Sunday, January 31, 2010

My first book giveaway of the year! (Book Giveaway #7)

Hey there!

Yup, you stand the chance to win a gently-read copy of The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson.  Read my review of the book here.  I was lucky enough to have won it from Em's Bookshelf some time last year.

About the book:
Who is Jenna Fox?

Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a year-long coma, and she's still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. Her parents show her home movies of her life, her memories, but she has no recollection. Is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?

Little by little, Jenna begins to remember. Along with the memories come questions—questions no one wants to answer for her. What really happened after the accident?

In this fascinating novel, acclaimed author Mary E. Pearson presents an unforgettable look at one human life and a glimpse into a possible future that may be closer than we think.

This giveaway is open to ANYONE in the world.  (do make sure you have a mailing address!)  It's also open to those who have won in my previous contests.  :)

Okay, here go the rules:
  1. Leave a comment along with your e-mail address on this post saying that you want to enter - 1 entry
  2. Blog about this giveaway and leave me the link - 2 entries
  3. Become a follower/Add me to your blogroll/I'm already in your blogroll (please let me know) - 5 entries
Contest ends on January 31, 2010.  I'll be using to choose the winner.  Good luck!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

MegaBook Giveaway at Teens Read & Write!

The awesome family team over at Teens Read & Write are holding another MegaBook Giveaway!  For now, there'll be 12 winners and a great stack of YA books to choose from.  It's open worldwide (yeah!!!) and contest ends March 7, 2010.  Don't wait to visit their blog and be their follower cos the more followers they get, the more winners there'll be.

Good luck!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing!

I'm reading this book right now. Below is the press release for it:

Where Life Is a Dance and Disco Is a State of Mind

In Her Latest Novel, Queen of Boomer Lit Allison Bottke Offers Mature Women Contemporary Fiction with an Attitude!

With over seventy-eight million baby boomers alive today, a demand for women’s fiction that deals with age-appropriate issues has grown exponentially in recent years. Out of the ever-increasing number of novelists that feature characters in their 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s, best-selling author Allison Bottke has distinguished herself as a true “queen” of boomer lit.

Allison has launched her new Va-Va-Va Boom series, published by David C Cook, where vibrant, successful fifty-somethings share laughter, tears, and advice as they pop into each others’ lives via the Internet—and the airlines! Brought together in an online community known as Boomer Babes Rock, Susan, Patricia, and Mary form a fast friendship, even though they live in different parts of the country and lead completely different lives.

“My boomer babe characters are fun, fashionable, funky, and faithful women who are following the dreams of their hearts,” Allison says. “I want to provide readers with enjoyable fiction about sassy and seasoned women achieving dreams, not complaining about their aches and pains. I also want to provide an honest but positive look at long-term marriage.”

In You Make Me Feel Like Dancing, the first book in the Va-Va-Va Boom series, Susan Anderson owns and operates a hip hair salon on the Las Vegas strip, decorated with her collection of disco memorabilia accumulated decades ago when she was one of the beautiful people on New York’s disco scene. Now happily married, Susan is known for her business savvy, her fabulous vintage ensembles, her faith, her big heart—and the impromptu disco dance numbers salon staff and clients join in when the spirit moves. If life is a dance, Susan’s mastered all the moves.

But an exciting business opportunity, her husband’s impending retirement, and her 50th birthday rock her world, shaking Susan’s foundation and revealing regrets and painful memories she thought she’d dealt with. Will Susan be able to face her past, reinvent her marriage, launch a new dream . . . and keep on dancing?

You Make Me Feel Like Dancing by Allison Bottke
David C Cook/June 2009/ISBN: 978-1-434799-49-4/437 pages/softcover/$14.99 ~

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Year, New Contests!

Stephanie D from Misfit Salon is having two contests! How cool is that??? For her first contest, there'll be three winners and they get to choose their prizes from a list of books. Some of them are signed copies too! Contest ends Jan 22, 2010.

In her second contest, she's giving away an ARC of The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova. You'll need to state your favourite painting for this. Contest ends Jan 14, 2010.


Diane from The Book Resort is giving away a copy of the beautiful book of Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  I really dig the cover of the book!  Open worldwide.  Contest ends Jan 31, 2010.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The truth about Malaysian independent movies

First off, Happy New Year! I didn't have the chance to wish you guys that as I was busy finishing up my movie analyses research work for my lecturer. The movies I had to analyze were all Malaysian movies and some of them are very, very good. The movies, I mean. Among the notable ones are:


  1. The Big Durian directed by Amir Muhammad
  2. Apa Khabar Orang Kampung (Village People Radio Show) directed by Amir Muhammad
  3. Flower in the Pocket directed by Liew Seng Tat
  4. Rain Dogs directed by Ho Yuhang
  5. Buli by Afdlin Shauki
Some of the above movies can be bought here. The first four movies in the above list are independent movies, meaning that they were not shown in the cinemas. There were some public screenings but the turnout wasn't big due to lack of publicity. Apa Khabar Orang Kampung (Village People Radio Show) was banned in the country due to "misleading information" in the film. Still, it was pretty informative and I'm glad that I had the chance to watch it.

Even the horrific Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam (about a female vampire) was laudable and had valuable messages to convey to its audience. I pretty much stay away from horror movies so I left this one for last. I didn't want to have sleepless nights! In order for me to complete my work, I need to get my beauty sleep so I'll feel refreshed. So when I watched the movie, I averted my eyes whenever the vampire appeared. Man, she's downright frightening! Blue skin, long black unruly hair and worst of all, her bloodshot eyes! I wouldn't watch it for free.  And I couldn't understand how a beautiful young woman (played by actress Maya Karin) could turn into something so frightful after she was murdered.

Buli was hilarious!  I don't always watch Malay movies unless they were comedies because I feel they are some of the best comedies I've ever seen and Buli is no exception.  The actors were brilliant, especially Ako Mustapha and the jokes genuinely funny.  Okay, some were overdone but that's only minor.  Buli is about Nordin who has really low self-esteem and is very conscious of his weight.  He doesn't have many friends as he's been bullied since he was young.  What's worse is that his old bully, Roy, is back to torture him during their working days.  Roy has made Nordin's life a living hell ever since they were children right up until their university days.  It sure is hard for Nordin to evade Roy.

Local movies, especially independent ones, don't get as much hype as foreign ones.  Why?  Well, some are not that good that they are terribly boring and might not make any sense.  But that's what the director's trying to do.  He or she had a reason for making their movies so complex.  These are usually the independent filmmakers who produce their own films.  They made movies which seriously discuss current issues that have to do with politics, the economy and society.  Themes that are way too serious and too troublesome for the typical movie-goer who only wants to be entertained as they have paid around RM10 for a movie ticket.  Go on Wednesdays where it's only RM6!  :D

So after watching my ten given movies over and over again and then analysing them, I had an entirely different opinion of the local film industry and its budding filmmakers.  Some of the movies may not contain high quality special effects.  The camera may be handheld.  The budget for the film may be low.  But they did what they had to do.  They only wanted to make movies to express their thoughts and ideas regarding life and other serious issues that should be discussed.  They wanted to inform and educate viewers.

Therefore, give these movies a chance.  For once, skip the mindless Transformers and cliched Hollywood movies (though some of these Hollywood ones appeal to me too!) and spend some time getting to know local movies, current issues and most importantly, yourself.
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