I've long wanted to read something that she wrote, longing for some feel good story. If I were in high school I probably would have raved about the bo...moreI've long wanted to read something that she wrote, longing for some feel good story. If I were in high school I probably would have raved about the book, but well I am in my 30's and I guess I was looking for something more mature. Don't get me wrong, the story line is of course very mature, not a lot of people are faced with the tough decision of giving away their offspring, but then again I felt that it is somewhat predictable. And had the biological parents ended up hooking up, I probably would have given it a one star rating, ooooppssss, sorry spoiler. But then again I like the fact that it ended that way, makes it more realistic for me.(less)
Cecilia Ahern's If You Could See Me Now is generally a light read, perhaps intended for younger audience given the whimsical and fantasy theme. It was...moreCecilia Ahern's If You Could See Me Now is generally a light read, perhaps intended for younger audience given the whimsical and fantasy theme. It was rather slow in the beginning, moving around the story of each of the main characters along with each of their set of troubles and woes and the areas with which Ivan was supposed to help them out.
It took me more than a month to finish the book which is a complete opposite of her first best-seller P.S. I Love You, which was later on turned into a major motion picture. I almost did not like the book, had it not been for the events that took place much later into the book that gives clarity to what really transpired during Elizabeth's childhood that made her and her father all too clammed up emotionally. It wasn't because it did not have a happy ending that made me almost not like the book, it's just that I feel that there were too many loose ends. For one, there had been no mention of what had become of Elizabeth's mom and her sister Saoirse. Also, the fact that it was much later on that she realized what Ivan really was is rather too far-fetched.
One general observation that I noticed with British authors is that they are much too kind (based on Cecilia Ahern and Melissa Hill). Alright may be that's too small a sample but it's just that they are too kind, the characters I mean, just saying. Makes me want to move to Britain or Dublin I suppose.
Going back, I'm still interested in reading her other novels, but it was sad to note that this one is some kind of a let down comparing it with P.S. I Love You. If You Could See Me Now is perhaps well suited to teenaged girls.
It is a well-crafted story, although I feel that if I have not been able to watch the TV series adaptation, it would be a total drag for me. It was ju...moreIt is a well-crafted story, although I feel that if I have not been able to watch the TV series adaptation, it would be a total drag for me. It was just entertaining to get more insights from each characters as each chapter is presented on a specific character's point of view. It is an era novel which I like as well. It is always refreshing to read about a period of time when a man's oath is valued more than gold and when chivalry is still very much alive.
Now, what don't I like about it? The long chapters really don't work for me. I'm still thinking as to whether I'd keep on reading the other books, but at the moment I am gravitating towards just watching the series instead. (less)
When I first saw the book More Than A Bucket List of Toni Birdsong I was under the impression that it will be somewhat similar to 20,000 Days and Coun...moreWhen I first saw the book More Than A Bucket List of Toni Birdsong I was under the impression that it will be somewhat similar to 20,000 Days and Counting, that it will be about a call to action of doing some things that creates greater impact towards the people around you, but more so, that it has the same compelling message of having a sense of urgency. Well, it is somewhat the same thinking about it now, minus the sense of urgency.
I like that the book is broken down in little categories or one paged chapters. Basically it is just a whole bunch of suggestion coming from the author on what items we could put on our own bucket list of things we want to accomplish in our lifetime. The traveling itinerary is rather very lofty and may not be suitable for an average Joe, with minimal dough (hey that rhymes, hehe).
There's just way to many items on the list. Some were as simple as coming up with a resolution to exercise more and sticking to it, and doing some random acts of kindness and gratitude like picking up the check at a restaurant of a police officer or a fireman, or visiting a former teacher who made a positive impact in your life and treating him/her out to dinner, which I actually intend to do sometime this year, and some other really small acts of kindness that is bound to overwhelm the receiver in more ways than one.
The only thing that boggles me about the book is if the author actually had to experience at least 3/4 of the items she wrote there, it would have been much easier to relate to her had she mentioned which items were already ticked off her bucket list. And I guess I wished she talked a little more about her life because I kinda felt that the book was rather impersonal since she has not shared a lot of things about her life and what moved her to write the book.
Over all, it's an OK book for me, rather apt that I picked it up on the first month of the year.(less)
I got the book from a book sale and there had been multiple times that the book has been discounted. Initially it was tagged for P60.00, then P30.00 a...moreI got the book from a book sale and there had been multiple times that the book has been discounted. Initially it was tagged for P60.00, then P30.00 and then finally P20.00. And the cheapskate that I am, picked it up and thought what the heck, it's only P20.00. Alright, I got taken in by the cover photo (picture of a coffee cup) and then the overview, about the story about 2 sisters and how it is meant for anyone who has a sister or anyone who ever wanted to have a sister. And the latter refers to me, so I rightfully picked it up and purchased it. Well, okay fine it was only P20.00, but after finishing this book, I realized I could have just spent the money on a McDonald's Sundae cone and have used the time I spent reading the book in doing some crafts, would have been a whole lot wiser and more productive.
This book is sorely disappointing. Reading through it, I could not help but wonder (and strongly conclude actually), if the author has ADD. She can't seem to finish one thought, based on the fact that you get lost in thinking what exactly she wants to tell you as you go from chapter to chapter. There's also a very slow build up and lack of twists to sustain your interest as you move forward. The lives of the 2 sisters are completely boring I would say and well towards the end, it became rather too predictable.
Lesson learned: When you see a book discounted multiple times, there is a good reason for it. (less)
I was glad I picked this book and I must say that I was rather blown away by the simplicity of the concepts presented by Mr. Smith. Truly, brevity is...moreI was glad I picked this book and I must say that I was rather blown away by the simplicity of the concepts presented by Mr. Smith. Truly, brevity is the soul of wit. Robert Smith's 20,000 Days and Counting is packed with universal truths that we all need to be reminded of in our daily lives, for us to have a sense of urgency.
I like the fact that this book is designed to be read in only one hour as the author stated, we need to allot more time for other things that are far more important in our lives. One particular statement he mentioned that I am almost always guilty of is that: We have an amazing ability to over estimate what we can do in the next five years and totally under estimate what we can do in the next fifteen minutes. This totally hit home when I read it because I'm guilty of always procrastinating thinking that I still have so much time and later on trying to finish everything in a frenzy while I try to beat the deadline.
There's a lot of points he raised that are equally important. But the biggest take away that I have of this book is making myself the Problem, as Mr. Smith said - Become your own problem. According to him, by doing so, you thereby take the outside circumstances and bring them inside. And suddenly you have control. We are all guilty of putting the blame on the circumstances, the people around us, management, the government, and the devil of course, but we often times forget to take ourselves into account. And what a paradigm shift that makes when we become our own problem and start evaluating ourselves, what we are good at and what we could improve on.
This book is beyond a good read, really one book you'll read over and over. (less)
I found the book Dirty God by Johnnie Moore rather intriguing when I first saw it and given that most of the ratings it got were high, I opted to requ...moreI found the book Dirty God by Johnnie Moore rather intriguing when I first saw it and given that most of the ratings it got were high, I opted to request for the book to read it as well.
What I like about the book:
- The book started out strong with Johnnie Moore painting a clear picture of the practices of Hinduism in India and the sad reality that those people worshiping one of the many gods that they have, have had to tie up ribbons in the temple and then remove it later on when their prayers have been answered, and that many of the ribbons have been tattered by time signifying that a vast majority of prayers remain unanswered. - After that sad truth, he compares it with the kind of God we have in Jesus Christ, citing various incidents in the Bible when He was approached by needy people and he performed a miracle for them, right then and there, making Him a God who wants to be involved in our lives and a God who wants to deliver us out of our difficult situations. - He shared his personal vision of what the world would be like if all Christian will take action and provide aid to the needy, ailing and hurting.
What I think the book missed:
- I did mention that the author tried to appeal to Christ believers all over the world to take action and dispense of the kind of grace that we ourselves received from Christ, nonetheless, I feel that the author failed to touch on how being able to give the same kind of grace will require the manifestation of the fruits of the holy spirit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit is something that could not be faked and in order to be able to manifest such attributes (if it is apt to refer to it that way), the believer must be truly converted, otherwise, a believer will be unable to love the unlovable, much more turn the other cheek when his other one was slapped.
- Like a child waiting for a doctor's appointment who glances at the clock once in a while, so was the same feeling I got reading the book. After the author mentioned his experience in that Indian temple, I found myself constantly checking how many more pages do I have to go before I get to finish the book. It started out strong but then I got lost in the middle of it. Yes the words were beautifully strung but somewhere in between I find myself asking "what was he saying again?"
- The book doesn't really stand out compared to other books I've read like Combat Faith or the Fight.
This book may be a good read for newly converted Christians but may not be well suited for someone looking for materials regarding spiritual growth and maturity.(less)
Obviously, I read the book all because I watched the movie. And yes, I did watch the film because Emma Watson is playing the role of Sam. Well, what d...moreObviously, I read the book all because I watched the movie. And yes, I did watch the film because Emma Watson is playing the role of Sam. Well, what did I think about the book?
For one, it comes as an easy read, no deathly profound words that requires checking the dictionary every so often, and the prose is written as a letter to someone, that kind of looked more like a journal entry.
Charlie is the main character and is of course the one described as a wallflower, in which case is defined as "a person who, because of shyness, unpopularity, or lack of a partner, remains at the side at a party or dance." He apparently has a deep seated shyness about him, that makes it extremely difficult for him to interact and reach out to other people. Towards the end of the book, a big revelation is unearthed that fully explains Charlie's behavior.
Another thing that I liked about the book is that it somehow made me think of truly writing my own book. If someone can pick his brains and write about a forlorn high school experience laced with masturbation, substance use and abuse, abortion and all those stuff and have the book turned into a Hollywood film, then perhaps I have a shot. (just dreaming) It also reminded me of my own high school life, and the fact that I am also a wallflower. Although, I am grateful that I never got into any of those negative stuff that happened on the characters of this book at that time. I feel that this book should somehow be marked inappropriate for those under 18, since Charlie and his friends choices were far from ideal. Although of course, at the end of the novel the redemptive quality of the book is when Charlie realized that at the end of the day, we all have to remember the things that make us special and things that make us feel really good about ourselves. After all, life is too short to be hung up on the people who were reckless with our hearts.(less)
Absolutely lovely book! Way to end my 2013 reading challenge. After Cecilia Ahern, I think I'm loving European authors more and more because of Meliss...moreAbsolutely lovely book! Way to end my 2013 reading challenge. After Cecilia Ahern, I think I'm loving European authors more and more because of Melissa Hill.
Something from Tiffany's is a runaway winner when it comes to coming up with big twists. By the time you thought you had things figured out and have already invested so much on an angle you thought you've cracked, Melissa Hill comes up with another surprise. Well, I guess it's just about apt considering that that's the entire theme of the book - of surprises. When you later on find out the truth of the matter, you will be treated to a flash back of the previous chapters and all the subtle things that went on and brought the characters into such a scene.
Melissa Hill took me from love, hilarity, suspense, anger to forgiveness and back.
I would love to see it turned into a movie. Totally hard to put down and keeps you guessing till the end. :) A must-read. (less)
I have seen a lot of positive reviews for the said book and was somehow intrigued by it, despite it obviously being of having a Muslim tone. And so I...moreI have seen a lot of positive reviews for the said book and was somehow intrigued by it, despite it obviously being of having a Muslim tone. And so I borrowed a copy of the book from my cousin, who raved about the book.
I guess gone were the days when I relish stories about heartaches, brutal realities and love lost and thank God I got over that phase. Habibi is interspersed with Quran teachings contrasted with that of what is written in the Bible which of course is different. The story has violence and immorality as well as prostitution in it as the negative elements that the hero and heroine has had to battle with. The story likewise provides redemptive qualities to that of the snake - an animal used by the devil to tempt Adam and Eve, when the cursed creation led Zam, the hero of the story, into a dam of water, saving them from dying of thirst.
I guess the book had deeper meanings considering the transition taking the readers from the ages of kings and concubines, desert nomads and caravans, fast forward to the future painting a picture of the world as a vast wasteland, to the present. I guess it just wasn't for me. (less)
I came across Captivating from one of my trips to the local bookstore near us. When I frequent a bookstore, chances are, I'm upset about something and...moreI came across Captivating from one of my trips to the local bookstore near us. When I frequent a bookstore, chances are, I'm upset about something and would like to hear from God. And true enough, God placed this book on my way. And reading through the summary at the back, it feels like someone read my heart and has captured the right words to perfectly describe my inner struggles. Unfortunately, I do not have enough cash that time to purchase the book. When I went back, I can't find it anymore and when I tried to check with customer service, I was told it is already out of stock. And so the quest for this book started. I asked my husband to give it to me for my birthday, but he also had a hard time looking for a copy. It was already Christmas when he found me a copy.
The book goes beyond the psychological make up of a woman and her emotional DNA. It tackles each area in a woman's life and any painful incident in a woman's past that may have contributed to any self destructing patterns she developed over time. Women, as per the book, wanted to be beheld as captivating and both authors digs deeper on the phrase - image of God, referring to the woman as the glory of God. Which is also the same reason as to why the devil went after the woman instead of the man when he set out a plan to deceive them. That act of the enemy shows just how hell bent he is in trying to get in the way of the woman in carrying out her purpose. And to date, that enemy has not wavered in that plan to destroy the creation of God that is the woman.
The book Captivating aims to point out the longings of our heart of hearts, which most women tend to ignore out of guilt, thinking that she is never deserving of such admiration and love. The authors of the book goes out of their way, in God's grace, to let us know that the deepest desires of our hearts are in tuned to what God wanted for us to begin with.
I have nothing but praises for Mr. Doyle's work in Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? But more than the narrative and page-turni...moreI have nothing but praises for Mr. Doyle's work in Dreams and Visions: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World? But more than the narrative and page-turning compilation of the amazing stories of visions and dreams of Jesus that our Muslim brothers are having, is of course, the only Savior Himself - Jesus!
We all know or at least are familiar with the persecution of Muslims who converted to become a follower of Jesus Christ, it is a downright dangerous path for them. And since the risks involved for missionaries are very real and and could well mean death once they are caught preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ to Muslims, Jesus is making Himself known to Muslims by dreams and visions.
The accounts of the converts you'll read in this book will make you realize how thirsty men are, regardless of religious background. And once they have come to give their life to Jesus and accept Him as their Lord and Savior, they have a passion and zeal that would make long-time believers feel ashamed of, for being complacent in sharing the good news. I myself, felt very much ashamed for taking my freedom to study the word of God at any given point in time, without the need to hide and the liberty to proclaim God's goodness in my life in whatever way pleases me, very lightly. In the Middle East our brothers and sisters are trying to find creative and different ways to acquire a Bible, and once they do, they devour it and pour themselves into reading it to get themselves soaked in the Word, and here I am, always procrastinating when it comes to reading the Bible and more often trivializing the liberty at which I can boldly talk about my God to anyone at any given time.
It is also noteworthy to mention that towards the latter part of the book, the author gave good points on how to properly identify or test whether the dream is fake or not, after all, the devil counterfeits everything from heaven.
Reading this book has given me a renewed sense of passion towards studying His Word and praying for people in other parts of the globe that are thirsting for an encounter with the true God - Jesus.
I praise God for this book. It is powerful and Tom Doyle is truly an anointed man, and so are the rest of the people whose story is shared on this book. (less)
A Shot Of Faith (To The Head): Be A Confident Believer In An Age Of Cranky Atheists is a book I got through the Booksneeze Blogger reviews program. I...moreA Shot Of Faith (To The Head): Be A Confident Believer In An Age Of Cranky Atheists is a book I got through the Booksneeze Blogger reviews program. I was looking for another good read on faith and Christianity and thought that this book might be a good one.
I like that the author is very structured. Mitch Stokes opened the book by telling about people being converted to Christianity and then later on being unable to defend their faith or even expound their beliefs. He also gave a history of known intellectual people famous for criticizing the Christian faith, quoting the arguments presented by these known people, with one common belief in requiring perceivable and tangible evidence of a thing prior to believing in it.
Still on Mr. Stoke's being structured, after presenting the points of view of these famous atheists, he then moves on to present counter arguments to show how flawed the points raised by mockers of the Christian faith. Also, he sums up each chapter by take home points for each believer referring to it as the items we should have for our arsenal.
What I do not like though about the book is the fact that I am no philosophy major and at so many times, I found myself reading the words and yet completely spacing out. I've had to read and re-read certain chapters to get the point. I guess I'll have to re-read the entire book someday to fully appreciate it. (less)
Shannon Ethridge did hit that nail on the head with this book of hers - The Fantasy Fallacy. I wasn't actually expecting it to be so powerful and rive...moreShannon Ethridge did hit that nail on the head with this book of hers - The Fantasy Fallacy. I wasn't actually expecting it to be so powerful and riveting and not to mention downright enlightening. I believe that she was moved by God to write this book as a bondage breaker for most people. Although I do not have any specific fantasy that I needed deliverance from, I would be hypocrite not to say that I have read some materials that would be, in a way, classified as glorified porn. Novels by famous best-selling international fiction authors have graphic and vivid descriptions of sexual encounters between their heroes and heroines. In fact, I probably would have read the Fifty Shades series had I been in the same state spiritually and emotionally as I was about ten years ago. Actually, come to think of it, the Fifty Shades series is what really drove me into getting this book. I was baffled at the thought that people are going crazy over the said book, which I browsed and was completely mortified at the story line. And so I decided to read this book instead, hoping to somehow understand some people's fixation over S&M and other sexual fetish, and I am thankful that I did. Everyone should get a copy of this book, since we're all sexual in nature.
Shannon Ethridge is no doubt a gifted writer and a godly woman and is definitely passionate about the ministry that God led her into. Even if you are not struggling over some sadistic or masochistic fantasies or some weird sexual fetish, this book will still give you an insight on how to self-analyze your thoughts and why you sometimes have a sexual fantasy that is somewhat appalling. Aside from taking things in a spiritual vantage and psychological view point, the book also presents compelling facts and statistics making it more concrete.
There is also a part of the book that tackles the issue of homosexuality and how some, if not most, homosexual individuals, through some incidents in their past, came to be. I only wished that she did spend more time discussing how people can be delivered from it, although I'm sure it will be too long that it would have to be another book altogether.
It was one of the book that highlights my 2012 reading list and I recommend it to everyone. (less)
I am a big fan of the TV series Switched at Birth and so it is not surprising that I found myself going gaga over getting a copy of the book when it f...moreI am a big fan of the TV series Switched at Birth and so it is not surprising that I found myself going gaga over getting a copy of the book when it first came out. For those of you who haven't seen the show and intends to read the book, I recommend you watch the show first before reading the book, as it will make the book more alive and compelling. While most tv shows first came in book form and was later on made into a show, this one is the reverse. The TV show came out first and in the the story, one of the mothers of the girls that were switched at birth decided to make a memoir about this life altering experience.
So what did I like about the book?
- the prose is really very good. It is an easy read, no absolutely unheard of and profound words as some authors are fond of peppering their stories with, requiring the readers to have a dictionary handy. - As I said, it made the story and the characters more alive, as you get to look inside their head, in this case, more of Bay and Kathryn (more about that later on). - It also presents a better insight on what was going on inside Regina's head when she a made decision to keep mum about the switch all along. - I like the part when Kathryn is constantly tormented about missing out on Daphne's growing up that she actually drove to Regina and Daphne's old neighborhood to try to imagine how her little girl grew up.
What I didn't like about the book?
- It somewhat feels one sided. More than half way into the book and it is still all about Bay, Bay and Bay. Kathryn obviously has her favorite. She may have been tormented about the fact that she missed out on her biological daughter's growing up years but her remorse for that doesn't come close to how she always worries about Bay and how Daphne's coming affected Bay, who all along has been very sheltered and given all kind of comfort, when Daphne all the while became deaf because Regina was an alcoholic during Daphne's early childhood. I guess it would have been more realistic for me if an emphasis on that emotion has been given. I would have been very angry, also given the fact that she felt cheated by Regina, the other mom, who knew about what happened for more than a decade and had the chance to watch her biological daughter grow from a distance, which did not quite level the playing field with them.
- I guess I'm digressing on this because I'm more of a Daphne fan more than a Bay. But somehow, there has been very few moments when Kathryn tried to connect with her biological daughter. And what really frustrates me is that there really is very little written about Daphne into the book. Although I think I should not be surprised given that the first 2 leg of season 1 doesn't really show Kathryn trying to connect with Daphne, except for the pilot episode.
- While in the TV series Regina mentioned that she will finally help out Kathryn in the book, there seems to be very little insight about what Regina was thinking back then. In fact, the part of the book explaining why Regina kept mum about the switch all along was not explained by Regina herself but by Adriana.
I would love to see Regina come up with her own version of the book, just to level the playing field.
It was good overall, but I am greatly disappointed over the fact that very little was said over Daphne and it really felt that Kathryn favored Bay despite her claims about loving all three of her children.(less)