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Lace by Shirley Conran



I am going to Lagos in less than 2 weeks and I bought this book to read during the flight...

I am very sure I'd have watched all the in-flight movies so I decided to get a book that will keep me interested all the way...

I read this book in secondary school a couple of times and I enjoyed it!

I am SO SO SO looking forward to reading it as an Adult :-)

HAVE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR !!!!

Disclosure

Almost every time the phrase 'sexual harassment' comes up, people inadvertently think of a male-harassing-female situation, yet the reverse scenario exists.

If you were a man and your boss harassed you, only to turn around and accuse you of sexual harassment when you spurn her advances, what would you do? In a society that's very unsympathetic, you find yourself in hot soup. Everyone suddenly avoids you. Your colleagues, other people in the industry, and you get the usual snide remarks and made-up songs in the cafeteria. The only people who seem to believe you are your wife, your secretary and your friend's wife -- even your friend doesn't!

In the thick of things is your boss who mocks you with impunity when no one's looking. When you look at the facts that she was your lover ten long years ago, is the never-do-wrong pet of the big boss, and got the position everyone thought you would have, it's pretty easy to build up a case against you as a man with a motive. As the events unfold, are you a victim or is she the victim?

I've come to expect techno-thrillers from Crichton for quite a while -- Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain, Terminal Man etc -- so I was pleasantly thrilled when I read this book dealing with sexual harassment and corporate corruption. I watched the film a year ago, and while it differs slightly from the book, I must say they compliment each other.

Read the book and watch the film in any order. I can assure you you won't regret it ;).

One of Dean Koontz's favorite authors is Alistair McLean. Being a Koontz fan, I've read a lot of his books in which he credited some of the inspiration to Maclean in the afterword.

I'm pretty skeptical and never bothered to try him out. Last week, I was so... bored. I left the library with an armload of Alistair Maclean and Jack Higgins novels starting off with Higgins and assuming Maclean would be boring. Was I in for a surprise!

I'm not yet done with Goodbye California but I think I'm already a fan. The tension, the breaking of all the rules under the sun... everything. I can see everything clear as daylight in front of me, and I can't put it down (okay, I put it down to write this).

I'll post an update when I'm done.

Update:

A nuclear facility is broken into and a bunch of nuclear physicists and two women are kidnapped. The nuclear material which the terrorists lifted from the plant is used as a bargaining material. The intent of the terrorists? Blow up a 3.5 megaton nuclear device in one of the Californian faults, and California -- especially Silicon Valley -- falls into the sea.

Morro, the leader of the terrorist group hasn't counted on having police Sergeant Adler on the case. His wife was unfortunately for Morro, one of the two women taken. Together with his son -- who's also with the police -- he sets out to crack the case, breaking all the rules and using interrogation means that would have been deemed illegal. He's cool and collected, and speaks his mind -- even when talking to the Director of the FBI!

When his daughter is taken hostage to keep him off, it becomes more personal. Morro and his group are going to regret ever getting on the wrong side of him.

Half of a Yellow Sun

*Sniff* I am so upset!!!

I have finished this book! It was so so so good!!! I couldn't believe I was enjoying a book this much... I read it standing on the platform waiting for the train/tube... I read it standing on the tube cos there was no room to sit... I read it on the escalator out of the tube station... I read it everywhere!!

It was so interesting and it educated me A LOT. I have heard about the Biafra War but I never really knew the details... This book educated me while it told different stories... of people linked to each other. How the war affected them, what they experienced, what they witnessed, I felt like I was there.

If you haven't read it, please get it and read it :-)

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Adichie - Done
26a by Diana Evans - Currently Reading
Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie - Next in Line

Purple Hibiscus Review
The first page of the book got on my nerves... I am so used to reading books by British, Irish and American authors... My first impression was that she was writing the book like she was talking... Does that make sense... It took me a day to get into the book, I had to change my mindset and it was not easy.

Once, I got into the book, it was an interesting read. It's about a rich Nigerian family, a religious father who is abusive, Kambili, the main character is so timid and her classmates think she is a snob, they don't understand that she has a STRICT father who will beat the HELL out of her if she doesn't come first in school or if she gets home a couple of minutes late... A father who has practically disowned his father because he is not Catholic... A father who has beaten his wife so bad, she has miscarried more than once...

Kambili and her brother stay at her Aunt's for a while and things start to get interesting...

I gotta go now, I might write a little more about the book...

Read it, if you can.

Yet Another Book

I was so excited when I started reading 'White Teeth;, I was so sure it was gonna be a good book. I have not liked it so far... It just isn't working for me. I tried really hard to read it but I found myself staring into space after reading a few lines. So.... I have put it aside for a few weeks and hope to come back to it in a different mood and HOPEFULLY enjoy it!


My friend brought back Purple Hibiscus, among other Nigerian books for me... I just started reading this. I am on page 71. It is not bad at all... I just want to understand why she called Pounded Yam, 'FUFU'. LOL!!!

I will write my review when I am done with it.

Over the course of my twelve-year reading career, I've come across the defining principle of many novels -- good triumphs over evil. In romantic novels, the rebellious guy wins the heart of the fair maiden, in crime thrillers the criminal is found and duly punished, and in spy thrillers the moles get a bullet in the head. Of course, this is hardly realistic -- bad stuff happens and it seems the bad triumphs over evil in many cases.

You can imagine from my rants that I prefer people who write as realistically as possible. I'll be introducing Stephen Hunter, someone I've come to admire (even though I've read just two of his books). They always have a bitter-sweet ending -- if you prefer 'and they happily lived ever after' books, then this guy isn't for you.

The Second Saladin

Paul Chardy, a CIA agent trained freedom fighters among the Kurds in Iraq, befriending their leader Ulu Beg as he helps in the fight for the Kurds to gain their freedom. Someone in the CIA betrays Chardy, and he falls into the hands of the Soviets. Somehow, someway, Ulu Beg believes Chardy to have betrayed their cause -- especially when his son gets killed.

Ten years later, Chardy has left the service, and the CIA recieves an alert -- Ulu Beg has crossed into the United States through Mexico. His mission is to assassinate a leading American political figure.

Against his wishes, Chardy finds himself pulled in to track his friend. As his trainer, he is the only one who can read Beg. The CIA wants him killed -- Chardy wants to save him. Between them is a woman who has known, fought with and loved both of them -- Chardy as a lover, Beg as a friend. What ensues is something you wouldn't find in your wildest dreams.

The Spanish Gambit (also called Tapestry of Spies)

Robert Florry was once a police officer in India during the British occupation. While carrying out his duties, he caused an innocent man to be hanged. His past comes back to haunt him when the British Secret Service use the leverage to recruit him to track down Julian Raines, a British poet and radical who was once his friend.

With suspected ties of working for the KGB [apparently, there was some speculation he was recruited by the Bolsheviks during his student days at Eton where he and Florry studied], Raines is one of the last people Florry would investigate. Even though they're no longer friends, Florry still has his reservations about Raines being a KGB spy.

You'll need to be a bit familiar with the Spanish Civil War and the opinions of the British political left. Again, you'll be left with a sour ending.

Let me know if you come across any Stephen Hunter books -- I've read just these two.

Hornet Flight

If you were told an 18-year-old son of a preacher teamed up with a Jewish girl during World War II to repair and fly an old, wrecked plane from Denmark to England, you might be inclined to disbelief. If the teller of the story is Ken Follett, however, you'll encounter a story by him at his very best -- writing World War II thrillers.

Unlike most other books dealing with Nazis and the second world war, this doesn't cast them in the eternal dishonourable fellows committing abominable acts. The focus is more on the inter-family rivalry, which gets Harald Olufsen (our hero) expelled from school and his brother killed, all at the instigation of Peter Flemming, a police officer.

One thing I loved about this book is the complexity of the characters -- no one is completely good, and none is completely bad, and we can sometimes sympathise with Flemming (the villain) when you consider he feels a sesne of duty to act the way he does (although he's quite overzealous).

What makes the book really engrossing is the tension between Harald and his love interest (Karen) who makes the flight with him, and Follett doesn't get too sexually explicit (if you've read Jackdaws and Lie Down with Lions).

There's nothing more to say, except that this is a good read.

When I FINALLY got into the book, I really enjoyed it.

The book begins with:

"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974"


My Review: This book is a saga. It tells the story of the main character's grandparents (brother and sister married each other!), parents (cousins married each other). Apparently, in-breeding is the main reason for the resulting Haemaphrodite, Callie.

The first 200 (and more) tell the story of her grandparents and parents... I didn't really find that interesting, I struggled through it.

Can you imagine living the first 13 years of life thinking you are a girl? Only to find out you are BOTH but more a BOY than a GIRL?

Born as Callie, the doctor who delivered her was OLD and distracted so he did not notice anything... Callie lived a normal young girl's life until PUBERTY. No period, No breasts, Broad shoulders, Lean hips... While all the girls in her year were growing breast, showing off about their periods.

Her parents had NO idea she was a haemaphrodite... her Mother starts to worry that she is not going through puberty as expected so Callie lies to her that she'd started her period, she also starts stuffing her bra. Callie was attracted to girls and she had a 'relationship' with 'The Object', a pretty girl in her school. She did try to have sex once with 'The Object's' brother and it hurt LIKE HELL so she stopped the penetration.

She knew she was different but successfully hid this until she was involved in an accident and it was during examination in the Emergency Room that the medical staff realised her 'Secret'... Her parents had some doctors see her and she was referred to a specialist doctor in New York. She went through some psychological evaluations and tests and found out(by reading the Doc's note without her parent's or doc's knowledge) that although she was raised as a girl - she had more of the male gene.

I think her life after the actual discovery was rushed because as I was getting more and more into the book, IT ENDED!!!

I will give this book 5/10 for the first 200 pages and 8/10 for the rest of the book.

On to my Next Book - White Teeth by Zadie Smith. This book BETTER be good or else someone's gonna pay! HaHa!!!

When you are reading a book, and you know it's interesting but it's still hard to read?!?!?

This book I am reading has a very good storyline but the author overwrites! I am struggling with this book and I have been so tempted MANY times to drop it and move on...

BUT I WILL NOT!!!

UPDATE (Sunday 15th October): The Book has really picked Up!!! I would recommend it to anyone if you just skip the first 200 pages... LOL!!! Almost Done!

DEAN KOONTZ

Vera put up a post about a couple of his books HERE.

I have read a couple of his books and so far... what I have read, I have liked.

Have any of you read his books? If so, which of his books are your favourites?

If you're like me, you probably dump a book as soon as you see it's by a lady, simply because they tend to focus more on emotions -- and rarely do they write as well as their male counterparts when doing so in predominantly men-only genres.

Exceptions do exist however -- Patricia Cornwell, Linda Fairstein, and as I discovered this week, P.D. James do tend to hold their own.

I picked up Devices and Desires two days ago at my school library and found it very hard to put down -- from the first page till the last, Miss James kept me guessing, and the funny thing was that I guessed wrong all the way.

The book features her cult favorite Adam Dalgliesh unwittingly involved in a serial killer case -- the man who is called The Whistler.

From Publishers Weekly:

James ( A Taste for Death ) sets her 11th novel on Larksoken, a remote windswept headland in Norfolk, where the presence of a huge nuclear energy plant serves as a metaphor for the power of the past to rule over her characters. Commander Adam Dalgliesh of New Scotland Yard, in Larsoken to settle an estate left him at the death of a relative, is drawn into the investigation of a serial killer, the Whistler.

Dalgliesh's neighbors include the power station's director, Alex Mair; his elegant sister Alice, a cookbook author; acting administrator--and Alex's former lover -- Hilary Robarts; and anti-nuclear activist Neil Pascoe. The next signature killing , of the widely disliked Robarts, turns out to have occurred hours after a young man who firmly establishes his identity as the Whistler commits suicide.

The question of who murdered Robarts, then, centers around motive. This intricate, layered mystery may be read as parable: we can escape the consequences of our choices, political and personal, no more than we can shed our private histories. This is dark James, plotted with a slight unevenness but utterly faithful to her deeply and sympathetically plumbed characters.

THREE NEW BOOKS

I went to a Cancer Research Charity Shop in search of a book that would wow me after the long long Good Book drought I have experienced.

There were so many books, I didn't know what to pick so I asked a lady for her recommendations...


Amazon.co.uk Review

Anita Shreve now offers a skilfully crafted exploration of the long reach of tragedy in The Pilot's Wife. News of Jack Lyons's fatal crash sends his wife into shock and emotional numbness:
Kathryn wished she could manage a coma. Instead, it seemed that quite the opposite had happened: She felt herself to be inside of a private weather system, one in which she was continuously tossed and buffeted by bits of news and information, sometimes chilled by thoughts of what lay immediately ahead, thawed by the kindness of others ... frequently drenched by memories that seemed to have no regard for circumstance or place, and then subjected to the nearly intolerable heat of reporters, photographers and curious onlookers. It was a weather system with no logic, she had decided, no pattern, no progression, no form.
The situation becomes even more dire when the plane's black box is recovered, pinning responsibility for the crash on Jack. In an attempt to clear his name, Kathryn searches for any and all clues to the hours before the flight. Yet each discovery forces her to realise that she didn't know her husband of 16 years at all. Shreve's complex and highly convincing treatment of Kathryn's dilemma, coupled with intriguing minor characters and an expertly paced plot, makes The Pilot's Wife really take off. --James Barry (Amazon.co.uk)


Amazon.co.uk Review
Epic in scale and intimate in approach, White Teeth is an ambitious novel. Genetics, eugenics, gender, race, class and history are the book's themes but Zadie Smith is gifted with the wit and inventiveness to make these weighty ideas seem effortlessly light.
The story travels through Jamaica, Turkey, Bangladesh and India but ends up in a scrubby North London borough, home of the book's two unlikely heroes: prevaricating Archie Jones and intemperate Samad Iqbal. They met in the Second World War, as part of a "Buggered Battalion" and have been best friends ever since. Archie marries beautiful, buck-toothed Clara, who's on the run from her Jehovah's Witness mother, and they have a daughter, Irie. Samad marries stroppy Alsana and they have twin sons: "Children with first and last names on a direct collision course. Names that secrete within them mass exodus, cramped boats and planes, cold arrivals, medical checks."
Big questions demand boldly drawn characters. Zadie Smith's aren't heroic, just real: warm, funny, misguided and entirely familiar; reading their conversations is like eavesdropping. A simple scene, Alsana and Clara chatting about their pregnancies in the park: "A woman has to have the private things--a husband needn't be involved in body business, in a lady's ... parts."
Samad's rant about his sons--"They have both lost their way. Strayed so far from what I had intended for them. No doubt they will both marry white women called Sheila and put me in an early grave--acutely displays "the immigrant fears--dissolution, disappearance" but it also gets to the very heart of Samad.
White Teeth is a joy to read. It teems with life and exuberence and has enough cleverness and irreverent seriousness to give it bite. --Eithne Farry



Amazon.com Review
"I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974." And so begins Middlesex, the mesmerizing saga of a near-mythic Greek American family and the "roller-coaster ride of a single gene through time." The odd but utterly believable story of Cal Stephanides, and how this 41-year-old hermaphrodite was raised as Calliope, is at the tender heart of this long-awaited second novel from Jeffrey Eugenides, whose elegant and haunting 1993 debut, The Virgin Suicides, remains one of the finest first novels of recent memory.
Eugenides weaves together a kaleidoscopic narrative spanning 80 years of a stained family history, from a fateful incestuous union in a small town in early 1920s Asia Minor to Prohibition-era Detroit; from the early days of Ford Motors to the heated 1967 race riots; from the tony suburbs of Grosse Pointe and a confusing, aching adolescent love story to modern-day Berlin. Eugenides's command of the narrative is astonishing. He balances Cal/Callie's shifting voices convincingly, spinning this strange and often unsettling story with intelligence, insight, and generous amounts of humor:
Emotions, in my experience aren't covered by single words. I don't believe in "sadness," "joy," or "regret." … I'd like to have at my disposal complicated hybrid emotions, Germanic traincar constructions like, say, "the happiness that attends disaster." Or: "the disappointment of sleeping with one's fantasy." ... I'd like to have a word for "the sadness inspired by failing restaurants" as well as for "the excitement of getting a room with a minibar." I've never had the right words to describe my life, and now that I've entered my story, I need them more than ever.
When you get to the end of this splendorous book, when you suddenly realize that after hundreds of pages you have only a few more left to turn over, you'll experience a quick pang of regret knowing that your time with Cal is coming to a close, and you may even resist finishing it--putting it aside for an hour or two, or maybe overnight--just so that this wondrous, magical novel might never end. --Brad Thomas Parsons


I just started reading Middlesex and I am hoping and praying I enjoy it cos I am tired of 'blah' books. I spent £6.50 on three books, bargain innit? Although some charity shops sell their books for 50p each!!!

I will write a mini- review on each book when I am done.

I was kind of sceptical about this book because my friend who recommended it described it as ‘the best book I have read in a long time’. Now, when a book comes with such high praise, it is almost always doomed to underwhelm.

Surprisingly, it surpassed her recommendation. ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ is the story of Anna and Kate. Kate was diagnosed with Leukaemia when she was very young. Because of her age and the severity of her illness, doctors believe that a non-familial donor match has a high chance of being rejected by Kate’s body and not working. Her parents make the decision to have a third child and through genetic technology, ensure that she is a complete donor match for Kate. This is how Anna is born; essentially her purpose in life is as a donor body for Kate. All her life Anna undergoes operations to donate bone marrow (and other things which I can’t remember) to her sister and the book begins when at 13, she walks into a solicitor’s office to sue her parents for the legal rights to her body because she is expected to donate a kidney to Kate and she doesn’t want to.

While the book is primarily about Anna and Kate, there are plenty of other significant characters and good storylines. Anna’s lawyer, her legal guardian appointed by the court, brother Jesse, mother and father and her sister; Kate all feature prominently.

The book constantly has you thinking about the moral implications of decisions made; decisions that break an entire family down (even though they don’t notice because they’re all much too busy trying to keep Kate alive) and create a divide between father and mother. I dare anyone that reads the book to try and take sides easily, because quite simply, you can’t. Nobody is wrong. The caption on the front of the book says something like, ‘If you risk one child’s life to save another, are you a good mother or a very bad one’ and it sums up the dilemma quite well.

While the book contains a lot of medical terms and descriptions, it does not get bogged down by them. It is very humorous in parts and the ‘twist’ and the shocking dramatic end had a chill running through my spine. This is in fact one of the best books I have read in a long while; and I don’t give that accolade out lightly. If there is one book I’d recommend everyone reads, it’s this one.

The Divide

Book info: The Divide. Nicholas Evans. London: Penguin Books Ltd. 2005. ISBN 0-399-15206-7

If you’ve read both The Horse Whisperer and The Loop, then you’re probably used to Nicholas Evans’ unpredictability.

In The Divide, he explores the underlying themes of love and loyalty in a marriage slowly going apart and the effect separation can has on the children. In doing so, Nicholas Evans proves himself capable of delving into the human psyche as Fyodor Dostoevsky, the late Russian master of that genre.

The Cooper family is an otherwise normal family – at least to everyone outside as well as the children. From the onset, we feel Benjamin Cooper’s – sexual rejection from his wife Sarah, the disdain in which he is held by his father-in-law and the near-perfect love his children share with him.

Abigail, the daughter, brilliant, worshipful of her father is devastated when he leaves her mother for another woman while Joshua is completely supportive of him and of Eve, the woman Benjamin left his wife for. His character is perhaps, the most complex of all as Nicholas Evans explores the conflicts between his love interests, drugs and his dedication to his sister.

Sarah, Benjamin’s wife and the mother of Abigail and Joshua is another complicated character. Her moods swing from hurt and blame to the despair at the realization that she is partly to blame for her husband’s desertion as evidenced by the seduction of her husband in an attempt to make up for the rejection and to prove she is not frigid.

Abigail’s death is the catalyst to the reunion of the family – although not in the way expected. While still legally married to Benjamin, Sarah gives her blessing to the union between him and Eve – and gets involved with the sheriff investigating their daughter’s death.

Nicholas Evans blends wit, humor and satire in an original style that can be called his – simple, clear language that converts his hours of long research into a work that can be understood by both the technical and non-technical. Unlike most writers I’ve come across, I always say ‘This guy knows what he’s talking about’ when I read a Nicholas Evans book.

The plot is smooth, and though bizarre in some ways, he manages to convince you. The speech is very realistic and true to life and one recognizes something that could have really happened.

The Divide is a very touching story, humorous in some places and evoking different feelings depending on the side one takes. Nicholas Evans has once again created a masterpiece in a genre that defies classification and can be called his.

I seem to have scared people away. I apologize for going too technical and promise to write shorter and more down-to-earth articles in future. Sorry, Buki.

What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage

Ms May says: About a woman from Atlanta who is HIV positive and decides to return home to Michigan because Atlanta has become too small. I'm currently reading a couple of others by her so I'll let you know about those when I'm done. Pearl Cleage is the woman who wrote the poem for Oprah's Legends Ball called "We Speak Your Names". Great poem by the way.
Tori says: I really liked " What looks like Crazy.."the end was sorta anticlimatic for me, but it truly was a book from a very fresh very unapologetic perspective.


Chill Factor by Sandra Brown


Ms May Says: More on the Romance/Murder Mystery tip. I'm not into those type of books usually, but this was a good one. It grips you from the beginning and you end up rooting for the "supposed" bad guy along the way.






Young, Fabulous and Broke by Suze Orman



Ms May Says: A good one to read/own for 20 somethings.

God's Gift To Women by Michael Baisden




SYNOPSIS: The night before leaving Chicago with his ten-year-old daughter for a job on a late-night talk show in Houston, Julian Payne has a sexual encounter with Olivia Brown, who follows him to Houston, determined to make him hers at any cost.


Anybody read it? How was it?

Be Careful What You Wish For by Cheryl Faye




SYNOPSIS (from this site): How do you measure the worth of a woman? Or determine the value of a man? In this sexy, suspenseful novel, Cheryl Faye takes on the hot-button issues facing men and women as they struggle to build meaningful, lasting relationships.

Who has read it? And what do you think about it?

This Blog Sef!

What is the point really? LOL!!!

Noone has time for it... I think I will blog about this on my main blog and ask people to email me what books they are reading and their views, etc.

I am not going to give up on this blog just yet!!!


Im currently reading this book and will definately post a review when Im done! Its a really good book, a million miles away from my usual chick lit and my recent James Fray foray....hmmm i should write a review about that one but thats another post for another day! If you haven't read it, then you have a couple of options, order it on amazon, ebay, go to walmart, borrow it from your nearest library or go and sit in a barnes & Noble, Chapters, Borders - whatever and read it or wait for my review and then go and get it :) Please pray that i write one and Laziness does not keep me from sharing! Anyways, if youve read it and you hated it or loved it, please reply so i can view the book from a totally different view/angle!
SMOOCHES!!!

26a by Diana Evans


About the Book: Identical twins, Georgia and Bessi, live in the loft of 26 Waifer Avenue. It is a place of beanbags, nectarines and secrets, and visitors must always knock before entering. Down below there is not such harmony. Their Nigerian mother puts cayenne pepper on her Yorkshire pudding and has mysterious ways of dealing with homesickness; their father angrily roams the streets of Neasden, prey to the demons of his Derbyshire upbringing. Forced to create their own identities, the Hunter children build a separate universe. Older sister Bel discovers sex, high heels and organic hairdressing, the twins prepare for a flapjack empire, while baby sister Kemy learns to moonwalk for Michael Jackson. It is when the reality comes knocking that the fantasies of childhood start to give way. How will Georgia and Bessi cope in a world of separateness and solitude, and which of them will be stronger?;Wickedly funny and devastatingly moving, 26a is an extraordinary first novel. Part fairytale, part nightmare, it moves from the mundane to the magical, the particular to the universal with exceptional flair and imagination. It is for anyone who has had a childhood, and anyone who knows what it is to lose one.

I haven't read this book but the reviews have been very good. I read one bad customer review of it on Amazon though. My friend went for her book signing at Jazz Hole (I think) in Lagos and bought this book for me and once I get it, I'll let you know what my thoughts are.

26a info:

  • Shortlisted for the Orange Prize (2005),
  • Shortlisted for the Whitbread Book of the Year Award First Novel Category (2005),
  • Winner of the British Book Awards: Writer of the Year (2006),
  • Winner of the Orange Award for New Writers (2005)

The thing I've noticed about myself is that most movies that win Oscars are not my cup of tea and most books that win awards don't do anything for me either.

Has anyone read it? What did you think about it?

Update

I have my Super Sudoku(16 by 16 Grid) book in my bag and I can't believe how rusty I've become!!! I used to be so good at Sudoku and Super Sudoku!!! I have to get back to it cos I feel slow!

I'm reading 2 books at the same time! Robert Ludlum's, The Icarus Agenda and I'm ashamed to say... Candace Bushnell's, Trading Up. I am working on saving money so I am not buying any new books... Right now I have about TEN unread books (~mostly chick lit)! This weekend I am going to join the library near home so I can read non-chick lit books!!!

Officially over chicklit

I think i've had enough. Enough of chicklit! i'm currently reading "Bitter is the new black" and its soooooo cliche - same as the other 1 million chicklit books i've read - girl obssessed with clothes, makeup, shopping and guys - same crap different cover. I dont want to be anti-chicklist so i've decided i will not be reading anymore of these books till next year. My mandela Biography here i come. Will keep you guys posted!


Book One

From the outside, Vicky Townsley would appear to have it all. Features Director of the hugely successful "Poise!" magazine, she lives alone in London, is single, solvent, and seriously successful. But she'd give it all up in a heartbeat for marriage, children, and a house in the country. Amber Winslow, on the other hand, has exactly what Vicky Townsley wants: a huge stone mansion in Highfield Connecticut, children and a busy charitable commitment for the local Women's League. But Amber isn't happy either. She hasn't found quite the fulfilment she had expected from being a full-time wife and mother, so when she spots a double page spread in "Poise!" magazine asking married readers to life swap with a glamorous, single journalist in London, she sits down and writes a letter. But she never expects to be picked..."Life Swap" is the story of what really happens when two women decide to walk in one another's shoes for one month. It's the story of the grass not being as green as you might think, and of discovering that happiness is not always where you expect it to be.
My Summary - This book has put me off Chick Lit for a long while. I know you guys must have heard about Wife Swap. This is a book based lightly on it and my main problem with this author sometimes is that she rushes the end of her books like her producer called her and said she had to submit the manuscript within 24 hours!!!!!
I bought this at the same time as Book Two so after I'm done with it... it's back to my very well read Robert Ludlums and strange books and comics for a long while. I had more than enough of nonsense, thank you very much!!!


Book Two
Synopsis - What if love was right there in front of you - you just couldn't see it? Elizabeth Egan is too busy for friends. As a reluctant mother to her sister Saoirse's young son, Luke and with her own business to run, every precious moment is made to count. But with Saoirse crashing in and out of their lives, leaving both her sister and her son reeling, Luke and Elizabeth are desperately in need of some magic. Enter Ivan. Wild, spontaneous and always looking for adventure, in no time at all Ivan has changed Elizabeth in ways she could never have imagined. But is Ivan too good to be true? Has Elizabeth opened her heart only to risk it being broken again? As for Ivan, he thought he was there to help Luke not Elizabeth - or himself!
My Summary, So Far - I bought this book cos I read this young woman's first two books - Where Rainbows End and PS I Love You. I am only on page 67. I think Ivan is an imaginary person, not a ghost but only certain people can see him. It's off to a good start, I'll see ...

Something borrowed! - finished

So I finally finished reading this book...…I don’t think will be buying the sequel I had a good enough dose already.

So Rachel sleeps with Dex her best friend’s fiancé…..as if that is not enough she catches feelings and starts having a secret affair. All the while her best friend Darcy is oblivious of the whole thing and the Dex is playing along telling Rachel he can’t live without her blah blah….gosh talk about scary.


This book freaked me out – is this what human beings can do? that a girl can sleep or be sleeping with her best friends fiancé and not feel guilty in the least!....

Ok so….. they carry on with their secret affair only for Darcy to confess that she was having an affair and is now pregnant…for a guy that Rachel was kinda sorta dating, this same guy happens to be good friends with Dex…..

talk about feeling sorry for best friend Darcy only to find out that she was doing her own undercover stunts. LOL…

and this best friend Darcy still has the nerve to freak out when she catches her fiancé Dex at Rachels house . All in all everyone ended up with who they wanted to be with……

I’m surprised there is no karma backlash here.. this happy ending is too good to be true. Moral of the story. Watch your man

Ok. I’ve not done a book review as yet and I’m starting to feel guilty. I’ve finally managed to put down the sudoku books, and resume reading. The transition was difficult though, and made worse by the fact that the first thing I saw upon opening the book was a long list of notable (and un-notable) names, all basically saying Read this book – it’s great!’, or ‘You won’t be able to put it down!’, or ‘The author is a master of suspense’. Should I take this as a sign to buy the book? Enough of that for now though.

The book I’m currently massacring is The Sigma Protocol by Robert Ludlum. If the name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s also the author of The Bourne Identity and Supremacy. It took me 4 weeks to get started on reading this book – that’s how disinterested I was. But a friend had been kind enough to lend it to me, and I didn’t want to return it without at least skimming through it. Though I’ve always been an avid fan of books and movies in the thriller genre with a central theme of espionage, this book has helped me realise a sad truth: I’m tired of government conspiracies. The world has only just begun recovering from an overdose of the Da Vinci code so I personally wouldn’t mind if I didn’t see or read anything conspiracy related for a long time.

I reluctantly opened the book and began reading (as bedtime material). Looked like my assumptions were right. From what I’ve read so far, the book revolves around some rich kid – Ben Hartman. Of course, he didn’t ‘choose’ to be rich – he didn’t even want it, but he had to perform his duties as a son when his twin brother died, and also because he had promised his mother on her deathbed (and you know no one ever lies to their parents!). Ben doesn’t like being rich – no, he’d rather work with inner-city children (who might pull a knife on him without warning). Oh pur-lease – Is this some kind of ploy to convince the reader that Ben is actually a normal person trapped in a spoilt rich kid’s body? That is Ludlum’s first mistake. Ben hates the trappings of a rich life, yet he’s chosen to stay at the most expensive hotel (in order to schmooze his stakeholders). Anyways, a brief synopsis:

Ben Hartman is concluding a business trip in Switzerland when he sees an old school friend he hasn’t seen in 15 years. Far from having a friendly reunion, the old school friend pops out a gun and shoots at him. Ben runs into a shopping mall (he’s extremely athletic, dontyouknow), and the now-former friend follows, unsuccessfully shooting at him and killing a lot of innocent shoppers instead. Ben eventually manages to kill this friend, and, in shock, goes off to look for the police (who believe he’s the killer, of course). He takes them back to see the body, but by the time they get there, wa-hey, the body’s gone, along with any trace of a fight. Predictably, the Walther PPK used in the shooting is found in his luggage. Some massive government conspiracy which will no doubt be revealed in the last chapter.

Of course, such a book isn’t complete with only one central character, so a woman is thrown in – she will no doubt prove to be Ben’s love interest (I’ll let you know if that is indeed the case as I progress into the book). Now, I am sure that this is going to be a typical book where some male author decides he knows how a woman would feel and act. The clueless author makes her into some kind of man – devoid of emotions, a loner, and full of psychological problems which she’s never ready to deal with. But of course these unstable women allow the lead male character into their lives. I suspect this is how the author is clueless when it comes to women.

The woman, Anna Navarro, is a government agent, works for a sexist boss, and has to put up with a lot of crap from him because she’s rejected his advances. Thinking it will harm her career chances, the misogynistic boss proclaims her to be ‘not much of a team player’, but this sparks the interest of a top-level government agency. The old stuffy powerful boss of this agency (known as The Ghost), summons her, informing her of some high-level secret organisation that was formed even before the CIA. Apparently, all its members have been found dead, supposedly by accident. He wants her to ascertain whether their deaths were really accidental. She begins investigating, but is soon dragged off, the case, attacked, and declared rogue (Why, we don’t as yet know).

Why do I sound so sceptical? Virtually all of Robert Ludlum’s books have a similar theme. Check out some of the titles:

The Janson Directive
The Aquitaine Progression
The Holcroft Covenant
The Chancellor Manuscript
The Matlock Paper
The Prometheus Deception
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Cassandra Compact

Can ya begin to see a pattern here?
Furthermore, I fail to be impressed by promises of shock and intrigue. What next can the government conspire about? Killing babies and eating their limbs? What horrible scenarios and conspiracies have we not seen in books, movies, and real life, no doubt?

Till the next instalment - has anyone read this?

I just finished reading Purple Hibiscus by Chiamanda N. Adichie And I adored it. It is the story of a fanatical catholic father who takes tradition and religion somewhere hellish told through the eyes of a 14 year old girl. Many of us can relate to the sick feeling at the end of the term, walking him knowing you were "dead" because you didn't come first, but throw in a father who pours freshly boiled water over your feet to show you what hell feels like, should you ever feel inclined to sin, and you have a better idea of the story of the book. Somehow, in all this horror, Adichie was able to mix in first love, and what true family felt like.
I am a yoruba girl, and I truly enjoyed all the Igbo culture that was peppered in as one would with fresh suya [plenty, but never too much] .

The story is a coming of age tale of a young girl who slowly sees the dysfunction in her family through the beauty of her cousins family. She lives with her overbearing catholic father who makes his entire family miserable under the burden of schedules and order while running a newspaper that still manages to tell the truth while democracy and free speech in Nigeria are coming to a standstill. Kambili and her brother are allowed to visit their cousins and finally see what family should be like.

Purple Hibiscus is a beautifully written book, and I remember having a very strong desire to meet Adichie [the author] after I was done. To me, that is what good writing does to you.

Something borrowed: Chapters 2 - 5, Onada's review

Looks like we have two book reviews going on here!! Which makes it all the more interesting. Go Buki!!
So i havent felt like reading this book anymore after the whole sleeping with the best friends fiance episode but i decided to give it another chance and things are falling into place.
In chapters 2 - 5 we follow our main character as she tells us the story of her friendship with her best friend - Best friend always got the cute guys, even stole her boyfriend in high school. Best friend moved to New york got the great PR job and her life was grand and our main character was just ....well.... there. She had to deal with braces, acne, losing boyfriends etc and has never felt like she was on Best friends level.
So our main character met fiance, DEX in law school before Best friend moved to New york and met him. They were friends and he was attracted to her at one point but she never acted on it. She introduced DEX to her best friend and she snatched him up and before anyone knew it best friend and Dex were engaged.
So now main character has slept with DEX she feels hella guilty and is still struggling on how to act normal around her best friend..... and now she has to go to the hamptons to spend memorial day there in a time share together with the best friend and fiance!!! Talk about an awkward weekend...
BUT THE JUCIEST part is that DEX called her to apologise for the awkwardness but said he didnt feel guilty or sorry for what happened....and now she's thinking that maybe back in LAW school she should have acted interested... in other words.... shes caught feelings for DEX...yikes.
more to come!

Genevieve


I am sure I complained about this guy's previous book sometime in April... Thieves' Paradise... You know what my main problem was...? The sex scenes... the way he described sex between a man and a woman... I was thinking, "Where is this man from?"


Anyway, back to "Genevieve", pronounced a different way in this book - In the author's words "Not JEH-neh-veev but ZHAWN-vee-EHV"

I am only on page 103 but I have a couple of lines from different sex scenes in this book:

  • I licked her like I was on trial and her orgasm, or lack of, was the verdict.
  • She's not as wet as a river but her vagina isn't a desert.

I know, I know, It seems like I am reading a porn-like book right? Well I am not, there is a story amongst all the sex...LOL!!! Serious though, I am not one to read African American books, this is like the 4th I am reading and I am yet to be impressed.

You know what? I will share more of the interesting sentences as I go along.

Something borrowed: Chapter 1, Onada's review

Intro
So we have rachel who's about to turn 30. She's not too excited because her best friend, Darcy has it all, the fiance, the nice ring, the cool job. She has a great job that she hates, she though she would be married by now but here she is turning 30 feeling not to great about it and her best friend is stealing her shine at her party by dancing on the bar......

Kinda depressing in my opinion. Is turning 30 really that bad? She's got a great job as a lawyer as in geezz she's probably making a good amount... but then again. Money isnt everything right?

So party ends, best friend leaves, rachel ends up hanging out with best friends fiance. Best friend left because she got too drunk and started embarassing herself. Fiance stays behind at the party.....

why? why didnt he leave?

Rachel and best friends fiance end up leaving after having a bit too much to drink and end up having sex !!!!

Talk about drama in the first chapter!! As in i was stumped. i almost didnt feel like reading the book anymore. How could she have slept with her best friends fiance ?? As in i thought about me. what would i do if i slept with my best friends fiance - this would never happen but just imagine. thats it. Book should be over LOL.

What kills it for me now is that she has feelings for the fiance, Dex....... what is wrong with this girl??
what do you guys think? I'm annoyed. I hate rachel now and she's the main character. I hope this doesnt kill it for me

Something Borrowed


Onada and ToyinE have read this book.

Very short summary - There are 2 best friends, One's had it easy throughout life, now she has a PR job and a gorgeous fiance. The other, has had to go through lifeworking hard with her best friend getting it all right in front of her eyes

Then, the unthinkable happens.... I won't say too much.

I think you should read this if you can get access to it. It is not the best book out there but it is interesting, it is not exactly chick lit....

a way to go about this?

We are all over the place, if I am not mistaken, and It might be hard to get the same books to read at the same time. An idea would be for each memeber to write a review of any great books they have recently read and anyone who reads the book can leave their comments at the end of the specific book post. Its kind of a way for us to know of good books to read, without us all having to order books online and all that. If you can access the book, great...if you cant, you know to look out for it for whenever.

OUR FIRST BOOK - What should we read ladies?

I'm so excited about our book club! i think this is an excellent idea. So what will we be reading first? Has any one read Terry Mcmillians "A day late and a dollar short?" what about "The da vinci code?" Those are two books i'm yet to read. So ladies what are your suggestions?

UNDER CONSTRUCTION!


UNDER
CONSTRUCTION!

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