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Posts Tagged ‘Goodreads’ 2019 reading challenge’


Wow! Goodreads has just released its annual report on how I fared in books this year.

One thing I like about the site is that you get to maintain a virtual library and you can always browse about book summaries and their corresponding reviews.

TOTALS

I read 50,503 pages across 147 books. The shortest is around 57 pages while the longest (a set of books actually)  composed of 2,098 pages. The most popular book I read this year is Pride and Prejudice. My average rating for all the books I read this year is 3.5  (5 being perfect) while the highest rated one with a score of 4.56  is Michelle Obama’s Becoming. I  wrote  a short review of this book somewhere here.

I was just surprised that they released this early when there are 22 more days to go before the year ends. I have just finished one of Nadia Hashimi’s books but it was not included in this report.

I didn’t expect I could finish 148 books when I started last January. I pegged it at 120.
There are several more books I have to read maybe at the start of the year 2020 but I am hoping I could finish three more before the year ends.
Do you participate in reading challenges? Are you also excited to discover new authors?  I started this challenge back in 2015.  I’am at No. 47 Best Reviewers and No. 31 Top Reviewers. Not bad, not bad at all 🙂

 

 

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Oh, lovely!

Back in 2016 while I was on the lookout  for more authors to read for my Goodreads’ Reading challenge, I found this gifted author by the name of Nadia Hashimi. Hashimi is a pediatrician, novelist, and a former Democratic congressional candidate for the  US House of Representatives for Maryland’s 6th Congressional District. She was born in the  United States  to Afghan parents who migrated to the US in the  early 70’s.

The Sky  At Our Feet is my fifth read.  Her books  were mostly set in Afghanistan during the turbulent years of the country. I am quite excited to read this since I all enjoyed her four earlier books. I was always looking for new authors, Asians specifically  and I was lucky to find several of them who are truly gifted writers although they are new in the field. I did some reviews of those books I found earlier.

Here’s a brief look on the story culled at Goodreads:

Jason has just learned that his Afghan mother has been living illegally in the United States since his father was killed in Afghanistan. Although Jason was born in the US, it’s hard to feel American now when he’s terrified that his mother will be discovered—and that they will be separated.

When he sees his mother being escorted from her workplace by two officers, Jason feels completely alone. He boards a train with the hope of finding his aunt in New York City, but as soon as he arrives in Penn Station, the bustling city makes him wonder if he’s overestimated what he can do.

After an accident lands him in the hospital, Jason finds an unlikely ally in a fellow patient. Max, a whip-smart girl who wants nothing more than to explore the world on her own terms, joins Jason in planning a daring escape out of the hospital and into the skyscraper jungle—even though they both know that no matter how big New York City is, they won’t be able to run forever.

What’s on your TBR?

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Oh I know, it’s probably a “no big deal” for some but it is an achievement for me.

I am finally done with my reading challenge at Goodreads for this year. Here is a message from Goodreads:

Congrats!

You have read 120 books of your goal of 120!

120/120 (100%)
The last book I read is entitled Flowers in the  Snow by Danielle Stewart.
“Sometimes a hug is the only way to squeeze someone’s worry away.”
Racism.
I read a few books before about this subject matter but this one grips you like no other. Come to think of it, I didn’t know this was a series until I read it is book #1. I would love to read the others if I am lucky enough to find them.
When you and your family are divided by your own beliefs and ideologies, you try to find people who would understand. This is a story of three friends, one is black but she found friendship with two others who belong to the other side of the fence. And those two found a lasting friendship with the family of their black friend.
This was told through flashbacks on what happened in the past but it was a lovely read. Easy on the eyes and easier still to get into the story.
Here’s a synopsis of the story from Amazon.com:

In the 1960s, Edenville, North Carolina is full of rules. Sagging under the weight of racism and segregation the small community finds itself at a dangerous tipping point.

Eleven-year-old Betty Grafton believes the world is fair. She knows there are worse places to live than Edenville. Unaware of the wars waging around her, she spends her days patting horses in the field and running errands for her mother. The world she doesn’t see, full of turmoil and unrest, is hiding just below the surface. One day, she has no choice but to see what’s been right in front of her all along.

Alma knows where to walk. She knows who to talk to and which fountain she can drink out of. Her mother, Winnie, spares no opportunity to remind her how dangerous it is to be a little black girl in the South.

When a chance encounter puts Betty face to face with the peril that exists in her own hometown, everything she knows turns upside down. The world isn’t as fair or safe as she’d imagined. Her family is the Klan. Her friends are the enemy. And nothing makes sense anymore.

Although the world demands they stay apart, Alma and Betty forge a secret friendship. One that could cost them their lives.

I gave this five stars in Goodreads, a nice ending of  a book for this year’s challenge.

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Finally, I was able to squeeze one afternoon buying gifts for family members. You might think it is a little bit OA buying  Christmas gifts this early, at least I am halfway through.

For every gift amounting to P500 and up, you’ll get free wrapping from the department store complete with nice ribbons.  I always save on Christmas wrapping papers every year because of this. I usually buy kitchen accessories for Nissa and Obet for when they would transfer to their new home. The house was already built but there are no divisions yet for the rooms upstairs.  I wonder when everything would be completed. Now that Nate is growing and already knows the value of money, he prefers cash gifts but I still buy something he could open on Christmas Eve which they usually spend here.  Years ago, I gave him an additional gift of a piggy bank and  he was thrilled when they opened it and Nissa counted  the money he saved. It went  straight to his savings account. Teaching kids the value of saving is one gift that you can give them which they will appreciate later on.

I had a nice chat with one of the mall’s staff at the gift wrapping section and he laughed when I said that those gifts are for Christmas. He said it is always a good time to buy early since once November comes in and most employees receive their Christmas bonuses for the year, the  mall is a hive of activity especially at their section.

Back when I was still working at the bank,  I would start  buying Christmas gifts as early as September because back then, I had a longer list. Most of them were officemates and friends. Now it is purely for the family and some close friends nearby.

I  dropped by BreadTalk and bought my favorite Spring in the City slice plus a loaf of wheat bread.  One thing I like about buying there is that, you are always entitled to a full 20% discount if you are a senior citizen. And their products are freshly baked.

There goes my Saturday afternoon. It’s time to read again I guess.  Onward to my 119th read this year.

 

 

 

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Know why I haven’t been posting lately? I am trying to get done with my challenge at Goodreads for this year, a total of 120 books, much less compared to the years before.

I make it a point to include at least one or two classics in every reading challenge that I do every year. I reread Pride and Prejudice at the start of the challenge  and this would be my second book this year. I’m done with an eclectic mix of YA books, historical novels, fiction, a couple of  memoirs, another book by Nora Ephron called I  Remember Nothing, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, three books about Korea and two poetry books of my beloved author Mary Oliver, Upstream and Devotions. 

To think that the title David Copperfield was quite familiar to me since I was in high school but I never got the chance to read it.  This time it has pride of number  as my 118th read this year.

It was first published in 1849 and is quite long with 882 pages, an equivalent of  two books averaging more than 400 pages. I am giving myself the challenge to finish a well-known and a long classic story. According to some reviews, it has  autobiographical elements about Charles Dickens’ life.

The last two books would probably be Eve by William Paul Young and  Finishing Touches by Patricia Scanlan.  This would be my second book of Young, the first one being The Shack which I enjoyed a few years ago. After these, I’ll be free to choose those short fiction and other historical novels.

What have you been reading lately?

 

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Gosh, I don’t know what is happening!

I can’t even go beyond five pages of this book. When I start reading in the afternoon, it feels so hot. The time is not even conducive to read. When I start at night, I just feel so sleepy sometimes my eyeglass slips from my eyes, one of the reasons why I have to change my reading glass a few week ago was because it broke while I was sleeping. Now I am wearing a new one, a multi-coated lens to protect my eyes from the glare of the computer and my tab. It’s thrice more expensive than the previous one.

Going back to the book, it was set in Cornwall, it has a good story, three generations of women brought together again by life’s trials. Come to think of it, I still have to finish my tome,  Thomas Merton’s The Seven Storey Mountain,  Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar and Ruth Reichl’s My Gourmet Memoir.  Thomas Merton’s words are truly priceless, the kind of book that you really need to concentrate on to understand better but as I have said before, the prints are so fine they hurt my eyes. The Bell Jar is too deep and intensely emotional. I need a light read for a change. Although I have plenty on my TBR list, I couldn’t quite choose what to read first. I could always find some inspirational words from  Mary Oliver’s Devotion, which I read time and again. It is a collection of her previous and new poems.

Maybe I need something fast-paced  with all the suspense and excitement that a story brings. Maybe I need to discover a new author.

What books are you reading? Can you recommend some?

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Woke up to the sound of raindrops early this morning. Oh blessed, blessed rain, thank you.

Now I won’t have to water my plants. The ground was saturated enough because of the rain.

It’s a week to go before election day. And for those who are still in a quandary in who to vote for. Take a stand and please vote according to your conscience.  I am voting for straight Otso Diretso. They are the most qualified senatorial candidates this mid-term election.

 

Early this morning while I was browsing on Facebook, I saw this meme on the page I Love Reading. I just smile and shared on my wall. Sharing it here for those bookworm like I am.

It often happens.

I just smiled because it’s true. What have you been reading lately?  I am not yet done with the book I started three days ago. I am on the slow-reader mode at the moment. It is a detective story.

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Saw this on “my memory”  app at FB yesterday.  I can’t help but repost it. The value of reading….priceless.

I marked this quote when I started another book yesterday. It’s by  Martin Luther King.

Faith is taking  the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

Gosh, I just love, love this book. For a first time author, Amy Markstahler is pretty good.

Love, family life, second chances – they’re all here. I cried at the scene when Tyler gave a eulogy on the death of Elsie’s dad. That was so sweet.

Another book that I read in one day. It was that good. I was clearly surprised seeing that the author just followed my review at Goodreads. I hope I could find more stories like this.

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This book is simply “it”. Amazing, lovely,interesting story line.

The last time I read about time travel was when I encountered The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. We have two copies in the shelf, one is a mass produced book and a trade paperback.

I understand this was published lately back in January 2019. A science fiction fantasy that takes you to two worlds, century apart and how life was then and now. An adventure-filled story in the life of Kin Stewart, his family back in the 21st century and his future in the year 2142.

I really hope there would be a movie adaptation someday. I gave this five stars at Goodreads. It’s my 46th book by the way for this year’s challenge.

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Yes, Saturday is family day.

Saturday is time to relax.

Saturday is  time to read.

This is one of those weekends that there is not much to do at home except read, read and read some more,  browse a little at Facebook and visit my wall at Goodreads.

Yesterday, I finished re-reading Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. The first  time I read this book was more than four decades ago. I was in college then. Treated it as one those book reports that one has to summarize as a requirement in an English subject.

Reading it today,  it gave me a little more perspective. Oh yes, it is a love story. Jane Austen  wrote this more than a century ago about the English gentility.

It seems somehow different from when I read it the first time more than forty years ago. The story is a rich-boy-meets-poor girl which has been adapted in so many story lines in recent Tagalog movies. The long conversations, not familiar with it anymore. Overall though, the novel still carries that long ago thrill and excitement in reading again a Jane Austen book.

This is my first classic book read this year. I gave it 4 stars at Goodreads.

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