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Posts Tagged ‘books’


I have always said that when you are used to blogging every day, a day missed seemed like a week, right?

For two consecutive days during the weekend, I helped Jovy and Josef with the baking. They have so many orders and they also joined a bazaar over the weekend. It’s actually a hard job but when you like and appreciate what you do, you would enjoy it.

A close friend just dropped by a while ago to get her orders of five tins of dream cake.  Dark chocolate, white chocolate, ganache, you name it, we have them here. She loves it so much when I gave her a tin last month and she swore with its melt in the mouth goodness. The good thing about it is it is not too sweet, unlike those commercially sold chocolate cakes in the market. Pasti mallows are sometimes a hit too.  They just baked brownies with  easy melt white chocolate on top. We have to do with food ordered at our local Tapsihan corner here at the village because we had no time to cook, otherwise, it’s canned goods for a while.  It’s quite heartwarming to hear that they love what we bake.

I haven’t read in a while, for about three days now. An Absolutely Remarkable Thing is on my “currently reading” list.  It’s Goodreads’ Choice Award For Fiction and for Debut Author  for 2018. I didn’t expect to enjoy this, the story is so different from the other stories that I’ve read  before. I don’t actually read sci-fi fiction but this is somehow engrossing. I just don’t have enough time to read continuously.

It’s only two weeks more to go before Christmas and I have yet to wrap some of the gifts that I bought late.  It’s time too to think on what menu to prepare on Christmas Eve and  Christmas day.

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Would you believe, I am on the last two pages of my 2018  BPI planner which Nissa gave me a year ago. Every year since she started working at Bank of PI, she always gives me pocket notebooks and planners with some photos of  paintings of various Filipino artists. These paintings belong to the enormous BPI collection. I’ve blogged about this before. This year, they featured Juan Luna.

This comes so handy when I am writing quotes and title of books I have found online that I want to read.  Back in the early months of the 2018 Reading Challenge of  Goodreads, I’ve written some wonderful and inspiring quotes from various authors. I am quite lazy nowadays. I still have to transfer them to my thick journal.

Here are some of them.

“Most of the time, everyone deserves more than once chance. We all do things we regret now  and then. You just have to carry them with you”. – Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)

“What made someone a mother, was it biology alone or was it love”. – Celeste Ng (Little Fires Everywhere)

“The lure of the distance and difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are”. – John Burroughs

“You are never given a wish without also being given the power to make it true. You may have to work for it, however”. – Richard Bach (Illusions)

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start and change the ending”. – C.S. Lewis

“All life revolves around a single moment in time. Everything that comes before leads up to that moment. Everything that comes afterward springs from that moment”. – Nina  de Gramont (The Last September)

“There are some things that happen for which we can formulate no whys, for which whys simply do not exist, and perhaps, are not necessary”. – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (The Purple Hibiscus)

“Life sometimes is much easier when you don’t have many choices”. – Debbie Johnson (Summer At the Comfort Food Cafe)

“Books  are the mile markers of my life. Some people have family photos or home movies to record their past. I’ve got books. Characters. For as long as I can remember, books have been my safe place”. – Kristin Hannah (The Great Alone)

“There are times when life is a cursor on a blank page, blinking in a rhythm or bit like an electronic heartbeat, tapping out a question in three little words.

                 What.

                  Comes.

                  Next.

Time and space and life wait for an answer. A blank page is an ocean of possibilities”. – Liza Wingate (Firefly Island)

There are so many more actually but these are some of my favorite quotes and authors.

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It’s been a long time since I read a John Grisham book and I’ve missed the courtroom scenes which were usually present in almost all of his books.

I enjoyed this one, love the premise of the story. And to think that I  only heard about WWII and the Bataan Death March  from my parents (first hand information on how they lived during the war) and from local history books that I learned in high school and college. The days leading up to the Bataan Death March were catastrophic for the American and Filipino armies that were stationed in Luzon  which composed of several provinces.

I like the detailed description of those brave soldiers who risked their lives for the love of country. I am quite familiar with the places mentioned in the book.

An excellent read about family and wars.

(This is my 143rd book on the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge).

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To tell you the truth, I’ve long wanted to read this book. This has been on my wish list  for quite some time. I just could not find a copy of the book. I tried reading the summary online and it was only a few days ago that I learned there is a movie adaptation on YouTube which is free through another blogger friend here  on WordPress.

The author is Anne Holm and it is a story of a twelve-year old boy who spent his life in prison in a concentration camp right after  WWII. He was given a chance to escape and when he did, all he had  were a compass, a few crusts of bread, his two aching feet, and some vague advice to seek refuge in Denmark.

His story will teach you how to value freedom and what freedom is, how to trust again and relearn life outside of prison.

Last night, I found the movie adaptation in YouTube,
it was not the English version though but I watched it. Later, I saw the English version of the movie and I wanted to watch it again.   I read the recap of the book  and some reviews that were both uplifting and negative, the more I’m inclined to read it.

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It’s been a while since I read something written by Stephen King. Think twenty years ago with the book  The Shining. I’ve watched some film adaptations though including Pet Sematary and The Dark Tower. 

I found a copy of his book, The Outsider which I am reading at the moment. It is all of 561 pages published last May 2018. It is now included in the final round of  Best Mystery and Thriller at  the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards. I make it a point to read some of their nominated books, chosen by readers themselves. I always wanted to know if what I think is beautifully written has the same impact on other readers.  This is quite long though. I wonder when I’ll be able to get done with it.

At night before going to sleep, I read a few poems by Mary Oliver. Now that I have a copy of her latest book Devotions  which is a thick collection of her earlier and latest works, I can choose which to read randomly and I always get that high when I encounter her words.

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do 
with your one wild and precious life?” 

I have always quoted these lines, ask myself about life. It behooves me to go on no matter what.

“Someone I loved once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this too, was a gift.”

Yes, when we encounter those unavoidable circumstances that sap our strength, we think of how to move on and fight, never losing hope that everything would be okay in the end.

“Instructions for living a life. 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.” 

Don’t you just love these lines? I do. Think positive. Dream. Discover.

“When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms. 

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument. 

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.”

Maybe it is hard to be always amazed by what we experience and see but at the end of it all, don’t we want to be remembered  that we left an indelible mark  in others?

“Hello, sun in my face. Hello you who made the morning and spread it over the fields…Watch, now, how I start the day in happiness, in kindness.”

I could go on and on but these words touch my every day. These words uplift my soul.

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Both books I chose for Goodreads’ 10th Annual Choice Awards are included in the final rounds. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr for Best of the Best and The Tattooist of Auschwitz  by Heather Morris for Best Historical Fiction. I’ve chosen Girls Burn Brighter by Shobha Rao for Best Fiction since I’ve only read two books from the final round nominees for 2018.

I reviewed all three books here before but  it was only All  The Light We Cannot See that I adopted as a title to  my post.

I hope you’ll find time to read these books too, they are the best.

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A Busy Week


Oh my, how time flies. It’s now the middle of the week and I am still busy, busy, busy. General cleaning, changing curtains, checking all the Christmas decor we have in store.

I managed to read two more books though.  One is a story of two struggling Indian teenagers, their friendship, the life they lived in one of the rural areas of India. This is only the second book about  India that I have read, a touching novel on  how the poor Indian women are exploited and abused. Girls Burn Brighter was written by  Shobha Rao.

I was not expecting  much but oh gosh, this book grips you all throughout. I’ve never been aware of those traditions in rural parts of India until now. The story is brutal in a sense that it delivers without sugar-coating the events and happenings in the story.
I was quite disappointed though when I reached the ending. Although it was implied that the two characters have finally found each other again, I would have preferred seeing their reactions face to face.

There is still life after all the hardships as long as one believes.

I’ve read almost all of Emily Giffin books and this one, All We Ever Wanted  is another winner. How far would you go to protect your child? Are you willing to sacrifice everything, even your marriage to protect them? This is a relevant story of how teens deal with stress and pressure nowadays. Some friends could be bad influences in their lives. Some could do well staying as just friends.

There is this lone okra shrub that I planted some months ago. The others died on me after a few months but this one looks so sturdy. Every day, I would harvest two okra. It never stops flowering. I would just steam them on newly cooked rice and presto, they’re ready to go. Waiting for my Roselle and Blue Ternatea seeds to mature.

 

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