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If this is your first visit, welcome! This site is devoted to my life experiences as a Filipino-American who immigrated from the Philippines to the United States in 1960. I came to the US as a graduate student when I was 26 years old. I am now in my early-80's and thanks God for his blessings, I have four successful and professional children and six grandchildren here in the US. My wife and I had been enjoying the snow bird lifestyle between US and Philippines after my retirement from USFDA in 2002. Please do not forget to read the latest national and International News in this site . I have also posted some of my favorite Filipino and American dishes and recipes in this site. Some of the photos and videos in this site, I do not own. However, I have no intention on infringing on your copyrights. Cheers!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cloyne Court and Two Other Books that Touched My Heart

Cloyne Court by Dodie Katague

I have read only three books for the last 5 years. I am not an avid book reader, since I spend too much of my free time watching Television and blogging. But once I started reading a good book, I will not stop until I finished it. Depending on the size of the book these could ranged from 1 day to 3 days. These three books are my favorites and have really touched my heart.

1.The first book, "Cloyne Court" was written by Dodie Katague my oldest son in 2009.

As his father who loves blogging and writing, I am really proud of his writing accomplishments, considering this is not his primary job. Dodie is a lawyer and a prosecuting attorney. Below are several reviews of his book as published by www.virtualauthorbooktours.com. I hope you have time to read his book.

"In 1977, when 18-year-old Berkeley college student, Derek moved into the student residence co-op, Cloyne Court, sight unseen, little did he know he would learn about life, love, sex, drugs, music, alcohol and co-ed showers—all on the first day.

Located one block North of the University of California, Berkeley campus, this real and notorious student-run house has provided an alternative, counter-culture, hedonistic, raucous, and unique living experience for the “Clones”, as the students call themselves, who choose to live here each year, despite the public and parents calling for a permanent shut down of this enduring and historic building.

Based on his journals and memories of his college days at this real-life “Animal House”, author, Dodie Katague weaves true events of life at Cloyne Court co-op into a zany, wild, and nostalgic story about the carefree time of every college student’s life.

"Sure to entertain any of those who enjoy a good story of the world of the fraternities and sororities. " Cloyne Court" is a fine memoir and a read well worth considering." Midwest Book Review

"If you like the movie Animal House, and have any interest in the going-ons of College in the 70s, or Berkeley in particular, you're also going to love this book. Get it, read it slowly, and enjoy!"-S. Davidian, Amazon Reviewer

"I found this book to be an AMAZING, page turning read. The rich story is very much worth it and leaves you dreaming of college days, and thinking about taking a drive to Berkeley to see the real Cloyne Court."-L. Couture, Amazon Reviewer

"I wish I had as much fun as Derek did in college, I recommend this book for anyone that has gone to college, or plans to go to college, or thought about going to college. Also for anyone who knows someone who went to college, because that buttoned up shirt wearing respectable man might have some stories to tell"-Genoa Dillon, Amazon Reviewer

"Sex, Betrayal, Drugs, Rock and Roll, nudist, co-ed showers, and the politics of the house make for a novel that has to be read. I loved this book."-Lori Cianfichi, Amazon Reviewer

Note: This book is fiction, but some events cited in the book regarding Derek's inter-action with his parents are true.

2. The second book is "Playing with Water" by James Hamilton-Paterson

James Hamilton-Paterson is a British poet and novelist. He is known to be one of the most reclusive of British literary exiles who shares his time between Austria, Italy and extensive periods over the last 30 years in the Philippines. He is generally known as a commentator on the Philippine scene, where he has lived on and off. His novels on the Philippines includes “Ghosts of Manila”, and “America’s Boy” (1998), the latter setting the Marcos regime into the geopolitical context of the time.
One of his books, “Playing with Water”, sold more than 4 million copies, described in a book review by New York Times as “a work of such genuine commitment, balanced perception and responsive passion that it will certainly be condemned to become a classic.

I have read this book a few years ago. I have almost forgotten this book, until last month when a fellow blogger from Marinduque posted an article about this book. It triggered pleasant memories of Marinduque. I love this book so much, I read some chapters twice. It is one of the best book, I have read about my island Paradise and My Retirement Home-Marinduque. It was written and published in the late 1990's but the lessons one can learn from book is still applicable today. This is a must read if you love Marinduque. Here's one review of the book.

"Go read...it's good!, By A. N. Teodoro III (River Edge, NJ, USA) - This review is from: Playing with Water: Passion and Solitude on a Philippine Island (Twentieth Century Lives)

"I read this book so many years ago, but I can still remember how good it is. This book is not only about the underwater world but also about the goings-on in a typical barrio in the Philippines. It has a socio-economic aspect to it that I found quite realistic, having been born and raised in that very same third world country. It amazed and pleased me that a foreigner like Hamilton-Paterson could, quite accurately, capture the very essence of filipino rural society---like the old woman who he suspects isn't so aloof and taciturn as she seems and the children of the barrio who frolic in the water and in their humble amusements, oblivious of the shortcomings of a third world upbringing. The book is an unusual stew of underwater
adventure and an unpatronizing account of a life among barrio folk".

Note: There are discussions among the readers of this book, where the actual location
of Paterson's cottage at the top of the hill but still near the sea. Some readers believe it is in Boac or Gasan. Others think it is near Elephant Island in Buenavista, where Bellarocca Resort is now located. If the latter location is correct, Paterson will certainly be surprise if he sees Elephant Island today.

3. The third book is "World as Seen Under the Lens of a Scientist" by Vithal Shetty

I have read some parts of the draft of this book and heard and witnessed in person portions of Dr Shetty life and achievements, but it was only the other day, that I was able to purchase the published book. It is an inspiring story, typical of a rags to riches story, but it is different because I know this scientist personally and had supervise his work as a Review Chemist in FDA. The book is titled, "World as Seen Under the Lens of A Scientist". Here's a press release and summary of the book published in March 2009 by Xlibris.

"Long before he arrived in America, Dr. B. Vithal Shetty experienced racial arrogance and discrimination. Even though he got admitted to the University of Pennsylvania, he had trouble finding a place to live and decency as white people disrespected him for his ethnicity. Along the way, he made constant adjustments in order to move his life forward while striving to earn respect through his close friendship with African Americans. Eventually, the author finally achieved redemption when he became an internationally renowned drug discovery sterling scientist. An engaging look back at Dr. Shetty's life begins with the release of his new book World As Seen Under the Lens of A Scientist: Negro Zero To American Hero Who Changed United States From American Hypocrisy To Greatest Democracy".

Dr. Vithal Shetty, author of the book " World as Seen Under the Lens of a Scientist" was one of the Chemistry Reviewers under my supervision during my employment with USFDA from 1990 to 2002. Dr Shetty is also the discoverer of Metolazone. He is also currently working on drugs for the cure for Aids. I wrote a brief article on Dr. Shetty accomplishements titled "Chemistry Reviewer Still in the Laboratory" when he was still under my supervision as a chemistry reviewer. It was published in News Along the Pike, an FDA Newsletter before my retirement in 2002. Dr. Shetty's autobiography is an inspiring one. He came from the slums of Mumbai, India and encountered discrimination in 1950's in the US. Today he is an accomplished scientist in the United States with more than 200 patents in his name.

Note: I believe that someday Dr Shetty may win a Nobel prize, if his research on HIV/AIDS Drugs becomes successful. If this happens, I will be the first one to congratulate him.

These three books are available at your local book store or on line (Amazon). This article was also published in Viewshound today! Good Reading to ALL!

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