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Posts Tagged ‘reading’


It’s been a busy week!

I haven’t posted for quite a while but I had time to finish gardening, trimming the carabao grass, shaping our Eugenia and  gold dust plants and replanting some white  grass which were  uprooted by our three playful kitties.

My back and arms ached a little so I have to take a rest almost the whole day just catching up on reading and visiting  some new blog posts here.  I actually read two e-books in three days. Not my normal kind of authors and books  but I enjoyed reading both.  Sometimes when you haven’t read love stories for so long, it’s lovely to discover that they are as engrossing and as interesting as those memoirs and historical fictions that you normally read.  Good life and happy endings.

According to xmasclock.com, it’s 38 days, 5 hours and 7 minutes before Christmas. Hooray! I am  really looking forward to the happy days ahead.

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The lazy bug strikes again.

The truth is I am not inspired  to write so I  read the past  three days. I was able to finish a ghost story ( a re-read) and a thriller. Done with 182 books since January, 32 more books added to my 2017  reading challenge.

Looking at the Christmas tree lighted at night makes me remember those Christmas past when the family was still complete with Dad still around and my youngest brother who migrated to the US of A  since 1991.  We used to spend Christmas  Eve in the province, a simple celebration of  Christmas Eve mass,  then later partaking  Noche Buena  with various sweets prepared by Mom.  When I was in high school, I also experienced tagging along with my aunts and uncle a few days before Christmas when we would visit neighbors and friends and sing Christmas songs accompanied by my uncle’s violin and Dad’s guitar.  The fun of walking late at night with a cold breeze on your cheeks, the generosity of people who love to hear Christmas carols of old.  Some would offer hot drinks  or sweets aside from  coins from their piggy banks.  Nowadays, you’ll hear the voices of little children shouting “namamasko po”  and singing  “Thank you, thank you, ang babait ninyo, thank you” and that means “thank you for being so kind”.   Every year, the Mini Parish Pastoral Council would send a letter a week before they are due to serenade each house  in the village with Christmas songs. It’s a way of collecting funds for the chapel and other  Christmas activities in our village.

Envelopes are aplenty during Christmas time from the maintenance of our subdivision, guards, messengers  (some you’re not even familiar with, like those who just delivered  mails  just once)  and our garbage truck collectors.  I give more to the latter because they  are more visible than the rest.

Gosh, it is already November  and we are still having tropical storms. Typhoon Salome is the  19th one this year. We are under signal number one. PAGASA says it  would bring lots of rain.  It is expected to move out of  PAR (Philippine Area of Responsibility) by Saturday morning.  I am hoping it would not bring lots of rains  as they have predicted.

Looking forward to a sunny weekend since I am meeting some friends.

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s been a busy week so far. Weekends are  here again. Time to relax a little and enjoy what is in store.

I gardened for three straight hours yesterday then today I went to the mall to buy Christmas gifts for the family.  Two loads off my shoulder. It’s a good thing their  customer service is still not that busy. I was able to have them gift-wrapped. I won’t have to buy  Christmas gift-wrapping papers. I need a few more but I already have an idea what to buy.  A month ago. I also bought my birthday gift for Nate who’ll be having his 5th birthday next month.

I  window-shopped for Christmas decor but most of them are so costly. We have lots here but some of them are already old.  Hoping for something new for a change.  I want to put up a  Christmas tree. We use the plastic ones here since they are more practical to use.  Our Christmas tree though is seven feet high. It is so time-consuming to fill  it with  Christmas lights and decorations. I want a smaller one  with dancing lights.  Every year, they innovate  the Christmas lights. We used to have the Christmas parol  which is truly unique in the Philippines  The word parol is derived from the  Spanish  word farol, meaning “lantern”.  They are quite expensive now and they have gone a long way in terms of designs and lighting. I remember my brother who at one time hand-carried one when they came over for vacation a long time ago. He said their house in Tulsa is the only one with  parol come  Christmas time.

Despite the busy days, I was able to read more books. I am now in the middle of reading Philippa Gregory’s The Constant Princess. If you love the story of the Tudors, you would  admire the story of Katherine of Aragon, the first wife of King Henry VIII. I love the story of The Other Boleyn Girl  more than this one though. I love historical novels.  Speaking of reading, I am on my 175th read for this year, twenty  five more books than I have set myself to finish until December.

Have a nice and blessed weekend.

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There are books and there are books out there.

Funny how sometimes a certain book is included in the list of classics but when you attempt to read it, you can’t relate. One such book I really wanted to finish is The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. I started a few chapters only to abandon it again. Readers rated it five stars on Goodreads but how come I could not finish even five chapters? The proverbial question is, is it me or is it the book?  I love history, I admire those writers who really make those researches when writing a historical book.  Those Latin phrases really turned me off. A few months ago, I attempted to include Anna Karenina in my book challenge for this year but I gave up reading in the middle of the book. Russian names are hard to pronounce, haha.  Got confused by the story.  I finished reading  Doctor Zhivago though by Boris Pasternak. I  even watched some trailers on YouTube and enjoyed listening to Lara’s Theme. Another book that I started years ago but still pending in my TBR list is A Prayer for Owen Meany. This book got more five stars on Goodreads. A Widow For One Year  is another Irving book that is pending in my shelf.

Are you a fan of Gabriel Garcia Marquez? We used to have two trade books of his in our small library which Nissa bought years ago, Love In The Time of Cholera and One Hundred Days of Solitude.  I enjoyed the latter but could not finish the former. I wonder why.  Enough of  Florentino Ariza and Fermina Daza. Do you remember that famous film by Meryl Streep entitled Julie and Julia? I  enjoyed watching the film version but didn’t finish the book with the same title  by Julie Powell, a food blogger. Another book Eat, Pray, Love  is prominently displayed in my shelf but the first few chapters were a disappointment to me. Maybe one of these days, I’ll read Elizabeth Gilbert.  Maybe I’ll give the book another try.

I am presently reading  The Winter Siege by Ariana Franklin,  a book set in 12th century England.  A wonderful historical book. In 1141, England was engulfed in civil war between King Stephen and his cousin, the Empress Matilda over who would wear the crown.  This book is so engrossing. This is my book number 162 out of a goal of reading 150 books this year.

What are you reading at the moment?

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A blessed Monday morning to all.

Cloudy skies. And there are two low pressure areas which are still outside the Phil. Area of Responsibility (PAR) but this early it looks like it will rain again. It’s a good thing we are finally done trimming  our plants and cutting the carabao grass yesterday. Gardening is  a lot of work but one is happy when you see the immaculate lawn smelling of the earth and newly cut grass.  We harvested calamansi too and got a bout a kilo. The two calamansi trees we have in the garden are presently bearing so many fruits. Heaven.

I was done with my Goodreads 2017 Reading challenge last August 20 finishing the 150 books I set myself to read. I’ve added about five more books since then. I am presently reading The House on Honeysuckle Lane by Mary McDonough, my first book of hers. Gosh, it’s full of Rumi quotes and one character was even named Rumi.  I remember those  earlier days  when I used to write on my little notebooks several quotations from that  writer.  His works are still widely  read until today. Reading is such a leisure that is so fulfilling. Give me a book anytime.

Last September 7 and 8, I got a total of more than 2,400 views alone on my post about Mama Mary.   I guess since 2013 thereabouts, my stats always jump during Mama Mary’s birthday. Busy Google.

 

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I was suddenly reminded of this lovely children’s book while perusing my shelves on authors beginning with “W”. Pete, a friend here  on  WordPress has just ended his posts on alphabetical listings of books and authors.

Charlotte’s Web.

I was not really that familiar with the story until my kids were growing up and we stacked on children’s books to read every night before they went to sleep.

One is never too old to appreciate a good book.

E.B. White is the same author of the more familiar  Stuart Little  novel  which was adapted into a movie not too long ago. Charlotte’s Web is a story of Wilbur, a little pig and Charlotte,  a spider. It is a story of friendship, life, love and death. It’s full of lessons that we could all learn from.

There are several inspiring quotes from Charlotte’s Web, words of wisdom from a child’s book of fairy tales.

“Why did you do all this for me?’ he asked. ‘I don’t deserve it. I’ve never done anything for you.’ ‘You have been my friend,’ replied Charlotte. ‘That in itself is a tremendous thing.”

“I wove my webs for you because I liked you. After all, what’s a life, anyway? We’re born, we live a little while, we die. A spider’s life can’t help being something of a mess, with all this trapping and eating flies. By helping you, perhaps I was trying to lift up my life a trifle. Heaven knows anyone’s life can stand a little of that.”

“And then, just as Wilbur was settling down for his morning nap, he heard again the thin voice that had addressed him the night before.
“Salutations!” said the voice.
Wilbur jumped to his feet. “Salu-what?” he cried.
“Salutations!” repeated the voice.
“What are they, and where are you?” screamed Wilbur. “Please, please, tell me where you are. And what are salutations?”
“Salutations are greetings,” said the voice. “When I say ‘salutations,’ it’s just my fancy way of saying hello or good morning.”

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer.”

This is just as good as another children’s book, The Velveteen Rabbit which my kids and I love.

 

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Last night, I received this precious badge from Goodreads together with this lovely message:

Congrats!
You have read 150 books of your goal of 150!”

Almost nine months and I am done. It was nice to discover new authors whose  books were just as lovely as those I have read before. It was nice to discover new places.  It was just lovely to add more books on my shelves and on my tab.  I was even on a quandary what book to read last but I finally settled on Palladian.  I was reminded of the book Jane Eyre at the outset.  Palladian was first published in 1946, more than ten years before I was born.  Much as there are negative reviews on the book, the positive ones far outweigh them. Such poetic prose,  a string of words that warms the heart.  Summaries and various reviews are posted on Goodreads,  that is, if you have time to visit the site.

Hoping I could find more lovely books to read, reread those books that inspired me over the years, discover more memoirs, poems and fiction in the process.

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