Aug 2016 – The Rosie Effect

August 19, 2016 Leave a comment

The Rosie EffectTitle: The Rosie Effect
Author: Graeme Simsion
Series: Don Tillman # 2

The Rosie Effect follows the lives of Associate Professor Don Tillman and his beloved Rosie after falling in love in The Rosie Project. The newly married couple have moved to New York where Don is an Associate Professor in Columbia University while Rosie is finishing her PhD and medical school. Life is not as predictable as Don would have wanted with his best friend staying with them in their new apartment and BUD on the way. But Don is handling these the best way he can.

SPOILERS FOLLOW so if you haven’t read this, please stop.

I remember experiencing the same dilemma Don and Rosie had when I first got married: transitioning from a me to an us. We were so used to making our own decisions individually that we sometimes forget to consult each other on how these decisions might affect both of us. And part of it might have come from the fear of my husband’s anger or disappointment if I made a decision he doesn’t agree with and vice versa. Don’s was letting Gene, whom Rosie despises, stay at their home indefinitely, while Rosie’s was getting pregnant.

The chronicles of Don’s journey to become a good father is hilarious and heartwarming. As expected, he pours through any material he can find but also wanted practical observation that got him in trouble with the police and a social worker. He’s accounted for every risk that he nags Rosie to eat the right food, get enough sleep, and take care of herself “properly” that it contributed in putting a strain to their relationship. Even though Don was the one who people think might be the main cause of their marital problems, in my opinion, it was actually Rosie. Don’s perfect woman was not really perfect, but somebody with her own inner demons.

It’s easy to say that Rosie was selfish and cruel and maybe a bit dumb for getting pregnant without talking to her husband or wanting to cut out her baby’s father (a very decent guy) from their lives or wanting to be Superwoman when it is clear that nobody can be, etc… etc…. As much as I’m siding with Don and getting frustrated at Rosie, I can’t help but remember that in one way or another, I, maybe even all of us, have been a Rosie. And although we may admit a few months or even years later that we were selfish and cruel and maybe a bit dumb, we want somebody to at least try to understand something that might seem so incomprehensible.

 

Advertisements
Categories: Bookworm, Wife

Jul 2016 – The World of Ice and Fire

August 5, 2016 Leave a comment

The World of Ice & FireTitle: The World of Ice and Fire: The Untold History of Westeros and the Game of Thrones
Author: George R. R. Martin, Elio M. Garcia Jr., Linda Antonsson

If you’re A Song of Ice and Fire fan who is interested in the history, geography, and all things related to it’s world, this book is for you. The World of Ice and Fire is penned by Maester Yandel, compiling old lore, songs, gossip, and the vast knowledge of the Citadel to create a beautifully illustrated book about Westeros and its surrounding lands. From the Age of Dawn to present day Yi Ti, this book contains histories and cultures of the different people in Martin’s world made more interesting by Maester Yandal’s (slightly not-so-objective) view on historical events (He did dedicate the book to the current king).

If you’re a Game of Thrones or even A Song of Ice and Fire fan who is interested in the characters and events of the series, this book may not be for you. It would feel like reading a history book and you’re hoping that the exam wouldn’t ask you which Targaryen king invaded Dorne (something -rys or -gon?) or how would you describe Asshai-by-the-Shadow. However, this can still be pretty enjoyable as you try to look for Easter Eggs (is history going to repeat itself?) or figure out whether George is messing with us while we wait for The Winds of Winter and Season 7.

Categories: Bookworm, Leisure Seeker

Jun 2016 – After Dark

July 10, 2016 Leave a comment

After DarkTitle: After Dark
Author: Haruki Murakami

Back in my high school days, way before K-pop, we were obsessed with J-pop. Blossom, Buttercup and I, together with The Professor, would spend our nights watching Japanese doramas (TV drama series). Not only did this improved our Mandarin (in my case, only slightly), but it also began our interest with all things Japanese: from Kimura Takuya to Haruki Murakami.

After Dark follows the happenings of several related characters from midnight to dawn. Mari Asai, trying to escape the feelings at home after her sister’s self-imposed sleep exile, stays up reading at Denny’s when she is joined by fledgling musician Tetsuya Takahashi who gets her involved with the situation of a Chinese prostitute at Kaoru’s Alphaville love hotel.

Rarely staying out past midnight, this Cinderella found After Dark surreal: love hotels, Chinese mobsters, 3 am yoga sessions, getting trapped inside a TV… It should be something I wouldn’t be able to relate to (and hope I never will, except for the love hotel, which we accidentally booked for a week and found the whole thing, and the shower, hilarious) but the Asai sisters’ relationship, Takahashi’s motivation to become a lawyer, Kaoru’s kindness, and even Shirakwa’s escape from normal life are very familiar. These emotions can be seen on the news, heard from discussions, and at times, felt deeply by us. In a connected world, we nowadays, like the characters, feel so disconnected, not realizing that we are somewhat interconnected to random people by every day happenings and by that, we are not truly alone.

Categories: Bookworm

Jun 2016 – The Child Whisperer

July 3, 2016 Leave a comment

The Child WhispererTitle: The Child Whisperer: the Ultimate Handbook for Raising Happy, Successful, Cooperative Children
Author: Carol Tuttle

I once saw Carol Tuttle’s concise guide to parenting circulating around Facebook: how to raise happier and more cooperative children with less discipline. This really interested me because parenting our daughter was relatively easy; our son, on the other hand, is a totally different story. The Child Whisper explains why.

The book profiles people into four (4) energy types. Type 1s have infectious upward energy. Type 2s have calming fluid energy. Type 3s have determined active/reactive energy. Type 4s have constant reflective energy. Each respond to stimulant and discipline differently. Thus, Tuttle emphasized that there is no one-size-fits-all parenting approach but each child should be parented to value and support their true nature. She gives tips, anecdotes and even have sections on how to support our children growing up in the “traditional” society (school, religious culture, and popular parenting approaches). The key here is identifying your child’s energy type,  which is the tricky part. Energy Profiling is not based on a child’s personality but on her natural movements and also manifesting in her features. Although the book details what to look for, it is still hard, which is why she provided links of energy profiling videos.

The surprising thing about The Child Whisperer was that it also made me understand myself and my husband better. The challenge now is how to support everyone’s true nature without giving up on our own needs while establishing firm guidelines for the kids. Parenting is a difficult job and no matter how many books and articles we read about it, we still need to trust our instincts and our love for our kids.

 

Categories: Bookworm, Mom, Wife

Jun 2016 – The Lover’s Dictionary

July 1, 2016 Leave a comment

The Lover's DictionaryTitle: The Lover’s Dictionary
Author: David Levithan

I was on holiday with the kids at my parents’ house for a week so the goal, as I scoured my sisters’ books, was for something interesting but easy to read. I immediately picked up The Lover’s Dictionary because of it’s length. Although it was short, it was not as straight forward as romance stories go.

Levithan went for the obvious and wrote this love story in the form of a dictionary. The words were what defined the couple’s relationship. The definition were the instances that caused these words to be selected. The story is not told chronologically but as you go along, the couples’ story begins to unravel: how they first met, how they enjoyed each other’s company, how they fought, how they move on from hurts, basically, how they love each other. Most  of the instances came from everyday happenings, a reminder that real love begins after the happily-ever-after moment.

This book was meant to be read in a few sittings while the memories of the words’ definitions are still fresh. I know that their story did not end with the last word zenith. It could’ve ended at hiatus which would make it hopeful or I which would make it sad. In fact, I don’t even know how I want the story to end.  Maybe the bottom line is that the little things that make up the ending is more important than the actual ending itself.

Categories: Bookworm

Jun 2016 – The One Hundred

June 29, 2016 Leave a comment

The 100Title: The One Hundred: A Guide to the Pieces Every Stylish Woman Must Own
Author: Nina Garcia

I’ve never been stylish nor really know anything about
fashion but what I do know is that looks are important. However, I also know that fashion should be fun and that a woman can look good no matter what her age or body type is.

That was also Nina Garcia’s note at the beginning of the book. Style is deeply personal as your fashion lets you express who you are. The One
Hundred is Garcia’s own guide to the essential things every woman should have. Full of her tips, tricks, trivia, and Ruben Toledo’s beautiful illustrations of gorgeous, long-legged women, this book is a good starting point for people who want to create their own trademark style.

For this fashion misfit, reading The One Hundred can be a bit intimidating at times. Half of the terms I had to Google to know what I’m reading about; half the names I know I’m pronouncing it wrong in my head. But I just needed to remind myself that reading is fun and fashion is fun. So reading fashion was fun. But the most fun I had was making my personal checklist of
the hundred, checking off the ones I already have (too few), crossing out the ones I think are impractical for the Philippine weather (goodbye jackets and coats!), mulling over which ones I like to buy (Hello, aviators and ballet flats), and maybe adding some of my own list in the future.

IMG_20160621_191643IMG_20160621_191701

IMG_20160621_191852IMG_20160621_191919

Categories: Bookworm, Fashion Misfit

Apr 2016 – The Rosie Project

April 23, 2016 Leave a comment

TherosieprojectTitle: The Rosie Project
Author: Graeme Simsion
Series: Don Tillman # 1

Associate Professor Don Tillman is the epitome of a man of science. Everything he does should be logical, systematic, efficient,  quantifiable, and the rewards should definitely outweigh the risks. So he devised the Wife Project, a series of questions, to help him find his perfect match. Rosie Jarman would’ve been deemed incompatible, but Don found her and her dilemma irresistible and would sign up to a unpredictable but surprisingly enjoyable project.

The Rosie Project was also a surprisingly enjoyable journey for me. Don Tillman, a brilliant geneticist with Asperger’s, was supposed to be someone I can’t relate to but I actually do, not only because I see hints of my husband, Tigger, in him, but also because I see hints of my own worries and doubts in his. They may seem so different from us but we’re actually more alike than we think.

This book gave me two (2) very important lessons. One, it reinforced that labels should help us understand and improve our relationships with people. It should not be a form of judgement or condescension just because people act or think differently from us. Two, as an inexperienced cook, the Standardized Meal Plan is the best way to go. So, if anyone complains on having the same meal on the specific day of the week,  they are more than welcome to take over as meal planner / personal chef. 😉