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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buddhism explained

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One could not be in Thailand and not wonder…

We visited a lot of temples and saw a lot of huge Buddhas.  It was all so beautiful and surreal.

I believe in God.  God is bigger than any religion, definitely much more than mine.  I don’t think Christianity is the answer for me.  There’s no answer, really.  It’s just good to see God through different eyes and different cultures and religion.

My visit to Thailand has marked the beginning of my search, not for answers, but a search for all that is good in life, in people, in the world.  Travel from now on will always be a religious experience for me.

I picked the book up in Chiang Mai.  I have a vague recollection of my high school introduction to religions of the world and know very little about Buddhism.  Through this book I have learned much, much more.  And because I have seen it practiced, it’s not just plain study, devoid of any practical use for me.  Because I have seen Buddhas so immense it makes your soul tremble, it added a certain credibility; it makes one believe.  My visits of the temple and sights of the Buddhas have been a solemn experience for me.  Buddhism has a certain pull for me.  I already agree with many of its tenets, except for the main that about reincarnation.  I can’t make my brain stretch towards the idea of rebirth.  But then just because my mind is closed to an idea does not make me right.

At least I’m reading up, true to my religion called Learning.  After all, wisdom is the cornerstone of every major belief, at least I think it is.  I am always wary of every sect that requires blind obedience.

This is why I love traveling.  It moves the soul like no other.  I will always make it a point to remove myself every once in a while from the monotony of life.  A bit of change is always good for me.  Uncertainty is a vitamin.

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.

still bookish

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Four years and three law schools after…

The study of law is tiresome.  I miss those days when I could just curl up in bed on any given afternoon and read a book.  Something that would take me to 19th century England… Whatever happened to those days?  I miss those days.

I’ve practically given up reading fiction for the more compelling law books.  I’ve learned a lot since I began, sure, but It’s nothing to the joy of reading something for the mere pleasure of it and not because humiliation awaits if you don’t read the 300 pages you’re supposed to.

I still don’t know where this will take me.  All I know is I can’t wait for this to be over so I can read the 130-something books I’ve hoarded.

the princess bride

The Princess Bride, William Goldman

This is so far the only book that I have read and finished on schedule for this year.  I have seen The Princess Bride movie but did not make the connection until I started reading it.  This is supposed to be S. Morgenstern’s classic tale of true love and high adventure.  I debated reading the William Goldman “bits” thinking that it might be part of the story based on what I remembered from the movie.  But I thought better of it and decided to stick to the tale.  From halfway through to the end I got really exasperated and did think, as Goldman suggested many times in his insertions, to throw the book across the room.  I thought: why is he ruining it? what is he doing sullying with a classic.  I felt cheated out of a good, ole classic tale.  And after I have finished, I said to myself that I will one day find the original version and read it, never mind of Goldman didn’t see it fit to print and trouble the readers with.  And of course it turned out to be all Goldman.  And I feel stupid for skipping his “bits” there, except for some that would leave a great blank in the story if I did not read his “commentaries”, but even then I only skimmed through those.  Now I don’t know if I can consider this as a finished book since I’ve skipped about 20% of the book.  But never mind.  I think I will only feel doubly exasperated if I have to go through it again.

So. The Princes Bride – DONE!