Category Archives: Reading List

Seriously…I’m Kidding

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I woke up unusually early today.  For crying out loud, it’s a Sunday, and obviously yesterday was a Saturday when most (if not all) – corporate people like me are finding time to slow down by spending time with family and friends, going out of town, catching up some series on Netflix, visiting art galleries, shopping. reading books. painting etc.

One second, I am not here today to tell you guys that I woke up unusually early today after falling asleep while watching a series on Netflix last night, leaving my TV – on till the following morning, which is today, and this was me – 30 minutes ago, after getting off my bed, (which by the way is part of my daily routine in the morning)

  • Tuning off my alarm clock at 5AM
  • Snoozing it at 5:30AM
  • Turning off the snooze
  • Praying…okay…I am guilty (it does not happen everyday, but I am trying to be better at it) so I play my favorite worship songs while I prep up for the day.  It makes me feel I am talking to God as He listens and understands what my heart is trying to let Him know.  While in my head, I silently tell Him, Oh dear God, where are You?  Please listen to what my heart is trying to tell You.”
  • Read the news (worship song still plays at the background) or in such cases…
  • Watch the news (then I need to turn off my favorite worship song) because I need to watch Obama’s Farewell Speech…No!  I mean, Donald Trump’s Inaugural Speech I mean.
  • Grab a cup of coffee…but today, it’s about a lovely cup tea!

Okay, I am not here to talk about my daily routine either….

Well, today, I am very excited to finally share with you all, one of my favorite books of Ellen DeGeneres, Seriously…I Am Kidding.  If my mind does not fail me, I have finished reading this book November last year, but failed to write, and share with you all about my thoughts about it, because I was busy at work.  Okay, okay, I know you will say, it’s all about PRIORITIES.  No one is too busy if one starts prioritizing, but I bet you will agree with me when I say, I was occupied building an empire, well, I still am…alright, PRIORITIES.

Anyway, I am very happy to share with you all the very first book, which I have finished this 2017.  I have been tagging this book almost every where I go that I get to have a click of it, and share it on my Twitter, especially when I am stuck in traffic.  See?

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What I am about to share with you are some of the bits and pieces, and antics that is originally Ellen DeGeneres together with the life lessons that I found from each chapter as Ellen gracefully ended each with a wit.  I actually have a lot to pick, but I will try to squeeze them the best I can in order not to bore you.  My hope is that as I share with you all the things that I have learned from this book through words, you will also find time to realize that each and everyone of us is blessed with a funny bone, and that no matter what life is throwing at you right now, it’s not a bad idea to smile everyday when you wake up – in case of this book – laugh.

LIFE

  • I let my mind wander through some of the biggest moments in my life and then I realized what I needed to do.

BEAUTY

  • Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Beauty is only skin deep.  Beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart.
    • I believed that true beauty is not related to  what color of your hair is or what color of your eyes are.  True beauty is about who you are as human being, your principles, your moral compass.
  • Our age is something we have absolutely no control over, it’s just a fact of who we are.  I enjoy growing  older and wiser and learning from my mistakes every single day.  I’m happy for example, that I no longer eat paste, like I did when I was twenty-four.  And I’m happy that in a few years I’ll be able to get a half-price tickets to movies and museums.  Considering how often I go to movies and museums, I could serve upward of thirty dollars a year.
  • I know it seems easy and breezy for me to say, but trust me – it’s okay to be you.

PERSONALLY SPEAKING

  • We have to take care of ourselves as we age and that includes getting procedures done that are invasive, uncomfortable, and at times what many would refer to as “third date territory.”  One of those procedures is a colonoscopy.

THE SECRET OF LIFE

  • Kale.
  • …don’t look back and don’t spend too much time worrying  about the future.  Stay in the present.  There are few ways to do that.  Stop and smell the roses.  Wake up and smell the coffee.  Enjoy the sweet smell of success.  I guess just keep taking a big whiffs of stuff because it seems like the more we smell, the happier we are going to be.  You know what I mean.

FAMILY

  • But we should be grateful for them because without our family – the ancestors we descend from, the cousin we see once a year, the loves of our lives we see every day – life us pretty boring.  You don’t have to believe me, but you should.  I’m royalty.

WHAT WOULD JESUS DO?

  • We all spend so much time comparing ourselves to each other.  Everyone is running around trying to keep up with the Joneses.  Who are the Joneses anyway?  Why are we trying to keep up with up them?  I’m sure they’re not perfect.  We don’t need to keep up with them.  It’s hard enough to keep up with the Kardashians.
  • And who’s to say what’ better or worse anyway?  Who’s to even say what’s normal or average?  We’re all different people and we’re allowed to be different from one another.  If someones ever says you’re weird, say thank you.  And then curtsy.  No, don’t curtsy.  That might be too weird.  Bow.  And tip your imaginary hat.  That’ll show them all.

AMERICAN IDOL, OR “IF YOU DON’T HAVE ANYTHING NICE TO SAY. DON’T SAY ANYTHING AT ALL”

  • And I know there’s such thing as constructive criticism, but to that’s still criticism.  It’s just criticism with a jaunty hat.
  • It’s the same with every career and life decision.  You just have to keep driving down the road.  It’s going to bend and curve and you’ll speed up and slow down, but the road keeps going.

COMMON COURTESY

  • What I’ve realized is that people don’t care about common courtesy anymore.
  • How many times  have you held a door open for someone who walks right through it without saying thank you?  How many times have you let someone into  your lane of traffic without receiving the courtesy wave?
  • And not only are people rude, they have no boundaries anymore.

LABELS

  • Unfortunately, I get labeled a lot.
  • The problem with labels is that they lead to stereotypes and stereotypes lead to generalizations and generalizations lead to assumptions and assumptions lead back to stereotypes.

I AM NOT LAZY

  • Humans aren’t suppose to be lazy.
  • Let’s all challenge ourselves today to get up and move a little more.

Things I Learned from The Godfather

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Today, I am very happy, because I was able to find time to slow down from work, and best of all, despite my crazy, and tight schedule, I still can manage to read books from time to time, like when I am on my way to work, or business meetings, stuck in traffic, inside the coffee shop, travelling, and before I go to bed.

They say that a great book is something that you can’t put down until you finish, and reach the last page, and for me that is true!  Although today, I am sharing with you one of my exemptions, The Godfather by Mario Puzo.  I say exemption, because I cannot count the number of times that I have read, re-read, and finished this book, but as always, I find myself picking the same from my bookshelf, every time that I am in dire need to read.  

Well this blog is not a review, but basically, something that I would like to share with each and everyone of you on what I call – Things That I Have Learned from The Godfather.  

It’s a collection of lines from the film, which influenced my way of thinking on my business and personal dealings, my love for my family, loyalty in friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness, an endless, and unfading love.

Only don’t tell me you’re innocent, because it insults my intelligence, and makes me very angry.

  1. NEVER discuss the family business.
  2. Make sure it’s your signature in the contract, not your brain.

3. Keep things business, not personal.

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  1. Leave the gun.  Take the Cannoli.
  2. If the favors are called, DO IT.
  3. Be careful when fellow diners come back from the restroom.
  4. Sicilian women are more dangerous than shotguns.
  5. Watch out for kids when you’re backing out.
  6. Put your hand in your pocket like you’ve got a gun, you’ll be alright.
  7. Oranges should make you nervous.
  8. Don’t look at anyone in the eye, but don’t look away either.
  9. Never talk business in front of the kids.
  10. Reasonable men do not need to make assurances.
  11. Don’t take sides against the family.
  12. Remember, women and children can be careless but not men.
  13. With respect comes loyalty.
  14. Don’t make promises you cannot keep.
  15. Family is the most important thing in life.
  16. Don’t act based on emotions.

20. Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

  1. Establish friendships out of respect, business and trust.
  2. White-collar criminals are the most powerful criminals.
  3. Keep your business private; discuss it only with family members.
  4. Violence is the last option.
  5. Don’t sell drugs.
  6. Build a powerful community.
  7. Don’t take things too personal.
  8. A man who does not spend time with his family can never be a real man.
  9. Among reasonable men problems of business could always be solved.
  10. The richest man is the one with the most powerful friends.
  11. Never hate your enemies, it affects your judgment.
  12. Accidents don’t happen to people who take accidents as a personal insult.
  13. Good health is the most important thing. More than success, more than money, more than power.

34. Despite your best efforts; things still might not work out in your favor. That life.

35. Life is so beautiful, nothing else is important. If I can believe in myself that much, nothing else matters.

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  1. Always make them an offer they can’t refuse.

Related Article: https://annakharenina.wordpress.com/2014/10/19/the-godfather/

Chaplin: The Trump’s Odyssey by Simon Louvish

Wrappin‘ up Sunday with this book.  An epic journey, summing up the roots of comedy and its appeal to the audiences everywhere, who revealed in the clown’s raw energy, his ceaseless struggle against adversity, and his capacity to represent our own fears, foibles, dreams, inner demons and hopes.  An Everyman who expressed the defiant spirit of freedom – Chaplin.

Weaponizing Social Media for the Ongoing Political Campaign by: Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago

I have recently had a re-run of Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago’s book, Stupid is Forever. This literary is basically not a book review. I just thought (since it is timely) of sharing with you, my few loyal readers, an excerpt from the speech, which she delivered at the UP Diliman on 02 February 2013, at the symposium sponsored by the University Student Council entitled, Weaponizing Social Media for the Ongoing Political Campaign.

I have personally highlighted some words as well as some of the one liners from her speech, which captured my attention, and motivated me to share her message with you, with the the hopes that my small act will enlighten your thoughts and make you determine yours.
Continue reading Weaponizing Social Media for the Ongoing Political Campaign by: Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago

A California Childhood

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Been sitting out here in my favorite place, every morning, while quietly  watching the sun rise.  The wind tangling my hair, my feet curled beneath me, a cup of hot coffee warming my palms, with a beautiful book on my lap.  The sky goes from gray to blue, and birds are swooping  overhead, chirping happily while building a nest on the beams above.  There is a choir of crickets singing wonderfully around me, their song getting louder and louder the harder I listen.  And my little furry sidekick is asleep on my slippers.  I am seemingly alone, but not really.  I do enjoy the company I keep in the wee hours of the morning.  Makes me wonder if the feeling is mutual.

Done.  Excellent book!  I know a LOT of people who need to read this and reexamine their lives, their values and expectations.  Especially those sons and daughters of so and so and so and so….A California Childhood written by James Franco.  Light reading, while going down memory lane, as you witness an excellent actor in the making.  I must say I was thoroughly impressed.

Simple pleasures and childhood memories.

AJ’s Book Club

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I am currently sitting here at one of my favorite coffee shops and while waiting for the traffic to loosen up, and for my cup to be served, I came across one of James Franco’s articles in vice.com called, Franco’s Summer Book Club where he shared a list of books, which he have read, and basically is, on top of  his list.  It was awesome!  Inspired by his idea, “What the heck!”  I resolved to come up with my own.  You can call me a big time “copycat”, but I thought, it would be nice to share these fantastic books, and perchance you can enjoy them on a weekend or make them your perfect company during one of your trips.  Happy reading!

Dracula by Bram Stoker

In the early 18th century, reports about vampire encounters swept Western Europe, triggering widespread hysteria, including the staging of corpses.  For some reasons, the vampire curse was able to migrate westward from the Balkans and Eastern Europe, where the legend of bloodsucking creatures feeding on the life essence of humans held sway for centuries.  Fact: This legend has haunted me since I was a kid, which progressed me not to be interested in vampires, ghosts, werewolves, and other manifestations of superstitions as well as the supernaturals.  I’ve avoided horror in both literature and film basically because I hate being scared, but when I bothered to read it, (out of too much curiosity, of course)  surprisingly, Dracula is a hybrid between an Epistolary and Detective Novel, which I found really interesting.  This Victorian Novel,  has been around for over a hundred years, and surprisingly, compared to its contemporaries, it is a good deal more readable book than many other in the late 1800s.  Leafing through its pages, I have learned that it’s more than a vampire story, but I will not throw any spoilers here.  It’s for me to suggest, and for you to know.  It’s “A Must Read Before I Die”.  Twilight fans, you should pay homage to Abraham Stoker, and break up a copy of Dracula.

Living Loving and Learning by Leo F. Buscaglia

I generally hate self-help/inspirational type of books; however, this one has a very particular spot in my affection.  So simple, yet so powerful.  Living, Loving and Learning is a diamond, full of positivity, and hope!  It is a collection of Leo Buscaglia’s lecture series.  It will prompt you to be fearless enough to live the life you’ve imagined as you learn to accept and appreciate the craziness in you – your humanness.  I threw all sorts emotions as I read this book that I’ve almost completed the emoji chart.  It gave me a roller coaster ride, and read this book countless times – one of my favorites indeed!

 Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

This book is a very good comrade in the coffee shop.  It raises the never ending saga between Print and Electronic Media, which is one of the favorite topics of any AB graduate like me.  This dystopian novel, which was published in 1953 is regarded as one of Bradbury’s best works.  Television is a different medium than books, and has its own strengths and weaknesses, but what is it about books, about poetry and literature that it is so essential to us?  I love books that challenge me, stimulate my mind and make me think.  Perhaps a little intellectual stimulation wouldn’t hurt once in a while.  It makes life much more fulfilling, and Fahrenheit 451 just did that.

El Filibusterismo by Jose Rizal

Jose Rizal was a versatile genius.  He was an architect, an artist, a businessman, a cartoonist, an educator, an economist, an ethnologist, a scientist, an ophthalmic surgeon, a poet, a propagandist, a psychologist, a scientist, a sculptor, a sociologist, a theologian, and yes, he is a novelist.  El Filibusterismo (The Subversive) second novel and sequel to another satirical novel Noli Me Tangere (Touch Me Not) was written while Rizal was traveling and studying in Europe.  In the story, Ibarra, the main protagonist in the previous novel, returned in disguise as Simoun to have his revenge.  Both novels, along with the other writings, caused Rizal’s death by firing squad on December 30, 1898, around two years before Spain sold the Philippines to the United States.  I first read El Filibusterismo as a requirement in Senior High.  I did not pay much attention to the story not until a confidant at work told me to read it, as it can be a powerful tactical tool in the corporate world – and it did not fail my expectations.


Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Okay, I got this book as a Christmas present. Three things to distinhguish it: This book is a novel, a doomed love story, a philosophical travelogue. In the story, Roberts was sentenced to imprisonment in Australia after being convicted of armed robberies of building society branches, etc. who escaped from prison and flees to India.  What’s more interesting is that the novel is reportedly influenced by actual events in the life of the author.  A lavish and sometimes overwritten swashbuckling adventure, an ambient study of Bombay, it was fast paced, interesting, thought-provoking and adventurous.  I genuinely enjoyed hearing the accents, slang and expressions in all the versions English as a second language spoken by Spanish, Italian, French, Pakistani, Afghan, Indian city village and slum dwellers, imagining Urdu, Hindu, Marathi and other languages.  I could listen all day  to conversations with Prabaker!  If you liked Eat, Pray, Love, but wanted more blood, guts, and guns in it, this book is definitely for you, with a bonus of some scenes that reminded me of Oscar Wilde’s play or two.

A Pirate Looks at Fifty by Jimmy Buffet

FACT: I am not a Parrot Head, but I loved this book.  I enjoyed learning more about the Caribbean, Fly Fishing, and all of Jimmy Buffet’s thoughts, especially his most famous airplane in 1954, the Grumman HU-16 Albatross.  Packed with life’s lessons, it’s perfect for Summer, and a good company at the Coffee Shop.  What I found in this literary was a well-written, contemplative story of a man assessing his life at the half-century mark.  I’d recommend this book.  It’s an interesting travelogue, and also a journey through another man’s life.  Not a great literature, perhaps, but easy to read.  A Pirate Looks at Fifty gives a unique bird’s eye view into the lives of those in our life.  It is for people who have a sense of freedom and adventure, and has a quench for tequila, which by the way includes – ME.

You can as well check out James Franco’s article, Franco’s Summer Book Club.                              Link: http://www.vice.com/read/francos-summer-book-club

Some of My All Time Classics

I may not be at school, but comfort reading, rereading and easy reading is something I’ve been doing a lot lately.  When I am not reading for work purposes, and lacking the energy to start something new, I try to bring back the hands of time by returning to something familiar, which, if I am lucky, and lucky enough to forget the plot of the story, I will be able to enjoy imagining the places, the feelings and understanding the thoughts of the characters in the story just like the very first time.

Reading is a great form of entertainment!  A paperback book doesn’t hold up much space so you can take it anywhere, and you’ll never be lonely or bored if you have a book in your bag.  You can read while waiting in a queue, while waiting for a friend who’s running late, or during a flight delay at an airport.   Oh, and it’s a great companion at the coffee shop too!

I have randomly picked some of my favorite Classic Novels, and thought of creating a short video of  it, so it would not be boring while you check on my list.  These are the books, which I have somehow relate to, have filled up my senses, and felt like I am one of the characters who played in those many beautiful stories, which were sometimes happy, sometimes sad, sometimes horrible, and yes, sometimes delirious!

Have you checked your bookshelf lately?