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Never Say Die (Alex Rider)
Anthony Horowitz
Progress: 204/384 pages
Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
Steven Pinker
Progress: 54/576 pages
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction
Neil Gaiman
Progress: 202/502 pages

Reading progress update: I've read 204 out of 384 pages.

Never Say Die (Alex Rider) - Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider is kind of going on a wide goose chase. 


There is very little clue or indication that Jack is still alive. 


Yet he runaway from his new home and tried to find Jack.


Of course he is lucky enough to run into the key person that just stole some military equipment. 

And of course he got away only to walk into another dangerous place again. 

I like the teenager action of the book. Like he would sneak into a dangerous place, got hungry and take the risk to steal food from the kitchen. Or he would talk back at the adults who just kidnapped him. Like this type of show of characters. 

Reading progress update: I've read 104 out of 384 pages.

Never Say Die (Alex Rider) - Anthony Horowitz

Alex Rider is such a likable character. This is the last book of the series. 


Jack become more than a housekeeper, she is a parent and seem to be the only adult to have Alex's best interest in mind.


The writer has killed off this character to make us cry. Well done as a plot twist. But really too cruel for the character Alex who through our active imagination not only exist in our mind, but has feelings too. 


So in this one, Alex get a hint that Jack might not be dead after all, but was held captive. That's would be the only reason she hasn't come back to Alex.


Alex is now living with Sabrina and her parents. They broken up and the relationship changed from couple to brother and sister. 





A death of a librarian

The Collectors - David Baldacci

Oliver Stone is a member of the Camel Club. Fellow member Caleb Shaw is working in the Library of Congress and his coworker was murdered. 


So he called Stone who got involved in the investigation. 


Annabelle is the daughter of a con man. She is doing in job to get load of money from a very bad man. The very bad man that killed her parent. 


The start of the books seems to be telling two separate story. One of a con and the other of a murder. 


Interesting to see how the two parts of the story merged and become one. 


The bad guys are pretty scary in this one. All murderous and cruel. The good guys are good but clumsy. Luck and a bit of work get them to reveal the truth. 


Really enjoyable read.  


Oliver Stone hasn't really developed much in this story. He was dangerous but not overly cautious. And he made mistakes. 


Not sure if the writer is trying to make him out to be skilled but vulnerable at the same time. But who wouldn't want to have a friend like that. 



2018 Halloween Bingo

Beautiful card. Need to figure out what some of the square means later. No book list yet. Just showing off my card. 

Thank you Obsidian Blue and Moonlight Madness for letting me join the fun. 

How an assassin found a family

Hellbent (Evan Smoak) - Gregg Hurwitz

Evan Smoak is a former government trained assassin. A program that recruit orphans to work. They are all given a code name started with "Orphan". Evan is Orphan X. 


His handler bond with him and trained him to remain human.


Once he run away from this black-op, he wanted to use this skill to help other people in desperate situation that could use his skill set. 

Call  1-855-2- NOWHERE and he would help you.  


He received a call from Jack. That lead to a package. 


Now he is on the run with the package. 


More people try to kill him while he still tried to take on case. 


It works well together as the character developments allow enough details into the mind of a man who has a past still not letting him go yet. He wants to move forward but his past is a bit too dangerous and unpredictable to draw someone new into his life.


In this book we learned about the 10 commandments from Jack. Don't let an innocent dies is one of them. Also, not killing children.


While reading this, Evan drink vodka. I drink vodka but I haven't try any of the expensive one that the book mentioned. Would like to try Glass Kona with coffee infusion. 


The moving forward part is hard, especially for someone who killed before. If he is not being hunted, he should at least see a therapist and see if he is suffering PTSD. 


The solitude. The straight discipline. The anxiety of social interaction. All very endearing. The responsibility forced upon him is texting as well. 

The story moved along quite smoothly in a fast pace. But leave enough space for Evan self reflection and character development. 


Like it a lot. High recommended. 


July reading wrap up

Cockroaches - Jo Nesbø Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship - Dougal MacPherson, Jess Walton Turtles All the Way Down - John Green Split Second  - David Baldacci Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel - Yuzuru Takasaki, Kanako Damerum, Anthony Horowitz, Antony Johnston Stormbreaker  - Anthony Horowitz Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman How to Break a Dragon's Heart (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III #8) - Cressida Cowell

Totally failed in diminishing the TBR pile. Bought 24 books in 5 day. 


Image result for Slap forehead


Couldn't really help myself. It is the annual book fair and found so many books that I have missed. 


The 8 books read this month is not going to make that much of a dent. 


Two 5 stars read in July 


Cockroaches - Jo Nesbø  Cockroaches - Jo Nesbø  

Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship - Dougal MacPherson,Jess Walton  Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship - Dougal MacPherson,Jess Walton  


Five 4.5 stars read 


Turtles All the Way Down - John Green  Turtles All the Way Down - John Green  


Split Second - David Baldacci  Split Second - David Baldacci  


Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz  Stormbreaker - Anthony Horowitz  


Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman  Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman  


How to Break a Dragon's Heart (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III #8) - Cressida Cowell  How to Break a Dragon's Heart (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III #8) - Cressida Cowell  


One 4 stars read 


Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel - Yuzuru Takasaki,Kanako Damerum,Anthony Horowitz,Antony Johnston  Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel - Yuzuru Takasaki,Kanako Damerum,Anthony Horowitz,Antony Johnston  




Enjoyable read. 


Doing some volunteer work on weekend and lessen the time available for reading. Want to start reading non-fiction books but got tired and escape to fictional book world instead. 





Reading progress update: I've read 155 out of 416 pages.

Hellbent (Evan Smoak) - Gregg Hurwitz

Evan heard the call from Jack, calling for help.


And it forced him to come out of his routine and find Jack.


Now Jack has left him a package. 


Evan is continued being hunted.


The plot developing nicely. With some plots twists revealed along the way. 


The dinner scene reminds me of Logan. 


Alex Rider in graphic novel

Stormbreaker: The Graphic Novel - Yuzuru Takasaki, Kanako Damerum, Anthony Horowitz, Antony Johnston

Not bad. Not great. But not bad.


The look and feel of the illustration is a bit too "straight forward" and lack a certain "style" and personality. 


It is more like a complementary textbook illustration to the text. (Sorry).


Read the book before and it is a nice way to enjoy this book in a different format.


Not a fan so likely to pick up the graphic novel of this series again. 



Harry Hole in Thailand solving a murder

Cockroaches - Jo Nesbø

Harry Hole being sent to Thailand when the ambassador was murdered. 


He found some clues that make it seems the wrong guy was wrongly arrested. 


The clue lead one way and another and it is something that Harry found more troublesome, that there are paedophiles living in Thailand and were not arrested. Thai police were corruptible with  money. 


So would the truth comes out? 


Of course it would. Harry just couldn't help but found the connection and see it is all a series of complicated plots for personal gain.


It is hard to talk about this book as there is so many clues and don't want to spoil the fun. It is a fun read. Really nice seeing Harry single and still working out what he supposed to do with that brilliant detective brain of his. 


Reading progress update: I've read 151 out of 464 pages.

Cockroaches - Jo Nesbø

An ambassador twas found died with a knife on his back in a sleazy motel room in Thailand.   

Harry Hole was sent to Thailand to investigation and try to delay a scandal.


Harry is doing his best under unusual heat for him. 


Who is he meeting on the day of the murder? 


The suspects list is short as there isn't anyone who stand out as the obvious killer. 


So Harry used his usual tactic to poke around a bit and asking lot of direct, sometimes inappropriate questions. 

Fun read. 

Thor and Loki origin stories

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman

Greek mythology is a rewritten of old stories about Odin, Thor and Loki. It is entertainment enough as some of the stories seems new. It is old and from myths of the old days. 


Neil Gaiman is a good storyteller. The only complaint is the stories are a bit disjoined. 


Still very readable. Thor didn't have any character development as we get to know him in Marvel comics. the stories themselves are bounded by stories written before this. 

Loki is much less likable as in the Marvel stories. His motivation is more like a sociopath than a witty and canning god. 


Like it enough to finish it. 



Hiccup new adventure when Fishleg wrote a poem

How to Break a Dragon's Heart (Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III #8) - Cressida Cowell

Hiccup in How to train a dragon series has a new adventure. 


Fishleg found where he belongs even when he is adopted. 


In between is Fishleg has a crush and was sent on a quest. 


Toothless is much smaller dragon, dog size and would swallow a lot of things it shouldn't have. 


A fun book on Viking dragons with load of drawing and hand-written scripts, ugly one that make it more childlike. The look and feel of this book is so good younger persons would enjoyed it a lot. 


The characters development is good and pretty consistent. 


Highly recommended for children and adults. 

A teen romance... sort of

Turtles All the Way Down - John Green

A girl Aza who has spiral thinking and germaphobic want to get out of her head. She has a best friend who write fan fiction of Star Wars Wookiee Chewbacca.


The story starts with a rich man was on the run from the police. The police has a ten thousands dollars reward for clue to find him.


Aza knew he man's son Davis. So they pretend to be just happened to be in the area and trying to clue to find the man and get the reward at first. Of course, that's not what they got. Aza starts dating Davis. 


The story is kind of sweet as it is into poetry and fan fictions and girl being depressed and couldn't help herself or get away from her though.


That's the good part. Even though it is a lot of grey it is still a good read. All John Green's fans would not be disappointed. 

25 Brilliant and Literary-Inspired Mixed Drinks

Looks good. 





1 part Liqueur, raspberry (Chambord)
1 part cranberry juice
1 part orange juice
1 Maraschino cherry
1 twist (of peel) orange Instructions:
'Mix juices and Chambord with ice, strain. Garnish with an orange twist wrapped around a cherry with a sword-pick through it. Serve in a hurricane glass.'




Lovely children book on gender

Introducing Teddy: A gentle story about gender and friendship - Dougal MacPherson, Jess Walton

Errol and Thomas the teddy are friend. 

They play together.


Thomas is unhappy. 


Thomas the teddy wants to tell Errol that she is a girl teddy and not a boy teddy. 


The story is about gender identity for little children. Girl teddy being mistaken as boy teddy would make the girl teddy unhappy. It is good to allow the girl teddy to identity herself as girl teddy. 



Image result for Introducing teddy

June reading wrap-up

Only read 8 books in June. All good one range from 5 stars to 4.5 stars. 


5 stars read 


Less - Andrew Sean Greer 


What a wonderful story about a gay man, going 50 and try to run away from the fact that his ex-lover is getting married. He accepted invitation on speaker spot and guest lecture so that he could avoid attending the ex-lover's wedding. 


The writing is witty and with lot of self-reflection on who he is. Such a lovely books and so packed for less two hundreds plus pages. 


The Whole Truth - David Baldacci 


The Whole Truth is political thriller. In the age of fake news, this book has talked about perception management, about manufacturing perceptions through media by generating fake news. 


The story of a reluctant secret agent Shaw and how he wanted out.  Katie is a journalist who is also a drunk. She is good when she is sober. 


They team up and try to find the truth. Really good story especially on how fake news generators fooling the public. 


4.5 stars read: 


Don't Let Go - Harlan Coben 


Nap tried to find out how the fingerprints of his old and dead girlfriend could be found on a crime scene. 


Nap is talking to his dead brother in his head. The story is about conspiracy and discovery of truth. The characters are a bit under developed. Overall, it is still a pretty awesome read. 


The Innocent - David Baldacci 


Will Robie story about how he didn't finish the job because a child is involved. Seldom do audio book but this is an exception. 


Pretty nice going as he team up with a runaway with someone after her. 


Action packed with plot twist. Also the first book that Will Robie met Blue Man. 


Dearly Devoted Dexter - Jeff Lindsay  Dexter in the Dark - Jeff Lindsay  


Two Dexter books. The writing is humorous and Dexter is continue to develop as a serial killer with principle. 


Dexter lives with Henry's rule. 


He is a crime lab tech by day, and vigilante of some sort by night. It is not only out of sense of justice that he killed the very bad guys. It is also to satisfy his own hunger for the kill. 


Pretty awesome read. 


Point Blanc - Anthony Horowitz  Skeleton Key - Anthony Horowitz  


Two Alex Rider book. Point Blanc is about infiltration of a school for rich troubled kids. Skeleton Key is about Alex in danger of being assassinated, and being on loan to CIA to discover who bought a nuclear bomb. 


Teen spy books are pretty good with action and danger but no come out good at the end. 


Fun read. 


That's all 8 books read in June. Not a bad month but I was trying to finish more books from the TBR pile.