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Posts Tagged ‘books’


September is almost at an end but the weather is so erratic sometimes which  makes you think it is still summer. Either the sun goes up early in the morning, heavy rain takes over in the afternoon or the rain comes early when you are asleep  and the sun shines a little late in the afternoon. Crazy.

I haven’t blogged for a week, that kind of post that needs at least five hundred words :)  Remember  that feeling that you wanted to write  a post but you don’t know how  to start? Remember that feeling when  you have lots of thoughts in your head chasing each other to come out but you don’t know  where to start? Remember that feeling that you would really love to update your blog but you don’t know when to start?

Maybe I am just feeling oh so lazy.  Yes Virginia, that’ s the truth.  I am on my 92nd book though, 8 more books to go and I’m done.  I don’t always find  good ones, some are just easy reads.

We left early to do our twice a month marketing this morning. I was delighted when I found fresh fiddlehead fern selling at P10 a bunch, got three for P25.  You’re lucky if a vendor gives you a discount because you are the buena mano.  It tastes so crunchy, just blanch it with hot water for a minute or two  then add slices of tomatoes, ginger and onion. Instead of ground pork as toppings,  I used a can of flaked solid white  albacore fried to a crisp. Josef loves it. Then we saw a young stingray being sliced by our suki vendor so we bought a kilo. They  clean it and remove the skin at your request. My son is an expert when it comes to flaking the fish, slicing and dicing ingredients.  The best way to cook it is in coconut cream with lots of diced  banana pepper, julienned  ginger  and thinly sliced red onion.  I am surprised that Rambutan fruits are still in season, a steal at P60 a kilo.  I love it when it is chilled. It’s fun to find fresh produce in the market.

We were supposed to celebrate my daughter’s birthday in advance today so I cooked Nate’s favorite sinigang, this time I used shrimp instead of pork ribs. Nate loves anything sour with all the veggies.They were on their way here this morning when Nissa  told me that they  were  going back because her mother-in-law was rushed to  the hospital.  Nothing serious, she was not confined, thank God.  Nate was actually looking forward to their monthly visit here. He said over the phone “see you later Nonna” but he must have meant “see you soon”.  More weekends to look forward to.

Lately,  I have explored a bit of WordPress, how to blacklist someone who makes those comments which are not really about the post or about the blog  but which are not classified as spam by  WordPress.  They are meant to provoke.  I have learned how to delete a follower who is not really into writing, when you click the site, you can’t even find it. Years ago, there was this site who made use of one particular post, changed  some words and they made it appear its their own. I called the attention of WordPress to no avail so what I did was to blog about that site for everyone to see.  I even learned how to use Copyscape to check everything here, I don’t know how  effective it is but at least  it is an option.  I am glad there is Akismet.  It has protected my site from 54,096 spam comments as of this writing.  I am grateful to WordPress for that.

Any app you have uploaded to your blog to protect it? It would be nice to hear from you, thanks🙂

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One thing I like about Facebook is their daily app called On This Day where you can go back and see what you wrote a few years back, a summary of shoutout you did through the years.  I wrote the  following paragraphs exactly four years ago on my wall. I wonder if I lifted them  from  some earlier posts I did here. I know it is easier if there is a previous review of the book you want to read or it was given a rating of five stars like they do on Goodreads but I guess you can always explore a book and sometimes you certainly find nice surprises.

Sometimes I wonder if people read a particular book because they love and like the author or they find positive reviews about it or simply because the book is just there, handy for one to enjoy.

I am not deterred by negative reviews they give to a particular book or been influenced by the five-star rating on the side, I’d rather want to discover it on my own. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised, you actually love the story of one which others say is not worth that much.

And I love this quote from Roald Dahl: “So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

It’s funny, I even capitalized that word  “please”.  I am on the last leg of my reading challenge of 100 books this year (88% done) and I realized that one should not be afraid to try reading new authors, not just those you’re familiar with or are well-known.  Sometimes, the very first books they publish are the best ones. And yes, I have to be honest here, sometimes the book cover does it 🙂

What are you reading now? I am done with some books on baking and those fiction books that have baking recipes in between the pages.

 

 

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I am excited. Truly.

A few days ago, I saw this on Mary Oliver’s timeline. Her new book Upstream will be released in a month and I just hope this time I would be able to find a copy.

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It’s the newest collection of Mary Oliver’s essays.  I’m always on the lookout for Mary Oliver’s quotes online  and luckily I found one on Blogger. Would you believe, the author quoted  a poem of Mary  every day for a year and did a short write-up of what those words meant  in  her life?  I am still on the first few entries but I was able to find some poems which are not included in the only two books I have of Mary Oliver, New And Selected Poems, Vol. 1 and the lovely edition of A Thousand Mornings.

Then I found these on her wall too and I was l smiling like crazy. Her words inspire me, lift me up and give me that boost I sorely need when I feel down. To appreciate  the beauty of the  natural world around us, what bliss!

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One of my favorite poems is this, The Wild Geese.

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting —
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

 

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It’s been a while.

It’s been raining cats and dogs here for the past days and I only saw the sun showed its face briefly early this morning (for a few minutes actually)  then she played hide and seek  with the thick clouds  never to show up again the whole day.  We were alarmed when Marikina River reached almost critical level because the rain dumped so much in thirty minutes causing the river to swell. Marikina is adjacent to our town so they have to open the eight gates of Manggahan floodway which is so near to us.  There are pockets of water in some areas until now. Old folks call this “siyam-siyam”,  nine days of prolonged rained brought about by the southwest monsoon.  Well, it is the rainy season so what can we expect but I am praying hard that flash floods won’t be a problem for us  during this wet season.

You wonder what the smell of rain is. It threatens but at the same time the sound of raindrops gently falling on the roof is quite soothing. The drizzle is quite nice for the plants but the downpour makes them swim too much in water. And when it rains, you have so much time in your hands to read. I have just finished my 79th book on Goodreads’ 2016 reading challenge, 18 books in advance.  When you are lucky to find a subject quite different from your usual reading genre, you devour it with gusto. I found a treasure in reading The Secret Ways of Perfume. You would think that a scent of a perfume is just that, something you like but we don’t know the complexities of how it is made, you need a detailed study on the combination of scents (the essences of flowers, herbs and spices). There is something that soothes, energizes, inspires. lavender, bergamot, roses…learning the world of perfume creation. How nice!

How was your Sunday?

 

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It’s a wet and cold morning and it’s been raining on and off since the start of the weekend.  Hanging habagat  (southwest monsoon) is definitely here. It was a busy weekend though. It’s a good thing we were able to finish some gardening chores early.

When you are forced to stay at home because of the weather, you either keep busy or you relax to your heart’s content.  I did both…haha! Aside from gardening, I was able to find time to read two books over the weekend and to watch two movies on YouTube.  Yes, you heard it right.  For the first time in so many years, I caught myself finding some inspirational movies that would lift the soul and strengthen faith. The Song of Bernadette did just that. I could not remember the last time I watched this movie. I found a version in Blu-Ray. The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 drama film that tells the story of Bernadette Soubirous, a young visionary of Lourdes  who later became a saint. From February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, she  reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This  film is based on the true story of Bernadette Soubirous, and adapted from the book written by  Franz Werfel.  What a lovely, lovely way to spend two hours straight infront of my computer and see this film.

Lately, I was lucky enough to find more books on faith and redemption and how beautiful life could be  despite the treacherous journey  and the unfaithfulness of mankind.  Alicia Ruggieri  is new on my list  of authors  and I like her writing style. She writes grace-filled and Christ-centered fiction. If you have time, try to read her A Time of Grace trilogy. The first book made me really cry and think of life, it’s beauty and its angst. The Fragrance  of Geraniums is such a beautiful book.  I am in the middle of reading the second one entitled All Our Empty Places  which picks up the story where it left off in the first one. I wonder if I’ll be able to find the third and the concluding book in the trilogy. I am not really into trilogies but this one is worth it. There are those stories that make you feel they’re real and you get into them like you would a story of a friend or yours, you feel the sadness, the triumphs and the pain. You feel that hope is not a dead thing but a journey that makes you look forward to another day.

A friend  suggested another writer and poet. The blog is truly inspiring. I searched the link. You may visit it here.

It’s raining still  and I am caught with these words, we are all special in God’s eyes.  God’s grace overflows.

 

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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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Oh my gosh, 62 books out of 100. I really can’t believe that I am 11 books ahead of schedule on my 2016 Goodreads Reading  Challenge. And before you say I have lots of time to appreciate the written word, it rains a lot every day so gardening is always relegated to the back seat and sometimes reading takes priority. I was able to start trimming the carabao grass this afternoon  (a back-breaking job every month)  but the sudden shower made me run indoors.

To discover new authors, what bliss! Goodreads provides a list of new books every month and a list of all time popular books but what I appreciate most is discovering new authors who are just as good and as talented like your favorite writers. One such author is John Hart. Where were you all this time John?

I seldom give five-stars to the books I read, just maybe about 6 in 50 books but Redemption Road  had me from page one, a gripping page-turner from beginning to end.  I don’t normally summarize a book as a  kind of review, it’s up to the other readers to find out. Well, I’m back to chick lit and memoirs and historical novels.

Did I say reading Redemption Road is worth your time?

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