Friday, July 27, 2012

Peek-a-books #3

*old books found while tidying up my man cave.

Monday, July 23, 2012


Whenever I am bored, one of my pastimes is visiting eBay to look for something that interests me. The online auction site is a treasure trove for collectors of various sizes and colors. It is the fantasy land for every hobbyist worth his salt. And once you learn how to navigate the website and become adept at 'treasure hunting' I can guarantee you that there is no turning back.

But I am not the greedy big-time bidder type who will engage anyone just to get his hands on a particular item. I am more of a bargain hunter, favoring more bang for my buck than a foolish dreamer who will empty his pockets just to finally grab his holy grail.

In fact, most of my acquisitions were more on the $10-20 range but nevertheless, they are all treasures safely hidden in my man cave. I have pegged my limit to $100 at the most no matter how I am smitten with a particular object, and if it is beyond the ceiling that I set up for myself, I just have to let the object of my desire pass and move on to the next one.

I am more of the sniper type of, the one who will watch a particular auction but will bid only during its last few seconds. This adrenaline-pumping vis-a-vis testosterone-deflating strategy is what the game is all about. There is no greater thrill than being in a kind of 'hope for the best but expect the worst' situation wherein you could snatch a gem from the hands of the other bidders or be left empty-handed.

 As they usually say, "it's not the kill, it's the thrill of the chase." Amen.

Most of the time, I always end up grabbing my prey, probably to the chagrin of my fellow eBayers, but the god of fortune frowned on me today. Somebody outbid me to the 53 pages of lithographs by World War II artist E.J. Dollriehs, who served under the U.S. Army's 37th Infantry Battalion in the Philippines wherein many of his wartime sketches were made.

But that's life: you win some, you lose some.

The pictures below are some of the beautiful sketches that got away today. I will look at them for one last time and move on.

Another day, another prey.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Killer Book of Serial Killers

To the uninitiated this is a peek into the evil that these people do. But to the initiated, this is nothing new since most of the stories and trivia in this book are old and a re-hash from other books that deal with the subject.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mad Man

Madness: just woke up from more than 10 hours of gallivanting in dreamland after watching the entire Season 3 of Mad Men the night before.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Spies of the Balkans

"The joke about Nazi racial theory- The ideal superman of the master race would be as blond as Hitler, as lean as Göring, and as tall as Goebbels."

The novel is set in the Greek city of Salonika amid the fear and confusion of a German invasion hanging like the proverbial sword of Damocles on everyone's head during the early years of WWII.

Constantine Zannis, a local policeman, gets embroiled in matters of politics, espionage and his heart as he treads on dangerous grounds on a journey that only a few men would have the undying resolve to pursue.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts Concerning History’s Barest Family

Dr. Seuss' unsuccessful foray into 'adult' territory before he became famous for his children's books. Instead of becoming an 'ob-gyne,' he opted to become a 'pediatrician' and the rest is history. ;D

Visit Brain Pickings for more.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


If we have people like Jack Morgan and his investigation company in our midst, then most criminals will find it hard to sleep at night with the fear of being exposed in the backs of their heads, since PRIVATE does not always play by the rules.

Yes, PRIVATE can solve any case that they put their resources into and can also dish their own brand of swift justice if push comes to shove.

PRIVATE exist primarily because of the expertise of the people behind it and commands a huge fee for their services. But they also do pro bono cases on the side.

NFL gambling syndicate and cases of unsolved killings of schoolgirls make this thriller a good read, indeed.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Tokyo Sonata

"Tokyo Sonata" is a story set in modern-day Tokyo about the Sasakis, a middle class family of four whose lives were at a crossroad. Faced with the typical problems that usually confront people at some point in their lives, the family is forced to deal with the challenges head-on. And in their own way, they were able find out more about themselves, their strengths and weaknesses, exorcising their individual demons in the process.

The movie provides the viewers with a glimpse into the lives of how a family in a patriarchal society like Japan operates and functions. It also provides us with a look into some of the Japanese Culture's mores, beliefs and values. To an outsider not familiar with Japanese customs, some of the scenes may be offending, especially when it comes to corporal punishment and the influence and power a Japanese father wields over his family.

There is Ryūhei (Teruyuki Kagawa), who had to deal with the shame of being fired from his job when the company he was working with outsourced their operations to China to save money. He decided not to tell his wife about his predicament and continued with his daily routine so as not to burden his unsuspecting wife of his fate. At his age, he struggled to find a new job that would suit his taste and former stature, until, in the end, he is faced with the choice of going hungry or swallowing his pride and taking an honest but 'demeaning' job as a janitor in a mall. He is a proud but complex man: strong on the outside but soft on the inside.

His wife, Megumi (Kyōko Koizumi), often seen wearing an apron, is a traditional Japanese housewife who runs the household, knowing her way around the kitchen but always aware of her place in the presence of her husband. She is kind and gentle when it comes to dealing with her husband and children, but also has the inner strength to withstand reality when fate dealt her a crippling blow.

One of their children, Takeshi (Yū Koyanagi), is a typical 'rebellious but vulnerable teen' who decided to enlist with the U.S. Army, and was sent to fight in Iraq, wherein he found his 'awakening' and followed wherever his heart led him.

On the other hand, Kenji (Kai Inowaki) is a gifted and sensitive child whose musical gift was unbeknownst to his family. He spent his lunch money on piano lessons he couldn't afford, and had to practice with a non-working Roland keyboard that he found in the dumpster. He paid the price for his indiscretion, and while it took the intercession of his piano teacher, his family finally realized his prodigious talent in music and allowed him to follow his dreams.

Although the movie sometimes diverted from its smooth path, Director Kiyoshi Kurosowa deftly wielded the tale of the Sasaki family into a beautiful and touching film, worthy of the accolades that it received in various international film festivals it was entered in.

Over the course of the movie, the Sasaki family descended into the lowest points of their lives: They were confronted with situations that tested their characters' resolve. They were tempted to throw away their core values in exchange for monetary gain. Their experiences left them scarred but unbowed. They had to undergo a purification process to start healing their broken lives, cleanse their souls and re-establish harmony within the family again.

But the Sasaki family's journey towards a new life will have to start through their son, Kenji, and his music. If we have doubts about the ability of music to help us with our inner turmoil, Tokyo Sonata will help erase that. If we have second thoughts about the healing power of music, Tokyo Sonata will surely answer that.

And with Kenji's haunting performance of Claude Debussy's 'Clair de Lune' at the end, there is only one word to sum it all up - Catharsis.

First Published on Yahoo! Voices

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Contrary to what people (including some of my friends) thought when they first heard of the book, 1Q84 is not an offshoot of 1984, the dystopian novel that George Orwell wrote decades ago. The title might delude us into thinking that they might be really similar somehow, but the reality is, they're really very different in so many ways.

Or are they?

Haruki Murakami is known to be quite a story-teller with a very wild and fertile mind. In this particular novel; he uncorked his thoughts bottled up inside his brain to let the words flow like fine wine and turned a seemingly simple story (which is quite full of nonsense if you are a realist) into a great surreal fantasy love story.


The characters Tengo and Aomame have a big full plate to eat and digest in front of them. With Tokyo as their playground, they need to get over the obstacles that fate has outlined ahead of them in order to solve the puzzles and answer the questions that have been long simmering and hibernating inside their heads for quite a long time.


The question marks-

The 17-year old mysterious Fuka-Eri and the relationship of the maza and dohta. The paradox of the Little People and the Air Chrysalis. The riddle of the two moons; the large yellow one and the smaller, misshapen green one. And the power of the human touch and the extraordinary things that people will undergo and the sacrifices that they will do to finally find their one true love.


And of course, the graphic and weird S-E-X-U-A-L 'insertions' in the novel that only a Japanese male could conjure are worth noting, too.

Yes, I have toiled, lived, and dreamed in my own supernatural world, a parallel universe of sort for weeks. Ah, the hours that I had to spend and the labor that I had to endure just to get through the 925 pages of what seemed like a journey into the world of black magic and wet dreams.

But I am awake now.


Sunday, January 22, 2012

I, Alex Cross

Alex Cross' job brings him often and close to the many brutal crime scenes in the DC Area. And in all his dealings with crimes, he exerts an enormous effort to separate his work from his family. And he succeeds in just doing that, most of the time.

But the brutal murder of his niece once again makes this particular case personal. And Alex Cross and his new girlfriend, Det. Brianna Stone found themselves confronting powerful people with ties to the White House in their search for justice and then some.

Sex, crime, fetish, lies, power and fantasy- this book has it all and is another gem of a suspense- thriller which only James Patterson could weave as he once again imparts his brand of writing to his legions of readers with ease.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Peek-a-Books #2

"Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers." ~Charles W. Eliot

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Dead Shot

Behind the steady finger that pulls the trigger and the sharp eye that peeks through the crosshairs are men like Gunnery Sergeant Kyle Swanson and the enigmatic Juba, two snipers on different sides of the spectrum but with one common mission- to exterminate anybody on their path with 'one shot, one kill."

Add Baghdad, Black Ops, Al Qaeda, Chemical weapons and the Iranian connection make Dead Shot a good read; a novel that is just all right but still manages to intrigue.

Related Posts with Thumbnails