stacked: monthly book picks

True to my ever dorky self, I keep a list of books to watch out for every month. I have slight tendency to go haywire in a bookshop because of the need to purchase everything I get my hands on.

Does that happen to anyone else or is that just me?

If it happens to you too, then this list might help. These are books you can check out first so you don’t get lost in the sea of perfection that is books. If not, then these may be books you wanna start with. They’re all fun reads with a certain degree of social significance. Although all of them are already available, I’m aware that some books stores may not carry them yet, so you might want to check online to get them (e.g Amazan, Goodreads, etc). Anyway, onto the list.

1. The Mechanical by Ian Tregillis

If you’ve read any of Tregillis’ work, then you must be expecting a lot (like me, obviously). The first thing I read of his was the Milkweed Triptych where the retelling of the second World War was so vivid and believable; I could almost imagine British warlocks and Nazi super soldiers being introduced into history textbooks. After that, I just got every single book he wrote, and he has never failed to deliver the same amount creativity and intrigue since. I would go so far as saying that he’s one of my favorites from this genre.

At the core of The Mechanical, which is a new imagery for steam punk, is the age-old question of determinism versus one’s free will and how it relates to artificial intelligence. Despite the complexity of that, it’s told in a very engaging context where ‘clakkers’, mechanical men, are powered by alchemy to protect and defend the Brasswork Throne – now, the only superpower. Trust me, even if this isn’t usually a genre you go for, this book is a worthy read. It delves into a lot of different topics which I think you’ll enjoy.

2. Find Me by Laura van den Berg

It’s for the scifi-loving book lovers who gravitate towards strong female leads and a steady dose of mystery. The book chronicles Joy’s life after she discover she’s immune from an Alzheimer’s-like pandemic that wipes out most of the population and how she makes sense of the world by studying survivors of that disease.

3. The Unfortunate Importance of Beauty by Amanda Filipacchi

If you follow me on twitter, you would know that I’ve been raving about this book for awhile. The humorous and quirky writing style that Amanda took was so strategic and appropriate in delivering a stance on a very prominent social issue (that you all know I feel strongly about), the concept of beauty.

The book is about two friends, one ‘objectively’ beautiful and the other not (for lack of a better word), who attempt to make the people around them see who they truly are. Here’s the catch: they do it while masking their appearances. It’s a light and funny read with an undertone that persuades you to question your personal identity and how other people see it and shape it.

4. The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

Much to my dismay, I have not read this book yet, but my recommendation is based on the massive postive reviews it got and the summary I was sent to read. I’m definitely getting a copy soon though. Also, I’ve supported ALL the books this author wrote which includes Never Let Me Go.

Personally, I loved the intimacy of the relationship between Axl and Beatrice as they remember their past and see how much effect it has on their future. I’ll definitely tell you on a different post if the book holds true to the summary I got.

5. Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

Faudet’s writing style and content is definitely not for everyone. There has been polarized views on the ‘dirty’ aspect of it. Personally, I thought it was sensual, but delivered with a certain degree of sophistication and humor that reads Faudet all the way.

I could keep describing this book to you and how it must have looked when I read this while walking around, shopping with a few friends, but I’d much rather leave you with quote that I think underlines how he was able to deliver a book that a lot of readers can keep referencing back to.

“She was a curious girl who loved the smell of old books, chasing butterflies and touching herself under the covers.”

So those are the books that are breaking my bank – okay, maybe just some of them. I tried to give you as much diversity as I could to cover everyone’s preferences. If you want more entries like this, you can email me or comment below. You know I love talking about my favorite books so if you enjoy reading about them too, I’d love to make more.

Also, there will be a massive announcement on the post after this so stay tuned – especially my fellow book geeks. You’ll love it.

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a #dearme poetry

Because I know that 16-year old me will not appreciate a narrative advice from a 23-year old,

I wrote a poem that she’ll most likely pretend to brush off (but go back to when the lights are off).

So #dearme at 16,
you dearme copy

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the irony of being alone

ALONE

In my solitude I stood,
unwavering, unmoved.
I no longer feel or fear.
I only stare from afar.
No more crowds of faceless people
no longer a life of deceit.
I am free.
I am alone.
Let me be.

On my bed I lay motionless,
questions unresolved linger in my head.
I may not feel or fear
but I know no happiness yonder.
I no longer hurt
but I too no longer live.
So I am free
but I am alone.
Should I let it be?

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the root of my faith

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I ran.
I hid.
I screamed.
In anger, I renounced him.
In sorrow, I left him.
In pain, I blamed him.

For he who does great things, I choose to see the bad.
For he who gifts with love, I decide to focus on the hurt.
For he who never left me, I accuse indifference and cruelty.

I am a sinner and he is my God.
I am not perfect and my faith is far from that
but today I decide to surrender my life and my heart
to my Creator who dwells above.

(A. Relloso)

*This poem I wrote a few days back was featured in a friend’s photo blogging site yesterday. I thought I wanted to share it with my readers too.

by her side (a poem by the 12 year old me)

Disclaimer: Before anyone gets the funny idea that I’ve crossed over to the hopeless romantic, can’t eat, can’t sleep, truly, madly, deeply inlove side, let me crush those hopes with the sad truth that I am still the rational, calculating, priorities first kinda girl who does a little flirting on the side. We all need a little flirting right?. *winks* This poem was from when I was 12. I have no idea who I wrote it for or why because as I remember I discovered the word crush in high school.

I found it extremely amusing though so here goes.

By Her Side (the 12 year old me)

Falling for you makes me wonder,

how everyday your smile makes me fonder,

how I can think of a thousand words to say

but around you I seem to fade away.

I know you like her, I can see.

Don’t worry I’m not asking for sympathy.

I just don’t understand why it still hurts me

knowing that she makes you so happy.

I just hope and pray she’ll love you

the way I’ve always wanted to.

But if she ever makes you cry,

I’ll be by your side to wipe you tears dry.

the writer in me

I fell in love with writing at very young age.

You see I was a very happy kid and I’ve learned that when I wasn’t, everyone was worried so I’d write all my troubles away until they were all gone, until even the slightest trace has left me.

At 21, I feel like 1/2 of a 50 year old married couple rekindling the passion lost and rediscovering what once was. Like most writers who lost their way, I drowned in all of the works which I wrote because I have to not because I love to. My ink penned the obligations, requirements and expectations from college, work and every other hectic thing I allowed to crowd my life.

Gone was the excited, giddy little kid who would jump around after writing a piece. I was no longer that proud 5 year old who made her own paper back covers, almost got stapled trying to make her so called book look like the ones she’s read.

I miss that feeling of accomplishment and joy so I promised myself on new year that I’d write again, FOR ME. 

So here I am, writing my way to a new blog hoping my readers don’t make the same mistake I did. Don’t lose the passion for writing, not to conform, not to earn, not for anything. Trust me, it’s not worth it.

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Blogger’s Note: I’d like to thank one of my followers, who also happens to be my father, for graciously advertising my poems on his new photo blog http://photosfromajuanderer.wordpress.com/. I haven’t written one in a while and the positive comments from his writer and professor friends have been great. Thanks guys!

Second note, I’ll be reblogging the poems along with the photos to this site too.