"We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us."
Showing posts with label read. Show all posts
Showing posts with label read. Show all posts

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Book Review: ABCs of Journaling by Abbey Sy

Letterer, instructor, entrepreneur and all-around talented gal Abbey Sy is back with her second boo and she’s sharing tips on journaling creatively. The book wasn’t available yet in Zamboanga and being the crazy person I was, I asked my friend to buy it from me from a National Bookstore Makati branch which was just within walking distance from where he was staying. I received it the next weekend. 

Abbey Sy

I’m a fan of Abbey Sy and one of the people excited to get a copy for myself when it was announced on Instagram. I also have her first book and knowing Abbey Sy, she’s really put her heart into the completion of her published works. 

Abbey introduced the definition of terms to those who are new at journaling. It’s a good guide for newbies. I also like the tips all over the book and the author distinctly promotes sketching and drawing in transit. It’s a great way to preserve modern-day adventures. Also, here are helpful tips on how to pack up materials like washi and watercolor while on travel.

There’s also a section featuring local artists who have done journaling in different styles. I’m thinking of applying some tips in my upcoming travel where I will be doing some interesting activities up north.

The sticker sheet is a bonus with the travel-inspired stickers. My only suggestion is that it should have a couple of sheets for international and domestic travel.

I’ve been documenting and journaling on my own for a while now, but some tips are also relevant here from her book. Abbey Sy is a letterer and her works really shine in each of her travel pages. She draws scenes from food, to buildings and she has the patience (and the time) to complete each one of them.

On the other hand, I don’t have that much time when I travel especially when I’m with people who want to hop from one place to another, and my sketching skills are not as advanced. This is where smartphone photos come in, and for days when my mirrorless camera is kind of too heavy. But I can manage especially when I sit down and start jotting down notes and experiences of the day.

For my personal travel journal, I can’t wait for an upcoming adventure and for me to gain new experiences and to cross off a few items on my bucket list. 

Monday, 7 April 2014

Meet My New Friends This Summer, A Couple Of Them I've Met From Book Shops

It’s been a while since I posted something bookworm-related But it does not mean that I’ve stopped reading nor have the books stopped arriving and taking up space in my shelves. But I admit that spending on books have taken a back seat for now. It’s because I’ve been so mindful of all my expenses as of the moment and I’ve given priority to my needs and not just my wants. 

But in my perspective, books can be both a want and need. If one can enjoy acquiring and reading books, it could be a personal want, and the need of adventure, imagination and the experience of learning could be fulfilled. In totality, collecting more books to read can be justified (wink).

Enough of me banging on. 

I would like to introduce you to my new friends for the month of April. 

I have a weakness when it comes to Latin American writers (insert Japanese, Chinese and a particular French author). To be honest, I've stalked G.G. Marquez enough and made it a point to hunt down all of the Random House editions (simply because I've started with the Random House covers) but have also come across titles like The Shadow of the Wind, Angel's Game, Midnight Palace and Prisoner of Heaven leading me to the Wikipedia page of Carlos Ruiz Zafon

I found two titles in Book Love's shop and got them for bargain prices and something tells me that I really would not be disappointed.

The Prisoner of Heaven and The Midnight Palace by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Note from Book Love
 Another new friend of mine has been on my bedside shelf for a while now. The Elenium by David Eddings is trilogy and made its way from Australia to the Philippines. It took a while to get here (mailed last year and arrived five months after). I pretty much enjoy the world of enchantment of knights belonging to a holy order, politics surrounding a kingdom and the sarcasm in the dialogue. Book reviews and author introductions to follow, yeah?

The Elenium Trilogy by David Eddings

It won't be long before my book shelf above my bed will collapse and I will find myself knocked out with all these copies landing right on my face, the spines bruising half of me. Bloody horrible scene is it? I think it's fantastic!

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Confessions of a Bibliophile: The Dirty Lil Secret Is Out!

Yeah from what you see here, I am letting you in on a little secret....

Yeah, reading The Great Gatsby and still have To Kill A Mockingbird on queue. 

I do read in the toilet! 

Ok, the truth is- this is my entry for a photo contest from a few months before to Book Depository's theme: Places Where You Read. So what would lead me to post a wacky photo of myself online? A whole library of Lord of The Rings nonetheless...

Alright, so if you are a bibliophile, you could more or less do crazy things for books.

How about you?What are the things you are willing to do for books? Let's have a fun discussion below! 

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Book Review: Pleng's Song by Patrick Maher

Patrick Maher shows how life is for a girl who attends a private school and well-sheltered life, everything is provided. If her laptop chord is burned, she calls her father and asks for a replacement. She does her writing homework and goes about her life as expected of a school girl.

But there is more to what meets the eye. Pleng’s thoughts reveal that she yearns for attention from her parents: her father is always out on business and her mother is alive at night and asleep by day. She has issues with authority in school, and has shameless tendencies when it comes to her approach towards her teachers. Her character description must sound like that of an insecure, troubled child, but she is unaware of her gifts and talents.

Maher is an incredible writer and this shows in Pleng’s voice and written works.


Patrick Maher takes the perspective very well, and this is reflected in Pleng’s characterization.
Pleng takes everything personally. Based on her observations, her writing teacher’s statements, Mr. James is always against her. It feels like her mother’s drinking problems is caused by her. Her actions then are a result of a girl with attitude problems. For a smart girl, she believes in horoscopes and treats money so lightly because it is not what she worked hard for to earn.

There are two sides to Pleng, the scared child, who tries to be a grownup and the spoiled brat who causes trouble just to seek attention. Her thoughts and words are excellently translated and described in the book.
 But the monotony of her life is about to change when she identifies the real problems in her life, runs away from home, and figures out how to survive them all.

It is said that water cleanses and purifies, but does flood water work the same way?

Highlights of the book

Her thoughts and feelings are revealed in her outputs most of the time and her imagination is given more depth in the way she wishes her life were like. Some underlying themes in the book touch on family relationships, school environment and the way we treat people around us, as well as envy.

There are events that have a supernatural treatment. The chronology and facts are well-supported, as the events unfold one by one. This is a modern folklore.

Pleng’s song is a book fit for people of all ages. It teaches that determination and common sense can help survive life’s challenges, and that repentance does come at the end. 

Recommended to read? 


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint

I wrapped up the book in old newspaper in the absence of transparent cover. Since the book is not mine, I was extra careful with it. The owner has a good selection of reads, so I take care of the ones I borrow and try my best to return them in good condition so I could borrow again. =p

So here is The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint. I've finished this last month, but for some unnamed reason haven't gone around to writing about it.

Crow Girls. Manido Aki. The Dreamlands. Mabon. Newford. The World As It Is.

These are just some of the places Charles de Lint brings the reader to discovering. In this story set in the city of Newford's urban fantasy, we meet Jilly Coppercorn, the painter who is well-loved by her friends and Jillian May Carter, the troubled girl who overcomes her past and dares to change her life both of whom happen to be just a single person.

Jilly finds herself in an accident and is comatose, immobile and begins to retrieve into the dream lands, retracing her past and leaves her friends behind in The World As It Is. For every visit she makes to the dream lands, she leans into abandoning her physical body and chooses to live in the shifting seasons of Manido Aki.

Here, we learn about the origin of the world, its non-human inhabitants, creatures of old, and the cycle of magical beings. What goes on in the thoughts of the Broken Girl? Read. The answers might just be there.

"There's never an easy route to the things that matter."

Charles de Lint

 If I'm lucky, the next book I might grab from Charles de Lint would be Eyes Like Leaves. 

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Books Celebrating Love

Alright, with Valentine's Day just twenty four hours away, here I am thinking about errands and chores. Many V-Days I've spent with my family and yep, I'm still going to spend it this year with them. May my Papa remember to come to town early to pick up the pizza in time and beat the traffic in town. Mama still hasn't decided on the dessert. 

To all of you, I bid you a happy, fun St. Valentines Day. As J would put it, "love is celebrated all year round". 

Here is a little suggestion for some Love Reading this month. Here are some inspiring reads for the Love Month of February.

Pablo Neruda. Best remembered for his love poetry and political beliefs, Neruda's popular poems have never yet been published in its entirety in English translation. In Isla Negra, the poet dedicates his celebration of love and life to his beloved wife Matilde. 

Haruki Murakami. Murakami is "easily accessible and profoundly complex" (Virginia Quarterly Review). One of the big influences in contemporary literature, Murakami writes in simplicity and yet his settings are laced with urban mysticism and elements of supernatural. 

A quiet college student, Toru finds himself attracted to Naoku, an introspective young woman. But their mutual passion is marked by the death of their best friend years before. A coming of age story, it is unforgettable and enticing. 

Laura Esquivel. Like Water for Chocolate is a sensual book, with generous helpings of Tita's story of how she prepares food for her family and by striving to win the heart of her beloved Pedro. 

Forbidden by Mexican tradition to marry, Tita is the youngest daughter in the household, condemned to take care of her mother until she dies. Tita gathers all her efforts and knowledge about the magical food she cooks, and Pedro is driven in desperation to marry Tita's older sister so that she can stay close to her. For many years, they circle each other in the same household with unconsummated passion. (goodreads.com) 

Here's a crazy thing. National Bookstore and Powerbooks as of this writing, Do Not have copies for sale of local writers Kerima Polotan Tuvera and other books by F. Sionil Jose. The only F Sionil Jose is the novel Don Vicente at Php 5,590.00 (approximately $130). 

Do you have any suggestions for this month's reading? Share them below! 

Monday, 23 January 2012

How My Love for Books Started

This is a guest post from a friend of mine who also shares the same love as I do: books. Here she talks about books and how the love affair blossomed.

How my love for books started
By Agnetha de Castro

I still remember the day when I started to read books. It was the fault of one Sweet Valley Kids volume that I borrowed from a classmate. I don’t know what compelled me to read that. Maybe it has something to do with the colorful cover or the way my classmate’s face shone with happiness over the written words in those pages. But I am glad that my interest for reading was triggered that day and before I knew it, I consumed the book in almost one sitting and borrowed some more from her.

When I finished reading her books, I became an active member of our library and read all their Sweet Valley collections. When there was nothing more for me to read on Sweet Valley, I explored other books like the Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and even Mills and Boon series.

That was one of the clearest memories I’ve had of reading. And from that day onwards, I started to read as many books as I could possibly get my hands on.

I never knew such joy and happiness as what I have found between the pages of the books I’ve borrowed and bought. It can never be replaced by momentary bursts of glee over a new gadget or some such thing. It is ever constant and irreplaceable. Such is my love for reading books. And it is a certainty that I would have books above any other material thing.

Even if I would grow old, wrinkled and with very bad eyesight, I would never break the habit of reading books.

Such is my love and passion for it.

About me:
Guest writer for Maimai’s blog. Anime addict. Movie junkie. Faithful follower and reader of many, many books. 

Got a memorable book to share? Leave a comment below!

Paulo Coelho's Thoughts on the SOPA

Coelho expresses his thoughts on the SOPA in his blog

Who else is against SOPA?

Paulo Coelho, that's who.

Here I am, ready to head home, with a good deal of commuting, when I stumbled upon this blog. It belongs to no other that The Alchemist's author himself, Paulo Coelho. And here, he shares his thoughts on the SOPA.

Visit his blog, and you will be surprised to see that he welcomes those who pirate his works.

Click here: Welcome to Pirate My Books

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Kung Hei Fa Tsai

So after distributing tikoy to my non-Chinese colleagues, I had to give out a sigh and wondered what I was doing in the studio so early this Monday morning. Because it's Chinese New Year today, every body else is on holiday, (thanks to a President with Chinese roots, we now observe 3 New Years) except for our firm. Being in the media profession has its ups and downs. But there are definitely opportunities which cannot be found elsewhere.

So I'm away from my family this morning, for the second Chinese New Year in a row (last year I was out of town on assignment) and facing the computer. But 2012 promises a good year for those born in the Year of the Dragon, in all aspects (mine being 1988). But the Water Dragon has started its work already, with the city most of the time being drenched in rain. However, I'm grateful that it's not always hot here. I've learned to appreciate the rain as a heavenly blessing.

I've got tons to do so maybe I will continue blogging after I complete the script which is needed tomorrow for the morning taping. (So help me, Lord.)

One more thing, I'm halfway with my book, The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint and I might finish it this week. To everybody, Happy New Year.

Kung Hei Fa Tsai!

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

To Keep Reading in Check

To keep reading in check, my lola decided to be my book buddy. =)

And she is one absolutely fun book buddy! I don't call her lola, I call her Mama Lette, shortened for Loretto. Papa calls her Mamang. Grand kids call her Mama Lette, so do her nieces, nephews, and other relatives. She is mother to three sons, (Papa being the middle son) and two girls.

Mama Lette is a retired teacher who also served under the Ministry of Education, during Marcos's administration. She was in fourth year law school when she married Papa Choy, (my lolo) and took up a teaching career when she no longer pursued the bar exams.

Mama Lette and the grandkids (L-R: Jess, Mikee, Mama Lette, Kyla, Tita Bing and Jenica) taken last December during our family picnic

Perhaps the love of books run in the family, and she is very conversant when it comes to talking about books she read, her favorite characters, what she likes about the style, the plot and whatever it is that catches her attention. With good eyesight, she still reads books at night by the bedside.

I brought home a copy of The Help by Kathryn Stockett and she borrowed it, suggesting we exchange books after I read The Onion Girl by Charles de Lint. Mama Lette makes the perfect book buddy, because we can always exchange books and talk about them when I come home from work and when she has finally settled down in the evening from watching her favorite Koreanovela. =)

The book pile

Mama Lette's current occupation 

My current book for the 2012 Reading Challenge, and I'm not even close to half of it yet! 

Awaiting the arrival of Thoughts of a Blogger via Multiply

What books are you currently reading? Leave a comment below! 

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Idle Worship and Library Updates

So there's this link in the ads corner in FB. And curiosity leads to some crazy discovery. Lo and behold, a beta game allows a player to be god of one's own island. Play like a god and perform blessings and curses on your muddlings, and do the same to other gods' islands. It's all about enforcing the followers' beliefs for them to offer prayers which fuel gods benefits. It's also a game to show what kind of gods you wish to become, a god to be feared, a god who bestows blessings. Gain followers, create a prophet out of a muddling, convert others, establish your own religion. It's a crazy game, but it's still fun to play.

The fun art and mechanism of the game makes the player want to attend to his "religion" because of quirky, sometimes out of this world tasks to complete.

It's the right game to nourish one's sense of humor.

Idle Worship is by Idle Games 

Yesterday, my latest batch of books arrived, and I'm happy. I have another batch of books to keep me busy for a while. Yes, admittedly, this is where my money goes, but I fuel what I love, and I don't regret it. I will be depriving myself of splurges for quite a while, but I have books to keep me company in the meantime. 

Do look out for book giveaways for interested bookworms out there. =) 

Sunday, 15 January 2012

The Hobbit

The Hobbit! 

This book brings back memories. Years ago, when I was a poor student who could not afford great literature to read, especially from highly acclaimed authors, I stumbled upon someone else's copy of The Hobbit and sought permission to borrow it. And yes, like any other amazing Tolkien book, this one is just simply oozing with adventure and mystique and legendary characters. 

In this book, home-loving Bilbo Baggins' story is told of how he joins a band of men to complete a quest which will allow them to win a share of the dragon's treasure. Tolkien introduces the creatures of the Wilderland and the world that is completely different from Bilbo's Shire from which he is very much attached to. The entire quest changes how the young Bilbo sees life as he reaches a higher level of maturity and appreciation for company and adventure. 

These are just some glimpses of the book

John Ronald Reuel Tokien

Some news for Tolkien fans, the movie will be coming out soon! Click here The Hobbit Trailer.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Which E-Books are Mostly Borrowed from Libraries and Why?

The link below is from paidContent.

I don't own an E-book reader, but it would be quite fun to have one someday. However, here's a look at some of the reading preferences made by avid readers lately.

Here in our city, I wonder how many visitors the City Library has, and the ZamboangueƱos reading habits.

Which E-Books Are Most Borrowed from Libraries and Why

Monday, 2 January 2012

If I Could Rewrite The Back Description of The Next Queen of Heaven

Contains spoilers! 

Because I am a fan of Gregory Maguire;

Because I picked up the lessons the book had to offer;

Because I believe that this work of variation is a gem and a product of the author's sweat and effort and writing and brainstorming and all the other things that come between;

Because the description of the book cover utterly fails to reflect what is in the true contents of the pages;

Because I believe that we have different perspectives when it comes to religion, Christmas, family and all that have special meaning concerning the season;

I think that the back cover description of The Next Queen of Heaven should be rewritten.

There are a few things that have to be straightened out:

  1. Mrs. Leontina Scales does not speak in tongues, in fact, ommitting the beginnings of her sentences and utterances is barely speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is considered by some to be more profound and sacred.
  2. Her children do not attempt to surrender her to Jesus. They abandon her in the basement of a retirement home for nuns and leave her to God's mercy on Christmas Eve.
  3. The ancient Sisters of the Sorrowful Mystery adopt a gay singing group, and gain a family and socialize in the process.
  4. A Christmas concert is hardly a pageant.
  5. And there is nor clear illustration of which child or whose child is born (figuratively or literally). Does Tabitha really find herself pregnant?
Themes/ Lessons learned from the book:

Although the style and language is very different from Gregory Maguire's previous treasures, the lessons and themes offered in its pages still make it a keeper. Here's what I have learned from the book.

  • Whether it comes sooner or later, we all have to forgive and let go. This circles Tabitha as she lets go of Caleb and for Jeremy as he gathers courage to do the same to Willem. 
  • Family is still family. Family members accept you for who you are. Mommy Leontina may be the single mom, but she fights and lives for her children as she raises three teenagers all on her own. Sean Riley's parents may not come to terms with his homosexuality and having AIDS but they show up as a family just the same. And whether or not the Catholics and the Radical Radiants are on different sides of the spectrum, they do help out each other in the case of the Scales family. 
My favorite character in the book would be Sister Alice Coyne of the Our Lady of Scarcese Parish. The Nissan-riding outgoing nun is too smart for her age and reaches out to anyone belonging to her church-even those who are not. And she does not condemn nor chastise anyone.

There. Now, I will be moving to another book. 

Even after reading, I still don't know exactly who is the Next Queen of Heaven. But I'm still keeping it on the shelf between Confessions and Mirror, Mirror. 

Any thoughts? Share them below! 

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

The Next Queen of Heaven

The Book

Another bargain find from my online book supplier, I had this reserved immediately.

I remember seeing a copy on display at Powerbooks, at their branch in Mall of Asia. I didn't have some extra cash for the purchase, and left it there, walking away with a little regret. Reviews and pictures of the book cover kept appearing in some websites I frequent, and so, it could not completely be erased from my mind. It's another creation by Gregory Maguire, one of the authors I follow regularly-and here he has introduced a varied style in his writing.

The book just arrived by mail, along with other copies I purchased. And the moment it arrived, I had to discipline myself to finish whatever it was I was working on before I lifted a single page to read.

There it is, right on top of my messy pile of journals, papers, notebooks and lists.

The Style

Based on Maguire's past works I have read (Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister) I still have my eyes on Matchless, and have not yet read Mirror, Mirror, his style with The Next Queen of Heaven has shifted from the traditional storytelling to the hilarious, contemporary tone. The dialogue is fitting, with ample referencing, and the book is sprinkled with generous doses of stubborn teenagers, (subtly) conflicting religious congregations and eccentric characterization.

However, as a past reader and active follower of  Maguire, I have to say that this novel is quite a departure from his melancholic, dramatic tone from his previous bestsellers. He is an expert in the field of converting the antagonist to the protagonist, as in the case of Wicked (now a Broadway musical hit), where the hardships and tumultuous childhood of Elphaba has stayed with the readers even after years of its publication. Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister also did its work as it stole the hearts and imaginations of its readers by way also of its attention-grabbing title.

In the author's note, Maguire apologizes for the setting and vernacular (its being quite a surprise to readers who already know his writing style) by saying "Forgive me for my trespasses", so I will take it as a fair warning.

Is this still a worthy read for the Holidays then? I would have to say yes. But I still long to go back to the magical world of Wicked and the rest.

Dedication from the book

"For those who keep singing and for those who keep silent"

The Setting

It is Year 1999 and Thebes, New York is gearing up for the New Millennium, strange things happen. Single mother and dutiful churchgoer Leontina Scales has been hit hard on the head by a statue of Our Lady (of I forgot) and the rest of the characters catch up with life the best as they could. Hidden conflicts and perspectives of different religious congregations are revealed, as you read between the lines and more silliness brings the book to light.

Here, a singing group fighter against AIDS, Tabitha has a crumbly relationship with her mother, high school girls talk about the school slut who happens to have been stalking them, a list of eccentrics can be found in the town called Thebes, and women have the right to call their ex-husbands "was-bands".

Mothers still know how to embarrass their daughters in a music store. (Thumbs up to Mommy Leontina!) 

The Author

This is Gregory Maguire, whom I have met through Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. 

Gregory Maguire is an American author, whose novels are revisionist retellings of children's stories (such as L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into Wicked). He received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University, and his B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. He was a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literature from 1979-1985. In 1987 he co-founded Children's Literature New England (a non-profit educational charity).
Maguire has served as artist-in-residence at the Blue Mountain Center, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Hambidge Center. He lives in Concord, Massachusetts.
His "wicked" signature
Other Books by Gregory Maguire
The Wicked Years
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West
  • Son of a Witch
  • A Lion Among Men
  • Out of Oz
Other books
  • Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister
  • Mirror, Mirror
  • Lost
  • What the Dickens: A Rogue Tooth Fairy
  • Matchless: A Christmas Story