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Kiden's Top 5 books 2009

Hi bookworms!

It's almost the end of the year 2009 and I know I've got no time to review another book this year. So, I thought I should list down my Top 5! (I don't know if Afi H. will blog about her top 5) Recently, I've read more books than last year. And some books I haven't reviewed yet. I might review it next year because I need to make some 'things' straight right now. Anyway, my TOP 5!

A true story of an abandoned, abused little girl who was desperate to be part of a family.
Why is it in the first place? 'Coz I finished it in just 4 days and I really100x love it!
Ps. My cousin borrowed it and she finished it in 3 days!

Unlike 'Cut', it takes me a long time to finish this but I find it
hilarious!!! And laugh myself like a crazy person!

3. The Host by Stephenie Meyer
After reading the Twilight saga, I planned to read The Host. It's different from the Twilight series and I thought it will bored me to death but I was hungry for more! Almost cried myself reading this.

This book is more like an Indie genre book. Definitely for book lovers. It's simple!

It takes time for me to finish it but I'm so in love with it!

Moonwalk by Michael Jackson

Moonwalk, Michael Jackson's only autobiography, almost never made it to the printing press. After the book was done, the King of Pop had mixed feelings about revealing personal details about himself. After you've read the book, you would understand why.

The 283 page book contains many details about the late king some of which are a bit surprising. Joe Jackson is often portrayed negatively in the press, however in the book you'd be shocked to read how much involved he was in shaping his kids to become performers. Not only was Joe talented, he was also very dedicated and very business savvy. If you keep reading, it becomes very obvious that Michael became the consummate performer he was because of his father's training and there is no doubt that Joe also passed down his business skills. Michael's mother, Katherine, on the other hand is consistently described as a sweet, loving and dedicated mother. Nothing remotely bad about her was written in the book.

Besides his parents, Michael also wrote about his brothers a lot, especially when they were together as a group. First they were known as the Jackson 5, then they became The Jacksons. They worked together and played together mostly because of the strict schedule they had. Their antics ranged from innocent pranks like propping a bucket of water on the door of their hotel room and peeking through a hole to watch naked women. Most of these pranks, according to Michael, was a form of entertainment as they were stuck in their hotels most of the time for their own safety.

Work-wise, Michael described a lot about the time when he was the lead singer and when he became a solo artist. Through his work, he met many musical legends like Diana Ross, Berry Gordy, James Brown, Liza Minelli and many more. Most of these people were more than just people in the business, they also developed a strong bond with Michael, especially Diana Ross, Berry Gordy and Quincy Jones. So many famous people were mentioned in his book, you'd even be surprised that some of these people were also fans of Michael's music and dance moves, including a legendary dancer/entertainer to whom the book was dedicated to.

Throughout the book, Michael is described as a musical genius. His talent was innate. He talked to Berry Gordy about leaving Motown when he was just a teenager. He figured out dance moves. He knew music videos would make his songs stay in the charts and so much more. However, Michael described his genius and success humbly.

In the book, as expected, Michael also stressed on how working since he was a child affected his childhood. But probably the saddest part was how Michael mentioned that he never did drugs. He mentioned how aware he was of the dangers of drug abuse and he wanted to steer clear from a destructive path. Of course we all know in the end, his tragic demise was due to a drug addiction.

There a many, many details about the king in the book but do not expect to read about Lisa Marie, Debbie Rowe or his three children. This book is a re-issue, released after his death. In the book however, there are many pictures of the king, most are personal. And if you take off the sleeve, you'd notice Michael's signature on the cover, something he insisted on having as a gift to his fans. The book ends with a poignant statement written by Areheart, the ghost writter of Moonwalk which reads, "I have never met anyone like him, and I doubt I ever will."
 - Reviewed by Haryati Abd Gafur

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Marked by PC and Kristin Cast

"I'm Elizabeth, no last name.'
My face was a question mark.
She sighed. "My last name was Titsworth."

When sixteen-year-old Zoey is marked by the Tracker, she knows her old life is over. Now she has to leave her friends and family to join the House of Night school, where there's only one subject Zoey needs to study: Vampyre 101.

Of course, there's always a catch, and this one's a nice and simple: if you fail, you die...

So, I bought this book for $29.95 at Best Eastern. Thought I should buy it since vampire craze is on. But this one is quite different, besides the vampire and romance genre. This one is like Twilight meets Harry Potter (Werewolves are out) and to be a vampire, you should be mark by a tracker and not bitten and suck by a vampire. Once you're marked, you have to go to the House of Night to study and their time is reversed (because vampires feel uncomfortable under the light and no, this one doesn't burn and die). Wait, they're called 'Vampyres' in the book not 'Vampire'.

Funny thing is, they're not a 'real' vampire once they are marked. They are called fledglings and they got cool tattoos on them, changed their names and only the chosen ones have special powers like Zoey. She has more tattoos than the other fledglings. But, if they can't make through, they'll die. When Zoey came to the House of Night she automatically make friends...and enemy. Nothing much to tell about this book. I must say that it's a good book...there are some parts I'm not interested or don't like.

Reasons I bought this books is because,
1) it's funny
2) Vampires are 'in' this year
3) I have nothing to read at that time
4) Out of boredom

5) I love the cover.

 Oh yeah, it is also written by 2 authors, mother and daughter. =D

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Dangerous by Nora Roberts (3-in-1)

What do you do when you've surrendered your heart...
and the one you love just might be involved in murder?
Risky Business
She was a maddening combination of mystery and innocence. But Liz was the key to finding his brother's killer, so cynical Jonas Sharpe had to stick close...too close for comfort.

Storm Warning
He had shattered her world once, but when Lucas MacLean reentered Autumn's life, she couldn't deny the love still blazing inside inside her - or the evidence she had that said he could be guilty of murder.

The Welcoming
He'd never known the warmth of a home - until he found his way to Charity's inn...and into her arms. But Roman DeWinter had come looking for a criminal mastermind - and all evidence pointed to Charity

So this is like 3-in-1 book. I don't know how to explain each of the stories since I bought this book 3 years ago. But let me refresh my mind.

The first story is about Liz and Jonas. Jonas's brother, Jerry, has been found dead on a sandy beach. And Jonas went to meet Liz and asks about his brother's activity which Liz is unknown of. While Liz doesn't want to accept new man into her life as the last one left her when she got pregnant but Jonas has his ways to welcome himself into Liz's life.

The second one is about Autumn and Lucas. Lucas broke Autumn's heart long time ago because of what Lucas is and they met again at her aunt's inn. One night, Autumn is attacked when she's in her dark room and the first suspect is Lucas.

And the last one is about Roman and Charity. Charity hire Roman to do some carpentry job for her Inn but Roman's real job is to find a criminal which might involve Charity. And... something like that.

I love romance stories and I love this one. As I don't have to buy 3 books for a story but 3 stories in 1 book with the same theme and different stories. I don't know how much I bought this book BUT I bought this from Best Eastern and I don't know if it is still available. I'm giving this book...

*Warning: Adult Content! Not suitable for children.

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Free Classics eBooks

There are free Classics eBooks from the Book Depository. They offer classic ebooks printed by Dodo Press to it's visitor and readers. You can download from William Shakespeare to Jane Austen...FOR FREE!!! Go to their website now and starts downloading!
And do you know that Book Depository sells books with free shipment? Yes! You read it right, thanks to Mr.Jason from Forest of Arden for recommending this website.

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

'To you perceptive reader, I bequeath my history...'

Late one night, exploring her father's library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters addressed ominously to 'My dear and unfortunate successor'. Her discovery plunges her into a world she never dreamed of - a labyrinth where the secrets of her father's past and her mother's mysterious fate connect to an evil hidden in the depths of history. - summary from book.

I bought this book 2 years ago at Best Eastern for $16.80 and finished it for like almost 8 months. It's not really 8 months but I know it is very long time that I finally finished the book. It's thick, 704 pages and the writings are small.

So, it's about vampire...well, dracula they call it in the book. Yes, I know... all about vampires/draculas nowadays but trust me, I bought this book BEFORE the 'Twilight' series came into my life and before the phenomena starts.

This is about a girl, finding some kind of old books and letters in her father's library. The letters actually come from her father's old professor from university and tell his stories about his research and the girl told her father what she found. Her father started telling her story about the missing professor, some weird things, meeting her mother and when the romance sparks and she too went missing or as they believe, dead. And when the girl and her father went for a journey, she was left behind with her father's letter and her father went missing, to find his missing wife because he knew she's still alive.

I actually lost track on the story before because I don't know whose story is which. So it got me confused there. Though the story started with the girl finding the letters, and then the professor's, then her father's and back and forth. So, we need to understand the story. And my imagination did not follow as I don't recognize the places the author describes so if you want to buy the book, find the one with a map in it. Seriously, my book doesn't have one and I should have known. I would say the genre of this book is like History and horror.

I would've give it a 5 if the writing is big and there's a map on my book :P

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The Other Boleyn Girl by Phillipa Gregory

The story began from the period Mary Boleyn caught the interest of King Henry VII and she would later became his mistress. However, Mary had to face many struggles living as the King's other woman. She had to bear the guilt of stealing someone's husband and bear a burden to give the King an heir while at the same time having to face the threat from her jealous sister, Anne Boleyn.

First of all, I like the way the book was written. the english was simple and clear and I'm sure most of the non-native english speakers like me will find the book easy to understand. The story of the Boleyn girls is one of the most interesting events that had happened during the Tudor period. Their story have been widely made into novels and films and even TV series. Recently, this book was turned into a movie which starred Hollywood's big names such as Scarlet Johansson and Natalie Portman but I haven't seen the movie yet. Nevertheless, as for the book, I found the story very interesting but I cannot vouch for the authenticity of the author's version of the Boleyn girls' story and whether the historical facts mentioned in the book was correct. But the author has provided the list of all the sources for her story at the back of the book.

The story was full of drama which made it hard to put the book down as soon as you immersed yourself into the story. Overall, the simple english and the interesting storyline made the book a pleasure to read.

Things I Want My Daughters To Know by Elizabeth Noble

'What's up?' Lisa asked her sister. 'You seem cross.'
'I am cross. You told Jennifer about Dad.'
'How do you know that?'
'Because she told Mark.'
'She told you?' Lisa turned to Mark.
"Barbara must say a final farewell to her 4 daughters. But how can she find the words? And how can she leave them when they each have so much growing up still to do?

Take Lisa, in her thirties but terrified of commitment - or brittle, unhappily married Jennifer. Amanda, the traveller, is always a little apart from her sisters and teenage Hannah faces adult life without a mother at her side.

Barbara's answer is to write each daughter a letter, finally expressing the hopes, fears, dreams and secrets she couldn't always voice. These words will touch the girls in different - sometimes shocking - ways, unlocking emotions and passions to set them on their own journey of discovery through life." - book's abstract

So, I bought this book in Times Bookstore in KK and the price is RM39.55. I think I bought this book because if you buy this one with the sticker "Merry Christmas" (since it's almost Christmas that time) you'll get a discount price or something like that.

When I first read the summary, I go, "Oooh.. This sounds like 'PS.I Love You' book" except this one is a story of a mother writing to her daughters. The first few pages were so good that I want to know what the mother wants to tell to all of them. But...I find this book not to my liking. I THOUGHT I would love this book but I don't. I like few parts only. The ending and the drama.I think this book is for mothers.

The characters (sisters) are all like separated. The eldest is so busy with the 'Should she or should she not', the second needs to deal with her marriage that used to be happy and also her husband's father. And the third feels a little left out from the family because she's 'different' and the youngest one is struggling to be a teenager so she could fit in.

All in all, I would give this book...

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19 Minutes by Jodi Picoult

I've always sort of wondered, though: if everyone else's opinion is what matters, then do you ever really have one of our own?

I would have given this book 5 stars if it is not that very thick (642pages excluding the acknowledgements). Was on my list of ‘To-buy’ and found and bought it at Best Eastern for $17.90. What would I like to say about this book? It’s pretty depressing!

The story is about school shooting in Sterling High School. And if you’re going to read this book, you must remember who is who because when I stopped reading for 2 weeks, I totally forgot few of the characters and have to flip back to remember them. So anyways, when there was a shooting in that school there is one state’s best witness, Josie Cormier who is also the teenage daughter of the judge sitting on that case. But she can’t remember what happened to her very own eyes – or can she?

This is sort of Friendship, Betrayal, Loner, Bullies, Lies, Anger, trying to fit in the crowd and a little bit romance in it. Why I said depressing? Because families lost their loved ones. The innocents got killed during the shooting. I always interested in reading this kind of book especially on school shooting. No, don’t get the wrong idea. I just want to know ‘why’ they did it. It reminds me of Columbine High School and Virginia Tech massacre. Although I already know what to expect but turns out what I expected is unexpected. Is the shooter a victim or just a hero who needed to stop what ‘They Have Started’?

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A little message

On behalf of Bukuku Review, I would like to say we are very sorry for the lack of updates. I don't want to give any nonsense reasons just so you could forgive us. Although do expect a review from me (Kid) around this month. Though I might need to buy some time to find the books I'm going to review.

So, stay tune! In the meantime, you could sign up to Goodreads where you could find more books and more reviews from other bookworms.

The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold

Helen Knightly has spent a lifetime trying to win the love of a mother who had none to spare. And as this electrifying novel opens, she steps over a boundary she never dreamt she would even approach. But while her act is almost unconscious, it also seems like the fulfilment of a lifetime’s buried desire.
Over the next twenty-four hours, her life rushes in at her as she confronts the choices that have brought her to this crossroads.

So, I just don’t understand the story. A little spoiler here, she killed her mom without feeling any guilt. And she called her husband and told him about what she did. And then she goes out to meet her friend, daughter and goes to work, remembering her past and did something that make her friend angry.

When I read the summary of the book, I thought I might find the reasons why her mother doesn’t love her (or something like that) and I only find 2 reasons only. I don’t know what Miss Sebold is trying to tell in this story. Therefore...

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Who's That Girl? by Alexandra Potter

‘Time,’ he says simply. ‘You can’t buy back time, not for any price. There are no second chances. Every second is precious, so don’t waste a single one. Time, quite literally, is priceless.’

Imagine this, what would you do if you met your younger self?

a) Totally freak out,
b) ‘I must be dreaming’, or
c) List down all the things you need to tell ‘yourself’

Charlotte Merryweather has her own company, a cool car, good friends, a wonderful boyfriend and very self-conscious about her health. A cliché story of a successful woman, eh? This book is totally FUNNY because the way the author creates the protagonist as a person who exaggerates everything! How she describes things the way she thinks.

Anyways, she met her younger self – her 21 year old self – while she was driving her way to work and saw her old Beetle car and follow it and found out that the driver looks just like her. Actually, it is her. When she continues to follow her, she ends up with a parking ticket, dated in year 1997 and she realized she’s back in the past.

And she got the idea of writing down a list of advice to her younger self to stop her from doing something ‘she’ will regret. Charlotte even got invited to celebrate her own ‘younger’ self birthday party, a concert in which she has a crush on the singer, Billy. And she also found out someone actually has a crush on her ‘younger’ self. Though, her ‘younger’ self didn’t take notice because she likes boys who are in the band or somewhere in the category.

This story sorts of ‘It’s better to be yourself’, ‘Second Chances’ and ‘Time portal’. Something like ‘Back to The Future’. That’s what I think. BUT most of all, the funniest book I’ve read this year!

*If you like this, you might like this and this.

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Exchange by Paul Magrs

‘There’s no “just” about it,’ said Simon. ‘That’s what we are. Proper readers.’
Story about book lovers for book lovers. I fell in love with this book once I read it. Well, actually I like the front cover. It’s quite simple and attractive. I spent almost an hour whether to buy this book or not. And in the end, it’s worth it!

A 16 year old Simon lives with his grandparents after the death of his parents. Simon and his grandma, Winnie are bookworms unlike his grandpa, Ray. Their house is filled with books and the smell of old papers. One day during their weekend, Simon and Winnie stumble across the Great Big Book Exchange – a bookshop with a difference. There they meet impulsive, gothic Kelly and her boss, Terrance – and the friendships forged in the Great Big Book Exchange result in startling and unsettling consequence for all of them.

The Great Big Book Exchange is somewhat like a bookstore but more like a library. They provide you with rare and old novels to be read, but should be return after finish reading them and pay with small amount. My favourite character in this book is Kelly. She may be a gothic but she’s fun and very straightforward. She’s not that rebellious like I thought she would be.

Through the Big Book Exchange, Simon found a new friend, Winnie found an old friend through a ‘novel’ and granddad, Ray has a little secret kept in his garage.

The book is not that thick and its fun to read it because I feel like this book is dedicated especially for book lovers. I think this book almost closed to the 1000journals project that I’ve found on the internet few years ago. But slightly different.

More About Boy by Roald Dahl

From the world's number one story teller, More About Boy is a delightful collection of Roald (pronounced Roo-arl) Dahl's childhood tales. This book differs from About Boy as it contains more amusing info & never seen before pictures.

Interestingly, the books starts with the story of his father and uncle instead of Dahl's birth. However as you read the chapter, you realise that Dahl's life was compelling even before it began! Harald Dahl (Roald's father) was not only a successful man but was also a brilliant person who overcame life's struggles and was a "tremendous diary writer". All these undoubtedly contributed to Roald's success as a writer.

The second chapter is very short as Roald couldn't recollect much about his early years at school but somehow it doesn't matter at all. The following chapters are very funny and introduce you to people who influenced the characters Roald conjured. For instance, "Mrs Trunchbull" in Matilda was inspired by a matron in his school who was heavy-bossomed, mean and hated little children! And if it were not for Roald's love for candy and his frequent visits to a candy shop as a child, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would have been a completely different story! Though many people in Roald's life did not influence the characters in his books, they did have an affect on Roald and also his writing in some way. For instance, the name "Willy Wonka" was derived from "Skilly Wonka", a boomerang Roald's uncle had invented. My favourite is Thwaites, Roald's know-it-all childhood friend who explained that liquorice was made from mice stew!

Perhaps the person who had the most influence on Roald and his writing was his mother. She single-handedly raised Roald and his siblings after her husband's death and how she kept all of Roald's letters from when he was a little boy until he reached adulthood was very touching.

Besides the story, the book is peppered with photos, some taken by Roald himself, short essays he had written when he was young, and interesting tidbits on "Boy"- Roald's nickname. Imagine that at the age of twenty, Roald, thanks to his passion for anything sweet, was already wearing dentures! Too bad because he was quite a good looking fellow! This book also gives you a glimpse of what life was like in the olden days when there was no novacaine or driving tests!

This book deserves five stars! Now wouldn't it be nice if we could all turn our childhood experience into well-loved stories?

- Reviewed by Haryati Abd Gafur

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The Other Side of The Story by Marian Keyes

'Dad, before I drop you home, I've to go to pharmacy.'
'What do you need?'
'But you haven't cut yourself.'
'Tissues, then.'
'Have you a cold?'
'Alright, Hedex,' I said irritably.
'Have you a headache?'
'I do now.'

Crossed women. Crossed lines. Crossed swords.

The Agent
Jojo, a high-flying literary agent on the up, has just made a very bad career move:
she jumped into bed with her married boss, Mark...

The bestseller
Jojo's sweet-natured client Lily's first novel is a roaring success. she and lover Anton celebrate by spending the advance for her second book. Then she gets writer's block...

The unknown
Gemma used to be Lily's best friend - until Lily 'stole' Anton. Now she's writing her own story - painfully and hilariously - when super-shark agent Jojo stumbles across it...

My first chick flicks. But this is the best and humorous book I've ever read and the first book I bought other than the Harry Potter series and before buying other books. Obviously, this story is about 3 women.

First is Gemma, who is revengeful towards her used-to-be-best friend, Lily who 'stole' her boyfriend. Then, her dad left her mother for another younger woman and her mom loves Lily's book, which is actually, almost based on her. She emailed her other friend about the problem she's having, very emotionally. Jojo, a literacy agent called Gemma and told her she likes her story(emails) so much and decided to sell it to publishers to publish her story. Her book is based on her life and the protagonist in her book. And along the way of writing, she realized her love story has begin, again.

Then, there's Lily who has a baby with Anton and living with him. She's a writer of 'Mimi's Remedies' which almost based on Gemma. Though, it's a bestseller and about to write a second book. She uses her money to buy a new house, away from their neighbor who'll sing a Christmas song to anyone wearing red. Unfortunately, they have to sell back their house as her second book is not as success as the first one and her relationship with Anton is beginning to apart.

And lastly, there's Jojo. A literacy agent who have an affair with her married boss, Mark. She's also the agent of Lily and Gemma which led the two 'met'. Mark asked her to live with him and he'll leave his wife. Will she or will she not live with Mark after she decided to leave her job and decided to start her own literacy agency ? And will Mark be by her side?

Gemma and Lily is written as first persons while Jojo is written as the third person. My 1st favourite book by Marian Keyes. A little difficult for me to read because of the size of the writing and also, it's the first book I've read besides Harry Potter. A very thick book for a small size. What else can I say? Consists of love, 'revenge' and humor. I laugh my head off until the end. Not literally.

Chinese Cinderella and The Secret Dragon Society by Adeline Yen Mah

Not one of the best book by Adeline Yen Mah who is the author of the bestselling book 'Falling Leaves'. This book tells the story of a girl named CC (Chinese Cinderella) who seek refuge in a martial art school under the guidance of Grandma Wu. She later joined the Secret Dragon Society and got involved in a few daring adventures which include rescuing a crew of American pilots. The story was set in China during the Second World War.

The story of CC and the secret society was originally a short story written by Yen Mah when she was small. At the beginning, I expected this book to be somewhat similar to the heartbreaking story written in Falling Leaves which I have already reviewed in this blog. Looking at the picture of the small girl on the front cover which was also shown on the front cover of Falling Leaves, made me thinking that this book must have some connections with the book Falling Leaves. Since I really like the story in Falling Leaves, I decided to buy this book instead of buying Paulo Coelho's Like a Flowing River. And now I feel regretting buying this book.

The book's description of a girl's adventure with a secret society with a little bit of kung fu might sound appealing at first but quite a disappointment when reading it. Firstly, I cannot deal with the fact that the society members included a Japanese Russian boy, a Chinese American boy and CC herself. I am not being a racist but why aren't there any real chinese members excluding CC, in the Secret Dragon Society? I would assume that having a true chinese as the members of the society would be more interesting that they will show some interesting cultures being a chinese as well as some real Kung Fu moves! I assumed that The author is trying to suit the story to the western readers by creating characters which are mixed-blood. This might be acceptable for the Western readers but not for me. Having wathing Chinese Kung Fu movies all my life, I have come to accept that every Kung Fu movies have Chinese warriors showing their their remarkable Kung Fu and later getting involved in some kind of adventure.

I think that this book would definitely suit to the small children who might be interesting with the concept of secret society and Kung Fu. But for the rest of us, it might be worth checking out other books.

Thanks For The Memories by Cecelia Ahern

"Blood comes from the heart."

Kate gasps. "It came straight from his heart, " she says dreamily.

"Oh, so now blood transfusions are romantic to you."

Ever heard 'Blood is thicker than water'? Well, this book kind of related to that statement. Another magnificent story by Miss Ahern.

Joyce Conway, the main character has a blood transfusion after she had an accident. She remembers things she shouldn't. Remember faces that she never met and walk down a street that she never steps on. Question in her mind, "How can you know someone you've never met?"

While Justin Hitchcock, a divorced man arrives in Dublin to give a lecture on art and meets an attractive doctor, who persuades him to donate blood (he hates needles). It's the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time.

When I first read this book, I quickly follow how the story goes. Very humorous (because of her friends, Justin and Joyce's father behaviour) and sad and also kind of annoying. Joyce then live with her father, and let me tell you I almost put down this book but at the same time, her father just want to make Joyce smile again. Josh Hitchcock is kind of a 'rushing' man that makes me wanna say, 'Could you slow down? I can't catch up with you.' The annoying part of this book, they met! But they don't have time to sit down and talk. Sometimes they got interrupted and stuffs and I'll go 'WTH?!'. Best book to read I must say. Don't skip this one!

Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

"For anyone with a love-hate relationship with their flexible friend"- COMPANY (LONDON)
"Don't wait for a sale to buy this book!"- ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

My friend recommended me this book long before it was turned into a movie. I feigned interest in listening to her go on and on about Sophie Kinsella's books while my mind was somewhere else. When it comes to chick lit, I often pass. I'd rather be caught dead than caught reading it. I've always thought that chick lit is all about make-up, rainbows and unicorns. Yawn!!!

Although Confessions is about shopping, those fab Armani glasses and a whole lot more designer stuff, this book is highly entertaining. Meet the heroine, Becky Bloomwood, an enviable young woman living in a trendy London flat. Becky or Becks is always decked in chic, expensive clothes and has socialite friends. She buys anything she fancies by swiping her credit cards. Judging from her exterior, nobody could guess that she is actually BROKE! And to make matters worse, Becks is actually a financial journalist who writes advice on how to save money!

Follow Becks' journey as she ignores her bills, signs bounced cheques and dodges calls from Derek Smeath, her bank manager who's hot on her trail. Read how she went on a date with Tarquin, her flatmate's cousin and one of the wealthiest men in Scotland. Perhaps she seduced him enough for a small loan? Other characters include her best friend Suze, Becky's parents who think that she's a big shot financial journalist, her neighbours Martin and Janice who think she's still in love with their son, Becks' enemy Sacha and the sexy Luke Brandon.

The writer is witty enough to make Becky a very loveable character much like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, only smarter and more comical. Even a strictly no chick lit reader like me was greatly entertained. You'd probably want to read this book while alone because you'll be laughing out loud.

(For those who have seen the movie, the book is WAY much better. The movie is disapointing if you are a fan of Sophie Kinsella).

Reviewed by: Haryati Abd Gafur

Long Walk To Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson Mandela by Nelson Mandela

This book depicts the story of one of the greatest icons of the world, Nelson Mandela, starting from the story of his childhood and his transformation into a political activist fighting for freedom in the apartheid years of South Africa and the years he spent in prisons until his achieved his own freedom in 1990. One can never again wonders why Mandela is a legend and considered an icon by many people after reading this book.

It is amazing to read about how he never gave up his fight for freedom even after being prosecuted by the government many times and spending most of his time in jail and away from his family. One should admire his courage and his undiminished hope of seeing a free and equal South Africa. It is sometimes heartbreaking to read about his struggle and the ugliness of the apartheid system of the South African government and the unequal treatment towards the Black Africans, the original inhabitants of Africa before the European colonialists took over their land. But sometimes small funny details appeared throughout the book which makes this book more interesting to read.

My favourite part of the book was the part where Mandela was in the prison in Robben Island. Nonetheless, this is a great book and a must have book for any bookworms.

Q&A by Vikas Swarup (Now a Major Film Slumdog Millionaire)

"Absolutely 100% correct! Mr. Ram Mohammad Thomas, you have made history by winning the world's biggest jackpot. One billion rupees!"

Ram Mohammad Thomas was poor. He was an orphan. Ram never went to school. He was a servant.

But when Ram went on W3B (Who Will Win A Billion), he hit the biggest jackpot. So how did he manage to answer all the questions correctly? He was just a poor kid. Surely he must have cheated!

Ram Mohammad Thomas was captured by the police in the middle of the night. In jail, he was forced to strip and tortured by the potty-mouthed Inspector Godbole. Luckily for Ram, Smita , a lawyer he never heard of, saved him from jail by storming through the police station and demanded his release immediately.

Smita took Ram under her wing and while watching tapes of the show, Ram explained how he knew the answers. Ram told Smita tales of him growing up that were unbelievably all related to questions on the show.

Read how Ram got his unusual name, how he almost got fondled by a gay actor and who Prem Kumar (W3B host) really was. I watched the film (Slumdog Millionaire) before I read the book but I was not disappointed at all. The book is far better and more delightful. The writer's use of humour kept me entertained and the story, though far-fetched, is cleverly-written. This book is unputdownable!

By: Hjh Haryati Hj Abd Gafur

Cut by Cathy Glass

"Tomorrow I will be fine. I promise you, Cathy."

Writing under a pseudonym and based on true story, Cathy and her husband John has been trying for years for a baby until they turn into fostering. Few years later, she found out she is pregnant while fostering a first child.

When the baby was born, and the foster child was given back to his family, the fostering agent called Cathy to foster another child. And she met Dawn, a 13 year old and very polite girl. But the foster agent told Cathy otherwise but she didn't believe a word when she finally found out about the truth when Dawn steps out into the outside world.

On the first night when Dawn arrived, she sleepwalks into Cathy & John's room. Then, Cathy found out about Dawn's cutting problem from Dawn's biological mother. Cathy tries to find out why Dawn did it as the fostering agent and Dawn's mother wouldn't tell Dawn's past.

A story of an abandoned, abused little girl who was desperate to be part of a family. I finished this book in just 4 days! Saw this book in Times Bookstore, KK and when I opened this book and read the first letter...yes, letter! It just got me addicted!

Ps. If you like this you may like this one too

The Last Self-Help Book You'll Ever Need by Paul Pearsall

This book is no ordinary self-help book. It will not help you to become thin, to be healthy, to be happy, to live life to the fullest, to enjoy life and so on. These are among the common topics for many self-help books out there. In this book, Paul Pearsall criticised the self-help industry and he pointed out some weaknesses of the self-help industry. In one particular part in the book, he wrote "They call to children, to the elderly, to ethnic minorities, and to every conceivable sexual oreintation..despite the hundreds of guranteed programs designed to help us discover our full potential and lead wonderful lives, most of us still languish in the doldrums or think we're not as happy as we should be." For me, there are some parts of his view on the self-help industry that I do not agree. Although self-help books might or might not be able to fully transform some people but reading those self-help books will give them some ideas on how to transform or improve themselves. This book is interesting to read and I would give it a 2 out of 5. Maybe this is the last self-help book you'll ever need.

A Place Called Here by Cecelia Ahern

'Oh', a tear fell from her eye & she quickly wiped it away. 'What else, who else did you see? Did my mum & dad say anything? What did they look like?'

And so I brought her home.

Sandy Shortt is obsess in finding things that gone missing since the disappearance of her childhood classmate 20 years ago. Any missing things such as a missing pair of socks, the car keys she misplaced, or people missing from their loved ones. Her main goal is to find them and send them back home.

Jack Ruttle is one of those desperate person who is in search of his brother that gone missing for a year. He turns to Sandy for help.

But when Sandy goes missing too, she stumbles upon a place where all the missing people and things are. Being in that place, away from her lovved one, her goal now is finding her way back home.

One of Cecelia's book that I might not reread again, because there's not much dialog and too much flashbacks which I got confused along the way. One thing I like this book is that it's imaginative, that's what Ms.Ahern's does best. But it also makes me sad when reading at some parts. The starting is a bit slow but the ending is satisfying.

Ps. U.S version is called 'There's No Place Like Here'

Sweetness in The Belly by Camilla Gibb

"I wanted to know. We were drying off, getting ready to leave & he said: Maybe one day you'll have a chance to ask them. It was odd - like he knew somehow that I would."

Story about the life of a British girl, Lilly. Lilly's parents leave her at a Sufi shrine in Morocco (while they were on vacation) at such a young age & they will be back to collect her in 3 days. 3 weeks later, she learns that they've been murdered.

At the age of 8, she started studying the Quran taught by her guardian & live as a muslim. Few years later she travel to Harar in Ethiopia, where the Harari people called her 'Farenji' - foreigner. She tries to soften and win the heart of the Harari people by teaching their children the Quran & do chores. Then, she met a doctor & falls in love with him but due to political complications, Lily has to flee back to England where she thinks she's an outsider.

The story is good but very slow. And at one chapter, I felt so angry at the leading lady because of something she did. I finished this book a bit faster then I thought because I really wanted to know what's happening to all of them especially Lilly and the doctor. I don't believe it myself that this book is not written by a muslim writer.

Wiley Publishing Inc, Digital Field Guide

As a phenomena going around Brunei, that is Photography as a hobby, I thought I might want to review about a book published by the Wiley Inc. I haven't read so much about this kind of book (my dad has one for his Canon EOS 40D) but the book is too simple but has so much information about your current camera. It may not give information about how to be a 'professional' but it provides much information on the simple things like how to take a picture in different angles and stuffs like that that can make yourself a pro in minutes or so. It also provides clear pictures on photo that have taken as a sample.

To all the beginners, I recommend for you guys to buy this kind of book. I don't know if it's available in Brunei but you can find it in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah...That's where my dad bought his. I think it cost Rm$70++ but it's w0rth it.

You can find the books here. Eventhough they're under the 'Digital Field Guide', they are not written under the same author.


Some of the readers had suggested some books for us to review and we are trying as hard as we can to get our hands on some of the books suggested. That is our main goal we will try to review at least one in the future. But for the meantime, be patient and please keep coming back to our BukukuReview Blog for new updates. If you have any suggestions or if you want to share with us any good books for us to review, please send them to, thanks

Sepulchre by Kate Mosse

"Consider how a sword is either an instrument for good or for bad. It is the hand that wields it that makes it so, not the steel"

This book tells a story about 2 women in different year and the story changes between the 2.

It started with Leonie in the year 1891. Leonie's mother Marguerite received a letter from their aunt Isolde, her deceased half-brother's wife. Their aunt invited them, Leonie, Anatole (Leonie's brother) and Marguerite to visit her in Domaine de La Cade where she resides. Leonie was so happy to get to travel and visit her aunt for the first time but she didn't know behind this letter, there's a secret she'll discovered. When reaching the Domaine, Leonie discovered a Sepulchre at the Domaine's backyard and read about the mystery of the Sepulchre in which causes the death of her uncle.

Then, there's Meredith living in the present (2007). She came to Paris for research on a biography and also to find her family origins. She visits a card reader (tarot cards) when she was told to and has to discover the meanings of the card that were being flip out. What she is destined to find. And at one time, she needed a place to stay for a while and find a hotel named Domaine De La Cade and...things happen.

It was fun reading this book. Bought this in KK in June last year but read it after my exam (so around November or December).Different from others that I've read. I totally use my imagination and imagine actors and actresses that would fit the characters in the book. Totally like a movie and should be make as a movie. But anyways, of course the introduction is always slow but once I get further, I don't dare to put it down! The story is about secrets, revenge, a bit of horror and tragic love. And it's nice! =D
Ps.I love to pronounce Domaine de La Cade

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer

"Goodbye, Bella," he said in the same quiet, peaceful voice.

"Wait!" I choked out the word, reaching for him, willing my deadened legs to carry me forward.

The second book of the Twilight Saga. Focusing on, of course the heroine, Bella Swan and Jacob Black, Bella's father's best friend's son. The boy she met while in La Push in the first book (not the first movie).

Surely once you finished the first book, you will try to skip this second one (coz I almost did it) as Edward Cullen will not be in this book...well, except for few pages or so. Though, DON'T SKIP!

As Bella saddened by Edward's leave, she becomes close to Jacob but as she do that, it seems like Jacob tends to stay away from her which of course saddened her more. But she suddenly realized why he did that and learns about his true nature and also learns the danger that's coming after her.

Bought this book at Best Eastern @ The Mall, Gadong. Like the first book, I saw only one left and decided to buy it before I even started reading the first one. =D I rate this book....

Paulo Coelho's New Book on Myspace

I have got some good news for Paulo Coelho's fans out there. I just found out that Paulo is posting up chapters from his new book "The Winner Stands Alone" on Myspace. Click here to go to Paulo Coelho's Myspace. You will be the first to read his new book before it will be release on March 19 in UK while other countries will be around June to December 2009. The following description was taken from the website

"Set during one day at the Cannes Film Festival, this is the story of a successful, driven entrepreneur who will go to the darkest lengths to reclaim a lost love. Captured in all their crassness are producers, actors, aspiring starlets, supermodels, and notorious fashionistas, whose lives and actions hold sway over millions."

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

"When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it"

One of the best book I've ever read and that's how I've become one of Paulo's fan. My sis bought this book while she was in Singapore. She told me it's a great book to read. And when I got hold on this book, it just got me addicted.

A young man named Santiago had a dream about a little boy telling him there's a treasure near the pyramids. He seek for a gypsy to ask her what his dream meant. The gypsy told him to get the treasure. On his journey he met a girl, a king and got robbed by a lying thief. He helped a crystal merchant with his shop for a year and then, continue his journey to find the treasure. He met an englishman in Egypt who tells Santiago about an Alchemist who can transformed metal into gold. And he also met a muslim girl named Fatima and fall in love with her. But will he stay for the love of his life or continue his journey to find the treasure?

This story kind of influence me because it's about following your dreams but at the same time, obstacles always stop us from reaching for it. It's a quick read though as it is thin unlike the other books. You can finish it in a week or less. I recommend you to read the book and try to understand the message.

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