Friday, August 29, 2014

All checked

Today is a day well spent at home, doing the final touches of concluding all prior reviews. I have finally finished writing the last of my four book reviews and have them posted up retrospectively. The sense of satisfaction is huge, extremely self-fulfilling, especially so since I have accomplished completion earlier than expected.

Book covers checked.
Book reviews checked.
Book publishers checked.
Book publication dates checked.
Book blurbs checked.
Book blurbs' source checked.
Book links to purchase checked.
Book labels checked.
Book list checked.
Book list links' to reviews checked.
Book quotes checked.

71 reviews posted in retrospect.

I think I am all done and ready to rejoin the world of all things fiction.
Erm... so what's next? *wink*

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Favourite Quotes Along the Way

I am just going through "My Clippings" this night while doing some re-org when I discover to my delight, that I have actually added quite a number of favourite quotes from past readings to this text file. They are highlighted as of 14 Feb 2013 right up to 2 May 2014, and then some. Now listed below with timestamp.

Likewise, I will also post them in a separate page from the Home dropdown list, with said list used as a focal point for collection of well-loved quotes.

Favourite quotes

Added on Friday, May 2, 2014 10:11:50 AM

Never judge a book by its cover.
It seems what people try to represent on the outside very rarely mirrors their inside.
Beautiful people tend to be ugly, ugly people tend to be beautiful, storms tend to brew below a person’s cool, calm exterior, and tremendously happy people tend to be overcompensating for their own grief.
Nothing is ever really what it seems.

~ The Resurrection of Aubrey Miller
L. B. Simmons


Added on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 2:34:24 PM

He’s just everywhere but nowhere at all.

~ Connected
Kim Karr


Added on Thursday, January 23, 2014 11:11:56 PM

Arguing with Hyrek was like arguing with a dead apple tree—fruitless.

~ Fortune's Pawn
Rachel Bach


Added on Wednesday, January 1, 2014 10:50:48 PM

A minute passed. Another. Time slowed to a crawl.
Funny how long a minute can last.
If you're reading a good book, it flies by.
If you're holding your breath, it moves slower than a snail.

~ Clean Sweep
Ilona Andrews


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Copyright Act

I have not read or started reading any book since completing Magic Breaks on 6 Aug 2014. And I do not think I will start anytime soon; not for at least another month or so, until I have finished what I need to do.

It has been a busy 12 days. Scratch that. Busy does not even begin to describe what I have been going through. In between writing and posting reviews, I found myself going back and forth, not once, not twice and certainly not thrice, but so many times that I have lost count.

In so far, I have posted 59 book reviews retrospectively using the last in first out method, that is, last read first reviewed. If only it has been just a simple migration of copy and paste of the earlier reviews from my Facebook posts, I would not be staring at the drafts of 12 more reviews to go. I actually spend time digging into my memory bank to retrieve my thoughts to better each of my review posts.

And then, what good is a book review without a fitting corresponding book cover gracing the post? With that in mind, I work really hard at finding sharp, clear picture of book cover to adorn each of my review. Only having been through the process did I learn to appreciate what other reviewers who bother the same have gone through.

A book can have different publishers, or rather many different publishers. In today's world, it is not surprising to see the same book published in various formats and editions: hardcover, paperback, audiobook and ebook. Then there is the USA edition, UK edition or large print edition to name a few.

Through sheer diligence by trial and error, I managed to sieve through the many different publishers and get hold of 59 book covers to the best of my satisfaction. But that's not the end of the story. And this is where the coming back and forth originates from. Because suddenly it occurs to me that I may have infringed on copyright issues. I start reading up on what "fair use" means. But there are so many "fair use" articles out there that my head spins upon seeing them. However, one particular post - The 'Fair Use' Rule: When Use of Copyrighted Material is Acceptable - does stand out among the rest and I find it useful and relatively easy to understand.

On further searches, I come across another website - The Australian Copyright Council @ - that provides very useful information on Fair Dealing: What Can I Use Without Permission. The key points regarding The Copyright Act and relevant exceptions are provided in a concise manner in a PDF file which is readily available for download. According to the website, the information sheets are updated regularly, so one can be sure to access the most up-to-date version.

From what I gather under the section "Fair dealing for criticism or review", I understand that "The Copyright Act allows for use of copyrighted works for criticisms/reviews without permission as long as you include your source and the author's name. It would not be okay to use the cover image/photo/illustration outside of the context of the complete cover".

In short, it means that so long as I include the publisher, name of the book and its author, I can use the book cover for my book review; and no permission is required.

It feels good to finally have the doubts cleared. But that also brings me back to square one because I never note down the publisher when I first get hold of the book covers; and now after 59 book covers, I can hardly remember anything at all. So, I have to repeat the whole tedious process all over again, but this time placing the publisher in my post as well. What a workload of chore. I love reading and sharing my views but certainly not the legal aspect of it.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dedicate for Book Reviews

After much consideration, I have decided to dedicate this blog for my reading whims.

This translates to posting of all things books; book covers, book reviews, book blurbs, books' link to authors' website, books' link to purchase, book genre, book list, book quotes, book thoughts, and anything else that fall under.

This blog was set up 4 years ago, in July 2010. Naturally, there are posts published in those early years. In the following days to come, I will be doing major clean-up to tidy up those posts, some of which will either be edited or removed as published.

Having decided on the above, I feel motivated and excited on the prospect of posting book reviews on my very own blog. To date, reviews are only posted on my Facebook page. Yet those are not completely reflective of all the books I have read since the very beginning of my avid reading quirks. Expect lots of book reviews in retrospect. Books read after this post will be posted as such. All others will be posted with set date and time prior to this.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Review: Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels #7) by Ilona Andrews

5 stars for Magic Breaks (Kate Daniels book 7) by Ilona Andrews.

I am a long-standing fan of this husband-and-wife writing team since 2009. 5 years past, yet it seems like yesterday when I first read Magic Bites and Magic Burns (Kate Daniels book 1 and 2). Back in 2009, Ilona Andrews has only these 2 books to their name and I remember travelling to a faraway library to specially borrow these 2 books as they are not available for loan at the library closer my home.

Magic Bites, being their debut Urban Fantasy novel, is not an easy read but I managed somehow. Book 2 Magic Burns did not get better as I grapple to understand the plot involving myths and legends that are really hard to connect and comprehend. The only thing that keeps me going is the occasional humor-filled exchange between main characters, Kate and Curran. It is obvious that the author has plans for them to slowly but surely build up a unique chemistry.

Understandably, I am hesitant to take on the challenge of reading book 3 Magic Strikes. By a strange twist of events, a chance visit to the library has me going home with a copy. Reading Magic Strikes makes me realise that I will have lost a jewel of an author in that fine line of "to read" or "not to read".

To date, Magic Strikes remains my favorite in the Kate Daniels series. And ironically, I have read and re-read Magic Bites at least 3 times and Magic Burns at least twice. Needless to say, countless re-read of the many many well written, heart stopping fighting scenes in this series, especially so in Book 6 Magic Rises. Since Magic Strikes, I have been keeping tabs on this author and waiting patiently for their new book release every year.

The Kate Daniels series never disappoint, with each sequel matching up to the last, if not better. Book 7 Magic Breaks starts off by providing an excellent summary of book 1-6, and is told through the eyes of one of the series' most popular side characters in "From the journal of Barabas Gilliam".

Some major events happen and unfold in Magic Breaks to unravel the mystery of the long awaited meeting between Kate and Roland. The story runs smoothly and naturally to conclude brilliantly. The author did a wonderful job delivering what has previously been promised. Magic Breaks did read like the final book in the series, but I am so glad it's not. It finished the story arc but not the story because (GOOD news!) the author announced that they are under contract for three additional Kate Daniels' adventures. Hurray!

Publisher: Ace
Publication date: 29 Jul 2014


No matter how much the paranormal politics of Atlanta change, one thing always remains the same: if there’s trouble, Kate Daniels will be in the middle of it…

As the mate of the Beast Lord, Curran, former mercenary Kate Daniels has more responsibilities than it seems possible to juggle. Not only is she still struggling to keep her investigative business afloat, she must now deal with the affairs of the pack, including preparing her people for attack from Roland, a cruel ancient being with god-like powers. Since Kate’s connection to Roland has come out into the open, no one is safe—especially those closest to Kate.

As Roland’s long shadow looms ever nearer, Kate is called to attend the Conclave, a gathering of the leaders from the various supernatural factions in Atlanta. When one of the Masters of the Dead is found murdered there, apparently at the hands of a shapeshifter, Kate is given only twenty-four hours to hunt down the killer. And this time, if she fails, she’ll find herself embroiled in a war which could destroy everything she holds dear…

*Blurb from author's website*

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Monday, August 4, 2014

Review: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1) by Deborah Harkness

Did Not Finish A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy book 1) by Deborah Harkness.

Apparently there is lack of affinity between me and all stories witchy related, not for lack of trying. I enjoy reading the first 25% of this historical fantasy before the pace becomes unbearably, painfully slow and throw in the towel at 40%. I give it a 2.5 stars rating for my two-bit worth of time.

Though the book is not suited for my reading pleasure, debut novelist Deborah Harkness did craft a mesmerizing read, equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense. Diana is a bold heroine who meets her equal in vampire geneticist Matthew Clairmont, and gradually warms up to him as their alliance deepens into an intimacy that violates age-old taboos.

Publisher: Penguin Books; 592 edition
Publication date: 8 Feb 2011


When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

*Blurb from author's website*

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