Friday, January 27, 2012

January Current Reads

Before January ends, I want to share with you guys some books that I'm reading lately.

It's ironic to note that I'm reading three books, almost juggling them, to use the term lightly. I used to think that  a person should only read a book one at a time, to give the story justice and to give the characters their time to grow on you and to feel the threading of the storyline and one's daily life.

But time has been such a commodity lately. It's a currency with a very high trade off so since it's very precious I only trade it off with the most pressing of tasks. Well, anyway, so much for that tired old excuse right?

My January reads are pretty diverse, if I do say so myself. I love that all these books were either lent or given to me. It makes it all the more special to end the first month of the new year!

It's Like This Cat by Emily Neville

Fresh and full of insightful adventures, this story by Emily Neville is an engaging read. It is a YA novel that touches on a lot of values and affords us a glance of what it was like to be a boy in 1970s Brooklyn.

I love that it features the simple life that young boys used to lead, the active lives that they lead unlike today's boys who spend more hours locked up in their rooms infront of the TV or PC and Game consoles, "PWNING" other players as if it is significant to the world, or playing keyboard warrior to make their lives more interesting. It's makes me think how sad the world we're living in now is.

It's Like This, Cat makes me miss the sense of wholesome adventures that seems to be waiting just around the next block, waiting for you to pass by on your bike with a little cat on your bicycle basket. I have a review on this book in the next post, so stay tuned for that!

Breathe Deeply by Yamaaki Doton

A dramatic, deep manga that all of you should look into! Its story revolves around the question of ethics and morality. The manga starts innocently enough, but it already has a tinges of its darkness at the first few pages. Two boys, Sei and Oishi, vie for the affection of their childhood friend and classmate, Yuko, despite her being confined in a hospital for a terminal heart defect. 

My copy of the Manga given by the publisher. Beautiful rough, shady artwork. The intricate detailing of the characters in the manga is astounding.
The helplessness of having experienced someone you care for die every so slowly everyday never left their hearts and minds as they grew up, delving in the genetic/medical field because of a deep-seated desire for closure and answers, haunted by her memories everyday.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami

This is an intense read, I will tell you that much with all honestly. There are a lot of things going on in the book. A lot of obvious disconnect in events but they are interconnected by a single, fine, morose thread.You can't think that a calculated Assassin group who take justice to their own hands by shoving a finely crafted, barely-there ice pick would be interwoven with an ardent editor pushing a ghostwriter to re-write an award winning novel of epic proportions.

As I said, there are a lot of things going on. It is a true Murakami novel: It is sharp and hazy, borderline nightmare-like, made of the confusing things that makes sense of things in the end.

His thickest book yet but is thoroughly engaging. And the fact that Jay Rubin translated this made it to my lise of 2012 Epic Novels. I have so much story to go but it is an adventure in itself.

The book has pages that spell out the title! I thought it was so cool to discover each one as I went along!


These three books are my current read but only It's Like This Cat can be seen within my book bag, as the other two are as thick as nothing else and my shoulders cry out in pain when I lug them around everywhere! :)

Thank you so much for reading!

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received Breathe Deeply by Yamaaki Doton from the publisher One Peace Books for the sole purpose of a book review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Best Holiday Gifts Have Hardbound Covers

Me with the gift I received from WHO ELSE!
 I love it when he's in Ninja Mode. I got this suprise when I went and opened my locker.

And also a support bookmark for the terrible calamity-tragedy that happened in Cagayan de Oro and Iligan City. For more information and how you can help, click here and here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Life: My New Year - Feast, Food and OOTN

Sorry it took me so long to greet all of you guys!!!!  


We all deserve the blessings we are about to get this year :D At the same time, we should look forward to the challenges that will make us better people with stronger faith and resiliency.

I had a blast with my family in celebrating both Christmas and New Year, but mostly New Year, because it was a lot louder while our Christmas was spent in a quieter, more heartfelt manner.

I didn't get to sleep a wink waiting for the clock to strike 12~00 :DD It also helped that I was the one who prepared our New Year's food. I'm new at food preparation but I am so proud of myself that my family liked the things I made! Especially the kids who ate them all :)

I'd like to share to you guys some of the things I made!

Apple-cream and cinnamon toast

This is a variation of the normal warm toast that the kids like. Instead of opting for the prepackaged Apple jam that we usually eat straight out of the toaster, I opted for a healthier version that consisted of cored apple, cream and milk, as well as a generous helping of cinnamon powder and a bit of cinnamon syrup :) It is sweet but not overly so, and the cinnamon brings out the apple flavor so well. The kids enjoyed this as a pre-New Year treat so I could help them stay awake ;)

Chocolate Jello

Previously, I made Strawberry Jello and my nieces and nephews liked it so I made a Chocolate version just to feel adventurous. I used Hershey's Dark Chocolate powder for this. Note also the cream made from heavy cream, sweetened milk and vanilla. It's a cool treat and sweet enough to make them hyper.

Now on to the main courses!

Grilled Pork Spare Ribs
My personal favorite! I marinated several pieces of pork ribs for about 4 hours so it is extra tasty and smokey! My dad also helped me grill it because I'm not very good at grilling :( It made our tummy very full and there was enough for everyone to enjoy. I ate like 2 pieces of ribs and when I came back I only saw an empty yellow plate! T___T But it's okay, at least my family liked it! I feel really happy :)

Lemon Salmon
I picked up some frozen Norwegian Salmon from the supermarket. This is sprinkled with salt and oregano with a squeeze of Lemon then deep fried in Olive oil. This fish is very fatty. I love lemons on anything, because it makes even the simplest dishes taste nice and look presentable! LOL!

Spicy Gambas with Spring Onions
This dish is my nephew Hisashi's favorite for some reason. He hated anything spicy but when I cooked this, he was intrigued and ate one. He almost finished the entire plate! I sprinkled a good amount of paprika on the shrimp to make it spicy. What I like about paprika is it's not like Chili that the hot spice stays for a long time. Paprika is spicy, but the spice disappears fast so you can eat a lot of it. I should have also tied the spring onions around the shrimp but it was too MANY!!! (; A ;)/ I didn't have a lot of time since I also had to make Ceasar salad, prepare the slab of ham and many others~

I also needed time to primp ;) Here I am wearing my "Lucky Red Dress". They say that wearing red attracts luck and I need a lot of it this year. I hope that all my wishes come true and that everything will go my way. I also wore that because one of my resolutions that hopefully will stick is to dress a lot less with jeans and pave the way for dresses and soft skirts.

I wish you all a very bountiful year to come! I hope good cheer awaits all of us this 2012! :)

Thank you so much for reading!