Shabby Background

Thursday, May 23

Childhood vs adult

This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

"Have your reading habits changed since you were a child? (I mean, I’m assuming you have less time to read now, but …) Did you devour and absorb books when you were 10 and only just lightly read them now? Did you re-read frequently as a child but now only read new books? How about types of books? Do you find yourself still attracted to the kinds of books you read when you were a kid?"

It's less crazy now and I have more freedom to read the way I want, what I want. As a child my books were parent-sanctioned. During my teens I relished that secret excitement over books they didn't know of or didn't approve. I don't remember re-reading. But I was told that before I learned to read I used to ask my mother to read those Bible stories to me again and again. 

Then I learned to read. I devoured fairy tales and mostly mystery. I had a go at trash and struggled to understand The Aeneid to please and impress my father. Since becoming an adult I haven't taken a second look at the ancient work. I fancy revisiting it but electronically this time. Old meets new.

My juvenile reading curiosity was eclectic. At one point it got me engrossed in Lapland and at another my eyebrows met stupidly in the middle at discovering myself innocently plowing over raw tuition in gun silencer installation. As far as attraction goes, mine is on the postmodern version or reincarnation or call it metamorphosis of the books I read when I was a kid.

Thursday 13: Books I want to add to my collection. I mean I already promised myself to slow down on collecting as this tiny city apartment is going to explode. But well... and oh, this is only part 1. There are several of them mentioned in Books that changed the world. It's for the reason they made it to the list that I want them in my collection.

1. Hitler's Mein Kampf
2. Darwin's Origin of the Species
3. Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom's Cabin
4. Sigmund Freud's Interpretation of Dreams
5. William Harvey's De Motu Cordis
6. Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince
7. Sir Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica
8. Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience
9. Mary Wollstonecraft's Vindication of the Rights of Woman
10. Thomas Paine's Common Sense
11. Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations
12. Alfred Mahan's The Influence of Sea Power Upon History
13. Edward Jenner's An Inquiry into the Causes and Effects of the VariolaeVaccinae

Second choices, anyone?

When I got divorced I had to make changes to a life of ease which came with luxuries that I sometimes took for granted. The process taught me a few, important things. Single life so far has been very good and I am grateful for enough blessings and challenges that kept the balance.

My son attends school in the home country. I continue to be a mom to him from a distance, and although it is not exactly what I would rather have, I am learning to work my way around such living arrangement.  Second Choice: embracing life as it is "challenges some assumptions in Western culture and gives a different slant on the idea of success." I pick what's culturally relevant to me.

Viv Thomas, the author "insists that to live our lives well it is vital that we are able to live in a world of second choice or no choice at all." I would recommend the book to anyone who is curious about second choices and how they can become "places of grace, community, imagination and maturity if we learn to embrace life as it is." (excerpt)  The photo above is the cover of my copy. Lovely, isn't it?

The kiddo turns 9. Nine roller coaster years! For his gift I made a financial decision that will impact his life long term. Here's to life, my Baby Pooh you Sweet child of mine! What's a celebration without music? Do you like Gregorian? I do. This is my favorite remake of the power ballad.

So while loved ones at home are busy celebrating with glorious food, I'm having brunch of beef steak, salad and black tea from Fuji, my favorite Japanese restaurant.

Thursday, May 16


This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

What book(s) do you find yourself going back to? Beloved children’s classics? Favorites from college? Something that touched you and just makes you long to visit?

(Because, doesn’t everybody have at least one book they would like to curl up with, even if they don’t make a habit of rereading books? Even if they maybe don’t even have the time to visit and just think back longingly?)

Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code. JK Rowling's Harry Potter 5 and 7. Stephenie Meyer's Twilight 2 and 4 - re-read all twice.

Mary Cicely Barker's The Everyday Handbook for Magical Mothers. I LOVE FAIRIES. The illustrations on my copy take me to a world I love visiting again and again.

Lately I've been scouring second-hand bookshops for Clue in the Crumbling Wall of the Nancy Drew series. I've been wishing to find an old copy, not interested in its e-form, no thanks. I want the book preferably yellowed with age, with the paper gone brittle through the years. Since I could not find it I bought Carolyn Keene's The Hidden Staircase which I reckon would do for now.

Thursday 13: Books I fancy reading again

1. You Don't Say by Barry Phelps
2. The Complete Neurotic by Charles A. Monagan
3. Interpersonal Communication by Julia Wood
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
5. Secrets of the Code by Dan Burstein
6. Anne Shirley of Green Gables by LM Montgomery
7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
8. Taste Berry Tales by Bertie Youngs
9. Jesus, CEO by Laurie Beth Jones
10. Second Choice by Viv Thomas
11. The Pelican Brief by John Grisham
12. Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
13. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

Do you re-read books? Care to share?

Mother's day high tea

This whole tea idea was unplanned. Things were hectic at work. Besides, the son is with Grandma in the home country. But a friend was greeting her Mom friends on FB, I was tagged on cards a couple times and it looked like people were bent on making the day something you wouldn't forget easily.  Well, they show me. I love celebrations so it didn't take long for me to decide that I was having tea after all.

I picked Coffee Beans by Dao, a posh cafe in a posh mall to celebrate Mother's Day with a girl friend. She's not a Mom but her niece just had a baby and that according to her makes her a Grandma. Sweet. I believe in treating the self from time to time, and of course it is such joy to have a friend to celebrate special occasions with.

The Moroccan mint tea (on collage) was a welcome taste as it was my first since 2010. Blueberry cheese cake is the specialty of the house and that's what I had. Yum!

Why does food look so inviting right after work? Yeah... work hard, party hard.

Or maybe it's just me. I'm a fan of food and I love to eat. I even like saying that ;)

Thursday, May 9


This post is linked with: Booking Through, Thursday 13 

"My brother-in-law turns 50 this weekend. So, in his honor, please pick up your nearest book or whatever book you’re currently reading, and turn to page 50 and then share the first 50 words with the rest of us."

From Timeline by Michael Crichton:

Only the Professor's personal intervention prevented him from being expelled from Yale. Chris's response to this sudden jeopardy was to bury himself in his studies; his grades swiftly improved; he eventually graduated fifth in his class. But in the process he became conservative. Now, at twenty-four he tended toward fussiness and stomach trouble. He was only reckless with women.

Thursday 13: Books that readers did not finish reading. Book Riot on FB asked fans what books they broke up with and these are 13 out of more than 200 responses.

1. Fifty Shades of Grey (reported 29 times)
2. Twilight (reported 7 times)
3. Eat, Pray, Love (reported 3 times)
4. Game of Thrones (reported 3 times)
5. The Great Gatsby (reported twice)
6. Anna Karenina (reported twice)
7. Duma by Stephen King (reported twice)
8. War and Peace (reported twice)
9. The Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling (reported twice)
10. Jane Error (spelling intended)
11. Wuthering Heights (reported 3 times)
12. Catch 22 (reported twice)
13. Emma by Jane Austen (reported twice)

Other answers were Little Women, The Devil Wears Prada, Water for Elephants, Hunger Games, The Book Thief, Poisonwood Bible, and even Pride and Prejudice. But clearly people's preferences differ of course. What book did you not finish reading?

Tea time in Castelgard

Constantly a fan of old, it took me 2013 to start reading Michael Crichton's Timeline. Published by Frederick in 1999, the book talks of going back hundreds of years; of knights and castles, an ancient language, lords and ladies, sword battles - there's my appetite for medieval history.

The story deals with modern machinery to get a glimpse of the old world. That's my cue not to lose touch with reality. High-cost technology is woven into the plot. There's a tournament in Castelgard. A rogue knight threatens to marry Lady Claire by force to save himself from bankruptcy. I need to make sure my own finances are in order after that spontaneous island vacation I did two weeks ago. Things seem manageable. I bought the paperback for just 68 cents. Contrasts keep life interesting, don't they?

So tea time into a tour back in time.

And joy is accompanying the read with a white chocolate macadamia moist cake paired with a cup of earl grey. I love chocolate drinks, hot or cold, but I take care not to have the same flavor in both pastry and drink. What kind of drink do you usually have with cake or while reading?

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