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Saturday, January 17, 2004
The Sopranos Family Cookbook 
My Christmas gift from my sister's fiance's parents. I had such a good laugh after opening my present. Haha! Still, it was a treasure, that's for sure and a great gift. Also a big hint for me to start cooking again.

I love the book. Even though I've never watch the series before, the characters all come alive in this book. The Sopranos, their favourite chef (!!!), and other characters whom I have no idea about. There's even a page of online chatting between Meadow Soprano and a friend, complaining about her mother's rich Italian cooking.

Bella (Meadow) : U know how many fat cals in olive oil?
Holly : thought it was good for cancer
Bella : its all fat cals!!!!!!
Holly : wow
Bella : 3 pieces of bread soaked in olive oil is like eating 3 pieces of cheesecake!
Holly : thers a cheesecake diet, u know... i read it in People
Bella : and you know that Italian suausage my mom buys?
Holly : bter than curry & artichoke kind we eat
Bella : each one 822 cals 90% fattttttttttttttt - greasyoilypukeyFAT
Holly : stop going home
Bella : ii hate it when dad grabs my handle bars and goes "youre wasting away"
Holly : is that child abuse
Bella : its abuse all right but i'm not a child, you know. i can vote
Holly : that's scary
Bella : i'm crying now
Holly : why? voting's not that hard
Bella : cuz you brought up food & that's all i think about anyway and i'm screwed. look at my fat pop. totally screwed.
Holly : so sorry. lets talk school
Bella : tool late. i'm eating licorice
Holly : lucky you.

Recipes seem simple enough. Gulp! Well, I should hope it was THAT simple. From starters and appetizers, to soups and entrees and finally to delicious and sweetness tempting desserts. And, my favourite dessert is there : TIRAMISU.

Only thing left to do now is to convince Granny that we should do Italian once a week at home!

Wena Tan  # 9:15 PM


Wednesday, January 14, 2004
The Life Of Pi by Yann Martel 
Title: The Life of Pi
Author: Yann Martel
Related Links : Amazon, Canongate
It was a lone hardback book lying in numerous other paperbacks. People say, "Don't judge a book by its cover". But I went ahead and DID it. The Life of Pi was beckoning me to it with its pristine blue and orange hardback cover. It almost looked glittery from afar. I was at the Student Union looking for some rare and precious bargains and took no second thoughts at buying it.

Glittery covers aside, I couldn't for the life of me, put down the book once I started reading it. The book revolves around Pi, short for Piscine Molitor Patel, an ordinary boy with an extraordinary life story to tell. Yann Martel wrote that the life story of Pi was based on a true story. Till this day I haven't bothered to check whether it is in fact a true story or just another part of the book that Martel's written for effect. I just take it for granted that whatever the fact it, Pi has enriched my reading life. Ahem! Needless to say, I was hooked even from Page 1. Imagine a boy, Pi Patel, lost at sea on a safety boat trapped with a Bengal tiger, an orangutan, a zebra and a hyena, along with the occasional sea turtles and (yikes!) sharks. Martel's description of how Pi and his companions survived the bumpy ride is so vivid it's like being in a 3-D movie with the characters coming out of the screen to grab you.

The Life of Pi also somewhat analyses the aspect of religion in one's life. How can you be a Moslem, and at the same time be a Hindu and a Christian too? Is one religion better than another? How can you explain which religion to choose to a young boy who has found faith in all the religions? Is it okay to adopt all of them? I'm somewhat pleased with Martel's tale as he has not put any emphasis on any one religion. He has put the decision on the reader. "Choose whichever religion you want, Mister/Miss. I'm only here to tell the tale!", I can hear him saying to me.

The many characters that spice up the book can go from a sensible, serious person in Pi's father to downright evil as in the French cook of the Japanese ship. Erm, I can't remember exactly cuz I don't have the book with me at the moment, eheh.

To sum it all up, The Life of Pi is a marvelous book and the lesson that I learnt is that sometimes it PAYS to judge a book by its cover!

This Review Was Written By Sleepy Head

graceshu  # 7:05 AM


Tony Parsons, Man And Boy 
man and boyTony Parsons

Title: Man And Boy
Author: Tony Parsons
Price: RM 34.90 (Popular Bookstores)
Related Links: Google On Tony Parsons, Similar Reviews, Tony Parsons, Profile.

If we were talking again about what motivated me towards the purchase of this book, I'd have to say the cover of the book did it - with two pairs of shoes placed at a diagonal corner; one adult high-cut boots, and the other a pair small dirty sneakers - which so aptly characterizes the title of the book man and boy.

This is the first of a series of books he'll write about relationships with the people around him. Man And Boy (1991) was a brought us the sequel, Man And Wife, and One for My Baby. He writes in easy, simple, witty, words, with none of the pretentiousness or dry English humor that most British writers exhibit - but yet packs enough to draw you into the story. Harry Silver, the protagonist is this husband / father who screws up somewhat royally - putting an end to his career and his marriage. He then tries to fix things, making do with green spaghetti for his son's lunch, trying to mend his relationship w his wife, falling in love with a waitress, and getting himself back on the payroll.

Yeah. I just told you how the story ended. LoL. Nice easy read, somewhat gripping at times. Perfect book to read while on the commute. Or the communal commode, I guess :D

Look out for this book on March 7th, Book Swap Meet III.

graceshu  # 2:17 AM


Monday, January 12, 2004
Reading & Buying Habits 
I've got a book review here somewhere, but I stumbled upon some observations that the blogger Ena Ramli shared in her blog about reading and buying habits of some readers.

In her discussion, she goes off a tangent from her review of Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (I've read it, great book ;)) and gives us four points to ponder on how one chooses books off shelves while shopping for books, taking into consideration that the said individual has no knowledge of a book review blog like ours ;D to first stake it out. Among the four are:

1. Book cover design
2. Font size / design
3. Smell
4. The ending

Go ahead and click here to read more of her analysis :)

How do you choose your books?

graceshu  # 9:27 PM


Sunday, January 11, 2004
People of the Wolf : Kathleen O-Neal Gear & W. Michael Gear 

Title : People of the Wolf
Kathleen O'Neal Gear & W. Michael Gear

The first of many books to come on Native Americans and their beliefs. This is a work of fiction written by two archaelogists, Kathleen O'Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear, a husband and wife team.

Although the entire book is written in the modern way, it is easy to read as well as lyrical. It brings the reader into the world of spirits and beliefs of the indigenous people of America. It tells the tale of two brothers and how one of them led their people from the icy cold of Alaska to the south where climates are warmer and food is plentiful. It tells the tale of the perilous walk through a crack in the icy glacier with the help of the Wolf Spirit.

It has all the ingredients for a good book : suspense, treachery, romance (not the mushy kind lah!) and mystery of the unknown spirit world. The book is a standalone version so one need not worry about having not read all the books in order.

The beginning of each book starts off with a scene from the modern world and how modern day society views the traditions of these indigenous people. It always describe a conflict of beliefs and how humankind can be selfish and disrespectful of another person's belief. After this introduction, the story begins and it is hard to put down the book after that.

Read more on the authors' comments on the People series here.

Wena Tan  # 9:55 PM


Book Swap Meet 11 Jan 2004 

Report later on! Am having a headache =P Sorry, and have a nice week ahead!

graceshu  # 9:36 PM