Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book Review: Blue Dahlia - Nora Roberts

This story is a picture perfect romance. Nora Roberts had created a beautiful garden of love where romance and friendship bloom in the midst of exotic flowers. Although I prefer the author's earlier works where the characters were always involved in complex and suspenseful plots and dynamic mysteries, I still find this book's typical and old fashioned romance satisfying.  I'm just a little surprised that Nora Roberts somehow reverted back to the more simple and lovie-dovie stories that are often written by other authors like Debbie Macomber.  I would not know this book was written by Nora Roberts if not for the book cover.  This book is not my most favorite Nora Roberts' novel, but it's still an entertaining book for some restful reading.  The story is sweet, if one doesn't mind it to be lacking a little challenge for the characters.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale - A Novel

Reading this book reminds me of the time when I was "required" to read "Wuthering Heights" in the 8th grade.  Many readers compared this book to "Jane Eyre" because it shares a similar English setting, and the book "Jane Eyre" is actually one of the props used by the story.  I personally have the same reading experience reading this book as when I was reading "Wuthering Heights".  They are both creepy, dark and also mysterious.  I think this book is even darker and creepier than "Wuthering Heights".  While Jane Eyre gave me tears every now and then during my reading, this book gave me a sense of confusion and curiosity.  I couldn't put this book down for very different reasons than those that made me stay up all night reading "Jane Eyre".

I actually enjoyed reading this book because of its very "English" writing style.  This is not a book that a lot of  people can appreciate.  It's not some novels with a direct and simple prose.  It's very "English",  very "metaphorical",  and very "perceptive".  This book is about the telling of a strange and disturbing untold story.  The story has the power of slowly sucking me in.  Despite the story being weird for the story's sake, the writer's writing is absolutely intelligent and beautiful.  The ending totally satisfied my curiosity in searching for the great explanation for the weirdness of the book... If you are fans of "Jane Eyre", you may not like this book, but if you like "Wuthuring Heights", you will appreciate this book's darkness and its provocative story.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Book Review: Broken Birds - The Story of My Momila

Sibling rivalry, family feuds, money disputes are not limited to the children of Holocaust survivors.  They happen in a lot of families regardless of culture, ethnic groups and geography.  How many people are still close to their married siblings?  How many people are close to their aunts, uncles and cousins?  I myself barely know my cousins because I barely know my aunts and uncles.   I'm spending less and less time with my siblings after they got married.  We don't know our uncles and aunts that well and we are almost strangers to our cousins because our parents had grown apart from their siblings for the same dynamics that happened to this book's author.  This book may be about the children of Holocaust survivors, but it can be about anyone who grew up in any family anywhere in the world.  While I may have some grudges that I am holding against my siblings, I don't think I will ever have the courage to write a memoir about them.  My parents and my siblings will kill me if I dare.  Besides, there is always two sides of the story.  I wonder what the author's siblings' memoirs will be like if they ever write one.  So, I really admire the author's courage and honesty in writing about her family, particularly in such intimate details about her siblings.

This book is pretty well written overall. I started the book with an expectation that it would be mostly about the authors' parents' experiences from the Holocaust and then how they became broken psychologically and emotionally and the hardship they experienced when picking up their life together after liberation... But her parents turned out to be very strong and were able to put the trauma behind them to live a productive and normal life. They turned out to have a pretty good life after the liberation, which I am very glad.  I feel their life after the war was very normal, a lot more normal than a lot of the people that I know.  

Regardless of my different expectation, the book is entertaining and it gives me a glimpse of how others live their life. I can see some of the characters from this book in my own family.  This book is a family story well told and it keeps me interested.  It's not a book that will keep me up all night reading it, yet it's not a book that I will put aside without wanting to know what happens next .  This memoir has a somewhat sad ending, but it's what it is.  Unlike fairy tales, real life stories don't  always end well.  I just hope this honest memoir doesn't cause anymore damage to the already damaged relationship the author had with her siblings....Best of luck, Jaclyn, thank you for sharing your sometimes sweet, sometimes sad, and sometimes funny family dramas with me.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Reading About Kiev and Uzhgorod

I discovered Kiev by reading this book, the absolutely beautiful capital of Ukraine. The above photo shows the glorious St Michael's Golden Dome Monastery in Kiev.  Below is the River Uzh in Uzhgorod, where the author of this book took a trip with her family to visit her dad's childhood home.
When I was reading the book, I could see the author and her family walking through the narrow streets below in Uzhgorod in search of her father's old home.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Book Review: The Blonde Theory

The heroine in this book may be drinking too much Bacardi, her IQ and her being a Harvard educated lawyer totally don't match. She seems more like a self-absorbed and foolish high school cheerleader than a partner in a big law firm making a 6 figure salary. The book has too little originality and is extremely annoying. It was trying to copy the elements in "Legally Blonde" and "Sex in the City" but was done badly. The book is so retarded and annoying to read that it's not even funny.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Inspirational Quote I Last Read

"If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete." -  Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Above: Spinning Lotus Birthday Candles $4.50

Monday, May 14, 2012

Inspirational Quote I last Read

"People  are not disturbed by things but by the views they take of them."  --Epictetus, first century A.D.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Destruction of History That I Never Knew Until Now

"The Bamiyan Buddhas were shockingly dynamited in February of 2001, after inhabiting their niches for almost fifteen hundred years.  They had been the largest examples of standing /Buddha carvings in the world and had been designated by UNESCO, the United Nation's Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, as a World Heritage site.  Now they lay in a pile of rubble."  quoted from page 257 of this book.

Above are photos of one of the Bamiyan Buddhas before and after its destruction by Taliban.  I never knew about this until now that I'm reading this book....

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review: Hidden Riches

This story is not as suspenseful as Nora Robert's other stories that I had read.  There isn't as much surprise because the beginning of the story clearly shows who the villain is and what his motive is.  While the suspense is a little lacking, the romance and the intricacy of running an antique store and art collecting keeps the book entertaining.  The fact that Nora Roberts's heroines always have unique and interesting career shows readers that there are always a lot of interesting ways to make money other than being an attorney like many heroines in other novels.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Book Review: Home Front

This book is about the wife of a partner of a successful law firm who left behind her 12-year old and 4-year old daughters to go to fight the war in Iraq. It's just difficult to be convinced that a woman from an upper class family would leave her husband and traumatize her young daughters to go to war in Iraq. Even in a futuristic World War III setting where Pearl Harbor would be attacked again, an affluent attorney's wife leaving her young children behind to volunteer herself to fight in war would be a story being too far-fetched.

While it's admirable for any woman who dedicates herself in serving her country, a mother's utmost duty as a patriotic citizen should be caring and protecting her own children. Any mother who has the financial security and background like the heroine but who fails to be there for her own kids is not the ideal candidate to be assigned the responsibility to protect her country or the lives of other soldiers.

The heroine in the story is totally unlikable because all she cares about is the thrill of flying a helicopter and her sense of honor. What's not so honorable about her is she puts her vanity and desires above her children and family and just use "patriotism" as a veneer to cover her selfishness.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Inspirational Quote I Last Read

"Evil can slip in and blend in, amid the most civilized of surroundings. In the end, only conscience can stop it." George W. Bush on pg 83 of this book.

Shown in the above is Westland Giftware Pug-nacious Magnetic Angel and Devil Pugs Salt and Pepper Shaker Set.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Inspirational Quote I Last Read

Photo: Money to burn candle $7.99

"Wealth is when small efforts produce big results. Poverty is when big efforts produce small results." - George David.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Inspirational Quote I Last Read

"Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new." quoted from Ursula K. Le Guin, author of this book.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Book Wisdom: Money

"You can buy bonds sold by companies or other groups. You will be promised higher interest rates than you could get by putting your money in the bank or by buying government bonds - but you could lose some or all of your money, so you better get paid enough for taking the risk." quoted from pg. 15 from this book......

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Book Wisdom: Age and Youth

"The age you are at any time in your life is not especially important - it is how you feel inside that counts." quoted from page 6 of this book.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

American Dream


"Luck. That's what the American Dream now rests on." quoted from pg. 8 of this book.


The American Dream is still about education, hard work, and perseverance.... The fact that millions of legal immigrants come to America every year and they are doing fine is the proof that the American Dream is attainable. Many Americans who are living their dreams now mostly work hard for it. If luck is the only determinant, then there should be a lot more people in poverty than the ones who are not. It's because only one out of many millions of people can be lucky enough to win a lottery.....

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Book Review: The Rules for Hearts

I don't have anything to say about this book except that there is nothing interesting in this story. There is no interesting plot and no interesting character. The book is plainer than plain.... I can't relate to it at all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Winner of Suspense Romance Novel Giveaway Is

Winner of this giveaway is Steven. If you are Steven, please email us your shipping address so we can send the book to you.

To continue my clutter clearing campaign to get rid of my thousands plus books that are literally taking over my home, I'm giving away this book to my blog's followers. On Jan 2, 2012, a winner will be randomly picked and will be announced here on this blog. To have a chance to win this book, please do the following:
  1. Be a follower of my blog.
  2. Subscribe to our newsletter and get an additional entry to win this book.
  3. Scroll down the side bar on the right and click "Like" on Facebook to get an additional entry.
  4. Have a U.S. mailing address.
  5. Scroll down this post and fill out the giveaway participation form.

Hopefully, I will get rid of all my books pretty soon. I do have separation anxiety with all my books (this is only the 23rd book I'm giving away.... at least I'm making a tiny progress....), but I've got to start parting with them, or I won't even have room to sleep in... So follow my blog to be informed of my latest book giveaway. Also, the theme of this book also inspired us to give away this little trinket as our Christmas gift to you, please feel free to participate.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Book Wisdom

" No one could hurt you if you didn't let them. A good offense was the best defense." From Page 10.