Posted in Bookworm

Book Thoughts on The Girl Who Drank The Moon

“It is the word that could not stick in your mind, but it is the word that defines your life. As it has defined mine.” ~ Grandmama Xan, The Girl Who Drank The Moon

“Knowledge is powerful, but it is a terrible power when it is hoarded and hidden.” ~ Ethyne, The Girl Who Drank The Moon

This book was magical, but it was not just about MAGIC. For me, the story was about loving another in such a great way that you willingly give up your life, your future, for this other. It was expressed in the love of a mentor for a student, a grandmother for her grandchild, and parents for their child.

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill (image above from Goodreads) was my first read for 2019 and although it was a slow start, it had a great finish. A witch taking abandoned babies from the forest and giving them to loving families. A girl enmagiked as a baby because she mistakenly drank from the moon and whose magic grew to be so strong that it had to be locked away, hidden from her memory, until she turned 13. A mother forced to give up her child and then locked away in a tower, called crazy by the town, but who was always, always looking for her child. A young man once forced to take a child from its family, now having to give up his own. So many interesting characters in this book whose lives cross with each other, so much love between them.

My favorite character in this tale is Ethyne, a cheerful, positive soul. She did not allow sorrow to overwhelm her, she sought knowledge, and she was a strong woman who went up against a system that no one else even thought to question. But what really endeared her to me was that she wanted knowledge to be shared, given to others, and not just kept between an elite few.

Like I said, this book had a slow start but it had me crying towards the end. If you’re the kind of reader who likes neat happy endings, you won’t get that here. After turning the last page I found myself staring into space for a little while, with a slight ache in my heart. In my opinion, that was the best feeling-at-the-end this book could have had.

Posted in Bookworm

2018 Reading Challenges…and then some

Last year was not a good year for me in both blogging and reading. I have been starting and closing blogs for quite some time now, since 2005 if I’m not mistaken. I guess I haven’t really found what I really want to write about. Family life? Teaching? Until someone mentioned that one thing constant in my blogging was talking about books. And I do love books. And so here I am with my who-knows-how-many attempt at blogging but this time talking about books. And oh I love books. 🙂

That being said, last year was also a bad year for reading. According to Goodreads I only read one book. To be exact about it, I only finished one book. I started quite a number of books but didn’t get around to finishing most of them. Well, I just finished ONE.

So this year I’m going to turn things around and read…read a lot. Whether fiction or non-fiction, mysteries, historical fiction, YA literature, I will read. And I will write about what I read. I’m not a critique and I won’t pretend I’ll be writing literary essays, I’ll just write if I like a book or not and why.

As a guide to my reading this year I am following three reading challenges. It may seem daunting now but a lot of the books will be crossing challenges so I think that’s doable. These are the three reading challenges I am signing up for:

Mommy Mannegren’s 2018 Reading Challenge (52 books in 52 weeks) – but I’m not expecting a 1 book per week performance here.

Book Riot’s 2018 Read Harder Challenge – 24 tasks that challenge you to read beyond your comfort zone

The 2018 F2F Challenge by The Filipino Group on Goodreads – these are my peeps! (I mean they’re Filipinos, I’m actually a newbie to the group) And it’s not just an online group, they meet once a month to talk about the assigned read for the month.

So…here’s to more posts and reads in 2018!

Posted in Bookworm

Catching Up On My Newberrys

Newberry Books.jpg

At the start of this year I signed up for the 2016 Newberry Reading Challenge with  goal of reaching the L’ Engle level. That is a measly 15-29 points that is gained by reading Newberry Medal books (for 3 points), Newberry Honor books (for 2 points), and Caldecott Medal books (for 1 point). Eight months into the year and I have ZERO points to my name. 😦

I didn’t want to end up in the exact same place as when I signed up for the challenge last year (with zero points), and because I needed some cheering up distraction from all the things happening in my beloved country I stopped by the bookstore this afternoon after my errands to look for a Newberry Medal book to bring home and read. The plan was one book, but see the picture up there? One ended up becoming three. 🙂 But it was almost no Newberry book because I was holding grown-up novels at one point. And then it was a Newberry and 2 novels, then 2 Newberrys and a novel, them back to 3 novels…you get the picture. I love books! And being inside a bookstore is happiness! I was walking between shelves and came upon some teenagers seated on the floor browsing books and with pained expressions on their faces knowing they could only buy one book, but how do you choose from so many treasures!? I know that expression too well. 🙂

In the end I walked out with these three books, two Newberry Medals and a Newberry Honor. I can’t wait to get started!

Do you have any suggestions on other Newberry books I should read? 🙂

Posted in Bookworm

Ready Player One

Ready Player One

This was my first book read for 2016 but I never really got around to writing about it. This book was nostalgic! A blast from the past! In a world of suffering and chaos set in the future it looked back on the 80s with its songs, movies, and video games and somehow made that decade seem like one of the best times ever. And I wouldn’t disagree completely. But then in the 80s I was in elementary school and life was simple.

Ready Player One also told of a life where people did everything online. From the time they got up to the time they went to bed they were hooked to headgear that made them do everything online. It didn’t feel like such a preposterous idea. Kids these days know how to operate gadgets before they know the alphabet, and in some countries they are recognizing a phenomenon of young adults not even leaving their rooms anymore because they’re glued to screens.

I enjoyed this book and read it in just a few days. But it was also a reminder that there is a world out there that we should interact with. Oh, and that time moves forward. The 80s might have been fun, but I wouldn’t want to relive it. 🙂

Have you read READY PLAYER ONE? What did you think of it?

Posted in Bookworm

Last Year’s Book Challenges…And This Year’s Goals

I love, love, love reading books. Life just gets in the way of my cuddling in a corner and losing myself in pages for an entire day.

Last year I (officially) started my Century of Books challenge from Stuck In A Book. Started, but that doesn’t mean I’ve gotten anything written down. It’s actually easy to read a book, it’s the writing about it that gets me stuck and that’s another thing that I’m challenging myself to do…to write. So as last year ended I had 0 books in the bag for this challenge. But! This is a long-term thing and I’m just rolling it over to 2016. This year I hope to read – and write about! – 10 books for this challenge. 🙂

Newberry 2016

I also joined the Newberry Reading Challenge 2015 but wasn’t able to read any of the books on the Newberry Medal and Honor Roll list. And you should know me by now, I don’t give up, I just keep trying. This yearI’m trying again and I’m signing up again for the Newberry Reading Challenge 2016. I’m still only aiming for the L’Engle level…but you never know. 😉

Do you have any suggestions of books for me to read? And what books are you planning on reading this year?

Posted in Bookworm

Reading Challenge for 2015

For 2014, about half of the year through, I decided I was going to join two reading challenges. There was the Reading Bingo Challenge by Retreat by Random House and A Century of Books by Stuck in a Book, the first was somewhat manageable (or so I thought) and the second was a long-haul challenge so I thought I would be able to manage. Well, after 6 months I wasn’t able to get anything done. 😦

But that’s okay! I am going to pick myself up and shake off the dust from this year’s reading challenge failure and move on to a challenge for 2015! (Because I can be very stubborn that way…)

I’m still going to work through the challenge of reading A Century of Books but I wanted to do one that had to be finished within a year. So I did a search of all the challenges being posted and I came across one that I think is just perfect for me as a mom of a 10 year-old reader (and two other soon-to-be-readers…I hope). When 2015 rolls around in a few days I am going to join…

A Newberry Medal is awarded to authors with distinguished contributions to American Literature for Children. The Newberry Honor books, for lack of a clearer explanation, are the runners-up, but they are really good reads just the same. 🙂

Newberry 2015.png

Also, because No. 100 of my 101 in 1001 is to read a Newberry Medal or Honor Book for every year since it’s debut in 1922, this challenge is me hitting two birds

with one stone. Oh, and I’m aiming for the L’Engle level on this one. Yes, the lowest level, but I’m being realistic for now. 😉

Any suggestions on what books to start with? 🙂

Posted in Bookworm

Back to Books

Thanks to all the TV series I’ve been following I have fallen behind on my reading. Tsk, tsk, tsk. This certainly won’t do.

So almost halfway through 2014 I am buckling down and joining two (2!) reading challenges. Because I’m crazy that way. 😉

Reading Bingo 2014

Because Books and Bingo are both fun! I got this from the site of Retreat by Random House (http://www.retreatbyrandomhouse.ca/2014/01/reading-bingo-challenge-2014/) where they have two Bingo cards, the regular challenge and the YA challenge. Regular for me, please.

Reading Bingo

A Century Of Books

This challenge from Stuck In A Book (http://stuck-in-a-book.blogspot.ca/2011/09/century-of-books.html) is one that I plan to do over a long period of time. Say about a decade. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, maybe just three years. The idea is to read a book published from each year of the past century (that’s from 1914-2013). Now where am I going to find a good book from 1920? This is going to be a scavenger hunt of sorts!

A Century of Books logo

 

So if you’re up for the challenge and you want to join me just pick up a book and start reading. 🙂 I’ll see you on the other side!

Are you doing any reading challenges this year? Let me know if you have a particularly good one that you think I should try.