Additional Brain Cells to Understand Men

The Male BrainThe Male Brain by Louann Brizendine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"I believe that learning about the male brain can help men and women feel more intimacy, compassion, and appreciation for each other."

And it really helps you - on how to deal with adventurous boys, of hormonal-driven teens, of sexually-driven young men and or compassionate-yet-problem-solver dads.

It was a series of visits to the writer, and as she puts along her sentiments and her anecdotes, and her researches, she was able to narrate the genetics and the chemicals and all those scientific blah-blahs that makes the men tick.

I get bored with some of the stories, but hey, it was informative.

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That Hole, Up In The Mountain

Brokeback MountainBrokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“There was some open space between what he knew and what he tried to believe, but nothing could be done about it, and if you can't fix it you've got to stand it.”

And that, my friends, is how people have dreams. The hole that will never be filled may linger for years. It will haunt you. It will be part of your system. It will eat your resolve.

Brokeback mountain is a short Wyoming cowboy story. But this is not just a story of two cowboys who herded sheep, but also a prose of their love and of their unfortunate ways to keep its warmth. At first you may get bored on the setting and their mundane tasks, but as you go along, you start to feel whatever they felt when they became close. You started to feel their frustration, their fears, and their hope to make their plans work.

But as the story end, you cannot just help them. Because that open space will never be filled by anyone, it can be only done by the one.

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Manga Perspective of Hiroshima

Town of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry BlossomsTown of Evening Calm, Country of Cherry Blossoms by Fumiyo Kouno

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"May you grow as strong and as gentle as the sakura tree."

In this simple author's note at the end of the manga, she was able to portray the lives of the people years after the World War. In this simplistic pastel colors and 1980's style of art, she was able to convey the message of hope and its absence to people, as well as how the Japanese were recovering from the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.

I may not understand other references like the baseball, the pop song and the radio show, but in one panel it tugged my heart to cry and appreciate the peace that we possess today.

This book gave me a reminder to be grateful for I never have to re-experience their pain to achieve the state of peace we have today.

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Fleeting and Eternal

The Voices of a Distant Star -Hoshi no Koe -The Voices of a Distant Star -Hoshi no Koe - by Makoto Shinkai

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"We are both here, because we're destined to meet again."

Makoto Shinkai became also known as a good movie maker since the time this was put into the big screen. But in this take, together with mangaka Mizu Sahara, the characters portrayed the melancholic emotions and able the reader to symphathized with these two old friends, Noboru and Mikako.

The manga leave the readers a hint of hope, instead of thinking of them as star-crossed lovers, they gave a room to imagine the next panels - what will happen to the rescue mission, and those look of longings when the 25-year-old Noboru meets the 16-year-old Mikako.

After all, they may be lovers separated by time and space, but they are fated to meet at one point in their wandering lives.

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The Picture Book of Break Up Stories

Why We Broke UpWhy We Broke Up by Daniel Handler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’m not something anyone should know. I’m a lunatic wandering around for scraps, I’m like every single miserable moron I’ve scorned and
pretended I didn’t recognize.

This is what you get for falling for that person too much. You tend to romanticize things, letting yourself drift to the feels of the drama we call love. Aaah, for us to be young and to be in love.

In the picture book, we see the different snippets and facets of Min and Ed's story of togetherness. But sadly, like all other sad stories, we have to face this loneliness. One may feel a sort of relieved after reading this, or one may feel a sort of jaded for it captured a moment of defeat.

But always remember that for every darkness, there is light. For one cannot move along with life without experiencing a life event, may it be a break up story or a happy ending - of which both will bear a significant meaning.

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Small Dose of Fitzgerald

Babylon Revisited (Penguin Mini Modern Classics)Babylon Revisited by F. Scott Fitzgerald

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"I am the exception that proves no rules, the limits of your control, the condiment in the dish of life."

The book is pretty straight-forward and simple, arching the idea of Alcohol abuse as the central theme of the three following short stories: Babylon Revisited, Cut-glass Bowl, and The Lost Decade. The first short story is inspired by the author's true story of gaining custody of her daughter over the latter's aunt. After reading the collections did I know that Fitzgerald suffered this kind of episode at one point of his life.

In addition, this also seen the bitter reality of the year where the Great Depression started. It may lack development, or the transition from the Golden Years, but the stories, no matter how concise, depicted the frustrations of its people suffering from this hardship, emanating the sentiments of how fast The American Boom went by.

Try these short reads - you will know why F. Scott Fitzgerald is considered a classic, and a required read to American students.

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Immoral Yet Alluring

LolitaLolita by Vladimir Nabokov

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

And this is the only immortality you and I may share, my Lolita.

If there is a book that made me mad but let me learn to love the dark side of a man, it is this book. It made me see the other side of things, to make me somehow understand a man who did something bad. So for the last quarter of 2013 - I fell in love with the words, but know that I am mad of what he did.

In here, I learned to hate the deed, but not the person. After all, in life, there should be no prejudice, but moral principles.

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