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Posts Tagged ‘books’


Ah, this is supposed to be a rest day after hearing the mass early this morning. I have to do to the laundry though. The laundry basket was bursting at the seams. Anyway the laundry is done after so many loads. At least I’ll be free tomorrow morning to tend to the garden and maybe plant ampalaya (bitter gourd). I saved the  matured seeds yesterday when I cooked some veggies for dinner.

I’d like to tell you about my reading journey, my 2019 Goodreads Challenge particularly. At the start of the year, I committed myself to read another 150 books. I am on my 27th read  and it is the first YA book for this year. I am trying to read different genre and find more new authors. If possible, I prefer first book publications because they are usually the best.  Publishing a book for the first time and writing about it must be pretty hard.  There are so many competitions out there.  There is this book entitled All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. I had it for a couple of years now but it was only the other day that I started reading it. It’s Goodreads’ Choice 2015 for Young Adult Winner. As Goodreads says: The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die. And since I read both books  before, I was intrigued to read this one too. So far, so good. I smiled at the five-star and one-star reviews on Goodreads. I am not deterred by the one-star review since I feel  encouraged to read it  seeing that there are many five-star reviews too. It might be a little disturbing for some but we have to admit not all books  are about rainbows, some could be stars in the night that shine brightly above. Though I still prefer memoirs and historical fiction, occasionally, YA books are welcome.

I saw this particular photo from an album I posted at Facebook nine years ago. They have this “memories” app and you can visit it every day to remind you what life was years ago.

When this was taken, Lovell  was still a seminarian. He is now a Dominican priest – a son, a close friend and a confidante.  Caleruega is such a beautiful place and I miss it.

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I took a rest the whole of yesterday. I was not feeling so good. My throat hurts until now and last night was a struggle to sleep well. I woke up before 12am, then was able to sleep again before 4am.  I have to brew some ginger slices  which I drank as substitute for water.

I am so afraid when I get sick because over the years my immunity has gone down. If I have colds, it would take me weeks to get well. And to think flu is rampant nowadays because of the cold weather. Early this morning, I went out to buy pandesal for breakfast and I had to wear a face mask.  Just a precaution.

I found this very inspiring  and uplifting book entitled The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes. I could wholeheartedly relate, a case of been there, done that.  Mia was nicknamed Rabbit by her family and friends. She is a young mother battling cancer. The story mostly happened in a hospice where she was transferred  during her final days. She reflects on her life’s journey as she waits for the final hour that she’ll meet her Maker. She is an atheist though while her family members are Catholics.  The support of her family members, her friends and her twelve-year old daughter makes the story even more poignant. Anger, hope, despair  and denial, the love between a mother and a young daughter, the relationship of parents to their kids, the love between siblings. I guess this book is not for the weak-hearted for you will surely cry while reading it.  But there are instances where you would also laugh and could easily relate to what they are all going through.

Anna McPartlin was born in Dublin, Ireland.  Her inspirations are her friends and family. I wish I could find her three other books.  I love the way she write.

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Ah, to think we are already in February but my WordPress calendar is still on January 31, 2019. Of course, we are advanced by a few hours from other countries.

I used to write about month endings and beginnings, lately though I’ve been quite lazy. Lazy to write a few words that is. January has been a quiet month for me. I’m just so happy that I have found new authors and new books to read. I have just finished my 20th this year, a story about the quirks and moods of an artist, his relationship with  his family particularly his son who idolizes him. A lovely story, carving your own space in the shadow of a master. And here is my short, short review at Goodreads:

“I am giving this five stars, my second book of five stars this year. What a gifted writer, truly impressive story. Yes,this is my first book of Tom Rachman. He is virtually an unknown author to me. 

I love the main characters of the story. Charles aka Pinch is such a lovely character. His whole life was overshadowed by his talented and gifted artist father. He struggled on his own learning the craft without the knowledge of his family and friends. He proved himself that he could excel just like his father.”

I haven’t admired the art of painting much except when I was introduced to it at Sip & Go, an afternoon spent with Nissa back in November where we indulged ourselves in an amateur painting.  She paid for it as a birthday gift to me.  Painting on acrylic…just great. When you are used to doing stick figures and flowers in crayons, you would truly appreciate something like this. Believe it , I’d like to go back one of these days to paint other subjects. Ambitious, ‘no? 🙂 I am re-posting one of our photos here with shall I say, the finished product.

At Sip & Gogh

It’s a lovely morning with the cold breeze and all.

Goodbye January. February, be kind.

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I am venturing into another memoir, It’s Not Yet Dark. The author is practically unheard of, at least in my reading journey.  Simon Fitzmaurice, an Irish film-maker, was given four years to live.

I researched what MND (motor neurone disease) is and  it is another term for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis ). It is an uncommon condition that affects the nerves and brain. It progressively damages parts of the nervous system.

The first time I heard of this disease was when I read the inspiring book Tuesdays With Morrie. Morrie was afflicted with the same ailment and a former student of his documented it.  I watched the movie adaptation too.

I promised myself I would read other memoirs  for my reading challenge this year. I’ve only just started  and it is definitely engrossing. What does it mean to be at your lowest of low and those moments when your health is compromised? Short of saying, “I’ve been there, done that”, you always cling to the hope that you will get well in the end. Despite everything, you cling to your faith that everything would be okay, that you will live a normal life again. It’s hard to get sick, and it is even harder to maintain that composure amidst hospital and doctor visits, laboratories, drugs and low self-esteem.

It’s Not Yet Dark!  It’s my 13th read for this year. I got a feeling it would be another unforgettable read. I have just finished a historical novel set in Tuscany. I love anything that has Tuscany in it…haha!

Here’s one quote that I love about It’s Not Yet Dark.

“Our lives are not the legacy we leave behind, or the value of the work that we do. Our lives happen in between the deeds and ideas that define us.”

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I didn’t really expect anything from this book. I seldom read YA books now since I found so many new authors that I like. A light read actually.

It was a nice surprise though – a coming of age story, relationship between mothers and daughters, friendship, love of animals and most of all blogging.


I love how the story revolved around Tara and her mom. Fellow bloggers would surely appreciate how this was told through Tara’s blog. You know, those day-to-day happenings in a young teenager’s life, her dreams and aspirations, her love-hate relationship with her mom and her discovery of her extended family. Her blog was entitled Lonely Girl and the book ended when she gave up blogging, lonely girl no more.

The last time I read about a book premised on the  blogging world was when I encountered Julie and Julia by Julie Powell.  There was a movie made on this starring Meryl Streep. I enjoyed watching the movie so I bought the book but I was not able to finish it. I only reached page 50. The movie adaptation was so much better than the book.

My Virtual Life is my 9th read this year.

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My gosh,I just can’t put it down, all 596 pages of it.  I’ve read eleven of his books including this one.

It’s Ken Follett. Same thing happened to me when I first read Pillars of the Earth and the succeeding book on the series. 

 I really can’t review it any better. All the ingredients of a powerful plot  are here – greed, lust, power, ambitions.  Yes, it is a typical Follett book that grips you from beginning to  end. He really knows how to tell a story. And since it involved bank collapse, I was  even more interested.  I remember those days I worked for more than twenty years at one of the largest banks in the country.

I spent most of the day reading, it’s my seventh book for this  year’s challenge. I was trying to look for  a movie adaptation but all I’ve seen were trailers of the movie.

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Another start of the year and what could be lovelier than starting it with good books, finding new authors and other reading genre.

Last year, I committed myself to read one hundred books but I was able to finish 151. This time, I will try to read 150 books.  I am done with three but I started them all during the last week of December 2018 and just finished them yesterday. Do you think that’s cheating?

Yes, I  did some reading while waiting for the new year. One book are Christmas short stories. They are quite uplifting and inspiring. I’d rather lose myself in books than questioning what is happening in our country. What with a leader who is so unqualified to govern. He keeps attacking the Catholic  Church non-stop. Even an atheist  or a non-believer would squirm hearing him uttering those ugly words. They have respect for religions unlike the president whose uncouth mouth and uncivilized behavior seems to be the norm. He holds in his hands the Armed Forces, the Supreme Court, the Lower House and the executive branch of the government.

Going back to reading, a friend shared a link (Electric Literature) about books by women mostly in Asian countries. Wish I could find some of them. Wish me luck please. So many books to read, so many to choose from.

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