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Showing posts from February, 2011

10 Good Things on a Monday [3]

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10 Good Things on a Monday is a weekly meme by Brush Up On Your Reading dedicated to every person's compulsive list-writing.  Every Monday we are going to make a list of 10 things that will cheer us up and help us tide over the whole week.


Watching American Idol Season 10 is a highlight of my week. Here’s my Top 10 favorites (not in any particular order): Jacob Lusk – His performance of “God Bless a Child” still gives me goose bumps whenever I watch it on YouTube Robbie Rosen – He had me at “Gravity” during the Hollywood week Haley Reinhart – Love her husky voice! Paul McDonald – Simply eccentric! Casey Abrams – He’s got soul more than anyone else in American Idol Season 10 Scotty McCreery – Man, a voice so deep like that? And he’s just what … seventeen? James Durbin – The guy with a very high voice who will give Steven Tyler a run for his money Brett Loewenstern – Simply eccentric! Karen Rodriguez – Just because I have to choose a #9 Rachel Zevita – Just because I have …

[Review] The Interpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld

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Title: The Interpretation of Murder: A Novel(This link goes to Amazon)
Author: Jed Rubenfeld
Page: 565 pages Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery/Thriller
Subject: Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939), Carl Jung (1875 -1961), Psychoanalysis, Manhattan (New York) , Murder Invertigation First Published: 2006



Manhattan, 1909: On the morning after Sigmund Freud arrives in New York on his first – and only – visit to the United States, a stunning debutante is found bound and strangled in her penthouse apartment, high above Broadway. The following night, another beautiful heiress, Nora Acton, is discovered tied to a chandelier in her parents’ home, viciously wounded and unable to speak or recall her ordeal. Soon Freud and his American disciple, Stratham Younger, are enlisted to help Miss Action recover her memory, and to piece together the killer’s identity. It is a riddle that will test their skills to the limit, and lead them on  a thrilling journey – into the darkest places of the city, and of the h…

[Review] The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

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Title: The Invisible Bridge (This link goes to Amazon) Author: Julie Orringer Page: 762 pages Genre: Historical Fiction
Subject: Budapest (Hungary), World War II (1939 - 1945), Paris (France), Love Stories, Jewish Fiction First Published: 2010



Paris, 1937: Andras Lévi, a Hungarian-Jewish architecture student, arrives from Budapest with a scholarship, a single suitcase, and a mysterious letter he has promised to deliver. But when he falls into a complicated relationship with the letter’s recipient, he becomes privy to a secret that will alter the course of his – and his family’s – history. From the small Hungarian town of Konyár to the grand opera houses of Budapest and Paris, from the despair of the Carpathian winter to an unimaginable life in labor camps, The Invisible Bridge tells the story of a family shattered and remade in history’s darkest hour.
Wow, it has been a long time since I’ve cried over a book. And after a series of disappointing reads lately, this is just what I neede…

Theme Thursday [1]–Touch

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Here’s a new weekly meme I am joining this week.

Theme Thursdays, created by Kavyen @ Reading Between Pages is a fun weekly event that will be open from one Thursday to the next. Anyone can participate in it. The rules are simple:
A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s) Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading Mention the author and the title of the book along with your post It is important that the theme is conveyed in the sentence (you don’t necessarily need to have the word)
Ex: If the theme is KISS; your sentence can have “They kissed so gently” or “Their lips touched each other” or “The smooch was so passionate”This will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

My participation this week will be from The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. I have just finished this book last night @ 12am and am currently working on the review.

The men sat in sil…

[Teaser Tuesdays] The Invisible Bridge

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: * Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two "teaser" sentences from that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! You don't want to ruin the book for others!
* Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!


This week’s teaser comes from my current read: The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer. I am already at page 400 out of its total 750+ pages and loving every page of it! Review will be up towards the end of this week … so stay tuned. In the meantime, here’s a teaser:

“And that’s why, even tough it was the only photograph he’d ever have of himself at the École Spéciale, he would never hang that picture on his wall. When he looked at it he could see nothing but his own anger, and the source of it staring at him from the crowd.”

- page 354, The Invisibl…

Mailbox Monday [2]

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Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page, and hosted by Library of Clean Reads for the month of February.
Here are the books that came into my shelves last week:

The Secret ScriptureNearing her hundredth birthday, and still living in the mental hospital where she was committed as a young woman, Roseanne looks back on the tragedies and passions of her life through her secret journals. Growing up in rural Ireland in the 1930s, her adolescence is marked by civil war and a turbulent family life. When she marries Tom McNulty, she believes she has found love and security – only for a terrible misunderstanding, born of prejudice and deception, to threaten her fragile happiness.


Water for Elephants – Orphaned, penniless, Jacob Jankowski jumps a freight train in the dark, and in that instant, transforms his future. By morning, he’s landed a job with the Flying Squadron of the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. By nightfall, he’s in love. In an America made colorl…

[Review & Wonderful Wednesdays Ed. 4] The Thing About Jane Spring by Sharon Krum and She'll Take It by Mary Carter

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Welcome to edition four of Wonderful Wednesdays! Wonderful Wednesdays is a meme about spotlighting and recommending some of our most loved books, even if we haven't read them recently.  Each week will have a different theme or genre of book to focus on.
This week's theme is guilty pleasures.

Title: The Thing about Jane Spring   (This link goes to Amazon)
Author: Sharon Krum
Genre: Chic Lit
Subject: Romance, Lawyer, Doris Day
Page: 372 pages
First Published: 2005



At thirty-one, Jane Spring has everything a woman could ask for and seemingly everything a man could long for—great legs, brains, rising star status in the Manhattan D.A.'s office—but she just can't find a man who'll fall madly in love with her. Men are always lining up to ask her out, but for some reason no one wants a second date.

So Jane resolves to change her tack. One snowy night while watching a Doris Day marathon on cable it hits her: Doris Day always got her man. Trading her nondescript black pantsuit f…

[Review] A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

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Title: A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian(This link goes to Amazon)
Author: Marina Lewycka Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Subject: Children of Immigrants, Ukrainians - Great Britain, Sisters, Fathers and Daughters Page: 324 pages First Published: 2005

“Two years after my mother died, my father fell in love with a glamorous blonde Ukrainian divorcee. He was eighty-four and  she was thirty-six. She exploded into our lives like a fluffy pink grenade, churning up the murky water, bringing to the surface a sludge of sloughed-off memories, giving the family ghosts a kick up the backside.”  (Para 1: Page 1)
After a series of historical fictions, I decided to take a break and grab this light read for a change. A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian pulls me in from the very first line. And not to mention the quirky and unique title.
The story is narrated by Nadezhda or Nadia, who together with her elder sister Vera – despite their two-year row about an inheritance of their mother – schem…

A Quick Update

For the past two weeks:

Read
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison
A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian by Marina Lewycka

Reviewed
The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison

Meme
Wonderful Wednesdays hosted by Sam @ Tiny Library Teaser Tuesdays The Postmistress and The Very Thought of You

Plans for this weekend
Wonderful Wednesdays post (due in 3 days)
Review A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Start reading The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer

I am officially an unemployed (albeit for only a week and a half) starting next week so I hope I have more time with reading and the blog =)

Have a nice weekend everyone!

[Review] The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison

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Title: The Very Thought of You: A Novel(This link goes to Amazon) Author: Rosie Alison Genre: Historical Fiction
Subject: World War II (1939 - 1945), Evacuation of Civilians - Yorkshire (England), Children Page: 306 pages First Published: 2009


The story starts in the year 1939 when British is in the brink of war. We follow eight-year-old Anna Sands who has been evacuated – away from his mother in London and his father fighting with the army in Egypt – to a boarding school in the countryside known as Ashton Park. Originally a private estate belonged to the Ashton family, it has been opened up to children evacuees during the Second World War by Thomas and Elizabeth Ashton, an enigmatic childless couple.

Soon Anna and other evacuees – despite missing their parents – settle themselves with the dormitory life which consists of ringing bells in between classes, mealtimes and playtimes. Until one day she becomes witness to the couple’s unraveling relationship and an implicit love affair that fol…

[Teaser Tuesdays] The Very Thought Of You

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two "teaser" sentences from that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! You don't want to ruin the book for others!
* Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

In the spirit of Valentine’s day, I have chosen this line from The Very Thought Of You. I am a few pages away from completion so you can expect a review to be up soon! “I loved her as I have never loved before,” he went on. “I don’t know if I can live without her.”

- page 243, The Very Thought of You by Rosie Alison

[Review] The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

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Title: The Postmistress(This link goes to Amazon) Author: Sarah Blake Genre: Historical Fiction
Subject: World War II (1939 - 1945), Franklin (Massachusetts, US), London Blitz (1940 - 1941), Radio broadcasting, Postmasters  Page:  326 pages First Published: 2010
Here’s another story that centers around the Second World War, circa 1940 to 1941. It is before the Pearl Harbor bombings and the eventual US involvement in the war. Two women: Emma Fitch, a local doctor’s wife and Iris James, a Cape Cod postmistress listens religiously to the voice of Frankie Bard, an American radio journalist reporting the vicissitudes of those affected by the bombings of the London Blitz.
Emma is anxious to hear news from London where her husband is volunteering and Iris knows that sooner or later she will have to deliver messages of hope or tragedy. Until one night when Frankie finds a letter she is obliged to deliver, the fates of all three women are forever entwined.
I have mixed feelings about this boo…

[Wonderful Wednesdays & Review] The Shadow of The Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

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Welcome to edition two of Wonderful Wednesdays! Wonderful Wednesdays is a meme about spotlighting and recommending some of our most loved books, even if we haven't read them recently.  Each week will have a different theme or genre of book to focus on.
This week's theme is novels set in another country. A while ago, I talked about my intention to do occasional reviews of books  I have read in the past (read post here). And as expected, I have not started on that yet! Thanks Sam @ Tiny Library, host of this wonderful weekly meme for the motivation!
When I found out this week’s theme, I was immediately reminded of one of my favorite novels which I read some time in 2008, The Shadow of The Wind. The story is set in Barcelona, Spain.

Title: The Shadow of the Wind(This link goes to Amazon) Spanish Title: La Sombra del Viento Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón Translated by: Lucia Graves Genre: Mystery, Historical Fiction Subject: Out-of-print books, Barcelona (Spain), Antiquarian Booksell…

[Teaser Tuesdays] The Postmistress

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two "teaser" sentences from that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! You don't want to ruin the book for others!
* Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

Jim Tom glanced at him. “How many babies have you caught there, Will?”
“Fifteen. No, sixteen,” Will answered abruptly.
Jim Tom nodded. “Then you ought to know how mean the ladies can get at the end.”
- page 78, The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

[Review] Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

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Title: Her Fearful Symmetry: A Novel(This link goes to Amazon) Author: Audrey Niffenegger Genre: Paranormal
Subject: Young Adults, Ghost, Sisters, Spiritual Life Page: 482 pages First Published: 2009



It starts with a death. When Elspeth Noblin died, she left behind a personal diary to her lover, Robert Fanshawe and an apartment overlooking the Highgate Cemetery to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina Poole.
But on two conditions. One, they will have to wait until their twenty-first birthday; and two, never in any circumstance that their mother (Elspeth’s estranged twin sister, Edie) should enter the apartment. And when they finally settle in the apartment, the twins realize that their aunt isn’t really “dead”, that her ghost still lingers around.
I really don’t know how to write this review without actually giving too much away. I am a HUGE fan of The Time Traveler’s Wife and this book is nothing near it. I deliberately avoided myself from reading this book when it first came out be…

My First Blog Award!!

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What a sweet surprise on a beautiful Saturday morning! I received my first ever blog award from Nina B. @ Brush Up on Your Reading.
Thank you so much and Nina, you know you’re sweet too and I love your creative reviews. And thank you for your comments on my blog. Appreciate it.
You and ARGH deserves a hug from me =)
Now in order to accept this award I have to confess to 4 Guilty Pleasures and pass this award to another 6 Sweet Bloggers.

First, let’s get the confessional part over with. And so, my 4 guilty pleasures:
Fashion Police
I hate to admit this, but the TV show is my biggest guilty pleasure to date! I don’t know, there’s something about Joan Rivers with her raspy voice and brash comments on celebrity’s fashion faux pas that never fails to make me laugh.

Starbucks Green Tea Latte
Once in a while I enjoy my favorite drink from Starbucks, Green Tea Latte (PS: I don’t really like coffee). I know it’s a healthy drink and I shouldn’t be guilty about it but I can easily get a Green Tea Latt…

[Review] The Outcast by Sadie Jones

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Title: The Outcast: A Novel(This link goes to Amazon) Author: Sadie Jones Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Subject: Mothers and Sons, Ex-convicts, England - Social Life and Customs - 1945 Page: 345 pages First Published: 2008



August 1957. Lewis Aldridge is nineteen years old and fresh out of prison after a two-year sentence. Nobody picks him up at the prison gate. He comes back alone on a train and dreads the “self-conscious and tense” at home. He thought there must be something really wrong with a person who would rather be in Brixton prison than their home. Lewis Aldridge is The Outcast.

Rewind to 1945, post-war England. Lewis was seven years old. His father Gilbert has just came back from the war. Their family was whole again and routine started to take place quickly: Work, Sunday church and luncheons at the Carmichael’s (Gilbert’s employer).
With the absence of his father during the war, Lewis grown to be very close to his mother. Until she died when he was ten – drowned in front of his very…

[Book Ferret] My Little Black Book

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The Book Ferret is a weekly feature on Violin in a Void that will showcase a cool or interesting book-related find every Thursday. Notable new releases, great bookshops, events, cover art, websites, gadgets and accessories – anything to make bookworms happy.
If you want to join in, grab the Ferret pic, link it and your post back here, and add your name and URL to the comments.



This week I want to talk aboutmy LITTLE BLACK BOOK.
No, not that kind of black book.


This is the book that I always have with me whenever I read. I would write all my thoughts and make little notes about the book I’m reading for me to refer to when I’m writing the review later.

I love this little notebook because it’s light enough and just the right size to carry around in my bag (that explains the creases on the cover). And I love the sweet smelling pages on the inside. And sometimes when I’m lazy to use a proper bookmark, I’ll use this notebook instead, especially for bigger books like hardcovers.
Let’s take a…

[Review] Zoli by Colum McCann

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Title: Zoli: A Novel(This link goes to Amazon) Author: Colum McCann Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Subject: Romanies, Europe - Social Conditions - 20th Century, Page: 357 pages First Published: 2006



Chapter 1. A Slovakian journalist enters a camp. As fearful as he is to embark on an unfamiliar territory, he keeps going. He is on a mission: ‘Have you ever heard of Zoli Novotna?’, to which an old man replied with contempt, ‘No, I don’t know that name, do you understand me, fatneck, and even if I did, that’s not something we would talk about.’

Chapter 2. Enters Zoli, a young Romani/Gypsy woman growing up in Slovakia during the Second World War. The chapter, told in her own voice (apparently to her daughter) tells the reader how at six years old, she lost her entire family in the hands of the Fascist guards. She and her grandfather, the only survivors, flees their town to join a group of traveling musicians. Her grandfather, despite the norm, thought her how to read and write. She married y…

[Review] Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley

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Title: Hothouse Flower(This link goes to Amazon) Author: Lucinda Riley Genre: Contemporary/Historical Fiction
Subject: Family Secrets, World War II (1939 - 1945)
Page: 577 pages First Published: 2011



Hothouse Flower opens with a short fable about a Prince of Siam, his Princess and the mythical flower known to the kingdom as the Black Orchid.

“It is said in Siam, that when a man falls in love with a woman – deeply, passionately, irrevocably – he will be capable of doing anything to keep her, please her, to make her value him above all others.”
The story then progresses to the present day where we see the protagonist, a renowned concert pianist named Julia Forrester, after a devastating family tragedy, seeks solace at her childhood town in Norfolk, England. There, she revisited Wharton Park where as a child she used to linger around the hothouse where her grandfather served as a gardener to the Crawford family.
Until during a renovation work, a sixty-year-old diary was found hidden und…

[Teaser Tuesdays] Hothouse Flower

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Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two "teaser" sentences from that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! You don't want to ruin the book for others!
* Share the title and author so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!

“Someone once told me that death is as natural as birth, all part of the endless cycle of human joy and pain. It will come to all of us, and our inability to accept our own mortality and that of those we love is part of the human condition too. “
- page 206, Hothouse Flower by Lucinda Riley