books i read because of recommendations

Do you have fellow book lovers whom you call when you need book recommendations? I asked because The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesday this week is Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to Me .

My answer to the question above is yes, I do have a handful! And here are the books they recommended!

Great Expectations

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens – recommended by the husband as he said this is one of the rare classics he actually liked.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – recommended by bonu, my sister in law who is a fellow book lover!

Bread, Cement, Cactus: A Memoir of Belonging and Dislocation by Annie Zaidi

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yōko OgawaStephen Snyder (Translator)

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

These books were part of a “Nameless Reading Group” I was a part of since April, founded by the brilliant writer that is Anmol. It was my first time joining a reading group and I definitely discovered new genres and writers because of them.

My Talisman: The Poetry and Life of Alexander Pushkin

My Talisman: The Poetry and Life of Alexander Pushkin by Julian Henry Lowenfeld – suggested by my Rodnoy, my brother in pen, who I have lost early this year. He introduced me to Pushkin, Baudelaire, Leonard Cohen, and more.

The Best of Ruskin Bond by Ruskin Bond

Sesher Kobita, The Last Poem by Rabindranath Tagore

Die Trying (Jack Reacher, #2) by Lee Child

Calling Sehmat by Harinder Sikka

Capping this list with four more recommendations from the husband. 🙂 Because of him, I have discovered the wisdom and eloquence of Ruskin Bond and Rabindranath Tagore.

Have you read any of these books? What are the books you read because of recommendations? Did you enjoy them? Share your thoughts and your TTT below!

10.20.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photos via The Artsy Reader and Goodreads
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

10 books i loved but never reviewed

After a quick check on my Top Ten Tuesday tab, I’ve figured my last entry was June 7, 2016 (four years ago!!!) where I shared the 10 reasons why I love reading. I cannot believe that it has been that long ago as I still vividly have the joyful memory of revisiting the books I’ve read to be able to submit my entry for the week.

Now that I think I have a lot of time (and I need a lot of distraction and source of fun to keep my mind sane), I am going back to this block to make my reading heart happy.

So, after almost 300 books, here are the ten books I loved but never reviewed (some intentionally, some just because I’m pure lazy).

1. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom (The book that changed and will continue to change my life.)
Tuesdays with Morrie

2. Para Kay B (o kung paano dinevastate ng pag-ibig ang 4 out of 5 sa atin) by Ricky Lee (The Filipino writer I look up to.)

3. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (A book that can make you giggle and cry in the gentlest way and with the simplest words possible.)

I’ve shared five quotes I loved from this book here: LINK

4. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Craziest and most unforgettable somehow-whodunnit I’ve ever read.)

Gone Girl

5. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell (The best YA I’ve ever read. Tender and odd and warm for the heart.)

6. Gitanjali by Rabindranath Tagore (Perfect read to get introduced to the epic writers of India. Exquisite poems await those whose willing to travel through time with this book.)

7. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari (Never thought a heavy science non-fiction book can be this engrossing.)

8. Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou (Her words prove that she is a phenomenal woman, through and through.)


9. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (ONE. OF. THE. BEST. BOOK. ONE. CAN. EVER. READ!!!)

10. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom (My love for this story goes beyond my love for Albom. This book’s twists and turns had me staring at the ceiling for a minute or two, letting what happened sink in. It’s a pure, poignant story.)

Want a sneak peek of this book? You can see my 10 beloved quotes from this book here: LINK.

08.11.2020
©2020 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

In response to That Artsy Ready Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday today:

August 11: Books I Loved but Never Reviewed

6 Lessons I Learned from Little Fighter, Chika Jeune (perhaps a book review)

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Finding Chika: A Little Girl, an Earthquake, and the Making of a Family by  Mitch Albom

Chika Jeune was born three days before the devastating earthquake that decimated Haiti in 2010. She spent her infancy in a landscape of extreme poverty, and when her mother died giving birth to a baby brother, Chika was brought to The Have Faith Haiti Orphanage that Albom operates in Port Au Prince.

With no children of their own, the forty-plus children who live, play, and go to school at the orphanage have become family to Mitch and his wife, Janine. Chika’s arrival makes a quick impression. Brave and self-assured, even as a three-year-old, she delights the other kids and teachers. But at age five, Chika is suddenly diagnosed with something a doctor there says, “No one in Haiti can help you with.”

Mitch and Janine bring Chika to Detroit, hopeful that American medical care can soon return her to her homeland. Instead, Chika becomes a permanent part of their household, and their lives, as they embark on a two-year, around-the-world journey to find a cure. As Chika’s boundless optimism and humor teach Mitch the joys of caring for a child, he learns that a relationship built on love, no matter what blows it takes, can never be lost.

Told in hindsight, and through illuminating conversations with Chika herself, this is Albom at his most poignant and vulnerable. Finding Chika is a celebration of a girl, her adoptive guardians, and the incredible bond they formed—a devastatingly beautiful portrait of what it means to be a family, regardless of how it is made.

Whenever I was asked about the book that has changed my life, my answer has always been Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. It will be followed by the story of how I have read it twice when I was 20 and jobless for almost a year despite my medals, and when I was 25 and drowning in the river called a quarter-life crisis. Both times I have discovered lessons and have found strength on Morrie and Albom’s wisdom.

Fast forward to 2019, after reading all his books in between, Mitch has announced his latest one — Finding Chika. It was launched November last year, but I did not buy it until my husband gave it to me as a surprise gift for his birthday last December. (Yes, it was his birthday and he gave me the gift. HAHA).

Almost a month after I first held this purple-coloured paperback, I found the courage to open it and finally read the story of Chika.

chika_princess_dress

(Photo from https://www.mitchalbom.com/)

I know how special Chika is for Mitch Albom as I follow him on social media (being the fangirl that I am). I have also read about this little girl’s courage and bravery fighting a cruel tumour inside her young brain. Knowing these made me doubt if my heart is ready to read the inside story of their little family. But before Chika’s birthday, which is today January 9, I finally opened its pages and allowed myself to laugh, melt, learn, and weep, for them and with them.

Instead of reviewing the book, how it was written, how the story unfolded, what language was used, I choose to share the six life lessons I have learned from Mitch’s raw and honest anecdote of him, of Chika, and of their family with Janine. I believe they will move you and stir something inside you just like how they did to me.

Before that, if you may, please purchase a copy of the book as proceeds will be for the Have Faith Haiti Mission.

Here are the six lessons from the story of the birthday girl, the little fighter, Chika:

Lesson #1: There are many kinds of selfishness in this world, but the most selfish is hoarding time, because none of us know how much we have, and it is an affront to God to assume there will be more.

Lesson #2: The most precious thing you can give someone is time, Chika, because you can never get it back. When you don’t think about getting it back, you’ve given it in love.

Lesson #3: Everything in this world is music if you can hear it.

Lesson #4: One of the best things a child can do for an adult is to draw them down, closer to the ground, for clearer reception to the voices of the earth.

Lesson #5: There is no affliction like hopelessness. I believe it is worse than anything that strikes the flesh.

Lesson #6: What we carry defines who we are. And the effort we make is our legacy.

Happy birthday, dear Chika. I may not have known you but your story have touched and inspired me. I am sure you will never ever be forgotten. ❤

 

 

 

 

 

5 Lines I Love: Sesher Kobita by Rabindranath Tagore

Image result for shesher kobita book

Sesher Kobita, The Last Poem 
by Rabindranath TagoreAnindita Mukhopadhyay (translated)

While my reading habit has remained quite erratic because of my job’s schedule, I am still able to sneak some time to read and finish some good books (although I am so far from the 24 books in 2019 I set for myself in Goodreads! Ugh!)

In any way, the husband has been of help in supplying me with good reads like Sesher Kobita by Rabindranath Tagore.

Sesher Kobita or Shesher Kabita is a novel by the brilliant writer from Bengali, Tagore. It was a novel written in 1928 and has since been translated into English.

While I do not particularly agree with the ideas of Amit (the main man) and Labanya (the main woman) when it comes to love, relationships, and marriage, there is no doubt that this book is a written with such classic grace and eloquence — perhaps a Tagore trademark.

So to show you some glimpse of what this timeless read has to offer, here are some lines I love from Sesher Kobita:

  1. Even the test of a poem is through an ordeal by fire, but it has to be the fire of the soul.

  2. The most remarkable things in this world happen so silently they remain invisible.
  3. Movement itself keeps us young, at every step there is newness, and no time to get old.

  4. “সহজকে সহজ রাখতে হলে শক্ত হতে হয়। ছন্দকে সহজ করতে চাও তো যতিকে ঠিক জায়গায় কষে আঁটতে হবে। লোভ বেশি, তাই জীবনের কাব্যে কোথাও যতি দিতে মন সরে না, ছন্দ ভেঙে গিয়ে জীবনটা হয় গীতহীন বন্ধন।” | Google Translate: To keep it simple is to be tough. If you want to ease the rhythm, you need to tighten it in the right place. Greed is high, so don’t worry about paying anywhere in the poem of life, life breaks rhythm by breaking rhyme.
  5. Age creeps up when we sit still.

How about you? What have you been reading lately? 🙂

Have you read Tagore? What do you think about his novels and poetry?

©2019 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Amazon

The Entertainer Book Tag

(Note: This tag is stolen from my dearie Jade. I am guilty beyond reasonable doubt; I am willing to pay the price of this crime. ^___^ )

It’s a Monday morning and my work email is (surprisingly) quiet and empty. Perhaps like a little street in a province at 12:30 AM. So I decided to tag myself on The Entertainer Book Tag which I enjoyed reading in my dearie’s blog! (If you want eloquent and emotive poetry, funny and heartfelt and sometimes grim fan fiction and fiction, you better follow her! Come on! Do it noooow! 😀 )

It has been forever since I wrote for a tag and about books, which is a pity! So here I am! Answering these five bookish questions! Let’s goooo!

1.) Your favorite form of reading (ebook, audiobook, etc.)?

Image result for librocubicularist gif

I’m definitely a librocubicularist. I prefer my bed soft, my coffee hot, and my book printed! (Although majority of my read books are via ebook because I got no book budget before. Please forgive me, books. -_- )

2.) If you could trade places with any other MC in their fictional world facing the same problems as them, who would you trade places with?

(Another confession: I googled MC because, seriously, what is MC? I feel so old. HAHA. For those who are so uninformed like me, it means Main Character. *facepalm* )

I think I would choose to be Annie of The Next Person You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom . I have yet to read this book (courtesy of my dearie Jade!!! ❤ ) but I know Annie is the little child Eddie saved in The Five People You Meet in Heaven .

Image result for the next person you meet in heaven

I am excited to know what happened to her; I am sure she will be someone I can relate with because Mitch has that talent–creating characters that will resound to me. ❤

3.) Favorite Movie?

Geez. I am not a movie person but I really love Anne Hathaway’s Princess Diaries!

Image result for princess diary movie gif

I can’t remember today if this preference has been updated. So please, don’t judge! 😁

4.) What do you wish you could see more of in books?

I want to see more realistic, odd but inspiring and touching characters. Like Alice of Still Alice by Lisa Genova and Ove of A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. 🙂 These books are truthful, funny, and inspiring without bending with common novel cliches. 🙂

5.) Favorite first line from a book?

“When I was three and Bailey four, we had arrived in the musty little town, wearing tags on our wrists which instructed – ‘To Whom It May Concern’ – that we were Marguerite and Bailey Johnson Jr., from Long Beach, California, en route to Stamps, Arkansas, c/o Mrs. Annie Henderson.” – Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

That’s it, friends and poets! You can (also) steal this tag with my consent! 😀 Cheers!

©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash, Google, Goodreads

Meaning

Binded but never blinded collection
Of letter conniving to form words
Of timeless wisdom freeing up minds
Kept inside the dark room of ignorance.

08.10.2018
©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash

For dVerse: Celebrate with me today!
I’m celebrating National Book Lovers Day!

NEW BOOK: Between My Bleeding Lines Extended Edition

I was gone for quite a long time, now I’m back with a big big big news about my second poetry collection: Between My Bleeding Lines Extended Edition!

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From last year’s first edition with 100 poems, this new collection contains over 160 pieces and more are now in the hopeful part of the book, which is the third chapter, Forbearer (one who endures).

Between My Bleeding Lines Extended Edition is also now published in the Philippines via my publisher, Yamada Publishing owned by Kota Yamada.

Interested to order? See the book price and the shipping cost here: goo.gl/forms/hMzkOwVz8YaeImxq1

I’m back with more poems, poets and friends! 🙂

5 Quotes Why I Love A Man Called Ove

A Man Called Ove

A 59-year old widower. Grumpy. Trying and failing to kill himself, many times. Here’s an odd, funny, yet utterly moving story.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Rating: ❤❤❤❤

The first novel by the Swedish author Fredrik Backman, A Man Called Ove is a balance between heart wrenching and thought provoking lines as well as chuckle-inducing dialogues.

Backman has successfully created an old character who’s relatable to all ages. He eloquently presented Ove as the sad and odd man that he is, yet he successfully and ever so gently laid down his main character’s back story. His love. His grief. The reason why a man called Ove is the man called Ove.

Here are five (05) of my (many) favorite lines from this worth-reading novel.

  1. “He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had.”

  2. “One of the most painful moments in a person’s life probably comes with the insight that an age has been reached when there is more to look back on than ahead. And when time no longer lies ahead of one, other things have to be lived for. memories, perhaps.”
  3. “But sorrow is unreliable in that way. When people don’t share it there’s a good chance that it will drive them apart instead.”

  4. “All people at root are time optimists. We always think there’s enough time to do things with other people. Time to say things to them. And then something happens and then we stand there holding on to words like ‘if’.”
  5. “It is difficult to admit that one is wrong. Particularly when one has ben wrong for a very long time.”

  6. “Loving someone is like moving into a house,” Sonja used to say. “At first you fall in love with all the new things, amazed every morning that all this belongs to you, as if fearing that someone would suddenly come rushing in through the door to explain that a terrible mistake had been made, you weren’t actually supposed to live in a wonderful place like this. Then over the years the walls become weathered, the wood splinters here and there, and you start to love that house not so much because of all its perfection, but rather for its imperfections. You get to know all the nooks and crannies. How to avoid getting the key caught in the lock when it’s cold outside. Which of the floorboards flex slightly when one steps on them or exactly how to open the wardrobe doors without them creaking. These are the little secrets that make it your home.”

©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photos via Goodreads and Unsplash

Book Quotes: Rain in the Mountains

Rain in the Mountains: Notes from the Himalayas

Rain in the Mountains: Notes from the Himalayas by Ruskin Bond

      Rating: ❤❤❤❤


As I remember that this blog is A Reading Writer, and as I want to fuel my reading pace again, I’ll start to post quotations and wise words I loved from my recent reads, starting with Rain in the Mountains by India’s very own Wordsworth in prose, Mr. Ruskin Bond.

This book holds a special place in my heart as it is a gift from my beloved. He gave it to me on our first trip in the majestic Himalayas. The first few pages were read during our 12-hour night-shift train ride going back to Kolkata.

It made me laugh, cry, grimace, scared, blush, think, laugh, and think some more. Here are the best words, the top five quotes that I would like to share with you:

  1. “A Quiet Mind Lord, give me a quiet mind, That I might listen; A gentle tone of voice, That I might comfort others; A sound and healthy body, That I might share In the joy of walking And leaping and running; And a good sense of direction So I might know just where I’m going!”
  2. Some people become an integral part of our lives; others are ships that pass in the night. Short stories, in fact.

    Image result for forest gif

  3. “When the earth gave birth to this tree, There came no sound: A green shoot thrust In silence from the ground. Our births don’t come so quiet— Most lives run riot— But the bud opens silently, And flower gives way to fruit. So must we search For the stillness within the tree, The silence within the root.”
  4. “I am still on my zigzag way, pursuing the diagonal between reason and heart.”

  5. “Little one, don’t be afraid of this big river. Be safe in these warm arms for ever. Grow tall, my child, be wise and strong. But do not take from any man his song. Little one, don’t be afraid of this dark night. Walk boldly as you see the truth and light. Love well, my child, laugh all day long, But do not take from any man his song.

©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photo via Unsplash & Giphy.com

Book Review: When Breath Becomes Air

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Rating: ❤❤❤❤

What is it about: At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade’s worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. When Breath Becomes Air chronicles Kalanithi’s transformation from a naïve medical student “possessed,” as he wrote, “by the question of what, given that all organisms die, makes a virtuous and meaningful life” into a neurosurgeon at Stanford working in the brain, the most critical place for human identity, and finally into a patient and new father confronting his own mortality. 

What makes life worth living in the face of death? What do you do when the future, no longer a ladder toward your goals in life, flattens out into a perpetual present? What does it mean to have a child, to nurture a new life as another fades away? These are some of the questions Kalanithi wrestles with in this profoundly moving, exquisitely observed memoir. 

Paul Kalanithi died in March 2015, while working on this book, yet his words live on as a guide and a gift to us all. “I began to realize that coming face to face with my own mortality, in a sense, had changed nothing and everything,” he wrote. “Seven words from Samuel Beckett began to repeat in my head: ‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.'” When Breath Becomes Air is an unforgettable, life-affirming reflection on the challenge of facing death and on the relationship between doctor and patient, from a brilliant writer who became both.

What I Love: Die with dignity.

It’s the clarion call of Paul Kalanithi’s words carried in his posthumously published book, When Breath Becomes Air.

I ended up sobbing, with eyes swollen but it is a worth it less-than 200-page journey.

Travelling inside the mind and heart and soul of a dying doctor, who had always searched for life’s meaning is enlightening and moving.

Reading about death has always woke up the mortal in me. This is maybe why I am so fond of Mitch Albom’s books. Books about dying breathe life back to my purpose. My life’s meaning.

Why am I here?
What am I doing?
What makes life worth living?

What I Don’t Love Much: While the ending made me cry, it’s moving. So I have nothing to not like about this book.

Wise Words:

“I can’t go on. I’ll go on.” 

“You can’t ever reach perfection, but you can believe in an asymptote toward which you are ceaselessly striving.” 

“Life wasn’t about avoiding suffering.” 

“Human knowledge is never contained in one person. It grows from the relationships we create between each other and the world, and still it is never complete.” 

“The main message of Jesus, I believed, is that mercy trumps justice every time.”

©2018 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.
Photos and Story Summary: Goodreads and Unsplash