Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays (Feb 28, 2012)

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!

Current read: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Page 10 of 380 (Kindle version):

"People are put in the Hulks because they murder, and because they rob, and forge, and do all sorts of bad; and they always begin by asking questions. Now, you get along to bed!"

*said by Mrs Joe Gargery, Pip's sister

Thursday, February 23, 2012

BTT: Blogs

Pic from here

This week's question from Booking Through Thursday:
What do you look for when reading a book blog? Does the blogger have to read the same genre? Do you like reviews? Personal posts? Memes? Giveaways? What attracts you to a book blog?

And what are your favorite book blogs?
My answer:

Great question this week! Now there are so many book blogs out there and many of them are posting book reviews on almost the same books, which have just been published. If it is a book that I'm interested in, it's ok. But if it's not my kind of book, I'll usually skip those review posts.

Of course I'll keep going back to the blogs which discuss and review books that I read. I'm also attracted to blogs that have beautiful designs that are custom made. I'll just sit and stare at the blog for, like, several minutes, just admiring the design. :D

To make things easier for me, I compile my favourite blogs in my RSS Reader, so I only need to go through it to check out the latest posts by other blogs. If it's something like a personal post or a blogger's take on reading habits, discussions, reading charts, reading progress and also photos of books and bookcases (!!!), I'll head on over to the blog to read the post.

I used to be attracted to giveaways like how a bee is attracted to honey. But now I don't have much time to enter that many giveaways and most of the time, I don't win, so I've participated less in them.

As for my favourite blogs, check out my Linkie bar! :)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wrecking a Journal???

I made another discovery today. Hmm, ok, it's not really a discovery as I've seen this book somewhere online before but did not bother to read more about it.

Anyway, I'm talking about Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith. Weird title, huh? Wait, it gets weirder but the concept is really clever. This is not a normal journal where you pick up a pen, sit down and write out your thoughts of the day. You get to do so much more than that and the result will be having a journal which you will never forget in a long time.

Here's the description of the journal from Amazon:
For anyone who's ever wished to, but had trouble starting, keeping, or finishing a journal or sketchbook comes Wreck This Journal, an illustrated book that features a subversive collection of prompts, asking readers to muster up their best mistake- and mess-making abilities to fill the pages of the book (and destroy them). Acclaimed illustrator Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in "destructive" acts-poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting with coffee, and more-in order to experience the true creative process. Readers discover a new way of art and journal making-and new ways to escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process.

Wow, this journal is listed under the Self-Help category and it has 195 customer reviews! I think I'll get a copy for myself but not at the moment. I've just ordered several books from Amazon (will write a post when I receive them) and bought other stuff so shopping will have to take a back seat for a while.

By the way, check out this YouTube video of a completed copy of Wreck This Journal. The more I watch the video, the more I want to get a copy of the journal to get started!

OMG, check out this other video: To Create is to Destroy: Wreck This Journal #1

I cringed when he tried to crack the spine!!! How could anyone do that to a book???

Some of my favourite Wreck This Journal images:

Pic from here (I think one of the instructions in the journal is to step on two of the pages)

Pic from here

Pic from here

Another book with an almost similar concept is Mess: The Manual of Accidents and Mistakes, also by Keri Smith.

About this book (from Amazon):

Your whole life you've been taught to avoid making a mess: Try to keep everything under control, color inside the lines, make it perfect, and at all costs, avoid contact with things that stain. This book asks you to do the opposite of what you have been taught. Think of it as your own personal rumpus room. A place to let loose, to trash, to spew, to do the things you are not allowed to do in the "real world." It's time to make a mess.

The only three rules you'll find in this book:
1. Do not try to make something beautiful.
2. Do not think too much. (There is no "wrong.")
3. Continue under all circumstances.

Ah, both books sound so fun! Do you have a copy of either one of them?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I'm going to Avril Lavigne's concert!

Yes! I'm so excited! I'm going to Avril Lavigne's concert at Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur today!

The concert will start at 8.30pm but my friend and I will be there much earlier. I'm very, very excited! :D

This is Avril's second time visiting Malaysia. The first time she came here was around four years ago, in 2008. I was so sad I did not make it to her concert that time. Check out my 2008 blog post about it.

I have all four of her albums - Let Go, Under My Skin, The Best Damn Thing and Goodbye Lullaby. I have been her ardent fan since I was about 14, in 2002 when her first hit, 'Complicated' came out. Since then, I've never looked back!

Her songs are an inspiration to me. They are a comfort to me when I'm feeling down. They inspire me to be myself and to do what I want. I guess most people, especially young girls, are able to relate to her songs, most of them written by none other than her.

And now I get the chance to see her perform live! Can't wait! :)

Here is a recent interview with the 27-year-old Canadian rock star: Anything But Ordinary

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Day 6 – A book that makes me sad

This is the sixth post of the 30-Day Book Meme.

Day 6 – A book that makes you sad

I do remember reading several books that made me sad until I cried. No, I don't think I bawled like a baby but still, certain books did manage to evoke such strong emotions unlike other books.

But for this question, I'm going to pick a book which did not make me feel the happy kind of 'sad', you know what I mean. For example, Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern. It has a happy ending but I felt a bit teary for the two main characters who had to live almost their whole lives being apart until they realise that they are meant for each other. When they are already in their 50s. That's happy 'sad'.

For the really sad 'sad' kind of book, I'd choose The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne. If you have read the book or already know how it ends, you might understand. This book absorbed all my attention and the ending was even more gripping. I could not stop thinking of the ending even several days after I finished the book. Here is my review of it.

Would you want to share a book that made you sad?


Today, I finished reading and also reviewed Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella. It is the sixth book in the popular Shopaholic series, which is one of my favourites. :) Do check out my review of the book.

image taken from here

Here's wishing all my readers and also visitors of this blog a Happy Valentine's Day!

p.s. Did you watch the cute video on the Google homepage today (Feb 14)?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

BTT: Only Five Books!

This week's Booking Through Thursday question:
If you had to pick only 5 books to read ever again, what would they be and why?
My answer:

It's kind of hard to choose only five but here we go:

1. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

This book is downright endearing and funny. Even though the last time I read this book was years ago, I still remember how I used to chuckle at the main character, Christopher's thoughts and conversations with other people.

2. Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

I read this book twice and oh no, I can't believe I haven't watched the movie yet! It is because of this book that I name Marchetta as one of my favourite authors. The only other book I've read by her is Jellicoe Road but that one is brilliant as well! In Looking for Alibrandi, I like the story, its flow and of course, the characters and what brings them together.

3. The True Story of Lilli Stubeck by James Aldridge

I remember liking this book because of how studious Lilli Stubeck was when she was under the care of an older, more cultured lady. Somehow, it was like a motivation for me to study harder and to read more books!

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

This was among the first few classics that I've read and so far, I've liked only this! I keep watching the movie version too, the one starring Anna Paquin. Why I like this story? Hmm, probably because of the relationship between Mr Rochester and Jane, though I think Mr Rochester is way too old for her.

5. The Harry Potter books by J.K. Rowling (Yeah, I know it's already more than five, but any of the Harry Potter books will do)

Should I explain this?? Haha! I like the books because of the characters especially Ron and Hermione! :)

What books would you read again?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Day 5 - A book that makes me happy

This is the fifth post of the 30-Day Book Meme.

Day 5 - A book that makes you happy

Oh dear, what does this question mean? How do I choose which book makes me happy when reading it? What kind of happy? Could it be happy with a funny, humorous book or happy with a book that ends on a happy note or something else? Ok, I should just probably pick one! And I admit that I'm going through my Goodreads page now to choose my answer.

*one minute later*

So I've scrolled through my pitiful selection of books on Goodreads and have come to a handful of optional answers. I want to choose Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern but the happy feeling I get from reading this book just isn't that of a strong kind of happy.

Therefore, I'm going to choose the Calvin and Hobbes comic book as my answer. Calvin is an endearing little character with all his funny antics and thought-provoking musings. His imaginary friend and stuffed toy, Hobbes, is just as memorable.

Combine the two with the other characters such as Calvin's parents, teacher, girl-frenemy (Susie Derkins - one of my favourite characters!), the baby-sitter, the bully and other characters that appear occasionally.

I've been reading the Calvin and Hobbes comic books ever since I was nine (??) or 10 years old. I don't read much of them now but would try to re-read them during my free time.

How about you? What are/were your favourite comic books? What book(s) makes you happy?

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Happy Birthday, Charles Dickens!

Today is Charles Dickens' 200th birthday. I only knew about it when I opened the Google homepage today and was smitten by the graphic design of the Google logo. I really like it!

I clicked on the logo and out came the search results which included lots of articles and blog posts on the writer whose full name was Charles John Huffam Dickens. He was born on Feb 7, 1812 and died at the age of 58 on June 9, 1870.

You can also watch a video of his life (it's more like a cute summary of his life) in the YouTube video below. I discovered the video via My English Scrapbook.

So now I'll compile books, movies, blogs, etc, that are related to Dickens.


Well, I'm sure you are familiar with his works such as Oliver Twist, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickleby, Bleak House and The Old Curiosity Shop.

Wow. And I've just discovered several graphic novels of Dickens' novels. Here is an example:
A Christmas Carol: The Graphic Novel adapted by Sean Michael Wilson


I watched this film on Nov 28 last year during the European Union Film Festival 2011 at Gurney Plaza in Penang, Malaysia. It starred John Mills and Jean Simmons. It was a rather old movie, in black and white, and I was not really familiar with the cast.

But I found myself engrossed in the movie and I liked Simmons who played young Estella. The young Pip did really well too. The movie was sort of humorous at certain parts though I thought that the ending rather abrupt. All that aside, I think the movie stayed close to the book. But I've only ever read the abridged version! (I know, I know. I have to read the entire novel one day.)

If you want to watch other movie versions of the Great Expectations novel, check out:
1. Great Expectations (1974 film) starring Michael York
2. Great Expectations (1998 film) starring Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow

For movies based on his other novel, Oliver Twist:
Oliver! (1968 film) starring Mark Lester and Ron Moody

and A Tale of Two Cities:
A Tale of Two Cities (1980 film) starring Chris Sarandon


I came across Reading Charles Dickens where the blow owner, Edward, is currently on a mission of sorts to read all the published works of Dickens or any publications about him, throughout year 2012.

Like what he wrote on his About page - 'For the next 365 days, I will eat, work, sleep and dream Charles Dickens.'

Reading Challenge:

I was wondering if there was a 2012 reading challenge with Charles Dickens as the theme when I found that Newly Impassioned Soul is hosting such a challenge. I think I'm going to sign up for it!

How about you?

Other fun stuff (on Etsy):

1. Charles Dickens necklace
2. Vintage English Charles Dickens style tin (pic left)
3. Charles Dickens Butterfly Antique Bronze Necklace
4. Oliver Twist Book Purse Handbag and Kindle E-reader cover
5. Great Expectations mini Moleskine journal

Don't you just love Etsy for all the random but really cool stuff that are sold there?? :)

Anyway, this is the end of this post dedicated solely to the very famous English author, Charles Dickens and his works of literature, also movie adaptations, which are still being read and enjoyed by millions of people worldwide.

I hope you enjoyed reading it!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Forgotten Bookmarks blog

Do you buy used books from the secondhand bookstore? Ever found any interesting scribbles in the books? You'd be lucky to find any!

I came across this really interesting blog a couple of weeks ago. It is called Forgotten Bookmarks with postings by Michael Popek, 'a used and rare bookseller who buys books from people every day'. Now don't you envy his job???

So every time he finds something in a used book, such as a bookmark, note, letter, recipe written on a scrap of paper, a hate letter, photograph, receipt, shopping list or other random stuff, he will just post it up on his blog.

I think I could start doing that too if I ever come across something like that worth sharing.

There's even a published book on the bookmarks he had found! It's aptly titled 'Forgotten Bookmarks'.

About the book:
It's happened to all of us: we're reading a book, something interrupts us, and we grab the closest thing at hand to mark our spot. It could be a train ticket, a letter, an advertisement, a photograph, or a four-leaf clover. Eventually the book finds its way into the world-a library, a flea market, other people's bookshelves, or to a used bookstore. But what becomes of those forgotten bookmarks? What stories could they tell?

By day, Michael Popek works in his family's used bookstore. By night, he's the voyeuristic force behind www.forgottenbookmarks.com, where he shares the weird objects he has found among the stacks at his store.

Forgotten Bookmarks is a scrapbook of Popek's most interesting finds. Sure, there are actual bookmarks, but there are also pictures and ticket stubs, old recipes and notes, valentines, unsent letters, four-leaf clovers, and various sordid, heartbreaking, and bizarre keepsakes. Together this collection of lost treasures offers a glimpse into other readers' lives that they never intended for us to see. 

As I was going through the older posts in his blog, Popek had posted on Jan 17 about how some $10,000 worth of books were lost in a pipe burst incident. What a huge amount. Go on and visit his blog to read about it.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

New look on the blog!

I guess you might have noticed by now that my blog is sporting a new look. After almost six years of blogging and many changes to the blog's template (some rather unfortunate ones, some really nice ones) I have finally decided to get a professional blog designer to give my blog a refreshing makeover.

You know, nice templates are not easy to find!

What you see now on the blog is all thanks to the amazing Sheila of Blog Designs by Sheila. I contacted her on Jan 16 to request for a custom blog design, she replied and then, before I knew it, the blog designing process started! She was so efficient, patient and always asked me how I wanted my blog to look like. I also appreciated whatever feedback she gave me. I was really excited at that time and really could not wait for the final result!

If you were to ask me, what do I like best about my blog, it would be very difficult for me to just point at one thing and say that it is my favourite. For instance, in the header, I love the image of the girl (!!!), the stacks of books and the cute, little hearts.

I also ♥ the social buttons, the colour combinations, the blog post divider, the blockquotes, the fonts and the blog button.

As for the flowery background, I wasn't sure whether to go ahead with it. But after some thought and discussion with a few others including my mom and a friend, I decided to keep the background. It looks so cheery! That's how I want my blog to make me feel, to also make me be in the mood to blog about one of my favourite topics more often - books.

So now, it's a new year and thus a new look for Books Love Me! I am excited in looking forward to what the future holds for me and for this blog. :)

But wait, here's a quick run through of most of the previous blog templates! (Sigh...I wish I had kept screenshots of EVERY blog template I ever used here.) But anyway, enjoy!

I had even designed the blog header (above) by myself in 2010!

and now...it looks like this! (see below)

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