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Posts Tagged ‘book review’


Last night, I received this precious badge from Goodreads together with this lovely message:

Congrats!
You have read 150 books of your goal of 150!”

Almost nine months and I am done. It was nice to discover new authors whose  books were just as lovely as those I have read before. It was nice to discover new places.  It was just lovely to add more books on my shelves and on my tab.  I was even on a quandary what book to read last but I finally settled on Palladian.  I was reminded of the book Jane Eyre at the outset.  Palladian was first published in 1946, more than ten years before I was born.  Much as there are negative reviews on the book, the positive ones far outweigh them. Such poetic prose,  a string of words that warms the heart.  Summaries and various reviews are posted on Goodreads,  that is, if you have time to visit the site.

Hoping I could find more lovely books to read, reread those books that inspired me over the years, discover more memoirs, poems and fiction in the process.

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Books and more books.

Just borrowed the title of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s  book. An almost five hundred pages of engaging read. One of the best books I’ve read so far in this year’s challenge. It’s actually my first book of Carlos Ruiz Zafón.

I’ve heard of this Spanish novelist in one of our book club’s discussions but didn’t try to find a copy since I had so many TBR books at hand. Finally, I found time to make it as one of the priorities in my reading. It’ my 105th book  read this year. Forty five  more books to go until December and I’ll be able to complete Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.

I didn’t know what to expect of this book but it was all about antiquated books and libraries which are subjects dear to my heart. Like my other book reviews, I won’t even attempt to summarize the story here, it’s  for other readers to find out. Suffice to say, I enjoyed every page although it took me almost three days of on and off reading to finish it.  It’s worth every minute.  There are three books actually in this series and  this is the first one. I wonder if  I could find the other two.

As usual, I set aside gardening and blogging for two days while I tried to finish the book. Often, in most lovely books,  a book review would not be complete without Good quotes.

“So long as we are being remembered, we remain alive.”

“Fools talk, cowards are silent, wise men listen.”
“People tend to complicate their own lives, as if living weren’t already complicated enough.”
“Once, in my father’s bookshop, I heard a regular customer say that few things leave a deeper mark on a reader than the first book that finds its way into his heart. Those first images, the echo of words we think we have left behind, accompany us throughout our lives and sculpt a palace in our memory to which, sooner or later—no matter how many books we read, how many worlds we discover, or how much we learn or forget—we will return.”
I just started with a book called The Memory Child by Steena Holmes, another first on my list. What are you reading?

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Whether we admit it or not, most of us live our lives on autopilot. We wake at the same hour, go to the same place of work or worship, talk to the same people, eat at the same restaurants, even watch the same TV show….

But sometimes the evolving terrain of life requires us to evolve with it. When those times come, we usually find ourselves quivering on the

The Mistletoe Secret

precipice of change as long as we can, because no one wants to dive into the ravine of uncertainty. No one. Only when the pain of being becomes too much do we close our eyes and leap.

Thus begins the first chapter of Richard Paul Evans’ The Mistletoe Secret. Another book to cherish. It’s my 75th book on Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.  I can relate to this book because the story is about a blogger who feels so alone and lonely and she writes what she feels through a blog.  She thought no one cares but there was someone out there who continued to read her blog.  This is the premise of the book until the guy decided to look for that blogger and you guess it right…there is a happy ever after, but of course.  The story line is simple but it has depth of emotions and feelings. It’s been a long time since I read a book by Richard Paul Evans.  His writing style is not that complicated but I love how he delves into  life in general and relationships in particular.  It’s what I like about RPE’s writing.

I am halfway through my committed books to read for this year, 150 in all. One thing with a new book is that you can’t help but  smell the pages and no dog-ears please. Use a book marker.  I started reading a few excerpts of Mary Oliver’s Upstream when it was published  late last year but now that I have my copy, I will enjoy reading her essays.

What have you read lately?

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There have been so many excellent books written about the Holocaust both true accounts and fiction. There is Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl which I’ve read three decades ago, Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally which was adapted into a movie and  Mila 18 by Leon Uris.

Irena’s Children is one of them, a newly published book about the life of Irena Sendler and how she helped save thousands of children affected by the war (when Germany invaded Poland).

Such a riveting story of loss of millions of lives because of war, selflessness, love of family, love of country, courage, life and death.

Gosh, I can’t believe it. this is my 99th read and I am almost, almost done. One more book to go. I am in a quandary which to read first, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak which I’ve been eyeing to read since my college years or The Kitchen House which is another historical novel. Or maybe, toss coin na lang, which is which..haha 🙂

Sometimes,Iwonder why I am always drawn to history, fiction or not. Maybe I am an old soul.

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13158800Beautiful. Magnificent story. One of the best reads for my 2016 challenge. It was Goodread’s Choice 2012 winner and I didn’t know it was recently adapted into film until I finished reading it a few minutes ago. Read some reviews, some are the same as I felt in the middle of reading the book….I cried at the last few pages. I watched the 3-minute trailer on YouTube..wow! The ocean lighted by that lone lighthouse was lovely. I have always admired seeing lighthouses from a distance but I have never seen one lighted at night.

This is my 96th book for this year, four more to go and I am done. I am thinking of rereading The Godfather by Mario Puzo, getting a start at Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (there is a full movie adaptation on YouTube) and maybe another inspiring book by Alicia Ruggerie, if I could find one.

“There are still more days to travel in this life. And he knows that the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way. Scars are just another kind of memory….Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone.”

“Sometimes life turns out hard. Sometimes it just bites right through you. And sometimes, just when you think it’s done its worst, it comes back and takes another chunk.”

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WOW!

If there is a rating more than five stars, I’ll give this book a six. It’s one of the best books I’ve read to date, my 70th out of the 100 books I challenged myself to finish for  Goodread’s 2016 Reading Challenge. I am afraid my review would not be enough to describe the beauty of this book, how well-written it is so I won’t even attempt to write one. Suffice to say, this book is beautiful, inspiring, awesome…..beautiful, inspiring, awesome. Truly a masterpiece. Lisa Wingate is a gifted writer.

prayerbox-standingcover I didn’t know I was on the last page when I read these lines.

“None can contain the magnificence of a wave kissing sand or the perfect spiral of a shell drying translucent in the sun or the fire of morning over endless water.

Or the beauty of a hummingbird as it hovers just an arm’s length away, mysteriously out of season on the day before Thanksgiving, it’s wings stroking air,rapid, invisible, powerful. Frozen in time for only an instant.

And then it flies away, growing smaller and smaller against the blue of an endless sky. Until finally it disappears into heaven.”

There are so many lovely quotes that I found in this book that  I copied  to my journal.  The prayer box reminds me of another blog post I wrote exactly a year ago. My  thought box is a discarded chocolate tin which contains  square  scratch papers of different size and color (filled with words, quotes, single lines, messages and reminders) which I have to sort out again  whereas the prayer box is a treasure trove of  inspiring words and letters religiously documented over the years.

When a book touches  you where it matters the most, it is certainly a winner.

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That’s the funny thing about writing your life story. You start out trying to remember dates and times and names. You think it’s about facts, your life; that what you’ll look back on and remember are the successes and failures, the timeline of your youth and middle age, but that isn’t it at all.

Love.

Family.

Laughter.

That’s what I remember when all is said and done. For so much of my life, I thought I didn’t do enough or want enough. I guess I can be forgiven my stupidity. I was young. I want my children to know how proud I am of them, and how proud I am of me. We were everything we needed – you and Daddy and I.  I have everything I ever wanted.

Love.

That’s what we remember.

When a book makes me cry, I give it five stars. Yes I know, the quotes sound cheesy, it’s a YA book after all.  Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah in one such lovely read. It’s my 17th book on Goodreads’ 2016 Reading Challenge. When I review a book, I don’t summarize it for other people to read, it’s more like sharing what it made me feel. Was I inspired with the story? Was it interesting enough to recommend to other readers who love stories on life-long friendship and family and how  genuine love plays through it all?

You can always read the summary and some book reviews on Goodreads, some maybe disappointed, some find it wonderful.  The story line is such that it made me cry. When I started college life, I worked in the university library for almost three years and there I found true friendship with some of my colleagues. We’ve been friends since I was seventeen and the three of them are still my friends until now. We don’t normally get to see each other but we get in touch despite the distance.  Thea is now a Franciscan nun, Grace has migrated to another country and Precy is a successful businesswoman.  Except for Grace, the three of us experienced life-threatening ailments that made us closer together. Precy once said that we had to undergo the same kind of pain that cancer brings.

Near the end, Firefly Lane delivers such painful reality of losing a mum, a close friend, a daughter and a wife. It pains me to remember the agony of being not 100% fit,  and I do remember vividly what it was like going thru chemotherapy .  Sometimes though, life let us experience something that makes us stronger, ready to accept the ugly realities and grateful for the blessings in between.

Really, when a book makes me cry, I give it five stars.

 

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