Back from the Dead

ok ok ok.... my bad! i've been missing for a month now! it was just one of those things in life when one month you find yourself going crazy out of boredom because there just wasnt much to do and suddenly you get caught in this tornado of work, travels and everything else in between.

so yes, ive been on a whirlwind work cycle that in one weeks time, months of work just seemed to have fallen into place. it was rather wonderful seeing everything fall exactly where it needs to be and im just really thankful that it all did.

im also quite happy that ive been in and out of the country but im really too cheap to pay for hotel room internet, so i've really been outta the loop for a while now!

so cheers, it is October! It's my birthday month, so that's something to get all excited about! A year older and perhaps a year wiser! haha I just can't believe its actually October, where on earth has 2010 gone? But it's been a very good year so not complaints here!

An Offer You Can't Refuse

Book: Offer You Can't Refuse by Jill Mansell

Synopsis: Offer You Can't Refuse recounts how a 17-year-old's decision to accept a bribe affects her life several years down the road. After her beloved stepfather, Alex, confesses to a large gambling debt, Lola accepts a payment from her boyfriend Dougie's disapproving mother, who wants Lola gone. Lola pays off her father's debt and disappears from London for 10 years, after which she returns. In a too coincidental twist, she rescues a woman from a mugging, only to later learn—at a thank-you party the victim throws—that the woman she helped is Dougie's mother. Dougie, meanwhile, has a new girl and is still disgusted that Lola accepted the bribe, though that doesn't keep Lola from trying to re-insert herself into Dougie's life. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: An Offer You Can't Refuse but a book you can most definitely refuse. This is my second attempt on reading a Jill Mansell book and I was quite disappointed (the first being Rumor Has It). The entire premise of the story set my expectations pretty high but getting through the book, the story fell flat on the much anticipated wit and humor. Not to mention, Lola was starting to peeve me with her over-the-top, clingy, stuck-one-whole-decade-ago-attitude. I found her nosy is a very unacceptable un-charming way. The budding love story also fell short and only made sense towards the final pages, which in my opinion was a little too late, especially since the story of Lola and Doug was supposed to be the center of the book.

But in true Mansell fashion, all characters find their own happy ending. Nevertheless, this is a very light book to read, spent only a couple of hours finishing it, but also maybe because I found myself skimming through a lot of the parts.


Dork-o Book Loot

ok, the thing about buying books—its so insanely addictive! Its just one of those things that ones you start you just cant stop. I ordered a couple of books from Fullybooked and they all arrived together! I love their efficient and friendly service!! Plus they offer free inter-store transfers... right before I typed this I was just informed that some of the books I requested from another branch are now available for pick-up.... ahhhh!! It really just doesnt stop!! haha

so heres a snippet of my book loot the other day!

1. Scott Pilgrims Precious Little Life by Bryan Lee O'Malley
2. Scott Pilgrim vs The World by Bryan Lee O'Malley
3. Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness by Bryan Lee O'Malley
4. Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together by Bryan Lee O'Malley
5. Scott Pilgrim vs The Universe by Bryan Lee O'Malley
6. Scott Pilgrim's Finest Hour by Bryan Lee O'Malley
7. Stories All New Tales edited by Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio

Yes, my inner geek shines with all the Scott Pilgrim volumes! haha it really all started cause of the movie trailer... video games + Michael Cera... i feel like i just died and went to dork heaven! *swoon*

plus i got my copy of Stories... i've been meaning to read good short stories just to get a break for novels and hopefully get inspired!

so heres to cosmopolitans, rainy nights and good old fashioned reading!


Rumor Has It

Book: Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell

"In a town this small, a secret is hard to keep"

Book Synopsis: Londoner Tilly Cole discovers the perils of smalltown life in Mansell's perfectly executed exemplar of fluff. After her live-in boyfriend does a runner, Tilly ditches London for Roxborough and a job as assistant to interior designer Max Dineen. Much of the town's gossip centers on handsome ladies' man Jack Lucas, and despite his almost irresistible charm, Tilly resolves not to be the latest notch on his bedpost. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: Freshly single and looking for dire change from the London scene, Tilly decides to apply as a Girl Friday in the little town of Roxborough. Her boss, Max, just happens to be an ultra sexy but very gay interior designer who lives with his teenage daughter Louisa, whose mother (and Max's ex-wife) is a famous soap-opera star in the United States. They all warn her about the infamous Jack Lucas, the town's notorious yet most sought after bachelor. With his good looks, wit and keen sense of humor, Tilly finds herself drawn to his captivating charm but is slapped back to reality by cautionary tales of his reputation.

What I found so interesting with this story is that it's quite rare to find a chick lit book that has a dynamic and stellar ensemble that you felt like rooting for everyone's happy ending. It brilliantly combined the various forms of love and relationships and surprisingly proved to be so much deeper that your typical love-hate story (most especially for her best friend Erin). It was impressive to have such memorable characters that had their own unique sub-stories and perspectives that tied up nicely in the end.

Light, fun, and punchy with character that could easily be your friends, it's easy to see why Jill Mansell has developed a chick-lit following.

Quotable Quotes:

"Logically I knew it wasn't my fault, but mentally I was at rock bottom. My husband was gay and, let me tell you, that doesn't do wonders for your ego. I lost all my self-confidence. I'd never felt so physically, unattractive, so completely undesirable."

"Sorry. Jack's a good bloke, but... Maybe not ideal happy ending material."

"You can't ending something that hasn't had a beginning." 

Books vs E-books


Paperback Book Loot

I've been a Kindle user for a couple of months now and I love it to bits and pieces. It's such an amazing little device and it fit perfectly into my always-on-the-go-lifestyle. Instead of picking which books to pack in, I get to bring along a library, and still get to shop for new ones no matter where I am in the world! But it suddenly dawned upon me that I miss paper books—a lot!

Did you know that only 15% of Kindle users stop buying print books? Yup, that means I'm in the 85% that think the Kindle is awesome but are still old school at heart. There's nothing as fulfilling as seeing a stack of books you've read piled up, or browsing through your bookshelf searching for titles, the smell of a fresh from the box book, the texture of the cover and the anxiety attacks of damaging the book! It's really all part of the experience, and I missed it!

So I figured, lets pull a Hannah Montana stint here and have the best of both worlds—I'm a Kindle reader and an old school paperback reader!

I finally got around to Fullybooked since I couldn't stop thinking about The Rossetti Letter. The last I was there, I was still deciding whether to read it on my Kindle or old school paperback. The latter eventually won my mental debate but when I got there earlier, it was out of stock. (NOOOOO *slow motion action trailer voice*)

It was the curse of the part 2. The Devlin Diary was available (although unrelated stories) i was still very adamant on reading The Rossetti Letter first. I thought about just pulling out my Kindle and getting it via Whispernet, but the goal of the afternoon was old school paper reading. So with a quick trip to customer service, they worked their magic and sourced out the book for me! * yay! game show applause*

There was also an event going on, and I badly wished I was more familiar with the work of Rafe Bartholomew author of Pacific Rims. To a lot of book worms, meeting an author is much like meeting a rockstar, so it was pretty cool seeing his fans (and him of course)!

Anyway, it was a pretty awesome day and I got a whole new set of book loot...

1. First Among Sequels by Jasper Fforde
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
3. The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
4. The Devlin Diary by Christi Phillips

and I even slipped in a copy of one of my fave movies... The Rebound (i love real dvds that are priced reasonably!)

So now its really all about which I wanna begin with first! hmm...

Now you guys know whats on my TBR list, let me know what's on yours! Share your book loot!

Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose

Book: Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh

"Powered by service"

Synopsis: The visionary CEO of Zappos explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success. Pay new employees $2000 to quit. Make customer service the entire company, not just a department. Focus on company culture as the #1 priority. Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business. Help employees grow both personally and professionally. Seek to change the world. Oh, and make money too. In his first book, Tony shares the different business lessons he learned in life, from a lemonade stand and pizza business through LinkExchange, Zappos, and more. Ultimately, he shows how using happiness as a framework can produce profits, passion, and purpose both in business and in life. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: You know a book is good when right after you put it down you have this overwhelming feeling of wanting to learn so much more—that was exactly what I felt after! I suddenly found myself at the Zappo website looking for all those uncanny details written in the book. With some of the insanely hilarious anecdotes, I was so close to having some random and totally unrelated conversation with one of their live chat customer representatives. I even signed up for a copy of their famous culture book and started following their visionary CEO on twitter.

The book was easy to read and extremely relatable. It wasn't about Internet jargon and html codes, it was their remarkable story from the brink of bankrupcy to becoming a billion dollar Internet sensation. But more than the dollar signs and the added zeros to the their paychecks, the Zappos story is really about the culture they managed to cultivate. It wasn't just a business, but a family, a network of individuals who were passionate, driven and imaginative. Their very unique transparent company structure was fascinatingly employee oriented and prided in their development and advancement within Zappos. I suddenly found myself googling their offices and thinking what a pretty kick-ass environment to be a part of! I even made a mental note that the next time I find myself in Vegas, I should sign up for one of their tours.

Overall I thought it was a very timely book for me to have read especially with the months pending to the opening of my business. It gave me a different perspective on how to be a boss and how to relate to my employees. These little people are the backbone of your business and they must be nurtured to be the best employees possible, and thats your job as the boss. It made me realize how important it is to create a working atmosphere that doesn't feel like work. It has to remain challenging, exciting and fun combined with getting everything required done.

Quotable Quotes:

"I always fantasized about making money, because to me, money meant that later on in life I would have the freedom to do whatever I wanted. The idea of one day running my own company also meant that I could be creative and eventually live my life on my own terms."

"We had no idea where it would lead us, but wherever it was, we knew it had to be better than feeling bored and unfulfilled. We were ready for an adventure."

"I thought about how easily we were all brainwashed by our society and culture to stop thinking and just assume by default that more money equals more success and more happiness, when ultimately, happiness is really just about enjoying life."

"I had decided to stop chasing the money and start chasing the passion. I was ready for the next chapter in my life."

"Looking back, a lot of our growth happened that way. We'd just throw ideas against the wall to see if they'd stick, improvise and make it happen."

"Play only with what you can afford to lose."

"Envision, create and believe in your own universe, and the universe will form around you."

"Some of us tried to figure out what our true passions were so that we would have something better than partying to focus on. I was one of those people."

"There's never one way to do things, but an incredible amount of ways to get things done. It takes an open and creative mind to find, invent and execute them."

"We learned a great lesson: If you just focus on making sure that your product or service continually WOW people, eventually the press will find out about it."

"...they saw a real-life example that it was actually possible to run a values-based company that also focuses on everyone's happiness. They saw that it wasn't just theory, that there was a way to combine profits, passion and purpose."


Once and Always

Book: Once and Always by Judith McNaught

Synopsis: Suddenly finding themselves orphans in America, Victoria and her sister return to England to stay with their remaining living relatives. Victoria was sent to live with an elderly cousin, the Duke and his son, Jason. Their love story embarks with the Duke trying to match Victoria and Jason, much to the horror of the two. Victoria is keen that her childhood sweetheart, Andrew, would find her, marry her and take her home to America. But when Victoria believes Andrew has married another, the Duke pushes for a quick engagement. Suddenly Andrew calls on Victoria only to find it was too late for she was already a married woman.

Book Notes: I felt like the character Andrew could have played a much bigger role in this book. His sudden appearance and disappearance was absolutely senseless especially since I quite honestly rooted for him because I didn't like Jason's character. He merited sympathy for having a horrible childhood, and he deserved recognition for his self-made wealth, but this was a classic tale that money cannot buy manners. Try as he might to be a gentleman but he raped her twice in the book. Not only that, he treated her like a common whore, giving her jewellery after every deed. There came a point when I couldn't understand how and why they fell in love with each other.

There could have been so much more to this story and so much less of the other stuff. It had the makings of a good plot, gone terribly wrong with a cruel, self-loathing, leading man.


Whitney, My Love

Book: Whitney, My Love by Judith Mc Naught

Synopsis: Whitney is a strong-headed country girl with a fixed obsession that she would one day marry her childhood crush, Paul Sevarin. Tired of her antics, her father sends her to Paris to live with relatives and learn the proper ladylike manners. Suddenly, Whitney was no longer an awkward infatuated juvenile—Paris has transformed her into a charming rare jewel. From the town joke, she was the toast of Paris with suitors falling all over themselves to win her over. But with her heart was still back in England, anxious to finally win Paul's affection. But unknowing to Whitney, the Duke of Claymore has taken a fancy with her and with the sudden financial difficulties of her father, she is suddenly betrothed to him. Posing as her neighbour, the Duke sets out to court Whitney although she wants nothing to do with him.

Book Notes:With their love-hate relationship, it was poised to be a very interesting love story. It constantly pulled on my heartstrings, and I felt butterflies in my tummy the entire time I was reading the book. But upon further scrutiny, I realized how dysfunctional her main characters are. They were highly emotionally abusive and often too proud and stubborn to communicate properly with one another. There was also a scene in the book during one of the blind rage black outs of the Duke that I felt was so horrid and emotionally wrenching. If you decide to read this, be the judge of this scene.

But that aside, truth be told I enjoyed this book because I happen to like complicated, dysfunctional and passionate characters. Bottom line: I just want to point out that this is a work of fiction, and although this book has some violent scenes, any woman who finds herself in an abusive relationship should not be blinded by a false kind of love.

***edit: January 07, 2013***
At this point i have lost count on how many times i have reread this book! in the three years since ive read this i always seem to find myself running back to it just to relive some fond memories. Its come to a point that sometimes i feel like these characters are real, like as if i know them.

Sometimes it even scares me a little that i have placed Clayton at a pedestal, as if yearning that his likeness would come to life some how. (clearly, i still do have a penchant for the dysfunctional for that seems to be the only normal i know of) there is just something about him, from his physical attributes to his character flaws, i cant help by keep falling in love with him.

I reread my earlier review and it sounded very constricted to how i imagined internet readers to judge it by but screw it... i bloody love this book! there is something about this book that i cant seem to get enough of, and must continue to relive every moment and all 700 pages of it!


Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story

Title: Bloodsucking Fiends: A Love Story by Christopher Moore

Synopsis: Here's something different: a vampire novel that's light, funny, and not at all hackneyed. Between scenes of punks bowling frozen turkeys on the graveyard shift in a supermarket, or snapping turtles loose in a loft and gnawing on designer shoes, this novel has comic charm to spare. But it also packs an appealingly downbeat message about the consumer culture: Becoming a vampire has given the twentysomething heroine "a crampless case of rattlesnake PMS"--a grumpy mood in which she realizes that she can dress to the nines as a "Donner Party Barbie" and still end up disillusioned and unhappy, just another slacker doing her own laundry and watching sucky TV 'til the sun rises. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: It was good to take a break from the heavy, brooding vampire love stories that's been all over pop culture and Christopher Moore's take on the vampire-human love story was absolutely hilarious. You get a wide-eyed, naive, country boy in the big city and a newly turned bombshell vampire trying to figure out life and their newly discovered urges together. It was fast, and punchy with jokes carefully placed at just the right moments. It was also brilliantly set in Downtown San Francisco and I loved the easy references to landmarks I was so familiar with. It made the story feel so much more real—like I knew exactly which Safeway they worked in and I've walked that same Ghirardelli Square several times as well. If you're tired of the Edward Cullen types, try this one for a good laugh.

Quotable Quotes:

"The plea for eyeliner appealed to the writer part of him, the part that believed that creative thought was worth something."

"I haven't seen anything that over-accessorized since Batman."

"Is there something wrong with your food? No, I'm just not very hungry. You're going to break my heart, aren't you?"

"Okay, not a particularly smart god, but at least a god who has her original nose."

"I suppose you could complete the look with a pair of Italian f-me pumps and some maroon lipstick."

"This is just pot right? This isn't some weird designer kill-the-family-with-a-chain-saw-and-choke-to-death-on-your-vomit drug, right?"


The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life

Title: The Trump Card: Playing to Win in Work and Life by Ivanka Trump

Synopsis:  Eager to share what she's learned at some of the best schools in the country, as well as from her driven, successful parents, Trump is straightforward and fully self-aware, realizing that readers will dismiss her achievements as simple nepotism; as such, she owns her privilege, acknowledges her advantages and then sets about disabusing readers of their presumptions with intelligent, well-conceived, positive advice; unbridled ambition; and a strong measure of graciousness and humility. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: The starts out with a narration of her early up-bringing and it gave a glimpse into why she became the woman she is today. Being born into privilege and with her last name, she quite frankly doesn't have to work a day in her life. But a silver spoon life has no meaning if it wasn't earned, and the ambitious Ivanka was not just going to live off her last name. Of course she got the elephant out of the room and acquainted the truth that she was rich, her last name was an extra leverage and her father was her boss. Politics on being a young VP existed but there's a distinct difference being the boss's kid who got the title and being someone who stepped up to deserve the title. Ivanka has proven to be the latter. Throughout the book she also gives smart pieces of advice on moving up the fierce corporate ladder, emphasizing on hard work, dedication and exceptional ideas as keys to success. Between chapters, she included excerpts from her famous associates penning various pieces of advice from their own experiences.

Overall it was quite refreshing to read about a 27-year-old that wasn't all about sex, drugs and DUIs. I would definitely recommend this to children with family businesses to work in or are working in already. Hopefully it would inspire a next generation of young entrepreneurs to take advantage of a very lucky position they find themselves in—you're already one step ahead, own your birthright.

Quotable Quotes:

"And so: get over it. Go ahead and bring it up if you feel you must. Acknowledge the elephant in the room. But then move on. Move on, because I'm way past it. Move on, because even though those who believe that my success is a result of nepotism might be right, they might also be wrong. Try as I may—and try as my critics may—there's just no way to measure the advantage I've gained from having the Trump name, just as there's no way to know if the person sitting across from you in a job interview or a negotiation is there on his or her own merits or with an assist of one kind or other."

"No other day is like another, and they've added up to a wealth of experience. My experience. I've been exposed to a level of responsibility that's very rare for someone my age. My responsibility. While most young people in business spend their twenties enduring the growing pains and lowly paper-pushing assignments that come with earning your stripes, I've been able to bypass (mostly) that sort of grunt work and have been part of upper management from very early in my career."

"if i get creative and think against the grain, I can make a whole lot of noise."

"It isn't enough to win a transaction. You have to be able to look the other guy in the eye and know that there is value in the deal on the other end too—unless, of course, you're a onetime seller and just going for the gold."

"The single most important thing you can do in business is stay away from negative people."

"Some people turn whining into a career, but those people can be so depressing. They'll bring you down, and you'll never be at your best when you're down."

" reinforce for their children to earn their lifestyle. They put out the message that all those fine things were there for the taking but we would have to reach for them; nothing would be handed to us."

"Make no mistake, I wanted to enjoy first-class comforts, but not so much that I was willing to pay for them. Not with my own money, anyway." (on spending her modeling money when she was young)

"If you want something, you have to work for it."

"Somehow my parents had me thinking I should be self-sufficient, and for as long as I can remember I've never been comfortable relying on someone else to provide for me."

"Now, as an adult, I like the feeling of being able to provide for myself and of owning my own lifestyle."

"At this point they are not friends, because there's no room in my life for people who can't seem to find any motivation in theirs. They're more like a sad collection of cautionary tales."

"If you're merely surviving at work instead of thriving, perhaps it means you're not in the right field. Or maybe you don't have enough passion for what you're doing to succeed to the highest level."

"Stress does not equal hard work."

"We have been conditioned to expect success—sometimes instantly."

The Gospel According to Coco Chanel

Book: The Gospel According to Coco Chanel: Life Lessons from the World's Most Elegant Woman by Karen Karbo

"With practical life lessons for women of all ages"

Synopsis:  Chanel is credited not simply with giving us the little black dress and boxy jackets, but popularizing pants for women and easy, practical clothes that allowed women a chic freedom they'd never known before. The story of the designer's extraordinary life and rise to unprecedented success is both compelling and admirable. And while the great Coco may have launched her singular empire a hundred years ago, her methods, attitude, and elan are as relevant and modern as ever, and perhaps more appealing. Chanel was a self-made girl who knew how to make do with less until she had more, discover and stay true to her own style, problem-solve using the tools at hand, and do it all with seemingly effortless flair.. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: For years all her perfume ads were all over airports, I toted her 2.55 quilt bag and even had some of her trademark Chanel costume jewellery. I follow their runway, I visit their boutiques abroad and their logo was even my bb wallpaper for the longest time. But then I realized I knew nothing about this infamous fashion icon. So I went through a week long Chanel high spending my idle hours watching all the Coco movies and reading the Gospel According to Coco.

Truth be told, Gabrielle Chanel or Coco was a bitch. She was a head-strong, unapologetic, temperamental, self-made genius. She revolutionized fashion and captured the perfume market. Karbo documented her fabulously elegant life of Chanel exploring her philosophies from style and fashion, to money and success and living without giving a damn. It was witty, entertaining and charmingly humorous. I even quite enjoyed the personal anecdotes of the author, most specially her search for the perfect vintage Chanel-Chanel jacket.

Without doubt, this is the perfect book on life's lesson for a modern woman based on the life of fashion's most elegant lady—Coco Chanel.

Quotable Quotes:

"If nothing else, the woman was a complete stranger to the embarrassing impulse buy, and for that alone we should salute her."

"What has grown up in the place of verifiable facts is Chanelore, a combination of truth, embellishment, lies and legend."

"To embody the Chanel style, it is not necessarily necessary to wear Chanel."

"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn."

"To know who were are is a challenge for most of us. As dutiful consumers of media we are dogged by the feeling that we should exist in a state of eternal self-transformation. To plant our flag in the ground—right here, and right now—and say "This is me!" seems to us to be settling for less or giving up, or not being all that we can be."

"Self invention is an act of the imagination, the ongoing writing of an enormous never-ending novel in which you are the protagonist. It's not a makeover, a new hair color, a new wardrobe, or even a week long wellness vacation in the desert. It requires a rugged determination and sometimes unflattering desperation."

"Perhaps what they mean to say is that being stylish is worth the cost, that the money shouldn't concern you. Otherwise they're just feeding us all a line of bull. An Herm├ęs crocodile Kelly bag and a black Chanel evening dress of embroidered lace are beautiful objects perfectly made from high-quality materials. Cheap knock-offs are just that. They pucker, pinch, rise up, droop and itch, then disintegrate in the machine the second time you wash them. Style has always been about money, and it always will be."

"The shop is no larger than an American elevator. (A French elevator holds one supermodel and her roller suitcase.)"

"Like tiny dogs and British queens, Chanel was poised to live forever."

"In the beginning was Coco and Coco was fashion and Coco said to the multitude, fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street; fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening." 

Romanov Prophecy

Book: The Romanov Prophecy by Steve Berry

"Russia is a country with an unpredictable past."

Synopsis: Atlanta lawyer Miles Lord is thrilled to be in Moscow for a such a momentous event: After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the tsar, who will be chosen from among the distant relatives of Nicholas II. Miles is assigned to perform a background check on one of the candidates, but research becomes the least of his concerns when he is nearly killed by gunmen on a city plaza. Suddenly Miles is racing across continents, his only guide a cryptic utterance of Rasputin's implying that the infamous 1918 massacre of the Romanov family was not the last chapter in their story. The prophecy's implications are earth-shattering—not only for the future of the tsar and mother Russia, but also for Miles as well.

Book Notes: I've always had a fascination for Russian royalty. Maybe because growing up I loved the cartoon Anastasia and I have all their songs on my iTunes, except the one of Rasputin, I never fancied his song anyway. Or maybe because we were in high school and my section transformed our classroom into a Russian palace and we gave tours acting like we were Russian royalty. Or maybe because it is one of life's greatest mysteries and that in itself is enough to intrigue.

I love receiving book recommendations, and this one was sent to me by a friend. It was my first time to read anything by Steve Berry and its been a while since I've read anything from the mystery/thriller genre, so it was definitely a treat to find that this was one nail-biting page turner.

I thoroughly enjoyed the historical reference to the Romanovs and loved how clues were referenced to archived texts. The atmosphere was amazing and I felt myself racing with Miles as he dodged armed gunmen. Berry has definitely penned a classic thriller that brilliantly merged fact and fiction.

Life on the Refrigerator Door

Book: Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

"A novel in notes"

Synopsis: Claire and her mum share the same house but they live on different planets... While Claire's world revolves around school, shopping and her new boyfriend, Mum is always busy with work, work and more work. But they do have one thing in common: the kitchen fridge. It's where they leave little notes for each other. It's how they keep in touch. Then one day Claire comes home to a note that's different from all the others. And life is never the same again. [Paperback Edition]

Book Notes: I once learned in literature class that brevity is the soul of wit. It takes remarkable talent to get a powerful message across with the least amount of words and this novel is definitely a perfect example. Throughout the book, readers are privy into the relationship of Claire and her Mum through the notes they leave for each other on their refrigerator door. Through the short notes, elements of the characters are revealed through their daily conversations. Definitely realistic, the bubbly teenage qualities of Claire were also revealed by the constant doodles found throughout the book.

With a limited and unconventional format, the author was able to create an emotionally moving story out of the everydayness of something as mundane as refrigerator notes. With the least amount of words, she was able to tell the bittersweet story of two people who knew they were running out of time. it was distinctly moving that I found myself in tears towards the end of the book.

Its a beautiful, simple and powerful book that reminds you to constantly make time for the ones you love.

Dead in the Family

Book: Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris

Synopsis: Still reeling from the deaths of her fairy cousin, Claudine, and many others in 2009's Dead and Gone, Sookie Stackhouse struggles with paranormal politics in her entertaining if slow-moving 10th outing. When Claudine's triplet, Claude, appears at her doorstep, Sookie reluctantly allows him to move in. The government threatens two-natures with mandatory registration, and tensions run high in the local Were pack. Then Eric's maker, a Roman named Appius Livius Ocella, arrives without warning, bringing along Alexei Romanov, whom he rescued from the Bolsheviks and turned into a vampire. [via Amazon]

Book Notes: Although it's not the most eloquently written books, the vampire bug caught me pretty bad and I joined the unashamed teen wagon for Team Edwards and the more mature True Blood audience. I originally started the series because of the tv show and pretty much followed the new releases since. But with the latest addition to the Sookie Stackhouse Series, Book 10 was nothing more than a complete disappointment.

The overall story lacked a strong, definitive plot line. With the lack of backbone, the story seemed to thread on hanging statements that were never followed up to help thicken the plot. It came to a point that I felt like I was reading a checklist: vampire sex-check, random dead bodies-check, someone who wants to kill Sookie-check. The overall format had become painfully predictable and with the lack of a proper plot, it made finishing the book rather excruciating. I couldn't even understand the point of having a Romanov. Did anyone who even read the book remember that?

Talk online is saying that Harris is working on a follow up, but I find myself losing interest with the book series much preferring the dialogue and storyline of the TV show. Dead in the Family is definitely one you can skip. It was nothing more than an uninspired attempt to produce a 10th installment.
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