Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘literature and Fiction’


Will this never ends? I found twenty comments on my spam folder with the usual sites before with the word sexy at the middle of the e-addy.  I am guessing this is only one person using different e-mails.  I don’t know what they get  out of such useless spam  comments. Waste of time really. I even noticed that my comments on two blog posts by friends  were  “liked” by a spammer with  the same e-mail address. What do you think?

Equinoxio21, an online friend advised me to bring back the re-blog button by going to “sharing” on “My Site”  menu   and clicking the “Sharing buttons”  and saving it. Voila, the re-blog button appears again. Thank you!

I found another book by one of my favorite authors (aside of course from Mary Oliver, Richard Paul Evans, Khaled Hosseini and many others) Nadia Hashimi.  Hashimi is an American doctor, a bestselling novelist and a women’s rights advocate.  Her parents are Afghans so she always write about life in Afghanistan.  Since I encountered Khaled’s Hosseini’s books years ago, I looked for other Asian authors and found her.  I’ve read three of her books before two of which I posted reviews here two years ago. When The Moon Is Low is Goodreads’ Best Book of 2015, I actually wrote short reviews about her first three books that I read. Here’s my take on this: One of the best books I read so far on the 2016 reading challenge. I wonder why I am always drawn to historical novels (I am an old soul) and stories about Afghanistan always make me cry.

The Pearl  That Broke Its Shell came second on my reading list although it was her literary debut novel. And I wrote: “A painful but riveting story about what life is like for women in Afghanistan.”The Pearl the Broke Its Shell interweaves the tales of these two women separated by a century who share similar destinies.” Here’s a lovely quote from that book.

“Life has typhoons. They come and turn everything upside down. But you still have to stand up because the next storm may be around the corner”.

The third book is entitled One Half From The East.  I am reading the fourth book now. Just like the first three books, this one looks so good. A House Without Windows is a haunting story about friendship and the plight of women in Afghanistan.

If only I could find her other book which I think is the newest so far.  When you find such gifted authors, you always look forward to what they write about.

Yes, I remember another author, Khaled Hosseini, Afghan born and also a doctor. His memorable book, The Kite Runner was adapted into film which Nissa and I watched years ago. We cried inside the cinema.

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


Here we go again. I just checked my dashboard. Yes, I do check it once or twice a week before posting photos on my blog. They might eat up my remaining  free space. My goodness,  I received  20 spam comments  still with the same question “what”. They never stop, such irrelevant word. It is not even connected to any of my posts. And then there are about 5 comments that didn’t show in my notification and they were just labeled  “pending”. These glitches are sometimes really annoying.

I went back to reading. Just done with a lovely story about a Russian intelligence officer and a CIA.  Knowing how the KGB works and how the CIA trains its manpower is a very interesting subject. The author, Jason Matthews is a retired officer of the CIA’s Operations Directorate.  He worked there for more than thirty-three years and “engaged in clandestine collection of national security intelligence, specializing in denied-area operations. Matthews conducted recruitment operations against Soviet–East European, East Asian, Middle Eastern, and Caribbean targets.”

I seldom read books like this, I am more into historical books  that deal with WW II  and the atrocities committed by the Germans  in various concentration camps  in Nazi occupied countries. I love reading about the bravery and the resilience  of people who survived the  war.

I have yet to find a free movie adaptation of Red Sparrow.  And I understand there are sequels to this book.  It’s a trilogy actually but I could not find the others, Palace  of Treason and The Kremlin’s Candidate both published    in June 2015 and March 2018 respectively.

I am on my 67th read now according to Goodreads. I may be able  to  finish early  the reading challenge I set myself to do this year, that is reading 100 books until December.

Oh yes, I am so happy to have found a book of poems by E.E. Cummings. I have just started reading it, Selected Poems by E. E. Cummings. When I was in college, my colleagues at the library and I used to quote  his writings.  Our favorite lines are these:

“the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses”

“i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart”

“the most wasted of all days is one without laughter”

I am not really sure which poems carried these lovely words. We just loved them.

Read Full Post »


A close friend sent me this early this morning. She knows I always love the month of May. It is the month of Mama Mary.  What a lovely way to start the month reading a poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, an English poet and a Jesuit priest.

According to Poetry Foundation,  “Gerard Manley Hopkins is one of the three or four greatest poets of the Victorian era. He is regarded by different readers as the greatest Victorian poet of religion, of nature, or of melancholy. However, because his style was so radically different from that of his contemporaries, his best poems were not accepted for publication during his lifetime, and his achievement was not fully recognized until after World War I”.

The May Magnificat

by Gerard Manley Hopkins

 

May is Mary’s month, and I
Muse at that and wonder why :
       Her feasts follow reason,
       Dated due to season—
Candlemas, Lady Day ;
But the Lady Month, May,
       Why fasten that upon her,
       With a feasting in her honour ?
Is it only its being brighter
Than the most are must delight her ?
       Is it opportunist
       And flowers finds soonest ?
Ask of her, the mighty mother :
Her reply puts this other
       Question : What is Spring?—
       Growth in every thing—
Flesh and fleece, fur and feather,
Grass and greenworld all together ;
       Star-eyed strawberry-breasted
       Throstle above her nested
Cluster of bugle blue eggs thin
Forms and warms the life within ;
       And bird and blossom swell
       In sod or sheath or shell.
All things rising, all things sizing
Mary sees, sympathizing
       With that world of good
       Nature’s motherhood.
Their magnifying of each its kind
With delight calls to mind
       How she did in her stored
       Magnify the Lord.
Well but there was more than this :
Spring’s universal bliss
       Much, had much to say
       To offering Mary May.
When drop-of-blood-and-foam-dapple
Bloom lights the orchard-apple
       And thicket and thorp are merry
       With silver-surfèd cherry
And azuring-over greybell makes
Wood banks and brakes wash wet like lakes
       And magic cuckoocall
       Caps, clears, and clinches all—
This ecstasy all through mothering earth
Tells Mary her mirth till Christ’s birth
       To remember and exultation
       In God who was her salvation.

Read Full Post »


 

Good morning everyone! Can’t believe April is almost over. Today is April 24th.

The last time I wrote a post here was three days ago. I deliberately didn’t write one because I was trying to finish a lovely and interesting memoir on Rome by no less than the gifted author of All The Light You Cannot See which I read three years ago.  I’ve been looking for  another book of Anthony Doerr since All The Light We Cannot See, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, a New York Times Book Review Top Ten Book, National Book Award finalist, more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list. It was Goodreads’ choice winner for 2014.

Two days ago, I found one. Four Seasons in Rome is a lovely narrative on how he and his family spent a year in Rome, He knew nothing about the Italian way of life,  just simple words by way of greeting.  They were there when his twins turned one and then wrote  something about the crowd  at St. Peter’s  Square  when  St. Pope John Paul II died last April 02, 2005.  He was there when a new pope,  Pope Benedict was chosen to succeed JP II.

I love the way he described every place  they have been too, the smell of pizza and cheese, the daily grind in the city.  And for each season, more adjustments too. I am reminded of another memoir  by another  author Peter Mayle who recently died. He wrote about Provence and its food and the daily life there. Anthony Doerr wrote about being a parent of twins,  the sleepless nights he suffered, the encounter with so many people who didn’t speak English.

I wish I could find more of his books in the future.

 

 

 

Read Full Post »


Took care of our latest family member throughout the day.  He played with his  little pillow, balls and sat on my lap while I was checking my accounts online and while reading.  I laughed when he saw his image in front of our full-length mirror and he kept on barking. He must have thought there was another puppy looking at him.

Strange, I seemed to have picked up two books in a row all about India.  The Girl From The Tea Garden  was about the life of an Anglo-Indian girl who grew up in 1930’s.

The story revolved  on how she struggled with life  away from home without her family coming back  at the height of WW II to find her true love.   Learning about how tea is prepared, how  Indian summer feels like.

Janet MacLeod Trotter is quite new in my list of authors.  She has several books about India and this one is  part of a series.

Camron Wright is the author of The Orphan Caretaker.   I am almost done with this book.

Learning  more about Indian culture and traditions. The only thing familiar to me are the chicken masala  and samosa. Years ago, I received a big jar of Masala from a friend whose family stayed in Rome for decades.

Couldn’t put down the book, it is based on a true story. An Indian boy abducted from his home and adopted by an American family. He learned  the American way of life but still kept wondering about his Indian roots. It is also my first time to read a book by Camron Wright, an American  author whose genre is Historical Fiction and yes, Literature and Fiction too.  You can’t help but be touched by the story.

“We don’t use knives and forks,” Pranay replied, leaning forward, “because we are not at war with our food. We don’t need weapons. We have learned it is better to surrender to the flavors, to caress and embrace them. You see, eating for Indians is a passionate affair. Picking up the food with our fingers evokes a closeness, a feeling of warmth, a connection. It would all be lost if we started stabbing and cutting.”

Is this still done until now?  Wikipedia says that:  “The  etiquette of Indian dining varies with the region in India.  Typically, both in urban and rural settings, Indians wash their hands thoroughly prior to dining, then eat with their fingers, without any cutlery. This practice is historic and based  on the cultural premise that eating is a sensual activity, and touch is part of the experience along with the taste, aroma of the food, and its presentation such as on a Thali, or on a large plate made from washed banana leaf, or stitched and washed leaves.”

Some people do  it in informal  occasions here. they call it boodle fight where the food is piled on top of  banana leaves with rice at the center. The food is laid on long tables. A military style of eating,  a symbol of brotherhood and equality among Filipino military by sharing the same food without regard to rank.  They also call it “kamayan” style of eating.

 

Read Full Post »


There are times when life is a cursor on a blank page, blinking in a rhythm a 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.

This is actually a quote from a book  I am reading at the moment by Lisa Wingate. I always look forward to reading her books.  She  is a journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the author of a host of literary works.

Read Full Post »


It was one those lazy, lazy days. Yes I know, it’s just the start of March. Last January, I dreamed of  blogging every day but that’s not to be. There are days when  I can’t think of nothing to blog about. Ideas are hard to come by and a good content is not even in the offing.

I spent almost the whole day reading aside from an hour of loading the wash and ironing late in the afternoon.   For the last three days, I found two books that I rated five   stars and four stars  consecutively. One was entitled Summer At the Comfort Food Cafe by Debbie Johnson, my first book of the author.  It’s been sometime since I read a feel good story. Lovely characters, all of them.  It speaks about friendship, family relationships and love. It’s comfort at its best, a fantastic read. The other night I started on The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.   I found the author some two or three years ago and I read a lot of her books.  The Great Alone is even lovelier than her famous The Nightingale.   This was set in the 1970’s. Alaska, a great and beautiful country  but has a harsh climate specially during winter. Winter lasts for six months and the sun shines for only six hours a day.  The wilderness, the beauty of it all. This is my 31st read this year.

I can’t help but write down some lovely quotes while reading it:

“Were you ever out in the Great Alone, 
when the moon was awful clear, 
And the icy mountains hemmed you in 
with a silence you most could hear; 
With only the howl of a timber wolf, and 
you camped there in the cold, 
A half-dead thing in a stark, dead world, 
clean mad for the muck called gold; 
While high overhead, green, yellow and 
red, the North Lights swept in bars?”

“Winter tightened its grip on Alaska. The vastness of the landscape dwindled down to the confines of their cabin. The sun rose at quarter past ten in the morning and set only fifteen minutes after the end of the school day. Less than six hours of light a day. Snow fell endlessly, blanketed everything. It piled up in drifts and spun its lace across windowpane, leaving them nothing to see except themselves. In the few daylight hours, the sky stretched gray overhead; some days there was merely the memory of light rather than any real glow. Wind scoured the landscape, cried out as if in pain.

 

I think I’ve reached another milestone in blogging.   I didn’t expect reaching more than 3,000  followers  since it is really not my number one priority. There are only a handful who regularly make comments and like my posts.  I am more into the number of visits the blog has garnered through the years.  The silent followers and visitors, those who  probably just read  one or two posts then move on. I don’t mind, what is important is  how one tries to reach out and  having  those wonderful visits  and followers is a bonus. Presently, I have  a total of 517,780  in my stats.

Blogging?  It is still a continuous fascination and joy for me. When my hands could no longer press the keyboard, when I could no longer think of something to write about, I’ll stop blogging. For now though, it’s still a GO 🙂

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »