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Archive for the ‘books’ Category


Goodbye February, welcome March.

I just finished a lovely book last night entitled Water From My Heart by Charles Martin. This is how they introduced it at Goodreads.

“CHARLIE FINN had to grow up fast, living alone by age sixteen. Highly intelligent, he earned a life-changing scholarship to Harvard, where he learned how to survive and thrive on the outskirts of privileged society. That skill served him well in the cutthroat business world, as it does in more lucrative but dangerous ventures he now operates off the coast of Miami. Charlie tries to separate relationships from work. But when his choices produce devastating consequences, he sets out to right wrongs, traveling to Central America where he will meet those who have paid for his actions, including a woman and her young daughter. Will their fated encounter present Charlie with a way to seek the redemption he thought was impossible — and free his heart to love one woman as he never knew he could?”

I gave it five-stars. I was more interested in how life was described in Nicaragua. The spin of the story is so good. It’s more on family relationship, friendship, cut-throat competition in the business world and a love story too.

Charles Martin is one of the best writers I found years ago. I have read so many of his books and intend to find more.

February is almost at an end. Time flies, it’s been a year now since the lockdown and we’re still without vaccine, the only Asian country which seems to have no concrete plans for Covid 19. They’d rather hang streamers by sara duterte (daughter of their present president) to run next year. Pathetic!!!

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Yeay, it’s another weekend. February is running fast.

I’ve been remissed in my blogging updates again. I talked to several friends yesterday through Messenger. I met Maria Luisa several months ago when Sambuhay Interaktib started last year. She is living in Australia with her family. She took these photos of us while we were talking. We touched on so many subjects especially our families and the political situation here in our country.

It was so really nice to catch up with friends online.

Today is my adopted son’s birthday (anak-anakan in Tagalog). Fr. Lovell is still assigned in Iloilo and he does not go online often so we rely on texts which is easier.

Got this photo from their Dominican site. A former classmate in high school saw it and asked me to ask Fr. Lovell if he knows the parents of her son’s in-laws who she thinks are neighbors with Fr. Lovell’s family. The latter confirmed that they are close friends. What a small world!

By the way, I’m done with my 21st book for this year’s Goodreads challenge. Discovering new books and gifted authors in the process.

Have a happy and fruitful weekend.

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I finally had our Santan plants infront of the house trimmed and our side fence planted with Snake plants cleaned. I just hired two of the subdivision’s maintenance workers and gave them half of their daily wage for less than a two-hour job.

Our two doggies had their hair trim too last Saturday. I can no longer take a good shot of Oreo so I took a photo of Cookie instead.

She is now twice the size of Oreo. She is better behaved than Oreo.

I had a nice chat with a high school classmate whom I haven’t seen for so many years. We touched on our families, how it is growing old, our high school and college life. It is so nice to reminisce. We had a good laugh remembering.

Done with my 15th book for this year’s book challenge. Lately read two books of Laura Ingall Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie. I remember those late high school and early college days when the whole family watched the series every night on television. I found it on YouTube and watched the early years. So nice to see them all again. I love the books though. Simple prose about family life and living in the wilderness.

I am trying to read another book by Dean Koontz. Hopefully it’s as good as his two books I’ve read before.

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We are almost in the middle of the month and before we know it, January is gone.

Oh my, I missed this blog for three days. Kind of not inspired enough to blog. And to my blogger friends, I am sorry for not even commenting on your posts. Trying to catch up.

I joined Goodreads Reading Challenge again this year. I committed myself to read another 100 books. It is really a challenge for me finishing that much for the year. Started with a historical novel, two books which are some kind of a series, a paranormal story and a thriller and courtroom scenes by Connelly. I found a book about dogs too. The cover was just too tempting because the pictures looks like our dog Noki. It’s my sixth read.

How are you getting along with this Covid environment? Funny how the department of health prefers the vaccine from china which is more expensive and not as effective. They are letting the local governments procure their own and the latter prefer Pfizer. I wonder if they’ll have enough facilities to restore those vaccines.

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I was looking for the maintenance crew of our subdivision if one  of them could help me with weeding outside our perimeter  fence but one of our neighbors said that the management of Midtown removed them.  I am willing to pay their daily wage. Sad, for the plight of those who really need help to make both ends meet.

So I started uprooting and weeding unwanted grass early this morning. It still needs a little improvement. I was able to  transfer some snake plants though. Snake plants are so costly here, around P250 to P300 per pot. Sometime last week,  a lady older than I am just uprooted some without  asking for permission.  I hate  it when people are so presumptuous, that is equivalent to stealing, right?  I was in the garden pruning some plants when she passed by. Years ago, we used to have climbing roses in that area but every time they bloom, some passersby even bring scissors to harvest the flowers. So annoying.

My news feed is full of  unwanted sites posting some titles of books listed this year as worth-reading.  Haven’t heard most of their recommendations. Even those which won at Goodreads are so unfamiliar to me. I have two books in mind though to cap  off the year 2020.

These have been on my TBR for more than a couple of years now. They’re next.  Their Eyes Were Watching God is a 1937 novel which is considered as a classic of the Harlem Renaissance. A Wild Sheep Chase is my first book of Murakami.

Have a lovely and blessed weekend to all of you.

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I got lazy again to do another post. So I broke my daily blogging goal which reached 50 posts since last month.

Would you believe, I was engrossed reading, finishing Charles Martin’s Thunder and Rain, an amazing book, excellent writing. The Christian aspect of the book through a child’s diary/journal to God was just so touching. This was followed by a rather short novel  by Janette Oke about  the new frontier, the wilderness in Alaska. David Whyte’s Consolations The Solace, Nourishment and  Underlying meaning of Everyday Words are several essays that started with the word Alone and ending with Work. It is a deep read that you need to think after reading a few lines. So I have to read it slowly.  I have started another book reading it in between  that of David Whyte’s book.  The Midnight Rose by Lucinda Riley spans four generations from the splendor of India to the majestic stately homes in England. It started in 1911, about India in the time of the Raj and  England during World War I. Have I told you before that I am always drawn to historical novels? This one is pretty good although I just started a few chapters.

May I ask again, what have you been reading lately?  Who is your favorite author?

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I’ve just finished a Patricia Cornwell book called Postmortem. It was my 109th read.  Fast paced and riveting. It’s a crime fiction.

This made me smile. Early this morning I saw the shout-out of one of my favorite authors Richard Paul Evans on Facebook, (we are online friends for a number of years now). His newest book is coming out on October 27 and I commented, “That’s my birthday”. And he answered, “That’s a sign Arlene”. Haha,  I am excited to get hold of it, if I could find a copy here.

My reading list was derailed again. I found more lovely books which are not really lined-up for me to read until the end of the year. The Prisoner of Heaven is a continuation of Daniel’s story in the Shadow of the Wind, Marina by the same author.  I am also looking forward to Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr.  He is that same author of All the Light We Cannot See which won Goodreads Choice 2014.  John Jakes’  The Warriors is also on the list  of my TBR. Pilgrim At Tinker Creek is  a memoir by  Annie Dillard. It will be the first time that I’ll read one of her books.  I guess I’ll start it tonight.

What have you been reading lately?

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Lazy, lazy afternoon! For the first time in so many days, I spent at least two hours in bed having a siesta. The afternoon was cold but it didn’t rain.

I opened the computer just to post the Bible readings for next week at our Catholic page in Facebook. Then I received this message from Fr. Pao, he is one of those anchors of Interaktib. The name of the program is Catholic Sync and they were in its first episode this morning. Catholic Sync is devoted to religious education and catechism.  Fr. Pao was  the speaker. He was introduced by  a brother at St. Paul . I was surprised when the latter said that Fr. Pao graduated Summa Cum Laude in his Theological studies. I told him he should be proud of it coz I  know how a parent feels having a child garnering  Latin honors.  He said Nissa must be a literati too. I told him in passing that she is a bookworm and very strict with grammar.

I finally finished the book I  Will Always Write Back last night. Beautiful, beautiful story. And there were real pictures of the authors which make the book more real.  Memoirs have always been fascinating reads  for me.

I set aside some books on my TBR list to read Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley. Ghosts and reincarnation? Must be  intriguing.

And it’s a lazy evening, perfect time to have that hot cup of rice coffee.

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Intriguing title, right?

But I just borrowed from a book I am reading at the moment that I simply could not put down. It is actually a memoir  but it is a contemporary YA book.

Zimbabwe.

It’s the first time I read something about this country, formerly called Rhodesia, a land-locked country located in Southern Africa.

How one letter changed two lives is the main theme of this book. Two teens exchanging letters from two continents.  They are pen pals. A Zimbabwean boy and an American girl. The former is dirt-poor, on a hand to mouth existence  while the girl came from a well-off family. I cried so many times reading this book and I have only finished two-thirds of it but I can’t ignore writing about it. Besides, if I could, I promised myself to write every day until the end of September. Another challenge, I guess.

Caitlin and Martin –  and the lovely narrative simply written. I almost forgot that this is a memoir.

Back in college, I had an opportunity to meet two Japanese girls and an Australian  via pen pal writing. It came about when a fellow student librarian gave my name to them and they started writing to me. I could still remember their names until now – Junko Yao, Satomi Hasegawa and Suzanne Gilding. Wouldn’t it be nice if I could find them now? Junko was the more diligent writer and she sent me some packages before – Japanese green tea, chopsticks, Japanese candies, a hair accessory ( a lovely Japanese comb)  and stationeries. I am just sorry I stopped  corresponding with them when I started work at the bank.

I  Will Always Write Back is just an awesome read.

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Have you ever thought of starting a new hobby because of this pandemic, when you can’t go out and you have so much time in your hands?

Early this morning, I took out the transparent plastic bag which have my eraser, sharpener, some small brushes, colour pens, crayola, water-base ink,  two sets of watercolor, my green glitter colouring book and my Zen Mandala colouring book.  Some of them were previous gifts from Nissa.  Then I visited my Memories page on FB and what do you know, there were the pictures of my Mandala coloured figures. You can see some of them on my previous post  here.

I hope I could give justice to all these designs.  They would surely help during some boredom weekday afternoons.  Since I have met my goals in Goodreads, I am choosing those books which are somewhat longer than the previous books I’ve read and are on my TBR list.

Night by Elie Wiesel, another WWII epic, Reduced to Joy by Mark Nepo, book of poems, Terms of Endearment by Larry McMurtry, an  Oscar-winning story of a memorable mother and her feisty daughter, Consolations by David Whyte. I love reading his poems, It by Stephen King. I haven’t read a King novel for quite some time. There are many more which I want to finish before the year ends.

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