Tuesday, May 30, 2006

There's nothing quite like...

...Melting Combustion Pudding!

Monday, May 29, 2006

Mr. Darcy

Inspired by
Heather's recent reading of Pride and Prejudice, I just HAD to watch the BBC series all over again.
And as usual, it was 6 hours extremely well spent!! :)

Book - Underground

Underground by Tobias Hill

Rating: DNF (Did Not Finish)

My first DNF of the year. After 70 pages I just didn't care at all, and with so many other books here that I'd rather be reading, I decided not to struggle with this one. The fact that I only paid 25p for it at a library sale eliminates any I-paid-good-money-for-it-I-should-read-it guilt!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

Book #19 - Kuhaku

Kuhaku & Other Accounts from Japan
Essay/Story Anthology - Edited by Bruce Rutledge, Designed/Illustrated by Craig Mod

Rating: 4

Fun to read, it's also an insightful glimpse at problems in contemporary Japanese society, from taking out the trash, and doggie obsessions, to marital infidelity and suicide. I'd recommend it to anyone who's lived in Japan, or is interested in modern Japanese culture with all its quirks. A beautifully-bound and designed book, I'll definitely look for other releases by Chin Music Press.

How many turtles...

...can fit on this rock?

Friday, May 26, 2006

Summer Reading Challenge

I had to think it over for a few days to decide if I wanted to publicly challenge myself to read certain books over the next 3 months. But Amanda's Summer Reading Challenge seems the thing to do this summer.
Coming up with the list of books took another couple of days but I've finally settled on which ones to rescue from TBR purgatory. I've set my goal at 10 books, as I hope to throw in a few fun, light reads in between as well, cause it *is* summer after all!

The list:

1. Deafening - Frances Itani --Finished
2. The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory
3. I, Elizabeth - Rosalind Miles
4. Peace Like a River - Leif Enger --Finished
5. I am a Cat - Natsume Soseki
6. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe --Finished
7. Flu - Gina Kolata --Finished
8. Geisha of Gion - Mineko Iwasaki --Finished
9. The Way the Crow Flies - Ann-Marie MacDonald
10. Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre --Finished
Bonus - something by Joyce Carol Oates --Finished "I am No One You Know" and "
Black Water"

Last updated Aug 28, 2006

Wednesday, May 24, 2006


Book #18 - Socrates in Love

Socrates in Love by Kyoichi Katayama

Translated from the Japanese by Akemi Wegmuller

Rating: 4.5

A beautiful, sad, love story. It definitely lived up to its billing as "a bittersweet journey of young love, enduring devotion, and heartbreaking loss." The writing seemed a bit simple at times, but it's hard to know if any awkwardness is actually due to the translation. The story itself though was very moving, and several scenes still linger in my mind.

Some fun facts:
*A bestseller in Japan, it surpassed Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood, which had previously held the record. It's also gone on to become a film, a manga, and a TV drama series.
*The author originally called it Socrates in Love but "for various reasons it was published under a different title in Japan." (Japanese title: 世界の中心で、愛をさけぶ - Crying Out Love, in the Center of the World)

Monday, May 22, 2006

still standing...somehow

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Book #17 - McSweeney's 19

McSweeney's Issue 19

Editor: Dave Eggers

Rating: 3

Comments: Highlights this issue were the novella, "Wild Child" by T.C. Boyle and the creative packaging. Again with this issue, I personally didn't care for all of the stories, but I really enjoy the imagination and thought that goes into the creation of each issue of McSweeney's. This issue came in its own cigar box, and thumbing through the various war-themed pamphlets was fun, and even a bit educational.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Book #16 - Moon Palace

Moon Palace by Paul Auster

Rating: 3

Something about Auster's style always (ok, this is only the 2nd book of his that I've read, but still!) reminds me of Haruki Murakami's books (of his I've read 5). And the storyline with the main male character somewhat lost and alienated, with a sometimes tenuous grasp of reality, pondering some of life's conundrums, searching for something, in this case, the recurring theme of the absent, missing father. It was a rather meandering story, but still very readable and intelligently-written. However, I preferred The New York Trilogy and would recommend that one over this one.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mind your step

(the sign is quite cute- click on the pic for a larger image)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

naughty boy

Recently he's started chewing on electric cables. Our house is so wired up with PCs, PDAs, mobile phone chargers, ipods, etc. etc. not to mention the usual lamps and things, that needless to say, this is a bit worrisome. Helpful hints very welcome.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Saturday, May 13, 2006


la Tour Eiffel

view from the top (Sacre Coeur in the distance)

Book #15- The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown

Rating: 4

Another fast-paced, clever thriller from Dan Brown. Sure, it’s not going to win any literary awards, but it’s a fun read. I prefer it to Angels and Demons since it’s not quite so far-fetched (;P) and I always enjoy books set in Paris and London. The Illustrated Edition was big and heavy (so not conducive to reading in bed) but it was fun to have the visuals along with the story. Now looking forward to seeing the film.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Monday, May 08, 2006

Booklist meme

Since I'm in 'kill-time-at-the-computer' mood, I'm stealing this meme from Heather at A High and Hidden Place. Here goes...

Review the following list of books. Boldface the books you've read, italicize those you might read, cross out the ones you won’t, put an asterisk beside the ones on your bookshelves, and place brackets around the ones you’ve never even heard of.

*The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)- reading it right now..Finally!
The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
The Great Gatsby (F. Scott Fitzgerald)
*To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
*The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
*His Dark Materials (Philip Pullman)
*Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J. K. Rowling)
*The Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
Animal Farm: A Fairy Story (George Orwell)
Catch 22 (Joseph Heller)
*The Hobbit (J.R.R. Tolkien)
*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (Mark Haddon)
Lord of the Flies (William Golding)
*Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
1984 (George Orwell)
*Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (J. K. Rowling)
*One Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
*Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
*The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
*The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
Slaughterhouse Five (Kurt Vonnegut)
The Secret History (Donna Tartt)
Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
*The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C.S. Lewis)
*Middlesex (Jeffrey Eugenides)
*Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell)
*Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
Atonement (Ian McEwan)
*The Shadow of the Wind (Carlos Ruiz Zafon)
The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)
The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
*The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath)
Dune (Frank Herbert)
Sula (Toni Morrison)
*Cold Mountain (Charles Frazier)
*The Alchemist (Paulo Coehlo)
*White Teeth (Zadie Smith)
The House of Mirth (Edith Wharton)

I'm an Audi TT!

You're not the fastest, nor the most nimble, but you're cute and you have style. You're not intensely competitive, but when you pass by, everyone turns to look.

Take the Which Sports Car Are You? quiz.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Book #14 - Plain Truth

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

Rating: 2.5

The third book of Picoult's that I've read, and while I know she has lots of fans, I don't seem to be one of them. An easy read but there was nothing very surprising here. Chick lit with a bit of Grisham thrown in. At least the ending wasn't a complete cop-out like in My Sister's Keeper that I read last year. I probably wouldn't have bothered with this one if I didn't already have it, and I won't go out of my way to read anything else by Picoult in future.

near Audley End (July 2005)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Book #13 - Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Rating: 4

A beautifully-told story of friendship, regret, love and pain. I especially enjoyed the historical/cultural aspect - learning about the social customs and fate of women in 19th century rural China, "old sames", nu shu (the 'secret' women's writing), and the section on foot-binding made me cringe to read it but was enlightening. Recommended.