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 29, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #13: A Whole New World


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we will showcase that one book we can't wait to hit the market!

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from Goodreads

Title: A Whole New World (Twisted Tales #1)
Author: Liz Braswell
Publication Details: September 1st 2015 by Disney Press

Welcome to a new YA series that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways. Each book asks the question: What if one key moment from a familiar Disney film was changed? This dark and daring version of Aladdin twists the original story with the question: What if Jafar was the first one to summon the Genie?

When Jafar steals the Genie’s lamp, he uses his first two wishes to become sultan and the most powerful sorcerer in the world. Agrabah lives in fear, waiting for his third and final wish.To stop the power-mad ruler, Aladdin and the deposed Princess Jasmine must unite the people of Agrabah in rebellion. But soon their fight for freedom threatens to tear the kingdom apart in a costly civil war.

What happens next? A Street Rat becomes a leader. A princess becomes a revolutionary. And readers will never look at the story of Aladdin in the same way again.

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I haven't read any fairy tale retelling, and I've been hearing a lot of good books in that genre lately. And since A Whole New World sounds interesting, I will definitely include this one on my list. I enjoyed reading and watching Aladdin when I was a kid, so it's intriguing to know the "what-ifs" of this book.

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What about you?
What are you waiting on?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

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

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?

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #12: Lament for the Afterlife

Happy Wednesday folks!


Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme where we will showcase that one book we can't wait to hit the market!

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from Goodreads

Title: Lament for the Afterlife
Author: Lisa L. Hannett
Publication Details: August 4th 2015 by Diamond Book Distributors, ChiZine Publications
Genre: Sci Fi & Fantasy

No one knows when the war against the greys began. There are theories, speculations, but the only certainties are air-raids, abductions, and inner city explosions. Assaults are endless, swift and lethal; the enemy's stealth unsurpassed. Whispers have circulated for centuries, thoughts spinning from minds in visible wordwinds, clear for all to read, to wield, to steal. Where are the greys? When will they next strike? How can you attack something you can't see? And secretly, fearfully: Are the greys even real? Spanning decades, Lament for the Afterlife follows one man as he negotiates the hostile territory of life after combat. Peytr Borysson comes from a long line of soldiers, but isn't born for fighting. His 'wind is better shaped for poetry than bullets. Even so, at sixteen he follows the local boys into battle - and never quite leaves. Interweaving Peytr's struggles with those of his family, Lament for the Afterlife takes readers to the front lines and far beyond, telling a story of ordinary people persisting in extraordinary circumstances. A novel of human survival, guilt, and the devastating power of memory, Lament for the Afterlife examines the physical and psychological distances we travel when beliefs are threatened - or held too tightly. (Source: NetGalley)

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I actually have this on my NetGalley. The cover art first got me. And upon reading the blurb, I knew I have to read this. Haha! I think it sounds deep, interesting and insightful. :)

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What are you waiting on?

Monday, July 13, 2015

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

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.

 





Saturday, July 11, 2015

Stacking the Shelves #10: Hope Edition


Hi folks! How's July so far? :)

It's rainy season here in the Philippines! So while others are enjoying their summer, we here are enjoying the cold, wet weather. Uhm, or not really, because I still need to get to the office even if it's raining hard! Haha!

Anyway, I told you folks that I will have a separate post for the books I bought last July 4. :) Here it is! Enjoy! :)

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Title: Oliver Twist
Author: Charles Dickens
Published on 2005 by Dalmatian Press, LLC (first published on March 1st 1835)
Starved and mistreated as a workhouse orphan, Oliver runs away to London, hoping to find a better life. But twists and turns- and some rather odd characters- await him and shape his life.

Oliver's fate is in the hands of villains and thieves, one kind old gentleman, one young woman with a change of heart, and a twisted, mysterious man who follows his every move.










Title: Beyond Aslan: Essays on C.S. Lewis
Editor: Burton K. Janes
Published on January 1st 2006 by Bridge Logos Publishers
Beyond Aslan is a gleaming anthology of essays from the Canadian C.S. Lewis Journal. For 22 years, the finest scholars of C.S. Lewis published their studies in a skillfully-crafted, professional journal. They examine Lewis and his work from every conceivable angle, and although their interest is largely academic, it is expressed with all the good-natured joviality and love of good friends. In fact, some of these scholars were Lewis's friends; one is his stepson.

The Canadian C.S. Lewis Journal was bound to be a winner among Lewisian aficionados. Early on, readers came to expect the unexpected, the unorthodox, the idiosyncratic. In its early days, it was described by Eternity magazine as "a sprightly, sometimes feisty newsletter."

Allow these men and women to introduce you to C.S. Lewis- friend, Christian, colleague, teacher, author, father, son, brother and husband. (Don't let the "scholar" aspect make you nervous. One of the essays examines the way 8-year-olds see Lewis. It's hilarious… and surprisingly insightful.)



Title: The Shadow Things
Author: Jennifer Freitag
Published on October 27th 2010 by Ambassador-Emerald International
The Legions have left the province of Britain and the Western Roman Empire has dissolved into chaos. With the world plunged into darkness, paganism and superstition are as ever. In the Down country of southern Britain, young Indi has grown up knowing nothing more than his gods of horses and thunder: so when a man from across the sea comes preaching a single God slain on a cross. Indi must choose between his gods or the one God- and face the consequences of his decision.








Title: The Shelter of God's Promises 
Author: Sheila Walsh
Published on February 1st 2011 by Thomas Nelson Publishers
"Where do you turn for shelter in the worst storms of life?"

You know God's promises, but are they for you, are they for now, are they for this? If you look to your circumstances alone, it may seem that God has forgotten you. But He hasn't. He can't. And He wouldn't even if He could. God is the only promise maker who is always a promise keeper. And God's promises will never fail you!

In The Shelter of God's Promises, gifted Bible teacher and inspiring Women of Faith speaker Sheila Walsh searches Scripture for what God has promised us, what God's promises mean, and how encounters with Christ are the eternal fulfillment of His unrelenting commitment to us. Through vulnerable storytelling, new insights, and an in-depth Bible study, Sheila offers powerful, heart-filled teaching on ten bedrock promises of God, providing the foundation for daily confidence, joy, hope and shelter.



Title: Learning to Lead 
Author: Chua Wee Hian
Published on May 1987 by Inter-Varsity Press
People all over the world are curious to know what principles of leadership actually work, and what makes a few people reach fame and recognition. Some are yearning to be just there, improving their managerial skills ambitiously and want to scale the ladder of success. Yet what makes Christian leadership successful?

Learning to Lead sheds light on: the person and values of a leader; the call and qualities of a leader; the responsibilities and challenges of a leader; the results and rewards of a leader.








Title: Beyond Jabez
Authors: Bruce Wilkinson and Brian Smith
Published on January 31st 2005 by Multnomah Books
Go deeper. Farther. Beyond.

When people passionately pray, God doesn't just listen. He responds!

Where The Prayer of Jabez left-off, Beyond Jabez picks up and goes even deeper. Priceless testimonies of answered prayer and bold, biblical teaching clear up the misconceptions surrounding this once little-known prayer. Is it really right to ask God to bless me? How can I experience the miracles accompanying a Jabez lifestyle? The answers inside will destroy doubt and sound the trumpet blast announcing a glorious new chapter in your walk with the Lord!

Are you ready? Because God is still moving- and asking you to do the same!



Title: Miracle for Jen 
Authors: Linda Barrick with John Perry
Published on March 1st 2012 by Tyndale House Publishers
One minute can change your whole life.

Fifteen-year-old Jennifer Barrick was the daughter parents dream about: a varsity athelete and cheerleader; a healthy, happy girl with a loving heart. And if the Barrick family had left church even one minute later that night, everything might have stayed the same.

But in a moment, less than a mile from the Barrick's home, a drunk driver careened into their car at 80 miles an hour. The entire family was seriously hurt- but Jen's injuries were so devastating that the paramedics thought she had no chance to live.

As Jen lay in a coma for 5 weeks, her mother Linda, prayed desperately for her daughter's full recovery. She begged God to heal Jen from here severe brain trauma- to let her be "normal." When Jen finally awoke, however, it became clear that normal would have to be redefined. She seemed to have gained a new capacity- perhaps a miraculous one- for connecting with God. While she had slept, she rested in His presence- and awoke with an astonishing message.

Was this the miracle Linda had prayed for? If so, was it enough? Could she trust God eith Jen's future in the wake of the accident? Could she trust in His love for them all?

Discover how God turned normal into extraordinary in rhis lie-changing story of hope and love. What happened to this family will strengthen and renew your faith… and leave you forever changed.

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I'm excited to read all of these. I got 7 books in total. And yep, all of them weren't on my TBR or wishlist. But yeah... books. Haha!

Did you find them interesting? :)
Have a nice day folks!


Note: All blurbs are from the back covers.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Photo Diary: MV Logos Hope- World's Largest Floating Book Fair

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. :)

Book Stop Project: A Pop-up Library