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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things i wanna do with you

or in the words of the romantic, the couple bucket list.

I’ve had series of posts about real heavy social issues like bullying, social disorder and depression the past few weeks and I thought now’s the time to set a lighter tone. After all this is passport to rainbows. It should have different colors, not always blues and indigos. Here’s your touch of something sunny yellow and love-filled red.

blank-page

photo by Artsy, your quirky blogger

Hold your horses people. My typography is far from perfect but I thought my effort to make something as romantic and cheesy is enough to win you over. You know how much I suck at that. So here’s my little attempt to join the bandwagon of couples with their heart-filled eyes and creative gestures.

 

movie suggestions of the month

Heya.

This post is for those who enjoy a good old film just like me and would like to know which new ones to come see next. I’m gonna go over suggestions for movies that piqued my interest as much as I can because I know when a movie marathon ensues, it cannot be stopped.

Here goes.

1. The Normal Heart

So if you’ve been online often or watch a lot of TV, you’ve probably heard of this movie. It’s produced by Brad Pitt, starring Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer and Julia Roberts. (Not a bad looking cast, I know. I mean who doesn’t?) The movie explores the beginning of AIDS in the 1980s, the plight of the gay community to fight for their health, survival and rights, and the sociopolitical landscape the characters struggle to be heard in . It will push you to see the stark contrast and the obvious similarities of their stories from and to the present day.

2. The Maze Runner

This is the movie adaptation of the James Dashner’s world famous dystopian series which I talked about a few entries back. Here’s the link: https://byunanonymous.wordpress.com/2014/05/20/the-maze-runner-trilogy/. It’s one of my absolute favorite series and that says a lot because I hold dystopian novels to such a high regard. I’m keeping my fingers crossed, well everything else that can be crossed, that this becomes a success because it will be just frustrating to have a lackluster movie version of such a great book.

Another plus, especially to all Teen Wolf fans, Dylan O’brien is playing the lead role, Thomas. -winks-

3. Kill Your Darlings

The movie is based off a widely controversial murder in 1944 that threads together the life of three well known writers: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.  More than the crime is a story of choices and the consequences that come with it, where structure and form in life and literature isn’t as easy as black and white nor is it pretty as metered poetry.

If you’re a Potterhead and continuously support the amazing roles Daniel Radcliffe continues to play then this is definitely for you. I would say it’s one of his best portrayals to date. The film features the mysterious hottie, Dane Dehaan who is also know for his role in the Amazing Spiderman.

4. If I Stay

This teen romance movie is actually a recommendation from a twitter friend and it’s coming to theaters this 22nd of August. To most of you who know me, you already figured out that I really am not into the cheesy romcoms although I have my moments but trust me the plot of this one is actually pretty interesting. It follows the life of a sheltered girl, played by Chloe Moretz, who meets ‘THE GUY’ but unfortunately suffers a massive accident that forces her to a state of coma. While there, she finds reasons that will lead ultimately to her choice- to stay or go.

That’s it for now my lovelies and I will keep you posted for any more cool trailers and movie recos I chance up on. Oh and by the way, some movies in my reco list are out and available while the others, you have to wait a bit longer.

 

i’m just not into him (the guy best friend stereotype)

Dedicated to every girl and guy who were ever told they’re more than friends

Okay so most people in my family (and some from my peer group too) think I was in a relationship with this guy- an old friend. I used to be okay with the taunting and the teasing- when we were friends at least- but lately it seems it’s all they ever string my life with. It just comes across as juvenile to me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m okay with a good love story. In fact, I look forward to it during family sit downs because that’s probably the only part of my life I don’t consider a damn priority. Hearing it from other people makes me feel normal.

What is it that truly gets to me?

Clearly it’s not just the matter of getting paired up with a guy I was once friends with. That’s just the symptom. The disease is the overwhelming feeling that my own family (some of them) might know very little about me if they do at all. Don’t they get it yet?

I HATE BEING PAIRED UP WITH GUYS ESPECIALLY MY FRIENDS.  I cringe a little each time they do  (not because my friends aren’t attractive- they are). If I am casually seeing someone, dating or in a relationship, I’d downright say it. They don’t have to wring it out of me. To me it seems that they’re saying I’m incapable of keeping strictly platonic relationships with guys which is sad because I don’t have many female friends.

There are things only a your guy friend can do and everyday I’m thankful I have a few. 🙂 (photo from http://www.pinterest.com)

I love my guys. I DO

BUT…

that doesn’t mean I picture a romantic future with them if I even want that at all (another issue all together). Except for my few good moments, I’m mostly a cynic for relationships and marriage and fairy tale endings. Shouldn’t that be red flag enough?

I’m not sure if it’s projection or tradition but the way they see all male friends I talk about or hang out with, it’s as if they’re all relationship material. My best friend for instance is one attractive man and I’ve known him forever which means we’re super comfy around each other. Their thought process is he’s a guy. She’s a girl. They’re always together. They must be a couple. Let’s tease her and find out. When did that stereotype start and who suggested it? I’m gonna go and hunt him down because I wanna be able to spend one day, share one experience I had with him and not have it be turned into some dramatic romcom.

photo from diaryofthebrokenhearted1220.wordpress.com

photo from diaryofthebrokenhearted1220.wordpress.com

Maybe most their guy friends (or girl friends for the men) courted them or if they didn’t it’s because they’re shy or whatever lame excuse they have for not dating someone they like. I’M NOT IN THAT SITUATION AT ALL. If I like a guy and want to be relationship with him (which is not very often), I’d tell him. I won’t stay on the friendzone. Anybody who truly understands me knows that.

I know society is partly responsible for it too. At some point we’re painted a picture where guys and girls cannot be friends without developing deep-seated romantic feelings for one another (total bullshit if you ask me) so most adults and even some youngsters too expect that to be the norm.You have to understand though that new norms are created everyday especially in areas of human life as subjective as friendship.

Don’t expect every person to fit the stereotype because there are always deviances like me. I have a bunch of male friends and if society never labeled it weird, I wouldn’t even be writing this article.

It feels normal to me.

The bottom line is I love my friends- guys, girls and all in between- regardless of how people perceive our relationship to be. It just gets exhausting explaining myself sometimes. Any suggestions on what I should do?

proof that nothing ‘productive’ happens after 2 AM

*nervous laughter*

photo from parisapartment.wordpress.com –

To the MAN of my dreams (literally),

Often I wonder why I can see you better with my eyes closed, when sandman’s dust has me under its spell. Does it mean I’m incapable of welcoming you- any semblance of you- into my days as much as my nights? Maybe I have- once- but you never came or worse, you did but decided to break my heart.

Truly I was never romantic. Just the mere suggestion of the word makes me cringe but some part of me, most likely the part I suppressed so purposefully that it can only haunt me in my slumber, still believes you too are somewhere wondering where I am.

When (or if) our paths finally cross, know that I’m not expecting a walking checklist or somebody’s reinterpretation of perfect. I’m a rebel that way.

I don’t have many delusions of love or relationships or forever because some time ago my dad sat me down and told me how loving someone is messy and consuming and scary and … real. There won’t be a fairy godmother to ward off  vile creatures (you know what I mean- the slutty kind) or a magic wand to make the other eternally agreeable to my every whim. It will take work. Trust me, I get that.

If I may, I ask that you be patient with me. I’ve been hurt a lot you see- mostly by people I trusted blindly. I may ignore you, only take a second to look at you or push you away completely but if you see a future with me, hang in there. I assure you I ALWAYS notice. Soon enough  you’ll win me over if you haven’t already.

When I close my eyes, I imagine waking up to a faint burnt smell from the kitchen where you tried to cook us breakfast. Teasing you about your little mishap and you feigning hurt will be our morning’s humor. I’ll laugh at ALL your jokes and be your biggest cheerleader on every game even if you don’t ever leave the bench. You’ll indulge my reading habits and my obsessive need to collect comic books. You even find my inability to ride a bike or serve a volleyball charming.

We’d spend lazy afternoons in our sweats watching a movie or playing Call of Duty. Together we’d pursue our passions and be happy for each other’s every accomplishment. We’ll never forget to say sorry or leave a fight unresolved. I’ll learn to give you space when you ask for it but never be too far for when you need a hug or a kiss or just someone to assure you it’s all gonna be okay. Other people’s opinions about us won’t matter because I care more about you than them anyway. We’ll be each other’s best friend and we’ll grow up, be silly, see the world and be happy together.

I don’t expect our relationship to be perfect like the fairy tales I used to read or like the romcoms my sister quotes all the time. I’d rather have one that’s real and yes, messy and imperfect and at times, difficult but it will be ours and that’s so much better. I don’t know how much longer I’ll be waiting. I just know you’re worth it. For now, I’ll see you in my dreams.

Still metaphorically sleeping,

Yours

Mr. Chivalry and Ms. Gender Equality

How many of us women expect a guy to open the door for us, pay for dinner, offer to carry the bags or take our puppies for walks? And yet, we also expect to be treated equally and with as much independence as anyone is allowed.

I know, I know guys. It sounds ultra confusing and it just underlines the prehistoric argument that women are fickle and are from a different planet. Bear with me as I give a you peek into our allegedly differently wired brains.

loveit

Patriarchal paradigms took decades to destroy and to this day there are still semblances of that kind of discrimination so forgive us, male species, if we feel apprehensive whenever you selflessly offer us a hand. Like most people, there are days when we feel we have to stand up for ourselves even in the smallest of threatening circumstances- carrying our luggage, opening the door or calling a cab home. I’m sure this also happens when we take care of you too much like bringing you cookies during boys night out or making you wear knitted pink cardigans. Emasculating right? Well, deviating from the take-care-of-us habit makes us feel we can take care of ourselves, we’re our own people- which is true of course. It doesn’t mean we do not appreciate your instinct to help out when you see fit. Accept that there times when we don’t want to be helped.

Then there’s also the argument that different women have different tolerances to chivalry. I, for instance, thank men who offer me a seat during the long commute because I’m usually wearing 5 inch pumps but I don’t believe men should always pay when going on dates. You’re not a credit card. I can’t just charge all of our outings on your wad because I ate and had fun too. Don’t blame the entire female population for your thinning wallet because not every one is after free dinners and your shiny card. And yes, there will be women who will not tolerate any man doing anything for them period. There are also those who are traditional and would demand that you do everything for them.  Those extremes exist and if you land one of those girls, it’s up to you to figure out her individual tolerance. Most of us on the other hand want a perfect balance of independence and gentlemanly encounters. It’s not the confusing, right?

Intent is also an important ingredient when performing acts of chivalry. A gentlemen opens a door for a girl not because he thinks she’s a lesser being, weaker and easily manipulated by men, but because he respects her enough and wishes to show simple acts of admiration by making her life a little easier. You see, intent may not be said but it is felt. Woman or not, a person knows when someone is doing an act good out of good or out of sheer arrogance.

The goal of feminism or gender quality is not to destroy moments of interaction between men and women.

feminist-hate-men-separate-with-comma-yes-Favim.com-224251

Empowering ourselves, knowing that we are treated as equals in all media does not reduce our clamor for romance and simple, random acts of admiration. Feminism means listen to us. Understand our needs and make us a part of your decisions. Often the best forms of chivalry respond to that need when used at the right time with the right women.

I DO

I DO.

3 letters of  2 words that submit a positive response to a question. What does it really mean to say yes especially when saying yes becomes a commitment, a responsibility, a promise?

I DO.

A dream for most

A walk down the aisle for the girl who planned it all

A loving stare from the boy who thought he never had a chance

An end to the perfect movie

A beginning to a happy life

I DO.

3 letters of  2 words that scare me the most.