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Posts Tagged ‘books’


It’s been a busy week so far. Weekends are  here again. Time to relax a little and enjoy what is in store.

I gardened for three straight hours yesterday then today I went to the mall to buy Christmas gifts for the family.  Two loads off my shoulder. It’s a good thing their  customer service is still not that busy. I was able to have them gift-wrapped. I won’t have to buy  Christmas gift-wrapping papers. I need a few more but I already have an idea what to buy.  A month ago. I also bought my birthday gift for Nate who’ll be having his 5th birthday next month.

I  window-shopped for Christmas decor but most of them are so costly. We have lots here but some of them are already old.  Hoping for something new for a change.  I want to put up a  Christmas tree. We use the plastic ones here since they are more practical to use.  Our Christmas tree though is seven feet high. It is so time-consuming to fill  it with  Christmas lights and decorations. I want a smaller one  with dancing lights.  Every year, they innovate  the Christmas lights. We used to have the Christmas parol  which is truly unique in the Philippines  The word parol is derived from the  Spanish  word farol, meaning “lantern”.  They are quite expensive now and they have gone a long way in terms of designs and lighting. I remember my brother who at one time hand-carried one when they came over for vacation a long time ago. He said their house in Tulsa is the only one with  parol come  Christmas time.

Despite the busy days, I was able to read more books. I am now in the middle of reading Philippa Gregory’s The Constant Princess. If you love the story of the Tudors, you would  admire the story of Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII. I love the story of The Other Boleyn Girl  more than this one though. I love historical novels.  Speaking of reading, I am on my 175th read for this year, twenty  five more books than I have set myself to finish until December.

Have a nice and blessed weekend.

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There are books and there are books out there.

Funny how sometimes a certain book is included in the list of classics but when you attempt to read it, you can’t relate. One such book I really wanted to finish is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I started a few chapters only to abandon it again. Readers rated it five stars on Goodreads but how come I could not finish even five chapters? The proverbial question is, is it me or is it the book?  I love history, I admire those writers who really make those researches when writing a historical book.  Those Latin phrases really turned me off. A few months ago, I attempted to include Anna Karenina in my book challenge for this year but I gave up reading in the middle of the book. Russian names are hard to pronounce, haha.  Got confused by the story.  I finished reading  Doctor Zhivago though by Boris Pasternak. I  even watched some trailers on YouTube and enjoyed listening to Lara’s Theme. Another book that I started years ago but still pending in my TBR list is A Prayer for Owen Meany. This book got more five stars on Goodreads. A Widow For One Year  is another Irving book that is pending in my shelf.

Are you a fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? We used to have two trade books of his in our small library which Nissa bought years ago, Love In The Time of Cholera and One Hundred Days of Solitude.  I enjoyed the latter but could not finish the former. I wonder why.  Enough of  Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. Do you remember that famous film by Meryl Streep entitled Julie and Julia? I  enjoyed watching the film version but didn’t finish the book with the same title  by Julie Powell, a food blogger. Another book Eat, Pray, Love  is prominently displayed in my shelf but the first few chapters were a disappointment to me. Maybe one of these days, I’ll read Elizabeth Gilbert.  Maybe I’ll give the book another try.

I am presently reading  The Winter Siege by Ariana Franklin,  a book set in 12th century England.  A wonderful historical book. In 1141, England was engulfed in civil war between King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda over who would wear the crown.  This book is so engrossing. This is my book number 162 out of a goal of reading 150 books this year.

What are you reading at the moment?

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Four days since my last post. Whoa, it’s kinda hard to start again. I  know, I know.  Some of you would probably  react and say, what’s four days? It’s just that I got so used to updating this site almost daily that four days  is too long for me. Blame it on a little laziness on the side. Honestly I just got engrossed reading again.  I found new titles  and new authors too. Since I am done with my Goodreads challenge I could indulge  in a little romance and suspense thrillers too.

And I’ve said before that 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, 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.”

This is a quiet Sunday for us. Josef and I attended an anticipated mass at our Parish here in Midtown last night. It was my second time to visit the place since Nissa and I went there for their  wedding bann announcement  three months before she got married  six years ago.  Wow, the church is lovely. We usually attend mass at the town proper every  Sunday but we have to do the marketing early this morning.   Nate is still attending weekly workshop every Saturday  but this week it was moved to Sunday. Meeting more friends in the process, kids close to his age.  Talked to him for a while  when they were there. It’s always nice to hear his voice saying “Hello Nonna”.

I found myself watching  a Hallmark movie on YouTube  the other night. Son encouraged me to discover those lovely films but I am not much of a film or  television watcher. I must say, the craving is seasonal well except when there are  Senate hearings. The antics of those clinging to the powers that be…the nerve. I won’t dwell on this, it is exhausting and stressful.

I hope your weekend was lovely 🙂

 

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I was suddenly reminded of this lovely children’s book while perusing my shelves on authors beginning with “W”. Pete, a friend here  on  WordPress has just ended his posts on alphabetical listings of books and authors.

Charlotte’s Web.

I was not really that familiar with the story until my kids were growing up and we stacked on children’s books to read every night before they went to sleep.

One is never too old to appreciate a good book.

E.B. White is the same author of the more familiar  Stuart Little  novel  which was adapted into a movie not too long ago. Charlotte’s Web is a story of Wilbur, a little pig and Charlotte,  a spider. It is a story of friendship, life, love and death. It’s full of lessons that we could all learn from.

There are several inspiring quotes from Charlotte’s Web, words of wisdom from a child’s book of fairy tales.

“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

“I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”

“And then, just as Wilbur was settling down for his morning nap, he heard again the thin voice that had addressed him the night before.
“Salutations!” said the voice.
Wilbur jumped to his feet. “Salu-what?” he cried.
“Salutations!” repeated the voice.
“What are they, and where are you?” screamed Wilbur. “Please, please, tell me where you are. And what are salutations?”
“Salutations are greetings,” said the voice. “When I say ‘salutations,’ it’s just my fancy way of saying hello or good morning.”

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”

This is just as good as another children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit which my kids and I love.

 

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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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For so long a time, I haven’t watched any movie – not on cinemas, television nor on YouTube. Last night though  was a bit different. I watched two movie adaptations successively. Not long ago, I read the lovely book Tuesdays With Morrie.  That was long before I underwent surgery back in 2009.  I gifted my two doctors with copies of the book after I left the hospital. They saw me reading it in bed while recuperating and my oncologist even commented that he wanted to read it but he had no time.  I made a short review about it here somewhere but I forgot what blog post title I made of it. Last night was a lucky one though because I found a television film  adaptation of the book. I love Jack Lemmon as Morrie Schwartz in the film and so with Hank Azaria as Mitch Albom. Have you heard  of “Lou Gehrig’s disease”? It was also called Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.  This was the premise of the story, Morrie suffering from ALS and Mitch was his student. Back in the year 2000, the television series won for Jack Lemmon Best  Performance by a Male Actor In A Television Movie,  Hank Azaria as Outstanding Supporting Actor.

I sometimes catch Richard Paul Evans’ tv movies too.  Most of his television films are featured there.  Sometimes, I am not even familiar with the actors but they always turn out well. The Mistletoe Promise was one of the books I read more than three years ago.  I remember those quotes I wrote  on this particular blog post.. Watched it in full complete with the son’s headset which made it all the more lovely. I saw more adaptations there but I am reserving them for some other days. I am trying to finish my book challenge hopefully this month.

Two films in a row….happiness 🙂

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Honestly, I didn’t know there is such a thing as this. a special day celebrated for book lovers. All these years I was not aware of it until a friend on Facebook forwarded this lovely  photo from Chicken Soup for the Soul. It was celebrated yesterday. Today, in our country, it’s already August 10.

How nice to celebrate a special day for books and readers alike. I love this photo. it shows the beauty of having books around with maybe a hot cup of coffee or tea on a rainy day.

Cicero surely was thinking of me  🙂  when he said these words.  Garden and books, two things I both love.  How I wish I really have a small room for a library but all I have are several shelves for our accumulated books over the years. My daughter is a book nerd, she used to buy series of publications when she was here. I remember a complete set of the Harry Potter series, all hardbound copies which she reserved  at National Book Store when they were out in the market. I remember watching the movie adaptations with my kids.  Remember  Hunger Games, a trilogy of young adult dystopian novels written by the novelist Suzanne Collins? She also has hard-bound copies of  Stephanie Meyer’s books  Twilight. I haven’t read them, I am not fond of vampire stories and werewolves.

By the way, I am done with 145 books for my Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge.  Five more books to go,  yahoo 🙂 I lately finished another memoir by Frances Mayes, author of the lovely book Under the Tuscan Sun . Under Magnolia is all about her coming of age, her growing up years in  Fitzgerald, Georgia. I love the photos inside the book.  It made me think of how she looked like when she was younger.

Though it’s late, I want to wish you all Happy Book Lovers Day.

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