Once Upon a Time…and So the Story Goes.

As far as I can remember, I was always amazed with story-telling. My older sister would tell me stories at night before we go to sleep and I would be wide awake thinking about the story until I fall asleep. My Dad would let us watch Disney cartoons and would watch it repeatedly and I would never get tired of it. My Mom bought this audio book, Aesop’s fables and I would listen to it everyday until I would know each stories by heart. When I learned how to read, I would rummage through my sister’s and my brother’s bookshelf and open each book and would stay in their rooms with a book in my hands, immersed at the stories the book reveals. I would browse at my Mom’s collection of pocketbooks, Reader’s Digest, my Dad’s collection of Filipino novels, even our set of encyclopedia never fails to escape my curiosity. Each book, no matter what the subject is, be it Mathematics or Science, gives a story and teaches us a lesson.

I am not very particular with stories on how it is delivered (movies, books, audio, story-telling), as long as it catches my attention and brings me to places. Until now, just reading “once upon a time” keeps me attentive. anything that starts with a story would keep me concentrated.

I love stories. It keeps me happy and excited. It keeps my imagination intact.

And that’s how my love for story-telling started.

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Books Read in 2010

Here it goes:

1. Little  Lulu Volume 8: Late for School by John Stanley

2. Anne of Avonlea: Anne of Green Gables Book 2 by L.M. Montgomery

3. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

4. Last Time I Saw Mother by Arlene J. Chai

5. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving

6. Gossip Girl: A Novel (Gossip Girl Series #1) by Cecily Von Ziegesar

7. Hardboiled and Hard Luck by Banana Yoshimoto

8. Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

9. Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

10. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

11. Pippi in the South Seas by Astrid Lindgren

12. Pippi Goes on Board by Astrid Lindgren

13. The Catcher in th Rye by J.D. Salinger

14. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

15. Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup

16. ‘Tis by Frank McCourt

17. Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell

18. The Horse Whisperer by Nicholas Evans

19. Samira and Samir by Siba Shakib

20.The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

21. The Sea of Monster by Rick Riordan

22. The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan

23. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

24. The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan

25. The Horse and his Boy by C.S. Lewis

26. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

27. The Winner Stands Alone by Paulo Coelho

28. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

29. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

30. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

31. The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

32. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Net by Stieg Larsson

33. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

34. Indelible by Karin Slaughter

It All Started Here: Bibliophile Since Birth

I can’t remember when I started to love reading books. All I know is that, I know my A B C’s just before I started going to school. Grandma taught me. I didn’t even know I was going to school. I just thought I’m in a room full of kids playing. Mom didn’t tell me that THAT was school. Mom didn’t even tell me that my real name is Rouselle not Sheilla, much less tell me that where I’m going is a place called SCHOOL.

But I do remember having my Abakada booklet Mom bought me. And this Aesop’s Fables and Phonics book with accompanying cassette tape. I listen to it everyday. I even memorized by heart all of the stories from Aesop’s Fables. Mom also has this huge collection of Reader’s Digest. My favorite parts are Laughter is the best Medicine and All in a Day’s Work even if I don’t understand any of it. My older sister and brother went to St. Paul’s College in Elementary and I remember leafing through their school books in their rooms when they’re away. Mom will make me some coffee and I will start reading books. I remember drinking coffee as young as 6 years old, I think, because whenever Mom makes coffee, I’d watch her on tiptoes with half of my head on the table. Maybe Mom didn’t think it was bad. Anyway, it was just a teeny weeny coffee. Very light-colored that I can see through it. My older sister has a collection of this tattered Beverly Cleary’s Ramona and Beezuz which I desperately try to figure out the story because a lot of the pages were missing and also this Nancy Drew book collection. My older brother also has his own collection of Hardy Boys books although he hardly ever read it. Mom just buys those books for them.

My Dad was a Filipino teacher and he has this collection of Filipino story books. I’ve read Jose Rizal’s Noli Me Tangere and El Filibusterismo over a cup of coffee just before we started discussing it in high school. During high school, I was completely amazed by English Literature. I loved Edgar Allan Poe and Beowulf. I loved doing compositions, Haiku’s, writing for plays. I love listening to my English teacher tell stories about King Arthur and the Greek gods and goddesses. Then my Filipino teacher would discuss Filipino Epics that would make me so absorbed that I feel like I’m actually watching a story unfold right before my eyes. Believe it or not, I even enjoy reading Bible stories from my Values Education class in high school. Anything that involves stories, I’d get hooked right away.

My high school consisted of collecting Sweet Valley books (Sweet Valley Kids, Sweet Valley Twins, Sweet Valley High, The Unicorn Club). Then Mom started collecting John Grisham and Sidney Sheldon books which I also read. Then came the Tagalog pocketbooks that Mom buys, which I also read. Then I became interested reading Classic books and Children’s books. And the list goes on…

I have a dream for myself. I want to have a house with a huge library. I want to have a book/coffee shop. I want that book shop to have an activity corner for the kids. I want to have a story-telling day. I want to encourage the kids to read.

Just thinking about it makes me all giddy and excited. 🙂

And I thank my Mom for her big influence. 😉

Books Read in 2009

I started listing books read in 2001 and this is the second time I posted my yearly book list. I don’t usually choose what to read, though I prefer children’s books & the classics. But basically, I read anything even if it’s boring. I mean, how will you know if a book is good or boring if you don’t read it?

  1. Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie *** PF
  2. Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll ***PF
  3. The Carterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer **
  4. The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain ***
  5. Shadows of Yesterday by Sandra Brown **
  6. Vanished by Danielle Steel **
  7. After Dark by Haruki Murakami *** PF
  8. Hello, Darkness by Sandra Brown **
  9. The Switch by Sandra Brown ***
  10. Where the Boys Are by William J. Mann **
  11. Pippi Goes on Board by Astrid Lingren ***
  12. Pippi in the South Seas by Astrid Lingren ***
  13. Humor Me by Barbara Johnson **
  14. 100 Years, 100 Stories by George Burns **
  15. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time by Mark Haddon *** PF
  16. Bata, Bata…Pa’no ka Ginawa? by Lualhati Bautista ***
  17. Lies My Yaya Should Have Told Me by RJ Ledesma **
  18. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery *** PF
  19. He’s Just Not That Into You by Greg Behrendt **
  20. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden *** PF
  21. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James *
  22. Tangled Up in Day Dreams by Rebecca Bloom *
  23. Always the Bridesmaid by Sarah Webb *
  24. The Wife by Meg Wolitzer *
  25. The Nanny Diaries by Nicola Kraus & Emma McLaughlin **
  26. How to Walk in High Heels (The Girl’s Guide to Everything) by Camilla Norton x
  27. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult *** PF
  28. The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne **
  29. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert ** x (had to return it to owner who’s leaving)
  30. Little Lulu (Late for School) ***
  31. Anne of Avonlea by L.M. Montgomery **

Ratings/Legend:

* Boring

** Nice

*** Excellent

x Not finished

PF – Personal Favorite/ Highly Recommended