2016 Reading Challenge Update: January Part 2

update

Surprise surprise! I actually read six (06) books last month?! 😀

Here are the two additional books that I’ve read on the night of January 31st. (Yes, I am not kidding! :D)

5th – A book from the (my) library – Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies

What is it about: Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

What I Love: The way the story was told. From shifting perspectives with additional snippets of more perspectives after each chapter. It kept me glued thinking, wait… so what happened? Who did this? Who will…?

The diversity of life mess each women are in also gave the story a unique texture that make it more unforgettable.

Lastly, it gave me the ‘Oh!’ moment. I loved it when an author was able to surprise me, and Moriarty surely did!

What I Don’t Love Much: I cannot name what I don’t love about this book. Maybe, it’s just that my first try of Liane Moriarty, which is The Husband’s Secret, is better.

Wise Words: 

“Parents do tend to judge each other. I don’ know why. Maybe because none of us really know what we’re doing?”

“I mean a fat, ugly man can still be funny and lovable and successful… But it’s like it’s the most shameful thing for a woman to be.”

“How every relationship had its own ‘love account’. Doing something kind for your partner was like a deposit. A negative comment was a withdrawal.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 (Good read, definitely!)

 6th – A book with a protagonist that has who your occupation – The Small Backs of Children by Lidia Yuknavitch

The Small Backs of Children

What is it about: With the flash of a camera, one girl’s life is shattered, and a host of others altered forever. . .

In a war-torn village in Eastern Europe, an American photographer captures a heart-stopping image: a young girl flying toward the lens, fleeing a fiery explosion that has engulfed her home and family. The image wins acclaim and prizes, becoming an icon for millions—and a subject of obsession for one writer, the photographer’s best friend, who has suffered a devastating tragedy of her own.

As the writer plunges into a suicidal depression, her filmmaker husband enlists several friends, including a fearless bisexual poet and an ingenuous performance artist, to save her by rescuing the unknown girl and bringing her to the United States. And yet, as their plot unfolds, everything we know about the story comes into question: What does the writer really want? Who is controlling the action? And what will happen when these two worlds—east and west, real and virtual—collide?

What I Love: The brutal honesty, the cringe-inducing words that vivid descriptions of abuse, sex and even art.

It took me less than an hour to finish this book, maybe because it was short, but definitely because of the way it was written.

The language is intense, the description will hit you hard. Like what I said, brutally honest.

What I Don’t Love Much: The last few chapters were a bit off for me. It’s as if a train derailed, or a car which has lost its GPS connection. It’s just… off, for me.

Wise Words:  

“Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more.”

“We are who we imagine we are. Every self is a novel in progress. Every novel a lie that hides the self.”

“Photographs replace memory. Photographs replace lived experience. History.”

“Do we secretly long for death to remind us we are alive?”

“There are so many kinds of love, but never a love, or a life, withour pain.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read!)

©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop Sugar and Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads

Books I Would Love to Receive on my Birthday

12c69-toptentuesday

Books make great gifts because they have whole worlds inside of them. And it’s much cheaper to buy somebody a book than it is to buy them the whole world! ― Neil Gaiman

It’s freebie week today for The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday! 😀

And because I just celebrated by birthday last Sunday, here are the books I would love to receive as gifts! 😀

1. Mitch Albom books!

I’ve read them all but I really want to have the ‘real books’. 🙂 I only have The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto and it is my gift to self last Christmas. 🙂

2. Nicholas Sparks books!

I’ve read them all, too, but I only have a copy of The Best of Me and The Rescue (birthday gifts from my dearest <3). Though I am not so in love with his latest works, I am still a fan. 🙂

3. Poetry books by Lang Leav

I am not sure if someone heed my request… but I have the sense that I’ll be receiving a book this week. 😀 (cross fingers)

4. Robert Galbraith books

I just finished Career of Evil and this series is surely one of the best mystery thriller ever! 😀 So I want to have the real books!!!

5. Rainbow Rowell books

I may not be a big fan of Carry On (I just read Fangirl and though I loved it, I am not fond of the Carry On parts so.. I won’t read it. :)).

But, I still love Rainbow Rowell and I would love to collect the ‘real’ versions of her awesome books! 😀

6. Liane Moriarty Books

I loved The Husband’s Secret and I am now reading Big Little Lies. 😀 Aside from the beautiful book covers, I do think that Liane will be my new fave author!

7. Jodi Picoult Books

I’ve only read Leaving Time and it surely is one of the best books so I guess I would love to read more Picoult novels. 🙂

8. Paulo Coelho Books

I’ve read 10 of his works and he is surely one of the most inspiring writers of our time. 🙂 So, yes, books please? 🙂

9. Graeme Simsion Books

I loved The Rosie Project a lot! 😀 And the covers are great, too! 😀

10. Kiera Cass Books

I loved the first three books! 😀 And, the covers are gorgeous! 😀

Photo credit: Credit 1, Credit 2, Credit 3, Credit 4Credit 5, Credit 6, Credit 7


What are the books you would be delighted to receive as a gift?

Share it!

Let’s talk!

~

 

Best Read Books of 2015

Out of 48 books read last year, only eleven (11) were given five stars. And they are…

Mystery/Thrillers

The Pelican Brief  by John Grisham

The Pelican Brief

With twists and turns I have never predicted, this book made me an automatic fan of John Grisham.

The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

A book I have written a full-length review is surely a special one. I just love the melancholic and creepy story told by a unique storyteller.

Defending Jacob by William Landay

Defending Jacob

Insanely creepy yet touches realistic emotions of a family. The ending will surely give you goosies!

1st to Die (Women’s Murder Club, #1)  by James Patterson

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

I’ve been a Patterson fan and this book surely did not disappoint. With red herrings all over the place, he’ll surprise you with a twist you didn’t see coming.

Contemporary Fiction

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Still Alice

I am not actually a  fan of medical drama novels but this one really moved me. Lisa Genova was able to tell the horrors of Alzheimer’s disease with candor, braveness and emotional softness. It’s just exquisitely done, definitely moving.

The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband's Secret

If you think this is a typical infidelity/love affair novel, think again. Liane Moriarty’s well-told story about a broken marriage without the usual cheating issues will make you a fan.

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time

The ending of this Jodi Picoult masterpiece still lingers on me a year after I finished it. As my 100th read book and with its special story about motherhood and elephants, this is indeed one of the best novels that I have read last year.

Young Adult

Every Day (Every Day, #1) by David Levithan

Every Day (Every Day, #1)

The unique premise and the subtle complexity of the characters will really grip you and make you read this mysterious yet heartwarming novel in one seating. David Levithan is surely an author worth reading.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

Its cover will pique your interest but it is the rawness of the story inside that will give you a major book hangover. It took me two days to brush off the roller coaster of emotions that Jennifer Niven has given me. P.S. Get tissues once you reach the last chapters.

Historical/Adult Fiction

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

A book worthy of its Pulitzer Prize award. A novel written in eloquent prose poetic paragraphs equipped with vivid imagery and breathtaking metaphors. Every readers should brave the more than 500-pages, because this is a novel truly worth reading.

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

I am definitely a Mitch Albom fan, but that is not the sole reason why this book gained five stars. It’s how the simple words were written in such a gorgeous way. It’s how every paragraph breathes the story. It’s how the end of each chapters that’ll make you gasp with surprise or melancholy. This book is great, really great.

©2016Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Favim and Goodreads

What are the best books that you’ve read last year?

What book in this list piqued your interest?

I would love to know!

~

Top Ten Books I Missed Reading last 2015

12c69-toptentuesday

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” ― George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

The Broke and the Bookish‘s Top Ten Tuesday is Top Ten 2015 Releases I Meant To Get To But Didn’t.

But I am tweaking it! 😀

Here’s the ten books I would want to read last year, but wasn’t able to do so! 

P.S. The first three books were my first reads for 2015! 😀

1. We Are Called to Rise: A Novel by Laura McBride

We Are Called to Rise

An immigrant boy whose family is struggling to assimilate. A middle-aged housewife coping with an imploding marriage and a troubled son. A social worker at home in the darker corners of Las Vegas. A wounded soldier recovering from an injury he can’t remember getting. By the time we realize how these voices will connect, the impossible and perhaps the unbearable has already happened. 

2. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan…

But for Cath, being a fan is her life—and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

3. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

All the Bright Places

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

5. Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3) by Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling

Career of Evil (Cormoran Strike, #3)

When a mysterious package is delivered to Robin Ellacott, she is horrified to discover that it contains a woman’s severed leg.

Her boss, private detective Cormoran Strike, is less surprised but no less alarmed. There are four people from his past who he thinks could be responsible – and Strike knows that any one of them is capable of sustained and unspeakable brutality.

With the police focusing on the one suspect Strike is increasingly sure is not the perpetrator, he and Robin take matters into their own hands, and delve into the dark and twisted worlds of the other three men. But as more horrendous acts occur, time is running out for the two of them…

6. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

7. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior—to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

8. South of the Border, West of the Sun by Haruki Murakami

South of the Border, West of the Sun

Born in 1951 in an affluent Tokyo suburb, Hajime – beginning in Japanese – has arrived at middle age wanting for almost nothing. The postwar years have brought him a fine marriage, two daughters, and an enviable career as the proprietor of two jazz clubs. Yet a nagging sense of inauthenticity about his success threatens Hajime’s happiness. And a boyhood memory of a wise, lonely girl named Shimamoto clouds his heart.

9. P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

P.S. I Love You

Holly couldn’t live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other’s sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.

10. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies

Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).

Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.

New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.

I believe they are not all 2015 releases?

Nonetheless, I will be reading all these books this year!

How about you?

What are the books that you missed reading last year?

Share it to me!

~

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

12c69-toptentuesday

“Only a person with a Best Seller mind can write Best Sellers.” – Aldous Huxley

Debuts. First times. Fresh. New.

That’s The Broke and the Bookish idea of Top Ten Tuesday for this week!

November 3:  Top Ten Debut Authors Who Have Me Looking Forward To Their Sophomore Novel

And because I am not quite sure if I have read 10 debut authors, that will depend on what Goodreads will say, I am including authors that I have read FOR THE FIRST TIME and I will probably look forward in reading their words again! 🙂

Let the list begin!

— DEBUT AUTHORS —

Robert Galbraith (Pseudonym), J.K. Rowling

The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike, #1)

I had no idea that Galbraith was actually J.K. Rowling but… this debut book is just creepy at its best!

Kiera Cass

The Selection (The Selection, #1)

The debut was great but the current sequels aren’t really impressive. 😦

Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)

I am just a big fan of sometimes-lovable-sometimes-irritating Don Tillman! 😀

Lisa Genova

Still Alice

Still Alice is a debut novel? I didn’t know that until now! But it was one of my great reads for this year!

Nicola Yoon

Everything, Everything

I may not like the edning of this debut novel but I will surely read Nicola Yoon’s sophomore book! 🙂

— AUTHORS I’VE READ FOR THE FIRST TIME —

Anthony Doerr

All the Light We Cannot See

Indeed one of the best books of this year! 🙂

Alice Sebold

The Lovely Bones

I just love the melancholic and creepy story told by a unique storyteller.

Liane Moriarty

The Husband's Secret

If you think you’ve read the same story, think again. Liane Moriarty’s original twist and turns will surely surprise you.

Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time

I now understand why Picoult is one of the most-loved authors. 🙂

Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

I am just sooo excited to read Carry On! 😀


That’s it for this week!

I would love to read your Top Ten Debut Authors, too!!!

🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together

12c69-toptentuesday

“A writer’s brain is like a magician’s hat. If you’re going to get anything out of it, you have to put something in it first.” ― Louis L’Amour

It’s Top Ten Tuesday again and this week, The Broke and the Bookish put the spotlight on the people behind the words, the authors!

October 13: Top Ten Author Duos You’d LOVE To See Write A Book Together

This will take a lot of time but I will try to do it quick! 😀

So here are the duos that I would love to see, hopefully!

1. Kiera Cass + Colleen Hoover = Fairytalish  and suspense/mystery YA

The Selection (The Selection, #1)Never Never (Never Never, #1)

2. Rainbow Rowell + Graeme Simsion = Ultimate book with odd yet lovable characters

Eleanor & ParkThe Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)

3. Anthony Doerr +  Alice Walker = Ultimate historical fiction

All the Light We Cannot SeeThe Color Purple

4. Alice Sebold + Jojo Moyes = Ultimate tearjerker

The Lovely BonesMe Before You (Me Before You, #1)

5. Stephen King + James Patterson = Ultimate sci-fi mystery thriller

11/22/631st to Die (Women's Murder Club, #1)

6. Jodi Picoult + Liane Moriarty = Ultimate mystery/romance/family novel

Leaving TimeThe Husband's Secret

7. E. Lockhart + Gillian Flynn = Ultimately ‘insane’ story

We Were LiarsGone Girl

8. Paulo Coelho + Markus Zusak = Ultimate inspiring and spiritually deep novel

The AlchemistI Am the Messenger

9. Gayle Forman + Robert Galbraith = Ultimate love and mystery thriller

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)The Silkworm (Cormoran Strike, #2)

10.  Mitch Albom + Nicholas Sparks = THE BEST NOVEL EVER! 😀 ❤ (Sorry for fangirling!)

The Five People You Meet in HeavenThe Notebook (The Notebook, #1)


That’s it!

Share your thoughts to me, please! 😀

And your links, too!

🙂

~

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books to Read if you Love Nicholas Sparks

12c69-toptentuesday

“Sometimes you have to be apart from people you love, but that doesn’t make you love them any less. Sometimes you love them more.” – Nicholas Sparks

The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday for today requires a lot flashbacks! 😀

September 29: Ten Books To Read If You Like This Super Popular Book/Author

Why? Because I have to remember the books that are somehow related to a super popular book/author…

And because Nicholas Sparks‘s new book will be released soon, I now present you the Ten Books to Read if you Love Nicholas Sparks (like me! <3)

Note: This list contains books that I have read that I deemed related to Nicholas Sparks’ common novel themes: love, lost, family, grief, second chances, enduring love, tragedy and death.

1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell

Landline

2. Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time

3. The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The Husband's Secret

4. Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) 

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

5. The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1)

6. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl

7. If I Stay (If I Stay, #1) by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)

8. The Christmas Wedding by James Patterson

The Christmas Wedding

9. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

The Fault in Our Stars

10. The First Phone Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom

The First Phone Call from Heaven


Do you agree with my list?

Please tell me your thoughts!

🙂

P.S. See Me will be out on October 13!

See Me

~

Super Book Update 1.2 (plus my 100th read!)

Picture1

I orginally planned for a two-part super book update until I realized that I reached a milestone in my reading life, thus, here’s the third and last part of this super update!

To be able to reach the 100th book read is considerably a milestone for someone like me who do not have the leisure to read a lot of books physically, yes, I read almost all books through e-books. In as much as I want to read ‘true’ books, my current income does not allow me to do some splurge with books, so for now I read the digital editions.

Drama aside, here my 100th book which, coincidentally, is my first read for 2015! Talk about hitting two milestones with a single novel. Though it was not my intention, Leaving Time by  Jodi Picoult became my super significant book read.

I know Jodi Picoult for quite some time already but I was not able to get my hands on her novel until Leaving Time. As her newest novel, I was quite curious on what the novel is about and after finishing the book, I have come to realize why Picoult is one of the most well known scribblers.

Jenna Metcalf’s story is melancholic yet humorous and exciting with the psychic Serenity and detective Virgil. As Picoult includes amusing and amazing facts about elephants, the novel became informative and the same time. The ending.. just caught me off-guard. Picoult’s a genius, indeed.

Leaving Time

Just because you screwed up once doesn’t mean you’ll screw up again.

Just because you leave someone doesn’t mean you ever let them go.

After the emotional novel, I read The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. This book has been in my TBR list since time immemorial yet I had doubts if its worth reading as I expect another infidelity story, which I hate really. Blame the title! Cause I am wrong. Moriarty blown my mind away as the story’s plots unraveled after Cecilia read a letter from her husband. Moriarty’s exceptional storytelling is shown as she wrote the connections between three separate individuals that have their lives away from each other. The ending is realistic as well!

17802724

Falling in love was easy.anyone could fall. It was holding on that was tricky.

The last but definitely not the least is William Landay‘s Defending Jacob. Though the book cover isn’t really interesting, the words behind it refuted any doubts that I have when I started reading it. This is not your ordinary whodunit story as the storyteller, Andy Barber, is a prosecutor and father of Jacob, the main suspect of a gross murder.

I have read a lot of detective novels but with the fatherly element of Defending Jacob, I was given another perspective inside a crime. Landay’s plot twists as the story was told from the present to the past kept me engrossed and curious. Finally, when the explosive ending came, I was left awed. Landay’s a genius. Really!

Defending Jacob

The interior of a teenager’s mind is an endless war between Stupid and Clever.

So that’s it! I hope I can read more soon! 😀

~