10 best reads of 2020 (so far)

This week’s The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesday is actually about “Books that Make Me Hungry (They could have food items on the cover, foods in the title, be about foodies or have food as a main plot point… they could be cookbooks or memoirs, etc.)”.

I checked my Goodreads account and figured that I would not be able to satisfy the prompt hence I took this turn. I will be featuring 10 of the best books I’ve read this year (so far!), instead. Please forgive me. 🙂

Just a quick story, back in January, I set my Goodreads Challenge 2020 to 24 books only. This is because in 2019 I was three books short of fulfilling my target reads for the year which is the same number. And then the pandemic happened which forced me to live alone as an expat in a foreign land for almost six months now.

I took refuge in reading so till date, 45 books have served as my company this year. And here are the most amazing so far:

The Remains of the Day

1. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Not a fan of classics but this one changed my mind. It is smooth and reflective and touching, all at the same time.

The Secret Life of Bees

2. The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

I love how Sue Monk Kidd was able to bring depth to each of the character in this book, and incorporate the lovely bees in it.

Dream Work

3. Dream Work by Mary Oliver

If you are looking for quality poems, this book has them.

Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table

4. Fragile Lives: A Heart Surgeon’s Stories of Life and Death on the Operating Table by Stephen Westaby

Have learned a lot about heart diseases and the lives that have been affected by such in this book. It is interesting to know the story and what is going inside the surgeon’s mind as well.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

5. The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane by Lisa See

I love how this provided me with the view of a life I was not aware of, the tea-pickers of ancient China. Tender and touching.

A Woman Is No Man

6. A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum

This is a book all women of color should read. It is heartrending and powerful

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

7. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Suggested by my sister-in-law, this novel is a quick read because it will keep you on turning pages after pages because it is THAT intriguing.

Britt-Marie Was Here

8. Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrik Backman

Backman is my new favorite author. Britt Marie has his signature humor, sarcasm, and softness.

Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry

9. Maya Angelou: The Complete Poetry by Maya Angelou

Maya is Maya and her words will always be aflame with passion and hope.

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

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

Leaving me in tears, as always, Mitch’s new non-fiction is a beautiful reminder of how parenthood can change one’s heart, and grief as well.

Have you read any of these books? What are your best reads of 2020 so far? Feel free to share in the comment box, with your TTT, too!

09.01.2020
©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.

2016 Reading Challenge Update: April Part 2

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince


I have read seven books last April and the first four are posted here. As promised, here are the three more good reads I had last month!

25th –A book at least 100 Years Older Than You  – The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

What is it about: With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures.

What I Love: It is simple, succinct yet it can impact your views in life. Now I know why it’s one of the best classics.

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing!

Wise Words: 

“You see, one loves the sunset when one is so sad.”

“What makes the desert beautiful,’ said the little prince, ‘is that somewhere it hides a well…”

26th – A romance set in the future – Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

What is it about: Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can’t turn off.

Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn’t help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she’d be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam’s weekly visits to her psychiatrist.

Caroline introduces Sam to Poet’s Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more “normal” than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

What I Love: I am glad I picked this in a whim because I have no idea of the Poet’s Corner. I love how the suspense builds and how the story cascades. I love the poetries included and the diversity of poets this book have showed.

Finally, the twist gave me goosies!

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing!

Wise Words: 

“Everyone’s got something. Some people are just better actors than others.”

“Mistakes. Trial and error. Same thing. Mistakes are how we learned to walk and run and that hot things burn when you touch them. You’ve made mistakes all your life and you’re going to keep making them.”

27 – A book recommended by a family member – You Can You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner by Joel Osteen

You Can You Will: 8 Undeniable Qualities of a Winner

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT READ!)

What is it about: In 8 UNDENIABLE QUALITIES OF A WINNER, Joel Osteen focuses on the irrefutable traits and attributes of highly successful people. These personal qualities are tested through the ages and all types of circumstances. These practical principles guide the lives of champions.

What I Love: The wise words that touched my soul.

What I Don’t Love Much: Nothing!

Wise Words: 

“You don’t need their approval when you have God’s approval.”

“You need to be around people who know more than you and have more talent than you. Don’t be intimidated by them; be inspired.”

“You weren’t created to simply exist, to endure, or to go through the motions; you were created to be really alive.”

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

Photo Credit: Manrepeller, Shamilar, Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads


What are you favorite reads this month?

Have you read any of this?

Do you agree with me?

:)

Let’s talk!

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! 😀

2016 Reading Challenge Update: March

update

“The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.” ― Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train


Thank you Holy Week’s five-day-long break for letting me catch up read! 😀

18th – A book that’s under 150 pages – Kindred Spirits 

Kindred Spirits

What is it about: If you broke Elena’s heart, Star Wars would spill out. So when she decides to queue outside her local cinema to see the new movie, she’s expecting a celebration with crowds of people who love Han, Luke and Leia just as much as she does. What she’s not expecting is to be last in a line of only three people; to have to pee into a collectible Star Wars soda cup behind a dumpster or to meet that unlikely someone who just might truly understand the way she feels. Kindred Spirits is an engaging short story by Rainbow Rowell, author of the bestselling Eleanor & Park, Fangirl and Carry On, and is part of a handful of selected short reads specially produced for World Book Day.

What I Love: Rainbow Rowell’s trademark of easy, light read.

What I Don’t Love Much: It’s so ‘light’ for me or maybe because I am no fan of Star Wars. 

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read)

19th – A book you haven’t read since high school – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

What is it about: Since its immediate success in 1813, Pride and Prejudice has remained one of the most popular novels in the English language. Jane Austen called this brilliant work “her own darling child” and its vivacious heroine, Elizabeth Bennet, “as delightful a creature as ever appeared in print.” The romantic clash between the opinionated Elizabeth and her proud beau, Mr. Darcy, is a splendid performance of civilized sparring. And Jane Austen’s radiant wit sparkles as her characters dance a delicate quadrille of flirtation and intrigue, making this book the most superb comedy of manners of Regency England.

What I Love: The dialogues, the way it was written. The subtle comedy hidden between some serious-looking lines.

What I Don’t Love Much: I cannot say. Maybe classics are just not my cup of tea.

Wise Words:

“The power of doing anything with quickness is always prized much by the possessor, and often without any attention to the imperfection of the performance.”

“I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of any thing than of a book!”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read)

20th – A book set in Europe – After You (Me Before You, #2) by Jojo Moyes

After You (Me Before You, #2)

What is it about: Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.

Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future. . . .

What I Love: Jojo Moyes’ skillful tugs-the-heart storytelling prowess remains. I still shed a few tears while reading the last chapters.

What I Don’t Love Much: The problem with sequels is that they can never, ever top the first book. While After You is actually good, Me Before You is not just better, it’s Moyes’ best (for me).

Wise Words:

“Too many people follow their own happiness without a thought for the damage they leave in their wake.”

“The only way to avoid being left behind was to start moving.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 (Good read)

21st – A book that’s becoming a movie this year – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train

What is it about: Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?

What I Love: Everything!
The creepy prologue.
The three-view and all-engrossing overlapping storytelling.
The several thought-provoking red herrings.
The sudden surprising twist and turns.
The intricate details unravelling softly like a flower getting rid of its layers of petals slowly..
The unexpected ending.
Again, everything!

What I Don’t Love Much: Yep! Nothing!

Wise Words:

“Life is not a paragraph, and death is no parenthesis.”

“…let’s be honest: women are still only really valued for two things—their looks and their role as mothers. I’m not beautiful, and I can’t have kids, so what does that make me? Worthless.”

Rating: 💖 💖 💖 💖 💖 (GREAT read!)

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

Photo credit: Pop Sugar and Goodreads

Story Summary: Goodreads


What are you favorite reads this month?

Have you read any of this?

Do you agree with me?

:)

Let’s talk!

 

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

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!

~

I’m in!

RC

Here I am again.

To finish with flying colors

yes, I hope to gain.

©2015 Rosemawrites@A Reading Writer. All Rights Reserved.

Photo credit: Pop Sugar


DAY 38 of 50 Days of Gratefulness

Today, I am thankful for chances!

After I almost completed my 2015 Reading Challenge, two books away!, I am now giving myself a second chance with Pop Sugar!

Here’s the complete categories, for those who might be interested:

20e491b890bb19b9_PS15_Love_2016ReadingChallenge_Pin_List

…will be posting my book list, soon!

BUT, if you have any suggestion please do tell me! 

~

 

2015 Reading Challenge Update: 32nd and 33rd books

Picture2

A book with non-human characters and a book with more than 500 pages.

It has been a long time since I published an update for my 2015 Reading Challenge. It is because my reading pace has slowed down 😦 because my writing job is just so draining.

On a positive note, here are my recent reads for these categories:

A book with non-human characters (32nd) – Every Day bDavid Levithan

Every Day (Every Day, #1)

Synopsis: Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.
There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

I consider the main character of this awesome book a non-human because I can’t even determine what should I call him/her or it.

But that doesn’t mean this novel by David Levithan is not great. It is actually unique and thought-provoking. I cannot wait for the sequel, actually! 🙂

A book with more than 500 pages – The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

The Book Thief

Synopsis: It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.

It took me also a month to finish this book because of my busy schedule and because of its more than 500 pages.

On the other hand, The Book Thief is not short on sense and depth. It is one of those few books that can move you not in a so blatant manner.

Zusak has subtly described the violence during the Holocaust era in Germany and his main character, Liesel, and his storyteller, Death (yes, you’re reading it right), makes this story an emotionally gripping novel.

(I will be posting my review for this book soon.) 🙂

So there!

Till my next update. 🙂

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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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