Book Review : Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Simon Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.
Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again…

Continue reading “Book Review : Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie”

Book Review : The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity, politics and America, wrought in electric prose. The narrator, a Vietnamese army captain, is a man of divided loyalties, a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist sleeper agent in America after the end of the Vietnam War. A powerful story of love and friendship, and a gripping espionage novel, The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in Literature, film and the wars we fight today. Continue reading “Book Review : The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen”

Book Review: The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel

A man thrown backwards by the heartbreak goes in search of an artifact that could unsettle history. A woman carries her husband to a doctor in a suitcase. A Canadian senator begins a new life in a new country, in a company of a chimp called Odo.

Continue reading “Book Review: The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel”

Ligo na ü. Lapit na me

Ang librong ito ay tungkol sa isang lalakeng nagmahal at nabigo sa unang pagkakataon.

Normal na istorya. Pero ang ganda ng pagkakakwento.

Habang binabasa mo ay para kang nakikipagkwentuhan sa isang tropang nabigo na naglilitanya habang hawak ang bote ng serbesa at Bakit Ba ng Siakol ang background music o kaya naman Victims of Love na kinakanta sa videoke ng lasing na kapitbahay.

Maangas ang pagkakawento. Tungkol sa pag-ibig pero hindi keso. May kaunting kainosentehan pero may kapilyuhan. Walang arte pero may kaunting landi at bahagyang harot. May halo ding kirot.

Sa unang tingin, akala ko ang librong ito’y may kabastusan dahil sa pamagat at pabalat, pero tama nga ang kasabihang Don’t Judge the Book By Its Cover.

The Godfather

I have just recently read and watched The Godfather, and don’t ask me why I haven’t read/watched this earlier since the film was released in 1972, the book in 1969. Well, certain interests come at certain times of our lives. If I have attempted to watch the three movies earlier, I would have pushed the stop button after the first ten minutes of the movie.

The Godfather is about Italian Mafia families living and ruling the underground life of New York back in the early 90’s, Al Pacino as Michael Corleone being the main character.

I liked the book more than the movie as there are more emotions in the former. Well, that’s because when Al Pacino or Michael Corleone shows a passive stone-face on the movie, one wouldn’t know what’s in his head while his feelings & thoughts are well narrated in the book.

This is not a book or movie review by the way, as a review wouldn’t be relevant 45 years after the book/film was released.

I’m just fascinated about the Mafia idea, if it still exists (which I feel, yes, it still exists) and how they operate in this modern era.

I wonder if the rich families like the Ayala, Sy, Gokongwei, etc., do have family feuds as well and if so, to what extent? Perhaps not as bloody and brutal as in the old days? Just wondering.

I am also wondering if anyone has thought of remaking the movie. That would be interesting.

 

 

 

Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga

Ang Autobiografia ng Ibang Lady Gaga ay sinulat  ni Jack Alvarez, isang OFW na nakabase sa Saudi Arabia.

Kinuha ko ang librong ito sa NBS, randomly at akala ko, yung usual na makabagbag damdaming kasaysayan na naman ng mga OFW na overly-dramatic at kung anek anek pa ang mababasa ko. Pero mali ako.

Nagulat ako sa mga kwentong tumambad sa akin nung mabasa ko ang librong ito.

Ang sabi sa likuran ng libro ay confession daw ito ng may akda at kung totoo man ang lahat ng mga kwentong nasa loob ng librong ito ay saludo ako kay Jack Alvarez. Una, dahil sa tapang niyang harapin lahat ng mga hinarap niya sa Saudi, ultimo pagkakakulong ng ilang araw at pangalawa, dahil sa tapang niyang ihayag ang mga sensitibong parte ng buhay niya.

Para sa mga nakapagtrabaho sa Gitnang Silangan, kahit pa hindi talaga sa Saudi, basahin niyo ito. Paniguradong kahit isa sa mga dagling kwento ni Jack Alvarez ay makakarelate kayo.

At kung hindi man kayo makarelate dahil hindi niyo naranasan ang kahit isa man sa mga kwento niya, maaliw naman kayo sa pagbabasa dahil sa husay ng pagkakasulat niya ng mga isyung kinakaharap ng mga OFW na minsan ay pinipikitan na lang natin ng mata, mga isyung pabulong lang natin minsan kung pag-usapan at mga isyung minsan ay ating tinatakasan.

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Nag-effort ako mag flat lay mga Bes! Pansinin niyo! Nag-effort ako!!!

Books, Recently

Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

This was my first time to have read a book written by Haruki Murakami. I never knew he was so so good.

This book is a collection of short stories and every time I’m down to the last page of each story, I would stare at the wall and ask myself, what the hell happened? Is the story over? And I would try to recall what actually happened and still, I would be left mind-f@*#ed.

One of the short stories in this book inspired me to write In Case I Don’t Come Back.  The title of the story is Man-Eating Cats and it is about a Japanese couple who ran away to Greece, then all of a sudden, the lady disappeared.

blind-willow-sleeping-woman
Fergy the Frog says hi!

 

The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

Mitch Albom is one of those authors who will always leave you crying by the end of his novels. However, this one just didn’t make me cry.

This book is about a sad life of a musician – Frankie Presto. This is fiction, I know, but a lot of Frankie’s struggles will surely be the same as the struggles that each musician faces in real life, a sad reality.

The story is beautiful, what else can we expect from Mitch Albom right? But it just didn’t connect with me.

Though this book ignited some fire in the musician in me.

Image result for the magic strings of frankie presto
image: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062294418/the-magic-strings-of-frankie-presto

Lost

I was so excited (as always) when we went to National Bookstore during my short vacay back home and I immediately went to Fil Books to check out what I can grab.

I saw this weird looking book called LOST. I grabbed it without even opening the plastic cover. I thought, I wanted to be surprised.

And, I was indeed surprised.

I don’t usually judge the book by its cover (ha ha) but I assumed that this book would certainly have a lot of illustrations on it. I didn’t expect though that there would be no text at all. Purely illustrations ha ha.

I don’t know how to feel about it. At one point I felt that I wasted my Php 200 for a comic book. Though I must say, the illustrations are great and to be fair, there’s a story. I just didn’t understand it LOL.

This book isn’t just for the likes of me. Sorry Rob Chan.

Image result for LOST anino comics
http://www.flipgeeks.com/comic-reviews/review-the-adventure-goes-deep-in-lost

Twisted 9

This is the first book of Jessica Zafra that I’ve read and I don’t know how I am going to react.

This book is a collection of her essays, personal I guess and a lot about Roger Federer and his winning and losing moments – something I’m not much into.

She’s good, but she’s like alien good. Sometimes I feel like I’m reading an unknown language ha ha!

Twisted 9
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10244746-twisted-9

If I disappointed you with my comments about the books, please be informed that this ins’t your usual book review.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Ito ang kauna-unahang libro ni Maya Angelou na nabasa ko (at hindi ito ang magiging huli). Hindi ko siya talaga kilala dati. Narinig ko lang ang pangalan niya noong pumanaw siya nung nakaraang taon.

Ang I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ay tungkol sa buhay niya mula noong bata pa siya hanggang mag labing pitong taong gulang siya. Ito rin ang kauna-unahang libro niyang na-publish noong 1969 (hindi totoong mahilig akong mambungkal ng mga sobrang lumang libro).

Isa lang masasabi ko sa kaniyang paraan ng pagsusulat, nakaka nose bleed. Ewan ko lang, pero medyo dumugo yung ilong ko. Hindi naman dahil sa sobrang hirap ng mga salitang ginamit naiintindihan ko naman yung karamihan(pero mahirap pala yung iba ha ha), hindi naman wala sa bokabularyo yung mga salita pero yung pagkaka-construct ng sentence ang nakaka nose bleed. Ewan, baka ako lang to. Baka naninibago lang ako dahil unang beses ko pa lang nakapagbasa ng libro niya.

Tinalakay sa libro ang mga isyu ng murder, sex at mas pinakamadalas mabanggit ay yung racism bilang Black American si Maya at binanggit ang mga ito sa pananaw ng isang batang Maya Angelou. Higit sa harap-harapang pangmamaliit ng mga puti, pinapasok din sa kukote ng mga batang itim na iba sila, iba rin ang mga puti. Na dapat gumalang sila sa mga puti at di sila dapat tumawid sa teritoryo ng mga puti. Kinuwento din kung paano na lang patayin ng brutal ang mga itim pag may nagawa sila sa mga puti kahit napakaliit na bagay lang at kung paano manalbahe ang mga puti.

Minsan nabanggit ni Maya na hindi daw humans ang mga puti, mga whitefolks at powhitetrash lalo na nung bastusin ng mga batang puti ang lola niya.

Pinakamatinding diskriminasyong nabanggit sa libro ay nung magpapatingin sa dentista si Maya dahil sobrang sumasakit na yung ngipin niya at dinala siya ng lola niya sa isang puting dentista. Sinabi ng dentista na mas gugustuhin niya pang ipasok ang kamay niya sa bibig ng isang aso kaysa sa isang negro. Ang lupet lang. At to think, itong dentistang ito ay pinautang pa ng lola ni Maya noong nakaranas sila ng matinding recession. Matindi lang.

Kakaiba din ang mga pananaw ng mga itim pagdating sa relihiyon lalo na ata ng mga matatanda nung panahon noon. Biruin mo’y tinadtad ng palo si Maya ng lola niya nang sabihin niya sa kapatid niyang, By the way, Bailey, Mrs. Flowers sent you some tea cookies….Akala ko kaya nagalit yung lola niya dahil ayaw niyang tumanggap ng kahit ano mula sa iba yun pala kaya siya nagalit dahil sa term na ‘by the way’ dahil daw sabi sa biblia “Jesus was the Way, the Truth and the Light,” kaya pag sinabi mo daw na ‘By the Way’ katumbas daw noon ang ‘by Jesus’ o ‘by God’ na isang paglapastangan sa pangalan ng Diyos. At nung pinaliwanag nila na yung mga whitefolks daw ay normal na ginagamit ang ‘by the way,’ dahil daw iyon sa wala silang galang sa Diyos sabi ng lola nila. Ang weird lang.

Isang magandang babasahin ito. Pangalawang beses pa lang akong nakapagbasa ng tungkol sa diskriminasyon sa mga itim, yung unang libro ay puti ang nagkukwento at ang ‘feeling’ ay puro awa dun sa dinidiscriminate. Ito naman yung dinidiscriminate ang nagkukwento kaya iba yung atake.

At bilang panapos ng post na ito, isang napakagandang linya mula sa librong ito ang aking iiwan:

Colors weren’t true either, but rather a vague assortment of shaded pastels that indicate not so much color as faded familiarities.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

pasensya na po sa image. malabo ang kuha huhu

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Haay. Kagaling lang ni Khaled Hosseini kumurot ng puso.

And the Mountains Echoed

Author si Hosseini ng Kite Runner at A Thousand Splendid Suns. Nabasa ko na din yung A Thousand Splendid Suns eh. Basta ang magiging reaksyon mo pagkatapos mong magbasa ng libro niya ay ‘napakasakit Kuya Eddie.’

Ang kwentong ito ay umikot sa buhay ng mga taong konektado sa isa’t isa pero pinaglayo-layo ng tadhana dala ng iba’t ibang sirkumstansya sa buhay. Bida dito sina Pari at Abdulla, magkapatid na Afghan. Nagkahiwalay sila dahil binenta si Pari (mas batang kapatid na babae), sa mayamang amo ng Uncle nila. Doon nagsimula ang napakaraming sala-salabid na kwento ng buhay nila at ng mga taong naapektuhan nila.

Si Pari, mula Afghanistan ay napuntang France. Si Abdulla naman, napadpad ng Amerika nung sumiklab ang gera sa bansa. Nabura ang alaala ni Pari nung kabataan niya kaya hindi niya naalala na may kapatid pala siya. Nagkita rin naman sila muli nung matatanda na sila. Kaya lang, by this time, si Abdulla naman ang hindi na nakakaalala sa kaniya.

Pinakamagandang aspeto ng librong ito ay may kaniya-kaniyang side of the story ang bawat karakter kaya makikita ng mambabasa ang point of view ng bawat isa, ang mga dahilan sa likod ng kanilang mga desisyon, etc.,

Madalas tinatalakay sa mga kwento ni Hosseini ang gera sa Afghanistan, isyu ng pamilya, isyu ng feminism, kaya para kang nagkakaroon ng glimpse sa kulturang mayroon ang bansang iyon.

Overall, napakagandang babasahin. Maganda pero napakarimdim na kwento.

PS
Ito ang mga paborito kong linya sa libro:

“They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.”

“But time is like a charm, you never have as much as you think.”