2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK THAT TAKES PLACE IN YOUR HOMETOWN (13/50)

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I am a proud Filipino, a true-blooded resident of the Philippines. So for this reading challenge category, I am equally pleased to introduce you guys to one of the current best-selling books here in my humble country. And it is…

Stupid is Forever by Miriam Defensor Santiago

Stupid is Forever
Genre: Non Fiction, Political, Humor, Inspirational  Published: December 2014

First things first, who is Miriam Defensor Santiago? According to her Twitter account, she is a Philippine senator, one, if not only, of the most intelligent actually. She is also a Laureate of the Magsaysay Award for government service and she “Eats death threats for breakfast.”

According to the latest news, she is the most followed and liked senator in Twitter and Facebook? Why? Because her tweets and updates are both humorous and moving.

Her book, a certified best-seller here in the Philippines, is a compilation of her inspirational talks and speeches as well as her witty yet hard-hitting one-liner jokes and pick-up lines.

It is short yet sweet read and it is a book that is clearly scribbled by one of the most witty yet wise woman ever.

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2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK YOU STARTED BUT NEVER FINISHED (12/50)

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Here’s the part that I am quite ashamed of. As a reader and a writer, I usually finish a book that I started. Though I have abandoned a book once, because it really isn’t worth my time, there is a book that I have started but never got to finish it until now.

So after I planned my 2015 Reading Challenge, I put the book in its perfect category, A BOOK YOU STARTED BUT NEVER FINISHED.

And it is, 11/22/63 by Stephen King.

11/22/63
Published: November 8, 2011 ; Genre: Historical Fiction
BOOK THOUGHTS: 
My Rating: 💖💖💖
As a well known supernatural fiction and contemporary horror writer, Stephen King deserves the raves for his novels. On the other hand, there is a reason why it took me a while, four months to be specific, before I finally finished his work.
The Story: 
Jake Epping, an English teacher, came into a horrible essay written by the school janitor and night-shift student Harry Dunning. In his essay, Harry vividly narrated how his own father murdered the rest of his family through a sledgehammer.
In the story’s twist, Jake’s friend Al revealed a secret tunnel that serves as a time machine which can brought back Jake to 1958. As the dying Al gave Jake his ultimate mission, to prevent Lee Harvey Oswald in assassinating Pres. J.F. Kennedy’s, Jake transported to the past and tried to ‘correct’ and ‘prevent’ mistakes like Harry Dunning’s gruesome family massacre.
The Blurb:
Though-provoking. Well-researched. This is how I would like to describe 11/22/63.
As a young reader, I think I have no right to criticize Stephen King’s novel as he is Stephen King. But as a reader, it took me four months to finish this book as there are some parts that seemed boring to me.
Maybe because of the detailed journey of Jake as he waited for the epic 11/22/63. On the other hand, after I reached the book’s second half, the events become more interesting and suspenseful.
King was also able to inject some romance element in this quite-long story which made this novel more interesting. Some lines are just so heartwarming.
I also admire how King emphasized the ‘butterfly effect’ idea which, for me, is the highlight of this book.
The Wise Words:
The Wrap:
The end fits the story perfectly. Jake learned that you should never ever mess up with what’s already done.
His last moment with his love, Sadie, is also a tearjerker!
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2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE (11/50)

Picture2 It has been a while since I posted an update for my 2015 challenge. Forgive me guys. I have been very busy this past few weeks.Though I have been busy, I was still able to sneak some book reads so here is my latest update.

As of now, I am done reading 12 books and according to my Goodreads account, I am two books ahead of schedule! Yikes! Moving on, for A BOOK ORIGINALLY WRITTEN IN A DIFFERENT LANGUAGE, I read Haruki Murakami‘s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage.

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Genre: Bildungsroman Published: April 2013
Judging from the name of the author himself, it is clear that this books is originally written in Nihonggo, the Japanese language as Haruki Murakami is  a Kyoto-based popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator.
BOOK THOUGHTS: 
As I find it hard to get enough time to do my reviews, I’ll have book thoughts alongside my reading challenge updates. Please consider this a short book review. 🙂
Haruki Murakami’s work is described as ‘easily accessible, yet profoundly complex’. I found this book as the exact epitome of this description.
My Rating: 💖💖💖
The Story:
Technically, the premise of the book is basic. Tzukuri Tazaki, the novel’s main man, had a group of friends in highschool. All of his friends, two girls and two boys, have names or surnames that means a color, which are red, blue, white and black.
Murakami started the book with Tzukuri describing each of his friends colorful and strong personalities.  admitted that among his peers, his name and his personality is the most dull, thus, colorless.
Amid his insecurities, he shared good relationship with his group of friends until they suddenly dropped him out of the group. This left him shattered.
As Tzukuri aged and fulfill his own dream, he decided to mend his broken past to be able to have the future that he wanted for himself.
The Blurb:
Like how most of his readers and critics described his work, Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tzukuri Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage is easy to understand yet it has the right amount of depth.
As he alternately tell the story of Tzukuri’s past and present, Murakami was able to paint the picture of the book vividly. His ability to connect the unattached stories is just commendable.
The story is thought provoking as it deals with getting answers to questions that could have haunt you until your on your death bed.
Kuddos to this Japanese author!
The Wise Words: 
The Wrap:
I am not particularly happy with how Murakami ended the story though Tzukuri was able to get a closure that he deserved.
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2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK WITH A NUMBER ON ITS TITLE (10/50)

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After reading a lot of YA novels, I took a break and started reading the book listed in my 2015 Reading Challenge’s a book with a number on its title. What’s funny is among the 50 categories in this challenge, this is the category that I easily filled up.

1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club, #1) has been in my TBR list since last year. In fact I have included up to the 11th book of this James Patterson‘s crime novel series. And finally, because of this challenge, I was able to start reading this awesome book collection!

1st to Die (Women's Murder Club, #1)

Genre: Crime Mystery

Published: March 2000

This book has all the reason why I become a fan of James Patterson. It is creepily gross and this is why the story is so engrossing and thrilling at the same time.

Three morbid murders of newlyweds in their honeymoon. Who would not find that creepy?

What I like best is how the story unfolds. Patterson was able to keep me guessing who the psychopath is and just when I thought I figure it all out, it appears that I am wrong yet right.

Confusing? Read it.

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2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK BASED ENTIRELY ON ITS COVER (9/50)

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Reading is my cheapest leisure and I am blessed to have plenty of time to do it during this past few days. So to update you guys on my 2015 Reading Challenge, here is my version of book entirely based on its cover.

As I have posted in my last update, I finished reading  Stargirl (Stargirl, #1) by Jerry Spinelli and because I have come to love Stargirl and Leo’s eccentric love story, I read its sequel which I think can be considered a book based entirely on its cover. It is Love, Stargirl (Stargirl, #2).

Love, Stargirl (Stargirl, #2)

Why is a book based entirely on its cover? Majority of the book was told through a letter from Stargirl, which is why I think it is titled “Love, Stargirl”.

If the first book was told in Leo’s point of view, it is Stargirl’s turn to tell her story after her sad ending with Leo. (SPOILER!) Honestly, there are some dull parts in this second book. This again proves that in a novel series, the first book is usually the best.

On the other hand, Spinelli was still able to vividly paint Stargirl as the odd yet full-of-kindness teenager. New characters were also introduced and they somehow gave new angles to the story.

Finally, the ending is what I liked best. There’s is no happy ending YET, oh I hope there will be one! But Spinelli was able to give me goosies with just one word: YES!

Next book please!

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2015 Reading Challenge Update: A BOOK YOU CAN FINISH IN A DAY (8/50)

Hey there guys! Reading’s been so great and the following updates were actually late! I quite read a lot but I was not able to write a lot because I’ve been busy a new chapter in my life that I will be writing about my next blog soon.

So for my reading challenge’s BOOK YOU CAN FINISH IN A DAY, I listed Stargirl (Stargirl, #1) by Jerry Spinelli.

Stargirl (Stargirl, #1)

Honestly, this book is first listed in another category, a book based entirely on its cover. But after it took me less than two hours to finish this enchanting story, I transferred it to the book-you-can-finish-in-a-day category.

Why it took me such a short time to finish this novel from an author I’ve read for the first time? Well, as I have said, the story is enchanting and intriguing at the same time.

It is a young adult novel that brought me back to my own teenage days but it is actually more than that. Jerry Spenelli unraveled the events in a very engrossing way.

He is also able to paint vividly the characters, especially Stargirl herself, inside the mind of his lead Leo Borlock.

It’s really nice and cute yet heartbreaking at the same time.

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