Monday, July 14, 2008

I love to read

I love to read. As a toddler, my Mom said I would amuse myself during time-outs by leafing thru my Dad’s Reader’s Digest magazine collection. In grade school, I remember devouring our children’s encyclopedias. It had 12 volumes, each one about a different subject. There was Science, Math, History and my two favorites which I liked to read over and over again; classical fairy tales and bedtime stories from around the world. By the second grade I was already reading Nancy Drew books which I borrowed two at a time from the school library. I believe I got my poor eyesight from constantly reading via the lamplight beside my bed.

In my preteens, I discovered teen romantic paperbacks such as Sweet Dreams and Sweet Valley High. I would save up a portion of my allowance just to be able to buy them. I even discovered a book lending shop near our house where I could borrow as many books as I wanted for a minimal fee. I later moved on to Danielle Steele and John Grisham novels. Back then if it was a really good book I would finish it overnight, staying up until the wee hours of the morning just to find out what happens in the end. One of my favorite subjects in high school was Literature. Here we got to read works of Shakespeare and other contemporary novels like To Kill A Mockingbird.

In college, reading for pleasure took a backseat to school work and going out with friends. I missed reading for fun. But I must admit I liked reading a few obligatory novels like Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo. One class even required us to read The Beloved by Toni Morrison, while another class let us read works by Agatha Christie. When I joined the yuppie world, my first job was at an advertising agency. The late nights wore me out so I preferred to zone out on weekends and watch TV or go to the movies. I did subscribe to Reader’s Digest and read it cover to cover. But when I had more regular work hours in my next job I again found time to really enjoy reading. I got to read different kinds of things: works of Nicholas Sparks, Tuesdays with Morrie, Like Water for Chocolate, The Prophet, even self-help books like The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and The Purpose-Driven Life.

Hubby and I share a love for reading and it was actually because of this that we went out on our first official date: he lent me 100 Years of Solitude and I lent him Love in the Time of Cholera. When I found out I was pregnant I borrowed my sister’s copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. It became my bible for all those nine months. Hubby also read a book for fathers-to-be and bought a Parenting Book for both of us. My favorite book then was Dr. Seuss’ Oh Baby, the Places You’ll Go, a book you read to baby in utero.

Now that I’m a Mommy, most of the books I read with and to Raine but I do get some alone time when she naps or is busy playing. I recently bought three really good books at the Guam airport while waiting for our connecting flight to M.I. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, The Husband by Dean Koontz and A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini.

No three books could be more different from each other.

Eat, Pray, Love is the personal memoir of the writer about her “search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia”. After Gilbert’s traumatic divorce and consequent depression, she sets out on a personal journey in pursuit of pleasure, devotion and balance in three very exciting and exotic places. It’s a definite must-read for all the women out there who dare to defy the stereotypes of society and be their own person.

It is a very fun book to read. It arouses all your senses; tickling your palate with sumptuous dining experiences, rekindling or strengthening your spirituality (wherever you may be at the moment) and relationship with God, and finally trying to achieve “a balance between worldly enjoyment and divine transcendence”.

The Husband reads like a suspense thriller. It’s about an ordinary man whose wife is kidnapped and held for ransom for $2 million dollars. What baffles the protagonist in the story is why he and his wife were chosen out of all the thousands of people in their community. Being a simple landscaper, he certainly doesn’t have the kind of money the kidnappers are asking for. The book asks the question, how far you would go for the one you love. It has all the twists and turns you would expect from this genre of novels. It was an exciting read and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Set against the backdrop of Afghanistan from the 1970s to 2003, A Thousand Splendi
d Suns is a heart-wrenching tale about two Afghan women who live in a country embattled by war and poverty. It takes the reader from the innocence of their youth when they lived in a place of promise and freedom, to their adulthood where they suffer oppression and violence not just because of the war but from a force that will bind them forever. After reading this book, you will never look at Afghanistan the same way again.

If you’ve read Khaled Hosseini’s first book, the bestseller, The Kite Runner, you will love this one too. I haven’t read the former but I was able to watch the movie it was based on and it was really very touching and an eye opener to say the least.

So these are the latest books I’ve read. I only wish there was a bookstore here but there is none. Hopefully, I can order some nice books thru online. Some books I’m looking forward to are: The Pillars of the Earth (heard it was on Oprah's Book Club), The Secret Life of Bees, The Devil Wears Prada (watched the movie and just want to see how the book goes), The Nanny Diaries and The Kite Runner.

If you have any great reads to suggest, feel free to drop me a line.


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Jenny said...

Hi Sis! How do I underline some words in blogger? I'd like to underline my post, but I don't know how. :)