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+Simon & Schuster
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+Project Gutenberg

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Friday, October 10, 2003
The Thousand Orcs, in sample PDF format 
I thought it was interesting, after reading the sample in pdf format. Now wouldnt that be nice if they released little snippets of samples of books so you'd know what's inside now? Something like amazon's "Take A Peek', but this one's friendlier - you get to download it and read it on your own comp. Taken from The Resident:

The latest book in R.A. Salvatore trilogy, 'Hunter's Blade' is out in the hardcover version this month. It's priced at $25.95 but you can buy it from Amazon.com for only $18.75. This is a continuation from the first book 'The Thousand Orcs' - and needless to say a continuation of the adventures of Drizzt Do'Urden and his friends.

I have yet to read 'The Thousand Orcs', but will try to get my hands on one and write a review of it as soon as possible. Apparently the hardcover release for 'The Thousand Orcs', had the highest debut ever for a Salvatore title on the New York Times best-seller list, and it remained on the list for an unprecedented 10 weeks. I manage to find a sample of this book in pdf format. Click here to download.

graceshu  # 1:36 AM
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Thursday, October 09, 2003
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. 

Title: Catch-22
Author: Joseph Heller

"Catch-22?" Yossarian was stunned. "What the hell has Catch-22 got to do with it?"

It took a very long time for me to finish this book - because I had to keep re-reading certain chapters to make my brain work and fully understand the words. While I was reading it, various adjectives sprung to mind: confusing, ridiculous, logical, frustrating, clever, silly, illogical, funny, wacky. Then I was thinking, how can something be rational yet appear the opposite at the same time? It could get just so wearisome at times, attempting to comprehend the absurdity of it all.

But that's not to say that I did not enjoy the book at all.

In fact, it was one of the best books I have ever read. It brings you through a whirlpool of emotions, tragedies, and comedies; yet it joins together seamlessly to produce this classic of a book.

Catch-22 revolves around Yossarian, a bombardier during the World War II - although he is constantly surrounded by such colourful and eccentric characters (Major Major Major Major, Nately, Milo, Hungry Joe, Doc Daneeka, Major ----- de Coverley) that he barely stays under the limelight for long. The story does not flow chronologically - rather, the character names also make up the names for each chapter. It is full to the brim with smart-alecky responses, twists your mind, and simply ensures that you would have to stop and think carefully every now and then. It shows you the unmistakable fear for death soldiers experience while out in a war, then plunges you into the thrill of being in a battle, and thrusts you back into the world of the bizarre.

Heller has indeed written intelligently, giving elaborate and interesting descriptions that will not make you lose interest in the story. I think it is almost impossible to describe this book to its fullest. Just make sure that you are all prepared for one hell of a wild ride with one of the best books of our time. You may be crazy to miss this one. But then again, you would not know that you are crazy...

Strizzt  # 12:13 AM
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Tuesday, October 07, 2003
Announcement 

10 Days And Counting -
Book Review Bloggers Meet @ Book Swapping Event

Book Review Bloggers Meet @ Book Swapping Event
Date: 18th Oct 2003, Saturday
Time: 4.30 pm, not 3 pm as suggested before
Venue: Dome KLCC? Not booked yet though
Agenda:
1. Meet up, talk, introduction
2. Swap books
3. Coffee? Lunch? & more talk
4. Discuss how to improve The Book Review Blog
   - hosting & cms issues
   - limit / members-only contributors?
5. Lepas tu balik rumah je la baca buku, mmmkay.


Confirmed As Of 7 Oct 2003: graceshu , chooki , irene, khalilur, fooji, Ash.ox , David Teoh, Aliya,

Books To Swap: At least 30 books left for swapping. Includes the following and more. Have a look.

'The Complete Works of William Shakespeare' , Terry Pratchett (selected), Life After God by Douglas Coupland, The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho, Nadia's Song by Soheir Khashoggi


Books To Swap With: Finding for least 21 more books - Do you have any of these? Wanna swap?

Life of Pi by Yann Martel, As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner, Generation X by Douglas Coupland, Anything by Haruki Murakami, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe, Anything Dave Barry


Swapping Mechanism: Heres how it works:
  1. On the BookSwappingEvent wiki page, list the books you wanna lend and borrow. Make a complete list on own initiative and keep track of what goes where and finalise by at least two days before the event. (16th Oct)
  2. On the 18th Oct / Sat when we meet little slips of papers will be given (double sided to stick on the inner cover? or something), fill in the details (swapper swappee dates emails phone nos contacts etc) before exchanging books yeah? Or you could come prepared with your own slips of paper. And make sure you know who you're trusting your books to =P
  3. The books are then returned as agreed to by both borower and lender, or perhaps at just the next BookSwappingEvent, if soon, or ever. I should think the next TBRB Meet should be discussed and a date fixed so as to not cause any confusion nor uncertainty nor worry abt when your books will be returned.
  4. Yeah and please remember that all this was done in good faith and will trust the borrowers to return the books back in good condition yeah? (And we dont wanna know if you had kangkung & belacan for lunch, mmmkay?)

graceshu  # 10:11 PM
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Michael Crichton: Prey 

Title: Prey
Author: Michael Crichton.
Rating: 8/10
Genre: Techno-Thriller
Michael Crichton has written another compelling book - and yes it involves monsters again. However, this time the 'monters' are not dinosaurs like those in Jurassic Park, but instead they are potrayed in the form of nano-bots. The theme of Prey is typical of Crichton's books, where things goes awry when people (mostly scientist) cross the line in technological innovation.

The story begins with Jack Forman (the hero), a unemployed computer programmer/project manager, and basically an ocassional reminsce of how he was sacked for whistle-blowing on his superior. He has since been a house-husband for almost 6 months and desperately needs a job around the Sillicon Valley. His wife, Julia is now working in a cutting-edge technology company, Xymos Technology, as its vice-chairman.

Jack goes around shopping, buying diapers, taking care of the kids and cook for them most of the night. Julia always works late and seldom make home for dinner. She has been working on a project based on nano-technology and was working hard to secure continuous investment for the company - or so Jack was told. Soon, Jack noticed that Julia started to act strangely and tend to lose her temper often, leading Jack to suspect that his wife was having an affair and was basically not working those late nights at all.

By chance, Jack was then offered a job as a consultant to the project Julia has been working on. Apparently a programme called 'Pred-Prey' was licensed from Jack's previous company to Xymos Technology. And Jack was the guy that managed the 'Pred-Prey' project years ago. Jack thought it would be a great opportunity to see what his wife was actually working on and so he decided to accept the job offer.

The scene soon shift to the lab facility where Xymos has apparently found the method to fabricate microscopic machines using nanotechnology (what I call nano-bots). Jack soon discover that his wife was actually working on a military project to use this microscopic machines as surveilance (spying) units. The problem Xymos was actually having was not that there is a bug with the programme's code, but that a few 'swarms' of these nano-bots has been accidentally released to the environment. These swarms has evolved within days and are now bent on killing everyone in the lab facility.

Obviously I'm not going to tell you what happened in the end, but typical of Crichton's books, there will be a twist in the story. In this book, you'll also find that Crichton tries to explain the technology and science behind the plot. It was very easy to read (I took a night to read it - though I didn't get much sleep that night) and a gripping science-fiction story.

However, a note in advance, I've also checked the reviews and comments available on amazon.co.uk and found that there is mix feeling about this book. Some say it was a good book, but too complicated. Others say that it's more like a movie script rather than a book. No doubt, like most of his book, this one will probably end up as a movie as well - his previous book, Timeline is currently being made into a movie.

For me, it was enjoyable and it really doesn't take long to read this book. It might be far-fetched, but undoubtedly an immaginative story of how nanotechnology might turn out to be.

Ivan  # 6:11 PM
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Dave Barry And Neil Gaiman Blog 
Am having my finals now and am somewhat busy (yeah right!) so heres some links to tide you over until I er am tided over :D Neil Gaimen blogs here, and this is Dave Barry's blog :D I love them both and would like to marry them someday but yeah I'll settle for some selekeh guy from someplace I guess? As long as he doesnt look like Harry Potter, all is well.

LoL. Shhh.

Go pay them a visit I love them yeah? Esp Dave Barry he's hillarious. Have a nice week, and study hard!

graceshu  # 5:35 AM
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