(WARNING: Spoilers ahead)
You know you are reading a masterpiece when a feeling of dread creeps up to you at the final pages.
That’s how it was with Shopaholic to the Stars: A Novel by Sophie Kinsella and me. As I turn to the last page, my heart plummeted knowing that it will be months before I can follow Becky’s next adventure.
Despite what I have heard about Sophie Kinsella’s latest book, I dived into its first chapter with an open mind. 100+ pages in, and I was hooked.
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It’s amazing how crazy hungry, food-obsessed Singaporeans can get while living abroad.
Having lived in Singapore for ten years (and then some), I am well familiar with the unique qualities and awesomeness of Singaporean food. And now that I am living in Hong Kong for five years (and counting), I understand the craving for badass Singaporean food. Which is so under-supplied and overrated in Hong Kong (Singaporean food, that is), you won’t believe it. I often had to make do with subpar laksa and diluted bak kut teh to nurse that soft spot which just won’t go away, but it never really compares to the real thing.
So when I read this gorgeous, funny and beautiful cookbook titled after the supper club its author once operated in London, I totally understood. Why one would go extreme to find really good but extremely rare ingredients (in London, that is) to whip up some fried carrot cake. Or why people would band together in the love of food and (sometimes) of the country (if dinner happens on August 8).
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I remember that moment vividly. It was in 2001. I was done with my working day (I was an attachment student then) and walked into a book store, carelessly picked up the third book of Harry Potter, wondering what was the fuss all about.
Fast forward ten years. Seven books, eight movies, countless hours spent rereading the entire series from the first to the last page, endless tears coursing down my cheek as scene after gripping scene tugged at my heartstring, the adventure ended.
How did it start from this…
… and end with this?
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When I tell people that I read books about genetic engineering in creating creatures of heightened intelligence using ancient viruses to create biowarfare, I was often greeted with huff of disbelief.
I know I have been going on and on about my love for chick lits (and more recently, of cupcakes), but do I look like someone whose interest in books seem limited to all covers pink and pastels?
Altar of Eden by James Rollin is your cookie-cutter science fiction of a novel, complete with a heroine with a dark past, a brusque hero with a soft spot for (surprise, surprise) the heroine, the unpredictable yet likeable sidekicks, the concerned and yes-I-will-get-injured brother… the list went on.
Not indefinitely, thanks to the literary God. I was losing track of the throngs of unnecessary characters.
But what worth mentioning is the scientific background of the case for human performance modifications. There is an author’s note towards the end of the book which explained the scientific facts of the story. You’ll appreciate the amazing use of fractal, genetic throwback and ancient viruses once you have read the adventure of Lorna and Jack, spanning from Baghdad to New Orleans to the Caribbeans.
(Side note: Why do thriller always have to span the globe? Can’t they be confined to, say, a small dot like Singapore? Huh huh?)
Worth a read? Yes, but if it is the last one of your unread books. James Rollin’s plots are as predictable as my next Starbuck’s muffin; sweet, full of calories and ultimately bad for my waistline.
Meet Me at the Cupcake Cafe by Jenny Colgan. What was it like?
… the feel of warm, buttery toasts at the end of a long, diet week
… the overarching rainbow at the end of a wet, dreary rain
… the make-up sex after a bitter show down between estranged lovers
Oh yes, this shot was by me.
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After some months of waiting, it is finally here. For some weeks there I thought they have ran away with my money.
It was entirely by accident that I discovered Atlantis Books during my excursion around Santorini when I visited Greece in 2008. It was winter, most of the island was deserted and we were desperate for some human contact.
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Green’s latest book, Girl Friday is somewhat a disappointment in the beginning, but ended with the usual happy-ending flair for a chick lit.
The portrayal of characters in the beginning were cumbersome at best, and attempts to interweave them seemed rather unrealistic. Things picked up towards the end when every single relationship ended where they should be. It is a tale of high society, of women struggling to fit in, of women finding themselves in a plethora of things; ex-husbands, ex-boyfriends, new business, life failures.
Would be a great read for holidays, but not a Green’s best.
The book is known as Dune Road in the US.
– Sarah Laurence
– Jessica’s Blog
You know how the say – “You are what you eat” – which of course refers to your physical appearance? I found another saying which goes:
You are what you read.
Which is true. Especially so when you make it into a daily habit. What you read most of the time, if not every day, will most definitely change your habits.
Take me for example.
I read The Simple Dollar every day; mostly not out of choice but the blogger writes two posts daily on how to live your life the frugal way to achieve financial stability. I am subscribed to his email updates hence his advices, thoughts and musings are part of my daily reads. Whether this is too much or not, I find myself to be more frugal nowadays, thinking twice before splurging on stuff I would have bought impulsively in the past.
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Today I met up with an ex-date for the first time after our break up…. if you can call it that.
(Breaking up, apparently, is only for couples who were actually committed to each other. I don’t know about you, but I do think that breaking up means your heart was broken when you break up with someone. My heart did, so it was a break up. And I think it is a disease that I can’t blog without going to lengthy explanation in parentheses of some terms I used.)
The venue of choice was Inn Side Out, which was already packed with peanut-crunching, beer-guzzling customers by the time I arrived. While waiting for my ex-date to arrive, I spend many happy minutes crunching peanuts, guzzling beer and reading Mimi Smartypants.
Oh, happy times.
Anyway, the ex-date arrived and we caught up with each other’s lives. Maybe I had one beer too many, but I spilled some beer, salad and beef nachos onto my pants. Staring at the stain in dismay, I jokingly said that I am a full meal from the waist down; appetiser, main course and beverage.
That sounded a lot dirtier than I intended it to be.
Anyway, on to the ex-date. It might not be a closure, but it certainly was good knowing that we have moved on to better places.
And if you can separate what is fiction and what is not in this blog post, I would love to know you.
I was looking for a lunchtime read from my trove of books, and out of randomness I pulled out “Asking for Trouble”. Blame it on the cute illustration in pastel color on the cover. I am always a sucker for those.
So I was reading it over breakfast and, God, I was laughing away in the canteen. Jason really has a way with words. His description of his “moment” of meeting Saffy (which was the inspiration for this tweet) made me miss Singapore so much, it felt like a persistent toothache that won’t go away.
So I tried to find Mr. Hahn on Facebook to express my thanks… but to no avail. So I Google-d him, and see what I found! A blog by Jason Hahn!
And the latest posting is on… why he is not on Facebook. OMG, the irony. And that got me crackling too.
My lunch time is going to be very interesting from now on.