Mera Joy Aniolga

Archive for the ‘Book Review’ Category

Booksale Loot

In Book Review, Event, Personal on April 23, 2011 at 6:46 pm

I went to Booksale today. I got three books. One is EB White’s Charlotte’s Web. It looks new, it smells new, it feels new. Not bad for its price of 45 Php.

My next find is Roddy Doyle’s The Woman Who Walked Into Doors. I have read Paula Spencer. I’m just not sure whether this book is its sequel or prequel, either way it is still a Roddy Doyle book and I would bet my life on this book being a good read. I paid 75 php for this book, a bit too pricey as compared to my other Roddy Doyle books. I thought of waiting for it to be cheap but I thought better, others might buy it and I didn’t want to take the risk.

Last but definitely not the least is Willa Cather’s My Antonia. Patience is a virtue, I’ve waited for this book to reach this extremely low price. When I first saw it, its price is 120 Php. After a few months, it became 80 Php. Last week, it was 40 Php and now it is just 20 Php.

Three good books for 155 pesos. I don’t know with you guys but for me, Booksale is heaven on earth.



In Book Review, Money, Personal on April 17, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Booksale is heaven to me. Today I went to Booksale Gaisano and bought 3 books.

First one is a hardcover of Zappa for 75 pesos.

Next is BFG by Roald Dahl for 50 pesos.

Last but definitely not the least is Stone Diaries for 45 pesos.

Over all I spent 170 for books which I are not only a good read but I certainly would treasure forever.

I may have said this a thousand times before but it does not matter, I love you Booksale!

The Secret

In Book Review, Boredom, Personal on April 15, 2011 at 9:02 am

For my birthday a friend gave me Rhonda Byrne’s The secret. The book says things about the Law of Attraction. That if you think about a certain thing most of the time, you attract it.The universe is your genie, you are Aladdin and that the universe is there to grant every wish that you may have…

I thought that the book was quite too good to be true. But then again, I tried to give it a shot.

One sunday afternoon, while I was reading it, I came across the story of a man who was apprehensive about the book as well. So he tried to visualize a feather. He wants to start applying The Secret via little things. So he thought about the feather, every details of it. He made sure that the feather that he was visualizing was different from the rest so that in case it appears he will know that it was the feather that he visualized, attracted and asked the universe for. After two days of his visualization, lo! and behold the feather appeared while he was on his way to work.

I too decided to try it, I pictured out my friend calling/texting me. I had her picture in my mind, I even imagined our phone ringing. I commanded the universe to let Cha call me. After an hour or so, I had a text message from her telling me to call Melcy. Creepy.

Another thing that I tried to visualize/order from the catalog of the Universe is for an increase in my salary.2 days after my persistent visualization about an increase, our boss conducted a meeting telling us that our company is in good shape and if all goes well, we will have our increase by August.

Call it coincidence or a freak accident, I still am not that convinced. But I am really trying my best to practice what I’ve read in the book. It’s a win-win situation anyway.

Facebook notes by Mera Joy S. Aniolga on Monday, May 25, 2009 at 10:36am

Forgiving Briony Tallis

In Art, Book Review, Money, Personal on April 14, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Last year, I read about 52 books. I had a review on each and every one of these books. Some  of the reviews I wrote via this Facebook thingie whose links I lost and forgot, some of the reviews I discussed over a cup of coffee with fellow bookworms, some of the reviews, stuck in my head for good as I was too lazy to type it.

This year, things would be different. I solemnly pledge to be a better “netizen” and to battle boredom using the only method I know, (other than further reading and eating of course!) that would be writing.

Atonement is my first read on the first week of the year. I bought it at Booksale. It costs 160 Php and while a book of this price is way out of my budget, I decided to buy it because at 160, it is such a good deal. (I’m a cheap skate, I buy books that cost 50 Php or less, that’s my rule.) It took me 8 days to finish this book as there are other things that I do aside from reading.

Now for my two cents worth:

The book is divided into 3 parts. One was the introduction of characters which I thought was a bit dragging. I know, Ian McEwan was trying to establish the characters, the plot and what-nots at this part of the book but I thought it was a bit too long and I was bored. In the 8 days that I read the book, I spent 5 days on this part alone. I was probably too anxious for Briony to commit her crime and that did not happen until the last part of Part 1. My eagerness probably explains why I find this part dragging.

Part 2 was gripping. Robbie’s struggle in prison and in the war made me sympathize with him even more. The reunion of Cecilia and Robbie was poignant, more of a bittersweet get-together. It was a happy reunion but a sad farewell. The war was depressing and cruel, the march to the Channel was brutal and almost endless.

This part shows the genius of Robbie. The fact that Mace and Nettle could not speak French or read the compass made Robbie’s superior intellect stand out. Reading this made me hate Briony even more as her crime continues to plague Robbie. He could not get a better rank because he used to be in prison. I also imagine the possibilities that lay before Robbie had Briony not ruin his future. The medical school would have made Robbie a good doctor.

Part 3 of the book was where Briony realized that she made a mistake. That it was not Robbie (Briony’s suspect) or Danny Hardman’s son (Cecilia and Robbie’s suspect) who abused Lola but rather it was the chocolate guy, Marshalls. The wedding of Lola and Paul Marshalls was a eureka moment for Briony as it made her realize how wrong she was at her accusation. Her cousin married her rapist.

This also prompted her to confront her sister. The confrontation was intense as Robbie was there with Cecilia and  Briony was unaware and unprepared to meet him though she managed to make amends for her mistakes by agreeing with the couple that she will set up an appointment with the solicitor, tell the truth to her parents and write a detailed letter to Robbie about it.

This is where the narrative of Briony Tallis ended.

Part 4 was more like a confession. She was about to lose her memory due to some sort of dementia. 77-year-old Briony Tallis sees Lord and Lady Marshalls. She narrates about their struggle over protecting their names. After the encounter at the Museum of War, she headed home and waited to be picked up for her family had planned a birthday party for her at their old house which was converted into a hotel. Leon was there, Perrot was there. But the lovers, Cecilia and Robbie weren’t.

It was then that Briony Tallis revealed that in reality, the lovers were never reunited. That Robbie died while waiting for is evacuation and that his Cee died drowning because of the Blitz.

This book made my cry. Not that it’s unusual for me to cry while reading books. But the tears was due to the anger that I felt for Briony Tallis. I also cried for the lovers as their love was true but time made it impossible for them to be together.

On the first part of the book, I did not really care about her and her crime. I’m so used to the rich falls in love with poor, poor goes to jail because rich’s parents do not want the poor for their child. This is very common, most especially in Filipino movies.  The only twist is that Jack and Emily did not send Robbie to jail, Briony did.

If the reader steps back and sees the whole picture of  Briony’s crime against Robbie, it will make the reader want to kill Briony.

All through out the novel, Briony’s  accusation haunted Robbie. He lost his chance to be a doctor, he was separated from the two women that he loved the most: Grace, his mother and Cee, his true love.

I admire Robbie’s determination to come back and resume his life after prison, to come back to England where Cee is waiting for him. “I’ll wait for you, come back”, the very words of Cecilia pushed him to move forward and survive.

I am not being one-sided as I recognize Briony’s efforts to atone her mistakes. She turned out to be England’s Martha Cecilia, the prolific writer of love stories. I assume she was thinking of Robbie and Cecilia in every characters of every story that she wrote. She was tormented but it served her well.

As a child, I forgive her for being stubborn but as an adult, but I can not forgive her for being a coward. I can tell that she was tormented but she deserved it.  Never having the guts to apologize to Robbie or Cecilia, by my standards is another crime under her name.

She may have made up for her sins by reuniting them in her novel, No Time for Love or as in the novel Atonement, Two Figures in the Fountain. It was Robbie and Cecilia that she was reuniting in each and every novel that she wrote.

Machiavelli said, “the end justifies the means” but in Briony’s case, her end can not and will never be able to justify her crime.

To quote Cecilia in the 3rd Part of the Book, “Don’t worry, I will never forgive you”.