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Posts Tagged ‘all about books’


Another start of the year and what could be lovelier than starting it with good books, finding new authors and other reading genre.

Last year, I committed myself to read one hundred books but I was able to finish 151. This time, I will try to read 150 books.  I am done with three but I started them all during the last week of December 2018 and just finished them yesterday. Do you think that’s cheating?

Yes, I  did some reading while waiting for the new year. One book are Christmas short stories. They are quite uplifting and inspiring. I’d rather lose myself in books than questioning what is happening in our country. What with a leader who is so unqualified to govern. He keeps attacking the Catholic  Church non-stop. Even an atheist  or a non-believer would squirm hearing him uttering those ugly words. They have respect for religions unlike the president whose uncouth mouth and uncivilized behavior seems to be the norm. He holds in his hands the Armed Forces, the Supreme Court, the Lower House and the executive branch of the government.

Going back to reading, a friend shared a link (Electric Literature) about books by women mostly in Asian countries. Wish I could find some of them. Wish me luck please. So many books to read, so many to choose from.

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Yes of course, I am active at Goodreads because I keep the site as my virtual library. It’s where I find lovely and inspiring book reviews, books  that are some readers’ favorites, books that  earn five stars  and recommendations from other readers. I actually voted in the selection of books in the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards.  Been Looking forward to this and the results came out today. Though those books that I recommended didn’t win, I am still happy that I was able to read most of the nominated books for this year.  If you are not a Goodreads member, it might interest you to know these books which are included and which  I had the opportunity to read.

FICTION:

  1. Still Me by Jojo Moyes – this is a sequel (3rd book) to the first one called Me Before You.  Moyes is a British author and this is her first Goodreads Choice Awards.
  2. Girls Burn Brighter  by Shobha Rao. – This is actually placed at number 8, a story of India and two teenage girls in rural India. Here’s my short review:  I think this is my second book about India and my first one with this author. Not expecting much but oh gosh, this book grips you all throughout. I’ve never been aware of those traditions in rural parts of India until now. The story is brutal in a sense that it delivers without sugar-coating the events and happenings in the story.
    I was quite disappointed though when I reached the ending. Although it was implied that the two characters have finally found each other again, I would have preferred seeing their reactions face to face.
    There is still life after all the hardships as long as one believes.
  3. All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin – I’ve read almost all of Emily Giffin books and this one is another winner. How far would you go to protect your child? Are you willing to sacrifice everything, even your marriage to protect them? This is a relevant story of how teens deal with stress and pressure nowadays. Some friends could be bad influences in their lives. Some could do well staying as just friends.

BEST MYSTERY AND THRILLER:

  1. The Outsider by Stephen King – I blogged about this a few days ago while I was in the middle of reading it.
  2. Force of Nature by Jane Harper – this is on the 9th slot and I didn’t have a review of it.

HISTORICAL FICTION:

  1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.  – She bagged it in 2015 for The Nightingale and today she won again for this book The Great Alone. Read this last March 2018. A lovely, touching and beautiful book. One of Kristin Hannah’s best. One gets to be a little emotional while reading a wonderful story.
  2. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – it came in second though. I wrote a review about this book here at WordPress a few months ago.A compelling read about the Holocaust. Based on a true story of two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz.I wonder why I am always drawn to historical books, fiction or otherwise particularly in that time of history which is the Second World War. I love those heart-wrenching stories of survival, the hope and faith of each person to live a normal life again.And I am reminded of our situation here in our country, democracy and populism. What is good for a group of people does not apply to all.
  3. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje – It came in at the number nine slot.  I thought at first, it is a memoir since there is not much dialogue so to speak. The story jumps making you a little lost. It was only during the third part of the story that it made sense at all. Sorry, not really my cup of tea as a historical fiction.

BEST OF THE BEST:

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie  Thomas. – I’ve long wanted to read this but I couldn’t find a copy. Curious about how it came to be the best story (among other winners in the past).
  2. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – This was my nomination but it came up in number two slot. I think I made a review of this at  WordPress too. I can’t remember now. I think I did when it won the Best Historical Fiction back in 2014.
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – I rated this four stars.  I wasn’t active in reviewing books yet back in 2014.
  4. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 2015 winner. Would love to re-read this. I think I already forgot the story.
  5. Catching Fire by  Suzanne Collins – the number two book in the Hunger Games series. I am sure you are also familiar with it. When the series came out, Nissa bought the whole set.
  6. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – I love this book but it is the only  one  I read of the author. Nissa has a whole set too of the series. I also watched the movie adaptation. It’s Goodreads’ Best Young Adult Fiction of 2012.
  7. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. No wonder this won the 2017 Best Fiction. Beautiful!
  8. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I had a great time reading this. Best Young Adult Fiction of 2013
  9. Before We Were Yours – by Lisa Wingate  Best Historical Fiction of 2017. Really hard to review this but it was an enjoyable read.

You are welcome to read these books which I’ve enjoyed reading the past months and years.

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Back in 2015, I committed to read at least  50 books and by July, I successfully finished the reading challenge  at Goodreads. The official count was 79 books but based on my own list, I almost read a hundred. I forgot to  update Goodreads  with some of the titles that I read, some chick lit and Ya books  which one could finish in a day or two. Unaccounted were some book of poems that I don’t need to finish in one  reading. There are books that truly inspire and I usually read them again and again. This year  I am challenging myself to read 100 books, an eclectic mix of poems, historical novels, fiction, memoirs and some classic books that I found last year. I have just finished Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and in the middle of  reading the third book of the century trilogy  by Ken Follett entitled Edge of Eternity. It’s a tome, maybe an equivalent of three romance  books or chick lit. I love the story though, it happened at the time Kennedy was the US president and when Martin Luther King was a revered figure of the black population in America. It happened when East Germany put up a dividing wall preventing its  population to cross West Germany.  I guess this is the best of the three books. It’s really hard to put it down.

If you find some words here that are clearly misspelled, blame it on the autocorrect feature of my tab.I am really finding it hard to publish a new post  and check the blogs I follow here.  Hopefully, everything goes back to normal in  a month or two. Who am I kidding, I wonder if I could last that long without eyestrain.

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I set myself to read 50 books this year. Just random titles that I could find in no particular order. I started with e-books but I have a  stash waiting to be read.  I love Goodreads since I am able to view some reviews of several books that I like  to read  including memoirs, biographies and  book of poems but most are fiction books that I found in several trips at Booksale.  There are several volumes (all brand new) that a friend brought home from the US, books that I’ve long wanted to have but never got the chance to find them here. Ah, I forgot, there is one particular book that I want to read this year which was recommended by a fellow blogger. It’s One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are by Ann Voskamp. Maybe when I look and search long enough, I’ll find a copy. Wish me luck.

There was a time when I kept a virtual library at Shelfari but then I forgot my password and most of the books I have listed there are now gone so I have started to create another online library at Goodreads.  I am not pissed off  by some negative reviews of the books I am reading, their choices, their taste in reading and the way they admire the stories are not mine. It does not always follow that when one reader gives it a two-star, you would put it aside because it is not good. Sometimes I am even challenged to read a book with low ratings/reviews.

Goodreads says I am two books ahead of schedule which is roughly translated to 6% of the 50 books I promised myself to read this year.  I am on my fourth book now, a book by Nicholas Sparks. It’s been a while since I read one of his works and the last time was when I joined a large crowd at The Podium for his book signing in 2011. It was the only book-signing event I attended so far but it was a lovely and unforgettable experience.

I found these beautiful  book quotes that I want to share with you.  It’s amazing how reading could take  you anywhere you want to go.

photo courtesy of notecouture.com.au

photo credit:  notecouture.com.au

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I CAN’T!   And that’s written in big bold letters. This ongoing love affair knows no bounds, an insatiable thirst for more, loving the feel and smell of new pages, waiting to discover something that would either make you cry, laugh, think and smile. I need more space for more books. If my brother could hear me now, he would say, get a Kindle. He offered to buy me one but I am in a quandary whether I will enjoy reading without holding the book in my hands.  I took some shots of some of the books we have now after I lost most of my collection more than two years ago. Someday, I’m going to replace them one by one because I want to read some of them all over again and get lost in the magic of words.

I need one more like this, a wooden cabinet where I could arrange the other books hiding behind those books on the wall.

And these are my daughter’s new collection. She’s lately into magic and vampires and werewolves. But if you were to ask me I enjoyed the series of Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games. All three books were exceptionally written. Move over Harry Potter and let’s watch this soon for a change. I also enjoyed reading The Red Pyramid because it brought me back to the magic of childhood.

And these are my personal favorites.

Books let us into their souls and lay open to us the secrets of our own.  ~William Hazlitt

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I promised myself I would go easy on blogging and concentrate on reading more books this year. There are so many books I have set aside the past year in lieu of being in front of  my computer blogging everyday. The lure of books is making itself felt, a little tug here and there, looking into some pages  I accumulated over the years, starting on a few chapters but not really absorbing them.  There are books and there are books that seem dull at first but when you start re-reading them, you ask yourself, “why have I missed this”?  For in truth, they  are just waiting for you to pick them up.  Or maybe the second time around is like a love affair that goes sweeter by the minute. So here goes, this list is not even complete but the books I have here will have to be first. The stash is definitely growing everyday.

  • Mythology – my two kids are lovers of mythology and Nissa invested on hard bound books on Greek, Roman, Norse and Celtic mythology. It’s not too late to educate myself on this because the only mythology book I read before was a paperback copy of  Edith Hamilton’s book. Tall order, don’t you think?
  • Thai Cooking and More – Yes, definitely more experiment in the kitchen. I have tried one or two recipes but the problem is, sometimes it is hard to find authentic Thai ingredients here.
  • Cell by Stephen King – this has sat on our shelf  for the past three years and I haven’t even open the pages. It was a gift from a friend.  It’s hard to read a hard-bound book when you are on the verge of sleep.
  • Coming Home by Rosamunde Pilcher – Have I read this in the early years, I am not sure now but it’s another book on hard cover. Pilcher is a favorite and I am trying to complete all of her published books.
  • The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown – Dan Brown is not exactly my cup of tea but I’ll give it a try.
  • Border Music by James Waller – Waller is another author whose writing style appeals to me.
  • The Bridge Across Forever by Richard Bach – would love to read this again and get reacquainted with Richard Bach and LeslieParrish. This is an excellent and wonderful journey of Richard who bares his soul here. It speaks about fate and soul mate encounter. If you loved reading Jonathan Livingston Seagull, you would surely love this too.
  • Valley of Horse by Jean Auel – The thick book scares me but I’ll give it a try.
  • Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson – The inspiring account of one man’s campaign to build schools in the most dangerous, remote, and anti-American reaches of Asia . For a time, I was hooked on reading books on Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other Asian countries where turmoil is still present until now.
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman – Well, it’s by Neil Gaiman, no question there.
  • If Life Were A Bowl of Cherrie, What Am I Doing In The Pits by Erma Bombeck – She’s funny, that I can tell!
  • Between Blinks by Jim Paredes – a collection of poems and essays by one of Apo’s members.
  • A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving – There’s a good review on this so I’ll give it a try.
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – would love to re-read this classic. The last time I encountered this book was when I was in high school.
  • Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – Some of my friends are raving about this but I got bore reading the first part. Who knows, I’ll finally find a treasure when I read it again.
  • Julie and Julia  by Julie Powell – Another much-hyped about book that I started but got bored after the first fifty pages.   

What about you? What books do you plan to read this year?

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