Currently Reading

A Book Quote 

“So while Asher and Sesstri fought their battles and Cooper flew into madness, Osebo the Leopard took it upon himself to tend to the child, and to see if he could kindle in Nixon's eyes the ghost of wonder he knew had once lived there. They all had that, and as a rule they all lost it one way or another; in that way, Osebo mused, they were no different than the First People.”
The Waking Engine by David Edison, pg. 189

I am enjoying the slow phasing of this book a lot. The characters are so deep and just one scene introducing Osebo and I love him. ♥

The Reading Habits Tag



1. Do you have a certain place for reading at home?

Depends on what time of the day I read. If I have a morning shift, I sit outside on the balcony in the afternoon or in bed at night. If I have an evening shift, then I read during the morning on the couch, which is my favorite spot of them all as long as my boyfriend is not off work and taking it for his. (It's also his favorite spot... dilemmas dilemmas...)

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

I love my bookmarks. Most of them I get them when I a book and I love keeping them with their book, is like they belong to each other. I have a beautiful cherry blossom metallic one that I got on our trip to N.Y. but I use it when I really am into a book. For pictures purposes but afraid it will cut me or the book because it is very sharp, but it is sooo pretty!

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter or a certain number of pages?

I need to at least finish a scene or is like having your brother change the channel in the middle of the important part.

4. Do you eat or drink when reading?

Eat? No. Too hard to focus. Drink? Depends. A glass of wine or my coffee depending on the time of the day. Or just water. :)

5. Do you watch TV or listen to music whilst reading?

Music yes. TV, depends. I love spending evening on the carpet next to my favorite spot on the couch while my boyfriend, having taken possession of it, watches TV. I call it, alone quality time together. Family time! :)

6. One book at a time or several at once?

One. I tried several, but one would always get rejected because the other is more interesting. Now I rather immerse to finish one before starting other. It also motivates me to finish them in a week!

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

Mostly at home. I try outside but I am distracted by the daily human activities. I have a writer's mind, I end up thinking up stories of people around me instead of reading and comparing them to the characters... yea.

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Silently.

9. Do you ever read ahead or skip passages?

Depends, if it's a too long dragging descriptive scene... yea. Unless it is a beautiful place I want to construct in my head. Or if the characters is whiny and keeps complaining on the same things over and over like "why me? I am so weak..." blah blah blah.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

Break. I read books. I don't adore them. I adore the stories in them. It is a dilemma as my boyfriend is very protective of the spines. As long as I only do it with my books it's fine.

11. Do you write in your books?

No, I use sticky notes. Last night I dreamed I did and my boyfriend was looking at me with a very accusative glare. I felt horrible. I'll stick to my sticky notes.

12. What are you currently reading?

The Waking Engine by David Edison. Very interesting story so far, and unlike most reviews about there being "too many characters to follow", I am finding it very easy to read, just long, but very interesting and so far no scene feels useless. Like the last book I read, Magonia.

Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley

A book review

My love: ♥♥○○

I was close not to finish this. And I did skimmed a lot through the last 1/4 of the book. It was less than I expected it to be. There was no lyrical prose about it. There was chaotic wording from Aza's mind, repeating words. Repeating. Repeating even things she could not say.

Aza was too morbid for my liking. Sure she was dying, but how the first whole half of the book was just about death got me a bit down. By the time I reached the middle I was sighing in annoyance at the giant big birds I could not phantom in my mind. I tried to use The Neverending Story movie to imagine some of it. But I failed more than often. If my brain cannot process what I read, I pretty much give up on it.


I still wanted to see how she returns home. Kind of hoping this whole ship and giant birds thing was a whole hallucination of her mind and the story turns out to be some deep life metaphor. Not. Jason's irrational search for her made me go, "UGH!" He is supposed to be a rational genius and here we see him without nay issues immediately looking for Magonia. It would have been more believable if he saw it first.


The plot indeed was all over the place, I won't get into it as I don't want to give out spoilers. But I didn't liked the characters, I did not liked the concept and the whole first half morbid part. It was like reading a dream journal of a teenager with psychosis. Random bits here and there not making sense. I was expecting more of it. It did not lived up to the hype. Hence I don't trust hypes. But I trusted Neil Gaiman. I guess their marketing strategy of having a dear author praising the book worked here. And though Neil Gaiman's books are comparable, they make much more sense because of the writing style. This book was just not well executed with the prose.

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The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

A book review

My love: ♥♥♥♥○

I saw the movie a thousand times. I finally grabbed the penguin classic from my work to read it. Though I love the content of the movie and though such content was very similar to the book, the end was rather different. The secret garden is about healing and nature's power to heal. The need for a sanctuary and a bit of magic (or miracles if you may). In the movie Mary don't cry, she learns to cry. Her uncle doesn't laugh, he learns to laugh and Colin learns to live. In all of this the amazing perfect Dickon acts like the sent angel to help them all. What motivated Frances to write of such a character, I wonder.

“Is the spring coming?" he said. "What is it like?"..."It is the sun shining on the rain and the rain falling on the sunshine...”

It is a classic and while most people just as in my last review, don't see beyond the annoying yet realistic attitudes of imperfect people, the messages are strong and clear. The fact that they were rich served as the background for them not to have a single care in the world. And if they were not rich they would not have such attitude problems. The story was all about a change of attitude and the way you look at things and how this can be a huge difference in how you live. I really dislike it when I read reviews about classics written so long ago and people expecting them to reach modern society standard's. Just like a lot of people criticized Pride and Prejudice, a lot also criticize how spoiled these kids are forever and ever. I mean, Colin does have a bit of grandeur syndrome in him, with wanting to live eternally and such. But come one, didn't you ever dreamed of such things when you were a child yourself?



Yes, Mary will still be racist. She will still be spoiled and so will Colin. But they will also understand about love, or as they call it, magic. They learn from nature what they did not learned from their parents. About care and patience. The fact that both are faulty children just make them more realistic in their situation. The small world they know and how little anyone has taught them about love makes them who they are.
“Of course there must be lots of Magic in the world," he said wisely one day, "but people don't know what it is like or how to make it. Perhaps the beginning is just to say nice things are going to happen until you make them happen. I am going to try and experiment.”
I remember watching this movie when I was 8 years old and how it deeply marked me. I am who I am because of this and another story of Frances which I will read later on and also review. The book reflected more to what I have made of my life and I gladly recommend it to anyone searching for a bit of earth to grow some magic in their lives.

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Mosquitoland by David Arnold

A book review

My love: ♥♥♥♥○

Mosquitoland is a simple self discovery adventure of a girl named Mary Iris Malone, or Mim.
The story starts well enough with her journal towards Isabel. It the continues narrating in intervals in first person, which I think it's a great recipe to connect with a main character, though not always accomplished in a good way. Though I did read some reviews on how some parts of the stories were unnecessary or even racist, I did not agree with them. This is the story of Mim through her eyes, a teenage angst. What might not matter to us matters for her. The fact that she threw some racist remarks just made her character more believable as she is supposed to be a messed up kid. Also the fact that Beck is 4 years older than her and at her age is not really possible for a relationship, she learned to embrace the value of friendship. And their characters were very much alike, making them a  good match in the future.

Beck is teaching me how to be a better person, and when you find someone who inspires you like that, you hold on for dear life.

Mim's family dynamics were very complex and her understanding on it grew with her. There was a lot of growing up in this trip. Walt serving as a catalyst for care. It was awesome to read his random words. You know a line was so good when you dream you are telling everyone about it.

“Walt, look at me buddy, this is important. You see this statue?” His eyes follow my index finger to the bronze baseball player. “If you get lost or separated from us, come straight here, okay? Straight to . . .” I read the name on the plaque. “Ted . . . Kluszewski.” Beck pats Walt’s back.
“Kluszewski is the rendezvous, Walt. Can you remember that?”
“Yes,” says Walt, going back to his butterfly. “I’ll remember the rendezvouski.”
I smile at Beck, a wide-eyed, can-you-believe-the-awesomeness-that-is-Walt sort of smile. He’s wearing the same one. “I think we’ll all remember the rendezvouski.”

There is love and then there is special weird love. This is the truest kind of love Mim learns to experience and wishes to pass on through her journal. There is a lot to learn from this book if you look at it through Mim's eyes. The war paint was meaningful to her, it gave her strength. There are no why's behind it, it just does. She dreamed about it and she has used it in her life since without questioning the weirdness or wrongness in it. This is how real life goes. It is why I really enjoyed this novel. Nothing of sugar coating her words or actions or even reactions. Those who did not liked this part of the book, I like to believe they did not understood the randomness of life. The book also addressed problems of the pharmaceutical industry as well as how we end up treating others because of their problems. There are some moments when I went, "this is exactly how I thought about it when I was that age." I rated it 4 and not 5 because even though it was good, it was not one of my favorite reads. But I still highly recommend it for open minded people.


It's a huge something, maybe the biggest of all. It's a mini-golf kind of love, the kind of love people like Claire and Caleb never experienced. Maybe those two never really got a fair shake.
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Jackaby by William Ritter

A book breakup

(Or reasons not to finish this book)

Is it goodbye or until next time?

There is a melancholy hidden in the act of buying books. Among the excitement, the fear of what if. Beautiful books with great premises and yet you wonder, will it be worth your money and time? Just because it looks like it might be good? Even though you know you don't really read such genres. You still want to give them a try. You try to get through them, hoping they will turn out good. You turn page by page, take it chapter by chapter. Hoping the next one will be better. And before you know it, a month has gone by an no book have been read. And you realize, it's time to sadly say goodbye.

Sorry Jackaby, I tried. I will not be ashamed of not getting through with you. You were not for me. Perhaps a 10 year old will love you more. I sadly say no, and decide to close you for good. After reaching the middle and feeling bored with Abigail's constant feminism remarks. After waiting to see more Jackaby, and though I know, or hope, there is more Jackaby further on, I just could not wait any longer.

Perhaps if there would have been more depth to Abigail than just a rebel feminist looking for adventure. Though I highly identified with her, this was not the reason I chose the novel. When my reason to read those not match the text, I just can't enjoy the words any more than I can enjoy a home made pie after six slices of pizza. I am not claiming you as bad, as you are not. You are beautifully written, simple enough for a child to love, for a girl in search of independence and adventure to identify with. But you were just not what I wanted you to be. I guess we were not a good match. We were not made for each other.

In my shelve awaited lonely books which I waited for months to receive. And as I waited for them, they wait for me. To be read, to be loved and folded and ruined because I decide I need to take them in my bag in other to read them at any chance I get. You see Jackaby? This is what we did not have, this connection. Perhaps you would have been better if you, Jackaby, was the one narrating your story. Perhaps if it began with 'bang' and not with a quiet mystery. Or if you, Jackaby, showed more signs of genius and not weirdness. Perhaps I expected you to be someone you are not. Sorry Jackaby, I promise I will turn you in to someone who will love you more (if I don't decide on giving you a second chance.)

With sad regards,
Marisabel


 

The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

A book review

My love: ♥♥♥♥♥

As a fan of Magical Realism, when I saw The Miniaturist at the store I had to read it. Though it's score is low in Goodreads at the moment, this historical fiction was one of a kind. It deals with the power to create the life you desire, the sacrifices which need to be made and the prejudice of the era. Having lived in Amsterdam for a year, I could clearly picture this book. It is not a book for everybody. But it has a special place in my heart. Nella grows into a woman in a short time and the tragedy of her life makes you feel life is unfair. It is magical and enchanting. The prose is like reading a dream, never dull and always moving. I found myself wishing for a plot twist just to have things ending differently, but it was not the case. Such was life back then. Not everyone will understand this book, but those who do will love it.

I love you. I love you. From back to front, I love you.

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