Quote of the Week

Failure is the condiment that gives success its flavor.

~Truman Capote

The Push by Ashley Audrain

thepushThe Push centers on Blythe Connor, the narrator, as she recounts to her husband the events that broke their marriage and their family. The book also jumps to the past to show Blythe’s difficult childhood which helps us realize how much impact it had on her. She grew up not knowing the warmth of a mother’s love. Every now and then, we get flashbacks of her mother and grandmother, both suffering from mental illness and trauma.

When she first got pregnant, she was afraid at first but she vowed to become a better mother to her child and to not be like her mother/grandmother to her. However, she struggled to connect with her daughter, Violet. As she grows up, their relationship turned from bad to worse. Several incidents happened and she started to question herself whether all these are just inside her head. She was later convinced that there is something wrong with her daughter, something evil. Sadly, her husband didn’t believe her.

She later on got pregnant with her second child, Sam, where she finally felt the connection between mother and child. She was happy and content as a mother. However, she continued to struggle with Violet and she fears for Sam’s safety with Violet around.

This was a short, easy and interesting book which showed the darker side of motherhood. I was hooked from page one and I would’ve finished it in one sitting if not for work that needs to be done urgently. I loved the short, snappy chapters which helped make the story flow well and easy to read but will leave you feeling too much emotion as you read. Gripping and suspenseful.

Quotable Quotes:

“Marriages can float apart. Sometimes we don’t notice how far we’ve gone until all of a sudden, the water meets the horizon and it feels like we’ll never make it back.”

“A mother’s heart breaks a million ways in her lifetime.”

“We could have counted our problems on the petals of the daisy in my bouquet, but it wouldn’t be long before we were lost in a field of them.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 24-Feb-2021

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

img_1384-0

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

salttothesea

Reading 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!

Top 5 Tuesday – Authors I Want to Try

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! It’s time for the last Top 5 Tuesday of February!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Authors I Want to Try

Toni Morrison

tonimorrison

Salman Rushdie

salmanrushdie

Joe Hill

joehill

Kristin Hannah

kristinhannah

Ta-Nehisi Coates

tanehisicoates

Have you read any from these authors books? Which ones did you like? Any recommendations? And how about you? Who are some authors you haven’t read any book from yet? I’d be delightful to know so feel free to share.

Happy Tuesday!

Quote of the Week

Life consists of two days, one for you one against you. So when it’s for you don’t be proud or reckless, and when it’s against you be patient, for both days are test for you.

~Hazrat Ali Ibn Abu-Talib A.S

Any Human Heart by William Boyd

If you’ve never read a William Boyd novel, this is a good one to start with.

anyhumanheart

Any Human Heart is a fictionalized journal of a fictional character, Logan Mountstuart. It is a story of a life well-lived and a journey deep into a very human heart. The book is easy to read, the chapters weren’t too long, it is powerful, realistic and a beautiful story.  Logan is generous, smart, naïve and selfish which makes him so real and interesting. And like any human journeys, his life has its own ups and downs, accidents, coincidences, tragedies and triumphs.

Aging is also addressed in this book in which there are moments where it is absolutely depressing, you see Logan at his worst. But there are also moments where you’ll see how aging made him wiser. He was never envious of youth.

William Boyd was able to make it like everything is true and that it is indeed from a dead man’s journal. I don’t know if others will agree but this is such an amazing novel where it’s hard to believe that Logan Mountstuart never existed.

And in the end, we get to ask ourselves, “What defines success?” “What is a life well-lived?” Logan reassures us that, “Every life is both ordinary and extraordinary – it is the respective proportion of those two categories that make that life appear interesting or humdrum.”

Quotable Quotes:

“I have to start my real life soon, before I die of boredom and frustration.”

“It’s true: lives do drift apart for no obvious reason. We’re all busy people,we can’t spend our time simply trying to stay in touch. The test of a friendship is if it can weather these inevitable gaps.”

“I felt shocked and then saddened. life does this to you sometimes – leads you up a path and then drops you in the shit, to mix a metaphor.”

Rating : 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 17-Feb-2021

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

img_1384-0

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

thesunalsorises

Reading 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

Better never means better for everyone… It always means worse, for some.

~Margaret Atwood

Have You Seen Luis Velez? by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Have You Seen Luis Velez? is my first book from Catherine Ryan Hyde. I don’t remember how I first came across this book and I’m very happy I did.

haveyouseenluisvelez

We meet Raymond, a sixteen-year-old high school student. He feels like he doesn’t belong anywhere. Not in his father’s home with his new wife. Not in his mother’s new family. Not even in school. When his best friend moved away, his only friends were a stray cat and a ninety-two year old blind woman whom he met when she inquired if he happened to see Luis Velez.

Have You Seen Luis Velez? is a wonderful story of life, friendship, loss, acceptance and kindness. I very much loved the idea of the connection created between two unlikely people who found common ground, the friendship formed beyond their differences. It was nice to see the mutual respect and love for each other. It’s endearing to read how they learn from each other, help each other find peace of mind, peace for their past, accept life and face the challenges and possibilities ahead.

Raymond’s search for Luis Velez gave him an opportunity to meet people of all sorts and helped him be aware of a wider world, the real world. Raymond is a character you can’t help but love. He’s endearing and I admire his compassion. He also starved for affection. That’s why I felt so happy when he became friends with Millie, the ninety-two year old woman, because he finally had someone to confide to.

The simplicity of this book makes it so powerful. It deals with the issues our society is facing these days — racism, prejudice, sexuality, gun violence and the importance of a society that support each other.

If you want to read something to uplift your spirit and help you reflect on life or the role you play in it, this is a great read. It’s actually a story for everyone. 

Quotable Quotes:

“People laugh at things they don’t understand. It makes them feel safe. But it’s a false feeling. They are no safer. They just feel as if they are. The world is full of people too foolish to judge the difference.”

“Life gives us nothing outright. It only lends. Nothing is ours to keep.”

“Living long is a gift denied to many, and so it comes with a responsibility to make the most of it. At very least to appreciate it. People gripe about growing older—their aches and pains, how much harder everything is—as if they had forgotten that the alternative is dying young.”

“The world is a tough place, my friend. I’m not ready to change my mind about that. And yet we’re called upon to be grateful that we’re in it. That seems to be our challenge.”

“Never be afraid to look, Raymond. It’s always better to look. Whatever you’re afraid of, turn toward it, not away. Once you’re willing to do that, it loses all its power over you. Trust me. I know this. I don’t always do it. But I really, truly know.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 10-Feb-2021

Welcome to this week’s WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

img_1384-0

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

shuggiebain

Next Reads

At the moment, I haven’t decided yet what to read next. Actually, I might take a break from reading, maybe for a week or two. Why? I dunno. I just feel I have to but we’ll see.

Anyways, happy reading and keep safe, Homo sapiens!

Top 5 Tuesday – Series I Want to Start

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! It’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

Series I Want to Start

I’m not very fond of series. I’m a bit dismissive about it. Why? First and foremost, I’m impatient. Second, I hate too much or too little backstories. Third, I, well, forget several details from the previous books. This is why I have only read a very few series like A Song of Ice & Fire and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (does that count?).

However, this year, I hope to at least start with one of the the following series:

1. Earth’s Children by Jean M. Auel

2. Time Quintet by Madeleine L’engle

3. War of the Roses by Conn Iggulden

4. The Sea of Fertility by Yukio Mishima

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Have you read any of these series? What do you think about them? Or any recommendations? What series do you want to start this year? I’d be glad to know.

Happy reading!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

The-Seven-Husbands-of-Evelyn-HugoI was intrigued when I first saw this book and I read it without any other information except that it’s about Evelyn Hugo, a Hollywood star, married seven times. But after reading it, there was so much more about Evelyn Hugo.

The author introduces to us the aging Evelyn Hugo who is now finally ready to tell the truth about her life, if and only if, the unknown reporter named Monique from Vivant will write her story. Everyone was baffled, why Monique? Why tell her story just now?

Evelyn and Monique soon started working with her story. Evelyn started from nothing but clawed her way to the top of Hollywood along with her seven marriages. As she tells her story, each of the marriages were discussed where we gradually understand Evelyn more. I think she is one of the most iconic characters I have read about. Sometimes I forget she’s fictional. Her story shows the struggle of women way back in the 1950s-1960s though they seem to appear like they’re the ones calling the shots. How sexual preferences wasn’t as open as it is now, how some are looked down upon. It also tells about how it was like then for a woman from a mixed race living in a white woman’s world. Layers upon layers of information were revealed in every chapter, it’s just incredible. Moreover, Monique’s story was a great addition in between Evelyn’s Hollywood drama.

This is my first read from Taylor Jenkins Reid. I wanted to read Daisy Jones and The Six last year but still haven’t gotten into it yet but now that I’ve had my first Reid experience, I am surely going to read it soon. Her writing is beautiful, I liked it a lot. She truly gave life to Evelyn Hugo’s character. She’s actually very good in characterization. All the other characters were also notable.

Read this if you haven’t yet.

Quotable Quotes:

“I’m under absolutely no obligation to make sense to you.”

“Never let anyone make you feel ordinary.”

“Don’t ignore half of me so you can fit me into a box. Don’t do that.”

“Sometimes reality comes crashing down on you. Other times reality simply waits, patiently, for you to run out of the energy it takes to deny it.”

“People think that intimacy is about sex. But intimacy is about truth. When you realize you can tell someone your truth, when you can show yourself to them, when you stand in front of them bare and their response is ‘you’re safe with me’- that’s intimacy.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

Quote of the Week

I keep telling you the future isn’t set in stone. It’s not all decided yet. The future is just what’s down the road we decided to walk on today. You can change roads anytime. And that changes where you end up.

~Catherine Ryan Hyde

WWW Wednesday 03-Feb-2021

Welcome to this month’s first WWW Wednesday hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words.

As usual, I wasn’t able to read according to what I’ve planned and it was somehow a slow reading week. Anyhow, let’s get started, shall we?

img_1384-0

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

numberthestars

Number the Stars was a quick read, I’ve finished it in one sitting. 4-stars.

Currently Reading

I’ve made very little progress with Shuggie Bain and The Thing Around Your Neck. Hopefully, I’ll have more time to read during the rest of the week.

Reading Next

Last week, I’ve included The Song of Achilles for my next read, however, I’ve decided to read it sometime in the middle of the year. So I hope I can start with The Memory Police and The Push this weekend.

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!

January 2021 Reading Wrap-Up

So… we made it through the first month of 2021! That was fast!

I had a good reading month and I am delighted to share that I finished 8 books in January.

5-Stars

4-Stars

theotherhalfofaugustahope

3-Stars

themidnightlibrary

2-Stars

earthlings

How was your January? Did you read any good ones? Any new favorites? I’d be delighted to know so feel free to share!

Top 5 Tuesday – Books I Meant to Read in 2020

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! It’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday!

Top 5 Tuesday was originally hosted by Shanah at Bionic Bookworm and now found its home with Meeghan at Meeghan Reads.

I’ve had several books I meant to read in 2020 but somehow didn’t get the chance to get to them yet. Hopefully, I can read them all this year. In the meantime, here are five of them:

Books I Meant to Read in 2020

How about you? What books did you mean to read in 2020 but still hadn’t gotten into? Feel free to share in the comments section or drop a link of your post so I can read them all!

Happy reading!