Sunday, September 27, 2009

I won the Superior Scribbler Award!

StephanieD from Misfit Salon presented The Superior Scribbler Award to five bloggers and wow, I'm one of them. Thank you so much, Stephanie! I'm really honoured to be even considered. :)

Some of the rules to be followed:

  • Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.
  • Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.
  • Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!
  • Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

I'm now gonna pass on this award to the following five bloggers:

  1. KittyCat from Right Reads - A perceptive blogger who writes great reviews of most of my favourite books!
  2. Diane from The Book Resort - I like the insightful quotes that she posts every now and then. Her blog is a cheery one as it's adorned with cute, sparkly graphics.
  3. Nymeth from Things Mean a Lot - Another blogger whose reviews I really enjoy reading. She reviews books regularly. I'm amazed at how fast she reads them and still have the energy to write wonderful reviews!
  4. The Reading Monk - He reads thought-provoking books which I think I should read too.
  5. nylusmilk from The Literary Pursuit - Her K.I.S.S. style reviews are a joy to read. She also occasionally shares interesting bookish articles found during her Internet surfing.

I would really like to give this award to all the book bloggers out there as you're doing a wonderful job (reading, blogging and sharing!) in the book blogging community. All the same, keep up the great work, guys!

Boys Like Girls...and vice versa

I thought I had better get in touch with the latest music. The other day, I came across a blogger whose favourite band is Boys Like Girls. Apparently, this band is coming to Malaysia soon (not sure when) and I don't even know what songs they sing! Nah, it's not like I'm going to attend their concert. Concerts are usually held in Kuala Lumpur or Genting Highlands. They are rarely held in Penang. :(

So I visited You Tube and searched for this particular band. Ahh, seems like I've heard one of their songs, The Great Escape, on radio before. So that's what they sang. I listened to a few more of their songs on You Tube but found that The Great Escape is their nicest song.

The song 'Thunder' which is one of their ballads has great lyrics. Check out a portion of the song:

Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer
Do you know you're unlike any other?
You'll always be my thunder, and I said
Your eyes are the brightest of all the colors
I dont wanna ever love another
You'll always be my thunder
So bring on the rain
And bring on the thunder

Today is a winding road
Tell me where to start and tell me something I dont know, whoa
Today I'm on my own
I can't move a muscle and I can't pick up the phone, I don't know

And now I'm itching for the tall grass
And longing for the breeze
I need to step outside, just to see if I can breathe
I gotta find a way out
Maybe there's a way out

Some parts are cheesy but I like how they associated weather and environmental elements with feelings and emotions.

Nevertheless, they're not my favourite band. I'm just trying to keep up with the times. :)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Friday Finds (Sept 25, 2009)

This weekly meme is hosted by Should be Reading.

Click on the pictures to visit the book's page on Amazon.

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

I don't remember where I first saw it but it was through one of the book giveaways held by another book blogger. I'm intrigued by the story of Anastasia Romanov and have always enjoyed watching the cartoon version. Embarrassing, I know, but I like Dimitri's character.

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

Okay, so this wasn't a recent find but it's still in my wishlist! :)

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Blue Umbrella trailer

The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason

The Blue Umbrella, by Mike Mason from David C. Cook on Vimeo.

About the book:

What would happen if all the world’s weather was controlled by one man with a blue umbrella? If your mother had been killed by lightning, would you trust this man? This is the decision facing 10-year-old Zac Sparks in Mike Mason’s new page-turning fantasy novel, The Blue Umbrella (David C Cook, October 2009). Probing the depths of good and evil, the first in Mason’s series for 9 to 12 year olds is a superbly written children’s story with deep spiritual resonance.

When Zac Sparks’ mother dies, he’s sent to live in Five Corners with his cruel old Aunties. It isn’t long before Zac knows something strange is going on. Five Corners is populated with weird characters—a midget butler, a girl who doesn’t speak, a blind balloon seller, and a mysterious singer who is heard but not seen. Then there’s the Aunties’ father, Dada. Zac’s first encounter with Dada is so terrifying he faints dead away.

The one bright spot is Sky Porter, the proprietor of the general store across the street, a friendly soul who encourages Zac—when the Aunties aren’t looking—and shows him a kindness that is sadly lacking from his dismal life. But Sky isn’t what he seems either, and when Zac learns Sky’s amazing secret he realizes, to his dismay, that this wonderful man may have a very dark side as well.

Discovering that Dada is an evil magician who is intent on stealing the ultimate treasure, Zac knows many lives are at stake, including his own. With time running out, he must turn to the one person who might be able to help: Sky Porter. Can Zac trust him?

May Lady Luck be on my side

An update of some new book giveaways. I've listed them out according to contest deadlines. Do keep checking to see if I've added new ones. Good luck!

Mel from He Followed Me Home....Can I Keep Him? is giving away a copy of Bending Toward the Sun by Leslie Gilbert-Lurie. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 15. Hurry!!!

Steph Su from Steph Su Reads is giving away a copy of Ash by Malinda Lo. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 15. Hurry!!!

Melody from Melody's Reading Corner is giving away a book of your choice (you can choose from her list of favourite books!). Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 18.

Kristen from We Be Reading is giving away a bookstore gift card worth USD25. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 18.

Teresa from Shelf Love is giving away a book of your choice. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 18.

Jo-Jo from Jo-Jo loves to read is giving away one of two books. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 18.

Austenfan from Reality Bites...Fiction Does It Better! is giving away a copy of Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran. Open internationally. Contest ends September 19.

Alice from Hello, My Name is Alice is giving away a book of your choice (choose from her list of books). Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 19.

Beth F from Beth Fish Reads is giving away THREE books to one lucky reader. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 19.

The Book Smugglers are giving away TWO copies of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 19.

Literary Feline from Musings of a Bookish Kitty is giving away a copy of First Daughter by Eric Van Lustbader and A World I Never Made by James LePore. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 20.

lizzysiddal from Lizzy's Literary Life is giving away a book of your choice. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 20.

Jenn from Jenn's Bookshelves is giving away a book of your choice as long as it's under USD20. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 21.

celi.a from adventures of cecelia bedelia is giving away a copy of a Sarah Dessen book. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 22.

Marie from The Burton Review is giving away a copy of The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 22.

Literary Feline from Musings of a Bookish Kitty is giving away a book of your choice. Contest ends Sept 23.

Bermudaonion's Weblog is giving away a copy of The Boy Next Door by Irene Sabatini. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 25.

Celi.A from adventures of cecelia bedelia is giving away a copy of Jasmyn by Alex Bell. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 25.

Alice from Hello, My Name is Alice is giving away a copy of The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 25.

Hazra from Advance Booking is giving away a copy of Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 25.

Krista from Tower of Books is giving away Cleopatra's Daughter and The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 25.

Brittanie from A Book Lover is giving away a $15 gift card of a bookstore of your choice. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 27.

Lauren from Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf is giving away a copy of Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 28.

Teddyree from The Eclectic Reader is giving away Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick OR Fire by Kristen Cashore OR Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. You get choose which book you'd like to win! Open internationally. Contest ends September 30.

Allie from Hist-Fic Chick is giving away a copy of The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 30.

Jo-Jo from Jo-Jo loves to read is giving away a copy of Cleopatra's Daughter by Michelle Moran. Open worldwide. Contest ends Sept 30.

Robby from Running For Fiction is giving away FIVE books. Contest ends Sept 30.

Kim from The Book Butterfly is giving away THREE copies of signed books by Brad Barkley and Heather Hepler. Open worldwide. Contest ends Oct 4.

Lauren from Lauren's Crammed Bookshelf is giving away a signed copy of Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough. Open worldwide. Contest ends Oct 5.

The Book Resort from The Book Resort is giving away a copy of The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown. Open worldwide for her followers only. Contest ends Oct 23.

Diane from The Book Resort is giving away a copy of Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick. Open worldwide. Contest ends Oct 31.

Total Security Nightmare

Imagine the horror when I realized that there was a very troublesome spyware which managed to steal its way into my computer a couple of days ago. The spyware Total Security is an impostor. It pretends to be an anti-virus programme and suggests "solutions" for you.

Beware!!! Do not keep it too long in your computer or it'll slow everything down. I have no idea how it got in my computer in the first place. Perhaps I got it by visiting some malicious website and the spyware had the chance to invade my computer system. It looked like a normal anti-virus software and it even displayed the number of "infections" in my computer.

It also had the same display as my Windows Security Center. The Firewall and Automatic Updates were shown as "On" but my Virus Protection was "Off". It said that my Total Security anti-virus was unregistered or something, I don't remember but it prompted me to do something to fix the problem. Then it got irritating as it kept popping up small windows asking me to run updates.

The nightmare was that it's difficult to delete it! I went to Program Files and tried to delete the tsc.exe file but it refused to be deleted. I searched high and low on the Internet and found a number of websites dedicated to the removal of this spyware.

Okay, here's how I finally got rid of it:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete to open up Windows Task Manager. Under the Applications tab, I clicked on the Total Security task and ended it. I quickly went to Program Files to delete the TS file. Still can't be deleted.

  2. I opened up Windows Task Manager again and ended the Total Security task again. Then, under the Processes tab, I simply clicked on an image name that was similar to tsc. Of course, this was somewhat dangerous but it was a risk I was willing to take. :D

  3. So I immediately went back to Program Files and tried to delete the TS file. To my relief, the file disappeared. The small TS icons on the bottom right of my desktop also went off.
Here are two websites that I visited to get information on how to remove this Total Security spyware:

Remove Total Security 2009 fake antispyware
Remove Total Security 2009 Total Security Removal Guide

But the comments in this site helped me the most:
How to remove Total Security Protection Center

I also downloaded the Spyware Doctor security software hoping that it'd remove Total Security but all it did was scan my computer for infected files. For it to protect my computer and to remove TS, I'd need to buy the USD29.95 full version. Well, looks like I don't need it anymore!

I Won A Book!

Yay!!! I won a copy of The Luminous Life of Lilly Aphrodite by Beatrice Colin from lizzysiddal's recent BBAW book giveaway. It's been a long time since I won anything so this is a really happy moment for me. :)

Thanks for the giveaway, lizzy!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

To all my Muslim friends who are celebrating Hari Raya, I'd like to wish you Selamat Hari Raya and drive safely home! :)

If you'd like to know more about this festival which is celebrated in Malaysia and other Muslim countries every year, you may visit this Wikipedia page.

It is celebrated after the fasting month of Ramadan.

As for me, I have a week's worth of holiday. It means it's time to get my study stuff sorted out and assignments done!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Thoughts for the day

I bargained with Life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However I begged at evening
When I counted my scanty store;

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial's hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have paid!

-Jessie Rittenhouse


It Can Be Done

The ones who miss all the fun
Are those who say, "It can't be done."
In solemn pride they stand aloof
And greet each venture with reproof.
Had they the power they'd efface
The history of the human race.
We'd have no radio or motor cars,
No street lit by electric stars;
No telegraph nor telephone,
We'd linger in the age of stone.
The world would sleep if things were run
By those who say, "It can't be done."

-Author Unknown

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays (Sept 15)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!

Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Look who's talking - Miss Career."
"I can be perfectly happy without having a man hanging around and telling me what to do, if that's what you mean," Ida said. "You just can't depend on them. Take Jamal, for example - going to Singapore during Hari Raya!"
Again Sharifah blushed.
Mira broke the ensuing silence by saying, "Did you hear? Youngest Aunt said Rudi married a widower with two children."

pg 81, 'Home for Hari Raya', Lovers and Strangers Revisited by Robert Raymer.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What I'm Reading Now

A new weekly event and hosted by J. Kaye! It's called What Are You Reading On Mondays? I came across it while browsing through The Eclectic Reader's blog.

So, the question is: what am I reading this week?

Two books. Fearless #1 by Francine Pascal and Lovers and Strangers Revisited by Robert Raymer.

I discovered the Fearless series from the school library during my secondary school years. And was instantly hooked by it. Now I'm hoping to collect all the books in the series - all 36 of them.

For those who haven't heard of it before, it's about a teenage girl, Gaia, who's born without the fearless gene. She's specially trained in several forms of martial arts and can take down a group of men who dare try to fight her. Well, she's not afraid of anything so she's happy going out for a stroll in the middle of the night hoping to run into a criminal lurking in the dark. It would be a bad experience for the guy then.

As for the book, Lovers and Strangers Revisited, it's a collection of short stories written by university lecturer Robert Raymer. They are written with Malaysian elements incorporated in them which makes it all the more interesting. It has also been voted most popular in the Popular-The Star Readers’ Choice Awards 2009. Reading this book will certainly help me in writing a short story for my creative writing class.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Roald Dahl Day

Today, the world celebrates one of the world's most well-known authors of children's books. It's none other than Roald Dahl's birthday today. Dahl was born on Sept 13, 1916 and wrote a number of books, which are still and will be appreciated by adults and children alike.

These are some of the popular children's books by Dahl. They are all old edition covers. I enjoy looking at first edition covers! It's like going back in history.

Anyway, here are some cool Roald Dahl facts which I found in Wikipedia:
  • Roald was named after the polar explorer Roald Amundsen, a national hero in Norway.

  • Dahl first attended The Cathedral School, Llandaff. At the age of eight, he and four of his friends were caned by the headmaster after putting a dead mouse in a jar of sweets at the local sweet shop, which was owned by a "mean and loathsome" old woman called Mrs Pratchett (wife of blacksmith David Pratchett).

  • Dahl was very tall, reaching 6'6" (1.98m) in adult life, and he was good at sports, being made captain of the school fives and squash teams, and also playing for the football team.

  • In November 1939, Dahl joined the Royal Air Force. After a 600-mile car journey from Dar-es-Salaam to Nairobi, he was accepted for flight training with 20 other men, and was one of only three who survived the war, as the other 17 died in combat.

  • His first children's book was The Gremlins, about mischievous little creatures that were part of RAF folklore.

  • He also had a successful parallel career as the writer of macabre adult short stories, usually with a dark sense of humour and a surprise ending.
Have fun celebrating Roald Dahl Day!


For my Secret Scroll giveaway held recently, the winner is:


Congratulations! A big thank you to everyone who entered. I'm looking forward to my next giveaway so look out for it! :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Surprise, Surprise

Current song stuck in my head:

No Surprise by Daughtry

Like his previous singles, Over You and Home, this song had me listening to it over and over again without getting sick of it. Yet. :)

Chris Daughtry does have a voice that'll make the listener want to know who it belongs to. When I heard this song on the radio, I sat right next to it and waited for it to end and for the radio deejay to mention the song's name.

I like the chorus:

It's no surprise I won't be here tomorrow
I can't believe that I stayed till today
Yeah you and I will be a tough act to follow
But I know in time we'll find this was no surprise

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mad for Maths

I loved it when the holidays came during my school-going time years ago. Of course, after weeks and weeks of studying, I do deserve a long break. I used to reread my Enid Blyton books about children going away to visit cousins, aunts, uncles, nannies and then having seemingly unlimited adventures. How I used to envy the characters!

But nothing lasts forever. The holidays were bound to come to an end and it’s time to psyche myself up to look forward to school. My long break usually lasted for two months and since I rarely go near my school books during the holidays, it’s not surprising that I might have forgotten what I’ve studied before. Well I never attended tuition so I had to refresh my memory at home by myself. If I didn’t understand anything, I would just ask my parents or my sister. I’m lucky to have such smart people in my life!

And when it came to questions, it was usually Mathematics questions. I loved Maths (kind of miss solving them problems now!) and would love the challenge of solving a problem. How I’d feel when I could solve a difficult problem. I’d let out a big sigh, grin widely and throw my hands up in the air in jubilation. Mathematics isn’t just about logic and solution to me. It does have its emotional aspects too, for me.

Anyway, thanks to the Internet, I’d shoot my questions to Maths experts online who’d guide me on solving the problems. They wouldn’t give the answer straightaway but only gave the first few steps and then provided an explanation. I could still ask more if I didn’t understand. The other fun part of doing Maths is feeling happy and excited whenever anyone responded to my questions online.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back From Blogging Break & a Giveaway #6!


Hi everyone, how have you been doing? :) I've been busy the past couple of months, that's why I haven't been blogging! With my internship and also adjusting myself back to uni life, I decided to take a small break from blogging. I'm awfully sorry for not putting up a notice or anything but thank you very much for continuing your visits here!

To make it up to you, I am giving away a hardcover copy of The Secret Scroll by Ronald Cutler (read my review of it here). I've only read the book once so it's in almost new condition! A rather exciting read and it's almost like reading Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

Product Description from Amazon:

Josh Cohan, a work-obsessed archaeology professor, has a recurring dream about a great secret. He follows his instincts to the Judean desert, where he makes a fantastic discovery an ancient scroll which seems to have been written by Jesus Christ. The Israeli Antiquities Authority has a claim on the scroll, but another, more sinister organization wants the scroll as well. The Guardians, members of an ancient extremist religious sect, are willing to kill to get what they want.

Josh joins the government-sponsored team of translators who believe the scroll might be genuine, and falls in love with Danielle, the fiery daughter of one of the translators. When a friend turns up dead and Danielle goes missing, Josh realizes that the scroll might be more powerful and controversial than he had ever imagined. Will Josh be able to prevent something terrible from happening to the woman he loves without giving up the most important discovery mankind has ever made?

This giveaway is only open to those residing in Malaysia. To enter, just do any or all of the following:

1. Leave a comment and your e-mail address saying you want to participate - 1 entry

2. Blog about this giveaway in your blog and tell me about it - 2 entries

3. Adding me to your blogroll or if I'm already in your blogroll - 5 entries

You have until Sept 10, 2009 to enter. If you have any questions, you may e-mail me at josettebooks[at]yahoo[dot]com. Good luck!
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