The Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) in Luzon is giving me a chance to finally get cracking on my reading. I’ve so many books that are just screaming to be read since I went on a book shopping spree for 2 straight years (2018 and 2019) at Big Bad Wolf Books and bought a couple more books during last year’s Manila International Book Fair. Since I’ve had the time to read more these days, let’s talk about the books I’ve read so far while on quarantine.
I recently finished two books which ups my 2020 GoodReads Reading Challenge to 3 out of the 12 books I pledged to read this year.
The Next Person You Meet in Heaven
So one of the books I’ve read so far is from one of my must read authors: Mitch Albom. I recently read The Next Person in Heaven
The accident that killed Eddie left an indelible mark on Annie, too. It too her left hand, which needed to be surgically reattached. Injured, scarred, and unable to remember what happened, Annie is forever changed by a guilt-ravaged mother who whisks her away from the world she knew. Bullied by her peers and haunted by something she cannot recall, Annie struggles to find acceptance as she grows. She feels everything she does is a mistake. When, as a young woman, she reconnects with Paulo, her childhood love, she believes she has finally found happiness.
Bus, as the novel opens, Annie is marrying Paulo, and her wedding night ends in an unimaginable tragedy. Annie begins her own heavenly journey, leading to an inevitable reunion with Eddie, one of five people who will show her how earthly life touched others in ways she could not have fathomed.
Ever since Tuesdays with Morrie, I’ve enjoyed reading Mitch Albom’s books. Each one has touched me, taught me lessons, made me cry and have made me reflect on life. This book is no different. It made me cry as it tugged on my heart strings.
Quotes that stood out to me:
At certain moments, when death is close, the veil pulls back between this world and the next. Heaven and earth overlay. When they do, it is possible to glimpse certain souls already departed. You can see them waiting your arrival. And they can see you coming.
No story sits by itself. Our lives connect like threads on a loom, interwoven in ways we never realize.
I Owe You One
I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella is the second book I finished reading. It’s a lighter read.
Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?
It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees – she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off – she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?
But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself – but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie – from small favors to life-changing moments – ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?
I thought the story’s kind of cute. It comes as no surprise since I found most of Kinsella’s books to be that way. Seb and Fixie’s love story started out with romantic excitement. After awhile though, it already felt rushed. Maybe it focused more on Fixie and her siblings’ relationships with each other. That’s what I really liked in this book: the Farrs siblings’ characters growth development as the story went along.
While it doesn’t top any of my top 3 favorite Kinsella books (Confessions of a Shopaholic, Twenties Girl and I’ve Got Your Number), it’s still a pretty good read.
Now, what to read next?
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