currently reading + recommendations!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

I finally picked up a copy of this from the library and I am really happy I finally get to read it. I've been wanting to ever since I've heard of its synopsis! I do like a good, romantic (well-told) love story every once in a while, and this just seems like the perfect pick. So far, so good.

And also, I wanted to write this post to ask you guys for another set of book recommendations! I've already told you before, how I have discovered so many great reads because of your suggestions, so if you have any additional book titles that you think I might enjoy, please do tell me about them! I am sort of craving for a good love story too (not from the Romance genre) or maybe a good historical fiction set in the WWII era. I always like contemporary YA too, and any mystery/thrillers are awesome as well. Basically, recommend any book, in any genre. Thanks! :)

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares

Friday, July 29, 2011

Genre: General Fiction - series
Rating: 2 stars

Review: I was an actual young adult when I first picked up The Sisterhood and the Traveling Pants. I've always been a fan of the characters - Lena, Carmen, Bridget, and Tibby. They all stand out to me, and the author, Ann Brashares, always seems to capture my attention every single time. So when I heard she just came out with the next (and final) book in this lovable series, I was ecstatic. After all, I wanted to know where the sisterhood went after all this years.

Well, I have to be honest; I feel many things - mostly conflicting thoughts. Do I like it, do I not, do I at least appreciate it, do I just wish it was never written... I am not so sure what I truly think of it entirely.

The pros - these characters are back. I love them, and was glad to hear more about them and their lives. I thought the plot development was great, and the author showcases her skill and talent once again. She really knows how to make the situations and events in her stories come alive. I like the pace, and I like the overall narration of the story.

The cons - this is not a 'Sisterhood' book to me. It didn't feel like one, and it didn't read like one. I also did not like how the characters turned out - for some reason I felt as if their once-realistic and believable personalities and characteristics are really gone. And I know people grow up and change as years go by, but I didn't truly believe that these specific changes would actually happen. There were also times when the book itself felt self-indulgent in a way, and a bit contrived.

Would I recommend it? Probably. I think others would probably like this more than I did - to each his own, right?
For me, the overall conclusion put me down a bit. So I guess, overall, I am disappointed by this book. As a long-time fan, I didn't really like the significant changes that were made. Perhaps that is the message behind it. But for me, personally, I actually sort of wish I didn't read it at all. Not because it was a bad book - not at all - but because I wish this was not how the lives of some of my favorite characters had to end.

Cryer's Cross by Lisa McMann

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Genre: Young Adult
Rating: 2.5 stars

What I Liked: Great idea, interesting premise, fairly likable characters, promising story line. If you read its synopsis, it's extremely intriguing, and you're left wanting to find out what's truly going on behind the story.

What I Didn't Like: I thought the way the plot was executed was a bit weak for my liking. I felt like it was lacking, and it somehow felt incomplete to me. There were also a lot of parts that seemed rushed and choppy, which sort of ruined the experience for me. It seemed like I was never given enough time to like the story itself or get to know the characters. I also thought the 'horror/creepy' part of the plot wasn't as creepy as I feel it should have been.

Overall: While I love the idea behind this and its premise, unfortunately, the book didn't work for me. I wouldn't purchase it to add to my collection, and will probably never re-read it again. I would recommend this to younger YA readers.

me? getting a tattoo??

Friday, July 22, 2011

I haven't really told anyone about this, but for the past few years now, I've been thinking about getting a tattoo. Yup, a real one. The permanent kind. The one that grows old with you and never changes kind. The thing is, if you knew me personally, you could NEVER imagine me actually getting one!

But don't get excited; this is just an idea. I doubt I would actually go through with this plan, since I'm too much of a chicken to do it. But hey, if I still feel this way by this time next year, maybe I'll really go through it. For now, this is a tattoo idea stuck in my dreams.

They would be on my wrists. It will be small and subtle. It would be of a book on the left wrist, and a quill on the right. 

Just thinking about it makes me all giddy for some reason!! And I truly believe that that design idea screams my name.

Would you ever get a tattoo? A literary tattoo perhaps? Or maybe you already do have one. Tell me!!

if I should split my soul into 7 pieces.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

So forgive me if I'm still in the whole Harry Potter zone until now, but I can't help it if I'm still completely hungover from the watching the final movie.
Anyway, earlier today, I had this interesting conversation with my bookish co-worker about Horcruxes - what would we do if we had the opportunity to split our soul into 7 pieces. I thought this was a fascinating idea so I decided I should make a post out of it.

  • This specific copy of Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - You all know Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books of all time, and you also know I have quite a lot of different copies of it. This one specifically is special. I found it when we just came from the Philippines about 6 years ago, when I was so homesick. We were staying at my great Aunt's house at that time. I was helping out with organizing her garage, and in one of the boxes, was this copy. I didn't read it until later on, but it meant a lot because it was nice to find a 'hidden treasure' that cured my homesickness at that time, even for a little bit!
  • This pendant - Tim gave this to me last year for my birthday. I wear it almost every single day! My outfit would seriously sometimes feel incomplete without it. It's so simple and tasteful, yet elegant, meaningful, and timeless. Love it so much!
  • Rent "bible" by Jonathan Larson - I love music, and I absolutely love Broadway. This is my favorite musical, ever. And this book, is genius. Must read and buy for any rent heads out there!
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - mini book 'collector's' item - given to me by my Aunt. I really just like this one! It's easy to hide, and nobody will think that I would consider putting my soul into such a tiny little thing. It's also my favorite book from the series so I'd have to pick that specific one.
  • The Little Mermaid music box - It's just gorgeous to me, and the Little Mermaid was my favorite as a kid (imagine me at my 6th birthday party, singing Look at this stuff... isn't it neat...) And I just adore music boxes in general. I think they're simply lovely and sentimental.
  • My 'literature/words/typewriter' art - Another amazing handmade gift from Tim for Christmas. It sums up my love for literature! He drew a typewriter, and on the paper coming out from it is a copy of my favorite poem of all-time. On the sides are some of my favorite quotes and lines from books. The most thoughtful gift I've ever gotten.
And the 7th and the final horcrux, I would have to say.... Me!
Is this answer acceptable? Well, I'd like to think so. I'd want to have a 2nd life in my pocket, you know... just in case. Ha. What about you? I really want to know what your horcruxes would be! Leave a comment or do a post-response :D

EDIT: Check this Horcrux post by my cousin, Justine. clickclickclick


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

over this.

Yeah, as much as I did not like Mockingjay, I can't deny the Hunger Games series is pretty darn epic. The concept of the entire series, the characters, the action, the interesting sub-plots... I can not wait!

I've also come to learn that I should just accept the cast - I believe they were picked for a reason! I can't be picky so I think I'll just wait until I see them in the actual films before I complain haha. So I'm hopeful. What do you think? Pretty cool teaser poster, right?

The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Rating: 4 stars

Review: I'm a huge follower and fan of Tess Gerritsen's work and have read all of her books. I was excited when I had the opportunity to meet her when she went to Northern California and especially when I got an autographed copy of her latest book, The Silent Girl! Let me go ahead and say that I enjoyed it.
I thought the story itself is great, and loved the fact that she used her Chinese-American background to write it. I liked the characters, as usual, and thought her writing is as good as ever. No cliches, no nonsense. It's also incredibly fast-paced, intriguing, and exciting, and has just the perfect amount of descriptions and details. The flow of the book and the overall development of the characters as well as the plot were executed very well, I thought.

While I don't think this is her best work necessarily - as I still can't get over The Surgeon and Body Double - I'm happy I can say that I still enjoyed it. It had me guessing, and kept me entertained all throughout. Tess Gerritsen definitely has the ability to capture her audience with her words, and I can't wait to read more from her hopefully soon.

does anybody know of your "secret identity?"

Monday, July 18, 2011

Random questions of the day - does anybody in real life know how much of a bookworm you are? And the second question is, does anybody know that you are a book blogger?

For me, generally, many know I love books and see it as a favorite hobby, but only certain people know that it's a huge and important part of my life. That it's something I'm passionate about. As for blogging, again, only very, very few. Even the people who know about it aren't really regular readers of the blog - they just know of it.
I tend to keep the blogging thing a bit more of a secret for some reason - I feel like it's something private; almost like a secret identity in a way.
Recently though, since making a Facebook page for the blog, a lot of my other friends have started to discover what I've been up to for the past year and a half. They're still not as interested with the whole blogging thing of course, and one of my friends laugh at me when I talk about blogging. But for most of the part, they say it's pretty.. um.. cool?

Now I'm curious to hear from you - what do the people around you think when they visit your blog? Do they even know you have a blog? Do share.

i apologize for the nonstop harry potter posts!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I know I haven't been writing reviews or anything, and all I seem to be talking about is potterpotterpotter.. so I apologize but I can't help it! So here's a quick, crazy update. 4am - just got home from the movies. I feel like I just have to post about it and share this with you all.

Harry Potter... oh my gaaah. Amazing. Did not disappoint. So worth the 4 hour wait in the cold with Tim, and for coming home so late even though I have work in just a few hours. To be honest, I'm incoherent right now so I shouldn't even be posting. Can't talk because of how excited I feel. But I don't care, because I know it's only you guys that understand exactly how I feel!

But wow. It's officially over. Can you believe it?? I can't!
14 years!
14 amazing years.

Thanks J.K. Rowling. I know I wouldn't be the crazy bookworm that I am today if it weren't for you and your books and your characters and the magic and everything else that came with it. Amazing. That's all I've got to say. Goodnight.

/end 4am rambling

Book Recommendation of the Week

Those Who Save Us by Jenna Blum

Genre: General/Literary Fiction

When I Read It: 2008

Synopsis: For fifty years, Anna Schlemmer has refused to talk about her life in Germany during World War II. Her daughter, Trudy, was only three when she and her mother were liberated by an American soldier and went to live with him in Minnesota. Trudy's sole evidence of the past is an old photograph: a family portrait showing Anna, Trudy, and a Nazi officer, the Obersturmfuhrer of Buchenwald. Driven by the guilt of her heritage, Trudy, now a professor of German history, begins investigating the past and finally unearths the dramatic and heartbreaking truth of her mother's life. Combining a passionate, doomed love story, a vivid evocation of life during the war, and a poignant mother/daughter drama, Those Who Save Usis a profound exploration of what we endure to survive and the legacy of shame.

Why I Loved It: I like historical fiction, especially books that surround the WWII era. And the story itself was so well-written and engrossing that I finished this in a day. It's been a while since I've read it, but there are certain parts in the book that I still remember so well until today. Memorable characters and events, great writing, and a believable, heart-wrenching story.

"Life is so often unfair and painful and love is hard to find and you have to take it whenever and wherever you can get it, no matter how brief it is or how it ends."


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Our childhood is finally coming to an end this July 15 at 12:17AM. Soooo unbelievably excited!! But you guys, I have to admit, I'm also very scared I might just cry all throughout the movie. Haha.

When are you watching it? And are you doing anything special for it or anything? I'm watching with Tim and I'll be wearing my Gryffindor scarf. Will wait in line for 4 hours - which isn't even a lot compared to the people who will be there, hm, at 3pm or even earlier! It's all good - we will be doing homework and writing essays to kill time. We lead very exciting lives obviously.

Happy Harry Potter weekend!

Show and Tell III

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Show and Tell is an original feature here on this blog where we get the chance to showcase some of our favorite books. The first one back in May 2010 was a huge success and so was the second one in July 2010. Now, a year later, there's even a lot more fantastic choices from awesome book bloggers, so read on and see what they picked.


My pick for the 3rd Show&Tell: The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
I've already talked about this book in the past, and how much I love it. I have a lot of other favorites, and this is one is definitely one of them. When I read it, it reminds me of how much I love reading! Basically though, I love everything about it! The entire story, the characters, the twists and turns. The poetic writing, the overall Gothic-like ambiance, the Jane Eyre appeal, and the lovely quotes. It's just so beautifully written and wonderfully told, and I simply like the fact that it's a "bookish book for bookish people."

Pick: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosselini
A Thousand Splendid Suns holds a special place for various reasons. Not only is it one of the most thought -provoking novels I have ever read, but it's one that will not leave you for a very long time. I think I have been lucky. I have for the most part picked up books on a whim and found that I loved them. The Kite Runner was no exception. After finishing the book I was so hopelessly torn and pained that I seriously felt no other book could ever out - do it. In fact, I didn't read a book for quite a while shortly after because nothing seemed to compare. Ironically I found that the author had written another book and I just knew that I had to read it. It turned out that I loved this one even more than The Kite Runner! Laila is the character that I felt most compassion towards even though it is Mariam who has faced much more in life as bizarre as that sounds. Perhaps it's because this beautiful girl who we witness loose herself through time has the courage to will herself to love despite all the bloodshed and hopelessness that surrounds her, or maybe it's how in an instant her innocence is lost that makes me want to reach out to her. All I know is that I connected with her, I saw her and it clicked, and I looked out for her for the remainder of the book, hoping, just hoping for the best. The book features love, loss, betrayal, anger and pain to the point where it is at times too painful to turn the next page. It's such a hard book to read, extremely tough, but so worth it. I promise you that. After finishing A Thousand Splendid Suns I had tears running down my face and couldn't stop crying, I was shattered yet I don't think it was until that very moment that I truly realised what a profound affect this book had had on me, I found that I was completely heartbroken and was left aching for people I couldn't and simply didn't have a chance in saving. Very few books have matched it since.

Picks: Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer & Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
It's hard to narrow choose my favorite books, but once they're chosen, it's easy to explain why! Bloody Jack - not just the first one, the entire series - is bloody brilliant? (See what I did there?) I'm a character driven girl, and all of the characters are ridiculously entertaining and hilarious. I want to BE Jacky Faber. As for Jane Eyre, well, I'm an English major. I've got a thing for classic literature, and as much as I love me some Shakespeare, Jane Eyre was the book that introduced me to it all.

Kristi of The Story Siren
Pick: The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
One of my favorite books of all time is The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame. Although I love various young adult titles, this children's book hold a special place in my heart. My Grandma often read this book for me. She is the person that instilled my love of reading, she constantly read to me and taught me to read myself at a very early age. This book reminds me of the wondrous things I imagined as a child and how utterly captivating books were for me.

I actually need to read this book again and refresh myself with the story and hopefully rekindle those feelings I had as a child.

Pick: The Shining by Stephen King and A Cry in the Night by Mary Higgins Clark
I'm not one for favorites. I don't have a favorite movie, song, band, or even book. And believe me I've been asked that question a lot. But, recently I got into a discussion about books that change the way you read or something to that effect. I've had several over the years. But, I will always remember when I was 12 and getting bored with my tween books (think Babysitters club, Sweet Valley High, etc). My mom was also tired of hearing me whine about it. So, she handed me 2 paperback books. She wasn't sure if I was old enough for Stephen King, but I watched plenty of horror movies with her, so why not. The other was a Mary Higgins Clark. From that moment forward, I was a fan. I've read everything published by both authors (ok not The Gunslinger series by Stephen King). They are my keeper authors. Which means I own almost everything written by both of them. In fact, both books pictured I own my very battered paperback copies and my treasured hardbacks! While, I've moved away from both authors in recent years, they will also have a special place in my reading memories!

Corrine of Lost for Words
Pick: Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
It's hard to come up with just one favourite as I have a ton of books that have spoken to me at different stages in my life. One of my current favourites, and one that I re-read religiously, is Kelley Armstrong's Bitten. Werewolves, only female in the group, strong AND sensitive guys? Definitely my kind of read. Elena is on the road to figuring out her life now that she has survived becoming a werewolf. As the only female werewolf in existence, there is sure to be a lot of interest in her, especially from the pack. This is one of those reads that just sucked me in right away. I can't leave out some other favourites though, so behind me (in the picture) you'll see another one of my favourite author's works. Kristen Britain's Green Rider series sucked me in from the first page, and I LOVE the storyline. I really need to delve back into her world and read the newest installment, Blackveil. It promises to be an excellent read. I may just re-read the first three beforehand though. You know, just to refresh my memory. ;) Honestly though, I don't know what I'd do without books. They, and their authors, are all kinds of awesomesauce!
Pick: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien
My favourite book is The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. I first read The Lord of the Rings in my late teens and it rocked my world. I love its unique universe with incredibly original and fascinating imaginary history. Its plots and characters are completely different from anything else I have ever read. In spite of this, The Lord of the Rings is a very up-to-date book, and I can find inspiration in it every day. Its distinctive moral code is so close to my beliefs and gives me an encouragement at whatever I do. Not to mention it was a big part of getting me my university degree in English. These are the reasons it is always simple to answer what my favourite book is – The Lord of the Rings.

Jan Von Harz of Eating YA Books
Pick: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Humor is one of my favorite elements in a book, and when I find myself laughing out loud as I read I am delighted. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie is certainly a laugh out loud story funny, but it is the poignant tale of one boy’s struggle to climb higher than his ancestors without losing his identity in the process that makes this book a must read.
Pick: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berednt

For bibliophiles, choosing a favorite book tends to feel like Sophie’s Choice. I love everything from Jane Austen to Neil Gaiman, so how can I pick one favorite? I decided on Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt because it opened up my eyes to an entirely new genre. I first read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil in high school. Up until that point my favorite books were all fiction. I loved classics and mystery series, but I rarely read nonfiction. I assumed it was all dry and boring.

Reading Midnight was a shocking experience. It was wonderful! The descriptions of people were intoxicating. I was completely enamored with the whole city of Savannah. I could picture every street and quirky neighbor. The fact that those people really existed and those things really happened just made it all the more amazing. Since my first reading I've reread it many times. Different details and characters stand out to me each time. I also visited the city with some friends a couple years ago and seeing the restaurant, homes and cemetery Berendt describes made the book come alive even more. Midnight opened the door to the world of creative nonfiction for me. I still love fiction, but now some of my favorite books are travel memoirs or nonfiction accounts of war. A book that has the power to make you love a whole genre is well worth reading!

Pick: Matilda by Roald Dahl
I’m holding my copy of Matilda by Roald Dahl, and as you can see, my copy is very battered (literally, it’s falling apart). I’ve loved this book ever since I was five years old. For one thing, Roald Dahl is hilarious, and Matilda is such a brilliant kid. I totally attempted to use telekinesis after using this book. However, those aren’t the reasons I loved this book. I remember reading about Matilda’s trips to the library and the long list of books that she read, and the experiences and joy she got from reading those books. It made me want to go out and read all of those books, and experience similar sensations. Matilda is the book that made me into a reader by entertaining and inspiring me. I’m not sure if I’d be the person who I am today without it.


Thanks to the participants for the 3rd Show&Tell! And if you are interested in being part of the next one, let me know down below with your e-mail and I'll be sure to send you more info. Looking forward to hearing from you.

count your books: a challenge?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Apparently last night, before bed, I was so bored that I made the decision to count how many books I have that are displayed on my bookshelf. I have to admit, I knew I have a lot, but I didn't know that I had exactly 152 books!

Looking at my bookshelf, it sure doesn't seem like it holds one hundred and fifty two..

Now, 152 is a lot, compared to an average non-reader person.

But now it got me thinking, maybe to an average person, that's a whole lot, but what about if I compare it to other book lovers? I've seen some of your bookshelves already, and am always amazed with the amount of books you get weekly. So now, I am curious to know - how many books do you have on your bookshelf/ves exactly? (TBR shelves don't count, but you can tally them up too if you'd like)

I think it'd be fun to see who's the craziest bibliophile out there ;)

So count all the books you have, and let me know down below. You can even make a post talking about it. Perhaps a bookshelf tour? Either way, I'd love to take a sneak peek. I love seeing bookshelves and libraries of other people! So go ahead and share away!

for the love of Harry.

Friday, July 8, 2011

This is the first time I've ever posted a post as a guest at another blog! I'm really excited about this one, since I talk about my favorite books - of course, Harry Potter. Also, an awesome blog, Couple of Crumbs, is hosting! I've only discovered them since they had asked me to guest post for them, and believe me you guys, they have really well-written and interesting posts. Check them out, and do read my post as well if you have the time!

To read my post, just click here.
And if you are still interested in joining me - along with 27 other bloggers, readers, and vloggers - for a Harry Potter video tribute project, click here!

Book Recommendation of the Week!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

Genre: Middle Grade - Fantasy, YA
Synopsis: Percy Jackson, discovers that he is the son of Poseidon, Greek god of the sea. He learns that the legendary being of Greek Mythology exist, and have always existed, including monsters, cyclopes, empousi, Titans, and the Greek Gods, including the Twelve Olympians themselves, who dwell on Olympus; now situation on the mythical 600th floor of the Empire State Building. The books talk about his many adventures.

Initial impression: Fun and simple MG novel. I do love anything mythology-related, especially Greek mythology, so I knew I'd find it interesting. But it ended up being one of the best reads of 2010 for me. And one of my favorite book series in the fantasy genre.

Why I Loved It: The characters are so awesome. Greek Mythology is awesome. The adventures here are awesome. The plot and character development... yup, awesome. You get it ;) These books are exciting, fast-paced, and just plain fun. It also cured my Harry Potter hang over a little bit. That's always good, right?

Why you might like it: For the same reasons why I did. And if you like Greek mythology, you'd enjoy this one.

Katniss VS Hermione

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Random question of the day - if Katniss and Hermione would fight, who would win? No bow and arrow, no wands, no anything.
Haha. Would definitely love to hear what you think! Tell me who you think would win, and why you think that way.

most difficult question anyone could ask an avid reader.

Monday, July 4, 2011

1 1/2 of blogging and I don't think I've ever asked you guys this! It's the most obvious (and most difficult question) anyone can ask a bookworm - What is your favorite book/s ever? Tell me what genre it is, and if you would you recommend it to me?

I've discovered many great books through hearing your recommendations, so I thought what better way, to find another good read through asking for your favorites. For me, if you've been a long time Random Ramblings reader, you'd know my ultimate favorite would be the Harry Potter series, Jane Eyre, The Book Thief, and Pablo Neruda's poetry. What about you?

attn: Harry Potter readers, fans, and enthusiasts!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

If you would like to be part of a HP special here on the blog, that requires you sending either a short video clip of you or maybe a photo answering a particular question/s, please fill out the form below.
This is for those who enjoy, like, appreciate, love (or maybe are obsessed!) with this wonderful series. If you're all that, I would LOOOVEEE to have you participate with this fun project. Thanks so much!

Again, all you have to do is fill out the form, and I will send you an email with instructions. Please do share with your own blog followers!

EDIT - 25 people signed up so far!