Posts Tagged ‘My library at Shelfari’

I must admit, there was quite a slack in my blogging lately.  I got so engrossed reading  and visiting some bookstores in search of  something on my wish list which is getting quite long.  Though I haven’t been successful in my quest, I was able to buy some treasures which I am excited to  read pretty soon.   I am almost done with The Red Pyramid, and will start on The Hunger Games next (I hope).  Don’t ask me why there was this sudden shift of reading genre.  Some of my friends who know I am into serious read would probably laugh that I now enjoy reading  books for teens, and kids for that matter.  Well, more than the entertainment values that I get from these, I feel like I am learning a new language.  I’ve never been a fan of Greek or Egyptian mythologies, they bore me no end but when I  started  a few pages of  The Lightning Thief and saw my daughter’s collections of the Vampire diaries, Blue Blood series, Cirque Du Freak  and a lot of books from authors I never heard before, I was a little intrigued.  Christopher Pike, yes, read a book or two several  years  ago, but there are now three thick books on Thirst. L. J. Smith, Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl, Melissa Marr, and a Filipino-American author named Melissa dela Cruz  – haven’t heard of them until now.

Back when everyone was into reading  the Twilight series, I was never tempted to read one  although my daughter has a complete set of it.   How she raved about every book of Meyer, even to the point of asking NBS to reserve copies for her.  Out of curiosity, hubby and I watched the movie version of Eclipse  (a month ago I think, I can’t remember now),  which they say is the best of the three series shown, so far. But I was nodding my head off in the middle of the movie and my daughter chided me by saying that I always fall asleep while watching the big screen, so I told her it’s not my cup of tea.  I must tell you that  I enjoyed reading Harry Potter  and  watched every movie version of those books.   This sudden penchant for heroic-demigod-magical powers is altogether different though, I am learning Egyptology and little by little those quite unfamiliar names which I only used to see on crossword puzzles suddenly come to life.   Amazing!

And before you think that I’ve completely abandoned  reading  other books, you’ re wrong.  I’ve  found and purchased a lot of books too,  all additions to my growing TBR list.   Time and again, I would buy memoirs, I wonder why they fascinate me no end.  Frank  McCourt’s  Ti’s and Angela’s Ashes are favorites although I need to replace my previous copies because I wasn’t able to save them during the flood last year.  Had I been well enough to set aside the paperbacks, I would have done it but I was not allowed to sort the dirty piles  because at that time I was in the middle of my chemotherapy sessions. I recently bought  The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls at a  twenty percent discount at NBS. I like  the description on the cover which reads, “The Glass Castle is the kind of story that keeps you awake long after the rest of the house has fallen asleep”. It is a memoir of resilience and redemption and a look into a dysfunctional and uniquely vibrant family where love still reigns despite the odds and all the peculiarities involved.  I am saving it for another rainy day.   I think it’s my fourth or fifth buy of   The  Prophet , the first three I got for some friends as gifts and my copy now is the smallest and the cheapest I could find.  Kahlil Gibran, the author of  The Prophet is a  Lebanese-American poet and philosopher and the book has been translated into more than 20 languages.  Back in college, I devoured almost every copy of his books even to the point of keeping a separate notebook of all the best quotations I could find.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – a complete and unabridged copy.  Come to think of it, I have forgotten the story of orphan Jane and the famous Mr. Rochester because the last time I’ve read this book, I was still in high school.  I never had the chance to reacquaint myself with the book until now.   I bought Ilustrado two months ago, got a good review from Blooey, one of my friends at Flip Flipping  Pages.  The Filipino author Miguel Syjuco, is a winner of  the 2008  Man Asia Literary Prize.  I have yet to discover how he writes because the book is still in its original plastic cover.

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson – bought a copy at P625.00 at Bestsellers.   I’ve started reading this  about a month ago but it’s not the kind of book that you would want to finish in  one seating.   It’s a  true account  of mountaineer Greg Mortenson who drifted into a mountain village of Karakoram after a failed attempt to climb K2.   He was touched by the kindness shown by the inhabitants there and promised to return and build a school for the children.  

It is the astonishing , uplifting story of real-life Indiana Jones and his remarkable humanitarian campaign in the Taliban backyard. Just a quote from the book, “here in Pakistan, we drink three cups of tea to do business; the first you are a stranger, the second you become a friend, and the third, you join our family and for our family we are prepared to do anything – even die”. (Haji Ali, Korphe Village Chief, Karakoram Mountains, Pakistan).  Eversince I’ve read Khaled Hosseini’s  The Kite Runner and  A Thousand Splendid  Suns, I was fascinated  by how the people live  in these Islamic countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.  I even saw a book entitled  Reading Lolita in  Tehran by Azar  Nafisi, another memoir,but that would be on another trip to NBS.  And who told you I am addicted to  memoirs?  I just did!

Life is not all memoirs though because in between reading these, I also managed to buy more books at less than a hundred pesos –  Anne Tyler’s Breathing Lessons, Andrew Greeley’s   Irish Linen.  Greeley is a Catholic priest and priests do write love stories. I’ve read several of his books in the past and I found  Cardinal  Sins the most controversial.  It’s about life in the Vatican written in fiction.  Nissa bought me some chick lit books and a couple of hardbound James  Patterson.

And to end this book blog which wonderfully reached a word count of 1101, let me quote  Isaac Barrow on how he views books:

He that loveth a book will never want for a faithful friend, a wholesome counselor, a cheerful companion, an effectual comforter


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I am just a simple soul really.  I find happiness in simple things like a new bloom, a smile and laughter of a child, a happy- ending story on TV, and yes, I am ecstatic when it comes to the printed word. My love of reading has not waned  after all these years. Never mind that I change reading glasses every two or three years, never mind that sometimes, I sleep still clutching a book in my hands, being a bit OC because I have to cover a book first before I start reading and no dog ears please, I have several bookmarks in stock precisely for new ones.

Last new year’s eve, my youngest brother and I were talking on the phone and he told me that he will send me  a Kindle, that oh so cool wireless reading device from Amazon which could hold up to 1,500 book titles. How wonderful perhaps to carry your own library with you wherever you go?  So I asked myself, will I ever adjust to reading an e-book ?  A few days ago, I posted my wish list for 2010 and one of my friends Tobbie, sent me a PDF copy of The Pillars of the Earth.  I started reading online, a few chapters everyday, but I find it a little kind of strange not holding a real book in my hands.  Just imagine a 991 pages , 100% zoomed in of course, for my poor eyes but still you can only read so much in one day.

My son  went to Bestsellers yesterday and he bought me a copy of  The Pillars of the Earth.  Wow, you can just imagine my smile and he embraced me and said, “I have another surprise”, and when I looked into the bag, I saw  this wonderful, wonderful book entitled Candle Creations,” a contemporary guide to making and using the most elegant element of home decoration – the candle”.  I simply love it.  I love the smell of new books.  They have that scent that says fun, learning, adventure. Years ago, my former boss at BPI taught me how to make candles.  She owns a craft store now called Craftworld.  How I love the aromatic scent of bubblegum, orange, lavander, vanilla, raspberry, cinnamon, coconut and even chocolate. There are so many variety of fragrances you can choose from and you could blend your candles with different colors. There are a few materials which you will need in making candles and the hobby is so rewarding.

One of these days, when I am well enough to source for supplies, I will try candle making again. And it’s one down my wish list.  Wishes do come true, right?

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Just got caught with early morning nostalgia. Silly, you might say, but this is the time of day when everything seems so vivid and alive.

Four am.  It’s never for want of trying to sleep at least until the break of dawn, my eyes simply would not cooperate.  I’m usually wide awake  around this time, when everything you can hear outside is a pregnant silence.  My mind travels back to so many things and it is simply full of  ideas that I can’t verbalize nor even write about.  A hot cup of coffee somehow would fill the void but it is a luxury for me now, at least while I am on chemotherapy.   Hmm, I was clearly tempted so I tried a sip.  And here comes the proverbial question, “is it me or is it the coffee?”. There’s nothing there,  the taste was just bland.  I was thinking, I could do without it after all.

The past days, I had this adrenalin rush to do an inventory of the books we have saved during the flood.  I am looking for one particular volume entitled Painting Colors, a hard bound copy which I bought at Powerbooks in Megamall five years ago when we had the repainting of the house.  We are in the thick of renovating it and having painting jobs done.  From the shelves which weren’t touched by flood waters, I could see twenty five volumes of Nissa’s Charmed, a complete set of Josef’s Harry Potter series, Jeffrey Archer’s paperbacks, Paulo Coelho’s books, several Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella , one or two books of Robin Cook, Slumdog Millionaire, Atonement, Time Traveler’s Wife, and some books by Cecilia Ahern. Compared to almost a thousand volumes we had before, these are just minimal.  It’s good we were able to save the Lexicon which hubby bought some years ago. All the volumes I had at my night table, including our family Bible and my favorite garden books are all gone. Who would think that flood waters would reach as high as four feet inside our bedroom and as  deep as seven feet in our sala, I’ll never know.  Our neighbor said that in all the thirty five years they’ve been living here, this is the first time that it happened.  Gosh, when I think of the two volumes of Gabriel Garcia Marquez‘  Love in the Time of Cholera and  One Hundred Years of  Solitude,  I simply shake my head.  They were gifts from Nissa and I haven’t  even finished reading the former.  It’s so sad really, I’ve said time and again that books are lifetime companions and I simply could not live without them.

I couldn’t bring myself to see our three Thomasian Yearbooks all soiled and smelling like crazy. Josef’s copy was the most damaged.  You could always think and rethink of memories until you bleed  but there are certain things that your heart holds but your mind wants to see, hard evidences of what you have aspired for through the years.

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Whew! I have more than fifty unread books in my shelf. The ones I’ve bought at Bestsellers and at NBS are still in their original plastic cover. Lately, I  have been busy catching up on my gardening. I have to repot, replant, fertilize and cultivate new plants before the rainy season sets in.  Haven’t got hold of a book for almost three weeks now. Sometimes, I just stare at the titles but I just could not decide what to read first.  I am still in the middle of reading Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Yesterday, my daughter brought home a book entitled 1ST TO DIE by James Patterson and I am sorely tempted to give it a start. (Sorry Alma, I might be able to finish reading your favorite book before the year ends..hopefully not..) Suffice to say, I am in my ‘reading hiatus” if there is such a term.

My TBR list consists of mostly fiction with one or two chicklit and Ya books. Here are some of the books which I haven’t read yet.

The Memory Keeper’s Daughter – Kim Edwards
The Story of My Life – Helen Keller (autobiography)
The Power and the Glory – Graham Greene
Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Claire Buoyant – Saralee Rosenberg
If You Could See Me Now – Cecelia Ahern
The Mask –  Dean Koontz
The Deep End of the Ocean – Jacquelin Mitchard
Clan of the Cave Bear – Jean Auel
Valley of Horses – Jean Auel
Firefly Summer – Maeve Binchy
Winter solstice – Rosamund Pilcher
Shopaholic and Sister – Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic and Baby – Sophie Kinsella
Confessions of a Shopaholic – Sophie Kinsella
Little Altars Everywhere – Rebecca Wells
Divine Secrets of the Yaya Sisterhood – Rebecca Wells
Ultimate Prizes –  Susan Howatch
Armaggedon – Leon Uris
The Haj – Leon Uris
Marker – Robin Cook
Drums of Autumn – Diana Gabaldon
False Impression – Jeffrey Archer
Remembrance – Jude Deveraux
Kitty and Virgil – Paul Bailey
All the Finest Girls – Alexandra Styron
The Lake – Daniel Villasenor
Staircase of a Thousand Steps – Masha Hamilton
Ray in Reverse – Daniel Wallace
McKenzie’s Friend – Philip Davidson
2nd Chance – Jeffrey Archer

I intend to re-read Sophie Kinsella’s books in the order they were published since we were able to buy her more recent works before the old ones. And to think, I haven’t read the last two of the Harry Potter series which belong to my son’s own collection.  My daughter has her own complete series of the Charmed and Christopher Pike. I don’t know how she could still watch re runs on TV though she already have them on DVD. Talk about our own quirks and biases when it comes to reading.

And when you say you just could not get enough, that’s when you truly are a bookworm and geek and proud of it (to borrow Mike’s name at Shelfari).

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