oxford bookstore


I’m so happy that we got to spend some time driving around New Delhi before our flight back home.  It was such a busy time that I didn’t think we will still be able to see something of the city.  Thanks to our guide who took us to Connaught Place, and this bookstore which according to him is the oldest one in New Delhi.

I grabbed the opportunity of buying these books that have been forever on my list but never got.  Honestly, I’m proud of myself. Haha! Got books by Indians from India.  I’m sure not many could say the same.  As to reading these anytime soon, that remains to be a dream.

New Delhi, or India for that matter, is probably not the place I would choose to go to for leisure if it were up to me.  My experience there was not exactly the best.  The cuisine wasn’t a favourite, safety was an issue, and the general air not exactly for the faint at heart.  But then leisure was not the purpose.  I did what I went to do.  All in all it was a huge blessing.  I did experience India, the little I saw of its wonders was enough given the time and the pace of our task there.  That’s why I hold on to this moment I went to Connaught Place and saw two bookstores and got some books because this was one of the highlights of my trip.

I dunno if I will ever choose to go back on my own volition. Maybe. Given the money, time and a good country-side spot, maybe.  The air, without the pollution, is cool, and the people have this easy way of bouncing back from bad to good.  It wasn’t all bad, really.  If nothing else, it made me somewhat prouder of my own country.


New Year, New List


This is my very ambitious to-read pile for 2016.  But I’m shooting for big things this year.  This isn’t an impossible task considering that I’ve finished 16 books this year.  I just need to take it out on Plants v. Zombies time.  I think I have more chances of accomplishing this anyway than doing the daily 15-minute planking I said I’ll do this year.

I got some big titles here: books I’ve always wanted to read and searched for years, but sadly remained in my unread pile for so long.  This is hopefully the year I try to match my buying with my reading.

1. The Metamorphosis ~ Franz Kafka
2. The Brothers Karamazov ~ Fyodor Dostoevsky
3. Far From the Madding Crown ~ Thomas Hardy
4. The Phantom of the Opera ~ Gaston Leroux
5. Begin to Exit Here ~ John Welter
6. In Cold Blood ~ Truman Capote
7. Can You Forgive Her? ~ Trollope
8. Night Train ~ Martin Amis
9. The Vagina Monologues ~ Eve Ensler
10. The Dolce Vita Diaries ~ Cathy Rogers and Jason Gibb
11. The Rare and the Beautiful ~ Cressida Connolly
12. The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao ~ Junot Diaz
13. Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship ~ Goethe
14. The Tin Drum ~ Gunter Grass
15. Sister Carrie ~ Theodore Dreiser
16. Washington Square ~ Henry James
17. Catch-22 ~ Joseph Heller
18. The Professor ~ Charlotte Bronte
19. The Bhagavad Gita
20. The Jungle Books ~ Rudyard Kipling
21. On the Road ~ Jack Kerouac
22. Blink ~ Malcolm Gladwell
23. Thinking, Fast and Slow ~ Daniel Kahneman
24. Cloud Atlas ~ David Mitchell

Oh yeah, Happy New Year! Cheers.




the soul of money


“Using money as a direct expression of one’s deepest sense of self is a powerful, miraculous thing.  It is a practice, however, and I’m still working on it.  I waste money.  I buy products that are part of the problem rather than part of the solution.  I get excited about money and disappointed about money and frustrated and conflicted over money issues.  But I am also on a path in a practice, that I’m sharing with you because I believe it is useful and important in our time.  I’m seeing that more and more of us are awake to our higher commitments, concerned about how we’re living, and this book is an offering to contribute to that process that is taking place all around us now.”

” I also invite you to live a larger life – to see that when we really look at what we’ve got and let go of trying to accumulate more, we have the capacity for much greater lives than just “getting” and “having”.  Everyone wants more than the good life for just themselves.  They want a good life for all, and when you realize there is enough, you get in touch with that possibility.  It becomes the natural outcome of shifting your context.  It worked that way for me, and I’ve seen it work that way for many others around the world.”

“I challenge you to imbue your money with soul – your soul – and let it stand for who you are, your love, your heart, your word, and your humanity.”

~ The Soul of Money, by Lynne Twist

I love this book.  This is one of the most important books I have read in my life.  Its message completely resounded in my soul.  I am looking for copies and buying every single one of my best girl friends one.

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.

a year in non-fiction

The Soul of Money by Lynne TwistThe Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie KondoZero Waste Home by Bea Johnson

There was a time in my life when I thought reading self-help type, non-fiction books was a waste of time.  I am now old enough to know better.  And also old enough to need to read non-fiction.

It started with Eat, Pray, Love.  It’s not in my Hall of Fame but for the first time in my life I read something about a person’s life and was able to not only understand but relate to her.  It made me yearn for something more.

Later on, I picked out non-fiction books for practicality.  I needed help in certain aspects of my life and have come to a point when I needed the perspective and techniques of experts.  These three books: The Soul of Money (Lynne Twist), The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up (Marie Kondo), and Zero Waste Home (Bea Johnson), I picked for different reasons.  Little did I know that reading these together would create something powerful in me.  These three books pertain to different things but practically serve a single purpose.

At my age right now I’m looking to do something that will serve the best good not only for myself and my family but for the world in general.  These three books are literally life-changing.  I want to live a purposeful and principle-based life and these will help me achieve that.  At this day and age, it is possible to live a sustainable and free life.

book list 2013

Two thousand thirteen is going to be a crazy busy year.  And because of that I am planning my year carefully, including the books I’m going to read.  I’ve done this before, planning and prioritizing books to read, with zero success rate.  But I have just proven with Gulliver’s Travels that if I really just stick with a book, I can finish, and the book may just surprise me by the insights it offers towards the end.  And, as Graham Greene said, one can endure discipline as long as one is happy.  And I am happy.  I’m going to be very disciplined with my reading.  With lesser reading time, I have to make sure I cover the more important works of fiction.  So here are the books, one for each month, that I’m going to be reading this 2013.

January – The End of the Affair by Graham Greene.  I have four Greene books in my shelf and have read only one.  I liked The Power and the Glory.  I thought I’d read another one of his books.  I have in fact started with this already because I have finished with my books for the year early.  This is a good choice to start with, too, because it’s easy and highly intriguing.

February – Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.  I have read and got disappointed by this book.  It was a bad choice of edition.  I got this new one, the same edition as a friend has read and recommended.  I’m hoping it’s going to be a better experience the second time around.  I scheduled this for February that way if I lag I will have the whole year to make up for it.  Besides, it’s the love month: great way to regularize the romantic mood with something a tad sad.

March – The Aeneid of Virgil.  This book requires commitment.  And March seems like the commitment month.  I dunno, maybe it’s something to do with March being graduation month with all those students graduating or finishing a year of school feeling all accomplished and all that this might just be the perfect month to read AND FINISH The Aeneid.  Trust me, I have read the first few pages and it is going to be no easy feat reading this one.

April – The Princess Bride by William Goldman.  I thought this would be the perfect plane book for my vacation with my sister.  I picked this up from Inkheart.  I hope this proves to be a better read than that one.

May – Dubliners by James Joyce.  Ulysses was an epic fail.  I could not get past through the 10th page.  Apparently, this one needs a code to move on to the 11th page.  Difficult would be an understatement to describe that book.  It was not good for my self-esteem so I gave it up.  But I am not a total failure when it comes to Joyce.  I did read A Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man, though I had a difficult time with that as well.  Making up for the Ulysses failure (*self-esteem crashing*)  is me reading Dubliners.  Pep talk to self: “I can do this!”

June – Catch-22 by Joseph Heller.  For years this book has managed to evade me.  I have only recently got this.   I love Heller.  I think he’s the first American author that really cracked me up.  (I usually go to my trusty British funny guys for my crack-up needs, i.e. Herriot, Douglas.)  I figured this would be a great way to ease up into law school, by reading something light and easy.  Good luck to me.

July – Delta Wedding by Eudora Welty.  I heard of Welty through Gilmore Girls (only my favorite show on the planet).  I was not particularly looking for it but I found it at Booksale and thought I’d give her a try.

August – The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.  The first time I read about this book I loved the title instantly.  That  same love for the title, however,  in no way helped this book from staying in the back shelf for a long time unread.  But that is changing next year.  The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, I hope you’re a good as you’re named.

September – Washington Square by Henry James.  I just have to read a Henry James novel.

October – Hard Times by Charles Dickens.  I have resolved to read one Dickens novel a year until I finish ’em all.  I thought I’ve read enough of Dickens and yet I still see a lot of familiar titles I have not read.  Why couldn’t he be more like Austen?  Austen wrote six books and three more she did not finish and I’m done with her.

November – The Yearling by Marjorie Rawlings.  This should be good.  And I need to cross off something from my Pulitzer list.

December – Notre Dame of Paris by Victor Hugo.  I thought I’d end with this.  Les Miserables was great and it forever etched Hugo in my heart.

*Re-post from facebook, Dec. 29, 2012

lo. lee. ta.

lolita by vladimir nabokov

Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta: the tip of the tongue taking a trip of three steps down the palate to tap, at three, on the teeth. Lo. Lee. Ta

— Yes, I’ve taken it up again and reading it from the beginning.  This time, I’ll read it through to the end.  I think I’ve aged enough for this.  And hopefully I finish it in time for its owner’s Grand Opening of his newly renovated book shop on December that I am attending so I can finally return it.  I’ve unashamedly kept the book with me for I don’t know how many years since it was lent to me.  It’s time for it to go back.