BOOK: What if it’s us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera


Okay, so you’ve probably guessed that I’m into books that talks or exposes LGBT. Right? It’s just that there are countless, hundreds or thousands of books about homosexual love but not enough LGBT love to spread. So when I usually see one, I grab the opportunity and read something fun and fresh.
This is definitely a light read. I have to admit, I have not read a single book from the two authors (but they are definitely on my list). It’s not a stunningly oozing with love but I enjoyed the book. 😀
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Some noteworthy lines from the book:
  • I guess that is every relationship. You start with nothing and maybe end with everything.
  • I believe in love at first sight. Fate, the universe, all of it. But not how you’re thinking. I don’t mean it in the our souls were split and you’re my other half forever and ever sort of way. I just think you’re meant to meet some people. I think the universe nudges them into your path.
  • But what if the story should quit while it’s ahead?” “How do you know unless you give the story another chance?
  • I just need more time with me, I think. To really believe in my worth without anyone’s help.
  • Arthur, the universe just got the ball rolling,’ he says. ‘We made us happen.
  • ‘I’m just going to live in the moment. That’s the only way to see where we end up.
  • But maybe this isn’t how life works. Maybe it’s all about people coming into your life for a little while and you take what they give you and use it on your next friendship or relationship. And if you’re lucky, maybe some people pop back in after you thought they were gone for good.
  • You’re never a bad idea.
  • Being with you already is perfect.
  • I like disasters.
  • You’re going to have a lifetime of moments
  • We’re home to each other.
  • Everything means so much more because of all the hoops we jumped through, right?

 

I love the relationship of ben and dylan! AND, I love Dylan — he’s extremely funny and witty and just overall best companion – where you won’t actually get bored, and may probably be the top best friend there is. I adore and envy the relationship of Ben with his parents. His parents are so chill they can talk about their dates and relationships and just joke around about anything and likely everything. PLUS, I want a boy whose face lights up when they see me. I want someone who gets nervous going on a date with me because they simply don’t want to mess things up, who plans for the date and are just extremely happy just to be with me.

BOOK: EXTRAORDINARY MEANS by ROBYN SCHNEIDER


GOODREADS:When he’s sent to Latham House, a boarding school for sick teens, Lane thinks his life may as well be over. But when he meets Sadie and her friends – a group of eccentric troublemakers – he realizes that maybe getting sick is just the beginning. That illness doesn’t have to define you, and that falling in love is its own cure.

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Highlights:

  • There’s a difference between dead and dying. Some of us die for ninety years, and some of us die at nineteen. But each morning everyone on this planet wakes up one day closer to their death. So living and dying are actually different words for the same thing.
  • The life you plan isn’t the life that happens to you.
  • The thing about being erased is that first you have to leave a mark.
  • ‘But none of them are sadie’.
  • We mourn the future because it’s easier than admitting we’re miserable in the present.
  • Haven’t you ever thought about it? What you want to leave behind?
  • It’s strange how we can lose things that are still right there. How a barrier can go up at any moment, trapping you on the other side, keeping you from what you want. How things that hurt the most are things you once had.
  • We reach for whatever we think is going to dull the pain, and sometimes we don’t even want whatever it is, we just want to not be miserable.
  • Being temporary doesn’t make something matter any less, because the point isn’t for how long, the point is that it happened.
  • Life is getting the raw materials and when we die, we get to make patterns out of our lives and relive them in whatever order we ant. So that’s how you live a really great life. You make sure you have enough good days that you want to go back to.
  • Because that’s all you can do in this world, no matter how strong the current beats against you, or how heavy a burden, or how tragic your love story. You keep going.

 

No matter how obvious it may be for other people, I did not see it coming! Man! Am I slow or have I not read enough books to have a smart guess? Haha. I thought it was lane who’ll die! Nonetheless, Sadie makes me reminisce ​and miss my HS friends when the most of are days are intended for breaking the rules. ❤ And If someone were to ask me, no. I have no clue what I’d want to leave behind. 

How about you? What do you want to leave behind?

BOOK: Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert


Goodreads: When Suzette comes home to Los Angeles from her boarding school in New England, she isn’t sure if she’ll ever want to go back. L.A. is where her friends and family are (along with her crush, Emil). And her stepbrother, Lionel, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder, needs her emotional support. But as she settles into her old life, Suzette finds herself falling for someone new…the same girl her brother is in love with. When Lionel’s disorder spirals out of control, Suzette is forced to confront her past mistakes and find a way to help her brother before he hurts himself–or worse.

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You know what I love about the book? It’s very open. ❤ It talks about sexuality, homosexuals, race, family, friendship, knowing yourself and being okay with it. ❤ ❤ ❤

Highlights:

  • I know how easy it is to believe you’re doing the right thing if you say it to yourself often enough.
  • It makes me think there’ll never be a time when we question our bond.
  • Maybe you’re bi. maybe you’re not. Maybe you’re somewhere on the spectrum. Bi.. queer… it doesn’t really matter, as long as you’re happy. Just make sure you don’t let anyone tell you what you are. People can be real assholes about labels.
  • I will never be done with you. Ever.

 

I recommend this book. ❤ It’s a 4/5 for me.

BOOK: BRIGHTSIDE by KIM HOLDEN


GOODREADS: ”Kate Sedgwick’s life has been anything but typical. She’s endured hardship and tragedy, but throughout it all she remains happy and optimistic (there’s a reason her best friend Gus calls her Bright Side). Kate is strong-willed, funny, smart, and musically gifted. She’s also never believed in love. So when Kate leaves San Diego to attend college in the small town of Grant, Minnesota, the last thing she expects is to fall in love with Keller Banks. They both feel it. But they each have a reason to fight it. They each have a secret. ”
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  • I love how detailed and unreal she describes the character: ‘Smiles aren’t always happy, but hers is. It’s open, content and confident. She looks friendly in the most literal sense of the word, like you’d swear you’ve known her for years, and she knows all your secrets. And still likes you in spite of them. It’s the same smile she wore everyday. It’s the same smile that made everything better. It’s the same smile that was tangible proof I was surrounded by goodness. It’s the same smile that made me feel like the luckiest person in the world.
  • I’m doing cartwheels inside.
  • Sometimes things go my way, sometimes they don’t. That’s life. You just have to make the most of it.
  • If there’s anyone in this world who’s capable of insane amounts of love and who deserves to be loved that way in return, it’s you.
  • You guys have a stellar evening!
  • It’s rare. People don’t take the time to find it. Or they let it go too easily. Or they don’t know how precious it is when they have it.
  • Sweetheart, you could steal my thunder anytime.
  • You’re blushing like a whore in a church.
  • Sometimes we need reminding that it’s all important – the good and the bad.
  • You know, it’s not all fun and some of it is bullshit but that’s life, dude. Sometimes it sucks. But you know what? It always gets better.
  • You’d better squeeze the life out of every single minute.
  • I’m not saying you shouldn’t pursue your dreams, I’m just saying you should not forsake the present for the unknowns of the future. A lot of happiness is bypassed, overlooked, postponed to a time years from now that may never come. Don’t bide your time and miss out on this moment for a tomorrow with no guarantee.
  • He’s owned the crowd all night.
  • She’s his muse. Always has been. You saw what they just did together. No one else brings that out in him. They feed off each other.
Have you ever met someone who’s content and happy to her core? And when you’re around her it’s… contagious? Like you want to be a better person just so you feel worthy of being in that person’s life? 
 
Imagine for a moment that you were free of all the expectations in your life. What would you do? How would you live your life with no one watching? What would your future look like?
 
Katie had an unbelievable gift for making the best of any situation, good or bad. 

BOOK: MAD WOMAN by KAT SAVAGE


Goodreads: 40 pieces that capture her stream on conscious, her confessions, and her strange thoughts. In Mad Woman, she bears it all and embraces her madness driven by loneliness and disappointment.

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Highlights of the Book:

  • I have learned that it’s perfectly okay to wander as long as you never stop wondering.
  • I think I will find love one day. I think it will scare he shit out of me. I’m more frightened that I won’t know how to let it in and I will leave like I always do when things feel so intense. I don’t mind the hurt but the happy can be taken away and that scares me. I think I will find love one day. I will try to let it in.
  • Everyone is human but no one knows what it is to be human.
  • The boogeyman will sometimes look a lot like someone we know.
  • Everything leaves, even parts of yourself.
  • Do we ever really lose anything? Or is it somewhere else being exactly where it’s meant to be?
  • People die over and over again all the time. It’t the only way we can survive.
  • When you strip yourself of something people expect, of something they have decided is who you are, you become truly free. Don’t let them take you under. Don’t let them decide who you are before you’ve had the chance to.

 

Would I recommend the book? No. Although it’s quite short and you can finish it in 20 minutes, you might as well be reading somewhere else. But, make no mistake. There are some worthy lines such as the ones I handpicked at the top. 😀

BOOK: THE RETURN OF THE YOUNG PRINCE


From what I remember, the first and last time I read The Little Prince was when I was still in Highschool which was about 13 years ago. But the book is such a classic so I had no choice but to read the book that wants us to remember the young little prince that reminded us that we were all a child once and that we should always carry that child with us.

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Who will ever forget the seemingly naive and child-like purity in him? I think Roemmers tries hard to portray the simple life altering questions of the young prince before. He strives to simplify the story thru conversations with the young prince and teach him about life thru metaphors and instilling some pictures in the book. However, it still comes out as a heavy conversation for a child to understand.

Highlights of the Book: 

  • All those warnings to protect us as adults, in fact distance us so much from others that touching someone or even looking them in the eye has us uncomfortable and anxious.
  • If you’re convinced you can do it, then you most certainly can. But if you believe you can’t, that practically guarantees you won’t manage it.
  • Humans have developed a great capacity for justifying themselves. They blame their flaws on a lack of love or education or on all the suffering they’ve had to deal with.
  • The longer we delay in confronting the obstacle in our path, the bigger the difficulties grow and the smaller we become.
  • We should always be ready to abandon the comfort of our position and face our problems again and again until we’re satisfied we’e resolved them and make progress.
  • The best way to solve a problem is to think of it only as a difficulty. Then you’ll be able to approach it with a positive attitude that sharpens the mind and beats a path towards more solutions in the future.
  • Be thankful for difficulties as that will allow you to grow and to keep moving up the path to perfection.
  • Sometimes you’ll discover that when you change your point of view, the obstacle disappears because often the difficulty is in us – and it’s nothing but our rigid, short sighted way of seeing things.
  • You create the reality around you.
  • Before we improve anything on this world, there is a lot we need to improve in ourselves. There’s only one way of changing the world and that’s by changing yourself.
  • Whatever cards you’re dealt with, you should be grateful for a life that gives you the opportunity to evolve. Fate always finds a way to make us learn the things we resist the most, the things we least want to accept.
  • All of us have to go on an arduous journey into the depths of our being. And no conquest can offer us a greater reward.
  • There’s always something we can do, even if we don’t believe it ourselves.
  • How do I grow up without becoming serious? When we’re young, we go out into the world and find it’s very different from the one we got to know through our parents. — Injustice, violence, shallowness and lack of love torment us. And instead of spreading light and joy around us, our spirit starts to tremble in the face of reality’s painful but unstoppable advance. As more importance is given to having and not having, the search is aimed at something that lies outside of us which allows us to avoid having to look inside ourselves.
  • The most important thing is to be as attentive and aware as possible, with our senses awakened and our ability to love utterly intact, so that we can exist right here and now, and enjoy life and be creative, trapped in neither the past nor the future.
  • Differences are the first things that attract us and when we admire that, we make it unique. It’s the same tings that interest us and complement us are also used to separate and divide us. The important thing is that you don’t stop being yourself in order to fit with what other people want. We’re all born princes, it’s just some don’t know it and others forget. My kingdom only exists in me.
  • If you manage to communicate something truly important even if it is only to the small group around you, you can be sure that the light will forge its way through a whole horizon of shadows just as the glow of a distant star travels thousand of years of darkness to reach us.
  • Don’t betray your desires and don’t bury them inside yourself until they die of starvation. Learn to bring what’s real together with what you yearn for. In all that you do, give the best of yourself so that your spirit is returned to you, and offer the best of yourself to each person so that they an return your love. You’ll see that the world will become a magnifying mirror, reflecting back at you everything that you gave without self interest. Because the only way to surround yourself with smiles is to smile and the only way to surround yourself with love is to give it to others. 
  • Love yourself, and you’ll be able to love others. Love your dreams so that you can use them to build a world that is warm and beautiful, full of smiles and hugs. If you really believe it, and build it up bit by bit, that world will become real for you. And it will be the reward for all your worthy endeavors. It’s only people who truly love are like stars, and their light keeps shining on us after they’re gone.
  • Any change means leaving a part of ourselves behind. It’s the only way to grow and make progress. It’s painful but we know that the experience will enrich us. As we go little by little, we let go of everything dispensable and hold on only to what is essential. The truth is that without difficulties along the way, it would be impossible to make progress as human beings and discover our true nature. It is at really critical moments that the best of us comes to light.
  • To live better is to draw fully on everything that life offers, and be open to anything that might enrich us emotionally, materially or spiritually. Happiness comes from being and not having. If we were perfect, if we had everything, how will we relate to each other? The simplest and most direct path to happiness is making the people around us happy.
  • Ultimately, if you dedicate your life to finding the best in people, you’ll end uup finding the best in yourself.

 

  1. What is a problem? A problem is like a door you haven’t got a key to.
  • The first thing to do is to see if the problem really is yours, if it’s your path that it’s blocking. If the problem is really yours, then you have to find the right key and put it into the lock in the right sort of way. Some people don’t even find the key – and not for the lack of imagination but because they are unwilling to try two or three times with the keys that they have, and sometimes they don’t try at all. They want someone to hand them the key or even worse, to come and open the door for them.  What happens to people who don’t manage to open the door? There’s no point in losing our tempers, banging on the door and doing ourselves damage.  How  do I find the right key? If you keep on asking your question over and over again, you’ll always end up finding the answer. If you persevere and try all the keys you’ve got, eventually, you’ll open the door.

2. How can you love yourself while knowing your own flaws? 

  • To love and forgive yourself, it’s enough to want to become a better person and to accept that you have always done the best that you could. True love is free and knows no limits It doesn’t seek to satisfy its own needs but concentrates on what’s good for the loved one. If you search truthfully, you will end up finding a reason to love yourself and you will discover that you are a unique and wonderful being.

 

Ultimately, if you want a book that will teach you a two or three about living the right kind of life, pick this book up. But if you’re looking for something that resembles how the little prince is written, you’ll be disappointed.

BOOK: FOR ONE MORE DAY by MITCH ALBOM


Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, they you know you can go your whole life collecting days, none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.

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There’s just a bigger, heavier and harder tug in your heart when it’s about parents, right? I don’t know about you but I usually don’t get affected easily in movies or in books whether if there’s an accident or a tragic event — but when they start talking about parents, count on my tears.

Book Highlights: 

  • There’s only your life, how you mess it up and who is there to save you.
  • I seem to be aging while standing still.
  • When you’re rotten about yourself, you become rotten to everyone else.
  • All that happens when your dreams come true is a slow, melting realization that it wasn’t what you thought.
  • Education is what you’ll make something of yourself.
  • When someone is in your heart, they’re never really truly gone. They can come back to you even at unlikely times.
  • Life goes by pretty quickly. It’s such a shame to waste time. We always think we have so much of it.
  • You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.
  • You need to keep people close. You need to give them access to your heart.
  • That’s the thing when your parents die, you feel like instead if going into every fight with backup, you are going to every fight alone.
  • When you’re young, you nest in your parent’s plans, not your own.
  • My mother loved me through vomit and snot and bloody knees. She loved me coming and going, at my worst and at my best. She had a bottomless well love for me.
  • Kids chase the love that eludes them.
  • Kids are embarrassed by their parents. Sometimes, kids want you to hurt the way they hurt.
  • You do what you gotta do to hold your family together.
  • You have to work at your marriage together. You have to love each other, your children and your marriage. There are times that you fight, sometimes you won’t even like each other, but those are the times you have to love your marriage. Look at your memories together, they will pull you back together.
  • You count the hours you could have spent with your mother. It’s a lifetime in itself.
  • When you look at your mother, you are looking at the purest love you will ever know.
  • Sticking with your family is what makes it a family.
  • I believe that if parents love you, they will hold you up safely, above their swirling waters, and sometimes that means you’ll never know what they endured and you may treat them unkindly, in a way you otherwise wouldn’t.

 

Times my Mother stood up for me / Times I failed to stand up for my Mom:

  • Mom: visiting chick in school just to have milkshake with him, showing up in every baseball game, smears ice cream just to make chick laugh, tickles him and lets chick tickle her back, impersonates cartoons, tucks him in every night.
  • Mom: Posey scaring the dog away that was chasing charlie.
  • Mom: Posey maid a mummy costume for chick’s first Halloween but it rained so the costume was soaked.
  • Charlie: He yelled ‘You ruined my life’ after being soaked in the rain, ruining his costume.
  • Mom: When posey helped her son finish his homework.
  • Mom: ‘Never, ever tell a child that something is too hard! and never, NEVER this child’. — when the librarian didn’t allow charlie to take the book he wanted.
  • Charlie: ‘It’s not right’, charlie says to his mother’s cooking of baked ziti.
  • Charlie: He revealed that their Mom was pretending to be Santa while she tries her best to make Roberta happy.
  • Charlie: yelling to her mother, ‘You make me sick’.
  • Mom: Posey supported chick when he wanted to invest in a sports bar.

 

Sometimes the stories are simple, sometimes they are hard and heartbreaking. But behind all your stories is always your mother’s story, because hers is where yours begins. 

P.S. Read this to appreciate your parents better. ❤

BOOK: TUESDAYS WITH MORRIE BY MITCH ALBOM


Do I wither up and disappear or do I make the best of my time left?

Are you giving to your community? Are you at peace with yourself?

Are you trying to be as human as you can be?

This, I believe is a straight up classroom type life lessons as portrayed by Mitch himself and his tuesday conversations with his previous professor who is currently battling cancer. Here, Morrie asks Mitch to accompany him to his last days as he teaches each and everyone of us how to live by learning how to die.

*** second book to re-read! ❤

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Accept what you are able to do and what you are not able to do. Accept the past as past without denying it or discarding it. Learn to forgive yourself and others. Don’t assume that it’s too late to get involved.

Dying is only one thing to be sad over. Living unhappily is something else.

The culture that we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say it the culture doesn’t work for you, don’t buy it. Create your own.

The tension of opposites? Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing but you are bound to do something else. Something hurts you, yet you know it shouldn’t. Most of us live somewhere in the middle. So which side wins? Love wins. Love always wins.

So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half – asleep, even when they’re busy doing things they think are important. This is because they are chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning to your life is to devote yourself to loving others, to your community and to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.

I. WORLD

Death is the great equalizer, the one big thing that can finally make strangers shed a tear for one another. The most important thing in life is to learn how to give out love and to let it come in. Love is the only rational act.

II. FEELING SORRY FOR YOURSELF

I give myself a good cry when I need it. But then I concentrate on all the good things still in my life. A thing is only horrible if you see it that way.

III. REGRETS

Is this all? Is this all I want? Is something missing? We all need teachers in our lives.

IV. DEATH

Everyone knows they’re going to die. but nobody believes it. If we did, we would do things differently. To know you’re going to die and to be prepared for it at any time. That way, you can actually be more involved in your life while you’re living. Once you learn how to die, you learn how to live.

V. FAMILY

There is no foundation, no secure ground upon which people may stand today if it isn’t the family. Family is not about justt love but letting others know there’s someone who is watching out for them.

VI. EMOTIONS

Don’t  cling to things because everything is impermanent. Detachment doesn’t mean you don’t let the experience penetrate you. On the contrary, you let it penetrate you fully. That’s how you are able to leave it. Wash yourself with emotion. It won’t hurt you. It will only help.

VII. FEAR OF AGING

It’s like going back to being a child again. We all know how to be a child. It’s inside all of us. It’s just remembering how to enjoy it. Aging is not just decay. It’s growth. It’s more than the negative you’re going to die, it’s also the positive that you understand you’re going to die and that you live a better life because of it. You have to find what’s good and true and beautiful as it is now. Looking back makes you competitive. How can I be envious of where you are — when I’ve been there myself?

VIII. MONEY

Money is not a substitute for tenderness, and power is not substitute for tenderness. Know what really gives you satisfaction? Offering others what you have to give. Devote yourself to loving others, and devote yourself to your community and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning. Only an open heart will allow you to float equally between everyone. Do the kind of things that come from the heart. When you do, you won’t be dissatisfied, you won’t be envious, you won’t be longing for somebody else’s things.

IX. LOVE GOES ON

Love is how you stay alive, even after you’re gone. As long as we can love each other, and remember the feeling of love we had, we can die without ever really going away. All the love you created is still there. You live on — in the hearts of everyone you have touched and nurtured. Death ends a life, not a relationship.

X. MARRIAGE

In marriage, you get tested. You find out who you are, who the other person is, and how you can accommodate or don’t. If you don’t respect the  other person, you’re gonna have a lot of trouble. If you don’t know how to compromise, if you can’t talk openly about what goes on between you and if you don’t have a common set of values in life, you’re gonna have trouble — and the biggest one? your belief in the importance of your marriage.

XI. CULTURE

The big things — how we think, what we value– those you must choose yourself. You can’t let anyone or society determine those for you. Every society has its own problems. The way you do it, is not to run away. You have to work at creating your own culture. No matter where you live, the biggest defect we human beings have is our shortsightedness. We don’t see what we could be. We should be looking at our potential, stretching ourselves into everything we can become. We all need others.

Be compassionate. Take responsibility for each other. If we only learned those lessons, this world would be so much a better place.

XII. FORGIVENESS

Forgive yourself before you die and forgive others. Make peace.

 

BOOK: THE FIVE PEOPLE YOU MEET IN HEAVEN BY MITCH ALBOM


I’ve read this when I was in first year college and noticed that it’s not in here so I re-read it again. No problem, always a good read..

Mitch has an enchanting way to draw you in, make you feel guilty, teach you about life and make you crawl inside a cave, listen to your thoughts and come out of it renewed and feeling like you know so much about life.

Goodreads: ‘Eddie is a wounded war veteran, an old man who has lived, in his mind, an uninspired life. His job is fixing rides at a seaside amusement park. On his 83rd birthday, a tragic accident kills him as he tries to save a little girl from a falling cart. He awakes in the afterlife, where he learns that heaven is not a destination. It’s a place where your life is explained to you by five people, some of whom you knew, others who may have been strangers. One by one, from childhood to soldier to old age, Eddie’s five people revisit their connections to him on earth, illuminating the mysteries of his “meaningless” life, and revealing the haunting secret behind the eternal question: “Why was I here?”‘
The succeeding lines will reveal everything about the book. So if you’re planning to read it blind, please skip this post as this will be a serious spoiler.
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The Five People he meets in heaven and why: 
1. The Blue Man
The Blue Man was not in Eddie’s life, only in passing. Let me first explain why he’s named such. As obvious as it can be, he simple has a blue ash skin. When he was a kid — he overdosed on silver nitrate and as a side effect, gave him a blue skin. As he got older, his only escape in life is to be with the other freaks, the unique people — in the freak show of Ruby Pier. 
He’s connected with Eddie because when eddie was a kid and playing ball, the blue man had a car accident because he tried to avoid hitting the kid on the street. Eddie was the kid. 
 
Blue Man Lesson: There are no random acts. That we are all onnected. That you can no mmore separate one life from another.Fairness does not govern life and death. All lives intersect. Death doesn’t just take someone, it misses someone else, and in the small distance between being taken and being missed, lives are changed. Strangers are just family you have yet to come to know. No life is a waste. The only time we waste is the time we spend thinking we are alone. 
 
2. The Captain
The captain was Eddie’s commanding officer when joined the army and went to war. Eddie was captured together with 4 other soldiers and the captain in the Philippines. They suffered and witnessed so many things together. On the day of their escape, the captain shot Eddie’s leg to save him from the burning nipa hut. 
 
The Captain Lesson: Dying? not the end of everything. But what happens on earth is only the beginning. Sacrifice is a part of life. It’s not something to regret. It’s something to aspire to. That’s the thing. Sometimes when you sacrifice something, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else. 
 
3. Ruby
Ruby was a stunningly beautiful waitress back in the day. She captured a lot of hearts but she was bound to marry Emile. Emile was the founder of Ruby Pier. But one day, the park was engulfed with fire and the trauma haunted Emile and his wifef, affecting their lives. Emile and Eddie’s father shared the same hospital room. Ruby explained the death of his father. 
 
Ruby Lesson: Things that happen before you are born still affect you. Holding anger is a poison. Hatred is a curved blade. The harm we do, we do to ourselves. 
 
4. Marguerite
Marguerite is Eddie’s puppy love, wife, one true love, best friend and everything good about his life is her. They met and danced at the park. She waited for him when he was at war. They got married but never had children. After the war, Eddie is a changed man. One night, they fought and Marguerite was in a car accident on her way to see Eddie and apologize to him. 
 
Marguerite Lesson: Lost love is still love. Life has to end, love doesn’t.
 
5. Tala
Tala was the little girl hiding during the war. On the day she hid inside a nipa hut, the four soldiers, Eddie and the captain escaped. As part of their plan, they burned the nipa hut, not knowing there was a little girl inside the hut. 
 
Tala Lesson: Everything that we do has a reason. We are all bound to do good on this earth. Eddie was miserable all his life because he thought that his life was so useless, doing the same thing everyday, checking the rides, making sure it was safe. Tala taught him that although he accidentally killed her during the war, he was doing good by keeping people safe. We often neglect our purpose in life, but those little things means a lot if we only appreciate and look at the bigger picture. 
 
And soon, Eddie will also be someone else’s second, third, fourth or fifth person in heaven. 
 
Each affects the other and the other affects the nexxt, and the world s full of stories, but the stories are all one. 

BOOK: THE MAGIC STRINGS OF FRANKIE PRESTO BY MITCH ALBOM


I’ve always loved Mitch Albom as do everyone I know. And I’m not surprised, really. The way he writes, you know there’s some research involved, hours and hours spent in writing & rereading chapters. It can’t be just imagination with him. I always, always learn something from his books, may it be a new phrase, a new song, a new place, history and so much more. It’s not just life lessons (which he’s great at) but he never fails to input a metaphor that captures the essence of his books.

 

We all join a band in life. And it will affect you as much as you affect it! 

 

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GOODREADS:  ”This is the epic story of Frankie Presto—the greatest guitar player who ever lived—and the six lives he changed with his six magical blue strings

Frankie, born in a burning church, abandoned as an infant, and raised by a music teacher in a small Spanish town, until war rips his life apart. At nine years old, he is sent to America in the bottom of a boat. His only possession is an old guitar and six precious strings. His amazing journey weaves him through the musical landscape of the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s, with his stunning playing and singing talent affecting numerous stars (Duke Ellington, Hank Williams, Elvis Presley) until, as if predestined, he becomes a pop star himself.

He makes records. He is adored. But Frankie Presto’s gift is also his burden, as he realizes the power of the strings his teacher gave him, and how, through his music, he can actually affect people’s lives. At the height of his popularity, tortured by his biggest mistake, he vanishes. His legend grows. Only decades later, having finally healed his heart, does Frankie reappearjust before his spectacular death—to change one last life. With the Spirit of Music as our guide, we glimpse into the lives that were changed by one man whose strings could touch the music—and the magic—in each of us.”

 

Highlights from the book:

  • This is how talents are bestowed. Before newborns open their eyes, we circle them, appearing as brilliant colors and when they clench their tiny hands. they are actually grabbing colors they find most appealing and those talents are with them for life.
  • You cannot change your past no matter how you craft your future
  • Sometimes I think the greatest talent of all is perseverance.
  • In every artist’s life, there comes a person who lifts the curtain on creativity.
  • Talent is a piece of god’s shadow and under that shadow, human stories intersect.
  • You cannot write if you do not read, you cannot eat if you do not chew and you cannot play if you do not listen.
  • Do not cry over losing blood, not for something that you love.
  • Money is a mystery. While it clearly means a great deal to humans, it seems to me an enormous burden.
  • Truth is light. Lies are shadows.
  • Can i be both? — Being both means being neither.
  • Every loss leaves a hole in your heart.
  • The secret is not to make your music louder, but to make the world quieter.
  • I’m scared. — Yes, and you will be scared again. All your life. You must conquer this. Face them and pretend they aren’t there. You can do it. Always remember I said you can do it.
  • Where you are going, you need to listen. When you listen, you learn.
  • Music allows for quick creation. But it is nothing compared with what you humans can destroy in a single conversation.
  • Le duy vas xalaven pe — the hands wash each other.
  • Rerum cognoscere causas — to know the causes of things
  • Thank you. — For what? —- For not giving up
  • I can’t do anything without you either. Marry me. Please? — Santa and Mr. Bingle are always together. — Always. — No matter what. — No matter what. — All right. I’ll marry you.
  • We heal a wounded heart with an oath that reassures it.
  • The less you humans can solve a mystery, the more interesting it becomes to you.
  • This is life. Things get taken away. You will learn to start over many times — or you will be useless.
  • First rule of friendship mates, learn how to keep a secret.
  • The point is, you have to decide who you are playing for.
  • The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
  • The older you get, the more you want your kids to know about you. At a certain point, your life is more about your legacy to your kids than anything else.
  • Your most passionate compositions are often inspired by loss.
  • What you’re thinking about can be what you become.
  • He realized how many people it takes to keep one child alive in this world.
  • You will never know all there is to know. You will learn until your final days. Then you will inspire someone else.

 

Frankie, joining several bands.. changed lives: 

  1. He joined another band, this one without even playing. Django would have never experienced America, or the way it influenced his life and art.
  2. Mr. Hampton, the mechanic. Frankie saved his life by promising tickets after an audition because the doctors wouldn’t let them in, telling them to bring hampton to a coloured hospital.
  3. Ellis grew up and joined the army. On the night frankie was going back to his hotel, the car that they were using was wired. Frankie saved the life of ellis with his guitar as an exchange.
  4. Josefa, the nun was redeemed by frankie’s forgiveness.

 

Let’s just talk about how toxic and fascinating Frankie and Aurora are. Without the gadgets that we have now, how can two people just cross paths & reunite over and over again after years of not being together? I applaud Aurora for being so patient of frankie’s absence in her life, of how music and fame stole him from her and simply just how passionate and committed she is to her. How can their relationship work? I don’t know. But I admire these two specially on the latter part of their destined life, raising their child.

 

The book, thru frankie brings the readers to so many places around the world, introducing us to different cultures, different genres, different artists and different lives. It gives us a glimpse of how passion can be a fire that can keep you glowing or that can burn you into ashes. It tells us how music can sometimes be the only salvation, communication and expression of an individual when words seem to be not enough.

 

Again, Mitch Albom does it.

As life goes on, you will join other bands, some through friendships, some through romance, some through neighborhoods, schools, an army. Maybe you will all dress the same, or laugh at your own private vocabulary. Maybe you will flop on couches backstage, or share a boardroom table, or crowd around galley inside a ship. But in each band you join, you will play a distinct part, and it will affect you as much as you affect it. And, as usually the fate with bands, most of them will break up – through distance, differences, divorce or death.

 

 

 

BOOK: THE FUTURE OF US by JAY ASHER


WHAT IF YOU COULD SEE HOW YOUR LIFE WILL UNFOLD – JUST BY CLICKING A BUTTON? 

GOODREADS: ” It’s 1996, and Josh and Emma have been neighbors their whole lives. They’ve been best friends almost as long—at least, up until last November, when Josh did something that changed everything. Things have been weird between them ever since, but when Josh’s family gets a free AOL CD in the mail, his mom makes him bring it over so that Emma can install it on her new computer. When they sign on, they’re automatically logged onto their Facebook pages. But Facebook hasn’t been invented yet. And they’re looking at themselves fifteen years in the future.

By refreshing their pages, they learn that making different decisions now will affect the outcome of their lives later. And as they grapple with the ups and downs of what their futures hold, they’re forced to confront what they’re doing right—and wrong—in the present ”

FUTUREOFUS
So the story unfolds when two people are living their daily lives and check their futures by logging onto facebook. Any decision they make now will have ripples of effect in the future.
No, I did not enjoy this book. It’s such a waste of time just like what light. There was no highlight, no twists and turns. All the chapters did not lead to anything epic or life changing. A book is supposed to transport you but this only made me stay in a chair and doze off.
I know Asher was the one behind the popular TV show 13 reasons why but it’s sad to say that I don’t think i’ll be reading any Jay Asher books in the future. ​

BOOK: WHAT LIGHT by JAY ASHER


GOODREADS: Sierra’s family runs a Christmas tree farm in Oregon—it’s a bucolic setting for a girl to grow up in, except that every year, they pack up and move to California to set up their Christmas tree lot for the season. So Sierra lives two lives: her life in Oregon and her life at Christmas. And leaving one always means missing the other.

Until this particular Christmas, when Sierra meets Caleb, and one life eclipses the other.

By reputation, Caleb is not your perfect guy: years ago, he made an enormous mistake and has been paying for it ever since. But Sierra sees beyond Caleb’s past and becomes determined to help him find forgiveness and, maybe, redemption. As disapproval, misconceptions, and suspicions swirl around them, Caleb and Sierra discover the one thing that transcends all else: true love.

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I don’t find the book that interesting. This is also the reason why it took me about a week to finish a relatively short novel. It’s okay, not great.. not extremely bad but leaning towards boring. There was no peak or highlight. It didn’t make me fall in love with the characters nor giggly with their love story either.

If I’m asked whether if I’ll recommend it? No.

BOOK: All your perfects by Colleen Hoover


Goodreads: Quinn and Graham’s perfect love is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair.

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This is what scares me in a marriage. How can two perfectly in love couple just fall out of love? Can a relationship stay the same if both work on it hard enough? Infidelity is one but how can a person who used to give you so much contentment and happiness be the person you don’t want to see next to you in the morning? Two, children is not the sole goal to a marriage. Why can’t it be two people who wants to commit to each other for the rest of their lives call it a happy marriage whether or not they have kids? Children are an amazing gift of god, but I think it is only a by-product of the love the couple has for each other. It’s not only kids that keeps a marriage alive.

Anyway, despite the whirlwind of emotions this book cost me, I was able to finish it in one night and one day. That’s just how much I want to keep reading and rooting for their marriage to work out. I won’t spoil but Graham less the infidelity is just amazing, how much he loves his wife. And his tear jerking letters. I promise to love you more when…

With my marriage? I also hope to weather Category 5 moments or even the stronger ones. Fingers crossed. ❤ Colleen, you did it again! You really are one of my favorite authors! ❤

The SAD Parts: 

  • He used to look at me with amusement and awe. Now his eyes just flood me with pity.
  • It’s strange how I can miss a person who is still here. It’s strange that I can miss making love to a person I still have sex with
  • Should he be punished by my infertility? He says kids don’t matter to him as much as I matter to him, but I know he says that because he doesn’t want to hurt me. But ten or twenty years from now, he’ll resent me.
  • Just because we used to be perfect for each other doesn’t mean we’re perfect together now.

The GRAHAM Parts: 

  • Graham: Nothing about you is unimpressive.
  • Graham: You are so fucking beautiful.
  • Graham: Be my wife, Quinn. Weather the category 5 moments with me.
  • Graham: I didn’t marry you just for the good years. I didn’t marry you just for the amazing chemistry we have. And I’d be foolish to think our marriage could last an eternity without a few tough moments. I know one thing with complete certainty, I love you more this year than any year that came before it. And as much as I promise to be your pillar of strength for as long as you need one. I’m sure I will sometimes fail you. My whole purpose in life is to make you happy and sometimes I feel like I’m unable to do that anymore. Sometimes I give up on myself. But I just pray that you don’t give up on me.
  • Graham: I promise to love you more when you’re hurting than when you’re happy.  I promise to love you more when we’re poor than when we’re swimming in riches. I promise to love you more when you’re crying than when you’re laughing. I promise to love you more when you’re sick than when you’re healthy. I promise to love you more when you hate me than when you love me.

Some lines from the book: 

  • Sometimes when people change, it’s not always noticeable in a marriage, because the couple changes together, in the same direction. But sometimes people change in opposite direction.
  • The problem is, love and happiness are not concordant. One can exist without the other.
  • It’s hard to hold one to someone who has long since slipped away.
  • When you associate yourself with another person for so long, it’s difficult becoming your own person again.
  • Ten years from now on August eight, I’m going to roll over in our bed at midnight and whisper, ‘I told you so’ in your ear.
  • Smiling like he just conquered he world.
  • My husband’s heart is my saving grace.
  • He’s just the right amount of confident and cocky. But he balances that out with his reverent side. He’s funny and smart and he comes on way too strong, but it all feels so genuine.
  • Sadness is like a spiderweb. You don’t see it until you’re caught up in it, and then you have to claw at yourself to try to break free.
  • We’re all full of flaws. Hundreds of them. They’re like tiny holes all over our skin. Sometimes we shine too much light on our own flaws. But there are some people who try to ignore their own flaws by shining light on other people’s to the point that the other person’s flaws become their only focus. They pick at them, little by little, until they rip wide open and that’s all we become to them. One giant, gaping flaw.
  • When you meet someone who is good for you, they won’t fill you with insecurities by focusing on your flaws. They’ll fill you with inspiration, because they’ll focus on all the best parts of you.
  • Sometimes people meet and none of the surface-level-stuff matters because they see past all that.
  • It’s weird. I used to be fine when I was alone. But now that I have you, I’m lonely when I’m alone.
  • It wouldn’t matter if that consisted of a conversation, a kiss or a three day fuck-a-thon. Betrayal hurts the same on any level when it’s your husband doing the betraying.
  • A good husband stands at his wife’s side through sickness and health. A good husband – a husband who truly loves his wife – wouldn’t cheat on her and then blame his infidelity on the act that he’s lonely.
  • It’s funny how you can be so happy with someone and love them so much it creates an underlying sense of fear in you that you never knew before them. The fear of losing them. The fear of them getting hurt.
  • Be whatever you want to be. Be a soldier, if you want. Or a lawyer or a CEO or a housewife. The only thing you shouldn’t be is embarrassed.
  • No matter how much you love someone – the capacity of that love is meaningless if it outweighs your capacity to forgive.
  • What’s the secret to such a perfect marriage? Our marriage hasn’t been perfect. No marriage is perfect. There were times when she gave up on us. There were even more times when I gave up on us. The secret to our longevity is that we never gave up at the same time.
  • The sight of him alone instantly calms me.
  • The longer it takes, we might even appreciate it a little more. Gratitude is born in the struggle.
  • But I promise you I am loving you harder this year than any year that came before it.

BOOK: DAVID & GOLIATH by Malcolm Gladwell


Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness. And the fact of being an underdog can change people in ways that we often fail to appreciate; it can open doors and create opportunities and educate and enlighten and make possible what might otherwise have seemed unthinkable.

Power can come in other forms – in breaking rules, in substituting speed and surprise for strength. The powerful and the strong are not always what they seem.

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CHAPTER ONE: VIVEK RANADIVE

  • There is a set of advantages that have to do with material resources, and there is a set that have to do with the absence of material resource – and the reason underdogs win as often as they do is that the latter is sometimes every bit the equal of the former.
  • The difference is the willingness to try harder than anyone else.

CHAPTER TWO: TERESA DE BRITO

His father started out by earning money for a living. He’s trying to teach his children how to be more frugal and to be more grateful and how to earn the money that you spend. But as a parent, he wants the best for his children and for them not to experience what he experienced. But where do you draw the line? It’s hard to teach your children how to earn their own money if you have the financial capacity already.(He who doesn’t have it, does it and he who has it, misuses it.)

  • ‘Any fool can spend money. But to earn it and save it and defer gratification – then you learn to value it differently.
  • Scarcity was a great motivator.
  • What is possible isn’t always right.
  • It is good to be bigger and stronger than your opponent. It is not so good to be so big and strong that you are sitting duck for a rock fired.

CHAPTER THREE: CAROLINE SACKS

‘If I’d gone to the University of Maryland, I’d still be in science’. Did you know that there is a higher percentage rate of people succeeding in life who came from little ponds? People from the highest institutions tend to think lowly of themselves compared to other people when you have the big pond as an environment.

  • Did they want to be a little fish in a big pond of a Big Fish in a little pond?
  • There is a point at which money and resources stop making our lives better and start making them worse.
  • We strive for the best and attached great importance to getting into the finest institutions we can. But rarely do we stop and consider whether the most prestigious of institutions is always in our best interest.
  • The challenge was to advance without worrying about opinion.
  • There are times and places where it is better to be a big fish in a little pond than a little fish in a big pond, where the apparent disadvantage of being an outsider in a marginal world turns out not to be a disadvantage at all.
  • How you feel about your abilities – your academic self-concept – in the context of your classroom shapes your willingness to tackle challenges and finish difficult tasks. It’s a crucial element in your motivation and confidence.
  • Sometimes, it’s not just how smart you are. It’s how smart you feel relative to the other people in the room.
  • We take it for granted that the big pond expands opportunities, just as we take it for granted that a smaller class is always a better class. We have a definition in our heads of what an advantage is – and the definition isn’t right. It means that we misread battles between underdogs and giants. It means that we underestimate how much freedom there can be in what looks like a disadvantage. It’s the little pond that maximizes your chances to do whatever you want.

THE THEORY OF DESIRABLE DIFFICULTY

2 Corinthians 12: 7-10 ‘I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong’

CHAPTER FOUR: DAVID BOIES

Dyslexia: There’s a possibility that they succeeded, in part, because of their disorder – that they learned something I their struggle that proved to be an enormous advantage.

  • Capitalization Learning is we get good at something by building on the strengths that we are naturally given. But desirable difficulties have the opposite logic. They excel by making their lives harder, by forcing them to compensate for something that had been taken away from them.
  • It requires that you overcome your insecurity and humiliation.
  • What is learned out of necessity is inevitably more powerful than the learning that comes easily.

CHAPTER FIVE: EMILY JAY FREIREICH

When a bomb falls, it divides the population into three groups: the dead, the near misses and the remote misses. When you are the remote miss, there’s a feeling of excitement with a flavour of invulnerability. A near miss leaves you traumatized while a remote miss makes you think you are invincible.

  • We are prone to be afraid of being afraid and the conquering of fear produces exhilaration. The contrast between the previous apprehension and the present relief and feeling of security promotes self-confidence that is the very father and mother of courage.
  • The idea of desirable difficulty suggest that not all difficulties are negative.
  • Traumatic experiences can have two completely different effects on people: the same event can be profoundly damaging to one group while leaving another better off.
  • In certain circumstances, a virtue can be made of necessity.
  • Courage is not something that you already have that makes you brave when the tough times start. Courage is what you earn when you’ve been through the tough times and you discover they aren’t so tough after all.
  • It is possible to emerge from even the darkest hell healed and restored.

CHAPTER SIX: WYATT WALKER

De Rabbit is de slickest o’ all de animals de lawd ever made. Martin Luther King’s war from equality among the people of color.

  • The figure of the trickster hero appears in the form of a seemingly innocuous animal that triumphs over others much larger than himself through cunning and guile.
  • The weak could compete in even the most lopsided of contests if they were willing to use their wits.
  • Dyslexics compensate for their disability by developing other skills that at times can rove highly advantageous.
  • There is an unexpected freedom that comes from having nothing to lose.
  • Our definition of what right is, as often as not, simply the way that people in positions of privilege close the door on those on the outside.
  • You got to use what you got.

CHAPTER SEVEN: ROSEMARY LAWLER

  • The Principle of Legitimacy is based on three things. First, people who are asked to obey authority have to feel like they have a voice. Second, the law has to be predictable. There has to be a reasonable expectation that rules tomorrow are going to be roughly the same rules as the rules today. Third, authority has to be fair. It can’t treat one group differently from another.

CHAPTER EIGHT: WILMA DERKSEN

We have all done something dreadful in our lives, or have felt the urge to.

A daughter was killed in a robbery in front of a restaurant. The dad reacted by imposing Three Strikes law when it comes to crime and imprisonment.

  • All we’re looking for are results and the results are my greatest reward.
  • The logic of the inverted U curve is that the same strategies that work really well at first stop working past a certain point.
  • If you lock up too many people for too long, the collateral damage outweighs the benefit.
  • There comes a point where the best intentioned application of power and authority begins to backfire.

CHAPTER NINE: ANDRE TROCME

  • The excessive use of force creates legitimacy problems, and force without legitimacy leads to defiance, not submission.

 

To finally summarize this book:

If you take away the gift of reading, you create the gift of listening. If you bomb a city, you leave behind death and destruction. But you create a community of remote misses. If you take away a mother or a father you cause suffering and despair. But one time in ten, out of that despair rises and indomitable force. You see the giant and the shepherd in the valley of Elah and your eye is drawn to the man with a sword and shield and the glittering armor. But so much of what is beautiful and valuable in the world comes from the shepherd, who has more strength and purpose than we ever imagine.

 What I love about this book is that it made me question what I already thought I knew, especially the bombing philosopy and the inverted u curve. Read it too, you’ll love it!

VENICE


I am currently reading David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell.

”Giants are not what we think they are. The same qualities that appear to give them strength are often the sources of great weakness. ”

Much of what we consider valuable in our world arises out of (these) one-sided conflicts. Because the act of facing overwhelming odds, produces greatness and beauty.

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