Posts Tagged ‘books’

Goodread's 2016 Reading Challenge

Goodread’s 2016 Reading Challenge

I finally got my badge. It’s time to move to other reading genre – YA (yes, I love them), contemporary,  poems (Upstream is just waiting)  some memoirs and of course  Christmas stories.

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There have been so many excellent books written about the Holocaust both true accounts and fiction. There is Man’s Search For Meaning by Victor Frankl which I’ve read three decades ago, Schindler’s List by Thomas Keneally which was adapted into a movie and  Mila 18 by Leon Uris.

Irena’s Children is one of them, a newly published book about the life of Irena Sendler and how she helped save thousands of children affected by the war (when Germany invaded Poland).

Such a riveting story of loss of millions of lives because of war, selflessness, love of family, love of country, courage, life and death.

Gosh, I can’t believe it. this is my 99th read and I am almost, almost done. One more book to go. I am in a quandary which to read first, Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak which I’ve been eyeing to read since my college years or The Kitchen House which is another historical novel. Or maybe, toss coin na lang, which is which..haha 🙂

Sometimes,Iwonder why I am always drawn to history, fiction or not. Maybe I am an old soul.

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13158800Beautiful. Magnificent story. One of the best reads for my 2016 challenge. It was Goodread’s Choice 2012 winner and I didn’t know it was recently adapted into film until I finished reading it a few minutes ago. Read some reviews, some are the same as I felt in the middle of reading the book….I cried at the last few pages. I watched the 3-minute trailer on YouTube..wow! The ocean lighted by that lone lighthouse was lovely. I have always admired seeing lighthouses from a distance but I have never seen one lighted at night.

This is my 96th book for this year, four more to go and I am done. I am thinking of rereading The Godfather by Mario Puzo, getting a start at Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (there is a full movie adaptation on YouTube) and maybe another inspiring book by Alicia Ruggerie, if I could find one.

“There are still more days to travel in this life. And he knows that the man who makes the journey has been shaped by every day and every person along the way. Scars are just another kind of memory….Soon enough the days will close over their lives, the grass will grow over their graves, until their story is just an unvisited headstone.”

“Sometimes life turns out hard. Sometimes it just bites right through you. And sometimes, just when you think it’s done its worst, it comes back and takes another chunk.”

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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.


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!



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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