new years bookish resolutions!

31 December 2012

Happy New Years everyone!
2013 is going to be an exciting, fun and productive year! With only a few hours left, I'm kind of rapidly putting together this post. Instead of looking behind at this year, I'm going to look forward :) I kind of already made some resolutions on the "hello and bye-bye: BIG CHANGES" post, but I'll summarise  and add a bit more, if you don't mind :)

More Reviews

I know, I know. I promised myself that my next post on this blog would be a book review, yet that hasn't happened, has it? So this year, I will make it a goal to post more reviews than any other type of blog content. Sounds fair, right?


I stopped doing challenges for two years because I found myself reading books simply to fill in my challenges, and not to read good literature. When I finished a book, I would automatically think "Hey, now I can add this to my challenge bar!" instead of "Damn, what a good book!" I hope that this year will be different, and I'm actually doing some challenges. I've created my own, since I don't really want to hunt down challenge pages, haha.


I've already started on my quest to read more classics. I've finished Richard III, and I'm starting Othello as far as Shakespeare is concerned. Currently reading The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. I'll focus on classics more than YA this year, hopefully.

Personal Goals

As for some personal goals, I am definitely getting a massive chunk of novel writing. The NOVEL will become more substantial than just a bunch of ideas and elements scribbled in a Moleskin notebook. Also, going to exercise more! I've been losing a lot of muscle due to my hypothyroid and I'm becoming flabby. Blegh! Eat healthy! Live healthy! WOOHOO! I'm all pumped!


new years clean-out giveaway!

29 December 2012

Hallo everyone!
  Are you all excited about 2013? Nah, the world hasn't ended and we're moving on to a new year! Over my four years of blogging, I've amassed a somewhat mediocre collection of books that is meagre compared to a lot of bookshelves I've seen. Yet as you know, with the changes to Pages (ha, that rhymes) that I'm starting afresh.
  I went through the boxes of books I had in my closet (I ran out of space on my bookshelf and moved a lot of them into boxes) and picked out the books that I knew I could live without. I tend to keep items that have memories attached to them, and I have a few books in this giveaway that mean a lot, like "Fallen" by Lauren Kate, the ARC. It was one of the first times I had gotten a popular book from a publisher, and in ARC form too! Even though I didn't like the story, the actual physical copy of the book was important to me.  Prize Pack #1 are some oldies, hehe.
 I have an inventory book where I keep track of all the books that have ever been in my permanent possession (like, not borrowed, but actually owned) so I don't think I'll ever forget these books even if they're gone from my hands.

 The finished copies I own are going straight to my library :) So without further ado!

ABOUT these prizes:
  • most of these are ARCs
  • they're all in pristine condition (I take very good care of my books)
  • the hardbacks have their covers on them
  • some swag may accompany the book :)
  • Please take good care of them if you win! Share the love <3 nbsp="nbsp">

Prize Pack #1

(ARC) Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
(ARC) Low Red Moon by Ivy Devlin
(ARC) Fallen by Lauren Kate (that's how the ARC looks like)

Prize Pack #2

(ARC) The Wood Queen (#2) by Karen Mahoney
(ARC) Abandon by Meg Cabot
(Hardback) Above by Leah Bobet

Prize Pack #3

(Hardback) The City's Son by Tom Pollock
(ARC) Eve and Adam by Michael Grant and Katherine Applegate
(ARC) Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs

feature and follow #9: THE SHAD---I know, I know

27 December 2012

  Most of you viewing this must be old followers anyway, but I should reiterate for the new followers.

Here on Pages, I kind of tweaked the rules of Feature and Follow to fit my morals about blogging. Here are the "tweaked" rules :D

  • If I followed you, you are NOT required to follow me back: only if you want to :)
  • If you follow me, I'll seriously consider following you back, but it's not guaranteed

I don't like how people are required to follow other blogs in this hop. I think one should follow a blog because he or she likes it, not because he/she feels obliged because the other blog owner/writer followed him or her's blog. You know? (Being grammatically correct is a bit wordy). Life's a bit too busy to read blogs that doesn't fit one's taste.

I'm quite excited for today's question


Hem. In the past, I would have said The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. But now, the answer that popped right in my mind at this question was the most obvious. 

The Shadow of the Wind (El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1)
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Lucia Graves (Translation)

Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, and Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by one Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. In fact, Daniel may have the last of Carax’s books in existence. Soon Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets--an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.

my reviews (accidentally wrote two of them, believing that I hadn't already written one!)

This book is like....I can't even describe it. I kind of mourn over how beautiful a book it is on my writing blog, specifically this post, because it's just such a perfect book. The Shadow of the Wind is as good as gold, my friends: definitely a treasure worth adding to your collection!

Like always, please leave a comment below and I'll visit your blog :) An internet user's (bloggers/youtuber/facebooker)'s favourite thing to get is comments, hehe.

film review #1: life of pi (spoilers)

21 December 2012

Hallo all!
  This is my first film review (other than some scrappy ones I did ages ago, like for Tuck Everlasting...but that one was like, two sentences) and I'm really happy to say that it is: Life of Pi!

title: Life of Pi
director: Ang Lee
release date: 2012
studio: Fox 2000 Pictures

My thoughts:
  I had read Life of Pi for school, and since my teacher didn't really teach it much at all: I had no idea what it try was about, and I didn't really like it. In fact, I hated it.
  Conveniently, the film was to come out only a few weeks after I finished reading it. I wondered: how can you make a film about a book that's pretty much a massive metaphor with symbolism on every page? Apparently you can.

  As my dad, brother and I walked into the showing, I could see other Indian families there. People probably assumed we were only there because of the Indian actors and how the main character is Indian. Actually, it was because I wanted to watch it because of the book and how people in my class kept telling me how amazing it was.So thus, my choice was in. However, we went to the show that was in 3D and I was groaning. I hate 3D, and throughout the film, I realised it wasn't really necessary to have the goggles. Life of Pi isn't the type of film that REQUIRES 3D glasses, which would best fit a super SG film like Avatar (James Cameron).

  I was amazed by how beautifully the entire film was done, from the very beginning. Beside me, my Dad was like a little child, humming along with old Indian tunes and smiling and laughing. But that died down as the true grit of the film progressed.

  I was completely serious the entire time. The film was beautifully done, and it seemed as if reality and fiction moulded together seamlessly, both story-wise, and visually. Do you remember that film, Cast Away with Tom Hanks and his football Wilson? In that film, you could easily tell they actually filmed on an actual island with actual trees and sand and water...but in Life of Pi, the water reflected the sky like glass. The beautiful, thriving life of the bright sea creatures, then incredibly detail in the animals like Richard Parker and Orange Juice, and the lovely soundtrack transported me to another world.

  The beautiful special effects, and the transitions from scene to scene, and EACH scene was absolutely BEAUTIFUL! The best filming I've ever seen. And also, I enjoyed how Lee designed the boat to be like the one on the original cover of Life of Pi. This film truly stuck to the book, and the meaning of the book. There was no deviating (I loved it!)

  The film starts off introducing Pi, and all is bright and happy. This is where the theatre laughed and chuckled. In the book, the transition from normality to stranded, hopelessness was not really accentuated. I didn't really hear much else about Pi's family and I didn't really see or hear any desperate shrieks, yelling and all that...but having it on film hit home. To see Pi wailing, to see him mourn over his family which I had grown to like, was remarkable. The entire way through the beginning, I was dreading the ship wreck. I grew to love Pi's family and his peacefulness and innocence and then was hit with reality.

  What I also liked about the film was that it showed the allegories of the book, and how religion played a key part in the whole story. When Pi was starving and he killed his first creature (the fish) and burst into tears, thanking Vishnu for taking the form of a fish to save him."Thank you Lord Vishnu. Thank you for coming in the form of a fish and saving our lives." I don't know if anyone other than the Indians knew that signficance. Vishnu incarnates in the form of more or less than ten creatures, a fish, a turtle, a boar and so on. Each time he takes on a form, he saved Earth or saved something (can't really explain without going in detail). When he shouts his thanks, my Dad chuckles. While I am sitting there, my hands rubbing my neck furiously and my eyes threatening to spill tears as I can see how Lee incorporated the importance of religion in Life of Pi. It wasn't just Hinduism, but the other main religions of the world. Some people believe that Pi's life after the Tsitsum sinks is a spiritual journey, but that wasn't really shown in the film expect for those scenes where he talked about God. And the whole theme of the story "I have a story that will make you believe in God"

 I think my favourite scene (or scenes) was when, when the sinking was happening, Pi was waking his brother Raj up to come watch the lightening and thunder with him. Raj refused, of course, wanting to sleep and Pi ran up and laughed, slipping about the ship and doing funny dances. In just a few seconds, he's being tossed on a boat with his family drowned in their bunks. "My family!"

  And once again, on the boat when the waves get rough and almost drown them, Pi starts laughing and undoing the tarp, yelling "Richard Parker, come out you have to see this! It's beautiful!" repeating exactly what he had said to his brother when the Tsitsum was sinking. I think my heart broke, and I think that's when I started to cry. He starts screaming at the storm, screaming at God "You've taken my family, my life, what more do you want?" (not the exact quote). It reminded me of a scene from my favourite animated series, Avatar the Last Airbender. Zuko wants to learn how to create lightening from his fingertips, but he just can't seem to get it. He gets frustrated, climbs to the top of a cliff and starts screaming at the storm, "Come at me! You've never held back before!". Something about facing a storm, the rain and the rashing waves, reveals a desperation in a character, and can be symbolic of many things. Just thinking of all the symbolism in Life of Pi is enough to make my mind geared to seeing it everywhere. "Ah! That advert just now! The cheese was placed there are a symbolic reference to etc..." Anyway.

 I wrote an essay on how Richard Parker is actually Pi. There are two halves: one half, the animal-istic nature in humans, is Richard Parker; The other half, the rationally human half, is Pi. However, I really wish there would have been more of an emphasis on the religion part and how important it was to the book.

 The film overall was spectacular, however, and I really enjoyed it!

There were many beautiful scenes, and even more beautiful lines in this film. Life of Pi is unforgettable! Since I don't know how to describe it, I'll let my idol Tom Hiddleston explain (he got to go to the premier!)

I give this film 4 and a half trees!
P.S. Happy Mayan End-Of-The-World. We're all still alive, whopeeeee :) Watching Life of Pi was a great idea. It's really making me contemplate my life, and how I should live it from now on.

feature and follow (8): HALLO WORLD!

20 December 2012

Welcome, welcome readers of all sorts! New readers, old ones, and even the in-between readers who have heard of Pages, but have never ~gasp~ followed!
Oh but no matter; it will soon be remedied as I introduce myself!

Hallo :D
  This is the first time I've done Feature and Follow Friday' last post was sometime in July. Naturally, it means there are many more bloggers I haven't yet met! Please leave a comment below so I can get to know you and therefore, become friends with you :)
Here on Pages, I kind of tweaked the rules of Feature and Follow to fit my morals about blogging. Here are the "tweaked" rules :D

  • If I followed you, you are NOT required to follow me back: only if you want to :)
  • If you follow me, I'll seriously consider following you back, but it's not guaranteed

I don't like how people are required to follow other blogs in this hop. I think one should follow a blog because he or she likes it, not because he/she feels obliged because the other blog owner/writer followed him or her's blog. You know? (Being grammatically correct is a bit wordy). Life's a bit too busy to read blogs that doesn't fit one's taste.
I hope you don't mind me changing it up a bit! 

 Today's question is such:

Before book blogging, publishers were untouchables, like they were so high up there! I viewed them as
  • obscure companies that had different names and symbols on books (Penguin had a different stamp than HarperCollins) I used to think they were all different, but the same. 
 I didn't even think about the companies much. All I cared about was the book. I noticed discrepancies  with how the book was formatted and how it differed from company to company, but that was pretty much it. They were just big, kind giants that let me read books.

That sounds very childish, but mind you: I did start blogging at age 13, unlike you experienced, older adults out there on the internet. :)

I've learned many things in my four years actually :) Let's list a few:
  • Publishers appreciate bloggers and their input
  • You can contact an author's publicist for ARCs, review copies, giveaways 
  • You can talk to an author's agent or sometimes directly contact the author to find out more about him/her or just fangirl :)
  • They are VERY friendly and always willing to help
Publishing companies really are nice, friendly giants. The e-mails I get in return are, however, concise and brief. But these people are busy and can't write a personal response each time, you know? 

So tell me about yourself! Leave a comment with a link to your blog so I can have the pleasure of meeting you :)

Happy Friday and a happy holiday/non-denominational winter break/winter season!
P.S. I'm kind of in a Tumblr haze at the moment, and thought I'd let you other Tumbler-ers know that I am a die-hard Hiddleston fangirl (this blog's miscellaneous page has all that stuff :D)

The bookish-themed one about Thor and Loki visiting the library has an inside joke. Look at the cover of Loki's book :D If you'd like, look up "Loki and Svaðilfari", hehehehe. Prepare yourself for a very interesting story.
don't forget to.....leave a comment, ahaha :)

hallo and bye-bye: BIG CHANGES

17 December 2012

Hallo friends :D
  Some major changes going on around here! Read below to find out more :)

Blog Design

The most obvious change you can tell right away is my blog design. It's only temporary, as I'm having my blog re-designed (custom!). I hope to maintain a clean, minimalistic appearance that's easy to read AND navigate and such. My previous design looked too website-ish and out of touch, no matter how much I liked it.

New Features Coming Up

I have some ideas for some new features I'd like to have on here later this month into 2013. I need your help on choosing what I should do!

  • Inspired by The Inky Melody: I'd like to do some historical tid-bit posts along with some literary quotes that I enjoy
  • I will continue with the Topic Posts
  • a "Blogging 101" or "Blogger Advice" page where I answer some questions about blogging and provide some of my experience as a blogger (4 years counts as experienced, right?)
  • Some "Blogging Tips" where I post some help on blogging beauty, like blog buttons, drop down nav-bars, headers and all that.
  • Social Media Icons! I'll only have a couple, since I'm not into social media that much. One to my e-mail, and one to my tumblr will probably be all I have (maybe Pinterest?) I was thinking also a "Subscribe" one, since I've always gotten rid of any form to subscribe (I don't really know what Feedburner is, help?)

Focus Shifting

All right, this is where the major change is coming in for the main theme of Pages. I've been talking a long time about my dis-like of many YA books...Pages will STILL be a YA book blog! I will still definitely review YA here, but it'll also have more historical fiction (like Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok) and literary fiction. 

I'm making Pages a resource for readers and bloggers. I'm going to go back to my roots, of why I started blogging: for the books. By this I mean that I will now have:
  • a page with an organised list of linked reviews categorised by genre (on top of my normal archive page with reviews organised by titles)
  • I will go back to all my posts and add tags so you can navigate more easily (I rarely use tags, but I realise now that I should have started a while ago) Plus for this, I'll create new tabs on the sidebar to make it more attractive :D So you'll see tabs on the sidebar that will say "Book Topics" or "Literary Quotes" (maybe)
This will most likely all happen over break when I have the time to go through every one of my nearly 600 posts and edit them to work. 

Do You Not Like Them (the changes?)

I've lost quite a bit of followers, so if you don't like how my focus is shifting from primarily YA to semi-YA, then you can feel free to follow the others in their decision to un-follow. I love you all very much and really appreciate you, but if you don't feel like staying, I can't stop you >_<

topic: originality in blogging

16 December 2012

I thought of doing this weeks Feature and Follow Friday blog event and then realised the promise I made to myself a while back: to not be obsessed with getting new followers. Plus, I didn't have the time to hop around, hehe :D
Is Originality Gone?

As I was on Parajunkee's website, I saw here post "Blogging 101: Is Originality Gone?" in which Rachel said:

"There is nothing but Book Blitzs, Promo Pieces, Cover Reveals and Memes in my Google Reader! And it just exploded. It wasn’t that bad a few weeks ago and now that is ALL IT IS! Is it the holidays? Is everyone stressed out, so they can’t think of anything CREATIVE to post about?"

 I'm a bit smug to say that I haven't done any of these. If you remember, I stopped/never did post of these for these reasons that I mentioned in posts ages ago:

  • No More In My Mailbox: I thought it was people just bragging about all the books they have/ showing off all their ARCs and such. I as a reader don't really care what books people bought for the week, just the reviews. So I stopped doing this.
  • No Cover Reveals: I may have done once so long ago that I don't remember, but I was never up for making posts entirely on a new cover. I personally don't like many YA covers and don't think their "swoonworthy" (anorexic, airbrushed girls in fancy dresses in fantasy backgrounds? nah)
  • Few Promo Pieces: When I do the occasional author interview/giveaway, I do promote the book in the post with a summary and cover, but they're either spaced out over long periods of time or posted all at once at one time. Thinking of it....I kind of do think I need to do some interviews/giveaways...
  • No Advertising Books for Publishers: I get lots of e-mails from Indie-authors or e-book authors asking me to post about their book and they'll give me a copy to reivew or link my website to theirs and so on...but if I don't like the book, then I say "no". If it's a paranormal romance, then it totally doesn't fit with the theme of Pages. I do what's best for this blog :)
Of course, there are some negatives of what I do:
  • I Babble: on whole post complaining about my life
  • I post funny Tumblr pictures that have nothing to do with books (well, I did have the Harry Potter funny picture posts, those were nice :D)
  • I don't post often
  • I'm usually in a constant state of apologising
Do I Feel Original? Is Pages really original?
Sometimes, I feel bad. I see all these blogs with their memes, cover reveals, interviews and everything and wonder if I should be like them. After all, blogs that those are really involved and get connected to the community of writers, readers, authors and publishers. 
 I have this idea that if I haven't read an author's book, then I have no right to ask for an interview. After all, what shallow questions could I ask said author? And why should I, one who hasn't read the book, have the privilege of hosting an interview when someone else out there who loves said book and has bazillions of questions doesn't? It is my own fault, since I'm going through a "must read only books I want" stage. Most of the authors I like are so untouchable, like high-up there and adult-ish and have no time for a little blogger like me.

But I do like to keep things on this blog honest and worthy of reading. I want to filter in only the good, meaningful content and want to write book reviews that people will want to read. I do feel original.

What About Other Blogs?
As I scroll down my feed, I look mainly for reviews and cool-sounding books. I almost always skim over the glitzy YA covers and romances, the steamy romances too, and many memes like IMM or variations of that like book hauls. (I hauled in a massive lot of books that is far superior to your spartan collection). It sounds cruel, and if I follow your blog, I'm following it because I like it. 

Also, I went back and found some of my most favourite Harry Potter funny pictures because I mentioned them earlier in this post and kind of want them back :)

OK the Turkey one :D I could NOT stop laughing after this one, for the longest time. Ahahaha

I used this last one at my lunch table a while back and I had this goofy smile on my face the entire time, whispering "Come for pie?" in a husky voice. Ahh.

But yes. I'd like you're input on this topic. Do you think originality in blogging has dimmed? Do you think your blog is original, or are you guilty of de-original-ising? Let me know what you think!

books of cultural background

13 December 2012

Hello everyone!
  No, it's not a topic post. It's actually me procrastinating my studying my delving into book related quests. I'd like to say that my school library is the best. The librarians are true readers, and they buy the latest books to share with the population of the school, most of which do not read. I find myself amongst others who either hang out in the library just to sit on the couches, or like-minded readers who talk about books to me. "Hey, is that really a good book? I heard it was" or "Yeah, I'm looking for a good sci-fi. Do you know any?" I prefer the latter bunch :D

 Now, back to the topic at hand. Most of the blogs I'm following review/feature/lust after a lot of YA books that honestly, to me, are trash. Books like Fallen by Lauren Kate and other paranormal books that are shallow and bland. I never mean to offend anyone, author or reader, but it's just how I feel about certain books. So on my quest to find cultural background books, I went to the #1 book website ever: Goodreads! (do you all remember shelfari? I used to have one, but then Goodreads came into existence and shelfari kind of died)

 I love cultural books and historical fiction because they have a true story, they have characters that don't fall in love with two hot guys and get trapped in a paranormal adventure of true love or anything: it's based on real life events and a rich, enchanting culture full of beauty and life.

 I'd like to feature some books that I really want to read (also, most aren't recently published, so you might find them in your local library!)

Winter in Madrid by C.J Sansom
A popular mystery writer breaks out with this page-turning international bestseller set in post-Civil War Spain 
September 1940: the Spanish Civil War is over, Madrid lies in ruin, while the Germans continue their march through Europe, and General Franco evades Hitler's request that he lead his broken country into yet another war. Into this uncertain world comes a reluctant spy for the British Secret Service, sent to gain the confidence of Sandy Forsyth, an old school friend turned shady Madrid businessman. Meanwhile, an ex-Red Cross nurse is engaged in a secret mission of her own. Through this dangerous game of intrigue, C. J. Sansom's riveting tale conjures a remarkable sense of history unfolding and the profound impact of impossible choices.

Most of the reviews are highly praising, and I love Spain (see voyage for all that stuff)

Bone by Fae Myenne Ng
In this profoundly moving novel, Fae Myenne Ng takes readers into the hidden heart of San Francisco's Chinatown, to a world of family secrets, hidden shames, and the lost bones of a "paper father." It is a world in which two generations of the Leong family live in an uneasy tension as they try to fathom the source of the middle daughter Ona's sorrow. Fae Myenne Ng's portraits of the everyday heroism of the Leongs--who inflict deep hurt on each other in their struggles to survive, yet sustain one another with loyalty and love--have made "Bone" one of the most critically acclaimed novels of recent years and immediately a classic of contemporary American life

I read Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok and other Chinatown books that were absolutely beautiful, and I can't wait to read another. There's something about the Asian style of writing that's so poetic and lovable.

Rooftops of Tehran  by Mahbod Seraji 
In this poignant, eye-opening and emotionally vivid novel, Mahbod Seraji lays bare the beauty and brutality of the centuries-old Persian culture, while reaffirming the human experiences we all share.

In a middle-class neighborhood of Iran's sprawling capital city, 17-year-old Pasha Shahed spends the summer of 1973 on his rooftop with his best friend Ahmed, joking around one minute and asking burning questions about life the next. He also hides a secret love for his beautiful neighbor Zari, who has been betrothed since birth to another man. But the bliss of Pasha and Zari's stolen time together is shattered when Pasha unwittingly acts as a beacon for the Shah's secret police. The violent consequences awaken him to the reality of living under a powerful despot, and lead Zari to make a shocking choice...

I've had this on my TBR for ages! I still haven't gotten to it, but it's moved up on my priority list.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles.

Achilles, 'best of all the Greeks', is everything Patroclus is not — strong, beautiful, the child of a goddess — and by all rights their paths should never cross. Yet one day, Achilles takes the shamed prince under his wing and soon their tentative companionship gives way to a steadfast friendship. As they grow into young men skilled in the arts of war and medicine, their bond blossoms into something far deeper — despite the displeasure of Achilles's mother Thetis, a cruel and deathly pale sea goddess with a hatred of mortals.

Fate is never far from the heels of Achilles. When word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, the men of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause. Torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows Achilles into war, little knowing that the years that follow will test everything they have learned, everything they hold dear. And that, before he is ready, he will be forced to surrender his friend to the hands of Fate.

I once saw this on a blog a long time ago and remember wanting to win it (it was a giveaway post) so much! However, I just finished reading The Iliad recently and now I want to read this so badly that I would...I dunno what I'd do but I have to!

Are Your Eyes Bedazzled? Is your mind on fire? Do you want to read these or what?

Four is enough, ya? I have loads more, but I don't want to read them as much as I want to read these! The reason why most of my TBR list is still massive is because I usually wait for them to come out in the library. I'm too lazy, and too tight on money, to buy every book I want to read. If you've read, I've recently purchased my very own copy of The Shadow of the Wind after lusting at it for ages (I'd keep checking it out from the library just to read bits and pieces of the awesomeness).

I'm sorry I've been absent lately!It's not like I'm a massive part of your life and you've missed me dreadfully and oh how come you've left us all alone--hehe :D I'll be back! See, I'm taking a nice trip to the school library tomorrow and picking up a load of books to read over the holiday (I can have up to 5 books at a time! In elementary, it was only 2) Look forward to all those gorgeous books you'll be reading about here!

Have an awesome weekend, and the exams week if you live in America. God, I need to study for biology...ANYWAY: FAREWELL UNTIL NEXT WE MEET!

NEW BOOK! + finals

06 December 2012

  Perhaps some GIFS of how I'm feeling for finals in less than a week from now!

Less than a week from now ("Oh, I have a while before finals, no need to worry less than a week....NOOOO!")

How I react to "Finals can only help your grade! They're easy, you'll do fine"
On the outside, I maintain a chill exterior. "I got this". When truly, inside, when I realise how important my grades are and how crucial it is that I have to pass:


No amount of studying will prepare me for that day when I walk in the room with nothing but a pencil and face that exam:

Also, I got a book in the mail! This one I ordered off of Amazon and finally received:

The first is a glorious, first edition copy of The Shadow of the Wind. It's in mint condition, and contains one of the most haunting, beautiful stories I've ever read within. There's it beside it's sequel, The Angel's Game. If you haven't already, you must read it!

I must read the Tao of Pooh for class, but I dislike it, so I won't mention it in my bookish thoughts :D Hope you're all having a fantastic almost-end-of-the-week!

updates + happy december!

01 December 2012


  I've missed you all so much, honestly. It's always on the back of my mind that I want to talk to my book blogger friends, that I want to take part in discussions and browse reviews, but I have made the time to do it, balancing between sleep, eating, chores and school. Therefore, I'm proud to declare: I'm BACK! Sadly, two things have happened since I left early November:
how I feel inside during this stressful time, haha

  1. I dropped out of NaNoWriMo (for reasons explained here)
  2. I'm getting a massive amount of homework, and a resolve to study absolutely
 The end of first semester is dawning, which means I have to bring up my straight Bs and 2 Cs in the matter of, oh yeah: 2 WEEKS! And then a full week of final exams. At the start of this week, I thought "Yeah, 3 weeks is plently" but now that it's down to two weeks, I'm thinking, "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit". I've got several high B's (87) that I have to bring up 3 points! in TWO WEEKS! I HAVE TO GET SOME A's!!!

 So I'm in a mode of constant, agitated, panicked state of mind that evolves around quizzes, tests and homework, all of which I must cleave through with high marks. As of now, I have been working since 1 pm (with like, half hour sleeping breaks, because I think my mind gets tired after more than an hour and a half of constant study) and I have this horrid Biology homework. My teacher hasn't explained punnett squares at all, and I only know how to do the 4 box one, not the 8 boxes or the 16 boxes and I've got two thick packets of problems to finish and....I'm just complaining, aren't I?

Sorry about that :) My point is that I will not be reviewing until the week of December 24th, when I have break and will get around to reading. I haven't been reviewing at all for the past few months: I'm a terrible book blogger!

Literature Class: (in which I claim bragging rights)
It will please you, however, that I am reading snippets of The Iliad in class and I am nailing it. I've already gleaned through it once long ago, forgot a bit, then re-watched the film Troy (2004) and am typing up an entire study guide. I think I've earned the reputation of teacher's pet in my Literature class due to how much I overacheive and therefore seem to know everything. Whenever the class has to write essays, and we have several days to do this, many students come up to me to peer edit their papers. My friend Hanna and I are the go-to's and one day, I literally had written two sentences for one whole 50 minute period because I had been editing so many papers along with Hanna, who hadn't even started her quota for the day. We've managed to become a editing duo that works like this:
(photo credit) how I felt like
  • I'm writing, so when someone comes up, Hanna takes on the editing
  • When I declare that Hanna needs to work, I take on the editing 
  • When we're both at a point when we don't know what to do anymore, and someone asks us to read their paper, we say, quite literally, "Let's edit the shit out of this paper" . The paper is between us, as we write in different colours and consult each other on sections and when we're done, the paper is completely marked up.
  • When we don't edit, we consult. Someone asks "Is this good?" or "Does this part make sense?". A hilarious thing happened when this jock (let's call him Jon) who keeps coming to us, pulled up a chair across from us. The table Hanna and I sit at is one of those black science tables where two people sit at. The chair remained there, and four students came up afterwards, sat in the chair as we faced them and offered advise.
Hanna and I sit up front, so while some students ask our teacher, others come to us. One girl, from the back of the classroom, giggled as she said, "Hey..I came to you guys because the people around me aren't really good at it (peer editing). Could you help?". At that moment, I realised my position in the classroom as a somewhat teacher's pet. I have dozens of stories to tell about this Literature class of mine, but I think I've written enough :D

(photo credit) holiday jumpers are becoming a trend
at my high-class, "elite" school.
Happy December everyone!
I love the winter months! The lovely cold which leaves me feet and hands blue, the delicious cool-ness and the hot tea and coffee and the inspiring gloomy atmosphere...ahh, perfect. This is the holiday season! I prefer to call my week and a half long break "Holiday break" while others call it Christmas Break. I understand that's the reason why I have that week off, but I don't celebrate Christmas so to me, it's Winter Holidays! WOOHOO!

 Blogging wise, I can't wait to start reading about holiday gifts, the SECRET SANTA thing I hope someone will host for book bloggers, and all the other holiday cheer! 

 And me? Well, I'll be salvaging the last bits of true, deep winter by staying at home wrapped in blankets, constantly boiling tea and writing and reading. I think it'll be a productive holiday break.

 Of course, this whole post has probably gotten you thinking that I won't be here for another two/two and half weeks, right? Well you are correct, friend. The only reason I have written this post is because I just realised now, thanks to my brother, that I have to redo a great load of the Bio homework I had spent about twenty minutes-half an hour working on and nearly died comprehending this fact. 

 SO until the end of finals my blogger family.
(PS: I've been craving Starbucks frappuccinos, which is odd considering its a cold, iced drink and not something warm, despite the season)

thanksgiving + black friday

20 November 2012

Hello everyone!
  Are you guys as thrilled as I am for Black Friday? For those who are international or don't know what it is:

 Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving where shops open up incredibly early with ridiculous sales to kick off the holiday season. It's a crazy day with great bargains.

 My brother and Dad  always go to Best Buy and other electronics stores where I usually stayed at home. This time, I'm going. I've been working yesterday, today and tomorrow with babysitting. I intend to use said babysitting money to shop at Barnes and Noble (online or in store, not sure yet) and perhaps get some new shoes and clothing as well. But finally I have an excuse to buy books.

 See, my mum discourages me from buying books (novels especially) because she says that if I read it once, and I know the story, then what's the point of buying it? One can tell she's a huge advocate for libraries :)

 SO I hope you all are doing well! I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving. Now, I know Thanksgiving takes on a different connotation nowadays as being thankful for everything you have. But I'd like to share with you the REAL story, and where exactly Squanto came from and so on. Since I was lazy, and forgot the name of the tribe, I just found this website and copied from it:

 The REAL story of Thanksgiving

The story began in 1614 when a band of English explorers sailed home to  England with a ship full of Patuxet Indians bound for slavery. They left behind smallpox which virtually wiped out those who had escaped.  By the time the Pilgrims arrived in Massachusetts Bay they found only one living Patuxet Indian, a man named Squanto who had survived slavery in England and knew their language.  He taught them to grow corn and to fish, and negotiated a peace treaty between the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Nation. At the end of their first year, the Pilgrims held a great feast honoring Squanto and the Wampanoags.

But as word spread in England about the paradise to be found in the new world, religious zealots called Puritans began arriving by the boat load. Finding no fences around the land, they considered it to be in the public domain. Joined by other British settlers, they seized land, capturing strong young Natives for slaves and killing the rest.  But the Pequot Nation had not agreed to the peace treaty Squanto had negotiated and they fought back. The Pequot War was one of the bloodiest Indian wars ever fought.

In 1637 near present day  Groton, Connecticut, over 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Tribe had gathered for their annual Green Corn Festival which is our Thanksgiving celebration. In the predawn hours the sleeping Indians were surrounded by English and Dutch mercenaries who ordered them to come outside.  Those who came out were shot or clubbed to death while the terrified women and children who huddled inside the longhouse were burned alive. The next day the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony declared "A Day Of Thanksgiving" because 700 unarmed men, women and children had been murdered.

Cheered by their "victory", the brave colonists and their Indian allies attacked village after village. Women and children over 14 were sold into slavery while the rest were murdered.  Boats loaded with a many as 500 slaves regularly left the ports of New England. Bounties were paid for Indian scalps to encourage as many deaths as possible.  

(read more)

So you see, once again popular myth has hidden true history. If this shocks you, try searching up Colombus. History books portray him to be a hero who discovered America with the famous story where the Spanish cried "Tierra! Tierra" >_< Are you kidding me? The details of what happened aren't as happy and cheerful, but are pretty graphic and gruesome.

On a lighter note, I hope you have a happy Day of Giving Thanks for What You Have Now.

P.S. I thank my AP Human Geography teacher for shining a light on history for me. Now I know to doubt the history I read (because there isn't one definite history, there are always two sides, dozens of different accounts that have different biases and opinions) and to always look up the real facts. The story of Columbus is a myth, that one obscure historian made up and from which all textbooks copied. Columbus makes me sick, urg. ANYWAY! SORRY! HAPPY HOLIDAY!

an absentee blogger for November! + updates :)

05 November 2012

For those you follow my sister blog, Voyage, you'll know that I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this year! (username: Kirthi06) So that means I'll be packed all month, which means little to no reading :(

A bit of an update on my literature life. I finished The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho) unit and I'm sorry to say lost it's magic. I still love it but doing that study guide really killed it >_<

I'm reading Oedipus in class (The King, Rex, etc..) and I am pleased to say that I have been cast Oedipus every day we've read it in class. I think I've surprised people with the fervour in which I read my role. Oedipus is a very tragic, emotionally distraught character and many times, I found myself choking up and wailing. I feel like I have absorbed him as a character and afterwards, I find myself with thoughts like "I can't believe...oh god, slept with my mother...had kids with her! That's so sick!" and then thinking "Wait a minute. I'm a sixteen year old girl. I have no beard. I'm not Oedipus"

I pronounce it incorrectly: "Oh (like in owe)-dipus", and I remember thinking it was "Ode-ipus". Yet I learned that it is actually "Ehd-ipus". My teacher and friends keep correcting me in exasperation. :)

Also, our next parallel reading is Tao of Pooh. I can genuinely say this is the worst year of Lit class I have ever experienced. Winnie the Pooh is my most favourite childhood book/video-cassette series in the world. He is the kindest bear, and he has the most lovely group of friends in the Hundred Acre Woods and I don't want to know that "The author didn't intend for this to be a children's book. It was actually meant to explain Tao and Buddhist beliefs" I love Buddhism, since it ties in a lot with Hinduism, but I don't want yet another book to destroy something I love, this time something I treasure more dearly than any character ever, even Arthur the Aardvark. ~sob~ I remember going to bed with my mum beside me or dad and I'd ask for bedtime stories.

My Dad, knowing how much I loved Winnie the Pooh, would attempt to make up stories involving them. But being a serious fan, I found faults in them right away, and kept asking questions and correcting him even. So eventually it became ME telling stories to THEM and then going to sleep afterwards. I remember saying, "ONCE upon a TIME in the HUNDRED acre woods etc..." and I'd base the story after the events of the day.

So if I had a bad day and my parents wouldn't buy me a stuffed animal or something, that night Pooh bear would "ask Christopher Robin for a toy for him to play with. But Christopher Robin said he wouldn't, so Pooh bear went back home in his tree and desperately wished for one" and then after, I'd offer a solution that I hoped my parent's would take as a hint. Like "all the creatures of the Hundred Acre Woods felt bad for Pooh bear and decided to come together and make him a toy. Kanga and Roo brought over spare scraps of cloth, Owl brought some of his old feathers, Rabbit brought needles and string, and they all made him a stuffed animal. Pooh bear loved it very much"

Winnie the Pooh is such an integral part of my childhood and I'm dreading, terrified, that my teacher will ruin yet another story I love.

topic: happy books or sad books?

28 October 2012

This blog post is prompted by a discussion I had at lunch on Friday with my table of friends. We're all book lovers, so it became a passionate discussion.

I make myself happy, even when I'm not. If someone were to ask me "Are you happy?" I wouldn't know what to respond. I think because I'm quite bubbly at school, people automatically assume that I'm just always happy all the time. I'd beg to differ: I'm not a very cheery person when I get home. It's because of my introverted-ness. I know you're thinking "What? Then why is she bubbly at school?" Because I like being friendly, but school usually drains out all my social-ness and I recover over the weekend by staying in room all by myself and doing things alone.

Back on topic. We asked a question: "Which do you prefer, sad books or happy books?"

I said, "I like sad books"

And that fired off into passionate "argument". A friend (let's call her C) told me something along these lines:

C: "It's because you're happy all the time that sad books don't affect you as much. Sad books make me more sad, and I don't like that. Only when I'm really happy will I read a sad book. Depressed people who read sad books make them even more depressed"

Of course, her argument does have some extent of validity that I agreed with, but I'm not happy all the time and sad books do affect me. That's why I love them. My argument was this:

Me: "I love sad books because they're easy to write, meaning that it's easier to portray sad feelings, angry feelings, and all those negative emotions through writing than it is to write happy emotions. Sad books impact the reader in a tear-jerking, heart panging way that happy books sometimes can't achieve"

Then another friend, M, agreed with C and I became...well, that person on the other end of the spectrum. We compared different tastes, in which I and C were total opposites (thus this conversation)

I am too happy at school, or I seem to portray that too much so it bothers people that aren't. C is awesome: she's funny, sarcastic, and a great friend, but she has a sadness to her that I somehow challenged by saying that I liked sad books. I don't like making people upset, so this made me feel terrible. But then I thought, why feel bad about my opinion?

M and C both said they preffered happy books over sad ones. And once I again, I tried arguing that more often, sad books meant good literature (that's not always the case!). I used The Count of Monte Cristo as an example, but in the end, I was shot down. After lunch, I thought about what others would pick.

Sad books or happy books?

manga: my guilty pleasure + funny GIF!

21 October 2012

You all may not know this because I rarely ever mention this, but I do in fact read manga and I have for years. I don't mention it on this blog because I believe this blog is for novels, literary in only words. That's why you don't see graphic novels here.

But I do love manga a whole lot. It's a different type of novel, like a film in novel/drawing form. I mainly read shoujo because secretly (not so secret) I enjoy sappy romances. But not the literary YA romances that I read about: the Japanese manga ones that I can actually see.

Shoujo mangas are very visual and emotional, tugging on one's heart strings and effectively portray a story. It's because instead of just reading "He blushed profusely" or "she said with dangerous fervour", one can actually see it. I'm not making sense, but facial expressions say a lot more than words and manga-kas (manga "writers") have perfected it.

Like right now, I was just reading the latest chapter of Akuma to Love Song and I decided to find an old chapter image to show you what I mean (w/o spoilers!) The ones I wanted to use had spoilers, so if you're planning on reading it (it's AMAZING) then I won't be the one to ruin it

You can see exactly what each character is feeling and you can hear Maria's voice in your head. Even the heart has the effect of showing you her danger (with that cool, darkened face)

The amazing mangas will make you cry and laugh and giggle, and here are some that I recommend:

Fruits Basket (THE ULTIMATE MANGA! #1)
VB Rose (really sweet and cute, I CRAVE this one)
Love So Life
KouKou Debut
Hana Kimi
Special A
Ouran High School Host Club
Beauty Pop
Black Bird

 OK I know these sound like terrible titles. I laughed at first when my friend introduced me to "Fruits Basket". I thought to myself, "What the heck? Is it about...a basket of fruit? What are these strange drawings? The eyes are so disproportionate to the face. HAHA what's up with their tiny mouths? Why do they always wear such short skirts! The modesty, honestly"

 I was naive. It's not about the drawings (even though some styles really bother me) and well...maybe it IS about the drawings. That's an important factor. But the story is what's so sweet.

 A manga that has the most HILARIOUS drawings is Dengeki Daisy. It cracks me up every page! Look look, proof:

While we're talking about funny things, here's this gif I found on Tumblr that's just so ridiculously funny that I've shared it with so many friends. I dare you not to laugh! I've broken out into hysterical laughing over it, to the point of tears: so it's quite emotionally intense. Prepare yourself.


topic: reading in class/for class

I have horrible news to share with you all. The best book in the entire world, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho (on my favourites list) is recommended reading in my class and has been for the past two weeks.

Of course I, being stubborn and too in love with the book to ruin it through a rubbish study guide, refused to read it for class. It's a parallel reading, which means it's out of class, and thank goodness for that.

Teachers + Students Reading Aloud

No. Just...I can't stand it. When teachers read aloud, they can read pretty fluently, so that's a positive. However, I don't like it when anyone reads aloud at all. I have my own voice in my head that reads at a musical, pleasant pace. Yet when someone reads aloud, the story dries up. I can't have the lovely film playing in my head or the character's voices speaking to me: because the teacher/student's voice is all I can hear. It's horrible. And when students read: it'll be in a monotone voice with hideous mispronunciation and frequent pauses and so on.
I've resolved to myself that if I read aloud in class, I will put on whatever accent I must, raise or lower my voice to fit the character and speak as if I were actually speaking aloud in the story rather than sitting in an English class being told to read by the teacher.

So for this part, I'm glad that my teacher didn't read The Alchemist out loud. She read the first sentence and the story of Narcissus and I felt destroyed inside. Now, whenever I try to read it in my voice, it's her voice I hear. I feel terrible about this, and my love for the book is somehow in jeopardy because of it. I wanted, the entire time, to plug up my ears. However, that's impossible because I sit right in front of her in class and I didn't want to look to obvious and offending.

Required Reading: A HUGE NO

Required reading destroys the character, charm and beauty of a book. I strongly believe this is the reason why loads of teenagers my age, younger and older, "hate reading". They don't hate it, they're love for it just hasn't been nurtured and their experience of required reading has forever scarred them.

For instance, if all one can worry about it finishing x amount of chapters by Friday for Friday's quiz, or completing that (rubbish!) study guide for the test next week, or answering the guided reading questions for homework due on Wednesday AHHHHHHHH! A student will forever relate that book with the tedious amounts of useless homework involved with it.

When I read The Epic of Gilgamesh for class, I read it on my own and loved it. Yet when I completed the study guide, the love dwindled. I couldn't think about anything but how question #8 really trumped me and where is it in the book? What page, what line?

What Do I DO?!

However, for The Alchemist, I cannot afford to fail it because I'm too close to an A and it's nearing the end of the semester.

I feel terrible right now. Like once I start working on the study guide, I'll be on my way to a funeral. I'm torn. The test is next week. What do I do?!

giveaway: foxfire

20 October 2012

Hello all! It's time for another giveaway sponsored by an awesome publishing company: Flux. I think this is Halloween themed, but its opinionated. I believes the paranormal concepts allow the book to be tied to the paranormal celebration of Halloween, don't you think?

The book is Foxfire by Karen Kincy: it was just released this month, so if you want to, it's available to purchase in stores. Now, I've only read the first book and it's enjoyable but I regret to say that I haven't read the second and not even this one. If you're a reviewer, I'd like to read your review on this! :)

In this short, ten day giveaway, any US resident will have a chance to win a copy of the book!'s the third instalment in with two other books before it, so it'll make sense for only those you've read or are planning to read the first two to enter!

About the Book:

Tavian and Gwen race to find a magical cure in the third thrilling Other novel. Tavian has never forgotten his real mother, a shapeshifting Japanese fox spirit like himself, who abandoned him. On a trip to Japan, his homeland, he discovers that she's alive. But a faceless ghost warns Tavian to stay away from her. Even worse, Tavian's magical fox powers have vanished. Finding his mother in Tokyo's seamy underworld may be his only chance to beat back the vicious dog spirits stalking him and his girlfriend Gwen--and to recover from a fatal magical illness eroding his human side.

Find out more on Goodreads

About the Author:

Karen Kincy (Redmond, Washington) lives among countless trees, some of which—her pet kumquats and oranges—have lovingly invaded her apartment. Unlike her characters, she has never been on the run from the law or bitten by a werewolf, though she has been known to howl at the moon. Karen has BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College, and is studying toward a Master’s in Computational Linguistics. (more on her website)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

review: snow flower and the secret fan

17 October 2012

book info:
ages: 14 and up
grades: 8-9 and up
years: 10 and up
on sale: now
copy from: library
pages: 258

title: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan
author: Lisa See

Lily is haunted by memories–of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness.

In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote Hunan county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu (“women’s writing”). Some girls were paired with laotongs, “old sames,” in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.

With the arrival of a silk fan on which Snow Flower has composed for Lily a poem of introduction in nu shu, their friendship is sealed and they become “old sames” at the tender age of seven. As the years pass, through famine and rebellion, they reflect upon their arranged marriages, loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their lifelong friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.

topic: blogging back then vs now + old friends

13 October 2012

Inspired by this post at a Reading Daydreamer, I've decided to finally stop being lazy and actually discuss something important (at least, to me)

How Blogging Has Changed:
Well, Jen (Reading Daydreamer) specifically mentioned ARCs and how blogging has become very competitive with the most popular blogs being the ones that receive the most ARCs. When I started four years ago (my anniversary is in two days!) many blogs that are huge today were in their early years. Everything was about sharing a love for books. I know that sounds so cliché and ideal, but it really was. Huge blogs gained followers through giveaways, but bloggers who were at my level: we commented on each other's blogs often and discussed books and what we liked and didn't.

I've noticed a trend in ARCs. Lots of blogs have already spoken about the courtesy and requests for ARCs that one should follow. For the first year, I was too naive to realise that I could actually get an ARC. I just reviewed books that were already published and that I could find at the library. To me, blogging is still just about the love of books. I only ask for ARCs on books that I really really like the sound of, and not just because I want free books. I don't constantly try to get as many as I can, because I don't have the time for that.

I'm not saying I'm better than everyone: it's just that blogging really IS different.

Lack of Blogging Friends
It seems that with so many blogs, it's hard to keep a track of a few. I used to have a group of really close blogging friends that I absolutely enjoyed: but most of them have shut down their blogs, or have gotten thousands of followers so that it's just too hard to keep in contact. Or time has acted as a barrier and I barely speak to them anymore. Back then, being friends with other bloggers was REALLY important, and I think that importance has deteriorated over the years.

Blogging as a business
Blogging is not a business. It shouldn't be. That'd be like owning a website or something. Lately, many bloggers have been turning into super-pro blogs. When this happens, it disconnects them from other people, and therefore defies the purpose of having a blog, in my opinion.

Who Were My Friends? 
You hear me talking about them often. Here are some posts from way back when that really show what blogging was like:

Top Ten (9) Bloggers of 2010 (You'll see the now really popular Brent from Naughty Book Kitties on there!)
Why I love Blogging (2010) I got lots more comments from the people I enjoyed, reading them now makes me feel nostalgic
Blogger Bullying (2010): When I got bullied. The support I received was so comforting and amazing!

review: timbuctoo

04 October 2012

book info:
ages: 15 and up
grades: 9-10 and up
years: 11 and up
on sale: now!
copy from: the author! signed too! Thank you :)
pages: 544

title: Timbuctoo
author: Tahir Shah

For centuries, the greatest explorers of their age were dispatched from the power-houses of Europe London, Paris and Berlin on a quest unlike any other: To be the first white Christian to visit, and then to sack, the fabled metropolis of Timbuctoo.
Most of them never returned alive.
At the height of the Timbuctoo mania, two hundred years ago, it was widely believed that the elusive Saharan city was fashioned in entirety from the purest gold everything from the buildings to the cobble-stones, from the buckets to the bedsteads was said to be made from it.
One winter night in 1815, a young illiterate American seaman named Robert Adams was discovered half-naked and starving on the snow-bound streets of London. His skin seared from years in the African desert, he claimed to have been a guest of the King of Timbuctoo.
Thought of an American claiming anything let alone the greatest prize in exploration was abhorrent in the extreme. Closing ranks against their unwelcome American guest, the British Establishment lampooned his tale, and began a campaign of discrediting him, one that continues even today.
An astonishing tale based on true-life endurance, Tahir Shah s epic novel Timbuctoo brilliantly recreates the obsessions of the time, as a backdrop for one of the greatest love stories ever told.

Timbuctoo will be released on July 5, 2012. This is a limited edition hardback, very very high spec, and designed along the lines of the travel books of two centuries ago. It weighs 2 kilos (almost 4.5 lbs), has fabulous marbled endpapers, a silk bookmark, a pouch at the rear with inserts, and six huge fold-out maps. The paper is wood-free, and the cover embossed with raised gold type.

In addition, each copy contains the clues needed to begin a treasure hunt that could result in locating one of four golden treasures of Timbuctoo. The book is a thing of extraordinary beauty, and the kind of book that will last two hundred years or more

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