Archive for the ‘my library’ Category

I am going back to reading although it has become a bit slow for me. There was a time when I used to read three books a week, getting  older though made me quite a little slack doing some of my favorite hobbies, reading being one. Come to think of it, among all my books (probably  a thousand of them) there are only two signed copies that I treasure for the simple reason that they are the only signed copies that I have 🙂collageTwo years ago, my daughter gave  me a copy of Nicholas Sparks’ The Best of Me   as a birthday gift  on the condition that I attend his book signing at The Podium at Ortigas Center. There was an attached invite from National Bookstore but it was not an assurance that I’ll be able to have my book signed. Nicholas Sparks is more of Nissa’s favorite author so I’ve read almost all of his books. The book signing was right after my birthday so you can just imagine how nervous I was because I have never attended one before.  Read my adventures here on how the day went. It was an unforgettable event in my life. I was really tongue-tied when I met him face to face. All I can utter was “hello Nicholas”.

Richard Paul Evans is  one of my favorite authors. Hmm, let me amend that, he is my favorite author. I’ve blogged  about him so many times here. Last year, I received a signed, first edition copy of his book  The Last Promise , a gift from an online friend that I met at Multiply.  Look at how he signs his books. This may sound  crazy but I guess, the value of a book increases when it is personally signed by the author. Do you agree?

I am looking forward to my three  new books  which will be sent by another friend from the US, my copy of A Thousand Mornings by Mary Oliver and two more latest books by Richard Paul Evans.  Right now, I am in the thick of reading Anne of Avonlea (second in a series of the classic books by L.M. Montgomery).

And I wish that like the late D.J. Salinger, I could do this too, ““What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”  It hasn’t happened yet because I don’t have  a terrific friend  who is a book author 😦


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It’s my first book on Luanne Rice.  I always see her books every time I get a chance to drop by Booksale but I was never lured to buy them. A few weeks ago, my daughter  bought a copy of The Edge of Winter. I think she got it on sale at Powerbooks.  I fell in love with the book cover, a picture of a girl on the seashore with the words, “happy endings start with new beginnings.” The layout is nice, I said, but is the story good? I was curious. I guess, that’s simply what you feel when you encounter a new author and read  one of her books for the first time. I really was not expecting to enjoy this book but I did. Talk about surprises, this  has simple plot, that of families intertwined  by their experiences in life, relationships between mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and it’s all about friendships too. It details the characters like they are so real in one’s eyes. It speaks of love, loss and redemption.

I seldom encounter family stories beautifully written such as this. It makes you think that hope is not lost for those who have enough faith in life. Life is something beautiful if only our eyes are not blind to the daily blessings we encounter.

I  could clearly  imagine every scene that Rice beautifully put together and the lovely scenery which she described in the story makes me long to go and commune with the sea in all its glory and angry burst. When you love nature, you will truly appreciate this book.

This made me cry, don’t laugh because that’s how good it was. And I agree when she said that people make mistakes, take wrong turns, and even make some horrible decisions. As long as there is love and hope, you can see everything in a new light and even find in your heart to forgive.  Luanne Rice weaves a tapestry that is hard to put down. I bought another book of hers,  The Perfect Summer and it says, “for every love there is a season.”

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The assumption of time is one of humanity’s greatest follies. We tell ourselves that there’s always tomorrow, when we can no more predict tomorrow than we can the weather. Procrastination is the thief of dreams.” – Richard Paul Evans (The Walk)

Touching base with old friends gives you that feeling of warmth and anticipation, it’s something that evokes memories. Yesterday was exactly just  that. Hubby, my daughter and his boyfriend and I went to visit an old friend and spent a few hours catching up. We met Fr. Aly fifteen years ago when we had our house blessed. Back then  he was only about two years into the priesthood. We’ve kept the friendship all these years. My daughter is getting married in six months and she wanted Fr. Aly to preside over the wedding. There is nothing like a good friend whom you’ve known over the years to share this very important event. My daughter was just in high school when we met him.  It’s nice to reminisce and think of the good old days – the joys of laughter and sharing!

We went to National Bookstore afterward to buy stationeries and imagine our delight when we saw the books we’ve been waiting for on display for all eyes to see.  Nissa was waiting for a trade paperback edition of the last book on the Hunger Games trilogy entitled Mockingjay and there it was prominently displayed. Hooray! I am as excited as she is to know  what will happen to Katniss Evergreen after the first two books which we read two months ago.  I can’t believe this! I was idly browsing the new titles when I saw this book with a very nice cover but it was on paperback.  I grabbed it before somebody else  sees it. The Walk has been on the market  for almost a year and every time I visit national Bookstore, I ask the sales clerk if they carry one such title. Finally, finally, my first book of Richard Paul Evans in paperback. I’ve collected most of his novels (hardbound at that)over the years but I lost most of them to typhoon Ondoy. I am slowly building up my library, carefully choosing the books I buy, except of course during my forays at Booksale where I usually find hidden treasures at such a lower price compared to NBS. The sales clerk at National Bookstore was beaming at me when she said, “that was published by Simon and Schuster and we were lucky to have these  on paperbacks” , pointing to the two more volumes left at the display counter. “Yes”, I said. The previous times that I bought the hardbound editions, they put a dent in my pocket.  Isn’t  it so obvious that I am a fan? Richard Paul Evans is an online friend at Facebook  and it keeps me  updated with all his upcoming novels. The second in the Walk series Miles To Go would be released this coming month.  How nice if National Bookstore would carry it as well.

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I must admit, there was quite a slack in my blogging lately.  I got so engrossed reading  and visiting some bookstores in search of  something on my wish list which is getting quite long.  Though I haven’t been successful in my quest, I was able to buy some treasures which I am excited to  read pretty soon.   I am almost done with The Red Pyramid, and will start on The Hunger Games next (I hope).  Don’t ask me why there was this sudden shift of reading genre.  Some of my friends who know I am into serious read would probably laugh that I now enjoy reading  books for teens, and kids for that matter.  Well, more than the entertainment values that I get from these, I feel like I am learning a new language.  I’ve never been a fan of Greek or Egyptian mythologies, they bore me no end but when I  started  a few pages of  The Lightning Thief and saw my daughter’s collections of the Vampire diaries, Blue Blood series, Cirque Du Freak  and a lot of books from authors I never heard before, I was a little intrigued.  Christopher Pike, yes, read a book or two several  years  ago, but there are now three thick books on Thirst. L. J. Smith, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Melissa Marr, and a Filipino-American author named Melissa dela Cruz  – haven’t heard of them until now.

Back when everyone was into reading  the Twilight series, I was never tempted to read one  although my daughter has a complete set of it.   How she raved about every book of Meyer, even to the point of asking NBS to reserve copies for her.  Out of curiosity, hubby and I watched the movie version of Eclipse  (a month ago I think, I can’t remember now),  which they say is the best of the three series shown, so far. But I was nodding my head off in the middle of the movie and my daughter chided me by saying that I always fall asleep while watching the big screen, so I told her it’s not my cup of tea.  I must tell you that  I enjoyed reading Harry Potter  and  watched every movie version of those books.   This sudden penchant for heroic-demigod-magical powers is altogether different though, I am learning Egyptology and little by little those quite unfamiliar names which I only used to see on crossword puzzles suddenly come to life.   Amazing!

And before you think that I’ve completely abandoned  reading  other books, you’ re wrong.  I’ve  found and purchased a lot of books too,  all additions to my growing TBR list.   Time and again, I would buy memoirs, I wonder why they fascinate me no end.  Frank  McCourt’s  Ti’s and Angela’s Ashes are favorites although I need to replace my previous copies because I wasn’t able to save them during the flood last year.  Had I been well enough to set aside the paperbacks, I would have done it but I was not allowed to sort the dirty piles  because at that time I was in the middle of my chemotherapy sessions. I recently bought  The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls at a  twenty percent discount at NBS. I like  the description on the cover which reads, “The Glass Castle is the kind of story that keeps you awake long after the rest of the house has fallen asleep”. It is a memoir of resilience and redemption and a look into a dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant family where love still reigns despite the odds and all the peculiarities involved.  I am saving it for another rainy day.   I think it’s my fourth or fifth buy of   The  Prophet , the first three I got for some friends as gifts and my copy now is the smallest and the cheapest I could find.  Kahlil Gibran, the author of  The Prophet is a  Lebanese-American poet and philosopher and the book has been translated into more than 20 languages.  Back in college, I devoured almost every copy of his books even to the point of keeping a separate notebook of all the best quotations I could find.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – a complete and unabridged copy.  Come to think of it, I have forgotten the story of orphan Jane and the famous Mr. Rochester because the last time I’ve read this book, I was still in high school.  I never had the chance to reacquaint myself with the book until now.   I bought Ilustrado two months ago, got a good review from Blooey, one of my friends at Flip Flipping  Pages.  The Filipino author Miguel Syjuco, is a winner of  the 2008  Man Asia Literary Prize.  I have yet to discover how he writes because the book is still in its original plastic cover.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson – bought a copy at P625.00 at Bestsellers.   I’ve started reading this  about a month ago but it’s not the kind of book that you would want to finish in  one seating.   It’s a  true account  of mountaineer Greg Mortenson who drifted into a mountain village of Karakoram after a failed attempt to climb K2.   He was touched by the kindness shown by the inhabitants there and promised to return and build a school for the children.  

It is the astonishing , uplifting story of real-life Indiana Jones and his remarkable humanitarian campaign in the Taliban backyard. Just a quote from the book, “here in Pakistan, we drink three cups of tea to do business; the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and the third, you join our family and for our family we are prepared to do anything – even die”. (Haji Ali, Korphe Village Chief, Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan).  Eversince I’ve read Khaled Hosseini’s  The Kite Runner and  A Thousand Splendid  Suns, I was fascinated  by how the people live  in these Islamic countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.  I even saw a book entitled  Reading Lolita in  Tehran by Azar  Nafisi, another memoir,but that would be on another trip to NBS.  And who told you I am addicted to  memoirs?  I just did!

Life is not all memoirs though because in between reading these, I also managed to buy more books at less than a hundred pesos –  Anne Tyler’s Breathing Lessons, Andrew Greeley’s   Irish Linen.  Greeley is a Catholic priest and priests do write love stories. I’ve read several of his books in the past and I found  Cardinal  Sins the most controversial.  It’s about life in the Vatican written in fiction.  Nissa bought me some chick lit books and a couple of hardbound James  Patterson.

And to end this book blog which wonderfully reached a word count of 1101, let me quote  Isaac Barrow on how he views books:

He that loveth a book will never want for a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter

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I promised myself to read more this year and make a review of some books I have encountered.   Last January, I started making a list of the books I have started  reading  and clearly forgot to update it.  It’s somehow pathetic that I was not able to keep my promise to read at least three or four books a month.  I feel lazy at times  to  hold one, but I still regularly go to bookstores to buy more books. We are slowly replenishing the books we have lost  during the  flood  last year but I still can’t find some good replacements for my collection.  At least now, my daughter and I have become more selective, choosing hard bound copies over mass market read.

1.  The Mermaid Chair –  Sue Monk Kidd  (Midlife crisis and self-awakening)

2.  The Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett (historical – 12th century England)

3.  Mr. Write – M.D. Balangue  (local chick lit)

4.  The Breakup Diaries – May Calica (local chick lit)

5.  King of Torts – John Grisham (legal/suspense novel)

6.  The Secret – Rhonda Byrne (the secret to prosperity, health,relationships and happiness)

7.  Candle Creations – arts and crafts

8.  Between Blinks – Jim Paredes ( insights, poetry, stories)

9.  Love Rosie – Cecelia Ahern

10.  The  Thorn Bird – Colleen McCullough  (my third copy, I think, the first two were borrowed and were not returned).

11. Love  the One You’re With – Emily Giffin ( have you ever thought of the one that got away?)

12. Gone Baby Gone – Dennis Lehane (thriller)

13. Sundays at Tiffany’s – James  Patterson

14. Sam’s Letters to Jennifer – James Patterson

15. The Valley of Light – Terry Kay

16. Girl With A  Pearl Earring – Tracy Chevalier

17. Loving Through Heartsongs – Mattie J.T. Stepanek (book of inspirational poems, made a review of this earlier).

18. How Do You Know If Your Pearls Are Real? – Barbara C. Gonzalez (family relationships)

19. Grace – Richard Paul Evans

20. The Interruption of Everything – Terry McMillan

21. Under The Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes

22. Resistance – Anita Shreve

23.  Cause Celeb – Helen Fielding (read some chapters by candlelight because I could not put it down)

24.  Sail – James Patterson

I will update this from time to time and here’s a list of the unread ones:

1.  Critical – Robin Cook

2.  Coming Home – Rosamund Pilcher

3.  Cell – Stephen King

4.  A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving

5.  Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

6.  Julie and Julia – Julie Powell (watched the movie but half way through reading it, I got bored)

7.   Atonement – Ian McEwan

8.  Favorite Poems of Emily Dickinson – ( I read the poems at random)

9. If Life Were a Bowl of Cherries, What Am I Doing in the Pits- Erma Bombeck

10. From Beginning to End – Robert Fulghum

11. It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It – Robert Fulghum

12. Coraline – Neil Gaiman

13. Three Cups of Tea – Greg Mortenson  (can’t wait to read this one)

14. Ilustrado – Miguel Syjuco (and this one too)

15. The Glass Castle – Jeannette Wells ( a memoir of resilience and redemption)

16. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte ( a reread)

17. The Prophet – Kahil Gibran (lost my first copy to flood Ondoy)

18. Irish Linen – Andrew Greeley

19. Judge and Jury – James Patterson

20. Breathing Lessons – Anne Tyler

I’ve meant to update my virtual library at Shelfari.com but just thinking of removing the titles which are now gone sort of depresses me.

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