Monday, March 30, 2009

Quote from A.J Cronin



“Life is no straight and easy corridor along
 which we travel free and unhampered,
 but a maze of passages,
through which we must seek our way,
lost and confused, now and again
checked in a blind alley.

But always, if we have faith,
a door will open for us,
not perhaps one that we ourselves
would ever have thought of,
but one that will ultimately
prove good for us.”

The Elephant's Child

This is a wonderful story about an Elephant’s Child ‘who was full of insatiable curiosity’, always trying to find out more about things and other animals surrounding him. However, whenever he had a question, he would ask them openly and would get a smacking instead.
One day, out of the blue he asked ‘What does the crocodile have for dinner?’ and instead of an answer he received a full load of smacking from those around him. The Kolokolo bird however advised the Elephant’s Child to ‘Go to the banks of the great grey-green, greasy Limpopo River, all set about with fever-trees, and find out.’

With that, the Elephant’s child sets off to the grey-green, greasy Limpopo River to find his answer and the short adventure begins and he returns more knowledgeable than those who used to smack him.

I loved the style of writing used for this story, it was fun to read. I also loved the Elephant’s Childs’ character; always wanting to know more and always getting smacked in the head for asking them. My second favourite character in the Elephant’s Child is the Bi-Coloured-Python-Rock-Snake, who has a funny way of talking.
I’ve read reviews that this is a great read for children. Well, I wouldn’t know if this is true cause I don’t have kids of my own yet but the inner child in me absolutely loved it.
This is an excellent read and if you’d like to read it and share your views, please visit Classic Reader.

Who Moved My Cheese?


Who Moved My Cheese? : An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and Life is a simple story that provides a strong message on the importance of adapting to change. The book is only 94 pages and takes about 30 to 40 minutes to read.
Using a simple parable to bring the key message across; the story revolves around two mice, named ‘Sniff’ and ‘Scurry’ and two littlepeople named ‘Hem’ and ‘Haw’. The mice and the littlepeople both feed on cheese and one day the cheese goes missing. While the two mice were quick to move ahead and look for more cheese, the littlepeople stayed behind analyzing and wondering where, why and how the cheese went missing. In the end, the mice and one of the little people, Haw who forged ahead looking for the cheese gained more than those who were left behind.
Though the book received raving reviews, I didn’t really enjoy reading it. Maybe I had high expectations from the reviews that I read. I guess I was hoping to read something that can make a big impact in my life. Unfortunately, the story of the mice and the littlepeople did not capture my interest but I have to admit it did successfully bring the message across on the importance of adapting to change.
Anyway, whether I liked the book or not is not important, what’s important is the key learning that should be extracted from the book. Here are some of the things I got from reading Who Moved My Cheese?
  • Keep life simple
  • Don’t overanalyze and overcomplicate things
  • When a situation changes, you have to be ready to change too
  • Reflect on the mistakes and use that learning to plan for the future
  • Keep things simple, be flexible and move quickly to adapt with the changes
  • Do not overcomplicate and confuse yourself with fearful, unfounded beliefs
  • Adapt fast or fall flat at the losing end

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

So, what did I do for Earth Hour? Well, unfortunately it wasn’t such an eventful night. I was in the office together with my colleagues and the clients as we were trying to finalize a lot of things for an upcoming campaign. Anyway, for Earth Hour, we switched off the lights and did work in the dark...Here are some pictures:

Me- posing at my workstation

Mira- not too happy being in the dark.


Zahriel- trying to finalize work in the dark

Taking time off to pose for the camera, not that you could see any of us clearly:

Nigel, Zahriel, Me and Mira.... I wonder what happened to Tammy? LOL

Nadz and I posing in the dark
Obviously, I need to get a REAL camera. The camera on my mobile phone sucks BIG TIME! All I can say is, I hope Earth loves me for switching off the lights ‘cause working in the dark gave me a massive headache after! :)

What's on Your Nightstand- March

What’s on Your Nightstand is a monthly event hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.
 
To be honest with you, I’m not sure what I should be reading next. In the past months I’ve been to a lot of book sales and I’ve collected a number of books. I wish I could read all of them at the same time.
Recently, I finished reading The Time Traveler’s Wife which I absolutely loved and am currently reading Veronika Decides to Die. For April, I might pick up the following four books to read:

The God of Small Things, Arundhathi Roy
Three Cups of Tea, Greg Mortensen & David Oliver Relin
The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly

I’ve just recently signed up for the Once Upon a Time III Challenge so I thought The Book of Lost Things would be a great title to start with. The God of Small Things is also listed as one of the books that I intended to read for my TBR Challenge. The God of Small Things has been sitting on my shelf for almost six months now, so I guess it’s about time I start reading it.
Happy Reading in April y’all.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Time Traveler's Wife

I honestly don’t know how or where I should start my review for The Time Traveler’s Wife. I just love this book from the first page and devoured it impatiently till the last. Henry first met Clare when he was thirty-six and Claire was only six years old. But, they were married when Clare was 22 and Henry is 30. Confused yet? Well, don’t be.

Henry is a time traveller, not by choice as this is caused by a rare condition due to a genetic default. He has no control of when and where he travels, it could be the past or it could be the future. This is both a curse and a blessing for Henry. With his ability, he met and fell in love with Claire and is able to visit people long gone or see the outcome of the future. However, his abilities also places him in dangerous situations seeing that he often arrives at a certain period or place naked, with no cash and always trying to save himself from terrible situations.

I love the romance between Henry and Clare. Despite the fact that they met through a very unique situation, their love for each other and the problems they faced seemed real. I love the writing style which was easy to follow and despite the jump from one era to another it was an easy read. I love the fact that it’s written from a first person point of view so you get to understand both characters and what they each think and feel. I don’t know why I’m wasting my time outlining everything that I love about this book so to cut it short... I.LOVE.THIS.BOOK.
Carl V from Stainless Steel Droppings recently dropped by my blog and noticed that I was reading The Time Traveler’s Wife, to quote his actual comment, ‘I see you are reading The Time Traveler’s Wife now. Ah, what an amazing book. I envy you experiencing it for the first time.’... Carl, completely understand where you are coming from with this comment as this book is definitely a MUST read and I too will envy anyone reading it for the first time!

Btw, can someone help me figure this out... does The Time Traveler's Wife fall under science fiction and fantasy or does it fall under romance?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009- 11

Ok so this post is late but I haven’t had the time to take part in Weekly Geeks for a while and thought I should do so this week. This time around, Weekly Geeks asks us to take a magical history tour with a focus on Historical Fiction. I’d like to share my views on the following question:
Do you have a favourite book that really pulled you back in time, or perhaps gave you a special interest in that period? Include a link to a review of it on another book blog if you can find one.

I don’t generally read a lot of Historical Fiction but I suppose Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief is currently one of the best historical fiction books that I’ve read so far. I did a review of the book sometime early this year and it really is one of best books I’ve read in 2009.

I think Zusak’s writing though simple, transported me back to the World War II era and provided a deep understanding of the sufferings experienced during that period. The losses, the inhumanity, the issues that the characters faced were real and brought a whole new understanding on the effects of war and injustice.
A couple of extracts from The Book Thief that I’d like to share which I thought help me understand the consequences of war.
On loss:
‘When they pulled her out, it’s true that she started to wail and scream for Hans Hubermann. The men of the LSE attempted to keep her in their powdery arms, but the book thief managed to break away. Desperate humans often seem able to do this.
She did not know where she was running, for Himmel Street no longer existed. Everything was new and apocalyptic. Why was the sky red? How could it be snowing? And why did the snowflakes burn her arms?’

On survival and suffering:
‘A few hundred miles north-west, in Stuttgart, far from book thieves, mayors’ wives and Himmel Street, a man sitting in the dark. It was the best place, they decided. It’s harder to find a Jew in the dark.
He sat on his suitcase, waiting. How many days had it been now?

He had eaten only the foul taste of his own hungry breath for what felt like weeks, and still, nothing. Occasionally, voices wondered past and sometimes he longed for them to knuckle the door, to open it, to drag him out, into the unbearable light. For now, he could only sit on his suitcase couc, hands under his chin, his elbows burning his thighs.’

On injustice:
On Himmel Street, Liesel was playing football when the noise arrived. Two boys were fighting for the ball in the mid-field when everything stopped. Even Tommy Muller could hear it.
‘What is that?’ he asked from his position in goal.
Everyone turned towards the sound of shuffling feet and the regimented voices as they made their way closer.
‘Is that a herd of cows?’ Rudy asked. ‘It can’t be. It never sounds quite like that, does it?’
Slowly at first, the street of children walked towards the magnetic sound, up towards Frau Diller’s. Once in a while, there was added emphasis in the shouting.
In a tall apartment just around the corner on Munich Street, an old lady with with a foreboding voice deciphered for everyone the exact source of the commotion. Up high, in the window, her face appeared like a white flag with moist eyes and an open mouth. She had grey hair. The eyes were dark, dark blue. Her voice was like suicide, landing with a cluck at Liesel’s feet.
‘Die Juden,’ she said. ‘The Jews’.
Some book reviews I found on The Book Thief :

Friday Finds, 27 March 2009

For Friday Find’s this week, I only have one book to share which I desperately want to own and read. It’s called The Malayan Trilogy which was written by Anthony Burgess . The Malayan Trilogy, also published as The Long Day Wanes: The Malayan Trilogy has three volumes with the following titles:

Time for the Tiger (1956)
The Enemy in the Blacket (1958)
Beds in the East (1959)


I found this book interesting because the storyline is set in post-war Malaya during the chaotic upheaval of independence and something which I hope, will allow me to learn a bit more about my country’s history.

Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Once Upon a Time III Challenge

Stainless Steel Droppings is hosting the Once Upon a Time III challenge which I thought I should participate in because ... well...

a) I seldom read anything from any of these categories: fantasy, folklore, fairytale and mythology. So I thought I should be a bit more adventurous this year and read something that I normally wouldn’t.
b) There is a selection of challenges that you can sign up for based on your own personal comfort levels, so this challenge offers the flexibility to read at my own pace and the opportunity to see what other people are reading out there.

What I also like about this challenge is that participants are encouraged ‘not to put upon yourself some artificial pressure by posting a list of the books you plan to read.’ Thank God for that!

So, for this challenge I will take part in The Journey:

‘This is really as simple as the name implies. It means you are participating, but not committing yourself to any specific number of books. All reading is a journey, perhaps none more so than reading fantastical fiction. By signing up for The Journey you are agreeing to at least read one book within one of the four categories during March 21st to June 29th period. Just one book. If you choose to read more, fantastic! If not, then we have still had the pleasure of your company during this three month journey and hopefully you have read a great book, met some interesting people, and enjoyed the various activities that occur during the challenge.’ 

I don’t know what I’m going to read yet for this challenge so I think I’ll snoop around the review site for a while before I decide on a book. So far there’s been a few interesting reviews like The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly as reviewed by Robin or the first book from the Inheritance series as reviewed by Claire.

Anyway, if you have any recommendations on a good book I should read within these genres do drop me a line.

XOX, Tash

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Quotes featured in Inkheart

Great book quotes featured in Inkheart:

‘A thousand enemies outside the house are better than one within’
Arab Proverb
----------
‘I keep six honest serving men (they taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who’
Rudyard Kipling, The Elephant’s Child
----------
‘In books I meet the dead as if they were alive,
In books I see what is yet to come...
All things decay and pass with time...
All fame would fall victim to oblivion
If God had not given mortal men the book to aid them’
Richard de Bury, The Philobiblon
----------
‘Yet Bastian knew he couldn’t leave without the book. It was clear to him that he had only come to the shop because of this book. It had called him in some mysterious way, because it wanted to be his, because it had somehow always belonged to him’
Michael Ende, The Neverending Story

Inkheart Trilogy: Inkheart



Meggie lives a peaceful and quiet life with her father, Mo who is a book restorer. Her mother disappeared when she was young, but despite the absence of her mother; Mo and Meggie live a pleasant life enriched with books and their common love of reading. Little did Meggie know that her father keeps a secret. Mo has an ability to bring characters from books to life when he reads it out loud and this was unfortunately the cause of her mother’s disappearance. One day a disreputable character named Dustfinger appears at their doorsteps and informs Mo (whom he calls Silvertongue) that Capricorn was searching for him and a book he possesses called Inkheart.
With that, the adventure begins for both Mo and Meggie and their lives changed forever.
This is the first time I’ve read a book from Cornelia Funke and I found the premise of the book very interesting. I like the way Funke included characters from other classics into the book; like Farid from The Arabian Nights and even Tinker Bell from Peter Pan which she successfully includes into her own storyline seamlessly.
Other than that, unfortunately I found the story a bit slow to read. It lacked the adventure and adrenalin that would make me addicted to the pages. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate Inkheart but I wasn't captivated by the storyline and ended the last chapter with 'Oh ok. That's it?'

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Ambitious Guest

Can you believe it? This is my 100th post! I can’t believe I’ve been blabbing about so many things since September... :P
Anyways, I managed to catch up on some speed reading during lunch today. It started off as a slow day at work so I took full advantage of the opportunity to catch up on my reading. I visited Classic Reader again and decided to read Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Ambitious Guest.
At first, I found it a bit hard to digest Hawthorne’s writing but I’m glad that I read the story till the end. The tale of the ambitious traveller who stumbled upon the home of a simple, yet open and warm hearted family carried a strong message on the perils of being too ambitious and trying too hard to make a mark in the world.
Hawthorne’s description of the ambitious stranger was that “he had travelled far and alone; his whole life, indeed, had been a solitary path; for, with the lofty caution of his nature, he had kept himself apart from those who might otherwise be his companions.”

Whereas the family was described as ‘so kind and hospitable, had that consciousness of unity among themselves, and separation from the world at large, which, in every domestic circle, should still keep a holy place where no stranger may intrude”

One of my favourite quotes from the book was that of Hawthorne’s detailed explanation on why the guest travelled far and wide, the reasons as to why he led such a solitary existence and the consequences of chasing after his ambition:

“The secret of the young man’s character was a high and abstracted ambition. He could have borne to live an undistinguished life, but not to be forgotten in the grave. Yearning desire had been transformed to hope; and hope, long cherished, had become like certainty, that, obscurely as he journeyed now, a glory was to beam on all his pathway,-- though not, perhaps, while he was treading it. But when posterity should gaze back into the gloom of what was now the present, they would trace the brightness of his footsteps, brightening as meaner glories faded, and confess that a gifted one had passed from his cradle to his tomb with none to recognize him.”

While the guest sits to rest at the family’s home, he tells them his story and his quest of gaining acknowledgement in the world. This carried on into a full discussion with individual members of the family itself outlining their own personal ambitions.
As the story goes, a terrible accident occurs and the occupants of the home as well as the guest die in the incident. Yet, those who were remembered even after their death was the pleasant, simple family members that open their door and their home to the guest; while the guest remained a mystery.
So, the key to acknowledgement based on my understanding of The Ambitious Guest is:
  1. You don’t have to travel far and wide to achieve greatness, sometimes greatness comes from the simplicity in life through values that are respected by others.
  2. Chasing after your ambitions can sometimes lead to a solitary life when the key to acknowledgement is building relationships with the people around you.
While the storyline was simple; the characters featured were strong and helped carry the message across clearly. I think this story should be read by many of us who are caught up in chasing our own personal ambitions. We sometimes forget that the simplest things in life is what we should value most; whilst maintaining relationships and practicing kindness and generosity will ensure we are remembered even long after we are gone. This is definitely going to be one of my favourite short stories.
To read The Ambitious Guest and share your views on the story, please visit Classic Reader.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Necklace

I had a bit of free time in the office today and decided to read the Necklace by Guy de Maupassant.

The story is about a pretty and charming girl called Mathilde who was born “in a family of clerks”. Always thinking that she deserves a better and luxurious life, she is often miserable and unhappy with the little that she owns.

When her husband receives an invite to an exclusive party, she spends all the money they have on the best gown she could afford and even borrowed expensive jewellery from a friend to complete her look.

By the end of the party, she realizes that the expensive jewellery she loaned was missing. After much effort looking for the necklace, the couple then decided to replace and return it without informing her friend about the incident. In the story, she and her husband had to work ten long years, taking on two jobs and any other work that would enable them to repay the debts incurred to replace the jewellery. Ten years later, she bumps into the same friend who borrowed her the jewellery and decided to tell her the truth only to find out that the jewellery was a fake!

Honestly, I love this short story it had a lot of strong messages:
1. Don’t be too hung up on materialistic things and social status.
2. Tell your friend the truth for God’s sakes! It would have saved you ten years of misery!

Actually, I kinda felt sorry for Mathilde at the end of the book and I really did admire her husband for putting up with her. As much as I feel sorry for Mathilde, I can't help but smile when I think about the ending.

This is definitely a recommended read. If you’d like to read the story too and share your views, please visit Classic Reader.

What Kind of Evil are You?


Raw evil score: 62.22%


I found this quiz from Life and Times of a “New” New Yorker’s blog and I just could not resist. I know I’m evil and am proud of it too! Ha ha... this quiz only proves me right! I’m happily evil, LOL...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Talentime


--> -->
I can’t wait to catch Yasmin Ahmad’s latest movie, Talentime out on the 26th March. Here’s a sneak peak I found on You Tube:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Earth Hour

“On the 28th March at 8.30pm, cities and towns across the world will switch off their lights for one hour- Earth Hour- sending a powerful global message that it’s possible to take action against global warming.”




I recently signed myself up to participate with Earth Hour on their official website. I’m never one who is overly concerned with the environment but I guess one has to start somewhere to make the world a better place for our future generation.

Anyway, I was glad to hear that KL Tower has taken the pledge to participate with Earth Hour. Hats off to KL Tower for their participation. I’m hoping that KLCC Twin Towers will take part in this initiative as well. Can you imagine the Twin Towers in total darkness? That’ll be cool.
In any case, I’m thinking that maybe I’ll have some fun during that hour. I haven’t decided what I’ll do yet, but my options are:
a. Romantic dinner with my fiancĂ©e at home. (Although the menu would either be instant noodles or Mc Donald’s delivery... I CAN’T COOK!)

b. Walk to KL Tower to witness them switching their lights off. (No point driving since I’m pledging to help the environment! Thank God I live ten minutes away from KL Tower)
c. Barbeque with my friends on my apartment garden rooftop so that we can witness the city with the lights off.
What do you think? Will keep you updated on what I plan to do on the 28th. Though I suspect that any pictures I take on the 28th will probably be in total darkness, so not too sure how it will turn out on the blog post! LOL.
To participate with Earth Hour, please visit the official website.


Fingers crossed. Let's hope that KLCC Twin Towers participates in Earth Hour.

BTW, as a personal pledge since I’m participating in Earth Hour: I will not smoke a cigarette for the whole hour. (I know what you're thinking... a whole hour without cigarettes... big WOW there Tasha... but I think if I can manage that while socializing it’s a big step to quitting! Support my cause people!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Hound of the Baskervilles

I’ve been really busy and stressed at work with a couple of campaign deadlines on my plate and am always left with very little time to enjoy reading a book. Anyway, because of my hectic schedule it took me about two weeks to finish this book despite it having only about 170 odd pages or so. I was looking forward to reading The Hound of the Baskervilles. I mean, who doesn’t know the iconic character of Sherlock Holmes with his trench coat and cap and always smoking a pipe?
The Hound of the Baskerville is a great detective story. It starts with a visit from Dr. Mortimer, a friend of Sir Charles, who presented Holmes and Watson with a mystery of his dear friends’ death and the legend that surrounds the Baskerville family.
With the arrival of the heir of the estate, Sir Henry Baskerville, Dr. Mortimer fears for his safety and proceed to consult Holmes on whether it would be safe for Sir Henry to travel to the Baskerville estate which he inherited with the death of Sir Charles. Holmes of course advises his guests that it would be safe and requested Watson to follow the group to the estate located in Devonshire and this is when the suspense begins and the mystery unfolds.
The story line had exciting elements; a ghostly hound, an old family legend and mysterious death. I liked this book and thought that the plot was great and the suspense was kept at a consistent pace throughout the book. Good read despite my limited reading time. :P

Next book: The Inkheart Trilogy!

Book Wormy Sale

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Le Tour De Langkawi 2009

Ok so this post is a bit late, but I thought I’d share a couple of pictures from last month’s Le Tour De Langkawi.

It was one of those Sundays; mum was at my apartment for our weekly catch-up/gossip session. We had the TV on and suddenly realized that there was a live telecast of Le Tour De Langkawi’s stage seven race right smack in the city...

One of the routes closed for the race was Jalan Raja Chulan, which (lucky for me and mum) was almost literally right in front of my doorstep. So mum and I went down to Jalan Raja Chulan to catch the cyclists in action.

I caught some great close up pictures of the race. By the way to any of the cyclists (should you ever stumble upon this blog by chance that is):

If any of you recall a nut in a white t-shirt and blue pants that kept shouting ‘looking good guys’ over and over again every time you guys past Jalan Raja Chulan--- That would be me ...And the lady that kept screaming ‘wooo woooo’ .... Well, believe it or not that was mum...


I’ve seen such events on TV in other countries which are always jam-packed with people on every corner of the street but for this particular event it seemed quite quiet. Anyway, I’m not sure if it was jam-packed with people in Dataran Merdeka but where we were at, the streets were deserted except for a couple of other spectators.

Makes me wonder if the bad response is because Malaysian’s are generally not interested in cycling as a sport or could it be because of the clash of events; apparently the Malaysian Open Golf Tournament was held on the same day.

The streets were deserted except for a few bystanders:

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Finds, 6 March 2009



For this week’s Friday Finds, I am showcasing a few books that I found from Malaysian authors:
  1. Fatimah’s Kampung, Iain Buchanan
  2. Peeing in the Bush, Adeline Loh
  3. Mahathir Mohamad: An Illustrated Biography, E.Yu
  4. Ripples, Shih-Li Kow
  5. Urban Odysseys: KL Stories, Janet Tay & Eric Forbes
Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Diary of a Wimpy Kid


Diary of a Wimpy Kid is a GREAT book. As an adult I absolutely enjoyed this novel in cartoon despite the fact that its targeted to kids (I claim I’m an adult but honestly I sometimes wonder if I’ve grown out of my childish ways at all).
Greg Heffley was given a diary which he insist is ‘...a JOURNAL, not a diary’ to write down his thoughts, experiences etc. The only reason Greg agrees to write a journal is because he is confident that he will become rich and famous one day and the book will come in handy in the future.
The journal outlines Greg’s many initiatives to become a popular kid in school, from running for Treasurer in the student government body to writing a comic strip for the school newspaper. All his efforts backfire on him with hilarious effects throughout the book.

The cartoon drawings are simple and complement Greg’s writings in the journal creating a great way of sharing his experiences to the readers. I love this book and intend to read the rest of the collection as well. I’m glad I picked up Diary of a Wimpy Kid. It makes great reading material for days when you want to absorb an easy to read book.

I’ve never heard of this book before until I stumbled upon it at the book store last week. It must be really popular as Twentieth Century Fox is actually making a movie out of it and is currently auditioning people to play Greg’s character. Seriously, where the hell have I been?
For more information on the book, please visit the official website at www.wimpykid.com.

Monday, March 2, 2009

1% Well-Read Challenge

Michelle from 1 More Chapter is hosting the 1% Well-Read Challenge and I've decided to take up the challenge. I barely have time to do much reading but I just couldn’t resist taking part in this one. I must be CRAZY!

I actually went through the excel sheet list provided by Arukiyomi and sadly I’ve only read 11 books out of the 1001 listed.

Anyway, I’ve decided to read 10 titles from the new list. The challenge runs from March 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009. Wish me luck!

If you are interested to participate, please click here.

Here’s my list of TBR books for the challenge:
  1. Everything is Illuminated
  2. Life of Pi
  3. Veronika Decides to Die
  4. The God of Small Things
  5. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
  6. The Time Machine
  7. Journey to the Centre of the Earth
  8. Emma
  9. Sense & Sensibility
  10. The Hound of the Baskervilles

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Burning Bright

I think Burning Bright is the first historical fiction I’ve ever read, written by the author of best seller Girl with the Pearl Earring. The story revolves around the Kellaway family who moves from the country side to London after the tragic and sudden loss of one of their family members.

The family from the countryside is soon shocked and at the same time at awe by the hustle and bustle of London. During this period, Jem Kellaway and Maggie Butterfield makes acquaintance with an artist and poet named William Blake and according to the book cover, he becomes '... a guiding spirit as Jem and Maggie navigate the unpredictable, exhilarating passage from innocence to experience.’

Set in the 18th century, Tracy Chevalier provides incredible detail and visual description depicting the era, which is what I liked about the book.
From the book cover, I had the impression that William Blake would be strongly featured in the storyline but he turned out to be a character which I felt was forced into the book and was weak in presence. The characters were not engaging and I didn’t care much for the events that unfolded in their lives. Sad to say, the book failed to capture my interest and it was one of the rare books that I wanted to end as quickly as I could.
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