I Would do Anything for These!!

Stacking up my shelf!! I would like to get all these amazing books to put in my collection. Oh! I already asked my regularly visited bookstore to reserve the books for. I'll be collecting them by the end of the month. Luckily they have all the books. Freaking awesome!! 

1916: the Western Front, France. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where has the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No man's Land gone? 2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson has returned to the burned-out home of one Willis Linsay, a reclusive and some said mad, others dangerous, scientist. It was arson but, as is often the way, the firemen seem to have caused more damage than the fire itself. Stepping through the wreck of a house, there's no sign of any human remains but on the mantelpiece Monica finds a curious gadget - a box, containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a...potato. It is the prototype of an invention that Linsay called a 'stepper'. An invention he put up on the web for all the world to see, and use, an invention that would to change the way mankind viewed his world Earth for ever. And that's an understatement if ever there was one..-Goodreads


Khaled Hosseini, the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns, has written a new novel about how we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.-Goodreads

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what. A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark. -Goodreads

After realizing his romantic life is not going in the direction he'd hoped, Devin Jones decides to take a summer job at an amusement park. There he makes friends with Tom Kennedy and Erin Cook, also summer hires at Joyland, which years before had been the scene of the murder of a young woman named Linda Gray whose ghost is said to be seen at the Horror House. He also befriends a young boy, named Mike Ross and his mother, Annie. Their lives all become entwined when Devin decides to investigate the mystery of Linda Gray's unsolved murder by the "Carny Killer." -Author's Website

In a world now ravaged by the viral plague, humanity is reduced to stubborn pockets of resistance. But if the human race is to have a future, survival is not enough. Against terrifying odds, they must hunt down the Twelve and destroy them in their lairs. But something is wrong. The virals' behaviour is inexplicably changing. And all the clues point toward the Homeland, a sinister dictatorship where an unlikely trio are re-imagining humanity s destiny: Horace Guilder, a veteran of the original experiment with a blood-curdling vision of immortality; Lila Kyle, a woman whose tragic past has turned her into a figure of nightmare; and Lawrence Grey, a man whose search for connections has been fulfilled in the most gruesome way imaginable. And then there is Amy. The Girl From Nowhere. Once the thirteenth test subject and now the only human who can fathom the Homeland's secret and truly enter the hive minds of the Twelve. But what she finds there may spell the end of everything. - Goodreads

n the present day: As a man-made apocalypse unfolds, three strangers navigate the chaos, desperate to find others, to survive, to witness the dawn on the other side of disaster. Lila, a doctor and an expectant mother, has been so broken by the spread of violence and infection that she continues to plan for her child’s arrival even as society dissolves around her. Kittridge, known to the world as “Last Stand in Denver,” has been forced by loss of electrical power to flee his stronghold and is now on the road, dodging the infected, armed but alone and well aware that a tank of gas will get him only so far. April is a teenager fighting to guide her little brother safely through a minefield of death and ruin. These three will learn that they have not been fully abandoned—and that in connection lies hope, even on the darkest of nights.
A hundred years in the future: Amy, Peter, Alicia, and the others introduced in The Passage work with a cast of new characters to hunt the original twelve virals… unaware that the rules of the game have changed, and that one of them will have to sacrifice everything to bring the Twelve down.
The scope widens and the intensity deepens as the epic tale of sacrifice and survival begun in The Passage surges forward in its breathtaking sequel—The Twelve.
- See more at:

WWW Wednesdays { July 3, 2013 }

WWW Wednesdays: A fun weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should be Reading. This meme gives the opportunity to readers to share our current reading, book we recently finished, and books we're planning to read next. 

What are you currently reading?
Lee Child's Jack Reacher is one of my favorite literary heroes. I am reading the 13th book of Jack Reacher series, "Gone Tomorrow" and I'm juggling between this book with a John Green's novel, "The Fault in Our Stars".

What did you recently finished reading?
"The Light Between Oceans" by M.L. Stedman. This is a good book.Review will be posted soon.

What do you think you'll read next?
I read quite a number of thought provoking books in June, so for this month I would like to have more action and thriller. So, I'm going to read Vince Flynn's "The Last Man" and T.C. McCarthy's "Germline" next.

Book Discovery: Debut Authors Books

I'm writing this post at 1.30 in the morning. Wondering what I am doing at this hour when everyone else is sleeping on their beds? Well, I am completing my assignment for tomorrow's presentation. A last minute work as usual. Okay, lets just forget about that. I've been busy lately. I haven't finished any book this week which is quite a disappointment. However, I manage to discover a few books to be added to my TBR piles. Both of the books are from debut authors which I discovered through , lets check it out!

The Mourning Hour
by Paula Treick DeBoard

A family's loyalty is put to the ultimate test in this haunting and unforgettable debut. Kirsten Hammarstrom hasn't been home to her tiny corner of rural Wisconsin in years-not since the mysterious disappearance of a local teenage girl rocked the town and shattered her family. Kirsten was just nine years old when Stacy Lemke went missing, and the last person to see her alive was her boyfriend, Johnny-the high school wrestling star and Kirsten's older brother. No one knows what to believe-not even those closest to Johnny-but the event unhinges the quiet farming community and pins Kirsten's family beneath the crushing weight of suspicion. Now, years later, a new tragedy forces Kirsten and her siblings to return home, where they must confront the devastating event that shifted the trajectory of their lives. Tautly written and beautifully evocative, The Mourning Hours is a gripping portrayal of a family straining against extraordinary pressure, and a powerful tale of loyalty, betrayal and forgiveness. -Goodreads

by Alan L. Lee

Lurking in the shadows, away from any government oversight, a secret partnership has been formed between an Israeli spymaster pulling the strings of the most efficient killing machine the Mossad has to offer and an exclusive billionaire boys club that wants to dictate the New World Order. In their pocket is a powerful U.S. senator who aspires to the presidency. Success means vast wealth and increased power, and they’ll stop at nothing to succeed. CIA operative Nora Mossa is trained to kill when the situation calls for it. She’s also capable of disappearing into thin air. Being efficient, deadly, and beautiful, however, won’t be enough to protect her after her mentor Erica Janway is assassinated in her Maryland home. With everyone in the Agency suspect, Nora turns to the only person capable of keeping her alive while she uncovers the truth behind Janway’s demise—her former lover and ex–CIA agent Alex Koves. That is, if he will even speak to her. With danger lurking in every corner of the globe, Koves and Nora must stay alive long enough to piece together the clues to a deadly plot capable of killing thousands in the Middle East. And the clock is ticking….-Goodreads

 Both sounds interesting and I'm so looking forward to read them. But for now I am hitting the sack. Have to wake up early for work. So, I wish you great weekend. Zzzz.....

Exclusive Author Interview: Abigail Tarttelin


Born in Grimsby, England, on October 13th 1987, Abby is a compulsive creative. Growing up, she wrote a ton of songs (some good, some meh), produced homemade zines, paintings and books. The last one she made with a stapler and A4 was the first draft of novel Flick. Abby began writing for screen for production company Living Spirit, and also started reviewing books for the Huffington Post. Since 2010 Abby has written for, and worked as Books Editor for Phoenix Magazine.

 Visit Abigail Tarttelin's: Webpage | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

I have read "Golden Boy" and it is one of my favorite reads for 2013. So, today at Coffee&Crackers is so honored to have the author, Abigail Tarttelin, for an exclusive interview.


C&C: How did you become a writer and when was the first time you write a novel/ story? Can you share with me what was the story all about?

Abigail Tarttelin:
I have always written compulsively but I was really inspired by my English teacher, who taught me that I had a license and a freedom to write about anything I wanted. The first novel I ever wrote was Flick. I started it when I was 19 and finished when I was 21, and I was inspired to write it because I felt that teenage boys from my region of England were missing out on a literary voice due to poor education and access to the publishing industry. With Golden Boy, I felt that a presentation of an intersex character in a mainstream, accessible novel was a worthwhile endeavour. I like to have a reason to write and to talk to people about a certain theme or issue.

C&C:  Describe about yourself in one sentence. 

Abigail Tarttelin:
Still growing up!

C&C: In your novel, "Golden Boy", you bring forward an issue of Intersexuality. In your opinion, how does it differs from LGBT? Did you do any special research on intersexuality? Have you meet anyone who are intersex?
Abigail Tarttelin:
Like all LGBTQIA issues, intersexuality is something one is born with and one has little to no control over. I have found that talking about intersex is different from talking about other LGBT issues because it is fairly under-represented in literature and culture and therefore readers have few preconceptions about intersex conditions. It makes it easier to have an open, accepting conversation with people when they have no pre-existing bias or beliefs about the condition. I did research intersexuality because I wanted to be as accurate as possible, although in writing Max I approached the character from the point of view that gender wasn't going to play a role in his development; it only has an impact on his life and voice following the incident at the opening of the book. I have met intersex people since Golden Boy was published and I'm happy to say everyone I've spoken to has appreciated the book.

C&C: I am so against abortion religiously and morally. What is your personal opinion about this issue?
Abigail Tarttelin: 
Like most Europeans, I believe it is unethical and immoral to force a woman to carry an embryo against her will, particularly since the maternal death rate worldwide is unacceptably high, with 800 women dying every day from causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.

C&C: Just wondering, Max's brother, Daniel, does he suffered from any disorder? He sure throw a tantrum a lot. 

Abigail Tarttelin:
No he doesn't - but as a ten year old, his emotions are certainly a lot to handle!
C&C: What's your future project? Do you mind sharing? 

Abigail Tarttelin:
I'm currently working on a few short stories and my third novel. It's too early to tell what will happen though!
Thank you very much Abigail for the fun interview. I wish you all success for your future projects and your career. 

The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won't his parents talk about it? What else are they hiding from Max about his condition and from each other? The deeper Max goes, the more questions emerge about where it all leaves him and what his future holds, especially now that he's starting to fall head over heels for someone for the first time in his life. Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Will anyone ever want him — desire him — once they know? And the biggest one of all, the question he has to look inside himself to answer: Who is Max Walker, really? - Goodreads

Book Review: The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

Title: The Peculiar | Author: Stefan Bachmann
Series: The Peculiar Book #1
Genre: Fantasy, Adventures, Middle Grade
Format: Kindle e-Book
Date Finished: June 7, 2013
CoffeeNCrackers Rating: 2 Cups of Coffee

  "Don't get yourself noticed and you won't get yourself hanged."

In the faery slums of Bath, Bartholomew Kettle and his sister Hettie live by these words. Bartholomew and Hettie are changelings--Peculiars--and neither faeries nor humans want anything to do with them. One day a mysterious lady in a plum-colored dress comes gliding down Old Crow Alley. Bartholomew watches her through his window. Who is she? What does she want? And when Bartholomew witnesses the lady whisking away, in a whirling ring of feathers, the boy who lives across the alley--Bartholomew forgets the rules and gets himself noticed. First he's noticed by the lady in plum herself, then by something darkly magical and mysterious, by Jack Box and the Raggedy Man, by the powerful Mr. Lickerish and by Arthur Jelliby, a young man trying to slip through the world unnoticed, too, and who, against all odds, offers Bartholomew friendship and a way to belong. - Goodreads

My Review

First off, I really liked the cover, the clockwork bird. Story-wise I have a mixed feeling about this book. I like the whole idea, faeries, clockwork devices, the changelings, peculiar, and magic. However, the story turned out just okay and way below my expectation. The ideas which I think very brilliant and inventive are not well delivered resulting in a monotonous read. Is it because this is a middle grade book? Well, I reckon it is, because I have a feeling that the middle graders will love this book a tad more than I do. 

Bartholomew and his sister Hettie are changelings a.k.a the "Peculiars". Their mother keeps them away from the society in fear that people will know who or to be exact what they really are. Mr Lickerish is hunting down the peculiar children to unlock the door to the fairy world. Nine children die mysteriously and the door Hettie is the next changeling abducted by Lickerish, and Barthe has to save her. Together with Mr Jelliby, who accidentally knows Lickerish's secrets, they go on an adventure to save Hettie. 

I have to admit that "The Peculiar" is a well written story. Yes well written indeed. But the issue here is, the author plays a lot with difficult and bombastic words which make it difficult for me to understand the story. The sentences are too well structured and I don't think that the descriptive storytelling and poetic language that Bachmann uses to narrate this is a brilliant idea. Consider this is an adventure story, an outgoing and reckless narration would suit it better, or so I thought. I can see that Bachmann focuses more on the world development and missed out the importance of the character development which make the characters a bit dull.

Will I recommend this book to middle graders? Well yes, of course! Despite of all the flaws stated, I believe that "The Peculiar" would be a promising read for younger readers. Considering the fact that Bachmann has written this book when he was just 16 year old, more credits should be given to him.

FOOTNOTE: This review is linked up to Saturday Situation hosted by Candace of Candace's Book Blog and Lori of Pure Imagination.

The Friday 56: Dead Iron by Devon Monk

The Friday 56 is a fun weekly meme hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice. I'm currently reading a novel by Devon Monk, "Dead Iron". This book is action thriller steampunk novel. I rarely read something from this genre however this book caught my attention. "Dead Iron" is the first book of "Age of Steam" series. 

 "For good reason. Jeb Lindson felt the ground give way as he was pulled by the tickers over the cliff's edge, and down to his death." -Dead Iron, 56%

Music Box #1: Mirrors by Justin Timberlake


I've been listening to a few covers of this song on i.e Boyce Avenue ft. 5th Harmony and Cimorelli's covers before I listen to the original. It melodiously and lyrically great and I loved it. I know that this song will stick in my head for quite sometime.

It's like you're my mirror
 My mirror staring back at me
I couldn't get any bigger
With anyone else beside of me

And now it's clear as this promise
That we're making two reflections into one

 'Cause it's like you're my mirror
My mirror staring back at me, staring back at me..

Book Review: Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin

Title: Golden Boy | Author: Abigail Tarttelin
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Family, Sexuality
Format: Kindle e-Book
Date Finished: June 1, 2013
CoffeeNCrackers Rating: 4 Cups of Coffee

The Walkers are hiding something, you see. Max is special. Max is different. Max is intersex. When an enigmatic childhood friend named Hunter steps out of his past and abuses his trust in the worst possible way, Max is forced to consider the nature of his well-kept secret. Why won't his parents talk about it? What else are they hiding from Max about his condition and from each other? The deeper Max goes, the more questions emerge about where it all leaves him and what his future holds, especially now that he's starting to fall head over heels for someone for the first time in his life. Will his friends accept him if he is no longer the Golden Boy? Will anyone ever want him — desire him — once they know? And the biggest one of all, the question he has to look inside himself to answer: Who is Max Walker, really? - Goodreads

My Review
What will I do if I am in Max Walker's shoes? That is the question I ask myself once I finished reading this book. Little did I know about intersexuality, however Abigail Tartttelin, with her incredible writing talent, surprised me with "Golden Boy". This is definitely a gripping novel of gender and identity, which plays with the readers emotion and at the same time gives the readers a new perception of gender conflicts exist in the society. 

Max Walker is an intersex, but it was not a big issue for him. He was all athletic, brilliant, handsome, a perfect child to his parents, an idol to his brother, and a charming boyfriend to the schoolgirls. He was a "Golden Boy" .But, in one terrible night he was raped by his childhood friend, Hunter. The rape scene was the hardest part to read, it was awful that I even closed my eyes, as if I can feel the pain myself. 
"He's too big. The stretching snaps, stops, and turn to splitting. I can feel skin tearing down there" 
To make things worst, Max even got pregnant. This accident rocks his world so hard and everything around him crumbled apart. His parents argued a lot and his relationship with Sylvie was broken up. He was forced to make one hardest decision after another and it was really heartbreaking. 

At the beginning of the story, Daniel, Max's little brother mentioned that he wanted to write a story about his brother. So I was a bit skeptical as I thought "Oh, no! Will this be a story told from a seven year old POV?" However, I am glad that Abigail chose to tell the story from multiple points of view. For this kind of story, I really think that a multiple narration is brilliant because readers can understand the conflicts highlighted from different perspectives. For example, from Max's eyes I think that his mother's decisions were mostly wrong, especially when Max asked her to stop the abortion and give him more time to think over but she just ignored it. But when reading from Karen's perspective I kind of understand what made her to come into such a decision. Well, being a parents is not easy.

Some people may not like Karen and Steve, Max's parents, because most of the decisions they made seems wrong and selfish, but all they did is just to keep their children and family safe. When Steve runs for the election, he put his family away from the limelight. I thought that all he cares is his reputation and his chance to be elected will be effected if Max's secret becomes public, but actually Steve is doing the right thing because if the secret leaks out, it will do more damages to Max's life. I liked Max's girlfriend, Sylvie. She's so understanding, and matured. Definitely, not an average girl. And they look so cute together! But the reason I give this book four stars instead of five is because there are several characters which supposed to give more impact to the story are underdeveloped. For example Archie, one of Max's doctors, and of course Hunter. I wish that I could get to know him more. 

"We thought we understood gender - the idea of men and women as finite concepts with boundaries between each other, but lately I have come to understand that we are only just beginning to comprehend what 'gender' is, what it means to be allocated a certain gender, how much that informs the person a child becomes.." - Dr. Archie

All in all, I really enjoyed "Golden Boy". One of my favorite reads this year. This book gives me a new perception of gender issues. Gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, all these I considered as a spectrum of mental disorders. But, intersex is just a totally different issue. Totally recommended for teenagers and adults alike. 

FOOTNOTE: This review is linked up to Saturday Situation hosted by Candace of Candace's Book Blog and Lori of Pure Imagination.

Book Review: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Title: The Storyteller | Author: Jodi Picoult
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Format: Kindle e-Book
Date Finished: May 27, 2013
CoffeeNCrackers Rating: 5 Cups of Coffee

Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret - he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor. What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all - if Sage even considers his request - is it murder, or justice? - Goodreads

My Review   
I was blown away. That impression alone is enough to describe how great this book is. I am never disappointed by Jodi Picoult's novels and there is no exception for this one as well. It draws me to get lost in the story, brings me high and low, become engrossed with the narration, getting attached to the characters, breaks my heart to pieces, and in the end leaves me in a deep thinking. 

"The Storyteller" is a story about "forgiveness" interwoven with the dark and traumatic secrets of the pasts. Basically, this book is written in three parts: Part I: Sage befriended Josef, an ex-Nazi SS guard, Part II: The story of Minka during the darkest time of her life, the Holocaust, and Part III: Sage's final decision and Josef's atonement. The second part of the book is the hardest part for me to get through, it is awful, mentally exhausting, and too tragic. However, it is my favorite part as well as Picoult plays with my emotion and at the same time enlighten me with the events happened during the Nazi era and the Holocaust through the eyes of Minka, a survivor. I was also intrigued with this book because there's also a spooky story within. I was scared, I was angry, I was happy, I was broken-hearten, throughout the story.

Not only the story is brilliantly executed, but the characters also are well developed. Sage, Minka, and Josef are three strong characters. Throughout the story I can see how Sage's evolved from a self-contained, isolated girl into a confident and beautiful person, Minka's willpower and courage to survive, and Josef's atonement of his sins. They are powerful and inspiring characters brought together by Picoult to make this story irresistible. Once the story ended, lots of "I wish.." things pop out in my mind. I wish Sage realized the truth sooner. I wish she did not kill Josef (spoiler), I wish Minka could meet Josef before she died, I wish Josef told sage everything, the real story, who he really was. But, things haven't always happened in the ways that we wish it should happen. Life is more complicated than that. That is what  I have learned from "The Storyteller".

To forgive is not easy, and to forget is even harder. An amazing book is a book that we can take and learn something from it. Grab and read "The Storyteller" and your life will change. I truly recommended it to all readers out there. 

FOOTNOTE: This review is linked up to Saturday Situation hosted by Candace of Candace's Book Blog and Lori of Pure Imagination.

The Friday 56: The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann

The Friday 56 is a fun weekly meme hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice. I'm currently reading a middle-grade novel by Stefan Bachmann called The Peculiar. It's a fay novel, with clockwork devices, and mysterious creatures. I think this is a good book for it's target group, middle-graders or maybe for adult as well. 

He manage to get out into the hall and would have lain there had not the floorboards begun flipping up, slamming him in the back, in the arm. - The Peculiar, 56%

Book Blogger Hop + Feature & Follow

Feature & Follow  is hosted by two awesome book bloggers Parajunkee @ and Alison @ Alison Can Read. while Book Blogger Hop is a fun meme hosted by Billy Burgess of These are media for us blogger to discover new blogs and to get people to know about our own. It makes our circle of friends even bigger. Happy Friday!!

F&F's Question:
Have you broken up with a series? If so which one and why?

It was Septimus Heap series. But to say that I've broken with this series is not totally true because I just read the first book, Magyk, and found out that it was just an OK book, I'm not impressed. So, I decided to not to continue with the series. Moreover, this series got so many books like seven or eight, I don't know. So I just gave up on this series.

BBH's Question: 
What is your favorite trilogy (series)? 

I've read The Hunger Games, Maze Runner, Caster Chronicles, and a few other series and trilogies, however The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter remaine as my all time favorite trilogy and series. They're phenomenal and it's like you want to read them again and again.

WWW Wednesdays {June 5, 2013}

WWW Wednesdays: A fun weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. This meme gives opportunity to  readers to share our current reading, books we recently finished and books we're going to read next.

What are you currently reading?
I'm currently reading a middle-grade book "The Peculiar" by Stefan Bachmann. I am intrigued with the idea of fay story combined with some mysteries and clockwork devices. I am halfway through the story and it is enjoyable thus far.

What did you recently finished reading?
The last book I read was a thought-provoking story of intersexuality, "Golden Boy" by Abigail Tarttelin. It was an eye-opening and I really liked the way the author tackles such a complicated issue in a beautifully written story of Max Walker. Recommended!

What do you think you'll read next?
Picking the next read is quite hard since I have several books that I really want to read soon. So, I've made a list of TBR books. Next books I'd read would be "Lost and Found", a romantic novel by Nicole Williams, and a mystery book by John Gaspard called "The Ambitious Card" (received from Netgalley)

Exclusive Author Interview: Susan Crandall


Susan grew up in a small Indiana town. Her younger sister admitted that she'd be writing secretly. This admission leads to her being her sister's editor. They co-authored four novels, none of which were published. Her sister stopped after the four, but Susan was totally addicted and continue. She is married to a guy from the same town she grew up and they have two grown children. 

Hi, readers! Today Coffee& Crackers are so excited to welcome Susan Crandall, the author of a to-be-released novel, Whistling Past the Graveyard to the blog and have a fun interview session talking about her previous profession, favorite writing spot, running away from home, racism, her novel: Whistling Past the Graveyard and the exclusive sneak peek of her future project! Give a big applause to my guest, Susan Crandall, everybody!


C&C: You were a dental hygienist before right? So, how did you become a writer and what are the differences between these two professions
Susan Crandall:   
Yes, I was a dental hygienist.  As that profession required a science degree, there isn’t any education overlap.  However, being a good writer often comes from being a good observer of people. I think my previous profession provided a good opportunity to study all kinds of people. 
I’ve always been an avid reader and love playing with words, but never considered trying my had at writing a novel until my younger sister decided to write something and asked me to help.  Once I got started collaborating with her, I was totally hooked.  She has since gone on to a career in real estate, but I’m still writing.
C&C:  What inspires your writing and where you spend  most of your time writing? some writers prefer to write on the beach or beautiful places. Do you have any favorite place?
Susan Crandall:  
Everything around me fuels my writing; people, relationships, current events, history.  There is never a shortage of ideas and inspiration when you open your eyes and your mind to what’s happening around you. I love to write outdoors.  I have a balcony off my office that’s my favorite place.  My main requirement is absolute solitude.  I can’t write with other people around me.  I know some folks like writing at cafes and such, but I’m far too distracted in a place like that.
C&C:  In your latest novel, Whistling Past the Graveyard, the story is narrated from a nine year old, Starla's point of view. Why you choose a little girl character? And how you put yourself in a little girl's mind? Is it difficult?
Susan Crandall:  
I always put a lot of thought into my characters and how they’ll interact with my plot before I begin writing any book.  For this coming-of-age story I wanted to give a perspective of the world seen directly through the eyes of a child—not as an adult reminiscing about an event that happened to her when she was a child.  I chose her age carefully, old enough to be beginning to look at the world outside of her own experience, old enough to be able to take care of her own basic needs, and yet young enough that this awakening to the wider world is just beginning and her impetuousness isn’t curbed.  I chose the time period and setting carefully as well.  Foremost among my reasons for these choices was the need for a time before an organized network that immediately begins searching for a missing child.  In the early 1960s small towns, kids Starla’s age regularly went out to play all day long and no one knew exactly where they were.  Also, I wanted it to be a time of change in our society; giving me a lot of fuel for conflict and drama. 
I really enjoy writing youthful characters and had a great time working on Starla’s story.  It did take a few chapters before I found the true rhythm of Starla’s voice, but once I found it, she was a joy to write.  And yes, it did take some discipline to keep my adult perceptions and voice out of it.  Using this unfiltered child’s point of view gave this story it’s flavor, but occasionally I struggled with how to present certain views so the reader understood that Starla was misunderstanding.  When you only have a nine-year-old’s words, a nine-year-9-old’s understanding, you have to figure out ways to convey deeper meaning to the reader.
C&C:  Just wondering, have you ever run away from home? 
Susan Crandall:
No!  Starla is much braver (and more impulsive) than I was as a child.
C&C:  About the racial segregation you highlighted in the book, did you do any special research on it? In this modern world, I believe racism still exist, what say you about this? 
Susan Crandall: 
I did a great deal of research.  Fortunately, the sixties was a time period of mass media, so I found a lot of first-hand accounts, film footage and the like to draw from.  I have to say, the film footage was the most compelling—I was able to see actual events as they were happening. As for racism in modern day, I feel we have made progress, but are far from the idyll of perfect equality, perfect harmony.  And of course, it varies widely around the world.
C&C: For me, Whistling Past the Graveyard will be a huge success. So, what will come next? Any new project in progress?
Susan Crandall:
Thank you! I do have another project brewing.  It takes place during another pivotal era in U.S. history, the 1920s.  It will have a youthful narrator, but one much nearer adulthood than Starla.  Sixteen-year-old Henry is the son of a German immigrant who suffered a great deal of anti-German sentiment during WWI.  Henry is falsely accused of a crime and goes on the run with a WWI veteran barnstorming pilot.  This story is still in the very early stages, but is beginning to take shape nicely.
C&C: Thank you Susan!
Susan Crandall:    
Thank you so much for this interview and your kind words about Whistling Past the Graveyard.


When Starla is grounded on the Fourth of July, she sneaks out to see the parade. After getting caught, Starla's fear that her grandmother, Mamie, will make good on her threats and send her to reform school cause her to panic and run away from home. Once out in the country, Starla is offered a ride by a black woman, Eula, who is traveling with a white baby. She happily accepts a ride,with the ultimate goal of reaching her mother in Nashville. As the two unlikely companions make their long and sometimes dangerous journey, Starla's eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 southern segregation. Through talks with Eula, reconnecting with her parents, and encountering a series of surprising misadventures, Starla learns to let go of long-held dreams and realizes family is forged from those who will sacrifice all for you, no matter if bound by blood or by the heart. - NetGalley

FOOTNOTE: Whistling Past the Graveyard will be published on July 2nd, 2013 by Gallery Books. Pre-order this book : Amazon | Barnes&Noble | IndieBound. I received the e-ARC copy from  for review [Read MY REVIEW]

Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass


Title: The Selection | Author: Kiera Cass
Series: The Selection  Book #1
Genre: Young-Adult Fiction, Romance, Dystopian
Format: Kindle e-Book
Date Finished: May 21, 2013
CoffeeNCrackers Rating: 4 Cups of Coffee

For thirty five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon. But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back to her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks. Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself, and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined. -Goodreads

My Review

When I was trying to find a light reading (usually from YA realm), the gorgeous lady in blue dress on the front cover of The Selection really caught my attention. So, I picked this book. Though the synopsis doesn't wow me I decided to read it anyway just for fun. Surprisingly, Kiera Cass gives me more than what I expected. I really liked The Selection. Being told from the main character, America's point of view, the book started with her daily life and family and the social structure of the fictional country called Illea, where citizens are divided into castes. Then there's the Selection where girls are putting their names to be selected for the prince's future wife candidates. America is not interested but her family and boyfriend encourage her to participate for being the Selected means she's helping her family and herself for a better life. She is selected with 34 other girls and they have being put together in the castle to compete for Prince Maxon's heart and to be a queen. Well, if you ever read The Hunger Game, the premise sound familiar isn't it?

Right from the start I was hooked up with the story and characters. Kiera Cass did a very good job with the Selection because even though this a romance story, when most of the writers tend to exaggerate and make things complicated, she doesn't go over the top in narrating it. This makes the story more believable and easy to relate to. I really like America Singer due to several reasons. First, she is not fighting to win Maxon's heart let alone the crown but for her family to get a better life. Second, she keeps true to herself and speaks her own mind which I think it is a real beauty of a girl. She is not pretending to be someone she is not. The relationship between America and Maxon also is kind of cute and the parts that I really enjoyed and keep my eyes glued to the pages throughout the story is when they are having their dates. When I think that America and Maxon will fall to each other, then comes the annoying character, Aspen, her ex-boyfriend to win her heart's back. Argh! I hate love triangle. 
"No, I'm not choosing him or you. I'm choosing me"
Though the story enjoyable and fun, I still have some issues with this book. I don't really like Cass's selection of names for the characters especially the main character, America Singer. It is such a weird name and I don't really like it. Same goes to Maxon Schreave, Aspen, Marlee, Caleste, Bariel, Sosie and several others.The names got my tongue twisted. In addition, there are some characters which I think should have more roles to make the story more interesting. For example the antagonist character, Celeste. She is an interesting character, however she's not involved much in the story's development, which I think a mistake done by the author. 

All in all, it is an enjoyable ride. I'm having so much fun reading The Selection and can't wait to read it's sequel The Elite. So for readers out there, if you love Beauty Pageant Contest or The Bachelor, I recommend this book to all of you. Happy reading!

FOOTNOTE: This review is linked up to Saturday Situation hosted by Candace of Candace's Book Blog and Lori of Pure Imagination.
FOOTNOTE #2: This review is also linked up to Book Review Party Wednesday a fun weekly meme hosted by Cym Lowell

The Friday 56: The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult


The Friday 56 is a fun weekly meme hosted by Freda of Freda's Voice. I'm currently reading Jodi Picoult's latest novel The Storyteller. This is a heavy reading as Picoult tackles yet another thought provoking issue, the aftermaths of the Holocaust.

Death walked next to me as I trudged down the street, whispered into my ear as I washed my face, embraced me as I shivered in bed. 

Book Review: Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall


Title: Whistling Past the Graveyard | Author: Susan Crandall
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Family, Literary Fiction, Historical
Format: ARC e-Book 
Date Finished: May 19, 2013
CoffeeNCrackers Rating: 5 Cups of Coffee

When Starla is grounded on the Fourth of July, she sneaks out to see the parade. After getting caught, Starla's fear that her grandmother, Mamie, will make good on her threats and send her to reform school cause her to panic and run away from home. Once out in the country, Starla is offered a ride by a black woman, Eula, who is traveling with a white baby. She happily accepts a ride,with the ultimate goal of reaching her mother in Nashville. As the two unlikely companions make their long and sometimes dangerous journey, Starla's eyes are opened to the harsh realities of 1963 southern segregation. Through talks with Eula, reconnecting with her parents, and encountering a series of surprising misadventures, Starla learns to let go of long-held dreams and realizes family is forged from those who will sacrifice all for you, no matter if bound by blood or by the heart. - NetGalley

My Review

A nine year old, Starla Claudelle, a hot-headed girl thinks that her strict paternal grandmother, Momie, didn't want her. Afraid of being punished after breaking the rules set by her grandmother, Starla takes a short-minded decision to run away from home. She's going to Nashville to her mother who walked out from her life since she's a little baby. So, this book is about Starla's journey to find her mother and to live a happy life with her. Being told from a 9-year old girl's point of view, the story is narrated in a very honest and straightforward language. Though it is simple and predictable, I really enjoyed the story as the author did a very brilliant job to bring the readers to see things through the eyes of an innocent young girl. 

Starla is a very adorable character. To have such a dangerous and challenging adventures, I almost can't believe that she is 9-year old. When Starla meets the black woman, Eula, and a white baby she called James, the story gets more interesting as the three of them go on journey together. Along the ride to Nashville, lots of things happened and most them put me at the edge of my sit. Throughout the story, the readers can see these two characters connect with a special relationship, protecting each other, and both of them growing to be more matured. Not only the main characters are well developed, the other peripheral characters also makes the story more fluid and believable.

I like the fact that instead of using a modern setting, Crandall highlights the southern Mississippi during the 60's and she did a brilliant job playing with the setting which I feel like I myself is experiencing the era and would love to be part of the story. At the same time Crandall highlights the southern racial segregation during the 60's through Eula's life story. It is very eye-opening, and like Starla, I also keep on questing why the thick wall is build between the races when everyone should be live together in harmony? But still, racism is a very sensitive subject even in my country, Malaysia, as we are living in a multi-racial country.

All in all, this book is a very inspiring one. Being told with honesty, readers will be seeing the big world through the eyes of a little girl who has the courage and determination the act based on what she believes the "best" for her. I recommend this book to everyone.

*FOOTNOTE: I received and ARC e-book copy from Netgalley but it doesn't affect what I think about this book as this is an honest review. 

*FOOTNOTE 2: This review is linked up to Book Reviews Wednesday party hosted by Cym Lowell.

Book Review: Storm Front by Jim Butcher


Title: Storm Front | Author: Jim Butcher
Series: The Dresden Files #1
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal 
Format: Kindle e-Book 
Date Finished: May 5, 2013
CoffeeNCrackers Rating: 1 Cup of Coffee

Harry Dresden is the best at what he does. Well, technically he is the only at what he does. So, when the Chicago P.D. has a case that transcends mortal creativity or capability, they came to him for answers. for the "everyday" world is actually full of strange and magical things and most don't play well with humans. That's where harry comes in. Takes a wizard to catch a - well, whatever. There's just one problem. Business, to put mildly, stinks. So when the police bring him in to consult on a grisly double murder, committed with black magic, Harry's seeing dollar signs. But where there's black magic there's a black mage behind it. And now that mage knows Harry's name. And that's when things start getting interesting. - Goodreads

My Review

A wizard personal investigator. The idea, in my opinion, is very original and organic which is why at the very beginning of the book I really want to like this book. Storm Front is the first installment of the Dresden Files series and I was like, really excited, to read an Urban Fantasy (UF) novel. The story, which is told from the protagonist, Harry Dresden's point of view, starts with an unnatural double murder case which lead to a series of events where Harry involved in "fighting" the black magic and dealing with paranormal creatures i.e vampire, faeries etc.

As I mentioned earlier, the premise is very exciting however my problem with this book is the main character itself. I'm so surprised that I cannot bring myself to like Harry Dresden. He thinks he is a cool person. He thinks he is capable of doing anything and everything. He thinks he is the best wizard on earth. Oh, come on, what with this self proclaimed character? He is not a likable hero for me let alone to be a so called investigator. When this book is supposed to be an investigation book, throughout the story Harry did nothing investigative at all which is kind of stupid and spoiled the mood. All he did is jumping into conclusions, going here and there without any real purpose, and keep on telling readers that everything would be ok because I'm "Harry the All-mighty Dresden" is around. So I was kind of frustrated with this kind of attitude.

I could kill the Shadowman, now, before he knew I was here. I could call down fury and flame on the house and killeveryone in it, not leave one stone upon another. I could reach out and embrace the dark energy in this place, draw it in and use it for whatever I wanted, and the consequences be damned.

But of course...nothing of this happened actually. What really happened is this. This makes me laugh and I kind of agree with Victor.

"Shut up!" Victor snarled."Who is the real wizard here, huh? Who is the one with all the cards and who is the one bleeding on the kitchen floor? You're nothing, Dresden, nothing. You're a loser. And do you know why? Because you're an idiot. 

Reading this book makes me realized that not all popular books are good books. However, I still have faith in this series and would like to give another shot for Jim Butcher or more accurate a second chance for Harry Dresden. I like the premise and in my opinion the series would be much better if it is written from a third person's point of view instead of how it is written now. I don't want to recommend this book to anyone but if you want to try to read something urban fantasy you can grab this one. Who knows you might come with a different conclusion that me.

FOOTNOTE:  This review is linked back to the Saturday Situation, a fun weekly meme co-host by Candace at Candace's Book Blog and Lori at Pure Imagination. 

Book Discovery: I Haven't Read Much Lately!

"If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading at all" - Oscar Wilde

It is a cloudy Friday over here and I am taking some time to scrabble something here at my blog. When was the last time I post anything worth reading? Well, I don't even remember myself. I stopped reviewing books around last year as I have very limited time to do such a thing anymore. Furthermore, at the moment I am in the 6 months training course to become a Fire Superintendent. Well, maybe I tell more about it another time. 

I'm just to happy that I started reading again after a few months of reading hiatus. Currently I'm reading one of my favorite authors, Jodi Picoult's book called The Storyteller. So far, I think the story is good and developing so I can't give much of a comment about it yet. Maybe I'll post a review about the book when I finish it. And since I'm in a good spirit to read and write again, I would like to share some good titles (in my opinion) that I've stumbled upon this week. So lets check them out! 

Well, Khaled Hosseini is one of the author that managed to make me wept by reading his book The Kite Runner. It was a good read and I am sure that this new installment from the the author will be as good as the Kite Runner. Doctor Sleep is said to be the sequel of The Shining which I haven't read the book yet but watched the movie (it is a classic movie). Hope this would be good. "Allegiant". I like this title of Roth's final installment of Divergent Trilogy. The cover is stunning as well. I really enjoyed the previous books and I'll make sure to have this one as well to complete my collection. 

That is all for now, have to get back to my reading. Nazi, Holocaust, Hitler...well, Jodi Picoult is sure did a serious research about this one. Have a good day and until next time! 

WWW Wednesdays Jan. 2

A fun weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. This meme gives opportunity to  readers to share our current reading, books we recently finished and books we're going to read next.

What are you currently reading?
I just started reading "Tiger's Curse" by Colleen Houck. Since this book is having lots of good highlights, I am expecting someting good from it. And recently, I joined Goodread's Oprah Book Club. The group is currently featuring a book by Ayana Mathis, "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie". I am half way through this e-book at the momment. 

What did you recently finished reading?
"Only Time Will Tell" by Jeffrey Archer. It has been quite a long period of time that I've read a book by this author. And I'm so glad that this one turns out as a good read. Read my full review HERE

What do you think you'll read next?
Since Beautiful Creature's movie adaptation is going to hit big screens soon, I am in the mood to read the fourt installment of the Caster Chronicles Series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, "Beautiful Redemption".