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Posts Tagged ‘reading’


I didn’t really expect anything from this book. I seldom read YA books now since I found so many new authors that I like. A light read actually.

It was a nice surprise though – a coming of age story, relationship between mothers and daughters, friendship, love of animals and most of all blogging.


I love how the story revolved around Tara and her mom. Fellow bloggers would surely appreciate how this was told through Tara’s blog. You know, those day-to-day happenings in a young teenager’s life, her dreams and aspirations, her love-hate relationship with her mom and her discovery of her extended family. Her blog was entitled Lonely Girl and the book ended when she gave up blogging, lonely girl no more.

The last time I read about a book premised on the  blogging world was when I encountered Julie and Julia by Julie Powell.  There was a movie made on this starring Meryl Streep. I enjoyed watching the movie so I bought the book but I was not able to finish it. I only reached page 50. The movie adaptation was so much better than the book.

My Virtual Life is my 9th read this year.

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My gosh,I just can’t put it down, all 596 pages of it.  I’ve read eleven of his books including this one.

It’s Ken Follett. Same thing happened to me when I first read Pillars of the Earth and the succeeding book on the series. 

 I really can’t review it any better. All the ingredients of a powerful plot  are here – greed, lust, power, ambitions.  Yes, it is a typical Follett book that grips you from beginning to  end. He really knows how to tell a story. And since it involved bank collapse, I was  even more interested.  I remember those days I worked for more than twenty years at one of the largest banks in the country.

I spent most of the day reading, it’s my seventh book for this  year’s challenge. I was trying to look for  a movie adaptation but all I’ve seen were trailers of the movie.

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Another start of the year and what could be lovelier than starting it with good books, finding new authors and other reading genre.

Last year, I committed myself to read one hundred books but I was able to finish 151. This time, I will try to read 150 books.  I am done with three but I started them all during the last week of December 2018 and just finished them yesterday. Do you think that’s cheating?

Yes, I  did some reading while waiting for the new year. One book are Christmas short stories. They are quite uplifting and inspiring. I’d rather lose myself in books than questioning what is happening in our country. What with a leader who is so unqualified to govern. He keeps attacking the Catholic  Church non-stop. Even an atheist  or a non-believer would squirm hearing him uttering those ugly words. They have respect for religions unlike the president whose uncouth mouth and uncivilized behavior seems to be the norm. He holds in his hands the Armed Forces, the Supreme Court, the Lower House and the executive branch of the government.

Going back to reading, a friend shared a link (Electric Literature) about books by women mostly in Asian countries. Wish I could find some of them. Wish me luck please. So many books to read, so many to choose from.

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Have you heard of this?  Have you read it? The cover says how passion in your work and life can turn the ordinary into extraordinary.

Last night when Josef came home from work, he gave  me this book called The Fred Factor. He told me, it is not his Christmas gift  but just thought I would appreciate having a copy  of my own. Not much into reading self-help books nowadays but this seem to be a good one.

“People doing good work feel good & people doing exceptional work feel, exceptional. Accomplishments contributes greatly to satisfaction.” 

“You are the spark that sets others on fire when you initiate.”

“The only thing better than an acknowledgement is action.”

These are just some of the lovely quotes from the book. I wish I could read this before the year ends. Could I ever be a Fred?

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Yes of course, I am active at Goodreads because I keep the site as my virtual library. It’s where I find lovely and inspiring book reviews, books  that are some readers’ favorites, books that  earn five stars  and recommendations from other readers. I actually voted in the selection of books in the 10th Annual Goodreads Choice Awards.  Been Looking forward to this and the results came out today. Though those books that I recommended didn’t win, I am still happy that I was able to read most of the nominated books for this year.  If you are not a Goodreads member, it might interest you to know these books which are included and which  I had the opportunity to read.

FICTION:

  1. Still Me by Jojo Moyes – this is a sequel (3rd book) to the first one called Me Before You.  Moyes is a British author and this is her first Goodreads Choice Awards.
  2. Girls Burn Brighter  by Shobha Rao. – This is actually placed at number 8, a story of India and two teenage girls in rural India. Here’s my short review:  I think this is my second book about India and my first one with this author. 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.
  3. All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin – I’ve read almost all of Emily Giffin books and this one 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.

BEST MYSTERY AND THRILLER:

  1. The Outsider by Stephen King – I blogged about this a few days ago while I was in the middle of reading it.
  2. Force of Nature by Jane Harper – this is on the 9th slot and I didn’t have a review of it.

HISTORICAL FICTION:

  1. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah.  – She bagged it in 2015 for The Nightingale and today she won again for this book The Great Alone. Read this last March 2018. A lovely, touching and beautiful book. One of Kristin Hannah’s best. One gets to be a little emotional while reading a wonderful story.
  2. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris – it came in second though. I wrote a review about this book here at WordPress a few months ago.A compelling read about the Holocaust. Based on a true story of two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz.I wonder why I am always drawn to historical books, fiction or otherwise particularly in that time of history which is the Second World War. I love those heart-wrenching stories of survival, the hope and faith of each person to live a normal life again.And I am reminded of our situation here in our country, democracy and populism. What is good for a group of people does not apply to all.
  3. Warlight by Michael Ondaatje – It came in at the number nine slot.  I thought at first, it is a memoir since there is not much dialogue so to speak. The story jumps making you a little lost. It was only during the third part of the story that it made sense at all. Sorry, not really my cup of tea as a historical fiction.

BEST OF THE BEST:

  1. The Hate U Give by Angie  Thomas. – I’ve long wanted to read this but I couldn’t find a copy. Curious about how it came to be the best story (among other winners in the past).
  2. All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – This was my nomination but it came up in number two slot. I think I made a review of this at  WordPress too. I can’t remember now. I think I did when it won the Best Historical Fiction back in 2014.
  3. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – I rated this four stars.  I wasn’t active in reviewing books yet back in 2014.
  4. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – 2015 winner. Would love to re-read this. I think I already forgot the story.
  5. Catching Fire by  Suzanne Collins – the number two book in the Hunger Games series. I am sure you are also familiar with it. When the series came out, Nissa bought the whole set.
  6. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green – I love this book but it is the only  one  I read of the author. Nissa has a whole set too of the series. I also watched the movie adaptation. It’s Goodreads’ Best Young Adult Fiction of 2012.
  7. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. No wonder this won the 2017 Best Fiction. Beautiful!
  8. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell – I had a great time reading this. Best Young Adult Fiction of 2013
  9. Before We Were Yours – by Lisa Wingate  Best Historical Fiction of 2017. Really hard to review this but it was an enjoyable read.

You are welcome to read these books which I’ve enjoyed reading the past months and years.

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It’s been a long time since I read a John Grisham book and I’ve missed the courtroom scenes which were usually present in almost all of his books.

I enjoyed this one, love the premise of the story. And to think that I  only heard about WWII and the Bataan Death March  from my parents (first hand information on how they lived during the war) and from local history books that I learned in high school and college. The days leading up to the Bataan Death March were catastrophic for the American and Filipino armies that were stationed in Luzon  which composed of several provinces.

I like the detailed description of those brave soldiers who risked their lives for the love of country. I am quite familiar with the places mentioned in the book.

An excellent read about family and wars.

(This is my 143rd book on the 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge).

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A while ago, I  covered  my new books with plastic including the book I bought for Nate as an additional gift for his 6th birthday. I can’t help but read a few chapters of Stuart Little. I remembered the movie adaptation I’ve seen with my kids years back. Stuart Little is E.B. White’s first book for children.  I laughed at Stuart’s adventures. I hope Nate would love to read this too when he reach that age that he can grasp and understand every sentence in a story.

When Nissa  and Josef were at Nate’s age, I used to buy them books too and exercise pamphlets that would aid them in their studies. I started Nissa with a small journal with lock and key and every year during her birthday  and on some other occasions, I would  buy children’s books that she could share with Josef.  Those Dell books for kids  were certainly a big help to them to appreciate books and reading. We lost all of them when our place got flooded back in 2009.

It’s a thrill to read children’s books  once in a while. You remember the growing up years. You remember the days when you were just learning how to appreciate the written words.

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