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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy New Year!

Dearest readers of this blog,

First of all, I would like to apologize for the deadly long delay in updating this blog. I'm so sorry. Yea, so the year of the rabbit, 2011, I have decided to continue in this online book search service. Yes, you can drop an email to me in case you have any further questions in regards of price differences, currency exchange rate and the delivery charges on the products you wish to purchase. Kindly be aware that my location is in Malaysia and I reckon that the prices of books here are somehow different from your country.

Soon, I will be posting updates on the current promotion that we have. Hope to hear from all of you soon. And, thank you for still sending me emails even though I somewhat inactive for pass few months.

Thanks once again.


The blog owner :)

Thursday, June 24, 2010

In Stores Now...!

Her World, Nu You, Marie Claire n Golf Digest are out in store. Check it out...!

This month, Dato Siti Nurhaliza graces the cover of Her World July issue. 


Monday, June 21, 2010

Seventeen, Female

Seventeen Malaysia

OH look... one of the Cullens made it on the cover.  Ashley Green is on the July issue of Seventeen Malaysia. Plus, grab this issue now to watch Eclipse. 

And... what is great about this issue is that, the GUYS are taking charge. Everything you want to know about a guy is all in this July issue. 

Female Malaysia

Female's July issue exhibits on how to spend wisely and how you can stretch out your $$$. Great tips in there...! This month issue is basically all about spending smart, wise and most of all about how you can save! 

Feeling broke? Credit cards debts? Here you can find some solutions to all of these...

Grab this month's issue for a more organised financial planning.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

More second hand books

The English Roses by Madonna - RM 10.00 Review

Madonna hangs up her material-girl cloak to teach children the importance of looking beyond a surface sheen. In The English Roses, the superstar's children's book debut, four little girls (the roses in question) "play the same games, read the same books, and like the same boys." Nicole, Amy, Charlotte, and Grace all love to dance the monkey and the tickety-boo… and they all are horribly jealous of Binah, the perfect, beautiful, smart, kind girl who lives nearby. Even though they know Binah is lonely, she makes them sick. They would say, "Let's pretend we don't see her when she walks by." And even, "Let's push her into the lake!" The pleasantly bossy narrator explains, "And that is what they did. No, silly, not the lake part, the pretending not to see her part." One night, however, the four girls all have the same dream that sets them straight. A fairy godmother sprinkles them with fairy dust and takes them to spy on Binah. When they see that she lives alone with her father, slaving away night and day at household chores, the four girly grumblers feel very sorry for her. The fairy scolds them, "… in the future, you might think twice before grumbling that someone else has a better life than you." And they do. This morality tale is nothing new under the sun, but it is cleverly told, with many teaspoonfuls of good humor. Jeffrey Fulvimari's illustrations are no less than stunning--filling every page with vivacious black ink lines and gorgeous watercolor reminiscent of 1960s fashion sketches. Children will enjoy this "don't hate me because I'm beautiful" story that celebrates friendship as much as it teaches compassion. (Ages 6 and older) --Karin Snelson

The Fifth Book of Peace by Maxine Hong Kingston - RM 9.90

When the hillside fires raged into Oakland in 1991 and demolished the Kingston home, Maxine Hong Kingston was devastated. She lost to the flames The Fourth Book of Peace, a long labor of love that revisited Tripmaster Monkey: His Fake Book and carried out Kingston's resolve to bring her characters to resolution by depicting them at older, perhaps wiser stages of their existence. Devastated especially since the fire followed close on the death of her father, she found herself unable to write. Her idea for the book had originally come from the search for the ancient Chinese...

Dreams Never End, Nicholas Royle - RM 9.90

Noir stories often reflect images of chaos at the edges of contemporary urban life. Moral standards are a luxury in “the stone-cold heart of a visceral metropolis” where people make their own mistakes and others suffer for them. The lighting may produce the stark chiaroscuro of noir cinema, but the moral landscape is painted in shades of grey. No one is as pure as driven snow, which in “a city of dark, illuminated rain” turns to slush, and even the most callous assassin may yet be saved. Many of these characters have dreams of saving themselves, or at least dreams of escape. Practical attempts to break free of nightmarish circiumstances inevitably meet resistance, but dreams never end - Nicholas Royle, from his introduction

The basic premise of THE BEAUTY MYTH is that forced adherence to standards of physical beauty has grown stronger for women as they gained power in other societal arenas. Wolf argues that this standard of beauty has taken over the work of social coercion formerly left to myths about motherhood, domesticity, chastity, and passivity, all of which have been used to keep women powerless. In the author’s view, “the gaunt, youthful model [has] supplanted the happy housewife as the arbiter of successful womanhood.” The myth of beauty spreads the belief that an objective measurement of beauty exists, and that woman must want to embody it, and that men must want such women.
However, Wolf contends that the beauty myth is really not about women, it is about men’s institutions and power. Beauty is about behavior, not appearance. The qualities labelled “beautiful” in women in any given time period are no more than symbols of female behavior considered desirable at that time. Besides weakening women psychologically, the beauty myth feeds a multibillion-dollar cosmetics industry, and keeps women from rising too high in the workplace by offering a way around antidiscrimination laws.
THE BEAUTY MYTH is an impassioned book. While occasionally didactic, it is carefully thought out and backed by exhaustive research. Wolf offers chapters on how the beauty myth functions at work, in the media and culture, in the religious sphere, and in sex and sexual relations; she also discusses relationship to violence against women by men and by women themselves in the form of eating disorders and cosmetic surgery. In a final chapter Wolf calls for a third wave of feminism that will dismantle the societal machinery that enforces adherence to the beauty myth.
Magill Book Reviews

Vivienne Flesher (Illustrator)
In Paul Monette's deceptively simple fable, Sanctuary, Renarda the fox and Lapine the rabbit fall in love in an enchanted forested watched over by a benevolent witch. That Renarda and Lapine are both female and of different species proves no impediment to their love, until the witch mysteriously disappears and her familiar, the Great Horned Owl, takes over. Suddenly, the animals are advised to "keep an ear cocked for any behavior that doesn't feel quite right," and all at once Renarda and Lapine are banished to separate parts of the forest.
Activist and writer Paul Monette authored six novels and four collections of poetry, including National Book Award-winner Becoming a Man, before succumbing to AIDS in 1995. Renarda and Lapine's eventual triumph over the forces of fear and ignorance is an apt memorial for a man who led the fight against both for so many years.

The Secret Language of Eating Disorders: How You Can Understand and Work to Cure Anorexia and Bulimia by Peggy Claude-Pierre - RM 9.90 Review

What makes Claude-Pierre's treatment of anorexia and bulimia revolutionary? Perhaps it's that the astonishingly high success rate of even the most chronic cases at Claude-Pierre's Montreux Clinic (only sufferers near death who have not been helped by doctors and hospitals are admitted) defies the common misconception that eating disorders are incurable. Claude-Pierre has made a personal commitment to dispel this damaging myth. Having cured her own two daughters of anorexia, you might say hers was a vested interest. The Secret Language of Eating Disorders reveals the details of Claude-Pierre's unique program.Myths and misconceptions have shaped conventional treatment of anorexia and bulimia, leading to a cycle of hopelessness for those who suffer. Claude-Pierre's work reveals that victims share a common feeling of self-contempt. Further, she asserts that these overwhelming feelings of worthlessness are established at birth and slowly erode the healthy self. The revolutionary aspect of Claude-Pierre's program stems from her conviction that this negative mindset can be completely reversed.
The book describes the five stages of recovery, discusses the challenges peculiar to working with them at home, and presents a plan for working with health professionals. Also offered are stories of former Montreux patients, adding insight and depth to understanding these disorders. The book and the program have already saved many lives and will continue to do so.

A Cat Is Watching: A Look at the Way Cats See Us

by Roger A. Caras (Hardcover) - RM 13.00

This is a great follow up to Roger Caras' A CELEBRATION OF CATS which I have also reviewed. In the first book, he gives an overview of the history, geneology, and psychology of the cat and of the cat's relationship with humans. In this book, he zeroes in on understanding of the cat and on seeking the cat's perspective.

The first few chapters deal with the biological makeup of the cat and with the cat's basic five senses. Much of this we already must realize. Some senses including that of smell and that of hearing are superior to our own, and much of the cat's behavior can be understood by realizing how their senses present our world to them. From that foundation, Caras' goes into cat psychology and discusses a number of issues such as how cats tell time, how many know how to get home if lost, and much more. Such topics as how cats respond to music, their thinking abilities, and even their emotions such as love and hate are examined. For those who have read A CELEBRATION OF CATS, there is little repetition, just what is necessary for those who haven't read it as a basis for the thrust of this volume.
Not all questions that are discussed are answered. Caras presents possibilities and leaves it to us to decide.
Also, Caras tends to demystify many of the "mysteries" surrounding cats, but this demystification tends to heighten one's respect for the cat's uncanny abilities. Certain aspects, such as whether or not cats have ESP, are left for the reader to decide.
The book is profusely illustrated with drawings, reproductions of artwork, and photographs, and as in the previous book, there is humor. Caras draws on many authorities and on personal experience in presenting us with an entertaining, educational, and thought provoking work.

- Neal C. Reynolds

Asa, As I knew him by Susanna Kaysen - RM 9.90

It seems to me that this author is getting great reviews for this pretentious book based on her Academy Award for "Girl, Interrupted." What a terrible novel full of racial assumptions, bad Bostonian behavior, & all this wretched talk about Brooks Brothers, cufflinks, and trustfunds. I never write negative reviews - I finish the books I dislike and put them back on the shelf. This time, I felt compelled to vent about the stupidity of this book because of all the great reviews this book has recieved. Susanna Kaysen - Grow up and look at the world in a real way.

In The Hold by Vladimir Arsenijevic - RM 9.90

THE narrator of this moving, very personal novel, among the first works of fiction to come out of the Yugoslav wars, observes the attenuation of his Belgrade circle of friends long before the fighting begins. ''Ever since I'd gotten used to adulthood,'' he tells us, ''I had lived at the center of a long-drawn-out Armageddon.'' Acquaintances have hanged themselves or succumbed to AIDS-related illnesses. Others have fled to London and Madrid. As darkness falls on the Balkans, Vladimir Arsenijevic testifies to the demoralization of a generation of Yugoslav youth.
Mr. Arsenijevic was 26 in 1991, the year the country's constituent republics went to war, and his first novel, ''In the Hold,'' has the intimacy and particularities of autobiography. The unnamed narrator and his drug-dealing, drug-using wife, Angela, have begun their tempestuous life together. Their contempt for the war does not spare them its tragedies: Angela's gentle brother, Lazar, a Hare Krishna devotee, is drafted into the Yugoslav National Army and killed, and their friend Dejan, once a drummer in a punk band, loses his right arm.
By the autumn of 1991, events have taken an especially savage turn: ''Throughout the satellite channels, our boys were slaughtering each other.'' Angela and her husband channel-surf in horror and wait for his induction notice. When she gives up drug dealing, the couple slip into poverty, even though he has a steady job. War has crippled the already ailing Yugoslav economy. As the army destroys towns in eastern Croatia, the narrator and his wife realize that things could be worse. This will come the following year, in Bosnia.
I happened to be living in Belgrade in the season of this novel's discontent -- when October evenings were ''sort of flaky, and greenish yellow,'' and ''November was devouring its own heart'' -- and I can swear to its verisimilitude. A pall was cast over that passionate, cosmopolitan city, ''the deceived capital city,'' Mr. Arsenijevic calls it. After the exhilarating anti-government demonstrations of the previous March proved, in retrospect, to have been pointless and self-indulgent, many young people knew they had squandered their single opportunity for a normal life. Their future had been hijacked by nationalist thugs.
Employing relatively little physical description, Mr. Arsenijevic portrays a city of friends -- the knot of community -- at the edge of extinction and dispersal. But while all is being sacrificed in the Balkan chaos, the author moves his main characters toward a kind of redemption. Angela has stopped using drugs, or at least opiates. (''The only thing she had for breakfast, lunch and dinner was Benzedrine.'') The deflation of city life draws the couple together.
In the end, a novel about the end of Yugoslavia becomes a love story. Cuddling in their apartment as they await the birth of their child, ''a kind
of psycho-twilight materialized above us; a dense, doughy mass covered us, and we felt as though we were in the hold of a ship, condemned to play the role of culprit for all the world's sufferings.''
One might read this sentence, and the novel itself, as yet another self-pitying Serbian claim of victimization. The claim would fall short: while Angela and her husband are not responsible for the world's woes, the Serbian political leadership, with the strong support of the Serbian people, certainly bears much of the blame for Yugoslavia's misfortunes. But as far as this novel is political at all, its partisanship is generational, not national. The author speaks for the youth of his country -- impoverished, manipulated and fated to refight their grandfathers' battles.
Mr. Arsenijevic glazes his sorrow with soft-spoken irony, winningly expressed in Celia Hawkesworth's translation from the Serbo-Croatian. His tone is hip and engaged, having less in common with other Serbian writers than with young writers elsewhere in Europe and America. He is the amazed, sardonic and eloquent witness to the spectacle of a country devouring its own heart.

Sunday, June 6, 2010



RM 9.00

* Available for subscription

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Second Hand.

Beast, Joyce Carol Oates - RM 9.90

Beasts, beasts, beasts

In Beasts, Oates explores the underbelly of a common before-bed/during-class fantasy: that of being seduced, admired, respected by a professor. In this case the greasy yet intoxicating Professor Andre Harrow is joined in his frequent seductions by his part French wife, Dorcus, a jealous green parrot, and a host of date-rape drugs. Oates chooses as her protagonist a modern Philomela, who cannot speak because a man has cut out her tongue, yet who gains freedom and adulthood through an apposite revenge.
Oates uses a frame story and first person narrative to create distance between the reader and truth. She leaves just the right amount of mystery, the right amount of questions never answered: who sets the fires? did Mr. Harrow love his girls? are seduction and submission synonymous?
Currently, I am trying to read books by women authors; I have found most of my favorites are men, and I've decided it's from lack of exposure to ecriture feminine. One can certainly tell that a woman wrote this novella. But what is it that makes that so? Is it the subject matter? Sex. Drugs. Seduction. A young woman's coming-of-age. Is it the writing style? Emotive. Referential. Tight.
Helene Cixous would be proud. Oates writes from the body; she writes to bodies; her subject matter is the body. The woman's body is her body of work-whether sculptural or poetic or danced or slit. One could discount this text as merely a perfect midnight snack of a novella. To those, I would suggest rereading it in glaring morning sunshine on a full stomach.

Bodily Harm :The Breakthrough Healing Program For Self-Injurers, Karen Conterio & Wendy Lader (Hard Cover) - RM 13.00

From the cover
Self-injury is one of our society’s fastest-growing and most disturbing epidemics. Experts estimate that more than three million Americans are afflicted with this syndrome, which compels people to mutilate their own skin or break their own bones. Due to society’s reaction to it, self-abuse is a widely misunderstood and dangerously mistreated psychiatric disorder.
Bodily Harm is the most authoritative exmination of this alarming syndrome and the first to offer a comprehensive treatment regimen. Written by the directors of S.A.F.E. Alternatives (Self Abuse Finally Ends), it clearly defines what cutting is and explains the kinds of emotional trauma that can lead to self-mutilation. It also includes case studies, diaries, and success stories from a diverse group of patients. Most importantly, Bodily Harm offers a course of treatment based on years of experience and extensive clinical research — as well as compassion, advice and hope for the afflicted and their loved ones. In this book, you’ll find:
  • How to distinguish something relatively harmless from a serious disorder, with a diagnostic questionnaire to help.
  • Why women account for the majority of self-injurers.
  • What motivates self-injury and why it has grown so rapidly?
  • How therapists, families and friends can help.

The Pillow Book Of Carol Tinker - RM 5.00

Kenneth Rexroth writes in his foreword:
“Critics somehow seem to have ignored the remarkable fact that, at the peaks and turning points of American poetry, at least since the death of Whitman, there has usually stood a woman . . . but few people, even the most passionate feminists, seem to have noticed it.”

From the Book

A spectacle of cruelty
A stand of cypress burning
The eyelid drops on no mans land
Hot ashes fall below eye level
To form a mold
Of what is seen
The mold that needs the ear to test it
Ringing true
A bell like form
Studded with rocks that fall like
Jewels from their setting
As time collapses

The Cat And The Tao, Kwong Kuen Shan (Hard Cover) - RM 9.90

From Publishers Weekly

The hitherto separate realms of Chinese philosophy and cat-fancying are finally bridged in this winsome little tome. Shan, a painter and calligrapher, assembles an intriguing collection of ancient Chinese proverbs, poems and teachings of the sages, ranging from fortune-cookie aphorisms ("A friend who truly knows you is always with you") to Confucius's shrewd condemnation of nostalgia ("The contemporary man who wants to re-create the past indiscriminately," he writes, will just "bring trouble" on himself) and Gao Bagong's advice ("Do not take it to heart when you lose,/ Do not show it on your face when you win"). But the book's raison d'etre is the accompanying reproductions of Shan's portraits of cats as they doze, glare and stalk through a variety of landscapes and interiors. Done in a traditional Chinese style, festooned with traditional seals and calligraphic characters and featuring delicate lines and washes of muted color, her paintings eschew the lush, throbbing adorableness of the typical kitten calendar in favor of a more restrained-but still very cute-aesthetic, with nary a ball of yarn in sight. Illus. 

The Law of Love, Laura Esquivel - RM 13.00

How to describe this book? Science Fiction? An adventure in a style somewhere between Tom Robbins andDouglas Adams? A mystical study in the likeness of a Jane Roberts Seth book? 
This cosmic love story is all that and more.  It starts in Montezuma's Mexico and quickly brings us to the 23rd century, a time when aura reading is scientific business and the government can create virtual realities from our deepest conscious thoughts - like memories from past lives.  Acuzena is an astroanalyst which means that she can help the karmatically challenged to recover memories from their previous lives.  She, herself, is about to meet her twin soul even though her Guardian Angel, Anacreonte doesn't think she's ready. Anacreonte's job is to watch over her and to guide her to serve the Divine Will, except Acuzena doesn't always listen. 
In Esquivel's version of the 23rd century, an aerophone transports one anywhere (like back to your apartment) by stepping into a teleport and dialing a number, the home security system reads auras and the televirtual transmits the viewer to the scene of the news story. To help with the mood of the story, Esquivel includes a CD with Puccinni tracks and illustrations from Miguelanxo Prado. This multi-media novel includes numerous poems and lively danzones for "intermission for dancing!"  All in all this book is innovative in content and style. While it may not be for everyone, I liked it well enough that I'll probably read it again.

Reviewed by Judi Clark JAN 2, 1999, Washington post

Welcome To My Country, Lauren Slater - RM 5.00

From the publisher
Lauren Slater, a brilliant writer who is a young therapist, takes us on a mesmerizing personal and professional journey in this remarkable memoir about her work with mental and emotional illness. The territory of the mind and of madness can seem a foreign, even frightening place-until you read Welcome to My Country.
Writing in a powerful and original voice, Lauren Slater closes the distance between "us" and "them," transporting us into the country of Lenny, Moxi, Oscar, and Marie. She lets us watch as she interacts with and strives to understand patients suffering from mental and emotional distress-the schizophrenic, the depressed, the suicidal. As the young psychologist responds to, reflects on, and re-creates her interactions with the inner realities of the dispossessed, she moves us to a deeper understanding of the complexities of the human mind and spirit. And then, in a stunning final chapter, the psychologist confronts herself, when she is asked to treat a young woman, bulimic and suicidal, who is on the same ward where Slater herself was once such a patient.
Like An Unquiet Mind, Listening to Prozac and Girl, Interrupted, Welcome to My Country is a beautifully written, captivating, and revealing book, an unusual personal and professional memoir that brings us closer to understanding ourselves, one another, and the human condition.

Notebooks 1970 - 2003 by Bill Murray 

"Six small notebooks, yellow with blue lettering "Spirax No. 561", bought in Melbourne 1968 - the Indian and Afghanistan notebooks; one smaller with pink cover, bought in Bombay, now lost; eight shorthand notebooks, caramel covers, London 1970-74; one, used during the first American visit, 1972, lost. Entries here have been taken, with some corrections, mostly from seven "London" books.' A privileged and fascinating glimpse into a writer's life, taken from the working notebooks of Murray Bail, acclaimed author of EUCALYPTUS, HOLDEN'S PERFORMANCE and HOMESICKNESS, encompassing three continents and spanning thirty years. From overheard conversations, to favourite aphorisms, to brilliant observations of people and places, to Bail's musings on art, literature and landscape, Notebooks is a feast of beautiful words and intriguing thoughts from one of the world's most original and important writers.

Review by Googles 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Second-Hand Books New IN

In The Wall Gardens, Anahita Firouz - RM 5.00

Typhoid Mary, Anthony Bourdain - RM 9.90

Untamed Tongues, Wild Words from Wild Women, Autumn Stephens - RM 5.00

Review here

POPism: The Warhol Sixties, Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett - RM 9.90

"A vivid re-creation of a great time to live and a great time to die."--Martin Scorsese

Feminine Mystique, Betty Friedan - RM 5.00

When Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique was first published in the United States in 1963, it exploded into American consciousness. Since its first publication, critics and popular readers have been sharply divided on their assessment of the work. However, one fact is certain: The Feminine Mystique sparked a national debate about women's roles and in time was recognized as one of the central works of the modern women's movement. Friedan began writing the work after she attended her fifteen-year college reunion at Smith, a women's college. At this reunion, she gave a questionnaire to two hundred of her fellow classmates, and the results confirmed what she had already suspected—many American women were unhappy and did not know why. After three women's magazines refused to publish Friedan's results, because they contradicted the conventional assumptions about femininity, Friedan spent five years researching and writing The Feminine Mystique.
In the book, Friedan defines women's unhappiness as ‘‘the problem that has no name,’’ then she launches into a detailed exploration of what she believes causes this problem. Through her research—which includes many theories, statistics, and first-person accounts—Friedan pins the blame on an idealized image of femininity that she calls the feminine mystique. According to Friedan, women have been encouraged to confine themselves to the narrow roles of housewife and mother, foresaking education and career aspirations in the process. Friedan attempts to prove that the feminine mystique denies women the opportunity to develop their own identities, which can ultimately lead to problems for women and their families. Friedan sees the feminine mystique as a failed social experiment that World War II and the Cold Warhelped to create and which in turn contributed to postwar phenomena like the baby boom and the growth of suburbs. Although Friedan has written several more controversial works, The Feminine Mystique is the book that made her a household name, and it is still her best-known work.

Review from Enotes.

The Distant Lover, Christoph Hein - RM 9.90

The Distant Lover is a quick glance into the life of an unnamed East Berliner who’s learned that her married lover has died. As she struggles with the pain she worked so hard to avoid but realizes she can’t escape, her reflections drift backwards to momentous decisions in her life and the state they’ve left her in. Hein ends the story abruptly, closing the window to her enduring soul, if that’s what it is we’ve bore witness to.
Hein’s protagonist is out of touch. She’s a doctor who takes no pride in her work, discussing office politics and plans for retirement instead of sharing that one remembered patient, and she often uses the reader as she would an unappreciated friend, venting superficial frustrations and sharing unfinished philosophies. It makes sense for us to believe that Hein is trying to say something about East Germany. As a rule of thumb, the simpler the language, the wider the commentary.
Undoubtedly, Hein reflects his upbringing in his austere tale of survivalist comfort, about affording enough not to complain. As his first work translated into English, he must have intended it for an English-speaking audience. His doctor’s memories and regrets don’t come with violins in the background, trying to elicit your sympathy. At times I even found myself chuckling out loud at her occasional anecdotes and jabs. She may seem like a despondent character, but it’s the result of her individual experience. She accepts the culture she knows, and only we can formulate the context responsible for her suffering. Hein does not grovel for our pity; he’s a German and he’s a writer. As it is impossible to deny your heritage, also is it impossible to deny yourself a voice.

Final Friends Book 2: The Dance, Christopher Pike's - RM 5.00

Scavenger Hunt, Christopher Pike's - RM 5.00

The Star Group, Christopher Pike's - RM 5.00

The Tao Of Meow Understanding; Training Your Cat The Taoist Way, Deborah Wood - RM 9.90

Use the gentle principles of Taoism to forge a profound and joyful relationship with your cat.

The epitome of yin-yang, the cat is perfectly balanced between tame and wild, sociability and solitude, action and rest. Called inscrutable and mysterious, perhaps even recalcitrant, felines have been deemed difficult to understand and train. Not anymore. Using the kind, gentle principles of Taoism, veteran trainer Deborah Wood introduces her revolutionary "no force, no punishment" method of creating a loving, harmonious relationship with your cat . . . a companionship filled with unparalleled rewards and unconditional love. Discover:

Step-by-step remedies for difficult problems: refusal to use the litter box, aggression, clawing furniture, and spraying urine
Cat massage and other techniques to increase the flow of qi and create telepathic communication between human and animal

Interactive human-cat games to give the cat essential mental and physical stimulation
The practice of wu wei, action through nonaction, to enrich your relationship

Taoist diet needs, a path to understanding a cat's finicky eating, and the best foods for glowing health

more now again a memoir of addiction, Elizabeth Wurtzel - RM 9.90

Publishers Weekly

In her second book, Bitch, a discourse on self-destructive women, Wurtzel (Prozac Nation) admits to writing the manuscript while on drugs and then checking herself into rehab. In this memoir, she expands that admission to its extreme, minutely detailing life as a Ritalin addict and then as a rehab patient. But with its long stretches of descriptions about glass coffee-tables, tweezed leg hairs, missed phone calls and junkie buddies, this new book would have been more aptly titled "Prosaic Nation." Not only does Wurtzel tread on well-covered terrain about getting clean, she manages to add little or no insight either to her own habit or to the landscape of addiction in general. She's never figured out how to be a grown-up and do the little things like scrubbing a tub, she writes, "and remembering to eat and shampoo my hair. It's the basics: I can write a whole book, but I cannot handle the basics." Yet she fills this work with nothing but mere basics, like which cereals she eats, how she feels about television and how tough she finds life on a book tour. Even in rehab, that reliable bastion of craziness, the scenes are ordinary, washed out by Wurtzel's seeming lack of emotion. Indeed, throughout the book the author describes crying or worrying, but never seems to feel anything, so that when she has a surge of gung-ho self-esteem at the book's end, complete with a spiritual awakening, it rings false, a too hasty wrapup. Hardcore Wurtzel fans may find much to enjoy here, but the book's lack of depth and originality will check all but the most devoted. (Jan. 17) Forecast: The toned-down and boring jacket (compared with those of Wurtzel's previous books) and her lackluster writing won't do much for sales. More, Now, Again has scant chances of reaching new readers it just doesn't have the depth and insight of other works on addiction. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Catch Me If You Can, Frank W. Abagnale - RM 9.90

In his late teens, Abagnale posed as a PanAm co-pilot, getting lifts on airplanes for free to take him all around the country and the world, allowing him to pass bad checks behind the guise of a respectable airline pilot. By the time he was caught, at age 21, he had managed to bilk his victims, mostly PanAm, of over 2 million dollars. At that was 2 million in the late 60s, when the story took place. Posing as Frank Williams, Robert Conrad, Frank Adams, and Robert Monjo, Abagnale also managed to teach sociology at a college in Utah with a fake diploma, pass the bar exam and work in an attorney general's office, pose as a pediatrician and become a temporary resident supervisor at a hospital in Georgia.

In one outrageous scheme, Abagnale recruited, and then "hired" a group of young female college students from an Arizona University. He told the girls that they were to be part of a special PR project, where they would travel to different cities in Europe and, dressed as PanAm flight attendants, be photographed for PanAm publicity purposes. He took them to Europe, hired photographers in each city, and while the girls were getting photographed, he passed back checks.
Finally nabbed in Montpelier, France, Abagnale confessed and spent 6 months in the infamous Perpignan French prison, where he stayed naked, in a 5 foot by 5 foot by 5 foot cel, in complete darkness, with only a bucket, no drain, no running water. Not once did he see light or was able to stand completely straight (he's over 6 feet tall.) Once released from Perpignan, he was transfered to Sweden where he did 6 more months in a prison that was more like a college dorm. A Swedish judge then deported him back to the US. Faced with the prospect of meeting US Federal agents once his plane was at the gate, Frank escaped from the plane by removing the toilet mechanism from the airline restroom, and left the plane through the toilet hatch.
The escapades described in this story are creative, daring, and sometimes just heart-stopping. My one complaint with the book is that it sort of leaves you hanging at the end. Frank manages to evade some FBI agents and then the book just stops. I couldn't believe it. What happens next?! A little research online reveals that Frank is eventually caught and serves 4 years in a US prison. He is released with the agreement that he will help law enforcement agencies catch check forgers. Frank has since made a career for himself providing this kind of advice to companies (see

by Elise

French And Poetry for Cats, Henry Beard - RM 9.90

In the vein of his bestselling French for Cats, Henry Beard has assembled a brilliant anthology of treasured works by feline poets. Includes "Do Not Go Gentle to That Damned Vet" by Dylan Thomas's cat, "The Human" by Edgar Allan Poe's cat and other works. Poetry for Cats will prove as thrilling as a stiff shot of catnip. Color illustrations.

French For Cats: All The French Your Cat Will Ever Need, Henry Beard - RM 9.90

Are you thinking of house-sitting in France next summer, and are worried that you won't be able to communicate with your hosts' cat? Then this is just the book for you. When the cat says meow, is it trying to say, "Here comes a fur ball," or "I did not break that vase"? All will be revealed in Henry Beard's mini bilingual book of catspeak. With English phrases given first followed by French translations in italics and accompanied by illuminating illustrations, each page gives us a rare insight into the inner workings of a feline brain.
We are first introduced to The Major Cat Parts (of the body), and these are followed by The Basic Cat Wardrobe co
nsisting of a bell, flea and tick collar, and name tag.

When we proceed to the section on Cat Names, puss starts to voice his opinions quite firmly: "I will answer to Serafina, Caesar," etc., but "I will not answer to Fluffy, Kitty," and so on. What I Do Not Do seems arise from a confusion between canine and feline behaviour: we are informed that cats do not 'fetch', catch Frisbees, or guard houses. What's more "Je ne cours pas apres les voitures" ("I don't chase cars.")
After a picture of The Food Bowl, we are shown The Four Cat Food Groups: Dry Food, Canned Food, Natural Foods (The Mouse or The Big Ugly Bug), and of course Forbidden Foods (string, dried flowers, tinsel etc.) We then discover the French for "I want my food in my bowl now. I'm waiting." The Unpleasant Medicinal Additives are delineated, and the message is "Do not put additives in my food unless you are sure that I am dying."
The Litter box naturally follows on from here, and we must understand the feline requirement: "I need a little privacy." Who wouldn't, indeed? There may be misunderstandings of course over The Nap Place or The Cat Bath - Le Bain a Coups de Langue - and we mustn't forget that "I prefer to give myself my own bath." Then The Fur Ball has to be watched out for, as it sometimes comes without warning, unless we are familiar with the phrase "Je crois que je vais cracher une boule de poils."
We probably understand the importance of The Territory, but do we know the French for "I like to climb large trees in my territory"? The Cat Carrier, Le Porte-Chat, is one of the most feared objects, as puss explains "I do not like to leave my territory for any reason." especially for a visit to The Vet - "I do not want to be neutered" ("Je ne veux pas etre chatre.")
A section on The Cat Toys, where we are told "I do not wish to play with my cat toys" is followed by The Things That Are Not, Strictly Speaking, Cat Toys, But Which Nevertheless Have Great Play Value - a vase, a lamp, or a crystal candy dish. "Alas, they are not very durable" is translated as "C'est la vie".
The Hunt explains to us that "Sometimes I choose to play with my prey" but we might be asked "Ou voulez-vous que je mette ca?" (Where do you want me to put this?)
The Enemies of course include the dog, the mean 
child and the lawn mower, and we might hear "Je voudrais que la tondeuse du gazon ecrase le chat du voisin" ("I wish that the lawn mower would run over the neighbor's cat").

Finally we are told "When I meow, it means..." a whole host of things, from "I just put a mouse in the bureau drawer..." to "I feel an overpowering urge to run rapidly from room to room."
It's a tiny book with a hard cover and just a small amount of text on each of its ninety pages, rather like a children's book. There are charming watercolour sketches on every page, almost half in colour, the rest in black and white, from a double page aerial view of the territory and neighbouring cats' gardens to a tiny bell and a name tag.
Henry Beard is said to be 'a firm believer in the pesky but potentially highly profitable secondary school foreign language requirement'. Well, this is an American book, but I have to admit that the expressions given here don't relate particularly closely to our GCSE French syllabus. Nevertheless, they might provide a but of fun to a bored pupil, and the simplicity of the layout with so many illustrations might even appeal to a younger child and spark an interest in French. Other than that, it's for cat sitters in France, or of course for any cat-lover emigrating to France who will find some useful phrases here to use in the pet shop or at the vet. It could be a good stocking-filler for any cat-owner who has an interest in French.

From Ciao

The House Of The Spirits, Isabel Allende - RM 5.00

VOGUE - March 1985
the amazing Isabel Allende, the niece of Chile's ousted President Salvador Allende, is creating the kind of literary sensation most writers only dream of. And “The House of the Spirits” is no ordinary first novel. It is an exotic vision - a brilliant, impassioned epic - and a personal coup for the young journalist who “had to write it.”
By Cathleen Medwick
The book seemed to come from nowhere: a first novel by a forty two-year-old Chilean journalist that has dazzled readers throughout Europe and Latin America, making its author the most unexpected sensation since the emergence of Gabriel Garcia Márquez.

“Engrossing...impassioned...richly symbolic,”

taken from

An Accidental Man, Iris Murdoch - RM 9.90

Austin, the accidental man, is marvelously mapped out -- one of the best of all the Murdoch personae. "Why was he always doing things that he didn't mean to or want to?" (Or, as another man says of himself, "I . . . am a hopeless unworkable human being designed to be miserable and cause misery.") Amid the themes of wasted lives, or life as a total mess, Austin has the touch that really kills: he drivers over a child when he's drunk, nearly murders and permanently maims her blackmailing stepfather, and fans his second wife's death wish to the extent that she carelessly electrocutes herself in a bathtub. Although two other chapters end with gulps of sleeping pills, the unconscious suicide is the only successful one -- which bears out the point of this novel.

- NY Times

The Basketball Diaries, Jim Caroll - RM 5.00

The publication of Jim Carroll’s diary, entitled The Basketball DiariesAge Twelve to Fifteen(1978), had been eagerly awaited. The book, which is generally referred to by its main title alone, had started appearing in excerpt form throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s in various literary publications. Carroll claimed that the diaries were written at the time in which the events related took place. However, some critics wondered how much the diaries were edited before publication, especially since the book includes many outrageous incidents. Regardless of its authenticity, the book made a statement when it was published. Some people at that time were glorifying the image of life in the 1960s urban counterculture. Carroll’s gritty diary was explicit; it took readers inside the real world of drug addiction, male prostitution, and crime in 1960s New York.
The book also discussed what life was like for war babies—people who grew up under the constant fear of nuclear annihilation during the Cold War—and the difficulty in remaining neutral in the 1960s antiwar debate. The Basketball Diaries has become Carroll’s best-known work, especially after the release of a 1995 film adaptation starring Leonardo DiCaprio. In 1987, Carroll published a sequel, Forced Entries: The Downtown Diaries, 1971–73.

Living At The Movies, Jim Carroll - RM 5.00

Living at the Movies is Jim Carroll's first major collection of poetry; it earned him a Pulitzer Prize nomination when he was 22 years old. The back cover of the Penguin edition states:
"In these poems, all written before the age of twenty-two, Carroll shows an uncanny virtuosity. His power and poisoned purity are reminiscent of Arthur Rimbaud, and, like the strongest poets of the New York School, Carroll transforms the everyday details of city life into poetry. In language at once delicate, hallucinatory, and menacing, his major themes--love, friendship, the exquisite pains and pleasures of drugs, and above all, the ever-present city--emerge in an atmosphere where dreams and reality mingle on equal terms...."

The Devil’s Larder, Jim Crace - RM 9.90

THE DEVIL'S LARDER is not about food. Food is there, certainly, in each of the exquisitely crafted little stories. But to say that these stories are about food is like saying that Saving Private Ryan is a movie about Tom Hanks. So what are these stories about? And why are they so affecting? I understood the day after I first opened the book.

I had a serious craving for apple pie. One minute I'm fine, and the next thing I know there's an apple pie cooling on the windowsill of my mind, as the sounds of children playing on a creaking swing set are carried in on a fragrant summer breeze that billows the simple cotton curtains. Hey, it's my mind. Back off.

There are those who say that food is fuel. For Jim Crace and THE DEVIL'S LARDER, food is exactly that, but in a sense that has absolutely nothing to do with nutrition or digestion. To be more precise, in Crace's remarkably rich little explorations, food is a medium through which passes the entire breadth and scope of human emotion and interaction. Nostalgia, temptation, guilt, violence, lust, gratification, risk, delusion, and fear. But there is no pie. Pie is not the issue. Hunger is not the issue.

Some of these stories cover three or four pages; most require only a few paragraphs, and one is exactly two words long, which makes the wit and depth and power on display all the more surprising. And satisfying.

It is difficult to avoid using food analogies to describe THE DEVIL'S LARDER. Thank Jim Crace for that. His stories demonstrate that as an element critical to human survival, food has taken root in our ability to express thought and emotion. Try to get through any conversation without using a food-related metaphor and you'll see what I mean. Have you ever had to swallow a bitter pill? Eat humble pie? Do you have a sweet disposition? Do you drive a lemon? Do you have a gravy job? Did you sugarcoat some bad news? Do you know on which side your bread is buttered? Do you bring home the bacon?

Book reporter

Freaky Green Eyes : Can You See the Truth?, Joyce Carol Oates - RM 9.90

Sometimes, when things start to go wrong in our lives, the easiest way to deal with it can be to ignore it completely and pretend that nothing is happening. Have you noticed that? A bit like the ostrich burying its head in the sand.
That's how it is for Franky Pierson in this story. She seems to have it all - a celebrity TV sports commentator father, a perfect mother, an architect-designed home and comfortable lifestyle. It seems she could want for nothing else. It certainly seems like that to her, until things begin to slip a little around her.
Franky's mother starts to spend time away from the family, little by little, building a new life around her work as an artist. Franky's father is one of those larger-than-life characters, determined to live life to the full. He's generous and loves his family. And he seems resentful that his wife is trying to separate herself from the family circle. Well, that's not unreasonable, is it? It makes Franky angry too. Of course it makes her angry, because her mother seems to be splitting up the family for no apparent reason, and Franky wants her mother back at home, where she's always been. Franky's little sister, Sam, obviously feels that way too.
So it's a while before Franky even begins to consider the reasons why her mother might be choosing to live alone. And when she does start to think about it, she doesn't like to delve too deeply into her own memories:
"Franky-girl, Sam-Sam: your daddy loves you, too. When you're good girls, not naughty."
We laughed as if we'd been tickled. Almost, I could feel Daddy's strong fingers running up and down my ribs making me squeal with laughter.
For Daddy had not disciplined either of us in some time. You could almost forget there'd been such a time.
This is a creepy story full of gathering tension. Franky seems to have two voices inside her head, offering two interpretations for every event. What you'll be wanting to know is whether she works out exactly what is going on in time to sort everything out...
You'll have to read the book, but I'll warn you now, it's a page turner, and it isn't a comfortable read. You might though, like me, overlook the first chapter which seems to serve no other purpose than to provide an irrelevant title.