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.
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.
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.
Before I announce the winner of my birthday giveaway (yes, there are participants), let me just get the monthly report out of the way.
- Remainder by Tom McCarthy – 3 out of 5 stars. Will try my best to review it after I sort out my life.
- 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:
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. :)
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!
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?
April! My favorite month in spite of the heat it carries in this part of the world.
- A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara – 5 out of 5 stars. I just finished it a few minutes ago. I’m still under the book’s spell so maybe this rating is rather premature, the kind of rating that one makes when one is still hyperventilating and sniffling and starting to realize how stupid one looks hugging a book as if it were a dear baby. I’m playing Beck’s Morning Phase for the mood (the lyrics do not matter). Anyway, I’ll come up with a review soon.
- Siglo: Freedom, edited by Dean Francis Alfar and Vin Simbulan – 3 out of 5 stars. Our book club’s March read.
I might start something fantastic for my book bingo because…
TFG Book Bingo Progress:
…there is no progress. Remember, book club reads are not counted and I couldn’t find a bingo square for A Little Life.
I have nothing else to say. I’m still thinking of A Little Life. Later!