Saturday, October 31, 2009

Seeing Francisco In This Book

While I don't usually judge a book by its cover, I do always find myself buying a book based on its cover. I'm a big sucker for books which have covers in bright color, fun, cheerful and modern chic illustration... Without even contemplating whether the book is good or bad, its cover already sent me fishing out my wallet at the check-out counter paying for it....By the way, the heroine in this book is supposed to live in Russian Hills in San Francisco (where I had just been there 2 weekends ago and I thought I would share the fantastic view with you...)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Colors For Your Every Mood - Discover Your True Decorating Colors

Submit your review for this book and get a beautiful jewelry set for free!!

Book Description: America's leading color expert shows how to choose the right color combinations for all your rooms based on Color Moods from your own personality, nature, and travel. Most decorating books start out telling readers how to achieve someone else's notion of how a room should look. This book is different. It helps you determine how you want yourself, your family, and your friends to feel when entering each room in your home. It combines psychology with a practical how-to and reveals which colors and color combinations will achieve the feeling and personal style you want to project in each room.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Submit your review for this book and get a beautiful jewelry set for free!!

Book Description: Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. A powerful examination of our obsession with beauty and conformity, Toni Morrison’s virtuosic first novel asks powerful questions about race, class, and gender with the subtlety and grace that have always characterized her writing.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Burton Holmes Travelogues: The Greatest Traveler of His Time, 1892-1952

Book Description: In a time before air travel or radio, on the brink of a revolution in photography and filmmaking, Burton Holmes (1870-1958) set upon a lifelong journey to bring the world home. From the grand boulevards of Paris to China’s Great Wall, from the first modern Olympics in Athens to the 1906 eruption of Mount Vesuvius, Holmes delighted in finding "the beautiful way around the world" and made a career of sharing his stories, photographs, and films with audiences across America.
As a young man, Holmes was mentored by John L. Stoddard, a pioneer of the U.S. travel lecture circuit, who passed on his well-established mantle when he retired. Holmes roamed the globe throughout the summer and traversed the United States all winter, transforming the staid lecture tradition into an entertaining show. He coined the term "Travelogue" in 1904 to advertise his unique performance and thrilled audiences with two-hour sets of stories timed to projections of hand-painted glass-lantern slides and some of the first "moving pictures." Paris, Peking, Dehli, Dubrovnick, Moscow, Manila, Jakarta, Jerusalem: Burton Holmes was there. He visited every continent and nearly every country on the planet, shooting over 30,000 photographs and nearly 500,000 feet of film.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Royal Duty: Updated With New Material

Book Description: This is the untold story behind one of the most sensational chapters in the history of the House of Windsor. Paul Burrell fought to clear his own name. Now he reveals new truths about Princess Diana - and presents for the first time as faithful an account of her thoughts as we can ever hope to read. He was the favourite footman who formed a unique relationship with the Queen. He was the butler who the Princess of Wales called 'my rock' and 'the only man I can trust'. He was accused of theft, then acquitted following the historic intervention of the monarch. He was the Princess' most intimate confidante - and is the only person able to separate the myth from the truth of the Diana years. Now at last Paul Burrell cuts through the gossip and the lies and takes us closer to the complex heart of the Royal Family then ever before.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

This article was published by the New York Times on July 18, 2007 featuring simple recipes that we can prepare quickly without spending too much time in the kitchen during a hot summer. Even though the article was meant for summer cooking, I find the 101 simple recipes featured here very handy in churning out good meals in my year round busy schedules. I love these recipes so much I just got to share this article with you. Hope you will enjoy these time saving good meals as much as I do.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Lost: A Search For Six of Six Millions

Book Description: In this rich and riveting narrative, a writer's search for the truth behind his family's tragic past in World War II becomes a remarkably original epic—part memoir, part reportage, part mystery, and part scholarly detective work—that brilliantly explores the nature of time and memory, family and history.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Evenings at the Argentine Club

Reviewed by Readaholic:
Venturing to the US sounded like a perfect plan for the Torres family but instead they were met with a nightmare. Overworked and underpaid, Victor runs a restaurant and hopes for reaching financial security. Meanwhile, Jacqueline is spending all of her time with the children, until they become adults and go their own ways. They are not alone in this struggle to find a life of happiness. Living in an Argentine populated area, they meet people who are dealing with the same life problems and find solace in friendship with the Argentine Club. This delightful read proves that there is a fine line between family and friends and life is too short to not have any because relationships are what makes life manageable.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Final Theory: by Mark Alpert

I picked up this book at a sale because the cover design with a 3D graphics of a running man was very interesting to me. This book does have a good title and a good teaser on the cover to entice an implusive purchase. I was never quite interested in science but no matter how I have tried to avoid the subject all my life, Einstein and his brilliant discovery of the law of relativity are just too big a legend that even a science dummy like me can't be completely oblivious about it.

The title itself is quite powerful in selling the book, afterall, I was very curious about what Einstein's final thoery was all about when the backcover mentioned that the story was based on real physics... Anyway, I started reading the book since June 2009, and I only finnished it now. So whether this book is as fast paced and astonishing as the cover describes, you tell me....

May be my lack of background and interest in science makes me unable to appreciate this novel. To me, the is just another lame story with a big title that took advantage of Einstein's fame to make an easy profit. The story is nothing innovating despite the fact that it borrowed Einstein's unfinnished Unified Field Theory hoping to build a clever plot. I said "hoping" because the plot of the story is anything but clever. The story is a typical running, hiding and chasing ritual that too many novels, TV shows and movies had already employed in their thrillers. What a bore. This story is about some professor who holds the key to uncover the secrets and applications of Estien's Unified Field Theory that will bring major destruction to the world, thus becoming target of the government and the villains who want to get a hold of this powerful science. The chasing and running really starts from the very beginning of the story.... and it keeps on forever... and this is why I never was able to read it for too long without walking away....It has been painful for me cause I have this habit of never abandoning a book. Everytime when I returned to continue the story, the characters were still running and were still being chased....

As far as the "real physics" go, I really don't understand how the author wants the Unfield Field Theory to work in terms of destorying the world. The author tried to elaborate his imagination of such an application with diagrams and tossing in lots of physics terms like, the protons, neutrons, accelerator....etc. etc... I still couldn't picture how it would work. To me, it would be just another WMD that isn't too new or innovative, I just pictured it as a nuclear explosion that happens out of thin air without any bomb dropping. I just wish the weapon and application could be more exciting and shocking to me...

The book does have a twist or two but these twists aren't exciting enough to compensate for the same uninspiring copycat plots that have been used by so many other movies and TV shows in the thriller or adventure genre. So all these months, I have been reading about a guy running away because he got access to an extremely powerful and dangerous weapon, and during the course, there were lots of gunfires, kicking, hitting, fighting, falling, bleeding, etc., etc.. In the end everybody will be okay and the world will stay fine. As unimpressed as I am, I have to say the book makes me want to read more science books on "real physics", cause I'm sure the real physics will be so much more exciting and interesting than this lame novel. This is one story I don't think anyone should waste time reading, cause all of us have just seen too many of the same stories, just this time, the guy is having access to Einstein's final theory instead of a treasure buried underneath Egypt....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Plum Island

Book Description: Convalescing from a bullet wound on Long Island, NYPD homicide detective John Corey helps the local sheriff investigate a shooting. The victims are a married couple, both biologists on Plum Island, a top secret animal disease research site. When the media suggests that they stole a deadly virus, suddenly a local murder becomes a crime with worldwide implications in this masterwork of entrancing characters, a killer plot, and brilliant comic touches.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The History of Love: A Novel

Book Description: The illuminating national bestseller: "Vertiginously exciting…vibrantly imagined….[Krauss is] a prodigious talent."—Janet Maslin, New York Times A long-lost book reappears, mysteriously connecting an old man searching for his son and a girl seeking a cure for her widowed mother's loneliness.Leo Gursky is just about surviving, tapping his radiator each evening to let his upstairs neighbor know he's still alive. But life wasn't always like this: sixty years ago, in the Polish village where he was born, Leo fell in love and wrote a book. And though Leo doesn't know it, that book survived, inspiring fabulous circumstances, even love. Fourteen-year-old Alma was named after a character in that very book. And although she has her hands full—keeping track of her brother, Bird (who thinks he might be the Messiah), and taking copious notes on How to Survive in the Wild—she undertakes an adventure to find her namesake and save her family. With consummate, spellbinding skill, Nicole Krauss gradually draws together their stories.This extraordinary book was inspired by the author's four grandparents and by a pantheon of authors whose work is haunted by loss—Bruno Schulz, Franz Kafka, Isaac Babel, and more. It is truly a history of love: a tale brimming with laughter, irony, passion, and soaring imaginative power. .

Thursday, October 8, 2009

American Food Writing: An Anthology with Classic Recipes

Book Description: This groundbreaking anthology from celebrated food writer Molly O’Neill is a history of America as told by our tastebuds. Here are classic accounts of iconic American foods: Thoreau on the delights of watermelon; Melville, with a mouth-watering chapter on clam chowder; Mencken on the hot dog; M.F.K. Fisher in praise of the oyster; Ellison on the irresistible appeal of baked yams; Styron on Southern fried chicken. American writers abroad describe the revelations they find in foreign restaurants; travelers to America discover native delicacies. Great chefs and noted critics discuss their culinary philosophies and offer advice on the finer points of technique; home cooks recount disasters and triumphs. American Food Writing celebrates the astonishing variety of American foodways, with accounts from almost every corner of the country and a host of ethnic traditions. A surprising range of subjects and perspectives emerge, as writers address such topics as fast food, dieting, and the relationship between food and sex. Throughout the book are fifty authentic recipes that tell the story of American food and will delight and inspire home chefs.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Los Angeles Complete Residents' Guide

Book Description: From finding a home to starting a family, the Los Angeles Explorer is packed with invaluable information covering every aspect of living in the city of angels. The book also covers leisure activities, exploring, shopping, and eating, drinking and dancing.
Relocating – from visas and admin to finding a home
Living and working – jobs, schools, money, transport, health, sports & activities
Shopping – the lowdown on malls, department stores, markets and more
Exploring – around the city and beyond
Going out – reviews of the finest restaurants, clubs, cafes and bars
Detailed maps – get to know the city like a local

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Cleopatra's Daughter: A Novel

Rated and reviewed by : BookingMama

I am happy to report that I was not disappointed with CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER. It definitely met my expectations (and they were set pretty high.) Ever since back in high school (where I took four years of Latin and watched I Claudius every Friday), I have been extremely interested in ancient Rome. I have read a few books about Rome throughout the years and I was addicted to the HBO series Rome, but I still want more! I don't think I will ever get tired of these historical figures and their antics!I love the way that Ms. Moran decided to tell the story in this novel. She wrote the book in first person through the voice of Selena, the daughter of Cleopatra and Marc Antony. The story begins when Mark Antony and Cleopatra take their own lives, and their remaining children -- Selena and her two brothers -- are taken away in chains from Egypt to Rome by their enemy Octavian. Selena was a wonderful young girl (and eventually a wonderful young woman) who seemed mature beyond her years. Of course, she grew up in the refined and cultured Egypt; and she spent a great deal of time being educated with adults. I thought the blend of Selena's maturity along with her naivete because of her age made this story and her insight extra-special. I especially loved Selena's reactions when she reached Rome -- that it wasn't anywhere near as sophisticated as Egypt!I absolutely loved Selena and I truly appreciated her spunk! It was clear to her that she was living as a prisoner under Octavian's rule, and yet she still never forget her parents and her homeland. She wasn't afraid to say what was on her mind (at times to her detriment); however, she still had enough sense to know how to play the different characters against each other. In addition, I liked that Ms. Moran portrayed Selena as a young girl who was very bright and loved to study architecture. In this novel, Selena not only studied with a skilled teacher, but she also used her talent and knowledge about buildings to help design new structures.Although Selena was a young girl and did make a few mistakes along the way, she still had many admirable traits. First and foremost, I loved how loyal she was to her family and friends. I don't want to give too much away, but suffice it to say that she was extremely generous and grateful to those who helped her. In many ways, CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER was a coming-of-age story about Selena, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing her mature throughout this novel. I especially liked the ending and how Selena came to realize who and what she should value.It probably goes without saying that I loved all of the historical information that was woven into this novel. I'm sure Ms. Moran embellished the lives of the main characters, but it seems to me that many of the characters in ancient Rome needed little help. Everything I've ever seen or read about the lives of the early Romans is filled with all the elements of a good story (or at least, a soap opera) -- love, adultery, affairs, mystery, murder, etc. Much of this novel brought back memories of things I had already known, but I was amazed by how many new things I learned about this ancient civilizations of Egypt and Rome. I can't believe how advanced these societies were and how little some things have changed over thousands of years.Michelle Moran is without a doubt one of my very favorite authors. I will read anything and everything she writes -- guaranteed. I think she is a master of historical fiction, and I believe that there are few writers that capture my interest like she does. The amount of research she conducts for each of her books is absolutely amazing; and what's even more astounding is how many ideas and projects she has going at one time. In addition to being a great writer, Ms. Moran is really as nice as can be too. She is extremely friendly (and generous) with book clubs and bloggers, and she even has a special place on her website just for bloggers. Make sure you visit her site and check out all of her beautiful photos from her travels around the world.Of course, I highly recommend CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER, especially for book clubs. My group discussed NEFERTITI (along with a chat with Ms. Moran), and it was a wonderful meeting. I think that CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER would make for an equally interesting discussion. One thing that I found so special about this particular Ms. Moran novel is that it is geared towards both the adult as well as the YA audience. In fact, there are multiple reading guides for this novel - one for YA and one for adults. I can't wait until the girls in my mother-daughter book club are old enough to discuss (and appreciate) this novel! What I loved about both guides is that there was a great mix of historical questions about Rome and the culture as well as questions about the different characters and their actions.Truth be told, I enjoyed CLEOPATRA'S DAUGHTER so much that I'm hoping for a sequel or a prequel! So many of the characters in this book were absolutely fascinating and could definitely provide enough material for their own story!