Tag Archives: Books

My 2018 Reading Challenge

Fact: I write better when I read more. Reading also helps me relax and unwind, especially after long days spent in front of the computer. I’ve found that I sleep better, too, when I choose to read before bed instead of watching TV or playing games on my phone.  Generally, I’m better when I read. And so it’s kinda odd that I stopped.

I used to read a lot when I was younger. I would read all the time, actually. Even in the shower. With the water running. I mastered the art of the one-handed bath when I was 12. I know, it sounds gross, but I promise I was always clean. See, I wasn’t kidding, I was always reading. Then came motherhood, and adulting, and work, and life. I had to make time for everything else. In doing so I lost time for my books, and in effect I lost time for myself.

For several years my book collection sat neglected, tucked away in drawers in my old room. Then, weeks ago my mom went on a mad cleaning spree because my sister was coming home from New York, and would be needing that old room in the Alabang house. Whatever stuff the boys and I left there had to be pulled out. And so, my books finally came home with me. 

Seeing them all felt like reuniting with a bunch of old friends. There were some still wrapped in plastic, unopened and unread. Some, I had actually forgotten that I had. Other books remained unfinished over the years, abandoned for one reason or another. And then there were the old favorites – Angela’s Ashes, Interview With The Vampire, The Green Mile, The Godfather, and others that I would love to read again. 

So this year, I’m challenging myself to read more. I owe it to those books that I spent all that money on (and those that my dad and MrC spent on, too!) And, more importantly, I owe it to me. I owe it to myself to make time to read because I know that I’ll be better off if I do. The mere thought of it excites me. Seriously, my idea of me-time is an afternoon on the couch with a good book, a cup of coffee, and a plate of cookies. Oras lang ang puhunan, guys. All I need to do is make time for it, and make time I shall. 

24 books is the goal this year. So far, these are the ones I’ve finished:

  1. Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty (My second favorite so far this year!)
  2. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami 
  3. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Heartburn by Nora Ephron
  6. Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
  7. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  8. The Client by John Grisham
  9. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
  10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  11. I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
  12. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell (My favorite so far this year!)
  13. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

I am currently reading The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I can’t believe I’ve never read this before!

I initially thought of posting reviews of the books I read this year, but I don’t think I’m gonna end up doing that anymore. Unless you guys want me to? Let me know!

Would You Like To Go Clubbing With Me?

This year has me rekindling my love for books and reading. Kindle in hand, I am off to conquer my 2014 GoodReads challenge of reading 24 books this year. I’m off to a good start with four books down -Wicked in January, I Wish They Taught Money in Highschool and The Cuckoo’s Calling in February, and Fahreheit 451 in March. I’m also more than halfway done with The Lover’s Dictionary, and also with Losing It. The best part about reading, now, for me is my book club, as dorky as that may sound. It’s actually because of the book club that I’m getting to read all these different books. 

The SBC and our BOMs

Is it just me, or am I sounding dorkier by the minute? SBC or Secret Book Club is, well, what our book club is called. Some friends of mine from high school started the club with a few other batch mates of theirs, and when I saw them talking about it on Twitter, I kinda invited myself to join. See, not only do I love to read, I like discussing the books I’m reading with other people too. MrC and I, for instance, can talk for hours about George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire books. We also talked about The Hunger Games Trilogy and The Millennium Trilogy during and after reading all of the books. I’m lucky to have married someone who is the same brand of dork as I am.

Then came SBC, and all of a sudden I was surrounded by other ladies who are the same brand of dork as I am, too. I absolutely love it. We chat endlessly on WhatsApp about our current reads and what books to check out next, we swoon over book lists and hard bound editions, and a couple of us have already declared that we want George RR Martin to be our lolo. Sorry, SBC girls for calling you dorks, but, well… 

Moving on. A BOM or Book of the Month is basically what the members of the club are required to read. For now, since we’re still a small group, we take turns suggesting new books. We’ve been assigning two books a month and we’ve been able to get by so far, which is perfect because that’s the same reading target I set for myself in GoodReads. I got to suggest a book for this April, and I’m a little ashamed to admit that I was the one who recommended Losing It. Haha! It was part of the reading list for the fiction writing class I joined earlier in the year, but I never got around to reading it. So I figured I’d suggest it as a BOM, and so far it’s gotten okay feedback from the others, so yay!

Happy hour book discussions (and gossip sessions)

We agreed to meet once a month in the Alabang area, since we are all from the south. Our first session happened earlier in March at Bugsy’s in Westgate. I actually didn’t plan on staying long, but believe it or not, Joei, Lar and I ended up hanging out until way past midnight. 

The SBC: (Top) Iza, Me, (Front) Lar, Joei, Russ and (Not in photo) Balot.
Photo belongs to Joei. Click on it to read her post about SBC.

Lar and I are both mommies, and I think we enjoyed being among adults and talking about random things that evening. Joei is a lawyer and an amazing blogger. Her blog, Joei and Me is actually on the list of my favorite blogs from one of my Sunday Sevens. Russ is a marketing master, and one of my favorite writing clients of the moment (hehe, thanks, Russ). Iza is a coach at Futbol Funatics, where Little MrC is enrolled for the summer. Go check them out! Balot, who wasn’t able to join is that evening, blogs over at I Am Corporate Junkie.

Over the last couple of weeks, our group has grown and now includes my friendly friends and mom-bloggers, Michelle, Janice, Mille and Toni. My cousin Reena has also recently joined, as well as Joei’s friend, Koryn, and Iza’s friend, Yam. and So yes, we are very open to accepting new members, and if any of you would like to join the fun, send me a message on Facebook or email me at mrspcuyugan@gmail.com. We meet in the south, though, and of course we’d love to have you guys from the north come and visit our nice little neighborhood. Would you like to go clubbing with me?

I’m going back to reading now! What are you reading today?

I’ve Been Taken Over By E-Books and Virtual Bookshelves

I once said (forcefully, I might add), that I would never go for e-books, that I would only read books made out of real paper. I found myself eating those words when MrC got me a Kindle for Mother’s Day two years ago. Honestly, I have never been happier. I have so many books stored in this single device! I no longer need to worry about pages getting ripped or folded in my bag. It’s light, easy to carry, and ever so convenient. I am completely hooked. Oh how amazing it would have been if I had one of these back in the day when Sweet Valley was an obsession!

Yes, I have always loved reading, but for the most part, I’m a fiction reader. I am challenging myself to read classics and more non-fiction this year, and so I have been filling my virtual bookshelf with both. I also started on a Good Reads reading challenge, and I’ve committed to reading 24 books in 2014. To tell you the truth, I’m a little behind on my reading. January is ending, and I’m not done with my first book yet. But I know I can catch up. Continue reading I’ve Been Taken Over By E-Books and Virtual Bookshelves