My Daemon

Azuki’s Daemon

I love Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, and just got wind that the movie is coming up.  The official site is:

The website allows you to find out who your daemon is.  Mine turns out to be a handsome lion Remis.   I love my daemon. Now I really really wish that I have a daemon around so I can give him a good hug. Interestingly I am a Leo, so I guess he’s mine!

Published in: on April 30, 2007 at 4:15 pm  Comments (11)  

Five Quarters of the Orange

by Joanne Harris 

Thanks again noumena12 at BookCrossing for passing on this excellent book.

The first page reads: “When my mother died she left the farm to my brother, Cassis, the fortune in the wine cellar to my sister, Reine-Claude, and to me, the youngers, her album and a two-liter jar containing a single black Perigord truffle.”  You sense immediately the undercurrent in the family. The narrator returns to her childhood village, but something sinister happened, many years ago, during the German occupation at WWII, that forced her family to flee their home, and forced her to return under an alias.

Frambroise returns, and remodels the old house into a successful cafe, making dishes based on her mother’s recipes.  (The lucious description of the dishes is almost a food porn.)  However, scribbled all over the album are lines of an enigmatic language, the key to unlocking what happened all those years ago.

Frambroise is not a likeable character.  (Simply have to quote this from Amazon: “named for a raspberry but with the disposition of, well, a lemon.”) Not likeable as a thin-lipped old widow, and definitely not as a spunky nine-year-old.  For she was diabolic, calculating, and cold hearted. However, the complex story itself is excellently told, in a dark tone that captivates me well after the book is closed.

 Definitely will check out her other works.

Published in: on April 27, 2007 at 3:09 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Pale View of Hills

by Kazuo Ishiguro


It’s a really interesting book and I very much wish that my book club will read it, it would make for such interesting discussion. 

It’s a book that you read it, and you somewhat sense that something is not right.  At first you thought that the story doesn’t make sense, then “click”, it dawned on you, you go “aha”, and realize how brilliant a story this is.

I am still curious on some issues though –

1. Is Etsuko pregnant before moving to England? With Niki?
2. Where does the father-in-law fit in? Just a general old men?
3. So did Etsuko have an affair w Frank, then leaves Jiro her husband to go to England? Or the Jiro part was when she was pregnant with Keiko, and then after she left Jiro (or the bomb killed him) she was alone w Keiko when she met Frank? That is, the past Etsuko with Keiko in her belly befriending an Etsuko a few years down the road as a single mother?

Published in: on April 24, 2007 at 10:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

Some Useless Stats

Okay, I released 20 books, plus 11 books for swaps.

Picked up 19 books home, plus 8 swap books.

So, I went home with four fewer books. What an achievement!!

Published in: on April 24, 2007 at 10:41 pm  Leave a Comment  

Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister

by Gregory Maguire 

I have read plenty revised versions of Cinderalla, such as Ella Enchanted and Just Ella, most of them I enjoyed, but this is definitely an outstanding accomplishment.  It swifted the focus onto Iris, the stepsister who is plain in looks but kind, wise and observative, a young girl on the brim of maturity, painfully aware of her plain looks and insecure. It is striped of the fairy godmother and landed squarely into a specific spot in history and place.  It adds depth and reasoning to each character, so we can understand why each do and say the things one does, and how the story goes where it should go.

I have never been particularly interested in Wicked, despite the hype around it.  Now I look forward to what Mcguire’s next work is.   

Published in: on April 17, 2007 at 5:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Silver Wolf

by Alice Borchardt

I picked this up at the library book sale because of the enthusiatic endorsement of Anne Rice, who happens to the suthor’s sister. 

Decadent Rome in the Dark Ages is mired in crumbling grandeur.  Into which comes Regeane, a beautiful young woman, bethroned to a mountain lord as a political move.  While she inherited her royal bloodline from her mother, from her murdered father she received the genes of werewolf.

While trying to escape the abuse of her uncle, she meets Antonius, a wise and gentle soul trapped within a body grotesquely disfigured by disease; Lucilla, the courtesan of the Pope himself; and Elfgifa, a Saxon captive whom Regeane rescued from slavery.  Regeane must fight for her life, her freedom, to live as she is, woman and wolf, partaking of both yet infinitely more than either.

This book certainly doesn’t feel like an Anne Rice book.  The writing style, with fragmented sentences, gets some taking used to, and ocassionally the woman/wolf narrative feels muddled.  I also feel that the character Lucilla should not be so full of emotional outbursts and hysteria, for who she is.  However, once into the story, I find it interesting enough to continue.

Published in: on April 17, 2007 at 5:43 pm  Leave a Comment