Books I've Read this Year

         Another year is about to close and another one is about to unfold. Honestly, new years make me feel sad and happy at the same time. I like the idea of knowing that I have accomplished a lot of things in a year and spent some of my days as memorable as I can in so many places. I'm also in love with reminiscing the best lessons that I have. However, the closing of a year saddens or shall I say it frightens me as I have to face another 365 days of change. Though the idea of change has always been in my head, I couldn't help beat myself into thinking that I might be somewhere uncomfortable. Despite that, I am trying my best to keep my heart open to new possibilities. After all, growth dwells not in anybody's comfort zone. It's not an easy feat to welcome hard-cold truth in consciously knowing what I have failed to achieve, but I always keep a silver lining in my heart to recognize what I have achieved, albeit small. 

         The year 2018, like all other years, isn't sheer sugar, but I have to say that it has been fairly kind. Some days I've spent under constant cold rain, while there are also some that I have spent under the glory of the sun - such days I am beyond thankful especially when I spent them with a book in hand. Give me a book and a cup of coffee and I know, just know, that my day would be fine.

        Books are always a joy for me to have and reading a really good book is absolute heaven. That being said, I'd like to share with you the best books that I have read this year. (Of course, I do not include the academic books that I've read. This post only features fiction because who doesn't love a little bit of drama? lol) I'll be scribbling down my thoughts about each book and please do let me know which ones you have already read and if you have some recommendations for the upcoming year. 
       I adore books that entertain and at the same time, give me something worthwhile to think about. I read the first book of Kevin Kwan's trilogy last year and I couldn't just stop myself from getting my hands and reading the next two. My life is far from the elites in Mainland China, but what I understood from reading the book is that even the richest have burdens to carry. China Rich Girlfriend is chic, funny, and witty. This is a great read if you want something light-hearted and yes while enjoying a cup of tea or milk tea, which is which? 😊
       A little over a year ago, my hands were blessed with a copy of Eat Pray Love. Though I have never eaten in Italy, prayed in India, and fell in love in Bali, the book taught me so much about living. Hence, it became one of my favorites. Last month I read EatPrayLove Made Me Do It which is a collection of life journeys inspired by the bestseller memoir. My heart couldn't contain its bliss! The stories inside the book are testaments that one man's journey could be a spark to thousands of souls. It goes without saying that in so many ways we could imagine, we are all connected though we go through different journey. 🙏 Thank you for this book Ms.Charen of A Simple Tourist of the Mundane, always grateful to have read it! 
     Another book that I've finished reading this year is Kevin Kwan's Rich People Problems which is the last book of Kwan's Crazy Rich Asians trilogy. I never thought that I'd finish reading all three books by Kevin Kwan, but as they all say, you can't just let go of a good story. The film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asian was beyond beautiful and fun in so many ways. It's actually more than just a mere book to film adaptation. Being Asian and watching a culturally diverse film that casts Asian actors is revolutionary. I hope to see more films with Asian actors. Tokenism and other similar cases must stop. Now waiting when will Warner Bros release the adaptation of the other two. I hope you've watched the film already, and if you haven't, I recommend that you do. 😛😊💞 My favorite from the three was the 2nd one which is China Rich Girlfriend. 😂💓
    This is the first Mexican novel that I have ever read - Like Water for Chocolate (Como Agua para Chocolate) and it is beyond beautiful. This book made me crave for Mexican foods, adventure, and lasting love! lol 💖😄 This made me want to travel to Mexico and dive into their mole and vibrant salsas. If you are in love with food and life, this is a book for you! The story was set centuries ago in Mexico, but I could empathize well with the protagonist Tita though I do not face similar struggles as her, it's more of because I am a woman. We are now in a much modern and advanced world yet I must say that there's still so much that we have to work on. No, I'm not being a triggered feminist here if that makes sense at all, but whether we admit it or not some issues regarding females and femininity have to be addressed and resolved. More than anything else, such as knowing some cultural similarities between Mexico and my dear Philippines, the book blossomed an idea on my mind to be passionate on what sets my heart on fire. Be it in love, life, food, and everything else.
     Once again, Elizabeth Gilbert hooked me up with her charming words and wisdom. This book unlocked to me so much wonder about life and living beyond my fears, and to always choose love over suffering. Always. I have stopped myself from doing so many things that I love doing because I have been engulfed with pessimistic musings. This is a perfect book not just for artists, but also to those who want to explore life as one big magical world. May we all grasp that "Big Magic" we are all looking for. ✨💖 It's no easy feat at all and even thinking about going for it could be at times scary. A new year is about to unfold and yes, it does scare me big time. While it certainly does, I'm also quite certain that hope exists. I just have to find the courage to bring forth the treasure within me.
      There's just something special in reading Chuck Palahniuk. Always. His works are gritty, straight to the core, yet relevant. ✨💖 Reading this made me feel like watching a sci-fi film. There's so much unexpectedness in this work. The best thing about his works is how he fleshes out his characters to be as human as possible as you and me. Which Chuck Palahniuk book should I read next?
     Inspired by George Orwell's 1984, Japanese literary giant Haruki Murakami crafted a dystopian literary masterpiece. Since the novel is a good mix of different genres encompassing various contemporary literary techniques, it is a challenge to finish this book. I started reading the book last May and just finished reading it today. This is by far, the thickest and lengthiest novel I owned and finished. This is unlike any novel I have read before. Honestly, I find it difficult to scribe what I think about when I think about the book itself. Ever watched the film Inception starring Leonardo di Caprio? Well, that's exactly what reading the book feels like. Prior to reading the book, I've read some of Murakami's short stories which I would say, like the book, is very Japanese. By that what I meant is it just let what makes Japan - Japan flow. This, I would say is a good book, but I wouldn't recommend this one if you get caught by the waves of boredom so easily. Some parts of the book could feel really dragging and in my own opinion, unnecessary for the plot to move forward. If there's something that I could keep from the book, it's how strong love, real love can be that it could go beyond time and two worlds apart no matter how many moons that this world could have.

       I still have a few other books piling up on my bedside waiting for me to devour them. I have yet to read Anne of Green Gables, The Good Earth, The Metamorphosis, and Slaughterhouse Five. The list is endless, but a recommendation is always welcome. If you got some, don't hesitate to let me know on the comments section. What's the best book/s you've read this year? I'd love to hear what you've read!

Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year beautiful creature!

love lots,
Tin

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12 comments:

  1. I didn't read any of these books but "eat, pray, love made me do it" intrigues me a lot!
    I'm waiting for the fourth chapter of "red queen" to be translate in Italian, but I have so many books in my wishlist! ^-^
    xoxo

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    1. Aww that's no problem dear! I love that book so much. Please red it if you got time. Read the novel that inspired the book as well - Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm sure you're gonna enjoy the Italy part so much! :) best wishes dear!

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  2. What a great idea to finish the year with best reads of 2018. I might steal that idea from you.:) Great book reviews and recommendations. I wanted to buy that Mexican novel, I saw it in a store but I wasn't certain because I didn't hear about the author...and now I'm sorry I have missed the change. If I see it again, I'll be sure to buy it because it seems like a novel I'd love. Moreover, I'm a fan of Murakami so I will definitely read 1Q84 sooner or later.

    As far as book recommendations for the new year, I can recommend:
    - Four Meetings and other short stories by Henry James
    - Washington Square (a short novel by Henry James)
    -Kappa by Ryunosuke Akutagawa ( a short dystopian novel but I also recommend his stort stories)
    - Reading Lolita in Tehran by Nafisi Azar
    - The Secret Scripture by Barry Sebastian
    - Pavillion of Woman by Pearl S. Buck
    - Mumu by Ivan Turgenev....

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    1. Thank you so much Ivana dear! Yes, yes,I would love to read about your best reads of 2018 too!
      You must absolutely read that novel dear. Definitely one of my favorites now and I highly recommend it. Thank you so, so much for your recommendations!
      Akutagawa is a literary star is Japan, I've read his short stories way back in high school and yes, they are all so good. I should save your recommended books!I'll look for Pavillion of Woman right after I'm done with The Good Earth which is also by Buck. <3

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    2. and I will look up Good Earth.:)

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  3. Happy New Year!!
    I want to start to read a book although I prefer video to book.
    A few years ago I read IQ84, and I just watched the film, ‘Inception’ yesterday before I read your blog!!
    Your review is so great and I agree.
    I’m interested in Kevin Kwon’s novels.
    Unfortunately, I don’t have recommendation of a book, but I would love to read with coffee this year and I’ll recommend a great book <3

    akiko
    www.akikohiramatsu.com

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    1. Awwww...arigatou gozaimasu Akiko!
      I love films as well but I love books too. haha That's really cool! Oh, I know you're gonna love Kevin Kwan's books! Astrid reminds me of you! So posh and chic in her haute couture looks!
      Don't worry about it, always love to hear from you dearie! <3

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  4. Out of these books I read "big magic". Such a great read!
    Have an amazing new year!

    www.fashionradi.com

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    1. Awww thank you so much Radi!!! Happiest New Year to you as well. Big Magic is definitely on my top favorite list of all time since I read it! :)

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  5. Happy New Year lovely, I wish you a fantastic one full of blessings and love. These books sound incredible, will have to read some myself. I hope you've had a great week x

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  6. Hey dear Tin, I'm happy to know that you're such a good reader! I also tried to do the best with my readings in this 2018 and it ended up really well compared to 2017 when I read nothing haha!

    I will write down these recommendations or put them on my GoodReads app, is such a great tool, I really recommend it to you!

    About Crazy Rich Asians I watched the movie on the airplane coming back to Spain and I really liked the humor in the film!

    Pablo
    www.heyfungi.com

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  7. Love reading books too and this Haruki Murakami book sounds interesting. Thank you. affordable hotel in sukhumvit

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