I am a Bookish Survivor

For the first time, I have felt that I’m not a reading machine at all; I am human. I may just have a bionic penchant for reading. I am not as callous as the blisters  on my feet. I can be in a lot of pain. I can draw my attention to other things more than to books. I am vulnerable to human’s little foibles, specifically love. Aha! Yes, love! (laughs) Furthermore,I can scarcely run away from the reality that I have created  to live in and that has taken possession of me for a long time- my tendency to be off my rocker. And so, I was abandoned to these delusional states of mind in that I was negligent in my bookish duty, failed to read as many as 100 books as though I had been given a pledge to do so . But now I am standing up with a determined chin , full of hopes, burning desire to turn over a new leaf, and optimistic about my life, and proud to say that I  survived year 2016, and it made a  big difference to me.

First, I broke  the pachyderm wall that I had built for many years, apart from the social animals. I came out of my shell where I holed up in and kept everything to myself as though I was such a misanthrope that books were just my friends. Also,I am not that a consummate nerd any longer like a hermit who could not stand  the dredge of society. Likewise, I don’t look like a backward person falling behind the current trends . In fact,I couldn’t be a butt of tease any longer  that I smell like an old codger.(laughs) I love myself now more  than before. Gee whiz! I am turning to narcissism; I  tend to be foppish nowadays.

Secondly, I always try to take everything easy out. I am no longer a person who can be called “negastar” as if it was the end of the world when I could not  hammer out a complicated situation. I am now trying to be positive under any circumstances like what I used to be when I was still  fully inculcated in  the pragmatic principles of social sciences. I miss the old “me” , the independent, levelheaded “me”.

Most importantly,I learned to keep my feet on the ground. After all, I  turn out to be one of the miserable  nitwits in the universe. I realized that aside from family, the first thing that I have to consider establishing in my 30’s is cherishing the people I can still consider my (real ) friends. Happiness is not just all about intellectual Olympics. Thomas Merton is right. No man is an island.

As of now, I am trying to fit myself in any circles of people , from different walks of life. I brush off the Filipino cultural stereotype of “plasticism” or ” caha-de-oro syndrome“. Rather, I should engrave  the heap-coals-of-fire-on-his-head virtue  in my molted mind. Rather, all I want is to do the things that will make me happy.

Finally, although I failed to do my reading goal last year, I realized that I have this bookish leanings after all. What I feel now is I am gung-ho about the books I have hidden for many months, the books I  splurged on  given that I was almost financially embarrassed, but I still am. (laughs)

In 2017, I plan to finish the books on  my currently-reading list on Goodreads, particularly the one given to me by the writer himself,  I have knocked around  and now  garnished with dust bunnies.In fact, I miss reading more than 20 books in a month like what I did in 2015. I was such a  bloody monster at that time.

So far,  I have  read three books:  Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Matilda by Roald Dahl, and Falling into the Manhole by Jack S. Wigley.

I have still been musing over my  reviews of them. I hope I am able to post any of them next week.

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A million thanks to my brilliant Santa Claus  who came all the way from the US for these long-awaited books  🙂

Belated Happy New Year folks!!! 🙂

The Writers I Met in November 2015

In my imaginary world in November, there I  met some famous writers whose  literary works shattered my illusions. I met a philosopher, an education reformist, a humored tomboy writer, and an Anglicized Filipino joker. They changed the way I look at the world.

First:  Albert Camus. I was into his suprising   novels such as :

  1. The Stranger. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. It took me time before I drew my review of it. I didn’t want to admit something, that I saw myself in the character. His personality reflected in me. Something entangled deep inside of me was pulled out. The feeling was indescribable, ambiguous until I realized that the pain was trickling off. I could not hold myself any longer. I cried.
  2. The Fall. I did not give a hoot about giving it 5 stars. Who cares about someone ranting if it is as though Camus just scribbled it? Sometimes, in doing so makes sense. My experience was just like the one with whom the conversant struck up . I was all ears ,kept on nodding at his cathartic confession. Ok! Ah! Ok! I see!
  3. The Guest. I liked it , so I gave it 3 stars. I put myself in the main character in bind ,unknowing how to deal with the Guest. Besides, I did not focus on the trivial dilemma of the character much but on the panoramic and picturesque imagination described by Camus. I remembered then the beauty of the Alps described by Johanna Spryi in her novel Heidi.
  4. adulterousThe Adulterous Woman. Although I made a fuss over its title, I still gave it 3 stars. Camus was just so skilled in associating the mystical world with his story.

Second: Willa Cather. The first time I knew Cather was through her novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop. Through   this novel, she impressed me with her august writing skills- pure, original, something  which styles I cannot find fault with. As a matter of fact, her novel My Antonia, for the second time, has made me put her on the pedestal of the best writers I have encountered in my imaginary world. The latter  made me stand and hop in joy. Yahoo! I wish I were in a prairie where I could shout it out that I would give it more than 5 stars.

                 antonia        archbishop

Third, Malala Yousafzai. Malala is now one of the inspiring people I look up to. She has made a big difference to me, to everyone, to society. For me, she is the perfect epitome of a reformist in the modern world  where   conservative ideas still exist. In her autobiography, I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, she showed her  dauntless dignity being in the center of the distorted reality. Her book moved the heaven and earth.

malala

Finally, Elbert Or.I do not much about Or. It is my first time to have read one of  my fellow Filipino’s works. Obviously, his book , The More the Manyer and Other Words of Wisdumb, has something to do with Filipinism, the Filipino English. It deals with the common mistakes  in English among Filipinos. His examples are supposed to be for the heck of  fun with some somewhat funny illustrations. But I do not want to laugh at them, for I am a consummate stickler for correct English grammar and structure.  Look who’s talking?  ( blushing)

 

There the authors  are, in my imaginary world- my nook of comfort  where I read   8 books in November. Not bad. Better than 4 books  which might predispose me to throw into tantrum. I do not want to have this pang  of  guilty feelings again. (laughs)

My prediction last month that I might not be able to complete my 200 reading goals on Goodreads   came true. I really cannot do it. There are many things I have been busy with. But I promise that I will do it again next  year! Hooray!

Happy Reading, buddies! ^_^

 

A Giveaway On My List

A book came all the way from the U.K. Yippee! Thanks to the author. It is a dubious honor to read and review his first novel.

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The  genre of the novel is fantasy. What I liked about it is its  cover- mystically enchanting.

Here is the description of the book on Goodreads:

Kasmah

A series written for those who enjoy discovering a world,
its mythos, characters, and story threads both big and small,
come together over multiple books.

Forma

In the scorched lands of the Maharaan lives a dark-skinned girl soon to become a woman.
Capable and strong, confident and caring;
all she has known is peace, all she has known is purpose.
All she will bring:
Death.

On the icy plains, beyond the Gadori forests, lies a dead boy.
Forgotten by the world and himself,
he is about to be given the hardest challenge of all:
Life.

In the center of Kasmah one sits above all, the Integra Divinitas.
Beyond the trappings of the common, bound to mankind by responsibility.
A burden that, should any Divinitas fail, could bring the worst fate of all:
Chaos.

All promises must be fulfilled.

For Kasmah… will grow.

 

Although there are still some books in line I have to keep up with before the year ends, I cannot resist the excitement and temptation to   bury myself in it.

Happy reading, buddies! 🙂

My Top 13 Books In October 2015

Let me play. At this time, I will rank the books  I read within the month of October  based on my subjective judgment. No need a rubric  system.  My ranking  depends on the impact of the book  upon me as a voracious reader. My rating  following   Goodreads’s systems can still be applicable.

So , here are my top 13 books in October  with my brief  insights into  them :

  1. wastedblog__97037_07e64de2-de48-4b14-ad47-79826a0475cc_grandeWasted by Jerry Alanguilan ( 5/ 5 stars )
“  Its themes are  heart-trending and idealistic, but they can happen in real life. Also, I liked the illustrations.”

nelson

  1. A Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela ( 4/ 5 stars )
“  Mandela taught  me the real meaning of JUSTICE.”

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  1. The Martian by Andy Weir ( 4/ 5 stars )
“  We should  teach ourselves to  be scientists  .”

  1. Thinking by John Brockman ( 3/ 5 stars )
“  Life is so complicated that  I even wanted to beat my head against a wall.”

  1. The Egg by Andy Weir ( 3/ 5 stars )
“ Life comes  from an egg”

diaryngpanget

  1. Diary ng Pangit by HaveYoueSeenThisGirl ( 3/ 5 stars )
“ We can all be ugly in some aspects. You may not be aware of that.”

peregrine

  1. Peregrine’s House for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs ( 3/ 5 stars )
“ Words are not enough to scare the living day out of me. I am a visual learner.”

  1. Ang Mahiyaing Manok by Rebecca T. Anonuevo ( 3 / 5 stars )
“Timidity is an illusion.”

  1. The Nichomachean Ethics by Aristotle ( 3/5 stars )
“ Psychology is the begotten son of Philosophy. Gocha!”

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  1. Every day by David Levithan ( 2/ 5 stars )
“ I wish I were in  the body of  the famous Filipino fashion designer, Francis Libiran. :P”

  1. Alamat ng Ampalaya by Augie Rivera ( 2/ 5 stars )
“  You taste bitter if you are jealous of  others.”

  1. Snow Country by Yasunari Kawabata ( 1/ 5 stars )
“ I wish there was snow in the Philippines. I could meet my soul mate. ”

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  1. Love and Misadventure by Lang Leav ( 1/ 5 stars )
Love is like a book. :P

Whoa, tempus fugit!  I can’t believe that it is November now. How many days left before the most- celebrated shindig ?

My plan  is to complete my reading goal on Goodreads by December. Unfortunately, I predict that I  can’t make it to 200; rather, to 150   books. I want to spend my time in December, aside from reading the other books left  on my table, writing the reviews of the books I have finished and backlogged since January. Besides, I’ll be busy with my  teaching again.

Within this month, I hope to read  more than 13 books. ^_^

Happy reading, buddies! ^__^

11 Books in August 2015

In August, I was not able to surpass the  record-breaking 25 books I read in July 2015. I just read 11 books. Likewise, I did not manage to read the books I have set aside for months. I just read the books whatever I found interesting at my disposal. Consequently, I still have this disturbing pang of guilty feelings. Probably, although  my acquaintances consider me a certified book worm, I still have this desire to accomplish my reading goal as many as 200 books this year. Cheeky on me! I must be mentally disturbed now. ( laughs) Besides, I cannot take my mind off the  puny thought that my currently-reading shelf on Goodreads  gives an indication that I cannot finish a certain book I think of  a complete piece of cake. But not really! My mind must be as whirly as my afro hair  upon getting up in the morning.

Here are the books I read in August 2015 and let me just say some words that best describe them:

  1. The Wounded by Yi Cheung -Jun . ( 4 / 5 stars ) A married man still disturbed by his past encounter with a captive.
  2. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett ( 4/ 5 stars ) Now one of my most favorite books. I love gardening! ^_^
  3. Sa Puso ng Himala by Ricky Lee ( 3/ 5 stars ) It was as phenomenal in one day as soon as I posted  my review of it on my blog as to the movie when it was  in   the cinema in 1982.
  4. Happy na Gay pa by Danton Remoto ( 4/ 5 stars )  Truly, one of the most- awaited books among the LGBT community, notably written by one of the  best contemporary essayists.
  5. Still by your Side by Marjorie Holmes ( 2/ 5 stars ) A book full of intellectualization when someone loses loved ones, especially when you adhere to the belief that God exists.
  6. Mother Theresa: In my own words ( 2 / 5 stars ) Strewn with religious beliefs beyond an atheist’s logic
  7. Lila by Marilynne Robinson ( 3/ 5 stars ) A big accomplishment for its prequel Home. But I suggest you begin Marillynne Robinson’s Gilead.
  8. The Big John : The Life story of John Gokongwei Jr. by Yvette Hernandez  ( 3/ 5 stars ) Read it then you will be inspired by The Big John.
  9. Saling Pusa by Genaro Gojo Cruz ( 1/ 5 stars ) A genuine book but I don’t want to be a  saling pusa.
  10. Deep Blue Night by In-ho Choe ( 4 /5 stars ) I wish I escaped from my past  no more.
  11. Nanay Coring by Yvette Hernandez ( 2/ 5 stars ) An interesting short story about the founder of the biggest book store brand in the Philippines.

TheWounded ateguydanton remoto

big-john1      

Since I tend to swerve off my reading plan , especially I’ve been quite up to my eyes  with my demanding job, I may just read the books  which I hope to  find  a barrel of laughs. Besides, I will absorb myself in The Republic by Plato which is the reading goal  of the Philosophy Books Club I joined recently.  ^^

Happy reading, buddies! ^_^

Genaro R. Gojo Cruz’s New Children Book

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Photo from: Genaro Gojo Cruz’s Facebook account

Genaro R. Gojo Cruz , famous for his best-selling Connecting the Dots: Kung Paano ko Kinulayan ang Aking Buhay, announced on his official Facebook that he will be publishing his new children book, Pwede  Na Po Ba Akong Mag-alaga ng Kuting? in September .  I cannot wait  for it since I have been an avid fan of Genaro. As a matter of fact,  the illustrator of  his said book is the former matinee idol , Hero Angeles.

Although I haven’t read the book yet, we can for sure relate to the story   because it might have something to do with children’s desire to take care of a  kitten- typical of us when we were still young, but as a rule, our parents would be the miscreants for our innocent drama . They always complain that cats could be allergic to us as well as another mouth to feed.  Besides, I would love the story for sure since I am an ailurophile or cat lover.

I have read   some of Genaro’s children books  . I still have been looking for the others, but sometimes they are out of stock. Probably, they must be best-sellers. At this time, I won’t miss the opportunity .

If you  want to read his children books although you are no longer a child, I recommend you read his Connecting the Dots first as I always advise my friends on blog. You can understand why he wrote the stories. But if you want to buy them for your children or  young nephews or nieces, go for it! The books are suitable for the young modern generation.

Here are the books by Genaro Gojo Cruz:

  1. Mahabang-Mahabang-Mahaba ( 4/ 5 stars )
  2. Ang Dyip ni Mang Tomas: Mang Tomas and His Jeep
  3. Ang Malaking Kahon ng Sorpresa
  4. Pitong Angel
  5. Ang Batang May Maraming Maraming Bahay( 4/ 5 stars )
  6. Tolits
  7. Anluwagi( 2/ 5 stars )
  8. Ang Bahaghari
  9. Saling Pusa ( 1 / 5 stars )
  10. Ang Aking Photo Album (3/ 5 stars )
  11. Noong Nakaraang Taon ( 2/ 5 stars )
  12. Ang Asul na Kariton
  13. Malaking Malaking Bahay
  14. Ang Kamisetang Dilaw
  15. Si Nanay Mining at ang Tatlong Kuting
  16. Ang Lumang Parador ni  ni Lola ( 3/ 5 stars )
  17. Bunsoy ( 1/ 5 stars )

Enjoy reading, buddies!