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Read Books, 2010-2015

I Haven’t Read Anything Since Moving In

And it has been four weeks. I thought I’ll be able to pick up something after a week, after arranging my books, after finally settling in. Still, almost a month later, nothing. Granted, I had a lot of things going on for the past couple of weeks (particularly social activities with old friends). But I should have been able to read at least one story from the collection that is still in my currently reading shelf, right? To be fair, I read four short stories for our July book club discussion. And that’s it. Nothing from my shelf.

So this is how I arranged my books. I grouped them into two divisions: read and unread. Read books are stacked by the year I last read them. Unread books are shelved alphabetically by the author’s last name. Looking at the read books is like studying a bar graph of my reading progress. The two tallest stacks are 2011 and 2012. 2016, not shown in the image, is just a quarter of one of those two years, and it’s already past the middle of the year. I look at the unread books and nothing catches my fantasy. I just like staring at them. There’s no pull.

I’m also behind on my podcasts. In fact, I had to unsubscribe from a couple of them just so I could stop getting overwhelmed with new episodes. It’s not just books that I’m not caring about these days. You can just look at the state of this blog for further evidence. Also, I don’t listen to new music. I don’t check out what’s showing in the mall theaters. I play games but only with mild engagement. I just scroll through my newsfeed, and I only do so when unread posts reach a staggering amount. Work is still work. There’s a generic disinterest that’s hanging over me.

Today, I had nothing to do. I thought of getting into the Man Booker bandwagon by reading the only longlisted book I have a copy of (The Sellout by Paul Beatty). But whenever I have nothing to do, my body craves sleep. And I always give in. I don’t like sleeping when it’s not yet time to sleep because I think it’s a waste of time. But upon waking up from a nice sleep, I always thank it for its sweetness. Then immediately, upon full wakefulness, I curse myself for sleeping.

I don’t know what to do about this. Should I even do anything? Should I give myself more time to settle in? I’m such a lousy reader. This is the nth time I talked about my reading ruts. It makes me feel like reading is not something that I naturally love, and that it’s just a time filler that I trained myself to enjoy because of its multiple returns. There’s something sad in that thought but it shouldn’t make me any less of a reader or a person, right?

Anyway, you’ll hear from me when I get back into things.

How to Pack Books

Moving Out in Two Weeks

I went apartment hunting with an old friend last Friday and we found this nice cozy place. It’s not accessible to the modern urban centers but it’s also relatively cheaper. I didn’t plan on moving out this year but my superstitious side tells me that I should. In my current boarding house, a couple of troubling things happened. Last year, a young man, in his early twenties and recently married, died in his sleep. He lived downstairs. Earlier this year, my room-mate was afflicted with a terrible illness. I talked him into flying back to his home town to recuperate.

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Books on My Nightstand

Books on the Nightstand and Other Bookish Podcasts

I’ve been listening to Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman’s podcast, Books on the Nightstand, ever since I learned about podcasts. They host a weekly show that talks about various bookish topics with recommendations on the side. I religiously download the latest episodes when they drop, so when I got to the episode titled the End and the Beginning, I felt a little anxious that I didn’t bother listening to it and the couple of episodes that followed it. But Book Riot talked about it in one of their recent podcasts, which confirmed what I thought the episode is about. Yes, one of my favorite bookish podcasts will be in an indefinite hiatus. Basically, it means that it has come to its end.

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The Blue Fox, Pan

Hello again, version 3.262

I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog lately and how it has come to this. I don’t even know what I mean by “this.” Suffice to say, it’s not something that I had in mind when I started a few years ago, when I separated my book posts from my personal blog (now only accessible to me). I wanted this blog to be a book with regular posts: regular reviews, regular discussions, regular reports, memes, contests, etc. It didn’t turn out that way. There has been nothing regular in it despite my internal struggle to keep something regularly running in it.

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Book Report: April 2016

Book Report: April 2016

Before I announce the winner of my birthday giveaway (yes, there are participants), let me just get the monthly report out of the way.

Books Finished:

  • Remainder by Tom McCarthy – 3 out of 5 stars. Will try my best to review it after I sort out my life.

Currently Reading:

  • Nothing yet. Will probably start reading our book of the month later, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I don’t know what it is about.

TFG Book Bingo Progress:

TFG Book Bingo Progress, #2

TFG Book Bingo Progress, #2

So that’s only two squares since January. Gaaah, what am I doing? To be fair, I had gone through an intense ordeal, one that involves real life shit that I hope no one among you will experience. But that’s over now, I guess. I really shouldn’t be talking about it, so let’s just talk about bingo squares?

Here are the entries:

  • Pat recommended Nobody’s Perfect by Anthony Lane (About movies) and Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby (About music).
  • Tin recommended Les Liasons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (Erotic fiction), The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Attwood (Speculative fiction), The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer (Set during a holiday), The Wes Anderson Collection by Matt Zoller Seitz (About movies), and Bel Canto by Ann Patchett (About music).

Thank you, Pat and Tin, for participating and for the birthday greetings. And now, it’s decision-making time. By default, Tin wins! Well, she followed the instructions. I asked for recommendations for five categories, right? But putting technicalities aside, I like the books she recommended. In fact, I’ve already added The Handmaid’s Tale and Bel Canto in my bingo shortlist before she even recommended them, which could mean she kind of understands the books that I like. And I love Cruel Intentions so I might as well pick its source novel.

Congrats, Tin! I think you know what to do. :)

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The birthday giveaway tradition lives on! But I’m running out of gimmicks. And I’m not exactly in a mood to celebrate. In fact, I just intend to watch as many Mad Men episodes as I can while eating food that I should avoid when I hit the mid-30s. Or if it gets too hot, I’ll run to the nearest coffee shop and finish the book that I’m currently reading, which is something that would let me mark a square on my book bingo card. Hmm.

In case you are disoriented, today is my birthday and I’m running a giveaway. The prize is a USD 20.00 book of your choice from The Book Depository. You get a chance at winning the prize by giving me book recommendations for the following categories lifted from my book bingo card:

  • Erotic fiction
  • Speculative fiction
  • Set during a holiday
  • About movies
  • About music

I want compelling recommendations. You have to convince me, even in a few words. Or you can refer me to links of your reviews, if you have any.

Let’s set a minimum of one and a maximum of three per category. I’ll let this contest run for a week. I’m excited to see what you have to recommend. Thanks in advance!

2016 Books, #5

2016 Books, #5

I got The Sellout for USD 13.12 and The White Castle for free. The former arrived from TBD last April 18 and the latter yesterday. By the way, Orhan Pamuk has this copy signed. Yes, I have the signature of a Nobel laureate on the inaugural winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (now reconfigured and merged as the Man Booker International Prize). Thanks to my friend Benny for this priceless gift.

I’m thinking of reading The Sellout right after I finish my current read, which should signify a successful effort at getting out from my general life rut. This should be good since it recently won the NBCC award for fiction and grabbed the rooster at the Tournament of Books. Has anyone read this? What do you think?