openhouseTitle: Open House

Author: Elizabeth Berg
Publisher: Random Hosue
Year: 2001 (Ballantine Book Edition)
Pages: 241

It took a long while for me to finish this book. Can’t remember when I started to read it, but I remember I got this from the Big Bad Wolf Book Fair last year. So, it should be months already…

The reason of the slow read, not due to the book itself, just that, life got in the way. Today, I finally finished it amidst of doing laundry and caring for my little princess (she’s very demanding these days…).

The Seattle Times called the book “Compelling… a story of triumph”. This book also belongs to the long list of Oprah’s Book Club.

It’s a story of life.

There is no fairy tale to be spoken here. Just real life.

Samantha was in her forties, early forties, with a little boy to bring up. The story was about her picking up the pieces after her husband left her for a younger woman (what else…?). The story line is cliché but you can’t get tired reading a story of a woman who through confusion,  self doubt and disappointment, build her life back, although surprisingly not to her expectation of “normal”.

Therein lies the strength of the book. The author did not fall into the same pattern where the heroin met a man who is more well off and more stable than the ex. And yet, this turns out to be the best choice and most suitable partner to the main character. The author managed to capture the essence of the relationship without resorting to a graphic detail of any love scene, for a healthy relationship is so much more than a great roll in the sack, right?

This is a great leisure reading. It makes you ask yourself what would you do should you face the same situation and challenges that Samantha experienced. You find yourself asking whether you’re brave enough like Samantha to change or accept the idea of “normal” might be different than the “normal” that you’re so used to.

An interesting guide to project management. Useful to me.
The author managed to present the topic in the most fun way and it is easy to relate to the stories presented.

Title: The Lazy Project Manager
Author: Peter Taylor
Publisher: Infinite Ideas Limited
Year: 2009
Pages: 143


Title: My Name Is Memory

Author: Ann Brashares
Publisher: Hodder
Year: 2011
Pages: 401

“You have been with me from the very first life. You are my first memory every time, the single thread in all of my lives.”

I am really tempted to give the spoiler for this book. Yet… I won’t.

For in a way, it is a beautiful love story, and it is different. You have heard a version of it many times over, but the author managed to make an elegant twist. It seems familiar this story of lovers torn apart, and yet you can see that it sets itself slightly apart from the rest. It sounds the same, but it is not a broken record.

I am a cynical romantic, if there’s such a term. I love romance, and yet I am no longer swept away by it. As usual it is for me, it was hard for me to put the book down. More over these days my me time is very, very limited. But I made do, and finished the book in 3 days. Less than 3 hours combined.

The story is about Daniel and the love of his life whom he killed when he did not know her name. Then he found her as Sophea, Constance and Lucy. There were other names in between, but they are always the same person, or soul as referred to in this book.

There is always a bad guy and his hatred separate the lovers apart.

Is this book unique? Or is it just another attempt to be different yet similar? You decide.

All I can say is that, I don’t like the ending. I never like unfinished business. This story is not for me.

book-of-tomorrow Title: The Book of Tomorrow

Author: Cecilia Ahern
Publisher: Harper
Year: 2009
Pages: 320

What would you do if you are allowed to peek into tomorrow? Would you change anything?

For Tamara Goodwin, she endeavored to be a better person. She is the vicious type, where here cynical response or statements were used to push people away from her so that she can be in control. More like a defense mechanism. While exploring the next day cautiously, Tamara could not run away from yesterdays. Long forgotten memories resurfaced which brought chaos to the present life.

This is my second book from Cecilia Ahern, the first being P.S: I Love You. Like any good storyteller, she captures the essence of people very well. The Book of Tomorrow is a mixture of real life with a little magic, although the author makes the reader wonder how did the magic come to be? What is the connection between the leather-bound book with a locked gold clasp to the events that were unfolded.

I bought the book yesterday afternoon. And because I could not put it down for long, taking a break for meal time and TV time with The Hubby, I finished reading all 320 pages at 1 am this morning. It has been so long since a book manages to capture me in its tale the way The Book of Tomorrow did.

Although, I must say, putting it down upon finishing it, it left me with no extreme feeling; positive nor negative. Maybe I have read so much fiction for the past 20 over years that it’s hard to expect a different ending.

Having said that, it’s a nice book to curl to with a hot chocolate by your side. And don’t forget the marshmallow!

Title: The Secret

Author: Rhonda Byrne
Publisher: Atria Books/Beyond Words
Year: 2006

Law of Attraction is not a new topic to be discussed all over the world. Truthfully, this is the first book on that subject that I have read. I've heard about positive thinking and positive attitude since I was in school. That was over twenty years ago.

Even then, motivators and facilitators and counselors, during the motivation courses or career week, were already talking about being positive in life. And when you're a teenager, you use whatever ammo that you have to fight your course against your parents. During that time, it was positive outlook to life against my slightly over protective parents. Those were the days.

The author, albeit many criticism against her work, managed to convey the simple message about being more in tune with the universe. It's certainly not magic. It's just how nature works and I am a novice follower.

I have always been optimistic in living my life, as much as I can. It is a bit difficult when people around you are being so negative and against being happy all the time. Somehow people manage to create conflict in everything that they do. And to stay true on the laws of attraction path can be difficult. 

I simply go back to basics. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. This is what law attraction simple rules are all about. And so much more. But we can start with only this belief and grow from there. Changes can be made and seen.

I would recommend The Secret to be read with open mind and open heart. Yes, it is not a new topic although this book received a lot of hypes and still is. However, the presentation of the subject and idea is simplistic and easy to understand. And at the end of the day, relate it spiritually as you would in your own faith (religion), and it will be much easier to understand and follow.

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Title : Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky - A Novel

Author : Chris Greenhalgh
Publisher : Penguin Groups (Riverhead Books, New York)
Year : 2002/2009

This is the first time I read a biography of some sort. Although the book is classified as "fiction", there must be some truth in it that allowed it to be published and most recently adapted into a movie.

I knew the brand Chanel since school. I knew it is a very expensive brand. In my family, we are not big about brands, we go for practicality. My parents are simple people who teach their children to be prudent in spending money.

I started to be interested in fashion (and probably brands) once I started working. Although I don't really spend money on branded items, I make it a point to learn a thing or two about them. I know Chanel No. 5 is simply irresistible, simply elegant scent that I vowed to have one day. I only recently had the courage to visit Chanel booth to have a taste of its perfumes. But, until today, I have not owned any. It's such a big splurge for me. :-)

The book gave me insights of who Coco Chanel was. She is a real woman that came to her own. She had a successful business and money to spend. However, her personal life was not as successful. In fact it borders to tragedy in my opinion. The story showed every side that she had on her. The aggressive businesswoman, the passionate lover, the sad little girl, the loyal friend, etc.

The book also in a way, a reality check to the readers. Because it shows how having all the wealth that you can in the world is not everything. Coco died lonely, without a loved one beside her. But leaving a legacy that continues years and years after she's gone should amount to something. People still remember her today.

I guess we must remember that not everything is about money. If there is a chance for happiness we should grab it. (Although I do not condone adultery or getting involved with a married person, that is. ;-p )

Link on Amazon: Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

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