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[Book Review] Insatiable by Asa Akira

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Title Insatiable: Porn – A Love Story
Author: Asa Akira
Publisher: Grove Atlantic
Web Link: link
Date of Release: May 6, 2014
No. of Pages: 256
ISBN: 978-602-9193-17-6
Format: Ebook
Category: Non Fiction
Genre: Biography, Memoir, Porn

book_blurb

Asa Akira (28) has already had an extremely unusual life. Educated at the United Nations International School in Manhattan, she soon was earning a good living by stripping and working as a dominatrix at a sex dungeon. Akira has now built up a reputation for being of the most popular, hardworking, and extreme actors in the business, winning dozens of awards for her 330+ movies, including her #1 bestselling series “Asa Akira Is Insatiable”.

In Insatiable, Akira recounts her extraordinary life in chapters that are hilarious, shocking, and touching. In a wry, conversational tone, she talks about her experiences shoplifting and doing drugs while in school, her relationship with other porn stars (she is married to one) and with the industry at large, and her beliefs about women and sexuality. Insatiable is filled with Akira’s unusual and often highly amusing anecdotes, including her visit to a New Hampshire sex shop run by a mother and son.

In a world where porn is increasingly becoming part of the mainstream, Akira is one of very few articulate voices writing from the inside. She something important, controversial, and astonishingly interesting to say about sex and its central role in our lives and culture.

thoughts

Asa Akira is probably one of the most popular names in porn industry. The self-proclaimed anal queen is not ashamed to flaunt her best interest: having freaky sex on camera.

I’ve read several porn memoirs. One of them is Ordeal, the most disturbing memoir I’ve read so far.
Unlike Lovelace, Akira admits that she enjoys having sex on camera. She says she comes from a happy family. She started masturbating at an early age, that her mother forbade her to put on a blanket, afraid of what she might do under the sheet.

Akira also broke the myth of pornstars. She’s pretty and witty, somewhat rare in porn industry. Unlike any other paents, Akira’s can accept her profession. She said as long as she’s happy, her parents will support her all the way.

Insatiable is a fun read. I laughed a lot when I read this book. Some chapters are quite disturbing, especially parts about anal scene. One thing that confuses me is when Akira was offered to do a squirt scene. She couldn’t believe it because she’s not a squirter. But when she described her sex activities before AVN Awards with her husband, Toni Ribas, she explicitly explained that she squirted during sex and was asked to lick her own liquid (ewww).

What I learn about porn life:
1. Most porn stars contracted STDs. Chlamydia, herpes, or HIV, you name it. Akira got chlamydia during her second month of shooting porn.
2. Almost every porn star is addicted to (sex) drugs.
3. Of course, porn stars are exhibitionists. Akira says having sex on camera and thinking hundreds of men jerking off while watching her turn her on.
4. Not all sex is enjoyable during the shoot. Sasha Grey, a retired porn star, said that she had orgasm only three times during her porn career.
5. Some porn stars even quit the business because they’re humiliated. In her book, Linda Lovelace said she was forced to do porn by her husband. Alina Li has recently quit the business. Read her story here.

If you want to know a bit about porn industry, you may check out this book.

An A to Z Porn Glossary inspired by Asa Akira’s Insatiable: click here

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Until next time

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[Book Review] Under the Jeweled Sky by Alison McQueen

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Title: Under the Jeweled Sky
Author: Alison McQueen
Publication date: Feb 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Format: eARC
ASIN: B00FM31ZFY
Genre: Historical fiction
Age group: Adult
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Buy it: The Book Depository

book_blurb

London 1957. In a bid to erase her past, Sophie Schofield accepts a wedding proposal from ambitious British diplomat, Lucien Grainger. When he is posted to New Delhi, into the glittering circle of ex-pat society, old wounds begin to break open as Sophie is confronted with the memory of her first, forbidden love and its devastating consequences. This is not the India she fell in love with ten years before in a maharaja’s palace, the India that ripped out her heart as Partition tore the country in two. And so begins the unravelling of an ill-fated marriage, setting in motion a devastating chain of events that will bring her face to face with a past she tried so desperately to forget, and a future she must fight for. This is a tender story of love, loss of innocence, and the aftermath of a terrible decision no one knew how to avoid.Purchase this book

thoughts

I received a copy from the publisher via Netgalley.

Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison McQueen is a beautiful novel about India, where the country is one of the integral characters. Set at the time of Partition and a decade or so later, the author brought us back to the mid 1900s, when the British was about to leave.

Besides telling about vibrant India , the author was successfully portray a realistic character through Sophie. Her father is a physiscian at the palace. She builds a friendship with Jag (one of my favorite characters as well), the son of a servant. In that era, such relationship was kind of forbidden.

Ten years later, Sophie was involved in an ill-fated marriage. She found India a different place, unlike the place that she loved when she was younger.

When she came back to England, she felt strange. Meeting her distant mother and found out about her grandmother’s passing. All I can say that this story is about Sophie’s journey in finding happiness. Some parts made me cry. This novel was beautifully crafted. The way she writes about India, the details and everything, makes me want to go there, maybe someday.

Overall, I love this book to pieces. I want to reread it and I will definitely read other books by the same author.

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Need a second opinion?

Vicki
Our Book Club

Find the excerpt here

Until next time ^^

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[Book Review] The Happy Endings Book Club by Jane Tara @momentumbooks

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Title: The Happy Endings Book Club
Penulis: Jane Tara
Publisher: Momentum Books, Australia
Date of Published: 1 December 2013
Format: Ebook
No. of Pages: 182
ISBN: 9781760080587
Category: Fiction
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Family, Paranormal Romance
Received from: Momentum Books via Netgalley
Link: here
Opening sentence:
Paige flipped open sign on her bookshop door to closed.

book_blurb

This Christmas, the women of the Happy Endings Book Club are about to uncover a world of love and magic as they discover how to have their own happy ending or beginning, as they’re often the same thing.

Once a month, seven very different women come together to discuss books. They all love a happy ending, but have lost sight of how to get their own. Paige misses glimpsing the magic in the world. Sadie doesn’t see the beauty inside people. Amanda wonders what she ever saw in her ex husband. Tilda literally can’t see herself. Michi can’t bear looking at her family, while Clementine is blind to what’s right in front of her. And Eva looks for romance in all the wrong places.

But things are about to change …

Meet the women of the Happy Endings Book Club as they celebrate Christmas, and themselves, in London, Paris, Vienna, New York, Sydney and in love.

thoughtsI received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

What can I say about this book? I love it. The Happy Endings Book Club is about a bunch of mid-age ladies finding their own happy endings, which is it (I want to spoil it a little bit).

Usually I love bitter-sweet ending or just simply bitter ending. But this book is too cute, too funny and heartwarming that I want to tell readers who love chicklit to go to Netgalley and request this title.

The Happy Endings Book Club tells about Paige, Clementine, Michi, Eva, Amanda, Tilda, and Sadie. They have their own issues and personal problems to solve, and it includes romance, as their favorite genre.

The story starts with Paige who owned a bookshop in London. Besides taking care of the business, she also ran a book club called The Happy Endings, named after the book shop. These 7 ladies had a special bond besides sharing their love on romance and happy endings.

Paige’s mom, Jean, was on her death bed. Before she died, she told Paige that her father’s still alive. And to Paige’s surprise, her father was a fairy. FAIRY. With the help of Jean’s physiotherapist, Arley, Paige was having a journey that she’d never forget.

And then Clementine, the naive girl who believed in cyber-romance. She decided to spend Christmas in New York with her love of her life that she never met, Sam. Sadly, she found out the truth about her cyber lover, but came a surprise that she’d treasure later on.

One of my favorite characters is Michi. She spent her Christmas holiday in Sydney, her hometown, a place where she hated the most. Her parents, Kayoko and Keith, were known as the celebrity sex therapists. Michi met Jake, a handsome guy who worked together with Michi’s brother, Greg. Michi avoided skinship, although she was attracted to Jake. One night, she opened up to Jake about what changed her about her past. Something that a little child should not see.

Tilda was having a symptom of insidious disorder. She could not see her hand, nose, and ear. After talking to a doctor, she went off to Paris and found herself completely. She also found her love back in London.

I love how the characters have flaws and have to deal with their problems. But in the end, love conquers the world. I think that’s what the writer wants to convey. It’s one of the best Christmas-themed novels I read this year.

Looking forward to reading other books from Jane Tara.

 

quotes

Respect where you’re standing (p. 57)

It’s extremely healthy to do what it takes to feel good about yourself. (p. 124)

Style is not about following trends, or even starting them. It’s about being yourself (p. 126)

Whenever my mum gets depressed about her age, she goes to Paris. (p. 128)

Sometimes it takes a while to see what’s right in front of us. (p. 160)

 

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Until next time ^^

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[Book Review] The Riverman by Aaron Starmer

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Title: The Riverman
Author: Aaron Starmer
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Date of Published: 18 March 2014
Format: Ebook
No. of Pages: 340
ISBN: 9780374363109
Category: Fiction
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Received from: the publisher via Netgalley
Link: here
Opening sentence:
Every town has a lost child.

book_blurb

Alistair Cleary is the kid who everyone trusts. Fiona Loomis is not the typical girl next door. Alistair hasn’t really thought of her since they were little kids until she shows up at his doorstep with a proposition: she wants him to write her biography. What begins as an odd vanity project gradually turns into a frightening glimpse into the mind of a potentially troubled girl. Fiona says that in her basement, there’s a portal that leads to a magical world where a creature called the Riverman is stealing the souls of children. And Fiona’s soul could be next. If Fiona really believes what she’s saying, Alistair fears she may be crazy. But if it’s true, her life could be at risk. In this novel from Aaron Starmer, it’s up to Alistair to separate fact from fiction, fantasy from reality.

thoughtsI received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I requested this title because I was mesmerized by the cover, like usual. I just catched a glimpse on the description. I guess it’s just like any other children’s book, but I was wrong.

The Riverman is too gory for children. I don’t think violence, drugs, and a pinch of romance are suitable for 13 year-olds.

This book tells a tale of Alistair who won people’s trust. His early memory is when he saw a dead body of a missing child, Luke, on the river. Nine years later, something strange happened to him when his neighbor, Fiona, knocked on his door and asked him to write a story about her. Alistair frowned, thought the idea was bizarre.
Soon he realized that Fiona did not make up the stories.

She told Alistair that she had a secret passage to the magical world called Aquavania, where the stories are born. Fiona met other children, even crossing to their world and interact with some of the children there.

Strange things happened again. The number of missing children is increasing and Fiona knew some of them in Aquavina. According to Fiona, the Riverman stole the children’s soul and they would never come back to the Solid World.

This book is a page turner. Every chapter is so tensed that I really wanted to finish it in one night, but my eyes wouldn’t compromise.

I really like this book and how each character connects to one another. And there’s love among teens, jealousy, hatred, and misperceptions. We should not judge a person by his looks, which is true.

But I also put big question marks after I reached the laat page. I don’t know what happened to Kyle and Charlie, and Luke’s case is still a mystery. I heard it’s the first installment of a series (I really hope so).

What I like about this book is the setting. It’s the 80s when Choose Your Own Adventure novels were popular. I’m also curious about PB&J. I haven’t tried that one and I have no idea how it tastes like.

The Riverman brought back my childhood memories. Sorry for being a bit sentimental :’)

As an adult, I enjoyed reading this book and I will recommend it to other adults who like stories about children and their big imaginations. I think Neil Gaiman fans will enjoy The Riverman.

Looking forward to reading The Riverman #2.

quotes

The best thing I can tell you about a chick who lies a lot is this: there’s probably some messed-up stuff going on in her life (p. 50)

Life will sneak up on you sometimes. (p. 69)

You can’t change your mistakes. You can only try to make up for them. (p. 252)

And sometimes kids have to get up and go. (p. 262)

Sometimes what’s worse than people lying to you is people being too honest. (p. 269)

Creative minds like ours were the minds of aliens. (p. 280)

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Until next time ^^

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[Book Review] Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott @HarlequinTeen

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Title: Heartbeat
Author: Elizabeth Scott
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Date of Published: 1 January 2014
Format: Ebook
No. of Pages: 240
ISBN: 9780373210961
Category: Fiction
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Family, Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Received from: Harlequin Teen via Netgalley
Link: here
Opening sentences:
I sit down with my mother. My smile is shaky as I tell her about my day.

book_blurb

Life. Death. And…Love?

Emma would give anything to talk to her mother one last time. Tell her about her slipping grades, her anger with her stepfather, and the boy with the bad reputation who might be the only one Emma can be herself with.

But Emma can’t tell her mother anything. Because her mother is brain-dead and being kept alive by machines for the baby growing inside her.

Meeting bad-boy Caleb Harrison wouldn’t have interested Old Emma. But New Emma-the one who exists in a fog of grief, who no longer cares about school, whose only social outlet is her best friend Olivia-New Emma is startled by the connection she and Caleb forge.

Feeling her own heart beat again wakes Emma from the grief that has grayed her existence. Is there hope for life after death-and maybe, for love?

thoughts

I received this ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Heartbeat is a heart-wrenching story. It tells about Emma, a seventeen year-old girl who lost her mother but had to see her everyday because she’s pregnant.

Lisa met Dan and they fell in love. Soon, they started a family. Emma was happy because she felt that Dan loved her and her mother.

Until her mother’s pregnant and died, things changed unexpectedly. Every single day, Emma visited her mother in the hospital. Her body was kept alive by machines – pumping her heartbeat to incubate the baby in her womb.

Emma thought Dan just wanted to keep the baby and was devastated knowing that she wasn’t involved when Dan decided to keep Lisa alive. Emma thought everything he had done was for the sake of the baby.

A former straight A’s student, Emma’s grades were failing and she’s on a downward spiral. Until she met Caleb, a troubled teen who was also grieving for his sister, Minnie.
Their relationship developed gradually, since they had things in common.

Olivia, Emma’s best friend, was shocked learning about this ‘odd’ couple. Caleb was in a lot of troubles. He stole cars, did drugs, and hit a stranger with a car.

Dan tried to be a good father, but Emma refused the warm gesture. She was so stubborn, shutting herself out and pretending that Dan didn’t exist. Dan was hurt, Emma was too.

What I like about Heartbeat is that there’s no perfect family. I believe in that too. Every family is dysfunctional, everybody has problems, but it depends on you how to work things out.

I like this quote from the book;

A family is more than one person.

Heartbeat touches about grief, friendship, making the right decision, how to put yourself in a family, and romance. The romance is not too much, unlike any other HQ lines.

My rant is when Emma repeats her thoughts about Dan’s decision. I kept reading about this over and over again.

I love how the characters develop and the ending is very sweet.

quotes

Under the idea that we can all make our fates, that we have choices, is the reminder that sometimes we don’t. That sometimes life is bigger than our plans. Bigger than us.

I knew grief could destroy you, but I didn’t know it could turn you into a walking dead.

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Until next time ^^

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2014 Ebook Reading Challenge

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Another year, another reading challenge. I still have a pile of ebooks waiting to be read. So I decided to join this challenge.

Challenge Guidelines:

This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2014 – Dec 31, 2014.
Anyone can join, you don’t need to be a blogger. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).
Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.
You can plan your books in advance or as you read them.
When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book

Reading Challenge.
Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2014, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.

Levels:

Floppy disk – 5 ebooks
CD – 10 ebooks <– I'm signing up for this level
DVD – 25 ebooks
Memory stick – 50 ebooks
Hard drive – 75 ebooks
Server – 100 ebooks
Human brain – 150 ebooks

At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews for that month. The linky will remain open for the remainder of the year, so if you forget, feel free go back and add them when you remember.

Thanks Workaday Reads for hosting this challenge.

Until next time

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[Book Review] Remembering Whitney by Cissy Houston

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Title: Remembering Whitney: A Mother’s Story of Life, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped

Authors: Cissy Houston, Lisa Dickey

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: January 29, 2013

No. of Pages: 297

Category: Non Fiction

Genre: Biography, Memoir

Buy at: [Bookdepository] [Ebooks.com]

book_blurbOn the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards, the world learned of a stunning tragedy: Whitney Houston, unquestionably one of the most remarkable and powerful voices in all of music, had been silenced forever. Over the weeks and months that followed, family, friends, and fans alike tried to understand how such a magnificent talent and beautiful soul could have been taken so early and so unexpectedly.
Glamorous and approachable, captivating and sweet, Whitney had long ago won the hearts of America, but in recent years her tumultuous personal life had grabbed as many headlines as her soaring vocal talents. Her sudden death left behind not only a legacy of brilliance, but also painful questions with no easy answers.
Now, for the first time, the beloved superstar’s mother, Cissy Houston — a gospel legend in her own right—relates the full, astonishing scope of the pop icon’s life and career. From Whitney’s earliest days singing in the church choir to her rapid ascent to the pinnacles of music stardom, from her string of number one hits to her topping the Hollywood box office, Cissy recounts her daughter’s journey to becoming one of the most popular and successful artists of all time. Setting the record straight, Cissy also speaks candidly about Whitney’s struggles in the limelight, revealing the truth about her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown, her public attempts to regain her celebrated voice, and the battle with drugs that ultimately proved too much.
In this poignant and tender tribute to her “Nippy,” Cissy summons all her strength to reveal not only Whitney the superstar, but also Whitney as a sweet girl, a bright-eyed young woman, and a deeply caring mother.
Complete with never-before-seen family photographs, Remembering Whitney is an intimate, heartfelt portrait of one of our most revered artists, from the woman who cherished her most.

thoughts

Whitney Elizabeth Houston was one of the best singers in the world. Oprah called her “The Voice”. She was brought in a musical family. Her mother, Cissy Houston, was part of the gospel group and worked with prominent artists such as Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Luther Vandross. Whitney’s cousin, Dionne Warwick, is an award-winning artist and still active in music industry.

Once, Whitney was on her peak singing “I Will Always Love You” with her flawless voice that gave shivers to millions of people around the world. Once, Whitney was a complete package: a beautiful young woman with unbelievably-perfect voice and a pleasant attitude. Once.

She was a gifted artist with a bright future in front of her. She was born to be a diva. But, that moment didn’t last long. She was struggling with her personal demons, was a victim in domestic abuse. On February 11, 2012, the lights went off. The diva has gone.

I was sad when I heard the news. How could I forget that day. Whitney is one of my heroes. Her songs are everlasting. It happened on my birthday last year. I was sad, but not shocked, because somehow I could see it coming. What’s in store for a drug addict? It doesn’t take a genius to predict the future of druggies. It’s just about time.

This is a heartbreaking memoir of a mother who lost her beloved daughter. I believe Cissy was telling the truth. So many facts that were confirmed in this book.
Whitney had a drug problem long before she met Bobby Brown. When she met Bobby for the first time on Soul Train Awards, they just clicked, and not long after that, they got married. People were shocked. Whitney and Bobby, what a joke. Whitney had a squeaky clean image. On the other hand, Bobby was a bad boy. People knew that he was kicked out of New Edition due to his recklessness.
And things got worse after Whitney had a baby, Bobbi Christina (Krissi). Whitney was on a long hiatus, partying with his notorious husband, and nobody wanted to hear Whitney sing anymore. She released some albums. She canceled some concerts. Everyone knew she had a problem with drugs. Until she was kicked out of Academy Awards Performance. She’d shown erratic behavior during rehearsals, couldn’t memorize her lines. And that’s it.

Cissy knew Whitney had a problem, but she couldn’t save her daughter. Whitney hid her addiction. She had all the power to fire her people if ‘Barracuda’ (Cissy’s nickname) found out about that. So, nobody dared to talk. Sadly, Whitney’s brothers were on the same boat, which hurt Cissy even more.That was the end of Whitney’s career.

The night before Grammy Awards 2012, Whitney’s erratic behavior bursted out at a club after she sang “Jesus Loves Me”.
She had a catfight with a woman who was rumored to be Ray Jay’s girlfriend. Ray Jay is Brandy’s brother. Ray and Whitney were rumored to be couple. But according to Bobby Brown’s sister, Ray was never Whitney’s lover. He was nothing but a drug dealer.

Whitney’s death was surrounded by mysterious circumstances. So many odd things happened during that day. For example, Clive Davis’s Pre-Grammy Party was held when Whitney died, but nobody wanted to stop partying when the news broke. While Whitney’s dead body was lying at the hotel room, people were partying below.
Second, Bobby Brown’s sister confirmed that Whitney hated to soak in the bath tub. She believed there waa a foul play involved.

I don’t want to remember Whitney as a drug addict. To me, Whitney was a beautiful woman who touched so many people with her amazing voice.

Rest in peace, Whitney.

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Until next time

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[Book Review] Mastering the Art of French Eating by Ann Mah @VikingBooks

book_info18302355Title: Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris

Author: Ann Mah

Publisher: Viking Adults

Published: September 26, 2013

No. of Pages: 288

Format: Ebook

Category: Non Fiction

Genre: Biography, Food Memoir, Travel

But the book at: [Bookdepository]

Opening sentence:

book_blurbThe memoir of a young diplomat’s wife who must reinvent her dream of living in Paris—one dish at a time

When journalist Ann Mah’s diplomat husband is given a three-year assignment in Paris, Ann is overjoyed. A lifelong foodie and Francophile, she immediately begins plotting gastronomic adventures à deux. Then her husband is called away to Iraq on a year-long post—alone. Suddenly, Ann’s vision of a romantic sojourn in the City of Light is turned upside down.

So, not unlike another diplomatic wife, Julia Child, Ann must find a life for herself in a new city.  Journeying through Paris and the surrounding regions of France, Ann combats her loneliness by seeking out the perfect pain au chocolat and learning the way the andouillette sausage is really made. She explores the history and taste of everything from boeuf Bourguignon to soupe au pistou to the crispiest of buckwheat crepes. And somewhere between Paris and the south of France, she uncovers a few of life’s truths.

Like Sarah Turnbull’s Almost French and Julie Powell’s New York Times bestseller Julie and Julia, Mastering the Art of French Eating is interwoven with the lively characters Ann meets and the traditional recipes she samples. Both funny and intelligent, this is a story about love—of food, family, and France.

thoughtsWARNING TO THE HUNGRY SOULS OUT THERE!

Reading this book can cause a slow and painful hunger.

I read this book simply because I love Julia Child, I love dining and cooking. And I’ve been obsessed with French culinary.

I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Yes, I was captured from the first page. This book is so fascinating and everything Ann Mah wrote made me learn more about French food. I’m actually still writing a rough synopsys for my upcoming novel about culinary. Thanks to Ann Mah, I’ll definitely use this book as one of the food bibles that I’m going to use as my resource.

Like people said, before you read a book, you should have an open mind. And I did. Actually, this book is beyond my expectations. I love it to the core.

As a food enthusiast, I find this book very resourceful and also entertaining. I learn a lot about four-course dinner, French signature dish (which is sandwich, that simple), and how French people eat intestines (yuck!), and types of beef cuts. Ann did a thorough research and this book is the proof of her magnificent job.

Just like Julia Child, before going to France, Ann Mah was just a foreign officer wife who wrote about food. But, French food changed her life (and I’m sure this book changed other people’s life too).

I thought only Italians love eating. French does too. For them, dining is meant to be special.

Ann also explained a bit about historical background of each food that she mentioned. I love history and surely it adds it. This book gives insight about French culture through dining. I drooled all the time.

Can’t wait to read Ann’s other work.

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[Book Review] Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwang

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Title: Crazy Rich Asians

Author: Kevin Kwan

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday

Published: July 1st, 2013

No. of Pages: 416

ISBN: 9780385536981

Format: Ebook

Category: Fiction

Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary, Drama, Family

Buy the book at: BookdepositoryEbooks.com

Opening sentence: Nicholas Young slumped into the nearest seat in the hotel lobby, drained from the sixteen-hour flight from Singapore, the train ride from Heathrow Airport, and trudging through the rain-soaked streets.

book_blurb

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.
When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back. Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick’s formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should–and should not–marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider’s look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

thoughtsSaya membaca novel ini karena iseng mencari penulis baru untuk event bareng baca BBI. Ternyata, saya nggak salah pilih buku. Dari awal, buku ini udah bikin saya betah membacanya sampai sepet mata karena melawan kantuk setiap malam. Berhubung ada kesibukan lain, jadi pace membaca saya memang paling lambat parah bulan ini.

Crazy Rich Asians berfokus pada pasangan Nick Young dan Rachel Chu. Mereka berdua merupakan pasangan yang jadian gara-gara dijodohkan oleh teman Rachel.

Rachel yang berprofesi sebagai dosen di New York (demikian juga dengan Nick), tidak tahu sama sekali tentang background Nick yang membuatnya tercengang. Nick adalah anak dari orangtua super duper tajir, godly-rich-beyond-your-wildest-imagination.

Ibu Nick, Eleanor, seperti emak-emak Asia lainnya, rempong dan hobi berkumpul bersama emak-emak tajir lainnya. Emak-emak kalau ngumpul apa lagi kerjaannya kalau bukan menggosip dan saling nyinyir. Gosip tentang kedatangan Nick dan Rachel ke Singapura sampai ke telinga Eleanor, bahkan sebelum Nick memberitahukan tentang rencana kedatangannya. Eleanor, yang dikompori oleh tim horenya, mencari tahu latar belakang Rachel. Memang Rachel dibesarkan oleh ibunya yang seorang pekerja bidang real estate. Ayahnya meninggal ketika Rachel masih kecil.

Lalu, Eleanor menjadi tidak suka dan berusaha menentang hubungan Nick dengan Rachel, karena menurutnya Rachel bibit-bebet-bobotnya nggak pantas untuk Nick.

Selain menceritakan tentang pasangan Nick-Rachel, Crazy Rich Asians juga menceritakan tentang sepupu Nick, Astrid, yang menikah dengan Michael, engineer yang kondisi ekonominya jauh di bawah keluarga Astrid. Tidak bisa dipungkiri kalau kondisi seperti ini membuat ego lelaki terpukul. Perkawinan Astrid-Michael mengalami masalah.

Nick mengajak Rachel ke Singapura untuk menghadiri pesta pernikahan sahabatnya. Beberapa perempuan (mantan pacar Nick maupun penggemarnya) berusaha menyingkirkan Rachel.

Selain drama antar pasangan, keluarga, juga antar teman, Crazy Rich Asians menyajikan potret keluarga super kaya Asia dengan kemewahan luar biasa. Di sini juga diceritakan tentang tipe orang kaya. Ada yang banci tampil dan selalu ingin diliput oleh Asian Tattler, ada yang lebih suka bersembunyi di kastil yang lokasinya tidak terdeteksi GPS, ada juga yang menyembunyikan kekayaan dan hidup hemat. Tentu saja, bumbu humor segar juga tersebar di mana-mana, membuat saya harus menahan ngakak, apalagi pas baca buku ini selalu di malam hari, ketika suami dan anak sudah tidur.

Turn off (nggak parah juga sih sebenarnya) adalah terlalu banyak nama yang harus saya ingat di buku ini. Rame banget, jadi kaya pasar. Tapi, setelah beberapa bab, saya jadi terbiasa juga menghapal tokoh-tokohnya, walau pas baca besoknya saya harus berusaha merecall nama-nama tokohnya lagi.

So far, Crazy Rich Asians adalah buku terkocak dan paling menghibur di tahun 2013. Kalau kamu suka dengan buku chicklit satir yang over the top dan penuh humor khas keluarga Cina-Singapura, baca deh. Dijamin ketagihan nggak mau berhenti baca. Saya berharap Kevin Kwan merilis buku berikutnya yang setipe dengan Crazy Rich Asians ini. Oiya, buku ini dipuji oleh Anna Wintour dan Jackie Collins.

quotes

Being Mother Theresa is good for business.

Reunion sex was always the best.

NEVER, EVER wear green chiffon unless you want to look like bok choy that got gang-raped.

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Submitted for:

New Author Challenge

Baca Bareng BBI

[Book Review] Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

book_info

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Title: Before I Fall
Author: Lauren Oliver
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date of Published: March 2nd, 2010
ISBN: 9780061987496
Format: Ebook
Category: Fiction
Genre: YA, Contemporary, Fantasy
Literary Awards:
Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award (RT Award) Nominee for Best Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy Novel (2010), YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults (2011), Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis Nominee for Preis der Jugendjury (2011), Publishers Weekly’s Best Children’s Books of the Year for Fiction (2010), Goodreads Choice for Young Adult Fiction, Debut Author, Nominee for Goodreads Author, Favorite Heroine (2010)
First sentence:
They say that just before you die your whole life flashes before your eyes, but that’s not how it happened for me.

book_blurb

What if you had only one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: the world’s most crush-worthy boyfriend, three amazing best friends, and first pick of everything at Thomas Jefferson High—from the best table in the cafeteria to the choicest parking spot. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life.

Instead, it turns out to be her last.

Then she gets a second chance. Seven chances, in fact. Reliving her last day during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death—and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

thoughts

What would you do if you were given a second chance to live? Would you fix the damage that you’ve caused? Would you make it up to yourself?

That’s what happened to Sam. She’s dead but she came back to life to finish the unfinished business.

There’s a popular clique at Thomas Jefferson High School. Sam is one of the mean girls. They did terrible things to Juliet, a beautiful girl actually, an outcast and Sam’s friends’ target of bullying.

Things changed after the accident which took Sam’s life. But God is good, that He sent her back to September 12 over and over again to make things right.

One big secret was revealed. Sam never looks at Juliet and Kent like she used to.

This is not your typical YA novels. I was blown away. The message is clear: to reflect things that we’ve done and said. Are we ready to die and leave in peace?
Do you have unfinished business, things that you have to do before it’s to late?
I read this book all night and I was in tears. Gosh, this book is so good I’m still thinking about Sam, Kent and Juliet.

I really want to give everyone a big hug right now.

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Need a Second Opinion?

Sandy Now Wrote Review
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The Cow and Her Books Review

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