Sunday, March 20, 2011

Happy National Book Week

This is my first time to do this...I think this would be fun! Here's how it is done.
It's National Book Week. the rules are: Grab the nearest book to you. Turn to page 56. Copy the 5Th sentence. Don't mention the book.

The two of us fall silent and look down at the seven rivers under a sea of clouds.

Now, let's share this to all book bloggers and lovers.
Happy  National Book Week...Bookworms!!!

Bookmooch #4 - White Day Under the Tuscan Sun

Korea celebrated their own version of Valentines' Day. They call it White Day. Men are to give the women chocolates or candies. 
While most women are enjoying their chocolates and candies, I'm enjoying my another book via Bookmooch, all the way from Singapore.

BONUS: Today is White Day in Korea. The time of the year where people give each other chocolates or other sweets. I got a Ghana chocolate from one of the church deacons and candies from our new Pastor.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (2)

It’s that time of week again for Should Be Reading’s fun meme Teaser Tuesdays.
So how does this work:
  • Grab your current book
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
    She quickly responded with "Engaged is not married. You will never know until you try." ...and even though I had never taken the first move, I knew I would always regret it if I didn't with this one.
    p. 79, My Billion Year Contract by Nancy Many

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Help

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam (February 10, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399155341
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399155345
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Days spent reading: 9

The Help is about a young white woman in the early 1960s in Mississippi who becomes interested in the plight of the black ladies' maids that every family has working for them. She writes their stories about mistreatment, abuse and heartbreaks of working in white families' homes, all just before the Civil Rights revolution. 

I've been reading serious stuff  this past few days. So, I opted to read something light this time. The first novel I've read for this year. I like the cover. Borrowed from a friend who said that she couldn't put the book down. Well, I've been wanting to read this so I put aside other books on queue to give way for this one. 

Sure enough, I liked the story and the characters. It was kinda funny at first, because I was reading the words in such a way like I'm talking the way they do.You know how Southerners speak, right? It took me a while to read normally. 

All the way to the last pages, I just couldn't put the book down. I want to know what would happen next. Especially to Minny, how I enjoyed her experiences and laugh at her sass-mouthing. I admire Aibeleen's dealings with things and people. I could almost see myself in Skeeter. We both want to find our place in this world. While reading about the disastrous first date of Skeeter and Stuart, I could already tell that that is not their last meeting. Their love story is quite predictable. Sad to say, but I think Stuart needs to be a more principled man.

The ending left me to think what would happen. I got some happy endings, though. How I wish they would make this into a movie. I would love to watch it!

I found out that this book has another cover design

Friday, March 11, 2011

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications (November 9, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486419312
  • ISBN-13: 978-048641931

From Library Journal  
Published in 1861, this was one of the first personal narratives by a slave and one of the few written by a woman. Jacobs (1813-97) was a slave in North Carolina and suffered terribly, along with her family, at the hands of a ruthless owner. She made several failed attempts to escape before successfully making her way North, though it took years of hiding and slow progress. Eventually, she was reunited with her children. For all biography and history collections.

Aside from books about holocaust, crime scene investigation, and nonfiction religious books, slavery is another theme that I find myself attracted to read.  This book described vividly some of the atrocities and injustices slaves had suffered in the hands of slaveholders. While reading this book, I am much in gratitude that such kind of slavery is abolished.  I could feel the main character’s strong desire to obtain her freedom and of her children. Any person would sympathize with her agonies, as a mother, daughter, sister and as a woman. I can’t imagine myself living in that period.

I admired Jacobs, for her character and her determination to educate and improve herself in spite of her background. Her strong faith in God is also worth noting. You will in no wise ignore how her faith has led her through the most trying and heart-wretching moments of her life.

I’m not much knowledgable about slavery way back  in the 1800s, but by reading this book, I am glad that it is now a thing in the past and hope not to be repeated in the future.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Bookmooch #3 -I Almost Die of Happiness

Another happy week! I'm always happy and excited whenever I see a package lying on my desk. This time, I received books in two days. I got these books from a fellow Bookmoocher from the Philippines and in the US.
I blurred the address for safety reasons, you know!:-)
The 1st package I received (March 9) is from the Philippines. I waited for this book for quite some time, so I'm grateful that it finally arrived. I mooched this book for one of the reading challenges I'm doing this year.

Look what I got! No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
I got a card (with Emilio Aguinaldo on the cover), a bookmark, a post card and stationeries.
I'm not sure if this post card is old or made to look old, but I like it!
Thanks to this wonderful lady, she gave me an idea. From now on, whenever I'll send books I'll include some stuffs for them made in Korea. :-)
Still waiting for some packages to arrived, hopefully this month.:-)
Can't wait to finish the book I'm reading now so I could start with another one from my TBRs.

The 2nd package (March 10) is from the US. 
The famous and controversial Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Although I prefer to read non-fiction, this book has caught my interest so much that I couldn't let it pass unread. Thanks to Bookmooch, I got this copy for free.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

The Aquariums of Pyongyang Book Review

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books (August 24, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0465011047
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465011049
  • Genre: Non-fiction
  • Days spent reading: 10
From Publishers Weekly

North Korea is among the most opaque nations on earth, its regime noted for repression and for the personality cult of its father and son leaders, the late Kim Il Sung and his successor, Kim Jong Il. Kang Chol-hwan draws from firsthand experience in explaining the repression. After the division of North and South Korea, Kang's family returned to North Korea from Japan, where his grandparents had emigrated in the 1930s and where his grandfather had amassed a fortune and his grandmother became a committed Communist. They were fired with idealism and committed to building an Edenic nation. Instead, the family was removed without trial to a remote concentration camp, apparently because the grandfather was suspected of counter-revolutionary tendencies. Kang Chol-hwan was nine years old when imprisoned at the Yodok camp in 1977. Over the next ten years, he endured inhumane conditions and deprivations, including an inadequate diet (supplemented by frogs and rats), regular beatings, humiliations and hard labor. Inexplicably released in 1987, the author states that the only lesson his imprisonment had "pounded into me was about man's limitless capacity to be vicious."- Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

The book caught my interest.  I borrowed it from a friend and I was excited to read it. While reading this book, I can't help but think that the experience is somehow similar to Holocaust. The concentration camps, starvation, executions, brainwashing, and sanitation that's below par.

The situation is truly heart-wrenching. But I don't feel that much pain in the author's situation. Not because they didn't suffer much, but because they are more privilege than other North Koreans. They're a well-to-do family and they were supported by their rich relatives in Japan. Add to that, the influence and high educational attainment they had prior to imprisonment, which helped them to be in good terms with the authorities.

What breaks my heart most is the bitter resentment of the author's grandmother. I got a lot thinking about her.She truly believed that they will have a bright and prosperous future in North Korea. She only wanted to help her family. She convinced her husband and children to live in North Korea. Only to be confronted with lies and pretensions. She kept blaming herself for causing here family to suffer and even death.

Sometimes, we are also in a similar situations.We are looking forward to a bright and prosperous future. Every problems we have will be solved and it will be like living in paradise. Only to find out that if offers the opposite. Worse, there is NO TURNING BACK!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


So happy today! The book I ordered has arrived. The moment I saw the label on the box that says, "Books and Magazines" I knew right away that it's for me.

Whatthebook is one of the few English bookstores here in Korea where I love to buy books. The store sells used books for up to half the original price. I got some books on my wish list. Here's what I got today.

1. Hiroshima by Kenzaburo Oe
2. 10 Days to Faster Reading by The Princeton Language Institute 
and Abby Marks-Beale


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