The Picture of Dorian Gray, p.35

He played with the idea, and grew willful;

tossed it into the air and transformed it;

let it escape and recaptured it;

made it iridescent with fancy,

and winged it with paradox.

Oscar Wilde


My Fourteen Reads

Lately, I have been seeing people post their list of faves in Facebook.  There were list of favorite books, random things about themselves, and so on.  To keep these flowing in chains, my posting friends “name-tag” others (who will then be obliged to write their own lists).

I thought it was interesting.  Secretly, I was wondering if anyone would tag me, too.  The fad lasted for a week or so; no such tagging came.  That’s okay, Jan.

Huzzah! Why not make my own list?!

With a vengeful spirit, the idea of coming up with my own list of favorite books resurfaced.  Without further corny revelations, I give you my 14 fave book entries… 😀

Top Three

  1. The Demon Lover.  This was my first taste of Victoria Holt’s heroine charm.  This book came to me just at the time when I’m getting really bored with the same male-gender protagonists.  Thinking about my discovery down the campus library’s fiction shelf, I remember feeling a bit reluctant about this book.  The title seemed to suggest exorcism stories — something I don’t really enjoy (be it in books or films).

My curiosity went rewarded with so much marvel.  At the end, I got badly addicted; I ended up locating all of her other books in that library.  I’ve read Holt’s My Enemy, The Queen; Shadow of the Lynx; The King of the Castle; and the Black Opal.  Apart from the most engrossing twists, Holt’s novels are also plagued with interesting names, like Minelle and Stirling. I figured that if I ever got blessed with kids, I’d be picking her books instead of the common ‘Book of Names.’

  2. A Light-Hearted Look at Murder. This book screamed contemporary right at my nose — from the cover to the title.  Mark Watson is a name so unfamiliar (at least here in my country); yet, I can’t help but add how this fact added more allure to me as a reader.  It didn’t took long for me to fall for the character, Alexandra.  She’s awkward and real, perhaps, she could be me!

Suffice it is to say, being able to immediately relate to a character makes for an easy and equally enjoyable reading experience. 🙂

3. 1984. I’ve encountered this classic dystopia by constant mention. Before George Orwell’s piece, I believe I haven’t really understood what a dystopia is (Okay, maybe I found the gist through Stephen King’s The Dark Tower Series).  The book covers a way of living that meant ‘not living at all.’

I remember myself getting crazed with all the quote-taking, like this one:

In the face of pain there are no heroes, no heroes… (Winston on page 239)       

Recent Loves

4. Room.  Have you ever watched at least one dramatized abduction?  The sort that resulted to having a kid in the midst of abuse?  This novel is pretty much about it… and the rest is something worth finding out for yourselves.  Because I’m telling you, Emma Donoghue had in store something more — a unique and brave voice, maternal love that is real as it is pained…

Reaching the end of this story’s page sent me in a grievous spell that went for days.  (I’m not kidding)

5. The Signature of All Things.  How do I even start?  I found my prospective copy lying in bulk at the Popular Bookstore (Singapore).  There was Elizabeth Gilbert’s name on it; but what really caused such enchantment was the book cover.  I’m one of those readers/bibliophiles who tend to base my choice in books through the very first page.  Green flora against a black backdrop was an instant hit!

Alma, our über-curious protagonist, is cool.  She has the amusing mix of genius, stubbornness, and imperfection.

6. The Wizard’s First Rule.  This book displayed a characteristic darkness in it; no wonder, I’d instantly felt peril  for Richard and Kahlan.  Terry Goodkind had wrought a chaotic world tinged with prophesies and urgency.

And in most cases, that’s just what I need: urgency.

7. The Picture of Dorian Gray. Oh, here’s Oscar Wilde’s masterpiece!  I’ve come accustomed with Wilde’s persona through my daily quote (back when iGoogle still existed).  Quotes from this guy tend to sarcasm and wit — it partially ignited sparks of love.

And then I’ve read the novel.  I think it was one of the most turtle-pace reading I have ever endured, not largely due to my own faculties.  It was caused by that paralyzing love-struck for numerous phrases, sentences, or statements stringed together in cohesive awesomeness.  There I said it. 😀

8. Millennium Trilogy. Another heroine-led novel that got me so hooked.  I thought that with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, I knew what to expect from Stieg Larsson. I was clearly wrong. Worse, I was setting myself towards another addicting trap — falling for Lisbeth.

She’s the epitome of strength, the type of girl I wished each and every single abused girl/woman would eventually turn to become.  Why?  (Please grab or borrow a copy to see for yourself.)

Okay, here’s a hint: She knows how to get even, yet chooses the other way.

All Time Favorites

9. The Vampire Lestat/Queen of the Damned/Pandora. Sensual and philosophic creatures, they are Anne Rice’s offering to bored mortals like us.  The first two were another discovery from the campus library.  The books had this beat condition; now that I’m thinking about it, I realize that it obviously went along various hands — a true testimony of these vampires’ popularity.

Pandora was an acquired copy, a character mentioned (in passing) in one of the first three vampire chronicles.  How do you not fall for her?  She’s an escape artist whose talent in rhetoric is apt to blow your mind.

10. The Testament. Could you envision a lawyer travelling to some exotic destination to seek for an unknowing, instant billionaire?  If not, you need to pick this particular John Grisham-piece.  Expect greed and family feud; enjoy the narrative that only Grisham could give.

Plus: I got to pick neat legalese every now and then. 🙂

11. Firestarter. I have read lots of Stephen King novels.  I knew each to be just as dark as you could expect from the master storyteller.  But this one had me broken in pieces.  Why?  Because King was just plain ruthless here!  He always makes every conflict impossible to escape, worse conquer.

Yet, in this father and daughter-tandem, you could only expect them to try, push harder, attempt multiple escapes… for what?  — A shot at a normal and peaceful life!  King made their cause worth trying, even at the cost of another loss.

12. The Witch of Portobello.  My sister possesses a collection of Paulo Coelho books.  And as her reading mate, the benefit is obvious.  This particular novel stand out simply because I could very much relate with the female character, Athena.  I, too had been ‘given away.’  And like her, there are certain parts of this arrangement that I found to be very incomprehensible.

Yet, she found her peace — something I dream of having some day. (I know, I ought to not just dream but work for it, too.)

13. For One More Day. Mitch Albom has a way of making me cry.  In this novel, I get to learn the mundane yet unique dynamics between mother and son (and that absent father).  There’s favoritism in the side of the child, who became a man.

This novel made it easy to realize that sometimes, it takes a whole lifetime (and perhaps, near-death experiences) to see how you’d really fare in the loving-my-ma department.  Yep, I agree:

A child should never have to choose. (page 188)

14. Deception Point.  I enjoyed The DaVinci Code, Angels and Demons, as well as, Digital Fortress.  Frankly, I’ve already been seeing a pattern in Dan Brown’s plots.  Yet, this didn’t stop me from enjoying the Deception Point. Its massive scale engulfs political, scientific, and social scopes — which goes to show that despite these categorical differences, we are one.

At the face of ambitious culprits and underlying threats, black and white will not only register as our choices; it will tear us apart to make allies and enemies among us.

There goes my lengthy list.  😀

Now, I truly feel indebted to certain bridges that had cast a connection between me and these books.

  1. The Campus Library. My first ever workplace; my refuge.
  2. Friends who lend me their copies.  You know who you are: a big thanks from me 🙂
  3. The budget-friendly Book Sale.  The one nearest our university.
  4. My various Jobs.  Affording me with cash to burn for more books! 😀

Thank you for sticking with me.


Have You Tried Working on an FB Page?

The kiosks and the calm spring waters
The kiosks and the calm spring waters

So, I and my sister managed to open a new FB page.  Now, running a page seemed a lot more challenging than simply posting stuff for your own account.  Good thing we have a stock of nice photos to spice it up!

A simple haven
A simple haven

The spring isn’t exactly just a place we buzz in for the summer (and November sem-breaks).  It’s also a place that encapsulates many of our fondest memories spent with family, friends, and relatives.  Utilities consisted of humble kiosks, a karaoke machine, washrooms, and yes, green flora, too!

Light through mahogany trees
Light through mahogany trees

Working on its FB page certainly demands a dose of consistency.  It requires me to lean on possible developments and execute.  The trickiest part is reading behind the graphs and working around FB’s tools.  This project sets my head into the idea-loop.

Sometimes, it makes me miss the place too!

So you could sing your heart out!
So you could sing your heart out!


The weight of words



that hurl at you like chaos, words

that don’t give respite

depicting the loss of sunshine

written, spoken, delivered in tones

words that wound to shape one’s wounds

undress it, make it part or lose parts

and words that hurt.

A combination of characters

supposed to make sense

pack stories with vigor

steal emptiness, and incite



that pull you into longing,

blunt but carelessly set free.

Those were the words

that didn’t make it anywhere near


It was heavy and

I couldn’t bear it.

~ image by bator_horvath