Last week, I received a review copy of the children’s book, “Ang Ikaklit Sa Aming Hardin” / “Ikaklit in Our Garden” for the blog tour that’s ongoing this week.
Published in 2012 by Twamkittens, “Ang Ikaklit Sa Aming Hardin” by Bernadette Villanueva Neri (English translation by Jennifer del Rosario-Malonzo) and illustrated by CJ de Silva (layout by Jennifer Padilla-Quintos) won the first prize in the 2006 Carlos Palanca Memorial Awards for Literature in the short story for children category.
In the book, a young girl grows up in a family with two mothers and a shared love for gardening. When she enters school for the first time, she gets teased and taunted by her classmates over her unconventional family setup, and she struggles to come to terms with how others perceive the only family she has known.
I was 15 when I read “Tuesdays with Morrie. My Literature teacher in senior year high school (hello, Mrs. P!) had raved about the book, and most of us picked up a copy upon her recommendation. I had not read any of Mitch Albom’s books since “The Five People You Meet in Heaven,” though, so before my scheduled interview with him, I found myself reaching for his latest novel, “The First Phone Call From Heaven” (which I gifted to my mom on her last birthday) over breakfast and finished well before lunchtime.
In “The First Phone Call From Heaven,” the (fictional) small town of Coldwater, Michigan is put on the map by a series of baffling phone calls to several of the town’s residents, all from the deceased, calling from heaven. After serving a prison sentence, Sully Harding returns to Coldwater and is skeptical about the recent turn of events. Sully is determined to find the truth about the phone calls, and in the process finds more than he sets out to uncover.
I must say the novel evoked a sense of nostalgia — it’s been years since I last read an inspirational book, and Mitch Albom’s quality of writing is still as I remember it: clear, clean prose with that trademark emotional tug that has been popular with a wide range of readers all across the world.The mystery component is also a pleasant surprise, as well as the fascinating anecdotes about the history of the telephone and how it has changed human life.
A.S. Santos’ Student Paranormal Research Group (SPRG) series was a wonderful discovery last year, starting with “Voices in the Theater.” It came highly recommended by my friend Honey, and was also a finalist in the 2nd Filipino Reader’s Choice Awards, so it was one of the first titles I purchased on my Kobo Glo, followed closely by its sequel, “Corpse in the Mirror.”
Published by Flipside, the SPRG series is a young adult paranormal series featuring Samantha Davidson, who has the uncanny ability to hear other people’s thoughts, as well as voices of the departed and unearthly. She’s just moved to the Philippines and enrolled in university, where she joins the newly assembled SPRG.
I’m back from my weekend up in the mountains, and the first order of business is thanking everyone who shared in my week-long birthday celebration: those who shared a meal (and drinks) with me; those who joined my Hogwarts Library giveaway; and most especially those who extended their generosity towards my Birthday for Books fundraiser for Sambat Trust.
Squee!!! I finally got my hands on the Hogwarts Library this weekend, and it’s a real beauty!
The Hogwarts Library is the first boxed set of the new editions of Quidditch Through The Ages, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, and The Tales of Beedle the Bard. Clothbound and elegant, they come in a red slipcase emblazoned with the gold Hogwarts crest. Paper is thick and smooth and a lovely cream color.