Book of the Month: Found by Isa Garcia

“This is a story about love, adventure and friendship with a heroine who dares to disturb the universe because she can rest in the certainty that she will always be… FOUND” – Found, Isa Garcia

Before I start, I wanted to tell all of you that this month I am fully fulfilled as a book nerd.  I did not expect to read 5 books on January. One Yey for me.

With these five books, I can’t choose which book will be the Book of the Month. There you have Regret No More by Nelson Dy in which I  learned so much from it; Skulduggery Pleasant The Faceless Ones by Derek Landy which I did not expect it will be good and of course the cliffhanger; Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, my first YA of the year, which is unexpectedly good also; Of Mice and Men by John Steinback which is as usual can rip my heart into a million pieces, and; Found by Isa Garcia.

But because Found is too beautiful both its aesthetics and context, I will choose it as January’s Book of the Month.

Have you ever felt that seemingly in this world full of people, no one can get you? No one can feel you? I, sometimes, feel that way. I thought no one is feeling and thinking the way I do. I thought I am alone in this. But then, there is this book that speaks whatever my mouth cannot utter, my mind cannot put into precise context and that’s Found by Isa Garcia. And I am grateful to read this.

Found is a collection of letters on love, life and God. I love the letters inside plus the postcards.

So, as a whole, Found is an easy read and inspiring book. If you are a girl who is lost or who finds it hard to get along with life… this book is for you.

Creation + Passion + New Project

“Creativity is intelligence having fun” –  Albert Einstein

Maybe, I get God on why He chose to create this world.

Creating something out of nothing is fulfilling. And it is more fulfilling to know that the thing you create serves as an inspiration and gives you a purpose.

One of my many passions is creating something out of nothing — putting it into 3 letters — DIY. I love creating stuff. Creating an ordinary item into an extraordinary one. Recycling unusable items into a usable one. I love generating and implementing ideas. I love how simple ideas come to life. I love the idea that on a simple thing you do, you make the world a better and pretty place.

And to my surprise, many are just like me. Maybe doing DIY is more cost-efficient or maybe it becomes a hobby. But what I am sure of is making art is purposeful and fulfilling.

In these, I am inspired to work on a new project involving arts. And now, I am inviting all creatives to answer this brief survey, actually it is more of knowing your story as an (frustrated) artist/creative.

 

What I Learned from The Throne of Fire

It is 12 midnight, not my usual hour to sleep but I am engrossed on reading, here’s the climax, I said. One more chapter, I plead to my sleepy head. I can confidently say, reading wins, it always wins.

Now, it is Bes turn now. Ok. I cannot believe what I just have read. *spoiler alert* He risk his ren, his soul, the part of himself that contains who he was and his experiences. HE RISK IT ALL. For what? For greater good.

That scene left  me dumbfounded and teary-eyed. How could this particular middle-school fantasy novel hit home that hard?

Risk. For a person as cowardice and conventional like me, risking is a bit of a hardcore. Living in the comforts all my life, I came to believe that life is about being here, just being here. And not to my surprise, I am WRONG again. Sometimes, we need to risk something in order to have that one thing we desire. I think selfishness is the number one reason why a person like me is having a hard time risking even a little bit of myself.

And here’s Bes, an Egyptian god, the protector of household, risk not just a little bit of himself but all the essence of him, his name, his ren, his soul.

Courage. It takes a greater courage to risk.A cowardice can’t risk because he is bound inside his comfort zone. And there’s Bes again, he goes all out for his friends, Sadie and Carter.

So what’s the point of this entry? The point is we can never truly live if we don’t risk anything at all. Sometimes in our life, we need to be courageous and selfless in order to live… to truly be alive.

William Shedd was right when he said, “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” Imagine we are the ship and we are only in the harbor, are we living our purpose? Are we living the life?

Opportunities, possibilities and life  only happen when we step out from our comfort zone. Risk. Have courage. Live.


Book of the Month (October): The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2) by Rick Riordan

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-Yien

 

Zombie

Scroll down. Like. Read. Share.

Scroll down. Judge. Click. Like. Share.

Scroll down. Like. Comment. LOL.

Scroll down. New feeds. Click. Refresh. Scroll down.

A month full of scrolling down. Like a Zombie in a new era of technology plague. I can’t stop. I tried to and still am trying. But to no avail. I’m still scrolling down. Scrolling down until my shoulder hurts, until my arms can’t take no more, until my eyes get sprained from all those eye sore (mind sore) status ranting. Instead of a zombie running for brains, I am running for “connection.”

Books piled up on my bed wanting to be read by their master. Oh! What have I done? I abandoned my love of reading for Social Media? This is not me, not my normal me. I supposed I’ve been hypnotized by a several likes, shares and somewhat superficial connection between “friends.”

Is this a part of me wanting to please everyone? To be relatable? To relate?

Is this a part of me wanting answers to life questions?

Oh! I need to stop this addiction while I still can. I need to stop this madness. I need to stop this zombie-fication. I want out of this machine. It doesn’t feel like freedom.


Yien 081416

7 Things My Father Taught Me (Post Father’s Day Thought)

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I never had a deep conversation with my earthly father. Never had he advised me of anything directly. But, what he doesn’t know is that he taught me many things in life.


(1) My father taught me to be angry. Angry to injustice. Angry to impartiality. Angry to things I should be angry about.

Anger is the right response to something that is so wrong. – The Shack, William Young

(2) My father taught me to respect. Respect the elders. Respect authorities. And most of all, he taught me to respect my mother.

Respect your mother more than me. – My father, every time one of us argues with my mother

(3) My father taught me to be prudent. Prudent about things. Prudent about money. Prudent about the things I worked hard for. If he could recycle things, he will. Well, that’s why I am “thrifty” FRUGAL!

(4) My father taught me to protect everyone I love.

I remembered that time when my father saw me crying in a food court. He asked me why. I said, I had an argument to a guy who whined about me being there at his table. You know, what he did, he looked for that guy. I was thankful that the guy wasn’t there anymore because if he was there, he would see a father in his volcanic eruption.

(5) My father taught me to halt. Halt when I know that I will never win an argument. Halt when life slaps you in your way. Halt when things go wrong.

He never won any argument with my mom. In that case, he just shut up and listen to my mother.

(6) My father taught me to accept things as they are.  Accept life. Accept consequences. Accept failures.

(7) But most importantly,  as much as I need to accept failures and consequences as it is, my father also taught me to go on, not to give up, not to drown myself with things I cannot control.

Many failures and problems have come my family’s way. My father faltered in a moment, but through his acceptance of the situation and his unending care for us, he got up and get back to the real world.

My father, through his actions, reminds me to keep moving forward. He reminds me that love is not only a noun, but a verb, an action word. He reminds me that in this conditional world, we can still find unconditional love (with a mixture of whining on the side. hehe!).


Belated Happy Father’s Day!

Julienne

Moving On… The KonMari Way

This month I will be starting some new feature in my blog. I would have liked to start it by July, however, the impulsive me gets in the way, voila, here’s June’s Book of the Month.

I know it is too early for June but I cannot help but share with you this book I have read.

This is Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.”

So going back, in this feature, instead of reviewing the books I’ve read, I will be telling you how it affects me.

So here it goes…

Imagine this, you enter your room/house and it dawn on you that your room/house is very untidy. There are clutters everywhere. There are many unnecessary things around. Then, you question yourself, why are these things even around? Why you keep on accumulating things which you aren’t using? Why you keep on storing things which are only nuisance in your home?

This is what I am feeling while and after reading the book. Actually, it made me anxious… Oh to be exact, VERY ANXIOUS. That is why, after reading this book, I immediately tidy the house (we have a very small house). And guess what, I was only organizing clothes but there are all in all 16 bags I’ve discarded and put in a donation box. Yes, that’s how untidy our home is. There is no wonder, why people here are always irritated and hot-headed. Imagine a house that is cluttered, it is irritating I can tell.

In KonMari Method, the key to discard and organize your home is to ask yourself,

is this thing I am holding sparks joy?

If not, say goodbye to that thing and discard it. It is no way you should keep those which are not making you happy… Even it is still useful or comfortable or memorable. If it does not spark joy, DISCARD it.

Well, life is like that, I think. Many things in life does not spark joy. May it be people, thoughts, dreams, mundane things. But we keep on accommodating those people and those thoughts. We keep on holding to that dream. We keep on doing the mundane things. Why? Maybe it is comfortable that way. We may feel secure that way. But in return, it is only making us anxious. It drags us down. We cannot be our full potential, if there are some things that are weighing us down. I am not saying that those things did not help you up but what I am saying is that their purpose have already been accomplished. Now, it is time to move on… the KonMari way. Ask yourself if it is still making you happy. If not, time to discard.

If we keep on being a minimalist, lessening things we accumulate, we can easily see the things which are important, things we admire the most, things we truly value. That way, we can become who we really are.

P.S. I have learned many things reading this book, from practical to the deepest of thoughts. Maybe I can share it to you soon.

Julienne

 

A Thousand Lives

I would like to live in a world wherein no books will be left alone, abandoned and orphaned. But I would also love to live in a world wherein there will be no illiterate children left.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” – George R.R. Martin

My ultimate dream is to have a big library wherein people, especially children, can come to read books they cannot buy because of lack of finances. I am into education and reading. And giving people a chance to be educated is one of my many passions.

Then it was just like a dream come true through The Book Stop Project, they open a pop-up library at the heart of the very busy city, Makati. This movement of TBSP is to encourage reading and a passion for books and promotes the sharing of ideas through the redistribution of books. Everyone can exchange pre-loved books to the books available there. Also, everyone can borrow.

The pop-up library will be at Ayala Triangle Gardens, Makati City until May 7.


My first day

I didn’t take a picture that time because I want to cherish that moment of indulgence and cravings.

I thought I will never see anything that will interest me. But because of my “Book Sale” skills, I saw these books:

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I’ve been meaning to have a hard copy of “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.” I’ve read a pdf file of this, but owning a hard copy is the most precious moment of my life.

My Second Day

In exchange of the books I’ve taken home on my first day, I gave these precious books of mine:

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I tried to observe who would take these books and how fast they will spot these. In no 5 minutes time after I placed the books on the shelf, someone got Paulo Coelho’s Veronika Decides to Die. After a couple of minutes, it was Ang Perang di Bitin. Then afterwards, The Little Pink Book. The next one was the Living Beyond your Feelings. And the last I’ve observed was A Stolen Life. Then afterwards I left, with these books:

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Third Day:

Then this Tuesday, I returned. The first thing I did was to look for the books I left… and I haven’t seen any. Yes! At least now, those books will be read by another person.

There’s a lot of books yesterday compared to the previous days. And I’ve seen Elizabeth Goudge’s The Little White Horse. It looks good and it’s summary is good. So I took it.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank The Book Stop Project for indulging my booknerd cravings.

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2015 in Books

Hello Everyone!!! As you are reading this, 2015 is at the verge of ending. So, here goes my 2015 in Books. As you all know, one of my passions is reading good books.

2015 in review

Summary

Out of the 50 books I pledged for this year’s reading challenge, I only have read 34 books. Bummer, right? When I looked back on my 2014 reading challenge, I’ve read 42 books out of the 20 books I pledged. The reason? I was unemployed for 1 month last year, as for this year, I have to squeeze my time in reading, working, drawing and responsibilities.

Feeling fulfilled that I’ve read 10,113 pages. Oh right!!!

The shortest book I’ve read was Philip Yancey’s Why? The Question that Never Goes Away with 93 pages, while, the longest book I’ve read was East of Eden by John Steinback with 601 pages (oh that was huge! I haven’t noticed because it was in pdf form).

Average length of pages I’ve read was 316 pages.

Popular

According to Goodreads, the most popular book I’ve read was To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. And the least popular was Love is Blog by Dr. Eamer (he is a new self-published writer, that’s why. To know more about him, visit his blog: https://iamdoctoreamer.wordpress.com/)!

The average rating I gave was 3.9 (not bad)! And the highest rated book on Goodreads is Back on Track: Shifting Back to Grace by Ru dela Torre.

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Above are the books I’ve read this year! My Favorites are as follow (in no particular order because I can’t):

(1) The Magic String of Frankie Presto by Mitch Albom

Do I need to say more? It’s Mitch Albom guys!!!!! 🙂

(2) The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The first but not the last book I will ever read of Gaiman’s. He’s a true storyteller.

(3) All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

If you don’t want to be shaken and if you don’t want to cry inside for 2 weeks, better not read this book. All The Bright Places left me shattered.

(4) Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Please read the comment on number 3. Well, this book is still shattering me right now. Remembering this novel is like remembering the most painful moment of my life (which was reading this book and reading TFIOS).

(5) The Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan

I love mythology so much. Then reading a spin off of the greatest mythology ever written in this world is like the best thing that ever happen in whole wide universe! Also, I’ve read Percy Jackson series and it left me obliged to read The Heroes of Olympus Series.

(6) The Reason by Lacey Sturm

Lacey Sturm is the ex-vocalist of Flyleaf. Before, she was an atheist, but now she is a full-pledged Christian and this book is about her journey of faith.

(7) East of Eden by John Steinback

Oh! I am not a classic reader. I am trying to be, but I feel like I am just obliging myself to read classic because intelligent people read classic. But boy, this is such a delight to read. I love East of Eden so much. But honestly, it took a couple of months to finish it. But it was worthwhile.

To end this, I am currently reading The Last Apache Girl by Jim Fergus

and

A Christmas Carol

ADVANCE HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!


I will appreciate if you can recommend books to read for next year. I love mystery, adventure, fiction and Christian books.

One Kind of Being Unkind

Life has its own way of teaching us the lessons we need to learn. It may be by means of challenges or may be an unexpected situation, but most of the time life teaches us in the simplest way possible.


Last Tuesday, I was walking home, I decided to take a peek on National Bookstore’s Warehouse Sale (take a peek: meaning staying at least an hour to touch, smell and thoroughly examine books). I thought I would buy one book, I’ve tried to feel the books but nothing speaks “BUY ME!!!” persistently, so I decided to leave NBS without buying one (and that’s a first).

On my way out of the store, I realized that I am starving, really starving, I saw Wendy’s and immediately ordered my favorite Baconator with fries and drink. Then I left the mall.

I was again walking home when suddenly one little poor teenage boy run to me and ask for my drink. He was holding garlands of sampaguita on his left hand while his right was patting me on my shoulder. With all my might, I ignored him. Yet, he still insisted for the drink I was currently drinking then. I walk past him ignoring all his sentiments. He insistently ask for the drink until he had given up all hope for the drink. Then, he left my side.

I thought I would be safe that evening. However, right after he left me alone, I felt something was wrong… someone was rebuking me that moment. I walked but the guilt feeling was still boggling me. I tried to rationalize what I did. I said to myself, “Well, it’s okay, you are very hungry and thirsty and that’s the last money you have.” Still feeling guilty, I said, “It’s okay, these poor kids today are too demanding and they do not deserve my help, don’t they have parents to deal with their needs?” I also said to myself, “Jesus said do not let other stumble on your account.” But the truth was, the boy just wanted the drink I was drinking. I wanted to go back then and give them all I bought from Wendy’s, but I could feel my stomach rumbling, I said, “Next time!”

I tried to forget that scene in my head. But when I reached home, after I drunk the soft drink, I found myself not fully eating the burger I’ve bought. So, I quickly opened my Bible because I was feeling that someone was rebuking me for what I did that night, and read:

Those who give to the poor will lack nothing,

but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.

– Proverbs 28:27 (NIV)

Okay, that hit it! I was rebuked to the highest level. And what’s more, I’ve read this:

Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes

will suddenly be destroyed–without remedy.

– Proverbs 29:1 (NIV)

I guiltily laughed at myself. I call myself a Christian but I forgot that Christ went down to heal the broken and meet the poor. And I was like ignoring the situation where I could extend myself to the poor. Because of this, my eyes were opened. I would not let myself be a stiff-necked Christian. I do not need many rebukes.

I am sharing this to you because maybe you have been in the same situation or maybe you happen to be in the situation like that. Life would give us a situation wherein we will be perplexed or be boggled. But remember, by praying and reading the Bible, God will tell you what to do, what you should not do, and what you should change with your attitude.

Honestly, I am happy more than boggled that night after the rebuking. Because I felt God and I felt He is reminding me of the things I need to do and not do. I am having a hard time being generous, because all I have today is from a hard-earned money but he reminded me to be generous always, as in always, for that pleases Him more greatly.

Happy long weekend to my Filipino friends out there! 🙂

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

91Ribm5STtLI super love this book.

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! 🙂