Friday, July 31, 2015

Feature & Follow #14: Advanced Reader Copy

Happy Friday!


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is where we, book bloggers, can meet new people and gain followers as well!

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This week's question is suggested by Words I Write Crazy.

If you could get an advanced reader copy (ARC) of any book, already published, or not yet, what would it be?


Hmmm... I think I'd like to have an ARC of The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis. Though, I haven't read the book yet, I really admire C.S. Lewis, and I want to collect his works.

Also, I'd like to have an ARC of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, because why not? Haha! HP was a big part of my childhood, so it'll be really nice to have an ARC of even just one book in the series, if not all of them. :)

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What about you folks?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Compass by Tammy Kling and John Spencer Ellis: Book Review


Title: The Compass
Authors: Tammy Kling and John Spencer Ellis
Publication Details: June 2nd 2009 by Vanguard Press (first published January 1st 2009)
Copy: Paperback [purchased]

A story about forgiveness and moving on.

Months after the accident, Jonathan is lost and broken. Unsure of his identity and future, he then sets out on a journey to be away from his family and old life.

With no direction and plans, Jonathan will unexpectedly meet people, strangers, that will help him understand life and will consequently bring reconciliation of his past and future (own blurb).

Blurb from Goodreads, click here.

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I bought this book at the National Bookstore Warehouse Sale about a year (or two) ago, but never had the chance (or mood) to read it until recently when I went to Subic. And I'm glad I finally read this!

Plot
I was immediately sucked into the story. I liked that it was fast-paced; and Jonathan's adventures are spontaneous. My reading never got boring and it felt like every scene points out a lesson.

From the desert of Nevada to the mountains of Adirondacks, village of Romania and the streets of Holland, I was able to travel with Jonathan and get insights about living life aligned with our inner compass.

The details about the accident were not given. It was one-sided but I think it kind of helped me relate to Jonathan more.

Characters
Jonathan seems to have everything- a lovely family, a stable career, and a good place in their social circle. So when everything he knew went down the drain and life became meaningless, he too lost his place in the world.

As I've mentioned, I was able to relate to Jonathan. Like him, I can sometimes be too focused on worldly things and lost track of what living really is. I was able to learn with him and be reminded of the important things, of the things that really matter.

Writing
I was not 100% amazed by the writing but it's okay nevertheless. I liked that I was able to get a lot of reminders and inspiration from the book. And as I've mentioned, I liked the spontaneity and that I was able to feel like I traveled with Jonathan.

I don't know the writing arrangements of the two authors, but the transition between their writing is okay, if not almost smooth. I also liked that at the end of the book, there's a guide for readers, if one wants to have a journey toward self-discovery.

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The Compass is an inspiring story about a man's journey toward forgiveness not only of others but also of oneself, and of moving on despite the dark past.

If you want an insightful read, but with an element of adventure and travel, then I definitely recommend The Compass. :)


Tammy Kling is an international author, humanitarian, and literary coach who helps guide world changers to create projects that transform. Her books have been translated into several languages and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Dateline NBC, Extra, and Primetime 20/20 among others. The clarity of her life's purpose is to write books that change lives.

Jonathan Spencer Ellis is an internationally-recognized personal development and wellness expert. Aside from holding four degrees, John is a philanthropist, professional speaker, and educator. He is the CEO of the Spencer Institute for Life Coaching and the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association. John is the creator and executive producer of The Compass movie.

(Source: Inner back cover)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Feature & Follow #13: My Personal Library

Happy Friday!


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is where we, book bloggers, can meet new people and gain followers as well!

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This week's question is suggested by The Realm of Books.

If you had the money what would your own personal library look like? What would be in it? What colors, decorations, etc would you put in it?


What a lovely question! Haha! My personal library (and office) will have a simple yet chic look. I've always wanted an all-white room with pops of color through decorations, so that's what I'll have.

One side will have a huge window and a nook. The other side will have a wall of bookshelves. And the opposite side will have my white, L-shaped desk and another bookcase.

Here's a rough layout. And yes, I used MS Paint. Haha!



This is the view when you're standing near the entrance.


And this one's when you're standing by the window.

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I want my bookshelves and other furniture in white too. And since my favorite color depends on my mood, I'll have extra decorations and accents in storage. So when I want a light blue-accented room, I'll just change the pillow case and other decors. If I want a pink-accented room, then I'll switch again. Haha! Does that make sense? :)

Here are the inspirations I got from Pinterest.


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That's all folks!

What about you? What would your library look like?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Everything You and I Could Have Been If We Weren't You and I by Albert Espinosa: Book Review

cover from Goodreads
Title: Everything You and I Could Have Been If We Weren't You and I
Author: Albert Espinsoa
Publication Details: July 2nd 2015 by Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial (first published in 2010)
Copy: eARC from Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial through NetGalley

Everything You and I Could Have Been If We Weren’t You and I follows a day in the life of Marcos as he tries to change the course of his life after the death of his beloved mother. Just when he is about to give up sleep, an unexpected phone call will make him re-evaluate his choice and perhaps, his future. A gift, a seemingly familiar woman, a stranger, a revelation. In one day, Marcos will not only try to make sense of his life, but will also understand his being and the world he’s living in. (Own blurb.)




I got a copy from the publisher through NetGalley.

What made me request this book was the title. I think the title is (mouthful, yes... Haha!) catchy and very intriguing. I had no idea what the book was about when I started reading, so I was really looking forward to the plot and character development.

Plot
I find this book unusual, a good unusual I must say, in the sense that it has a unique way of telling a story and engaging the reader, or at least me, into Marcos's life.

The first chapter immediately piqued my curiosity. I was intrigued by the no-sleep thing; and honestly, it could be tempting, to not sleep forever. From that, the story was followed with events that will alter Marcos's life.

It was not what I expected because I thought the no-sleep thing will be explored. But I still quite liked how it turned out. I've never read anything like this book before. The string of events happening in a day plus the flashbacks of Marcos can be a bit overwhelming. Well, it was a lot to take, to be honest. They seem completely random and just "thrown into the mix." One might say this or that isn't really necessary, but it's surprising how the events were connected and tied to the main character shaping his thoughts and decisions.

I also liked that it's unpredictable. The turn of events were, should I say, surprising? Haha! There were a lot going on so I had no idea how things will go and how everything will be reconciled at the end. Speaking of, the ending was okay; although, I kind of wished for it to be a bit different.

Plot-wise, I think Everything (yes, that's my shorthand version of the title... Haha!) is an enjoyable read. I had unmet expectations but overall it was a good read.

Character
Marcos's thoughts were easy to read and follow. I couldn't say much because his character was not described thoroughly. But from what was presented, he is likable. He was quite resigned at the beginning of the story. His development was a bit slow but I believe that it was a sure one.

The encounter with other secondary characters were brief but meaningful. I liked how the book showed the importance of relationship, how even the briefest and the shallowest of interaction can affect other people.

Writing
I liked the author's style of writing. Despite the many events happening in a day, the author was able to present the concepts in a smooth manner. The pacing was fast but the story was easy to follow and understand. The book can be read in one sitting. (But I was not able to because... work. Haha!)

I also find the storytelling refreshing. I've never read anything like this one before. For that, I enjoyed my reading experience. :)
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Overall, Everything is a good read. I definitely recommend this book, especially if you want a humorous yet insightful, short yet meaningful read.



Sunday, July 5, 2015

MV Logos Hope- World's Largest Floating Book Fair: Independent Book Shop in the Philippines #2

Good day folks!


Last July 4, I went to Subic Bay (with my mama, papa and youngest brother) to visit MV Logos Hope, the world's largest floating book fair.

MV Logos Hope is under the organization OM Ships International. OM International is a Christian organization whose vision is to see Christ-centered lives and communities reproducing and becoming catalysts of transformation.

Their goal is to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world by supplying vital literature resources, encouraging cross-cultural understanding, training young people for more effective life and service, providing needed relief, and sharing a message of hope in God wherever there is opportunity.

The floating book fair offers over 5,000 titles, providing many visitors their first-ever opportunity to purchase quality educational and Christian literature (Taken from: http://omships.org).


It took us ~6 hours of travel from Cavite to Subic. It was a very long ride, but I brought a book with me, so everything's okay. :)


Upon entering the ship, we were greeted by this history wall. We also watched a short orientation video before going to the book store section.


I was really hungry when we arrived, so I looked pale. Sans the books, I would not have been myself. Haha!


And now some of the shelves... Majority are Christian books with some classics, cook books, management and leadership books, and reference books. :)








I'm pretty sure kids will enjoy the book store! :) 


After the book store, they have this Journey of Life section, depicting the story of the Prodigal Son.



View outside!




It was really windy, so yeah! :D


My haul! I will have a separate post for my haul some time this week. :)

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That's all folks! There's also a coffee shop but we weren't able to try it because we were really hungry. They only offer snacks, which wouldn't be enough for us. Haha!

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OM International is open for volunteers. Hopefully in the near future I will be able to volunteer. :)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Feature & Follow #12: First Books I Read

Happy Friday!


Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is where we, book bloggers, can meet new people and gain followers as well!

-o-

This week's question is suggested by Bookish Findings.

What is the first book you remember reading?

I'm not too sure. Excluding fairy tales and children's encyclopedia/educational books I've read when I was very young, I think my first "long"reads were Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The children's edition of course. Haha!

The first few novels I remember reading were Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, those of Nicholas Sparks' and some of Paulo Coelho's. :)

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What about you folks? :)