Thursday, June 23, 2011

Book Review: The Sugar House by Laura Lippman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Their summary:

Jess Monaghan's life is back on course. She is beginning to make a name for herself as a PI, she's even banking good money. And then her father asks her a favour: to investigate the death in prison of a friend's brother convicted of killing an unidentified girl, otherwise known as 'Jane Doe'. Tess's search leads her to 'the Sugar House', a brutal institution where she discovers Jane Doe's real identity. And then Tess's father begs her to drop the case ...It is not until her parent's house is set on fire and a body pulled from the wreckage, that she realises that her life may have taken a very wrong turning indeed - one from which there is no going back.

My thoughts:

Is there a series of books based on the character of Jess Monaghan? Of course there is!

Have I read any others in the series? Of course not?

Why no? Because had this one on sale and something about it made curious. For some reason, it reminded me of visit I had one week in Arkansas when I read every single Nancy Drew book! What a joyful experience it was! And so was reading The Sugar House. Jess is more mature but she manages to have some of those 'oops moments'! And then too, this is set in today's time and today's issues.

Why the comparison to Nancy? Because she is not getting shot at all the time or knocked out or hard drinking like some of the other mysteries that are out now.

Whoray for the author! She get added points for writing a book when I don't really need all the back story and bringing to it to a nice conclusion!

PS: DH liked the book as well!

Book Review: Scent of Danger by Autumn Dawn

Scent of Danger (Darklands, #3)Scent of Danger by Autumn Dawn

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A friend suggested we read it together. I agreed. We got our copies from for our Kindles.

If you find yourself in need of a good romance (romances?), with nothing too scary, pick it up and enjoy. It's a light, fun, fast read that had me wanting to keep reading to the end.

I do have to give the writer koodos as you know how I feel about series books that leave you hanging, waiting for the next book which probably won't be out for a year.

You might want to read the others in the series but if this one is your first, don't panic! I liked the beginning and the clean end.  Think of this as a fairy tale where boy meets girl, problems occur, boy saves girl and they live happily ever after! Or maybe a modern take on one of Shakespere's comedies.

Would I read the other books in the series? Yes!

Would I suggest it to my husband? No!

Grace took me to Thailand!

It has been so long ago, I don't know when I started following Grace's blog: Sandier Pastures.  She is an expat (someone who is from one country who lives and works in another country).  What's more, whenever she goes somewhere, she takes her camera to accessorize the words about her trip.
This is her posting from Thailand.  If all the pictures don't come through, click on the blog name to zip over Dubai.  Without further ado, take it away Grace!

** This is a part of a series of posts about my blog trip to Thailand. **
Day two and we are still in Hua Hin, Thailand. After our visit to the Hua Hin Train Stationand Flintstone Hill, we went to Wat Huay Mongkol. In our itinerary it says, “home of the sacred Luang Pu Thuad statue revered by the locals” – of course we don’t have any idea what it means till we got to the place.
Wat Huay Mongkol houses the largest statue of Luang Phor Thuat in Thailand in a park-like setting. From far, the size of the statue is already obvious, much so when we got near.
And nearer:
There were lots of visitors there, including foreigners like us and local Thai people.We all went up the stairs to get nearer. I was curious what the people were doing there.
The Luang Pu Thuad statue sits on a pedestal with four other smaller images in niches where the faithful pastes gold-leaf in honour of the monk. Here are the people with thin pieces of gold leaves pasting it on one of the the smaller statues.
An excerpt from Luang Pu Thuad’s life story and as told by our tour guide:
Luang Pu Thuad became famous during the 16th century when he saved the people from draught. There was the time where there was not enough drinking water, and the weather deteriorate day after day. According to an account related by villagers, a monk was sighted in a small boat which moving along the river. He was in deep meditation and prayer. After he’d finished chanting, he lowered one of his legs into the river, and within short while, the river is filled with clear and clean drinking water. A miracle had happened. This bit of good news spread throughout the province and to other parts of Thailand. The monk was no other than Luong Pu Thuad himself. The people highly respected and graciously revered him from then on.
Also, it is said that amulets in the likeness of the monk (with varieties impossible to count) bring great protection and good luck. If you are amulet collector, dont forget to buy the amulet there. I didn’t buy any because I was not listening to the guide regarding the protection and good luck part. I could have bought one to keep. Maybe next time!
Going down again, there’s this three headed elephant at the foot of the statue where people walk under. Locals say walking under the three headed elephant will make some of your wishes come true. I do remember, walking underneath it wishes for a baby soon.
Little did I know I was already with child here! Anyway, Thailand really loves elephants, even the water fountain has got elephants on it. How cute are these?
We saw a monk in meditation in the shelter nearby. Local people gathered around him but I have no idea what they were doing. They must be praying?
At the other side, there are statues where people paste the gold leaves.
A golden statue.
Up next: Hua Hin Hills Vineyard for wine tasting and lunch. Yes, there’s a vineyard in Thailand!
* Photos taken using Canon EOS 550D and Canon PowerShot SD960IS