Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy Halloween!

Ok if you guys won't be out with your magic brrroomstick or fake fangs shouting "trick or treat" at people's doorsteps this Halloween...then you may want to probably sink your fangs into any one of these specially-compiled Halloween books.

* Song of Kali by Dan Simmons
Setting's in Calcutta: a monstrous city of immense slums, disease and misery, clasped in the foetid embrace of an ancient cult. Our hero, Robert Luczak has been hired by Harper's to find a noted Indian poet who has reappeared, under strange circumstances, years after he was thought dead. Luczak's routine assignment turns into a nightmare when he learns that the poet is rumoured to have been brought back to life in a bloody, grisly ceremony of human sacrifice! (faint)

* The Green Mile by Stephen King
One of King's most engaging page-turners filled with mysteries, horrors and wonders. At the end of 'The Green Mile' is the room in which sits Cold Mountain Penitentiary's electric chair. In 1932 the newest resident on death row is John Coffey, a giant black man convicted of a murder of two little girls. But Coffey isn't who everyone thinks he is, and around him unfolds a bizarre and horrifying story. If you've seen the movie, good. If you've seen the movie but haven't read the book, not good enough. Hurry to your nearest bookstore and haunt yourself s**tless this Halloween :P

* The Tooth Fairy by Graham Joyce
When 7-yr-old Sam Southall loses a tooth, he's visited by a sinister, rank, foul-mouthed mercurial Tooth Fairy, a demonic being that apparently only he can see, but whose malignant influence spills over onto his family and friends. The Tooth Fairy stays with Sam throughout his growing years and teaches him make mischief at school. One night, she insists Sam have his friend Terry sleep over. And that same night, Terry's dad shoots his wife, his other children....and himself...(Pleeease, don't read this alone...)

* Darker Than You Think by Jack Williamson
The unsettling dreams begin for a reporter Will Barbee not long after he meets beautiful April Bell. His nightmares are vivid, powerful and deeply disturbing in which he commits atrocious acts. And one by one, his friends meet death. Then it hit Barbee that he may be involved in something far beyond human understanding, and unspeakably evil, and it ultimately involves April, and the question 'who is the child of the night?' When he finds the answer, his world will change utterly...

Other titles include Ghost Story, Exquisite Corpse, Fevre Dream, and Something Wicked Comes This way. Price: RM42.90

Special thanks to Odelia from Pansing.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Readings @ Seksan

Finally, for the first time, I made it to the Readings @ Seksan on Saturday, 25th Oct! It was a great, well-organised event by Sharon Bakar and Bernice Chauly. And the turn up was fantastic too. I think there were about 20 pax or so? And yes, there was food and drinks too. The cakes were yummy! The readers consist of Poetry Underground, Preeta Samarasan, Sharmini Flint and Chiew Siah with music from Reza Salleh (he's one helluva talented musician I must say!). All the readers did perfectly well. I enjoyed listening to their excerpts.

Sharmini's was hilarious - I think her upcoming book is called Ten, Preeta read from Evening is The Whole Day, while Chiew Siah, who's working on her trilogy, read Little Hut of Leaping Fishes. As for Poetry Underground, I enjoyed all their poems, especially the last reader (so sorry I forgot his name) But his was hilarious! The crowd really enjoyed it. He really ended the evening with a bang. And Reza, thanks for your music. My friend Carly and I loved his 1st (it was a long, funny title. Thx to my short-term memory, I can't remember it :P) and last song (he wrote while waiting in a traffic during our 50th Merdeka haha).

Here are some pix... :) (Please forgive the quality)

From clockwise:
1) Sharon Bakar, 2) Reza Salleh 3) Chiew Siah, 4) Preeta

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To Buy...or Not To Buy?

Guess what I found while surfing?

NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a bound-to-be-controversial book released today, ad-industry pundit Martin Lindstrom busts commonly held beliefs about marketing, asserting that subliminal advertising does exist and maintaining that cigarette warning labels make smokers want to smoke more, not less.

If you're too lazy to read the whole of it, these are some snippets from the above article:
A major finding is that consumers are driven by not only conscious motivations, but subconscious ones, too. "The majority of the decisions we make every day are basically taking place in the part of the brain where we're not even aware of it," Mr. Lindstrom said. "I really wanted to find out what makes one brand appeal to us. You really can't ask that question to the conscious mind and depend on a verbal answer."

"Buyology" also says that a brand's logo is not as important as many have held it to be; that consumers' sense of sound and smell are more powerful than their sense of sight; and that product placement doesn't always work. For example, when Mr. Lindstrom's researchers analyzed product placements in "American Idol," they found that Coca-Cola was far more effective at captivating consumers than Ford Motor Co., even though the corporations similarly paid more than $26 million on their campaigns.

(For full article: http://adage.com/article?article_id=131905)

Here's the video:


If you're interested in getting the book, once you're done with it, mind lending it to me? {grin} Thanks in advance!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Must Read: Totto Chan

delightful and charming. it's a very simple story (a highly recommended weekend read), written from the eyes of a little girl, Totto Chan, who's unique in her own ways.

when Totto Chan was expelled from her first school due to her unacceptable behaviour, she joins a new school called Tomoe Gakuen, founded by the headmaster Sosaku Kobayashi. this school, unlike others, allows the children to study anything they want, which means, you'll find at any time, children studying a different subject in a same class. and guess where the classes are? in a train :) this of course, would amaze any children, especially children like Totto Chan.

For lunch, the headmaster asks the children to take "something from the mountain and something from the sea". and for the winners of their Sports Day, they bring home cabbages or basket of potatoes instead of trophies as prizes, much to the children's disappointment. WHY VEGETABLES AS PRIZES? (*wink*) and it teaches many other unique subjects, like eurythmics for example. it teaches things like rhythm and tempo through movements and activities. the headmaster believes that the body and mind should be "equally developed and in perfect harmony". btw,...the author didn't invent any of the episodes.

whether or not you like to read, this book will amuse you for sure. and you must must read the postscript and epilogue. you'll appreciate the story even more.

this book is also available online FOC! just found out when I was googling it lol (sorry Skye..really didn't know about it till of late...)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Celebrating with Booker Prize Winner Aravind Adiga

Aravind Adiga won the Man Booker Prize on Tuesday night with his novel, The White Tiger, joining a pantheon of past Booker winners that includes such literary giants as V.S. Naipaul, Nadine Gordimer, Iris Murdoch, Kingsley Amis and Salman Rushdie.

For Ravi Mirchandani, who edited Adiga's book and was sitting beside him at the table, the win was especially sweet. The White Tiger was the first book he bought for Atlantic, which hired him in 2006 after he was fired from a job at Random House. The novel was shown to him by Adiga's agent, who insisted that he read it that night and make an almost instant decision about whether to bid for it. "I sat down with the manuscript and after the first six pages I was just so excited," Mirchandani said. "When you're reading a first novel, you're often thinking: 'This is fantastic, keep it up, keep it up' " — only to find the writer stumbles and falls. In Adiga's case, Mirchandani said, "The voice is fantastic and it never falters."

For more info, go to www.time.com

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My new shopping bag :)

It's not LV, not Coach, not Prada or any other branded bags. This bag, as you can see, is from Borders :P I want to play my part in saving Mother Earth. So, on my next visit to the bookstore, I'll be carrying this bag to put in any mags or books purchased anywhere. Wanna join me? ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Little Man, Tall Woman

He Pingping, Svetlana Pankratova (Sang Tan / Associated Press / September 16, 2008)
The 20-year-old He was born with a type of dwarfism. He is the shortest man who is mobile, Guinness says. Pankratova, 36, said she liked her legs, though they can complicate things. "It's hard to find clothes, especially pants," she said. He Pingping stands precisely 2 feet 5.37 inches tall. Pankratova's legs are nearly 52 inches long. The two met, with He standing at Pankratova's knees, to publicize the release of "Guinness World Records 2009."

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

A Really Funny OLD LADIES Joke!

http://reelrepublic.com/BlogImages/old_ladies_driving_10.jpg

THIS IS EXTREMELY FARRRNY!!
[Sent in by Christy]

Two elderly women were out driving in a large car.
Both could barely see over the dashboard.
As they were cruising along, they came to an intersection.
The stoplight was red but they just went on through.
The woman in the passenger seat thought to herself, 'I must be losing it! I could have sworn we just went through a red light.'
After a few more minutes they came to another intersection.
The light was red, and again they went right through.
This time, the passenger was almost sure that the light had been red, but was also concerned that she might be seeing things.
She was getting nervous and decided to pay close attention.
At the next intersection, sure enough, the light was definitely red and they blew right through it.
She turned to the other woman and said, 'Mildred! Did you know that you ran through three red lights in a row? You could have killed us!'

Mildred turned to her and said, 'Oh Shit..! Am I driving..?'

Are You Tough Enough to Wear PINK?

Cake Connection is proud to participate in the Passionately Pink Campaign at Jaya One to promote awareness for breast cancer. Passionately Pink is a "happening" caliber series of events designed for and participated by men, women, children and celebrities from all walks of life. True to all Malaysian's love for food, arts, beauty and compassion, all events are created to entertain, impress and most of all touch people's lives.

Jaya One has organised a series of exciting activites to support this worthy cause and Cake Connection will be selling cupcakes at the Bake Sale every weekend in October to help raise money for cancer treatment. There will also be a cake decorating contest on Sunday, October 12th and October 19th! Come support a worthy cause and show off your decorating skills and talent. The winner will get to keep their winning cake and get a hamper from Cake Connection.

The Star paper has a writeup on this event on http://www.thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2008/9/22/central/2006162&sec=central

For full details on the activities planned, please see http://www.cakeconnection.com.my/imagesNews/PassionatelyPinkPostcard.pdf

In the spirit of supporting the Passionately Pink campaign, Cake Connection will be open on Sunday, October 12th & 19th. There will also be a "Hands on Wedding Class" and "Chocolate Indulgence" class scheduled on these dates. Do call us at 03-7956 4450 if you are interested to register.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Trials, Tears and Tribulations

If you pick Tribute, bring out your pillows and comforter; if you pick Mummy's Witness, grab a box of tissues; if you pick Runaway, bring out your sports shoes ;) Whichever one you pick as your next read, you know you'll be in for an unforgettable journey... :)

* Tribute by Nora Roberts
Janet Hardy is a Hollywood legend who's glamorous, brilliant, deeply troubled and died mysteriously at her home. When her granddaughter Cilla moves in, and is determined to restore the home to its former glory, she finds herself dreaming of the grandmother she never really knew and wonders of her past. As she settles in, she begins to unravel her family's secrets. But someone wants her to leave the past alone, and she becomes the target of increasingly brutal acts. Together with her neighbour, Ford Sawyer, she must find out who is is threatening her and why.

* Mummy's Witness by Gayle Sanders
To the outside world, the Sanders family was a respectable one - the father a teacher, the mom a housewife and mother of three. Nobody would have known or believed that what lies behind those doors was a vicious dad who abuses his wife. Gayle herself endured physical and sexual abuse. Desperate not to be noticed, she retreated to herself. She was disconnected from the world. Everything came to a brutal end when, at 12 years old, she witnessed her dad kill her mom. Dad pleaded manslaughter, years later was released and became a vicar. Gayle's tormented life didn't end here. When she passed from foster family to psychiatric hospital, she narrowly survived a suicide attempt and now she is undergoing the further shocking trauma of rape. Find out how Gayle survives and triumphs over her past.

* Runaway by Skye Sinclair
Skye spent her childhood in and out of care homes, often feeling unloved and alone. The only thing she ever learned was how to fend for herself, and how to run. When she was 12, she suffered a brutal attack that left her feeling betrayed. So Skye ran away and lived with the gypsies of the New Forest. Her fighting spirit and sense of adventure took her from the abattoirs of France to the film studios of Hollywood, and it wasn't until years later that she found a reason to stop running. She found a 'place' she could call home...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More on After Dark by Victor Chia

Guess I'm not the only one who has fallen into Haruki's spell. My friend Victor is enchanted by him too haha Below is his review. Thanks Vic! ;)

"To be honest, I wasn’t really going to the bookstore looking to buy Haruki's After Dark. I was already going to leave the place after grabbing my (he deleted 'Doraemon comic' here hehe thank me later Vic LOL =P) books when I spotted an interesting book cover on the shelves. I grabbed it, flipped the pages, and to the cashier I go, the book firmly in my hand.

After Dark is Mr Haruki’s latest work after Kafka On the Shore and it’s definitely a job well done. The story is neither too long nor too short; just enough for a satisfying read. The characters are well developed, reading it felt like one is having a really good conversation with a newly met stranger. Refined is the word I would use to describe it.

The story tells of strange happenings, but it doesn’t make its characters shudder in fear, or does it overwhelm them with extreme emotions. In fact, it’s as if the strange happenings are just secondary – surreal elements happen without its characters knowing it. [Perhaps, it’s Mr Haruki’s portrayal of the reader who is reading the book instead (a personal opinion).]

The story instead makes the characters talk to each other - conversing, exchanging opinions and thoughts. Mr Haruki’s love in playing with time and destiny are well polished here, acting like a marker to bring the reader to see things differently.

To me this is the charm of the book; Haruki shows us how our lives can be interconnected and intertwined in one single moment without us realising it.

Lastly, to those who love music (Jazz especially), get hold of the book. Music has some significance in this story. You'd appreciate it even more if you knew the music (if not, just google it)."

Saturday, October 4, 2008

My admiration for talented celebrities...

I've always thought Meryl Streep is one helluva great actor. The day after I've seen Mamma Mia, I've been googling about her (My hubby now calls me her stalker :P) Anyway, during one of my google and youtube sessions, I found this really hilarious video of her AFI in 2003. Check it out hehe



Don't you think Jim Carrey is super duper hilarious? You can check him out at other AFI's too, one of which I find entertaining is the stint he did at Clint Eastwood's AFI, here it is:



My verdict? LOL ROFL LMAO!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Fun, Entertaining and Dot Dot Dot.... :)

Have you seen Mamma Mia? If not, it's time you hit the cinema and go WATCH IT! No, don't watch it on DVD, you pirate! Anyway, even if you do, it won't be good enough. If you've bought the DVD but haven't seen it, don't do it just yet. Go to the cinema, watch it there and you'll know what I mean.

Anyway, I think the cast did a blardy good job. Meryl Streep is one helluva talented woman. I never knew she could carry roles like this. Come to think of it, what this woman can't do??? In an interview, she says it's 'my hair' LOL It seems to me, it really takes alot of hard work to sing and act well. Her acting skills are obviously flawless, her singing seems fine to me (oh yeah, most of their voices have been digitally enhanced by the way :P) and her effervescent character just livens up the whole movie...

Pierce Brosnan,....Honestly, I never really liked 007, altho I prefer him to Daniel Craig. But in Mamma Mia, he exudes such magnetic charm that'll just take your breath away (and may I add,...no matter what your age?) His smile, doesn't let you keep your eyes off him. He and Streep work like magic! My favourite scene of them? 'Winner Takes it All'...it was...FANTASTIC! (I'm not exaggerating...go watch it :P)

Ooo, and I lurrrrve Julie Walters and Christine Baranski (Streep's best friends in the movie). They are hilarious, spontaneous and such great entertainers! You must catch the scene where Streep was devastated when she found out all her 3 men are on her island...The whole cinema started roaring in laughter (yes, even the men!).

And another thing, if you noticed, most of the women here (even the extras), majority of them normal-looking women - flesh, fats, tall, short and all of that, and they looked perfect as they are. Watching this movie, sorta gives you that 'flower-power' kind of feeling; that women, no matter how you look, can conquer it all and have fun at the same time too.

Mamma Mia evokes every emotion in you; after 20 minutes of the movie, I said to myself, 'Mamma Mia, just take my heart and bring it wherever your wish to...' and I ended up sobbing, laughing, anticipating, smiling and giggling, oh and singing ;) And I wasn't the only one. The whole cinema was enthralled by it too. The lady next to me, was wiping her eyes with tissue throughout the movie. Yes, it is THAT good :)

This movie shouldn't be missed. Put it this way, my hubby, who doesn't fancy musical movies, gave it a 4/5 star rating.

What and When?

Check if the below is familiar. Tick as many as possible:
* You dress according to your mood or an occasion you're attending.
* You match your accessories according to what you're wearing.
* Your shoes must match too.
* When you travel, you bring as many clothes as possible, so no matter what sudden occasion that may occur, you still have a few choices of clothes.

Are all the above checked? If yes, well, good, you aren't alone, coz I'm pretty sure there are many ladies out there who can relate to the above.
But if none of the above is true to you, try the checklist below:
* You read according to your mood or occasion (e.g: going to a shopping mall - the possibility of reading when you stop at a kopitiam for a rest, you'd be happy even if it's just a few pages. OR a function - where you know nobody else, and you know you'd have to wait. OR at a post office - where the queues are always long, ETC)
* You bring a bigger handbag because you've decided to bring the thick novel out with you on that particular day.
* When you travel, you bring all the possible books that you think you'd be able to read.
* You have more books than clothes in your travel bag.

If all of the above is true, YOU'RE A NERD! HAHA =P No. I'm kidding. Just shows you're a book addict LOL But,... let me assure you, you're not weird and you're not alone. In fact, my biggest problem is the last two. Whenever I follow my hubby back to his hometown, I'd bring home with me at least 3 books. And most of the time, we only spend a night or two there :P When we travel further, I'd usually bring along my short stories.

So, what's on my list recently?
1) When I'm feeling a little dreamy and need a nice lullaby, I read 'Birds without Wings' (Yep, I'm not done with it yet. I just had to finish Haruki's After Dark first :P)
2) When I want to be mystified - ANYTHING of HARUKI'S! :) (this happens quite frequently :P Which is why I have one of his short stories collection on my bedside. I especially love reading his stuff at night. You'd rarely catch me reading Haruki during the day time.)
3) When I have a short attention span, it'd be my short story books. At the moment, they are: The Happy Prince and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde, 10 Short Stories by Roald Dahl (pronounced as roo-ahl), and Strange Pilgrims by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
4) Once I'm done with Birds without Wings, it'll be between Between Pearl S. Buck's The Good Earth, Tetsuko's Totto Chan and Haruki's Kafka on the Shore.

Please please share with me your experience if you have the same habits....I seriously hope I'm not the only one :P

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