2018 Read: A year of reawakening

The year that was marked my 9th personal year. It was a year of reflection, completion, and preparation for the new nine-year cycle ahead. I did a thorough and crazy assessment of the life I am living, of my fears and doubts, of my starseed journey, and of everything that matters to me. It was a year of re-embracing the beings within me and becoming more involved with helping other women. Amidst all these, I always had a book to keep me company.

These 2018 book reads made my year of reawakening a bearable one.

New year, new reads. My first night of the year was spent with The Devil and Ms. Prym, and with @refinyaj.

Last Sunday, I finished my first marathon for the year in preparation for my run in Kyoto next month. I also finished my second book about Ghost and his track team, the Defenders.
I have authors I wish I grew up with. Lemony Snicket is one of them. I read Snicket’s books when I was already in college and my journey with him all started with his Series of Unfortunate Events, which I enjoyed reading with my younger brother and sister. We then decided to collect all of his books. 😊
13 Suspicious Incidents somehow tells us about how children make sense of the happenings around them, involving other children, as well as, adults; how adults around them treat them affect how children view the world they grow up with; and how, what and why we should value our kids’ curiosity and wisdom. There is so much to learn from them, and the grown-up people who were around us when we were kids could vouch for that. Even I.
My sister and I became members of The Mysterious Benedict Society in 2016. The first book of this series introduced us to Reynie, Sticky, Kate and Constance and our first mission was guided with clues and riddles Mr. Benedict has hidden for us. Now, we have gathered again for a new mission we are yet to know as soon as Sticky and Constance arrive. Let the journey begin. Oh, Pit Senyor!
I can’t believe this book. I’m at a loss of words at how riveting Zeitoun is. One of the most disturbing yet inspiring non-fiction I’ve ever read. Indeed, a heartfelt read.

I opened March last week with a book that I’ve been wanting to read after watching one of its film adaptations a few years back. The book 時をかける少女, The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, of celebrated Japanese author Yasutaka Tsutsui was first published in 1967. Books, literature, and movies about time traveling and space travel are close to my heart. Unlike the characters in the book who have figured out a way to leap through time, I’m a time traveler who forgot exactly how. 😂😂😂

7Can’t get enough of Yasutaka Tsutsui! Current read for this week is his famous book, Paprika. The book explores various interesting taboo issues, considering the setting of a conservative Japanese society. Paprika is a good companion in traffic-jammed mornings and evenings. It’s a journey to the deepest, unexplored parts of human’s subconscious. Someday, when I learn to read Nihonggo like a native, I promise to read this book again in Japanese.On another note, this was a memorable night for me and @refinyaj. We seldom hang out lately because of our respective commitments, but whenever we do, lovely, fantastic, heart-beats-fast things happen. 😂

“Our hopes, dreams, aspirations, fears, comic instincts, great ideas, fetishes, senses of humor, and desires all emerge from this strange organ – and when the brain changes, so do we.” – Incognito, The Secret Lives of Brain. ♡

My Paprika hangover made me read this – Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by David Eagleman. Our brain runs its own show and most of its activities, functions, operations are beyond the control of the conscious mind, says Eagleman in this book. In fact, our consciousness has the least role in the operation of the brain, and I would agree. One major takeaway from this book is that we’re not perceiving what’s out there, but we’re perceiving whatever our brain tells us. An interesting topic for discussion. Definitely one of my best book companions this month. ♡
P.S. I already figured out why, for the longest time, I’m drawn to brain science and the human psyche. Things, somehow, make sense now.

March is a notable month for me. I call it Days of Awakening – of reaffirmed beliefs, of buried memories of distant past, of puzzling vision of desired future, of multidimensional self-acceptance, and of young self’s dreams; and adding to the chaos and order of these various phenomena inside of me are the voices of these legendary minds. 😁
Time slows down when I’m devouring a book and whenever I do, I feel like more years are added to my life. What have you been up to this month?
P.S. Missing here are the books, How to Use Your Enemies and Why Am I so Clever. These will also be shipped to my father’s place.
I seldom use the words ‘super duper’ in my writing but yeah, my flight is super duper delayed and I’m grateful for Eileen for keeping me company. Ottessa Moshfegh’s remarkable piece is another Penguin contemporary fave. The storytelling is very natural that it felt like Eileen was just across me, telling the story. It’s an example of a long short story. Thank you for recommending this book, @ianisms. Again, the flight is super duper delayed so I’m down to my next read.
12I traveled back to 16th century Japan, the era of the samurai, when the names Ieyasu, Nobunaga, Katsuyori, some of the powerful warlords, dominated. It was the time when warlords conquered castles and struggled for supremacy over the land. Reading The Samurai’s Tale of Erik Christian Haugard is akin to listening to my grandfather’s recollection of his youth and life during the war – poetic yet detailed. A lot of samurai wisdom and haiku from this book. Totemo suki! ~ Thank you for this book gift, @wanderwomanwonders! Next up is The Courtesan and the Samurai, another treasure from you.
13I’m currently in Japan, Meiji Era when a civil war broke and the new capital was no longer called Edo. I already met the characters of my time-travel this week – a samurai’s wife who ended up becoming a courtesan during the war, and a young samurai defeated in battle – and this is about their forbidden love. For some reasons, I love to keep coming back to the Meiji Era. I feel like I spent most of my past lives in those times.
On another note, I revisited BonChon after knowing my idol @daraxxi is endorsing it. ❤❤❤ Happy time-traveler tummy!
P.S. Another book-gift from @wanderwomanwonders before she left for Land of the Rising Sun.
14I came back to the present from the Meiji Era yesterday, convinced that I will look for the other books of Lesley Downer to complete the quartet. I will also collect her non-fiction books.
Many women in Japan, during the civil war, had only two choices – to die as a samurai’s wife or to live as courtesans, geishas, and concubines. Many of these women had to find themselves sheltered and trapped inside the walls of the Floating World, in Yoshiwara, just to survive.
Downer’s passion for Japan brought her to uncovering the plight and lives of women during those times when women were only objects of pleasures and were only for recreation. It’s a sad reality that exists even until today in some parts of the world. I will go back and complete the quartet. And next time I visit Japan, I will make sure to visit the historical sites the author has mentioned in the book.
For the meantime, I’m in Spain with Carlos Ruiz Zafon to explore the Cemetery of Forgotten Books. Reading another birthday book gift from @wanderwomanwonders, who will also celebrate her special day this week.
35The secret to freedom and success is no longer a secret. Many people know more than what secret there is, but we just don’t have the resources at the moment, no courage to take risks, and well, many of us love to procrastinate.
I finished reading two Kokology books last night at the book store while mulling to buy that Psychology book I have always been dreaming of buying, but I ended up taking out with me Napoleon Hill because I got curious about what his brain is made of. 😂
Reading takes me into the subconscious of diverse humans, that reading minds has become my unconscious-conscious habit.
15Now that I no longer spend so much time on social media, except when I needed to for work, I get to spend more time working on the research papers of my clients, my school works, and my book reads. ♡ Hashtag adulting 2.0.
16June was a month of endings and beginnings, and in between my inner struggles in coping with the anxiety of ending and starting all over again, I spent most times in 1939, Nazi Germany. Markus Zusak’s tale told by an extraordinary storyteller, Death, is grim but brilliant in so many ways. How Death has told the life stories of different people during the Nazi time is truly life-changing.
17Timeless and ruthless. I was in college when I read this for the first time. It didn’t make sense to me back then. Now, I can’t help but get goosebumps.
18Ryunosuke Akutagawa is considered the Father of the Japanese Short Story. After reading his autobiographical stories, I got curious about his life and his other works. I also love the fact that this book is translated by Jay Rubin, who translated most of Haruki Murakami’s works. ♡
The Big Bad Wolf
The moment we choose a book to read and keep, we give it life. The moment we open its pages, we give it a new story. Reading a book is a lonesome pursuit for some people, and most of the time it is, but reading always leads us to different types of awakening we will never experience otherwise. My book finds at the Big Bad Wolf.♡
The BBWOne tells you to do what you are afraid of, another one shares thoughtful tips to last each week of the year, and the other book takes you to the real world of teenagers in Japan and to the universal realism that adults try to run away from. Three different genres that taught me one thing this week — books will always be better companions on a long and frustrating commute, on days hit by nostalgia, and on silent, cold nights when the heart is confused
“Sometimes in the tiny moments of life light suddenly is shed on our whole existence.” ~ James Joyce
My twin sister @refinyaj has ugly penmanship (HAHA) but I’m blessed that she’s sharing with me a huge portion of her Beautiful Heart, every time, all this time, ever since, and especially on my moments of surrender. Yeah, coz even a Starseed like me is vulnerable to earthly heartbreaks and pains, too. Even a dragon like me cries, too.
Arigatou for the chocolate, Jay-san! “Eat me while you’re crying…” is one of the most beautiful phrases ever written. It surpasses all the beautiful novels I’ve read combined. Your drawing of a face is ugly, too, but I love you more despite it all. 😜😘 Thank you for allowing me to cry an ocean in your crib, too. I feel better now. All is well. 💚
It’s a milestone if we can be good friends with the people we love but we can’t be with. Friendship is one of the best relationships there is. McGinnis’ The Friendship Factor is a reminder that like other relationships, our friendships need some nurturing, too.
Now off to the hilarious world of politics in DC with Jennifer Close’s The Hopefuls. Thank you, @anything.photographed, for this. 😊
I finished the book I borrowed from @anything.photographedlast Monday. It surely was a good one. That book will always remind me of those moments in the Hammocks when I got to live life simpler. I loved it and the bits and pieces of wonderful memories that I remember, like the rare appearance of frogs at night, the sound of tweeting birds in the morning, the fresh air, the ray of sunshine shining through, my me-time in one of the hammocks, my ginger tea at breakfast, the magical sound of Dan’s ukulele, the morning chitchats, the laughters, and my list can go on and on. I want to go back there and just stay to read books. I definitely will.
Now, I’m reading the book my brother and I bought when he brought me to this bookshop he discovered while he was in Manila. You Forever by T. Lobsang Rampa is his most sought after title aside from The Third Eye and The Wisdom of the Ancients. It means I have to be away again from this plane for some time.
My sister @niz_autor and I were scouring book gifts for our godchildren when I stumbled upon this book. I knew this book and I found each other at an opportune time. At this point in life, the crossroads are more apparent to me. Every little choice made or unmade will in one way or another impact the lives of some people and that of my own.
Every door opened and closed will surely alter my life’s course for the better or otherwise, nobody really knows. So I find it amazing that while bizarre things happened last week while I was reading this book, Daddy God has also opened for me a lot of promising doors. ♡I’ve always been an Open Door person and while time sometimes has its way of turning me into a coward, my stubborn and brave heart still rules. I’m excited for what lies beyond these opened doors I’ve entered, and I’m ready for the life-changing discomforts that await. Thank you, Universe. Don’t worry. I got this!
Enjoyed my sojourn in the 1950s London with the accidental time-traveler and journalist, Rosie. Another random find when @niz_autor and I were having our Booksale date. While time traveling can be done, not everyone can do it, especially at this time when time traveling is only a popular theme in fiction stories. In my here and now, I’m only a fiction. 😊 Special shoutout to my Earth Fairy sister @karolinkei of @chingkalingcreatives for this crystal necklace and for these meaningful charms. 💚
25I met Elka today. She is telling me her story and how she ended up in the postapocalyptic wilderness of the Wolf Road. We do what we do to survive. 🐺
Over the weekend, after recovering from a 10KM race, I also finished two books that took me a while to finish. The Book of Tea is a very interesting take on the tea culture and ceremony differences between the East and West. I’m a tea person and I bet I was also a master of tea ceremony in one of my past lives. 😀 Reading more about tea made me feel like remembering the familiar.
Finishing The Wolf Road, meanwhile, had me crying. I feel Elka, the narrator and the main character of the story, so much. The last paragraph of the book resonates with me because I know how it feels to find a trail of someone you are longing to see again. I, too, is waiting for my Wolf, who is surely enjoying its time in the wild, to come back. I also long to hear that howl only my Wolf does. 😊
26Two weeks ago, I finished rereading The Jungle Book. When I read it the first time, I was 11, it was just a book about the animals I could find in the jungle. It was my first encounter with Wolves. Now, Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book is more than just an animal story set in an Indian forest. It also speaks a lot about the society and social system in India.
The first part of this book also included Kipling’s other jungle stories like the Rikki Tikki Tavi, The White Seal, Toomai of the Elephants, and Her Majesty’s Servants. Now, I’m finishing the second book, Kim, while waiting for my twin sis @refinyaj to finish her work. P.S. Another BBW find.
In our aspiration, success, and failure, the ego is our enemy, and I couldn’t agree more. Thank you for this good read, @dhafdashduff! Thank you for introducing me to Ryan Holiday. He’s definitely the kind of author whose books I want to keep on the shelf for future re-reads. Reading this book gave me the opportunity to do some writing exercises, as well. 😊
I was introduced to Stoicism back in my freshman year in UP. I had two Philosophy courses that made me read Marcus Aurelius and Seneca, two of the famous Stoics in ancient Greece, among others. Those two Philo courses also eventually led me to obsess myself with metaphysics. 😁 Going back to Stoicism – it is one of my inner compasses that helped me navigate through the hardships of my working student life and it is still helping me brave my three-dimensional life in this overrated real world. I’ve always been a stoic.
When Ms. @dhafdashduff gave me this book, I couldn’t wait to read it because (1) I love reading @ryanholiday, it feels like he is actually in front of me, talking to me like we’ve known each other for a long time; (2) and the book is inspired my Stoicism’s Perception, Action, and Will.
After finishing the book, I told Ms. Daphne that reading this book is like reading a summary of my diary and journal entries since forever. Haha. The book also found me just when I needed it most. Thank you for this one, Ms. Daphne. ❤
P.S. Created a few dreamcatchers today!
Why am I happy seeing this? Simply because it’s happening. It’s right in front of me. It’s not just a plan and a dream anymore. I’m journeying with it and I’ve never been as happy.
One of the book gifts I received for my birthday this year.
31When I got back from Apo Island (where I finished Ms. @dhafdashduff‘s book Resisting Happiness), this book and Bailey found their way to me or I found my way to them. 😊An easy and heartwarming read. I cried in some chapters. Haha. Bailey’s adventures helped me conquer the traffic and my four-hour daily commute.
We have four dogs back home and I can’t wait to play with each of them soon.
32Yesterday, I finished reading Julie Otsuka’s book, The Buddha in the Attic. It’s a riveting tale about the lives of the Japanese women shipped to America to become wives of Japanese men farming the American lands. It’s a truthful ‘fiction’ about the lives of the Japanese in the land of the enemy prior to and during the Second World War. I had to retell the story to friends before I figured out why the book got its title “The Buddha in the Attic”.Today, Nyx (my Kindle Paperwhite) is celebrating its 6th year with me. 😁 Cheers to more time-traveling together, Nyx! ♡

<div>33Don’t judge the book by its title. 😊 When was the last time I read a genre that of Loretta Chase? Eons of years ago. Silk is for Seduction is definitely a breather from my 2018 reads. It also made me appreciate dresses more. 💚 A lovely read while waiting for @dhafdashduff.

I intend to make my three-day off more productive at home with my lablabs. Hello again, Leyte! 💚

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