2016 Reading Challenge Update: April Part 1

update

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” ― J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone


As promised early this week in the middle of a coffee date, here are first half of the seven awesome books I have read last April. (YES! I finally read Harry Potter!)

22nd – A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with – Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Attachments

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

What is it about: Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.

Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.

When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.

What I Love: Rainbow Rowell’s trademark of easy, light read. The email exchanges between Beth and Jennifer are my favorite parts. They are packed with wit and friendship-love in between.

What I Don’t Love Much: There are some a bit boring parts.

Wise Words: 

23rd – An autobiography – When a Good God Allows Rape by Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza

When a Good God Allows Rape

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

What is it about: There are a lot of horrible things that happen in this world. But one of the worst is when an innocent gets violated. Why does God allow such things to happen?

What Joy Tan-Chi Mendoza went through when she was 15 has been a very public and strong statement of pain, healing, and grace. She has now put her story into a book that she hopes will show people that there is hope, healing, and wholeness for those who have experienced abuse and this kind of pain. What Satan meant for harm, God meant for good.

What I Love: This book is a blessing. It is empowering and eye-opening. The author and her family’s unrelenting faith is strengthening.

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing. 🙂

Wise Words: 

“We don’t question the purpose of suffering when we think someone deservers it… But we find it irreconcilable, hard to understand, when bad things happen to good people. The math doesn’t add up; it just doesn’t make sense to us.”

“Would I allow this tragedy to define my faith? Or, would I allow faith to define this tragedy?”

“The reality is we live in a fallen world where we are victims of people’s sinful choices, including our own.”

24th – The first book you see in a bookstore – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1)  by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖(GREAT READ!)

Why only now: I replaced What is it About? to Why Only Now? because I am sure EVERYONE knows what this book is about.

You know I’ve been a reader for years but I am not really fond of magic and fantasy (because I think my imagination is limited), thus, I really have no plans on reading Harry Potter books neither watching its films. Then for my 2016 Resolutions, I wrote that this year I will (finally) give this series I try. And so I did!

I will not say this because I fear of being mobbed by the millions (or maybe billions) of Potterheads but I am really glad that I finally read it. It is indeed a GREAT READ. ❤

What I Love: Everything. The opening chapter is engrossing.

I love the poetic mystical notes in between action-packed and witty paragraphs.

I love how a complicated world (for me) was explained beautifully.

I love that it is endearing, and then it’s also funny, and then it’s also exciting, and then it’s also creepy and then it’s also wise.

I love the twist!!!

I love its wholeness and everything in  between. Rowling truly has a great gift with words.<3

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing.

Wise Words: 

“To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure.”

“The truth.” Dumbledore sighed. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.”

25th – A book written by a comedian – Bossypants by Tina Fey

Bossypants

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read!)

What is it about: From her youthful days as a vicious nerd to her tour of duty on Saturday Night Live; from her passionately halfhearted pursuit of physical beauty to her life as a mother eating things off the floor; from her one-sided college romance to her nearly fatal honeymoon — from the beginning of this paragraph to this final sentence.

Tina Fey reveals all, and proves what we’ve all suspected: you’re no one until someone calls you bossy.

What I Love: It’s a wise read. A fun read, too. Fey is blatantly honest and I like it.

What I Don’t Love Much: The explicit words.

Wise Words: 

“But the Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.”

“People are going to try to trick you. To make you feel that you are in competition with one another. You’re not in competition with other women. You’re in competition with everyone.”

“Sometimes if you have a difficult decision to make, just stall until the answer presents itself.”

“When it’s true, it doesn’t need to be said.”

“…the best thing a mom can do to be a better mom is to carve out a little time for herself.”

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

Photo credit: Pop SugarGoodreadsQuotesgram and Pinterest

Story Summary: Goodreads


What are you favorite reads this month?

Have you read any of this?

Do you agree with me?

:)

Let’s talk!

P.S. Part two next week! 😀

Kilig sa Harana (Sweet Serenade): A Kasa*

photo-1421217336522-861978fdf33a

Kilig sa Harana (Sweet Serenade): A Kasa

Bawat indak ng gitara               Your guitar’s dancing, in sweet strums
ang daliri’y tumitipa                 with your fingers, lovely tune hums
o pagsintang kay tamis            intense passion, so warm, so dear
musikang bumibigkis.              in music, you say it, so clear.

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

Photo credit: Mike Giles


In response to Napowrimo Day 17.

 

Today, I challenge you to find, either on your shelves or online, a specialized dictionary. This could be, for example, a dictionary of nautical terms, or woodworking terms, or geology terms. Anything, really, so long as it’s not a standard dictionary! Now write a poem that incorporates at least ten words from your specialized source.

I am from the little country of the Philippines and I used two of the 36 Of The Most Beautiful Words In The Philippine Language: kilig and harana.

"Kilig"

(Quick note: Kilig is now part of English oxford dictionary!!! <3)

"Harana"

*Kasa

Kasa in Korean means song-words and is compared to the Chinese rhyme prose (fu). Its defining features are the lack of stanza breaks, lines of variable length and its tendency to describe through parallelism. The form dates back to 15th century Korea.

The Kasa, (song-words) is:

  • syllabic, 7-syllable lines broken by caesura into alternating groups of 3 and 4 syllables or 8 syllable lines broken by caesura into equal 4 syllable phrases.
  • strophic which can vary in number of lines.
  • tends to describe or expose through parallels.
  • written from unrequited love, patriotism, daily life, nostalgia, etc.

Read more of my Napowrimo 2016 poems here!

Indak*: An Imayo

imayo

Indak*: An Imayo
©2016 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer

Drum beats loud jiggly jive, turns hips up, alive,
Guitar strums country folk tunes, brings foot taps so soon,
Trumpet exhales lively noise, awakes nerves and bones,
Saxophone hums sexy notes, heats up bods afloat.

*Indak  is a Tagalog/Filipino word which means to dance in time with music.

Photo credit: Thomas Kelley


In response to Blogging from A to Z ChallengeI is for Imayo.

Imayo

Imayo It seems that whenever I research a Japanese form, it involves an alternating 5-7 or 7-5 syllabic structure. The Imayo (present style) of the 12th century is no exception. This form creates long lines broken by caesura separating 7 and 5 syllables in the line.

The Imayo is:

  • a 4 line poem.
  • syllabic, written in 12 syllable lines broken by caesura after the 7th syllable.

Missed a letter/poem? Read all Poetry from A-Z here.

Burning Heart: A Tanaga*

burning-heart-tulip-lisa-cann

Burning Heart: A Tanaga*

Spring’s warm sprays defrost cold heart
Frozen veins wake up, restarts
Your roots slowly crawls, take part
Will you make heart a sweet art?

I nurture, tend, rear, your pulps
as you reveal bold red-striped bulbs
stunned, dazed, amazed I gulp,
heart’s now burning with your love.

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

Photo credit: Fine Art America


In response to Napowrimo Day 5.

 

Today, I challenge you to spend some time looking at the names of heirloom plants, and write a poem that takes its inspiration from, or incorporates the name of, one or more of these garden rarities.

*Tanaga

  • The Tanaga is a Filipino stanzaic form that was originally written in Tagolog which to my ear is one of the more musical of languages. (Kumusta ka? Mabuti salam at) The form dates back to the 16th century and has an oral tradition. The poems are not titled. Each is emotionally charged and asks a question that begs an anwer. This form was found at Kaleidoscope.The Tanaga is:
    • stanzaic, written in any number of quatrains.
    • syllabic, 7-7-7-7 syllables per line.
    • rhymed, originally aaaa bbbb cccc etc., modern Tanagas also use aabb ccdd etc or abba cddc etc or any combination rhyme can be used.
    • composed with the liberal use of metaphor.
    • untitled.

Burning Heart

It’s no wonder striped tulips were among the most valuable during the Holland’s tulip-mania in the 1600s. ‘Burning Heart’ is an exceptional selection with creamy blooms streaked with bold red.

Name: Tulipa ‘Burning Heart’

Bloom Season: Mid spring

Growing Conditions: Full sun and well-drained soil

Size: To 2 feet tall

Zones:4-6

 

 

2016 Reading Challenge Update: Part 2

update

Before the year ‘leaped’, I was able to read four more books for this month. (My first update for February is here.)

So here are the awesome novels that I have read on and before the 29th. ❤

13th – A classic from the 20th century – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

To Kill a Mockingbird

What is it about: 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.

What I Love: The depth of the the topic told in an innocent view is just flawless. Now I know the meaning of ‘classic’

What I Don’t Love Much: Honestly, the pace of the first few chapters are a bit slooooow for me.

Wise Words: 

“I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

“Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.”

“People in their right minds never take pride in their talents.”

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

14th – A YA bestseller – Ten Thousand Truths by Susan White

Ten Thousand Truths

What is it about: “Thirteen-year-old Rachel is bad news, or so her foster care worker tells her. She’s been shuttled from one rotten foster family to another ever since her mother and brother died in a car accident five years ago, and she’s running out of options. So when she gets caught shoplifting and is kicked out of her latest home, the only place left to send her is the last resort for kids like her; a farm in the middle of nowhere run by a disfigured recluse named Amelia Walton, whom Rachel names ‘Warty’ because of the strange lumps covering her face and neck.

Rachel settles into life on the farm, losing herself in daily chores and Amelia’s endless trivia and trying to forget her past and the secret she’s holding inside. But when a letter arrives for her out of the blue, Rachel soon realizes that you can’t hide from your past – or your future.”

What I Love: The descriptions of the lovely farm is just so vivid that it felt I was also there.

The literal ten thousand truths are both entertaining and informative.

What I Don’t Love Much: It is a bit short of that ‘oomph’. That feeling which give readers a book hangover.

Wise Words:

“Most of the beliefs in our shortcomings are spoken much louder from within than from anyone else.”

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

15th – A satirical book – Macarthur by Bob Ong

Macarthur

What is it about: A group of four boys with lives ‘destroyed’ in different ways but are united in ‘drugs’ and in a strong friendship bond.

What I Love: Powerfully written. The language used are explicit yet so real. The twists are jaw-dropping and saddening. The subtle way of tackling friendship within a group of ‘addict’ boys are heartwarming.

What I Don’t Love Much: None.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

16th – A science-fiction novel – The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

What is it about: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

What I Love: I am no fan of fantasy and the ‘unplanned’ reading of this novel showed me I can love that genre, too.

Neil Gaiman is indeed a skill-full storyteller who can make you angry and scared. His words in this novel are short yet alive.

What I Don’t Love Much: None. 🙂

Wise Words: 

“Books were safe than other people anyway.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

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

Photo credit: Pop SugarGoodreads, Quote Fancy, Board of Wisdom and Like Success

Story Summary: Goodreads


What are you favorite reads last month?

Have you read any of this?

Do you agree with me?

🙂

Let’s talk!

~

2016 Reading Challenge Update: February Part 1

update

With the help of Chinese New Year holiday, I started my month-long reading at full speed! 😀 😀 😀

Here are the six (yes, six!) beautiful novels that I have read since February 1 ! ❤

7th – A book translated to English – Norwegian Wood by by Haruki Murakami

Norwegian Wood

What is it about: Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before.  Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.  As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

What I Love: Subtly sexual, poignantly moving, a bit saddening.

What I Don’t Love Much: The end was a bit predictable.

Wise Words: 

“Death exists not as the opposite but as part of life.”

“If you only read the books that everyone else is readin, you can only think what everyone else is thinking.”

“By living our lives, we nurture death.”

“No truth can cure the sadness we feel from losing a loved one. No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness, can cure that sorrow.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

8th – A book set in your home state – Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan by Bob Ong

Ang mga Kaibigan ni Mama Susan

What is it about: A haunting story about religion and broken homes. Bob Ong, a Filipino writer, told an eclectic story through a journal of a teenage boy.

What I Love: I love a book that can give me goosies, and this one surely did it!

What I Don’t Love Much: I am not a fan of the format. And maybe I expected too much because Bob Ong is a well-acclaimed novelist here in the Philippines.

Rating: 💖 💖 💖  (Good read!)

9th – A book of poetry – Love & Misadventures by Lang Leav

Love & Misadventure

What is it about: Beautifully illustrated and thoughtfully conceived, Love and Misadventure will take you on a rollercoaster ride through an ill-fated love affair- from the initial butterflies to the soaring heights- through to the devastating plunge. Lang Leav has an unnerving ability to see inside the hearts and minds of her readers. Her talent for translating complex emotions with astonishing simplicity has won her a cult following of devoted fans from all over the world.

What I Love: EVERYTHING! Everything about this book is GREAT! The illustrations, the poem, the flash fictions. *smiling sigh*

What I Don’t Love Much: NOTHING!

Beautiful Words: The whole book is actually a collection of beautiful wise words. I could put them all here! 😀 But my favorite is this one:

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

10th – A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy – One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

The One Plus One
What is it about: With two jobs and two children, Jess Thomas does her best day after day. But it’s hard on your own. And sometimes you take risks you shouldn’t. Because you have to . . .

Jess’s gifted, quirky daughter Tanzie is brilliant with numbers, but without a helping hand she’ll never get the chance to shine. And Nicky, Jess’s teenage stepson, can’t fight the bullies alone.

Sometimes Jess feels like they’re sinking . . .

Into their lives comes Ed Nicholls, a man whose life is in chaos, and who is running from a deeply uncertain future. But he has time on his hands. He knows what it’s like to be lonely. And he wants to help…

What I Love: It made me smile, chuckle and almost laugh, and it also made me cry, and almost weep.

Tinge with life’s complexities and miseries like bullying and a lying husband, Jojo Moyes have written such a beautiful book that is raw in emotion.

What I Don’t Love Much: Actually, nothing. This book is great. But it will not get five hearts because Me Before You is still better. 🙂

Wise Words:

“The choices you make now will determine the rest of your life.”

“Because even if the whole world was throwing rocks at you, if you still had your mother or father at your back, you’d be okay.”

“When you work hard to get somewhere, it’s quite nice to show people where you belong.”

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

11th – A book that is published in 2016 – Never Never: Part Three(Never Never, #3) by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Never Never: Part Three (Never Never, #3)

What is it about: Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

What I Love: The romantic toe-curler lines. Yes, they brought back the high school in me! 😀

What I Don’t Love Much: My Goodreads review is…

Impressed,

that was me after Never, Never Part 1.

A bit impressed, a bit confused,
that was me after I read Never, Never Part 2.

Not impressed, so confused,
that was me after I read Never Never Part 3.

That was it?
Really?
That was it?
*sigh*

so there…

Cheesy Words: 

“Texts get deleted and conversations fade, but I swear I’ll have every single letter you’ve written for me  until the day I die.”

Rating: 💖 💖 (Good yet a bit disappointing.)

12th – A sequel – Lullabies by Lang Leav

Lullabies

What is it about:  A sequel to the hugely popular, best-selling Love & Misadventure, Lullabies continues to explore the intricacies of love and loss.

Set to a musical theme, love’s poetic journey in this new, original collection begins with a Duet and travels through Interlude and Finale with an Encore popular piece from the best-selling Love & Misadventure. Lang Leav’s evocative poetry speaks to the soul of anyone who is on this journey.

What I Love: EVERYTHING! Yes! 😀 This might be more painful but this is still awesome. The poems, the ironies, the stories do tug the heartstrings!

What I Don’t Love Much: NOTHING!

Beautiful Words: Among the many gorgeous poems and lines, this is my favorite. ❤

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

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

Photo credit: Pop Sugar and Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads