Books & Reviews 📚

Everything wrong with ‘The Secret Garden’

I’ve been reading more than I should lately, and although I should’ve already read 90-110 books given the calculation during a small reading slump I had to get over (thank God!), I’m glad to have read 78 books. 

Before I begin, I apologize for being M.I.A. I’ve been busy (and I use that word loosely) organizing, plotting, planning, and of course, resting. I needed this time for myself to also reflect and see how far I’ve come, and where I’m going to. In all my years of blogging, it feels as if this is the first time I’ve slowed down concerning posting, and also reading your blogs. I can’t promise that things will change soon (although I’ll like it very much to), but life happens, and unfortunately, I can’t press the bell for it to stop at my address just so I can get off. All I can do is hope to get back to a regular blogging schedule, one day.

The Secret Garden – The BookMarketNG

Image via The BookMarketNG

Okay, so this book. What’s the BIG deal about it? I couldn’t find any. When I was young, and I just started out reading, I was made to believe that I should appreciate every single book I read, and not criticize even if I don’t like the book. This book falls under such category, but it’s not even all that special or unique, and as much as I love reading books, I love that I can give my honest thoughts, opinions, and reviews, without sugarcoating it.

Here, in note-taking form, are the reasons why I dislike this so-call favorite classic: 

🔖 Dialect. I dislike reading books sprinkled throughout with local dialects. It’s a major turn off. Also, this book target group are children, so why not proper English dialogue usage? Plus, people are reading this book worldwide, so the dialect could’ve been toned down a bit. 

Dialects GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

GIF via Giphy

🔖 There’s a character in this story that I kind of liked. His name is Dickon. He speaks to animals, and plays on a pipe for his listening audience of animals. Piped Piper of Animals? He quite gave off Jack from Legend vibes. You know? That Tom Cruise film which is never mentioned by said actor, in which he’s king of the jungle and talks to animals? I guess Dickon was Ridley Scott’s favorite character as well.

🔖 Magic. I know there are people that believe in magic, but there’s no such thing as good magic. It’s not even magic, it’s God. Authors need to stop stealing what is God’s, and calling it magic. Call it what it is: a miracle. Nature is not made of magic for God is not a magician, but rather, a Creator and Designer. Colin (a spoiled, obnoxious character) got scientific about ‘why it gotta be magic’, so I got technical on ‘why it can’t be magic’.

🔖 A grown adult male bringing up, a man hitting his wife in front of children. Just, no! If that’s not wrong enough, here’s young Colin’s response: “She used the wrong Magic until she made him beat her. If she’d used the right Magic and had said something nice, perhaps he wouldn’t have got drunk as a lord and perhaps – perhaps he might have bought her a new bonnet.”

I’m sitting there, like, “What did this child just say?” Really? So, bad magic can make a man beat his wife, but good magic makes a man buys her nice things? CHILD! NO! There’s no such thing as good or bad magic, and a man shouldn’t beat up on his wife period. What drugs was this author taking when this dialogue was written? I’m sure Colin grew up to be a wife beater simply because his wife didn’t believe in “good magic”.

oo child GIFs - Primo GIF - Latest Animated GIFs

GIF via Primo GIF

🔖 The Big Good Thing. No, just say God, you know you want to. Say His Name, praise Him, acknowledge the miracle He has done, and stop being a cowardly mouse that wants to fit in with the world. An adult mother talks like this? *Mocking voice* Th’ big good thing. So stupid.

🔖 Dickon’s mother (Susan Sowerby) is an ode to what people call “mother nature”… here, I roll my eyes. The names of many characters were downright annoying.

In almost every children classic I’ve read, the children are neglected by their parents… like Disney, and it’s downright annoying. Didn’t wonderful families existed in eras gone by? Why must the children be selfishly or emotionally neglected? Is that supposed to tug on our heartstrings to ask for sympathy for an annoying and rude character? There was also hints of racism, which was not necessary. I get that it was a different time, but this is no excuse. Authors – of all ethnicities – have a responsibility when they write and edit before the final product go out into the world.

When I was young, I’ll devour any book, and call it good. I now see through a different prism. While I appreciate an author’s “labor of love”, I won’t be sugarcoating words when it comes to discussing a book. I’ll call it out for what it is and stand by what I said.

** If not all, the majority of LPMB graphics are created using Canva; images via Pixabay. GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPMB are via Google Search (Right-click on the image for the source of origin if not credited.)

Disclaimer

VERSE OF THE MONTH (September 2021): 

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, 
though we have rebelled against Him.  

Daniel 9:9 🙌
Books & Reviews 📚

Titles or Covers That Made Want to Read/Buy the Book 📚

Ciao! And welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by That Artsy Reader Girl.

I’m a SUCKER for a beautiful, intriguing, or mysterious cover done right, that I tend not to look up what the story is about, and I may end up disappointed, but it’s all about the cover. Sometimes, the prettier the cover, the horrible the story (at times). It’s like the pretty cover makes up for the lack of story. Same goes for fancy dancy titles.

Anyway, let’s get to this.

1. Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery #1) by Mia P. Manansala 

54351235

This post is currently being scheduled in July for August and at the moment of said schedule, I started this book, but abandoned it on the 3rd chapter as I wasn’t feeling it. Hopefully, I’ll return to it at some point, but not today. I liked the title and thought it would’ve been a cool read.

2. Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto 

53310061

I love this cover a lot! The colors, the font, the eleganza of it all! The ‘A’ is giving me The Scarlet Letter vibes for whatever reason. 

3. The Last Paradise by Antonio Garrido

33290868. sy475

This cover looks intriguing! The story is set in Russia during the US Depression era, and I thought it unique. On second thought, it actually looks like The Great Gatsby set in the US Depression era rather than a Jazz one.

4. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles

52761909

I got this book for 3 things: the word ‘Paris’ in it, the word ‘library’ in it, and of course, the pretty cover, so I picked it up for both title and cover. I’m not sure when I’ll get to the book, though.

5. Come Fly the World: The Jet-Age Story of the Women of Pan Am by Julia Cooke

53968539

I’ll love to have a copy of this book soon! The cover is beautiful, but I look forward to reading about Cooke’s account as a Pan Am stewardess during the Vietnam War.

6. Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

54860605

The cover alone convinced me that I need to read the story. The colors clash so beautifully, that even if the story disappoints, I’ll always have the cover.

7. Mending Fences by Suzanne Woods Fisher

40392250

Christian Fiction is not my cup of coffee, but this cover commands attention, so I couldn’t pass it by. Amish stories tend to be a little repetitive, but I’ll give this one the benefit of the doubt.

8. Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado 

53399306

This cover is novel perfection, but I don’t know what I’ll be getting into once I pass the cover. 

9. Sweethand (Island Bites #1) by N.G. Peltier 

55237206. sy475

Here’s the thing, I love this cover, because it’s so well done, and it gives off an island vibe given that it’s actually set on local soil right here (Trinidad). I know I’ll end up disappointed – I can feel it – but I had to choose a local author to read, so here we are. The cover is beautifully illustrated, and the book is the talk around town.

10. Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant

780581. sy475

This haunting, yet beautiful portrait of George Duroy staring into the windows of my soul is the sole reason why I wanted to read this book – and look how that turned out. And the mustache was a plus! Oh, how shallow I am!

Given my experience with beautiful book covers, I am certain that some, if not all, of these books are not going to be as good as the cover. Over to you: have you ever bought/read a book based solely on the cover?

** All covers via GoodReads

** If not all, the majority of LPMB graphics are created using Canva; images via Pixabay. GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPMB are via Google Search (Right-click on the image for the source of origin if not credited.)

Disclaimer

VERSE OF THE MONTH (August 2021):  

Then I said, I am cast out of thy sight; 
yet I will look again toward thy holy temple. 

Jonah 2:4 ⛪
Books & Reviews 📚

Books I Read In One Sitting (Or Would Have If I Had The Time) 📚

Ciao! And welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by The Artsy Ready Girl.

I’ve read a lot of books in one sitting over the years when I had enough time on my hands. For this Top Ten, I’ll be listing books I would’ve like to read in one sitting if I had the time from my TBR. I’m not reading a lot lately, but I’m looking forward to the personal reading marathon I’ve set for next month. Let’s begin…

1. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

I don’t know what this book is about, and I don’t want to know. I just want to read it in one sitting.

2. The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

The Maidens by Alex Michaelides

I’ll love to sit and devour this book in one sitting, but I’m still reading ‘The Silent Patient’ by this author, and since my reading is all over the place lately, I’m certain I won’t be reading this book until year-end or so.

3. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

His books tend to be longer than an ocean bed. I’m not excited to read this book. I just want to read it and get it over with.

4. Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant

Bel-Ami by Guy de Maupassant

I once read a short story by Guy, but I didn’t like it. I thought I’ll give him a second chance with this book. I wanted to watch the movie, but when I saw the leading actors – Robert Pattinson and Uma Thurman – I passed, and decided to watch paint dry instead. 

5. The Trial of Gilles de Rais by Georges Bataille

The Trial of Gilles de Rais by Georges Bataille

Gilles de Rais is “The Original Bluebeard” and is considered to be the first serial killer in recorded history. It’s been a while since I’ve read a True Crime, so I’m looking forward to this one.

6. Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie 

Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie

This book has been on my TBR for tooooo looooonnnngggg!!

7. Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell Us about the End of Days by Dr. David Jeremiah

Agents of Babylon: What the Prophecies of Daniel Tell Us about the End of  Days by David Jeremiah

This book is not really a one-sitting book as I’ll have to take in and absorb the information presented to take notes, but given the time I have – which is not a lot – it’ll be awesome to read it in one go.

8. Antony and Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy

Antony and Cleopatra by Adrian Goldsworthy

This book… I have so many questions where it concerns Cleopatra’s reign, so I’m hoping that this book can provide answers to some of those questions. 

9. Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic

Life Without Limits by Nick Vujicic

I simply like Mr. Vujicic, and he’s got a good sense of humor! I’ll love to sit down with this book, perhaps after the reading marathon, and read it in one sitting.

10. A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans by Michael Farquhar 

A Treasury of Foolishly Forgotten Americans: Pirates, Skinflints, Patriots,  and Other Colorful Characters Stuck in the Footnotes of History by Michael  Farquhar

This book is – hopefully – right up my alley! These are the kind of books I tend to get lost in. 

What book have you read in one sitting, or will like to?

** If not all, the majority of LPMB graphics are created using Canva; images via Pixabay. GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPMB are via Google Search (Right-click on the image for the source of origin if not credited.)

Disclaimer

VERSE OF THE MONTH (July 2021):  

And rend your heart, and not your garments, 
and turn unto the Lord your God: 
for he is gracious and merciful, 
slow to anger, 
and of great kindness, 
and repenteth him of the evil. 

Joel 2:13 💙
Books & Reviews 📚

What is essential is invisible to the eyes.

Of all the books I read last year, for some reason, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince left a long-lasting impression upon me, despite it not being a 5-star book for me. And that’s the beauty of books.

In Le Petit Prince, a very good piece of advice is shared with the prince by an unlikely creature: the fox.

What Does The Fox Say GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY
Apparently, the fox is smarter than we think. He outfoxes the competition.
GIF via Google Search

Here’s what the story fox actually said:

Long after the book was closed, these words remained with me and the lesson: seeing is a matter of the heart. The quote can be interpreted 99 ways to Sunday, but for me, it’s a reminder that things can be seen and understood if we approach it with feeling. The flowers saw only their outward beauty, so they lost out on what could’ve been a beautiful experience for them. If we keep focusing on someone’s outward appearance, we’ll never get to fully experience what could be a lovely friendship with that person.

There is a reason why God searches our hearts (Jeremiah 12:3, 17:10; 1 Kings 8:39).

The most valuable things such as love, faith, hope, and friendship cannot be seen with the naked eye, yet, we know they exist for we can feel and value them.

On a lighter note, I won’t be doing a lot of book reviews/rants this year. I don’t have the time or energy for it. I’m currently reading 15 books… don’t ask why, but I’m enjoying reading at a leisure pace.

As you look forward to the rest of the week, reflect on the fox’s words.

 

** If not all, the majority of LPMB graphics are created using Canva; images via Pixabay. GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPMB are via Google Search (Right-click on the image for the source of origin if not credited.)

Disclaimer

VERSE OF THE MONTH (April 2021): 

And it shall come to pass in the
day of the Lord's sacrifice,
that I will punish the princes,
and the king's children,
and all such as are
clothed with strange apparel.


Zephaniah 1:8 👚

Books & Reviews 📚

How my reading fared in 2020…

Reading has always been un passe-temps préféré of mine, but lately, not so much.

At the beginning of 2020, I had one goal in mind: to read through my TBR. What started out as fun became tedious, and I just wasn’t up to the task by the time July rolled around, so it was only fair that I put reading on hold. The classics I wanted to read and get over were shoved aside, and the 20 books I chose to read by year-end were a disaster. To be honest, I had enough time to read and even do a read-a-thon marathon, but my heart wasn’t in it. However, I still managed to read 115 books before quitting, so from these books, I’ll choose my highs and lows.

5 Cups of Coffee

Image result for gif coffee steam

Unfortunately, I did not rate any books five steaming cups. However, these books came close to a warming up 5:

Dancing the Dream by Michael Jackson – MJ certainly had a way with words. Although I can’t rate all of his poems 3, 4, or even 5 stars, I enjoyed the majority, especially the ones where he expressed his concerns for the earth, the treatment of animals, and love for his mother. This poetry collection is some of the best I’ve read. 

Moonwalk by Michael Jackson – In his words and thoughts. Sometimes they were jumbled, sometimes they didn’t make sense, but what else did I expect from MJ. If it’s one thing I came away with from both MJ book is the way he told stories. He would’ve been a terrific storyteller of books. 

1062902

The Making of Port-Of-Spain by Michael Anthony is perhaps the best book I’ve read from a local author. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about my capital from eras gone by. When compared to the present, POS appears to have taken too many a facelift and there are current plans to put her through another one at present. 

Books I enjoyed

I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie by Roger Ebert. Actually, I liked, liked, liked this book. Ebert mixed no sugar in drinks to sugarcoat why he disliked the movies he thinks should be avoided at all cost. He reminds me of myself when it comes to talking about books.

Letters From Cuba by Ruth Behar – The story focuses on a young Jewish girl who leaves Poland to help her father make a new life for their family in Cuba. The format of this book was in letter writing, and it bought back fond memories of letter writing between my friends and me back then. The book is based on the author’s life, and if I do find the time, I’ll share my thoughts in another post.

All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez by James Patterson – JP has found his niche and that’s writing real-life crime stories. Although detailed, this book was well written. Although I’m no fan of the NFL, I knew Aaron, and that’s how big a deal he was. This man had a bright future ahead of him, yet, he threw it all away just to hang out with drug dealers and gang members until he eventually became a criminal himself. The Bible warns us about the company we keep (Proverbs 13:20) and had Aaron heed that warning, he would’ve been alive today. 

See the source image

Books I didn’t enjoy

Maybe Twinkle is funny on film – I can’t recall any of her movies as I write this – but she’s not funny in ink. In Mrs. Funnybones I found the humor to be stiff and forced – like most unfunny Bollywood films. The writing fell flat as it was amateur and unimpressive. I expected more from Mrs. Khanna given her so-call legendary funny status in India. Mrs. Funnybones is not very funny at all. 

See the source image

Another book I extremely disliked was Woman of God by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. The faith presented in this book was not a Biblically sound one, but rather, a mysticism one. The one I call ‘God is not a genie’ faith that was also presented in the “Christian” film War Room. This book was drawn out, boring, and HIGHLY offensive. The character wants us to believe that God whispers in her ears as Priscilla Shirer claims, and she even had a few choice words for God that can only be labeled as blasphemous. There was no character development and the writing was horrible. 

Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy is perhaps one of the BIGGEST overrated books I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. Too many characters, too many boring stories. There was one that reminded me of Tom (Cruise) and Katie (Holmes) due to the fact that the characters’ names were just that: Tom and Kate. The author seems to hate men, for they were mostly cast in a distasteful light. Or maybe it’s an Irish thing, for most Irish authors that I read love putting men down. Are Irish men that bad?

See the source image

Favorite Classic

Ah, my least favorite genre. Classics are supposed to withstand the test of time, but most of them are nothing special. Yet, I’ll try to polish off my classic TBR this year. I read a total of 21 classics last year, and if I had to choose a favorite, it’ll be Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Even though the story revolved around a so-call English gentleman, the French valet Jean Passepartout was the true hero. 

See the source image

Least Favorite Classic

That’s easy. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. I also disliked The Borrowers by Mary Norton. There is nothing right in stealing other people’s property and labeling it as borrowing. Definitely not a positive message for children.  

See the source image

I’ve come to the conclusion that most classics are just overhyped, boring books that don’t age like a vintage bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Top DNF

It’s hard to DNF a book…

…but in some cases, there is no choice left. I read a few books from James Patterson, and while I liked his true-crime books, I couldn’t say the same for The Chef. I love the concept of a cop who is also a food truck chef in New Orleans, but I couldn’t stand the protagonist, for he was an egomaniac and a homewrecker. Also, we get more descriptions of the food rather than the investigation.

See the source image

Another book I had to DNF was Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff. There was nothing funny to tee-hee about. There is nothing wrong with Christians being funny, but they must know their limit. Most authors – classic to modern – don’t think twice about mocking Christ. There are Christians that may say they’re not offended, but true Christians know not to mix matters when it comes to mocking our Lord and Savior. 

See the source image

My reading goal for 2021 is very simple: read better books. Although I’m currently on my 8th book for the month, it remains to be seen what I’ll actually call a good book, save the Bible.

** If not all, the majority of LPMB graphics are created using Canva; images via Pixabay. GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPMB are via Google Search (Right-click on the image for the source of origin if not credited.)

Disclaimer

VERSE OF THE MONTH (January 2021):  

For if you remain silent at this time, 
relief and deliverance for the Jews will 
arise from another place, 
but you and your father’s family will perish. 
And who knows but that you have come to 
your royal position for such a time as this?” 

Esther 4:14 👑