Monday, April 27, 2009

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies is a hilarious book. A parody of Austen’s Pride and Prejudice by Seth Grahame-Smith, this book includes a whole lot of zombies, ninja’s and a way cooler heroine with skills that would put Alice from Resident Evil to shame... well okay... maybe not. This book won me over from the first time I read about it at Book Nook Club’s blog. I’m a big fan of zombie movies and I knew I just had to read it.
I read Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice maybe ten to fifteen years ago so obviously I can’t remember the exact details of the book. According to New York Times, 85% of the original text was maintained in the book and 15% is based on Seth Grahame-Smith’s exceptional work of weaving the undead with a taste for human brains into the storyline.

I’ve found reviews from readers who either love the book or hate it. I think the reviews that I’ve read so far of those who didn't like the book may tend to compare the current book too much with the original work in terms of language, character etc. To me, why bother it’s meant to be a laugh out loud book and should not be taken too seriously.
Anyway, if you disliked Lady Catherine’s character as much as I did then one of the best parts of the book is Lizzy kicking her ass... HAIYA!

All in all, this was definitely a fun, fun read.

Here are other reviews I found on Pride and Prejudice and Zombies:

Side note:

I love my copy of Pride and Prejudice from Headline Review. It has a great chick lit feel on the cover and includes great information on Jane Austen's background. I intend to collect all of Jane Austen’s books from the same publisher. Right now I only own Pride and Prejudice, Northanger Abbey and Emma but will get the rest of the copies soon for my Themed Reading Challenge.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

2009 Reading Challenges Updates

Okay. I am a realistic person and at the slow rate of reading that I’m currently doing, I probably won’t meet some of the challenges I signed up for but I’m keeping my fingers crossed anyway. I suppose I got over-excited seeing that I’m new to the reading community in the blogosphere and signed up for almost all the challenges I found through blogging.

The first challenge I signed up for this year was J. Kaye’s 100+ Reading Challenge which ends December 31, 2009. In my pre-blogging era, I’d manage to read about one book a week so that translates to maybe about 35 to 40 books a year, if I’m lucky. I was hoping to be able to read about 2 books a week but with my current job scope and the hectic schedule I keep, I’m back to my one book a week routine. So far, I’ve only managed to read a total of 22 books so realistically I don’t think I’d make 100 by December. I’d be happy if I can reach even half of that total this year. 

I also signed up for the TBR Challenge which also ends in December 2009. I still have high hopes for this challenge even though I’ve only read three out of the twelve books that I’ve listed. Then there’s the Themed Reading Challenge which I only realized ends this July! EEEEEkkkksssss... for some reason I kept thinking that it would end in December so I thought I would take my time reading the books I listed. I’ve listed four of Austen’s work that I haven’t read before and I’ve only managed Northanger Abbey so far so I still have three more books to go. I’m aiming to read at least one book a month from this list so I still have hopes that this challenge will end well for me.

One challenge that I could not resist signing up for was the 1% Well Read Challenge. I’m not sure if I’ll pull through this one despite the fact that half of the books I listed out are similar to the ones listed for the TBR Challenge and the Themed Reading Challenge. So far, I’ve only read two out of the ten listed. I won’t give up on this one yet since I still have till December to complete the list.
The only challenge that I’ve completed so far is the Once Upon A Time III Challenge and that’s because I signed up to only read ONE book. For this challenge, I read The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly and it’s one of the best books I’ve read this year. The other challenge that I am CONFIDENT I can accomplish is My Friend Amy’s Buy One Book and Read it Challenge. Like the previous challenge, I signed up to read only one book so if I fail this challenge it would just be too hilarious. 99.9% of the books I read are purchased anyway because library facilities in Malaysia are just not that great or convenient to visit. I’ve recently purchased and finished reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies so this means two challenges down, five more to go!
The most recent challenge that I signed up for is the Non-Fiction Five Challenge which runs from May to September. I’ve got a few books in mind already for this challenge starting from the first week of May.
There you go. In summary, I don’t think I can meet the 100+ Reading Challenge. The rest of the challenges, I’m still aiming to complete the best that I can. So now you know my reading challenge updates. How are your reading challenges coming along?

Monday, April 13, 2009

You as a Dewey System

I'm a sucker for quizzes and when Amanda from Life and Times of a "New" New Yorker posted this quiz up I could not resist! The quiz provides your personality based on the Dewey Decimal System. Click here if you'd like to take part if not, well check out my results:

Result No 1:

natasha musa's Dewey Decimal Section:

830 Literatures of Germanic languages

natasha musa = 41019813191 = 410+198+131+91 = 830

800 Literature

Literature, criticism, analysis of classic writing and mythology.

What it says about you:
You're a global, worldly person who wants to make a big impact with your actions. You have a lot to tell people and you're good at making unique observations about everyday experiences. You can notice and remember details that other people think aren't important.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Result No 2:

natasha musa's Dewey Decimal Section:

102 Miscellany

natasha musa's birthday: 1/27/1975 = 127+1975 = 2102

100 Philosophy & Psychology

Books on metaphysics, logic, ethics and philosophy.

What it says about you:
You're a careful thinker, but your life can be complicated and hard for others to understand at times. You try to explain things and strive to express yourself.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

Result No 3:

natasha musa's Dewey Decimal Section:

005 Computer programming, programs & data

000 Computer Science, Information & General Works

Encyclopedias, magazines, journals and books with quotations.

What it says about you:
You are very informative and up to date. You're working on living in the here and now, not the past. You go through a lot of changes. When you make a decision you can be very sure of yourself, maybe even stubborn, but your friends appreciate your honesty and resolve.

Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

What are you reading on Mondays?

It’s Monday! What are you reading this week? is a weekly event held by J.Kaye’s Book Blog.

Last week, I only managed to read The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly and I absolutely loved it! I had another book lined up last week in my reading list: The Art of War for Executives: Ancient Knowledge for Today’s Business Professional, but I completely gave up on this book on the first chapter.

I originally intended to read Paul Sussman’s The Last Secret of the Temple this week but decided to put it aside since my copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies arrived earlier than expected... woo hoo! I’m so excited! I’ve read a lot of good reviews on this book and have been dying to read it! I’m already enjoying the first few chapters.

So obviously, I’ll be reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and if I finish this in time will probably pick up Paul Sussman’s book where I left off.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

MPH Warehouse Sale

I received an email from a friend today with news of another MPH Warehouse sale happening at the end of this month...YAYYYY! Here are the details:

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Book of Lost Things

I started the first few chapters of The Book of Lost Things thinking that I wouldn’t enjoy it but I’m glad I didn’t quit the book halfway. It had a slow start but it picked up from the seventh chapter onwards. It’s a great book that is filled with fantastic adventures, featuring some of the fairy tales that most of us are familiar with but told with a dark twist.

The book starts with twelve year old David, suffering the loss of his mother’s death due to terminal illness. He then becomes resentful and angry at the arrival of a new woman in his father’s life and his anger and resentment grows when they expect their first child together.
Full of sorrow from his mother’s death and angry with the developments happening in his family; he begins to hear voices from the books that he reads. With the introduction of The Crooked Man who succeeds to lure David into his world, David’s adventure in the mysterious realm begins and so does his journey of self-discovery. The overall book is dark and most times gory, yet the adventures were great and you will see how David matures through each challenge he faces.

I love the way Connolly weaves well known fairy tales into his writing, my favorite is Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which was definitely the funniest part of the book. Obviously I can’t disclose too much in case I spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet. The characters and the storyline are so outstanding that I continued to think about it long after I’ve finished reading the book.

For me, the best part of the book is definitely the ending. The Book of Lost Things is one of the best books that I’ve read and I highly recommend it, though be warned that it is a bit gruesome and those who hate gore might want to stay away from it.
This is actually the first time I’ve read a book from John Connolly and I look forward to reading more of his work in the future. If you’d like to know more about the author, please visit his site here.

Other reviews:

Monday, April 6, 2009

Philosophy: A Graphic Guide to the History of Thinking

I’ve always wanted to read up on Philosophy. The only problem is every book that I've ever read on Philosophy works like a sleeping pill and knocks me out effectively within seconds. I have books like The Story of Philosophy by Bill Durant on my bookshelf which I could never read past the first chapter. Sad to say, even Sophie’s World by Jostein Gaarder suffers the same fate in my hands and it's not even non-fiction!

I stumbled upon Philosophy: A Graphic Guide to the History of Thinking in one of the local bookstores and thought that maybe this would be a better way to learn a bit about the subject. The book covers the basics ideals each philosopher believes and which school of thought they fall into such as Plato, Aristotle and Descartes to Spinoza, Feuerbach and Marx. The comic-like graphics keeps it interesting, making the book simple and easy to understand.

If you are looking for a book on philosophy that provides the basic understanding of each philosopher without going into too much details then try this book. I think it's a great introduction to the basics of philosophy and it’s worth the read.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Non- Fiction Five Challenge

I found this challenge on Trish’s Reading Nook and thought it would be great to participate since I try to read at least one non-fiction book a week. I mostly read self motivational or business related books and this challenge would allow me to connect with other non-fiction readers out there.
The rules are simple:

  1. Read 5 non-fiction books during the months of May-September, 2009
  2. Read at least one non-fiction book that is different from your other choices (i.e.: 4 memoirs and 1 self help)
If you are interested to sign up, please click here.

Veronika Decides to Die

I am big fan of Paulo Coelho. His books are always thought provoking and more often than not, encourage one to re-assess their outlook in life at the end of each book. Although I didn’t enjoy Veronika Decides to Die as much as the other books I’ve read from Coelho, it was still worth the read.
The story revolves around twenty-four year old Veronika who has everything that a girl her age could want in life. Yet with all that she possesses, she is still unhappy and decides to take her own life by an overdose of sleeping pills. Her plan fails and she wakes up in Villette; a mental hospital, only to be told that she is destined to die as her suicide attempt had caused irreversible damage to her heart.

The knowledge that she would die suddenly changes her perception and attitude towards life and the changes also effect those surrounding her like Zedka, Mari and Eduard; central characters with their background and history introduced in detail in the book and how they are each affected by Veronika’s presence . Another very central character of the book is Dr Igor; who is not featured much in the storyline but plays a very important role in getting the theme and the message across to the readers.
The book explores three important themes, conformity, madness and death. The intended message is thought provoking yet true; one must discover the true value in life, live it to the fullest, do not conform to the mundane norms and savour every moment, do the things that you want to do and care not what others think of you. Be different, be mad but be happy and live today as if it is the last day of your life.
Personally, I preferred Coelho’s other works but Veronika Decides to Die is still worth taking the time to read. It had great lessons in life but a slow paced storyline focused on Veronika. True to Coelho’s writing style, Veronika Decides to Die has philosophical elements that would encourage the reader to evaluate their own beliefs and paths in their life.
The movie version will be out sometime this year starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. For more information, please click here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Buy One Book and Read It Challenge 2009

I recently stumbled upon a blog called My Friend Amy who is hosting the Buy One Book and Read It Challenge 2009. I know I said I wouldn’t join another challenge but I seem to buy more books than I can read so I thought this challenge was appropriate for me. Besides there are two options to the challenge and I’ve decided to take the easier route.

I’ve decided to do option 1:
The first option is to simply buy one book and read it. The book you buy and read should be a book you have chosen for yourself for pleasure. It should not be work related and books read to your children do not count.

I’ll read the next book I purchase from the store and post my review up. Not sure what this will be yet but since I’ve already got ten bazillion books on my shelf that I recently purchased for my own reading pleasure, I’ll have plenty to choose from. I’m also heading to the bookstore tomorrow to make full use of the gift vouchers worth RM150 I recently received so will probably buy something for this challenge to read.

To check out the reviews of those who are participating in this challenge, click here.

Friday Finds, 3 April

Here are some of the books that I found this week for Friday Finds:
I found this at one of the local bookstores and I thought it was interesting plus it received some interesting reviews in Click on the title to read the reviews.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
I sooooo want to read this! I tried to get myself a copy at the local bookstore and they told me it will only arrive two months from now. Sigh... Anyway, I found this book at Book Nook Club's blog and the review convinced me that this would be absolutely fun to read.

Laura Rider’s Masterpiece by Jane Hamilton
All about {n} recently reviewed this book and it sounds like a great read. I also love the cover of the book.

Friday Finds is hosted by Should Be Reading.
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