2019 Read: New crossroads, new dreams

January has been an eventful month for me, and in those days of remarkable life switch, these are the Kindle reads I have devoured – running and numerology stuff. The energy flow from these books helps me deal with the new year gracefully. Not included here is the 11th book (because album only allows 10).

Today’s Best Nonfiction
A book is a window, if not a door, to realities we are part of and yet we pay less attention to or care nothing about. The world has a lot to teach us and we can learn, for one, through reading. These are by far the nonfiction reads engulfing me this month.
I’ve been wandering the past few days, remembering the history of things, marveling at progress I wish for my country to experience, too, savoring the convenience of traveling in 🚊 subways, restoring my chi by being in harmony with Mother Earth, falling in love with some amazing persons from the same soul family, and spending quality time with the five of me. I read a chapter or two just right after. I peek into a window to a different experience and it always, always feels good.

Some people like to start their day with coffee and end their day with wine, I like to start and end mine with books. How’s your 2019 read going so far?

The Straw Men

My portal to Mui Wo. That’s what I call this book, a thriller story that centers around a secret organization later known as The Straw Men. The book does two things to me – it takes me back to the place where I found it, where a piece of my heart belongs, where I left a love that lasts, and it also anchors me to the reality that this world is cruelest to those who are weak and inferior. The Straw Men is only fiction but it tells so much about the harsh truths many of us choose not to believe. It’s a haunting fiction because it’s real.

I finished the book when I was having a retreat back home early this month, but I had this photo taken in Mui Wo last month. Ahhh, books are portable time-machines!

Uncle Al Capone
When my brother @ebrhym09 gave me this book gift, he assumed I knew Al Capone. When I asked him who Capone is, he was shocked. He questioned how come a wide-reader and a mind-reader Andromedan like me doesn’t know this Earth legend.  I don’t want to lose my brother’s faith in me, so I told him one of the reasons why I read a lot is because I only know a little, and I want to know more. I added that I was excited to learn new things from this book. It has the autograph of the author herself, a grandchild of Al Capone.

True enough, I learned so much – from The Prohibition years in the US to the state of Italian migration in America, the Chicago Outfit, the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, the St. Valentine Massacre of 1929, among others.

The book was not written to clear Al Capone’s name from his crimes but it was successful in carving an image of a man the mainstream media of those times won’t find interesting enough.

The Survivor 

My current read is another book gift from my brother @ebrhym09 .
It’s the kind of book you can’t put down easily because it hurts not to know right away what awaits in the next chapter. It is indeed a fast and furious read! It talks not only about the CIA but also of some secret intel about classified operations all over the world that sound legit.

My brother’s book hauling skill is getting better. He’s now good in discovering non-mainstream brilliant authors.

J.S. Bach
Back in 2014, Bach’s music helped me conquer my downtimes. After reading this biography, I finally answered the reasons why. I’m not born a musician but I know how to feel the music, and I am also in tune with how music makes me feel.

I knew I was meant to meet Bach again five years ago. During his time he never would have thought and known that I’ll be healed by his music several decades later. The past few days, I’ve read him while playing my Bach playlist on YouTube.

If I remember it right, my best friend didn’t like Bach. I never understood why until after I got this book. A refreshing read after that mind-blowing Mitch Rapp book.

Order to Kill
The sequel to the Mitch Rapp book gift (from my brother @ebrhym09) is another eye-opener about the real world we live in. I discussed the story with my father who understands Rapp’s world better than I do.

The insightful convo with my father led me to NICA, which I never knew existed. It is our country’s version of the CIA of the 🇺🇸, the FSB of 🇷🇺, or the ISI of 🇵🇰 . But what surprised me more was what I found out after finishing the book. I looked into Vince Flynn and learned that he died of cancer back in 2013. That explains why Kyle Mills is the published author of the two Mitch Rapp books I’ve read.

Moving on, I’m currently into Jack Reacher’s world. Another book gift from my brother who knows the kind of worlds I’m drawn into.

P.S. I found another happy place. I conquered the mountains and a little bit of foreign urban jungle for the past days, and I’m going to spend the next few days meditating in a haven overlooking the beautiful sea 🌊. Carpe diem!

The Hard Way 

Jack Reacher’s story was one of my good reads last month. After I finished each chapter, I would call out my brother’s attention and tell him things he already knew about the book. Then he would tell me to wait until I unbox his new book finds for me. 😍 My future boyfriend should learn from my little brother.

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall 

I’m not a coffee ☕️ person but my awesome friends are. ✨
Old friends are like classic books – unforgettable, timeless, and often the ‘BESTsellers’. 😂🤓 No matter how many times a classic book changes its cover, it has the same old story you loved to read and you will always love to reread. Just like old friends, meeting them again will make you realize how things have changed since your last get together but they are still the same folks you enjoyed and you will enjoy spending crazy, fun, and random moments with. ✨

SenTEAmental post under the influence of @altspace.ph coffee. 💕
Thank you for the coffee that triggered happy childhood memories. 😸😸😸 Thank you for today, @owrange , @jimbocortes , @_girlfromthetropicssensei, and @carolinewanderlust . ✨

The Passion

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall had me crying to sleep even though it was a happy ending. Anne Brönte’s realism really gets you to the bone. Reading another classic in June but this interesting book by Jeanette Winterson got me, as well. “I’m telling you stories. Trust me.” Finishing this book over my fave Green with Envy at Yolk Cafe, my extended dining and living area.


And just like that June ended, leaving my heart footprints of how I danced through the music and the noise of the days that have passed by swiftly. I lost count of all the good reads that have kept me company except for those I have had the time to photograph and publish here. Nevertheless, the first half of the year saw me failing and succeeding, crying and laughing, thriving, conquering, dancing, running, writing, and living blissfully with a book or two, no matter the genre, no matter the story. 🌟
Today, I finished another classic book, the author of which I have had the opportunity to read way back. Jane Austen explored the realism of her time through her books, the story of most centers on the dependence of women in marriage for convenience, economic security, and social status. I have my personal take on these matters but I’d rather not write here. 🤣

Anyhow, today I am welcoming July with an even more grateful heart. ✨ I am determined to face the second half of the year with utmost curiosity, just like how it feels when turning every new page of every new book. Bring it on! ⚡️ P.S. 👋🏻 I welcome book recommendations, too, so if you have a title or an author you’d love to share with me, please-please-please do. I’ll be happy to hear from you. 💕📚 Happy reset, Earthlings! 🌱

The Color Purple 

I finished this book back in Hong Kong, on my first night, after getting lost around Central with @mis_tak and Gautham. I remember sending my sister @niz_autor a message the morning after, telling her how much I love the book that she let me borrow, and even if I didn’t tell her I knew she knew I cried. I did.

Alice Walker is a Pulitzer Prize awardee and she has won several other awards for her books on women empowerment and feminism. I told my sister that I want to become Alice Walker in this lifetime, too. I don’t mean to become an awardee but if that bonus happens, I would gladly accept it. I just want to become a writer who inspires. I don’t know how many people have read this book, perhaps fewer than the readership of many best selling authors of today, but I know that those who read her will read her more. I know they gained a much broader perspective of life and of being a woman in a patriarchal world.

Walker’s book was not even written in proper English grammar, and the plot is simple, but she made something extraordinary about the real stories of the lives of people, of women, and of a history that keeps repeating itself even until today.

This book is a treasure. Someday, I want to author a book people will keep in their bookshelves, too. One day! 🙏🏻 I miss the ladies I have been with while I was inside the pages of this book, and I miss HK, where I hesitated to turn to its last page.


I promised to come back whenever I am in Hong Kong so I did. 🇭🇰
My new portal to Mui Wo – a book about how women navigate the opportunities and constraints of our lives, both personal and professional.
P.S. What are the odds of me getting myself the same tea set at the Village Bakery! 💕

Oh, I can live on this island. ⛴

…currently devouring books!


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