Holiday TBR

Today on the The Broke and Bookish’ Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Winter TBR.

We haven’t got winter this side of the world, but I’ve gotten hold of a few books. Here’s hoping I get around to reading–and finishing–them during the cold holidays (what holidays? 😯). Otherwise, this list may very well be Tsundoku Part Two. 😛 (Part One is here.)

Spark Joy, by Marie Kondo. Sequel to her best-selling “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” which I have FINALLY finished reading and can now strike off my tsundoku list. 😉

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The Brain That Changes Itself, by Norman Doide.  The human brain was traditionally thought of as unchanging, with specialized parts and specific pathways. Recent advances in science, however, have shown that the brain is capable of regeneration and reorganization.  The premise sounds cerebral (pun intended), but the stories are more personal than academic. The narratives go beyond medical research. You have ACTUAL PEOPLE (not lab rats and guinea pigs) and REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES (not controlled experiments), who have recovered from their injuries and in the process, have debunked previously held notions about the brain. It’s kinda hopeful, actually. 😉 Here is a fantastic review of the book.

The Upward Spiral, by Alex Korb. This book was deeply quoted in a Business Insider article. It still applies the above principles of neuroplasticity, but is more focused on emotions. 🙂

The Confessions of St. Augustine.

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The C.S. Lewis Signature Classics.

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My Little Heart


Lookie what arrived in the mail during the weekend! Thank you so much Kuya C. for the Christmas present. Elmo was quick to claim it for himself; he calls it The Baby Heart Book. 🙂

And in many ways, he is the “heart” to his parents’ “brain” personas–our *tangible* source of joy, hope and excitement in the otherwise bleak and boring world of “adulthood.” 😊

Continue reading “My Little Heart”



This week on The Broke and The Bookish’ Top Ten Tuesday: Ten books that have been on your shelf or “To Be Read” List that you still haven’t read yet.

I am reminded of this Japanese term that so precisely describes this phenomenon. “Tsundoku” is Japanese slang, derived from “tsunde-oku” (to pile things up ready for later and leave) and “dokusho” (reading books). It literally means “reading pile” and it describes the condition of acquiring reading materials but letting them pile up in one’s home without reading them; it also pertains to books still in the bookshelf for later reading.


While I have since given up on some books I will surely never ever read anymore, there are still a few I’m still holding on to, with hopes that I will be able to find the time to finally read and put closure on them.

1. Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo. I’ve listened to the soundtrack numerous times, watched the movie a dozen times, and have read the books at least thrice… but they were all abridged versions. I have yet to conquer all 1461 pages of the complete and unabridged version from Signet classics. It still is one of my goals to be able to read this magnificent piece of work… and watch the play too. 😎


2. The Lord of the Rings, by JRR Tolkien. I tried, I really did; I even tried to psych myself when the movies were shown. 😮 But I never got beyond the first few chapters. Though I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia, I guess this kind of fantasy adventure is too much for me. Anyway, I’m still keeping this in my shelf, still hoping to be able to read it in the future.

3. Watership Down, by Richard Adams. My girlfriends luv this book; my wedding Ninang (mom of one of said girlfriends) even wrote a prize-winning review of it in one of the local dailies. I started reading it, but it was during a very busy time in my life, so I never progressed beyond a few pages.

4. Tales from Watership Down. This was given to me by one of my girlfriends, as a supplement to the main book. I planned on reading it after finishing #3 above.

5. Her Fearful Symmetry, by Audrey Niffeneger. I luv The Time Traveler’s Wife. I thought I’d feel the same for her next book, but the synopsys didn’t intrigue me as much as TTTW. It’s still just there lying in my shelf, as I am undecided whether to give it away or give it another chance.

6. A Spot of Bother, by Mark Haddon. Again for the same intentions and motivations as #5 above. I enjoyed his “The Curious Incident of Dog in the Night-Time.”

7. The Weight of Water, Anita Shreve. I’ve read her “A Wedding in December” and though I didn’t enjoy it as immensely, thought I’d give her another chance. Read better reviews for TWOW, but I never got around to finding out myself.

8. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I bought this on a whim; thought I’d try other genres.

9. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, by J.K. Rowling. It’s just a short book, I know, but it reads more like a textbook. (Well, it is a textbook at Hogwarts!) It could do well with some illustrations so that it’s not boring to look at. Perhaps the movie script with an actual story would be more engaging.

10. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, by Marie Kondo. Yep, I haven’t finished reading this book yet. Though I am proud to say, I’ve been decluttering and organizing more. 😉

What’s on your long-overdue reading pile? Share in the comments below. Or better yet, join the link party! 🙂

Favorite Book Quotes

It’s time again for another Top Ten Tuesday. And this week’s a “Rewind”, so you can make a list on any of The Broke and the Bookish‘ previous topics. Thought I’d go for my favorite quotes. I like quotes. They are so succinct! 🙂

Here are some of my faves. I’m just putting out ten and saving the rest for future TTTs. 😛

1. “There is never a perfect answer in this messy, emotional world. Perfection is beyond the reach of humankind, beyond the reach of magic. In every shining moment of happiness is that drop of poison: the knowledge that pain will come again. Be honest to those you love, show your pain. To suffer is as human as to breathe.” – JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

2. “Numbing the pain for a while will make it worse when you finally feel it.” – JK Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

3. “That’s the worst of growing up… The things you wanted so much when you were a child don’t seem half so wonderful to you when you get them.” – L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

4. “People have a habit of inventing fictions they will believe wholeheartedly in order to ignore the truth they cannot accept.” – Libba Bray, The Sweet Far Thing

5. “We accept the love we think we deserve.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

6. “Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.” – Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

7. “Things that break–be they bones, hearts, or promises–can be put back together but will never really be whole.” – Jodi Picoult, Handle With Care

8. “The truth doesn’t always set you free; people prefer to believe prettier, neatly wrapped lies.” – Jodi Picoult, Keeping Faith

9. “Happiness is what you choose to rememeber.” – Jodi Picoult, Nineteen Minutes

10. “Kid says to me, ‘You play baseball? What position? Left out?’ and gets a big laugh from the rest of the class. Kid is only one person out of 6.792 billion humans on this planet. This planet is only one-eighth of the solar system, whose sun is one of two billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy. Put it that way, the comment loses its importance.” – Jodi Picoult, House Rules

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I am a big fan of the Harry Potter books. I remember anticipating the release of each book, signing up for the reservation list and scrimping on my meager student allowance so I could save and buy it when it finally comes out. On the day of its release, I would wake up while it is still dark and fall patiently in line (I was mostly the twentieth plus person, though at my earliest, I was number four in line! 😉 ). I would block a couple of hours off my day and breeze through the book. (Those were carefree times, when I still had a lot of time. 😛 ) I even have this fond memory of me and my crush reading Book 7 The Deathly Hallows together–I was reading the earlier chapters and he was reading the last few pages. ❤

So when news came out that an 8th book was in the works, I was of course excited. 🙂 Got hold of it on the first day of release (sans falling in line in the wee hours of the morning), but didn’t get to read it until later in the day after I have put my son to sleep, and I have the entire night to myself.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child takes off from the final scene in Deathly Hallows, and is set 19 years after the books. And oh what a difference several years make! In the book, Harry, Ginny, Hermione and Ron are already adults, with families and jobs and responsibilities. 😮 (In my world, my then crush is now my husband and between us, is a toddler. 😛 ) I liked that Harry Potter has grown up along with the generation that first loved him, unlike say Nancy Drew who is forever 18! Because as much as it’s nice to be a child and live in a world where friendships are golden and good easily prevails over evil, that’s not how it goes in real life.

The story is intended as play, hence the book reads in the form of a script. It may well be spectacular on stage what will all the special effects, but as a book, it is lacking in vivid descriptive prose.

JK Rowling rehashes the time travel technique she first used in Book 3 The Prisoner of Azkaban. But makes more liberal use of it, taking us back to familiar scenes from the previous books, but mostly from Book 4 The Goblet of Fire. She presents different scenarios of “what ifs/what could have beens.” But ultimately concludes that whether due to choice or circumstance, we are where we should be; and that the past should stay where it rightfully belongs.

The request of Amos Diggory to bring back his son Cedric is a clever segue to the book’s overarching theme of father and son relationships. The titular son may be pertaining to Harry’s son, Albus, who is struggling to get out of his father’s shadow. But there may well be other “cursed” children in the story.

More than the adventure and the magic, the story affected me as a newbie mother (okay, not as new since my son’s already 2 years old, but everything is still a novelty for me 😉 ). For all the courage he has shown, Harry is most afraid *for* his son. Indeed, no amount of magic can prepare you for parenthood. It is one of the most frightening, and yet most beautiful things. And if only for how poignantly this was depicted (I’m trying to imagine the play), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child rates high in my book. 😉

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Have you read “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child”? What do you think about it?

My Top Ten Book Delights

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme by The Broke and The Bookish. Today’s TTT is specifically on bookworm delights, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one. 🙂 The last TTT I joined was a freebie, so I wrote about My Top Ten Book Peeves, and well, that kinda brought back some bad memories. 😛 Doing this was much more fun. Indeed, positivity trumps ranting anytime. 😉

1. Finding THAT ONE ELUSIVE BOOK to finally complete a collection! Coz I’m a completist like that. 😉

2. Beautiful hardbound books. 🙂

These clothbound books by Coralie Bickford-Smith are so divine. 🙂 I admit I judge a book by its cover. I doubt I would be able to read all of these (nakakapanghinayang, baka madumihan 😛 ). But just looking at them already brings me joy. 🙂

pfbg4seqsiaqzexzzswt_main-imageI heart this set of Jane Austen books IN PINK LEATHER!!!! 🙂 By Juniper Books.


Childhood reads in cute and colorful covers. By Puffin Classics.


3. As a corollary to #2 above, a lovely library. 🙂 At the least, a well-curated bookshelf. 😎

4. Curling up in bed with a good book, sipping a hot drink on a cold weather. So cliche. But true. 🙂 I suddenly feel nostalgic for class suspensions due to strong rains, when I don’t have to get up so early, and can just stay in bed all day, reading a book (or watching K-dramas 😉 ) Oh wait, I have to get up to prepare that hot drink. 😛

5. Reading to/with my son. ❤

To the moon… and back! 🙂

6. Revisiting a childhood favorite. Brings back good memories of a time when life was simpler and worry-free. 🙂 My favorite childhood read is Louisa May Alcott’s “Little Women.” Beth was my favorite, and I cried when she died. I shipped for Jo and Laurie, and was heartbroken she chose gnarly old Professor Bhaer over her childhood best friend. I have lukewarm feelings for Meg, bordering on indifference–she seemed like a corny Ate. 😮 And I hate Amy, that snake sneak, especially when she ended up with Laurie. When I first read “Little Women”, I was younger than Amy, and it felt like I was the fifth and youngest sister. I re-read every couple of years or so, still crying each time Beth died :-P, getting older than each sister, until there came a point that I was already older than Meg. Now, I probably as old as… Marmee! 😛 )

7. An exhilarating read.

8. A satisfying conclusion. 😎

9. Beautifully drawn books. I’m *looking* at you, Jim Kay-illustrated Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.


10. Quotes that are succinctly stated and so personal as if relating to me. I sometimes have to fight the urge to highlight them! 😛

How about you? What book-related things make you happy? (Conversely, what book-related things irritate you? 😛 We can discuss about those here.)

My Top Ten Book Peeves

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish. I’ve always wanted to take part in their Top Ten Tuesday memes, only I haven’t been reading much so I haven’t got any new books to add to their listings. 😦 But this TTT’s a freebie, so I get to make my own book listings on whatever topic, as long as it’s book/reading-related. 😉

For this Top Ten Tuesday, I am listing my Top Ten Book Peeves. This one’s inspired by a similar list by A Good Woman and this article from Buzzfeed.

1. Lending a book to someone and getting it back ruined. 😦

2. Lending a book to someone who, without asking for your permission, lends it to someone, who lends it to someone, who lends it to someone… To make matters worse, when you see *your* book (yeah, you just know it is yours) being read by somebody other than the one you lent it to, and inquire about it, the other person denies it. That, or they are mostly unaware that you are the actual owner of the book they are reading. 😮

Which brings us to….

3. Lending a book and not getting it back at all. 😦

4. Someone reading over your shoulder. Personal space please.

5. Sitting next to someone who keeps talking even though you are clearly reading. Now, imagine combining this with #4 above.

Continue reading “My Top Ten Book Peeves”