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Posts Tagged ‘my reading journey’


What a busy, busy weekend.

Yes, you heard it right. I ironed several panels of curtains, changed the sheets, replaced the curtains with thicker ones. Oh my, several loads in the washing machine. I’m dead beat. Good thing, the sun is shining. They would dry under the heat of the sun.

We’ re baking again. There are so many orders but not enough time to do everything.  Just helping Jovy and Josef to fill them up.  My goodness, I could not even take a taste test because I am avoiding sweets.

I was able to catch up on my reading though. I usually read at night. It’s been a while since I read thrillers and courtroom scenes that I really love. This love affair started when I read QB VII by Leon Uris several years ago. I am reading some romantic stories now for a change, and some are all about Christmas.

By the way, HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my friends residing in the US. May you all be blessed  🙂 There is always something we are grateful for.

 

 

 

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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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The last two or three years of my reading challenges, I was  enamored with a few books I’ve found featuring Asian authors. Since I met Nadia Hashimi, Khaled Hosseini, Amy Tan and Lisa See to name a few, I keep looking for others. Then I finally found this seemingly lovely book of  a Korean-American author.

Pachinko, is an epic historical novel following characters from Korea who eventually migrate to Japan. It is the first novel written for an adult, English-speaking audience about Japanese Korean culture. Wikipedia says that Pachinko is a type of mechanical game originating in Japan and is used as both a form of recreational arcade game and much more frequently as a gambling device, filling a Japanese gambling niche comparable to that of the slot machine in Western gaming.

Pachinko

It is actually my first time to read about Korean culture. I didn’t even know that Korea was under Japanese colonial rule from 1910 to 1945. It is a lengthy book all of  496 pages and I’ve only finished 20% of it but I am loving the story. A deeply engrossing novel, a lovely historical fiction.  Looking forward to  reading the rest. It’s my 86th read this year and I have completed 71% of my Goodreads book challenge.

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I’ve missed my usual beginning of the month blog post  here.  Posted about my tagline instead. Well, anyway,  today is just September 2 and this post counts as one.

I  recently checked my profile  at Goodreads. It’s nice to know that among all the millions of readers and books at Goodreads, I found this stats. It is for the Philippines’ top 100  readers only.

#86  Best Reviewers

#62  Top Reviewers

I think the best reviewer option is practically new. It  wasn’t there a few months ago. There is a slide down from #59 to #62 for top reviewers. I don’t know how they  usually arrive at this since some followers are from other countries. Come to think of it, I only have  59 friends mostly from Facebook and about 1,157 books in my virtual library with 94 reviews in the last twelve months. I don’t always review the books I  read.  I don’t even like to summarize a story of the whole book but write about how it touched me and how I enjoyed it.

I love Goodreads. I am able to read some reviews before I buy and read a book.  Been a member here since  October 2011 before shelfari.com closed for good.  I haven’t even explored all the features of this site. I haven’t joined their community – no group discussions, no trivia, quotes and the likes. They have several tags and writing genre. You just have to choose and read a short synopsis of the books you want to read.

When I am not on WordPress, I visit Goodreads for new releases and when I am not on Goodreads, I write some memes and shout outs on my wall at Facebook.  Goodreads is always updated with new publications and  the release dates.

“Many people, myself among them, feel better at the mere sight of a book.”
― Jane Smiley

How nice that the BER months are finally here. Oh yes, I didn’t forget, the  Christmas countdown has just begun. Happy September friends.

 

 

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My shout out at my wall on Facebook:

Attended mass early this morning without eye glasses. It’s been more than three decades since I started wearing one. Nakakapanibago. My eyes felt so naked….haha!

My eye operation was a minor one compared to those earlier two I had before but the the tremendous  result  is truly amazing.  The longer we are faced with these treatments, the more modern they become and it also becomes easier for the patient to adjust. When I had my first major operation in the late nineties because of my endemetriosis, my surgeon used stitches on the outer wound but when I underwent sigmoid surgery back in 2009, the surgical oncologist used  staple  type sutures and they were easier to remove but permanent, non-absorbable sutures are sometimes preferred because they are resistant to body chemicals that might otherwise dissolve them too early in the healing process. Non-absorbable sutures are useful for maintaining long-term tissue wound closure and healing.

With an eye operation, you rely on the durability of the lenses that they use. “Modern intraocular lenses are made from highly durable materials. These materials are inert, and their chemical or physical composition will not change with the passage of the years”. Since it is quite common that you feel a little itch every time you use an eye drop, there is a tendency to rub it unconsciously. Maybe that is why they give you plastic lenses right after the operation to protect them.  I used mine for two days then I was prescribed reading glasses.  So far, so good.

Maybe in a few months, I will have my  right eye be operated too or maybe in about a year. The lenses are not included in the insurance so you really have to shell out cash for it. I told my doctor I still have to save for my next one 🙂

If you are thinking of having your eyes done for this procedure, don’t worry, it is quite safe.

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Call me a book addict or a bookworm  or the more high-sounding word bibliophile but I just love books.  Take that to mean a new book with the dust jacket still on, a second-hand find from a Booksale store, an e-book   on my tab or just about anything that spells b-o-o-k. 

I’ve just finished my 18th book this year  (according to Goodreads where I have a virtual library) last night.  And it is a story about books and maintaining a bookshop. I had a good laugh reading it and enjoyed all the lovely and inspirational  book quotes written there.

My tab with Nate’s photo as a screen saver.

Sometimes I forget to jot them down but I go back and write them in my new journal.  It is always nice to read words that take you to another place, another time  and experiences.  My reading  genre is an eclectic mix of cook books, memoirs, poems, historical novels, classic books and fiction.  Sometimes I feel as if I am the main character in the story.  When you experience the triumphs, the fears, the disappointments and the  happy moments, it means that you are into the story.

I am into my fourth journal of quotes from most of the books I’ve read in the past. I feel energized reading these inspiring and motivational words from different authors.

Don’t you just love the smell of new books or the  excitement of finding something on your wish list?   Don’t you just love that pile of TBRs on your night table?

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Who ends up with the blood samples you routinely give for tests? What else are they being used for? Why don’t you know?

I am in the middle of reading Michael Palmer’s book,  The Fifth Vial. I read three of his books before, accidental finds while looking for more Robin  Cook’s books. Like the latter, Michael Palmer was also a doctor and Robin Cook was two years ahead of him at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. That is according to his biography. He asked his younger sister and I quote:

“If Robin can write a book and has the same education as I do,” why can’t I write a book?”

He died last October 2013 with nineteen books to his name.  I was lucky enough to find The Fifth Vial,  a story about a  disgraced medical student, a scientist and a private eye. Put them together and you have The Fifth Vial.  Just like  Robin Cook, Palmer wrote medical thrillers.  I have enjoyed reading Robin Cook’s books since I read my first book of him. I have collected his works over the years. I remember this started when I read about the famous Lea Salonga’s short bio that  she wanted to be a doctor and that she read Robin Cook. I was intrigued so I looked for his books at Booksale.  When I found one, the others followed.  By the way, going back to The Fifth Vial, it is my 80th read so far since I started with Goodreads’ 2017 Reading  Challenge  last January. Seventy more books to go before I finish the challenge. I am ahead of schedule though by about thirty-three books. Reading is getting lovelier and more interesting.

The medical field is such a rich source of those medical malpractices, new discoveries on medicines and such stories that  appear so true in real life.  When I got sick almost eight years ago, I researched and read so much about the effects of chemotherapy, how cancer could be treated the natural way.  I was afraid though so I chose to have chemotherapy every three weeks and took oral chemo drugs too. Some doctors would really suggest  for you to try new medicines like you are a guinea pig or a  white mouse According to my oncologist,  there are as many as two hundred chemotherapy drugs in the market.  It costs an arm and a leg to have one small bottle  of Oxaliplatin. The oral drug is just the same.  The first time I saw the drip  encased in a black cloth, I almost freaked out.  The nurse explained to me that the drug should not be exposed to the light. You know that thinking that you are taking poison in your immune system. I wonder if having a low immunity is still the effect of taking those chemotherapy drugs.

Oh yes, why not Michael Palmer? Why not The Fifth Vial?  I am sure you will also enjoy reading this as I do.

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One thing I like about Facebook is their daily app called On This Day where you can go back and see what you wrote a few years back, a summary of shoutout you did through the years.  I wrote the  following paragraphs exactly four years ago on my wall. I wonder if I lifted them  from  some earlier posts I did here. I know it is easier if there is a previous review of the book you want to read or it was given a rating of five stars like they do on Goodreads but I guess you can always explore a book and sometimes you certainly find nice surprises.

Sometimes I wonder if people read a particular book because they love and like the author or they find positive reviews about it or simply because the book is just there, handy for one to enjoy.

I am not deterred by negative reviews they give to a particular book or been influenced by the five-star rating on the side, I’d rather want to discover it on my own. Sometimes, you’ll be surprised, you actually love the story of one which others say is not worth that much.

And I love this quote from Roald Dahl: “So please, oh PLEASE, we beg, we pray, Go throw your TV set away, And in its place you can install, A lovely bookshelf on the wall.”

It’s funny, I even capitalized that word  “please”.  I am on the last leg of my reading challenge of 100 books this year (88% done) and I realized that one should not be afraid to try reading new authors, not just those you’re familiar with or are well-known.  Sometimes, the very first books they publish are the best ones. And yes, I have to be honest here, sometimes the book cover does it  🙂

What are you reading now? I am done with some books on baking and those fiction books that have baking recipes in between the pages.

 

 

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