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Posts Tagged ‘book review’


I took a rest the whole of yesterday. I was not feeling so good. My throat hurts until now and last night was a struggle to sleep well. I woke up before 12am, then was able to sleep again before 4am.  I have to brew some ginger slices  which I drank as substitute for water.

I am so afraid when I get sick because over the years my immunity has gone down. If I have colds, it would take me weeks to get well. And to think flu is rampant nowadays because of the cold weather. Early this morning, I went out to buy pandesal for breakfast and I had to wear a face mask.  Just a precaution.

I found this very inspiring  and uplifting book entitled The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes. I could wholeheartedly relate, a case of been there, done that.  Mia was nicknamed Rabbit by her family and friends. She is a young mother battling cancer. The story mostly happened in a hospice where she was transferred  during her final days. She reflects on her life’s journey as she waits for the final hour that she’ll meet her Maker. She is an atheist though while her family members are Catholics.  The support of her family members, her friends and her twelve-year old daughter makes the story even more poignant. Anger, hope, despair  and denial, the love between a mother and a young daughter, the relationship of parents to their kids, the love between siblings. I guess this book is not for the weak-hearted for you will surely cry while reading it.  But there are instances where you would also laugh and could easily relate to what they are all going through.

Anna McPartlin was born in Dublin, Ireland.  Her inspirations are her friends and family. I wish I could find her three other books.  I love the way she write.

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Ah, to think we are already in February but my WordPress calendar is still on January 31, 2019. Of course, we are advanced by a few hours from other countries.

I used to write about month endings and beginnings, lately though I’ve been quite lazy. Lazy to write a few words that is. January has been a quiet month for me. I’m just so happy that I have found new authors and new books to read. I have just finished my 20th this year, a story about the quirks and moods of an artist, his relationship with  his family particularly his son who idolizes him. A lovely story, carving your own space in the shadow of a master. And here is my short, short review at Goodreads:

“I am giving this five stars, my second book of five stars this year. What a gifted writer, truly impressive story. Yes,this is my first book of Tom Rachman. He is virtually an unknown author to me. 

I love the main characters of the story. Charles aka Pinch is such a lovely character. His whole life was overshadowed by his talented and gifted artist father. He struggled on his own learning the craft without the knowledge of his family and friends. He proved himself that he could excel just like his father.”

I haven’t admired the art of painting much except when I was introduced to it at Sip & Go, an afternoon spent with Nissa back in November where we indulged ourselves in an amateur painting.  She paid for it as a birthday gift to me.  Painting on acrylic…just great. When you are used to doing stick figures and flowers in crayons, you would truly appreciate something like this. Believe it , I’d like to go back one of these days to paint other subjects. Ambitious, ‘no? 🙂 I am re-posting one of our photos here with shall I say, the finished product.

At Sip & Gogh

It’s a lovely morning with the cold breeze and all.

Goodbye January. February, be kind.

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And if you’re quite familiar with Mary Oliver’s books, you have probably encountered this lovely and uplifting small hardbound volume  of Upstream. It’s a collection of essays of Mary Oliver that provides anecdotes and meditations, her life as a writer and  as a lover of nature. It was published in October 2016.

Thus the book begins with these words: “In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be.” 

Unlike her poetry, these essays paint a fuller picture of how she was as a writer, how her life revolved around those things that ordinarily we wouldn’t even appreciate, turtle eggs and hatchlings, owls, spiders, trees, gulls, sunflowers  and the sea. She touched on such renowned authors like Emerson, Whitman and Poe. Learning something about the lives of these writers made me appreciate their words more.

I began reading this book two years ago but I read the essays in increments preferring the lovely poems in her other books. You could actually read it in just one sitting but imagining those scenes described in the book makes you pause and think about life.

At the end of the book, she gave a short tribute to the place where she lived for fifty years in Provincetown, Massachusetts. She ended her prose with: “I don’t know if I am heading toward heaven or that other, dark place, but I know I have already lived in heaven for fifty years. Thank you, Provincetown”.

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I am venturing into another memoir, It’s Not Yet Dark. The author is practically unheard of, at least in my reading journey.  Simon Fitzmaurice, an Irish film-maker, was given four years to live.

I researched what MND (motor neurone disease) is and  it is another term for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ). It is an uncommon condition that affects the nerves and brain. It progressively damages parts of the nervous system.

The first time I heard of this disease was when I read the inspiring book Tuesdays With Morrie. Morrie was afflicted with the same ailment and a former student of his documented it.  I watched the movie adaptation too.

I promised myself I would read other memoirs  for my reading challenge this year. I’ve only just started  and it is definitely engrossing. What does it mean to be at your lowest of low and those moments when your health is compromised? Short of saying, “I’ve been there, done that”, you always cling to the hope that you will get well in the end. Despite everything, you cling to your faith that everything would be okay, that you will live a normal life again. It’s hard to get sick, and it is even harder to maintain that composure amidst hospital and doctor visits, laboratories, drugs and low self-esteem.

It’s Not Yet Dark!  It’s my 13th read for this year. I got a feeling it would be another unforgettable read. I have just finished a historical novel set in Tuscany. I love anything that has Tuscany in it…haha!

Here’s one quote that I love about It’s Not Yet Dark.

“Our lives are not the legacy we leave behind, or the value of the work that we do. Our lives happen in between the deeds and ideas that define us.”

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Yes, Saturday is family day.

Saturday is time to relax.

Saturday is  time to read.

This is one of those weekends that there is not much to do at home except read, read and read some more,  browse a little at Facebook and visit my wall at Goodreads.

Yesterday, I finished re-reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The first  time I read this book was more than four decades ago. I was in college then. Treated it as one those book reports that one has to summarize as a requirement in an English subject.

Reading it today,  it gave me a little more perspective. Oh yes, it is a love story. Jane Austen  wrote this more than a century ago about the English gentility.

It seems somehow different from when I read it the first time more than forty years ago. The story is a rich-boy-meets-poor girl which has been adapted in so many story lines in recent Tagalog movies. The long conversations, not familiar with it anymore. Overall though, the novel still carries that long ago thrill and excitement in reading again a Jane Austen book.

This is my first classic book read this year. I gave it 4 stars at Goodreads.

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I didn’t really expect anything from this book. I seldom read YA books now since I found so many new authors that I like. A light read actually.

It was a nice surprise though – a coming of age story, relationship between mothers and daughters, friendship, love of animals and most of all blogging.


I love how the story revolved around Tara and her mom. Fellow bloggers would surely appreciate how this was told through Tara’s blog. You know, those day-to-day happenings in a young teenager’s life, her dreams and aspirations, her love-hate relationship with her mom and her discovery of her extended family. Her blog was entitled Lonely Girl and the book ended when she gave up blogging, lonely girl no more.

The last time I read about a book premised on the  blogging world was when I encountered Julie and Julia by Julie Powell.  There was a movie made on this starring Meryl Streep. I enjoyed watching the movie so I bought the book but I was not able to finish it. I only reached page 50. The movie adaptation was so much better than the book.

My Virtual Life is my 9th read this year.

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My gosh,I just can’t put it down, all 596 pages of it.  I’ve read eleven of his books including this one.

It’s Ken Follett. Same thing happened to me when I first read Pillars of the Earth and the succeeding book on the series. 

 I really can’t review it any better. All the ingredients of a powerful plot  are here – greed, lust, power, ambitions.  Yes, it is a typical Follett book that grips you from beginning to  end. He really knows how to tell a story. And since it involved bank collapse, I was  even more interested.  I remember those days I worked for more than twenty years at one of the largest banks in the country.

I spent most of the day reading, it’s my seventh book for this  year’s challenge. I was trying to look for  a movie adaptation but all I’ve seen were trailers of the movie.

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