Tag Archives: Fiction

F2F33: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

TFG and FFP’s Book of the Month for September: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry Joint Discussion Details:

  • Date: September 27, 2014
  • Place: Uno Morato, Tomas Morato Ave., Quezon City
  • Time: 2 PM to 6 PM
  • Discussion Leaders: Gege and Tina
  • Attendees from TFG: Me, Aaron, Elaine (newbie), Ella, Gwaxa, JL, KristelMaria (with Ramsey), Meliza, Tricia, Veronica.
  • Attendees from FFP: Arthur, Blooey, Cecille, Fredda, Honey, Maan, Marie (after), Peter, Rhett, Shani, a guy whose name I didn’t get (sorry).
  • Food I Ate: Sisig with clover chips (?).
  • Activities: Two truths, one lie with a bookish twist. Instead of truths, we wrote down two of our favorite books on colorful pieces of paper. And instead of a lie, we wrote down a book we didn’t like. We put the pieces of paper inside a small box from where we each drew one paper after the other and guessed the person to whom that list belong to. Also, we wrote ten books that were mentioned in the book. The first two (or three?) who finished won a cute pair of bookmarks. Yes, I was one of the winners.
  • After the Book Discussion: Dinner at Kanin Club and coffee at Seattle’s Best
  • Other Nominated Books: Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi and The Good Luck of Right Now by Matthew Quick
Discussion Time
Discussion Time
The F2F33 Attendees
The F2F33 Attendees
  • Next Month: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks. If you wish to join us, please visit the discussion thread for more details.

Photos courtesy of Ella.

Book Report: September 2014

Book Report: September 2014

September was a great month for so many reasons. First, I managed to read a substantial number books. By substantial, I mean the number of books finished is greater than or equal to the number of Saturdays in a month. September had four. I finished five.

Second, the Manila International Book Fair was held. I usually go to the MIBF for the books and discounts. No, you can’t make me turn over the tables and shelves to hunt for marked down books. I guess I’m already beyond that (the truth is, my back is starting to hurt more). I just walk around and spot whatever it is that can be seen (the front list, usually). And how can you make me go to the other events in the MIBF if there are books everywhere? And long queues? And little time?

Third, I discovered new Facebook booksellers. I bought a few books from one. I swore that September must be a frugal month, but I can’t help it.

Books Finished:

  • Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman – 3 out of 5 stars. A quick read. The illustrations are pretty. If I have kid, I’ll buy him Gaiman books.
  • The Summer Book by Tove Jansson – 4 out of 5 stars. Beautiful. It was supposed to be my beach read but the ugly weather came in the way.
  • Twisted 8 1/2 by Jessica Zafra – 3 out of 5 stars. Dated because of all those product reviews. There are still entertaining moments though.
  • Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson – 5 out of 5 stars. Oh. My. Fucking. God. This is my new favorite book. Of all time.
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – 4 out of 5 stars. See? I told you that I’m going to conquer this. I restarted instead of resuming from where I paused. Besides, it has been around eight months. A restart is called for.

Currently Reading:

  • The Mountain Lion by Jean Stafford – Currently on page 140 of 240. This was recommended by a snobbish friend who claimed this to be one of his two favorite NYRB Classics. And it’s easy to understand why. The first chapter alone blew me away. It’s going to be a runaway winner, I can tell.
  • Object Lessons by The Paris Review – Currently on page 58 of 358. This is one of the book challenges that I accepted. It’s time to face it, although I have to say that it’s not much of a challenge because I love reading short stories anyway.
  • Twisted 8 by Jessica Zafra – Currently on page 54 of 159. This should complete my Twisted back list.

New Books:

  • The Angel Esmeralda by Don DeLillo – A freebie from my roomie. (from Jonathan, September 2)
  • Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo – Another freebie. (from Jonathan, September 2)
  • Home by Toni Morrison – Probably my roomie feels like being a September Santa Claus. Thank you! (from Jonathan, September 2)
  • From Here to Eternity by James Jones – Another NBA winner. (Php 79.00, Chapter IX Bookstore, September 25)
  • The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan – Replacing my dilapidated mass market with this NYRB Classics edition. (Php 249.00, Chapter IX Bookstore, September 18)
  • Winesburg, Ohio by Sherwood Anderson – I first bought a paperback copy. When I finished it, I bought a hardback copy. (Php 249.00, Chapter IX Bookstore, September 18) (Php 250.00, Undertow Books, September 25)
  • The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty by Eudora Welty – A National Book Award winner. It’s one of the six best of the NBAs. (Php 250.00, Undertow Books, September 25)
  • Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – One of the books which I told myself I should buy at the MIBF. (Php 510.40, Fully Booked – MIBF, September 20)
  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner – I’m going to collect the available Vintage Classics editions of Faulkner’s novels. (Php 279.25, National Book Store – MIBF, September 20)
  • Brief Interviews with Hideous Men by David Foster Wallace – I have all his novels. I should start buying his short story and essay collections. (Php 487.25, National Book Store – MIBF, September 20)
  • The Late Mattia Pascal by Luigi Pirandello – A Nobel laureate known for his plays, but this novel also brought him fame. (Php 155.00, Book Sale – SM MoA, September 20)
  • Tinkers by Paul Harding – Finally! I was about to buy get a brand-new copy. (Php 115.00, Book Sale – SM MoA, September 20)
  • By Nightfall by Michael Cunningham – One book off my wish list. My Cunningham collection is almost complete. Thank you! (from Monique, September 23)
  • The Elephant’s Journey by José Saramago – And another one. You see how important it is to maintain a wish list shelf on bookish social media? Thank you! (from Meliza, September 27)
Book Report: August 2014

Book Report: August 2014

And just like that, it’s already September. From where I live, time speeds up when this month makes its entrance. I’m a little concerned because this has not been a good year for me in terms of the number of books I’ve read. But yeah, I know, that is just a number. It’s just that I wish I could read more.

Anyway, at least I managed to finish three books this month. I’ve actually finished five (the other two, I’ve included in the previous month’s report). Not bad, I guess.

Books Finished:

  • The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer – 3 out of 5 stars. Quite a difficult book. I’m not sure that I got this at all. I’m still trying to figure out a lot of things in it.
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – 5 out of 5 stars. This is not your conventional Russian literature. This is a great work on injustice, faith, and dignity.
  • Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver – 5 out of 5 stars. This is more like a skim and scan because I’ve read most of the stories in this collection. My rating, therefore, is based on the handful of new stories that are included here, which are the selections from his UK-only Elephant.

Currently Reading:

  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – Currently on page 211 of 604. I know I promised to touch this, right? But no. I got distracted with other projects. Whoops.

New Books:

  • Postcards by Annie Proulx – I’ve always meant to read another Proulx but I don’t which book of hers to pick next. Maybe this? (Php 75.00, Undertow Books, August 27)
  • Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz – Because it is on sale and because it is by a Nobel laureate. (Php 87.50, Undertow Books, August 27)
  • Palace of Desire by Naguib Mahfouz – And so is this one. Now I only need Sugar Street to complete The Cairo Trilogy. (Php 87.50, Undertow Books, August 27)
F2F32: Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

TFG’s Book of the Month for August: Fear of Flying by Erica Jong

Fear of Flying Face to Face Book Discussion Details:

  • Date: August 16, 2014
  • Place: Titania Wine Cellar, San Antonio Village, Makati City
  • Time: 2 PM to 6 PM
  • Discussion Leader: Marie
  • Attendees: Me, Aaron, AlonaCamilleElla, Gwaxa, Farrah (newbie), Ingrid, Louize, MariaMelizaMonique, Peter (newbie), Ranee, Rhett (newbie), Tricia, Ycel, Veronica
  • Food I Ate: I had lunch at a nearby resto (buffalo wings, rice, quesadillas, beer), so I just sipped red wine. I forget what kind of red wine it was.
  • Activities: Charades. The words we guessed were, well, adult words. Such as the now infamous blowjob, thanks to one of our members’ “great expectations.”
  • After the Book Discussion: Most of us watched the musical The Last Five Years. A few of us ate dinner and had coffee. I was with the latter.
  • Other Nominated Books: The Lover by Marguerite Duras and Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller.
Discussion Time
Discussion Time
The F2F32 Attendees
The F2F32 Attendees
  • Next Month: The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin. If you wish to join us, please visit the discussion thread and the Facebook event for more details.

Photos courtesy of Monique and Ycel.

F2F31: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

TFG’s Book of the Month for July: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

A Tale of Two Cities Face to Face Book Discussion Details:

  • Date: July 26, 2014
  • Place: Cab Cafe, Kapitolyo, Pasig City
  • Time: 3 PM to 6 PM
  • Discussion Leaders: Camille and Ycel
  • Attendees: Me, Ella, Gwaxa, KristelLouize, Marie, Monique, Ranee, Veronica
  • Food I Ate: Cafe latte and violet guava tea (I already ate before arriving at the venue).
  • Activities: A trivia game à la Game of the Generals where you have to scream and send the other team to the guillotine. Well, not really but I guess it could work that way.
  • After the Book Discussion: Dinner at Cafe Juanita.
  • Other Nominated Books: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain and The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

Discussion Time
Discussion Time
The F2F31 Attendees
The F2F31 Attendees

Photos courtesy of Camille and Monique.