Saturday, November 22, 2014

#BookHaul: ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley and Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

Oh what a great, great Sunday it is! Aside from me waking up relatively earlier than usual, doing my laundry (!), and generally just feeling really good today... I accidentally visited a book sale at my love, National Book Store, on my way to the coffee shop.

I got curious and all, so I decided to stop by. Goodness, I never imagined I was in for a surprise.

More (!!!).
I first spotted Tonya Hurley's ghostgirl for freaking 99 php only! I was so happy when I saw this because finally, finally I would be able to purchase something that's been bothering me since I saw it first came out -- and on sale, at that!

And because of a really good find, I decided to dig in more in hopes of finding another gem in the pile. After scouring and looking like an idiot bending over the racks for a very long time, I accidentally saw a familar-looking cover -- and when I held it up, it turned out to be Ransom Riggs' Hollow City!!! Oh. My. Freakin. Gawd.  I immediately decided to check the price (because, you know, the chances of finding a book like this in an actual sale is pretty slim and the chances that it was just misplaced was pretty high) -- and what stunned me was the price, it was also on sale, at freaking 75 php only!

This is MY day. And I am loving it.
I don't know what it is with NBS Davao, I seem to always find something interesting at a bargain. But hey, not that I am complaining -- because t's pretty fun.

And now, what really puzzle me is the fact that Hollow City is cheaper than ghostgirl. Lol. But yeah, I am a really happy kid right now. And it just gave me more of a motivation to actually finish what I need to be doing right now. Haha. 

If only I have more time. *sigh* But we gotta settle sometimes. And hope that everything would have their proper time. And I am rambling uselessly again. What the hell.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Book: The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

One post before the holiday seasons kicks off (or it already has?). Anyway, leisure reading has been my escape with all the daily grind at work these past few days.. .and somehow, I picked up the first interesting thing I saw in the pile of e-books saved in my Note 3 - which lead me to another Jennifer Smith! Here yah!

source
Plot:
Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father. 
Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met. 
A carefully charted map of a long-distance relationship, Jennifer E. Smith's new novel shows that the center of the world isn't necessarily a place. It can be a person, too. (Via Goodreads)
There's a really romantic thing about love separated by distance but still struggling through. I know the premise is too good to be true...but, who doesn't like a little "romance" in their lives every once in a while, right?

First off, reading this piece was a breeze. Although there were instances in the middle when things got a little dragging... that very same weakness makes every meeting of the two main characters all the more electrifying. Smith managed to build anticipation which makes those meeting more special.

However, since this book somewhat focuses on the geographical locations of the two, I expected that the descriptions would also take you to where those characters were. But this books somehow fails on that department. I loved the alternate first POVs, though.

I know I have a penchant for all things depressing so it makes sense that my favorite part of the whole narrative (all subplots included) is when Owen and his father struggle to get on with their lives despite the gaping hole that losing his mother left. There's always this familiar pain of being left behind, that I swear there were instances when I hold my breath because of all the throbbing and the tightening of the chest that's happening. This kind of subplot hits home, so it's been a rather painful experience reading it.

But anyway, besides all that, this novel is light as light can be. Set in several countries, several places, this demonstrates that no matter how far away we are from each other, there's always this something that connects us from each other if the bond we've formed is special enough.

That one faithful encounter was magnified... which left me wondering if something like that could really happen in real life. I hope so. 

Recommended! :)

My Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5 stars)

Quotable Quotes:
Because that's what happened when you were with someone like that: the world shrank to just the right size. It molded itself to fit only the two of you, and nothing more. 
Maybe it was possible that you could take someone out of their life and drop them in the middle of another place entirely and they could seem like someone completely different. But even if that were the case, she thought, it wasn't really that they had changed -- it was just the backdrop, the circumstances, the cast of characters. Just because you painted a house didn't mean the furniture inside was any different. It had to be the same with people. Deep down, at the very core, they'd still be the same no matter where they were, wouldn't they? 
"You can't know the answer until you ask the question."
But there's no such thing as completely fresh start. Everything new arrives on the heels of something old, and every beginning comes at the cost of an ending. 
...and it struck her as the truest form of kindness, the most basic sort of love: to be worried about the one who was worrying about you. 
When there was nothing but space between you, everything felt like a leap. 
He was like one of her novels, still unfinished and best understood in the right place and at the right time.
-------------

Maybe I really needed some light romance in my reading life just to purge out all the negative energy and my strange fixation to everything depressing. This was fun, anyway. :)
_________

Monday, October 27, 2014

#3

Me.
Constantly balancing in this tight rope of emotions.
This string, my lifeline.
One wrong step, one wrong move – and everything will be through.

You.
Standing there at the end of it all.
My only grasp on reality.
Ready to shake it, ready to blow as hard as you can.


The only chance at salvation, that one shot of despair.

And I swear, I can almost feel the air of death brushing my cheek.
_____________

Sunday, October 26, 2014

#BookHaul: Every You, Every Me by David Levithan

It’s been a while since I posted something decent and I am honestly feeling a lot guilty about it than necessary. There were so many books opened and left unfinished. There were so many books bought and piled to gather dust. Looking at my bookshelf breaks my heart. And when I realize all the idles time I spent spacing out doing unnecessary things… that snaps the heck out of me. I’ve been too burned out to even do the things I love on my spare time. Too busy that I am losing something that makes who I am. I reflect through the books I read. I (even) used to think that I AM the books I’m reading. I don’t just choose randomly (well, almost). Because I don’t want to look back and realize that I’ve wasted my time in something that didn’t really matter. Because I want every reading experience to be worth it. Is it weird to want something like that?

Anyway, the whole point of this is that, no matter how hard it is to admit, I’ve been losing that side of me that I deeply love. I’m morphing into someone I don’t know if I even like in the first place. There’s this constant nagging feeling that I am changing and, as of today, I am not even sure if it’s for the better.

So much for all the drama.

No matter the backlogs, here’s a post to at least keep THE feeling. A new book haul!

We’ve been too busy in the past few months, and certain glimpse of breaks feel a lot special than they actually are. Strolling in the mall has become a past time and a breather. I decided to the visit the nearby local book store to buy some supplies… and to my (pleasant) surprise, there’s a sale going on. I naturally dug in, and what the heck, what I found was a pretty interesting and special thing.


Ta-dah!


To even find a David Levithan book in a pile of books on sale is soooo beyond me... that even without looking at the price tag, I immediately tucked it in. And it only costs freaking 99 pesos to boot! Good heavens!

Though I’ve read a considerable number of books in his name (thanks for breaking my heart to a million pieces, Everyday), this is (to my surprise, too) my first physical Levithan book. And I am so happy right now, I can’t even. You know that feeling when you almost can’t even? Yeah. Yeah, I know.

The book blurb says:

Evan is alone.
His best only friend, Ariel, is gone.
Evan is feels responsible.
And in her wake, Evan is left with nothing a guilty conscience and never-ending insomnia.
But then, while walking to school one morning, Evan finds an envelope in his path. Inside is a photograph. Of nothing, Except the spot where he is standing.
The next day, Evan finds another envelope. In the exact same spot as before. Inside is another photograph. Of him. Looking at the photo from the day before.
Evan’s not sure what to think. Is Ariel back? Are these photographs her way of tormenting him for reminding him of what he did to her? Or worse – has someone else found out what he did and is toying with him as punishment? Either way, he will not be able to sleep rest until he finds out who is responsible.
As the cryptic photos keep surfacing, Evan’s paranoia amplifies, and the feeling that he never really knew Ariel at all starts to paralyze dominate his life thoughts. Will he uncover the truth before he loses his mind his grasp on reality?
With Every You, Every Me, David Levithan and Jonathan Farmer have crafted a psychologically daring photographic novel about friendships won and lost, told through the eyes of a tortured teen struggling to live with a friend-shaped hole in his life – and with the idea that each of us can know someone only in our own specific, and singular, way.

Okay. That does it. In case you’re wondering, yeah, those strikedthrough words are intentional – which, in my opinion, will somehow make the whole reading experience pretty cool. Imagine reading complete trains of thoughts. That even if the words were not said, it is still being filtered… we still choose what we think and what shall go in our minds even before we let it out. That’s pretty, darn realistic right? Honestly I am really excited.

“I am not in love with you.” No. Not that, stupid.
I started skimming through it. And since this a photographic novel, something about it creeps me out. Especially when it is being instilled in your mind that the girl in the pictures is already dead. I don’t know if it’s just me, but looking at pictures of dead people spooks the hell out of me. Anyway, everything is good so far. And I am pretty dang excited. (I said it again, I know)

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Wake me up when September ends!

Well, not really. Haha. I'm too busy to sleep like that.

Anyways, HELLO FROM THE DURIAN CAPTIAL OF THE PHILIPPINES! I'm currently staying at Davao for an engagement. This is my first (relatively) long term out-of-town trip so I'm pretty psyched!


It's already been two weeks since me and my team mates arrived here, actually. I am honestly looking for a decent picture to include in this post to at least give y'guys a good glimpse of living here... but I can't find anything usable. Lol. It's not the city per se, but it's just me not exploring the beauty that is Davao enough yet (I insist on the "yet", because I believe that there is still hope. Lol.). We've been to different restaurants and cafes here and there -- and believe me, the food here is to die for! But I'll leave that to another post. Hehe. Honestly though, I find the idea of living here for good too enticing because of how at home I am feeling right now, it's scary -- maybe a major part of this is because I am enjoying eating and restaurant hopping more than ever. There's so much goodness yet to be discovered, but sadly, there's too little time.

Well, THE work is the official business of this trip so we really need to set our priorities straight if we want this thing to go smoothly. It's 5:00 am and I am still wide awake... but my brain is too distracted to function and concentrate on what I really should be doing right now (which is to work) -- so I figured that maybe, just maybe, I just need some serious venting out so here I am, writing my thoughts into the void, unsure whether someone or if no one at all might read this. (Long sentences are long.)

I've been researching for perfect spots to explore while I'm here (and, hopefully, if I'll be able to squeeze it in) and I've already found plenty. Woooh. Push for PRODUCTIVITY and EFFICIENCY! I hope I can work on this because I really, really, really want to enjoy this trip as much as I can. Rare opportunities like this pass by, and I have to make the most out of every single one of them. What is life and what is work if it's not meant to be enjoyed, right?

I've been thinking of starting a series called #TravelDiaries to at least document the travels I've been having so far (albeit few). My Baguio trip (from way, way back April) is yet to be documented. Plus this. And all the travels I'll be making because of work (hopefully? Yay!) in the future. We're scheduled for Cebu in the coming days.... and boy am I really excited, too. But first things first: we need to finish our scheduled work. #Pressure Lol.

But really, I am just really glad that I am starting to explore things and see things in a different way. Trying out new things and meeting new people ain't as nerve wracking and scary as it is in the past. I don't know if it's the right way to put it, but I am "maturing"? I can feel something in me changing and I'm not really sure if it's a good thing but all I can say is I am having a blast! So all's well, I guess. I have no regrets choosing this field, especially now that I can feel that this is really helping me personally take down some of my demons -- demons that I have been holding too close to myself all these years, dragging me down. May this go on for a long, loooooong while!

Anyways, I've already tried eating Durian for the first time, thanks for asking. (And Durian Coffee to boot!) :)

Okay! Back to work! Ciao! :*

Sunday, August 24, 2014

And this is how I got through it.

It's no secret that the feelings I harbor for books is no joke -- just because time after time, they help me cope with whatever it is I'm undergoing. Here's one story that I don't know if I've already shared. But I'll share it nonetheless...

Back in 2012 and early 2013, I've been jumping from one book to another. And that includes Norwegian Wood, Hold Still and The Fault in our Stars. I admit that I'm a bit morbid when it comes to my reading choices but whatever. In any case, if you've read all of the three, you'll notice that they have one thing in common -- and it is DEATH. See the connection now, I look back and think about how I responded to these books and it was so real and raw that it also felt like somebody in my life died and I am feeling the book character's pain and loss.

And then it happened. Back in the middle of 2013, my mother died. And I know that this is such a really hard topic to talk about but I'm bringing it up nonetheless just for me to fully express how these books have helped me navigate through life.

These books didn't take the pain away -- no, that's pretty impossible. But what they did was make it bearable. Because even though those three books centered around death and all (TFioS may be a bit different here), what I learned from it as well was that there is still life after the lossThat feeling the pain is inevitable, but that too shall pass.

These books made it a bit bearable, I must admit. Sometimes I look back and I was just left amazed and stunned in awe at how perfect the timing was. I hate to think of it as a premonition-of-sorts of the things to come -- but I just really can't shake the fact that it prepared me. 

Maybe God really wanted me to read those at that exact moment. 
Maybe it's His way of saying that "it's going to be fine". 

I'm not really into the idea that things in life are predetermined and that the path we're taking would eventually lead to a pre-set destination -- but it's things like this that make me sometimes question my thinking.

Some say I've been too busy living my life inside the pages of the books that I'm reading. Sure, as the quote above is saying: "real life should be lived". But what they don't know is that I'm reading my way through each day to equip myself on how I would live my life and how I would react to it. Reading has provided me a deeper insight, a different view of things. Relatively speaking, I don't even know if it is more that what most people who don't even bother to open a book has. But I can say that I'm happy with how everything's going, and how everything has turned out -- how I turned out. And I can't anymore be thankful for the gift of "deep reading" that God has given me. :)

How about you? Do you have any experience that you got through with the help of books? Comment up and let's talk! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

#HalfBakedList: Books that stayed with me.

Howdy! It's been a long time. I would like to apologize for being gone for so long. I've been trying to hold it together, to update as much as I can... but something always comes up, and other things seem infinitely more important and more urgent than sitting down in front of my laptop to type my thoughts away. But in any case, I'm still doing fine if you want to know. :) I'm just here to post a random snippet of what I came across today -- just a short update before I lose my drive to share this and/or another thing might catch my attention again.

Soooooo..... after a really exhausting two-day catching up with my long-time friends, I went home and immediately caught sleep. When I woke up, I scanned my Facebook feed and I saw my friend tagging me in her status that goes like this:


10 books were listed, and I was absolutely giddy when I read that. So yeah, naturally I jumped into it. I was a bit guilty because I peeked into my Goodreads account to check out my "read" shelf  before making this list but whatever. Haha. Here're the ten books that hit me right through the kokoro:

#1 - Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
#2 - Hold Still by Nina LaCour
#3 - Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami
#4 - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
#5 - Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
#6 - Hard Love by Ellen Wittllinger
#7 - Para Kay B by Ricky Lee
#8 - A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
#9 - The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffeneger
#10 - Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Why, someone's a Murakami fan here. >.< Well, guilty as charged. I am an absolute fan and I am not ashamed to admit that every Murakami writing that I've encountered broke me and affected me in all these unexpected places. Something in his prose really attracts me and I find myself absolutely wanting more after every book/story. 

Norwegian Wood and Hold Still were one of the books that I've been skimming from time to time even long after I finished them. They were the books that presented death and its after-effects as real and as close to my heart as possible. See this post for a more in-depth description for this.

Hard Love was a close call as it is one of the earliest books that I've declared as my favorite. The mother-son relationship was the one that caught me off-gurad here. I don't really have a very complicated relationship with my parents back then but I find myself unconsciously crying when I read it because I can totally feel how weird things got and how empty that feeling was.

Para Kay B was the sole book here written in Filipino. It was my favorite local book out of all the ones that I've read. It has its fair share of highlights for all the quotes that hit me right in the heart. I remember undergoing a phase where I always kept it close beside my bed pillow to scan through it every once in a while. It honestly helped me through those pseudo-heartbroken moments I had when I was in college. Lol.

A Storm of Swords was included here mainly because of all the emotional trauma that I got after i read about all those brutal deaths that befell some of my favorite characters in that series. Just imagine the horror.

The Time Traveler's Wife, I believe, must be included in the list of everyone who have once read it. If this book and its story did not shatter you to pieces... then I don't know what will, you filthy robot.

And last but not the least... Fangirl: where Rainbow Rowell managed to translate my whole persona into words. From all my awkwardess, my strange devotion (love) for fictional characters, to the paranoia and craziness lying underneath, even to my ideals. It was so spot on, it's scary. 

source
There was a reason why I don't necessarily (and outright-ly) label the things that I post after I read a book as a review. I prefer to call it book thoughts, if that makes sense. It is because I don't necessarily critique them. No, I'm far too inexperienced to do that. I don't look at a book as a technical work waiting to be torn into pieces, to be dissected -- to find its flaws and where in the world did it go wrong. I'm not looking at those tiny specks of dust. 

This is art we're talking about, and like my love, Park Sheridan, has said: "Art is supposed to make you feel something.

I dwell in the feelings that a book brings out of me. These unexpected, drowning emotions that stems out of nowhere -- with just an emphasis of a phrase, the arrangement of the words, how beautiful a thing is described, or even just the right positioning of punctuation marks and the right use of capitalization. It's all these little things at once that make up a good book. A good book for me is something that inspires the person reading it -- inspires him/her to feel. And it is such a very rewarding experience when you find a book like that. Right?

RUNNER UPs:
Attachments by Rainbow Rowell
Everyday by David Levithan
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

*Perks was not included in the main top ten just because I don't like the way my mind is going whenever I am reading it. It's scary, but it definitely did spark something in me. :)

I've been tagged. And I've already tagged some of my friends, too. I saw some lists and it was really entertaining to compare with each other. This could also be a good avenue to search for the next book that would give you all the #feeeeeeeeeels. 

How about you? What are the TOP TEN BOOKS THAT STAYED WITH YOU? You can make a post out of it (don't forget to link it to me so I can read it) or you could just outright comment below! In any case, let's talk. :3

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
back to top