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Archive for the ‘books’ Category


I’ve blogged about books twice this week  and  maybe you would think I do nothing but read, right? Wrong. I only read before I go to sleep or before I take that much-needed nap in the afternoon. We call it siesta.

I can’t pass this up. Goodreads just released something new, a list of books you’ve read throughout the year  arranged as to when you have finished reading them.  It’s called My Year 2017 in Books. They said I had a total of 66,115 pages across 201 books. The shortest is Luanne Rice’s The Night Before with 24 pages and the longest is  Light A Penny Candle by  Maeve Binchy with 832 pages.  The most popular one I read this year was The Lord Of  The Flies by William Golding with almost two million readers who read it too. My average rating for 2017 was 3.5. The highest rated on Goodreads was September Blue by Cat Whitney.  I remember that short review I had of that book. I actually gave it five  stars.

Wow, this is just so good. One of the best books I encountered this year. A compelling read, bravery amidst trials and tribulations. Just breathtaking!

They  listed all the books I read with the highest ratings in big prints. So glad of  Goodreads to do this. Now I can come back and  use it as reference when I want to reread all those books with five stars. Goodreads  serves as my online library since that is where I get those lovely recommendations on what books to read, new releases and award winners.

Thanks Goodreads.

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Last January I committed to read 150 books on Goodreads 2017 Reading  Challenge. The joy of reading, I just finished my 201st read last night, a story set in a Tuscan farmhouse.  It’s nice to go back reading  about the provincial life in Tuscany. This book though was more descriptive than conversational.  It was a light read so I finished it in one day.

Last February, I included A Man Called Ove in my bucket list for the year. Fredrik Backman  is definitely a gifted writer.  He was born in Stockholm, Sweden and he had his book translated into  English by another author. I got hold of his other books, Britt-Marie Was Here  and  another one entitled And Every Morning The Way Home Gets Longer And Longer. Lately though I found his other book called Beartown.

I haven’t actually started it yet but I noticed that it has mostly five-stars on  Goodreads.  Readers say it is different from his other books.  Looking forward to reading it  today. I hope it is as good as his A Man Called Ove.   Per my Goodreads’ virtual  library, this will be my 202nd  one this year.

I have more in store – Richard North Patterson, James Patterson, Ken Follett,  Stephen King,  Lang Leav (love her poems), Mary Oliver (of course) , Santa Montifiore and  Lisa Wingate to name a few.  There are more authors that I came across but I have yet to read their books.  Hopefully I’ll find time to read all these lovely  books. It is always nice to visit other places and learn about other cultures through books.  Hooray 🙂  ❤

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The sky is dotted with grey clouds. I can’t understand this kind of weather. It’s been raining on and off since the start of December. There are times when one o’clock  in the afternoon looks like six in the  evening. That’s how dark it goes sometimes.

It’s been raining since noon today, that kind that stays for a few hours and you won’t want to get out of the house. Nursing your coffee mug, trying to start another  suspense thriller on your tab.  One feels a little lazy  and lethargic.

Three days ago, I found a copy of Paula Hawkins’s second book called Into The Water.  Goodreads  Choice Award 2017 winner under the mystery and thriller category. Back in 2015, her first book The Girl On the Train also won in the same group. I can’t help but compare  her second book to the first one. I actually gave them both three-stars but I like the first one better.  I got confused at first while reading the first few chapters of Into The Water. So many characters,   it’s a compelling read though – mysterious, eerie and full of suspense. I didn’t expect the ending.  I just started on the  Missing Child by Patricia  MacDonald. It’s my first book of this particular author, another suspense and  mystery thriller. The first few chapters are fast-paced, that kind that you would want to pick up again after setting it aside for an hour or two.  It is my 199th read on Goodreads this year. I finished my 150-book challenge  2017 the last week of October and continued on. So many books, so many stories to read, so many talented authors to discover. I guess this is the year that I  found so many authors but they were  not in my bucket list.  Mary Oliver’s poems come in handy when I am feeling low. I always find her works so uplifting.  I wish I could find some of her books here. I think National Book Store does not carry this author. I do read some of her works online though.

Books are the easiest companions you can ever have, they don’t complain, they don’t get mad, they just wait in a corner until you  have the time to hold them again.

What have you been reading lately?

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And I can go back to it anytime I want. I could re-read the story anytime I need to.

(The meme is not mine, found it on my wall at FB. Credit to the owner.)

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I think it was a few months ago when I reviewed a book and recommended it to book lovers like me. Like I’ve always said before, I don’t make a review by parroting a synopsis or summary of a book like other people do. You can find those lovely summaries online.  I’d rather think of how I enjoyed reading it or how it affected me. Believe me, reading one always affects me, be it a good story or not.

I’ve set aside one or two books that I have recently started when I found this lovely book by Helen J. Rolfe.  It is my first time to encounter a book by this author and I just love it.  The title made me smile and it was not just because the story obviously was about Christmas which is my favorite season of the year. Christmas At The Little Knitting Box – this reminds me of those long ago days when doing crafts were in vogue.

My mum has this sturdy Singer sewing machine which has been  with her since I was in grade school. At her age now (she’s 88) she still can sew and  repair her dresses with it.  You won’t believe this but she still has those pillow cases  which she sewed and embroidered  a long, long time ago.  There was  even this center table runner with my name embroidered on it.  I learned embroidery  and crochet  when I was in grade school in our Home Economics class. That was followed by simple projects that I learned during high school. Back in the nineties, my former boss at Bank of the Philippine Islands had set up a craft store  in one of the malls here in Metro Manila.  She taught us crafts like  paper quilling, candle making and cross-stitching.  There was a time I got so engrossed in cross-stitching  that I even brought my projects to the office and did them  during lunch breaks. Some of my office mates were in it too and we exchanged designs, sourced materials. Until now I still have those  skein threads in almost all shades and colors.

The book I have just read  reminds me of those days. I’ve never done knitting though. Those colorful yarns featured in the book made me remember those nights my  eyes would grow heavy with fatigue to finish a corner of a particular cross-stitch design.  It’s a beautifully written book that was a joy to read, an uplifting saga about families and beating the odds. It is a story about celebrating Christmas – the snow on the front porch, the Christmas lights and parols, the beautifully decorated Christmas tree, the food, gifts and everything that spells Christmas. It is a feel-good book that I would recommend to everyone to read during the season. I am giving it five stars.

 

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The lazy bug strikes again.

The truth is I am not inspired  to write so I  read the past  three days. I was able to finish a ghost story ( a re-read) and a thriller. Done with 182 books since January, 32 more books added to my 2017  reading challenge.

Looking at the Christmas tree lighted at night makes me remember those Christmas past when the family was still complete with Dad still around and my youngest brother who migrated to the US of A  since 1991.  We used to spend Christmas  Eve in the province, a simple celebration of  Christmas Eve mass,  then later partaking  Noche Buena  with various sweets prepared by Mom.  When I was in high school, I also experienced tagging along with my aunts and uncle a few days before Christmas when we would visit neighbors and friends and sing Christmas songs accompanied by my uncle’s violin and Dad’s guitar.  The fun of walking late at night with a cold breeze on your cheeks, the generosity of people who love to hear Christmas carols of old.  Some would offer hot drinks  or sweets aside from  coins from their piggy banks.  Nowadays, you’ll hear the voices of little children shouting “namamasko po”  and singing  “Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo, thank you” and that means “thank you for being so kind”.   Every year, the Mini Parish Pastoral Council would send a letter a week before they are due to serenade each house  in the village with Christmas songs. It’s a way of collecting funds for the chapel and other  Christmas activities in our village.

Envelopes are aplenty during Christmas time from the maintenance of our subdivision, guards, messengers  (some you’re not even familiar with, like those who just delivered  mails  just once)  and our garbage truck collectors.  I give more to the latter because they  are more visible than the rest.

Gosh, it is already November  and we are still having tropical storms. Typhoon Salome is the  19th one this year. We are under signal number one. PAGASA says it  would bring lots of rain.  It is expected to move out of  PAR (Philippine Area of Responsibility) by Saturday morning.  I am hoping it would not bring lots of rains  as they have predicted.

Looking forward to a sunny weekend since I am meeting some friends.

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s been a while since I posted my reading materials here. I was cleaning one of  our cabinets then discovered all my journals, some are still blank waiting to be filled and  some of my brand new books still unread.  A couple of years ago, I took a photo of them.  They are now wrapped in plastic covers.

Except for the small volume  of Breakfast at  Tiffany’s, a glimpse of Helen Steiner Rice’s poems and reading Mary Oliver’s book from cover to cover,  my other books remain unread.  Would love to start on Haruki Murakami’s Kafka On The Shore pretty soon. That’s Oscar Wilde collected works is a treasure. I have previously bought a small volume (paperback edition) and that’s what I’ve been reading in fits and starts. The words are pretty small so I am finding it hard to read. I got used to e-books where you can enlarge the prints or even change the background color to your liking. I have read  Thomas Merton’s  Thoughts on Solitude before but it is really so nice to finally have my copy.  I used to have almost all books by Diana Gabaldon, trade paperback editions but I somehow lost them all during the flood in 2009.  John Green’s five-volume books are still in their original cartoon cover. I enjoyed reading A Fault In Our Stars before so maybe these books are good too.

As I am done with my 2017 reading challenge in Goodreads, I am presently trying new authors, thrillers and historical fiction.

What’s on your to-be-read list? Anything interesting?

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