High Summer Read-a-thon Progress

I didn’t get as much reading as I wanted to yesterday for the High Summer Read-a-thon.  Hence, I’m only posting my progress today.  So far I’ve finished my Harlan Coben mystery.  It was really good.  I so recommend it to anyone who would want to add their TBR list.  I wish I could make a review on it or on the other books I’ve read, but I’m a little scared that I might not give justice to the book itself or I would just share the same ideas over and over.  And that would be a bummer!

Anyway, here’s my book pile for this readathon.  I didn’t intentionally choose a theme, but it would seem like it to me.  All these books are from authors I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet.  So, I’m going to name these books my ‘out of the comfort zone’ books.

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The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard

This Charming Man by Marian Keyes

Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis (with Larry Sloman)

Long Lost by Harlan Coben

Finally, I am having a great time with this laidback readathon.  I’m so glad I signed up.

My Readathon Stats:

Books Read: 1 of 4 books
Pages Read: 374 pages
Days Left to Read: 4 days

Ready, Steady, READ! (High Summer Read-a-thon)

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The High Summer Read-a-thon hosted by Michelle @ The True Book Addict has officially started.  And I have officially started reading my first book entitled Long Lost by Harlan Coben.

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This book is on loan to me by a colleague in the hospital who I swap books with from time to time.  Lucky me!

The book from its first few chapters reek (can I even use this word?) of mystery and dry humour.  I’ve never heard of Coben, neither his famous character Myron Bolitar.  Hence, it’s my chance of going out of my comfort zone.  I just hope it won’t disappoint.

So, here’s to a great week-long readathon.  I can’t wait to make time to read the other participants’ book piles.

Incoming Postcards Overload

It has been quite busy around here that I failed to post the various postcards that made my mailbox happy.  So, here they are…

Week #27

On this week I received four lovely cards from (top to right) the USA, Germany, Russia and Finland.

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With a special mention to Johanna (mailadventures.wordpress.com) for the surprise self-made card she sent me.  It was very, very nice of you to send me a card.  I really appreciate it and I love your blog as well!  xoxoxxxxx

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Week #28

Midweek I hauled these cards off my mailbox.  Aren’t they inviting?  Makes me want to go on vacation immediately.  Hehehe.

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Week #29

And last but not the least, two cards that are going into my special collection of postcards.

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Thank you so much AnnieMaxine of Swap-bot for the first card showing a boy falling asleep reading in the library.  It made me remember that I used to do that during my college days!  And for the second postcard featuring a bundle of books tied with twine from Irina in Ukraine for a private swap.  She promised she’d send me something with books and she really delivered!

Thank you to everybody who sent me these amazing postcards.  My heart is full and warm because of you.

Being Grateful

Life is not perfect.  Life is unfair.  Most of the times, anyway.  But either way, life is pretty wonderful.  Don’t you agree?  Yesterday, the Church I belong to had our mid-year thanksgiving service.  It’s not like we thank God during this time only.  But it’s our way of looking back on the first half of the year and all the blessings we’ve received inspite of all the trials that we faced along the way and give thanks as a community together.  Pretty neat, eh?

Actually, I have a lot of things to be grateful for. I am alive, am I not? Then my father is doing pretty well on his recovery after his brain surgery in February. My husband has found a job he likes and the pay doesn’t hurt either. My marriage has survived a very rough patch in April and is better because of it. I have a job I love. And most importantly, I love where I am and who I am right now. An occasion like this makes me feel pretty good inside and out. You see, at times, the bad tends to overshadow the good things I have going in my life.  When that happens, it sucks.  Big time.  So, I am glad I have the opportunity to say, ‘thank you, Lord.’

For what it’s worth, some pictures from yesterday after the service…

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Happy weekend, everyone!

 

Making Up for Lost Time

After seven days, I finally got my off last Friday.  It was made sweeter because hubby was able to come home on Thursday night and we were able to attend church service together after six, very long, months.  Although my plan to do book shopping in Dubai went kaput, I didn’t mind it that much.  Of course, I made plans again to go to Kinokuniya this coming weekend.  But if all plans still fail, I will force Junn to go and buy me new books himself.  Hehehe.  It pays to have a husband who indulges my vice, eh?

Talking about indulgence, Junn surprised me with a brand new HP laptop when he came home.  After my Toshiba died a most horrible death in 2007, I didn’t ask for another one.  Instead I used a desktop at home to do all my nursing school works and only had to borrow his laptop some of the times I needed to finish my thesis and only when a laptop was more practical.  Until now I still can’t stop smiling when I think about the very good surprise.  He said it was his belated anniversary present to me.  Sometimes hubby can be sweet, but practical still.  Hehehe.  Without further ado, I’d like to share to you my very new toy.

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I’m still familiarizing myself with the OS, but for the usual browsings and postings, I think I’m getting the hang of it.  It has a most enviable space on our work table beside the printer.

That’s about all the personal stuff I’ve been up to this weekend.  I hope everyone had a great weekend, too!

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Ramadan Officially Starts

As an expat in the United Arab Emirates, the start of Holy Ramadan is something I should be aware of because the timings of all ventures will be different than the usual.  Today, 10th of July 2013, Ramadan has officially started.  Thus, the private sectors’ working hours are mandatorily shortened to six hours daily, according to the Ministry of Labour.  While in the government, work timings have also been reduced.

If you are planning to use the Dubai Metro, it has been announced that the Red Line will commence accepting passengers at 5:30am until midnight.  While the Green Line commences at 5:50am.  Except on Fridays when it will only open at 1pm to 1am.

Hence, anyone wanting to go around the emirates during this one month of fasting and penance should make sure to know the timings of all offices, shopping malls, public transportations, hospitals, among others.

Additionally, any expat or visitor should know that one is not allowed to eat or drink in public.  As a sign of courtesy to the majority who are fasting.

Ramadan Kareem!

 

Update:  If you are from Fujairah,,,

Emirates Central Post Office will operate from 9:00a.m. until 5:00p.m. from Sundays to Thursdays.

Giant Superstore will be open from 8:30a.m. until 11:30p.m. from Saturdays to Thursdays.  On Fridays, it will open at 8;30a.m. to 11:30a.m. and will resume operations at 1:30p.m. to 11:30p.m.

 

 

And the Summer Lovin’ Readathon Ends

Too bad I was not able to participate for Days 6 and 7 of the Summer Lovin’ Readathon  as I had a toxic hospital duty and forgot all about my entries.  Nevertheless, I am still posting my participation entries here.  It is a nice feeling that I was able to complete the week-long read-a-thon.

Day 6 – “Hound Dog” and “Greased Lightnin!”

For this day, we are supposed to tell which bad boys make our hearts go pitter patter in all the wrong right ways.  As this pertains to books, I chose one bad boy from one of my favorite authors, Julie Garwood.

I chose Noah Clayborne, an undercover FBI agent as the bad boy that makes me drool reading about him in Julie’s books.  He is a charmer when it comes to women, but a hard-a**ed when it comes to criminals.  I like it that he is loyal to friends and is respectful of ladies although he leaves plenty of broken hearts along the way.  He is the typical scared-of-commitment guy until the right woman comes along.  If you are familiar with Julie Garwood’s works then you might know Cole Clayborne in For the Roses.  He is Noah’s great, great, great(?) grandfather, a scoundrel also in  his time.  Lastly, Noah is someone you can count on anytime and says what he means and means what he says.  What more he has a great sense of humor.  Who wouldn’t fall for that kind of guy?

Noah Clayborne first appeared in Julie Garwood’s Heartbreaker, her first(?) contemporary novel and if the rumors are true is about to be made into a movie.  When Julie herself posted on Facebook that maybe Heartbreaker will be optioned for film, I immediately thought who would play Noah, the FBI self-professed bad boy with a heart of gold (so to speak), and not who would play the lead characters.  In my mind, I picture him to be a tall, blond, blue-eyed character with a devil-may-care attitude with everything around him.  Additionally, the actor to play him should be able to call up a sexy, Southern drawl without effort.  Pity the generation of young hollywood actors today lack the sex appeal of the older generation.  Please don’t kill me, dear readers, I meant no offense when I said it.  I mean it would have been easy if Paul Newman or James Dean or Jude Law or Johnny Depp or Josh Lucas or Timothy Olyphant were still in their late 20s or early 30s.  Pretty boys like Leonardo DiCapprio, Chris Evans, Ryan Reynolds shouldn’t be in the running because although handsome, Noah Clayborne’s character has a little hardness to him and I can’t see my all time crush Leonardo being  that kind of character even if he is that good in acting.

Maybe, Alex Pettyfer of Beastly fame?

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Or Armie Hammer of The Lone Ranger, perhaps?

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Anyway, that’s about it.  If you have any suggestions as to who should play Noah Clayborne in the movie, do drop some suggestions, okay?  I’d really like to know who you’d choose.  Thanks in advance.

Day 7 – We Go Together

Whew!  I survived the Readathon and am pretty proud of myself.

First of all, I was able to read 5 1/2 books from my TBR pile I have posted here and will still be reading today to finish the 6th book.  I’ve also planned a book shopping expedition on Friday (my off day!) so I’ll be pretty swamped with new books by then.

Secondly, I was able to write my participation entries for the entire week even though I failed to submit this post for Days 6 & 7.

Thirdly, I have added so many books to my TBR list.  I think the suggestions made by fellow readathon participants were so great I don’t know how I’ll be able to get copies of them all.

Lastly, I have touched base with a fellow blogger who has some of the same interesting interests like me.  Because of Angela’s post, I learned of the Readathon.  Thank you for that, my lovely newfound friend.

[Photos courtesy of Google here and here.]