Saturday, December 14, 2013

Introducing Bookurve – A Malaysian Online Bookstore



It is that time of the year again when all you want to do is shop. However, for book lovers like me, shopping for books happens all year round unfortunately. There is no such thing as too many books. Right???

But if you are looking for something new to read or to search for that book that you could not find at your nearest bookstore or you just want to buy a book for someone this Christmas, you can do so at the newly launched Bookurve.

Bookurve is a Malaysian online bookstore that offers free delivery for the books which are sold at low prices.

I have had the opportunity to conduct an e-mail interview with one of the guys behind the startup. Here is the interview with Lian Shen:

1. How did the website's name "Bookurve" come about?
It is a combination of the words "Book" and "Curve". 

2. How is Bookurve different from other online bookstores, for example local bookstore MPHonline and international ones like Book Depository?

We want Malaysian readers to find any book they want and buy it at the lowest price. We also want to introduce more of the latest book titles to readers who would not be able to find them in MPH.

In comparison with Book Depository, we are able to deliver the books in a shorter period of time, say, two to three weeks, with a tracking code for the order.

3. How many books are there in the store? What genre of books do you offer?

Currently, we have 20,000 book titles that we can ship out within a day. As long as the book is an English title and the book is still in print, we will try our best to get the book out to our readers.

4. How did Bookurve come about?

We started this idea when we found that readers could actually have a wider selection of book titles, a feature not met by MPH and Kinokuniya. Some readers do not even realise it, including me before we started Bookurve.

The prices of the books are also quite expensive. So these were the two reasons that inspired us to create Bookurve to give greater benefits to avid readers.

5. When was Bookurve launched? Any increase in visitors and sales until now?

We launched it six months ago to get any feedback and response from readers who eventually found us via Google. We also recently launched a new layout on the Bookurve website with a message to our customers that goes like this: "Find any book you want in Bookurve".

6. Free delivery on all orders? No minimum purchase required?

We initially provided free delivery within Malaysia with no minimum purchase. Now, due to the increase of shipping costs, we only provide free delivery with a minimum order of RM25. For East Malaysia, there is a minor shipping fee.

7. Where do you get the books to sell on Bookurve?

We sourced the books from an overseas distributor as well as a local market distributor.

8. Any other information that you would like to highlight?

We found that there are many places in Malaysia that are lacking in physical bookstores and this makes it difficult for readers to find and buy books. So, we want to provide an opportunity to Malaysian readers to discover, find and buy books no matter where they are, as long as they have access to the Internet and visit Bookurve.

Thanks Lian Shen for the interview.

So that was the interview and I hope you enjoyed getting to know more about Bookurve. As it is now December and Christmas is approaching, Bookurve has a special Christmas deal for its customers.

Click this link for the Christmas deal. The promotion ends on Dec 31. Do take note that delivery is within Malaysia only.

Happy book-buying everybody!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10 Books from My Bookshelf that I Really Need to Read



My blog turned seven yesterday and I had the idea of going over the titles in my bookshelf to remind myself of what books I have. It is also to urge myself to get going on reading books that I should have read a long, long time ago. Here are the 10 books that I feel I should make time to read as soon as I can.

It does not snow here in Malaysia but I would love to curl up with these books before December ends. It is great weather anyway with the occasional Christmas breeze.

1. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

I began reading this book in July and stopped after page 60. Not that it got boring or anything but life got in the way and I also started reading other books. It was pretty unusual for me because I always aim to finish a book before starting on a new one. But I saw that Roomies by Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando was available on Net Galley so I jumped right in to that book! Thus, I have to continue reading Beautiful Creatures now because I am so behind in this series. Love the movie though.



2. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

My most recent purchase of a Sophie Kinsella book, bought back in May this year. She has a few new books out since then so I need to read this before getting her newer ones such as I’ve Got Your Number and Wedding Night.







3. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

I do not remember when I bought the book but it was most probably about the time it was published. The pages have already turned brown since then and I still have not read it yet. I have read the first three books and also watched all the Twilight movies. I’m not really an ardent fan of this series but it is good if I can finish reading all the books in it.





4. The Host by Stephenie Meyer

I have watched the movie and I think Saoirse Ronan is a great actress. Loved her role in Hanna. When The Host novel came out, I was a bit skeptical about its science fiction theme but still received a copy from a Secret Santa blog event. The movie cleared my doubts and I’m looking forward to reading the book.






5. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling

You can call me a fan of the Harry Potter books so anything by J.K. Rowling should be a must-read for me. Before I go out and buy The Cuckoo’s Calling, I need to read The Casual Vacancy first.








I bought this book three years ago and now I’m already 26. It is high time I began reading this book for its finance tips before it is too late!







7. Nation by Terry Pratchett

Over the seven years as a book blogger and visiting other book blogs, I came across many rave reviews on this book and also on Pratchett’s other books. I received Nation from a Secret Santa blog event as well.








I decided to buy this book in July when I became a worrywart of sorts on work and life stuff. Was hoping to delve into this book but I didn’t realise that it has been five months since the month of purchase!







9. Atonement by Ian McEwan

Again, another highly acclaimed book that I have yet to read. I enjoyed the movie even though it is all sadness and tragedy. Hope to start reading the book soon. Before the year ends, at least!







10. 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

I’m wondering if there is any connection between this book and George Orwell’s 1984 but there are some online discussions on this topic. At over 1,300 pages, this book is super-thick to me. I do not mind having one or two weeks off just to lose myself in this story.






Have you read of these titles? What are your thoughts on them?

Random: A day without a perdurable is like a day without sunshine

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Top 10 Books I'd Recommend to X Person


This is the first time I'm participating in Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. For this week's Top 10 books, check mine out...


The Book I’d Recommend To:

A person who does not read books

I won’t recommend the whole series yet but just let him/her start with the first book. Several friends have told me before that the Harry Potter series were the only books they have ever read, so I guess this could be a good start for non-readers. As for me, I think I first read this book at the age of 11.





A person who wants to read a book like no other
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

This book was not mind-blowing nor was it an eye-opener. When I read it, I felt like I could relate to the main character despite his rants and all. On our worst days, it does feel that the world and everything else is “phony” but oh well. You will either love or hate this book.





A person who loves shopping and something fun to read
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

I look forward to light, fun reads after a long day at work and the Shopaholic books are the perfect books to help me unwind. The main character, Becky Bloomwood may be silly and ignorant at times but her adventures are certainly hilarious. You could not have met a more clueless character.





A young person who wants to be motivated

This is a rather unknown book even though it won a Book of the Year award in Australia in 1985. I remember how I used to read this book during my teens and it left me feeling positive and motivated after finishing it. I wanted to be a great, cultured reader like Lilli, the main character, too!





A person who loves a good love story
Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern (also published as Love, Rosie)

A love story like no other, Where Rainbows End makes you root for the main characters who never seem to get together throughout the book. You will be like, “What??! They only get together when they are 50 and they met when they were five??” I have only read two books by Ahern and I thought this was better than P.S. I Love You.




A person who likes a good book with humour

I wonder if this book will ever be turned into a movie. It is about an autistic 15-year-old boy and how he tries to find out who killed a neighbour’s dog. The last time I read this book was in 2006 (wow, seven years ago!). I think it is time for me to read it again (and write a better review).





A person who loves well-written short stories with the most unexpected twist
Skin and Other Stories by Roald Dahl

Short stories come in handy when you don’t feel like diving into a novel. What better than stories by Roald Dahl, whose dark tales with unexpected endings would leave you wanting more.






A person who wants to read about bullying and everything else gone bad
Carrie by Stephen King

I will never forget how after reading the first 20 pages of this book, I had a nightmare while taking a nap. Poor Carrie. To be gifted with powers no one else has but to be misguided along the way. I have watched the 1976 and 2013 versions of the movie and I think Sissy Spacek makes a better Carrie!





A person who wants to read beautiful writing
I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Beautiful, descriptive writing is what you will find when you read this book. It could be a great book for aspiring writers and if you want to keep a journal. The book is from 17-year-old Cassandra’s point of view. She records her life and observations of the people around her. The cover of the book is just so pretty too. That is reason enough to get the book.




A person who wants to tackle the greatest reads of all time
Read, Remember, Recommend by Rachelle Rogers Knight

If you want to be a well-read reader, this reading journal and its numerous lists would make a wonderful start. You can write notes, track your reading and get new ideas on what to read next. Perfect for any book lover.






Do let me know if you have any suggestions for each category! Enjoy!

Winners - When Love Never Ends by J. Alec Keaton


pic from here

Thank you so much to those who entered my book giveaway where three copies of When Love Never Ends, the debut novel by J. Alec Keaton was up for grabs.

Here are the three lucky winners:

1. petite
2. Mollydee
3. my heart is here

I have already sent out e-mail to you guys for your mailing addresses. Please reply as soon as you can. Congratulations to all of you!

Do keep a lookout as I will hold another book giveaway soon. :)

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Book Giveaway: When Love Never Ends by J. Alec Keaton

In today's book giveaway, three lucky followers of this blog will each receive a copy of J. Alec Keaton's debut novel, When Love Never Ends.

If you have read my previous post on what the book is about, here is your chance to win it. If not, check it out here (the blog tour which includes an interview with the author).
About the book:

Sam has never gotten over his one true love. He walked away from Sara, amidst racist threats from her bigoted father. Sam and Sara went their separate ways: Sara got married, and Sam threw himself into work, becoming a very successful lawyer for a prestigious law firm. Yet still, Sam cannot fill the Sara-shaped hole in his heart. If he could live that moment all over again, he would have never walked away.

When Love Never Ends intertwines Sam’s existence with the life of a grief-ridden college professor. Dr Jeremiah Ebenezer Pike lost his wife four years ago. Ever since, he has been obsessed with the concept of time travel, labouring over theories and experiments for years. Sam meets up with him now and again, hoping to help him move on and give up his ridiculous fantasies.

Over a decade later, Sam and Sara meet again, as Sara seeks legal help. They spend three whirlwind days together. Their future together starts to look promising, but then Sara’s jealous husband gets in the way, irrevocably separating the two with a single gunshot. Wild with grief, Sam goes to Dr Pike, desperate for some way, any way, to see Sara again. Nothing is too wild for his desperation. Not even time travel.

Though it at first seems the story of an ordinary love under ordinary, if pressing, circumstances, When Love Never Ends soon reveals itself to be an intoxicating mix of romance and science fiction — a combination that promises to be anything but ordinary. Flawlessly documenting the seemingly unrelated worlds of law, love, and loss, When Love Never Ends is as much a narrative of human experience as it is a story of love.
Giveaway details:

1. Be a follower of this blog (Google Friend Connect, Subscribe by E-mail, Twitter, Facebook) to enter this giveaway.
2. Open internationally.
3. Contest ends on Nov 5.
4. To enter, leave your name, e-mail and how you follow my blog in the comments section.

That's all. Thanks and good luck!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Winners!

pic from here

Now I will announce the winners for the recent book giveaway held on this blog. The books up for grabs were hot and new nonfiction titles from The Crown Publishing Group.

The winners are:

1. Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital by Sheri Fink - Lance Smith

2. Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier by Tom Kizzia - petite

3. The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker's Journey by Lawrence Osborne - Mollydee

4. Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid by Jessica Alexander - Frankie Rendón

5. Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect by Matthew D. Lieberman - traveler

Congratulations to you guys and I will be sending each of you an e-mail soon for your mailing addresses. Please reply as soon as you can!

Thanks so much to all who participated and making this a success. I look forward to holding more book giveaways here! :)

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It's Raining and I'm Watching Gossip Girl

I use Grammarly's plagiarism checker because there is never a good reason for being a cheater!


picture from here

I try to think hard about the last time I watched the Gossip Girl series but I could not. I stopped watching it at Season Four a couple of years ago, or probably last year. But a few months ago, I found Season Five and now I have started watching the show again. Gossip Girl wraps up after six seasons so this means I have one and a half more seasons to go! I do not even mind that I already know who Gossip Girl is. :)

Yup, it is now raining in Penang and I'm following the "scandalous lives of Manhattan's elite" but I am taking a short break to come up with 10 random musings on Gossip Girl:

  1. I have only read one Gossip Girl book and I did not like it unfortunately. Clicking the link brings you to the book review I wrote of the only Gossip Girl book I read back in 2007. I think that if I were to read it again, my views would be much different.
  2. One of the main reasons why I like the show is the amazing clothes! Blair's style is classy, poised and even regal at times. Serena has always sported the party gal with the messy but stylish hairstyle kind of look.
  3. The clever script in the show, especially the titular "Gossip Girl"'s. Ingenious use of words.
  4. I know the viewer can go crazy with the complicated lives of the characters who seem to be romantically involved with one another at any point in time.
  5. I have become a fan of Leighton Meester (who plays Blair) because of the show. And Ed Westwick (Chuck)!
  6. It gets frustrating when Chuck and Blair do not get back together. Yet! (in the current episode I'm watching in Season Five)
  7. I was disappointed when I read about the differences between the books and the TV show. The most shocking is that Chuck is gay in the books. Check this page out for more on the differences and similarities between the books and the TV show.
  8. Isn't it simply odd that almost all the characters in the show are young and good-looking, even the ones who are supposed to be old?
  9. Sometimes the scheming gets a little bit too much.
  10. Elizabeth Hurley is one of the most gorgeous actresses around but it seems so weird to have her on the show.
Okay, this is just too good not to share. The graphic below helps you to understand how the characters are involved with one another - on-screen and off-screen.

pic from here

My last post about Gossip Girl was in 2009.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Book Giveaway: Nonfiction books from Crown


The Crown Publishing Group has five new, top nonfiction titles up for grabs for five lucky readers of this blog. 

Here are the titles:

Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital
By Sheri Fink | On sale Sept 10, 2013


Pulitzer Prize-winner Sheri Fink's landmark work of narrative nonfiction re-creates the world of a hospital ravaged by post-Katrina floodwaters and examines the central question of what doctors and other caregivers owe their patients in the best, and worst, of circumstances.





Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier
By Tom Kizzia | On sale July 16, 2013

A New York Times bestseller!

Into the Wild meets Helter Skelter in this riveting true story of a modern-day homesteading family in the deepest reaches of the Alaskan wilderness—and of the chilling secrets of its maniacal, spellbinding patriarch. 





The Wet and the Dry: A Drinker's Journey
By Lawrence Osborne | On sale July 23, 2013

Celebrated travel writer Lawrence Osborne's globe-trotting odyssey of inebriation and highly literate meditations on the role that alcohol plays in cultures throughout the world.






Chasing Chaos: My Decade In and Out of Humanitarian Aid
By Jessica Alexander | On sale Oct 15, 2013
 
An eye-opening and intimate memoir about life as an international humanitarian aid worker in the field in Rwanda, Sudan, Sierra Leone, and Haiti.







SocialWhy Our Brains Are Wired to Connect
By Matthew DLieberman | On sale Oct 8, 2013

A groundbreaking book, based on original neuro research, which reveals that the human brain's greatest strength is its passion for social networking.







To enter this book giveaway, just leave a comment and pick which book you would like to win, along with your name and e-mail address. Only open to US and Canada residents.

This contest ends next Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013. Good luck!
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