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Posts Tagged ‘books’


Have you ever associated scents with particular events in your life?

I do sometimes. You remember because of it. It seems as though that event just happened yesterday and you reminisce with a smile.

Just finished reading a book  called Piper, Once and Again by Caroline E. Zani. It’s my 115th read out of the 150 books I committed  to finish by the end of the year.  There is that feeling of happiness inside when a book you did not expect to enjoy is just one nice read from beginning to end.  I have always been fascinated with the subject of soul mates, that there is someone out there for you long before you were born into this world.  I don’t know, maybe there is some truth to it or just figments of imagination.

I found this lovely introductory video uploaded by the author on YouTube. There are books and there are books out there ,  but when the memory lingers, you smile at the thought and you remember the story.

The joy of reading, the joy of finding something that touches your heart to the core.

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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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Some people say they read because of its entertainment value. Some follow authors they found to their liking. Some read because they just love reading, traveling to unknown territories, going to new places, just discovering how life is on the other side.

Lately I encountered two books that make me think about life itself.  The first one is all about soul mates and life of second chances, the other one is a struggle of a teenager with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  There was only one time I read about soul mates and reincarnation when I read a book by Jaime Licauco, a Filipino parapsychologist. ESP, creative thinking, clairvoyance, the whole lot of it. It was just a small book but a very fascinating  one. Do you believe in soul mates? I really don’t but sometimes things happen in our lives that we could not clearly explain. How come sometimes, we become close to a person we just met? How come no matter what we do, we could not get along well  with someone who is just there to be a friend? Soulmates they say are not only your life partners, they might have been your brothers or sisters in previous life or your parents.

I digress. Going back to the two books I’ve read, the second book is also  a fiction story about a Japanese teen with ALS. ALS is a progressive disease of the nervous system. It might be inherited or developed at a late stage in life.  A long time ago, I read about the disease when Mitch Albom published his book Tuesdays With Morrie, one of my favorite books of all time. It’s an inspirational true story about Morrie, Mitch’ professor for twenty years.

When we are faced with life’s  ugly realities, we tend to ignore them at times but they are those same challenges that make us strong. Experience teaches us to deal with them the best way we can. It is not really a question whether we are brave or not to face them, it is more of believing that we could face the battles. Faith is such a beautiful thing. We believe, we dream, we live.

 

 

 

 

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We are officially at the start of the rainy season. PAGASA declared it yesterday. They measure rainfall all over the country and when it meets their requirements, they change the season. Thunderstorms are a daily occurrence nowadays. I do hope this season won’t be hard on us compared to the previous ones. I hope we won’t  have so much  destructive typhoons in the process. I always have this inner fear when it rains hard.  My thoughts always go back to the flood back in September 2009.  I am keeping my fingers crossed it won’t happen again. When nature takes its course, we feel so helpless.  It is still hot though until noon. Thunderstorms and lightning occur in the early afternoon until late evening. As usual,  heavy traffic  is always inevitable.

A friend who occasionally read my blog posts asked me how I could read  all those books every year. My answer was simple. I enjoy reading. It’s one thing that I could not give up. There is so much joy when you are transported to another world. There is so much happiness holding a book in your hands and turning the pages. There is that anticipation and your own conclusion on what will happen next.  I don’t always find good books that I enjoy. Sometimes I just get carried away by good reviews. A story might touch you  at one time even if it is fiction. A memoir makes you long to experience days of discovery and adventure but what seems a good story to others may not be as good when you read it or  vice versa. I guess it depends on how you see it unfolds, how the plot affects you.  Some books give you lessons but some are just there, forgotten after you have read them. There are so many choices nowadays. You might delve into literary pieces or choose to read chick lit, YA books, fiction, memoirs and the whole lot. And yes, a lot of new authors are just there for you to discover.  There are writers and there are really good ones. Do you love reading?

Gosh, it’s month-end again. Time flies. June is coming.

 

 

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For the past several days, I  was not inspired enough to blog and share my thoughts.  I don’t know why. These are those times when I prefer finishing the books I have started on my e-reader, just quiet moments listening to the noise of the day, the usual hustle and bustle  of  city life.

Finally, we’re done trimming the carabao grass (as usual) over the weekend. I love the nice clean look of our small garden. I counted the fruits of our langka (jackfruit trees)  in all stages of growth. There were more than twenty of them and small shoots are still sprouting like crazy. Our  two calamansi trees are in their flowering stage too. I just love the lemony scents of their flowers.  They  delight the senses in such a big way.

Have you ever experienced starting on a new book and a new author and  having that big smile on your face because you found it? That feeling of bliss and well-being because you were inspired by the story? That feeling that everything is okay and you wish the story would go on?  But such is the sad part, a story always has an ending. It may not be something  you expected, it may not be something that you ever thought of, it may not be something that the story calls for, but precisely the ending sometimes leaves you breathless with that silly smile on your face because of such a moving encounter with a good read.

Some books I prefer reading slowly like Upstream  by Mary Oliver. Taking those words in small doses so to speak.  I  always look at the dust jacket of the book and I  smile because I have  a copy. It’s actually my third book of Mary Oliver.  Lately, I started reading Write It Down, Make It Happen by Henriette Anne Klauser, a sort of self-help book.  There was a time during my college years when I got engrossed reading Psychology and  Philosophy books. That waned  over the years until lately. The latter speaks of writing down your goals and achieving them not in the spur of the moment perhaps but through the  blessed days of your life. We speak of miracles, we speak of coincidences but I guess it’s  God’s way of telling us to go on  because He will never abandon us.  Have faith in all you do.

Oh, I can’t believe  it, I am on my 89th book  in my Goodreads 2017 reading challenge.  It’s about  59%  and  36 books ahead of schedule. So glad of this.

Good morning everyone!

 

 

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No, no, don’t get me wrong. this is not the traditional rambling of a sixty year old me.  I’ve let go of those emotions long ago.

I am talking about the changing months. Yes, it seems like it was just yesterday when I greeted the month of April . Holy Week, Easter, Mom’s birthday – the only occasions that marked this month and it is going, going again  for us to greet another month.

Really looking forward to May. It’s the height of the summer months or as PAGASA says,  it is the height of  the dry weather here. My goodness, a 34°C is still hot but most afternoons, the wind blows north.  I haven’t touched our garden in almost a month except to water the plants every day.  One thing I like about summer though are the fruits that abound. You can buy them by the kilo but some still cost much. last week I saw a vendor selling  duhat.  In English, they call it java plum but in the vernacular, we call it lomboy.  I haven’t tasted lomboy in so many years. They were exposed to the morning sun and these fruits are sensitive to heat. Much as  I want to, I didn’t buy. I bought star apples instead.  Star apples taste great when they are cold.

Reading during these days is such a dream. Since going out is limited to grocery shopping, marketing and attending church, there is always plenty of time to read.  There are so many quotes I’ve jotted down so far. They keep me glued to those books I find at random. I am experimenting with new authors.  Are you fond of quotes?

We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures. – thornton wilder

Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart. – martin luther king

There are more moments in life when the heart is full of emotions, that if by chance it would be shaken or into its depths like a pebble drops some careless words, it overflows and its secrets, spilt on he ground like water, can never be gathered together. – henry wadsworth longfellow

Give all to love, obey thy heart. – ralph waldo emerson

Bring your secrets, bring your scars, unpack your heart – philip phillips

I  am reading another book by Michael Palmer. Getting hooked again with this author. Really, April is rapidly coming to a close.

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Who ends up with the blood samples you routinely give for tests? What else are they being used for? Why don’t you know?

I am in the middle of reading Michael Palmer’s book,  The Fifth Vial. I read three of his books before, accidental finds while looking for more Robin  Cook’s books. Like the latter, Michael Palmer was also a doctor and Robin Cook was two years ahead of him at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. That is according to his biography. He asked his younger sister and I quote:

“If Robin can write a book and has the same education as I do,” why can’t I write a book?”

He died last October 2013 with nineteen books to his name.  I was lucky enough to find The Fifth Vial,  a story about a  disgraced medical student, a scientist and a private eye. Put them together and you have The Fifth Vial.  Just like  Robin Cook, Palmer wrote medical thrillers.  I have enjoyed reading Robin Cook’s books since I read my first book of him. I have collected his works over the years. I remember this started when I read about the famous Lea Salonga’s short bio that  she wanted to be a doctor and that she read Robin Cook. I was intrigued so I looked for his books at Booksale.  When I found one, the others followed.  By the way, going back to The Fifth Vial, it is my 80th read so far since I started with Goodreads’ 2017 Reading  Challenge  last January. Seventy more books to go before I finish the challenge. I am ahead of schedule though by about thirty-three books. Reading is getting lovelier and more interesting.

The medical field is such a rich source of those medical malpractices, new discoveries on medicines and such stories that  appear so true in real life.  When I got sick almost eight years ago, I researched and read so much about the effects of chemotherapy, how cancer could be treated the natural way.  I was afraid though so I chose to have chemotherapy every three weeks and took oral chemo drugs too. Some doctors would really suggest  for you to try new medicines like you are a guinea pig or a  white mouse According to my oncologist,  there are as many as two hundred chemotherapy drugs in the market.  It costs an arm and a leg to have one small bottle  of Oxaliplatin. The oral drug is just the same.  The first time I saw the drip  encased in a black cloth, I almost freaked out.  The nurse explained to me that the drug should not be exposed to the light. You know that thinking that you are taking poison in your immune system. I wonder if having a low immunity is still the effect of taking those chemotherapy drugs.

Oh yes, why not Michael Palmer? Why not The Fifth Vial?  I am sure you will also enjoy reading this as I do.

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