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Archive for the ‘reading’ Category


Have you heard of this?  Have you read it? The cover says how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into extraordinary.

Last night when Josef came home from work, he gave  me this book called The Fred Factor. He told me, it is not his Christmas gift  but just thought I would appreciate having a copy  of my own. Not much into reading self-help books nowadays but this seem to be a good one.

“People doing good work feel good & people doing exceptional work feel, exceptional. Accomplishments contributes greatly to satisfaction.” 

“You are the spark that sets others on fire when you initiate.”

“The only thing better than an acknowledgement is action.”

These are just some of the lovely quotes from the book. I wish I could read this before the year ends. Could I ever be a Fred?

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To tell you the truth, I’ve long wanted to read this book. This has been on my wish list  for quite some time. I just could not find a copy of the book. I tried reading the summary online and it was only a few days ago that I learned there is a movie adaptation on YouTube which is free through another blogger friend here  on WordPress.

The author is Anne Holm and it is a story of a twelve-year old boy who spent his life in prison in a concentration camp right after  WWII. He was given a chance to escape and when he did, all he had  were a compass, a few crusts of bread, his two aching feet, and some vague advice to seek refuge in Denmark.

His story will teach you how to value freedom and what freedom is, how to trust again and relearn life outside of prison.

Last night, I found the movie adaptation in YouTube,
it was not the English version though but I watched it. Later, I saw the English version of the movie and I wanted to watch it again.   I read the recap of the book  and some reviews that were both uplifting and negative, the more I’m inclined to read it.

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It’s been a while since I read something written by Stephen King. Think twenty years ago with the book  The Shining. I’ve watched some film adaptations though including Pet Sematary and The Dark Tower. 

I found a copy of his book, The Outsider which I am reading at the moment. It is all of 561 pages published last May 2018. It is now included in the final round of  Best Mystery and Thriller at  the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards. I make it a point to read some of their nominated books, chosen by readers themselves. I always wanted to know if what I think is beautifully written has the same impact on other readers.  This is quite long though. I wonder when I’ll be able to get done with it.

At night before going to sleep, I read a few poems by Mary Oliver. Now that I have a copy of her latest book Devotions  which is a thick collection of her earlier and latest works, I can choose which to read randomly and I always get that high when I encounter her words.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life?” 

I have always quoted these lines, ask myself about life. It behooves me to go on no matter what.

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

Yes, when we encounter those unavoidable circumstances that sap our strength, we think of how to move on and fight, never losing hope that everything would be okay in the end.

“Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.” 

Don’t you just love these lines? I do. Think positive. Dream. Discover.

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. 

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument. 

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

Maybe it is hard to be always amazed by what we experience and see but at the end of it all, don’t we want to be remembered  that we left an indelible mark  in others?

“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”

I could go on and on but these words touch my every day. These words uplift my soul.

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Both books I chose for Goodreads’ 10th Annual Choice Awards are included in the final rounds. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr for Best of the Best and The Tattooist of Auschwitz  by Heather Morris for Best Historical Fiction. I’ve chosen Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao for Best Fiction since I’ve only read two books from the final round nominees for 2018.

I reviewed all three books here before but  it was only All  The Light We Cannot See that I adopted as a title to  my post.

I hope you’ll find time to read these books too, they are the best.

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“for in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause” Hamlet, Act III, Sc.1

After life there is more…The end is just the beginning…If you are into parapsychology, metaphysics and the supernatural then this book is for you.

What Dreams May Come is the story of Chris Nielsen and his wife Ann. A love story that transcends death – a guy willing to spend his life in Hell just so he could be with his loved one. The story opens with Chris dying in a car accident but he does not realize that he is now dead. His main concern is his wife and family. He hovers within as a ghost until he finds himself in Summerland (the idea of heaven) and meets his dead dog Katie and his cousin Albert who serves as his guide in heaven. Summerland, more a state of mind rather than a place. Despite the beauty and splendor of Summerland, he still longs for his family specially Ann to the point of wanting to be reassured of when they will see each other again.

Ann could not accept the demise of her husband so she commits suicide breaking the ties forever and she finds herself in Hell. Chris,  in his desire to help Ann, goes down to the lower realm accompanied by Albert and there he personally witnesses what hell looks like but he does not find Ann there. She does not believe in afterlife so she is trapped in her own hell. He lets himself becomes part of her reality so they could be together forever.

The story flashes to Chris finding himself again in Summerland and they both move on until such time that Ann chooses a quick rebirth on earth. They are soul mates and the story ends with the premise that they will be together again in another life.

Okay, here’s my take on the story.

What really happens to us after we die? Do we really have soul mates? The imagery between heaven and hell is so vivid that you would prefer to be in heaven than anywhere else. Anyone can escape Matheson’s hell – they only have to recognize and accept their shortcomings. It’s a sort of temporary dwelling until such time that you eventually go to heaven.

There was a movie made on this book and Richard Matheson is the same author who wrote Bid Time Return which was translated into a movie called Somewhere in Time – one of my favorites.

Quotations from the book:

“It’s a painful thing to learn I know,”he said, “that every thought we have takes in a form we must eventually, confront”.

“Language is more a barrier to understanding than an aid. Also, we’re able, through thought, to communicate in any language without the need of an interpreter. Moreover, we’re not confined to words and sentences. Communication can be enhanced by flashes of pure thought”.

“I noticed you have no mirrors,” I said.
“They serve no purpose,” he told me.
“Because they’re mostly for vanity?” I questioned.
‘More than that,”he answered. “those who’ve marred their appearance in any way by their actions in life aren’t forced to witness that marring. If they were, they’d become self-conscious and be unable to concentrate on improving themselves”.

P.S.

I have read this book back when I was not a member yet of Goodreads.  Reread it again a few days ago. It has a new cover at Goodreads though. Today is All Saints’ Day,  a reminder to us that we all could be saints.  Doing good deeds without counting the cost.

A blessed All Saints’ Day everyone!

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I am giving this four stars.

The last time I read a Nicholas Sparks book was in 2016 when Two by Two was published. Unlike his other books that I enjoyed reading in the past, it was not really an amazing read for me.  Of course, he is a romance writer  but not all of his subjects  and plots are okay with me although they are also well-written. Here comes Every Breath which I think is better than the other books he wrote before.  Of course, I love Message in A Bottle which was the first book I read of him, I also love A Walk To Remember.  Except for a few titles that I’ve missed, I have read almost all of his books, courtesy of Nissa who deeply admire Nicholas  Sparks’ writings. Fancy a male writer more in tune with women’s feelings, emotionally in touched with scenes that keep you hooked till the end.

Regrets of course always come last. Sometimes we make bad decisions that we have to live up to and maybe dream that someday, all would be well again. Every Breath is such a story, a story of hope, a story of true love.

It is such a joy to read another winner. It is such a joy to find a book that would make you believe that fate sometimes truly makes a way for you to enjoy the remaining days of your life. Love endures and it is always a blessing when you find that one true love.

As always I jotted down some quotes which I like in the book.

“A life, after all, is simply a series of little lives, each of them lived one day at a time, and every single one of those days has choices and consequences. Piece by piece, those decisions help to form the people we become.”

“One of the great things about a leaf,” he said to her, “is that it reminds you to live as well as you can for as long as you can, until it’s finally time to let go and allow yourself to drift away with grace.” 

“Memories are a doorway to the past, and the more one treasures the memories, the wider the door will open.”

“Falling in love is the easy part; making that love last amid life’s varied challenges is an elusive dream for many.” 

“Being loved deeply by someone gives you strength, and loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 

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I just updated our Catholic page at Facebook when I came home from the 6:30 am mass in our Parish. I was thrilled to see these readings right on Nissa’s birthday come September 28. First reading is Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11.

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;7a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.9What gain has the worker from his toil?10I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with.11He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

I always love the Ecclesiastes readings. It tells us about how life is, how we go on with it and how we should face all those adversities and challenges that go our way. Life is not perfect, we all know that but there is always time for everything. There is always time to enjoy life, time to laugh and time to cry.

Last night, I finished the last page of the book Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise  Gornall, a first-timer on my list of books.

One thing that first attracted me to it is not the summary but the photo cover. I haven’t read a YA book for so many months now, then came this. I love it.

Can you imagine yourself being afraid of public places and so particular about cleanliness and hygiene that your life is not  normal?

The book focuses on anxiety disorder, OCD and agoraphobia. They are mental health issues that none of us know about. Self inflicted wounds find its place in a teenager’s life. How could one empathize with a sickness that  you can’t see?

This is the first time I’ve read about agoraphobia.  I remember  a daughter of our neighbor who is bipolar. She has been in and out of the hospital some years ago. There were times when we just hear loud shouts from her. When she is in a good mood, you can talk to her about anything under the sun.

This book is not for everyone . I was curious what goes in someone’s mind if he or she has anxiety disorder. How does the family cope  with it? How do you deal with someone with OCD?

 

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