Book of the Week: Love and Misadventure

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A year ago, I got a book,
A gift that I have treasured
It was about a poet so good
Her words were all but measured.
And every time, it doesn’t fail
I get lost in all its pages
I cry, I laugh, I almost wail
With words of love and rages.
I wish I can write a poem
That would touch the heart of someone
But to write the words, a note, a song
Needs magic that has long been gone.
– I am Corporate Junkie.

**

Now, let’s go to ¬†my review, haha!

I think it is but proper to end the month with a book about love – lost love, unrequited love and love that would last, hopefully, a lifetime.

I got this book last year on Valentine’s Day and I love it so much! Thanks, Gay! ūüôā

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Lang Leav is such an amazing poet. I envy her so much! I resonate with every piece that she has written on the book. Here is one of my favourites:

A Stranger

There is a love I reminisce

     like a seed

¬† ¬† ¬†I’ve never sown.

Of lips that I am yet to kiss,

     and eyes

     not met my own.

Hands that wrap around my wrists,

     and arms

     that feel like home.

I wonder how it is I miss,

     these things

¬† ¬† ¬†I’ve never known.

This book is a no-nonsense, literary masterpiece that connoisseurs of words will appreciate. I rate it 5 out of 5. (I am a romantic and I love words thus the rating, haha)

Have you read any of Lang Leav’s books? Did you like it?

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Book of the Week: The Four-Hour Workweek

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I got this book several months back but I have reading it on and off because I was trying to apply some of the action plans as illustrated in the book and I needed some time to let the principles sink in.

The ideas in this book are revolutionary and for someone who has been entrenched with corporate life, I had a hard time wrapping my brains around the system at first. But as read on chapter after chapter, I found it more and more appealing as it advocates for what my ex-boss has already taught me before I left Рto do more but work less. 

I love the book because it is¬†something that every corporate junkie could probably relate to. It even talked about the boredom that ‘corporate retirees’ feel¬†especially during the first few months of staying at home when detoxing becomes¬†so challenging. The wisdom that Tim Ferris shared was very timely and I was struck specifically with this part¬†where he discussed about boredom.

Don’t freak out and fuel the fire. This is normal among all high-performers who downshift after working hard for a long time. The smarter and more goal-oriented you are, the tougher these growing pains will be. Learning to replace the perception of time famine with appreciation of time abundance is like going from triple espressos to decaf.¬†

But there’s more! Retirees get depressed for a second reason and you will to: social isolation.

This part resonated with me for quite a time. I was bored with staying at home and not going through the usual hustle in the office and I miss the daily conversations with my team and other officemates. But he’s¬†right; as time passes by, it gets easier. You just have to stick it out and do what you have to do.

As with my other book reviews, I am sharing some quotes with you to pique your interest and give you a brief snapshot of this wonderful book.

Take less with you. 

Being able to quit things that don’t work is integral to being a winner.¬†

Don’t use skepticism as a thinly veiled excuse for inaction or remaining in your comfort zone. Be skeptical, but for the right reason: because you’re looking for the most promising option to test in real life.¬†

Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action. Being overwhelmed is often as unproductive as doing nothing and is far more unpleasant. Being selective – doing less – is the path of the productive. Focus on the important few and ignore the rest.

The Four-Hour Workweek is a refreshing and very informative read.There are practical guidelines on how to design your business to be more efficient such as setting up autoresponders, sourcing out virtual assistants, etc. For employees, it gives suggestions on how to transition to more productivity and negotiate work-at-home arrangements (and a script on how to do it! HAHA!)

I rate this book 4.5 out of 5.

This book is ideal for entrepreneurs and those wanting and craving for more freedom in their professional life.

If you’ve read the book, how did you like it? Hit me up in the comments.

x

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Books of the Week: Divergent Series and Four

I was sooo busy last week that I wasn’t able to do my book roundup but here it is – better late than never – The Divergent Series and Four by Veronica Roth.

Most of you would have been familiar with the movie. In my case, I was only able to watch it late December of last year with my sisters and I have fallen in love with Four the plot instantly. So it was really a no-brainer for this series to find a space in my bookshelf.

After I watched the movie, I scoured for the books in almost all National Bookstore, Fully Booked and Powerbooks branches but they were out of stock! Geez!

I was able to grab the three books of the series last week and a special one dedicated to Four¬†(one month of waiting, argh). I spent two days to finish all four books because I couldn’t put them down. I just had to reach the very end and find out what happened. Haha!

But before I go to my favorite quotes and how I liked (disliked) the books, let me just rave about Veronica Roth.

This girl is soo young and full of awesomeness! She’s also very pretty and she would fit right into the movie if she would ever do a cameo. Right??!

I got the first book with some “bonus materials” inside where she discussed a little about writing — Word Vomit — this came from her. It encourages writer to “just write”. I hear this all the time. Jeff Goins has said this. Coelho somehow touched on this. I am still trying to wrap my brains around it especially now that I am having crazy writer’s block as of late so yeah.. Just write, Balot. Anyhoo, enough about me.

Ok… so here we go.

Divergent  

The whole plot of the story revolved around Beatrice (Tris) Prior and the divided society where she lives. Her “divergence” from the norms is what makes her different. This book gives the foundation of Tris’ character, her values and her way of thinking which would later set the tone of the sequel.

I loved Tris’ personality, her loyalty to her friends, her courage and her strong spirit. It was also in this book that I was introduced to Four (Tris’ love interest) who was played by Theo James *dreamy eyes*.

My takeaway from this book is that sometimes we have to risk everything to really find out who we are and what we are meant to do.

These are just some of my favorite lines:

“I believe in ordinary acts of ¬†bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”

“Because you’re from Abnegation, and it’s when you’re acting selflessly that you are at your bravest.”

The book was easy to read. Never dragging and action-packed, actually. This is a 4 out of 5 for me. I have a little revelation — I liked the movie better and this seldom happens. Don’t kill me.

Insurgent

After reading Divergent, I HAD TO READ the next book because I was at the edge of my seat wanting to know what will happen to Four and Tris. I could not get into the details because I might just give some spoilers but of the three books in the series, this one is my favorite.

I liked this book because the characters showed their flaws and their vulnerabilities.It gave an emotion to what could have been just a narration of another dystopia. It showcased how we, as humans, stretch our spirit to forgive, to tell the truth and to do things at a great extent for the people we love. I rate this book 5 out of 5 because it kept me awake at the wee hours of the morning, going from one page to the next and to the next until I reached the end. 

“Killing you is not the worst thing they can do to you.”

¬†“I am exactly who you think I am.”

Watch the Insurgent trailer through this link>> I have seen this several times and I still have goosebumps when I watch it. Every single time. Can’t wait until March x

Allegiant

 

So the last book in the Divergent series – Allegiant. I will say it now, this is a 2¬†out of 5 for me. Well, I am biased because I did not like how things have evolved coming from the second book. It just didn’t make any sense. But I suppose that the book did its job because it stirred emotions (which is my benchmark for a good book) – I cried myself to sleep that night. Lol.

“There are so many ways to be brave in this world. Sometimes bravery involves laying down your life for something bigger than yourself, or for someone else. Sometimes it involves giving up everything you have ever known, or everyone you have ever loved, for the sake of something greater.

But sometimes it doesn’t.

Sometimes it is nothing more than gritting your teeth through pain, and the work of every day, the slow walk toward a better life.

That is the sort of bravery I must have now.‚ÄĚ

According to Buzzfeed, Allegiant: Part 1 will be released on March 18, 2016; Part 2 will come out on March 24, 2017.

Four

I love Four, okay, so I had to get this book. This book tells everything about Four’s background before he joined his faction. It also provides his thoughts on some of the scenes which you will read in the Divergent series like what was inside his head when he first saw Tris, etcetera etcetera. There were some scenes which replicated the parts in the series but I didn’t mind. This is Four we are talking about, hahaa! I give this book 4 out of 5.

‚ÄúI don’t have the right word for how she looks, but even now, with parts of her face swollen and discolored, there’s something striking about her, something I haven’t seen before.

¬†In that moment I’m able to accept the inevitability of how I feel, though not with joy. I need to talk to someone. I need to trust someone. And for whatever reason, I know, I know it’s her.

I’ll have to start by telling her my name.‚ÄĚ

****SWOON****

Whew! So there you go, I would love for you to read the series. It will transport you to another world for several hours like what all good books do.

Have you read the series? How did you find it? Do you share my sentiment on how it ended? Hahaha! Yes! I still haven’t moved on.

xx,

Balot