reading : inés of my soul

Inés of My Soul by Isabel Allende

This will probably the last book that I get to read this year and what a great way to end 2015.  I became a fan of Isabel Allende after The House of the Spirits and I could not pass upon this book when I saw it on sale in one of the malls I went to in Manila last summer.  This was a complete steal at PHP99.00.

After a string of non-fiction books the past few months (as well as law books), it’s such a relief to finally be able to indulge myself in pure mystic goodness.  I have missed the feeling of reading for pleasure and I am loving having that feeling right now.

School has been back in session last weekend but I don’t care.  I will go to school when I go to school.  I want to be completely irresponsible and enjoy my vacation with my husband.

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reading : harry potter and the sorcerer’s stone

Harry Potter is not the kind of book you can put down until you’ve finished — all seven of ’em.  It just can’t happen.  Believe me, I’ve read them twice and you just can’t get enough of the Harry Potter’s world of witchcraft and wizardry.  It is not something you get into lightly because it engages all your time and attention.  Given that, this is probably the wrong book I could pick out at the moment, what with applications for electrical connection, choosing between two shades of grays of tiles, inventories, and one final exam this Sunday (you read that right: Sunday).  But I miss laughing.  And I remember how funny the series could be.  J. K. Rowling is a witty, funny writer.  And I do need this, something that would engage all of my sense and feelings and attention, because it’s a diversion from this thing that doesn’t involve work but occupies me anyway.

Harry Potter, I need you to do your magic on me.  So far it is working.  I feel I’m back in my old self again.  I feel a little younger, more care-free, and happier.  I do wish I were eleven and just discovering life.  If I could meet my eleven year-old self I’ll tell her not to try and rush time, that being grown up isn’t what it was cut out to be.  Eleven meant games and play and snacks prepared for you… less of boys, less of money, less of these goddamned electrical wiring questions.

Anyway, here I am now, back at Hogwarts. 🙂

on 2011 reading goals

I totally forgot that I made reading goals for 2011.  I listed seven books that I had to read within the year.  I read a total of 24 books but only three out of the seven books listed.  The list included:

1. Noli Me Tangere by José Rizal

2. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

3. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton (for re-reading)

4. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

5. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

6. A Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne (or any other Jules Verne)

7. In Cold Blood / Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote

I read items 2, 3 and 4.  Three out of seven.  Almost 50%.  Not bad.  Anyway, reading Swann’s Way was enough of an achievement for a year, I think.  I didn’t bleed with the effort as I thought I would.  I actually really liked it.  And I read it at a time when something else was particularly engrossing me and I couldn’t help but note that just when I started reading Swann’s Way –this book that I have been wanting to read forever, and I knew was very good, and that didn’t disappoint — then this singular, remarkable, out-of-the-blue thing happened to me.  It’s notable how there is a parallel between what we read and what goes on in our lives.  I always say that I seem to read just the right book at the right time of my life.  There was no connection between Swann’s Way and what was going on with me, except that I was really curious about it and I thought Marcel Proust controversial and I was feeling all sorts of controversial at the time.

I have read The Age of Innocence before.  I liked it well enough but it didn’t really hit the mark for me.  I re-read it to see if I would like it better but I felt the same as I did after the first reading.  Newland Archer, though, would remain to be one of my favorite male characters from a book.  The movie was really good, though.

Of Mice and Men.  John Steinbeck hit the mark for me with Grapes of Wrath: it is one of my all-time favorites.  This book, Of Mice and Men, is a short one and I really can’t comment on it except that I am thankful it’s crossed off my list.

This year, as I’ve said, I won’t be picking what particular books to prioritize.  I will go with whatever feels right at the moment and whatever would help me de-stress from my law studies.  There is one book that I know I will read before the year is over: Ulysses.  It is a done deal.

travel companions

As all the work stuff relating to new ventures and new plans are settling and I have found a routine that accomodates all these things I’m taking on now, I have gone back to my reading.  I’ve left it for a bit because of all the excitement and the busy-ness.  Stress has also sort of started creeping in and I need my usual escape.  I have finally finished my James Herriot book The Lord God Made Them All.  Herriot is always my go-to, comfort guy for all occasions.  He makes me laugh.  He made me laugh so much my seatmate on the Supercat going home from Cebu last Sunday kept glancing at me (probably checking if I had a screw lose).  I just love Herriot.  He has this humbling effect and a way of putting things into a perspective, mainly comedic, but he also sets value on hardwork, although routinary life.  It’s not so bad, a life of routine, if only you have the best way of looking at things.  And sometimes it’s how you look at things that matters and not what you do.

I find that everyday for the past six weeks takes me North or South for one thing or another.  I’ve been traveling and apparently it’s really not as glamourous as it is made out to be.  Of course it’s only around the general vicinity of the Leyte province, but if a couple of hours’ drive back and forth everyday is tiresome, imagine if it involves planes and boats and such.  No, that’s not the life for me.  My body is meant for the home and the travel has to be kept to a minimum.  But for now, go where I need to be I must because it’s part of my work now.  The thing about rides, though, is that it forces you to read.  And one can only do so much work-related readings, so here is me and my friend on the van going home from her mother’s home about five hours’ ride from our home and her book (the Gaiman) and my book (the Martin) in between us.  The travel is so very long that we can read, nap, read, nap, read, nap for as long as we like.  That place needs an airport!

I’m enjoying A Storm of Swords again.  I was so shocked (and almost pissed, really) with The Red Wedding.  That was just so unexpected.  And shocking.  I hated the book then and I thought the whole series was stupid.  But it’s been weeks and weeks and the shock has worn off and I am back to my usual enjoyment of the book.  My reading average has dropped and it’s sad, but then it’s balanced with more actual work done so I guess that’s good.  Living and reading is good as opposed to just reading and living through characters and books.  But I still love it, being Elizabeth Bennet or Countess Olenska and all those wondrous characters: they are persons I will never otherwise be except by reading about them.  Part of who I am are the books I have read.  Not reading enough is a starvation I cannot endure.  I may momentarily stop but I will always go back with a vengeance.  I will always be the girl that reads.  And I am glad that I have this site to help me chronicle my readings as often or as little as possible.