Monday, December 10, 2012

The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale 2012

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If you are not aware, then be aware - THE Big Bad Wolf Book Sale is back! After announcing its presence back in October, Lieutenant Wolf is back once more with its 75 - 95% discounts on all 3 MILLION of its books. This is a bargain hunt which book lovers could not and should not miss out.

Today is only the 4th day of the sales and already throngs of crazed book  hunter poured into MIECC, grabbing whatever they can from being snatched by other equally crazed hunters. Enter the halls to hunt for your treasure before December 23rd (Sun).


Date:           7th (Fri) -23rd Dec (Sun) 2012
Admission:  6.30 a.m. - 11 p.m. daily
Entry fee:    Free

Location:     Singapore Paragon Shopping Center, atrium
Website:      BBW Facebook pageBBW blog











Saturday, December 8, 2012

Fantastic Four by Jonathan Hickman, Vol 4 - Three

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written by Jonathan Hickman
art by Steve Epting and Nick Dragotta

I had been hanging onto Fantastic Four issues on and off now, and none seemed to impress me as much as this "final" issue of Fantastic Four. With the foreboding title of "Three", it seems that one of the member will go off the pages permanently, although fans of Western comicdom knew how much that will stay, what with all those dead heroes and villains showing up again and again via illogical reasons.

Counting Down to "Three"

This volume is the fourth volume of Fantastic Four, collecting issues 583 - 588 as well as chronicling the supposed death of a certain permanent member of the team.

Marvel's First Family was no stranger to dangerous missions, nor were they unfamiliar with situations when they had to worked out problems without the full team present. Unfortunately super major problems arose, each one of them having an equal chance of turning catastrophic and harm the member that had to confront it, leaving as equal a chance that each of them could perish.


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Final Crisis

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written by Grant Morrison

One of the most shocking crossovers in DC Universe which changed familiar characters' background and storyline drastically was introduced in Crisis on Infinite Earth. After that Infinite Crisis was introduced and tried to market the same concept again, extending events from that first major crisis. But with hints being thrown around that this second crisis was but a "middle crisis", there was speculations in comicdom that a "final crisis" has yet to come. And so a few years back in 2008, Final Crisis was launched to put recent events around that time to an end, in another major crisis which once more see the death of major characters.

The Final Crisis?

The hardcover and paperback edition collect Issues 1 - 7 from titles of the same name, as well as 2 issues of Final Crisis: Superman Beyond and Final Crisis: Submit. Leading to the plot in these issues were stories surrounding different main characters in their own series, most notably Batman's in the foreboding Batman R.I.P. arch. Another year long series with weekly publications and high acclaim, Countdown to Final Crisis, also ran several plots which brought all events converging onto the plot.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Singapore Library's Double Loan Promotion (Again!)

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I was once excited to be able to borrow double the amount of books with my meager SGD50++ per annum library membership fee. And now I get to be excited again!

With the return of the Double Loan Promotion, public library users of Singapore enjoy to double up their reading by borrowing double the amount available to their status. With such wealth of new reading material arriving monthly, it would be a wonder for any frequent visitor not to scream out loud, not for Halloween but for the chance to grab more books!

This news may come late from me, but fear not, for the period lasts until end of January next year, allowing you ample time to spend the year end holidays with!


Date:           20th Oct 2012 -31st Jan 2013
Admission:  10 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily (libraries within malls will follow the mall's opening hours)
Entry fee:    Free (Duh, it's a LIBRARY...)

Location:     All Singapore public libraries




Red Leaves and the Living Token

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by Benjamin David Burrell

Note: This is a book review based on a free copy from the author. Many thanks go to the author for this generosity.

Although the beginning was quite uneventful, the story's introduction of all new races made this an original work by itself.

One-liner intro: An epic in the making, with all new races and a heart racing momentum pushing past the pages.

Best part: A cliffhanger at the end which draw me to wait for the sequel; a twist in which the main protagonist was not the hero, but the protector to the hero; a good build of momentum which held me glued to the pages; an epic quest facing mythical forces.

Not-so-best part: Races were not dressed with more detail; races were too alien with very little human reference.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This Time You Lose

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by Chris Stralyn

Note: This is a book review based on a free copy from the author. Many thanks go to the author for this generosity.

There aren't many thrillers which I enjoyed, and Stralyn's This Time You Lose immediately becomes one of them when I started reading it. The sense of danger exuding from the pages are more real than Dan Brown's or Michael Crichton's, for what is recounted within the story is something that could happen any day, on anyone.

One-liner intro: A superbly gripping and adrenaline-pumping chronicle of how one ordinary woman faced down dangerous thugs to protect the people around her.

Best part: A fiction that is more real than most thrillers; adrenaline-pumping with a real threat of death around every corner of the story.

Not-so-best part: There were hardly any references to the title until the end, but I am not complaining; too many characters, and not everyone were given a memorable appearance or involvement.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Times Book Sale @ Singapore Paragon

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Seems like Times bookstores are in the limelight if book fairs recently. With a recently concluded book fair in Penang Island Plaza, another one is ready to be launched in Singapore. That's right! Paragon Shopping Center will be hosting the book sales from Times in its atrium, running from 11th (Tue) - 20th (Thu) Sep 2012.

Image taken from Singapore Promotions.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Times Book Fair 2012 @ Penang Island Plaza

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Seems like Penang isle is invaded by scores of bookseller looking to get their stocks depleted! Barely after the International Chinese Book Exhibition was the recently ended BookXcess Largest English Bookfair in Penang Times Square. It seems that Times Bookstore had the same notion of a book fair in the region, and they had set up booth in Island Plaza before the BookXcess even move out of the isle.

Times' website shared that they have a bargain corner set up within the fair where a book will be sold for RM5, and 5 books at the price of RM10. Knowing what quality these books usually end up as, book hunters are cautioned against high expectations. Still, that should not hinder any dedicated lovers from trying their luck hunting through the shelves (or baskets). Keep them in good condition if it is not the one you wanted though, it may be a treasure for the hunter next to you.

Image taken from Times Book Fair Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Age of Odin (Book 3 of The Pantheon series)

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by James Lovegrove

Continuing his unique style of fusing mythology with modernity is Lovegrove's third installation of The Pantheon series, with the Norse gods in the limelight this time. The Age of Zeus may have secured my unwavering attention to the series, but this next novel in the series equally ruined it.

Pages upon pages of profanity served to diminish my appetite for a good plot and narrative, and with neither clever tactics nor show of godly power, my plate of stars went down with the each turning page.

One-liner intro: Profanity-filled modern Ragnarök - intense, fast-paced and in full military style.

Best part: Refreshing depiction of how the Norse mythology adapt to modern ways; readers familiar with Norse mythology could still surprised with the modern version of certain mythological beasts; a very interesting and surprising ending; continued use of idiomatic expressions and word play; funny monologue narrative; brush up one's Norse mythology to contradict with what was learned through cinema and comics.

Not-so-best part: Wanton use of profanity; lack of interesting display of godly powers; lack of clever tactics to fight against the threat.

Thor vs Loki as depicted in this 2010 San Diego Comic Con poster. You can be sure of a showdown with Loki in The Age of Odin, but not as grand as in the movie, nor as magical (image taken from The Blot Says).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

BookXcess Largest English Bookfair @ Penang Times Square

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Done with the recently organized Penang International Chinese Book Fair last week? There's more this week, as BookXcess, a PJ-based book seller moved north to the isle of Penang to hold one of the largest English book fair in the isle. Over 100,000 volumes of all variety are up for grabs, with discounts between 50 - 90% to be expected according to their Facebook created event. Head over to Penang Times Square starting tomorrow, and don't miss the opportunity as they will only be there until the coming Sunday!


Date:           29th Aug (Wed) - 2nd Sep (Sun) 2012
Admission:  10 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily
Entry fee:    Free

Location:     Penang Times Square, 1st floor concourse
Website:      Facebook event page





Thursday, August 23, 2012

At The End

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by John Hennessy

Note: This is a book review based on a free copy from the author. Many thanks go to the author for this generosity.

Let's just face it, for whatever warped reasons which infest our minds, we are drawn to stories of apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic scenes, envisioning a future where the end had come and gone, with the survivors living in a world where necessities of life had to be reevaluated and priorities reset in order to get through the days. Hennessy's At The End fits into that genre perfectly, and is comparable with apocalyptic blockbusters like The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, although it lacks the grandeur.

One-liner intro: An intense, adrenaline-rushing apocalyptic page-turner following the footsteps of Gordon Freeman of Half-Life 2.

Best part: Danger lurks every corner, there is no lack of adrenaline pumping events; good portrayal of characters made them recognizable; smooth switch of style between different character's narrative made it recognizable; no ridiculously drawn-out love scenes; futuristic yet believable technologies with well thought-out details.

Not-so-best part: An ending that is a little too bizarre; the usually unbelievable case where a few untrained teenagers outdo trained soldiers.

Monday, August 20, 2012

7th Bookfest 2012 @ Malaysia (第七届海外华文书市)

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If you are not aware of it, then it is still not too late now!! The 7th Bookfest @ Malaysia coorganised by POPULAR and Sin Chew Jit Poh is now running its course from 18 Aug (Sat) - 26 Aug 2012 (Sun) at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC).

The annual book exposition is deemed the largest in the region, with similar Bookfest expositions held in Singapore and Hong Kong. English and Chinese books from local authors as well as foreign authors are featured in the exposition for all to feast themselves on. Leading publishers from the East (China, Hong Kong, Taiwan) and the West (UK, USA, Canada) as well as local regions (Malaysia, Singapore) all showcase their latest titles for all to choose from.

Unfortunately though, there is a RM2.50 entry fee but this is not required for students under 18 or senior citizens over 60. More information could be obtained through Bookfest's official website below. With such a big area to get lost in, the official website provided a floor plan for easier navigation, which I have pasted below as well. One shall not miss the opportunity to grab their favorite titles or genres on their way out!

Too bad I couldn't get myself to there, so do indulge yourselves to your best on my behalf! ^_^"



Date:           18 (Sat) - 26 (Sun) Aug 2012
Admission:  10 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily
Entry fee:    RM2.50 per entry; free for students up to and under 18, and senior citizens up to and above 60; season ticket is available at RM10.00 for interested parties who wish to enter everyday

Location:     KLCC Hall 1 to 5 (Ground floor) and Grand Ballroom (Level 3)
Website:      http://bookfestmalaysia.com

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Age of Zeus (Book 2 of The Pantheon series)

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by James Lovegrove

This book is a totally awesome combination of mythology and sci-fi mated with page-turning thriller and relentless actions that blows your mind away. So profound is the story that my first experience with Lovegrove's The Pantheon triptych is enough to compel me to return for the others of the same series.

Although it was originally intended to be a trilogy, it was never explicitly mentioned as so, and so the series which features independent and unrelated stories of gods walking among human in modern era extended into its fourth installation, effectively throwing everyone off the original assumption of a trilogy. Even Lovegrove himself is no exception. Perhaps there is the hand of god in play here.

One-liner intro: Showdown of Clash of the Titans and Crysis in a modern era.

Best part: The depiction of Greek gods and mythological beasts as well as the fight against them; the revelation of how they came to be; the brains and detective deductions of the protagonist; straight cut into the story with little dallying in the beginning; ample use of English idioms coupled with good writing.

Not-so-best part: Systematic and orderly death of the TITANS is too old-schooled; really, the TITANS are the first to successfully thwart the gods?; gods that destroyed armies seemed too easily defeated; an ending that is too ordinary.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

The Voyages of the Dragon Wynd - The Shallows (Book 1 of Flag of Bones)

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by Elle Pepper

Note: This is a book review based on a free copy from the author. Many thanks go to the author for this generosity.

When I got hold of this novella, I was expecting a swashbuckling story about a pirate's adventure on sea, maybe not something of the magnitude of Pirates of the Caribbean, but at least with a story which I could relate to a pirate. Unfortunately, the only thing I could relate to those scoundrels at sea was the fact that the protagonist and his crew were pirates.

The Story of the Dragon Wynd

The summary of the story was thus: Jalen Shenn, captain of the ship Dragon Wynd, was constantly persecuted by the Empire, even prosecuted for made up crimes which he did not commit, all for the reason that he was carrying his family's name. He was betrayed by his most trusted crewman while serving under the blue flag of Freehold, and his wife was caught and never to be seen again.

Plagued by the relentless persecution of the Empire, the betrayal of his trusted friend and the disappearance of his wife, he faced two choices before him: to bow to circumstances and continue his existence in anonymity, or to raise the flag of bones and proclaim himself a pirate once more.

And that is the end of the story. Really.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Singapore Library - Double Up On Your Reading!

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Do you know that libraries across Singapore now allowed members to borrow double the amount of reading materials from 26 May - 31 July? If not, it is still not too late to start borrowing and reading more than ever on your favorite materials now. More information is available in their announcement webpage here

Poster obtained from NLBS, click to enlarge.

Happy reading folks!




Saturday, June 30, 2012

Pandora's Key (Book 1 of The Key Trilogy)

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by Nancy Richardson Fischer

Note: This is a book review based on a free copy from the author. Many thanks go to the author for this generosity.

I wasn't particularly attracted to the Young Adult genre, but somehow I got drawn into a few of them, with Pandora's Key being one of these. Short the story may be, with only about 130+ pages in e-book format, twists and turns snaking throughout made reading this a distinctly fun process.

My feeling at the end of the book was mixed - there was a certain satisfaction with how the story goes yet something seemed missing from it at the same time. Maybe it was the lack of action or the lack of any ingenuity on the part of the protagonist despite the surprising twists which kept me through the whole book.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Tangled

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produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios
directed by Nathan Greno and Byron Howard

Disney's story brought to life many feminine characters and immortalized them in the minds of most people, especially so in the modern digital era where nursery rhymes and fairy tales gave way to more violent prone medias and entertainment. Most of my friends are familiar with Snow White, Cinderella and Beauty and the Beast, but the tale of Rapunzel is not as well known to them.

The Original Rapunzel

The original story was part of the German Brothers Grimm's collection of fairy tale published in 1812, and in turn was adapted from Persinette, published by Charlotte-Rose de Caumont de La Force in 1698. It told the story of a girl with long hair, who was shut off in a room on the top of a tower by an enchantress and not allowed to leave. The only way to access the room was by climbing up the tower through the her magical hair, which could not be cut short, which Rapunzel let down.

Of course there was a prince. There always was a prince. And so the story continues with Rapunzel and the prince, and tragedy happened when the enchantress found out, and something magical happened, and they lived happily ever after. Let's just say that the current generation is not as gullible as I was when I was enchanted by Beauty and the Beast, or when my parents were enchanted by Snow White.

In an era where Transformers, Harry Potter and Twillight reign, it is quite difficult to portray a classic tale in its original light, as the latest audience, adult and adolescence alike, is used to the sophisticated and more realistic plot. And so born a new Rapunzel, capturing the gist of the original story but included more elements of reality which the audience could relate with their life.

Image taken from HD Wallpapers.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Great Singapore Sales 2012

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It's GSS! That's Great Singapore Sales, and everyone is whooping crazy shopping for the latest fashion apparels! I may not be a shopaholic, but I get my own shopping list as well and went hunting for the best bargains... for books!

GSS 2012 is running from 25 May to 22 July but not all bookstores are running their sales throughout the whole period. Here are some of the bookstores participating and their latest promotions and offers.

POPULAR Bookstore

Website: click here
Promotion period: 25 May - 17 June

Promotion of 10% off (20% for members) for most books for in store purchase. Specially for Jurong Point outlet is another promotion for Buy 2 Get 1 Free on selected items. Some of the books listed under this promotion when I visited included travel books, interior and architecture design, cooking, and certain novels.  There could be more being made available under this promotion, and worth your while to check it out at this outlet.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Bird Talk

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Image taken from Besgroup.org

I awoke with a start.

The bird was staring at me with one of its bulbous eyes. And I was staring back. 

“I am asking you, what are you staring at?” the bird repeated. That was what awoken me from my trance of staring at the flock gathered in front of me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Star Wars: Scourge

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by Jeff Grubb

The impression of a Jedi being someone brandishing a lightsaber and hurling Force this or that is hard set on most die hard's mind, especially if the aforementioned is a Jedi Master. A show of his mastery of the Force along with wise words to his apprentice are almost always expected from a Star Wars novel featuring such character. 

So imagine my surprise when the presented protagonist was a Jedi Master who was anything but. Welcome to the world of Scourge.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Star Wars: Red Harvest

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by Joe Schreiber

A long long time ago, there was a ship filled with the living dead in a galaxy far far away. The captivating story of a ship full of Imperial dead shambling around was novel in the sense that the popular sci-fi franchise never tried to accommodate horror elements into it. At least never did it seriously. That was Joe Schreiber's Death Troopers (which was also another book shared in my previous article).

But the fact that this horrifying disease of living dead only struck on a ship full of Imperial mortals raised an interesting question, one which will eventually surface sooner or later: what if those weren't your usual bunch of mortals? What if those were Force wielders? Well, zombies carrying lightsabers is really a sight to behold, isn't it?

Whether Schreiber is a Jedi/Sith in disguise who can read minds or he has the foresight granted by the Force, he had came up with that story. The outcome: Red Harvest. And no, only Sith were affected, no zombie Jedi here. That's too bad...

Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Last Lecture

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by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow

In memory of Randy Pausch

This familiar book floated past my glancing sight when I browsed the shelves of a bookstore. The Last Lecture. It wasn't the first time I saw the book in other shelves, which were in other bookstores. I even remembered the synopsis on the front and back flaps. Somehow I held back from buying the book until yesterday. And I did not regret reading through the slightly over 200 pages of advises, thoughts and opinions.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The History of the World According to Facebook

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by Wylie Overstreet

Hur!!?? I wasn't sure how to treat this book. I wasn't even sure under what category this book should go. Should I be incredulously surprised that something on this topic could ever become a book at all or to be equally surprised that I would pick it up and flip through every page? Nevertheless, if that fella Overstreet could whip up a book just by collecting fictional status updates from history, I shouldn't be too concern about trivial things such as this. 

From Pictures to Book of Pictures

Overstreet is not an author of any book, at least not yet, except for The History of the World According to Facebook. According the website Cool Material, it started out as a thought: what if the popular social website started out on Day One, and everyone and everything has a profile in it? What would Abraham Lincoln would have written on his status update? Out came a few edited pictures featuring famous people and events, all portrayed in hilarious status updates and exchanges of comments. Next he was approached to turn the idea into a book. And there you have it, the book. Kind of interesting how it work out though...

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bookmart @ The Central, Clarke Quay

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If one were to go to Singapore to shop, then shopping for books back to Malaysia may not prove to be a cost effective idea unless one were to shop in Bookmart for their used books.

The popular Japanese bookstore which buys back used book and sells them back out has set up shop in The Central located in Clarke Quay. Learners of the Japanese language will be thrilled to find shelves of book in Japanese as well as used English books still in good condition even though they are not new.

A detailed sharing of the bookstore as well expected experiences within is available from I Walk the World. Book lovers should definitely drop by to browse through the treasure trove and see if one could find his love at a discounted price. With the book still in tip-top condition and price slashed to almost half of the original, it is definitely a much sought-after place for people looking for a bargain in book purchase.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Red Herrings & White Elephants - The Origins of the Phrases We Use Every Day

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by Albert Jack

What does either a Red Herring (a false or misleading clue) or a White Elephant (something useless, usually pointing to public buildings, that becomes a burden, much like our country's facilities...) has anything to do with their respective meanings? Just as the foreword of the book implied, such sayings are part and parcel of the everyday English and most native speakers are familiar with them, seldom giving them a thought.

Unfortunately non-native English learners will most probably be confused, even perplexed, by the choice of words. Although the usual response from teachers are to 'learn by heart', it does help to know the origins of such phrases and have a laugh at it while closing the distance between the learner and the phrases.

Even native speakers who apply such phrases will almost certainly at a time or another have thought of why certain sayings sound so ridiculous and how did it get to become as such. Red Herrings & White Elephants, as its title spells out for the interested lot, serves to provide an answer to those questions and put a lid on it.
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