Thursday, November 29, 2012

Lovely surprise in the mail!

I love getting books in the mail. But since I participated in several Secret Santa exchanges this year, it has become an even more exciting occasion.

What better way to greet me at home after work yesterday than a lovely red package from Australia??? Check out the picture above. My Secret Santa from The Broke and Bookish Secret Santa Exchange sent me Nation by Terry Pratchett, a Classic Penguin/Penguin Classic tote bag, a lovely 2013 calendar, a special bookmark and a cute Christmas card - all tied up neatly in a funky red and white string!

I love the presents! I can't wait to start reading the book, to fill in activities for 2013 and to use the tote bag.

Thanks so much, Kayleigh of Nylon Admiral! =)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays (Party Frock by Noel Streatfeild)

Current read: Party Frock by Noel Streatfeild

Page 128 of 224

It was no good John being proud. He had no more idea what to do with twenty-five horses and forty-two monks than he would have known what to do with Sally's ballet. He came down to Philip, his face scarlet.

'You tell them, I can't'.

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 and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Book Giveaway at Bookish

Wow, this giveaway hosted by Evie at Bookish should get you book lovers extremely excited. The winner will get a box of books - 10 books to be exact! This giveaway is international too!

If you win (lucky you!), you can choose 10 titles from the list on Evie's blog. That's not all, she will be adding more titles later on. This means you have more choices of books you want to win!

Her contest ends on Dec 31.

Book Giveaway at The Hollow Cupboards

Don't miss out on this exciting giveaway being hosted by Chey of The Hollow Cupboards to celebrate her blog reaching 1,000 followers. It is open to all her followers and it is international! Yay! So don't miss it. =)

Her contest ends in 49 days so that would be around early next year. Lots of time to enter!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Now Reading: Party Frock by Noel Streatfeild

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Book Journey

Right now I’m in the middle of Party Frock by Noel Streatfeild.

According to a website on books by Streatfeild, Party Frock was published in 1946 and the US edition in 1947 was called Party Shoes.

Now, it is only available as Party Shoes in the UK. It is no longer in print in the US. Fun facts, huh??? =)

I bought my copy from the used bookstore at the Chowrasta Bazaar in Penang. I wished I remembered the year I bought this book. I’m guessing it’s some time in 2009. Yeah, and I’m only reading it now!

But I think I have quite a special edition of the book. It’s not in perfect shape. In fact, pages began falling out when I began reading it last week. Now I’m torn between (no pun intended) giving away the book or keeping it for myself after I finish reading it. My copy, published in Armada Lions in 1971, is titled Party Frock, and as we know now, Party Frock is no more in print! This means my copy is sort of valuable, right??

So far I’ve only read two books by Streatfeild – Ballet Shoes for Anna and White Boots. I initially did not think I would enjoy reading Party Frock because of the book’s miserable condition. But it has since become quite a little page-turner.

It is unbelievable how seven children (Selina and her six cousins) plan to hold a pageant just because Selina received a frock and satin shoes from a godmother in America. It is mostly because there would not be any other suitable occasion to wear the frock as it was in the middle of the Second World War and times were hard.

But the children are as optimistic as ever. They still intent to go ahead and plan a pageant that involves a number of their neighbours in the village.

I’m at page 118 or 53% into the book now. Can’t wait to see how the pageant turns out!

If you have read this book before, let me know what you thought about it! =)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All About The Chocolate War

Well not quite! I finished reading the young adult novel, The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier two days ago, quite perplexed over the ending. Check out my review of the book here.

I then could not wait to start watching its film adaptation. The movie of the same name starred John Glover as the evil and cunning Brother Leon, one of the creepy characters in the book. His performance in the movie was superb. Another one is the intelligent Archie played by Wallace Langham. At the start of the movie, Archie's expression makes me think that he's about to vomit anytime....or probably that's how he looks anyway.

I was not happy with the movie's ending. I think the book was too depressing that a movie version of it cannot afford to be of the same mood. The main character, Jerry, had it worse for him in the book where he had to bear the feelings of grief, loneliness and intimidation. He is even bullied terribly at school. Not much of this was portrayed in the movie so don't avoid the film after reading the book.

Anyway, thanks to the film, I've come to know a new song, a very catchy song that is. In My Room by Yaz or Yazoo. Go listen to it. I feel that it suited the movie so much. I wonder if it was written specially for the movie?

I know that I should continue reading the sequel, Beyond The Chocolate War so as to know how it will end up for the schoolboys at the Trinity Catholic school. But from the description, I already expect for it to be just as depressing as the first book, if not more.

What should I read next???

Oh, do let me know if you have also reviewed The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. Leave your links and I will add them to my review on my other blog. Thanks!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Winners of books from Crown

pic taken from here

I apologise for the lateness of this post that should have been up four days ago!

Anyway, here are the winners who have won a book each from The Crown Publishing Group.

1. Carrie - A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid
2. Chandra - Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann
3. Julie - Break the Skin by Lee Martin

I have already e-mailed the winners and please reply as soon as you can! If I don't hear from you before Monday, I would have to pick another winner.

A note to Chandra - please write to me at josettebooks[at]yahoo[dot]com as I received a failed delivery notice after sending you an e-mail to the address you provided.

Once again, congratulations to the three winners! I'm looking forward to hold another book giveaway soon. :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where do I read?

This week's question on Booking Through Thursday:
What’s your favorite place to read? Do you have more than one? Can you read anywhere, or do you need things to be “just right?” Bonus points for sharing a photo of your favorite spot.
My answer:

The couch! It is comfy and there is enough lighting in the area.

Another place I like to read in is in bed. I do get into the habit of reading until I fall asleep. Must stop that.

And yeah, I can actually read anywhere - in the car (when I'm not driving), while waiting when running errands, etc. I only bring 'currently reading' books out if they are not too heavy.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

The Broke and Bookish Secret Santa Exchange

Guess what?? I've found another Secret Santa exchange. This one is organised by The Broke and the Bookish.

Here's what you need to do and know:
+ Get the full details here and send the moderators an e-mail before Nov 17.
+ Books sent can be new or used. You can add in other little fun goodies as well!
+ Send presents out before Dec 10.

Wait no more! If you wanna join in the fun of playing Secret Santa, go ahead and sign up! :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Clear Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

"Clear Your Shelf" Giveaway Hop 
Nov 12 - 18, 2012

Yay! Through this giveaway, I'm able to give away some of my unread books that I received for review to my fellow readers. :)

To help you decide on which book to choose, you can click on its title and read up on the book description and reviews on Amazon. As shipping isn't cheap, I'm offering less bulky paperbacks to international participants!

There will be three winners.

Win a book of your choice from the list below:

For international participants and those in Malaysia:

1. Super-Detective Flip Book: Two Complete Novels by Robert Leslie Bellem
2. Written in Blood by Sheila Lowe (click on title to read my review) (Note: Brownish pages, comes with promotional bookmark and author's autograph)
3. Pistonhead by Thomas A. Hauck (click on title to read my review)

For those in Malaysia:

1. The Spanish Bride by Georgette Heyer
2. False Colours by Georgette Heyer
3. The Last Days of Krypton by Kevin J. Anderson
4. In Leah's Wake by Terri Giuliano Long
5. The Tuscan Trilogy - A Rose By Any Other Name by Derek Adie Flower
6. Port of Entry: Agents and Lovers by John P. Lintz Sr

a Rafflecopter giveaway Don't forget to check out the other blogs participating in the hop!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Secret Santa 2012

I've been on the lookout for Secret Santa bookish gifts exchange for the past week and I'm so glad to finally stumble upon this event hosted by The Book Nympho and Goldilox and the Three Weres.

The concept is simple. Everyone gives and receives a book...all in the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season. :) I'm so excited!

I'll just run you through the basic rules:

+ It is open worldwide.
+ New books only.
+ Sign up before Nov 20.
+ Books must be shipped by Dec 10.

That's it! To sign up and for more details, visit The Book Nympho or Goldilox and the Three Weres.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Book giveaway: Fiction books from Crown

*Contest is over. Thanks!*

Good news for my readers today! :) Here is a giveaway for you to enter to win any of these wonderful new books from The Crown Publishing Group.

There will be three winners! The books that are up for grabs are:

1. A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid 

2. Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann (Illustrated by Maurice Sendak and translated by Ralph Manheim)
3. Break the Skin by Lee Martin

More details on the books:

A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid, the New York Times bestselling author of the beloved A Dog Named Christmas and its prequel Christmas with Tucker, is a heart-warming, holiday story of love and the unbreakable bond between a young man with developmental disabilities and his dog. 

Todd McCray, hero of A Dog Named Christmas, as well as the Hallmark Hall of Fame movie hit, is now twenty-four years old and working at a local animal shelter, where he meets and quickly becomes best friends with Laura, a young volunteer. Life seems good for Todd, but all is not well in his hometown. Struggling families unable to make ends meet are abandoning more and more dogs and the shelter is swelling to capacity. Local governments are struggling to meet their obligations too, and in early December, on the cusp of another holiday season, Todd’s boss breaks the bad news.  Due to funding problems, the shelter will close its doors before the end of the year.  But what will happen to all the animals and where will Todd work? What will happen to his emerging relationship with Laura? 
With the same reverence for classic storytelling tradition that distinguishes his last two tales, Kincaid’s A Christmas Home (on sale Oct 30, 2012) is a charming fireside read and sure to be another holiday classic.

Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann (Illustrated by Maurice Sendak and translated by Ralph Manheim), reissued a few months following Maurice Sendak’s death and on the 50th anniversary of Where the Wild Things Are, is a lush and beautifully illustrated edition that serves as a wonderful tribute to Sendak’s life at a time when his legions of fans worldwide are honoring his legacy and ballets are performing their own versions of this timeless classic.

Called “a classic, new and complete” by the New York Times Book Review, Sendak’s Nutcracker
 (on sale Oct 30, 2012) brings to life Hoffmann’s mysterious world with his extraordinary illustrations, and this stunning reissue is being published just in time for the holidays.

Break the Skin: A Novel by Lee Martin – in paperback Nov 13, 2012 from Broadway Books is a new work of taut, dark, and beautifully crafted literary fiction by the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Bright Forever.

Details of the giveaway:
+ Must be a follower of this blog.
+ Only open to residents in the US/Canada.
+ For extra entries, you can leave a comment on this post, tweet about this giveaway, write a post about this on your blog, subscribe to this blog or my book review blog, by e-mail.
+ Fill in the form below.
+ Contest ends Nov 12.

Good luck! :)
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