Manuscript Found in Accra

12 May
Manuscript Found in Accra

My copy of Paulo Coelho’s Manuscript Found in Accra

Paulo Coelho’s “Manuscript found in Accra” is an insightful book that gives fascinating ideas about day-to-day concerns of regular people. The book is set far back in the past, whence Jerusalem is about to be invaded by the Muslims and people are anxious of their future. Instead of worrying on various physical war preparations, a gathering was held where the Copt shares his wisdom to the rest of the community. Amongst the topics he discussed includes defeat, solitude, beauty, success, work, love and miracles.

It seems to encourage reflection but more than that, I believe that it pushes one into motion. I think that its structure is close to his other book, Warrior of Light and the style at which it was written seems to come with situations. It poses questions to readers where one would reply, “Oh yeah, that’s right,” or “I didn’t think of it that way.”

I find that it’s a good reading for starting and ending your day.



09 Feb

Routine has nothing to do with repetition. To become really good at anything, you have to practice and repeat, practice and repeat, until the technique becomes intuitive. I learned this when I was a child, in a small town in Brazil’s interior where my family used to spend the summer holidays. I was fascinated by the work of a blacksmith who lived nearby. I would sit for what seemed like an eternity, watching his hammer rise and fall on the red-hot-steel, scattering sparks all around, like fireworks. Once, he said, “You probably think I”m doing the same thing over and over, don’t you?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Well, you’re wrong. Each time I bring the hammer down, the intensity of the blow is different, sometimes it’s harder, sometimes, it’s softer. But I learned that only after I’d been repeating the same gesture for many years, until the moment came when I didn’t think – I simply let my hand guide my work.”

I’ve never forgotten those words.

– O Aleph, Paulo Coelho –


Play-world and Overland

08 Feb

All you’ve been saying is quite right, I shouldn’t wonder. I’m a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won’t deny any of what you said. But there’s one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things – trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that’s a funny thing, when you come to think of it. We’re just babies making up a game, if you’re right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That’s why I’m going to stand by the play-world. I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia. So thanking you for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we’re leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long. I should think; but that’s a small loss if the world’s as dull a place as you cay.

– Puddlegum, The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, Book 6)


Hunger Games Trilogy

12 Jan

Hunger Games Trilogy from

The best thing about reading the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is that I started after she wrote the trilogy. That means I can anticipate that each book ending is a prelude to something bigger, better and worth the anticipation. This is not to add the fact that the Hunger Games Trailer came out several months ago…

And that Taylor Swift is singing one of the tracks from the movie…

And ironically, I’m not really fan of either.
I’m a fan of good books and well, my brother and his girlfriend love me too much they gave me the trilogy for Christmas. So here goes a very brief review.

The Hunger Games – to follow

Catching Fire – to follow

Mockingjay – to follow

The Hunger Games Movie
I’ve watched the movie about three times since I first saw it on premier last March and I’ve come to realize that the movie wasn’t as good as when I first saw it in the theaters. I mean it has lost its appeal while I was watching it on DVD.

The movie was as close to the book as you could imagine but in many ways it has started to show the simultaneous events and effects of the Hunger Games to the other districts that are not to be mentioned until the second book. I cannot imagine how the second and third movie will play out on screen, that being the case, perhaps more flashbacks? I’m not sure.

I also didn’t like the spectacle on “The Girl on Fire” because it really came out short of what it was supposed to be. The fuzz didn’t give justice to what was really shown. Jennifer Lawrence, however, was perfect for the role. Josh Hutcherson was not bad either. I didn’t like the way he first revealed his interest in Katniss on that interview. It lacked that air of honesty he has. Hutcherson was able to show the confidence and his way with the crowd, but not that tad bit on honesty. Liam Hemsworth as Gale, is wonderful. But well, in the movie, at least… he talks. In the book, you’ll have the impression, he’s mute. I can’t wait to see more of him in the next installment.

Everything else, however, was so beautiful, and close to the book. I am close to saying to not read the book after watching the movie because it’s almost exactly the same. Of course, the book says more though.

IMDB says that Catching Fire is to be shown in November 22 2013 while
Mockingjay Parts 1 and 2 is in November 21, 2014 and November 20, 2015 respectively.


The Serpent’s Shadow

22 Nov

Unlike the first two books (The Red Pyramid and The Throne of Fire – which I’m yet to write a review of), Kane Chronicles: The Serpent’s Shadow is a revelation of sorts.

Carter and Sadie Kane continues to be the key to saving the world fro an impeding Apocalypse along Amos, recently appointed Chief Lector, and the remaining faithful members of the House of Life (First Nome); the Brooklyn House and the new recruits practicing the path of the Gods; and of course, Zia Rashid and Bast.

The First Revelation
Doom’s day wasn’t as swift and scary as the Kanes thought because for some reason, Apophis wasn’t attacking and the world was still intact. That was too soon to tell though.

After the equinox, and the Kanes failure to prevent Apophis from rising, Ra has become more of nuisance rather than help in defeating the God of Chaos. It took a lot of time and experience before the Kanes realized their advantage and greatest strength in this war — and a few more revelations to note.

The Second Revelation
Set, the God of Evil, along with all those who appears to be the antagonists, are not that bad.

It never fails to amaze me how villains can turn out to be useful in spite of their destructive nature, specially for Set, who has managed to possess Amos – and almost destroyed the world on the previous book.

The Third Revelation
The title is a give-away but reading through the pages is an adventure in itself.

This book is all about Apophis (The Serpent) and how to defeat it (through the Shadow). By about the 10th to 20th page, you’ll know that for sure BUT the book has lots to offer in describing “how” everything else that’s happening in the Kanes’ life, the gods of Egypt and the House of life is connected.

The Fourth Revelation
There always have to be a love story in a Young Adult book.

It’s been brewing since the book started and it will be fun to know what happened with Carter and Zia, with Sadie and Walt or perhaps, Anubis, with Bes and Bast or maybe, Bes and Tiwaret; and even the parents of Carter and Sadie.

The Fifth Revelation
Destiny depends on the perspective of the announcer.

Since this book started, it appears obvious that both Carter and Sadie have their own roles to play in the House of Life, and generally, in the way the Egyptian Gods are remembered. The Duat, is a shared gateway – it is a mirror of what is and may be. In the end, though, what is referred to as destiny is a matter of perspective.

Carter was destined to be king, from the eyes of his family. He is the eye of Horus, rightful owner of the throne.

Sadie, being the eye of Iris, is destined to be Carter’s adviser.
Amos, the Chief Lector, is supposed to guard the Throne until a true Pharaoh is able to lead the House of Life.

Apophis prophesizes his victory – how he would swallow the sun and put the world in an array of chaos.

The Kanes are the enemies.

Nobody can travel through the Underworld and live to tell the tale.

Well, the book definitely have its share of “vantage points,” but it’s quite interesting to read how all things play out.

Book 3 of the Kane Chronicles, The Serpent’s Shadow, is a very exciting book. It will not fail in providing you action-packed scenes that shall keep you holding your breath until the next chapter. Carter and Sadie’s perspective of the story, will help you understand a man and a woman’s concern – or a teenager’s at that; and the continuity of the story is nothing short of expected.

I love the book’s attempt at a happy ending and a full closure, and I also love that perfect tug on my sleeve that there’s Book 4, right around the corner.

What I don’t like about the book is that in spite of the twists and surprises it offers – it is sooo focused on Apophis. I did not enjoy the appearance of our new Egyptian Gods and I hardly felt the introduction of “something new” to the Kanes story. Sure that the adventure is there, but there seems to be something missing – and I can’t quite place what it is.

Nonetheless, the book is a perfect read – an uncanny disorientation of the modern times and a replica of an Egyptian myth, with a touch of witty, realistic and sincere expression of teenage life. It is enjoyable as it is educational, quite a good fiction to start an exciting discussion. Thank you Mr. Riordan for a wonderful addition to your novels!


Vampire Kisses

22 Oct

Ellen Schreiber’s Vampire Kisses is a young adult book venturing on teen personality, fashion and romance. It was hard for me to place where the vampires came into the picture until towards the end of the book, so for a vampire-book-lover, I’m kinda disappointed. This is the first of the series though and I’m being positive that it gets better from here.

I know that I’m way too old to read books about young people as this so it may not mean much to me but it may mean a lot to those youngsters who feel like nobody can relate to them and their weird ways to express themselves.

The book started in a Kindergarten class when our main protagonist, Raven Madison, was 5. The teacher asked them what they want to be when they grow up and Raven, the last to answer, said she wanted to be a vampire. It went on narrating how different Raven grew up to be and finally settled at 16, where in ways, things started to happen in Dullsville.

It would be great to go into the characters of the book, as I can say a lot of things about that, and perhaps, go into bullying and standing up to someone but that’s going to be trivial to the actual story.

To put it bluntly, Raven fell in love and her dream somewhat came true. The end.


Fear of being left alone

23 Sep

Please do not leave me. He could not bear a world without Alli. He realized how much he relied on her from morning until night. She was his only conversation. His only smile. She prepared their meager food and always offered it to him first, even though he insisted she eat before he did. They leaned on each other at sunsets. Holding her as they slept felt like his last connection to humanity.”

– Dor, “The Time Keeper” –

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