Friday, April 29, 2011

Day 15 - Favorite male character

This is a hard one for me because, I don't really care much about the male characters. This is weird because I like to read chic lit and romance and there'll plenty of Prince Charming in the mix to make even an ice queen drool. However I don't care much of them. The men in the books are just there for my favorite women characters to grow, in my thoughts. 

I can name a lot of the male characters that make my blood boils. Let's not forget the lord who just about rape Whitney in Something Wonderful. Oh please, (I considered it as rape because 1. she have no idea what he is going to do 2. his intention is to hurt) and the way she "I am asking for it" just make me wanna stomp the book. Oh the Duke in Julia Quinn, The Duke & I where the Duke is being obstinately insane in the book. If it was a woman, she would be a villain, but because he is a man, have money and title it is considered hero material. 

(Tapi mengapakaahhh aku maseh membaca buku sebegini wehhh). 

But... if I have to name one, I will put it to :

Derek Souza from The Darkest Powers trilogy .


I have not reviewed the book, but here what it is all about (alang, alang tu review skali ).

Taken from Goodreads:
After years of frequent moves following her mother’s death, Chloe Saunders’s life is finally settling down. She is attending art school, pursuing her dreams of becoming a director, making friends, meeting boys. Her biggest concern is that she’s not developing as fast as her friends are. But when puberty does hit, it brings more than hormone surges. Chloe starts seeing ghosts–everywhere, demanding her attention. After she suffers a breakdown, her devoted aunt Lauren gets her into a highly recommended group home. 
At first, Lyle House seems a pretty okay place, except for Chloe’s small problem of fearing she might be facing a lifetime of mental illness. But as she gradually gets to know the other kids at the home–charming Simon and his ominous, unsmiling brother Derek, obnoxious Tori, and Rae, who has a “thing” for fire–Chloe begins to realize that there is something that binds them all together, and it isn’t your usual “problem kid” behaviour. And together they discover that Lyle House is not your usual group home either…
I bought this book at a recent Penguin Warehouse Sales. ( I love Penguin sales, it is not as cheap as BBW, but the people going there are not as grabby as compare to BBW). *tsk* setiap kali warehouse sales teringat my husband who will patiently wait as I talk to myself about each I wanna buy and even hunt for books that I may like. * I rindu my husband y'all! * (Padahal bukannye berpisah bertahun-tahun pon. Gile over aku ni). 

Anyway, this is the book that I brought to Redang and can't stop reading. I was willing to be holed in my room and contentedly read this book til finish. It is just so, so good. That is my idea of a good unwinding holiday btw. Nice hotel, nice scenery with the options for you to languish and read books without being disturbed. 

So let me talk about Derek Souza. I like Derek, he was not drop dead handsome, in fact he was downright sinister and calculating. How is that in fact any better than the rapey Lord I mentioned above? Well, unfortch he did hurt Chloe once but once that was explained (and the explanation is acceptable ) he gets better and better by book 3. His character are fleshed out nicely, he is full of flaws but at the same time as when Chloe is starting to fall for him, I felt the same too. Awwww (dammit he is 17, but still imaginary character). 

Also the most important thing is, he is the character that changed my mind favorably towards werewolves. (Awww... I gave a mini spoiler). But anyway I like the way he take of Chloe. I like his sense of responsibility. I like that he knows when to back down and when to fight. It is humillating to admit that my favorite male character is based by a character in a YA genre, but there you goes.  Derek is my crush! 

And I guess a lot of women/girls readers felt the same too.

It is even worse if you google using image. LOL. Ah well. I guess it is a tad better than Edward "Sparkles" Cullen.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Day 14 - Favorite book of your favorite writer


I have to say Neverwhere. It is the first book I read by him and I am hooked. The book was so imaginative, fun, genius that I can't put it down.

What is it about?

Here is the Plot I taken from Goodreads (which I have not update forever):
When Richard Mayhew stops one day to help a girl he finds bleeding on a London sidewalk, his life is forever altered, for he finds himself propelled into an alternate reality that exists in a subterranean labyrinth of sewer canals and abandoned subway stations. He has fallen through the cracks of reality and has landed somewhere different, somewhere that is Neverwhere.
Why is it my favorite? Because the adventure seems real to me, all of the characters are mysterious, multi layered. I like the way he turned London into an alternate reality that ordinary people don't know about. Where Harrod's can be both a posh shopping venue for the rich to the ordinary or a magical night market to the non-ordinary. Where 'Mind the Gap' is not just you minding the gap. I believe it must be fun to be a writer, trying to turn ordinary things that we barely look into something quite different from what we can ever imagine. 

The thing about Neil Gaiman works is that I can't rave about the book too long. I will spout of the same things. Incredibly imaginative, the journey to the ending is so much fun, you will wish the book will never end. 

I felt more about this book than any other books by him, which is why it is my favorite. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 13 - Your favorite writer

I am taking the easy way out by just naming Neil Gaiman. I got several of course, and I can name L.M Montgomery or Crichton or Reilly, but thinking back I'd read almost all of Gaiman's work and like most of it which is why I chose him.

Pic credit: neilgaiman.com (taken by Kimberly Butler)

Why?

  • He is quite a handsome chap
  • He tweets a lot, but not too much
  • Most of his books are awesome, ( tho sorry Neil, I am not too in love with your short stories)
  • I am always looking forward to his next novel ( can it be the sequel to Good Omens? OMG)
  • His characters are wondrous, his fairytale have a gritty realistic appeal to it, his horror stories are haunting. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Day 12 - A book you used to love but don't anymore

This is a hard one, but then I will changed this title to suit my needs, so what I am gonna mention on books I used to love but not anymore will be the Shopaholic series.

I love the first book. It was really funny.  I won't deny it. 

However as the series spawned more books, I begin to detest Becky. What is wrong with her that she can't seems to see that her habit is terrible? Why does she takes the meeting (shopaholic anonymous) as something frivolous ? How she had still not learned that because of her shopping, she lands in trouble? And the solution to a shopaholic is to marry a really rich guy so he can support her habit? 

I beginnning to detest the books and Becky because while I don't think that it is anything wrong that people should aspire to be a fictional character, many people seems to think that 'being Becky' is a good thing. I won't deny that sometimes the compulsion to shop is irresistible. It does not happened to just women. Men too (oh please you gadget freak guys). However a lot of people have a serious problem with shopping that amounts to debt that can feed a small nation of African children and the books seems to be so superficial in dealing with Becky problem that I feel like burning her shoes and clothes. 

So for a book that is laughing out loud funny at the first time due to Becky tendency to shop, it is becoming irksome later on as I can't help but tire of her antics in the later books. I don't like to think of myself that way, (never learning of past mistake), and I don't want my friends to be that way too. So Becky I am breaking up with you because you're so vapid I could scream. I like my characters in a series to develop and develop well. You know what is a good chic lit series that the characters grew well? Try to read Meg Cabot, Queen of Babble. The first book deals with a girl so incredibly naive but by book three you can't help but admired how she grew. (That's how I felt btw) . 




Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 11 - A book you hated


I had blogged about this book, but I can't find the post. This is way before Blogger start having tags in their options. 

Plot wise, can't remember, you can google it if you want,but I think it is about a woman grappling about post-birth, babies and so forth. 

Why I hate it? 

I can't remember the story but I remembered how after I put it down, I felt like I had waste a few hours of my life that I can never get back. And I never felt this before with a book. 

I hate the characters, I hate the writing, I hate the story ( like I i said I can't remember the story but I remember I hate the story). 

And for a book I hated, I don't think so I will dwell much more on it than the above. 

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Ronery

Hello all. I guess some of you who're not bookworm are all sick n tired of the book meme updates. Too bad. Been enjoying doing it in fact.

Not gonna talk much about that but instead I am gonna whine on how ronery I am. Which is a lie. Because I am waiting for my friend to pick me up anytime now. However because I don't enjoy being stuck in a jam and driving around looking for parking spots I chose to go early ( like several hours early) and basically walk alone. There are times when I enjoy it but not so much today because today is my husband birthday. Happy birthday!

Now resuming back to complaining. Well it gets kinda boring especially walking around in ikea alone. I think we can dine alone, watch movie alone, shop alone. But window shop in ikea alone is not so awesome which goes hand in hand with eating buffet alone. However that is slightly better than playing bowling alone. Because I had once played bowling next lane to a man who are playing alone and man did we speculate. Was he training for a competition? Olympic? Was he burning down some stress or downtime? Or was he just weird.

So people, don't bowl alone.

Anyway I am veering off course. I meant to write here that sometimes when you walk or dine alone you get a chance to hear things you don't normally hear when you are with someone else. Like the guy next table where I am sitting now had just called some girl making excuses to her on how sorry he is that he is late but unable to meet her now because he is busy while his friend is laughing at him. Just an hour ago I overhear a guy asking his date with a note of concern in his voice if Subway would be enough for lunch while the girl goes 'yeah' distractedly. Awwww. So sweet. Or maybe he is concerned that it is not enough for him? Hmmmm.

Telinga pasang besar je bile tadek ape nak dibuat kan?
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Friday, April 22, 2011

Day 10 - Favorite classic book

This is one of the easiest one. Without a doubt is :



Pride and Prejudice is deservedly lauded as one of Austen best work (some people may argue and will cite Emma or Sense or Sensibility, but I personally think Austen is at her best here). I think at the time she is writing this she is still young so dreams are sweeter thus the book have a certain evergreen feeling of optimism, hopefulness with a side commentary on the social life she was used to.

I think I had mentioned before that my love for this book and the author start from the excellent BBC miniseries. I can't say enough how I love that series (please the movie is nothing, compare to the series. Mary is incredibly beautiful in the movie, while she is suppose to be plain and which is why she resorted to be an insufferable know it all to stop people comparing her between her beautiful sisters, poor thing. ).

This is Colin Firth at the heigh of his yummyliciousness. At the time of filming both of the actor and actress had briefly date.

While I can go on and on and on about Pride and Prejudice, I think it is easier to said in point form to why this is my favorite.

  • I had read this several times over and never getting bored
  • Mr Darcy is incredibly delish in book, series or movie form. ( I prefer Colin Firth)
  • The book packed romance, sharpy witticism,  humour. 
  • Every characters is deliciously human, as garish as Mrs Bennet is, as haughty as Darcy is, as guileless as Jane is.
The reasons I gave above is so short, but really the book is really something wonderful, which is why it is one of my beloved classic. 


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Day 09 - A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving

Well, not exactly 'love' but like it immensely, I did.


The book is Collected Short Stories Vol. 2 by W. Somerset Maugham. Yes it is a collection of short stories and I like it immensely and I don't really prefer short stories. 

I bought this book on the first ever BBW sale. (Sobs. Kalau ade book sale di obscure places and En. Shamani tiada untuk jadi driver, terpaksa la aku terkulat-kulat GPS-ing the location, walaupon my ability to read map is slightly better than my ability to read Mandarin).

I have no idea why I bought it, but I was intrigued by the picture of the Malay guy in front. I like reading about British life, and more intrigued to know about the British colonial life. Saying that, after I picked it up, I felt the book is going to be a bore. I mean 19th century writer usually used long winding words and were frightfully bored eh. 

Therefore imagine my surprise on the first story I was completely engrossed and laughing out loud. I did not expect it, but it is a pleasure to know that I did not waste my money on this book. 

Not all writers are able to write witty/gut wrenching write short stories. Maugham manage to do that. His stories range from the laughable to sadness to haunting. Falling in love, murder in the jungle, high society 19th century life, those are just some stories in the book and all of the stories are written well and completely enjoyable. 

Googling him I found out that he wrote a lot of short stories during his life and several novels but short stories was his forte. After reading the book, you completely know why. He is now an author that I wish to get to know his work well and will be on the lookout for his works. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Day 08 - Most overrated book

There were several books that came to mind, but I think this one is my personal favorite of "I don't know why people said it is so funny"


I bought and read the book due to:
1. Zombies
2. Many people favorable reviews

While the book does not sucks, it does not leave me clutching at my side holding my stomach from laughter. Most of the times I am just 'meh'. It got some pretty amusing moments and some of the ending for the characters end more satisfactorily than the original book. Also I found Elizabeth as annoying and wishing she would just shut up which I never thought of in the original book; as haughty as she was.

Perhaps my expectation was high due to many favorable reviews or maybe my funny bone just work differently but I can't help thinking that people are loving this because it spins something new ( there are now countless other reimagining of classic and monsters) but I can't seem to muster a laugh or interest in this particular reimaginings plot.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Day 07 - Most underrated book

This is one of the hardest topic for me. I almost want to skip this but that would be cheating. I can't think of any book that can be called as underrated. Some are obscure, yes, but it is deserving of being obscure. I am not involved enough in the book community to know if a book is well-received or not. 

Then I suddenly thought of Georgette Heyer, A Civil Contract. An author and the book that I kinda love but I rarely heard people gushing/talking about. 


The synopsis are:
The romantic plot centers on a viscount who reluctantly enters a marriage of convenience with a wealthy commoner's daughter.
While I used to love Georgette Heyer books due to the predictable romantic formula rich guy meet not so rich girl, not exactly love at first sight but fall in love madly. This story is more realistic. The guy marry a rich girl to save his family. The girl is not a great beauty. In fact she is very plain and in the chubby side. 

It deals with what to do when our dream falls to pieces and we are left to deal with harsh reality. (While granted this harsh reality is not exactly dirt poor/traumatic experience type of harshness) . I love the book I love all the characters, even the flighty, vapid one. The thing about Georgette Heyer is that even her most weakest character are redeemable. 

While I love this book, why I classed this 'underrated'? Like I said, I gathered Heyer was/is rather popular because she got her ardent followers. However to my recollections her books are rarely mentioned or gushed about. So I place her in the underrated, because while it is not exactly Austen with her sharp wit, Heyer have her moments and this is one of her stronger book which I thoroughly enjoyed reading several times over. 


Monday, April 18, 2011

Day 06 - A book that makes you sad

The Road by Cormac McCarthy.                                          



Why I chose this book? I'll just take an excerpt from my review of the book (which you can read if you are ever so curious)  that I did few years back. 

 This book gave me nightmare. It sucked you in, make you feel hopeless and the world is empty and devoid of humanity when time get desperate. There are time, when I have to literally put the book down because I feel suffocated reading it. Maybe it is my overactive imagination. But I tell you, I find it rare that a book can evoke so much hopelessness when reading it.
It is not just sadness, but overbearing sadness. I can't stand reading the book, but I'll still continue on to see if they make it. There is nothing happy in the book, but I don't regret reading it either.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Day 05 - A book that makes you happy

Bridget Jones Diary by Helen Fielding.


From the start of the page when Bridget list down her resolutions for the new year, it reeled you in, hooked you and by 10 pages within leave you howling with laughter.

Which is why I chose it as the book that makes me happy. Bridget is neurotic, self absorbed but totally lovable because she really wants to do good but ended up totally goofing it off. That is basically the premise of the book. Of a charming, klutzy 30+ years old grappling with singlehood where neither love nor career seems to be working out. 

If I feel like I need a pick-me-up book, this is the book I'll take down from the shelf, curl up on a sofa with food in hand and read. It always make me laugh. I'll finished the book feeling refreshed and awesome because that's how it is. My sister love the book too and we had spent a night just talking and laughing on ridiculous things that Bridget had done. Not many book can make you do that I gathered. Sometimes I can suddenly just laughed out of nowhere by just remembering various excerpts  from the book. Bridget can find something hilarious when things are falling apart around her. I can only hope I can be the same.

While the move is v. good indeed, almost following the book, nothing quite beat the book. It is funnier and packed more ridiculous moment for you to enjoy. 

I mean this is of course THE book that supposedly creates the chic lit aisle. When people mentioned that they love chic lit and have not yet read Bridget Jones, I am like.. go and buy the book now! And that is my advice to you. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Day 04 - Favorite book of your favorite series

Anne of the Island. Another owned books that looked like dire and old, but well beloved. 

I have a hard time choosing which Anne books I love more. I chose this because this is one of my most beloved story in the series. 

The reason is simple enough, the romance. 

This is the book Anne struggles on her feelings for Gilbert and her life at college. Reading on her life at college it seems like living the college life in the 1800s is not much difference from living the college life in 2000s. They still suffered through the stresses of boys, friendships, exams, professors. Only we don't have balls. Why we don't have balls??? 

I love her friendships with the other girls and I love the idyllic settings Kingsport that'd been described by Montgomery. Also this is the book where Anne finally grow up and become a woman. When I read this book, I feel like there is a blush creeping up in my cheeks. This book brings to mind, pure, true love and great friendships. That is a story I can never be bored with. 

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Day 03 - Your favorite series

This does not need much thinking.

My most beloved series and possession of books are:


My sister who are the one who gave me Anne of Green Gables when I was in primary. She said she knows I would love it. I read it fall headlong in love with Anne. I love Anne, I want to be Anne and I wish she was my friend. Then there was the Canadian series I think, which if any one of you who love Anne as much as I do, should try to look for. It was wonderful and after watching it I wanted to know more!

I never knew Anne was a series of books when I was small, I thought there is only Anne of Green Gables and that's it. Then during raya I went to a relative house and my eyes caught on a the tv table a book titled " Anne of Avonlea." My mom and the makciks are eating and chatting the delicious kuih raya (that particular house have the most delicious home made raya cookies ever. They have like 10 raya cookies and all are home made even til now), but all I could think of as " I want to read that book!". But I never said it aloud but silently avowed to look at it myself whenever I am in a bookshop. I think only a year later I manage to find it. (I was small and never ask for things but rather look for it myself whenever I got the chance to go to a bookshop). 

Ever since then whenever I went to a bookshop, I always looked for 'M' for Montgomery to look for my Anne series. It is always in chronological order. If I got book 1 to 3, and the bookshop only have book 5, I won't buy book 5 unless I got the book 4. So it took me a while to get the whole 8 books. I think only during the last years of UTP (university) that I finally finished collecting the series. 

One of the oldest and most frequently read books I ever owned. Looked at the condition! This is why I now wrap my books.

In the mean time, I read and re-read all of the Anne series every year, never bored , always smiling and sometimes crying whenever I read the book. I had replaced the first Anne of Green Gables book because it was such in poor condition (pages falling off) and now I may need to replace it a third time as it had been so frequently read that the pages are starting to fall off again. I think I will buy the series whole and put it away because all of the current books are in bad condition. 

People say my vocabulary is good. You know why? Because Anne loves big vocabulary. As she get older and wiser she knows simple words are more powerful, and so did I. But once in a while my childish Anne got the better of me and I used big words just because it is big. 

So from now on, you may see a lot of Anne or other L.M Montgomery series popping up in the list because this is the extent of how I love the books and the story. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Day 02 - A book that you've read more than 3 times

There are a lot of books that I read and reread and some I even had lost count on how many times I had read it. However I opt not to mention those books since I'll be mentioning some of them later on. And I opt for this because I want to include some chic lits in the mix.

The book is : The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger.


I honestly can't remembered if I read the book first or watch the movie, however I know that I prefer the book more. 

Minor spoilers ahead (to those who have not watch the movie or read the book)
I read and re-read it during my first years of working. My first few years of working had been, torturous and full of uncertainties. This book seems to speak to me and comforted me in thinking that even working in a glamourous place, your work can sucks.

I like Andy journey into her career and reading it amused me, frustrates me and all in all entertains me. Why I like to reread it? Like I said, it entertains me but also frustrates me. I am not exactly in agreement over Andy decision and many would clamored over her opportunities, so to see her walk away due to principles I am kinda like throwing my hands up in frustration. So I put away the book and after some time had pass, I forgot my frustration on the ending, I picked up the book again to be entertained and relived Andy experience yet again. 

As much as people deride chic lit, this is a well written book. A coming of age sorts of journey and a great read for girls who are in the start of their career. And I am never bored reading it. Writing this again make me think of the book, and felt like picking it up again. Those who had not read it, I seriously recommend it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Day 01 - Best book you read last year

2010 was not really a good year for me in term of reading books. I have no idea why, but perhaps the books that I chose was mostly mediocre. It was mostly chic lits and books that do not meet my expectations. Also, I have a hard time remembering most of the books I read. So if you can't remember the book you read, it does not make much of an impact right?

So choosing the best book I read last year, I come up with the Golden Compass trilogies by Phillip Pullman.



  am not sure when did I actually start reading it, but I finished it around January or February 2010. And I'll just encompass the whole 3 books into one, because really it is one continuous story. 

Why I choose it as the best? I think the reason is easily done in point form

  • The characters are complex, deeply flawed and marvelously human. 
  • I like Lyra. She is manipulative, deceptive but have a clear sense of right and wrong, though the way that she does things is not exactly a do gooder would do. 
  • The stories are amazing. I like it if I can't predict the story and the story goes into an unexpected way.
  • And most of all, the reason why I chose it as the best is because even though a year had past, I kept on remembering bits and extract of the books. I sometimes found myself thinking of the worlds. When I looked at the stars, sometimes I thought of Dust. It left an impact. Any book that does that, had been created well.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

30 days of Book Meme

I want to do this. I looked at other people meme and many of them are so so good. And some I completely agree with and I can't continue reading the other memes until I'll finish or at least halfway finish with mine without agreeing and putting the same book on the list which defeats the fun fun fun part of it.

So Adek, Sue, Jane and whoever on here who still read my blog and love books, jom buattttt. I would love to read yours. ( I think Effi turned up his nose on meme. ). 

The only thing left is, whether to do it on Tumblr or Blogger. And I'll think I'll start on Monday for easier counting! And I am raking my brains on the Day 1: Best book you read last year. For the simple reason of I can't remember what books I read last year. 

Hence the importance of reviewing books after I finish em because my memory is like a leaky cauldron.  I also think I need to put separate tags on books review. And by Monday I'd looked through my books to ascertain which one I'll put on this list.

Whee!!! Tiba-tiba excited nak belog balik.

And for moi, and others, the below are the complete list.

Day 01 - Best book you read last year
Day 02 - A book that you've read more than 3 times
Day 03 - Your favorite series
Day 04 - Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 05 - A book that makes you happy
Day 06 - A book that makes you sad
Day 07 - Most underrated book
Day 08 - Most overrated book
Day 09 - A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving
Day 10 - Favorite classic book
Day 11 - A book you hated
Day 12 - A book you used to love but don't anymore
Day 13 - Your favorite writer
Day 14 - Favorite book of your favorite writer
Day 15 - Favorite male character
Day 16 - Favorite female character
Day 17 - Favorite quote from your favorite book
Day 18 - A book that disappointed you
Day 19 - Favorite book turned into a movie
Day 20 - Favorite romance book
Day 21 - Favorite book from your childhood
Day 22 - Favorite book you own
Day 23 - A book you wanted to read for a long time but still haven't
Day 24 - A book that you wish more people would've read
Day 25 - A character who you can relate to the most
Day 26 - A book that changed your opinion about something
Day 27 - The most surprising plot twist or ending
Day 28 - Favorite title
Day 29 - A book everyone hated but you liked
Day 30 - Your favorite book of all time

Disqus for Dils Stop