Four good reads

July 24, 2008 at 6:38 am 14 comments

Reading on the bus on the way to and from work is working really well for me. I never would have thought. I have finished four books in two months. That’s a record for me. I thought I’d write about them before I forget what I have read.

Angels & Demons

I only got interested in reading this book when Wil mentioned it in one of his posts. That’s the power of suggestion working on me. πŸ™‚ I wonder if I have that same influence over others. Do readers of this blog also pick up a certain book or movie because I wrote about it?

Angels & Demons was actually written by Dan Brown before the controversial novel The Da Vinci Code which I’ve also read and couldn’t put down once I started reading it. And that being said, I think Angels & Demons is a lot more interesting and thrilling than Da Vinci.

In Angels & Demons, Robert Langdon was called to a Swiss research facility to analyze a symbol that was burned on the chest of a physicist that was murdered. This physicist was secretly doing experiments in an attempt to reconcile science and religion. But what he created was a substance called antimatter, which if it got in the wrong hands, could be a deadly weapon of destruction. And of course it was stolen. And so Langdon, together with the physicist’s beautiful daughter, went on a race against time trying to retrieve it, and at the same time, try to save a few important hostages in the Vatican.

I think it’s interesting that as I was reading the book, I kept seeing Tom Hanks in my mind as Robert Langdon. That’s probably because I’ve seen the movie The Da Vinci Code. And this was before I’ve learned that they’re filming Angels & Demons. And yes, Tom Hanks is once again starring as Langdon. I just hope that he’s sporting a short hair this time.

The Kite Runner

So I was able to find a cheaper copy of The Kite Runner at $11.99 at Coles bookstore downtown. It’s a pocket book size paper back. I’m only going to touch lightly on this one, as I’ve already written about the story when I watched the movie. Actually I just want to say that I’m glad that I’ve read the book. There were a lot of parts that were missing in the movie. And I’m also glad that I’ve seen the movie first. Because it was such a good movie and I didn’t come out of it with dissatisfaction.

I just want to share one of my favourite parts of the book that didn’t make it to the film. This made me teary-eyed, and I was sitting in a bus full of people when I got to this part. And I don’t usually cry when reading a book, only when watching a movie.

This is a conversation between Amir and his childhood friend’s son, Sohrab.

“Do you think Father is disappointed in me?”
“I know he’s not,” I said. “You saved my life in Kabul. I know he is very proud of you for that.”
He wiped his face with the sleeve of his shirt. It burst a bubble of spittle that had formed on his lips. He buried his face in his hands and wept a long time before he spoke again. “I miss Father, and Mother too,” he croaked. “And I miss Sasa and Rahim Khan sahib. But sometimes I’m glad they’re not … they’re not here anymore.”
“Why?” I touched his arm. He drew back.
“Because —” he said, gasping and hitching between sobs, “because I don’t want them to see me … I’m so dirty. He sucked in his breath and let it out in a long, wheezy cry. “I’m so dirty and full of sin.”
“You’re not dirty, Sohrab,” I said.
“Those men —”
“You’re not dirty at all.”
“— they did things … the bad men and the other two … they did things … did things to me.”
“You’re not dirty and you’re not full of sin.” I touched his arm again and he drew away. I reached again, gently, and pulled him to me. “I won’t hurt you,” I whispered. “I promise.” He resisted a little. Slackened. He let me draw him to me and rested his head on my chest. His little body convulsed in my arms with each sob.

Where the Heart Is

My niece gave this book to me as a birthday present three years ago. I didn’t take an interest in it right away. But when Barbara, the author’s cousin, suggested that I read it, I told her that it would be next on my list. Again, that’s the power of suggestion. And I must say that I enjoyed reading it. And she was right. It was an easy read.

It’s about a 17-year old pregnant girl who was abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart store. She only had $7.77 in her pocket. She lived in Wal-Mart secretly until she gave birth, right there at the store. She became a news sensation. And the people of the town adopted her. She found a home in a town where people loved her. Because after all, home is where the heart is.

There is also a movie based on this novel. It stars Natalie Portman and Ashley Judd. I haven’t seen it yet.

My Sister’s Keeper

I found this book on sale at $7.99 at the new McNally Robinson bookstore at Polo Park. It’s slightly damaged, but it looks alright to me.

This is about Anna, a 13-year old girl who’s suing her parents for medical emancipation so that she could have the right to make medical decisions for herself. Because you see, Anna was conceived in order to find a genetic match for her older sister Kate, who has leukemia. At first, the doctors were only to take Anna’s cord blood from the umbilical cord that usually gets thrown after birth anyway. It wasn’t going to hurt. Kate went into remission. But later on, she relapsed again. And then Anna had to donate lymphocytes (white blood cells) and then bone marrow. And now that Anna’s 13 and Kate, 16 and her health deteriorating, their parents want Anna to donate her kidney.

This is such a powerful and heartbreaking story. I thought that it would make a good movie, and a controversial one, too, I suppose. After a quick search on the internet, I found out that they are filming a movie based on this novel. Starring Cameron Diaz and Alec Baldwin. Dakota Fanning and her sister Elle were offered the parts of the sisters, but Dakota declined when she learned that she will have to be bald in the movie. That was interesting to know. There are actors or actresses who would grab a good role taking vanity aside, but hey, Dakota’s still very young and I can understand why she wouldn’t want to go bald.

This is also the only book I’ve read so far where the story is told from different points of view. The story is narrated by six, or I should say, seven different characters. I like it. I think it’s very interesting.


Entry filed under: Books, movies, music, TV. Tags: , , , .

He’s trying to get away Look at me and look at you

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Wil  |  July 25, 2008 at 12:02 am

    Ah, so you read Angels and Demons b/c of my post. bw also said he watched a movie (Atonement) b/c I blogged about it. hehe. I think there were two instances when a blogger and a commenter mentioned movies that I eventually watched — one was some movie with Cameron Diaz that I couldn’t finish (it was too mushy for my taste… hehe) and Maria and Christopher (which was good).

    I’ve heard a lot of great things about the Kite Runner, but the subject matter sounds so depressing that its kept me from reading the book or watching the movie.

  • 2. kathy  |  July 25, 2008 at 8:38 am

    I’ve also read Angels&Demons; I liked it too, but I couldn’t help but notice the parallelisms between that book and the Da Vinci Code. I also think that Da Vinci is the better work. Anyway, reading A&D made me want so much to visit Rome and see all those churches and places. πŸ˜€

    Lately, though, I go more for non-fiction than fiction books. The latest one I read was What Color is Your Parachute by Richard Bolles.

  • 3. mixednuts  |  July 25, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    That’s great that you are finding opportune time to read. I too enjoy reading. I am now reading Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult and next is The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.

  • 4. bingskee  |  July 27, 2008 at 1:45 am

    i had read angels and demons. i am interested with the two books – where the heart is and my sister’s keeper. sounds like good books to pour my time out. that is if i have time ha ha

  • 5. haze  |  July 29, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    I have read about that Angels and Demons but am not a patient reader! It could happen sometimes that I can finish a book…..Anyway, happy reading Niceheart!

  • 6. julie  |  July 31, 2008 at 7:35 am

    I have read all of Dan Brown’s book and he is good. The Kite Runner I have read not read yet though I have seen the movie and it moved me to tears. Perhaps the book will too.

    I am currently reading Love in the Time of Cholera and I hope to finish this soon πŸ™‚

    Niceheart, don’t you have a hard time reading in a bus?

  • 7. annamanila  |  August 4, 2008 at 1:28 am

    How wonderful that you still have the time to read .. with full time work, mothering/home making, blogging, etc. etc. And four .. you have read four!
    What do you do, speed read? πŸ™‚

    I’d love to get my hands on The Kite Runner. I saw the movie and loved it.

    Dan Brown … maybe I try him again. Couldn’t finish his Da Vinci Code. 😦

  • 8. niceheart  |  August 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Julie, the only way it works for me on the bus is if I prop up the book on my lap, on top of my purse. I can’t read a book looking down because it makes me feel nauseous.

    Annamanila, no I don’t speed read. I can’t do that. I want to savour every word, every line. πŸ™‚ 10-15 minutes on the way to work and another 10-15 on the way back adds up. So I’m actually reading 20-30 minutes a day. Plus a few more minutes at home, sometimes.

  • 9. Leah  |  August 5, 2008 at 11:27 am

    The beauty of commuting by bus or train, gives you time to catch up on reading. I’ve had this book (Kite Runner) I got for $1 in a book sale at work and I’ve only managed to read a few pages. The movie in out and I’ll probabaly watch it first before reading the book.

    I’ve seen the movie, where the Heart is, i didnt know there was a book.

    I think I would like to My sister’s keeper, I’d definitely want to read that.

  • 10. Toe  |  August 13, 2008 at 6:55 am

    My goodness! The Kite Runner is so heart-wrenching. Hindi ko ma-handle yung ibang scenes… like the rape scene and when the boy was dancing for the Taliban. I was thinking kc that it happens in real life.

  • 11. eric aka senor enrique  |  September 9, 2008 at 10:10 am

    I read the top two in your photo πŸ™‚

    The Manila International Book Fair will begin this Friday and I’m excited. This is one event that you get a chance to get all the books that you’ve been looking for under one roof.


  • 12. A Thousand Splendid Suns « n i c e h e a r t  |  May 23, 2009 at 11:44 pm

    […] Thousand Splendid Suns was written by Khaled Hosseini, the same author who gave us The Kite Runner. I’ve seen the movie The Kite Runner before I read the book. I loved the movie. I loved the book […]

  • 13. The Bluest Eye and Hounddog « n i c e h e a r t  |  June 4, 2009 at 10:44 pm

    […] of the sisters in the upcoming movie, My Sister’s Keeper. I’ve already mentioned this in my book review. Dakota declined the role when she learned that she would have to go bald. I just thought that she […]

  • 14. Hounddog « My Movie Room  |  August 3, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    […] of the sisters in the upcoming movie, My Sister’s Keeper. I’ve already mentioned this in my book review. Dakota declined the role when she learned that she would have to be bald. I just thought that she […]


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