My Bookcase

Xylia Tales

In the other day’s post I mentioned my Web Comics finds. I have finished digging through the archives of Xylia, and will now be eagerly awaiting the updates every week.

The story is interesting, and the art is beautiful.

On a different note… at work today I was thinking about the training post. If the posting was for QC, I’d pounce on it. I know I really want to be facilitator. Oh well.

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan

The Hundred Secret Senses by Amy Tan. Where do I even begin?

I got the book months ago. When I finally picked it up from the pile, it took me weeks to finish. The beginning of the story didn’t really capture my fancy, but once I committed to reading it through to the end, I was actually captivated by the stories weaved by Libby-ah and her sister Kwan.

While reading, I had this vision of China that was much like Bangaan, the province where my grandfather came from. Mountains, rice paddies, cool, misty and peaceful. That was the Changmian I saw in my mind. But it wasn’t the same one I saw when Kwan was recounting stories of Miss Banner and the rest of them. In my mind I was seeing the China from the older Jet Li movies.

Kwan’s disappearance puzzled me. I couldn’t understand why she had to be gone. I guess it can’t be perfect right? Did she know she was not coming back? It seems like so.

The World of Yin. I’ve talked about this before – how, nearing my grandmother’s death, she sees visitors. Plenty of them who have come to see her. She often mentioned women, friends, who have passed away years ago, coming to ask her to go with them. For a long time, she chose to stay. But then we’d see her startled sometime, as if she was still seeing them there.

So do I think there’s a World of Yin? I’m not sure really. But it’s a comfort to know that when you go, you wouldn’t have to be alone and afraid.

Trojan Odyssey

This is the first Dirk Pitt novel I’ve read in years. I may have mentioned that I grew up with books – my own, my dad’s, mom’s and even my brother’s. Even when I was in gradeschool and highschool, I remember reading books that my dad bought for himself. You see, with the exception of my chick lit purchases, most books here are common property – everyone reads them (I think my mom reads chick lit now too). My dad was a Clive Cussler/Dirk Pitt fan and to no surprise, the whole family got hooked.

The first time I paid attention to Dirk Pitt, if I remember correctly, was when we vacationed at Hidden Valley Springs (oh my God, it must have been when I was around 9 or 10 – we went there several times) and my brother rented a video – Raise the Titanic! It was the movie adaptation of the Dirk Pitt adventure. When we went home, I gave reading the thick novels a try and I found that I actually liked them.

So two weeks ago, I picked up Trojan Odyssey along with several other books at the small bookshop in our building. I was surprised to learn about Dirk’s grown kids! So apparently there’s at least one other Pitt novel out there that we haven’t read before (Valhalla Rising) because the appearance of Summer and Dirk Jr was a big surprise.

The book gave me my dose of adventure, world history and mythology. Sometimes I really think that I didn’t major in the right subject in college. Why didn’t I study literature or archeology or even art history? Okay, they wouldn’t have suited me either. Hehe.

It was very interesting to read about the battle of Troy and Odysseus’ trip home to Ithaca and learn of other theories behind what or where it really happened. It was amazing how Cussler was able to tie in that story with what Specter was really all about. Truly genius.

I recommend this novel to anyone looking for an adventure though if you don’t know Dirk Pitt yet, I would suggest starting with the other novels because you got to have read other Pitt novels for you to really appreciate the talk of retiring and even of settling down with Loren.

These novels really do a good job raising environmental awareness, specifically consciousness of marine life which I don’t think gets the attention it deserves in this country. I had a Lit class held at the Marine Science Institute building in campus (because there were no other rooms available elsewhere) and that was the closest I ever was to Marine Science. Maybe in another life I’d take up Marine Science or something.

Little Earthquakes


This was the book my darling little dog chewed on two weeks ago. Too bad because it’s definitely a book I’d like to keep and reread someday. Good thing I got it from the used bookshop but it was in such good condition that when I got it, I felt it was a steal for being in very good/brand new condition.

It’s about four mothers who found friends in each other – who drew strength from one another to survive their own little earthquakes.

Of course I identified with Becky, a big woman who was happy and sure of herself. She had a near-perfect husband, and she was doing something she loved for work. Of all four friends, she seemed to be the one who was on top of things, she brought the most laughs and made the most sensible decisions. Even her mini crisis wasn’t so dramatic though issues with a mother-in-law are definitely serious business too.

I am not her and my life isn’t nowhere near hers, but she could be a mom and wife I’d like to be when I grow up.

When I do get pregnant, I’ll read this book again, and brace myself for motherhood and all that a baby would bring into my life. Along with What to expect when you’re expecting, I think this should be a must for every expectant mother. Plain, practical, non-glorified view of having a newborn.

Along with Weiner’s Good in Bed, Little Earthquakes is definitely one of my favorite books of it’s genre. It’s one of my favorite books. Period.

In search of lost treasures…


We first read Berry’s The Templar Legacy. I liked the action and enjoyed the adventure; I felt like I traveled through Europe through that book. I know I wrote two posts about reading it.

I wouldn’t say The Amber Room is exactly like it, it’s probably less complicated and less mysterious. But it is, nevertheless, also about looking for treasures long thought to have been lost. The difference here though is that there’s no shaking truth to be learned in the end. No beliefs to be shattered.

Disappointingly, it wasn’t the page-turner I had anticipated it to be though it did have it’s fair share of action. Christian Knoll came out more like a horny pig in the end than the calculated thief-killer that he was being played out to be at the beginning. I also couldn’t help but wish there was a different ending for Suzanne Danzer. She could have been so much more; and there was show of some remorse for the killing she had had to do in her life. I really thought she and Knoll would band together in the end.

What happened to the Cutlers was quite predictable, I mean, it was written all over. There was no clarity there though, in terms of why they had split up in the first place.

Their relationship made me think about my own relationships, specifically how having too much differences could be really hard on two people. In the past, boyfriend and I would speak harshly to each other – just as Rachel sometimes does to Paul – and then regret having said anything. I used to think that was more of Alfred’s problem, that he was the one who could really say hurtful things when he’s mad. He’s changed a lot after all these years and I do see his effort in restraining himself from saying anything he would regret. I remember saying in the past that we can’t take back words we’ve already uttered, even after saying sorry or being forgiven. The cut stays. I remind myself today not to make that mistake because I know I can be hurtful too.

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