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Archive for the ‘book review’ Category


Whether we admit it or not, most of us live our lives on autopilot. We wake at the same hour, go to the same place of work or worship, talk to the same people, eat at the same restaurants, even watch the same TV show….

But sometimes the evolving terrain of life requires us to evolve with it. When those times come, we usually find ourselves quivering on the

The Mistletoe Secret

precipice of change as long as we can, because no one wants to dive into the ravine of uncertainty. No one. Only when the pain of being becomes too much do we close our eyes and leap.

Thus begins the first chapter of Richard Paul Evans’ The Mistletoe Secret. Another book to cherish. It’s my 75th book on Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.  I can relate to this book because the story is about a blogger who feels so alone and lonely and she writes what she feels through a blog.  She thought no one cares but there was someone out there who continued to read her blog.  This is the premise of the book until the guy decided to look for that blogger and you guess it right…there is a happy ever after, but of course.  The story line is simple but it has depth of emotions and feelings. It’s been a long time since I read a book by Richard Paul Evans.  His writing style is not that complicated but I love how he delves into  life in general and relationships in particular.  It’s what I like about RPE’s writing.

I am halfway through my committed books to read for this year, 150 in all. One thing with a new book is that you can’t help but  smell the pages and no dog-ears please. Use a book marker.  I started reading a few excerpts of Mary Oliver’s Upstream when it was published  late last year but now that I have my copy, I will enjoy reading her essays.

What have you read lately?

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I don’t know what really happened. My supposed to be blog post published itself without any write-up. Funny, I just have to delete and put it to trash.

I just remember, today is the 12th death anniversary of St. Pope John Paul 11. He died last April 02, 2005. I have blogged about him in the past more than I care to admit.  He is my favorite figure in the Catholic church.

My goodness, I lost most of my uploaded e-books on my tab. My device storage is almost full. My tab won’t take additional photos although I deleted most on my Viber app. There are so many pre-loaded apps on the phone  that you cannot erase including Facebook.  The SD card loaded here hasn’t been loaded yet so my son transferred all my e-books to it but along the way, some of them won’t copy and import.  I lost my down loaded classic books of all things. Those that remained were mostly historical fiction and some short stories and poems. Even my memoir books were lost in the process. I have to go online again and buy or maybe get to those free books online.  Maybe when I am not that busy, I would find those books again. I really wonder what happened, now I have lots of free space on my tab, both on the device and SD card. Aldiko e-reader is not that nice on the SD card.  It shows the title but I cannot arrange the books in alphabetical order, both author and book titles.  I wonder why.

Books are that important to me. I cannot live without them. Although I have so many volumes accumulated on our shelves since typhoon Ondoy back in 2009, I still crave for more. My son tells me I am a book addict. When you find it a joy to hoard, (yes the word is HOARD) books that maybe a book addiction. I haven’t read all of them yet. There are still too many on my TBR list. There are authors that I like. Richard Paul Evans is one. I even have an album on the quotes lifted from his books that I copied and pasted  from Facebook. Rosamunde Pilcher and Diana Gabaldon are nice historical reads. Robert Fulghum is a favorite too. I love his practical approach on life depicted in his writings.  Tuesdays with Morrie and The Little Prince are on my shelves so with Jonathan Livingston Seagull. I find them inspiring and the messages they evoke are timeless.

April is just beginning and I just finished 43% of my reading challenge on Goodreads.  Hopefully, I’ll finish earlier than December 31st.

Are you a reader?  What are your favorite books?

 

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A few years ago, I blogged about a book given by a friend on Irish Blessings.  I am just so sad it was destroyed by typhoon Ondoy back in September 2009. It was on my night table and I was not able to save it. In fact a lot of books I have liked and read were all destroyed. I wonder if I will be able to replace them with the same copies I had before. Slowly though, I am buying books but mostly fiction now.

St. Patrick’s Day is almost at hand. What better way to celebrate and recall all those lovely words on that miniature book I had before.  St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated every 17th of March  in observance of the death of St. Patrick.  It has become a cultural and religious celebration in Ireland.

I used to wonder how a shamrock plant looks like not knowing that it was in my garden for a number of years. It comes in green or purple color and have tiny white flowers to boot.

There are about 500 varieties of Shamrock but I only have two of them in my garden, the green ones and purple.  They are bulb plants and mostly grown in pots.In most Irish poems Shamrock is often mentioned.

You go green on St. Patrick’s Day. Maybe in my early life I was an Irish because I love those things that partly symbolize Irish culture.  I love Irish poems and sayings. They are so simple to understand.  here are some of my favorites.

“Grant me a sense of humor, Lord, the saving grace to see a joke, To win some happiness from life, And pass it on to other folks.”

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

May you always have walls for the winds,
a roof for the rain, tea beside the fire,
laughter to cheer you, those you love near you,
and all your heart might desire.

May you have:
A world of wishes at your command.
God and his angels close to hand.
Friends and family their love impart,
and Irish blessings in your heart!

Aren’t they lovely? What’s your  favorite  Irish quote?

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There have been so many excellent books written about the Holocaust both true accounts and fiction. There is Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl which I’ve read three decades ago, Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally which was adapted into a movie and  Mila 18 by Leon Uris.

Irena’s Children is one of them, a newly published book about the life of Irena Sendler and how she helped save thousands of children affected by the war (when Germany invaded Poland).

Such a riveting story of loss of millions of lives because of war, selflessness, love of family, love of country, courage, life and death.

Gosh, I can’t believe it. this is my 99th read and I am almost, almost done. One more book to go. I am in a quandary which to read first, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak which I’ve been eyeing to read since my college years or The Kitchen House which is another historical novel. Or maybe, toss coin na lang, which is which..haha 🙂

Sometimes,Iwonder why I am always drawn to history, fiction or not. Maybe I am an old soul.

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13158800Beautiful. Magnificent story. One of the best reads for my 2016 challenge. It was Goodread’s Choice 2012 winner and I didn’t know it was recently adapted into film until I finished reading it a few minutes ago. Read some reviews, some are the same as I felt in the middle of reading the book….I cried at the last few pages. I watched the 3-minute trailer on YouTube..wow! The ocean lighted by that lone lighthouse was lovely. I have always admired seeing lighthouses from a distance but I have never seen one lighted at night.

This is my 96th book for this year, four more to go and I am done. I am thinking of rereading The Godfather by Mario Puzo, getting a start at Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (there is a full movie adaptation on YouTube) and maybe another inspiring book by Alicia Ruggerie, if I could find one.

“There are still more days to travel in this life. And he knows that the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way. Scars are just another kind of memory….Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone.”

“Sometimes life turns out hard. Sometimes it just bites right through you. And sometimes, just when you think it’s done its worst, it comes back and takes another chunk.”

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I am excited. Truly.

A few days ago, I saw this on Mary Oliver’s timeline. Her new book Upstream will be released in a month and I just hope this time I would be able to find a copy.

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It’s the newest collection of Mary Oliver’s essays.  I’m always on the lookout for Mary Oliver’s quotes online  and luckily I found one on Blogger. Would you believe, the author quoted  a poem of Mary  every day for a year and did a short write-up of what those words meant  in  her life?  I am still on the first few entries but I was able to find some poems which are not included in the only two books I have of Mary Oliver, New And Selected Poems, Vol. 1 and the lovely edition of A Thousand Mornings.

Then I found these on her wall too and I was l smiling like crazy. Her words inspire me, lift me up and give me that boost I sorely need when I feel down. To appreciate  the beauty of the  natural world around us, what bliss!

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One of my favorite poems is this, The Wild Geese.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

 

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WOW!

If there is a rating more than five stars, I’ll give this book a six. It’s one of the best books I’ve read to date, my 70th out of the 100 books I challenged myself to finish for  Goodread’s 2016 Reading Challenge. I am afraid my review would not be enough to describe the beauty of this book, how well-written it is so I won’t even attempt to write one. Suffice to say, this book is beautiful, inspiring, awesome…..beautiful, inspiring, awesome. Truly a masterpiece. Lisa Wingate is a gifted writer.

prayerbox-standingcover I didn’t know I was on the last page when I read these lines.

“None can contain the magnificence of a wave kissing sand or the perfect spiral of a shell drying translucent in the sun or the fire of morning over endless water.

Or the beauty of a hummingbird as it hovers just an arm’s length away, mysteriously out of season on the day before Thanksgiving, it’s wings stroking air,rapid, invisible, powerful. Frozen in time for only an instant.

And then it flies away, growing smaller and smaller against the blue of an endless sky. Until finally it disappears into heaven.”

There are so many lovely quotes that I found in this book that  I copied  to my journal.  The prayer box reminds me of another blog post I wrote exactly a year ago. My  thought box is a discarded chocolate tin which contains  square  scratch papers of different size and color (filled with words, quotes, single lines, messages and reminders) which I have to sort out again  whereas the prayer box is a treasure trove of  inspiring words and letters religiously documented over the years.

When a book touches  you where it matters the most, it is certainly a winner.

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