Sunday, March 31, 2013

Day 19 (Bookworm)

I grew up surrounded by three things - computers, music, and books. The last one is mainly my mom's influence; she'd have all these Robert Ludlum, Agatha Christie, Sidney Sheldon, Tom Clancy, John Grisham and all those suspense thrillers and espionage novels in our bookshelf. She used to tell us how she couldn't put down a book once she started it, to the point where she'd read in the car while waiting for the stoplight to turn green and get so engrossed that the car behind her would honk the horn to pull her back to the real world. LOL. Thank you, Mama, for getting us hooked on books.

Another picture of you.

I took this photo a couple of weeks ago out of boredom while on house arrest due to sickness caused by fatigue, and now I'm using it as my profile photo on most of my social networking sites.

When we were kids, I would throw curious glances at my older sister whenever she chuckled while reading a book (I think it was one of David Eddings' Malloreon books). I gave in and asked her what was funny, and she told me to read it. I did, and soon enough I was laughing too. That got me reading all sorts of things after, from Goosebumps to Sweet Valley to Sherlock Holmes. I also got to read some of my mom's Sidney Sheldon books (Master of the Game, If Tomorrow Comes). Eventually I went on to heavy reading and started with Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series (14 books, each of them are about two inches thick, which I think I need to re-read from the first book), and my younger sister's own collection (Virgin Suicides by Jeff Eugenides, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, Angels and Demons by Dan Brown).  It also helped that my high school friends are bookworms as well. I'd borrow Stephen King and Chuck Palahniuk from my best friend Ju, and I got lots of book recommendations from KC, Ria, Lai and Au. :))

But I wasn't really an avid reader. I read, sure, but I would usually prefer one genre (sci-fi/fantasy for the longest time) and the intervals between books were pretty long. Now it's like I can't get enough of reading. I pick up a book and I am transported into a different world, living a different life, seeing things through different eyes. I become the hero, the sidekick, the villain, and the bystander all at the same time. It's a weird, interesting, exhilarating feeling, and it certainly gets my mind off things (like stress from work and...other, more personal stuff LOL).

I started this thing two years ago, where I'd set goals for the year like how many movies to watch, or games to finish, or books to read. I set my book goal last year to 3, and I finished 9 books. LOL. This year I'm aiming for 7-10 books, and I am now on my 5th (Heat Wave by Richard Castle) in just three months. Who knows, I might up the ante and try for 20. And I plan on pushing through with that long term goal - to finish all the fiction books in our book wall. Wish me luck. :))

Check out my Goodreads account to see what I've read so far, plus the books I plan to read. :)

Friday, March 29, 2013

Day 18 (Hello Summer!)

Okay, so my attempts at PROPERLY doing the 30-Day Blog Challenge have been an epic bust. Oh well. Still, that doesn't mean I'm gonna stop. I am going to finish this, even if the gaps in between the entries are quite far. Maybe next time I can do this the way it should be done, when I am no longer confined to certain work-related responsibilities. *ahem ahem*

Something you crave a lot.

Ah yes, summer. For most people, the word is synonymous to the beach, outdoors, tan lines, and "gotta start dieting so I can have that beach body I've been dreaming of." For me, it means heat, perspiration, and discomfort. Don't get me wrong, though. I don't hate summer, but I'm more sensitive to heat and it makes me really, really cranky. If I could live inside the refrigerator, I would. So these days, I've been craving for this.

Thank you, my dear Ate, for treating me and my mom at Razon's BF the other day. This was just what we needed to beat the dreadful summer heat. 

Razon's is known for their simple yet exquisite halo-halo - finely shaved ice, milk, bananas, macapuno, and two slices of leche flan on top. I'm not a big fan of macapuno, but it was so hot that I ate it anyway and I didn't care if it gave me another coughing fit (yes, apparently I am still sick). Five minutes later, no more halo-halo. LOL. Razon's, I heart you, but I really wish you'd add mais con hielo to your menu.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

This is the second Neil Gaiman book I've read and it still amazes me how he can come up with these things. It takes a creative mind to write a story like American Gods (and I can imagine tons of research), a story that can weird you out but keep you hooked at the same time. There were moments where I had to reread a chapter just to see if I understood the events that unfolded correctly.

American Gods follows Shadow, an ex-con who finds himself widowed a few days before his parole and, after being employed by an old man named Wednesday, gets caught in a bi-dimensional war between powerful mythical beings.

The story has a lot of subplots that I kind of found out of place. It's like going through a city with a lot of twists and turns and then you'd find yourself in a dead end. The characters are somewhat predictable; you could tell who Mr. Wednesday is right off the bat, and Shadow's kind nature and quiet intensity makes it easier to guess what he'd do in certain situations. I think what really kept me reading was the sheer "weirdness" of it all (religion, gods and rituals, both ancient and modern) and yet it all seems so believable, thanks to the author putting in copious amounts of research.

So did I like it? I don't know, really. But I have to admit that it was a bit anti-climactic; I was expecting the book to end with some sort of bang but it fell short of my expectations and left me scratching my head and asking "That's it?" Still, I have to applaud Mr. Gaiman for the creativity.