November 2016 Reads

november-2016-reads

Happy Holidays, everyone! I hope you’ve all had an amazing Christmas. I myself was pretty busy, not just with work, but with preparations for the season. You know what they say about Christmas in the Philippines – it starts in September.

Anyway, I got a lot of books this Christmas, which of course reminded me of my book posts for this blog. And I think it’s time to throw in the towel and admit defeat. I’ve only read 32 out of 50 books, and with only two weeks of 2016 left and 18 books to go, I don’t think I will not be completing my Goodreads Challenge for 2016. It makes me sad that I won’t be finishing, but 31 out of 50 is, I think, not a bad score. And anyway, it’s made me motivated to try again for fifty books in 2017!

1. Dwellers by Eliza Victoria

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What the fucking fuck.

Okay, that was a good “what the fucking fuck”. Eliza Victoria has done it again, people. The queen of Filipino speculative fiction has delivered yet another interesting, spine-tingling read.

Two young men with the power to take over the bodies of other people find themselves in the bodies of brothers Jonah and Louis. However, the takeover leads to a car crash which leaves Louis injured. Unable to flee, the brothers retreat to Jonah and Louis’s house, where they stay for the meantime. At first, everything seems okay, but then they find a dead body in the basement.

This book was so amazing. I was totally engrossed, shocked, disgusted, creeped out, and totally out of breath by the time I finished it. It’s a short novella, so it didn’t take long, but that was one hell of a rollercoaster ride.

2. I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb

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I finally got my hands on Malala Yousafzai’s biography thanks to a reading program called Lit Without Limits. I talk about in this blog entry.

Malala’s story is nothing short of inspiring. When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, she refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On 9 October 2012, when she was fifteen, she  was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, her miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York, and now she is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

It’s also my first non-fiction book in a really long while, and it’s inspired me to read up on more women of color who contribute to making the world a better place!

3. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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*sigh* I was very conflicted about this book, I don’t think I can talk about it in just a few short sentences. Read my full review of it here.

4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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A stirring World War II novel about how a brief encounter between two incredibly different people can change their lives forever, and how in the end, all our stories are more interwoven than we think, Anthony Doerr’s novel was one hell of an experience. This book tells the story of Marie-Laure, a blind girl who flees to the town of Saint-Malo during the Nazi occupation of Paris; and Werner, a boy fascinated by technology whose prowess with electronics leads to him becoming a member of the Hitler Youth. When Werner is sent on a special mission to Saint-Malo, their lives converge, and nothing is the same for either of them ever again.

There’s no other way to put it than to tell you that this book made me cry. Anthony Doerr is a master of making scientific jargon sound poetic. I was forever getting up to grab a notebook or a piece of paper to write down some quote that resonated with me. If you’re in the mood for a deep, retrospective peek into human nature juxtaposed against the need for knowledge and discovery, set against the backdrop of war, look no further than this book.

Bonus December read, which I finished while on the beach!

1. The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

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THIS BOOK BROKE MY HEART SO MUCH YOU GUYS, YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW.

The book is about a lighthouse keeper named Tom Sherbourne, who lives on an isolated island with his young wife Isabel. After two miscarriages and one stillbirth, Isabel has lost hope for ever having a child. Until one day they discover a boat washed ashore, carrying a dead man and a living baby. Against Tom’s judgment, Isabel claims the baby as theirs and names her Lucy. Trouble arises when they discover that Lucy’s real mother is still alive and has been looking for her child.

The Light Between Oceans is such a poignant, heart-wrenching read, but be warned – it’s paced reeeeeally slow, so if you’re not the type to enjoy that, maybe this isn’t the book for you.

This, I think, is the last of my 2016 Reads.

As I type this, it’s December 26, and I definitely won’t have time to finish more books before the year ends (or I would, but family obligations and all that *sigh*).. It’s been one hell of an experience documenting everything I’ve been reading! I knew I made the right decision when I decided to dedicate a portion of this blog to my books. Not only has it been tons of fun, I’ve made lots of new friends in the book blogging community! I look forward to doing it again next year! After all, I still haven’t finished off my TBR!

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