There is a great disturbance in the Force


(Image from The New York Times obit. Read the article here.)

Carrie Fisher — Princess Leia Organa to fans — has died today. May the Force be with her.

Continue reading There is a great disturbance in the Force

Game of Thrones

For those who need a backgrounder or a refresher on the show, the books and the stories behind it all. For the Unsullied and book experts alike.

EDIT: Aside from the fabulous art, I love that it’s narrated by the characters in the show. The stories in this video (as well as the other videos for Season 1) narrate the background and history of Westeros, pre- and post-invasion by the Andals as well as backgrounds on the major houses featured in the show. There are vids for Seasons 2-4 as well. Fans would do well to subscribe to Mayes T’s channel on YouTube to watch everything. Enjoy!

Better late than never…

It’s been a turbulent and hectic last quarter of 2015, which is why I haven’t posted anything for the past few months. I’m hoping 2016 will be kinder so I can write more.

In the meantime, to remind me that I should do just that, I am posting this link to an article in The Guardian: Ten Things I Learned About Writing from Stephen King. The advice is nothing we haven’t seen in other articles like this. But numbers 5 and 6 did resonate: Number 5 was, “Aim big. Or small.” and 6 was “Write all the time. Write a lot.” So these are what I will be doing more of this year. Hopefully I get to keep this promise.

See you soon!

What’s the collective noun for books?

A collection? A shelf? A library? How about a discussion or a storytelling or a chapter or a paragraph? Whatever it is, I read a lot of books the past six months. Did I mention this is a (loooong) book post?

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Ready for their closeup. The books I’ve read the past six months; not included are the two I wasn’t able to finish. The funky wooden busts styled with them are from Bali

Over the years, right around April or May I used to take stock of what I’ve read for the past months. And the list would invariably show up somewhere — back in the day, it was in journals and then more recently in various social media, albeit in a more haphazard fashion. I don’t know why I do it really, maybe because I wanted to have a record of what I read and also because April and May evoked school vacations in the Philippines, a time when I could just curl up with a good book in the middle of a hot afternoon instead of taking a siesta (afternoon nap) as my parents wanted us kids to do (to make us grow tall, they said). Now of course, I am more likely going to choose the siesta than read a book, because I’m old(er). 🙂

But at the start of this year, I told myself I would jot down each book I read as I started it just so I have a record of my reading diet — you are what you eat or read, am I right or am I right? I wrote down the titles in my desk diary — literally, an actual diary on my office desk. I am not so particular that I wrote down the title on the actual day I started reading it. I basically scribbled on those blank spaces allotted for each week/month for the diarist to write down whatever existential thought or musing he or she has. I chose to write down what I read.

The results were interesting:

  • 23 books read, 2 unfinished; so 21 books actually read cover to cover.
  • 8 = most number of books started in a month (March). Note that I said “started” because I wrote down the titles as I started reading, but did not really write down when I finished the books. But given that I usually — not always though — pick up a book when I’m done with one, it’s safe to assume that I did finish all eight books in March. Even for me — a fast reader (D says I don’t take the time to savor the books and devour them like fast food, a claim I wholeheartedly deny) — this was, er, impressive… and a bit frightening.
  • 1, unfinished = least number of books read in a month (April). What was I doing in April?? A quick glance at my diary revealed that I was drowning in work that month, apparently.
  • Genres covered: They run the gamut, from historical romance, to thrillers, to a memoir. Was tempted to enumerate the books per genre, but after attempting to classify several of them, I ended up confusing myself and stopped. Let’s just say that many of them can be classified under different categories and I will never be a competent librarian, haha!

So what have I been reading? Here’s a list (as they appeared in my diary) and capsule reviews:

Continue reading What’s the collective noun for books?

The benefits of reading

This isn’t why I love to read — I read because it relaxes me, it’s pleasurable and allows me to travel to different worlds and realities. But it’s great that there are actually health benefits to one of my favorite activities. 🙂

[infographic borrowed from this link: The Benefits of Reading]

Lunchtime read: The Brightest Star in the Sky

“A cynical type might suggest that it was all too perfect. But a cynical type would be wrong. Matt and Maeve weren’t just acting the part of people who are Very Much In Love. It was the real thing because their heart vibrations were in perfect harmony.

Not everyone knows this but each human heart gives off an electric current that extends outwards from the body to a distance of ten feet. People wonder why they take instant likes and dislikes to people. They assume it’s to do with associations: if they meet a short, mono-browed woman, they remember the time that another short, mono-browed woman had helped them get their hairdryer unstuck from a hedge and cannot help but feel warmly to this new, entirely unconnected, short, mono-browed woman. Or the first man who short-changed them was called Carl and from that day forth all Carls were regarded as suspect. But instant likes or dislikes are also the result of the harmony (or disharmony) of heart currents and Matt’s and Maeve’s hearts Beat as One.” — a supernatural entity (kind still to be determined), The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes

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Book in selfie so… bookie? 😉

Continue reading Lunchtime read: The Brightest Star in the Sky