Thursday, February 5, 2015


Title : Lolita
Author : Vladimir Nabokov

#bookchallenge2015 : A banned book. 

What, only my second?

Yes. Been busy proofreading. 

Oh my God, Lo-lee-ta. Dear, dear nymph. 

This book is a swim in a twisted mind of Humbert Humbert, who lived his life loving little girls. Little nymphets, nubile limbs, budding flowers. 

And after a listless life in a marriage that reeks of conventionality, Humbert chanced to find an opportunity to escape to more rural areas with the excuse of writing a masterpiece. Lo and behold, events happened which saw him at the steps of Charlotte Haze's door. He lodged there, wedded her, and adored her kid, dear Dolores Haze. 

His plan went true when she died in an accident, and for two years the newly-made dad and child nymph went zigzagging all over America, embroiled in a stormy and painful incentuous relationship. 

And one day dear Lolita disappeared. 

After years of yearning, a letter from dear daughter unraveled everything. Now a murderer, Humbert Humbert surrendered himself to the authorities, and wrote this memoir to be published after the deaths of him and dear nymphet. 

So it goes. 

Chilling, no, to know the logic of people liking younger bodies? Be right, hearts. Be normal. 

Rating : 8/10 (a bit hard to read, and  it is banned for a good reason. Proceed with rational mind)

Sunday, January 11, 2015


Title : The Redbreast
Author : Jo Nesbo

#bookchallenge2015 : A book by an author you've never read before. 

As mentioned above, I am;

1) doing the book challenge, which is (in case you don't know)

2) reading Jo Nesbo. An author recently discovered while being in bliss at the Big Bad Wolf event. 


Dayah Hassan told me Jo Nesbo was good. As in gooooood cannot-be-put-down. Thus, high expectations. 

The Redbreast (as I expect all/major portion of Jo Nesbo's books) uses Norway as the main backdrop. It deals with Nazi occupation and the fight between Germany and Russia, and both its allies. 

From that macro perspective, The Redbreast focused into the lives of a few soldiers on the Eastern Front that were also trained at Sennheim. Their lives mingled far more than just comrades in battle. Some fought for the same love, and others admired another with a loyalty far surpassing that of a friend. These, together with the tragic events of war normally affecting soldiers in WWII, shaped the soldiers' lives consequently. 

Harry Hole, from making a mistake of shooting a Secret Service employee while The President's motorcade was weaving through the country, saw himself promoted and thus, tranferred to a bigger office than before. He was tasked with menial jobs until he stumbled on a report of a Marklin rifle illegal use. He enlisted his former partner, Ellen to help figure out seemingly isolated events that he thinks might have something to do with each other. Events snowballed, bringing the lives of the past soldiers and Harry entwined together, forcing him to use his investigative powers which he had denied he has before. 

Multiple Personality Disorder. The twist in this book! 

Rating : 7/10 

Thursday, November 13, 2014


Title: I Am the Messenger

Author: Marcus Zusak


Although by no means it carries the historical weight of his other book, the Book thief (which I haven’ read but have watched), it is simply brilliant and touches your heart the way a good emotional book can.

And I finished it in half a day. Which is a good sign in itself, considering my current predicament.

It spins the story of the most ordinary guy called Ed Kennedy, which is so ordinarily human that things started to happen to him. An avid player of cards,(which doesn’t say much since he always loses and has been just a way to keep his band of friends going through life’s motions) Ed one day was trapped in a lousy bank robbery where he emerged a hero by stopping the robber from getting away. As simple as that. And he made the papers.

After that, he received a card. An ace of diamonds with 3 addresses on it. He soon learned that at each place, help is needed, one way or another. This practice came again with 3 more cards with 3 more instructions on each; and all, was a cry for help. Ed became someone’s long lost love, wings that a girl needed to fly, a saint in a neighborhood that sorely needs one, among others.

Yet the journey became more significant when in the journey of helping others, he discovered himself. He learned of things he should’ve noticed before, dug deeper into his friends’ soul then he was comfortable before, and loved with a love that asked for nothing in return.

­Ed Kennedy was ordinary, but his heart is made of gold. He deserves the ending, much like I think all good people deserve something good in the end. And there is actually one basic underlying thing that everyone in the world needs, but cover us with material stuff in order to hide the need of it; and of course, it is love I’m talking about. Not only that kind of love we normally talk about, but also family, friends, our pets, a kind stranger now and then…any kind of love, in its purest form.

After all, the world needs everyday heroes like Ed. We don’t need to be someone with a title, someone who has formal power to brighten people’s lives. And most often we overlook those who are close with us, just because we never had noticed things we should. Help and give live unconditionally, people.

Rating: 10/10

Monday, October 20, 2014


Title : Italian Shoes
Author : Henning Mankell

This book is basically about a guy who messed up.

He hated his family because he had bad memories of a dysfunctional family, and the resentment from it I guess brought him to the path he led after.

He left his girlfriend just because he felt like it.

He amputated the wrong arm of a patient eventhough he knew he had to check beforehand for any problems.

He left his job and became a hermit on an island he inherited from his grandparents. Everything was fine until one day his girlfriend came back after 44 years, with news that shattered him.

He had to deal with her illness and impending death. He had to accept his daughter that he never knew he had. he had to face the woman who life was ruined due to his malpractice,

He learnt a lot about life that he had until that fateful day, ignored.

With the help of a gift of Italian shoes that his newfound daughter presented.

Plot was okay-ish but I felt depressed, just as I feel depressed reading other depression novels. But yet the depression level wasn't too bad,

Snow can delight, but also destroy, eh?

Rating : 7/10

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


Title : The Professor
Author : Charlotte Bronte

How exactly different this particular sister of Bronte can be from her contemporaries, if I can call them so?

Forget the drama of Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and even Pride and Prejudice. This classic brings reality right to your doorstep and knocks sense in you, letting readers see what life actually has been for people in that age.

So it is about William Crimsworth, an orphan who was schooled in Eton because his rich uncles can afford it, but received the help grudgingly as he knows that he will be indebted to them. As he ages into maturity, he formed plans to seek his long lost brother, a rich trader in hope for a fresh start in life. That went bad, however, as he was treated far worse than anybody else working at the mill. With the help of his new acquaintance, Mr. Hunsden, William ran away to Brussels for a new life.

He became a teacher, or professor, as the Flemish calls it, and circumstances brought him to meet Frances Evans Henri, who he then falls in love. Sufficient to say that Charlotte Bronte brought us full circle, ending the book not at the climax, but followed through to calm peaceful times where the ending gives us a sigh of relief.

Brush up your French, though. My rudimentary skills were put to a test.

To those realists (like me!) you'll love this extraordinary ordinary book.

Rating : 10/10

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


Short blurb.

I found an easy platform to access free online courses on a multitude of topics at, an initiative by Harvard but now joined by a lot of renowned universities. (Alma mater, when is your turn?)

Currently enrolled in a course on Dante and also a course on Capitalism. Those interested in learning should at least check it out. You can actively participate in the timespan they give, or do it in an audit mode where you don't have to submit any homework/do exams etc etc for grading.

Have fun!

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Title : The Paris Vendetta
Author : Steve Berry

Short blurb ; was wandering in Kinokuniya stacks in KLCC last week, saw Berry's new book on Lincoln. Held it and a second later, some stranger kind enough recommended it. So thank you, stranger, I will buy it as soon as the price gets affordable. Ha.

So the book I'm reviewing, the Paris Vendetta, deals with the Napoleon treasure lost by time. Remember the Amber Room (review here :  where the Antiquarians were looking for it? So one of them, Sir Ashby, joins another group called the Paris Club (originally envisioned by Napoleon himself) that aims to reap in profits from speculation of the world's stability. The vision was to keep terror and war at a level enough to incite fear and order from the masses, and speculate in it to profit from the business branching off from the security needed by nations.

Using Napoleon as a central figure, they try to gang up and start a venture that controls all the banks and governments of the world, with the objective of using Napoleon's lost treasure as a startup to the business. In this book, personal vendettas are also revenged on. Most importantly, Henrik Thorvaldsen, the Danish who has become Cotton Malone's best friend, has an agenda of his own.

Cotton Malone had to balance this journey, siding on the government (yes, working with no other than ex-boss Stephanie Nell), and protecting Henrik from using his vendetta to destroy himself. Apparently, Sir Ashby was the one who ordered the elimination of Cai, Henrik's son.

The book has a lot to deal with the Merovingians, Napoleon himself and also his quests around the world. It also talks about the derivatives market, which resonates oh-so-much with me right now. Capitalism is evident throughout the Paris Club's intentions.

They found the treasure, yes. Vendettas were revenged. And Henrik...oh well. Cotton has to try move on.

Rating : 6/10. Berry becoming redundant. Back to classics!