When I picked this up from my shelf as my next "currently reading" book, I did not expect I'd give it 5 stars. Using the movie as basis for this pre-jWhen I picked this up from my shelf as my next "currently reading" book, I did not expect I'd give it 5 stars. Using the movie as basis for this pre-judgement, I expected that I would go through a journey of a love-sick happy-go-lucky type of woman, who was always restless to find something new in her life and had all the money to just drop her work at hand and spend twelve months travelling and enjoying an idle life. It seemed too good to be true. The movie depicted a life that any discontented woman would wish to do -- leave the daily grind of work, find peace within herself by communing with nature, and end up in a whirlwind fairy-tale type of romance with the Prince Charming who had been waiting for her all this time.
And with this kind of depiction of a woman’s life story, the least that I expected was to see my own self and own thoughts to be actually articulated by Elizabeth Gilbert, as she retells her life story and life lessons. Not that I have had the same life events as she had -- divorce, for instance -- but the constant tug-of-war between the heart and mind is something that I can relate to: how she carried herself despite all the seemingly misfortunes she experienced, how she tried to process within herself all the unfathomable events in her life, how she struggled to find the balance between worldly pleasure and spiritual pleasure, and how she simply tried to reach out of herself to search for the solution that would calm her soul.
It is simply amazing to find someone – a writer whom you’ve never met -- who is able to express what you wish you could. It is even more refreshing to see before your eyes the journey, which you also find yourself in, to have been gone through by someone else who has successfully come out of it unscathed. That experience of having someone ahead of you in the struggle sheds the light of hope which now serves to be one of your life handles.
As Carlos Zafon said in the character of Julian Carax: "Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside of you.” One of the most elating, yet rare, experiences in reading books is to discover a soulmate in the person of the writer, whose book is probably the only way for your paths to actually cross.
This reading experience I’ve had with this “Now a Major Motion Picture” book made me strongly affirm Shaffer and Barrows’ claim in The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society: Perhaps there is some secret sort of honing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers. I can't help but agree. There really must be this particular matchmaking spell in books.
Who would ever think Olympus is just there in the middle of New York! And who would have the slightest idea that the Underworld itself is at the veryWho would ever think Olympus is just there in the middle of New York! And who would have the slightest idea that the Underworld itself is at the very heart of Hollywood! Great imagination. Full of extraordinary adventure and humor, this book will never fail any of its readers. ...more
I do not know why I ended up reading this at so late in my life! This piece is a classic. How come I didn't read it in high school? Published in 1959,I do not know why I ended up reading this at so late in my life! This piece is a classic. How come I didn't read it in high school? Published in 1959, surely my literature teacher must have encountered this some 20 years ago!
But am glad I got the chance to read it now and meet Charlie Gordon. This book gave another emotional thrill that touched my soft spot for the "marginalized". Charlie was such a sweet innocent retarded man who had much "motor-vation" to be smart. He couldn't believe a mouse, Algernon, was so hard to beat in the "amazes". Charlie's literal stupidity was just so sweet that I super hated his coworkers in the bakery for making him their laughing stock and yet Charlie considers them their "best friends." While I was reading through those first accounts, I felt the urge of a big sister needing to protect a younger sibling from bullies like those two.
The cycle of Charlie's mental and emotional journey definitely brought me around as well. In the end, I was not sure what I would have wished for Charlie, whether he should not have gone through the operation in the first place and just continue enjoying the literal "ignorance-is-bliss" state or go through the process of getting smart with all the hurts and pains along the way. Was it worth it after all? ... It was really a complete cycle for him. People, memories, and experiences have come and gone in his life. But only our dear Algernon remained to be Charlie's loyal friend with the same natural retardation and artificial intelligence that knotted them together.
addendum: ... I must admit, I got emotionally hooked in the story of Charlie Gordon that I had to get a copy of the movie and the audio book. So, aside from this paperback edition, I listened to the narration of Charlie and watched the movie too. All three forms of the story managed to make great stirs in the emotions. ... Watch the movie to see how pretty Ms. Kenean is. :) Listen to the audio book. You'd feel the pain that Charlie went through. In any way, there is no escaping from Charlie Gordon.
The value of the mind is in the heart. That's what makes morons the real geniuses of this world.
I don't remember reading any YA book written by a guy giving me a guy's perspective of life -- of boys' friendships, their awkward teenageI loved it!
I don't remember reading any YA book written by a guy giving me a guy's perspective of life -- of boys' friendships, their awkward teenage years, and their being forced by time to grow up and mature.
Reading this gave me a different experience from all the other books I have read. John Green has such a good knack for conveying deep message using the "superficial" witty and funny language of his male characters.
I wish all teenagers would read this -- boys and girls alike. They need not learn the lessons of life the hard way all the time. Perhaps reading this book would spare them some of those hard ways ... (But yes, I won't deny it, learning life the hard way may be fun too! Enrolling in the The University of Hard Knocks can give one an experience no other university can provide.)
Though Paper Towns is written by a guy with more male characters in it, I just loved the character of Margo Roth Spiegelman. She actually reminds me so much of Lisbeth Salander of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo -- the enigmatic independent strong-in-appearance-soft-in-the-inside type of girl. I also very much admired the strong friendship of our three main boys: Q, Radar and Ben! They are utterly hilarious! Deep and true!
Amazing, John Green! Congratulations! Great way to capture the mind and feelings of young people getting pushed into the adult world. Thank you for helping us teachers show the young what real life is all about -- being a paper girl in a paper town is not all there is to it -- even if high school life, peer pressure, and the prevailing frivolity in the air of modern times subtly turn many of us into nothing but paper girls and paper boys in paper towns....more
Once more, Zafon takes his readers to a thrilling ride into a web of stories. And any ride with Zafon is guaranteed to be breathtaking.
In the Angel'sOnce more, Zafon takes his readers to a thrilling ride into a web of stories. And any ride with Zafon is guaranteed to be breathtaking.
In the Angel's Game, Zafon has again exhibited his specialty in leading his readers into a series of intricate stories. He makes sure his readers enter that labyrinth of events so engrossed that they would hardly feel that they have been sucked into it. But great Zafon makes sure that his readers come out of it safe. He really has that talent of giving little unexpected twists here and there while ending the whole story with one big unforeseen twist.
The ride through the whole book is something to be cherished. He successfully puts his readers under his spell -- playing with their emotions through his sarcastic humor, manly ego, proud wit, writer's vanity, and pure friendship.
There is so much wisdom in Zafon's words, through Sempere the bookseller: "Every book has a soul, the soul of the person who wrote it, and of those who read it and dream about it."
Am sure Angel's Game, Shadow of the Wind, and even The Prince of Mist will be the content of my dreams for quite a long time. ...more
Being brought up the occidental way and raised in a rather western-adapted culture, I had a great time reading through the original oriental thought,Being brought up the occidental way and raised in a rather western-adapted culture, I had a great time reading through the original oriental thought, which is actually the roots of my Asian race. It is always enlightening to discover a treasure of ideas which we had taken for granted, never bothered to explore in detail.
I myself went through quite a number of philosophy classes but what got retained are the Western philosophies precisely because it is their application in the modern world -- the generation we belong to -- that we breathe in and witness. But the ancient Chinese philosophies do have a golden chest of ideologies that, given a choice, I would definitely prefer to live by.
Anyway, life is given. How you live it is your choice. In the end what matters is The Dash between the two dates written on our tombstone.
Whoa! This book truly is a page-turner. You will have to think twice and maybe even more to decide to stop reading. You would need lots of sticky noteWhoa! This book truly is a page-turner. You will have to think twice and maybe even more to decide to stop reading. You would need lots of sticky notes to record all the nice quotes you can get from every page.
I love the language of the characters. I love Fermin! Such an educated beggar he is! What is common among the characters is how exquisite the language they use even in their ordinary conversations.
The suspense in every page will keep you at the edge of your seat. It would definitely make you sit up when you're reading lying down. The twists and turns of the story are fantastic! No predictable scene at all.
There are sub-stories within stories. You might get lost somewhere within those stories but you will also get back on track. From start to finish, everything was cleared up.
All the characters -- and there are a lot -- were built up so well.
You will truly feel entranced by all the events happening right before your eyes.
What a genius Zafon is! It would now be in my bucket list to be able to follow him closely. ...more
Like his books other books, John Green has made The Fault in Our Stars a good mix of friendship, love, tragedy, and humor. I like his knack in makingLike his books other books, John Green has made The Fault in Our Stars a good mix of friendship, love, tragedy, and humor. I like his knack in making the bleak reality seem the most natural thing that can ever happen. Tragic as it may be, Green manages to make life bearable in the perspective of teenagers. Just like in Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska, I appreciate how John Green has uplifted the generation of teenagers by giving them a bit of wisdom.
I also like the presence of Peter Van Houten and how he was really made to be a descendant of Van Houten chocolates! The best in the world that really originated in Amsterdam. ...more
Though I don't have the luxury of time right now to compose a review that would give justice to this book, I can't help but write down my thoughts aboThough I don't have the luxury of time right now to compose a review that would give justice to this book, I can't help but write down my thoughts about it -- unorganized they may be at this time of the night.
Thanks to my academic requirement of having to present the Taoism philosophy in class, I decided to pick up this book thinking that it would explain to me the philosophy in a more down-to-earth language that non-philosophers would understand, making it easier for me to share with the others. I am really just so glad that this book would help me not only for my presentation but in actual life itself.
I would recommend this book to those who are in search for meaning -- those who consulted Viktor Frankl's book precisely to search for the meaning of their life. This Tao of Pooh is a good companion for those people who are so busy in life trying to attain all that they could -- trying to cope with all the social trends, moving endlessly towards the peak of the social, academic and professional ladder, exerting all the effort to BE ALL TO ALL.
There are just too many messages and wise advice that this book gave me that I would need time to absorb and internalize for me to truly live the Tao of Pooh. One thing that I am so proud about this book is how it gave me an immediate sense of happiness and contentment in life. Perhaps it caught me at the time of my life that I am at a crossroad, deciding which road to take that would eventually lead me to my desired destination in life.
But I realized that I had always been like Bisy Backson when in the end, it is the tao of Pooh that matters. The immediate enlightenment that I received from this book is that what matters is for "you to enjoy the process and not fret about the product."
Since there is just too much to synthesize for me to be able to write a more critical review of the book, for now I would settle to share with you Pooh's summary of the Tao:
To know the Way, We go the Way; We do the Way The way we do The things we do. It's all there in front of you, But if you try too hard to see it, You'll only become Confused.
I am me, And you are you, As you can see; But when you do The things that you can do, You will find the Way, And the Way will follow you.
I never read and until now I do not know the characters / story of Winne the Pooh ... but one thing is for sure, each character (the Owl, the Rabbit, Eeyore, and Pooh) represents the types of actual people in the world. Find out who you are and choose who you want to be, whose way you want to follow.
Thanks to Benjamin Hoff, he made the deep ancient philosophy Taoism and the superficial contemporary fiction characters blend to come up with a new companion, a quick guide to anyone's search for meaning. Hats off to Mr. Hoff! ...more
The Master Storyteller did it again! It was by serendipity that I encountered a copy of this book and I am really glad I did!
Intended for teen readersThe Master Storyteller did it again! It was by serendipity that I encountered a copy of this book and I am really glad I did!
Intended for teen readers, in The Midnight Palace, Carloz Ruiz Zafon keeps the style of writing that is sooo uniquely his. As usual, he brings his readers to a web of stories while letting them experience the mix of anguish, horror, and laughter all in one as they get immersed in that web. Even if all his books have this trend of stories within stories, Zafon manages to make each book simply unique and enjoyable. The way he does his development of characters is just so right! The way he shifts the pov of the story is just so in perfect timing that readers would bitterly enjoy the suspense. The way he cuts the stories to bring in another side of the story makes it literally a cliffhanger! ... Gosh! Hasn't he captured me enough yet! My idolizing Zafon has come a bit to the extreme it seems but I must admit, his talent is simply jaw-dropping! How does he do it?! My describing him still pales the real amazement I have for this great author!
(A note on the side: Zafon is not like other authors whose plots are just so the same that there's hardly anything marvelous to discover. I would rather not mention such authors here but drama/romance books (always with a military/soldier setting and one main character always dies but the ending is always happy) are typically like that.
I wonder when (and if!) I will ever reach the saturation point of reading Zafon's books!...more
Jon Wiles and Joseph Bondi are one of the great gurus in the field of curriculum development and instruction improvement. This book on supervision offJon Wiles and Joseph Bondi are one of the great gurus in the field of curriculum development and instruction improvement. This book on supervision offers a comprehensive lesson on the practice of supervision in schools. From the historical timeline of supervision as a concept to the application of contemporary researches in the field, this book is another must-read for all education professionals....more