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Posts Tagged ‘reading’

A Busy Week


Oh my, how time flies. It’s now the middle of the week and I am still busy, busy, busy. General cleaning, changing curtains, checking all the Christmas decor we have in store.

I managed to read two more books though.  One is a story of two struggling Indian teenagers, their friendship, the life they lived in one of the rural areas of India. This is only the second book about  India that I have read, a touching novel on  how the poor Indian women are exploited and abused. Girls Burn Brighter was written by  Shobha Rao.

I was not expecting  much but oh gosh, this book grips you all throughout. I’ve never been aware of those traditions in rural parts of India until now. The story is brutal in a sense that it delivers without sugar-coating the events and happenings in the story.
I was quite disappointed though when I reached the ending. Although it was implied that the two characters have finally found each other again, I would have preferred seeing their reactions face to face.

There is still life after all the hardships as long as one believes.

I’ve read almost all of Emily Giffin books and this one, All We Ever Wanted  is another winner. How far would you go to protect your child? Are you willing to sacrifice everything, even your marriage to protect them? This is a relevant story of how teens deal with stress and pressure nowadays. Some friends could be bad influences in their lives. Some could do well staying as just friends.

There is this lone okra shrub that I planted some months ago. The others died on me after a few months but this one looks so sturdy. Every day, I would harvest two okra. It never stops flowering. I would just steam them on newly cooked rice and presto, they’re ready to go. Waiting for my Roselle and Blue Ternatea seeds to mature.

 

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“for in that sleep of death what dreams may come, when we have shuffled off this mortal coil, must give us pause” Hamlet, Act III, Sc.1

After life there is more…The end is just the beginning…If you are into parapsychology, metaphysics and the supernatural then this book is for you.

What Dreams May Come is the story of Chris Nielsen and his wife Ann. A love story that transcends death – a guy willing to spend his life in Hell just so he could be with his loved one. The story opens with Chris dying in a car accident but he does not realize that he is now dead. His main concern is his wife and family. He hovers within as a ghost until he finds himself in Summerland (the idea of heaven) and meets his dead dog Katie and his cousin Albert who serves as his guide in heaven. Summerland, more a state of mind rather than a place. Despite the beauty and splendor of Summerland, he still longs for his family specially Ann to the point of wanting to be reassured of when they will see each other again.

Ann could not accept the demise of her husband so she commits suicide breaking the ties forever and she finds herself in Hell. Chris,  in his desire to help Ann, goes down to the lower realm accompanied by Albert and there he personally witnesses what hell looks like but he does not find Ann there. She does not believe in afterlife so she is trapped in her own hell. He lets himself becomes part of her reality so they could be together forever.

The story flashes to Chris finding himself again in Summerland and they both move on until such time that Ann chooses a quick rebirth on earth. They are soul mates and the story ends with the premise that they will be together again in another life.

Okay, here’s my take on the story.

What really happens to us after we die? Do we really have soul mates? The imagery between heaven and hell is so vivid that you would prefer to be in heaven than anywhere else. Anyone can escape Matheson’s hell – they only have to recognize and accept their shortcomings. It’s a sort of temporary dwelling until such time that you eventually go to heaven.

There was a movie made on this book and Richard Matheson is the same author who wrote Bid Time Return which was translated into a movie called Somewhere in Time – one of my favorites.

Quotations from the book:

“It’s a painful thing to learn I know,”he said, “that every thought we have takes in a form we must eventually, confront”.

“Language is more a barrier to understanding than an aid. Also, we’re able, through thought, to communicate in any language without the need of an interpreter. Moreover, we’re not confined to words and sentences. Communication can be enhanced by flashes of pure thought”.

“I noticed you have no mirrors,” I said.
“They serve no purpose,” he told me.
“Because they’re mostly for vanity?” I questioned.
‘More than that,”he answered. “those who’ve marred their appearance in any way by their actions in life aren’t forced to witness that marring. If they were, they’d become self-conscious and be unable to concentrate on improving themselves”.

P.S.

I have read this book back when I was not a member yet of Goodreads.  Reread it again a few days ago. It has a new cover at Goodreads though. Today is All Saints’ Day,  a reminder to us that we all could be saints.  Doing good deeds without counting the cost.

A blessed All Saints’ Day everyone!

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“You tread lightly through life, but you leave deep footprints that are hard for other people to fill.”

A tale of love, loss and friendship. One of those books that you can hardly put down. It’s that good.  Is there love at first sight?

She saw him through a misted-up bus window. She was on the bus and he was sitting at the bus stop. Their eyes met and  they smiled at each other. No communication, no physical contact except that brief eye encounter with a stranger. Then the bus drives away.

For a year together with her best friend, the girl looked for him in each coffee corner and bus stop to no avail. Then one day, the best friend introduces her boyfriend. She was tongue-tied and speechless, the boy of her dreams is  right before her eyes but he belongs to the best friend. She never told the best friend that he is the guy she was looking for.

Such is the start of this beautiful love story One Day In December and it is also my first book of Josie Silver. I think this is also her first book  publication.

She didn’t want to be the third wheel in what she sees as a lovely relationship. The boy denied that they have met before but they became friends eventually. The girl even managed to get married to a guy she met later. As for the rest of the story, it is for you to find it if you ever find a copy of this lovely book. A feel good story spanning a decade of friendship for the three characters.

Sometimes you find a light read like this and you are thrilled. Sometimes you are touched by the message it conveys. Sometimes you just enjoy it and you wish the story would go on. But there is always an ending no matter how good the story is.

And fate sometimes has other plans.

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I am giving this four stars.

The last time I read a Nicholas Sparks book was in 2016 when Two by Two was published. Unlike his other books that I enjoyed reading in the past, it was not really an amazing read for me.  Of course, he is a romance writer  but not all of his subjects  and plots are okay with me although they are also well-written. Here comes Every Breath which I think is better than the other books he wrote before.  Of course, I love Message in A Bottle which was the first book I read of him, I also love A Walk To Remember.  Except for a few titles that I’ve missed, I have read almost all of his books, courtesy of Nissa who deeply admire Nicholas  Sparks’ writings. Fancy a male writer more in tune with women’s feelings, emotionally in touched with scenes that keep you hooked till the end.

Regrets of course always come last. Sometimes we make bad decisions that we have to live up to and maybe dream that someday, all would be well again. Every Breath is such a story, a story of hope, a story of true love.

It is such a joy to read another winner. It is such a joy to find a book that would make you believe that fate sometimes truly makes a way for you to enjoy the remaining days of your life. Love endures and it is always a blessing when you find that one true love.

As always I jotted down some quotes which I like in the book.

“A life, after all, is simply a series of little lives, each of them lived one day at a time, and every single one of those days has choices and consequences. Piece by piece, those decisions help to form the people we become.”

“One of the great things about a leaf,” he said to her, “is that it reminds you to live as well as you can for as long as you can, until it’s finally time to let go and allow yourself to drift away with grace.” 

“Memories are a doorway to the past, and the more one treasures the memories, the wider the door will open.”

“Falling in love is the easy part; making that love last amid life’s varied challenges is an elusive dream for many.” 

“Being loved deeply by someone gives you strength, and loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 

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An early 20th century story about a factory girl who struggled to keep her family intact.

I think this is my first Mary Gibson book. The harsh realities of being poor with an abusive father to boot. How they survived, find it out here.

This has been in my shelf for a couple of years now but it’s only lately that I got to  read it.  Though  I have always been partial to historical fiction,  I kept postponing reading it but I am glad I finally picked it up. This is my 126th read on Goodreads Reading Challenge this year.

I just started with another book by Jenny Colgan entitled  The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris.  I love books with various recipes inside. I enjoyed her previous books about baking. I love the sound of food that is why I am looking for another Ruth Reichl book.  The latter is an  American chef and food writer.

What are you reading?

 

 

 

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Ah, when you think  of books, you also think of the many  possibilities that you’ll meet a new author, be inspired by his/her words then you enjoy reading.  It’s my first time to read a Lisa See book  and  really, it’s so hard to put it down.

More than the very short  plot in the story, I was caught by the lovely cover of the book and the title itself. 

I searched for Lisa See’s website and I found this. It is a short summary of the wonderful story.  A look into Chinese history, family relationships, traditions, tea and life in rural China. A beautifully woven plot.  I am still in the middle of reading it but I can hardly put it down. I’ll surely rate it five when I’m done reading.

“Maybe our lives are like gigantic jigsaw puzzles. You find the right piece and suddenly the whole picture has meaning.” 

 

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Can’t believe I reread a book without remembering I’ve read it before. And it’s only been three years. What am I thinking? Anyway, I enjoyed reading it again just the same.

It’s been a few years since I read a Maya Angelou book, an autobiography of Maya  Angelou called I Know How the Caged Bird Sings.  I am wondering where I shelved that one, the last book  I read of her. then I found this, Letter To My Daughter. 

I hope I’ll enjoy this book too but knowing  how Maya Angelou writes, I am sure I will. Her words dance and swim before your eyes, those seemingly inspirational thoughts that get you somehow.

“A friend may be waiting behind a stranger’s face.”

“Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.” 

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.”

If you won’t be touched by these words, I don’t what will. By the way, this is my 121st book for this year.

 

 

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