Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Heretic's Daughter


Title: The Heretic's Daughter                                                              
Author: Kathleen Kent

Genre: Historical Fiction, Family Saga

Edition: Back Bay Books, 2009 (345 pages)

From the Cover:
In 1752, Sarah Carrier Chapman, weak with infirmity, writes a letter to her granddaughter, revealing the secret she has closely guarded for six decades. Her story begins a little more than a year before the Salem witch trials, when she and her family arrive in a New England community already gripped by superstition and fear. Hysteria escalates as neighbour is pitted against neighbour, friend against friend, until more than two hundred men, women, and children are swept into prison - Sarah's mother, Martha Carrier, among them. In an attempt to protect her children, Martha asks Sarah to commit an act of heresy - a lie that will most surely condemn Martha even as it will save her daughter.

My Thoughts:
The Heretic's Daughter is written from the perspective of a 9 year old, Sarah Carrier Chapman. Sarah is the third child of Thomas Carrier and Martha Allen. Sarah's mother, Martha was a strong-willed woman who had a certain contempt for the men of church. In December 1690, Sarah and her family travelled by cart from Billerica to neighbouring Andover, Massachusetts in a desperate attempt to escape the pox that had plagued their hometown. Little did they know that they had brought the disease with them. This did not sit too well with the people of Andover. In a time where superstition was rife and independent women were feared, the Carrier family suddenly found themselves under extreme scrutiny.

Martha Carrier was later accused of witchcraft and was thrown into jail with her two sons and daughter, Sarah. The first half of the book focused on the characters within the Carrier family, whilst the second half was an account of the family's life in imprisonment and the ensuing court trials. It is a truly heart-wrenching tale that provided a realistic impression of what really happened to the victims of the Salem Witch Trials - a point that was a real eye-opener for me since I know very little about the subject.

What I loved most about this book was Martha Carrier's resolve. Despite the perilous situation she was in, Martha continued to show strength and dignity all the way to her death. She was a source of strength for her husband and children, especially little Sarah. 

This is a gripping family saga of despair, family love and one woman's refusal to bow down to the powers that be. A great read and highly recommended, especially to those who wish to know more about the Salem Witch Trials.  



Footnote:
Kathleen Kent is a tenth-generation descendant of Martha Carrier. The Heretic's Daughter was written based on family stories passed on from her grandmother and mother, as well as historical facts of the Salem Witch Trials.



Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #2: 2011

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewehere on that page (though I always tend to share slightly more!)
This week's teaser is from my all-time favorite paranormal series; Sookie Stackhouse:


"She pointed to the body lying by the white car. Fortunately, the corpose was on the side of the car concealed from the view of the rare passerby. In the poor light it was hard to be sure, but I believed Corinna was already beginning to flake away. I'd never seen a dead vampire in the rain before." - pg. 96 of Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris.

I haven't reached page 96 yet (just started reading this about 20 mins before I decided to write this post). Anyway, the teaser looks insane. Can't wait to delve right back in!




Angels

Title: Angels

Author: Marian Keyes

Genre: Chick Lit

Edition: Penguin Books, 2003 (482 pages)

From the Cover:
“I’d always lived a fairly blameless life. Up until the day I left my husband and ran away to Hollywood…”

Unlike the rest of her family, Maggie Walsh has always done everything right. At thirty-three she has a proper job, is happily married to Garv and never puts a foot wrong. So why does she make a bolt for Hollywood and her best friend, Emily? In the City of Angels, Maggie gets to do things she’s never done before: mixing with film stars, pitching scripts, partying non-stop. But is this really a once-in-a-lifetime journey of self-discovery, or is she simply running away from married life?

My Thoughts:
This novel started a little slow for me. At first, I found the main character, Maggie Walsh, a little lame and the storyline another one of those typical feel-good chick lits. But after mid-way through, the book definitely picked up a notch or two and I must say that I quite enjoyed it, especially since I wasn’t expecting to.

Angels is all about Maggie Walsh and her dysfunctional funny family. After 9 years of marriage to Garv, Maggie decides to leave him and the security that the marriage had been providing all these years. She runs off to Hollywood to live with her best friend Emily, a scriptwriter who is still looking for her big break. As Maggie tries to live the life in Hollywood, certain pieces of her old life suddenly resurface to memory. What really got me hooked were these flashbacks that slowly unraveled Maggie’s past and the kind of girl she really was. She no longer appeared to be the lame woman I thought her to be and her story was interesting to say the very least. Her family, a bunch of distinctive sisters, and a pair of over-protective parents, make such a funny combination, you’re bound to laugh out loud once or twice. Overall, I thought this was a touching novel with plenty of laughs.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Casanova in Bolzano

Title: Casanova in Bolzano

Author: Sandor Marai

Genre: Literature

Edition: Vintage Books, Nov 2004 (294 pages)

From the Cover:
Another rediscovered masterpiece from the author of the Embers – a sensuous, suspenseful, aphoristic novel about the world’s most notorious seducer and the encounter that changes him forever. In 1756, Giacomo Casanova escapes from a reputedly inescapable Venetian prison. He resurfaces in the Italian village of Bolzano, where he sets about refurbishing his person and finances. Then he receives an unwelcome visitor.

He is the aging but still fearsome Duke of Parma, who years before defeated Casanova in a duel over a ravishing girl named Francesca, sparing his life only on condition that he never see her again. Now he has taken Francesca as his wife – and intercepted a love letter from her to his old rival. He could kill Casanova on the spot. Instead he makes him an offer, one that is logical, perverse and irresistible. Turning a historical episode into a dazzling fictional exploration of the clasp of desire and death, Casanova in Bolzano is further proof that Sandor Marai is one of the most distinctive voices of the twentieth century.

My Thoughts:
Casanova in Bolzano is a novel written by the Hungarian writer, Sandor Marai. Whilst the main character is based on the infamous Italian womanizer Giacomo Girolamo Casanova de Seingalt (April 2, 1725 – June 4, 1798), the storyline is pure fiction, and is merely Marai’s portrayal of Casanova’s romantic character.

When I first read the blurb I was pretty excited. It made me feel like I was in for an enchanting, historical love affair, full of passion and betrayal. Fortunately, I didn’t need to get past page 40 to realize that the novel was a complete disappointment. The prose was dull and long-winded, with paragraphs that lasted up to 2 whole pages before the next break. The storyline was filled with boring monologues making one believe Casanova to be a pompous character rather than an edgy yet romantic soul. And there was naught of passion or anything resembling that hot romantic desire that you would expect from a situation of forbidden love. It’s not until the final section of the book that Casanova finally encounters the Duke of Parma and the ravishing Francesca – the first ¾ of it was just about Casanova and his tiring monologues.

Easily one of the worst books I’ve read this year, though to be fair, it was translated from Hungarian to English, a factor that may have contributed to the lackluster writing.

p/s: Sandor Marai is more popularly known for his other novel, Embers, which is an international bestseller.



Horror & Urban Fantasy Reading Challenge 2011


So I've just signed up for another challenge and I realise this is a little too ambitious, even for me. I mean, it's already more than half way through the year, plus this challenge requires a minimum of 24 books! Can I do it? Well, since I am on maternity leave and this challenge does cross over with another challenge I've participated in this year, I'm thinking, why the heck not.

The Challenge is to read 24 books from the horror or urban fantasy genre between 1st Jan 2011 and 31st Dec 2011. Further details of the challenge can be found here. So far, my reading list is as follows:

1) Interview with the Vampire - The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (link to review coming soon)
2) The Vampire Lestat - The Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice (link to review coming soon)
3) Feed by Mira Grant (link to review coming soon)
4) Bloodsucking Fiends by Christopher Moore (link to review coming soon)
5) Dead in the Family by Charlaine Harris (link to review coming soon)
.
.
.
.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Follow Friday (#1)



I think its about time to direct more traffic to my blog and make new friends. It's been kinda quiet and lonely over here and I miss all the interaction! Parajunkee hosts this great Feature & Follow Friday meme for just that and this will be my first time joining. Each week, a blogger is featured and I'm quite happy that this week's featured blogger, Angela's Anxious Life, does YA, Paranormal and Mystery reviews (yippee!!).


Now, the question of the day:


What do I do when I'm not reading?
Well, recently, if I don't have my nose buried in a book, I'd be busy feeding, changing and playing with my one month old baby. He's an active little thing so I pretty much have my hands tied! I'm quite an active person myself though and prior to the baby, if I'm not reading, I'd spend my free time doing outdoor activities like hiking, caving and kayaking. I'm also a movie and TV buff - at the moment, I'm really liking Vampire Diaries and I can't wait for Season 3!



Thursday, July 14, 2011

Some Rantings and a Review of I am Number Four

Hi everyone! After a 2 month+ span of silence, I'm back...again. I realise that since I started writing this blog, I've been pretty much a "now you see her, now you don't" kind of blogger and I would really like to apologise for that. Time is a luxury that I just don't have and I know although this is probably the case for most people, I have to say that the past 12 months have been an extraordinarily busy period for me. New job, exams and more recently a new baby, has occupied the most part of my time. Yes, I am now a proud mommy of 2 and I'm loving every minute of it. Despite this temporary setback in blogging, I do try to keep up with the latest around the blogosphere and I have been busy enjoying alot of interesting books. Now I'm hoping I can squeeze in the time to review all of them as well!

Anyway, below is a review of one of the latest books I've read and surprisingly quite a good one too.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Title: I am Number Four (Lorien Legacies #1)   
 
Author: Pittacus Lore

Genre: Science Fiction / Young Adult

Edition: Penguin Books, 2011 (374 pages)

From the Cover:
There were nine of us who escaped...
Number One was killed in Malaysia.
Number Two was murdered in England.
Number Three was hunted down in Kenya.
Before they come for the others, they'll come for me... I AM NUMBER FOUR

John Smith is not your average teenager. He regularly moves from small town to small town. he changes his name and identity. He does not put down roots. He cannot tell anyone who or what he really is. If he stops moving those who hunt him will find and kill him. So when he stops in Paradise, Ohio, John decides to try and settle down. To fit in. And for the first time he makes some real friends. People he cares about - and who care about him. Never in John's short life has there been space for friendship, or even love. But it's just a matter of time before John's secret is revealed. He was once one of nine. Three of them have been killed. John is Number Four. He knows that he is next...


My Thoughts:
For a book based on the alien race, a genre I'm not very fond of, I have to say that I actually enjoyed this one. The story centres around John Smith, a fourteen year old alien boy who descends from a planet similar to earth. He is one of the chosen ones. One with extraordinary powers - powers which have yet to develop in his young body and hence making him the target of a relentless and vicious alien race, the Mogadorians. As John grapples with the woes of living an inconspicuous life, and dealing with his unmastered developing powers, he meets a girl and suddenly everything changes. Although there were a few cheesy and dubious scenes, the storyline was intense and I couldn't help flicking through the pages on fast-forward mode. There was also a very strong message in relation to earth preservation which I really liked. I even developed a strong attachment towards Bernie Kosar, the stray but faithful little dog. Overall, I think this is a great book for teens, with just the right balance of entertainment value and moral conscience threaded in - 2 thumbs up! Can't wait to get my hands on the second book; The Power of Six!

p/s: Just watched the movie too and although I think Alex Pettyfer is too much of 'man' to play a fourteen year old, he is so irresistably hawtttt :)


Monday, May 2, 2011

The Host

Title: The Host

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Genre: Science Fiction / Romance

Edition: Back Bay Books, Jul 2009 (809 pages)

From the Cover:
Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Our world has been invaded by an unseen enemy that takes over the minds of human hosts. Most of humanity has succumbed. When Melanie - one of the last remaining humans is captured, she is certain it is her end. Wanderer, the invading "soul" who has been given Melanie's body, probes her thoughts to discover the whereabouts of the remainig human resistance. Instead, Melanie fills Wanderer's minfd with visions of Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body's desires, Wanderer begins to yearn for a man she is tasked with exposing. When outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off on a dangerous search for the man they both love.

My Thoughts:
I’m not really a big fan of science fiction or books which centre on aliens. The same goes for movies. I adore paranormal and would gladly devour gory tales of vampires, werewolves, witches or fairies, but aliens are just not my cup of tea. For some odd reason, the former seems to be more acceptable and realistic even (at times quite believable), whereas aliens are just too far-fetched for me. Maybe it has something to do with history. Whilst vampires and witches have had their fair share of old women’s tales, aliens are still a mystery and not much are known about them except that if they did exist they’d probably have black beady eyes sitting on a head that is far too big for their frail green body. Or they’d look like a glow-in-the-dark bipedal creature that could morph into humans like the girl in Species. In any case, there is no consistency to what an alien can be. They can exist in any form as far as the creativity of the creator/author will allow.

In The Host, Meyer explores yet another new theory of aliens that invade planet earth: silver-like worms that take over the body of their hosts and pick their brains to survive, very much akin to parasites. As a writer, Meyer has this extraordinary ability to create the most intriguing of characters, which for me is what make her books really worth reading. The display of emotions from the love triangle between Wanderer a.k.a Wanda, Melanie and Jared is captivating and will pull you into the story straight away. The story isn’t without action either and you can expect a few cliff-hanging, chair-gripping moments. Whilst the scenes were good, I still have a problem with the basic foundations of the story i.e. how the aliens came into existence, Wanda’s million year old history and the various other planets that she’s “invaded” before. The arguments behind these were weak and not very convincing at all. It was easier to accept Meyer's theory of sparkling vampires than this (or maybe I’m just bias and too much of a sucker for Edward). To wrap things up, I’d say that this was a very good attempt by Meyer, definitely a different flavour from the Twilight Saga and would probably reach out to a new fan base of sci-fi lovers.

p/s: Despite my natural aversion towards aliens, this is actually the second book I've read about aliens this year. Look out for my review of "I am Number Four" coming up soon..
 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #1: 2011

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share 2 "teaser" sentences from somewehere on that page
  • Be careful not to include spoilers (make sure that what you say doesn't give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author too so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teasers!
Teaser:

"I'm in a dark room. Strips of negatives hang on drying lines. I collapse onto the floor. My head spins and my hands are burning. Since first seeing the light, I have kept my hands clenched into fists. I look down at them now and see my right hand is still glowing, pulsating. I start to panic." - pg. 31 of I am Number Four by Pittacus Lore.

I saw this book being featured at the Times bookstore in Pavilion and with all the hype surrounding the release of the movie, I thought I might as well pick it up pronto. I'm only on page 57 but it's been a pretty interesting read so far.


Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Hunger Games Series: Catching Fire & Mockingjay

Title: Catching Fire (2nd in the Hunger Games Series)

Author: Suzanne Collins

Genre: Dystopian / Speculative / Young Adult

First Published: 2009 (472 pages)

Catching Fire is the 2nd book in the Hunger Games Series and picks off from where Katniss and Peeta survive the 12th annual Hunger Games event. Their controversial victory had unknowingly sparked a revolution in some of the districts and made them a target of Panem’s ruthless government. Under the watchful eyes of President Snow, Katniss and Peeta embark on their victory tour throughout the districts, in an attempt to convince the public that their actions in the arena were nothing more than an act of love, rather than defiance. But as Katniss begins her tour in District 11, she starts to realize that her actions, no matter how well planned have already elicited hope and strength in the people of Panem.  In an attempt to suppress the uprising, President Snow sends Katniss back to the pits of the arena as part of the 3rd Quarter Quell celebrations, and together with her, Peeta volunteers to be part of it too.

Catching Fire continues to provide the nail-biting suspense and fast-pace adventure as that of the first book. But where much of the thrills and chills of the Hunger Games were derived from Katniss’ survival in the arena, Catching Fire’s tension came from different angles: the looming threat of President Snow; the fearless uprising of the districts and Katniss’ and Peeta’s attempt at making allies and surviving the unpredictable Quarter Quells. As usual, Katniss is the star in this un-nerving saga. Her independent and nurturing character, gives a strong presence and unsurprisingly resulted in her being a rebel instigator. Her forced unity with Peeta makes for a cute story as they are both as different as night and day. Whilst Katniss is completely aloof when it comes to social and romantic situations, Peeta is forever the sweet and smooth gentleman. In Catching Fire, Collins also introduces the audience to new characters like Finnick Odair (a male victor from District 4), Johanna Mason (female victor from District 7) and Beetee (male victor from District 3), all of which are featured more in the 3rd installation to the series; Mockingjay. My slight contention with Catching Fire was that I was expecting more coverage on Gale’s personality and the development of his relationship with Katniss, which was sadly lacking. Overall though, Catching Fire is still a great read and does not disappoint.




Title: Mockingjay (3rd in the Hunger Games Series)

Author: Suzanne Collins

Genre: Dystopian / Speculative / Young Adult

First Published: 2010 (455 pages)

In Mockingjay, the tale of the rebellion intensifies after Katniss escapes the 3rd Quarter Quells through the rescue of an undercover group aimed at over throwing the government. The plot thickens as Katniss comes to grips with the existence of a 13th District, her role as the Mockingjay, and the capture of Peeta by the Capitol. Whilst Katniss regains her strength and is being briefed by the powers behind the rebellion group, Peeta remains in the clutches of the snake-like President and endures both physical and mental torture.

I have mixed feelings about this one. I really enjoyed the intensity and suspense felt in The Hunger Games and Catching Fire and thus expected nothing less from Mockingjay. Whilst book 1 introduced the readers to the nature of the games and Katniss, book 2 gave more insight into Katniss’ character; her strengths and her weaknesses. Book 3, was the much anticipated conclusion to the distorted world of Panem, but with so much exposure to Katniss’ character and romantic life in the first 2 books, many had expected a lot more from it, including myself. In Mockingjay, Katniss is faced with the harshness of real war – she’s no longer a pawn in one of the Capitol’s games but rather a mentally strung participant and witness to the mercilessness of President Snow. Her mental situation doesn’t do much for her character development and instead of growing to her full potential of becoming a real leader she is forced into a rebellion that she’s not even sure she wants to be part of. The love triangle between Katniss, Peeta and Gale also seems to meet a stump and falls well below expectations. With Peeta mostly being under torture and losing most of his original personality as a result, the underdevelopment of Gale’s character, and Katniss’ continuous indecisiveness, there wasn’t really much to look forward to here. Although Katniss does end up with Peeta in the end, it felt forced and unnatural. Mockingjay wasn’t all that bad though. It still had the elements of thrill and suspense, but it was less fast-paced than the first 2 and definitely my least favourite in the entire series.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Twenties Girl

Title: Twenties Girl

Author: Sophie Kinsella

Genre: Chick Lit

First Published: 2009 (497 pages)

From the Cover:
Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don't get visited by ghosts. Or do they? When the spirit of Lara's great-aunt Sadie mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie's possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it. 

Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie's necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different "twenties" girls learn some surprising truths from and about each other. 

My Take:
I am a big fan of Sophie Kinsella's "Shopaholic Series" and needless to say, Becky Bloomwood; the ditsy girl that never failed to make me laugh-out-loud. After finishing the "Shopaholic Series", I didn't think Kinsella was able to create such an adorable and charming character like Bloomwood, but I was wrong. Lara Lington was not only all that, she was also one independent, dependable and spunky gal. Whilst trying to come to terms that her relationship with Josh was over and the fact that her so-called business partnership was going down the drain, she is suddenly burdened by an even more alarming issue: she can see and hear her dead aunt when nobody else can. She starts to think that she's losing her mind until several episodes with her great-aunt Sadie proves to be otherwise. The journey she takes on with Sadie hovering in the background is full of humour and adventure which made it impossible for me to put the book down for even a toilet break! I simply loved the fact that here is a chick lit that combines chick, mystery, family drama and love, all rolled into one big delicious treat. Another great novel by Kinsella and easily one of my favorite books for 2011 so far.

 

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Inspector Singh Investigates: A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder

Title: Inspector Singh Investigates - A Most Peculiar Malaysian Murder

Author: Shamini Flint

Genre: Mystery / Thriller

First Published: 2009

Inspector Singh is a Singaporean policeman who gets sent to Malaysia to investigate the murder of a Singaporean ex-model’s husband. Chelsea Liew was the “IT” girl of Singapore until she ended her career and married a high profile Malaysian businessman. After many years of a violent marriage, it finally ended when Chelsea’s husband was found murdered near their mansion. The Malaysian courts accuse Chelsea of murder and remand her in prison whilst Singh begins on a quest to find the truth and solve ‘whodunit’ once and for all.

I wasn’t expecting much when I first picked up this book. For one thing, I’ve had many lukewarm experiences when it comes to new authors and the summary on the cover of this book didn’t sound all too mysterious to begin with anyway. After reading a few chapters, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was fairly engaging and managed to hold my interest well beyond page 120. I think Flint did a great job in bringing the reader to the scene. The prose was interesting and she has the knack for expressing scenes and human emotions in a captivating manner. I also liked the links this story had to several social issues such as women’s rights (in a Muslim country) and environmental awareness.

The only thing lacking for me was the fact that the mystery wasn’t solved with genuine sleuthing capabilities. Rather, the whole mystery was unravelled by the fault of the killer himself. I adore genuine mysteries solved with an ingenious mind, so this bit was a little disappointing for me. I also didn’t like much of the conclusions drawn about Malaysia (by the author) via the character of Inspector Singh. Though some of it may ring a truth or two, not all of it was accurate to my mind. Nevertheless, there’s a high chance I might be picking up Inspector Singh’s next adventures: A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul and The Singapore School of Villainy.

A little bit about the Author (taken from the inside cover):

Shamini Flint lives in Singapore. She began her career in law in Malaysia and also worked at an international law firm in Singapore. She travelled extensively around Asia for work, before resigning to be a stay-at-home mum, writer, part-time lecturer and environmental activist.


 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Stepsister Scheme


Title: The Stepsister Scheme

Author: Jim C. Hines

Genre: Fantasy

First Published: 2009

Challenge: None

What do you get when Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Snow White get together after the end of the supposedly happily-ever-after? In the Stepsister Scheme, Jim C. Hines, combines the beauty and intelligence of these well-known fairy tale princesses into an utterly chick fantasy adventure that is far from the fairy tale we all know it to be. Princess Danielle Whiteshore (also known as Cinderella) is on a quest to save her prince who has mysteriously disappeared a few months after their wedding. It turns out that the Princess’ stepsisters had something to do with it. In come Talia (aka Sleeping Beauty) and Snow (aka Snow White), the Princess’ allies. Together, they embark on a thrilling adventure filled with sword-fighting, magic and twisting treachery.
I have to say, although with the promising storyline and funny characterisations, this book fell a little short for me.  It was adventurous enough, with many cliff-hanging scenes, but somehow the entire adventure felt a little farcical compared to other fantasies that I’ve read before. I guess this mainly had to do with the fact that the intended humour didn’t quite reach out to me – it just wasn’t as funny as I expected. The idea behind this book was brilliant though; a refreshing take on the conventional fairy tale plot, and Cinderella wasn’t as fragile as I thought she’d be. My favourite character would be Snow though – she’s hot, bursting with spiritual energy and is bubbly through and through.
There are 2 other books in this Princess Series , The Mermaid’s Madness and Red Hood’s Revenge. Again, the synopses for these look interesting but I’m not so sure if I’ll be picking these up any time soon. We shall see.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

2010 in Review and WELCOME 2011!!

It's been a while since I last blogged and kept up with the blogosphere, especially the bookish related. I've had an extremely busy second half of 2010, mostly related to my job and 2011 promises to be no less busy…sigh…

Despite spending my weekdays (and sometimes weekends) slogging over work, going through a change of jobs and slaving through banking exams, I’ve managed to somehow achieve the following in 2010:
  • Read 19 books
  • Finished 1 out of 5 reading challenges joined
  • Did 4 very exciting outdoor/travelling trips. Managed to write a review on 2 of them.
  • Found 30 new inspiring blogs to follow
  • Began my addiction to Twitter
As mentioned, 2011 promises to be another busy year for me. I still have one more major banking exam to complete and to top tings off, I’m expecting a baby. Yes, another cute addition to the family and I’m super excited about it. It’s been a while since my last pregnancy; to be precise the last one was 5 years ago. I’ve been battling with morning sickness (more like 24 hours sickness) but crossing fingers this will be over soon. So, with pregnancy and a new baby on the way, I’m expecting zero outdoors and travelling trips in 2011 but perhaps more time to indulge in reading. I hope to read more, at least double the amount read in 2010. I’m also planning to read more books written by foreign authors, mainly Asian, as well as books that are not so popular, for example those that I’ve found in a quirky bookstore or in a garage sale but promise to be an interesting read. I’ve always enjoyed reading books recommended by fellow bloggers in the US and UK, especially YA and vampire stuff, so these will still be on my reading list for 2011. And to start off the year, I’ve already enrolled myself in yet another vampire reading challenge hosted by Book Chick City here.

To all blogger friends and non-blogger friends alike, here’s wishing you all a fabulous 2011 year ahead!


The Vampire Chronicles Reading Challenge 2011



I've always been an Anne Rice fan. My first ever paranormal book that I read was an Anne Rice; the ever so famous Interview with the Vampire. That was probably more than ten years ago. Subsequently, I got caught up in other genres and never really read the rest of the Vampire Chronicles, so I'm quite excited to be joining this challenge hosted by Book Chick City.

The books in the Vampire Chronicle series, in order are:

1. Interview with the Vampire
2. The Vampire Lestat
3. The Queen of the Damned
4. The Tale of the Body Thief
5. Memnoch the Devil
6. The Vampire Armand
7. Merrick
8. Blood and Gold
9. Blackwood Farm
10. Blood Canticle

You can find details of the challenge here. And if you're following this challenge like me, don't forget to share your experiences on Twitter too using #VampireChronicles2011.


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