WWW Wednesday 30-Dec-2020

Welcome to our final WWW Wednesday of 2020 hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

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As usual, 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

thegirlwhosavedChristmas

Currently Reading

Up Next

Have you read any of these books? 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!

Happy New Year!

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

aboycalledChristmasPerhaps we all believed in Santa Claus once, specially so when we were kids. But before there was Santa Claus, there was a young boy named Nikolas who believed in the impossible and in magic.

Nikolas and his father were very poor. He is eleven years old and has only received two Christmas gifts: a turnip doll and a sleigh. He has no friends except for Miika the mouse. One day, a hunter came to their house and asked his father to join him and other men on a mission for the King. He was told that he will be rewarded well and they will be able to live a better life. So his father accepted the job and asked his sister, Aunt Carlotta, to take care of Nikolas during his absence. His father didn’t return according to what was planned so Nikolas started to worry. At the same time, Aunt Carlotta doesn’t treat him well and so he decided to run away with Miika and search for his father in the far North. And so begins his adventure.

This is my first read from Matt Haig and I loved his writing. I loved how he weaved a story about a young boy who despite being mistreated still finds a way to be kind and hopeful. A boy who discovers a new home and his destiny. I loved Nikolas’ character, very real and relatable, someone we know and recognize.

This is a book both children and adults can enjoy. It’s hilarious and at the same time very touching. Happy to recommend!

Merry Christmas, Homo sapiens!

Quotable Quotes:

“An impossibility is just a possibility you don’t understand yet.”

“To see something, you have to believe in it. Really believe it. That’s the first elf rule. You can’t see something you don’t believe in. Now try your hardest and see if you can see what you have been looking for.”

“To lose someone you love is the very worst thing in the world. It creates an invisible hole that you feel you are falling down and will never end. People you love make the world real and solid and when they suddenly go away forever, nothing feels solid any more.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.

~V.E. Schwab

WWW Wednesday 23-Dec-2020

Merry Christmas, Homo sapiens! I hope you are all enjoying the holidays though it is a bit different this year. May we not forget the true meaning of Christmas!

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

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

thegirlwhosavedChristmas

Up Next

Have you read any of these books? 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!

Happy Holidays!

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

mexicangothicMexican Gothic is a Gothic horror novel set in Mexico some time in the 1950s. Noemi was sent by her father to High Place after receiving a letter from her cousin, Catalina, claiming someone is trying to poison/kill her and that something evil lurks in her husband’s family home. Not long after arriving to High Place, Noemi learned that everything Catalina wrote in her letter were true.

This started interesting for me albeit more on the slow side that I almost lost my enthusiasm to read further but given the hype and all, I decided to finish it.

I think the plot was compelling but the delivery was a bit flat and dry. Don’t get me wrong, there were indeed creepy, icky and interesting moments but it lacks that little something that would’ve made it a great read. The idea was remarkable alright, however, the characters were boring and the pacing was really slow even though the last pages were action-packed, it just wasn’t enough.

There were many parts of the book that I think the author could have elaborated to make the story more interesting like Marta, the healer. I would have loved it more if there was a backstory for her, at least. Or the town itself. A little bit more of gossip or superstition would’ve added to the Mexican feeling of the book. Also, I would have preferred a solid and reliable friendship than a romance between Noemi and Francis. I was actually more into Francis dying but of course, that’s just me. Ha!

All in all, it was still a good read and I am still looking forward to read Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s other books.

Quotable Quotes:

“It was easy to kiss someone when it didn’t matter; it was more difficult when it might be meaningful.”

“The world might indeed be a cursed circle; the snake swallowed its tail and there could be no end, only an eternal ruination and endless devouring.”

“The future, she thought, could not be predicted, and the shape of things could not be divined. To think otherwise was absurd. But they were young that morning, and they could cling to hope. Hope that the world could be remade, kinder and sweeter.”

Rating: 3/5 stars

Quote of the Week

Time is a gift, given to you, given to give you the time you need, the time you need to have the time of your life.

~Norton Juster

WWW Wednesday 16-Dec-2020

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

Recently Finished

cilka'sjourney

After reading The Tattooist of Auschwitz earlier this year, I was really looking forward to this book, Cilka’s Journey. Cilka was the most interesting character in The Tattooist and so I was very interested in her story. I still didn’t quite like the writing and it felt somewhat unemotional, like in The Tattooist, which don’t really happen to me when reading books relating to the holocaust.

Currently Reading

I’m not enjoying The Ten Thousand Doors of January as much as I’ve anticipated where I’m now a quarter through with the book. Not sure if I’d still continue or just abandon it. Tsk.

I am enjoying Purple Hibiscus so far and I hope to enjoy it to the end. It’s my second read from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

All the Bad Apples is pretty intriguing. I really hope it keeps me intrigued to continue reading.

Up Next

My next reads are all Christmas-y. I really hope to read these three this month since I don’t really read Christmas-themed books.

Have you read any of these books? 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!

Outstanding Blogger Award

Hi there, Homo sapiens! I’m doing the Outstanding Blogger Award today! This is one of the several nominations from Carl, thank you, and I guess it’s high time to start doing them. 😉 Please do visit and follow Carl’s blog here if you haven’t yet.

Let’s get started, shall we?

Rules:

  1. Provide the link to the creator’s original award post. (very important: see why in step 5)
  2. Answer the questions provided.
  3. Create 7 unique questions.
  4. Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
  5. At the end of 2020, every blog that ping-backs the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

Carl’s Questions:

1. If you were given the power and the opportunity to rewrite 2020, how would you rewrite it?

There are several things I’d add and remove in my life if I were to write 2020. But in a bigger picture, I’d remove the pandemic and typhoons that caused trouble to many specially in the Philippines.

2. Which fictional subterranean world would you choose to be trapped in and why? It could be Murakami’s underworld, the Greek underworld, the labyrinth of Piranesi, or some other fictional world.

Middle Earth in The Lord of the Rings. Need I say more? 🙂

3. I have a varied and diverse taste in music. What song would you recommend for me?

Hmm… The Flame by Cheap Trick.

4. What is something you are looking forward to in 2021? It could be a movie, a book, or a specific event.

Coming home for vacation (or for good) after 12 years.

5. Who is your biggest role model and what made him/her your personal hero?

My queen mother. She’s just wow!

6. You just won the lottery, what are three things you are going to buy first?

  1. Apartment buildings for the homeless.
  2. Land.
  3. More lottery tickets perhaps.

7. Give five fictional characters you would want to travel the world with.

  1. Gandalf
  2. Anakin Skywalker
  3. Holden Caulfield
  4. Joker
  5. Cersei Lannister

Thanks again, Carl, for nominating me. It’s sure fun doing stuff like this. I hope to do the other ones. Haha!

The Nominees:

  1. Silver Button Books
  2. Keep It Alive
  3. One Book More
  4. Susan Loves Books
  5. Snoopy Doo’s Book Reviews
  6. Mani’s Book Corner
  7. Mariam Shittu
  8. What Cathy Read Next
  9. Lady Book Dragon
  10. NottsReader

My Questions:

  1. How did the Covid-19 affect your life?
  2. What one special thing would you like to do for the world?
  3. It’s almost the end of the year, what one thing do you want to accomplish before saying goodbye to 2020?
  4. What do you look most forward to in 2021?
  5. What is your favorite song of all time?
  6. What one book would you recommend to everyone?
  7. What one question would you like to ask me?

I would love to hear the answers from my nominees but just please do it if you want to. And to all those reading this, consider yourselves tagged, too.

Keep safe everyone!

Quote of the Week

Scars have the strange power to remind us that our past is real.

~Cormac McCarthy

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

adancewithdragonsA Dance with Dragons is so far the last published book in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire. The sixth book, The Winds of Winter, is set to be released in 2021. I hope George R.R. Martin has something far, far better than the TV series.

I enjoyed this fifth book in the series a lot more than the fourth one because this reconnects me to my favorite characters once again but it’s abomination all the same. I don’t know why I still enjoy this series after the author has killed almost all of my favorite and other likeable characters. Ha! But I have to say that I’m also starting to like those characters whom I used to loathe before.

As I have said, I enjoyed this book but well, as usual, it’s too long and it was a bit slow-paced. It took a lot of meandering subplots but maybe GRRM needs to do that to prepare us for the next events in the series or probably for the ending. Just like the other books, it was written from different POVs and it annoys me every time it ends with a cliffhanger and moves on to another. Oh, George! However, the voice of the characters this time are way stronger than the previous books. The character development of some characters were quite notable, too. Jaime Lannister is strongly gaining my favor/admiration as he was the most changed character here, or, shall I say most misunderstood?

So, I have finished the first five books in the series. Still, the future of the seven kingdoms is uncertain. There’s Daenerys with her dragons in the east. Jon Snow in the North guarding the wall against the enemies beyond it. There are threats on every side of the seven kingdoms. Who will stop the wars? Who will stop the chaos? Who will rule the seven kingdoms? Will there be anyone left to rule at all?

I’m sad that I’m caught up for now and I don’t know for how much longer but well, I’ve got this far, right? I guess, the wait begins.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

“A man might befriend a wolf, even break a wolf, but no man could truly tame a wolf.”

“Not all men were meant to dance with dragons.”

“Men live their lives trapped in an eternal present, between the mists of memory and the sea of shadow that is all we know of the days to come.”

“Men’s lives have meaning, not their deaths.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

A Six-Word Story

Love yourself for everything you are.

WWW Wednesday 09-Dec-2020

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

Recently Finished

Currently Reading

Up Next

Have you read any of these books? 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!

Quote of the Week

Assumptions are the termites of relationships.

~Henry Winkler

What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

whatthewindknowsWhat the Wind Knows is a perfect book to explain why I love reading. It’s always nice reading about parts of history I know very little or nothing about and with this book, I’ve learned a lot about Irish history. Add to that a stunning love story!

Going into this book blind, it came as a surprise that this is a historical fiction/romance having two narrators which made the events a lot more interesting and clearer given the two perspectives from the two main characters. Moreover, the history of Ireland woven into an unexpected and remarkable time travel.

Anne Gallagher, our main character, was raised by her grandfather, Eion, who taught her almost everything about the world except for one thing — where they came from. Eoin’s dying wish was for his ashes to be spread in Lough Gill where he himself was born and raised. Devastated and heartbroken for her grandfather’s death, Anne packed her things and flew to Ireland. She made several inquiries and soon found herself alone in a boat in Lough Gill and was swallowed by a thick fog, clueless which way to row. Moments later, a bigger boat came to sight with three men aboard and one of the men shot her and she fell in the water. She soon blacked out and the next thing she knows, a man she didn’t recognize was calling her name.

I know almost nothing about Ireland’s history and their fight for freedom back in the 1920s and this book was very informative and inspiring. It also gave me a chance to get close and get a glimpse of the people who lead Ireland to their freedom from England. Michael Collins seemed so real. In fact, the characters all seemed to come to life and I loved them. They were all captivating. I adored them all. Specially Thomas! I love this guy!

I was so delighted with Anne and Thomas’ love story and I loved that the author gave us both their perspectives on the same events. I’m not normally into time travel reads but this just works so perfectly for me.

This is my first book from Amy Harmon and this was quite an introduction to her works. She is a wonderful storyteller and she just became one of my favorite authors already. I can’t wait to read and explore more of her books.

I loved this book so much — history, romance and time travel all in one! I must say, this is one of the best love stories I have ever read. The many years of waiting, the heartbreak, oh, it’s all so worth the time reading this gem. This easily goes to my top favorites this year and in my heart for a long time. Great book! Highly recommended!

Quotable Quotes:

“But the wind and water know all the earth’s secrets. They’ve seen and heard all that has ever been said or done. And if you listen, they will tell you all the stories and sing every song. The stories of everyone who has ever lived. Millions and millions of lives. Millions and millions of stories.”

“We turn memories into stories, and if we don’t, we lose them. If the stories are gone, then the people are gone too.”

“If you can’t say them, write them. They last longer that way.”

“Tragedy makes for great stories, but I’d much rather your story–the one you live, not the ones you write–be filled with joy. Don’t revel in tragedy… Rejoice in love. And once you find it, don’t let it go.”

“Someone very wise told me that we keep the people we love in our hearts. We never lose them as long as we remember how it felt to be loved by them.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 02-Dec-2020

Whoa! It’s December already! Christmas is just around the corner and I so hope to have a very merry Christmas this year as this might just be my last one here.

Anyhow, same as last week, it was a slow reading week again. Let’s get started, shall we?

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

Recently Finished

transcendentkingdom

Transcendent Kingdom started really slow for my taste that I almost abandoned it but I’m glad I didn’t. It was an interesting read that tackled mental illness, addiction and the forever argument between faith and science. 4-stars.

Currently Reading

inordertolive

I have just started with my current read, In Order to Live, and I have really high hopes with this book. I don’t get to read non-fiction/memoir very often so I’m excited with this one.

Up Next

I’ve been putting off The Ten Thousand Doors of January for quite some time now so hopefully, I’d read it next alongside The Book of Lost Names.

Have you read any of these books? 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!