Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘book review’


 

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 places 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.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


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.

 

Read Full Post »


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.

 

 

Read Full Post »


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?

Read Full Post »


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.

Read Full Post »


I think the last time I blogged about Dad was a year ago. Today is his 10th death anniversary. Can’t believe it has been that long. I could still imagine him  sitting in a corner  or at the garage while perusing the news for the day. His vision became normal once he had that eye operation years and years ago.  Yes, he loved reading the newspaper from cover to cover.  You can talk about anything under the sun and he would gladly share his experiences  about life, how he struggled in his studies so he could be employed in a nice  and stable institution like the University of Santo Tomas where my siblings and I all studied from high school to college.

Today is another day of remembering those long ago days full of nice and beautiful memories.  My  two brothers except our youngest (who spent his elementary years here in Manila)  were left  in the province with our maternal grandmother when Mom would spend a few months with Dad.  We would always look forward to summer vacations and December break when there were no classes and Dad would come home for a week or two to spend the days with us. He used to take night trips. It was nice to wake early  in the morning seeing his face while drinking a hot cup of rice coffee.  Those were also the days when we would come to Manila with him and Mom and spend the rest of summer vacation  with them. We all transferred to the university during our high school years. I remember taking the bus to our place in Quezon City and dad would accompany me to the bus stop before one in the afternoon before going back to the office. When I was in first year and second year high school, Mom came back to the province to  stay with my two younger  brothers. We had no refrigerator so Dad would drop by the wet market  every day before going home to buy  something for dinner and for breakfast the following day.  I learned those basic recipes from him  when I was in high school.

I grew up reading those Mills and Boon romance books  back in the early seventies.  Dad would borrow some at their high school library and he would return them  back after a week.  I graduated on those romance books when I got to college and  did a two-year stint as a student librarian at the university. That was where I was introduced to more serious reading. I was surrounded by Ethics, Philosophy, Psychology, literature and fiction books.The happy years growing up with books.

The pain of losing him would always linger, but the memories, the good memories would remain in my heart forever. I will always remember those words of wisdom. They have some shaped my life to where I am now.

I’ll always keep you in my prayers dad. Missing you …. still!

 

Read Full Post »


I think it was a few months ago when I reviewed a book and recommended it to book lovers like me. Like I’ve always said before, I don’t make a review by parroting a synopsis or summary of a book like other people do. You can find those lovely summaries online.  I’d rather think of how I enjoyed reading it or how it affected me. Believe me, reading one always affects me, be it a good story or not.

I’ve set aside one or two books that I have recently started when I found this lovely book by Helen J. Rolfe.  It is my first time to encounter a book by this author and I just love it.  The title made me smile and it was not just because the story obviously was about Christmas which is my favorite season of the year. Christmas At The Little Knitting Box – this reminds me of those long ago days when doing crafts were in vogue.

My mum has this sturdy Singer sewing machine which has been  with her since I was in grade school. At her age now (she’s 88) she still can sew and  repair her dresses with it.  You won’t believe this but she still has those pillow cases  which she sewed and embroidered  a long, long time ago.  There was  even this center table runner with my name embroidered on it.  I learned embroidery  and crochet  when I was in grade school in our Home Economics class. That was followed by simple projects that I learned during high school. Back in the nineties, my former boss at Bank of the Philippine Islands had set up a craft store  in one of the malls here in Metro Manila.  She taught us crafts like  paper quilling, candle making and cross-stitching.  There was a time I got so engrossed in cross-stitching  that I even brought my projects to the office and did them  during lunch breaks. Some of my office mates were in it too and we exchanged designs, sourced materials. Until now I still have those  skein threads in almost all shades and colors.

The book I have just read  reminds me of those days. I’ve never done knitting though. Those colorful yarns featured in the book made me remember those nights my  eyes would grow heavy with fatigue to finish a corner of a particular cross-stitch design.  It’s a beautifully written book that was a joy to read, an uplifting saga about families and beating the odds. It is a story about celebrating Christmas – the snow on the front porch, the Christmas lights and parols, the beautifully decorated Christmas tree, the food, gifts and everything that spells Christmas. It is a feel-good book that I would recommend to everyone to read during the season. I am giving it five stars.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »