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Posts Tagged ‘literature and Fiction’


Take a guess!

I promised myself to blog every day at least during the month of January and I did until the other day.

Bam!

I missed one yesterday. I was again sidetracked reading new books for my Goodreads’ 2020 Reading Challenge. As I have said in one of my previous blogs, I want to read at least 100 books this year, perhaps a far cry from the 150 books I read last year. I am choosing what to read first, start the year right by inspiring myself in the process.

The Law of Moses by Amy Harmon.

Started reading Amy Harmon last year and I am quite surprised about her books. This is my fifth book of Amy Harmon, different subjects except for the two books done in two series. A unique, powerful, intense and emotional story about an abandoned baby who grew up to be an artist and a girl who believed in him despite the odds. A story of before and after, of new beginnings and happy endings. I ‘d like to think this is a love story but there is more to it than just cuddles and kisses, it will tug at your heartstrings. Moses, someone you’ll probably hate in the middle of the story but those redeeming qualities show in the end. Georgia, love her character and her strength, a forgiving soul who just loved.

Noel Street by Richard Paul Evans

Perhaps you’ve read a lot about him here before. He is one of my favorite authors. This is his latest book given by a friend last week. It is the third book in the Noel Collection. Luckily, I have all three. It was just published last November 2019.

How’s this for a start?

Every story is a road. And on all roads there are potholes and bumps, detours and unexpected encounters.

I love those quote in every chapter of the book. It’s another Christmas book. The story line maybe predictable but it was a good read. Done reading it in one day.

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

My first book about nature and the first novel by Delia Owens. She writes non-fiction and is a nature writer. I wonder why some readers at Goodreads are not so impressed by her writing. I was though. A coming-of-age and a possible murder. I love the court scenes. I always loved court scenes in books I have previously read. It’s 2018 Goodreads Award Nominee for historical fiction.

Some quotes I like here:

“His dad had told him many times that the definition of a real man is one who cries without shame, reads poetry with his heart, feels opera in his soul, and does what’s necessary to defend a woman.”

“Autumn leaves don’t fall, they fly. They take their time and wander on this their only chance to soar.”

“Most of what she knew, she’d learned from the wild. Nature had nurtured, tutored, and protected her when no one else would. If consequences resulted from her behaving differently then they too were functions of life’s fundamental core.”

Would you believe, I gave the three of these books four stars?

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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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It took me a while to finish reading this one because I was so engrossed watching I Want, a new app on my tab which features selected movies, news, sports, telenovelas, music and what have you all from the largest network in the country, ABS CBN.

The first time I encountered how gifted this writer is, was when I read her book The Memory of Us. Yes, it is one of the best read I had this year. It may not be that good to some but I love the Catholic aspect of the book. A Catholic seminarian falling in love with a girl of another religion. This is more of a love story than what happened during WWII.

The Way of Beauty  is simply beautiful. Another Di Maio book that I love. when you encounter stories like this, you are inspired to read more.

I looked for more of her books until I found Before The Rain Falls. It’s the story  of how families protect each other, how they show their love, how they encourage each other to excel. It’s the story of a life in prison.

Part of the synopsis reads: “Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.”

I love the characters of Mick and Paloma but Della’s stand out more. Hoping I could read more books by this author. I just love her writing style.

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I was looking at Goodreads’ Best Book 2019 nomination and I was thrilled to find two books in my shelf, one is When All Is Said by Anne Griffin which is nominated in Best Fiction and Best Debut Novel for 2019 and The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides which is nominated as Best Mystery and Thriller and Best Debut Novel. I’ve read both but I love the first one better.

Would you believe, sometimes I base the books I read from the list of nominees awarded every year if I am lucky to find them. Most of the time, I find one or two and I am happy. Isn’t it nice when the books you have read before are favorites of other readers too?

I love Goodreads, they have sizable book reviews of different genre of books and I love reading them too. I make it a point to write a line or two every time I finish one. Lately, I have this on my profile from Goodreads:

#31 best reviewers
#27 top reviewers

It’s nice when they notice what you write about those lovely books and gifted authors in their thousands of books.  It’s nice when you are also recognized in your effort to review some of them. I don’t always review the books I read except when they are really good. Goodreads is owned by Amazon so you can just imagine the number of books they have. “Goodreads is a social cataloging website that allows individuals to freely search its database of books, annotations, and reviews.”

Do you use Goodreads in your book search?

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There is really something exciting about discovering new books and authors. They become part of your reading life. Damyanti, an author and a friend here at WordPress said she is curious about my “to be read” list  of books. I guess, they’ll get me through next year’s book challenge at Goodreads. I  will only list those which I am excited to read until the end of the year.

  1. Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated Tales – excited to start reading this. There is a story behind every tale that he tells.
  2. Ken Follet: Night Over Water – I’ve always been a fan of this great  writer. I have a complete set of his Kingsbridge series and I love Pillars of the Earth best. I have his other books as well.
  3. The Bone Collector: Who would not be thrilled to find another book by Jeffrey Deaver? Accordingly, it is one of his best.
  4. Down Where My Love Lives by Charles Martin. I discovered him two years ago I think and read most of his books. According to Goodreads, “it  is a bittersweet yet triumphant love story—a tale of one man’s spiritual journey through the darkness of despair into the light of hope”.  Most of his books deal on triumphs, faith and they are spiritual too.
  5. Anthony Doerr’s About Grace. First encountered him in All The Light We Cannot See,  a Goodreads Choice 2014 Winner.
  6. The Throwaway Children by Diney Costeloe. – My first book of Diney Costeloe, the story of two sisters sent first to an English, then an Australian orphanage in the aftermath of World War 2.
  7. Matilda by Roald Dahl – Most of you have probably read this already. Matilda is a child who is a book lover.
  8. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan – been curious about this since it was published.
  9. Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans. RPE is my favorite author. This is one book that I didn’t have before.
  10. I  Am David by Anne Holm – This has been on my wishlist for so long. David’s entire twelve-year life has been spent in a grisly prison camp in Eastern Europe. He knows nothing of the outside world.

I also have two classic books by Ernest Hemingway, For Whom The Bells Tolls and A Farewell To Arms. 

Some  books on this list are e-books.  Have you read any on this list?

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I have some of her books sitting on my shelf for the last ten years or so but I never was compelled to read them –  The House of the Spirits was published in 1982, Of Love and Shadows in 1984, Maya’s Notebook in 2011 and A Japanese Lover in 2015. The last two are e-books. I have previously read Maya’s Notebook and In The Midst of Winter but I have clearly forgotten the stories. I went back to Goodreads and I have given them both four-stars before.

Since I am done with my Goodreads’ challenge this year, I am choosing what books to read first without having to think that I have a challenge to meet. Some lazy days of reading, I guess.  Finally, it is about time I have to consider other authors  again like Isabel Allende. She  is a Chilean- American author who was born in Lima, Peru. She has written over 20 books translated from Spanish. The last time I enjoyed stories from that part of the world was when Nissa gifted me with two books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, a Colombian novelist, sadly though, before I finished Love In The Time of Cholera, they were both destroyed by flood Ondoy back in 2009. They were never replaced but I like to reread One Hundred Days of Solitude.

Going back to Allende, I am presently reading Of Love and Shadows.  Still in the first few chapters of the book. Would you believe, I found a movie adaptation of the book  with   a voice translation. I’m gonna explore that some other time maybe.

Last night I was distracted playing Wordscapes on my tab. I am on level 121 and I don’t want to lose my earned points just to look for clues. It is hard but challenging.

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