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Archive for the ‘guilty pleasures’ Category


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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I was suddenly reminded of this lovely children’s book while perusing my shelves on authors beginning with “W”. Pete, a friend here  on  WordPress has just ended his posts on alphabetical listings of books and authors.

Charlotte’s Web.

I was not really that familiar with the story until my kids were growing up and we stacked on children’s books to read every night before they went to sleep.

One is never too old to appreciate a good book.

E.B. White is the same author of the more familiar  Stuart Little  novel  which was adapted into a movie not too long ago. Charlotte’s Web is a story of Wilbur, a little pig and Charlotte,  a spider. It is a story of friendship, life, love and death. It’s full of lessons that we could all learn from.

There are several inspiring quotes from Charlotte’s Web, words of wisdom from a child’s book of fairy tales.

“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

“I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”

“And then, just as Wilbur was settling down for his morning nap, he heard again the thin voice that had addressed him the night before.
“Salutations!” said the voice.
Wilbur jumped to his feet. “Salu-what?” he cried.
“Salutations!” repeated the voice.
“What are they, and where are you?” screamed Wilbur. “Please, please, tell me where you are. And what are salutations?”
“Salutations are greetings,” said the voice. “When I say ‘salutations,’ it’s just my fancy way of saying hello or good morning.”

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”

This is just as good as another children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit which my kids and I love.

 

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Last night, I received this precious badge from Goodreads together with this lovely message:

Congrats!
You have read 150 books of your goal of 150!”

Almost nine months and I am done. It was nice to discover new authors whose  books were just as lovely as those I have read before. It was nice to discover new places.  It was just lovely to add more books on my shelves and on my tab.  I was even on a quandary what book to read last but I finally settled on Palladian.  I was reminded of the book Jane Eyre at the outset.  Palladian was first published in 1946, more than ten years before I was born.  Much as there are negative reviews on the book, the positive ones far outweigh them. Such poetic prose,  a string of words that warms the heart.  Summaries and various reviews are posted on Goodreads,  that is, if you have time to visit the site.

Hoping I could find more lovely books to read, reread those books that inspired me over the years, discover more memoirs, poems and fiction in the process.

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Back in October  2012, I wrote about A Thousand Mornings, a title I borrowed from one of the books  of my favorite author and poet Mary Oliver. I still read it now  and then and my soul is uplifted every time I do.

Christmas.

Early this morning, I chanced upon  a radio station playing songs in between the recent news in our country. Then all of a sudden,  he inserted  a Christmas song in between. What? Christmas in August? Oh but he said it’s barely two weeks before we start the BER months. Believe me, here in the Philippines  Christmas celebrations start as early as October and end as late as February the following year.  I ended up listening to some Christmas songs on YouTube. What a joy to reminisce and remember those past days of celebrating Christmas.

Books.

I love visiting Booksale. They have so many branches in different malls here in Metro Manila.  Aren’t you thrilled going out of a book store armed with several titles of books you’ve found in your foray? They are not necessarily books by authors you love and follow but you find the texture of the pages and the  designs on the book covers so beautiful.  They speak to you of those lovely days you spent in your youth discovering new books at the library. Of course when you really want books, one could always visit National Bookstore but the books are quite expensive.

Flowers.

There was a time that I used to take shots of every bloom in my garden. I don’t have my camera now, it got broken and the other ones were destroyed during typhoon Ondoy back in 2009.  I use my tab and my phone cam once in a while but I don’t take photos as much  as several years ago. I intend to buy  a camera one of these days. Although cameras on cellphones are more convenient, I could not take those high-resolution photos that I love. I guess I have more than a thousand flowers shots saved on Photobucket.

My Garden.

And all because I love  the rich soil beneath my hands and watch things grow. Every year, I would plant bonito  ampalaya, a pot or two of chili peppers and turmeric.  Occasionally,  jute leaves sprout for a time, to grow again during the rainy season.  We have two kalamansi trees and two jackfruit trees in the garden aside from the ornamental plants that I cultivate.  Our Arius is like a  Christmas tree just waiting to be decorated with lights and tinsel.

Blogging.

But of course. I meet so many friends here. In Facebook,  my feed is full of hodgepodge of unpalatable news.  At times,  I just ignore them and make some shout outs to my friends. I don’t go public on Facebook.  I meet lovely friends here at WordPress, read beautiful blog posts and  see wonderful photos of other places that I haven’t been to.  The day won’t be complete without visiting WordPress.  I have 2,046 posts including this one for this main blog alone.

Family.

Family always comes first of course.  Now that we have Nate with us, it is always a riot when he is around. Smiles are not far behind.  I remember those days when my two kids were growing up and were left in the care of two yayas. It was always a problem for mom and dad to look for yayas for us in the province.  Nowadays, it is even harder to find household help that you can trust.

I remember those days when  I used to go up the stage every recognition day  and so proud of my kids receiving those medals. It was a thrill when my daughter graduated Magna Cum Laude  and we were given choice seats at the  venue.  Tears of joy for the standing ovation from her professors and classmates when she received that medal upon graduation.  We were so proud of her.

Clouds.

Did I say I like taking photos of clouds and watching them move when the sky is dark? I love though when the sun is hot and the day is just perfect for cloud-watching. They look so mysterious out there. These are photos  from  some years back.

I could go on of course with a thousand more mornings but I think this has gone long enough.

“All night my heart makes its way
however it can over the rough ground
of uncertainties, but only until night
meets and then is overwhelmed by
morning, the light deepening, the
wind easing and just waiting, as I
too wait (and when have I ever been
disappointed?) for redbird to sing”
– Mary Oliver, A Thousand Mornings

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Honestly, I didn’t know there is such a thing as this. a special day celebrated for book lovers. All these years I was not aware of it until a friend on Facebook forwarded this lovely  photo from Chicken Soup for the Soul. It was celebrated yesterday. Today, in our country, it’s already August 10.

How nice to celebrate a special day for books and readers alike. I love this photo. it shows the beauty of having books around with maybe a hot cup of coffee or tea on a rainy day.

Cicero surely was thinking of me  🙂  when he said these words.  Garden and books, two things I both love.  How I wish I really have a small room for a library but all I have are several shelves for our accumulated books over the years. My daughter is a book nerd, she used to buy series of publications when she was here. I remember a complete set of the Harry Potter series, all hardbound copies which she reserved  at National Book Store when they were out in the market. I remember watching the movie adaptations with my kids.  Remember  Hunger Games, a trilogy of young adult dystopian novels written by the novelist Suzanne Collins? She also has hard-bound copies of  Stephanie Meyer’s books  Twilight. I haven’t read them, I am not fond of vampire stories and werewolves.

By the way, I am done with 145 books for my Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.  Five more books to go,  yahoo 🙂 I lately finished another memoir by Frances Mayes, author of the lovely book Under the Tuscan Sun . Under Magnolia is all about her coming of age, her growing up years in  Fitzgerald, Georgia. I love the photos inside the book.  It made me think of how she looked like when she was younger.

Though it’s late, I want to wish you all Happy Book Lovers Day.

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It’s a cloudy day for a Monday morning and it’s still dark outside. I hope I’ll be able to finish trimming our carabao grass this afternoon if it doesn’t rain.

I’ve browsed lately and read Lucy Torres’ articles  in the national daily Philippine Star.  She is a congresswoman from Ormoc City  in the south and a celebrity in her own right. She has a byline  almost every  Sunday and I read it online. I have read her  writings for a number of years  now and I like how she shares her life with her actor husband Richard Gomez and their only child Juliana. Time and again I’ll blog about her. I’ve found her old posts and she recommended a certain author by the name of Ruth  Reichl.  Ruth is an author on various books on food.  Lucy recommended  three of Ruth’s best-selling memoirs on food entitled  Tender at the Bone, Comfort Me With Apples and Garlic and Sapphires.  I read the summaries at Goodreads and all the three books have four stars each.  I wish I could find copies on my next foray at Booksale. I love memoirs.  I am presently reading another memoir of Francis Mayes called Under Magnolia. If you remember she is also the author of that lovely book Under The Tuscan Sun which was adapted into a film that I watched twice on tv.  I have several books on my  “currently reading list”. When I start one and couldn’t get into the story all that much, I look for another…haha!

Don’t you just love being curled under white sheets with a hot cup of coffee or tea while reading?  Don’t you just love finding titles and discovering new authors? Ah, the beauty of being a senior citizen, some wonderful days just spent reading and enjoying every minute.

What book is on your night table? Are you fond of reading too?

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Yes, it’s Sunday.

We attended mass a little late at 8am. My son was still snoring gently at 6am, our usual time to hear mass. It rained for a while early this morning,  a perfect time to stay a little more in bed.

What I like about  Sundays? They are relaxed days for me.  Though we only stay at home after hearing mass and do some grocery shopping, I still love Sundays. I could check those blogs I follow and discover new ones. I love reading their posts, looking at the photographs, learning and admiring new places and learning a lot from some sojourners too. It’s a perfect day to really catch up on more chapters of a book you love.  Oh yes, chatting with friends online.

What’s your Sunday like?

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