Posted in Thursday Ten

Thursday Ten: Languages

My mother tongue is English, but I love tasting different languages. 

Learning a new language takes time, effort, and determination, but it’s something that I can’t seem to commit to. Yes, I have commitment issues. Today, I’m going to talk about 10 languages I like, love, or has/have/had an impact on me at some point in my life. I am not fully fluent in any of them, though, but one day, I’ll love to be in a few especially from 6-1.

Ooh, boy, this post looks like it’s going to be lengthy. 

10. German

This language is not for me although I can say good morning, hello, a few other greetings and “God is love” in German.

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Ich spreche nicht gut Deutsch. Yeah, I don’t speak German very well. 

09. Dutch

When I was working at Vie de France, there was a former model working with us and she spoke Dutch thanks to some of her modeling years living in the Netherlands. She taught me how to count in the language and introduced me to some basic phrases. Dutch is one of the languages closest to English while being in the same family as German. 

Now whenever I think of the Dutch, I automatically go back in time to when Robin Van Persie scored that screaming stunner on Spain.

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Ah, good times! I look forward to the World Cup this year.

08. ASL

One day, I sat down to write a story about a boy and a girl, but the boy was deaf. I might have spoken about Jai and Diana at some point here last year during the NaNo period. Anyway, Jai being deaf made me look into ASL although I was interested in it before, but never quite got into it until now.

I am currently learning how to sign. I’m supposed to be practicing with an Instagram friend, but your girl doesn’t do Skype. So meet my teacher:

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He basically taught me how to say nice to meet someone…

…how to say no…

…and how to say hello with such enthusiasm:

I think it’s beautiful and this is one language that I’ll love to be fluent in. I try to keep up with my learning on Duolingo by using their flashcards. 

07. Spanish

A pretty cool language and I understand many phrases although I may not know how to pronounce them despite having Spanish in the family (most of them are from Venezuela). 

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However, I have no passion to learn this language. When I was in junior secondary school, my Spanish teacher showed no interest in teaching it. She mostly skipped the class with an excuse. When I got to Secondary school, I was the one making up excuses to skip the Spanish class because I wanted to take French, but there was a mix-up and I ended up in the Spanish class with another teacher who was not on fire when it comes to teaching it. 😒

06. Romanian

I love this language! My love for this language began when I started adding diversity to my character pool. I learned some basic phrases here and there, but not enough to get me around any Romanian town! 😆

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My interest in this language was renewed when I discovered the Dobre twins YouTube channel. Their mom is Romanian, they speak the language sometimes when they communicate with their non-English speaking grandma and the comment section is always lit with the language. 

Dați like dacă sănteți romăni.

05. Japanese

Konichiwa!

I blame Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters for this.

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I was never interested in anime before (or after) Yu-Gi so when I came across this one, it was a rather pleasant delightful way to pass time. Eventually, I watched the series in Japanese and I picked up a few things such as one should mainly use “moshi moshi” when answering the telephone. It loosely translates to “speaking, speaking” or “I say, I say”. If you can’t hear the person clearly on the other end, you can ask, moshi moshi kikoemasuka? (Hello, can you hear me?). I also learn that one must not use moshi moshi off the phone too much unless you want to get someone’s attention. You can also answer the phone by saying hai (yes).

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Another thing I learned is that Japan loves their karaoke so don’t be surprised if your Japanese friend asks “Karoake ikanai?” Overall, I love this language and I hope to pick it back up soon. 

04. Hindi

This language moves me!

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And I’m so happy that it exists!

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I learned some Hindi from watching Bollywood movies in my childhood. I can sing ‘Malhari’ in Hindi although I haven’t watched the movie (Bajirao Mastani) to date. The language still appeals to me today and I hope to get serious about it one day. 

03. Greek

Ya! I am currently learning this beautiful and poetic language. I feel so calm whenever I listen to someone speak it.

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I mean, look at these beautiful words: Kalimera, Kalispera, and Kalinihta. *sighs* What’s not to love? 

02. Italian

This is the world’s tastiest language! They make everything sound tasty. Even the word keyboard is tasty: tastiera. I could hug this beautiful language tight and never let it go.

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Once I become fluent in it, I’ll be like…

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I’m currently learning the alphabet. 

01. French

I have to leave the best for last. This language is downright the most beautiful, most romantic, and sensual thing that I’ve ever heard and it pleases my ears whenever I hear it being spoken.

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There’s a reason why almost all of my characters are French or why most of my stories are set in France. I won’t go into the language in detail for we’ll be here for a long time, but I’ll be starting French Fridays soon, so stay tuned.

Okay, over to you now. What’s your mother tongue and what other languages can you speak, want to speak or simply excite you?

***All GIFs and photos via Google Images

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Posted in Reading Diaries, Thursday Ten

Reading Diaries: Book wishlist 2018!

Because I can never have enough books.

Not the best photo I’ve taken, but I like it & it works for now. Tammy, if you read this post, you’ll recognize the mug. ❤

Dear Diary,

They say that money can’t buy happiness, but oh, how wrong were they! Technically, money can buy happiness… in the forms of books!

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Anyway, it’s that time again. That time to list the books that I’m hotly anticipating in 2018 God’s willing, although I am weeks late with this post. Like, wayyyy late! But like they say, it’s…

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If you know me (but you don’t know me, yet you’re about to), I am a verified book hoarder, but I prefer the term book collector. I recently tried to do an unhaul, but I was unwilling to part with some of the books I am yet to read, although some of them have been sitting on the shelf for about 5 years now. I donated two books to my library, but I am optimistic (and determined) on reading the remaining books!

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That out of the way, I am not one to anticipate books, therefore my list is never exciting, given that I don’t run behind the popular authors. I buy books based on the synopsis. If I’m in a good mood, I buy it based on the cover which brings me to…

Chemistry Lessons by Meredith Goldstein

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I spend a lot of time on Amazon lately sourcing books for my personal library collection and the work library. When I came across this cover, I was sold. I don’t like the fonts and I am not interested in looking at the synopsis because I don’t want to know anything about this book until I am reading it. It’s a YA and the release date is on June 19, so I have a long wait. I’ve never read anything from this author before, but if this one is good, I’ll get ‘The Wedding Guests” or ‘The Singles”.

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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Another book I chose based solely on the cover. It looks hilarious and if the story is to go anything by the cover, then it’ll be humorous. It’s not a book I’ll usually go for, but sometimes I like to blindly buy things. This contemporary will be out on June 5th, and again, it’s going to be my first time reading this author, although I know a few of her books including ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’. I remember wanting that book back then, but never got around to purchasing it.

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

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Six university students from Oxford is having the perfect summer getaway, a beautiful French girl joins the friends causing the non-French girl Kate green with envy, an altercation takes place, the French girl is good as dead, but this case does not stay buried as it’s reopened a decade later and I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENED TO FRENCHIE! I am counting on this thriller to thrill me when it comes out on February 20. And if it thrills me, then I’ll keep this author in mind for future thrills!

Bones Don’t Lie by Melinda Leigh

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I think I love this cover. This book is part of a series which I’ve never read before, but it doesn’t matter. Twenty-three years ago, Lance Kruger’s father vanished without a trace. Now a private investigator, Kruger thinks he’ll finally get closure when his father’s car is dredged up from the bottom of a lake and a skeleton is found in the trunk. The gears in my head are already turning and I think I know what happened to Kruger’s father, but I’ll wait to prove my theory until I put my hands on this book. I love stories where we have to go back to the past in order to right the present and on our trip there we discover family secrets. Hence the reason I like Riverdale so much.

This mystery would be released on March 13

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

This thriller comes out on January 9th and it’s billed as…

I call it the most hyped thriller of 2018. There is always that one book that is all hyped up and you expect to love it because of a teaser like this:

When you read this book, you will make many assumptions.
You will assume you are reading about a jealous ex-wife.
You will assume she is obsessed with her replacement – a beautiful, younger woman who is about to marry the man they both love. 
You will assume you know the anatomy of this tangled love triangle.
Assume nothing.

Twisted and deliciously chilling, Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen’s The Wife Between Us exposes the secret complexities of an enviable marriage – and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Read between the lies.

I’ll try to read between the lies, but most of all, I hope that this book lives up the hype.

Murder, Interrupted by James Patterson

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Base on my book reviews, you know I am JP’s girl and this list would’ve been incomplete without him. Every year, I look forward to his books the most. He is a marketing and brand genius, yes, but no other author can hold a candle to him. Well, for me.

Murder is Forever is a new true-crime thriller series and this book is the first. It tells the story of the filthy rich, cheating financier Frank Howard who wants his wife dead; and single mother Dee Dee Blancharde who is praised for caring for her ill daughter until Gypsy Rose finds out that the daughter is not actually sick and Dee Dee has lied all these years. I remember watching this one on the news.

The book would be available from January 02nd just in time for the TV series Murder is Forever premiering on the Discovery channel. Another book in the series – Home Sweet Murder – also comes out on that same day. Two new JP books on one day? Yes, please! 

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Meanwhile, Murder Beyond the Grave would be out on February 06th.

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I am a sucker for true crime.

The President Is Missing by James Patterson and Bill Clinton

I talked about this book earlier this year and it’s a book I’ve been anticipating ever since. It’ll be available from June 08th and I can’t wait to grab a copy.

Posted in Thursday Ten

Thursday Ten: reasons I like Jughead

Looks like it’s going to be all about Riverdale and Jughead today!

I actually had something else planned for today’s top ten, but there’s enough time in the world to talk about books. Since the start of the second season of Riverdale, I’ve been doing weekly reviews and most of them, if not all, centered around the best character from the show, Jughead.

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Today, I bring you ten reasons why I dig Forsythe Pendleton Jones III aka Jughead. This should’ve been done a long time ago, but now is also good so let’s talk about why I like this tall, dark, and brooding character. 🙂

Cole Sprouse plays him

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Cole Sprouse is the man. I remember watching him alongside his twin on The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and I was team Cody all the way. Cole was the perfect candidate to portray Jughead Jones; I don’t see no other. 

He writes

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Call me bias if you want, but when I was younger, I loved and adored stories with characters who were librarians or writers. Jughead writes and he’s dedicated to his craft. When he isn’t writing, he’s eating; when he isn’t eating, he’s writing.

He’s also a cinephile.

He cares about the truth

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If it’s one thing I love about Jughead is the fact that he constantly searches for the truth. In season one, finding out what truly happened to Jason Blossom was his top priority. 

His sarcasm

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His sarcasm is off the radar and I love it for he’s a master at this wonderful art.

His relationship with Betty is goals

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Unlike his best friend Archie, Jughead knows what he wants and he has his eyes on one girl, the lucky Betty Cooper. Throughout the first season, I watched him devote his time and attention to her. He was there for her when she found out the truth about her sister Polly and always made time from his schedule to just be by her side. They’re soulmates.

His bromance with the redhead jock

When I read books, I look for that special friendship bond because I’m a sucker for a friendship with a strong bond and Jughead and Archie have that special chemistry that I love between friends. 

It also helps that KJ and Cole are great friends in real life.

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His love for food

He frequents Pop’s more than anyone else and would use any excuse to get food. Just about any excuse.

The boy sure loves his stomach just like I do!

His aesthetic and beanie

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Jughead’s aesthetic is totally skater boy meets brooding writer… that was my first thoughts when I first saw him. The crown beanie is special because it’s a part of him and without it, he wouldn’t be Jughead.

He isn’t afraid to be himself

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He isn’t afraid to be weird for he does not conform to society’s trend of the norm. This is my favorite thing about him. I have a character just like this and I enjoy writing him.

He’s perfection

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Character-wise that is. I wish I had written him! He is like a younger angsty version of Dr. Spencer Reid. He is flawed, but he embraces it without trying to be perfect for anyone. I love his quirks for it is very endearing. It’s okay to be different and he boldly makes this statement without attaching attention to himself.

That’s ten already? Time flies fast when you’re having fun!

jughead jones riverdale cw

Posted in Thursday Ten

Thursday Ten: editing checklist

After NaNo comes editing!

I am in no way a professional author or an expert in anything writing, but I write and that means I also have to edit. For NaNoWriMo this year, I wrote Dangerous Obsession, and although it’s not completely finished, I am going through the first draft and editing as I go along. I’ve compiled a small editing checklist.

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1. Strike needless words

This pretty much explains itself. Look for redundancies and get rid of them.

2. Quotation marks 

Add quotation marks where necessary, especially when your character is speaking.

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3. Similiar character names

This can be confusing for both the writer and reader sometimes, so make sure characters names are easy to recall individually.

4. CAPITALIZE!

Capitalize names, places, months, the beginning of a sentence, etc.

5. One voice or two voices?

Writers are told that is is better that they stick to one voice (POV), but if you’re working with two or more characters, make sure that you include whose POV they’re speaking from.

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6. Avoid using ‘literally’

Like literally!

7. Spelling

Does it look right?

8. Dialogue game

Make sure that the dialogue serves the story in every case.

9. Read aloud

Gotta make sure what you’ve written is making sense.

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10. Double check everything

A writer can never go wrong with this technique. After all, we want the reader to be satisfied with what they’re reading.

***GIFs via Google Search

Are there any editing tips that you’ll like to share?

Posted in Books & Reviews, Thursday Ten

Thursday Ten: Books I did not finish

*sighs* I didn’t realize that I’ve neglected this top ten thing.

There are books that I’ve forced myself to finish because of the somewhat intriguing plot twist, books that I skimmed through to get to the end, and then there are the books that I just couldn’t finish. I know this is a top 10 list, but at current, I can only list 8 books. The thing with reading/exploring different genres is that you get a sense of what you really like, what you don’t, what you need to stay away from, and what to give a second chance to.

1. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

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I can’t believe that this book won a Pulitzer! This useless book with terrible writing style! This book does not even deserve a place on my bookshelf and I don’t think I’ll ever attempt to read another book from this author. 

2. Power Play by Catherine Coulter

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Catherine, what happened to you? You used to give me better stories than this drivel. I am sorry, but I have to put your books down.

3. Persuasion by Jane Austen

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I tried. *sighs* I really tried. Then I tried again…

4. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

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…and then I give up on this author as well. A woman can only try so many times! I am done with her for she keeps wasting my sweet reading time. I finally accept that she is not my cup of coffee because I find her books unbelievingly boring to the point where I want to strangle the book so I’ll let Mark Twain speak for me:

I often want to criticise Jane Austen, but her books madden me so that I can’t conceal my frenzy from the reader; and therefore I have to stop everytime I begin. Every time I read ‘Pride and Prejudice’ I want to dig her up and beat her over the skull with her own shin-bone.

– Letter to Joseph Twichell, 13 September 1898

Yes, even Twain knew how I feel. Wait, do I even like Twain’s books?

5. A Mercy by Toni Morrison

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This is literary garbage. The summary of the book is misleading, I feel as if I was dumbed down while attempting to read it, and the different characters narrating chapters with no initial knowledge of who’s speaking? Please, leave this to an expert like James Patterson. This stream of consciousness style was annoying. Incredibly boring and if this was my book, I would’ve set it on fire. Doesn’t deserve to see the light of day and I don’t care if it’s a bestseller. 

6. A Bit of a Difference by Sefi Atta

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Not my style and the writer was rambling as if talking to a friend and not addressing the reader. I couldn’t even make sense of the character.

7. Crazy Little Thing by Tracy Brogan

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Talk about mediocre writing at its best! We have a heroine who is divorced and decides that she wants nothing to do with men for a while. She goes to her aunt’s house to recuperate and immediately, she spots an attractive jogger (he happens to be a doctor) and well, she likes what she sees. This woman is the mother of two brats (I still don’t know what’s so funny in authors making brats out of every single kid out there) and no redeeming qualities about her. This doctor should’ve jogged the other way.

Books like this end up in my trash can because they’re not fit to even wipe my feet on.

8. One Plus One by Jojo Moyes

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Nice try, Jojo. Nice try. This story was predictable and unbelievable. I was thoroughly disappointed and before I burst into tears from being bored of the corny dialogue, I calmy put it down for the book did not belong to me. Had it been my property…

Are there any books that you’ve started and just couldn’t finish? Disagree with me? Feel free to share in the comments down below. 🙂

Posted in Thursday Ten

Thursday Ten: things to do with a blank book

It’s been a while since I’ve done a top 10 list!

While cleaning out recently, I came across some blank notebooks that I once had intentions of using, but I somehow forgot about them. I love notebooks, but lately, I prefer to use my laptop because of arthritis. However, the blank notebooks gave me an idea or two or three or ten…

1. Writing journal

Writing every day can spark new ideas for stories and help you practice your writing at the same time. It can also be therapeutic, ignite your creativity, and help you achieve goals. 

2. Daily journal

Chronicling your daily life can be a task at first, but it can help you connect with your heart. In the long run, the entries can also be used in a non-fiction story. I used to journal when I was younger, but I haven’t done so in years. 

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Image via Besottment by Paper Relics

3. Bucket List journal

I had a bucket list journal when I was younger! Putting pen to paper and writing the things that I’ve always dreamed of was a blast! 

4. Quotes book

I collect quotes so I’ll definitely be turning one of the blank notebooks into an inspirational book.

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Image via reasontoskipthehousework.com

5. Fitness journal

Set health and fitness goals. 

6. Spiritual journal

Write down prayers, hymns, and give thanks to the Most High for life. 

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Image via Bible Journaling Digitally

7. Art journal 

I don’t really draw anymore, but whenever I feel the urge to draw, I can practice my drawing in the book.

8. Dream journal

Track the significance of your dreams!

9. Handwriting practice

I had a better and fancier handwriting before arthritis kicked in so this sounds like a good idea.

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Image via The Postman’s Knock

10. New words 

I love coming across new words especially long ones! I also love trying to use them in a sentence. 

What about you? Any suggestions that you’ll like to add to the list? Do you keep a journal of any kind?

Posted in Thursday Ten

Thursday Ten: sports movies!

With the football pre-season upon us, I thought I’d feature my top 10 sports films today. 🙂

1. Jerry Maguire (American football/sports agent)

THE MOTHER OF ALL SPORTS AGENT MOVIES!! Up to this day, I haven’t been motivated to watch American football, but Tom Cruise as Jerry Maguire was…

2. Chak De! India (Hockey)

One of my top inspiring movies of all time. In reality, I don’t care for hockey, but watching this film made me understand the sport better. Shah Rukh Khan was just wonderful as Kabir Khan! He pulled off the coaching role with flair. I cheered him and the girls on throughout the film. 

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3. Patiala House (Cricket)

Another sport I don’t care for, although I found myself watching a match recently. It is not as exciting as my beloved football, but Akshay Kumar pulled off his cricketer role very well. This movie is not only about the love of a sport. It is about following your dreams regardless what your parents may want for you, but be respectful when you choose to thread the path.

4. Bend It Like Beckham (Football)

I like football, but I am not a fan of David Beckham. I also dislike British movies, but this one was okay because Parminder Nagra was AWESOME! Kiera Knightley is a boring actress. It’s like watching paint dry.

5. Coach Carter (Basketball)

At the time I watched this film, I thought it was very inspiring and Samuel L. Jackson murdered his coaching role. SLJ now is very unwatchable.

6. The Karate Kid (Martial Arts)

The first time I saw Jaden Smith light up the screen alongside Jackie Chan, I thought the kid had a good future as an actor. Now, I ain’t so sure, but this film is a guilty pleasure of mine. I tend to watch it whenever I come across it on the TV. Smith did a fantastic job and this movie is more than martial arts. It’s also about cultural clashes and I think the message was delivered well.

7. The Blind Side (American Football)

I ADORE THIS MOVIE! Yes, Sandra Bullock did a pretty darn good job in her role, but Quinton Aaron was the standout actor for me. He was the one who brought all the emotions alive inside me.

8. Space Jam (Basketball)

This film was a favorite of mine during my childhood. I’m all grown up now and I may not care about Bugs Bunny any longer and I might have gotten over basketball when Michael Jordon retired (I loved Chicago Bulls & I even had a backpack at one point!), but if this movie is on, I’ll sit in front of the TV and watch it. The sex appeal for Lola Bunny was inappropriately amped up though.

9. Days of Thunder (Auto Racing)

There is no need to talk about Tom Cruise’s acting chops. I watched this movie and liked it. 

10. Hawaa Hawaai (Skating)

When Bollywood gets it right, the movie never features a big name star like say, Shah Rukh Khan or erm, Aamir Khan. Nevertheless, this cast was superb and they pulled their roles off flawlessly. Inspiring film and it’s family-oriented. I’ve always admired skaters (ice skaters included) and I thoroughly enjoyed this film.