Top Ten Tuesday – Ten Signs You’re a Book Lover

Hello there! It’s another edition of 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:

Ten Signs You’re a Book-Lover

Here it goes!

1. Books are always great gifts.

2. Saving money to buy new books.

3. It’s hard not to read several books at one time.

4. You wish some fictional characters were real.

5. You tend to become emotionally invested in characters.

6. Nothing makes better company than coffee when reading.

7. You love the smell of books.

8. You spend sleepless nights sobbing, laughing or simply enjoying a different world.

9. You can spend hours in a bookshop, library or book fair because they’re your personal heaven.

10. You  own more books than your space can hold.

These are just ten of the many signs you’re a book-lover. Do we have the same list? Feel free to drop a link of your TTTs or share your list in the comments section. I’d be delighted to read them.

Happy Tuesday, homo sapiens!

Top 5 Tuesday – Authors from A-Z (U, V, W, X, Y, Z)

Hello there, homo sapiens! It’s time for Top 5 Tuesday.

This tag is hosted by Shannah over at Bionic Book Worm.

March is a themed month and this month’s theme is Authors from A-Z. Last week. we had authors with names starting with the letters P, Q, R, S & T. Today we’ll be having authors whose names start with U, V, W, X, Y & Z. Again, I opted for family names.

U – John Updike

johnupdike

John Hoyer Updike was an American novelist, poet and short-story writer. He is one of the three other writers who have won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction more than once. Apart from his novels and short-story collections, many of his works were published in The New Yorker.

V – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

kurtvonnegutjr

Kurt Vonnegut Jr. was an American writer. He’s best known for his satirical novel Slaughterhouse-Five. It is in fact the only work of his that I’ve read so far. It is the story of Billy Pilgrim who was born in 1922 like Vonnegut himself who survived the bombing of Dresden.

W – John Williams

johnwilliams

John Edward Williams author, editor and professor. He is the author of Stoner, a tragic fictional tale of a university professor — one of my top all-time favorite novels. His novel Augustus won a US national book award.

X – Xue Xinran

xuexinran

Xue Xinran is a British-Chinese journalist and author. She is also a known advocate for women’s issues. Her book The Good Women of China is on my TBR so I hope to get to it soon.

Y – Hanya Yanagihara

hanyayanagihara

Hanya Yanagihara is a novelist, editor and travel writer. She is the author of A Little Life, winner of the 2015 Kirkus prize for fiction. She also was a National Book Award and Man Booker Prize finalist in 2015.

Z – Markus Zusak

markuszusak

Markus Zusak is an Australian writer of German origin and is best known for his books The Book Thief and The Messenger. Bridge of Clay is on my TBR and I hope it to be as his other works.

Have you heard of these authors before? (I doubt you haven’t!) Have you read any of their works? Any recommendations? I look forward to reading your Top 5 Tuesdays so drop a link on the comments section so I can check them all out.

Happy Tuesday and keep safe, homo sapiens!

All photos downloaded from Google. Credit to the owners.

Short Stories – The Last Leaf, The Necklace & The Gift of the Magi

These three short stories were recommendations from my new boss during a car ride for lunch. We’ve been working together for only two months and it didn’t occur to me even once that he likes reading. He also recommended Demian but that’s for another post.

thelastleaf

The Last Leaf by O. Henry is an absolutely beautiful story. There’s love, friendship, death, sacrifice and the significance of hope. Sue and Johnsy are young aspiring artists but Johnsy fell prey to pneumonia. Johnsy already lost hope to live while Sue was desperate in finding ways to keep her hopes up and survive. Mr. Behrman is an old painter but pretty much failed all his life. But he never lost hope. And then one day, he was able to paint his masterpiece.

thenecklace

The Necklace by Guy de Maupassant is a story that teaches a lesson about greed, contentment and being grateful for what is given to us. It’s about an ungrateful lady, Mathilde, who desired wealth, fame and to be envied by people. Her mindset never changed until the end of the story, still chasing the same things when she was younger and even after the incident that happened so I think the ending serves her right.

thegiftofthemagi

The Gift of the Magi, again by O. Henry, is another well-written story about true love and gift giving. Della wanted to buy a wonderful gift for her husband but she didn’t have enough money to do so. She decided to do the unthinkable. It was adorable and sad but all in all lovely. The wonderful message is worth some reflection.

Have you read these short stories? Which one is your favorite? Or any recommendations for another short story? Feel free to share on the comments section.

Happy reading and keep safe, homo sapiens!

Quote of the Week

Feelings come and feelings go. There is no need to fear them and no need to crave them. Be open to your feelings and experience them while they are here. Then be open to the feelings that will come next. Your feelings are a part of your experience. Yet no mere feeling, however intense it may seem, is your permanent reality.

~Ralph Marston

WWW Wednesday 25-Mar-2020

Hello there! Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

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

Currently Reading:

I finally got back to reading City of Djinns so I hope to finish it in a few days. I’ve also started reading The Cake Tree in the Ruins, a collection of short stories based on the experiences of the author, Akiyuki Nosaka, during the World War II.

Recently Finished:

These two are 4-star reads for me. The Silent Patient was a page-turner with unexpected twists and Greek tragedy. Bridge to Terabithia on the other hand is the kind that will make you realize that books can hurt.

Up Next:

I hope to start with any of these 5 titles next. Fingers-crossed I’ll have more time for reading this week.

Have you read any of these books? Or is there anything you want to recommend? What have you been reading this past week? I’d be delighted if you share your WWWs, too. Leave a link or share your lists on the comments section so I can check them all out!

Happy reading and keep safe, homo sapiens!

Top 5 Tuesday – Authors from A-Z (P, Q, R, S, T)

Hello there, homo sapiens! It’s time for Top 5 Tuesday.

This tag is hosted by Shannah over at Bionic Book Worm.

March is a themed month and this month’s theme is Authors from A-Z. Last week. we had authors with names starting with the letters K, L, M, N, & O. Today we’ll be having authors whose names start with P, Q, R, S & T. Again, I opted for family names.

P – Jodi Picoult

jodipicoult

Jodi Lynn Picoult is an American writer. I first came to know about her because of the fuss with her book The Storyteller. It seemed everyone was reading and talking about it at that time and so I gave it a shot. And damn. It was so good! I loved it and so I became a big fan. She writes stories with complex characters and plots and will make you ponder what if you were faced with the same dilemma.

Q – Julia Quinn

juliaquinn

I haven’t read any book from any author whose first and last names start with the letter Q. However, I sometimes see from other blogs I follow books written by Julia Quinn. I’ve checked her books on Goodreads and they surprisingly have high ratings. According to Wikipedia, Julia Quinn is the pseudonym used by Julie Pottinger, an American historical romance author.

R – Rainbow Rowell

rainbowrowell

Rainbow Rowell is an American author of young adult and adult contemporary novels. Among her works, I first read Eleanor and Park, her first young adult novel. I loved the book so I ended up reading her other books, too. 

S – J.D. Salinger

jdsalinger

Jerome David Salinger was an American writer most famous for his landmark book The Catcher in the Rye, another favorite of mine. It’s been said that throughout Salinger’s life, he adopted several religious practices, he was raised Jewish but also pursued Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism and several others. He soon lived a secluded life for 50 years and died at the age of 91.

T – J.R.R. Tolkien

jrrtolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is an American writer and poet. He wrote the highly popular fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Yes, another of my favorites. 🙂 He was also a major scholar of the English language who specialized in Old and Middle English.

Have you heard of these authors before? (I doubt you haven’t!) Have you read any of their works? Any recommendations? I look forward to reading your Top 5 Tuesdays so drop a link on the comments section so I can check them all out.

Happy Tuesday and keep safe, homo sapiens!

All photos downloaded from Google. Credit to the owners.

The Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai

thesettingsunTo put it simply, The Setting Sun is a story about post-war Japan struggling and torn between Western modernization and deep aristocratic values.

The main character is Kazuko, a 29-year old daughter of an aristocrat who lives with her mother and brother and now have fallen on hard times. There are times when I find Kazuko difficult to understand but that’s okay, I find there are a lot like her in the world. I love every part of the book with the mother and so it was really sad when she died.

I liked the idea of Naoji’s letters that served as flashbacks before he committed suicide. It’s sad, really sad, though it did not surprise me at all. Through this letters, we discover his struggles in an aristocratic society and post-war Japan.

This is my first Osamu Dazai book. There’s not much action really and it was really sad but definitely a pleasure to read.

Quotable Quotes:
“To wait. In our lives we know joy, anger, sorrow, and a hundred other emotions, but these emotions all together occupy a bare one percent of our time. The remaining ninety-nine percent is just living in waiting. I wait in momentary expectation, feeling as though my breasts are being crushed, for the sound in the corridor of the footsteps of happiness. Empty. Oh, life is too painful, the reality that confirms the universal belief that it is best not to be born.”
“When I pretended to be precocious, people started the rumor that I was precocious. When I acted like an idler, rumor had it I was an idler. When I pretended I couldn’t write a novel, people said I couldn’t write. When I acted like a liar, they called me a liar. When I acted like a rich man, they started the rumor I was rich. When I feigned indifference, they classed me as the indifferent type. But when I inadvertently groaned because I was really in pain, they started the rumor that I was faking suffering. The world is out of joint.”
“I like roses best. But they bloom in all four seasons. I wonder if people who like roses best have to die four times over again.”
“I am afraid because I can so clearly foresee my own life rotting away of itself, like a leaf that rots without falling, while I pursue my round of existence from day to day.”
“Addiction is perhaps a sickness of the spirit.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

~Paulo Coelho

WWW Wednesday 18-Mar-2020

Hello there! Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

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

Currently Reading:

I honestly haven’t gotten back to reading City of Djinns so I’m stuck to 65% at the moment. I, however, started reading The Silent Patient and Bridge to Terabithia; the former I read during my mini breaks in the office while I try to read a few pages of the latter before going to sleep.

Recently Finished:

The Travelling Cat Chronicles and Circe were great reads, 4-stars for both.

Up Next:

I still haven’t decided which of these five titles I should read next so I’m open to suggestions.

Have you read any of these books? Or is there anything you want to recommend? What have you been reading this past week? I’d be delighted if you share your WWWs, too. Leave a link or share your lists on the comments section so I can check them all out!

Happy reading, homo sapiens!

Top 5 Tuesday – Authors from A-Z (K, L, M, N, O)

Hello there, homo sapiens! It’s time for Top 5 Tuesday.

This tag is hosted by Shannah over at Bionic Book Worm.

March is a themed month and this month’s theme is Authors from A-Z. Last week. we had authors with names starting with the letters F, G, H, I & J. Today we’ll be having authors whose names start with K, L, M, N, & O. Again, I opted for family names.

K – Ken Kesey

kenkesey

Ken Elton Kesey is an American writer and a hero in countercultural reveolution and the hippie movement in the 1960s. He was a paid volunteer experiment subject in a veterans hospital and this experience served as background for his most popular novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

L – Harper Lee

harperlee

Nelle Harper Lee is an American writer most popularly known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2007 for her contribution to literature.

M – Haruki Murakami

harukimurakami

Haruki Murakami is my number one favorite author. He is a Japanese novelist and a short story writer. He is well-known for his deep imaginative novels and often ambiguous. Some of his well-known books include Kafka on the Shore, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle and Norwegian Wood.

N – Viet Thanh Nguyen

vietthanhnguyen

Viet Thanh Nguyen is a Vietnamese-American novelist. His debut novel The Sympathizer won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2016. 

O – Yoko Ogawa

yokoogawa

Yoko Ogawa is a Japanese writer and well-known for her book The Housekeeper and the Professor. She has been awarded several prizes for her literary career such as The Kaien Prize in 1988 and  The Yomiuri Prize in 2004.

Have you heard of these authors before? (I doubt you haven’t!) Have you read any of their works? Any recommendations? I look forward to reading your Top 5 Tuesdays so drop a link on the comments section so I can check them all out.

Happy Tuesday, homo sapiens!

All photos downloaded from Google. Credit to the owners.

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

kitchenTwo beautifully woven storylines that dealt with grief and loss with wonderful narration which I thought would have been really good novels instead of short stories. Banana Yoshimoto and these two stories remind me very much of Haruki Murakami and his ability to turn daily life into something magical.

This is a quick and easy read with lots of important ideas each of us should understand. Also, I like books for its simplicity and Yoshimoto’s writing style was so simple which made me like the book more. I’m not really sure if this is really Yoshimoto’s writing style or was it the translation but yeah, it came out simple and easy to read. I wouldn’t have to reread several pages to fully understand.

I guess what the author is really trying to tell us in both stories is to live our lives to the fullest. The loss of a loved one or anyone dear to us doesn’t always have to bring us sadness or grief because it won’t bring us back the people we’ve lost. The world is unfair so better just make the best out of it while here.

Quotable Quotes:

“People aren’t overcome by situations or outside forces. Defeat comes from within.”

“No matter what, I want to continue living with the awareness that I will die. Without that, I am not alive.”

“As I grow older, much older, I will experience many things, and I will hit rock bottom again and again. Again and again I will suffer; again and again I will get back on my feet. I will not be defeated. I won’t let my spirit be destroyed.”

“Over and over, we begin again.”

“I realized that the world did not exist for my benefit. It followed that the ratio of pleasant and unpleasant things around me would not change. It wasn’t up to me. It was clear that the best thing to do was to adopt a sort of muddled cheerfulness.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

A Six-Word Story

Rereading old conversations makes me smile.

Quote of the Week

Develop an attitude of gratitude, and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step toward achieving something
bigger and better than your current situation.

~Brian Tracy

WWW Wednesday 11-Mar-2020

Hello there! Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

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

Currently Reading:

I made very little progress with all these three books I’m currently reading but I’m enjoying all three so far.

Recently Finished:

nada

Yes, I didn’t finish any book this week. I really wish I have more time for reading. 🙂

Up Next:

I’m inclined to start next with either of these titles here but not sure which one to pick first. We’ll see next week.

Have you read any of these books? Or is there anything you want to recommend? What have you been reading this past week? I’d be delighted if you share your WWWs, too. Leave a link or share your lists on the comments section so I can check them all out!

Happy reading, homo sapiens!

Top 5 Tuesday – Authors from A-Z (F, G, H, I, J)

Hello there, homo sapiens! It’s time for Top 5 Tuesday.

This tag is hosted by Shannah over at Bionic Book Worm.

March is a themed month and this month’s theme is Authors from A-Z. Last week. we had authors with names starting with the letters A, B, C, D & E. Today we’ll be having authors whose names start with F, G, H, I & J. Again, I opted for family names.

F- Gillian Flynn

gillianflynn

Gillian Schieber Flynn is an American author well-known for dark but entertaining novels murder and deceit. Gone Girl is my favorite work of hers and one of the rare movie adaptations I’ve enjoyed.

G – Arthur Golden

arthurgolden

Arthur Sulzberger Golden is an American writer best known for his book Memoirs of a Geisha, another favorite of mine. It is said that Golden took six years to write Memoirs of a Geisha and it seems he haven’t published anything since then, well, not that I know of, but I hope to read more of his works.

H – Khaled Hosseini

khaledhosseini

Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-American novelist and physician. Hosseini is one of my top favorite authors and I was blown away by his best-selling book The Kite Runner, thus, it stays on top of all my all-time favorite books.

I – Kazuo Ishiguro

kazuoishiguro

Sir Kazuo Ishiguro is a Japanese-born British novelist and was the Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 2017. I love his book The Remains of the Day which won The Man Booker Prize award in 1989.

J – Shirley Jackson

shirleyjackson

Shirlie Hardie Jackson is an American novelist and short story writer, a master of gothic horror and psychological suspense. Among my favorite work of hers are The Lottery and We Have ALways Lived in the Castle.

Have you heard of these authors before? I doubt you haven’t! Have you read any of their works? Any recommendations? I look forward to reading your Top 5 Tuesdays so drop a link on the comments section so I can check them all out.

Happy Tuesday, homo sapiens!

All photos downloaded from Google. Credit to the owners.

Quote of the Week

There comes a point when you either embrace who and what you are, or condemn yourself to be miserable all your days. Other people will try to make you miserable; don’t help them by doing the job yourself.

~Laurell K. Hamilton

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

flowersforalgernonWhich is better — to have had and lost or not having it at all? This question is what’s left to me after reading Flowers of Algernon.

This is my first read from Daniel Keyes and I think it’s a really good introduction to his works. The concept of the story was quite interesting but it was definitely gut and heart wrenching. And that it ended sooner than I expected/wanted made me even sadder. Some things were quite predictable but it was still a really good read. I knew the ending was going to be that way but it turned out like I wasn’t really ready for it, for how heartbreaking it was to be.

Like many of the books I’ve read, this helped me change my view of life and people. Very often, I see how a lot of people take advantage of those who are less capable, less smart and less fortunate. It is a very sad thing to see. And this book made me more appreciative and sympathetic of people like Charlie.

This is a very sad book to read but something everyone should.

Quotable Quotes:

“I don’t know what’s worse: to not know what you are and be happy, or to become what you’ve always wanted to be, and feel alone.”

“Now I understand that one of the important reasons for going to college and getting an education is to learn that the things you’ve believed in all your life aren’t true, and that nothing is what it appears to be.”

“Don’t feel sorry for me. I’m glad I had a second chance in life like you said to be smart because I learned a lot of things that I never knew were in this world, and I’m grateful I saw it even for a little bit.”

Rating: 4/5 stars 

 

WWW Wednesday 04-Mar-2020

Hello there! Welcome to another WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, just answer the three W questions:

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

Currently Reading:

I’m still not finished with City of Djinns but hopefully I’d get it done within the week. I’ve also started with The Travelling Cat Chronicles, a first for me from Hiro Arikawa.

Recently Finished:

thecaskofamontillado

I didn’t finish anything this week except for the short story The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe. This is actually a reread as I’ve read this way back in elementary school.

Up Next:

I’ve decided to take on these three next based on friends and other bloggers’ recommendation.

I’d be delighted if you share your WWWs, too. Leave a link or share your lists on the comments section so I can check them all out!

Happy reading, homo sapiens!

Top Ten Tuesday – Books With Single-Word Titles

Hello there! It’s another edition of 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 Books with Single-Word Titles.

If my memory serves me right, I think I’ve rated all these books either 4 or 5 stars. Yeah, I enjoyed, liked and loved all these 10 books for different reasons.

Have you read any of these? Which ones did you enjoy? Any single-word titles you can recommend? Drop a link of your TTTs or simply share your list in the comments section.

Happy reading, homo sapiens!

Top 5 Tuesday – Authors from A-Z Series (A,B,C,D,E)

Hello there, homo sapiens! It’s time for Top 5 Tuesday.

This tag is hosted by Shannah over at Bionic Book Worm.

March is a themed month and this month’s theme is Authors from A-Z. Today we would be having authors whose names start with A, B, C, D and E.

I opted for the authors’ last names so let’s get started.

A – Mitch Albom

mitchalbom

Mitchell David Albom is an American author who has written a number of fiction and non-fiction books. I’ve read several works of his and my favorite, one of my all-time favorites actually, is Tuesdays with Morrie.

B – Julian Barnes

julianbarnes

Julian Patrick Barnes is an English writer. He won the Man Booker Prize in 2011 for A Sense of an Ending which again happens to be one of my all-time favorites.

C – W. Bruce Cameron

wbrucecameron

William Bruce Cameron is an American author famous for his book A Dog’s Purpose which I’ve read and loved recently and is a new addition to my all-time faves list. I’m looking froward to reading more of his works.

D – William Dalrymple

williamdalrymple

William Hamilton-Dalrymple is an acclaimed Scottish historian and writer. I am currently reading his book City of Djinns and I must say I have been learning a lot from it.

E – Shusaku Endo

shusakuendo

Shusaku Endo is a Japanese author noted for his works from a rare point point of view of a Japanese Roman Catholic. I’ve read his book Silence but was somewhat disappointed. I still am interested with his other works though.

Have you heard of these authors before? I doubt you haven’t! Have you read any of their works? I look forward to reading your Top 5 Tuesdays so drop a link on the comments section so I can check them all out.

Happy Tuesday, homo sapiens!

All photos downloaded from Google. Credit to the owners.

Quote of the Week

The best relationships in our lives are the best not because they have been the happiest ones, they are that way because they have stayed strong through the most tormentful of storms.

~Pandora Poikilos

The Forgotten Highlander by Alistair Uruqhart

theforgottenhighlanderThis is a remarkable story of survival of a young man from Scotland from the hands of the Japanese during the second world war.

Knowing that this is a true story makes it more sad reading. The brutality Alistair Uruqhart experienced as a POW is horrendous. It’s amazing how he and others survived but it’s heartbreaking that many did not.

The book was simply written thus easy to follow. The part towards the end when he came back home and trying to adjust to life again was kind of heartbreaking.

It’s a good read and will make you feel blessed for not having to experience the horrors of war.

Quotable Quotes:
“Life is worth living and no matter what it throws at you it is important to keep your eyes on the prize of the happiness that will come. Even when the Death Railway reduced us to little more than animals, humanity in the shape of our saintly medical officers triumphed over barbarism… Remember, while it always seems darkest before the dawn, perseverance pays off and the good times will return.”
“We all worked so hard that, just trying to survive, each person became more and more insular as it became more difficult. It required a superhuman effort to make it to the end of each day.”

Rating: 3/5 stars