Archives for January 2015

Belinda’s Book Nook: Dollar Store Haul


I went into the Dollar Store yesterday looking for inexpensive posterboard for Nicholas for his science project. Unfortunately there wasn’t any left.  However,  this is also the same aisle that the books are located so I figured I would take a peek.

I found these to gorgeous hardcover books for $1 each!! Hello, I know I am on a book buying hold right now but $2 come on?

I quickly looked them up on Good Reads and they had fairly good ratings. I am familiar with Carlos Ruiz Zafon from the Shadow of the Wind. But I am new to Anita Amirrezvani.

Read the summaries and see why I didn’t walk away from this deal:

Equal of the Sun by Anita Amirrezvani

Iran in 1576 is a place of wealth and dazzling beauty. But when the Shah dies without having named an heir, the court is thrown into tumult. Princess Pari, the Shah’s daughter and protégé, knows more about the inner workings of the state than almost anyone, but the princess’s maneuvers to instill order after her father’s sudden death incite resentment and dissent. Pari and her closest adviser, Javaher, a eunuch able to navigate the harem as well as the world beyond the palace walls, are in possession of an incredible tapestry of secrets and information that reveals a power struggle of epic proportions.

Based loosely on the life of Princess Pari Khan Khanoom, Equal of the Sunis a riveting story of political intrigue and a moving portrait of the unlikely bond between a princess and a eunuch. Anita Amirrezvani is a master storyteller, and in her lustrous prose this rich and labyrinthine world comes to vivid life with a stunning cast of characters, passionate and brave men and women who defy or embrace their destiny in a Machiavellian game played by those who lust for power and will do anything to attain it.

The Prisoner of Heaven (book #3) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Full of intrigue and emotion, The Prisoner of Heaven is a majestic novel in which the threads of The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel’s Game converge under the spell of literature and bring us toward the enigma of the mystery hidden at the heart of the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a collection of lost treasures known only to its few initiates and the very core of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s enchanting fictional world.

And the cover of Zafon’s book is so amazing in person.


Happy Reading!


Fun Photos Friday #31: Simple things in Life

Make time

to enjoy the





funphotosfriday0123_2015On Monday, I took the boys to Barnes and Noble for our usual book adventures. Nicholas immediately went to the book shelf to find a book he knew was being released to see if it had arrived. Apollo went to the opposite section of the children’s book area. I stopped to look around the vast selection of books that kids can access at this bookstore. I am always impressed by the amount of books available to children now and it makes me smile. When I looked up from the books, I peeked and immediately saw Nicholas then I started down the aisles to look for Apollo.

Then I spotted him…sitting so peacefully on the floor reading a fun picture book about crayons.  I didn’t say anything. I just watched him. He was so comfortable at this place filled with books and so engrossed in the story. I immediately put my phone on silent and took at picture. It’s the simple things like Apollo grabbing a book, plopping down and diving into the story that warmed my heart. Life is beautiful.

Have a blessed Friday friends!



OLW: Connecting with Family

Lately I have been watching how all the electronics and outside things are taking away from genuine family time. Sometimes I fear we all don’t know what else to do.  So one of my plans for 2015 is to connect (my One Little Word for 2015)with my family. I would like to move to towards the place when we can all reduce the distractions so that we can just sit with each other and find a way to be truly content.

I want to start by trying to schedule things that will do just that; then maybe eventually it will become more natural for us.  I recently found out about National Readathon day which is this Saturday, January 24th. It is a fundraiser for the National Book Foundation but instead of the sole focus of it as a fundraiser, in our home, I’m going to take it as an opportunity for us to reconnect with each other through reading. It’s supposed to be a reading session for three hours from 12 – 3pm when groups we just sit with your books and read. But since the boys are very young I know that’s not possible. So I have decided to break it into 3 one-hour sessions of reading.

I told Leao about it because I want him of course to be there too and he is very happy to join us. I told the boys to think about the books that they want so they can read anything they want but that no devices will be available (only e-reader if that is the choice of medium)  only books.

Now I know it’s not connecting via talking but it’s connecting through the love of literature in doing the same thing together with no distractions from the outside world. It’s a step. Besides I love an excuse to get some reading fit into my day. It’s also an opportunity to discuss literacy problems in this country.

Below I included the banner, link and a little more information about this fundraiser. NATIONAL BOOK FOUNDATION INC

National Readathon Day (NRD) is a nation-wide marathon reading session on Saturday, January 24 from Noon – 4pm (in respective time zones)
– You can share your love of books and support programs that promote reading by pledging to read and fundraising for the National Book Foundation
– It’s like a walk-a-thon charity drive, but we’re turning pages instead of walking laps.

Hope you can find some tiime to check it out and grab a book on Saturday!


One Little Word (OLW) : Connecting to all Beings

display images to learn more about A Path Appears on PBS

So I’ve mentioned the word that I chose for 2015 was connect. One of the things that I want to bring into my life more fully this year is to connect with my fellow beings here and abroad.

I’ve always felt I have had a blessed life. I have a loving family, good health and a home. But sadness fills me when I get a glimpse of the struggle of many in poverty. I get angry and go through a gamut of emotions and then I don’t act. This year, I want to take the step and take action.

The logical side of me wants to approach this connection first through in depth education so that I can act wisely. I’ve gathered some books on different aspects of need and struggle over time. Now I must push myself further to learn and then act. So my plan is to begin reading them one by one to educate myself so that I can connect fully as one with all beings through service and advocacy. For I believe connecting includes extending myself and helping not just observing. And when I say that it doesn’t mean that I know that we are all beings and that some of us suffer daily. It means that I feel what they feel through true compassion and want for them with all my heart, the things I want for me which is love, peace, shelter, food, respect and opportunity.

One of the books that I’m reading has an amazing husband-and-wife team (Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn) and they have a couple of books published. I only have one of them right now which is called, “Half the Sky” but I just recently found out that they have a three-part movie that’s coming out on PBS on January 26, Feb 2nd and Feb 9th. The name of it is A Path Appears and it is based on the book by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. Click here to watch the trailer.

I ask of you my friend to take a few minutes to watch the trailer with a box of tissue and decide if you want to watch that show on the 26 because I understand that feeling of hopelessness that there so much need and struggle and wonder where to begin. Asking how little old me can make a difference. But, the inaction is the problem. Actions big or small makes a difference. Collectively we all can make a difference. No more putting it off. So I begin this journey of connection this year filled with hope and optimism that my actions make a difference. Will you join me?



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