2016 Year in Books

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Starting 2016, I am in the hunt for new books to love. One of my goals is to read more. However, life seems to ignore the fact that I have 35 books to read this year. There you have some uncontrollable circumstances that hindered me to read more. Or that halfhearted weekends when I want to read but I also want to practice my new found hobby: lettering. Or those times I ended up scrolling my phone for  the latest news/gossip in Facebook/Twitter/Instagram.

This year I have only read 31 books. Unlike last year where I read 34 books or the year prior last year, 37 books. To be honest it frustrates me because why on earth I only read 31 books this year? WHY???

And aside from reading less what I’ve expected, only quite few books that resonates me (in no particular order):

 

The Last Apache Girl (paperback) by Jim Fergus

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“Yet only the atrocities of the conquered are referred to as criminal acts; those of the conqueror are justified as necessary, heroic, and even worse, as the fulfillment of God’s will.”
Jim Fergus, The Wild Girl

When Breathe Becomes Air (ebook) by Paul Kalanithi

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“That message is simple: When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”
Paul Kalanithi, When Breath Becomes Air

Hollow City (ebook) by Ransom Riggs

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“I liked this idea: that peculiarness wasn’t a deficiency, but an abundance; that it wasn’t we who lacked something normals had, but they who lacked peculiarness. That we were more, not less.”
Ransom Riggs, Hollow City

The Little White Horse (paperback) by Elizabeth Goudge

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“Nothing is ever finished and done with in this world. You may think a seed was finished and done with when it falls like a dead thing into the earth; but when it puts forth leaves and flowers next spring you see your mistake.”
Elizabeth Goudge, The Little White Horse

The Hidden Oracle (ebook) by Rick Riordan

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“Not all monsters were three-ton reptiles with poisonous breath. Many wore human faces.”
Rick Riordan, The Hidden Oracle

And Again (ebook) by Jessica Chiarella

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The Throne of Fire (ebook) by Rick Riordan

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“The right choice is hardly ever the easy choice.”
Rick Riordan, The Throne of Fire

The Sun is Also a Star (paperback) by Nicola Yoon

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“How can you trust something that can end as suddenly as it begins?”
Nicola Yoon, The Sun is Also a Star

Other books are just okay, not astounding enough for it to resonate.

So here’s the summary of my 2016 Books

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Book of the Month: Wonder by R.J. Palacio

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This season was such a not good season for reading. I have many valid reasons why I haven’t read that much. However, I think you all know my reasons, that never-ending “LIFE HAPPENS.” Luckily, I got the chance to read a light and heart-warming novel of R.J. Palacio. At first, I felt like not reading it… since the story line seems childish. But who am I fooling? I love children’s book. So for this month, I read Wonder by R.J. Palacio.

Wonder is about a boy named Auggie who has facial deformity (I think that word is such a light word for his illness) and how he brave the world full of judgmental and critical people.

I can’t say that Wonder has a great and complex story compared to other stories about illnesses, disorders and disabilities. But it brought me to the core, the heart of someone who is different which where other stories seems to falter. Its sincerity and realness are the main reasons why I loved it. And this light read is what I needed right now after a month of reading hiatus.

After reading the book, I came to realize many things. Wonder allows me to see the beauty of the world despite of its share of ugliness. A book that will let you see pass through the physical and let you see the soul, its beauty and its kindness. The kind of book that can touch one’s heart because of its rawness and Auggie’s somewhat innocent but the realest of heart.

And these quotable quotes really struck me while reading Wonder:

“If every person in this room made it a rule that wherever you are, whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary – the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God.”

This world will be a nicer place indeed!

“MR. BROWNE’S SEPTEMBER PRECEPT:

WHEN GIVEN THE CHOICE BETWEEN BEING
RIGHT OR BEING KIND, CHOOSE KIND.”

Choose kindness!

“no, no, it’s not all random, if it really was all random, the universe would abandon us completely. and the universe doesn’t. it takes care of its most fragile creations in ways we can’t see. like with parents who adore you blindly. and a big sister who feels guilty for being human over you. and a little gravelly-voiced kid whose friends have left him over you. and even a pink-haired girl who carries your picture in her wallet. maybe it is a lottery, but the universe makes it all even out in the end. the universe takes care of all its birds.”

Nothing is an accident!

“It’s what you’ve done with your time, how you’ve chosen to spend your days, and whom you’ve touched this year. That, to me, is the greatest measure of success.”

You can change the world one person at a time.

 

I think that’s it! That’s August Book of the Month. Oh! This is such a coincidence… Auggie’s real name is August! 🙂


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Book of the Month: The Trial of Apollo

To be honest, I have been too busy to read a book or even create a beautiful masterpiece or write a blog post. Curse you adulting and responsibilities. That’s why this month, embarrassing as it may sound, I’ve only read one book and that book is the first book of Rick Riordan’s The Trial of Apollo. So, I don’t have any choice but to give this book the crown for this blog’s Book of the Month feature.

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Don’t get me wrong, this book is a nice read. I also rated it 4 stars on GoodReads. It is just that I am more of a feeler whenever I read book. If my heart didn’t melt or my mind isn’t boggled enough, I wouldn’t be as in love as much as I tried to be.

Book One made me laugh. I couldn’t stop laughing at Apollo’s narrative. It made me think if Apollo has any way related to Narcissus? I checked, but none. Anyways, this was such a great read. But I’ve made a big mistake… If you are familiar with Rick Riordan, you will know that he is the god of cliffhanger. My big mistake was starting this series knowing the next books are still in the works of Riordan.

Anyways, there are some few quotes that really are remarkable:

“Not all monsters were three-ton reptiles with poisonous breath. Many wore human faces.”

A very on point observation, Apollo! Yes!

“Nothing is more tragic than loving someone to the depths of your soul and knowing they cannot and will not ever love you back.”

Deep Apollo! Very deep!

“Things can turn out differently, Apollo. That’s the nice thing about being human. We only have one life, but we can choose what kind of story it’s going to be.”

And the bacon part… I love the bacon part.

Oh, gods—bacon! I promised myself that once I achieved immortality again, I would assemble the Nine Muses and together we would create an ode, a hymnal to the power of bacon, which would move the heavens to tears and cause rapture across the universe.

Bacon is good.

Yes, Apollo, BACON IS LIFE.

So what did I take home in reading this?

  1. You are never old enough to read a children’s book or a YA book.
  2. And yes – bacon! The unwavering love of bacon.
  3. Humans are way scarier and meaner than monsters.
  4. You have one life, don’t be foolish to ruin it.
  5. Mythology spin-off is the best!
  6. Humans are monsters too.

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When We Say Freedom

Freedom means a liberation from slavery or from the power of another; an independence; the state of being free.

I live in a country of democracy. We vote, we choose and we are free to do whatever we want to do, of course, aside from things beyond the law.

However, somewhere far from home. Somewhere in the middle of the world, are some of the countries which are chained from slavery and terror.

Yes, until now, in the 21st century, there are still lots of people fighting for their right to be free.

Free in terms of cultural biases, free from gender inequality, free from ignorance, free from poverty, and most of all, free from war.

After reading I Am Malala (a true story of a girl named Malala, who in her own way, speak out to let the world know that she, a Pashtun, has a right for education, a right to do whatever males can do), I realized many things, I appreciated many things that I took advantage of and I am distraught of how I, a free woman, a free human being, am still living discontented and ungrateful for the things other people see as a luxury.

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I Am Malala Novel

For a girl like Malala who lived in a country where girls and women are treated as less of a human. Girls like her are bound to a hundred of year tradition. They couldn’t go to school because their culture told them to cook inside their house instead of flourishing their minds. They could not show their face because it shows vulgarity. But more than these… is the poverty and ignorance. That’s why terrorists have begun persuading some of her people to believe in their so-called “religion.” The terrorists used distorted religion (which only self-preserving to their group) to persuade people to obey them. They used the ignorance of people to read. So these people cannot validate, if what the terrorists saying are true or not.

Some people are afraid of ghosts, some of spiders or snakes – in those days we were afraid of our fellow human beings.

These terrorists beheaded many people, whipped them, bombed schools wherein innocent children died.

That’s when Malala spoke up. She could no longer stand the inferior thinking of her people. She stood up to fight for education, she fights for the right of her people to get what they deserve in this world… which is to live. Because for her, ignorance is the enemy. If only her people is educated enough, less lives would be in danger, they will no longer shut their mouths and no more chains from ignorance. And this caused her life (she was shot on her way to school) and the life of her family. And this caused her to leave the “comforts” of her home and be an immigrant to UK. Until now, she’s speaking. At her young age, she has been recognized as a peace advocate, a feminist, a social activist. For her, her life’s purpose (and why she did not die) is to fight for humanity, for freedom, for peace.

Has she achieved freedom? Has she achieved equality? Has she achieved peace? No, not yet. But at least she’s one step closer to liberation, one step closer to freedom.

I am very blessed to have freedom, to be born with freewill. But, because of lack of contentment, people like me, crave for something grander than life, may it be a luxurious life, work-free life, school work-free life, full of travel life. Then here’s Malala, fighting for one thing, EDUCATION. And here I am wanting, craving for nonsense things.

I am aware that we are fighting different fights. For Malala, she’s fighting for what she knows will benefit the future humanity. Maybe for some, they are fighting for what they know is right. But here’s one thing I want to ask: Have you made any difference in this world, not only different difference but a better difference?

I like this quote from I Am Malala book:
“If you want to resolve a dispute or come out from conflict, the very first thing is to speak the truth. If you have a headache and tell the doctor you have a stomach ache, how can the doctor help? You must speak the truth. The truth will abolish fear.”

Speak the truth. Speak it now.


 

040316 Thoughts after reading I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai. Have you read this book? Any thoughts?

Live as if…

I will not tell you to live like there is no tomorrow or live like it is your last. I will not tell you that. But I will tell you that today is your chance to make a difference. You can party all you want on the last days of your life. You can travel all you want. You can eat what you want. But to make a difference in the world where similarities and commonalities are more approved, is more worthwhile than an around the world ticket, than the pizzas you can eat, than the wine you can drink.

Make a difference. Be part of someone else’s life. Teach people kindness. Reciprocate anger with gentleness. Read books and share it. Hug people. Motivate others, encourage them. Tell someone how beautiful they are. Be pro-human. Be selfless.

On your death, people will not remember the days you went to London, to New York or to Japan. People will not remember how many pizzas you ate in just one sitting. People will not remember the party you have been. But what they will remember is how you influence them, how you share your life to them selflessly, how you encourage them. What they will remember are the memories of gentleness and helpfulness. What they will remember is the time you spent with them listening intently. What they will remember is your kindness.

Live your life as if you can make the difference in this world. Be the difference this world needs.

The Unicorn Road

It has been one year since I’ve finished the book, The Unicorn Road by Martin Davies. Until now, I am still in awe and I can still feel the heart ache brought by this book.

This quote still bringing me heart ache every time.
“Be careful of your dreams,” it told her. “You wish for freedom, you wish to fly. But the markets are full of caged birds. Take care, for in the Imperial City the lime is set thick upon branches. And I have watched lime birds struggle. They beat their wings and cry against the traps, betrayed by the weakness that tempted them to rest. They never fly again, though some almost tear off their legs in frustration at their capture. Do not be weak as they were. If all else fails, fly at the sun, for better to die in flames than live as I do, pinioned by my own regretting.”

…and the ending (no spoiler)- TOO.MUCH.HEARTBREAK.
I will never get tired of recommending this book to everyone. I think this is one of the most underrated novel of all times (or I am biased).
One day, I will read this again.

In Princess's Heart

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After abandoning the book for 4 months. I got the courage to lie down in my bed and read it. Through the dusts and piled books, I picked it and finally opened it to read.

The Unicorn Road by Martin Davies entails the story of venturesome journey to the unknown and secrets which brings the people together in search for purpose, love and passion. It sets in the Medieval times when rulers, kings and popes are very powerful through gold, money and territory. This is a story of love, passion, cruelty, greed, honor and the power of one’s word.

The first time I read this book, I felt bored. It is because every sentence should be read in deep thoroughness and understanding. However, the second time I opened it, I let my eyes in it and read it as thoroughly as I can. And I was not dismayed. Every words…

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Spoiler Alert from the Future

What if you can read someone’s review of your future? Just like how a reader reviews a book. What if?

I have to share with you my disturbing habit when reading a book. Ok, I read book reviews before I read, while I read and after I read. Because I want to know how others perceive the book I’m reading.

So there is this one time, while reading a book, I felt the urge of looking it into Goodreads. And to my dismay, I aborted reading the book. Just so you know, the reviews were terrible. Then after 4 months later, I tried to read it again and I loved every single page of it. This led me into thinking, “why do people hate this so much?”

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What I am trying to say is, knowing what will happen ahead of time would not be as favorable as we think it might be. Think of a friend who tell you the story of the movie you will be watching later. How you hate that one friend for spoiling your most awaited movie. Excitement is lost, vanished, gone. Same as our life. Imagine if we could have access to our future, we can watch it and know what lies ahead, good or bad. You think it is a good idea? The questions would be… would we still pursue excellence after learning what we will become? Would we still be hard-working? Would we still want to live this life knowing the future? I think that’s why God does not fully reveal to us our end purpose, because if He did, I think we will be too sluggish or too complacent in living this life.

The uncertainty of the future makes us who we are now. Let’s be thankful for the uncertainties, the unclear future for it sets us to be better, to do great, to hope for the future.

For others, the spoiler from the future would be a good idea. But as for me, I am holding on to what the Bible say about season and time:

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:

a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.

-Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

There is a time for everything. Our future will be revealed in the right time, for the right time. I believe in right timing as I believe that God is the author of our lives. Only God knows when things will work out and when it will not. Only God holds our future. What we need to do now is to pursue God.


Photo credit: dev.rehoboth.org.uk

Love is Blog ni Dr. Eamer

To all my foreign WordPress followers, I would like to take this opportunity to say that this entry is written in my mother language which is Filipino – Tagalog. Since this is a review of the book of Doctor Eamer, Love is Blog which is written in Tag-lish (Tagalog-English).

LOVE IS BLOG

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Ang librong ito ay patungkol sa pag-ibig. Sa totoo lang, hindi ko “cup-of-tea” ang pagbabasa ng isang libro na umiikot lamang sa pag-ibig. Ngunit dahil nilalawakan ko ang kategoryang binabasa ko, sinusubukan ko ngayong magbasa ng iba’t ibang kategorya ng libro, mula sa pambatang babasahin hanggang sa mga klasikong nobela. At dahil gusto ko ring suportahan ang mga taong gustong mailimbag ang kanilang gawa, kaya binili ko ito.

Ano nga ba ang Love is Blog? Kung mahilig kang magbasa at manood ng kwentong tungkol sa pag-ibig, maaaring magustuhan mo ito. Masasabi kong kakaibang istorya ‘to ng pag-ibig, sa kadahilanang punung-puno ito ng aral. Karamihan kasi ng mga nababasa kong libro na tungkol sa pag-ibig ay masyadong makamundo, sekular at “human-centered” kaysa sa “God-centered.” Pero kahit hindi ito ordinaryong “love story” na makikita sa mga sekular na libro, punung-puno pa rin naman ng kilig at nag-iiwan ito ng ngiti. Sa bawat pagitan ng mga kabanata ay may mga aral mula sa mga “blog” ng nagsulat.

Siguro nagustuhan ko itong libro na ito dahil isa akong tradisyonal na babae… naniniwala sa panliligaw, naniniwala sa kabanalan ng kasal, naniniwala na may tamang panahon ang lahat (ang unang halik, ang unang hawak ng kamay at iba pa).

Siguro rin nagustuhan ko ito dahil ito rin ang gusto kong kwento ng pag-ibig ko.

Siguro nagustuhan ko ito dahil “God-centered” ang konsepto ng pag-iibigan ng mga pangunahing tauhan.

Siguro nagustuhan ko ito dahil simple ang pagkakalahad, mabilis at walang paliguy-ligoy ang kwento.

Siguro nagustuhan ko ito kasi “POV” ito ng isang lalaki na naghahanap rin ng tunay na pag-ibig.

Marami pa akong nagustuhan sa librong ito, wala man itong nakakagimbal na rebelasyon or “climax,” pero kinurot nito ang medyo bato kong puso.

Ang hiling ko sa librong ito ay mailimbag at makita sa mga pangunahing “bookstore” sa Pilipinas upang hindi pulos korning “plot” ang nababasa ng kabataan ngayon.

Dalawang THUMBS UP para sa librong ito.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Hi there fellow booknerds! Just so you know, this is not a book review. This post is all about my appreciation to Neil Gaiman’s book. This was my first time reading a Gaiman’s work and I absolutely loved it. What I love about this book is the unexpected turn of events and its ending. One word that best describes my feeling after reading this: SAD. Better read it and know what I am talking about. Oh, I also love Silas, Ms. Lupescu, Mr. & Mrs. Owens, all the graveyard folks and of course Bod the main character.

TheGraveyardBook_HardcoverPlease click here for Goodreads summary and review.

Here are my favorite quotes from the book:

  1. “It must be good,” said Silas, “to have somewhere that you belong. Somewhere that’s home.”
  2. “It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.”
  3. “Things blossom in their time. They bud and bloom, blossom and fade. Everything in its time. Everything in its season.”
  4. “You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name.”
  5. “You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”
  6. “Fear is contagious. You can catch it. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say that they’re scared for the fear to become real.”
  7. “the tongue is the most remarkable. For we use it both to taste our sweet wine and bitter poison, thus also do we utter words both sweet and sour with the same tongue. Go to her! Talk to her!”
  8. “If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”
  9. “People can change.”
  10. “Bod said, “I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of the desert island. I want to play football with people. I want,” he said, and then he paused and he thought. “I want everything.”
  11. “Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken”
  12. There was a passport in his bag, money in his pocket. There was a smile dancing on his lips, although it was a wary smile, for the world is a bigger place than a little graveyard on a hill; and there would be dangers in it and mysteries, new friends to make, old friends to rediscover, mistakes to be made and many paths to be walked before he would, finally return to the graveyard or ride with the Lady on the broad back of her great stallion. But between now and then, there was life; and Bod walked into it with his eyes and his heart wide open.

I think that’s it. I am looking forward to reading more of Gaiman’s work. 🙂

2015 Reading Challenge

Hi guys! I know it is not yet the end of the year. But I really wanted to share the books I’ve read so far.

JANUARY

The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall the-ultimate-gift1This was a gift from my friend. 🙂

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

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The Reason: How I Discovered a Life Worth Living by Lacey Sturm (the ex-lead vocalist of Flyleaf)

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A true to life testimony of Lacey Sturm of her suicide attempt and how the word of God changes her life.

FEBRUARY

Anim na Sabado ng Beyblade at Iba Pang Sanaysay by Ferdinand Pisigan Jarin

17984900This heart-wrenching book is a must read.

Erasing Hell: What God Said about Eternity, and the Things We’ve Made Up by Francis Chan

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MARCH

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

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APRIL

The Question that Never Goes Away by Philip Yancey

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Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho

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This made me realize that Paulo Coelho is not a good storyteller. This is the last book of him I will read ever.

MAY

East of Eden by John Steinback

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Si by Bob Ong

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The Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

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JUNE

The Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

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The Heroes of Olympus: The Mark of Athena by Rick Riordan

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The Heroes of Olympus: The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

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JULY

The Heroes of Olympus: The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan

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All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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AUGUST

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

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P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

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Back on Track by Ru dela Torre

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The Lord of the Ring: The Fellowship of the Ring

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22 books up to August, not bad. I only have to read 28 more books to complete the 2015 Reading Challenge in Goodreads.

Happy Reading everyone! 🙂