e-book Dont Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders from My Fabulous Filipina Mother)

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You are commenting using your WordPress. You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Notify me of new posts via email. The soap. What resonated with me were: How Balance is important in everything and how it can save you a lot of stress. As a corollary to Balance, how important taking on challenges and playing to your strengths at the same time can be. Just manage your time. Regulate Christmas. Because I have no problem with two unattached, consenting adults who wish to do whatever they want romantically or intimately.

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Just don't involve children in the picture. I enjoyed the euphemisms and the language.

That justifies the rating, and I'm glad I'm finally able to read it. My rendition of a Lolita book cover for the book club's activity. What an awesome reading year was! I read a total of — drumroll please — 52 books , which means on the average, I can finish reading one book per week. So 52 books for ? It was a good reading year, like I said, and I intend for to go the same route. For the other months, I will include at least one book from other favorite authors in the reading list. That way, every month, I get to read something from my favorites.

And then of course, there's still The Spark Project - I may have posted less this than the year before that, but the feature is still around and I'm hoping to get more material to be published this year. I still have the Bookmarks Galore posts coming because I have a lot of awesome friends who contribute to my bookmark collection, so there's so much more to expect from that one. I also had fun joining blog tours last year to feature local writers' works, so let's see if there will be more of that this year. Museum and Miss Korean, beach love.

So what is that book that seems to be a challenge to read? Third time's a charm, right? I am buddy-reading this with my sister Maria from the book club, and I hope that I will finally get into the groove of this one with someone reading along with me. We start Monday! True, I haven't read a lot of high fantasy books compared to him or some other friends I know, but I'd like to think that the few I have read are some of the best works there are. I also turn to the genre every once in a while, whenever inspiration strikes.

So when the book club, courtesy of moderators Aaron and JL , picked stand-alone high fantasy for the October discussion, I was game. Tigana is basically a story of power and who should wield it, mixed with themes on identity, memories, and love. For the longest time, powerful sorcerers Brandin of Ygrath and Alberico of Barbadior, who each exercise control over certain provinces in a territory called Peninsula of the Palm, have been rivals.

Each of them desire to be in control of the entire Peninsula, but neither one wish to be the aggressor against the other. Behind the scenes, however, a small band of men and women led by Alessan of Tregea is secretly plotting not only the overthrow of the two sorcerers, but also, the reclaiming of their identities and the memories that were nearly wiped out by Brandin years ago.


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It would appear that in the past, in a battle set in a province called Tigana, Brandin's younger son was slain and, in his rage, Brandin used his powers to extinguish Tigana and practically erase the memories of those who lived in it. But there were survivors, and they never forgot. The first few chapters were hard to follow, and I found myself getting confused many times. Eventually, however, I got the hang of the story, and while I was mindful that my very slow reading pace equally matched that of the novel's - it took a while for the story to build up - I enjoyed reading it nonetheless.

Like most of the characters in the few high fantasy books I've read, I found myself utterly loving and rooting for some of the personalities in Tigana , among whom is Brandin of Ygrath.

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Yes, Brandin was a tyrant and was presented as an anti-hero, but he would turn out to be my favorite character in the book. I understood his grief and rage at the death of his son, sympathized with him in that respect, and could not blame him for having taken revenge against the Tiganese for his loss. He ruled with an iron fist, true, but he also had a soft side to him, as shown by his deep love for Dianora, his glorified concubine.

Taking Brandin as an example, therefore, I would say that the characters in Tigana were well-developed and multi-dimensional. Even Dianora, whom I initially disliked because of her seemingly questionable loyalties, eventually redeemed herself - who am I to blame true love? I loved how Tigana was lyrically written.

It seemed apt for a novel that has music and song infused into its plot. I guess, like religion, songs are a staple in the formula for making a good fantasy novel, and this reader is not complaining. What was the significance of that bit about the Ember War and the Night Walkers in the grand scheme of things? Because until now, I am still at a loss as to how they were connected to everything else that transpired in the novel. Having finished series like LOTR and A Song of Ice and Fire , and read the first installments in the Earthsea Cycle and Shannara series years back - with a minimum of three books in the case of LOTR - I could only imagine how tedious it is to compress all of the elements of a good fantasy story into a less-than-a-thousand-pages novel.

Manual Dont Forget the Soap (And Other Reminders from My Fabulous Filipina Mother)

But Guy Gavriel Kay did it, and did it really good. Hand-drawn poster for the book club's discussion, by JL : And that ending! One of my favorite authors is Neil Gaiman, and I have become especially more fond of his children's stories because I now have my little daughter to share them with. This is the story of Lucy, who could hear the sounds being made by wolves coming from within the walls of their house. She tries to tell her mother, father, and brother about the wolfish sounds, but they were all incredulous and refused to believe her.

Only her little pig-puppet believed her. And then one night, something happened in Lucy's house Can you guess what? Wolves In The Walls is a children's story, yes, but I think it might be too dark or scary for the smaller kids - I was initially worried that my 3-year-old might be frightened when we read it, but she didn't flinch at all even when she saw the hideously terrifying illustrations of the wolves.

It's actually the drawings that will scare the younger readers, not the story itself. But it was a fun read despite the horror and the scare factor. I loved reading it aloud to my daughter, complete with hushed tones and throaty growls when required. And while the illustrations, courtesy of Dave McKean, were indeed creepy, I don't think any other manner of drawing would be able to capture the narration as perfectly as McKean's did.

And the best part is that the ending leaves the readers free to draw their own conclusions about what happens next. Fortunately, the Milk is the story of a father who experiences literally otherworldly things and accidentally embarks on time-traveling adventures after he goes out on an errand: getting milk for his children's breakfast cereal. Before he realizes it, he is taken up on a balloon-like contraption, hurtles through time and space, and meets pirates, vampires, and a brainy dinosaur-scientist named Dr.

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He is saved from several mishaps by the bottle of milk he fortunately manages to hold on to from his trip to the grocery store. Now this one is fun, quirky and adventure-filled, and will be definitely enjoyed by kids of all ages. It involves time-travel, space travel, science, pirates, vampires, dinosaurs, and simple logic.

The illustrations are lighter, cleaner, and more cartoonish, in an absolutely good way. I enjoyed reading how an ordinary breakfast item such as a bottle of milk could apparently save the day for an unwitting time adventurer. I especially loved the part about the vampires and how ze dialogue made ze entire portion zeem zo funny.

Milk, anyone? I thought, maybe it was high time I gave Rainbow Rowell a try. So I did. Eleanor and Park are two diametrically-opposed high school students whose young lives drastically change when, one day on the school bus, chubby new kid Eleanor finds herself seated beside half-American, half-Korean comic book-reading dude Park.