Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Year 2016

Leap year comes but once every four years.

Here's to wishing those whose birthday falls on this special 29th February with year divisible by the number 4.

*** Happy Birthday ***

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Review: Kalahari (Corpus #3) by Jessica Khoury

4 stars for Kalahari (Corpus book 3) by Jessica Khoury.

In all its originality, this urban science fiction fantasy novel has a good beginning, a great plot and an ingenious wrap up.

Filled with rich, colourful imagery, the story not only transports me to the wildnerness of Botswana, into the arms of the Kalahari Desert, it also transforms me into Sarah, the first-person narrator of the thrill ride battle for survival.

With the roots of science fiction dipped generously in a theme of mystery and suspense complete with a wealth of factual information on the Kalahari Desert, this book is likely to appeal to a wide range of readers, young people and adults alike.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Review: The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel García Márquez

5 stars for The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor by Gabriel García Márquez.

The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor written by Colombian journalist/writer Gabriel García Márquez, is originally published in 1955 as a series of instalments that run for fourteen consecutive days in El Espectador newspaper. It is later published as a book in 1970 with the Spanish title Relato de un náufrago.

This book is a journalistic reconstruction of the events told in first person account from the viewpoint of 20-year old sailor, Luis Alejandro Velasco, who is lost at sea for 10 days on the Caribbean before being washed on a coast that he later discovers to be Colombia.

Though the story is relatively short and easy to read with 128 pages in print, the same cannot be said of its effect on my mind after reading.

The riveting account of the sailor's odyssey and ironclad will to survive, with nothing but boundless horizon, no one but sharks - that arrive punctually a little after 5pm each evening and vanish by nightfall - as companions, is so artfully narrated that the ten days of drifting in a life raft in the ocean is never for a moment monotonous but filled with the terrifying trepidation of what is to come.

Despite the author's claim that he did not want to publish this book, I am glad that it has been printed and even translated to English in 1986 and now, one of my favourite stories in the non-fiction genre.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Review: Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels #8) by Ilona Andrews

5 stars for Magic Shifts (Kate Daniels book 8) by Ilona Andrews.

It is always thrilling to see a writer - a husband-and-wife writing team in this case - gets better and better and Ilona Andrews is doing exactly that. Just when I thought I have the best Kate Daniels book to date, the author surprises me with yet another one that supersedes the previous.

Kate Daniels is Kate Daniels is Kate Daniels.

I experience a blissful sense of warmth spreading through my body simply by reading the Kate Daniels series. This warm feeling that comes and goes originates from the understanding that I have indeed come so far with this one-of-a-kind kick-ass heroine whose first person narrative and adventures are still going strong, if not better, despite the years.

Yea, I hope and wish, from the bottom of my heart, that this series will never ever go lights out.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Review: Letters to My Daughter's Killer by Cath Staincliffe

5 stars for Letters to My Daughter's Killer by Cath Staincliffe.

A simple yet complex story brilliantly woven and punctuated with heavy-duty words. Thoroughly engaging and emotionally exhausting, I read the book in one sitting and cannot get to sleep after I finish it.

Can we ever forgive those who have done us the greatest wrong? I do not think I can or ever will if the same happens to me.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Review: The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWalt

5 stars for The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWalt.

There are fourteen 8,000-meter (26,240 feet) peaks in the world; eight of them are within Nepal or extend into its territory. By the spring of 1996, Anatoli Nikoliavich Boukreev of Kazakhstan has summited seven of the world's fourteen mountains over 8,000 meters in elevation - some of them in fact more than once - and he has climbed all of those without the use of supplementary oxygen.

In 1996, Anatoli Boukreev, renowned for his power and strength as a high-altitude climber is hired by Scott Fischer to join his Mountain Madness expedition as a head climbing guide. Accepting the role, Boukreev takes on the challenge, his first large-scale commercial expedition to lead clients to the top of Mount Everest. The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest is his story on the events leading to the tragedy and its aftermath.