Welcome to bruneiONS.com

brineioONS.com is a weekly online magazine on art, lifestyle and culture
Twitter icon Facebook icon Browse Email
02/03 Saturday 11:38PM

book review

The Bruneions Monthly Book Review brings you reviews of popular books available from dBookHaus, Brunei.

YEAR ZERO by Rob Reid
Low-level entertainment lawyer Nick Carter thinks it’s a prank, not an alien encounter, when two extraterrestrials show up in his office. The entire cosmos, they told him, has been functionally addicted to humanity’s music since 1977, when American pop songs first reached the stars.

The Universe is filled to the brim with advanced civilizations, well ahead of us in every way except for one: music. Theirs is terrible, but our music is revered throughout the cosmos, and all these aliens have been uploading it for decades. But they also have one law above all others: to respect native laws. And we have copyright laws. Since they’ve been pirating our music for so long, they owe us money for all those uploaded songs. Lots of money.

All the money, it turns out. Obviously, they need legal advice and fast. Who better than a Backstreet Boy turned copyright expert? Oh... he's not the Nick Carter?

This is a ridiculously cool premise for a satirical sci-fi novel!

Gillian Flynn

"Gone Girl" is a mystery thriller that tells the story of a wife gone missing.  

Nick Dunne and his wife, Amy, seemed to have a perfect marriage, when they lived in Manhattan. However, by the time their fifth anniversary rolled around, they had both lost their jobs as writers, lost most of Amy's money, and moved to Nick's Missouri hometown. On that eventful day, Nick came home to find the door open, the cat on the front porch and his wife gone. The iron was left on and there appeared to be a struggle in the living room. When the police begin investigating, the skeletons start tumbling out of the closet.

It isn't long before Nick becomes the number one suspect in Amy's disappearance. Nick isn't the perfect husband he appears to be. His behavior, his affect in the press conference, and even his attempts at investigating on his own, lead the police to suspect him. The biggest question? Where is Amy, and is she dead?

Before you open up “Gone Girl”, check your expectations, preconceived notions and theories at the door. Gillian Flynn will challenge everything you believe in this addictive psychological thriller.

WHERE WE BELONG by Emily Giffin

Giffin is a celebrated chick lit author, who recently had her novel Something Borrowed made into a romantic comedy movie. Where We Belong is her newest book that tells the story of two women and the love and loyalty that binds them together.

First we meet Marian Caldwell, a 36-year-old TV producer who lives in New York City. She has a good relationship and a satisfying career, and she has convinced everyone else, even herself, that her life is perfect.

Marian answers a knock on her door one night to find an 18 year old girl who is connected to her past, Kirby Rose. Marian thought she had left those secrets behind forever, but when she sees Kirby, her perfect world begins to fall apart.

As for Kirby, her chance encounter with Marian sparks an important discovery that will bring her into adulthood. She begins to re-evaluate her life and her family in a whole new light. The two women must each find what is missing in their lives as they explore memories they have chosen to forget.

The main theme of the book, as the title suggests, is that each of us must recognize exactly where we belong in life, which is often where we least expect it…

by Cheryl Strayed

Following the death of her mother, Strayed’s  life quickly disintegrated. Family ties melted away; she divorced her husband and slipped into drug use. For the next four years life was a series of disappointments. “I was crying over all of it,” she writes, “over the sick mire I’d made of my life since my mother died; over the stupid existence that had become my own. I was not meant to be this way, to live this way, to fail so darkly.”

While waiting in line at an outdoors store, Strayed read the back cover of a book about the Pacific Crest Trail. Initially, the idea of hiking the trail became a vague apparition, then a goal. Woefully underprepared for the wilderness, out of shape and carrying a ridiculously overweight pack, the author set out from the small California town of Mojave, toward a bridge (“the Bridge of the Gods”) crossing the Columbia River at the Oregon-Washington border. Strayed’s writing admirably conveys the rigors and rewards of long-distance hiking.

Along the way she suffered aches, pains, loneliness, blistered, bloody feet and persistent hunger. Yet the author also discovered a newfound sense of awe; for her, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail was “powerful and fundamental” and “truly hard and glorious.” Strayed was stunned by how the trail both shattered and sheltered her. Most of the hikers she met along the way were helpful, and she also encountered instances of trail magic, “the unexpected and sweet happenings that stand out in stark relief to the challenges of the trail.”

A candid, inspiring narrative of the author’s brutal physical and psychological journey through a wilderness of despair, to a renewed sense of self.

by Chris Colfer

Written by the Golden Globe-winning actor and singer who portrays Kurt Hummel on the popular TV musical series 'Glee', this is a captivating read for children and adults alike! The story beautifully weaves well-known fairy tales together to create a unique story that stands on its own.

Alex and Conner Bailey are twins with almost opposite personalities. Alex is the teacher's pet, always answers questions, pays attention etc.  Conner is the boy in the back of the class, always falls asleep and gets into trouble. They lost their father and their lives changed when their mother started working to provide for them.

One day, their grandmother stops by their place for their birthday and gives them the fairy tale book that they have been read to while growing up.  But Alex soon discovers that the book isn't just a book - it is a portal into the stories.  And once they fall into the book, they meet witches, goblins, wolves and trolls that they read about. They must find a way home, but the evil queen is after them for they have something that she wants. 

The characters are well-drawn out and Colfer does a terrific job of building a world filled with magic spells,humour and lots of adventure.


by Philippa Gregory

In The Kingmaker’s Daughter, #1 New York Times bestselling author, Philippa Gregory, presents the riveting story of Anne Neville, her sister Isabel, and their ever-changing fortunes.

The Kingmaker’s Daughter is the gripping and ultimately tragic story of the daughters of the man known as the “Kingmaker,” the most powerful magnate in England through the Cousins’ Wars. In the absence of a son and heir, he uses the two girls as pawns in his political games, but they grow up to be influential players in their own right. In this novel - her first sister-story since The Other Boleyn Girl - Gregory explores the lives of two fascinating young women. At the court of Edward IV and his beautiful queen, Elizabeth Woodville, Anne grows from a delightful child brought up in intimacy and friendship with the family of Richard, Duke of Gloucester, to become ever more fearful and desperate when her father makes war on his former friends. Her will is tested when she is left widowed and fatherless, with her mother in sanctuary and her sister married to the enemy. Fortune’s wheel turns again when Richard rescues Anne from her sister’s house, with danger still following Anne, even as she eventually ascends to the throne as queen. Having lost those closest to her, she must protect herself and her precious only child, Prince Edward, from a court full of royal rivals.

Spies, poison, and curses surround her…. Is there anyone she can trust?

Learn Language On The Go
It is entirely possible to learn a language online and these days, there's a site or app to suit every level of enthusiasm. More

Saloma in My Car
I would not define myself as a 'Feminist', I cannot say that I am ardently passionate about burning brassieres or hosiery but I do believe that I am a humanitarian ... More

Francophonie Week 2015
ALLIANCE FRANÇAISE DE BRUNEI (AF Brunei) is proud to announce the celebration of their annual event – Francophonie Week 2015 - from the 21st until 28th March 20 ... More

Filipinos in Brunei by Cécile Castilla
Written by Cécile Castilla, this book is a collection of stories and experiences from twenty individuals who have share their live journey which brought them to ... More