2011 Quantity Reading Challenge

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Angelica's Daughters: A Dugtungan Novel

Date read: February 21, 2011 - February 23, 2011
My Edition: 201 pages, 2010
Published by: Anvil Publishing Inc.
Rating: 3 kisses

Favorite Quote: "Nothing is sadder than a child burdened by reality, after all. These stories were our family fairy tales."

I really loved Angelica's story especially her letter and diary accounts. I would have loved to read her story and to know Teban's whereabouts (;p). It was a really easy read with recipes for those who love to cook. Even if it was a "dugtungan" novel it was really coherent but you'll see the different writing styles of the authors which is why I don't like certain chapters. 

However, i felt that the story was rushed. Tess' moving on, Tess' finding a new love, Dina's moving on, Tess and Paolo looking for the church all happened too fast. Here is a novel where time does not heal wounds because they didn't even have time for healing. Everything here is instant. The writing tells you what happens and does not get convey emotion too well. I felt like an outsider because the authors failed to effectively convey the character's feelings. 

The family was also too centered on Angelica. Every conversation revolves around her or even if it doesn't her name would eventually pop out of the conversation. Everything happens because of her, everything is compared to her life. They say that she's only a woman but it seems that their life revolves around her. She's long dead, I want to tell them to live their own life. 

I just wished that the authors has scraped the whole thing and focused on Angelica's life. I would love to see more of that. Bitin na bitin ako sa kwento ni Angelica. A prequel maybe? :)

My Soundtrack:
1. My Wish by Rascal Flatts
2. Waterfalls by TLC
3. Maybe by Up Dharma Down
4. Meet Me Halfway by Black Eyed Peas
5. Spolarium by Eraserheads

off to read!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Safe Haven

Date read: February 16, 2011 - February 20, 2011
My Edition: 340 pages, 2010
Published by: Grand Central Publishing
Rating: 3 kisses

Summary: http://www.bookbrowse.com/bb_briefs/

When a mysterious young woman named Katie appears in the small North Carolina town of Southport, her sudden arrival raises questions about her past. Beautiful yet self-effacing, Katie seems determined to avoid forming personal ties until a series of events draws her into two reluctant relationships: one with Alex, a widowed store owner with a kind heart and two young children; and another with her plainspoken single neighbor, Jo. Despite her reservations, Katie slowly begins to let down her guard, putting down roots in the close-knit community and becoming increasingly attached to Alex and his family. 

But even as Katie begins to fall in love, she struggles with the dark secret that still haunts and terrifies her ... a past that set her on a fearful, shattering journey across the country, to the sheltered oasis of Southport. With Jo's empathic and stubborn support, Katie eventually realizes that she must choose between a life of transient safety and one of riskier rewards ... and that in the darkest hour, love is the only true safe haven.

Favorite Quote: "If Alex has chosen you, then I want you to believe that I chosen you as well."

Another okay Sparks' book. The same old Sparks' plot with different characters in different circumstances and situations. A woman or man with a past and they fall in love but the other one is hesitant because of the his/her past but what the heck they still fall in love. A man is always present to ruin their relationship but at the end there will always be a confrontation wither verbally or physically and their love becomes stronger. One of them will be a single parent or divorced or both. I've read it all before with "The Lucky One", "True Believer", "Dear John", "The Rescue", etc. Ever since "The Notebook" and "A Walk to Remember" Sparks haven't written a BETTER novel. I've been waiting for it for so long and I'm always disappointed or left hanging.

One thing good about this novel is the twist in the end where Katie's friend Jo is really Carly, Alex's dead wife. Creepy but a really nice touch. The letters she wrote would really affect you and I love how Sparks write letters (remember the letters in "Message in a Bottle"? Really good). I do hope his next novel would be really really good!

My Soundtrack:
1. Closer to Love by Mat Kearney
2. Someone to Save You by One Republic
3. The Way You Make Me Feel by Michael Jackson
4. Irresistible by The Corrs
5. Hero by Mariah Carey

 Can't resist..just have to post this
off to sleep... ;p

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Joy Luck Club

Date read: February 8, 2011 - February 15, 2011
My Edition: 288 pages, 2006
Published by: Penguin Books
Rating: 3 kisses

Summary: http://www.enotes.com/joy-luck-club

The Joy Luck Club, published by G. P. Putnam's Sons in 1989, presents the stories of four Chinese-immigrant women and their American-born daughters. Each of the four Chinese women has her own view of the world based on her experiences in China and wants to share that vision with her daughter. The daughters try to understand and appreciate their mothers' pasts, adapt to the American way of life, and win their mothers' acceptance. The book's name comes from the club formed in China by one of the mothers, Suyuan Woo, in order to lift her friends' spirits and distract them from their problems during the Japanese invasion. Suyuan continued the club when she came to the United States—hoping to bring luck to her family and friends and finding joy in that hope.
Amy Tan wrote The Joy Luck Club to try to understand her own relationship with her mother. Tan's Chinese parents wanted Americanized children but expected them to think like Chinese. Tan found this particularly difficult as an adolescent. While the generational differences were like those experienced by other mothers and daughters, the cultural distinctions added another dimension. Thus, Tan wrote not only to sort out her cultural heritage but to learn how she and her mother could get along better.
Critics appreciate Tan's straightforward manner as well as the skill with which she talks about Chinese culture and mother/daughter relationships. Readers also love The Joy Luck Club: women of all ages identify with Tan's characters and their conflicts with their families, while men have an opportunity through this novel to better understand their own behaviors towards women. Any reader can appreciate Tan's humor, fairness, and objectivity.

Favorite Quote: "Then you must teach my daughter the same lesson. How to lose your innocence but not your hope. How to laugh forever."

It was an okay book. It has basically the same theme and plot as other Chinese themed novels I’ve read. “Bonesetter’s Daughter” was definitely better and even Lisa See’s “Secret Fan…” was better than this one. The multitude of characters did not connect with me. They seemed so far away. I got confused whose daughter is who, whose mother is who, whose husband is who. I even got confused whose story I’m reading, I kept on going back to the beginning to check. One story even reminded me of “Memoirs of a Geisha”. It has a good story behind it but it fell rushed thus the confusion and then coldness of the characters. I prefer the movie than the book.

My SOundtrack:
1. Stood Up by A Fine Frenzy
2. Layag by Up Dharma Down
3. I'll Be There by Jackson 5
4. Whenever You Remember by Carrie Underwood
5. You're Not Alone by Chicago


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Les Miserables

Date read: January 16, 2011 - February 7, 2011
My Edition: 2 Volumes, 981 pages, year 1994
Published by: Wordsworth
Rating: 4 kisses

Summary: http://www.online-literature.com/victor_hugo/les_miserables/
This is the story of Jean Valjean, a convict freshly out of prison after serving nineteen years hard labor for stealing a loaf of bread. The original sentence was five years; unsuccessful escape attempts and the resulting additional time pushed it to a grand total of nineteen years. He believed that his sentence was grossly out of proportion to his crime, and by the time of his release he had built up a tremendous bitterness toward society. This bitterness was only intensified by the rejection and scorn which he experienced in attempting to find work and lodging immediately after his release; he was determined to have his revenge against society and against God in some form or fashion. But an unthinkable act of mercy and generosity by a saintly small-town bishop drastically alters the trajectory of Valjean’s life. From that point on, Valjean determines to live as an honest man, and through the rest of the story he struggles–quite imperfectly at times–to become an honest man. Javert, an extremely zealous police chief who once supervised Valjean’s work gang, is never far behind, and is determined to have Valjean back in prison for breaking parole. Monsieur and Madame Thenardier, the owners of an inn in Montfermeil, are also pursuing Valjean for their own corrupt and dishonest ends. The story takes us from one end of France to the other, from the very top of Parisian society to the very bottom, from Waterloo to the July Revolution of 1830 and the student-led uprising of 1832 which serves as the story’s climax

Favorite Quote: "It is nothing to die, it is frightful not to live."

Finally. This is a really BIG novel to tackle but really really worth it. Its like a Pinoy telanovela wherein the characters world are so small that their fate would meet most of the time. I love it because its soooo long that you would definitely love the characters especially Marius, Jean Valjean, Eponine (yes, Eponine!), Gavroche and Cossette. However, some parts are really boring such as Waterloo story, story about the bishop, Hugo's opinion about convents and sewers. I can't help but fall asleep during those parts. But you definitely have to go through with it since they're connected to the story. 

A must-read classic :)

My soundtrack:
1. Love Hurts by Incubus
2. Bad Kids by Black Lips
3. I Want You by Kings of Leon
4. Only Exception by Paramore
5. Fallen by Jason Derulo

 Lea Salonga as Eponine...

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

January Month-End Review

Not that productive for this month. Out of a 100 books, I've only read....

I'm such a loser! HAHA
I'm almost finished with Les Miserables! Yey!

So here's the statistics
female author: 1
male author: 3
total pages: 1,391 pages (wow, that's a lot!)

Peace! I'm out!

Still reading...