From Where I Sit

Saturday, February 6, 2016

I am currently reading this non fiction book that tells the stories of the books banned and burned by the Nazis. It also discusses the program created during that time that sent lightweight paperbacks for deployed troops during WWII. It explores the power of books and proves that the "pens are mightier than swords."

You all know how much I like reading about WWII and the Nazi era so this was perfect for me. 

Love Affair with Bookstores

Monday, January 4, 2016

I can not resist a bookstore. I support all kinds and all types from big box stores like Barnes and Noble to online stores like Book Depository. I do have a special place in my heart for independently owned book shops though, and when I can, I will buy from them specifically.
2015 was no different. I visited many bookstores. There's just something about walking through rows and rows of shelves filled with stories written by passionate storytellers. It's such a simple thing, but sometimes it's the little things like this in life that make everyday much more special.

first week of December; I think I already know my favorite book of the year

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I may sound like a broken record for talking about this book one more time, but I can't help myself. I loved this book so much that even though there's still a few weeks until the end of the year, I have already made up my mind that this book is definitely my favorite from this year. 

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is a historical fiction novel set in France during WWII and tells the story of two women during this time period. I already wrote a full review on this, so if you would like to read that, click here, but basically, I can not rave about this book enough. I have to recommend it to you if you haven't picked it up yet, because it is completely worth your time! 

It is just such a perfect and beautiful story; it is eloquently told and is such a page-turner that you may find it difficult to put down. At the same time, you would probably want to force yourself to put it down, for fear of the story ending. While I can go on and on about it, I still would not be able to give justice to the purity and very essence of the story. There simply aren't enough words to say about it without sounding repetitive and cliche. What I will focus on is how much it moved me. It moved me to tears as I was reading it, and it broke my heart so many times that I've lost count. And when I was done with it, all I wanted to do was talk to the characters, hug them, as I felt that they become my friends; they have become my sisters. 

On that note, I would like your top favorite reads this year so far. I am just starting to get back into reading after a bit of a break so I'm excited to pick one and read it before the year ends. Maybe it will become my favorite too. 

Christmas Wishlist

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

I've never made a wish list before, and I always have a hard time picking my gifts when asked what I want. Honestly, I would be pretty happy with fuzzy socks, candles, books, and pajamas! But hey, just because, I thought it would be fun to make an actual list for a change, here's mine. 
As for books, the only thing on my list right now is definitely Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone: Illustrated version! It is just so beautiful and beautiful and beautiful and I just want it but I can't justify buying it because I don't really need it, but let's be honest, I do.
I also would very much love to have The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones because I love that expansive world so much. 

What's on top of your list this holiday season? 

On Grief and Coping

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

One of my close friends passed away in late August, and three months later, I still feel completely lost and heartbroken. I don't want to give away more details, out of respect to her family, who are also my friends, but basically, a tragic accident took her life. It was and still is devastating. There aren't words to describe the shock and the pain, but here I am, wanting to share, because I think at the very least, people should know who she is and how much of an impact she has made on so many people.

My friend, Medina, was 20 years old. She was young, carefree, and incredibly beautiful inside and out. Whether you were close to her or not, everyone felt her strong and confident presence. She was vibrant - a true beauty and a go-getter with a nurturing quality. At times, she would get into this mom-mode in which she would speak with such maturity and authority that I sometimes forgot how young she still was.

Why am I writing this blog post? I'm not sure. Maybe I'm writing this because I am not sure how else to cope. I've always found this blog to be a great outlet, and countless times I've gotten genuine feedback and conversations here, and I feel like talking about my friend and remembering her are the only things I can do right now. So here I am. 

That being said, I do also want to take my time to thank those that left me nice comments and messages on Instagram and Twitter when I shared the news in August; your support was not left unnoticed. I really appreciate having a group of people online that I've never even met in real life, help me through this tough time. 

While I'm not sure I am 100% there yet, I feel I've made some progress as I'm blogging again. I'm reading again, which was the hardest thing to do after it happened because she used to love my book posts on my IG. I'm also considering going on trips to places similar to the place she was once last, which is a big deal. Will I actually go? Maybe not, maybe yes, but like they say... baby steps. 

End of Nanowrimo - what?!

Monday, November 30, 2015

what November looked like for me
Challenge: 30 days to write 50,000 words.
Challenge accepted!

I can't believe today is the last day of Nanowrimo or National Novel Writing Month. It was my first time participating, and it was a lot of fun. Honestly though, the entire November was such a blur to me - full of late night and early morning writing sessions in between 'real life.' Overall, it was exciting, and thankfully, I managed to reach that 50,000 mark on Day 25 even though I seriously doubted myself along the way. 

I think I still have about 30,000 words or so left to finish the story, but just the fact that I have words down now and an actual story is very encouraging to me.

I have to thank the entire Nanowrimo community as well as the writing community on social media, specifically on Instagram. Of course, I have to thank my boyfriend for pushing me to write everyday and for understanding when I can't.

Now time to write more, to finish, and then to edit 0_o. If you also participated, I hope that you hit your own personal goals for your novel too!

Scariest Book You've Read?

Friday, October 23, 2015

It's October. It's almost Halloween. It's that time again - that month to read some scary books. I have to admit I am what you can call a chicken when it comes to horror stories. I have such an overactive imagination that it's hard for me to get things out of my mind, especially if those said things are terrifying things. 

Despite that though I love horror because it really challenges me and yes, it's kind of fun to be scared every once in a while. This novel by Stephen King is my favorite horror. It scared me so much and the movie didn't make it any better either. That terrified me as well.
Currently, I'm reading Salem's Lot because so many recommended this to me when I
asked for a horror recommendation. That may or may not be a good idea. What's the scariest book you've read? 

I Am Malala: FIVE stars and nothing less

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

When the Taliban took over the Swat Valley in Pakistan, a girl refused to be silenced. All she wanted to do was to fight for her right to an education. In 2013, she paid the price for her bravery and was shot in the head by a member of a Taliban armed with a pistol. Her future was not promising and nobody expected her to survive. Over time and through countless support globally, she recovered from her injuries, and instead of letting the events silence her, it made her even more motivated. You might be familiar with her through her powerful speech when she took her cause to the halls of the United Nations and when she spoke with powerful leaders around the world. Until today, she continues her efforts to fight for the right for all people to get an education. I Am Malala is the story of this heroic girl, and what a story indeed.

Since I've known about her story before, I knew I was going to appreciate this book. However, there was so much more that I did not know about her. While reading, I found myself not able to put the book down, and in just a few hours, I finished it. From the moment I read the first page, I was immediately captured by Malala's voice. She sounded so relatable to me, as if she was just a friend talking to me about her daily life. But she's not an ordinary person, not like anyone at all. She is Malala, and her story is anything but ordinary. 

Another huge thing for me was how this book opened my eyes. As a person residing in the U.S., we hear about all the things happening abroad through the news and the press coverage. We are informed that way, but there's so much more that we do not know about. It was a shock to me in a way, and it was extremely moving to see it from the point of view of a teenager who actually lived there and has seen it all. Admittedly, I found myself in tears while reading some parts, because it really made me realize how much we take things for granted: being able to walk outside freely without fear, being able to wear whatever we want, read whatever we want, and more. The fact that this is just one story makes me feel sick to think about all the other stories left untold. 

If there's anything else that my review can do for you, I hope it's to encourage you to get the book and read it too. It's Malala's story, but it's also more than that. It's a story of her country, her culture, and her family. Of her relationship with her father. It's a story that shows courage, resilience, and strength. It is inspiring and motivating, and it deserves to be read just like Malala deserves to be heard all around the world.