Books I Resonated With | 2022 Edition

This 2022, I was able to read (over) 60 books and I couldn’t be any more satisfied. It is not about the number, really, but the stories I have come across this year, and some I resonated with, others I dnf (did not finish), and others that made me swoon and/or bawled my eyes out.

Like I have always said, books can take us all to different places–reading is always an adventure. This year, here are my handpicked books and stories that I have resonated with (in no particular order):

1. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

It is about a chemist-turned-cooking show host, Elizabeth Zott, and her and women’s place in society in the early 1960s. As a woman, there are many battles we fight for especially if we are both with a career and a child (she’s in, too). Elizabeth Zott even walked me through having a smaller circle with the only ones who matter, and I can definitely relate to that because, in reality, that is what I also do.

I was glad I persevered reading the book because, in some way, somehow, I could definitely resonate with it. I was even crying at the end of the book as if it was a relief that I’d been longing for, especially for Elizabeth Zott. I could not think of a better ending for her than how this book concluded it.

Sure, grit was critical, but it also took luck, and if luck wasn’t available, then help.

Elizabeth Zott, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

This line below in the book made me laugh because I KNOW SO MANY PEOPLE! Haha

While stupid people may not know they’re stupid because they’re stupid, surely unattractive pople must know they’re unattractive because of mirrors.

Elizabeth Zott, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Or something to think about, perhaps?

Religion is based on faith. But you realize, that faith isn’t based on religion.

A conversation between Madeline Zott and Reverend Wakely

And of course, what I will always put in mind:

Courage is the root of change–and change is what we’re chemically designed to do. So when you wake up tomorrow, make this pledge. No more holding yourself back. No more subscribing to others’ opinions of what you can and cannot achieve. And no more allowing anyone to pigeonhole you into useless categories of sex, race, economic status, and religion. Do not allow your talents to lie dormant, ladies. Design your own future. When you go home today, ask yourself what you will change. And then get started.

Elizabeth Zott, Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

2. Class Mom by Laurie Gelman

INCREDIBLY FUNNY! I laughed out loud at every chapter. As a mother with a child in preschool, I can resonate with Jen Dixon on how motherhood is in the presence of PTA association. Hehehe!

I love her witty comebacks and the e-mails she sends. Tell you what, when my child was about two to three years old, I’d always like to be a PTA President (same with Jen Dixon) because I think it was a whole round of leadership style to be done altogether (and of course, the bragging rights, come on)–I have joined a local organization’s board of directors already, risen in the academic ladder, and belted out leadership strengths through handling a huge team, and many other training and roles as a leader; but I felt that the dynamic of leading doting mothers is a 360-degree haul for me and I was challenged by that. HOWEVER, everything changed when my kid went to pre-school, and hello! yes! Jen Dixon, I NOW UNDERSTAND. My desires are off the table and I think I enjoy more being at the receiving end of all messages-to-parents I receive. Hehe

I purchased the title from National Book Store (NBS) Warehouse Sale shop via Shopee for only Php50! Really, a good buy.

3. What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20 by Tina Seelig

I wish I read this book when I was 20. As an entrepreneur, I have learned so many good things from this book that I know will help me in my future endeavors. If you’re 20 or in your 20s, much better if you are in your teens, take time to read the book and it will help you have a grasp of reality there is and how you can able to survive and manage, at least.

The book is easy-to-read. Take some notes, too!

4. Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Reading this book made me feel like I was part of the group, Daisy Jones & The Six. Sometimes, I do think, that maybe we are Daisy Jones at some point. This book, through the lines by Taylor Jenkins Reid, can transport you to how it was before in your life, well at least for me, I felt like my vulnerable self, then I was transported to the present, and I don’t have any words for the past but to thank “it” that “it” happened.

When you really love someone, sometimes the things they need may hurt you, and some people are worth hurting for.

from Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

And, in case you are wondering:

Women will crush you, you know? I suppose everybody hurts everybody, but women always seem to get back up, you ever notice that? Women are always still standing.

from Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I do believe in this and maybe you should, too? Hehe. In my experience, it is always almost true.

Handsome men that tell you what you want to hear are almost always liars.

from Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

In case you need a reminder:

“I’m not perfect. “I’ll never be perfect. I don’t expect anything to be perfect. But things don’t have to be perfect to be strong.”

from Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I know for sure there are a lot of books and even movies you can also resonate with. This year was an adventure for me and I am lucky to come across these books and/or novels that impacted me in all good ways possible; hence, I was glad to share.

I may be a little dormant this 2022, blogging and writing-wise, (I am currently onto my dissertation soon), but I hope 2023 will be better for me. Remembering how it was in 2010 when I first started this page of mine, they gave me more satisfaction than cringe, actually. This is probably for another entry, I suppose. Hehe. And here you go, four books I resonated with this year. What’s yours?

5 Kilig Books You Should Read This Month of June 2022

If you are looking for your next light read that can make your heart swell, here are my picks.

Some find my book genre of choice funny, amusing, weird, disappointing, and a mixture of all that. Taking a doctorate amidst mothering, full-time work, and running an enterprise, I’d like some breath of fresh air. With that said, reading Young Adult, Contemporary Romance, and kilig books that can be considered chill, easy-to-read, and got that kick of warmth is a must, if not a resort.

If you are looking for your next light read that can make your heart swell, here are my five picks, in no particular order:

1. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

Photo by shainnehostalero

Who would’ve thought STEM is a good setup for lovebirds with all the sciences stuff? Dr. Adam Carlsen and Ms. Olive Smith will be your new favorite couple! As a bonus, Ali Hazelwood provided an Adam Carlsen POV as a bonus chapter. That chapter can be found on the author’s website.
There is a reason why this piece is a New York Times Bestseller.

I was kilig, happy, lonely, and ugly crying all at once in this book. I did not even want to put it down nor did I want it to be finished–it was good!

Photo by shainnehostalero

I put annotations on the pages that moved me a.ka. made me cry and I highlighted a few pieces that I want to remember in this book.

This book is the type that I can read over and over again and won’t get tired of.

2. Romancing Mr. Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

If you are a fan of the Bridgerton Series on Netflix, it was recently announced that after Anthony’s story, it will be Collin Bridgerton and Penelope Featherington’s story that will come next. In the book, Romancing Mister Bridgerton comes after An Offer from a Gentleman which is Benedict Bridgerton’s.

These two books are my favorites in the series, but I lean on An Offer from a Gentleman as my top 1 and Romancing Mister Bridgerton next. But, all the twists of Lady Whistledown are in it. Many of you might know that Penelope and Lady Whistledown are one and the same, but her works and how it all happened in a full circle will be revealed in this book.

It is a given that the complete Bridgerton book series will make us swoon, but Collin and Penelope’s story, I think, is the strongest, because of their good foundation–friendship.

3. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

Photo from

This book reminded me of the movie Pretty Woman, there has been a kind of resemblance and I think Helen Hoang also took it as an inspiration in writing the book.

Stella Lane and Michael Larson could be in the opposite worlds, but someway somehow, their paths have crossed.

The Kiss Quotient was long sitting in my TBR list and in my Kindle library. I gave it a try without reading so much about it online and without knowing that it was one of Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2018. It did not disappoint.

4. The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas

Photo by shainnehostalero

I used to read via my Kindle for the entire 2020 and 2021 and was amused by good physical books that have been released in the market, so I went for it. This book is part of my April 2022 which I read so many good reviews about. Though it was your typical fake dating thing, but it was kilig all the same.

Catalina Martin and Aaron Blackford can give that to you. Some paths of the book you’d see almost the same with The Love Hypothesis, but it is just as good.

5. Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

This could be a little fascinating, but you’ve heard the story a thing or two once before. But, nonetheless, a read that you will find staying awake all night to just finish.

Colleen Hoover (CoHo) does that. I’ve read so many of her works and I couldn’t remember if I did NOT like any of them. Tate Collins and Miles Archer are in it for the long haul. It was a little tragic but heartwarming at the same time and CoHo will give you a happy ending.

So, if you are looking for something to think and cry about that has that kilig vibes, too. Ugly Love is a good read.

You might have a different experience in each book and we may not be, in particular, aligned in how we see the book, but these are just from my experience and personal preference. I hope to get your insights too, on how you saw each read if you have tried them. Happy reading!

The Year That Was and The Year That Will Be

The year 2020 is self-explanatory. It was one, if not the worst year of the decade, and it surely introduced us the new way to live (most of it I’m used to even before, at least this year I do not have to explain).

This year was also a breakthrough to help more people, to serve better, and to be strong for anyone who actually needs a shoulder to cry on, a wall to be of shield, or someone to depend on. It all happened this year. I do not want to spread toxic positivity and I duly acknowledge things that made this year difficult – how we fight for survival, how we turn our lives around, how worried we are for ourselves and for our loved ones because of the virus, and how majority of us lost our jobs and income due to the current health crisis. It wasn’t pretty. It was a hard hit.

My greatest achievement this year is I have survived and still am. My family is still intact, my friends are in a good place, and for that I’m blessed, lucky even. In exchange to the goodness of the universe, I echo these blessings and luck to those who need help. While I know we can only do so much, not stopping and continue being of assistance to those who are in dire need will still make a lot of difference. Yes, we can do something. Even the littlest of help can go a long way.

There were too many things that happened to me during this year. Highlighst are: On May of 2020, I submitted my Doctorate application and got in (yehey!). I have been completing all needed requirements since December of 2019. Even before I have finished my master’s thesis, I know going further is an option; and it won’t hurt to even try, I say so to myself. September of 2020, classes have already began and while schedule is hectic, I enjoy it so far. This month, December 2020, one semester has ended. Time flies and now here we are, entering the year 2021.

One highlight of my every year is the books I’ve finished reading each year. While I do not blog all the books I’ve read, I sure take all the lessons and the ~feelings~ with me hehe. My annual goal is to read 30 to 35 books; I try my best to read as many books as I can, but sometimes I go through a single book twice or thrice if I really like it OR like this 2020, I have a lot of things in my mind that I wasn’t able to prioritize my book (or e-book) hauls. This year, I had anxiety attacks – there were a lot of reasons; one is the pandemic. It really is difficult. I also had to find my groove in doctoral studies and to concentrate on readings that are pertinent to my field of study, research, and future publications (cross fingers) hence the 10 books.

This year, I have only finished 10 books:

  1. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
  2. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (I’ve seen the film years back before I actually read the book. The book was even better! Read it!)
  3. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (I’ve seen the Netflix film of this one before reading it entirely. It didn’t disappoint. It feels like high school all over again.)
  4. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (That’s right, Peter Kavinsky.)
  5. To All The Boys: Always and Forever by Jenny Han (I’m already Netflix-ready for the other two installment hehe)
  6. The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (Very timely to read this during the quarantine period. The lockdown made me relate/identify with Anne Frank)
  7. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson (Anyone in the workforce can relate haha there are so many takeaways that can help you process your emotions)
  8. The Marriage Arrangement by Jennifer Probst (One word: HOT)
  9. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (I know this is a TV series on Hulu (?) I haven’t seen it yet though but the book is worth the read)
  10. Management Communication in the Global Era by Gloria S. Chan (This was a required reading in my doctorate and it was a nice read. It was published by the Ateneo De Manila University Press in 1994; its contents are still relevant up to today.)

This 2021, I have put 15 books in my list (I’m ready to begin as I already have them in the shelf and in my Kindle). I think this is realistic given the hectic schedule of juggling business, academe work, studies, and LIFE:

  1. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  2. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  3. Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking
  4. 1984 by George Orwell
  5. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  6. After Dark by Haruki Murakami
  7. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  8. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
  9. Must I Go by Yiyun Li
  10. A Promised Land by Barack Obama
  11. It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
  12. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  13. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  14. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
  15. Bared To You by Sylvia Day

I hope 2021 turns better for all us. This was not an easy fight but I wish we do not lose the courage to try and to move forward no matter how terrible things might be for all of us.

Also, have you also read books that changed your perspective or even your life at the most? Share it here!