My Bookcase

Mistaken Identity – Lisa Scottoline

How would you feel if you met someone who was your complete opposite (in personality and social stature) but who looked exactly like you? Then that person tells you she’s your twin?I would probably freak out and then run to my mom and dad! 




That’s what top notch lawyer Bennie Rosato did when it happened to her. She also took on the reponsibility of being the alleged twin’s defense counsel in a capital murder case.

Mistaken Identity - Lisa Scottoline  



Mistaken Identity - Lisa Scottoline

The last Scottoline book I read was Legal Tender where Bennie was accused of murder herself. In Mistaken Identity, Bennie has already established the all-girl law firm of Rosato and Associates and is living with her boyfriend Grady (who I thought was the murderer back in Legal Tender, hehe). Mary and Judy were in this book too and the former was shown as having second thoughts about her chosen career. Doubts that were later dispelled.

This case represented a turbulent time in Bennie’s life: she learns that she has a twin, finds her dad, loses her mom, and she is almost killed. It is as if she loses her family – but in the end also learns what family really is all about – just not what she has always thought a family is or should be.

Mistaken Identity somewhat challenges our perceptions of family – is it merely blood and genes or something less tangible? I grew up with a loving family and I have good relationships with cousins, aunts and uncles, and grandparents too. Without a doubt, they are family to me. But I know that my heart also considers family, people who have no blood relation to me. I have lots of kuya’s (elder brother), manangs (an older female), uncles and aunties because I grew up in a very close knit community. When Alfred and I started talking about wedding plans I had to explain to him that for my side, close family and friends is still a lot people.

Because I had read four of even five other Scottoline novels before this, I felt like I already knew Bennie, Mary (and her parents), Judy, Marshall, Grady and even Lou. I was even waiting for Anne until I realized that her story comes much later. This is what’s great about her books, you can feel the familiarity as if you were part of the firm, of Mary’s family, yet you wouldn’t be lost if it was the first book you read.

While preparing for this post, I stumbled upon the author’s website and found that she has a Tote bag promo. She sends you a tote bag if you send her proof that you bought two copies of her latest novel, one to give away to a friend. I have been thinking of giving away/reselling-for much less- books that we have here. Maybe I’ll launch that project by purchasing two copies of Lady Killer. The thing is, I don’t think it’s already available locally. I would love to get that tote though. Hehe.

Oh, more book news… I am getting the Twilight Saga. I finally decided that I do want to read the whole series. I found a book store that still had paperback editions of the first three books and my friend will be picking them up for me this weekend. Breaking Dawn will have to wait – I’m not as hard core a fan to get the hard bound edition. 🙂

I gotta scoot, I promised a friend I’ll look into Scottsdale Real Estate information for her. She has recently migrated to the US and her family’s looking to setup permanent residence in Arizona.

Daughter of Fortune – Isabel Allende

Cover art - Daughter of Fortune/AllendeDaughter of Fortune is great material for a telenovela. It’s a story that spans the life of Eliza Sommers who grew up in Valparaiso, Chile not knowing who her real parents are. She was brought up to be a lady fit to be wed to a man of good stock and good money. But it was not to be her fortune.
Allende did a fine job in painting a picture of 19th century Valparaiso: the sights, the sounds, the smells. Even the social climate. No surprise there.
What was even more captivating was her illustration of the same: sights, sounds, smell, and sociology, but this time of two other cultures: Chinese and the California Gold Rush.
I couldn’t help but feel as if I were reading a history book. The difference is that this one was actually a joy to read.
I envy Eliza, not because she experienced a great love; I envy the many adventures she found herself having throughout the years that she was following the ghost of that love.
She is fortunate in some ways, but you’ve got to give her credit for surviving those years too. Yes, she was a stupid teenage girl who ran away from home. She was insane to have gone on that boat. But after the ordeal in the darkness of the ship’s hold, she emerged as a budding  woman – ready to take on the rest of the world. It is ironic that it was while she was pretending to be a boy that she showed her many strengths as a woman.
On the other hand, I was empathizing with Miss Rose while all that was happening and I felt her world collapse around her even before I read Allende’s words describing how changed she was due to Eliza’s disappearance. I also never suspected that there was a deeper secret than that of Rose’s one true love.
The times when Eliza was wondering that Miss Rose wouldn’t approve of her conditions in California, I disagreed. She may not have grown up to be a traditional English lady, but she was exactly like Miss Rose: strong willed, passionate, a lady ahead of her time.

Xylia Tales

In the other day’s post I mentioned my Web Comics finds. I have finished digging through the archives of Xylia, and will now be eagerly awaiting the updates every week.

The story is interesting, and the art is beautiful.

On a different note… at work today I was thinking about the training post. If the posting was for QC, I’d pounce on it. I know I really want to be facilitator. Oh well.

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan. Where do I even begin?

I got the book months ago. When I finally picked it up from the pile, it took me weeks to finish. The beginning of the story didn’t really capture my fancy, but once I committed to reading it through to the end, I was actually captivated by the stories weaved by Libby-ah and her sister Kwan.

While reading, I had this vision of China that was much like Bangaan, the province where my grandfather came from. Mountains, rice paddies, cool, misty and peaceful. That was the Changmian I saw in my mind. But it wasn’t the same one I saw when Kwan was recounting stories of Miss Banner and the rest of them. In my mind I was seeing the China from the older Jet Li movies.

Kwan’s disappearance puzzled me. I couldn’t understand why she had to be gone. I guess it can’t be perfect right? Did she know she was not coming back? It seems like so.

The World of Yin. I’ve talked about this before – how, nearing my grandmother’s death, she sees visitors. Plenty of them who have come to see her. She often mentioned women, friends, who have passed away years ago, coming to ask her to go with them. For a long time, she chose to stay. But then we’d see her startled sometime, as if she was still seeing them there.

So do I think there’s a World of Yin? I’m not sure really. But it’s a comfort to know that when you go, you wouldn’t have to be alone and afraid.

Trojan Odyssey

This is the first Dirk Pitt novel I’ve read in years. I may have mentioned that I grew up with books – my own, my dad’s, mom’s and even my brother’s. Even when I was in gradeschool and highschool, I remember reading books that my dad bought for himself. You see, with the exception of my chick lit purchases, most books here are common property – everyone reads them (I think my mom reads chick lit now too). My dad was a Clive Cussler/Dirk Pitt fan and to no surprise, the whole family got hooked.

The first time I paid attention to Dirk Pitt, if I remember correctly, was when we vacationed at Hidden Valley Springs (oh my God, it must have been when I was around 9 or 10 – we went there several times) and my brother rented a video – Raise the Titanic! It was the movie adaptation of the Dirk Pitt adventure. When we went home, I gave reading the thick novels a try and I found that I actually liked them.

So two weeks ago, I picked up Trojan Odyssey along with several other books at the small bookshop in our building. I was surprised to learn about Dirk’s grown kids! So apparently there’s at least one other Pitt novel out there that we haven’t read before (Valhalla Rising) because the appearance of Summer and Dirk Jr was a big surprise.

The book gave me my dose of adventure, world history and mythology. Sometimes I really think that I didn’t major in the right subject in college. Why didn’t I study literature or archeology or even art history? Okay, they wouldn’t have suited me either. Hehe.

It was very interesting to read about the battle of Troy and Odysseus’ trip home to Ithaca and learn of other theories behind what or where it really happened. It was amazing how Cussler was able to tie in that story with what Specter was really all about. Truly genius.

I recommend this novel to anyone looking for an adventure though if you don’t know Dirk Pitt yet, I would suggest starting with the other novels because you got to have read other Pitt novels for you to really appreciate the talk of retiring and even of settling down with Loren.

These novels really do a good job raising environmental awareness, specifically consciousness of marine life which I don’t think gets the attention it deserves in this country. I had a Lit class held at the Marine Science Institute building in campus (because there were no other rooms available elsewhere) and that was the closest I ever was to Marine Science. Maybe in another life I’d take up Marine Science or something.

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