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The End of the Story
Lydia Davis
The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead
Max Brooks
Fodor's Australia 2008 (Fodor's Gold Guides)
Adam Taplin, Mark Sullivan, Margaret Kelly
A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1)
George R.R. Martin
The Daily Drucker: 366 Days of Insight and Motivation for Getting the Right Things Done
Peter F. Drucker
Good News Bible: Today's English Version
The Passage
Justin Cronin
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched
Meg Cabot


Heartburn - Nora Ephron I know it is just a heartburn but I am consistent about associating the pain to something fatal. Every time I brave getting checked, the doctor will tell me it is just stress or too much iced tea. It is so funny I keep forgetting it stings. Truth is, I couldn't pull my ideas together after reading this. This, I am sure, is another one of those books that will always have a special place in my heart.

This book is indeed another one of my 'heartburn' experiences. Nora Ephron perfectly wrapped it up in a way that my sane (because I can admit that I am crazy) self can relate. Once, I was told that my emotions don't always follow a similar pattern as the 7 stages of grief. I am always stoic. I smile or even laugh whenever people somehow expect me to agonize my pain. For me, it's not delaying the process by prolonging the agony. I think it is more for knowing that the only way out is to "take charge".

Here's an excerpt:

Vera said: "Why do you feel you have to turn everything into a story?"

So I told her why:

Because if I tell the story, I control the version.
Because if I tell the story, I can make you laugh, and I would rather have you laugh at me than feel sorry for me.
Because if I tell the story, it doesn't hurt much.
Because if I tell the story, I can get on with it.

Dear Bette Davis

Dear Bette Davis - Norman Crane I am a kobo freeloader... and I did get a few good ones there... but WTF is this? I could give it another star if it were a bit longer and I like any Bette Davis topic but this is where I couldn't figure out why Bette Davis was even in the title?

If I Stay

If I Stay - Gayle Forman Okay, I am literally crying as I write this, mostly because this book became very "personal" for me.

I have been on the same bed as Mia's. I remember this,

"I'm feeling not just the physical pain, but all that I have lost, and it is profound and catastrophic and will leave a crater in me that nothing will ever fill. But I'm also feeling all that I have in my life, which includes what I have lost, as well as the great unknown of what life might still bring me."

I remember feeling the same kind of love from the people who rushed to see me at the hospital, heck broken some rules in ICU of "immediate family only"... just to see me. I remember my cool parents. I remember my thoughts... yes, "tomorrow is a brand new day". I remember the flowers, the get well soon banners, the photos and the balloons. It is heartwarming. I am still overwhelmed by how much love I acquired.

Maybe, it's true... we own the decision to stay and maybe it is also true that the only reason for it is "love".

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened

Hyperbole and a Half: Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened - Allie Brosh This is my book... Written and drawn by someone else.

Gone Girl: A Novel

Gone Girl: A Novel - Gillian Flynn I hate that I am going to be cliché here… this book is AWESOME. Gillian Flynn is a genius!

Aaaaahhhhhhh! So much feels after reading this...

I was hooked. My hands would be so tired from holding the tablet that it would slip accidentally, yeah, smacking me right there on the face. Ouch! I feel like Amy now as I set the scene here – this is my Gone Girl experience. Every time I’d get a chance, I’d bargain for another chapter. I was literally losing track of time. My nights ended in mornings (bright and sunny) and my days demanded more than one cup of coffee. I was forced to take advantage of every idle time for another page.

It is that good that I am still dumbfounded. It is beautifully written. I am still trying to digest everything. Seriously, when was the last time I felt this way about a book?

Is it possible that I could be “Psycho Amy” too? I am stoic. I could be Nick too. Gaaaah! This book fueled my capacity to over-think. I have never been so immersed, my head’s going to explode.

full review here: http://cienneolaes.wordpress.com/2014/06/08/book-review-gone-girl-by-gillian-flynn/

The Law of Attraction

The Law of Attraction - N.M.  Silber The witty banter saved it. The plot and build up is lame. Disappointed.

Flat-Out Matt

Flat-Out Matt - Jessica Park I feel like i need to cover my eyes on the last chapter, it ruined a so-so plot. Not disappointed, just didn't expect a lot from it.

The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun - Gretchen Rubin Non-fiction/self-help types of books are typically a "slow pace read" but it is most of the time worth it. The risk you have to take is that it can be preachy. Who wants to be nagged at? It demands a person's open-mindedness or willingness to see things in a different light. I did get so many "happiness" ideas from Gretchen Rubin, to name a few, I have tried:

- reading children's literature
- avoid snapping and dumping
- exercise better
- tackle a nagging task: clothes I need to take for alteration, clearing up old stuff I never really use and can be given away
- launch a (new) blog
- tried to acknowledge the reality of people's feelings
- take time for projects (usually a weekend thing for me, my random trips to Quiapo, craft projects)
- contemplated on starting a (new) collection: vinyl
- give something up (let go! let go!)
- find more opportunities to laugh out loud

I am still not perfect and have not 100% completed my happiness goal. I like to think that happiness is a lifetime project, a lifestyle that you need to build for yourself.

Lastly, the key to happiness (the one thing that I felt I was able to absorb from this book) is to continuously refine your character. To sum it up, I need to stop the negative thoughts about myself and avoid saying negative things to other people. It's a real challenge to be human... but there will always be a way (scientifically proven) to be truly happy.

Indulge on good things and stay on the positive side of things.

Something Blue

Something Blue - Emily Giffin I cannot believe how I have managed to put off reading the second installment of this book series (Darcy & Rachel). As I read through other versions of book reviews, I can honestly say that I share the similar angst against Darcy after reading the first book (probably because it was written in Rachel’s point of view).

Yes, Darcy is selfish, shallow and for a friend she can be a total bitch. Rachel’s character in the first book is not pristine as well. She is the ultimate parent-pleaser, a doormat in her past relationships and it is gray – she is human enough to choose love over friendship, to commit what on paper is a true violation of friendship rules. In her perspective, we are diverted into the idea that Rachel deserve better; worthy of Dex’s love more than Darcy. We are made to agree that it’s about time that Rachel wins this Darcy’s pathetic competition. Clearly, the spotlight is on Rachel. I have disregarded the fact that there is always something good about a person no matter what and this is typically overlooked when it is presented as the antagonist.

On the first few chapters of Something Blue, I still despise Darcy’s ways especially that part when she attempted to have Dex back after being dumped by Marcus. True enough, it is anticipated that the latter will be a failed relationship. It was established even before book two started that Marcus is not ready to settle down. Would you blame him if he is being such an ass? No. Darcy is correct when she said that she is that type who can always charm her way to whatever she wants. What Darcy wants, Darcy gets.

So how come she did not get Dex back? It was answered later, when Darcy concluded that “cheating” never happens in good relationships. Dex is the perfect profile for the ‘husband-to-be’ category. He is the guy any girl would love to introduce to their parents and he is the guy all parents would approve. With Dex, Darcy was convinced that he is the right man. Darcy is correct; however, their relationship is not good enough. They both cheated on their relationship, no matter how perfect everyone perceived it. Marcus is the father of the child she was carrying (or the babies) but the relationship with him is filled with dissatisfaction and unhappy compromise. Marcus will never will himself to make Darcy happy. As Ethan said, “You can only control your actions. Not other people’s reactions.”

Everything that is happening is not how Darcy operates.

“I don’t break up, I trade up.”

She replaced Rachel right away, with Claire who later betrayed her.

She replaced Dex with Marcus, who later decided against their plan to be together. He doesn’t want to be involved in Darcy’s pregnancy.

She was in conflict with her Mom after her strong disapproval of settling down with Marcus.

She went back to her old friend Annalise (whom she guiltily have consistently taken for granted) only to realize that going for her friend’s suggestion to go back to Indianapolis to raise the kid with her parents would mean a “downgraded” lifestyle. She obviously cannot afford to do that, until she suggested Ethan.

Ethan was her last choice despite the fact that he obviously favored Rachel. It was a difficult call for Ethan to let Darcy stay with him in London.

When I reached this part, I am slowly feeling Darcy’s frustration. When she went out shopping, I felt that sense of bravery in her, no negative judgment there. When the world turned upside down and when she realized that her charmed life is over, she did not let it pull her down. Darcy knows how to take care of herself; have managed to still enjoy the wonderful things (no matter how superficial it can get) even if everyone has already turned their backs.

Clearly for almost over a month, Ethan was not being cooperative until it reached the threshold; Darcy hit her boiling point after her encounter with Ethan’s friend Pheobe. She felt betrayed for not having the chance to preempt the encounter with Ethan's friends who apparently have already met and heard Rachel's side of the story. Darcy’s confrontation with Ethan had led them to speak the truth, of what Darcy refused to accept. She needs to examine her ways, let go and decide to be better – no more escaping and no more temporary fixes.

Ethan is her last chance. Her twins are her hope.

The hope part was easily diguised in Geoffrey or her Alistair in the beginning, but as Darcy's character is significantly improving. She realized she cannot continue her relationship with Geoffrey. She could be her salvation and admittedly the old Darcy would have preferred this. The changed that happened, which was triggered by Ethan was the better version of Darcy. It was at this point that it becomes clear to her that she wants Ethan or nothing at all. The selfish Darcy did not win it this time, she made the right decision when she broke up with Geoffrey.

I’d love to go over every detail of what happens after. Emily Giffin is a genius for putting this all together. I want to include some more of my comments about the supporting characters: Meg and Charlotte, Geoffrey and Sondrine. I also love that part where Rachel and Darcy forgave each other. I cried as I read through Rachel’s letter and when Darcy called her.

I could write a chapter by chapter review of this book, proof of my love to this wonderful work of the author but I hate to burden whoever's reading this book review. I understand it will be too much. So I will stick with my favorite part and that is, Ethan and Darcy.

If one day, I will decide to read this again, I will start in that chapter where their sleeping arrangement began. I am charmed by that pregnant lady who needs to pee in the middle of the night. I cried and kept smacking my pillow as I giggle, Ethan is just unbelievably sweet.

I love their platonic, “I love you”.

I swoon with Ethan’s foot and back massage. Need I say more?

I cannot move on. I love this book… so much (apparently).

Up to Me

Up to Me - M. Leighton It was okay; a little disappointed in the last part (solid proof that too much of anything is bad).

I would have appreciated a little less of the cliche and cheesiness. Overall, I like the plot and the character build up.

Fodor's Australia 2008 (Fodor's Gold Guides)

Fodor's Australia 2008 (Fodor's Gold Guides) - Adam Taplin, Mark Sullivan, Margaret Kelly learning the ropes... someday, I shall see you!

Fifty-one Shades: A Parody (First Three Chapters)

Fifty-one Shades: A Parody (First Three Chapters) - Andrew Shaffer I literally laughed out loud! Hahaha... It doesn't make sense... Oh well, so is the fifty shades of grey series... But this deserves a good rating!

The Cat in the Hat

The Cat in the Hat - Dr. Seuss If you're sad, let me recommend you this book. I have read it with Adele songs in the background (not sure if that makes sense). Read it twice. First run, word for word. Second run, i scroll it down continuously (yes, skimming through it as if i'm watching cartoons). I understand now why the book is a bestseller. As for me, it has been a good alternative to ice cream (not sure if that makes sense too). I wish I started reading early. There's too many books, but only so little time.

If you're a kid and have read this, would you lie to your parents? That's interesting to know.

Welcome to Dead House

Welcome to Dead House - R.L. Stine This book was once forbidden nearly 2 decades ago driven by my overactive imagination. I was so glad i found a copy of this. FINALLY! And yes, I'm still never too old to read this. What's next? Babysitters club? Nancy Drew?

Where the Sidewalk Ends

Where the Sidewalk Ends - Shel Silverstein Yes. It's a children book. I have decided to read this book as inspired by the book "the happiness project". I thought it will be easy.

Cabin Fever

Cabin Fever - Jeff Kinney A light read perfect for a very stressful month!