Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

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One good thing about reading a book written in first person POV, it gives me access to the protagonist mind. It excites me. He lets me see and feel his emotions over things that he’ll going to do next. I could feel him through his words.  I could feel I was there right beside him. I could feel everything.

Rogue Male was my second quest in my pursuit to read something ‘classic’ and outside of my comfort zone. The first attempt was the The Collected Short Stories of Lydia Davis which I don’t think I could finish immediately. This was a task I imposed lately upon myself to widen my reading experience.

Our male protagonist was a wealthy aristocrat Englishman and well traveled. He was unnamed the entire book but every where he went every one knew him. He was named Rogue Male, a sobriquet given to him by the law enforcement and those who wanted to kill him. Eventually, he was captured and tortured.

He was accused of stalking and plotting to assassinate Hitler and they believed he was employed by his government to do the job. They believed he was on a solo mission and were shaken that a man like him could undertake  such impossible quest. He vehemently denied their accusations against him but no one believed him. After he was brutally  tortured, they took him over the cliff and left him there alone. He considered death as his escape; a cure for his pain. He should be happy of this but couldn’t feel it. He moved slowly out of the marsh where he dropped and looked for a place dark enough to hide his body, get some sleep and gather his strength.

He knew it would not be long before Hitler’s minions would be back to look for his body and make his death appear an accident. Now, the hunter is being hunted. He needed to survive. 
He went back to his mother country because he thought he would be safe there. But he was wrong. Hitler’s minions are still after him.

He devised a plan. His present condition had forced him to live like an animal and think like one. Hiding under the ground in a small space isn’t one would wish to live forever. He knew his hunter  will soon discover his hiding place.

The events that followed made me antsy and edgy. The throbbing of my heartbeat was up notched enough to make me deaf. Oblivious of the loud whizzing of my decrepit old electric fan near at the corner of my bed didn’t distract me from tearing my eyes off of the page.

Reading Rogue Male was a big surprise for me. I was like watching a James Bond movie only in a paper back version. I pictured Sean Connery as the Rogue Male here.

A great deal of the story was spent on how he built his underground hole and how would he live there without attracting  attention to himself. Which I find too detailed, too long  and made me a little sleepy. But I understand the author. It was really needed so that as a reader I would know how one could live like an outlaw. How would it feel like  being hunted by both the law enforcement and the hired killer. One wanted him locked up in jail. The other one wanted him dead.

The part how he outsmarted Quive-Smith made me fist into the air and shouted ‘Yes!’

How did he survive Quive-Smith? What drove him to go on a solo mission to plot and kill the worst leader of all time? I’m not going to write it here. I suggest you read Rouge Male.

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Always You

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What if you knew you’re going to die because of a disease that also killed your father? You knew it’s coming but don’t exactly know when the symptoms will ever appear or not. But you have more time to live it, meaningfully. You have more time to spend it wisely with your love ones. Your family knew it and somehow they have warnings. You will be ready. They, too, will be ready. Would you pick this kind of life for you?

What if you never knew when will your life ends? You’re healthy. You live carefree. You live one day at a time and then in a blink of an eye you’ll die in an accident. Without warning you’re gone.You’re not ready. Your family isn’t ready. They are not prepared. Would you pick this kind of life for you?

Given the chance, which one of the two would you choose?

For me, I honestly don’t want to choose. I’m afraid one day I’ll die because of an incurable disease or in an accident or worst old age. I don’t want to be put in a home care while waiting for my body to wither each day and become helpless.  But if I have no other option I want my life to end without becoming a burden to my family. I don’t want to see them suffering while I’m in pain and struggling for my last breath. I want it peaceful. I want it to happen while I was sleeping and I don’t have to wake up.

Death isn’t an easy subject for me. I don’t know if I would have the same attitude the way Dalton accepted his fate. The way he faced his disease and kept a positive outlook towards life showed a strong character few people could possess.  He’s full of hope. He has the love and support of his family and Wrenn, her girlfriend.

After reading I Am No One You Know by Joyce Carol Oates, I decided to pick this book. Always You is a light read but will make you question how you view your life right now.


Severus, Amoebiasis and my Stress

Severus

Severus

I noticed Severus Snape’s, my 4-month old seal point siamese cat, poop turned from hard to slimy to liquid black last Monday. I knew it’s serious because it was very different from the normal poop I used to see from him. I got a little worried about him. I changed his food from dry to wet, the canned one, which I bought immediately from the grocery store. I was kind of relieved to see him ate the wet food but his poop didn’t improve the following day. My gut is screaming at me: the culprit could be diarrhea! So I googled diarrhea and then found out the photo from Purina’s fecal scoring chart. I used this to compare his poop from the chart. Oh, boy. T R O U B L E, I thought.

Nestle Purina

Nestle Purina

Since nothing improved from his poop after I fed him the canned food,  I gave him boiled chicken with a little rice which I read from other cat websites. This is like going back to the basic. Feeding him with it would not upset his stomach, according to them. Ok, I thought. I could now breathe with it. I’m trying to calm here. Sorry. It’s my first time to have a pet cat. Now, I know it’s a H U G E responsibility. Going back, Severus ate every thing I gave him, just enough so as not to upset his stomach and help him digest it easily. I waited again. I’ve been documenting every single thing hoping that his health would improve.

Day 3, I saw his poop turned into light yellow and he threw up every thing he ate last night. O.H. G.O.D. I was so nervous. So, I googled our nearest Vet, the one our family used to call whenever my mother’s dog got into health trouble. Luckily, he has a Facebook account and immediately sent a text message to him if his office is open the following day. He said yes and advised me to come with the cat and fecal sample early morning.

Day 4, the Vet told me that Severus has amoebiasis. What the f@#% I was wondering were did he get it since I’ve been feeding him right and I never let him roam outside our house. Metronidazole was prescribed to Severus and I have to give it to him once a day.

metronidazole

The trouble is, I knew it would not be easy to administer liquid medication to a cat. So, I tried Youtube if there’s a video on how to give such. Luckily for me, there are videos on how to help me give medication and it’s proper way to handle him so as not to add more stress to Severus.  I applied what I’ve learned from the videos but some of the liquid medicines had spilled from his mouth which he tried not to swallow it but I hope some of it was able to go down his gut. I just only hope. Sigh.

I’m praying that my cat would improve his health now that he’s taking his medication. I just hope that he, Severus, would feel me that he needed to be obedient this time and listen to his human. Thank you Internet.

Thank you Google. Thank you Youtube. You are a blessing for me and my cat.

 


Quote #7 Maya Angelou

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“I’ve learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow. 

I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights. I’ve learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents, you’ll miss them when they’re gone from your life. 
I’ve learned that making a “living” is not the same thing as making a “life.” 
I’ve learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance. 
I’ve learned that you shouldn’t go through life with a catcher’s mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back. 
I’ve learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I usually make the right decision. 
I’ve learned that even when I have pains, I don’t have to be one. 
I’ve learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone. People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back. 
I’ve learned that I still have a lot to learn. 
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

Poem #1 Nikki Giovanni

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Choices

If i can’t do
what i want to do
then my job is to not
do what i don’t want
to do

It’s not the same thing
but it’s the best i can
do

If i can’t have
what i want . . . then
my job is to want
what i’ve got
and be satisfied
that at least there
is something more to want

Since i can’t go
where i need
to go . . . then i must . . . go
where the signs point
through always understanding
parallel movement
isn’t lateral

When i can’t express
what i really feel
i practice feeling
what i can express
and none of it is equal

I know
but that’s why mankind
alone among the animals
learns to cry”


Give me sweet dreams Tate

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Sweet Dreams. Kristen Ashley 

 

Sweet Dreams is the 1st book I’ve read from the author Kristen Ashley. Although I’ve read positive reviews from it I can’t ignore some minor negative feedbacks. I read them first before investing my time into the book. It gives me fair warning before I end up frustrated or disappointed. I guess old habit dies hard. Usually I heeded the warning. But not this time. I picked up Sweet Dreams, dumped the first book I’ve chosen, but there’s this nagging feeling I’m making a bad choice.

 

Like other readers, I’m curious what the fuss is all about.

 

Lauren is a divorcee who moved out from gated village to Carnal nowheresville  to start a new life. She has everything wanted by any woman: successful career, gorgeous husband, beautiful house, posh neighborhood, stylish friends, and lived in suburbia. But she feels incomplete.

 

Since all relationships are put to the test, hers isn’t spared. Her perfect marriage life started collapsing. Her husband and bestfriend cheated on her which is going on for years and her docile friends accepted it just because they ALL thought they aren’t matched for each other. Worst thing is, she is the only person who doesn’t know about it.

 

After the divorce, she wandered aimlessly from different cities for months until she got to the town called Carnal. The author has fondness for quirky character names and naming places.  When I first thought about Carnal the first thing that popped inside my head are the two towns  Sodom and Gomora, which are mentioned in the bible that were burnt to ashes by their gods due to their unhealthy sexual  practices. But Lauren is right. Carnal is so ordinary none can associate the town with other prominent cities not even Sodom and Gomora. It’s a nowheresville where the likes of her can start a new life.

 

Tate Jackson is a huge biker  con pro football player con cop turned bounty hunter. He has execrable manners when pissed. He could lashed out anyone near him with his foul words when in bad mood. Lauren bore the brunt of his anger during their first meeting at the Bubba’s bar where she got a waitress job owned by Tate, Bubba and Kyla. She avoided Tate whenever he’s around but he isn’t inclined to do the same.

 

Tate’s character is a badass and domineering alpha male, but under that strong facade, he takes care of his son, bar none. His love for his son make him even more attractive and lovable to female readers. Nothing makes a woman love a man more than seeing how much he loves his child.

 

There is physical attraction between Tate and Lauren. At first,  it’s like a dog-cat relationship.  But Tate has implied his interest in a bikers’ lingo that confuses her much. Later the relationship slowly  developed, which brought them closer together. They set aside their differences when one of his waitresses was killed by a serial killer. This turn of event added more excitement to the readers.

 

Lauren has bad insomnia. And Tate has brilliant  solution for this. He gave Lauren mind-blowing sex so she could sleep well at night. Hmmm. Not a bad idea. Can I have that too, Tate? Ha ha. Silly me.

There are several issues that didn’t convince me well that I would like to point out. She appeared unaware of the cheating. Isn’t it being a woman, our intuition if triggered or pricked for no reason could tell us that there’s cheating going on. It’s like a woman’s armour/defense.  Any woman who’s in a relationship could feel if her partner is cheating. Getting him caught is just a solid proof. The gut feel is enough to convince her there’s something wrong in their  relationship.

 

Her so-called friends didn’t even bother to tell her the truth. I mean, at least one of them has told her the truth. But not in this book. It seemed their minds work the same way. As if all of them don’t use their brains. All right. I’ll just assume all of her friends conspired to ditch her out of her meaningless marriage life. It’s a blessing in disguise after all. Come to think of it, the author probably want that too. Nevertheless, I still stand with my point. I believed not all people think the same way given the same circumstances.

 

Lauren is coming home to Wood’s place mostly every night and they just slept. She’s in his bed, sleeping beside him practically every night.  Is it possible? Hell, I don’t buy it. If Wood is sleeping beside me, and he’s gorgeous as Tate is, I wouldn’t promise to keep my hands off of him. I would make sure he’ll wake up in a blissful dream. Ha ha

 

After reading Sweet Dreams, I felt like the reading soul in me has evaporated into thin air and finally said goodbye. My confidence  in grammar has dwindled. The writing style isn’t a good influence for neophyte writer. If I adopted this style, my Nazi professor in creative writing will definitely give me an ‘F’ mark without a blink.

 

Having sweet dreams is being able to sleep at night free of worries about relationship, financial difficulties, career and life even if something is wrong. To hell with the problem. It’s always there and no one is exempted from it. It’s how we deal with our problems that matters. We made mistakes, we picked up ourselves, we learned from it and we moved on. That’s life. It’s acceptance for what you have in the present and making the most out of it. 

If you don’t mind reading a book with numerous grammatical errors and long winded sentences, you can  give this book a try and you might survive it. I did. It didn’t hurt me much for picking up this book. And it gives me reasons to rant about it.

 


Quote #6 Franz Kafka

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Photo Credit Pinterest

 

“I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound or stab us. If the book we’re reading doesn’t wake us up with a blow to the head, what are we reading for? So that it will make us happy, as you write? Good Lord, we would be happy precisely if we had no books, and the kind of books that make us happy are the kind we could write ourselves if we had to. But we need books that affect us like a disaster, that grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is my belief.” —Franz Kafka


Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper

ImageI came across this book when I checked  one of my favorite reviewers in Goodreads and she gave it 5 star ratings, which surprised me because it wasn’t her usual genre. It intrigues me.  It must be that ‘good’ because reading all her past reviews gave me impression that she’s brutally honest about her feelings for every book she had read. I thought I should give it a try.

This book was written in Katrina’s POV. Katrina ‘Tree’ Lewis has been a widow for four years with a four and a half year old daughter named Abbey from her deceased husband Pete. Pete died in a train accident even before Abbey turned one year old. Bereaved and lost, she packed all their things and moved back to her small town Lauder Lake to live with her parents. With the encouragement and support of her four awesome friends, she tried to move on and start a new life at Lauder Lake.

Tree has been planning to invite a children’s musician to perform in her town’s small library. The idea struck her when she finally noticed Abbey’s growing obsession to her all time favorite cartoon Maxwell MacGillikitty, which its opening song was written and sung by a certain Adrian Graves. Her daughter’s obsession to this song inspired her to search his other works. Being forced to listen to the song repeatedly, her curiosity and infatuation for the man behind the voice slowly developed.

Her uncanny skills for research to find her elusive singer had paid off. She showed to Marissa the sample CD entitled “Songs for Natalie – Adrian Graves,” which she accidentally found at the Bruised Apple bookstore, a second hand bookstore she loved to visit when she was still young. The CD was her only clue to track down the whereabouts of Adrian Graves.

Adrian Graves appeared late and drunk on the day of his live performance. Tree was partly annoyed because he seemed unfit to perform in front of the children. She was having second thoughts if she made the right choice because she didn’t want to disappoint the children. She expected to see an older Adrian but was surprised that he looked younger.  The drunk Adrian finally loosened up as he nailed one song after the other. He got his audience attention including the parents as they sang along with him. Don’t be immediately discouraged if you were also disappointed at Adrian, believed me he had reasons why he did that.

You know, this is a romance novel so I wasn’t surprised to read that ‘unexpected electric zing’ once their hands accidentally touched each other. Obviously, there was  instant physical attraction between them.

Her attraction to Adrian made me smile and sent me howling with laughter when they had their first kiss. Sorry, I can’t say a word about it. But for those who already read the book, they knew what I was talking about.

There are chapters that would make you close the book for a while like you remember putting on hold cleaning the house because the itch to read the book kicks in. Since the succeeding chapters aren’t as appealing as the previous ones, going back to the chores you left before you picked up the book has become much more exciting than ever. That’s what I did. I get back to cleaning my place and tried to forget this annoying thought that the book isn’t engaging as it said it was. I don’t abandon the book just because the story is making me loose my sanity. I always gave the book a second chance. For now, I have tons of patience. I repeat, Tons.

I know it wasn’t easy to write a book the same way to be able to publish it. I now understand the hardships and sleepless nights some authors were going through so that they were able to write their books and publish it. It’s maturity I guess. Having read so many books in the past, even though some of it are hard to digest because the words are like jewelries, too expensive for my taste. Some were like a piece of cake suited for my taste, suited for my too ordinary vocabulary. No matter what words they created, I started to respect them. Going back, as I was saying, this was the part of the book some reviewers find it slow because I honestly and totally agree with them.

Succeeding chapters gave us a glimpse of how Tree and Pete met. How she went through overcoming her loss and heartaches for the untimely death of her husband. This also gave us a glimpse of how she solely raised her daughter and seeing her growing up without her father being around was difficult to bear. Depression came in and she indulged in it for quite some time but fought it for herself and for her daughter Abbey.  While Katrina has a lot of baggage which is too much for her to carry and a daughter on her sleeves, she enjoyed what she could get from Adrian and what they have for a moment.

I liked Adrian’s character. He’s a rockstar in the 80’s with a British accent and I could feel Kat’s shuddered delight whenever Adrian called her ‘luv’ in his accent. Like Kat, he too has his own ‘personal demons.’

As any relationship, it has its ups and downs. The relationship turned topsy-turvy. Adrian has been like opened book about his past except for one thing which he is trying to share with Tree. Tree on the other hand had kept Adrian at a guessing point. Both characters were matured adults who knew how to handle their past. They gave each other a space to tackle their own demons and learn to forgive themselves and take their second chances at life and love.

Abbey loved to spell her name like A-B-B-E-Y with an emphasis to ‘with an E.’ She’s cute, bubbly, witty and asked a lot of questions. All throughout the book, Abbey would give you the first impression that you would wish she is your daughter.

Finally, after reading this book, what I’ve learned was that sudden death in the family would make one enraged, haywire or ballistic.  I don’t understand before why this book took on a slow build up but after reading it, contemplate on it for a while, and now I came up with my conclusion. It just showed me how one was going through if one member of the family tragically died especially in the case of Katrina. She’s lowly building up her own family and then her husband died in a tragic accident and gone forever in her life and in her daughter’s life.

I also understand what Adrian was going through after so much being popular in the music industry and kept himself hidden in the public’s eyes. The popularity, the huge money he’s making was quite overwhelming for him. Being popular had also caused him betrayal and love lost from family and friends.

This is a good book, quite long but well written.


Quote #5 Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Photo Credit Philosophica.Info

A picture held us captive. And we could not get outside it, for it lay in our language and language seemed to repeat it to us inexorably. – Ludwig Wittgenstein


Coffee

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This morning I woke up
To the smell of coffee floating in the air
That you prepared with a ready smile
And love in your face.

My coffee is on top of the table
Patiently waiting for me
While you’re eating your breakfast
I joined you and we talked
About your plans for the day
We kissed and I left for work.

I’m beginning to get used to it
Like the morning that always comes
My coffee is always ready
While you wait for me
To join you in our table.

Days have come and go
Change is inevitable
I lost my job
And you became busy.

I woke up with you
Still asleep in our bed
I left and headed toward the kitchen
To prepare our breakfast and your coffee.

Things have changed lately
You no longer prepare my coffee
And you’re always late waking up
I missed your coffee
I missed my job.