Archive for the ‘books’ Category

Procrastinating

Posted: July 1, 2010 in books, personal
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Watching music videos:

Reading or Soon to be reading (when the book arrives…)

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I’m reading GWW’s Writing Fiction at the moment and been focusing on short stories- cuz it’s the best way to start. There’s a list of great short stories worth reading including a brief synopsis for “The Lady with the little dog by Anton Chekhov”.

“Neither expects the affair to last. Yet for the first time the man is caught in the undertow of genuine love. We see the quiet yearning and uncertainty of the human heart and while waiting to see where things will lead, the suspense overwhelms.”

After reading that I decided to buy the book. Although it IS a short story, I was kinda expecting a longer version.

So after reading the book, the closeted hopeless romantic me, felt the effect of Chekhov’s words. The story was well-written, short story that could be written to a novella if one wishes and could be a muse to create similar stories. Some may already have.

There are certain parts of the book that I’ve highlighted because of its relevance (to moi’s present state) and its poetic structure.

” The less attainable happiness is, the more lyrical force is attached to longing.”

” And by some strange possibly fortuitous chain of circumstances, everything that was important, interesting and necessary for him, where he behaved sincerely and not deceive himself and which was the essence of his life- that was conducted in complete secrecy; whereas all that was false about him, the front behind which he hid in order to conceal the truth- that was plain for all to see.”

” They were like two birds of passage, male and female, caught and forced to live in separate cages.”

Lost Symbol and Dan Brown

Posted: April 5, 2010 in books

(written 2009)

I just finished reading the new book “The Lost Symbol” and watching the movie “Angels and Demons”. Major Dan Brown overload huh? Yeah.

Let’s begin with the book; it starts off slow, like any other Brown books. It then picks up speed and excitement in the mid part and suddenly you cant put the book down. Then when you get to the ending you’ll wonder why you even bothered to read at all.

So I’ll start with the things I liked first. Brown’s style of shifting from the lead to the villain then to the-one-you-think-is-the-villain then back to the lead will keep you hooked. You’ll want to read fast but slow enough to understand what was going on. He has the gift of storytelling.

For the in-between; the part I liked and hated at the same time. I knew right away who Malak’h, the villain in the story is. You get it sooner than you wish you would. It kinda takes away the suspense in the climax. I was still moved by the confrontation scene they had, especially when he asked the same question that was bugging me throughout my reading.

Now, to the parts I did not like. Where should I start? If you have read about Freemasons and watched Nicholas Cage’s “National Treasure”, Brown’s lecturing style would be a bore. Freemasonry wasn’t a topic that aroused my interest.

The other topic in the book, Noetic sciences, caught my eye. I wasn’t aware of the term and I had to google it; only to be disappointed yet again. Quackwatch considers noetic science as pseudoscience. It’s basically all about the power of the mind and meditation etc. It isn’t considered part of mainstream science. I mean if you’re gonna use science against religion or whatever, at least make the science you’re using believable in the first place. More on that later.

Dan Brown’s running theme in his Robert Langdon series is that science and religion can be compatible. In the Da Vinci Code, you get a taste of that near the end of the book. In this book, you could read right away that that is his theme. In an interview he did with James Kaplan for Parade, he mentioned he isn’t religious and that he gravitated away from religion. He then finished off with saying that the farther he goes into science, the more he sees the spiritual side of it. Say what again?? Yeah, that’s confusing even for me, kinda like the themes in his series. He keeps saying or preaching that science and religion need not fight, that the two can be compatible. Tell that to scientists.

I never liked the endings in his Robert Langdon series. He always sounds like he’s trying to reconcile with the readers that he might have offended in the process. He always ends up in an apologetic tone. It’s like saying “Sorry I bashed your religion, I can make up with this”.

Now for the movie; It’s way better than “The Da Vinci Code” – that’s for certain. With the lessons learned in the first movie, the makers of the film found a way to incorporate history and lectures effectively into the scenes. It was chaos in TDVC. Tom Hanks looked better too, which kinda helps a lot, I guess. So many years has passed since I’ve read the book but I could still see the difference. I hate it when they change a lot. But then, maybe it was for the better since the book’s ending was really bad, in a sense.

I learned in a writing workshop that however hard you try to distance yourself from the characters you create, you’ll always have “you” in there. Dan Brown’s obvious struggle with the dogma of religion and his so called “spirituality” are spilling all over his work. The more I read, the more I can hear his inner struggles with religion.

Or maybe I’ve just had too much of him today…

readings.. can’t sleep

Posted: April 5, 2010 in books

So I was browsing here and there and I came across a blog –mine… Turns out I had another other one. Damn! I should stop making blogs and just stay on one place huh.(oh, ok, two..)

Anyways, as I was saying, I read about my stay in Manila last year. I obviously had a marvelous time. Drinking, gimmicks with friends, bonding with family – all in one week! Hah!

I loved the mini-reunion with high school buddies. I hate the wedding, I mean the ritual not the people involved in the wedding.

I also wrote a review of Dan Brown’s latest book in there. Didn’t quite enjoy it like The DaVinci code. I should just copy it here cuz I’m being too lazy now…

OK, I think I better go to bed now.. That is, if I ever want to make it alive at work tomorrow, or rather today… Have a lot of stuff to do!!!!

Darkness Visible

Posted: February 26, 2010 in books

Darkness Visible by William Styron

I just finished reading the book I bought more than a year ago. I started writing about it, then stopped -for some reason that I can’t remember now.

The book is about the author’s struggle with depression. When I first started reading it, I was a bit skeptical. I wasn’t hoping to connect or understand what he was saying. I didn’t think I would, but I did.

Maybe I’ve had the depression longer than I thought, I really wouldn’t know. I’ve never been clinically diagnosed, until I finally realized something was wrong with me. Early 2003, I had days when I really did not want to get up. I would make up excuses so I could stay in bed all day. I didn’t want to go out. My migraine got worse partly because of that, which then made the whole ordeal more unbearable. Then one night while I was watching Sandra Bullock’s Yaya Sisterhood (or something), I began crying nonstop. It’s supposed to be a comedy but something that was said in that movie made me cry and I couldn’t stop. Then I started to try cutting myself. I didn’t even realize I was doing it until I felt the blade. Silly cuz I realized I have this aversion to it. I stopped then I thought if I really want to kill myself I’d use pills.

After a few days, I had an appointment with a neurologist for my migraine. He seemed confused with the severity of it, he asked me if I was depressed. I said maybe. With that he gave me an anti-depressant. I couldn’t remember the name of the drug because I stopped taking it after two days. I got worse. My lows got really really low to the point where I was thinking of different ways of how to kill myself. So I stopped taking it and started writing. It kinda helped so I continued doing it.

I still have days where for some reason I just feel really really down. When I read about that part in the book, it was kind of an eye-opener. Like, there really are days like that and it’s not because of something I did or doing. When he said ” the pain of severe depression is unimaginable to those who have not suffered it, and it kills in many instances because its anguish can no longer be borne”, I was nodding my head. I’ve been trying to say that for so long and people would just say that I’m being overly dramatic, that whatever I was feeling I can just make it go away by not thinking about it.

It doesn’t work that way. I don’t want to feel depressed or sad. I want that feeling to go away because you cannot imagine how hard it is. It’s better to feel physical pain than suffer from that. Which is, I think, how my body sometimes handles it. I’d be sick for no apparent reason. Bleeding, severe migraine, abdominal pain ~ all of which the doctors here could not find a reason for. There are physical signs yet all other diagnoses doesn’t fit.

All in all, It was an interesting read. It was good to know about someone else’s experience. I just hope it gave me an insight on how to deal with mine when the time comes…

Gun, Germs and Steel

Posted: July 28, 2008 in books

I always forget stuff so I’m embedding this here so I dont have to look around.

Link