Top Ten Tuesday

I’m posting something new to me today, well, for a change and I think it’s fun to do it since I always see the same on my feed every week from several blogs that I follow. The topics are interesting and I thought it would be nice to give it a try today on the last day of the year. So…

Homo sapiens, welcome to my first Top Ten Tuesday!

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s given topic is Favorite Books I Read in 2019.

I was able to finish 35 books this year and enjoyed most of them so it’s not very easy to choose the top 10. But here they are in no particular order.

1. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. This is a wonderful short novel with a great deal of depth. This is also my first Yoko Ogawa read.

2. Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami. This again proved what a great narrator Murakami is and as usual, very typical of him to leave the readers wondering with lots of unanswered questions.

3. Cain by Jose Saramago. This is Saramago’s last written work where he gets to argue with God one last time where he hires Cain to call out on God’s sins and mistakes. Cain is a laugh out loud funny little read but at the same time makes us chew on several profound moral questions about the nature of God and events in the Old Testament.

4. The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen. This is a complex read that tackles different themes: war, identity, history, friendship, communism, loyalty, etc. Definitely deserving of the Pulitzer Prize in 2016.

5. Animal Farm by George Orwell. I first read this when I was in high school and decided to give it a second read, I guess to get me back on my reading. This political satire has a simple but effective plot. George Orwell clearly understands power and its temptation and how people give in to it.

6. The Call of the Wild by Jack London. This is a story told in the point of view of a dog named Buck, a dog you can’t help but love. It’s a quick and interesting read from start to finish.

7. Pachinko by Min Jin Lee. The book follows the story of Sunja and her family through four generations across Korea and Japan. It describes the experiences of Koreans during the Japanese occupation in Korea and the harsh discrimination they had to endure in Japan during that moment in history. This could be a great TV drama.

8. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. This is one great example of a book about life and love. Amazing read.

9. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Oh, my heart! This is a real tearjerker! What a book!

10. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes. This is a very sad story that left me thinking and reflect on a lot of things. And the ending broke my heart.

Have you read any of these books? Are any of these on your top ten favorite books in 2019?

Thanks a lot for reading and I’m looking forward to reading all your TTTs! Just drop a link on the comment section so I can check your posts.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year!!! 🙂

 

 

 

A Six-Word Story

She’s terrible in expressing her feelings.

Quote of the Week

When one has a grateful heart, life is so beautiful.

~Roy T. Bennett

Quote of the Week

The way sadness works is one of the strange riddles of the world. If you are stricken with a great sadness, you may feel as if you have been set aflame, not only because of the enormous pain, but also because your sadness may spread over your life, like smoke from an enormous fire. You might find it difficult to see anything but your own sadness, the way smoke can cover a landscape so that all anyone can see is black. You may find that if someone pours water all over you, you are damp and distracted, but not cured of your sadness, the way a fire department can douse a fire but never recover what has been burnt down.

~Lemony Snicket

Sometimes

Sometimes

happiness could

mean removing people

from our lives for

good.

Quote of the Week

Maybe we all have darkness inside of us and some of us are better at dealing with it than others.

~Jasmine Warga

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee

pachinkoPachinko follows the story of Sunja and her family through four generations across Korea and Japan. It describes the experiences of Koreans during the Japanese occupation in Korea and the harsh discrimination they had to endure in Japan during that moment in history. Sunja and her family, as well as many Koreans, didn’t have much choice at that time but to struggle in order to survive.

There are so many characters in this book, some we encounter very briefly while some take part throughout the entire story. Even with a large cast of characters, Min Jin Lee was able to let us glimpse into each one of them and how they lead their lives. What I found most interesting was how she managed to put the characters in similar situations and how the characters chose to deal with it.

It’s a lengthy read but don’t let that stop you from reading for the book was greatly-paced, you wouldn’t want to put it down.

Min Jin Lee’s writing style is simple but elegant. The characters seem to speak in a such a way that it penetrates through the heart and touched me and made every part of the story realistic. Somehow, I did not want the book to end. I love that I’ve learned more about some part of history I have been keen of knowing more since I was in high school. And the fact that I have been working for a Korean company for quite some time now makes the read more interesting. In a way, I sort of feel like I understand more about them now.

This was a very entertaining and wonderful read and it could even be a great TV drama.

Highly recommended to everyone.

Quotable Quotes:

“Living everyday in the presence of those who refuse to acknowledge your humanity takes great courage.”

“Learn everything. Fill your mind with knowledge—it’s the only kind of power no one can take away from you.”

“Yes, of course. If you love anyone, you cannot help but share his suffering. If we love our Lord, not just admire him or fear him or want things from him, we must recognize his feelings; he must be in anguish over our sins. We must understand this anguish. The Lord suffers with us. He suffers like us. It is a consolation to know this. To know that we are not in fact alone in our suffering.”

“You want to see a very bad man? Make an ordinary man successful beyond his imagination. Let’s see how good he is when he can do whatever he wants.”

“No one is clean. Living makes you dirty.”

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

 

 

 

WWW Wednesday 11-Dec-2019

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Hello there! Welcome to WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words. I didn’t really have the time to read as much as I usually could the past couple of weeks but I’m somehow back to it now so here we go. Just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

The Princess and the Penis was a hilarious read. I’ve read it while on lunch break alone. This was a cute and silly read that made me giggle and smile like an idiot for a good half an hour!

I’ve completely forgotten that I have a copy of Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes if not for a friend’s reading update on Goodreads. So I’ve decided to start on it a few days ago. I tried to read a few pages in between my work and glad to be able to finish it. It was captivating but heartbreaking as well.

I was also able to finish Cream, a short story by Haruki Murakami. A beautiful and refreshing story.

Currently Reading:

I haven’t gotten far from A Dance with Dragons and I don’t think I still have enough time to finish it before the year ends because I’ve just started with The Russian Concubine and A Christmas Carol. I have both on my Kindle so I can possibly read in between my work again or while commuting.

Up Next:

Not sure what to read next as I am having a really busy time at work (and even after work) these days so it’s not very easy to find time to read but my eyes are on Out by Natsuo Kirino and The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark. I’d be glad to hear some suggestions, though, so feel free!

Some book reviews I’ve managed the previous weeks:

Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata

The Princess and the Penis by R.J. Silver

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

I’d be glad to know what you’re reading, what you’ve just finished and what you plan to read next so drop a link so I can check them out or share them on the comments section.

Until next time, homo sapiens!

Pretending

Living

this long

pretending I don”t

love you is terribly

hard.

Quote of the Week

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.

~Brene Brown

People

People

who don’t

matter anymore still

makes me feel sad

sometimes.

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

history of loveThe book is about Leo Gursky, a very interesting character, a Holocaust survivor from Poland, now in his eighties and living by himself, already had a serious heart attack and only wants not to die on a day he went unseen and so he attracts attention to himself in public while waiting for death to take him.

I enjoyed this book so much, the characters — Leo Gursky most of all, the story — hilarious and sad at the same time, the very beautiful writing of Nicole Krauss. Like the A Song of Ice and Fire series, I liked that the story was told by alternating narrators. The only difference is that in this book, I adored all the voices, there wasn’t any narrator/chapter I found anxious to get through. Every one was engaging.

The History of Love is one great example of a book about life and love. Amazing read. Highly recommended.

Quotable Quotes:
“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”
“What about you? Are you happiest and saddest right now that you’ve ever been?” “Of course I am.” “Why?” “Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.”
“I want to say somewhere: I’ve tried to be forgiving. And yet. There were times in my life, whole years, when anger got the better of me. Ugliness turned me inside out. There was a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I courted it. It was standing outside, and I invited it in.”
“The truth is the thing I invented so I could live.”
“There are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone.”

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Quote of the Week

Pure love for another person, and what people call romantic love, are two different things. Pure love doesn’t manipulate the relationship to one’s advantage, but romantic love is different. Romantic love contains other elements—the desire to be loved by the other person, for instance. If purely loving another was enough, you wouldn’t suffer because of unrequited love. As long as the other person was happy, there wouldn’t be any need to suffer because you weren’t being loved in return. What makes people suffer is the desire to be loved by another person. So I decided that romantic love and pure love for a person are not the same. And that by following this you could lessen the pain of unrequited love.

~Haruki Murakami