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Posts Tagged ‘literature and Fiction’


Oh, done with The Christmas Box Miracle then re-read The Christmas Box and since it is a very short story, I read it just close to two hours. As I’ve said in my previous blog post, the former reads like his autobiography detailing how the latter came to fruition.

I just started with a memoir by an unknown author (at least to me) Tara Westover. When I looked at Goodreads, I was quite surprised that Educated  was 2018 Goodreads Winner in memoir and autobiography. The memoir has spent more than half a year on The New York Times‘ bestsellers list and was heralded by Barack Obama as a “remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind.”

Some people say that memoirs are refined edition of one’s life and journey since the authors wrote them but I guess it depends on the approach on how you will tackle it. I remember those books by Frances Mayes more particularly Under the Tuscan Sun and I even had the opportunity to watch the movie adaptation years ago.  It was a warm narration of how life was like in Tuscany. I actually found myself searching Google for those places mentioned in the book.

Tomorrow, I’ll tackle another portion of the garden to prune and weed. It didn’t rain today but the soil is  still soft for weeding.

Here’s one more thought to share:

They call themselves honorable but the way these congressmen  question them is so rude. They are reluctant to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN. It stands to lose around 11,000 employees. Give me a Carlo Katigbak anytime – the quiet, educated, humble, soft-spoken  and intelligent head of this conglomerate. Kulang na lang ibato ang tabo at palanggana sa ulo ng mga taga ABS. Manners please gentlemen.

Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato reminded her colleagues that it is their duty to protect press freedom and freedom of expression at all times during the 12th House hearing on the renewal of franchise of ABS-CBN.

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If there is one author that I truly like and admire the most, it’s Richard Paul Evans. Haha, we are online friends at Facebook. I have been reading his books since I discovered one during a sale at National Bookstore years ago. It was still pricey at P600.00 pesos but I just loved the first few lines in the book. Unfortunately though, I lost that book and four more of his hardbound ones back in 2009 during typhoon Ondoy. I was able to replace most of them through gifts from generous friends. I even have a first edition copy of one of his books sent by a friend. An online friend I met at our Catholic page on Facebook is also so fond of reading and she was thrilled that I recommended RPE’s books to her. From then on, every  time she comes home, she brings me copies of those books I lost in the flood and newly published ones that I haven’t read yet. I have lots of quotes here (a hundred of them) that RPE generously shared on his wall. I am afraid some of them ate up my available space because they were in high resolution format.

I am presently reading a lovely one published last October 2001 entitled The Christmas Box Miracle: My Spiritual Journey of Destiny, Healing and Hope. This book is included in my wish list for so many years until I finally found a copy. Finally reading it. It’s his personal story of how he wrote The Christmas Box, self-published it in 1994  and it became a best-seller. It’s a holiday classic that was  an expression of love for his two daughters never intending for it to be published.  I think this is the best summary of the books he wrote because in each page, there were quotes from those books he published earlier. Faith and determination usually overcome adversity in life. Persistence in believing in a dream helps a lot. This is more like his autobiography written from the time he was a small kid  sharing everything with his sister and six brothers.

Here is one of his previous quotes which I compiled into an album at Facebook.

Here’ what he wrote on his Facebook wall years ago about how he views books.

Books can be such powerful things–they can console us, motivate us, they can unite us with the rest of humanity, to help us understand that we are not so alone in our thoughts, our dreams and our deepest hopes. To read something that feels so peaceful and familiar, as if it was plucked from our own mind and soul, is a powerful experience. I am grateful for the books that have affected me throughout my life. I am pleased that here and there my books reach my readers in this way. God bless.

By the way, I am on my 72nd book at Goodreads Reading Challenge 2020.

 

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Just done with another book by Charles Martin called Where The River Ends. a beautiful story about love, commitment, sacrifice and a journey of faith as well.

I can totally relate because I’ve been there too almost eleven years ago. The only difference is that this is a work of fiction while my experience was real.  You know that thing they call slash, poison and burn. Went through the slash thing followed by poison but luckily, I didn’t undergo the burn option. when you think of those days that you have been incapacitated and you lived by faith and trust in God, you feel lucky that you were given a second chance at life.

Martin writes from the heart. The harsh realities of undergoing chemotherapy treatment, the almost lifeless  feeling once you are done with one session of it, the hope, the despair and when relationships go awry because your partner cannot cope with the emotional side of things. This is true in real life. This is actually my 8th read of his books and I love them all. I am actually looking for more.

 

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I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It’s like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story.

Mary Oliver, one of the best poets I ever encountered.

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Let me see…it’s been  five days since my last post here. Got caught by laziness the first two days and the last three days, Globe was on high maintenance. I wonder what that high maintenance actually mean since we didn’t have internet connection for three days.

Took advantage of the days reading in between household chores and some gardening. Done with three books, one was quite long, all of 599 pages. Chances by Jackie Collins reminds me of The Godfather. Remember those mafia scenes – crime, drugs, revenge, friendship, sexual encounters etc. It’s been a while since I read a Jackie Collins book. It’s melodrama to the max, alright.  That was followed by another Dean Koontz book entitled Watchers. Great characters, fantastic story. I love stories about dogs, another terrifying story from an author I am learning to admire. Earlier on, I read The Woods by Harlan Coben. Not quite as good as his other books but I gave it four stars just the same.

We’ve been invited to attend Fr. Aly’s installation as Shrine Rector and Parish Priest at the Diocesan Shrine and Parish of Our Lady of Light here in our town come March 14.  A good occasion to mingle with those priests who were previously assistant vicars several years ago.

I am trying to catch up with all your posts.  Bear with me please.

 

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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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