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Tag Archives: #opinion

My personal take on Charlene Harris’ Real Murders series


So I’ve just finished reading Charlaine Harris’ Real Murders.  Technically reading, anyway.  I don’t do much literal reading nowadays since I don’t have time for such luxury and my myopic eyes seem to be more myopic every time I visit my optometrist (which is an average of 2x a year, by the way). What I actually do is, I listen to audiobooks.  I found it pretty convenient since I am mostly out my house every day, anywisay. And it so just helps me be in the mood to do chores while washing dishes or sweeping the floor, or doing laundry. It helps me get through my most tedious and monotonous housework. When I’m out, I just connect my phone to my earbuds, popped them in my ear, open my audio book app, and I can listen to the current book I am into or connect it to my good ole reliable JBL Bluetooth speaker, up the volume, open my audio book app and press play when I’m at home.

Back to the book Real Murders. What immediately struck me while reading the book now was how inconvenient it was for Aurora to not have a mobile phone.   The book was written in the early 1990s and I just couldn’t help thinking about how useful a cell phone was, if Aurora Teagarden, the main character of the book (and the whole series) owned one. Well, that’s what popped into my mind whenever I “read” the parts where she saw a dead body, or a bloody hatchet or just whenever she needed to call for help. On the whole, Real Murders is a good murder mystery to read.  It also managed to keep me guessing on who amongst the Real Murders Club members was the actual murderer. This book also made references to real murders and true crimes (thus the title, Real Murders) which I previously didn’t have any interest in, and didn’t have any knowledge of; but thanks to this book, I actually learned some things real murders related. So I credit this book for additional knowledge and trivia now stored in my own “knowledge bank” because I rarely read non-fiction or textbooks (sad but true and a weakness of mine)  I find that they are almost always boring. So I just loved it when not only can I enjoy the pleasure of being transported to different worlds and different places, I can also learn some things during those “travels.”

My reason behind reading the Aurora Teagarden’s series is because it’s from Charlaine Harris.  She is one of my favorite authors. I am a Charlaine Harris fan.  I loved her Southern Vampires: Sookie Stackhouse series. I’ve read each one of them, novellas and all. I watched True Blood on HBO but they lost me somewhere between season 4 or 5.  Too many changes from the book and I absolutely prefer the twists and turns of the books most of the time to that of the tv show.And that was the end of my True Blood “affair.”   I found that most often than not,  I can’t appreciate the small or big screen version of books. I would always find that digressing from the original plots are always poor substitutes to the original stories.  Unless of course, the authors are the screenwriters of the stories. I don’t know why. It’s probably because when authors are screenwriters, they manage to bring their own unique stamps and their own way of telling their stories to the big screen that make the viewers who are readers of their books less disconnected.

Okay, back to Real Murders again. 😀  I love that the main character, Aurora Teagarden is a librarian.   My favorite hangout when I was still in school was the library so librarians to me are the cool people in my book world.:) 🙂 🙂 But there was one part of the book though where I find Aurora Teagarden stupid.  It was when she let her six-year-old half-brother go out of the house alone to get his baseball bat which he left outside when it was almost dark.  I mean, what kind of stupid who reads real murders, who has just been involved with a series of murder investigations (even if someone already confessed to said murders), who knows the real danger of murders and crimes–allow a six-year-old child go alone (and even hands a flashlight to him??!!) to find a baseball bat when it’s getting dark??? While I grant that that part of the book right there is the start of the climax of the story, some subtle alterations could have been made so as to not let Aurora act so stupidly especially since she was portrayed as a smart, well-read, murder savvy librarian.  Other than that, the book was enjoyable and entertaining.

I am currently on the first few pages of the second Aurora Teagarden series, A Bone To Pick. I just know that if it’s a Charlaine Harris book, I’ll never get disappointed.

Oh, by the way, I followed Ms. Charlaine Harris’ on Facebook and Twitter and she just had an update on the upcoming new tv series for the Aurora Teagarden in Lifetime network soon.  There was a date given but I forgot when.


The Girl On The Train: Personal Review


credits to the owner of this image

It has been so long since my last book review, or even write any post for that matter.  My laptop got broken for the longest time and I find that I didn’t feel like typing up long sentences on a tab or mobile phone.  And although my laptop hasn’t been replaced yet, I decided to make do with the family’s desktop.

So on to my thoughts on The Girl On The Train, a book written by Paula Hawkins. I’ve read lots, and I mean, LOTS of fiction books that came out last year and even early this year, and so far, I haven’t read any book yet that surpasses this book as the best.  I like that the one who’s telling the story is from a flawed, and less than perfect person.  This very flaw–her state of drunkenness and blackouts– are what makes the unfolding of the story more suspenseful. There was a point while I was reading the book that I was like, oh I know who the killer is and only to find out later on that I was totally off-base. So I quit guessing and just let myself enjoy reading the book allowing the story to sweep me off according to its own pace.

The Girl On The Train is definitely one good book to read.  I just love it.  So two thumbs up for Ms. Paula Hawkins. 🙂

Porma Over Substance

Porma over substance.  I’ve recently encountered this phrase over and over on the reviewers I studied for a Teacher’s Board Exam.  Chimes45 of yahoo answers explained it best — “It usually means that the content or subject doesn’t matter as much as the appearance or the structure of something. In other words, it doesn’t have to make sense as long as it’s visually appealing.”

Porma over substance.  Recently, my kids’ school has made such a big deal over beauty pageant/search  were kids from pre-elementary and elementary were made to parade in thick makeup, hair extensions, false eyelashes, spent so much money and made so much fuss over such shallow pursuits instead of giving their time and focus on improving competent learning with meaningful activities.

I don’t think that search/pageant is an intellectual or even a meaningful activity for kids ages 4 to 13.  For how will it teach the little ones?  That thick makeup, expensive change of clothes and swaying hips will give them confidence? Shouldn’t we be teaching our kids to be confident just the way they are and to be themselves? Wouldn’t thick makeups, hair extensions and false eyelashes be teaching them the opposite? If they want to teach kids confidence in themselves, they can achieve all that in some other way.

I have nothing against beauty pageants. I love pageants.  All I’m saying is that pageants aren’t  effective and suitable platforms to mold children as young as pre-elementary and elementary into smart and confident individuals.

Sadly, my kid was one of the contestants on that said pageant. When I consented to let my daughter join the pageant, I thought it was just an ordinary and simple search/pageant, very much like the simple and unimportant academic events of their school.  But I learned soon enough that they are making a big production out of of the pageant.  I didn’t like the idea so I made my point.  I just regretted that my kid has to be the medium to which i can deliver my point.  Luckily my kid is too intelligent and aware of her worth that she wasn’t affected by the sidelong and yes, even pitying glances they gave her when she stood out like a sore thumb by taking the ramp in simple unassuming attires and makeup.  If I so wanted her to blend in, I would have given the other parents a run for their money.

Porma over substance.  It should have been the other way around. I am really disheartened with the school.  If truth be told, I am mulling on transferring my daughter to another school next school year where the school and I share the same important values in educating a child. I don’t want a school were stuffs like pageants are given higher importance and attention compared to their academic events.

Porma over substance.  I am truly, truly disheartened and disappointed. They should have focused more on how to put their school on the map by producing quality pupils. And how can they do that when they give more importance and spent more on things like pageants?

Porma over substance.  Others may not view it that way.  But that’s my two cents worth on the issue of pageants for gradeschoolers.