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Posts Tagged ‘book review’


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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Will this never ends? I found twenty comments on my spam folder with the usual sites before with the word sexy at the middle of the e-addy.  I am guessing this is only one person using different e-mails.  I don’t know what they get  out of such useless spam  comments. Waste of time really. I even noticed that my comments on two blog posts by friends  were  “liked” by a spammer with  the same e-mail address. What do you think?

Equinoxio21, an online friend advised me to bring back the re-blog button by going to “sharing” on “My Site”  menu   and clicking the “Sharing buttons”  and saving it. Voila, the re-blog button appears again. Thank you!

I found another book by one of my favorite authors (aside of course from Mary Oliver, Richard Paul Evans, Khaled Hosseini and many others) Nadia Hashimi.  Hashimi is an American doctor, a bestselling novelist and a women’s rights advocate.  Her parents are Afghans so she always write about life in Afghanistan.  Since I encountered Khaled’s Hosseini’s books years ago, I looked for other Asian authors and found her.  I’ve read three of her books before two of which I posted reviews here two years ago. When The Moon Is Low is Goodreads’ Best Book of 2015, I actually wrote short reviews about her first three books that I read. Here’s my take on this: One of the best books I read so far on the 2016 reading challenge. I wonder why I am always drawn to historical novels (I am an old soul) and stories about Afghanistan always make me cry.

The Pearl  That Broke Its Shell came second on my reading list although it was her literary debut novel. And I wrote: “A painful but riveting story about what life is like for women in Afghanistan.”The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies.” Here’s a lovely quote from that book.

“Life has typhoons. They come and turn everything upside down. But you still have to stand up because the next storm may be around the corner”.

The third book is entitled One Half From The East.  I am reading the fourth book now. Just like the first three books, this one looks so good. A House Without Windows is a haunting story about friendship and the plight of women in Afghanistan.

If only I could find her other book which I think is the newest so far.  When you find such gifted authors, you always look forward to what they write about.

Yes, I remember another author, Khaled Hosseini, Afghan born and also a doctor. His memorable book, The Kite Runner was adapted into film which Nissa and I watched years ago. We cried inside the cinema.

 

 

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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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I have about thousands of books  on my shelves including my e-books on Moon Reader. Sometimes, I don’t know what to choose to read next. It is always a toss between a historical novel, YA books (sometime), memoirs or thrillers.  I promised myself I would read more classic books this year but it is hard to find one.

I like to read all of them but I need my eyes to be treated first. Going back to the doctor next week. Here are some books on my TBR list.

  1. Night Train To Lisbon – I’ve always wanted to read this since I found it but there are more lovely books around.
  2.  The Family  Corleone  by Ed Falco, a book about the Corleone family. I hope it is as good as the book by Mario Puzo.
  3.  The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan.   I’d like to read this again. I read it back in 2015 and I wrote this lovely quote in my notebook. “Everyone must dream. We dream to give ourselves hope. To stop dreaming – well, that’s like saying you can never change your fate.”  Amy Tan is one of the talented authors I really, really like.
  4.  The Hunt for Red October. The book was  published in 1999. I saw my former boss at Bank of PI reading it before and I looked for a copy of the book but  until now I haven’t started it yet.
  5. The Signature of All Things. It is a fiction book by Elizabeth Gilbert, a historical saga. There was a time when I also bought a copy of Eat, Pray, Love many years ago but I got bored reading the first two or three chapters of the book.  I’ll give this one a try though but not in the immediate future.
  6. The Picture of Dorian Gray. It’s been on my wish list for quite sometime in the past then I found a good copy, a mass market produced book. I was even more blessed when a friend  gave me a thick copy of  the Complete Works of Oscar Wilde, a trade paperback.  Looking forward to read this one.
  7.  The Silence of War by Terry Mcgowan – a memoir  of a former Marine who returns to combat in Iraq and Afghanistan three decades after leaving the Corps. This intrigues me, it has mostly five stars on Goodreads.
  8.  The Valley of  Amazement by Amy Tan.  Another Amy Tan book  that I really want to read soon. A sweeping epic of two women’s intertwined fates and their search for identity  in a remote  Chinese village. It is a historical novel.
  9.  Written In My Own Heart’s Blood.  There was a time when I got so engrossed in Diana Gabaldon’s  Outlander series that I bought around more than ten of her books. Some were even hardbound but except for one or two left, they were all destroyed by typhoon Ondoy in 2009.  This one is number 8 in the series which I haven’t read yet. A historical novel  about 18th century Scotland.
  10. Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser. I used to devour self-help books before during my college days. Indulged in  Psychology and Philosophy books too but now I just read those that makes me happy. I am curious about this though. Turning your dreams into reality. Stories about ordinary people who have witnessed miracles in their lives. This must be good.

 

 

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Just done reading a book by David Baldacci. It’s been on my TBR list for almost two months before I picked it up again. I was distracted by other books and new authors.

This is quite different  from the usual genre that Baldacci writes about. If you are used to the thrillers that he churns out,  One Summer is a story of a family struggling with being together after the mother dies in a car accident.  The pain of losing a wife, the adjustments one has to make  having the kids around, the daily battle with longing and missing a much-loved family member.  This is not as touching as the stories woven by Nicholas Sparks or Richard Paul Evans. It is a light read though.

This is my fifth read and Goodreads says I am three books ahead of schedule. I am still on the look out for classics.  In the meantime, I’ll make do with historical fiction.

Are you on Goodreads? Did you join the challenge for this year?

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I’ve blogged about books twice this week  and  maybe you would think I do nothing but read, right? Wrong. I only read before I go to sleep or before I take that much-needed nap in the afternoon. We call it siesta.

I can’t pass this up. Goodreads just released something new, a list of books you’ve read throughout the year  arranged as to when you have finished reading them.  It’s called My Year 2017 in Books. They said I had a total of 66,115 pages across 201 books. The shortest is Luanne Rice’s The Night Before with 24 pages and the longest is  Light A Penny Candle by  Maeve Binchy with 832 pages.  The most popular one I read this year was The Lord Of  The Flies by William Golding with almost two million readers who read it too. My average rating for 2017 was 3.5. The highest rated on Goodreads was September Blue by Cat Whitney.  I remember that short review I had of that book. I actually gave it five  stars.

Wow, this is just so good. One of the best books I encountered this year. A compelling read, bravery amidst trials and tribulations. Just breathtaking!

They  listed all the books I read with the highest ratings in big prints. So glad of  Goodreads to do this. Now I can come back and  use it as reference when I want to reread all those books with five stars. Goodreads  serves as my online library since that is where I get those lovely recommendations on what books to read, new releases and award winners.

Thanks Goodreads.

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