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Archive for the ‘reading’ Category


I’m done reading a hundred books in more than seven  months. I love this challenge  because I discovered so many authors and lovely books in the process.

I remember accepting the challenge back in 2011 and every year I committed to read at least a hundred books minimum but I always end up reading close to two hundred at times.  This year I started with a classic  Little Women  by Louisa May  Alcott and ended with a thriller called City of Endless Night by Preston & Child. It’s time to take a break and just enjoy reading at a leisurely pace.

I remember these lines while I was reading Catcher In the Rye a long time ago and even wrote them in my journal.

“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.”  J.D. Salinger

But then it is enough that yesterday an author acknowledged my review on her book.  Nice, isn’t it?

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Maybe “notorious” is not really the right word, more like a voracious reader. Insatiable, greedy, always excited about new books.  As I have always said, I love the smell and texture of new books. The anticipation is there and so is the excitement  to read. I always put plastic covers on my books and I usually use book marks since I don’t want the pages folded. I neatly arrange them in the shelves by authors and title of the books but my best books are usually placed in the highest shelf. Weird isn’t it?

Life of a bookworm, always holding a book in hand or enlarging the prints of the e-books and changing the background.

I normally read at night or before I take a thirty-minute siesta at noon. Most of the time, my books are left  on my chest and go to sleep still wearing  my reading glass. Oreo loves to play with the latter when he sometimes jumps atop the bed and see it. I caught him this afternoon with his mouth on the frame. Naughty, naughty Oreo.

I am trying to find more classic books that I haven’t read yet. Would you believe, I started reading Anna Karenina last year I think but I only finished half of it. It’s too long and my eyes couldn’t take  the small prints. I already read about a third of Goodreads’ list of 100 books you have to read before you die.  Yes, they have those books too and they based their survey on readers’ choices. I have a copy of Dracula by  Bram Stoker. It’s been in our shelf  for so many years now but I haven’t attempted reading it. And it is included in those 100 list of books. I used to have a complete list of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon but some of them were destroyed by the flood.  Hopefully, when I am done with the challenge I’ll be able to find extra copies of those books.

I still have so many books on my wish list:

  1. Witness to Hope by George Weigel (A Biography of Saint Pope John Paul II)
  2. Anne Frank Beyond the Diary: A Photo Remembrance
  3. The Bell  Jar by Sylvia Plath
  4. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
  5. Happy All The Time by Laurie Colwin
  6. I Am David by  Anne Holm
  7. Caught In the Quiet by Rod McKuen
  8. With Love by Rod McKuen
  9. In The Dark Before Dawn by Thomas Merton
  10. The Honorary Consul by Graham Greene

Those are just ten, right? But there are many more.

Here’s a lovely quote I found on Brainy Quote.

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I am getting addicted with  Sydney Bauer’s books. I found three of hers, the first one which I blogged about a few days ago  was published much, much later than the one I have just finished and the third book I am reading at the moment. It seems to be a series but stand alone stories involving a criminal lawyer defending those who are accused of crimes they didn’t commit. The courtroom scenes and the way they gather evidences are so interesting. I have always loved “courtrooms” since I first encountered Lean Uris’ book called QBVII.  Conspiracy, racial bigotry, fast-paced  action scenes. Move over John Grisham, she’s it for now.

 Alibi  is my 94th read and I’m done with about a third of the book. Suspense thrillers, how lovely!

Yeay, six more books to go and I’m done. Plenty  months more to add those classics which I have yet to find.

 

 

 

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Just done with my 89th Goodreads book challenge for this year.  Here’s my short review on Goodreads.

I am giving this five stars. Wow, what a great read! A story of two kids who survived the Peshtigo fire in Wisconsin, the greatest fire in American history in 1871 and a six-year old orphan, a survivor from a Chicago fire on the same day. A story of struggles and triumphs, a story of ups and downs, a story of survival. 

Tess Hilmo is on my list of newly discovered authors. She writes a wonderful story, amazing children’s dialogue. The characters are fictional but the events were based on true stories. 

I am always drawn to historical fiction. I find them even more arresting to read than your run of the mill romances. I wish I could find more books like this.

Eleven more books to go and I’m done.  How lovely it is when you find a book this good.

 

 

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Good morning everyone! Can’t believe April is almost over. Today is April 24th.

The last time I wrote a post here was three days ago. I deliberately didn’t write one because I was trying to finish a lovely and interesting memoir on Rome by no less than the gifted author of All The Light You Cannot See which I read three years ago.  I’ve been looking for  another book of Anthony Doerr since All The Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list. It was Goodreads’ choice winner for 2014.

Two days ago, I found one. Four Seasons in Rome is a lovely narrative on how he and his family spent a year in Rome, He knew nothing about the Italian way of life,  just simple words by way of greeting.  They were there when his twins turned one and then wrote  something about the crowd  at St. Peter’s  Square  when  St. Pope John Paul II died last April 02, 2005.  He was there when a new pope,  Pope Benedict was chosen to succeed JP II.

I love the way he described every place  they have been too, the smell of pizza and cheese, the daily grind in the city.  And for each season, more adjustments too. I am reminded of another memoir  by another  author Peter Mayle who recently died. He wrote about Provence and its food and the daily life there. Anthony Doerr wrote about being a parent of twins,  the sleepless nights he suffered, the encounter with so many people who didn’t speak English.

I wish I could find more of his books in the future.

 

 

 

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Took care of our latest family member throughout the day.  He played with his  little pillow, balls and sat on my lap while I was checking my accounts online and while reading.  I laughed when he saw his image in front of our full-length mirror and he kept on barking. He must have thought there was another puppy looking at him.

Strange, I seemed to have picked up two books in a row all about India.  The Girl From The Tea Garden  was about the life of an Anglo-Indian girl who grew up in 1930’s.

The story revolved  on how she struggled with life  away from home without her family coming back  at the height of WW II to find her true love.   Learning about how tea is prepared, how  Indian summer feels like.

Janet MacLeod Trotter is quite new in my list of authors.  She has several books about India and this one is  part of a series.

Camron Wright is the author of The Orphan Caretaker.   I am almost done with this book.

Learning  more about Indian culture and traditions. The only thing familiar to me are the chicken masala  and samosa. Years ago, I received a big jar of Masala from a friend whose family stayed in Rome for decades.

Couldn’t put down the book, it is based on a true story. An Indian boy abducted from his home and adopted by an American family. He learned  the American way of life but still kept wondering about his Indian roots. It is also my first time to read a book by Camron Wright, an American  author whose genre is Historical Fiction and yes, Literature and Fiction too.  You can’t help but be touched by the story.

“We don’t use knives and forks,” Pranay replied, leaning forward, “because we are not at war with our food. We don’t need weapons. We have learned it is better to surrender to the flavors, to caress and embrace them. You see, eating for Indians is a passionate affair. Picking up the food with our fingers evokes a closeness, a feeling of warmth, a connection. It would all be lost if we started stabbing and cutting.”

Is this still done until now?  Wikipedia says that:  “The  etiquette of Indian dining varies with the region in India.  Typically, both in urban and rural settings, Indians wash their hands thoroughly prior to dining, then eat with their fingers, without any cutlery. This practice is historic and based  on the cultural premise that eating is a sensual activity, and touch is part of the experience along with the taste, aroma of the food, and its presentation such as on a Thali, or on a large plate made from washed banana leaf, or stitched and washed leaves.”

Some people do  it in informal  occasions here. they call it boodle fight where the food is piled on top of  banana leaves with rice at the center. The food is laid on long tables. A military style of eating,  a symbol of brotherhood and equality among Filipino military by sharing the same food without regard to rank.  They also call it “kamayan” style of eating.

 

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Call me a book addict or a bookworm  or the more high-sounding word bibliophile but I just love books.  Take that to mean a new book with the dust jacket still on, a second-hand find from a Booksale store, an e-book   on my tab or just about anything that spells b-o-o-k. 

I’ve just finished my 18th book this year  (according to Goodreads where I have a virtual library) last night.  And it is a story about books and maintaining a bookshop. I had a good laugh reading it and enjoyed all the lovely and inspirational  book quotes written there.

My tab with Nate’s photo as a screen saver.

Sometimes I forget to jot them down but I go back and write them in my new journal.  It is always nice to read words that take you to another place, another time  and experiences.  My reading  genre is an eclectic mix of cook books, memoirs, poems, historical novels, classic books and fiction.  Sometimes I feel as if I am the main character in the story.  When you experience the triumphs, the fears, the disappointments and the  happy moments, it means that you are into the story.

I am into my fourth journal of quotes from most of the books I’ve read in the past. I feel energized reading these inspiring and motivational words from different authors.

Don’t you just love the smell of new books or the  excitement of finding something on your wish list?   Don’t you just love that pile of TBRs on your night table?

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