In Order to Live by Yeon-Mi Park

inordertolive

I have always been curious about North Korea, its people, their way of living, the autocratic Kim regime. I have read a few books/articles and it just increased my curiosity all the more. I am currently working in a South Korean company for almost 10 years now since I came here but North Korea is a very rare topic discussed among my colleagues.

In Order to Live is the memoir of Yeonmi Park as she and her mother escape North Korea in search of a better life. She tells of her family’s story as a child, the kind of life they lead, as well as the dictatorship in North Korea.

The book is divided into three parts: her life in North Korea, then in China and finally in South Korea.

Yeon-Mi mentioned the time after Russia and China put an end to their support for NK which greatly affected NK’s economy. Her father soon found himself selling whatever smuggled items he has in the black market. She also mentioned about songbun, the class groupings enforced by the NK government. Ms. Park’s paternal family used to belong to the “core” class, the highest class grouping, until one of her uncles was accused of raping a student where he was teaching. Since then, all related families were declassed to the lowest songbun.

About halfway through the book, their family’s focus was on China. As the days passed, it has became apparent that there is no future for their family in NK. It wasn’t easy to find a smuggler who will bring them to the NK-China border but as soon they found one, Ms. Park’s sister left first with her friend but gone missing. Ms. Park and her mother followed next leaving her father behind in hopes to find her sister and come back for her father after. Unfortunately, China, as they came to know, was a horrible place, too. They ended up in the nastiness of human trafficking, her mother was even raped in front of her.

Ms. Park and her mother eventually left China through Mongolia with the help of Christian missionaries. The rest of the book talked about the NIS and the Hanawon screening processes and how she and her mother adjusted to life in South Korea.

The writing wasn’t particularly beautiful but that’s okay. Let it not stop you from reading Ms. Park’s story. I encourage you to read this remarkable book and educate yourself through this eye-opening, although shattering, important story.

Quotable Quotes:

“We all have our own deserts. They may not be the same as my desert, but we all have to cross them to find a purpose in life and be free.”

“It amazed me how quickly a lie loses its power in the face of truth.”

“I inhaled books like other people breathe oxygen. I didn’t just read for knowledge or pleasure, I read to live.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Daré

thegirlwiththeloudingvoiceThe Girl with the Louding Voice is Abi Dare’s debut novel and wow, what an amazing debut!

This is Adunni’s story, a fourteen-year-old girl from the small village of Ikati in Nigeria who wants a proper education and a louding voice. She lives with her alcoholic father and two brothers. Her mother was the breadwinner of the family and wished for Adunni to be able to attend and finish school but she soon passed away. At the wake  of her mother’s death, her father married her off to a rich man named Morufu to be his third wife in order to collect the bride-price. A series of events occurred while she was married to Morufu and soon a tragedy, which forced her to flee. She then found herself in Big Madam’s mansion in Lagos working without pay and beaten everyday.

Adunni is one unforgettable character. She is one of the many girls around the world who didn’t have the privilege to study and learn. She is one of the many child brides. Abi Daré incredibly gave life to Adunni’s voice. Adunni speaks broken English as the story started and I liked that the author wrote it this way and showed us how Adunni’s English progressively changed throughout the book. She eventually developed her English as she begins to study in secret.  Adunni later realized in the story that English is just a language like many others and that the ability to speak good English is not the measure of an intelligent mind.

I enjoyed this book so much. There were many parts in the story that were truly sad but I loved her character so much because although she faced a lot of trials and hardships, she refused to give up, she never once lost faith. She was always positive and hopeful that someday, she will be that girl with the louding voice.

Quotable Quotes:

“You must do good for other peoples, even if you are not well, even if the whole world around you is not well.”

“That day, I tell myself that even if I am not getting anything in this life, I will go to school. I will finish my primary and secondary and university schooling and become teacher because I don’t just want to be having any kind voice… I want a louding voice.”

“I want to tell her that God is not a cement building of stones and sand. That God is not for all that putting inside a house and locking Him there. I want her to know that the only way to know if a person find God and keep Him in their heart is to check how the person is treating other people, if he treats people like Jesus says–with love, patience, kindness, and forgiveness.”

“Who knows what else tomorrow will bring? So, I nod my head yes, because it is true, the future is always working, always busy unfolding better things, and even if it doesn’t seem so sometimes, we have hope of it.”

“When you get up every day, I want you to remind yourself that tomorrow will be better than today. That you are a person of value. That you are important.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 13-Jan-2021

Welcome to this week’s 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

themountainssing

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!

Earthlings by Sayaka Murata

earthlingsWTF was that? What did I just finish reading? While I’m already accustomed to the strangeness or peculiarity or otherness of Japanese novels, Earthlings left me confused, uncertain, vexed? The blurb was misleading because this book is dark.

Earthlings is the story of Natsuki who we meet as a child and thinks she is not from planet Earth. She struggles to fit it and she only has her cousin, Yuu, who understands her, who also thinks he himself is an alien. Natsuki was a victim of child abuse. She was punished when caught she slept with her cousin, Yuu. Fast forward to when Natsuki was now an adult, she married Tomoya, whom she met online, who was not interested in sex and romance. He just wanted to marry to stop his family from pressuring him to do so. Soon enough, they convinced themselves that they were both aliens and that humans were all brain-washed by the “society.”

This is a book where you can find every trigger you can ask for. From murder to mental illness to cannibalism, abuse (child, physical, mental, sexual), sibling rivalry, trauma, societal pressures, etc.

I’m not sure what to say as the book ended. I felt the book kind of lost the plot and just turned into madness. Maybe I should reread the book to make more sense of it as a whole? NO. This is a weird book. Haunting, Unnerving. It’s dark, tragic. Some find it funny but no, it’s not. It’s challenging to rate this novel because I was engrossed but I was also not really enjoying it. I didn’t really dislike this book, I liked the first part but as the weirdness grew, the enjoyment was lost.

Quotable Quotes:

“Survive, whatever it takes.”

“What I’m really scared of is believing the words society makes me speak are my own.”

Family is hard work,” I thought.”

Would I ever be able to live without constantly trying to survive?”

He’s my partner, but that doesn’t mean we’re friends.”

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 06-Jan-2021

Happy new year, Homo sapiens! Welcome to our first WWW Wednesday of 2021 hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words. I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and I hope the new year started well with everyone!

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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

themountainssing

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!

 

Top 5 Tuesday – Bookish Resolutions

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens! Today is the first Top 5 Tuesday of 2021 and I’m excited to do this again after a very long while!

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

Top 5 Bookish Resolutions

1. Read more genre I don’t normally read

I hope to read more outside my comfort zone and discover something new as much as I can. I intend to read more non-fiction and maybe poetry.

2. Read the books I already own

I have this (really bad, well that depends on your point of view) habit of buying several books at once and not read them right away so it all piles up. So I hope to focus on these books I already own this year.

3. Read a book I’ve always meaning to read

Now I have a lot on my list of books I’ve been wanting to read for a long, long time. I should get started soon!

4. Read and review

I don’t really write the grandest of book reviews but writing a little something as soon as I finish a book and not wait for weeks or days is something I want to focus on.

5. Read more classics

I wasn’t able to read as much classics as I intended to last year so maybe this year would be a good chance.

How about you? What are your bookish resolutions this year? Feel free to share in the comments section or drop a link of your post so I can read them all!

Happy reading!

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

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

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!

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

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!

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!

WWW Wednesday 25-Nov-2020

It’s the last Wednesday of November and the cold season is here! Work has been keeping me busy the past couple of weeks but thankfully, I’ve had some reading done.

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

What the Wind Knows will have a special place in my heart! It was a very beautiful story and one of my best reads this year. 5 stars!

With the Beatles is a short story from my favorite author, Murakami. It’s a  beautiful and quietly sad story. 3.5 stars.

The Year of the Witching started off quite well for me but I didn’t like the last quarter of the book that much, I think I was expecting something more and something else but still a good read. 3.5 stars.

Currently Reading

transcendentkingdom

I’ve started reading Transcendent Kingdom and I find the pace too slow for my taste. I think I need some patience if I want to get through this book.

Up Next

I’m eyeing these two books at the moment but we’ll see what happens 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!

The Book of Night Women by Marlon James

thebookofnightwomenThe Book of Night Women is the story of a green-eyed girl named Lilith born in a Jamaican sugar plantation sometime in the 18th century where colonies are in transformation and maybe the worst time for slaves suffering from British cruelty.

To be quite honest, this book was hard to read. The dialect made it quite difficult to get through, I had to reread so many passages in order to understand but it was part of the story itself so it was worth all the reread and focus specially in the first 100 or so pages. Next, this book is so brutally honest, raw, real, compelling. The violence and inhumanity the slaves had to endure may it more difficult to read. It hurts to read about the brutality, cruelty and other horrifying things the slaves suffered from during those times.

I must admit, this book was slow but there was a moment where I got hooked and didn’t slow down anymore from there. It is a gripping story. Very informative, educational and thought-provoking read. It was beautifully written and my first from Marlon James. And I’m planning on reading another.

Quotable Quotes:

“Hate and love be closer cousin than like and dislike.”

“Bad feeling is a country no woman want to visit. So they take good feeling any which way it come. Sometime that good feeling come by taking on a different kind of bad feeling.”

“Make me tell you something else about reading. You see this? Every time you open this you get free. Freeness up in here and nobody even have to know you get free but you.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 11-Nov-2020

It’s Wednesday once again, how time flies! I had very little time to read this past week, well, you know, sometimes life just interferes with my reading. 😉

Anyhow, 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

mydarkvanessa

I didn’t like My Dark Vanessa as much as I was expecting to like it given the reviews I’ve read before I started reading this book. I don’t normally read reviews before reading a book but I’ve been seeing this on my feeds for some time and saw many 5-star reviews. I don’t know. It does have a lot of very important things to tell us, it’s definitely not the content that I’m having issues with, that’s for sure. Maybe I didn’t like the way it was written and because I find it unnecessarily long.

Currently Reading

whatthewindknows

I’ve read more than half of What the Wind Knows and it is a beautiful story so I hope to finish it this week. 

Up Next

I don’t always get to follow my scheduled books to read next but I’m in the mood to start with these three.

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!

WWW Wednesday 04-Nov-2020

Hello, Homo sapiens! 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!

Kokoro by Natsume Sōseki

kokoroI don’t quite remember how I first got across this book but as many of you know, I have a soft spot for Japanese literature and I haven’t read any from Natsume Sōseki so of course, I shouldn’t pass on this.

Kokoro is a Japanese classic about betrayal, self-isolation, guilt, bitterness and loneliness. It tells the story of the narrator, Soseki, a university student drawn to a far older man whom he calls Sensei and Japan’s transition from the Meiji society to the modern era. Sensei is a lonely man and visits someone’s grave every month. After graduation, Soseki had to go home and look after his ailing father who hopes that his son finds a good job with the help of Sensei. However, when his father’s condition worsened, he received a letter from Sensei which made him leave his father despite his condition. The letter reveals Sensei’s past and his decision to end his life.

Kokoro is not a book everyone will like but if you enjoy reading stories that dig deep into the characters’ lives and with very little action, not to mention slow-paced, but intense, I would gladly recommend this book. 

Quotable Quotes:

“No matter how full one’s head might be with the image of greatness, one was useless, I found out, unless one was a worthy man first.”

“The truth is, the only things I would have thought worth saying at the time are those things which I shall say here, and it was then too soon for me to write such a letter.”

“I believe that words uttered in passion contain a greater living truth than do those words which express thoughts rationally conceived. It is blood that moves the body. Words are not meant to stir the air only: they are capable of moving greater things.”

“I do not want your admiration now, because I do not want your insults in the future. I bear with my loneliness now, in order to avoid greater loneliness in the years ahead. You see, loneliness is the price we have to pay for being born in this modern age, so full of freedom, independence, and our own egotistical selves.”

“It is not you in particular that I distrust, but the whole of humanity.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 28-Oct-2020

Hi there, Homo sapiens! 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

As I have mentioned last week, I find The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue a bit slow for my taste but I must say, I’m glad I didn’t abandon it. I enjoyed the last third of the book so much so I’m giving it 4-stars. I also read Pigeons from Hell, a short story and it was a good one, too, so another 4-star read.

Currently Reading

Both What the Wind Knows and The Turn of the Key are interesting reads, so far, so I hope to enjoy it to the end. I thought I could finish them quite quickly but there’s just too much work to be done these days so I have less time for my reading.

Up Next

I hope to start with The Ten Thousand Doors of January soon which I have been wanting to read for some time now. The Year of the Witching was a recommendation, while Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 was an unexpected find.

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!

The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory

theconstantprincessThis is my first book from Philippa Gregory. I have been wanting to read her books as I’m very much interested with the life and history of the royals and this was really a good start.

The Constant Princess is the story of Catalina of Aragon, the Infanta of Spain, daughter of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand of Spain, raised to become the Princess of Wales and future Queen of England. She and Arthur, the Prince of Wales, married at a very young age but they truly loved each other. It was just very unfortunate that Arthur died just merely five months of marriage because of “sweating sickness.”

Catalina was then left with nothing and ignored by Arthur’s family but she stayed strong and tough and determined to take control of her life and soon married Arthur’s brother, Tudor King Henry VIII. Catalina prepared herself to become the queen of England all her life but found herself unprepared for the physical and emotional aspects her new life requires of her.

I personally found this book very interesting because I like and admire Katharine most among the wives/women of King Henry VIII. I admire how she was able to manipulate Henry in their early years of marriage as to how and what she thinks is best for England. All through her years of trials and hardships, it is indeed commendable how she remained constant with her desire to make England a better and stronger country and how constant she remained faithful to God.

This is a very good read where history comes alive.

Quotable Quotes:

“You have to have faith that you are doing God’s will. Sometimes you will not understand. Sometimes you will doubt. But if you are doing God’s will, you can’t be wrong, you can’t go wrong.”

“He may well speak French and Latin and half a dozen languages, but since he has nothing to say – what good are they?”

“Words have weight, something once said cannot be unsaid. Meaning is like a stone dropped into a pool; the ripples will spread and you cannot know what back they wash against.”

“God does not make the way smooth for those He loves. He sends hardships to try them. Those that God loves the best are those who suffer the worst.”

“Then life taught me a harder lesson, beloved: it is better to forgive an enemy than destroy him.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 21-Oct-2020

Hi there, Homo sapiens! 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

The Deal of a Lifetime was a really quick read but moving in many ways, 4-stars.

Sadly, I didn’t find The Makioka Sisters as engrossing as I hoped it to be but I’m still giving it 3.5 stars.

And 3-stars for My Cousin Rachel. I think I was expecting more from it because I very much enjoyed Rebecca but still, I consider it a good read.

Currently Reading

theinvisiblelifeofaddielarue

I have read 30% or so of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and I’m finding it a bit slow-paced for my taste and I’m starting to lose interest but I’ll try to continue with a few more chapters and see whether I’ll read through the end or abandon it instead. 

Up Next

What the Wind Knows piqued my interest by the title itself so I didn’t have second thoughts getting a copy while The Ten Thousand Doors of January has been on my TBR for months so I hope to start with it as well. The Turn of the Key was a recommendation from a good friend so I hope to get to it this month.

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!

This is Going to Hurt by Adam Kay

thisisgoingtohurtThis is Going to Hurt is not the type of book I’d pick up in a bookstore even if it’s on sale. A non-fiction book written by an ex-doctor about things that happen in the medical field? It’s a no-no. But when a friend recommends a book to me, I am always inclined to check it out and I was pleasantly surprised with this one.

This was a funny, witty, entertaining, highly informative, humane and heartbreaking read. Adam Kay shared first-hand account of what pressures doctors face at work every single day as they  struggle to maintain healthy and happy lives with their families and friends.

I get to laugh out loud as I read about the author’s silly/ridiculous stories and wonder what on earth these patients were thinking? Until he revealed the episode in the final chapter why he decided to hang up the stethoscope in the end.

If you are curious about what it’s like to be starting a career as a doctor and how they progress in the public healthcare system, this book will not disappoint.

Quotable Quotes:

“It’s sink or swim and you have to learn how to swim because otherwise a ton of patients sink with you.”

“A great doctor must have a huge heart and a distended aorta through which pumps a vast lake of compassion and human kindness.”

“You work yourself to Exhaustion, pushing yourself beyond what could be reasonably expected from you and end up constantly feeling that you don’t know what you’re doing. Sometimes it just feels that way and you’re actually doing fine and sometimes you really don’t know.”

“From the most insignificant of actions can come the most serious of consequences.”

“The depth of the lows is the price you pay for the height of the highs.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 14-Oct-2020

Hi there, Homo sapiens! 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

All three books I’ve finished were firsts for me from these authors.

I’m giving Apeirogon 4-stars, a great blend of fact and fiction.

While I’m giving 3.5 stars for both The Death of Vivek Oji and Mexican Gothic.

Currently Reading

I’m halfway through The Makioka Sisters and I hope to finish it before the weekend.

I’ve also started reading The Deal of a Lifetime from one of my favorite authors, Fredrik Backman.

Up Next

These three books I hope to read next were recommendations from fellow readers so I am really enthusiastic getting my hands on these ones.

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!

The Street of Crocodiles by Bruno Schulz

thestreetofcrocodilesI have never heard of Bruno Schulz until I came across this book while browsing the internet during my lunch break. Schulz, as I came to know, was a Polish-Jewish writer and some of his works were lost during the Holocaust. He was killed by a German Nazi in 1942.

The Street of Crocodiles is a collection of short stories centered on Schulz childhood. Stories pre-World War 2 in Poland. It was a fun and at the same time strange read. There were times I found it hard to understand what exactly was going on but it didn’t matter. This is definitely on my list of books to reread.

This is a unique book, as unique as Schulz prose and writing style. Some themes hidden through these stories are finding one’s own purpose, lust and love. I may not be smart enough to understand everything he wrote in this tiny jewel, but it was definitely worth my time and worth reading again.

Quotable Quotes:

“Reality is as thin as paper, and betrays with all its cracks its imitative character.”

“It is strange how interiors reflect their dark turbulent past, how in their stillness bygone history tries to be reenacted, how the same situations repeat themselves with infinite variations, turned upside down and inside out by fruitless dialectic of wallpapers and hangings”

“The days hardened with cold and boredom like last year’s loaves of bread. One began to cut them with blunt knives without appetite, with a lazy indifference.

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 07-Oct-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!

White Fang by Jack London

whitefang

My first Jack London read was The Call of the Wild and I absolutely enjoyed it so I didn’t have second thoughts reading another of his works and this time, White Fang.

White Fang is a story of an extra ordinary wolf, a well-developed character for a wolf. We follow his adventures as he makes friends and enemies along the way. It’s intriguing how a wolf deals with such horrible conditions in the wild like brutality, abuse and famine to name a few.

The story started somewhat slow, it took some time before getting into the exciting parts of the story but the author is definitely skilled to keep you reading and convincingly get you into a wolf’s point of view. The story eventually became thrilling, suspenseful and enjoyable. I’m glad it had a happy ending.

Quotable Quotes:

“He was a silent fury who no torment could tame.”

“Fear urged him to go back, but growth drove him on.”

“The Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept.”

“He had no conscious knowledge of death, but like every animal of the Wild, he possessed the instinct of death. To him it stood as the greatest of hurts. It was the very essence of the unknown; it was the sum of the terrors of the unknown, the one culminating and unthinkable catastrophe that could happen to him, about which he knew nothing and about which he feared everything.”

“But the Wild is the Wild, and motherhood is motherhood, at all times fiercely protective whether in the Wild or out of it.

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 30-Sep-2020

Hello there, Homo sapiens! It has been quite a while since I did this. The past weeks has been totally busy not to mention moving our office for the third time in four years. Thankfully, I was able to squeeze in some reading in between.

Anyway… 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?

Let’s get started, shall we?

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!

The Woman in the Dunes by Kobo Abe

thewomaninthedunes

The Woman in the Dunes tells the tale about a young, amateur entomologist and teacher who took a trip to the seashores in the countryside in search of a kind of beetle he believed can be found in the sand dunes. He was unknowingly deceived by the villagers where he was lead down through a ladder to a house in very deep pits dug in the sand dunes. Soon enough, he found himself a prisoner in the house in the dunes of a young and lonely widow.

I actually thought this would be a quick read but how wrong was I? It turned out to be a very dense and also repetitive read for me. To be quite honest, it’s the kind that wears me down. Moreover, I am not very sure what to think of it. In theory, the plot was interesting, sure. But I felt like there were a lot of things going on that the author is trying to tell me but I couldn’t really quite get it? Also, it was difficult to like the characters. It was a tedious read. I felt like being trapped in the dunes like the man, I felt suffocated and thirsty. Perhaps that’s what the author exactly wants you to feel? I really don’t know.

The ending wasn’t quite satisfactory for me, too, but it left me question my place in the world and the impact I have to the people around me.

All in all, it wasn’t a bad read. This is my first Kobo Abe book so I probably just need to familiarize myself more of his works. I’ll find time to give this a second read and hopefully understand it better.

Quotable Quotes:

“One could not do without repetition in life, like the beating of the heart, but it was also true that the beating of the heart was not all there was to life.”

“Everyone has his own philosophy that doesn’t hold good for anybody else.”

“Only the happy ones return to contentment. Those who were sad return to despair.”

“I rather think the world is like sand. The fundamental nature of sand is very difficult to grasp when you think of it in its stationary state. Sand not only flows, but this very flow is the sand.”

“Loneliness was an unsatisfied thirst for illusion.”

Rating: 3/5 stars

Stay With Me by Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀

staywithmeYejide and Akin have been in love with each other since they first met in the university. After several years of being married though, Yejide has never gotten pregnant until one day, her in-laws brought a younger woman in their home and proposed that she be Akin’s second wife in order for them to have children. Yejide was pressured to get pregnant or else, she would have to share her husband with another woman.

Told in alternating views of Yejide and Akin, the book is a very honest story of love, marriage, grief and loyalty. The characters aren’t really very likable but they were written well.

It is also always very fascinating to learn more of cultures that are very different from my own and in this book Nigeria’s traditions and beliefs, more specifically the Yoruba people.

I liked Ayobami Adebayo’s writing. She has shown that her writing talent is very much beyond her years. For this, I’m adding her to my list of authors whose works I very much look forward to.

This is not a hopeful book I must say but something that will stay with me for a long time.

Quotable Quotes:

“If the burden is too much and stays too long, even love bends, cracks, comes close to breaking and sometimes does break. But when it’s in a thousand pieces around your feet, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer love.”

“So love is like a test, but in what sense? To what end? Who was carrying out the test? But I think I did believe that love had immense power to unearth all that was good in us, refine us and reveal to us the better versions of ourselves.”

“I understand how a word others use every day can become something whispered in the dark to soothe a wound that just won’t heal. I remember thinking I would never hear it spoken without unravelling a little, wondering if I would ever get to say it in the light. So I recognise the gift in this simple pronouncement, the promise of a beginning in this one word.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

thealicenetworkThe Alice Network is a fascinating historical-fiction novel about women spies headed by Louise de Bettignies. The story brings together two women — Eve, a spy in World War I, and Charlie St. Clair, an American socialite searching for her cousin who has gone missing in World War II. Both women were dealing with each world war and are connected by the past.

The story happened between 1915 and 1947 and touches different themes including revenge, forgiving one’s self and punishment. This is a great story about the world of female espionage during the first world war.

This is the first book I’ve read by Kate Quinn. She surely did a huge amount of research for this book. The storyline and timeline was quite convincing. The two storylines fit quite perfectly with each other. I liked that she gave voice to a part of history that deserves more attention.

Quotable Quotes:

“Hope was such a painful thing, far more painful than rage.”

“Poetry is like passion–it should not be merely pretty; it should overwhelm and bruise.”

“What did it matter if something scared you, when it simply had to be done?”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday

Hello there, Homo sapiens! 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

theunlikeypilgrimageofharoldfry

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!

Top Ten Tuesday – Books I Loved But Never Reviewed

Hello there! Happy Tuesday and welcome to this week’s 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 I Loved but Never Reviewed.

These 10 books are all in my favorites list but I can’t exactly remember anymore why I wasn’t able to write reviews of them but I intend to do it after rereading each of these books someday.

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

murderontheorientexpressMurder on the Orient Express is my first introduction to Hercule Poirot mystery from Agatha Christie. I’ve read almost all of the Miss Marple books but never a single one from Poirot.

Hercule Poirot is a Belgian detective on-board the Orient Express. An American guy was found dead on his compartment while the train was halted by a snow storm. Police can’t get in the train so Poirot took charge of the investigation.

Just like the Miss Marple books, this kept me guessing as the story progresses. And I wasn’t able to guess it right. Damn! Anyway, I liked that each character was given their own chapters and all of them were suspects. All of them were realistic, too.

This turned out to be a really great introduction of Hercules Poirot to me. It was a captivating read, smart and mysterious. Looking forward to my next Poirot mystery.

Quotable Quotes:

“If you confront anyone who has lied with the truth, he will usually admit it – often out of sheer surprise. It is only necessary to guess right to produce your effect.”

“But I know human nature, my friend, and I tell you that, suddenly confronted with the possibility of being tried for murder, the most innocent person will lose his head and do the most absurd things.”

“The impossible could not have happened, therefore the impossible must be possible in spite of appearances.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

WWW Wednesday 05-Aug-2020

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

After some six-week reading hiatus, I am so glad that I am back to my books and reading at last! I don’t know what happened but once in a while, it just happens. It’s good to have a break from reading but it’s far better to be back on track.

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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

nada

Currently Reading

I am almost halfway through The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and I find it a bit slow for my taste but I am enjoying the characters so that’s alright. As for Angela’s Ashes, it’s kinda sad and a bit funny at times. I really hope for a happy ending on this one.

Up Next

I have been wanting to read The Girl with the Louding Voice and The Dutch House for quite some time so I really hope to read them next. Also, a friend recommended We Need to Talk About Kevin since she recently finished it so, yeah, there it is on my list. 🙂

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!

Out by Natsuo Kirino

outOut is my first book from Kirino Natsuo. It has been on my TBR list for quite some time and so I am glad I finally got to it.

I was initially hooked by the storyline in the first few pages/chapters of this book. There are four women who work on the night shift in a boxed lunch factory. One of them is abused by the husband and one day she found out that he used up all their savings in drinking, gambling and chasing a girl in a club. She ended up killing him. She then asked one of her co-workers to help her dispose the body and the story goes on.

I felt a bit bored after this initial action. I wasn’t sure where the story was going and it seemed like the author herself was confused where the story was heading. There were parts that I didn’t feel were relevant to the central plot. The last part of the book though brought back my initial excitement when I started reading it. I didn’t quite like the ending though. I thought it would’ve ended some other way but that’s okay.

It’s a strange book but that’s not new to me anymore when it comes to works of Japanese authors.

Quotable Quotes:

“She couldn’t live her life as someone’s prisoner the way he had lived his, caught up in a dream of the past, with no way forward and no way back, forced to dig down inside oneself.”

“When stones lying warm in the sun were turned over, they exposed the cold, damp earth underneath; and that was where Masako had burrowed deep. There was no trace of warmth in this dark earth, yet for a bug curled up tight in it, it was a peaceful and familiar world.”

Rating: 3.5 stars

 

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

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Wayward Son is the sequel to one of my favorite reads, Carry On. It’s been several years ago since I’ve read it and I’m glad to finally get to this sequel a few months back.

As with Carry On, Wayward Son is written in multiple POVs. I liked the plot, sure, but I get more excited reading when it comes to Simon and Baz, of course. I love that I get to read more of their bantering because I’ve waited so long.

I was expecting this to give some closure or something to Carry On but it didn’t. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it. Probably this was just a transition book because there’s one more coming? I don’t know. But I’m sure more looking forward to how Simon and Baz’s relationship will evolve. You too guys, right?

Wayward Son is an enjoyable read but not as amazing as Carry On. But that shouldn’t stop you from reading it, well if you haven’t yet. The plot was just so-so for me but Simon and Baz’s POVs and never-ending bantering was everything. For that, I’m giving this book 4 stars.

Quotable Quotes:

“Sometimes Simon kisses me like it’s the end of the world, and I worry he might believe that it is.”

“I’ve loved him through worse. I’ve loved him hopelessly… So what’s a little less hope?”

“A relationship isn’t about the end. It’s about being together every step of the way.”

“Fighting doesn’t feel good anymore. It feels like breaking something because you don’t know how to fix it.”

“He’s coming into himself. And I’m coming apart.”

 

 

 

Permanent Record by Edward Snowden

permanentrecord

I vaguely heard of Edward Snowden but when the movie about his story came out, I was indeed intrigued. It was only several months back, though, that I had the chance to read his book. And he certainly knows how to write! The first part from which we take a glimpse of his life since he was a child was a sure fun read. The rest was like a movie and equally fun and exciting.

Permanent Record is a layman’s view of how the world changed in the birth and rise of the internet. It is an important book as it talks about many interesting topics and some of these I didn’t really have much knowledge about or know nothing at all.

I have nothing but respect for this man. He can live a dream life if he chose to but instead chose to become a whistleblower. And I could understand that. 4 stars for the book and 5 stars for his courage and attitude.

Quotable Quotes:

“The reason you’re reading this book is that I did a dangerous thing for a man in my position: I decided to tell the truth.”

“Ultimately, saying that you don’t care about privacy because you have nothing to hide is no different from saying you don’t care about freedom of speech because you have nothing to say.”

“The government should be afraid of the people, the people shouldn’t be afraid of the government.”

 

A Scarred Legacy by Suvika

ascarredlegacy

1-star

Has anyone of you read this? I’m not sure how I got it on my Kindle but unfortunately, it’s not my cup of tea. Any thoughts?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Make Me Smile

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday! I hope you guys are all having a good day and I hope you’re all safe.

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 That Make Me Smile.

Not all of these books had happy endings but each one make me smile nonetheless.

 

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

onearthwerebrieflygorgeousThis is the kind of book that feels like a heart bleeding in pages. The kind of book that reminds me why I love reading.

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is Little Dog’s letter to his illiterate mother. He tries to write what he could never say out loud. It’s a difficult read, there was pain and misery all throughout, in a way, it makes me doubt this is a work of fiction. But given the kind of life he had in the story, it just couldn’t be.

Little Dog is the son and grandson of disaster. Both his mother and grandmother are mentally unstable who survived the Vietnam War. We get to read in Little Dog’s letter a wide variety of themes including violence in the family, addiction, sexual preference, identity, race, immigrants, war and more. It was brutal. It was devastating. It was beautiful. It felt so real.

This is my first book from Ocean Vuong and one of my best reads so far this year. Surely, this will definitely be not the last work I’ll read from this talented writer/poet.

Quotable Quotes:

“I am writing because they told me to never start a sentence with because. But I wasn’t trying to make a sentence—I was trying to break free. Because freedom, I am told, is nothing but the distance between the hunter and its prey.”

“They say nothing lasts forever but they’re just scared it will last longer
than they can love it.”

“I miss you more than I remember you.”

“We try to preserve life—even when we know it has no chance of
enduring its body. We feed it, keep it comfortable, bathe it, medicate it,
caress it, even sing to it. We tend to these basic functions not because
we are brave or selfless but because, like breath, it is the most
fundamental act of our species: to sustain the body until time leaves it
behind.”

“To be gorgeous, you must first be seen, but to be seen allows you to be
hunted.”

Rating: 5/5 stars

WWW Wednesday

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

I haven’t posted my WWW for the last couple of weeks because of work and I’m currently on a reading hiatus. After finishing A Dance with Dragons almost 3 weeks ago, I was able to read just one more book and decided to put reading to one side for the moment.

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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

These are the last two books I’ve read two or three weeks ago. Both good reads.

Currently Reading

I am currently not reading any book. I don’t know how much longer this reading hiatus will take but I’m still really not back in the mood to read just yet. I’m not really sure why but well, yeah…

Next Reads

These four books are what I’m looking forward to reading next and I really, really hope soon. I need that reading mood back!

How about you guys? What are you reading this week? Feel free to share in the comments section or drop a link of your WWWs so I can check them all out!

Happy reading, Homo sapiens!

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By

Welcome to another edition of Top Ten Tuesday! It has been a long time since I last did this and so I’m really excited to get to do it again!

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 Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By.

Haruki Murakami – 17 books

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Apparently, Haruki Murakami is my favorite author, ever. I’ve nearly read most of his books and I’ve enjoyed and loved them all. I hope there’s more to come from this brilliant author.

Agatha Christie & Jessica Zafra –  12 books each

And Then There Were None started my reading journey of Agatha Christie’s works. I was then hooked with the Miss Marple series afterwards.

Jessica Zafra is a Filipino fiction writer known for her sharp and witty writing style. I still hope to read her other books when I get back to the Philippines.

Nicholas Sparks – 9 books

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Paulo Coelho & Dan Brown – 6 books each

George R.R. Martin & Mitch Albom – 5 books each

georgerrmartin

Gillian Flynn, JRR Tolkien, Rainbow Rowell, Jodi Picoult, Stephenie Meyer –  4 books each

Jose Saramago, Stephanie Perkins, Chang-Rae Lee, Khaled Hosseini, Sam Harris, John Green, Neil Gaiman, William Boyd – 3 books each

There you go guys! Do we have the same list? Share your answers in the comments section or feel free to drop a link so I can check them all out.

Happy Tuesday, Homo sapiens!

 

 

 

City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi by William Dalrymple

cityofdjinnsIf you want to read about India, or more specifically Delhi, I happily recommend City of Djinns.

The book tells about about the author’s one year stay, as well as what he has learned, while in New Delhi in the 1980s. He talked about how kind people in Delhi were, different cities, his funny landlady, Mrs. Puri, Hinglish, Anglo-Indians, the partition, the scorching heat he experienced there, horoscopes, architecture, a Hindu wedding and so much about India’s culture and history.

This is my first attempt to William Dalrymple’s works and I must say, I am impressed. He’s a brilliant observer and he can very much entertain readers with his writing. I very much admire the work he’s done with this book. Wonderful.

This book can be a travel guide when I visit India someday. One of my finest reads this year.

Quotable Quotes:

“Partition was a total catastrophe for Delhi,’ she said. ‘Those who were left behind are in misery. Those who were uprooted are in misery. The Peace of Delhi is gone. Now it is all gone.”

“Whoever has built a new city in Delhi has always lost it: the Pandava brethren, Prithviraj Chauhan, Feroz Shah Tughluk, Shah Jehan … They all built new cities and they all lost them. We were no exception.”

“For all its faults we love this city.’ Then, after a pause, she added: ‘After all, we built it.”

“And it would be nice if the roof was a bit stronger. Then the peacocks wouldn’t keep falling through. I don’t mind during the day, but I hate waking up at night to find a peacock in bed with me.”

“When a dust storm blows it means the djinns are going to celebrate a marriage …”

Rating: 5/5 stars

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-Year Freak Out Tag

Hi there, Homo sapiens! I hope you are all doing well and safe wherever you are.

Welcome to the Mid-Year Freak Out Tag! This is the first time I’ll be doing this and I’m really excited to do it. Thanks to Carl, I was introduced to this. Well, this tag basically helps you reflect how good or how terrible you are on your reading at this time of the year. 😅 2020 has been a mess but I somehow found more time for reading and so let’s get started, shall we?

Best Books I’ve Read So Far in 2020

Best Sequel I’ve Read so Far in 2020nadaNew Releases but You Haven’t Read Yet but Want To

Most Anticipated Releases for the Second Half of the Year

Biggest Disappointment

ascarredlegacy

Biggest Surprise

Favorite Authors (Debut or New to You)

Newest Fictional Crush

Unfortunately, there’s none so far this year… hope to have one in the books I’m about to read for the rest of the year.

Newest Favorite Character

Kainene from Half of the Yellow Sun.

Books That Made You Cry

Books That Made You Happy

Most Beautiful Books You’ve Bought So Far This Year (Or Received)

Books You Need to Read Before the End of the Year

Favorite Book Community Members

I don’t really get to interact a lot with many bloggers or book community members and I am only a part of WordPress and Goodreads. There are some very notable bloggers/members I’m glad to have met though. Carl, of course is one of them. Do visit his blog here specially if you love books/reading and you can thank me later.😊 I’ve also met Chuck here on WordPress and he’s got plenty to offer you if you like poetry. He shares poetry written by other bloggers but he writes his own as well. Check out his blog here.

Now I guess I’m done here… Feel free to do yours, too! And tag me! I’d be really glad to read your posts! Happy day, Homo sapiens!

Short Story – The Cask of Amontillado by Edgar Allan Poe

thecaskofamontilladoThe Cask of Amontillado is a gothic short story written by Edgar Allan Poe. He was one of my favorite authors growing up. I just love the way he writes.

The story is direct to the point. Montressor, the narrator was insulted by Fortunato and so he vows for revenge. It seems normal at first but as the story progresses, it gets darker.

We never really got to learn Montressor’s purpose/reason for carrying out the revenge on Fortunato but maybe that’s not really the point in the story. Well, I dunno.

What I know is that Fortunato was buried behind a wall and  Edgar Allan Poe knows revenge at its worst and moreover, a mystery is yet to be solved.

Quotable Quotes:

“A wrong is unredressed when retribution overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.”

“It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given Fortunato cause to doubt my good will.”

“The thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could, but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

 

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

bridgetoterabithiaBridge to Terabithia is a touching and heartbreaking story with themes that include imagination, friendship, family and grief. Jesse is shy and quiet but has amazing artistic skills and Leslie is the new girl in town who beat the boys in running. Soon, they became best friends and built their secret imaginary kingdom of Terabithia.

It’s a beautiful story of friendship between these two lonely children until one day, tragedy happens. And the story tells of how to cope and come into terms with what happened. This will really touch you on so many levels. It is an engaging and memorable book with relatable characters. Children who think and talk realistically and in a very honest way.

I love books that break my heart and this was one of them. I hate it but I love it.

Quotable Quotes:

“Sometimes it seemed to him that his life was delicate as a dandelion. One little puff from any direction, and it was blown to bits.”

“You think it’s so great to die and make everyone cry and carry on. Well it ain’t.”

“He may not have been born with guts, but he didn’t have to die without them.”

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

WWW Wednesday 17-Jun-2020

Hello there, Homo sapiens! 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

I recently finished these three wonderful reads and all of them received 4-⭐️ ratings from me.

Currently Reading

adancewithdragons

I decided not to read other books at the moment so I can focus and hopefully finish A Dance of Dragons soon. To be quite honest, there’s not that much action happening so far in the book that’s why I always end up reading something else but I haven’t reached half of it yet so hopefully it gets better.

Next Reads

I hope to start with these two books after I finish A Dance with Dragons. I think these are going to be great reads!

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!

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

thesilentpatientAlicia Berenson was a famous artist and married to a well-known photographer, Gabriel. She shot her husband and never spoke a word ever again. She was later confined in a psychiatric facility where Theo, an ambitious psychotherapist and obsessed with Alicia and her story, tried his best to get in.

This is a clever story. It grabbed my attention from the start as I was intrigued with what’s going on. I started formulating theories in my mind while reading and some came real close. But that twist, I seriously did not see coming at all.

As I write this now, I’ve realized the writing was good but I can’t really say it was amazing. The characters were not that appealing and even the plot was a little bit unlikely. However, it all worked together beautifully.

Alex Michaelides did a good job on this debut and he now belongs to my radar of authors to watch for.

Quotable Quotes:

“You know, one of the hardest things to admit is that we weren’t loved when we needed it most. It’s a terrible feeling, the pain of not being loved.”

“…we often mistake love for fireworks – for drama and dysfunction. But real love is very quiet, very still. It’s boring, if seen from the perspective of high drama. Love is deep and calm – and constant.”

“Remember, love that doesn’t include honesty doesn’t deserve to be called love.”

Rating: 4/5 stars