Book Review: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

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A year in Provence is some sort of a personal memoir written by Peter Mayle.

Describing how his first year living in the French countryside had turned out to be for him and his wife. In which such details were divided into twelve chapters in the book – from January to December.

Actually this decision was something that both of them had been wanting to do. To retire early, and to live a simple life in a small town community. So they’ve packed most of their important belongings and moved into an old farmhouse in the Luberon mountains between Avignon and Aix.

But on their first month in Provence, they were welcomed by the cold winter season. Plus, the house needs a lot of improvements. Which was truly a real struggle for them, and an experience that they were not used to since they usually come to visit the place during the tourist season.

However, despite all of that, Peter and his wife really knew for sure that everything is really going to be worth it. Because Provence is the kind of place that really attracts its visitors of its stunning views of the mountains including its surrounding farms and its vineyards. Another thing is that there’s just something quaint and vintage about its small villages that it tends to feel like you’re on the other side of the world.

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So why do I have an idea about a place that I still haven’t got that chance to visit (but seriously been wanting to)?

Well, before I’ve decided to read the book, I had to make sure that I will have an overview of Provence. So I had to see the film adaptation of Good Year (a novel also written by Peter Mayle) in order to properly visualize this famous countryside, and also to get an idea of some of the important details that might be mentioned in the book – like their usual greetings, the culture of its community, and also their local dishes.

Then by the time I started reading it, I was entirely fascinated by the author’s writing style, for it was very detailed, affable to read, informative, and simply captivating. And even if this was written for almost three decades ago, and that times have already changed since then, I still think that this book is a wonderful reference for anyone who has any plans of visiting France, specifically Provence. In addition to that, it has also a very thorough seasonal account of the place, including those highly recommended restaurants to dine into, and not the usual and overrated restaurants for its tourist.

A year may seem like a short period of time, but a lot has happened since Peter Mayle and his wife had decided to live abroad, and experienced the real charms and frustrations of living a Provencal life, because they’ve truly fallen in love with the place; its people, the food, and how they’ve taken such importance of leading a quiet and meaningful life.

For someone who’ve been wanting to visit France one day, I’ve felt a real connection while reading the author’s personal account of his experiences in living there. And for one moment, it was like I was actually in Provence – living the dream.

Hopefully, one day, I’ll have the chance to go to this breathtaking and beautiful countryside.

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It was a very insightful one to read. In addition to that, I’ve also learned that the author wrote this book so that its readers may know that there’s more to Provence than what we tend to hear from those people who’ve already visited there. Well, of course, it’s a very stunning place. But it’s the kind of a countryside in where its local knows the importance of living a good life and eating a good food with your loved ones. And it’s not about being lazy, it’s just that these people just knew what they truly want in choosing to live a quality life with your friends and family.

The kind of book that after reading will leave all of its readers wanting for more, because getting into the world of Peter Mayle is like they’re on a year-long vacation from France, and would love to extend their stay there.

By the way, if you want a copy of this book. You can buy it online with a free shipping worldwide at Book Depository.

Well, that’s it for now, and till my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading!

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Book Review: Easy by Tammara Webber

a22ee4224c6fc7a20ab86699469cf0cfAs expected, this book entitled Easy by Tammara Webber is such a beautiful story that it got me hooked on reading it in just a short period of time. And I’m so grateful to Goodreads for letting me discover this wonderful novel.

I think it was at that time when I was surfing the site for an interesting but unfamiliar book to read that I found this. But it took me awhile before I’ve decided to read it. I guess its because I was never keen on reading college romances.

Anyway, the beginning of the story was certainly an unusual one. For it was really interesting, suspenseful, exciting and catchy. The story of Lucas and Jacqueline is definitely one of my favorites, and reading their emails and text messages were so much fun. Plus what I like about the story, aside from the fact that it’s actually my first time to read a college romance, is that, on how both of them have found each other.

So even if both of them were kinda lost, but fate had stepped in so that they can learn from each other, and support one another with all the love growing between the two of them. I’ve also learned from reading this story is that when it comes to loving someone, it’s not about giving up what you really want in life just for the sake of your loved ones, for it’s all about balancing everything to support one another (but of course, not that one-sided support).

Because doing so would be like you’re evolving your life for that someone alone, which shouldn’t be the case since you have to retain your individuality as a person.

All in all, it was definitely a page-turner and I had so much fun reading it.

By the way, if you want a copy of this book. You can buy it online with a free shipping worldwide at Book Depository.

Well, that’s it, until my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading.

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Book Review: From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

 

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon is a beautiful story about Angelo Bianco, a young priest, and his childhood friend, a violinist named Eva Rosselli.

Set in Italy during the German Occupation, this is a tale of a passionate and forbidden love in a time where things were so uncertain, and full of obstacles.

The kind of novel that I had never thought that would make me feel so emotional while reading it. Seriously, it was that engrossing and heartbreaking to read.

Furthermore, the author of this inspiring story had captured its readers by giving them a glimpse on how these people from all the countries that were invaded by the Germans lived during those times. So as a reader, I was painfully hit hard of the idea on how arduous it is for them to live a life in fear, but at the same time, trying to be brave and strong as they cling to the hope that one day, they will be able to see the light of a newer and brighter world. A world in which everyone would live in peace and harmony – without any judgment or discrimination just because they have a different race or religion. And that it also doesn’t matter who they are because what matters most is the sense of respect, kindness, and love for one another.

For sure, every reader who have already read the book, knew that the story of Angelo and Eva is something that they will never ever forget. Not just because of their love story, but more on how this couple have been such an inspiration, and despite the fact that Angelo is a Catholic (and a priest), and Eva being a Jewish. Such obstacles have really been a test on how strong is their love for one another. Using that love not just for themselves, but also offering it all to God; asking for the strength and courage to guide them in helping the Jews in their community. Risking their lives because they want to fight for justice because of all the inhumane and cruel things that they’ve witnessed from the German soldiers and officials.

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

So before I wrap it up this blog of mine, I would like to share that before I’ve finished reading the novel, I already knew that this one have definitely made it at the top of list as one of the best books that I’ve ever read. For it was so heartbreakingly beautiful, and I still haven’t recovered from it. And just thinking about it every now and then gives me that emotional feeling that I just couldn’t entirely explain.

Well yes, it’s a fiction, but all the details about the invasion that were described in the story were true. A reminder, especially after so many decades had passed, that one should always hope and pray that something like that should never happen again, and to keep the faith that the good will always triumph over evil.

Plus, even if I’m a person who doesn’t entirely practice her religion, but I faithfully believe in God. That I believe, not in its traditions, but in humanity’s faith to do good things.

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And as a bonus, below are the following quotes that I’ve highlighted while reading the book.

“They can take our homes, our possessions. Our families. Our lives. They can drive us out, like they’ve driven us out before. They can humiliate us and dehumanize us. But they cannot take our thoughts. They cannot take our talents. They cannot take our knowledge, or our memories, or our minds. In music there is no bondage. Music is a door, and the soul escapes through the melody.”

“Love had not made them poor. Love had made them wealthy. In that moment, they were royalty, a king of fortune and a queen of destiny, embracing a tiny prince of peace.”

“God makes me strong. He gives me courage. He gives me peace. He gives me purpose.”

“Sand and ash. The ingredients of glass. Such beauty created from nothing. It had been something Babbo had marveled about and something she’d never understood. From sand and ash, rebirth. From sand and ash, new life. With every song and with every prayer, with every small rebellion, Eva felt reborn, renewed, and she vowed to press on. She vowed to push back, to make glass from the ashes, and that courage was a victory in itself. Eva”

“Does it matter how we pray, if our devotion is pure, if our love for him leads us to love and serve and forgive and be better?”

“But we have to live in order to learn. And sometimes we have to fight in order to live.”

By the way, if you want a copy of this book. You can buy it online with a free shipping worldwide at Book Depository.

Well that’s it for now and till my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading.

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon

Book Review: The Note by Zoe Folbigg

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London commuter and her Train Crush | Daily Mail Online

A heartwarming true story about the author of this book. Which is tale of a love, but also truly inspiring and uplifting to read.

I think it was in late September, when I was scrolling on my news-feed on Facebook that I came across an article about a young woman who commutes to work every day by a train. Usually, it would just be an ordinary and typical day for her, but suddenly it wasn’t so anymore; for there was a new commuter – a beautiful young man.

Then after that, he became a fellow passenger every morning, and as time passes by, she had fallen in love of this particular stranger. Of course, it sounds kind of irrational to fall for someone you really don’t know at all. Except for this woman, because she tends to feel like there’s a real connection between her and the guy. And deep down, she just knew that he could be THE ONE.

For months she’s been wanting to have the chance to get to know him. However, every time she sees him, he’s just always stuck in a book- reading. Then one day, after gathering such courage and words of inspiration from her love ones. She was brave enough to slip him a note, asking if he’s interested to come and meet her for a drink.

So wanna know what actually happened to them?

Well, there’s only one way to find out. And that is to read it.

Furthermore, I would like to share my own insights about the novel, and I’m going to be very bunt by telling you that after reading the article. I was so intrigue of the story that I’ve decided to get my own copy and read it right away. But the thing is, I actually didn’t enjoy reading the first half of the book. I guess, as a reader, I was a bit confused on how some of the point-of-views of the main characters were being presented. So it took a little getting used to before I was able to really grasp the author’s writing style.

Yet when I got to the second half of the story, especially to that part when the young woman had given the note to the train main, it got all exciting, that in just a matter of days, I was able to finish reading it.

Then after going through the whole romance of the author and her train man, (despite the minor difficulty that I’ve encountered), I just knew that this one deserves a book review in my blog. Because I wanna share and recommend to you a novel that doesn’t really focus on the romance itself, but on the importance of being courageous in pursuing what you really want and also to what makes you profoundly happy.

Plus, this story enlightens its readers on the simple thought that being brave by taking a chance on something you desire could really change everything. You just have to believe in it.

By the way, if you want a copy of this book. You can buy it online with a free shipping worldwide at Book Depository.

Well, that’s it for now. Till my next book review.

Thank you so much for reading.

The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy (Book Review)

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A very unconventional memoir that was written by a journalist of The New Yorker named Ariel Levy. It’s a book that gives its readers a glimpse of who she is; her point of view, an insight about herself, her frustrations, opinions, ideas, and all the notions about her true self in this modern world. In which by the way makes this book quite refreshing and honest to read.

Although, I have no idea of who she is since I’ am a Filipino reader, and the only reason that I’ve decided to read this one was because I’ve been hearing such good reviews about her book especially from fellow Goodreads members, celebrities, and other famous public figures. So it was just all out of curiosity that made me chose this one in my reading list.

Then after getting unto her memoir, I was a bit surprised and slightly uncomfortable at first when I’ve already gotten to that part when it was revealed that she’s a diverse type of woman. But despite the fact of about her, I’m still glad that I chose to read this one. The reason is that I’ am quite fascinated by the author’s writing skills, for it was somewhat impeccable and affable to understand. Then I was also enamored by her being so truthful and bold for writing this one.

Well I’m not sure if she’s a feminist or what, but I truly admire her, because through her words, she was able to point it out into the world the things that she truly believes in. Furthermore, she is someone with her own principles in life. And one of my most favorite part in the book was when she was describing about it on how it feels like to be a millennial woman; shedding its readers some light on how a female tend to perceive things specifically during their 20’s and 30’s.

So now that I already know what the fuss was all about. I would most certainly say that this is a book that one should truly recommend to every fellow readers out there. A memoir that talks about being an unconventional woman in today’s modern society. An inspiration for every feminist.

But I have to remind you that as reader, you really need to be more open-minded before getting into a glimpse of Ms. Ariel Levy’s world. For there are certain issues that she had shared that you might find a bit sensitive especially for some people of different cultures and traditions.

It may seem to be that way, but this is a wonderful lesson to each and every one of us that we shouldn’t be too judgmental; but to be more kind, respectful, and understanding particularly to those who are in between in terms of their own struggles and sexuality, and you might think that they are different, but, they are also a human being who truly deserves such fair and just treatment in our society.

A sincere and real equality for all.

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And by the way, here are the following quotes that has intrigued me while reading the book:

“There is nothing I love more than traveling to a place where I know nobody, and where everything will be a surprise, and then writing about it. It’s like having a new lover—even the parts you aren’t crazy about have the crackling fascination of the unfamiliar.”

“Nature. Mother Nature. She is free to do whatever she chooses.”

“What does it mean to be a woman? What are the rules? What are your options and encumbrances? I wanted to tell stories that answered, or at least asked, those questions.”

“Character is who you are when nobody else is watching,”

“It is a still stranger thing that there is nothing so delightful in the world as telling stories.”

Well, that it’s for now.
Till my next book review.
Thank you so much for reading! 😊✌🏻

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen (Book Review)

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GOODREADS SUMMARY:

The women of the Waverley family — whether they like it or not — are heirs to an unusual legacy, one that grows in a fenced plot behind their Queen Anne home on Pendland Street in Bascom, North Carolina. There, an apple tree bearing fruit of magical properties looms over a garden filled with herbs and edible flowers that possess the power to affect in curious ways anyone who eats them.

For nearly a decade, 34-year-old Claire Waverley, at peace with her family inheritance, has lived in the house alone, embracing the spirit of the grandmother who raised her, ruing her mother’s unfortunate destiny and seemingly unconcerned about the fate of her rebellious sister, Sydney, who freed herself long ago from their small town’s constraints. Using her grandmother’s mystical culinary traditions, Claire has built a successful catering business — and a carefully controlled, utterly predictable life — upon the family’s peculiar gift for making life-altering delicacies: lilac jelly to engender humility, for instance, or rose geranium wine to call up fond memories.

Garden Spells reveals what happens when Sydney returns to Bascom with her young daughter, turning Claire’s routine existence upside down. With Sydney’s homecoming, the magic that the quiet caterer has measured into recipes to shape the thoughts and moods of others begins to influence Claire’s own emotions in terrifying and delightful ways.

As the sisters reconnect and learn to support one another, each finds romance where she least expects it, while Sydney’s child, Bay, discovers both the safe home she has longed for and her own surprising gifts. With the help of their elderly cousin Evanelle, endowed with her own uncanny skills, the Waverley women redeem the past, embrace the present, and take a joyful leap into the future.

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MY BOOK REVIEW:

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen was the first novel that I’ve read by her and it was such a wonderful and magical story. Kind of reminds me of that old movie entitled “Practical Magic” starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock. Well it’s not the same story but the whole concept of old magical spells, and a small town community was somewhat a bit similar. Anyway, I’m usually not keen on reading novels in which its genre is all about magical realism. But I must say, the book was definitely amazing.

Furthermore, it’s the kind of tale that emphasizes the importance of having one’s family to support you through thick and thin. And that’s what the characters of Claire and Sydney have shown its readers – the value of being supportive and loving to one another, and even though that their childhood days was a bit tough, and as sisters, there was some kind of strain into their relationship. But time has shown them the importance of sisterhood, and giving love a chance to be a part of their lives.

Well speaking of romance, which was more like a secondary theme into story, was such a giddy and additional treat in the novel especially when it gets to the part about Claire and Tyler’s not so unusual love story.

Moreover, the author has written it in a style that’s entirely simple and catchy for its readers.

Then as I’ve already written, it’s a story that deals with something in the world of fantasy and magical realism; like the moving apple tree, and what would happen to that person when he/she would try to take a bite of the apple from that particular tree. Plus including its strange community!
Another thing that I’ve also observed as a reader was that the story seems so real that things like that could happen. However, after reading the whole the book, it just got me thinking, “Hey, it’s just a story but how nice it would be if it can happen in real life!”

And I tell you guys, this novel will truly make you fall in love of its author Sarah Addison Allen, and would entice you to read the rest of her books!

 

Well that’s it for now. Till me next book review.

Thank you so much for reading! 🙂

 

 

 

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais (Book Review) 

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A story about an aspiring Indian Chef who was on a very long and short journey. But its a walk that has led him to his destiny.

A taste of life“. Yup, that is how I would describe the story of Hassan Haji. I must say, I’ve felt like for one moment being part of the hustle and bustles of Mumbai, backpacking around Europe, enjoying the simplicity of life in Lumière, and having a marvelous time eating in Paris. Its because of those French and Indian dishes that were described in the story that it also feels like I was eating and traveling while reading the book.

However, there is actually more to the story, and it all boils down into this favorite quote that I’ve read – “Good taste is not the birthright of snobs, but a gift from God sometimes found in the most unlikely of places and in the unlikeliest of people”. A beautiful thought that was passed down from one generation to another. An idea that despite all the struggles and success in life in order to attain the one thing that inspires you to be more passionate; you should never ever forget where you came from, and to be humble in all the things that you do.

Although, it is quite different from the film adaptation, but it was entirely understandable. Definitely a must read especially for those who are a fan of the movie.