Thursday, March 12, 2009

Weekly Geeks: A Quote a Day #6

The Egyptians often, in death, had their favorite cats embalmed, to cozen their feet. If things go well, my special pets will pace me into eternity, Shakespeare as pillow, Pope at one elbow, Yeats at the other, and Shaw to warm my toes. Good company for far-traveling.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Weekly Geeks: A Quote a Day #5

"Alas," wrote Henry Ward Beecher. "Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore!" Mine is relatively strong at Barnes & Noble, because I know that if I resist a volume on one visit, and someone else buys it, an identical volume will pop up in its place like a plastic duck in a shooting gallery. And if I resist that one, there will be another day, another duck. In a secondhand bookstore, each volume is one-of-a-kind, neither replaceable from a publisher's warehouse nor visually identical to its original siblings, which have accreted individuality with every change of ownership. If I don't buy the book now, I may never have another chance. And therefore, like Beecher, who believed the temptations of drink were paltry compared with the temptations of books, I am weak.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays: 10 March 2009

From page 30 of The Little Princesses: The Story of the Queen's Childhood by her Nanny, Marion Crawford:

Lilibet, rebelling all of a sudden, and goaded by boredom to violent measures, had picked up the big ornamental silver inkpot and placed it without any warning upside down on her head. She sat there, with ink trickling down her face and slowly dyeing her golden curls blue.

Teaser Tuesdays: Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two (2) sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12. You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

Weekly Geeks: A Quote a Day #4

I collect new books the way my girlfriends buy designer handbags. Sometimes, I just like to know I have them and actually reading them is beside the point. Not that I don't eventually end up reading them one by one. I do. But the mere act of buying them makes me happy---the world is more promising, more fulfilling. It's hard to explain, but I feel, somehow, more optimistic. The whole act just cheers me up.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Weekly Geeks: A Quote a Day #3

"Have you really read all those books in your room?"

She laughed. "Oh God no. I've maybe read a third of 'em. But I'm going to read all of them. I call it my Life's Library. Every summer since I was little, I've gone to garage sales and bought all the books that looked interesting. So I always have something to read."

Mailbox Monday (1)

I got a big batch this week (bought, mooched, and borrowed) and I have already read some of them!

The Bought

I found a lot of books at bargain prices at Booksale and National Bookstore this week:

A History of London by Robert Gray
The Middle Ages by Morris Bishop
Thornfield Hall: Jane Eyre's Hidden Story by Emma Tennant
The Sixth Wife: A Novel by Suzannah Dunn
In Maremma: Life and a House in Southern Tuscany by David Leavitt and Mark Mitchell
What I Believe by Norma Fox Mazer
Plan B by Jenny O'Connell
A Certain Age by Rebbecca Ray

...and I finally found another copy of The Lost Chronicles: The Official Companion Book with Bonus DVD! I saw this several years ago at another secondhand bookstore. It was in excellent condition with the DVD intact, but I made a rash (and wrong) decision not to get it. I very much regretted that move. So I was really excited to find another copy at Booksale for only Php 140. It has mild shelf wear but still looks great, but what's super awesome is the DVD is still sealed inside! Yay!

I lovelovelove Doulos, but I have to admit that I am not a huge fan of Christian fiction and non-fiction, which mainly what was sold at the floating bookstore. So I was really glad to find The Literature Lover's Companion, an index of authors and their works, and The Little Princesses: The Story of the Queen's Childhood by Marion Crawford, a memoir and account by "Crawfie", Queen Elizabeth II's governess.

The other three books are Christian fiction romance and historical titles. I would never have bought them if not for my dad having a wet Php 200 bill, which he didn't want to keep in his wallet. So he gave it to me and I used it to buy these books. A Lady of Hidden Intent by Tracie Peterson and A Daughters Inheritance by Tracie Peterson and Judith Miller were picked at random, but Happily Ever After by Susan May Warren was picked because I liked the cover. I have read one Christian historical romance book before, A Bride Most Begrudging by Deeanne Gist and it wasn't bad. So let's see how it goes with these three books.

My favorite buy at the floating bookstore was Doulos: The Story of a Remarkable Ship. I really love what they do and admire these volunteers who bring knowledge, help, and hope to every city they visit. This little book features historical facts of the ship, what these people do on the Doulos, and stories from the crew.

The Mooched

The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett
The Light Fantastic by Terry Pratchett
Equal Rites by Terry Pratchett
The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind by Beppe Severgnini

Finally I will be able to read some Terry Pratchett (thanks, Mia!). I'm saving The Shadow of the Wind for a certain mood. And La Bella Figura is another addition to my growing Italy-love book collection (thanks, CZ!).

The Borrowed

A bunch of borrowed books this week:
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
A Is for Atticus: Baby Names from Great Books by Lorilee Craker
It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison

I have never read any of Neil Gaiman's books before, except the first third of Neverwhere. I don't think Gaiman is my cup of tea, but I am now willing to try him again after I found out that my sister has these two books that I could borrow. I do not like creepy covers, but I will read these books anyway.

My sister lent me two more books, a baby names book and a little chick lit. A is for Atticus is very, very interesting because all of the baby names are from great literary works. Another book I borrowed from her is Sophie Kinsella's Remember Me. My sister didn't like the book, but I got it anyway. (I finished it already and I didn't like it too.)

And the last book borrowed is It's a Mall World After All. I'm not too fond of the cover or the title, but since I had an evening free and I wanted something quick to read I borrowed this from the pile of books that were on their way to public library the following day.

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Weekly Geeks: A Quote a Day #2

You can learn more about an author by reading his work. Authors always write about themselves. The good ones are better at disguising it.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weekly Geeks: A Quote a Day #1

Maybe it is the wine or the excitement or the warmth that radiates off him, but she can't hold back. "You have to try. If you're going to do this, you have to give it your best shot. You can't live life in half-measures."

Weekly Geeks 2009-09: A Quote a Day

A Quote a Day will have you pulling books off your shelves and Googling for your favorites. It also means a post a day for the next week - or as many as you can do. Quoth Dewey:

"You may want to come up with a theme, such as favorite passages from books, author quotes, political quotes, quotes about books or reading, humorous quotes, whatever. Or you may not want a theme at all; maybe you just want to gather up seven assorted quotes that appeal to you. You may want to start each of your posts of the week with a quote, or you may want to give quotes posts of their own in addition to your regular posts. It’s all up to you!"

I am going to pick quotes from books I liked and/or loved, but I won't say where they're from! If you can guess from which book I got it, I just might give you a little something.

I will post my Quote a Day in separate entries.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Doulos: The Floating Bookshop (in Manila this March!)

Doulos is the world's oldest active ocean-going passenger ship (and is recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as such). Owned and operated by Gute Bücher für Alle e.V. (Good Books for All), a non-profit, charitable trust registered in Germany, Doulos is now used as a floating bookshop with the purpose of bringing knowledge, help, and hope to the people of the world.

I remember reading about this in the newspaper the last time they were here---back in January 2007---and the words "floating bookshop" sealed the deal for me. I was there the next weekend I was free, dragging my parents, my sisters, and my cousin. Of course, me being so excited over the idea of a floating bookshop, I thought that the whole ship was going to be filled with books, from the bow to the deck to the rear. I was a little disappointed that it was just the rear, but I think it lasted for only for 2 seconds. It was still a bookshop and that was enough for me!

The Doulos bookshop shelves are filled with over 6,000 books (there are actually 500,000 books in the hold) on Literature (more of the classics), Science, Mathematics, Geography, Sports, Hobbies and Crafts, Cookery, Music and the Arts, Philosophy, Christian Living, and Children's literature. Besides books, there are also mugs, pens, notepads, journals, and music CDs for sale.

The last time I was there I came home with Doulos pens, notepads, an origami book, a Doulos "construct-your-own-ship" activity book, and a few children's books for my niece. There wasn't really much I was interested in since there weren't any general fiction titles available---they have a different purpose after all. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed being there and shopping at one of the most interesting bookshops in the world.

The MV Doulos is now on its last visit to Manila and its last world tour (Doulos will be decommissioned in 2010). From March 6 to March 30, the floating bookshop will be docked at the Manila South Harbour, Pier 13 (enter through gate 1). Store hours: 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.

I am definitely not missing their last visit to Manila. I will be there with my dad and cousin in tow tomorrow morning!


Some interesting facts about Doulos from
  • Doulos was built in 1914---only two years younger than the Titanic.
  • The ship was originally built to carry cargo and has undergone many name changes (and purposes). She has sailed under four names: Medina, Roma, Franca C, and Doulos. The ship has been used for four different purposes: freighting goods, transporting emigrants, for cruises, and most recently as a floating bookstore and a vessel to bring knowledge, help and hope to the people of the world.
  • Doulos visits port cities throughout the world, supplying vital literature resources, encouraging inter-cultural understanding, training young people for more effective life and service, promoting greater global awareness, providing practical aid and sharing a message of hope in God wherever there is opportunity.
  • Volunteers from over 40 countries serve on board Doulos. They are mostly young people who have chosen to dedicate two years of their lives to be on board, learning to live and work together, and serving the communities in the ports visited. Every single person on board is a volunteer, from the Captain to the cook to those scrubbing the floors.
  • Doulos is more than just a bookshop. The volunteers get off the ship once a week to bring knowledge and hope to those around them by reaching out to orphans, young children, prisoners, and underprivilieged communities. Some of the practical knowledge that they teach are lessons in wood-working, welding, and soap-making.
  • Doulos has been to Manila six times.
  • Over 20 million visitors have been welcomed on board for tours, programmes and visits to the floating book fair. With stops in over 500 ports of call, this unique ship has visited more than 100 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and many island nations.
Learn more: