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Posts Tagged ‘book review’


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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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!

 

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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.

 

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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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