. It goes like this: each year the boys will be locked in their rooms and left without food for five days before their hunt for the October Boy begins so as to escalate their hunting frenzy. These boys will be on the "Run" and whoever win gets to find and kill the October Boy. If he succeeded in killing him, his family will entitle to some fame and he will be given a ride out of town - it is the only way of leaving the small, sleepy unambitious town.

How this ritual comes about will be explained in the story, but I am not going to spoil it for you. So every Halloween, the October Boy will resurrect and with a butcher knife in hand, he will make his way to town and towards the church before a boy gets him. That is the rule and this is how it always played.

However, things will be different this year as Pete McCormick is going to figure out this 'ritual' and its secret it seems the town is keeping all these years. Moreover, he is sick of his alcoholic father and their life. And he is prepared to risk everything for this run, but what most shocking is he will discover the secret of the October Boy and nothing is what it seems it is.

Dark Harvest is the winner of the Bram Stoker Award in 2006 and also listed as Publishers Weekly’s 100 Best Books of 2006. I have to say these honours are well-deserved as Dark Harvest is one of the most extraordinary horror stories I have ever read. The Halloween theme may sound old to some, but the bonus is the author delivered it with a different premise with a twist as one would have to figure out who is the real evil behind this story. The writing is beautiful with a lyrical and poetic prose to it; I know this may sound a little strange but I think it works very well through Norman Partridge's skillful writing. One would also think of the humanity issue on top of all the dark elements, which I think entitles another point for this well-written horror tale. The only down side is I wish this story is a bit longer.

I am glad I picked up this book right after reading Carl's lovely review some time back. What's more, it is hard to turn down a book like this with that attractive, eye-catching cover.

Other blog review:
Stainless Steel Droppings
(Let me know if I have missed yours.)

Church in Koln, Germany

This was taken by my husband when he went on an overseas training in Germany a few years ago. I have no idea what the name of this church is, but it looks magnificent, isn't it?

I was tagged by Sandy for this fun photo meme.

The rules:

  • Find your 5th photo file folder, then the 5th photo in that file folder.
  • Then pass the meme to 5 people.

Sounds pretty simple to me! I searched through my photo files in anticipation, not knowing what to expect until I found this picture.

This was taken during our vacation in Taipei beginning last year. My husband is a big fan of ramen/noodles so I thought it would be interesting to capture this huge poster featuring the two pop idols - Wu Chun and Ella, as well. I am sure there were a few pedestrians mistook me as a fan of these two idols, after all they starred in a drama serial and it was a huge hit (though I have to admit Wu Chun is gorgeous, haha).

I tag the following friends:

ISBN-13: 9780446510288
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Published: October 2008
432 pgs

Isabelle Carson could not believe three of her childhood friends committed suicide, although the police believed so. Isabelle knew them well enough, after all they had escaped from Lavine, their abusive foster father and had moved on with their life. Moreover, Lavine was already dead so there is no reason they would commit suicide, at least not after what they had gone through and survived.

Fearing that the murders are connected and she might be the next target, Isabelle contacted Grant Kent, who had saved her from Lavine's sexual abuse and is now a security consultant after retired from Delta Force. Isabelle has not seen Grant since they had all left the foster home but she still sends him greeting cards throughout the years. And at that moment, Isabelle knew Grant is the only one she could trust.

On the other hand, Isabelle is a foster mother to seventeen-year-old Dale, whose father is now out of jail and wants custody of his son. Isabelle understood all about those abusive parent stuff and being a victim herself so many years ago, she does not want Dale to go through that experience again. And this is another thing she is worried about besides the murder cases. Grant vowed to protect Isabelle and Dale together, and the longer he stayed, the more attached he is to them. However, Isabelle thought otherwise as she does not want to be hurt in love again. With the killer still on the loose, would she dare to hope for love?

No Escape is an intense romance suspense with a psychological element. Although readers will get to find out the killer towards the middle of the book, it does not whip away the suspense as the killer is always plotting ways and no one knows what is going to happen next. However, there are several intense moments between Isabelle and Grant, both emotional and physical. However, there are death and some violence in this story, and a few murder scenes as well that I find can be quite gruesome but that does not take away my reading interest.

I enjoyed reading about the relationship between Isabelle and Dale, besides her love for Grant that is. I liked it that Isabelle takes on the role of a foster parent even though she had bad memories with Lavine, and that shows she does not allow the past to stop her from helping other children. As for Grant, he has his past but he is one alpha hero to boot.

No Escape is the third in the series about Delta Force operatives, following No Regrets and No Control. Although these books are connected in some ways, however each of them can be read as stand-alone. For those of you who might not know, Shannon K. Butcher is the wife of Jim Butcher, who is well known for his Dresden files series featuring the wizard Harry Dresden who solves crimes in modern-day Chicago. Besides romance suspense, I am thrilled to learn that Shannon is also writing paranormal books and her first book in The Sentinel Wars series will be released in May. You may wish to read more about Shannon K. Butcher and her books here.


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!

My teaser sentences for today [Dark Harvest by Norman Partridge (Pg 16)]:

Remember the first time you heard that the whole deal had something to do with a pumpkin-headed scarecrow that runs around on Halloween night? It wasn't exactly easy to believe that one no matter how scared you were, was it?

Not until you experienced it yourself, of course.


Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about book reviews…

Do you read any non-blogging book reviews? If so, where (newspaper, library etc)? Do you have any favourites sources you'd like to share?

First and foremost, I like reading book reviews from fellow bookbloggers. They always offer the best opinions and I came to trust their views after reading their blogs after some time (which by then we would have become friends). One thing I like reading these blogs is, besides book recommendations they will also share some of their thoughts on why they like or dislike a book. Usually I will take note of their views before I decide whether or not to buy the book (especially when new-to-me authors are concerned).

I rarely read non-blogging book reviews but that does not mean I don't read them either. I will read them if I came across them on magazines or any other printed matters. Sometimes, I will also read them on online bookstores when I'm checking if there are any new releases.

How about you? Do you read any non-blogging book reviews?


Dear friends and readers,

Happy Valentine's Day!
I was tagged by Alice for this fun Penmanship meme.

Here are the rules:
1. Write down who tagged you.

2. Answer these:
  • your name / username / pseudo
  • right-handed or left-handed?
  • your favorite letters to write?
  • your least favorite letters to write?
  • Write “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.”

3. Tag five persons.

I'm tagging Violet Crush, Sandy, Beth, Naida and Trish.
Please let me know if you are playing! :-)

Labels: 13 comments | edit post

Booking Through ThursdayCheck Spelling

Suggested by Barbara H.:
A comment on someone else’s BTT question this week inspired this question:

Do you read any author’s blogs? If so, are you looking for information on their next project? On the author personally? Something else?

Yes, I do read authors' blogs - be it my favourite authors or new-to-me authors. Most of the times, I want to find out information about their latest releases or if they are working on any new projects at the moment. Besides these, I also enjoy reading a scoope of their life and their opinions on any other things. Generally, I read them as I read other blogs.

Below is a list of authors I googled that have their own blogs (Please let me know if you came across any authors who have their blogs so I can add them onto my sidebar. Thanks!).

Amanda Stevens, Amulya Malladi, Ann Aguirre, Anne Stuart, Clea Simon, Colleen Gleason, Jeaniene Frost, Jennifer Crusie, Karen E. Olson, Khaled Hosseini, Laurell K Hamilton, Linda Olsson, Lisa Unger, Lora Leigh, Matthew Reilly, Nalini Singh, Neil Gaiman, PC Cast, Shannon Hale, Tess Gerritsen

How about you? Do you read authors' blogs?
(Continued from Part 1 and 2.)

We woke up to a sunny morning the next day. And looked at what we had for breakfast! The staff packed us a basket of assorted jams and butter, bottled orange juice, milk, cereals, some slices of bread and yes, they even had a small tupperware of coffee powder!

So after our breakfast, we figure it would be nice to take a walk around the farm before the activities began. It was a warm morning indeed, but not humid which is so unlike Singapore. Anyway, we applied some suntan lotion to prevent ourselves sunburnt, although I have to say we had already got some tan due to the activities the previous day. Nevertheless, the activities began at 9a.m. where a staff showed us a tour around the farm and fed the animals.

I find feeding the animals to be quite fun, after all I was brought up and lived in a city since I was a baby so I find this experience is so new and refreshing! We visited the poultry, fed the chickens and ducks (there were also a few ostrich-like birds but I do not know what they are called), and snapping away with the camera as we went along.

The staff also showed us the way of cooling and bathing the pig after he had fed it with a bowl of oats. A girl volunteered to try it while we looked on. The pig looked quite satisfied as it sat there quietly and enjoyed the cooling water sprayed on its back. A few of the girls shrieked in shock when the pig stood up and shook its body, sending some droplets of muddy water flying. Luckily, most of us stood within a distance so we were not being 'hit' by them, haha.

After feeding the farm animals (I did not post a picture of the goats feeding though), it was back to our own leisure time. We took a little walk around the farm some more and found this place full of gum trees! It is situated near to the place where we had our campfire the last evening. We were hoping to find some wild kangaroos around but unfortunately, we had no such luck.

After the walk, it was near to noon so we had a barbecued lunch at their recreation room where they had set up the table and the dishes ready for the three of us. We had salads, barbecued sausages and chicken, french fries and some iced water. We checked out from the cottage after lunch and a coach brought us back to Perth city.

So when we were back to Perth city and checked into the hotel where we stayed earlier, we were out exploring again on our own. We visited Hay Street again and then, to Murray Street (I could not get enough of these shopping areas!) And of course, I had to stop by Borders and came out with four books. They had "3 for the price of 2" promotions and I was extremely thrilled to find a copy of Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto (which I read and reviewed here) since I had a hard time looking for it at the local bookstores.

Next we went on our way to this place where Corica's apple strudels are sold. Our local travel agent had highly recommended this bakery to us before the trip so we were very much looking forward to it. However, the staff told us that the apple strudels have to be ordered in advance so we had no choice but to collect it the next day.

And this is how it looked like...

The pastry is soft and flaky, with an abundance of sweetened custard lined with soft, sweetened apples. Yum!

And guess what I found besides the 'yummy-licious' 'apple strudels? The library! I know I just could not resist taking a picture of this. Heck, I would be so happy if I were to stay around that area - nice pastry and good books! I could not ask for more, could I?

The next day was a half-day city tour (I was glad we did not have to visit these places all on our own!). Our first stop - Kings Park and Botanic Garden. A place for nature lovers.

As for the above two pictures, I know they must be some kind of a memorial thing but unfortunately I have no idea about the event or the history. There was no guide for our city tour (and the coach captain had drove off and would pick us up at a specific time) so we (as well as the other tourists) were pretty clueless but we were happy enough to just take a walk and snapping pictures along the way.

A view of Perth city - taken from the Kings Park.

Wittenwoom Floral Clock (I loved this little garden with the cottage in it.)

Our next stop was to Fremantle Markets. The coach picked us up on time and off we go, out of Perth. At this point, we did not really enjoy the trip because my dear husband realized that he had left our passports in our hotel room!! We prayed and hoped that whoever cleans our room would not take away our pouch (which also contained some cash and was hidden underneath my husband's pillow).

There was no way we could make our own way to Perth city without getting lost (It is a distance between Perth and Fremantle). Needless to say, we were all feeling very grumpy and had no mood to enjoy our sightseeing (I still took a few pictures of the market though). Anyway, Fremantle Markets reminds me of our local markets where we could buy fresh vegetables and fruits and shop other individual shops (e.g. clothings, shoes, bags etc) all under one roof.

The coach drove us back to Perth city during noon and you can imagine how anxious we were when we got back to our hotel room. So did we find our precious pouch? What do you think? Lady Luck must be smiling at us on that day because the housekeeping staff did not clear our room until later in the afternoon! We were so happy (and not to mention relieved) that we murmured our thanks. What a thrilling morning for us all!

Later in the afternoon, we went to Hay Street and Murray Street to shop for some souvenirs for our family and friends since we were back on our own again. We had apple strudels for lunch, can you believe it? (Not that we were complaining though. Moreover, we saved the time and trouble of looking out for food.)

So after all the shopping and we put all our shopping bags back to our hotel room, it was nearing to six o'clock so we had a Chinese dinner nearby the hotel and took a walk further to this park. At this time, there were not many people around except a few natives jogging. I felt so peaceful and relaxed there! I wish I had brought along a book and sat on a bench to read (just like the lady in the pic).

We waited for the sun to set before we made our move. This was the last evening we spent in Perth as we were to depart the following day.

As we only had to reach Perth International Airport by noon, we had the whole morning to explore around so we visited the Perth Mint (which is situated near to the hotel we stayed). The above picture is the entrance to the Perth Mint and it is the only picture I could share with you since they do not allow phototaking inside. We returned to the hotel right after this and waited for the coach to bring us to the airport. And that marked the end of our Perth trip; so sad yet it brought us wonderful memories (except the hoo-ha in Fremantle).

I want to thank you all for being so patient and for taking the time to read my posts. I hope you have enjoyed them.

ISBN-13: 9780099448570
Publisher: Vintage
Published: 2003
187 pgs

This is the first book I read by this author. After hearing so many ravings from fellow bookbloggers, I figure it is about time I need to read a Haruki Murakami's book.

Hajime is a middle-age man who has what every man would consider a dream: a loving wife, two lovely daughters and a successful owner of two bars. But deep inside his heart, he always feels something is missing. Or perhaps he still could not forget his childhood friend, a lonely girl named Shimamoto.

Hajime, being the only child in the family, knows that no other friends of his would be able to understand the loneliness and how he felt being the only child. He befriended Shimamoto in elementary school, and he is kind of attracted to her because she seemed so positive and determined even though she is a handicapped. She caught polio after she was born so that made her drag her left leg. Another thing is, Shimamoto is the only child in the family too and both of them love books and music. It is no wonder they would be attracted to each other as the days passed by.

Then, Shimamoto's family moved away and he lost touch with her. After her leaving, life has became a blur to him. He drifted through college, broke a few girls' heart, and get married to his current wife and became a successful bar owner as he is now. Everything looks good to him until Shimamoto began to walk into his life, again.

Shimamoto has become a beautiful woman, and she no longer drag her leg. After seeing her, Hajime no longer feel the emptiness in his heart and is hoping they would rekindle the relationship they had lost so many years ago. Though Shimamoto is more than thrilled to see him again, she does not talk about herself or what had happened to her. Hajime, on the other hand, is blinded by love to probe further and very sure that he could leave everything behind him to be with her. However after a night of passion, Shimamoto vanishes from his life again and this time, Hajime is distraught. What follows is a confession with his wife and his encounter with a girl whom he had broken her heart after Shimamoto that he began to seriously think of his life and how he should live with it.

Haruki Murakami has written a beautiful, bittersweet love story in South of the Border, West of the Sun in a poetic prose. But I think there is much more than the love issue in this tale, it is also about consequences and choice. How many times did we do something and then regretted them over the years? Do you look back or do you move on? I was mesmerized by Haruki's writing throughout the story. I was drawn to the sad, moody 'atmosphere' he created and though it did not give me much thrill as I had anticipated as in his other books (I have Kafka on the Shore, A Wild Sheep Chase and Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman in my TBR pile), it did leave me something to ponder about.

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!

My teaser sentences for today [No Escape by Shannon K. Butcher (Pg 16)]:

"Why, Isabelle? Why should I leave town? Why are you so afraid?"

She swallowed nervously, and a subtle vibration made her chin wobble for a second before she controlled it by gritting her teeth. "Because people are dying, and I don't want you to be next."


"These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."

I want to thank Alice for sharing this lovely award with me! Alice is a truly wonderful blogger friend and I am very happy to know her. (I'd like to pass the award back to you, my friend!)

I am passing this award to some of my wonderful blogger friends:

And as well as to all my other wonderful blogger friends out there that are not listed here: You are equally great and I am very glad to know you too! :-)

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