Author: Sheu Quen

Book Review: Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by Salman Rushdie.

It didn’t take me too long to finish reading this strange and whimsical book here but while reading it, it did feel like it took me forever. I’m not sure if it was a psychological issue, since the title itself is all about time. Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights by bestselling author, Salman Rushdie, is about the unique relationship between a female jinn, Dunia, and a human male, a philosopher by the name of Ibn Rushd, which spanned centuries, and the brood they created came into existence with a special soul. They were as normal as you and me, holding down a job, gardening, owning a home and driving a car. They were as normal as the other human beings in the story. The only difference was their inner possession of a super power and the levitation that caused an uproar among their own kind. The book wasn’t all about Dunia and Ibn Rushd, though. It was also about the rest of the jinns and jinnias in the fairy world. I was amazed that my …

Book Review: The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies

When I saw this book on the fiction shelves in Borders, I knew I must have it. The cover was attractive enough, the back of the book told me enough to know roughly what the story would be about, and also because I’ve begun drinking tea (Lipton, to be exact) more so than coffee. Of course, what you read on the back of a book cover can barely tell you much but it can give you an inkling into what to expect from it. Where there is love and romance, there would be secrets and a likelihood of a betrayal or two. It was enough for me to pay for the book and leave. It took me four days to finish reading The Tea Planter’s Wife by Dinah Jefferies. Four days. It’s not as short as I thought, but for me, finishing a book in less than a week is a good achievement. The last time I ever recalled having finished reading an entire book in a day or two, or staying up way past midnight …

Battle of the Sexes: Male Managers vs. Female Managers

On our way home from lunch earlier today, I was telling my husband about my new job and then I realised that in all my past and current employments (I have been working for about 3 years now), the only managers I’ve reported to, served under, and worked with have all been females. Don’t get me wrong; I don’t have a beef with reporting to a female manager but I’ve never reported to and worked for a male manager, hence I have no idea what it feels like (though I get some friends telling me that working for a male manager doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better either!). But I know exactly what it feels like to work for a female manager. Women are women, and they have their follies. Some would be menopausal and cry at the tiniest bit of dissent. Some will rule you like an iron lady. Some prefer male managers because they are less emotional and more rational, while others prefer to work for female managers because they are more compassionate and understanding. Females Over Males According …

Book Review: The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

A little delayed but here is the long-awaited book review of The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George that I had finally finished reading some time over the week. I must admit that the book was pretty damn amazing. Why? No matter how desperate I wanted to finish reading the book and keep up with my 2016 Goodreads Reading Challenge, I also wanted to take my time with it. It was quite a dilemma, indeed. What I liked about the book was the writing style. It was casually-written, injected with lots of bookish humour and dry sarcasm. The kind of dry Bitish wit that mocks your intelligence but you know they’re just kidding. They don’t mean to put you down or ridicule you. They just want to make you laugh. I also loved how literary it was, with the author leaving a smattering of bite-sized pieces of quotes in books written by dead (or still alive) bestselling authors. Monsieur Jean Perdu’s occupation as the literary apothecary, where he turned a little barge into his floating book clinic on the Seine, sealed my love for …

The A-Z (or Y) of a Book Lover’s Glossary

Who else agrees with me on this? That no matter where we are, it will always feel like we have been transported to a new destination whenever we pick up a book to read. I feel that way all the time when I had my nose buried between the pages of a book. Carlos Ruiz Zafon took me to the olden days of Barcelona. Cathy Kelly brought me through the streets of Ireland. Elif Shafak was my tour guide in Turkey and Istanbul. And now, Jimmy Carter is wading through the murky waters with me in Georgia, Philadelphia, and Florida. Even though I was never physically there in those places. That’s it, feel the gentle bookish breeze stroking your mind and stoking your imagination. In the meantime, all this reading and bookish fever have prompted within me to draw up a glossary list (with a short caption for each letter) that most (and many) readers can relate to, although these alphabetical terms are more personal to me than to the masses: A – Adventure New travel …

What to Pack for a 3-Day Getaway

Have you ever wondered what to pack for a three-day vacation, only to realise that you have over-packed your bags despite planning early and ahead of time? Yeah, that happens to me quite frequently. Also, I don’t travel often so mistakes are inevitable. For every five websites I visited, each would tell me the necessary clothing I should bring on my three-day vacation, from swimsuits to evening gowns. But they rarely ever touch on what are the activities and/or hobby items that you can pack when you’re away for only a handful of days.

Play Store vs Playground

There are at least three playgrounds within the immediate area of the condo I live in, with my husband. Every morning when I join the rest of the corporate zombies on the clogged-up highway, I pass two out of the three playgrounds. When I return from work, I pass by the third playground. Yet, these playgrounds are empty and completely devoid of children laughing and playing on them.

Exit: Stage Fright.

This topic is old news to me, considering how many times I have been called up for a presentation and when I go to give the presentation I clam up. I know I will never be able to avoid or run away from presentations, but it’s still one of my biggest fears. As big as my cockroach phobia and the idea of paranormal beings. If you have ever felt your heart beating so loud like a big bass drum, your brain and mouth suddenly going AWOL, and what feels like butterflies fluttering around in your stomach, then this is probably a typical scenario for you when it comes to presentations. Yours truly isn’t a fan of presentations. I abhor them. I detest them. I dislike them. I hate them. The idea of doing anything in front of an audience is not attractive to me. I suppose you could say that I’ve never been trained nor taught the proper way of stage performance. Not even when I used to play the piano. At the end of each …

Drama Kings and Queens

Growing up, I never had the opportunity to watch many television series, despite some of them winning a number of Golden Globes and Emmy awards. I had a curfew to adhere to when I was growing up. Completion of school work and assignments at a certain time, helping out with household chores at a particular time, and watching television at an even more limited time! I used to have only an hour’s worth of TV time when I was growing up! My extended TV time came when technology became more advanced and everything became more accessible. Now, everything you want and/or need is really at your fingertips with a few taps on the keyboard and a few clicks on the mouse. One day, I found the solution to my troubles.