Archive for Books

Splurging

I don’t like getting sick. It not only addled my health and brain, but also my wallet. As I’ve said before, I ended up spending more that I intended to.

I’ve splurged again—not on tissues or tablets this time, but on books. And a couple of new CDs. Two weeks before I got sick, I heard the nearest bookstore “calling out” to me. Yeah, yeah, weird. But I kind of missed the smell of stacks of books already. If there’s one thing that I’ve definitely missed when I graduated from UST, it’s the library.

But I digress. Back to two weeks ago. So, even though I’m running with a little fever and scratchy throat, I still insisted on walking from the office to the nearest Booksale and snagged some light reading. Four books to be exact. I read pretty much anything and at the time, I indulged on some cheap romances, fiction and young adult. Heehee. Cheap romances are my little, sinful indulgences.  

For Better or Worse coverFor Better or Worse by Penny Jordan.
Genre: Romance.

A story about three different relationships indirectly connected by an old house. This is not one of those some smut-filled romances you usually find on stands; it actually delved more on the emotional struggle of the six characters with their relationships. Fern finally takes a stand about her rocky marriage to an unbelievably insecure husband. Elaine struggles how to keep her new family—her husband, her two young attention-seeking boys from her first marriage, an angsty teenage daughter of her current hubby from his previous marriage bent to spook the hell out of her–together under one roof. Carefree Zoe gets pregnant unexpectedly and contemplates on abortion without telling Ben, her partner and lover, who doesn’t want children. Verdict? To say that the book had surprised me with its introspection and maturity is rather an understatement, but you won’t see me reading this book again until maybe after a year later. This is not to be considered a light read. Ack. 

Sophie. (I forgot the author.) Genre: Young Adult. Sophie is going through the stage where she thinks that nobody would understand her. She constantly bickers with her mom for “not understanding her” or “having time for her.” Usual YA stuff about the pains of growing up and realizing little nuggets of truth at an early age. Verdict? Would really appreciate the “enlightening” moments of Sophie if I were only 15 again. I’ve read other online YA stuff that’s more mature and more brutal in stealing that bliss of innocence called ignorance. Check out www.fictionpress.com and browse through it. 

Baby, I'm Yours coverBaby, I’m Yours by Susan Andersen.
Genre: Romance.

Another clichéd case of mistaken identity. Sam, a bounty hunter, takes prim and proper Catherine, an elementary teacher for the deaf, mistaking her as Catherine’s impulsive and ditzy little sister, who was accused of stealing a car and now out a bail. It was a funny read actually—I’ve always enjoyed mistaken identity stories. It makes the author dwell more on the characters because there is something to prove, something to establish. It was amusing to read Catherine’s claims to prove her identity. I even had to symphatize with Sam for all the psycho- and emo- stunts that Catherine pulled to escape him. And while the characters are wonderfully drawn out, the plot wasn’t compromised. I’ve even enjoyed the quirkiness of one of the second characters. Verdict? Would read it again after I get bored with my experimental books. 

Too Much of A Good Thing coverToo Much of A Good Thing by Kimberla Lawson Roby.
Genre: Fiction.Preacher Curtis Black had once been caught philandering and had cost him his marriage and a congregation. He was given a second chance at what he had lost, but temptations just get in the way of this charming and good-looking preacher. Let’s see how Curtis gets out of this one if his ex-wife and current wife team up on him to expose his not-so-religious ways. Verdict? Well, I’ve yet to finish it, but this book seemed like a parody for me. I’ve just finished the prologue, and off the bat, I knew that I’m not gonna like this Curtis character. Kudos to the author for she had established Curtis’ character very well from the very first paragraph: I just knew that his is a character that I would love to hate until the end of the story. 

>>> These books served as my companion when I did nothing but lay on the bed during the days that I got sick. Eating, reading, sleeping—yup, this was my routine last week. So boring. I was in bed from Saturday til Tuesday of last week. I’ve been bored as hell that I decided to get back to work on Wednesday and Thursday. I guess I was so wrongo. I started burning up again and I had to file another sick leave last Friday. I rested fully on that day because I had to cover an event on Saturday, which is the World Cyber Games Eliminations at Megamall. 

>>> Which brings me to the next set of things that I bought on impulse. 

>>> After covering the event until 6:30p.m., I decided to wait for my parents at National Bookstore. Bad move, Mitch. Definitely a bad move. Why, you ask? Because I saw red: a lot of books are on sale! I think I spent an hour or so scouring the area before I managed to narrow down my titles to three.  

A Hat Full of Sky coverA Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett.
Genre: Fiction.

Tiffany Aching, a young witch-in-training, learns about magic and responsibility as she battles a disembodied monster with the assistance of the six-inch-high Wee Free Men and Mistress Weatherwax, the greatest witch in the world. Before anyone could sue me for plagiarism, that summary was taken out of the book—word per word. Now that the disclaimer is done…

Well. I’ve just started on it and lemme just say that Pratchett had me wrapped around his magical sense of humor and had me curious about the world that he had created. Verdict? Am currently reading and every page has managed to make my lips quirk in amusement already. 

The Giver's coverThe Giver by Lois Lowry.
Genre: Teens. Young Adult. Children.

Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community. When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive a special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now it’s time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back. Disclaimer: I did not write the summary; it was unabashedly copied off the book’s precis. Verdict? I haven’t read a page yet but my curiosity is mightily piqued by the possibility of being entrusted with the knowledge of pain and of truth in the world of perfection. Could you imagine the enormity of the responsibilty handed to a twelve-year old kid? The book was published way back in 1993 and had won several awards already. I’m expecting a lot from this book; I just hope that I won’t be that disappointed. 

Reconnaissance by Tara FT Sering. Genre: Short fiction (collection). This is a collection of short fiction written by Tara FT Sering. I have no idea yet what’s in store for me with this book, but I just had to make sure that I brush up on my contemporary Philippine lit once in a while. I’m eager to read this collection after finishing the stuff above as I’m leaning more into short fiction lately.*sigh* So much for hoping that I start saving for Christmas.  

>>> But of course, it doesn’t end there. I just had to remember that my cousin Jobert asked me to purchase him a record of Blades, a new pop/rock band whose three out four members hailed from our town. I reached the record bar, got the album, turned around and saw my wallet’s Doom’s Day: I saw the albums of Snow Patrol and Dashboard Confessional. I am so doomed.  

>>> My hands incontrollably reached for the records. Snow Patrol or Dashboard Confessional? Snow Patrol or Dashboard Confessional? I ended up choosing the latter because I’ve been so hung up with Hands Down and I wanted to hear more of their newest songs.  

>>> I was about to pay, but then I just had to turn around and see the aisle for Rock. Goodbye, another Ninoy, I thought as I grabbed My Chemical Romance. And there went my allowance for the week. Sob.  But it was money well spent. As I played the CDs for the first time, the songs that immediately got me hooked were DC’s Reason to Believe, Stolen and Dusk and Summer song and Mychem’s I’m Not Okay (I Promise), Helena, The Ghost of You, Cemetery Drive and You Know What They Do to Guys Like Us in Prison. 

Reviews on their albums on my next post. Plus book reviews on Jonathan Stroud’s Bartemius Trilogy Book I and Michael Crichton’s Congo.

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