Friday, May 22, 2009

The Five People You Will Meet in Heaven

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Category: Books
Genre: Other
Author: Mitch Albom

True to what the critics have mentioned about the book. A very engaging book that kept me glued to it. I have learnt a lot from this book. The author basically wants readers to know that "All endings are also beginnings. We just don't know it at the time." Five valuable lessons are embedded within the conversations between Eddie, and the five people he meets in heaven. All these lessons are things that we often mistook or are disgruntled about. I am going to well, in a way plagiarize some of the lines from the book.

First Lesson:
There are no random acts and that we are all connected. Fairness does not govern life and death because if it did, no good person would ever die young. There is a balance to everything, while one withers, another grows. And birth and death is similar to this.

Second Lesson:
We all make sacrifices. It is a part of life, and not something to regret. Sometimes when you are sacrificing something precious, you are not really losing it. Instead, you are just passing it to someone else.

Third Lesson:
Holding anger is a poison that eats you inside. We often think that hatred is a weapon that attacks the person who harmed us, but it is just a curved blade. And that the harm we do, we do to ourselves. That is why it is important to forgive because no one is born with anger. It is just created by us.

Fourth Lesson:
Lost love is love that takes a different form. You can't see their smile or bring them food, but when these senses weaken, another heightens. That is memory. Memory becomes your partner. Although life ends, it does not mean that love has to end.

Fifth Lesson:
Eddie felt that he was non-existent and that what he did was not meaningful. However, what he does not realise is that he saves children from harm as he was the maintenance man. The one who fixes the machines and ensures that the children are safe. Here it tells us that we must never belittle the things we do for there are many reasons why we are placed in that certain profession or situation.

Do read this book to find out what actually took place that led to these five lessons learnt. I am sure you will enjoy this book as much as I did.
Lost love is love that takes a different form. You can't see their smile or bring them food, but when these senses weaken, another heightens. That is memory. Memory becomes your partner. Although life ends, it does not mean that love has to end.

Fifth Lesson:
Eddie felt that he was non-existent and that what he did was not meaningful. However, what he does not realize is that he saves children from harm as he was the maintanence man. The one who fixes the machines and ensures that the children are safe. Here it tells us that we must never belittle the things we do for there are many reasons why we are placed in that certain profession or situation.

Do read this book to find out what actually took place that led to these five lessons learnt. I am sure you will enjoy this book as much as I did.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Joy Luck Club

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Category: Books
Genre: Literature & Fiction
Author: Amy Tan
You wouldn't probably say no if you were asked by someone whether for at least once in your life, you've disagreed, much more, disobeyed your mother's orders all because of the idea that she is a firm threat to your liberty and enjoyment. I mostly assume that you'd not.
If there are people who are worthy of being labelled as unsung heroes, our mothers have already earned the top all due to their unheard of sacrifices they do just to build another generation who, needless to say kept on insisting that they could stand on their own but later finds their way to their mother's sweet and comforting embrace once they can't boast their strengths no more.
This idea is the core of Amy Tan's richly woven narrative, chronicling mother-daughter relationships made distant by the inevitable cultural gap. The mothers once imagined a better life for their daughters away from the depressing condition brought about by World War II to a land which perhaps everybody looks upon as the best place to start a good and insured life.
Ignorant as they were of the cultural differences China and the United States has, they lost the hope of instilling unto their daughters the very essence of being Chinese, let alone the Chinese culture. These mothers all have a story to tell about the rich culture of their native land and how much they wanted to be freed from the bondage of the life they already have in the US.
The daughters, being honed under the American customs and norms thought about their mothers as a hindrance to their personal and professional growth because they believe that their mother's stereotyped beliefs and traditions are unfriendly and irrelevant to those of today's.
But these daughters are ignorant of how much they could learn from the stories of the life of their mothers and from the pieces of advice they give, which were all fished out from a bitter past.
The mothers wanted the best for their daughters but the problem is, the daughters try to move away from their mother's hold because they think they know already how to swim in the wilderness of the world they deal with. However, it is not the case, though. The daughters, when they could no longer hold on to the strength they try to muster, though sometimes unwilling, strive to seek for wisdom in their mother's guidance.
But what is saddening is when you can no longer seek for such guidance because it's already too late for your mother has already passed away. This was what Jing Mae Woo felt. She later found how much she had missed the times when she is at her best in telling you her utmost desires but turned a deaf ear to hear them.
The novel is entitled that way because after the mothers in the story met in the US, they decided to create a club called "Joy Luck Club" characterized by playing mahjong and eating sumptuous food prepared by the host, which gathers periodically. It is included in the first chapter the very reason why the Joy Luck Club came to arise. I guess, it's better that you read it yourself.
Written with a true heart and presented devoid of any vocabulary hindrances, The Joy Luck Club will surely make it to the classics.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Secret

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Category: Books
Genre: Religion & Spirituality
Author: Rhonda Byrne

I first saw this book in a Women's Magazine, it was featured on their Must-to-Read books. I read the short review they made and later on after a few months my sister bought the book and I read it.

At its core this book, says that we can achieve a goal that we want through afirmasi themselves with positive statements with the statements we can manipulate our feelings. The past few years we may often read about The Power of Mind, this is more to The Power of Feeling. With feelings (with the visualization can be also), we will send signals to the entire universe so that our goal can be achieved with the help of the universe. Like magnets, we attract the people or events that help us reach our goal. If in everyday life, similar to the accident, Synchronicity, the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality.

One theory is that the pull theory interesting. according to this book. what is happening to us now is the effect of pulling all that we think about first.

This book gives a secret to be grateful for all the events that happened, forgive and release all errors which have the burden of our suffering. and the universe will realize that all we want. And it reveals the secret about how to make life more cheerful and optimistic.

The Big secret was inherited for centuries, and understood by those big prang in history (inventor, scientist, theologian, musician, thinker). Everything started from the imagination, and supported with the ability of our minds "interesting" things that we want, then in a period in the future there will be realized that we desire. So simple. Yes, it is.

Our current condition is the result of what we think in the past. Today, the rest is past. Therefore, we can become whoever or whatever we want with the home we want it in the right way. Stabilize the heart and exert our minds to achieve it.

Yes, people have the power set of his life, but God, can easily change the things that we have built.

USA TODAY Best-Selling Books for 2008

1. Twilight Stephenie Meyer
2. New Moon Stephenie Meyer
3. Breaking Dawn Stephenie Meyer
4. Eclipse Stephenie Meyer
5. A New Earth Eckhart Tolle
6. The Shack William P. Young
7. The Last Lecture Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
8. The Tales of Beedle the Bard J.K. Rowling
9. Brisingr Christopher Paolini
10. The Appeal John Grisham
11. Eat, Pray, Love Elizabeth Gilbert
12. Three Cups of Tea Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
13. The Audacity of Hope Barack Obama
14. The Host Stephenie Meyer
15. The Secret Rhonda Byrne
16. Marley & Me John Grogan
17. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules Jeff Kinney
18. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel David Wroblewski
19. Eat This, Not That! David Zinczenko, Matt Goulding
20. Dreams From My Father Barack Obama
21. Diary of a Wimpy Kid Jeff Kinney
22. Skinny Bitch Rory Freedman, Kim Barnouin
23. The Lucky One Nicholas Sparks
24. The Friday Night Knitting Club Kate Jacobs
25. Water for Elephants Sara Gruen
26. Nights in Rodanthe Nicholas Sparks
27. The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
28. The Pillars of the Earth Ken Follett
29. The Power of Now Eckhart Tolle
30. The Hollow Nora Roberts
31. The Christmas Sweater Glenn Beck
32. 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life Don Piper, Cecil Murphey
33. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World Vicki Myron, Brett Witter
34. Nineteen Minutes: A Novel Jodi Picoult
35. Playing for Pizza John Grisham
36. The Other Boleyn Girl Philippa Gregory
37. When You Are Engulfed in Flames David Sedaris
38. Cross Country James Patterson
39. The Road Cormac McCarthy
40. Atonement Ian McEwan
41. The Pagan Stone Nora Roberts
42. A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini
43. The Secret Life of Bees Sue Monk Kidd
44. Fearless Fourteen Janet Evanovich
45. Duma Key: A Novel Stephen King
46. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 4: The Battle of the Labyrinth Rick Riordan
47. StrengthsFinder 2.0 Tom Rath
48. Audition Barbara Walters
49. Outliers: The Story of Success Malcolm Gladwell
50. The Alchemist Paulo Coelho
51. The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town John Grisham
52. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
53. What to Expect When You're Expecting Heidi Murkoff, Sharon Mazel
54. The Tale of Despereaux Kate DiCamillo
55. The Memory Keeper's Daughter Kim Edwards
56. Into the Wild Jon Krakauer
57. Double Cross James Patterson
58. A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity Bill O'Reilly
59. Are You There, Vodka? It's Me, Chelsea Chelsea Handler
60. Watchmen Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons
61. World Without End Ken Follett
62. The Purpose of Christmas Rick Warren
63. Sail James Patterson, Howard Roughan
64. Hot, Flat, and Crowded Thomas Friedman
65. Scarpetta Patricia Cornwell
66. The 6th Target James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
67. Change of Heart Jodi Picoult
68. The Calorie King Calorie, Fat & Carbohydrate Counter 2008 Edition Allan Borushek
69. Just After Sunset: Stories Stephen King
70. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book 1: The Lightning Thief Rick Riordan
71. The Good Guy Dean Koontz
72. I Hope They Serve Beerin Hell Tucker Max
73. Twilight: The Complete Illustrated Movie Companion Mark Cotta Vaz
74. American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House Jon Meacham
75. My Sister's Keeper Jodi Picoult
76. The Choice Nicholas Sparks
77. Guinness: World Records 2009 Guinness World Records
78. The Darkest Evening of the Year Dean Koontz
79. High Noon Nora Roberts
80. The Official SAT Study Guide College Board
81. The Glass Castle: A Memoir Jeannette Walls
82. 7th Heaven James Patterson, Maxine Paetro
83. Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics Ina Garten
84. Goodnight Moon Board Book Margaret Wise Brown, art by Clement Hurd
85. Wicked Gregory Maguire
86. Bratfest at Tiffany's: The Clique #9 Lisi Harrison
87. Oh, the Places You'll Go! Dr. Seuss
88. Sundays at Tiffany's James Patterson, Gabrielle Charbonnet
89. Green Eggs and Ham Dr. Seuss
90. You've Been Warned James Patterson, Howard Roughan
91. Book of the Dead Patricia Cornwell
92. Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox Eoin Colfer
93. Love the One You're With Emily Giffin
94. Dead Until Dark Charlaine Harris
95. The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
96. The Love Dare Stephen Kendrick, Alex Kendrick
97. The Book Thief Markus Zusak
98. The Five Love Languages Gary Chapman
99. Marked P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast
100. Step on a Crack James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

And the Twilight Saga continues..

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Stephenie Meyer is currently working on the 5th installment of her Twilight Saga, "Midnight Sun". With 12 Chapters or 264 pages currently completed. I have downloaded the draft from a site that I have bumped into while browsing around the internet. We'll the book is really like Edward's version of the first book, Twilight. Wherein he is the one who's narrating the story instead of Bella. The chapter title's are still the same with the one's in Twilight. I'm really excited to read this one to see if Edward's version is better than Bella or not. So let's just wait for the full completion of the book and let's see what this version has to offer :)

If ever you want to download and read the draft of Midnight Sun, just click the link below

Saturday, May 9, 2009

iBlog 5

"My UP Souvenir :)"

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Just this morning I went to iBlog5 or the 5th Philippine Blogging Summit held yearly at the Malcolm Theater located at the University of the Philippines- Diliman's College of Law. It was my first time to attend a blogging event and actually I didn’t know such event existed until my friend Mark invited me to attend it together with him and I gladly accepted his offer. We arrived a few minutes before the event started and Mark got the last food stub (lucky him), since he was the 150th registrant for the event but eventually those 3 stubs to me ;). We went inside the hall and chose our seats at farthest row. The National Anthem was sung and afterwards the host cited an invocation to indicate the start of the blogging summit. The event was divided into two sessions; the first part was held in the morning and the latter part was held in the afternoon. For the morning session, it started with the discussion of Blogging itself and the different types and genres of blogging, i.e Photo Blogging, Video Blogging, Mobile Blogging. Six different topics about blogging were discussed wherein two different speakers spoke per subject matter. But in the afternoon session, individual speakers spoke per subject matter. The 2nd session started with the discussion about the Legal Issues in Blogging. So mainly, the speakers mainly gave us some guidelines about blogging. And the last topic discussed was about “Blogging to the Next Level”, it was really the best topic discussed in this summit. I was really fascinated how the speaker discussed about the evolution of a blogger which greater inspired me to have my own blog wherein I would write my experiences and thoughts. As this successful blogging summit came to an end, the organizer’s held a raffle wherein 120 lucky event participants will receive a t- shirt as souvenir. And luckily, Mark and I won. It was pretty tiring since the event started at 9:00 a.m and it ended at 5:00 p.m (8 hours). There was an after- event party but me and Mark weren’t really in the mood for socializing so we just went to SM and ate there. After wards we went straight home.

I’m looking forward to attend a bigger and better 6th iBlog next year :)

Monday, May 4, 2009

Book Review: Twilight

Category: Books
Genre: Romance
Author: Stephenie Meyer

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First and foremost, I do not hate Twilight in any way., in fact I really enjoyed it! It is indeed a page-turner, no doubt about it, but as a plot-driven reader, I felt that this book lacks on that department. Well, maybe I don't hate it but there are certain parts of the department I definitely dislike.

And, I would not this review with an overview or summary of the plot. I had a nagging feeling that the readers (or reader, haha) would have already read the whole series, anyway.

The Twilight Series by Stephenie Meyer has exceptionally piqued the interest of millions of readers around the world. In May, Publisher's Weekly reported that 5.3 million copies of Twilight books have been sold in the U.S alone. The media had immediately deemed it as the next Harry Potter and Meyer the next J.K Rowling.

Hell, no!

Harry Potter is definitely milestone's ahead from Twilight in terms of cultural impact. You need proof? Well, the fact that Twilight has a fan-base made up of exclusively female populace.

Okay, I may be biased. (I'm an avid Harry Potter fan. Sorry!) That is why I'm willing to give a review about Twilight to prove my point in this matter.

Twilight, as I've written above, is indeed a page-turner. But, not because of its compelling plot. No, not at all. It is actually a character-driven book. I am willing to bet that half of the Twilight-reading populace read it due to the cogent superficial splendors of Edward Cullen.

No, I personally don't think that's the bad part. It was impressive that Meyer would be able to give life and magic to a fictional character by her excessive use of adjectives and adverbs.

Well, actually, that's the bad part, too. Edward's splendor overshadows most of the characters. Even Bella, herself.

Most would probably argue: Bella is the driving force of Edward. Hello, the book is written in Bella's point of view? How can she be overshadowed?

True. Yet, I can't help but feel that Bella is just a place-holder character. A hollow mold wherein the readers could fit themselves in to bask in Edward's endearing charms and advances. I could almost see no depth in Bella's character. Almost.

It was certainly Meyer's way to portray Bella's fascination and adoration for Edward. On how she would accidentally forget to breathe when his face was near him or how she would babble on Edward's marble-like skin. It was good while it lasted, but as the cycle droned on, I was certainly annoyed. I was like: Okay, he's hot. Do you need to relinquish the list of adjectives you have used on the last page?

Let's move along, shall we? I certainly do not want to bash all of Twilight's characters. But I do admit, they are certainly lovable at some degree. The problem is, they are too damn predictable.

Predictable. Yes, the plot is actually predictable. If the plot wasn't written with Meyer's technique, it would actually not shine among the Gothic, vampire-romance genre.

As I have indicated earlier, I am a plot-driven reader. The plot is not only predictable but also lack depth. It keeps on dwelling on Bella's unwavering obsession and passion for Edward that the story seems to have no other goal but to adore Edward.

And who in here has ever heard of organic unity? It seems Twilight lacks in this department.

It has bothered me that Bella was impregnated by Edward in Breaking Dawn. Hello, I thought it was stated that vampires lose all body fluids and changed into venom once they were transformed. Uh-oh, I smell a plot-hole. There's a lot of plot-holes scattered actually. Just sniff around.

. . .

Okay, enough with the bashing.

And hey, I gave it 3-stars!

I may not have unrequited love for Twilight as much as I have for Harry Potter. Nevertheless, it does hold magic that was able to capture hearts of millions of readers worldwide.

Its flaws were veiled by the captivating way the prose was written. And I praise Meyer for that.

It just felt that this series is overrated. Way too overrated.

Nevertheless, it's still a good piece of work. Good in its own way.

One thing's for sure: Meyer is certainly no Rowling.

I would like to emphasize this to those annoying Twilight-ers who kept on declaring that Harry Potter has met its match or that Twilight has surpassed Rowling's epic.

Don't worry, mates. I still have the fan-girlsism in me. I do have fetish for Edward and Jacob; the latter having a stronger effect on me. I'm not that immune to their charms. Haha.