Category: Book Reviews

Jun 01

Stolen Lives – Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

Stolen Lives – Twenty Years in a Desert Jail

a memoir by Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi

(5/5)

Autobiography / Biography / Memoir / Non- Fiction
First Published in 1999
Publisher: Hyperion
Oprah’s Book Club Selection

Click here to buy Stolen Lives by Malika Oufkir and Michele Fitoussi (free delivery)

Book Cover Synopsis:

Malika Oufkir has led a split life. She spent her childhood days raised as a princess, but from the age of nineteen, she was imprisoned with her mother and siblings for the next 20 years.

Maika was General Oufkir’s eldest daughter. He was the closest aide of the King of Morocco, who adopted five-year-old Malika and brought her up as his daughter’s companion. Malika grew up in privilege and luxury, in the shelter of the court harem.

But on 16th August 1972, everything changed. General Oufkir was executed for attempting to assassinate the king. Malika, her mother, her five siblings, and two loyal friends were immediately arrested and imprisoned.

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May 12

Reading Like Rabbits is back!

I’m back! I’ve been MIA for over a month because I was working as a News Anchor in Myanmar (Burma). What an experience… My eyes have been opened – in many ways.

I’ve just up loaded my latest review Nanny Returns by Nicola Kraus & Emma Mclaughlin.

And coming up in the next couple of days, my reviews of The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

Sneak Preview: I spent 2 hours a day traveling to and from the TV station in Myamnar listening to the audiobooks of The Millennium Trilogy. They made boring journey’s exciting. The story is compelling, complicated and gripping. The narrator Saul Reichlin is amazing. I loved all three books.

x Julie

Book Reviews – Reading Like Rabbits


Discount Gold Offer

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

The Girl Who Played with Fire

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest

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May 12

Nanny Returns

Nanny Returns

Nicola Kraus & Emma Mclaughlin

(Sequel to The Nanny Diaries)

(3/5)


Chick Lit / Light Reading / Fiction
First published in 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Click here to buy Nanny Returns by Nicola Kraus & Emma Mclaughlin (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

Nan from the Nanny Diaries is back in New York twelve years after the ill-fated nanny-cam night, the night Nan was fired. She is now married to HH (Harvard Hottie) who how has a name, Ryan. Nan is finally settling down and renovating her new (falling apart) home, and is trying to get her consulting business up and running. But is surprised at Ryan’s sudden desire start a family. What startles her the most is her resistance to the idea.

Then, Nan gets a drunken visit in the middle of the night from Grayer X, now 16 years old. He has found the nanny-cam tape…

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Apr 01

The Help – Audio Book Review

The Help

by Kathryn Stockett

(5/5)

Fiction
First Published  in 2009
Publisher: Penguin

Click to buy the book The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Click to buy the audiobook The Help by Kathryn Stockett

Book Synopsis:

1962 in Jackson, Mississippi, three women, as different as can be, Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny come together for an underground project, which if exposed, would put them all at risk.

Skeeter is a 22-year-old white woman who has just returned home after graduating from university. But in 1962, mothers care more about their daughter’s marriage prospects than their career hopes.

Aibileen is an astute black maid who is bringing up her seventeenth white child. When Aibileen’s own son died, as his employers looked the other way, something changed inside her. She is dedicated and caring towards the little girl she is raising, but she knows that they will have to part ways someday.

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Mar 25

Audio Books!

I’ve discovered Audio Books!


I’ve been listening to podcasts like the New York Times Book Review and B&N Meet The Writers which I have enjoyed very much, but I’m now ready for more. I get motion sickness if I read while traveling, so I get really bored and frustrated not to be able to be engaged in a book while I’m getting from one place to another.

So, I decided to sign up for an audio book membership with Audible.com to listen to audio books on my i phone/i pod/ MP3 player. I used to think of audio books as being expensive, but I’ve realised, they can be cheaper than buying an actual book!

Here’s the plan I’m getting:

Audible Listener Discount Gold Membership


Discount Gold Offer

  • Price: Monthly: USD$7.49 for the first three months and USD$14.95 thereafter and Annually: USD$149.95
  • Benefits: 12 membership credits; 30% discount on future purchases; complimentary subscription to The Wall Street Journal or The New York Times

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Mar 17

Blood On The Moon: Book Review

Blood On The Moon

The Daywalker Chronicles: Volume One

by S.M. De Silva

(3.5/5)

Fiction / Vampires
Launch Date: 31 May 2010
Publisher: Firebird Press

Click here to buy the book Blood On The Moon by S.M. De Silva (with Free delivery)

Singaporean buyers can click here to order their copy (free delivery and gift wrapped!)

Click here to visit The Daywalker Chronicles official site

Book Synopsis:

Sleet City: decadent and alluring, but infinitely dangerous. A city where crime, cruelty and glamor reign supreme. Vampires and were-creatures have come out of the closet and now mix openly in human society. Vampires are the new breed of celebrities, the glamor gods of Sleet City.
Alegria, a Singaporean supernatural species consultant, receives a package. A package that contains a ring. A ring attached to a severed finger. A severed finger belonging to Alegria’s sister.

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Mar 12

Book Launch! March 12, Books Actually, Singapore

Ceriph

a compilation of poems, short fiction, pictures and non-fiction

by Singaporean writers


I just found out about this book and its launch today. I won’t be able to attend the launch, but I’m going to order a copy of the book. If you are free and interested, head down to Club St tonight.

Support local literature!

x Julie

Book Launch

Reading Like Rabbits


Book Launch


Ceriph’s book launch:

BooksActually

86 Club Street

7.30pm

12th of March 2010, Friday

Ceriph was started by 3 Singaporean undergraduates who noticed friends creating poetry, prose and photographs that were worthy of being shared. They began this non-profit project to create an accessible space that was neither too formal nor flippant for Singaporean non-professional writers to showcase their work.

The first issue of Ceriph tells that tell quiet stories of busy cities through a compilation of short fiction, poems, non-fiction and pictures.

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Mar 08

Heaven Can Wait

Heaven Can Wait

by Cally Taylor

(3/5)

Fiction / Chick Lit / Light Reading
First Published in October 2009
Publisher: Orion
Chicklitreviews.com 2009 Book Awards: Book of the Year and Debut Novel of the Year

Click here to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

Lucy Brown is about to marry a wonderful man. Dan is handsome, caring and funny. Lucy has never been happier, she is about to get everything she has ever wanted.

But, on the eve of her wedding, Lucy dies in an accident.

Lucy has a choice to make: she can go to heaven and be separated from her soul mate, or she could be with Dan forever…as a ghost.

Lucy will not leave Dan, and she makes her choice. But things are not quite so easy for Lucy. She has a task to complete before she can become a ghost. First, she has to find true love for a total stranger.

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Feb 07

Extremely Loud and Incredible Close

Extremely Loud and Incredible Close

by Jonathan Safran Foer

(4/5)

Adult Fiction
First Published in 2006
Publisher: Mariner Books
New York Times Bestseller

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

Oskar Schell is nine years old, and had begun a vital and secret mission that will lead him through New York’s five boroughs. Oskar has found a mysterious key that belonged to his father, who died on September 11th in the World Trade Centre. In his search for the lock that fits his key somewhere in New York, a task that seems like looking for a needle in a haystack, Oskar meets survivors of all kinds. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a moving, funny and healing journey.

My Book Review:

I had heard wonderful things about Extremely Loud and Incredible Close. Friends of mine had said it was one of their top 10 books of the year, so I was really looking forward to reading it.

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Jan 30

Eragon

Eragon

Part 1 of the Inheritance Cycle

by Christopher Paolini

Fiction / Fantasy / Teenage or Adult Fiction
First Published in 2002
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
New York Times Best Seller

Click here to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

A poor farm boy counts himself lucky when he stumbles upon a shiny blue stone. But little does Eragon realize that his find is actually a rare dragon’s egg. He has chanced upon a legacy as old as the Empire.

Eragon’s simple life is turned upside down as he is plunged into an unknown world of dragons, magic, destiny and power. Eragon has to leave all that is familiar and find his way through the Empire ruled by the evil king.

With the future of the empire resting in their hands, Eragon and his young dragon must step up to the challenge and the live up to the legend of the Dragon Riders.

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Jan 08

Artemis Fowl

Artemis Fowl

by Eoin Colfer

Picture 1

Fantasy / Fiction / Children’s Book / Light Reading
First Published in 2001
Publisher: Puffin
International Bestseller
Shortlisted for the Whitbred Children’s Book of the Year
Winner of the WHSmith ‘People’s Choice’ Children’s Book of the Year
Winner of the British Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

Artemis Fowl, a genius criminal mastermind has succeeded in establishing the existence of fairies, and is determined to catch one. After staking out over 100 fairy locations, Artemis succeeds in kidnapping LEPrecon Captain Holly Short.

But these aren’t the toadstool-dancing creatures of fairy tales, these are trained law enforcement fairies, and they are ready to fight back. Just when Artemis Fowl thinks he has them cornered, the fairies stop playing by the rules.

FYI: Artemis Fowl is a twelve-year-old.

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Jan 07

The Year of Magical Thinking

The Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion

(4/5)

Picture 1 Non-Fiction / Autobiography / Memoir
First Published in 2005
Publisher: Knopf
Winner of The National Book Award 2005
and finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and The Pulitzer Prize (Biography/Autobiography)

Click here to buy this book (with free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

In a second, Joan Didion’s life was thrown into turmoil when her husband John Gregory Dunne unexpectedly died of a massive heart attack in 2003. Not only was her husband of 40 years gone, but two days before his death, their daughter Quintana had been hospitalized after falling seriously ill. Life as Joan knew it had ended.

Joan’s grief leads her to a state of ‘magical thinking’, and Joan lucidly writes of her experience of that time in her life. A time when although she knew intellectually that John was dead, she found herself keeping John’s shoes for him. For when he returned.

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Jan 01

Infidel

Infidel

by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

(5/5)

Picture 1Autobiography / Non-Fiction
First Published in 2007
Publisher: The Free Press

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

Ayaan Hirsi Ali is among today’s most controversial yet admired political figures. She made international headlines when her friend and colleague Theo Van Gogh was assassinated in the Netherlands for making the film Submission with Hirsi Ali. His Islamist murderer stabbed a note to his body threatening that Hirsi Ali would be next.

This celebrated writer of The Caged Virgin, and courageous champion of free speech has led an extraordinary life.

In her astonishing memoir, she tells of growing up in Somalia in a staunch Muslim household, to escaping an arranged marriage, to her intellectual re-birth in the Netherlands, to becoming a member of the Dutch parliament, and finally of her life under constant security protection because of her open critique of Islam.

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Dec 31

The Book of Bunny Suicides

The Book of Bunny Suicides

by Andy Riley

Picture 1 Adult Picture Book / Gift
First Published in 2003
Publisher: Plume, The Penguin Group

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

Little fluffy rabbits who just don’t want to live any more. This adult picture book, and its sequel, Return of the Bunny Suicides, contains endless ways for a bunny to kill itself. From smoking out of every hole in its body, to flushing itself down an aeroplane toilet, to kicking an alien in the balls, this ridiculously funny book is a fountain of knowledge on rabbit self-killing.

Picture 2

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Dec 30

The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters

The True and Outstanding Adventures of the Hunt Sisters

by Elisabeth Robinson

(5/5) Picture 3Fiction
First Published in 2004
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
International Bestseller

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

This novel is told in the form of letters from Olivia Hunt to her sister with cancer, Michael her ex-boyfriend, her parents and her best friend. Along the way we find out about the progress or non-progress of Olivia’s feature film that she’s trying to get off the ground in Hollywood.

Through Olivia’s letters we track the progress of her year, and are privy to her thoughts, the varied way she communicates with people, her highs and lows and also just the plain usual things that happens day to day that find themselves into her letters. Simply yet powerfully told, this novel simultaneously funny and sad, tragic and heart warming.

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Dec 23

The Buddha’s Book of Daily Meditations

The Buddha’s Book of Daily Meditations

by Christopher Titmuss

(Author of Light on Enlightenment)

Picture 3 Spiritual / Non-Fiction / Quotes
First Published in 2001
Publisher: Random House

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

Buddha’s teachings are still profoundly relevant despite the fact that he lived 2500 years ago, because his teachings came from a down to earth wisdom.

This is a compilation of some of Buddha’s thoughts and advice put together by Christopher Titmuss, a meditation master who has been a Buddhist monk.

There is one quotation for every day of the year to guide and free those who reflect upon them from the conditioning of our minds, and so bring about change in different aspects of our lives – spiritual, social, personal and political.

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Dec 23

Dedication

Dedication

by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus

(2/5)

Picture 1 Fiction / Chick Lit / Light Reading
First Published in 2007
Publisher: Atria Books

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

How would you get your revenge if your ex-boyfriend vanished on the night before your prom, then reappeared with a song detailing your first sexual experience (which by the way topped the Billboard charts), then proceeded to write chart-topping personal songs about you for the rest of his career?

Kate finally has the opportunity to confront Jake. But how is she going to confront the man who has messed up her life? The man who constantly chased by millions of adoring fans? She has a plan. But things don’t always go according to plan, do they?

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Dec 20

The Glass Castle

The Glass Castle

a memoir

by Jeanette Walls

(5/5)

Picture 1Memoir/Autobiography
First Published in 2005
Publisher: Scribner International

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

The Glass Castle is an extraordinary memoir of a dysfunctional yet effervescent American family. Jeanette’s father is an intelligent, compelling figure, who educates his children on geology, physics and joie de vivre. However, more often than not, he was a drunk who was caustic and dishonest.

Jeanette’s mother was a free spirit who loved painting but hated conformity and the domestic life of raising children.

And so, Jeanette and her siblings grew up taking care of themselves. Jeanette became a successful writer in New York, a place where her parents eventually moved, choosing out of their own free will to live homeless.

In The Glass Castle, the behavior of Rex and Rose Mary Walls is shocking and unacceptable, yet at the same time, it is abundantly clear that they possess deep love and loyalty for their children. It is this contradiction that makes this memoir so gripping.

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Dec 17

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

The Reluctant Fundamentalist

by Mohsin Hamid

(4/5)

Picture 1 Fiction
First Published in 2007
Publisher: Penguin Books
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2007
International Bestseller

Click to buy this book (free delivery)

Book Synopsis:

Seated at a cafe in Lahore, a mysterious stranger tells you his story. He invited you to join him, and though the evening, you come to know what led the stranger to approach you. Well educated, well traveled, he seems to know more about the ways of the West than you do. He embraced the Western ideal and a western woman, and was let down by both. However, you soon find out the real reason for this meeting…

Picture 3My Book Review

The Reluctant Fundamentalist is an extremely readable novel. It is also surprisingly gentle. The political and religious seem to take a backseat to the life story of the Pakistani protagonist, Changez. This book is really one long monologue with the reader only getting to see one side of a conversation, dominated by Changez, with an American, whom we suspect to be a very reluctant listener.

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Dec 09

Mistress of the Art of Death

Mistress of the Art of Death

by Ariana Franklin

(4/5)

Picture 2 Fiction / Murder Mystery / Thriller
First Published in 2007
Publisher: Bantam Books
Set in: 1171, Cambridge, England
Winner of the CWA Ellis Peters Historical Award

Click to buy this book (free delivery)


Book Synopsis:

Cambridge, England, 1171.

A gruesome murder has taken place. The victim is a child and other children have disappeared. King Henry wants the killer found, as it is the Jews, who supply the King with much of his revenue, who have been accused by enraged townspeople for the child murders.

Simon of Naples a well-known investigator has been recruited, along with a young woman and an Arab. The young woman, Adelia Aguilar, is one of the rare female doctors of the 12th Century. She specializes in the examination of dead bodies. As a mistress in the art of death, she must keep her skill a secret for fear of being charged as witch.

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