22 November 2011

Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter

Got this book from the big sale, the big bad wolf. 

I've never read the Pride and Prejudice but I love the movie with Keira Knightley and Colin Firth. So there, at least I could imagine how was Mr Darcy, his character and everything. 

It's a story about a book-aholic, Emily Albright who rather spend her time reading than go out having fun. (Okay, reading is having fun, to her).

When she read about a book tour about her favorite author, Ms Jane Austen, she couldn't help but sign herself for that tour even she had to travel so far, she's in US and the tour happen in UK. 

She met some few fellow fans of Jane Austen, most of them were boring except for this one male UK reporter. The trip took about 2 weeks and lots of things happened within that.

Emily was kind of in her own world, for there are some times she found herself talking to Mr. Darcy. It's quite scary and of course delusional. They talked a lot and got to know each other.  Maybe she was so obsessed about Mr. Darcy so she was hoping that Mr. Darcy would like to get to know her too.  However, the more she knew and learned about Mr. Darcy, she thought that he's not that perfect. 

Meanwhile, Emily thought that this reporter, Spike was not her type and she's not his. They fought a lot but there are few circumstances when Emily could look into Spike's good side. 

The ending, is expected. 

However, reading this book, I knew that a lot of things could happen in two weeks time.  Feeling could be developed, perceptions might changed, and everything. 

I have given this book to a colleague. 

When she saw me reading this book she asked a lot about it, and in the end, she wished me "hope you'll find your Mr. Darcy" but I told her that I didn't really like Mr. Darcy... heee... whatever... 

18 October 2011

The Smart One and The Pretty One by Claire La Zebnik

This is a story about two sisters. Yeah, the smart one (Ava) and the pretty one (Lauren). 

But anyway, I think both of them are pretty. HEHE. It's just that Ava is the one who think that dressing up is such a waste of time and it makes people focus more on your exterior rather than your inside. 

It starts when their mother was diagnosed with cancer and Lauren who's been working in New York had to come home in LA as she was fired because apparently she couldn't manage herself well in budget/financial management. And she (Lauren) has this weakness towards good clothes and shoes (who doesn't, by the way). 

When Ava found out that Lauren is in serious debt, Ava even arranged a session with financial consultant and she made Lauren signed a contract saying that she'll be paying her debt. 

So when Lauren found an old paper in their parent's home, a simple, foolish contract between the parents and their friends (the parent's friends) saying that Ava was engaged to their son, Lauren had planned to make Ava comply to something "contract-ty" too... 

So, then the story began... apparently Ava's "fiance", Russell is someone who's involve in fashion thing, and he, like Lauren is so determine to make Ava over. But Ava thought that since Russell and Lauren are so into each other, they like the same thing (fashion), share the same thought towards fashion, Ava had put herself aside. Meanwhile, Russell thought that Ava despises him.

Anyway, it's happy ending... 

You could read the review/synopsis here.... Claire La Zebnik

22 July 2011

Summer and the City - Candace Bushnell

  • It's the sequel after Carrie Diaries.
  • It's interesting. And reading it made me felt the same excitement as watching the drama series. :)
  • It's about how Carrie got to know her 3 companionship~ Samantha, Miranda and lastly, Charlotte...
  • Apparently, it's Carrie who first got to know all three of them, and with her skill, she'd turned them all three of them (four later) into a click...
  • It told the story, a summer before Carrie was supposedly go to Brown, but she begged her father to let her take up a short summer writing course;
  • Carrie, with the assistance from Samantha finally (so easy) got to adapt to the new environment (surroundings);
  • How she met Capote Duncan- I believe that his name was somewhere in the series..
  • All of the old stories on how was Samantha (which nothing hardly differ) and how Miranda was so feminist, and how polite and naive Charlotte was...
  • It's good (I did say it, right) for those who loves the movies/drama series....
  • Oh, I wish there would be more sequel of it! :) 

21 June 2011

How Starbucks Saved My Life-Michael Gates Gill

He was out of work, at the age of sixties. Out of what he had been doing for almost 30 years. He was kicked out from an advertisement company, because of some factors, namely age. The young managers decided that his idea are becoming old fashioned and all. 

But he has gained a lot of business contacts, and he opened a consulting company which could last only for few years. He's had a family to feed and in the meantime, in his "downtime" he settled in a short fling which added in a new son to the family. His wife decided to leave him.

Soon, his consulting company closed down but he still acted as though he was still a busy man always in contact with his client, wearing the suit, carrying a briefcase as he used to do. 

Until one day when he was having his hardly earned latte in Starbucks, a lady manager asked him if he would like to work in a Starbucks cafe. He was speechless, how could a young lady could detect his acting. So without much thinking he applied for the job. 

Soon his life changed. This book is a true story of Michael Gates Gill. How he had made comparison on his working behaviour pre-Starbucks and during Starbucks.There are a lot of things that he should do to adapt to the new environment, a change of life style indeed. 

How he gained a lot of respect by being just a coffee shop worker, rather than what he'd got when acting as a manager in a big company. He had reviewed on how he had wasted his life, with his daughters and sons because he had put the career on the top of his priority list before.
It was a moving story. It's not boring at all albeit it's an (sort of)  autobiography book. 


19 June 2011

The Little Prince / Le Petit Prince

I never imagined in a million years that a whimsical child’s fable could make me feel so downhearted. I can understand why this book was listed as one of the greatest classic. To a child, the fantasy about having a fren from outer-space is so appealing – this book has been used for elementary literature all over the world (err… except M’sia which I don’t quite understand why :p) and to an adult like me, the depth within the simplicity of the story is what captivated me the most.

This is a story about a strange encounter, self-narrated by an aviator, whose plane crashes in the middle of the desert. While stranded there, attempting to fix his plane, he stumbled upon a fine-looking, small prince who claimed to be originally from Asteroid B 612 – a planet no bigger than a house.

Slowly, the aviator learned about the simple life of this little prince whose daily routines involved uprooting the baobabs & sweeping up his 3 volcanoes, how he loves watching sunset whenever he’s sad, and most of all how intensely in love he is with the one and only flower in his planet - the rose.
As the story unfolds, the little prince shared the story of his journey, all the memorable encounters he had with adults from other asteroid and finally how he landed on earth. The main theme of this story is how simple life can be if we see it thru the eye of a child and how we tend to complicate things as we grow older.

This book is somewhat like Alice in Wonderland - on a surface, it’s simple & appealing enough to be read by a child but if you really try to comprehend the meaning behind it, it’s mind-blowing how deep the message can be. I won’t be a spoiler by giving it all out to you, you should read it yourself coz you might have a different interpretation of the story as compared to mine. 

But all I can tell you is, be prepared, you might need a tissue as this story has a bittersweet ending. And you’ll be surprised to learn how a simple tale like this can teach you a lot about life.

My fave quotes from this book: "One sees clearly only with the heart. What is essential is invisible to the eye" (On ne voit bien qu'avec le cœur. L'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux).

05 June 2011

The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle

if you are trying to figure out what makes you happy, or if there is anything that you should consider in order to make a better life, perhaps knowing the Power of Now would help you grasp the idea of enjoying the now.

the book, frankly is not exactly an easy read. there are parts that would make you ponder hard, parts that would make you feel defensive, parts that would make you hopeless of what you are now. but then again, Mr Tolle writes so much truth in it, you would definitely be thinking, the man seriously has a point. and he must be right 'coz what he said was what happened to me.

this book deserves to be revisited again and again, coz in life we experience different thing at a different time. and this book is better understood maybe in a different way at a different time.

i must say, i love this book. it's an eye opener. it's thought-provoking. it demands a full attention from its reader. i dare you to read it. :)

love from brussels.

10 May 2011

The Carrie Diaries - Candace Bushnell

I bought it for RM19.90 instead of RM89.90 at BookXcess, Amcorp Mall, PJ.

Basically it's about the life of Carrie Bradshaw pre Sex and The City. It's a teenage life. How she deals with her family, friends, boyfriends and enemies. It's high school. It's practically ala Glee where there's a popular group and the unpopular one.

Carrie kept her life in the middle, not so low, not so high until she met her childhood friend, who had transferred into a cute guy and apparently became the school heartthrob.  He had been her boyfriend then. Usual things, Carrie got stuck up with so many friends' drama and anything, plus a discipline and full of explanation father, a troublesome sister, but lucky she's got one sister who always been the understanding one.

It's an okay book. But as I am so into the series of course I like this book. :)

I like the ending most, however.

for more : here.

12 April 2011

For one more day-Mitch Albom

I've found this in my friendster's blog.  Link asal

Macam biasa, karya Mitch Albom, sangat menekankan kasih sayang dan kekeluargaan.

Cerita ni berkisah mengenai Charley Chick Benetto…once a baseballer yang sangat menyerlah semasa zaman muda dia. Disebabkan minat dalam sukan baseball yang sangat mendalam, Chick sanggup berhenti belajar dan mengikut nasihat ayah dia dengan menyertai team pro untuk bermain dalam some sort of sport liga.
Selepas berhenti sebagai baseballer, Chick bekerja sebagai sales oficer..yang memang tidak kena dengan jiwa dia. Success was not always on his side, Chick rasa tertekan, started drinking…dan mula mengabaikan keluarganya…

Wife Chick meninggalkannya dan Chick semakin tertampar bila his only daughter, Maria, tidak menjemput beliau ke majlis perkahwinannya.

Chick mengambil keputusan untuk take his own life (bunuh diri)…dan dia mengambil keputusan untuk kembali ke Pepperville Beach (his hometown) because he decided to end his life where he started it.
He’s got into an accident, but when he woke up to escape to his home, he was shocked to see that his mother, who died 8 years earlier, was there. So many things happened from the time he reached his home that night, most of them was priceless moment with his mother.

These moment made Chick realized that there’s so much more to life, and there’s never too late to fix relationship with the families. Chick got to know many things about his father (who left the family when he’s about 9-11 years old).

Chick later woke up to find that he’s lying on the road (accident’s site) and he recovered to enjoy and to redeem his life, his time with families.

It was a good reading. Mitch Albom… 

17 February 2011

Tuesday With Morrie

I believe you guys have heard or read about this book. Well, I just finished reading it, in Malay version. I read the original version while I was waiting for my friend at Border, The Curve some time ago. Hah.

This book was actually a thesis, done by Mitch and his beloved Prof. Morrie.  His lecturer while he was doing his degree. It was a book/thesis discussing about life and what are important things about it. 

Mitch called him Coach, that was something to distinguish him from Morrie's other students, and while he was studying at the University (Brandies) he had always find time to spend with Morrie, to talk and discuss about everything. It was his way of escapism from the life which he thought boring. He thought when he's with Morrie, he was himself. 

It was 16 years after the convocation that he found out from a tv show that Morrie was sick. He started to keep in touch with Morrie and then the idea of doing the thesis came. They started to reminisce their old days, and started to discuss like they used to do.  

Mitch, while sharing Morrie's thoughts on life, couldn't help but thinking about  how he had spent his life. 

Mitch came out with 13 ideas of topics to be discussed with Morrie and they met on Tuesdays to discuss everything on each topics.

This book was divided into few chapters each with a short and simple story, with pieces of Morrie's story from his life in between.
The way Morrie saw life was unique. He was positive and he brought love with him and shared with everyone around him. You'll feel the love when you read this, I bet. :)

I cried. Hehe. It was moving. Love it.

p.s : good for pressie. here. here. here.  

31 January 2011

Veronika Decides to Die

Initially I was quite reluctant to share this book with just anybody else as this book is so personal to me. But then again, the story is too good to be hogged alone so, here I am :) This book was introduced by a fren of mine who claimed that this story reminded her so much of me. And the fact that Veronika Decides to Die was also my first Coelho’s book,  I just have to confess -  I’ve read this book so many times before until I’ve lost count ;p

This book talks about life and sanity, what it feels like being the ‘mad ones’.  Coelho’s interpretation of madness was spot-on lucid given that he himself has been admitted to the institution for 3 times when he was younger. So, he’s the most perfect figure to talk about this issue.

Okay, so the story revolves around a girl from a small town who seems to have everything figured out. She got a job, her own place, boyfriend, you name it. But just because she felt that she knows how & where her life is heading to (like few years down the road she’ll be married & then became a mother, she’ll stay at home & devote herself solely to her family bla bla bla…) she decided that it’s pointless to go on living since everything is so predictable. So on one fine day, Veronika decided to kill herself.  

Allow me to digress a little, FYI it is common for most ppl who resort in to suicide to perceive suicide as the only way of having control over their life when everything else falls apart. What so cynical about Veronika’s story is, she has the control over all elements of her life but she bravely decided to change the course of her life coz she thought it was too conventional.

But the twist to this story is, she survived her suicide attempt only to find out that she got only another 2 weeks to live (due to heart damaged caused by the overdose of sleeping drugs). She woke up in an institution called The Villete where she met a few significant characters – Zedka, who suffered from major depression, Mari who suffered from severe paranoia / anxiety disorder and Eduard the schizophrenic.

Learning the fact that she’s dying somehow gave her another reason to live life as she felt the helplessness of not having control over her predicted demise. And being among the mad ones has given her the freedom to do or say whatever she wants because there will be no more fear of being judge as well as the fact that she got nothing else to lose. For the first time in her life, Veronika wanted to live her life to the fullest.

If I were to describe this story in a nutshell, I’d say it’s story about the fear of losing control, losing yourself in life & relationship as you grew older, and the more you feel like you’re losing it, the harder you struggle to liberate yourself.

But that’s not just it, there is another twist at the end of the story, which is so mind-blowing btw, and I just gotta say this, Coelho has the most amazing talent in crafting the perfect ending for all his stories. So, watch out as I’ll do more reviews on Coelho’s other masterpieces.

25 January 2011

Orhan Pamuk - The Museum of Innocence (Part One)

Actually I still read it but I can't wait to review it (I don't finish it yet). :) Been reading it since few months ago. It's not a boring book but I can't help but falling to sleep each time I read it. :( 

It's the story of Kemal, who had been in love (or so) to Sibel and about to get engaged to her.  Until he bumped into his childhood friend, to be exact, the daughter of his mother's seamstress, Fusun. Kemal and Sibel both come from an elite and well known family so when Kemal thought he had fallen into Fusun, he didn't know how to react, and most of all how to tell Sibel about his feeling towards Fusun. 

Later, after Kemal and Sibel got engaged, Fusun and her family were kind of shying away from the society.  To make matter worse, Sibel, upon knowing about Kemal's affair, refuse to break their engagement but instead she sticks to Kemal for quite a long time. While Kemal, when lost his love (Fusun), was close to lose his job and life. He was so lovestruck and practically did everything to find Fusun. 

However, when he had found Fusun (after a year and few months), he would have to live with a fact that his girl had married another man. At that time, Sibel had gone out of his life as well.

Basically this book was named the "Museum of Innocence" because along the story Kemal had described everything that remind him to Fusun and practically collecting them to be placed in that museum.  I guess it is so. Because I have just read first half of it! 

I don't know how it ends, but can't wait to finish it. :D

Till then, happy reading. :)