I’m Leaving this Site…

This Duckie is moving to a new pond!

No worries my friends, I’m transitioning over from a “wordpress.com” site to a self-hosted WordPress “.com” site. I love my book blog and I want to do more with it! I’ll be posting further updates about the move and a final date this site will be an archives site and redirect folks to my new one.

For now, I’ll still be posting book review posts and whatnot while I’ll continue to construct my new site before it goes live.

Have a great day filled with books!

Comment below if you have any questions.

(Gifs: Giphy)


BOOK REVIEW: “2,000 to 10,000” by Rachel Aaron

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2,000 to 10,000 is a blessing.  Rachel Aaron is a gift from the writing gods.

I’ve decided to set a weekly goal of 3,000 words (consisting of blog posts/articles)  a few months ago. It’s challenging since I usually write around 900 to 1,000.

Writing more weekly will upgrade my writing skills.  The problem: I keep missing the mark, and I don’t know why. I’ve noticed I can write forever in my journals, but my mind’s blank when it comes to blogging (like wtf). Sometimes when I get a post done, it feels like I’ve dragged myself through it.

Writing’s supposed to be fun. I love it!

Why is it effortless for me to write in my journals opposed to online? Seriously, blogging is merely writing in an online journal.

To find some solutions to my problem, I found this cool guy, Nicholas Cole, who manages to write from 3,000 to 10,000 words a day. Yep, you read that right!

I’ve searched for more people and found an impressive triangle model on Rachel Aaron’s site. It presents three things you need to increase your daily word count: Time, Knowledge, and Enthusiasm.  


time clock GIF by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

To write more, you have to give yourself more time. For example, If you want to write 1,000 words in one sitting, give yourself at least 90 minutes (depending on your writing/typing speed).

For me, I’d give myself three hours minimum with small breaks in between. This time block includes researching and writing an outline.


How much do you know about your story? Your article? Your script?

I take this piece of Aaron’s advice to collect as much relevant data as possible for my writing project.  If you don’t know much, it’ll show in your final word count.

Back in college, my professors used to have these page requirements for research assignments. Depending on the instructor, they would be between 5-20 pages. Most of my classmates hated them.

I’d make sure I’ve written down a tremendous amount of notes and a massively detailed outline. With all of that work combined, I’ve reached the page requirements easily.

I didn’t receive a good grade for the page minimum, but for the knowledge presented in those pages.


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Make sure what you’re writing about excites you. I mean, like you’re going to Disney World excited.  The more fired up you are, the more you write. Simple as that.

Think about the topics and stories you can talk about all day to friends to the point where they beg you to chill out. Yeah, write those.


After reading 2,000 to 10,000, I knew what I must do.

I keep an inventory of topics to write for this book blog, script ideas, and more. I keep the exciting ones and scrap the rest.

I’m more empowered now to smash my weekly word count. I’m sure I’ll be writing 3,000 words and beyond in a day real soon.

hilarious kermit the frog GIF

Do you have a daily, weekly, or monthly word count?

Related Book Reviews:

(Book pic source: Goodreads)

(Gif sources: Giphy)


BOOK REVIEW: “The 10 Pillars of Wealth” by Alex Becker


Life: A Virtual Reality

Reading The 10 Pillars of Wealth reminded me how much life is a video game.

In Sims, we create and control people. We give them jobs, aspirations, beautiful homes, and all of the money we want them to have through cheat codes.

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When I was an avid Sims player, I made my Sims get money strictly through their careers. Besides that, I had them side-hustling selling paintings, building robots, and investing in stocks. Within a few weeks of consistent playing, my Sims were millionaires.

Now, how come we don’t focus on making more money and upgrading our skills as we do for our Sims? We tend to get upset about not having any.

With The 10 Pillars in mind,  I could make money like in video games. It won’t be easy, but what’s a video game without challenges?

With enough focus and consistent habits, we can design our lives instead of living by default.

Take those super gamers who end up making millions of dollars playing night and day.

“You can’t make money playing video games!” -Some Naysayer

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How in the world did gamers get so much money? They repeatedly played until they become masters.

People can have fun making money. Working in a lame cubicle environment is not our only option.

Whatever we want to do in our lives, we have to focus raising our game every day.

The 10 Pillars

Germany Berlin GIF by hateplow

To play the game of money mastery, Becker presents the ten pillars  you need to level up your finances:

  1. “Rejecting Getting Rich Slowly”
  2. “Separating Time From Money”
  3. “Accepting That You Must Be Better than Everyone Else”
  4. “Knowing Every Little Thing is 100% Your Fault”
  5. “Adopting an Abundant Mind-Set”
  6. “Forgetting “What Ifs” and Focusing on “What Is”
  7. “Mapping Out Actions that Achieve Goals”
  8. “Focus Solely On What Gets You Paid”
  9. “People Give Money to People That Get People”
  10. “Finding Competitive Friends and Suitable Mentors”

The 10 Pillars of Wealth is only a sliver of valuable knowledge Alex offers to his readers. More can be found on his website and Youtube videos.

I watch some of his videos occasionally. Be warned if you’re sensitive to foul language.

I’d recommend reading this book if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and tired of having a mundane financial life. You want money to work for you, not you being a slave to it.

Have you read this book? Any entrepreneur books you’d recommend? 

Related book reviews:

(Book pic: Goodreads)

(Gif sources: Giphy)

BOOK REVIEW: “Smarter Faster Better” by Charles Duhigg

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Have you ever been so excited for a new book from your favorite author only to be disappointed?

I felt this way while reading Smarter Better Faster at first. I was so excited to sink into this book after reading The Power of Habit a few years back.

Why was I slightly disappointed? I was impatient.

I wanted to know how to become smarter and better as the title entailed in the shortest time possible. In summary, I wanted to devour the information, instantly apply it to real life scenarios, and move on with life.

Charles Duhigg is not just any writer; he’s a journalist. Journalists are great storytellers. They tend to go down to the most specific details to make their stories more alive.

I’ve received the gist of Duhigg’s narrative style when I read The Power of Habit. For some reason with Smarter Faster Better, it felt like it took 20 million years for Duhigg to get straight to the information I wanted.

However, I’ve benefited from the narratives Duhigg picked up and their connection to the book’s main topic.

So while you’re reading Smarter Faster Better, you have to go through Duhigg’s jungle of narratives to take in his productivity tips.

This is not a bad thing. Honestly, it’s worth the read.

Think Like an Engineer

My favorite story was about Delia, a Cincinnati teen who faced odds using the Engineering Design Process,  a system created to observe problems and conclude with practical solutions.

The steps:

  1. Defining the dilemma
  2. Collecting the data
  3. Brainstorming solutions
  4. Debate approaches
  5. Experiment
  6. Repeat

Delia used this process to go through high school while living in an impoverished household. Using the engineering design process helped her find a way to take care of her family and graduated valedictorian from her school.

Indecisive with the choices laid out in front of you? See how the process works out for you.

For example, let’s say you’re done living on the East Coast, and you had your eyes on living in either California or Washington State.

Time to bring up the Engineering Design Process to help us out!

  1. Defining the Dilemma: “Should I move to California or Washington State?”
  2. Collecting data on these states
    • Employment
    • House prices
    • State taxes
    • Weather
    • Recreation
    • Healthcare
    • Social life
  3. Brainstorming Solutions
    • Visualizing what your life will be like in each state depending on the collected data
    • Talking to friends or read online reviews on their experiences living in these states
  4. Debate: “What are the pros and cons of living in ___ and why?”
  5. Experiment: Take a week or two visiting each state.

After going this process, you should come up with with a final solution.

Personally, I would choose California (specifically the Los Angeles area), but that’s just me.

For Readers Short On Time

In case you’re not looking forward to reading over 300 pages of Smarter Faster Better, check out the appendix. There you’ll gain the secrets of having a more productive, better life with focus and set goals without the 30+ page narratives.

Have you read this book? What is your favorite productivity book? 

Related book reviews:

(Book Source: Goodreads)

(Gif Source: Giphy)

The Many Times Tintin Almost Died (Part 2)

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You’d think Tintin would take a break after reading Part 1, right? That’s only the beginning. Tintin creator Hergé wrote new adventures for our young Belgian reporter.

You know what that means? New dangers!

Here are the many times Tintin almost died (Part 2).

Red Rackham’s Treasure

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After gathering Sir Francis Haddock’s clues in The Secret of the Unicorn, Tintin and the gang sail to the West Indies to find Red Rackham’s long-lost treasure.

Almost died: 2 times

  1. Trapped in a one-man submarine tangled in seaweed
  2. Shark attack

The Seven Crystal Balls

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Seven explorers end up in mysterious comas after their archaeological dig in Peru. This case leads Tintin into a strange journey filled with ancient curses and creepy Inca mummies.

Almost died: Once (surprisingly enough)

  1. Shooting standoff

Prisoners of the Sun

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Tintin and Captain Haddock travel to Peru to further solve an Inca curse and find their kidnapped buddy Professor Calculus.

Almost died: 8 times

  1. Avalanche
  2. Saving Snowy from being condor food
  3. Hungry crocodiles
  4. Falling down a waterfall
  5. Shooting
  6. Angry Incas
  7. Attempted stabbing
  8. Pyre burning

Land of Black Gold

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Detectives Thompson & Thomson’s car explodes after a pit stop at a local gas station. Cars have been blowing up all over the country due to tainted gas.

Tintin heads out to the Middle East to sort out the problem.

Almost died: 2 times

  1. Dehydration in the desert (didn’t he learn from The Crab with the Golden Claws?)
  2. Shot in the face while unconscious

Destination Moon

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 Professor Calculus invites Tintin to a secret base in Syldavia to show off his upcoming moon project.


Almost died: Once

  1. Gunshot graze through the skull

Explorers on the Moon

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Tintin experiences his first interstellar journey to the moon. Of course, unexpected obstacles soon follow.

Almost died: 3 times

  1. Falling into a moon crater in a space tank
  2. Saving drunk Captain Haddock from becoming an asteroid’s satellite
  3. Dying inside a space rocket trying to put it on autopilot


You think Tintin’s had enough? Wait until you see how he cheats death in Part Three coming soon!

What is your favorite Tintin story?

Related Articles:

The Many Times Tintin Almost Died (Part 1)

The Adventures of Tintin in a nutshell.

I’ve been a fan of The Adventures of Tintin cartoon since I was a kid. I always wanted to travel with Tintin. Now, not so much. It’s crazy how many times Tintin (and Snowy) almost died in the comics.

Take a look:

Tintin in America 

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Tintin uncovers Chicago’s criminal underworld.

Almost died: 9 times

  1. Dumped into Lake Michigan
  2. Chased off a cliff
  3. Buried underground
  4. Hitting a pile of dynamite left on the train tracks
  5. Mistaken for a Mexican criminal and hanged
  6. Train collision
  7. Rockslide
  8. Falling into a meat grinder

Cigars of the Pharoah

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A pack of cigars leads Tintin to the beginning of a drug-smuggling ring from Egypt to India.

Almost died: 5 times

  1. Stranded in the middle of the ocean
  2. Execution by firing squad
  3. Crashing into the jungle by plane
  4. Wrestling a tiger into a straitjacket
  5. Knife attack

The Blue Lotus

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Tintin uncovers another drug-smuggling case in China and hopes to find a missing doctor who can cure anyone who drinks the Rajaijah juice aka “The Poison of Madness.”

Almost died: 6 times

  1. Drive-by shooting
  2. Tainted tea
  3. Decapitation
  4. Executed for espionage
  5. Shooting by an assassin photographer
  6. Decapitation (again)

The Broken Ear

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Tintin follows thieves into the South American jungle for a stolen tribal fetish.

Almost died: 7 times

  1. Execution by firing squad (AGAIN!)
  2. Nearly shot in the face
  3. Prankster general shooting blanks during a chess match
  4. Assassination attempt
  5. Train collision while driving
  6. Car crash
  7. Falling off a ship fighting two men

The Black Island

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A counterfeiting case takes Tintin on an adventure through England and Scotland.

Almost died: 4 times

  1. Shot for asking questions
  2. Left inside a burning house
  3. Crashing a plane in Scotland
  4. Gorilla attack
Scottish gorillas? (via Tintin Wiki)

King Ottokar’s Sceptre

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Tintin searches for a royal family’s missing scepter before a rival country overthrows the monarchy.

Almost died: 4 times.

  1. Explosive parcel
  2. Falling out of a plane
  3. Cannons shooting down Tintin’s plane
  4. Assassination attempt (again)

The Crab With the Golden Claws

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Tintin solves an opium smuggling case in Morocco.

Almost died: 4 times

  1. Falling crates
  2. An enemy plane attack at sea
  3. A drunk sea captain crashes a plane into the Sahara desert
  4. Dehydration

The Shooting Star

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Tintin pursues a scientific expedition to study a meteorite that has landed in the Arctic Ocean.

Almost died: 3 times

  1. Shooting
  2. Giant spider attack
  3. Drowning

The Secret of the Unicorn

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Tintin and Captain Haddock search for treasure clues hidden inside ship models.

Almost died: 1 time (this comic was rather tame)

  1. Vicious dog attack


 Could you survive Tintin’s adventures? The sequel of this Tintin post is coming soon!

Other articles:

(Photo sources: Goodreads)

(Gif source: Tumblr)


My February 2018 Book Haul

This month, I’ve developed a new system reading more books every day. Besides reading one book at a time, I’d read two. I read 60 pages from one book and 30 pages from the second. This method worked wonders!

Looking forward to experimenting with another plan to read even more. If you haven’t viewed my 2018 resolutions, my goal is to read 333 books (including comics & e-books) by the end of the year.

Here’s my February 2018 book haul:

Adult Non-Fiction

1. Become the Force by Daniel M. Jones (4/5 stars)

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Daniel Jones took the whole Star Wars universe to a more in-depth spiritual level. The spirit of Jediism is being peaceful, doing good, and connecting with the Force.

I have no plans of joining the Church of Jediism anytime soon, but it was interesting to read about the church’s origins and its founder.

2. The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle (5/5 stars) *review*

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Consistent practice makes one talented according to The Little Book of Talent. This book is filled with valuable information to upgrade any skill you need to develop.

3. Show Your Work!  by Austin Kleon (5/5 stars) *review*

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You’d think having a creative career is hard, but Austin Kleon will show you how it’s done. Do the work, show your work, and repeat.

4. Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon (4/5 stars) *review*

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Show Your Work! was so great I immediately picked up Steal Like An Artist. These books are pure gold for artists everywhere.

5. The Writing Warrior by Laraine Herring (4/5 stars) *review*

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Writing for leisure? Simple.

Writing full-time? Not so much.

Reading The Writing Warrior has helped me get over my writing problems especially the accursed writer’s block whenever it rears its ugly head.

Comics/Graphic Novels

1. The Adventures of Tintin (v.2) by Hergé

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I love these Tintin 3-1 editions. This volume features The Broken Ear, The Black Island, and King Ottokar’s Sceptre.

2. The Adventures of Tintin (v.3) by Hergé

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More Tintin adventures! This volume includes The Secret of the Unicorn, The Shooting Star, and The Crab with the Golden Claws.

3. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina (Book One) by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (5/5 stars) *review*

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I love a good scary story sending chills down my spine. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is not another friendly Archie comic featuring Sabrina in her kooky, magical adventures.

Please read at your own risk.

4. Hollow City: The Graphic Novel by Ransom Riggs (story) & Cassandra Jean (art) (4/5 stars)

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If you’re familiar with the Peculiar Children novels, try reading the graphic novel series.

I hope the movie sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children comes out soon. I’m ready to see this in theaters!

I also read: 

5. Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani (3/5 stars)

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Priyanka finds a magical scarf leading her back to India. There, she uncovers a family secret hidden from her since she was born.

6. Plutona by Jeff Lemire & Emi Lennox (2/5 stars)

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Plutona‘s about a group of kids finding a superheroine’s corpse in the woods. This story had rising potential then it dropped with an anti-climatic ending.

Juvenile (For Ages 8-13)

1. The Adventures of Riley: Outback Odyssey by Amanda Lumry & Laura Hurwitz (4/5 stars)


I read Outback Odyssey since I was in a “Let’s travel to Australia” mood. I learned many things about the Outback wildlife. Did you know male kangaroos were called boomers?

YA (Young Adult)

1. Hurricane Kiss by Debbie Blumenthal (3/5 stars)

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Jillian is forced to shed her true feelings for River, a football star dropout, in the midst of Category 5 Hurricane Danielle.

Debbie Blumenthal’s storm descriptions made me feel like I was right in the middle of Mother Nature’s horrors. The romance was sweet, but I felt like the hurricane rushed it.

What was in your February book haul?

Past book hauls:

BOOK REVIEW: “The Little Book of Talent” by Daniel Coyle

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When I was in elementary school, I used to believe the TAG (talented & gifted) students were born super smart like Dexter from Dexter’s Laboratory.

I never made it to the program even in high school despite my awesome grades (at least I thought they were awesome).

I thought I wasn’t accepted to TAG because I wasn’t born talented enough.

After reading Daniel Coyle’s The Little Book of Talent, my old beliefs were complete poppycock. Talent isn’t born, it’s built.

My Favorite Tips

Coyle lists 52 skill-building tips one can use to improve their performance. It’s all about practice and repetition. With great practice comes great results.

My ten favorite tips were:

1. Take off the watch

Instead of using my watch to determine how long I practice a skill, I depend on repetition.

2.  Practice alone

It’s better to practice in solitude for extra concentration. I tend to stay in my room for half of the day reading and writing. It has come to the point I feel like I’m doing something wrong if I’m not doing it.

3. Pay attention to your mistakes

Sometimes I tend to rush with my writing, desperate to hit the “submit” button after I’m done with a draft. Afterwards, I’ve noticed the spelling errors and format mistakes.  It’s best to take things slow.

Mistakes can be your friend. They’re a friendly tap on the shoulder telling you what you can do better.

4. Play games with your skills

I give myself points every time I read, write, and exercise. The points lead to prizes like lottery tickets or a bit of shopping.  This method is incredibly helpful with my writing habit. It has increased my relationship with it.

5. Take a nap

I love naps. Who doesn’t?

According to Coyle, a 90 minute nap can improve brain functions.  If you want to work your best, take a nap. Most workaholic employers should implement naps in their employees’ schedules. They have humans working for them after all.

Coffee shouldn’t be the only substitute for working longer efficiently.

6. Embrace repetition

Forming repetition builds the brain. I love it!

7. Work like a blue-collar worker

Blue-collar workers do their job every day. It’s best to work on your skills daily like them.

8. Practice after competition

Congratulations, you made it through the tournament! You won a medal! Now, go practice some more.

Olympians don’t rest on the laurels after they achieved their first gold medal. Michael Phelps didn’t retire until he had 28 medals.

9. Build new habits

Instead of avoiding all forms of sweets during your diet, only focus on the fruits and vegetables. Want to watch less TV? Read more books.

Creating new habits is more about building the new instead of breaking down the old.

10. Try the 3 x 10 technique

Practice a skill three times with 10-minute breaks in between.


I thank Daniel Coyle for writing The Little Book of Talent.  I’m excited to apply these tips in my life. Can’t wait to see the results in the next three months, whether it be improving my writing skills, exercising,  or playing Overwatch (that game can be tough).


Have you read the Little Book of Talent? What skills do you want to improve?

Related book reviews:

(Book pic source: Goodreads)

(Gif sources: Giphy)