Feed Your Mind: Vol. 1

One of the things I’ve been looking forward to doing [again] since deciding to quit my job a little over a month ago is being able to catch up with my reading. The last time I’m on a reading marathon was in May when I finished four books in one week.

What better way to describe this series than Feed Your Mind? After all, this is scatterbrain, so it had to be relevant. For some people, reading could simply be considered as a past-time. The same applies to me since I’ve enjoyed reading for as long as I can remember, but I also encourage myself in continuing to do so for something else: to learn.

Reading a book not only entails being drawn to a particular storyline, topic, or issue regardless of its genre. It allows us to discover new things—words, phrases, places, characters. Reading has widen my vocabulary over time, and it’s something I earned for myself. It opens us up to a lot of possibilities, and that’s what makes it both exciting and fulfilling (at least for me).

I know this is not entirely original, but I am going to start a series showcasing all the books I’ve recently read. I sort of tried doing “book reviews” in the past, but I think I’m terrible at writing them, so instead I’m going to comment a sentence or two on each book without giving away too much. I’m also going to throw in a quote I liked from each book for good measure. If you’re looking for a thorough discussion about these books, then you’ve come to the wrong place.

Well, let’s get on it, shall we?

1.  Divergent by Veronica Roth

I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

This the first of the three books from the Divergent series, and man, did I enjoy reading it. I know most people compare it to the Hunger Games trilogy, and I both agree and disagree. I agree that both stories tap socio-political issues in a creative way, but I completely disagree that they had the same approach. Maybe the female protagonists, Katniss and Tris, made the similarities magnified, but they are unique in their own way. I adore Katniss Everdeen, but I see myself more like Tris. Defiant. Have you seen its film adaptation?

2.  The Five Languages of Love by Gary Chapman

Quality time does not mean that we have to spend our together moments gazing into each other’s eyes. It means that we are doing something together and that we are giving our full attention to the other person.

I learned about this book from my parents who are both members of the Family Life Ministry in our parish. They administer Pre-Cana seminars to couples who are about to wed in preparation for a lifetime commitment that is marriage. The goal is to discuss with them what married life is like—what to expect, what not to expect, etc.

This book identifies five simple languages of love that are often taken for granted or seldom noticed. Being newlyweds who are currently in a long distance relationship, this book helped and continues to help us in understanding the importance of compromising for the common good. I highly recommend this not only to newlyweds, but to longtime married couples alike.

3.  Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.

I didn’t know about this book until I saw some friends talk about it on Twitter and Instagram. I got curious, so I looked it up, grabbed a copy of its eBook, and added it onto my to-read’s list. When I was done with The Five Languages of Love, I wanted to read something that I could finish in one sitting. Eleanor & Park was the perfect fit at that time, so I got on with it.

This is a story of two teenager misfits in the 80s who were different in many ways, but somehow managed to see right through their differences. It reminds me of the kind of love that will strive to move mountains no matter what. It’s a cute young adult book; I liked it, but not as much as the other books I’ve read. Perhaps I read it at the the wrong time in my life because I’m well-past that phase when I’m fighting for a love with little chance of survival. It’s a good book, nonetheless.

4.  Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith

Is it better to have had a good thing and lost it, or never to have had it?

Because I was on a reading roll, I decided to pick the next interesting book in my to-read’s list. Man, I was glad I started with this one! I gave this book a 5-star rating in Goodreads simply because I loved it from beginning to end! I can’t tell if this is any different from all other romantic novels I’ve read in this lifetime, but I know that it’s one of those I find difficult to put down.

Side note: Has anyone else thought Armie Hammer could pass for the role of Oliver if they ever make this book into a film? I know he’s American, but he was all I imagined as Oliver as I flipped through the pages of the book!5.  This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

Well, thank you. But that’s not what happy looks like.

The problem with reading two consecutive books from the same author: you tend to hope that the next book is just as good as the first one. Having just read the Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I must admit that I had high expectations in this book. It was good, but I had this weird feeling that I’ve read a similar story before.

If I imagined Armie Hammer as Oliver in the Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, I thought Andrew Garfield could best play the character of Graham Larkin. What say you?6.  The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

Everything new arrives on the heels of something old, and every beginning comes at the cost of an ending.

A friend recommended that I read this book upon learning that I’ve read two of Jennifer E. Smith’s novels. According to her, this is a story between two lovers in a long distance relationship, and because my husband and I are in this phase, I thought I’d give it a try. Unfortunately, I didn’t like it. I didn’t find myself as engaged as the first book I’ve read rom the same author.

What have you been reading lately? Do you know of any good reads worth recommending? Let me know!

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