Showing posts from 2010

A_Bookaholic Interviews Author of Tokyo Vice, Jake Adelstein

Once again, thanks to Pansing, I got a copy of Jake Adelstein's Tokyo Vice. It was an eye-opening read for me. If you're interested in knowing about the organized crime that are going on in Tokyo, you must go grab a copy. I'm honoured too, to be given the opportunity to 'interview' the author himself, via email. The interview briefly touches on his personal life, his persistence in seeking for justice and the lessons learnt from his experience.

Q: Just out of curiosity, who drew your Twitter portrait?
A: That was done by Mari Kurisato. She did several and I’m very happy with them all. This is my favorite.

Q: How much time do you spend writing everyday?
A: I spend about three to four hours writing every day. Sometimes more. I spend two hours a day reading about organized crime (yakuza) history and news and staying on top of current events in Japan.

Q: What do you do when you’re free?
A: I’m a workaholic so I don’t really have many hobbies. I take Aikido and would like to…

World Book Night 2011!!!

I really think this is suuuper cool! Saw this on the internet. Check this out:

World Book Night represents the most ambitious and far-reaching celebration of adult books and reading ever attempted in the UK and Ireland.

On Saturday, 5 March 2011, two days after World Book Day, with the full support of the Publishers Association, the Booksellers Association, the Independent Publishers Guild, the Reading Agency with libraries, World Book Day, the BBC and RTE, one million books will be given away by an army of passionate readers to members of the public across the UK and Ireland.

The book give-away will comprise 40,000 copies of each of the 25 carefully selected titles, to be given away by 20,000 ‘givers’, who will each distribute 48 copies of their chosen title to whomever they choose on World Book Night. The remaining books will be distributed by World Book Night itself in places that might otherwise be difficult to reach, such as prisons and hospitals.

Read more here.

Want to be part of th…

It's a Book by Lane Smith

Title/Author: It's a Book/Lane Smith
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
No. of pages: 26
ISBN 13: 978-1-59643-606-0

In a nutshell
With digital revolution carrying us forward, will our future generation recognise a book? In It's a Book, the jackass is a 'tech-freak' fella who couldn't recognise a book, and gets all curious when seeing the monkey holding one. He asks things like 'Can it text? Blog? Scroll? Wi-Fi? Tweet?' and annoyed the hell outta the monkey who he keeps telling the jackass 'It's a book' again and again.

What I liked
Two words. Sweet. Delightful. Arghhh...I must add another one. Funny! Another one. Wonderrrrful! In only 26 pages, it captured my heart. Loved the monkey and the jackass and oooh the little mouse! :D

I not only loved the very, simple, straight-forward, funny story, but also the beautiful illustrations. It says so much, so simply! I loved how the little changes in the monkey's facial expression made so much difference in his m…

Tokyo Vice by Jake Adelstein

Title/Author: Tokyo Vice/Jake Adelstein
Publisher: Pantheon Books
No. of pages: 328
ISBN 13: 978-0-307-37879-8

In a nutshell
(Edited from the book flap) At nineteen, Jake Adelstein started his life as a journalist at the prestigious Yomiuri Shinbun. For 12 years of 48-hour workweeks, he ventures deep into the Yakuza underworld where murder, corruption and human trafficking are as common as ramen noodles and sake. In Tokyo Vice, Adelstein tells his riveting journey that brought him from getting into a martial-arts battle with a senior editor to meeting face-to-face with Japan's most feared yakuza boss.

What I liked
Tokyo Vice is a very informative, engaging and enlightening read. It is definitely an eye opener for me. If I had read this before I go to Tokyo, I'd have viewed Roponggi differently.

Using his sense of humour and thoroughness Adelstein gives a detailed tour of the Japanese underworld, and introduces the ins and outs of the Yakuza's organised crimes. At times, I imagined…

Radiance by Alyson Noel

Title/Author: Radiance/Alyson Noel
Publisher: Macmillan
No. of pages: 183
ISBN 13: 978-0-330-52691-3

In a nutshell
Riley Bloom crossed the bridge into the afterlife following a car crash - with her parents and beloved dog, Buttercup. In her afterlife, she has been assigned a job as a Soul Catcher, with Bodhi as her guide. Her first assignment takes her back to earth, where she must find the Radiant Boy, a spirit who doesn't want to move on.

What I liked
The only thing I liked about Radiance is probably Riley Bloom and Buttercup. Riley is a strong character; confident, outspoken and spunky. And I liked Buttercup, the timid dog,for his name and he seems rather adorable especially when he closes his eyes to shut out some 'evil' sights.

And I think, that's about it.

What I didn't quite like...
I hate doing this part, but I want to be honest with my reviews. Well, overall, I didn't quite like Radiance. (Dear author, if you're reading this, please forgive me. I know writi…


Calling all bookmark collectors and those who fancy bookish accessories! This is super duper cool I wanna share it with all of you! Check out these awesome, amazing bookmarks!!! More here!

Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Title/Author: Fight Club/Chuck Palahniuk
Publisher: Vintage
No. of pages: 352
ISBN 13: 9780099552154
Price: RM29.90

In a nutshell
I’ve seen Fight Club. I loved it. I’ve also just read the book. Loved it too. Even dreamt about being in Fight Club with Pitt and Norton last night! Haha yes, for real, ok :P So. Everyone knows about fight club and the story.

What I liked about it
It’s fast paced, very graphic and oh yes, very bloody too but bearable, unlike the movie (the sound effects kinda made it more brutal and intense). The story is also quite dark and a little twisted.

The frequent change of scenes lent the story a pace that kept me on my toes – with my hands flipping the pages, and my mind jumping from scene to scene almost every second, there was no way my mind could wander even for a second! And to already know that the narrator and Tyler are the same person made the story even more fascinating. (Should've read the book first before the movie. Wonder how I'd have reacted to find ou…

Drawing Blood by Scarfe

Title/Author: Drawing Blood/Scarfe
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
No. of pages: 352
ISBN 10: 0 316 72952 3
Price: RM59.90 (Discounted price)

In a nutshell
(I'm just gonna take it from the book flap) This is Scarfe's first collected volume of his work for twenty years, with amusing and poignant anecdotes to present the drawings and other works that have established him as one of our foremost cultural commentators. Artist, stage designer, political cartoonist and satirist, Gerald Scarfe has given us some of the most famous and controversial images of the twentieth century. He has worked with an eclectic mix of English and American icons: from Pink Floyd to Disney, Private Eye to Time magazine, the English National Ballet to Peter Hall, the New Yorker to the Sunday Times.

What I liked
Firstly, his introduction. It's a must-read if you've not heard of him before. You'll learn how Scarfe who was asthmatic, found his voice and style when he decided to leave Royal College …

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Title/Author: Eat Pray Love/Elizabeth Gilbert
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing
No. of pages: 349
ISBN 13: 9780747589358
Price: RM10.00 (Discounted price)

In a nutshell
The whole world knows what Eat Pray Love is all about, so I'm going to skip this bit. Ok. Maybe a short description. It's mainly about Liz going on a self-discovery journey that revolves around the Pursuit of Pleasure (in Eat, the first part of the book), followed by Pursuit of Devotion (Pray) and Pursuit of Balance (Love).

What I liked
My favourite parts were 'Eat' and 'Love' maybe because I could relate to them. In Eat, I realised that I must/should live my life to the full because I live only once! I'd do my best in everything I do, try everything at least once, travel; just make myself happy! I mean, its only when you're happy that you can spread happiness right?

In Pray, I find the spinning engine theory her friend Sean, whom she met at the Ashram, shared with her was pretty interesting. He s…

Interview with Dr. Rob Yeung

Thank you Odelia from Pansing for arranging this interview for me :)
To those of you who haven't heard of Dr. Rob Yeung, he's a British psychologist, business speaker, and management author. He was recently in Singapore to promote his latest book, The Extra One Per Cent. I asked him about what got him into psychology and his experience in putting this book together.

Have you always wanted to do psychology? Why? What do you enjoy most about it?
When I was at school, I studied physical sciences including physics, chemistry and biology. I thought I would become a chemist or a biochemist. It was only by chance that I did some reading about psychology and at the last minute changed my mind to study psychology.
When I started reading about psychology, I thought it was just this amazing topic. It really resonated with me as I've always been a curious person, I've always enjoyed figuring people out, so when I found out there was actually a discipline, a subject I could study at un…

Sky Burial by Xinran

Title/Author:Sky Burial/Xinran
Publisher:Random House Canada
No. of pages: 206
ISBN 10: 0-679-31360-5
Price:RM20.00 (Discounted price. Hardcover)

In a nutshell
Xinran received a phone call from a listener of her programme asking her to meet a woman who had just crossed the border from Tibet to China. Xinran made a trip and met Shu Wen who recounted the story of her 30-year odyssey in Tibet.

After being married for only a few months, Shu Wen's husband joined the Chinese army and was sent to Tibet for the purpose of unification of China and Tibet. Shortly after he left, she was told that he had been killed, and was not given any other details. She decided to join a milia unit going to Tibet to find out if he was really dead and if he was, how and why he died. Her search seemed endless, nevertheless she was adamant in finding the truth.

What I liked
Yes. I've finally read Sky Burial, and I loved it as much as I loved Message from an Unknown Chinese Mother. I already knew the ending, but i…

Everything Asian by Sung J. Woo

Title/Author: Everything Asian/Sung J. Woo
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
No. of pages: 328
ISBN 13: 978-0-312-53885-9
Price: RM49.90

In a nutshell
David Kim, his fifteen-year-old sister and mom arrived in New Jersey a month ago to be with his dad whom he's meeting for the first time in five years. He's finding it hard to cope, his sister is feeling miserable and his mom isn't exactly happy, either. To top it all, he had to help out at his dad's gift shop, East Meet West, and he can't speak a word of English.

Welcome to the 'wonderful' world of David Kim.

What I liked
David's dysfunctional family kept me hooked. Here, we have a dad who tries so hard to please his son, a mom who's feeling lost and empty, a miserable sister whose mood swings from one end to the other, David who despises his dad and gets terribly annoyed when he calls him 'my good son', but gets jealous when his dad starts to shower his attention to a new kid on the block. Each of them t…

A Year in Tibet by Sun Shuyun

Title/Author: A Year in Tibet/Sun Shuyun
Publisher: Harper Perennial
No. of pages: 246
ISBN 13: 978-0-00-726512-1
Price: RM19.90 (Discounted price)

In a nutshell
The idea of writing this book came about when Sun Shuyun was asked to direct a documentary series about a year in the life of ordinary Tibetans. So, the author and her crew spent a year in a remote town in the Tibetan mountain area and followed a shaman, a village doctor, a junior Party official, a hotel manager, a rickshaw driver, a builder and two monks through their ups and downs.

What I liked
I liked the lessons I learnt from the Tibetans - from their lives, their thoughts and perceptions. Despite oppression and their struggles of trying to live between continuity and modernization, they embrace challenges with grace and kindness. They are the kind of people who are able to give generously and expect nothing in return. They are such forgiving souls and seem to live like their surroundings - calm and peaceful. One thing's for…


New Malaysian Essays 3, edited by Yin Shao Loong
ISBN: 9789834484552
Pages: 89 (e-book)
Layout & Typesetting: Liza Manshoor (Eclectic Design)
Cover: Teck Hee

Price: FRRRRREE!!!!

Sole Edition: September 2010

Thanks to Amir Muhammad, we can have this book for FRRRREEE! More about the book/to download the book, click here

The Japanese Mind by Roger J. Davies & Osamu Ikeno

Title/Author: The Japanese Mind/Edited by Roger J. Davies & Osamu Ikeno
Publisher: Tuttle Publishing
No. of pages: 270
ISBN 13: 978-0-8048-3295-3

In a nutshell
The Japanese Mind is a collection of 28 essays that offer readers an overview of contemporary Japanese culture. These essays were written over a period of several years by students a Ehime University in Matsyama Japan. They offer an informative, accessible look at the values, attitudes, behaviour patterns, and communication styles of modern Japan.

The book includes in-depth discussions of key concepts such as Bigaku (the Japanese sense of beauty), Bushido (the way of the warrior), Chinmoku (silence in Japanese communication) and Gambari (Japanese patience and determination). In each chapter, it contains a set of questions that would provide invaluable discussions among readers.

What I liked
My hubby bought this book for me when we were in Japan and I am truly happy he did because I thoroughly enjoyed it :) One of the reasons is bec…

It's a Book by Lane Smith (Video)

I so so so lurrrve this video I saw on Facebook and thought I'd share it with you too.

Fun for Kids in Malaysia by Lydia Teh

Title/Author: Fun for Kids in Malaysia/Lydia Teh
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish
No. of pages: 360
ISBN 13: 978-983-3845-48-4
Price: RM29.90

In a nutshell
So. You have a bunch of hyperactive kids who become even more hyperactive during weekends and school holidays. What do you do? No no no. Turn off Astro. Whip out Fun for Kids in Malaysia and get the entire family outta the house, and explore Malaysia.

This guidebook lists a wide range of activities for your children to indulge in and new places for them to explore in this country. Travel from the northern region right to the southern region of Malaysia and have a great holiday.

What I liked
My first thought was, 'Are there that many places for kids to go to in Malaysia?' Go through the 'Contents' section and you'll find out that there are indeed many places to go to and fun activities to do around Malaysia. At the start of each section, there are 'fast facts' about the state. Then it tells you how to get there and h…

Found in Malaysia (The Nut Graph)

Title/Author: Found in Malaysia/The Nut Graph
Publisher: ZI Publications
No. of pages: 211
ISBN 13: 978-967-5266-13-3
Price: RM45

In a nutshell
If not for Shanon Shah who came up with this idea and Jacqueline Ann Surin who loved it and for everyone else at The Nut Graph, Found in Malaysia wouldn't be born. So hats off to this group of very passionate journalists for this great piece of work.

Found in Malaysia is a compilation of 50 meticulously selected interviews from the news and analysis website, The Nut Graph, each interviewee sharing their opinions and views on what it means to be a pendatang, the issues they struggle with the most as a Malaysian, and how much they think Malaysia has changed throughout the years. Since 8 January 2009, The Nut Graph team has accumulated almost 80 interviews that include well-known Malaysian public figures, including politicians, corporate figures, social activists, artists and entertainers. Of 80 interviews, publisher ZI Publications chose 50 to be f…

Tapai by Hishamuddin Rais

Title/Author: Tapai/Hishamuddin Rais
ZI Publications
No. of pages: 266 ISBN 13: 978-967-5266-11-9

In a nutshell Tapai is a collection of 40 stories of Rais's adventures in less ventured, non-typical touristy places, in search for delectable food and free alcohol. Said he, "As a seasoned traveller, I prefer to eat and drink well than to pay expensively for snoring." It's difficult to summarise Tapai in a nutshell, as this book is about alot of things - yes, food as its main idea, but it also carries various meanings beyond food.

Tapai brings you from the nondescript streets of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to soup kitchens in Tokyo, Japan; from celebrating Christmas in Bangladesh to meeting the Darai of the band that accompanied the raising of the Jalur Gemilang on Merdeka Day. Yep, this book is not just about Rais satisfying his gastronomic desires, but it's also a collection of Rais's experience with food and culture from all over the world.

What I liked
The au…

The Case of The Missing Servant by Tarquin Hall

Title/Author: The Case of The Missing Servant/Tarquin Hall
Arrow Books
No. of pages: 312
ISBN 13: 978-0-099-52523-3

In a nutshell
The Case of The Missing Servant is set in the modern day India, smack right in Delhi and Rajasthan. It is a very complex detective story, with many suspects and in-between cases, mishaps and shenanigans, because “It is certainly not straightforward locating one missing female in a population of one billion plus personages,” said Vish Puri, the portly, persistent Punjabi detective and proud founder of Most Private Investigators Ltd., the owner of 14 Sandown caps, and a fan of fiery chillies.

He gets an assignment which stirred his humdrum case of matrimonial investigations. A lawyer gets accused of killing his maidservant who goes only by the name of Mary. He denies killing her. Puri believes him, even his servant, Jaya says “He is a good man.” to which his son attested, “He never broke one law in his entire life.”

However, justice and evidence weren'…

Blockade Billy by Stephen King

Title/Author: Blockade Billy/Stephen King
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
No. of pages: 132
ISBN 13: 978-1-444-71619-1

In a nutshell
William ‘Blockade Billy’ Blakely, a player from Davenport Cornhuskers, a minor league team in Iowa, was asked to replace a catcher for New Jersey Titans until a suitable replacement could be found. Billy "wasn’t exactly right in the top story”, as Granny described. He had a tendency to refer to himself in third person and echo back what others said. The players thought him a little bit odd too, but like Granny, they all took a liking to him, even the arrogant, competitive pitcher Danny ‘Doo’ Dusen, who later referred to Billy as his lucky charm.

Billy became an overnight sensation with his uncanny ability to ‘block the plate’, that is to tag runners trying to score. However, beneath all that charm and talent, Billy hides a secret in his past, ‘a secret darker than any pill or injection that might cause a scandal in sports today’. Granny noticed somethin…

Is it time to slow our reading down?

Do you tend to scan a text or really read it? (I know someone who reads every word when reading a book! :) You know who you are *wink*) When was the last time you allowed the words from a book/text and your thought sink in? 'Cuz you see...seems like technology has kinda made us 'lazy' readers (not liking to read lengthy articles and generally just skimming/scanning it) and...well...'stupider' (kinda)

This is what I found...
"According to The Shallows, a new book by technology sage Nicholas Carr, our hyperactive online habits are damaging the mental faculties we need to process and understand lengthy textual information. Round-the-clock news feeds leave us hyperlinking from one article to the next – without necessarily engaging fully with any of the content; our reading is frequently interrupted by the ping of the latest email; and we are now absorbing short bursts of words on Twitter and Facebook more regularly than longer texts."


"If you want the…