Month: September 2011

Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee

Disgrace – J. M. Coetzee

Intro I got this at regular price back in college. I bought it even if I found the cover unappealing: a stray dog on a barren dirt road. I am not into judging books by their covers, but nice covers sometimes help. It’s hard not to be drawn to a book with a sleek cover design. Oh yes, this novel is a Booker winner. The author is a Nobel laureate. The author is among the top authors who have the most number of books in that 1001 list. With all these, expectations are raised notches higher. And yes, Disgrace is agreed to be his best work. How did his best work fit into my reading taste? The Rhapsody Disgrace lives up to its title: it is a disgrace to the author’s supposed reputation. That’s straight enough, I think, but really, I am in no mood to talk about this book because I remember nothing good about it. Some things first. This is the only novel of Coetzee that I have read. I think it will …

Quarterly Rhapsody: Book Lists

There’s a list for almost everything. There are lists about the best movies, the best tourist destinations, the best of anything, general interests, eccentric interests, and yes, lists on our beloved books. What are these lists for anyway? For one, I could say that these lists are out there for recommendations. A reader who’s looking out to venture to new genres could pore through these book lists. In this aspect, book lists can help in increasing the reading activities of a person. And then, lists bring about healthy, although verbally violent, debates. Which books deserve to make it? Which books should be dropped? Which writer should have a prominent number of works in a list? These debates call for an understanding of what makes a book really worth it. Is it the style? The plot? The techniques employed? The theme? The appeal to the reading masses? The overall effect? Everything comes into play, so coming up with a list of the top books is a herculean task. I am a huge fan of book lists. …

Wide Open – Nicola Barker

Who bought it: Me. What is it: Looks like a small town novel that casts a girl with freaky organs. Middlesex, anyone? Besides, the title and book cover of clams wide open are hinting at something sexual. When: September 3, 2011 Where: Book Sale – Edsa Central Why: It’s an IMPAC winner. The blurb boasts of having beaten Cunningham, Morrison, and Roth. But really, I don’t know who Barker is. How much: Php 75.00

True History Of The Kelly Gang – Peter Carey

Date Started: September 26, 2011. 11:10 PM. I am seriously reluctant to read this, but what the hey, I think I should start disciplining myself. I keep making all these reading plans and I should only follow them so as not to waste the effort put in plotting those plans. So what do I think? Yes the book is a burden because it reads like this the thoughts jump from this and that point it is hard to follow the text really. But I have been warned; the first sentence is in the back blurb. Ned Kelly, anyone? I do now know him. I just know his name. Call me a loser, but I’m going there. I think this would be a nice, if not an easy, read.

White Teeth – Zadie Smith

Who bought it: Me. What is it: The blurb doesn’t give much away. A family saga spanning three generations. Three themes: friendship, love, war. And three cultures. When: September 3, 2011 Where: Meet up with Jasper of Avalon.com.ph Why: It’s listed in Time’s Top 100. And the title intrigues me. White teeth are one of my frustrations. I have crooked, braced, not so white teeth. But I don’t think that this is about literal white teeth. I am just saying. How much: Php 300.00 (Image courtesy of Tower.com)

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

Who bought it: Me. What is it: It’s about the breakdown of a talented woman. This seems like psychological drama at its finest. And I love such! Already, I am rooting for it. I hope to love it. When: September 3, 2011 Where: Meet up with Jasper of Avalon.com.ph Why: Plath is a poet. I’ve heard good things about her writings. And poets make wonderful, and richly complex, storytellers, so I have a feeling that this would be really good. How much: Php 350.00

The Remains Of The Day – Kazuo Ishiguro

Date Started: September 22, 2011. 8:15 PM. Holy baloney! Yes, that was totally uncalled for, but I can’t help it. This book has just turned me into an official Ishiguro fan. I just got through page 100 and already, a lot of tears were already shed. Not that it’s overly dramatic, it just touched me to the core. I don’t think the reader can be left emotionally unscathed after reading this magnificent novel. All day at work, I’ve been dreaming of collecting Ishiguro’s novel. I am now in possession of Mitchell’s novels, Saramago’s novels are quite tough to complete. What about Ishiguro? Hmm. If ever I get around to completing his works, I’d like them to be the under one publisher. Which means I might need to buy second copies of this and Never Let Me Go. Argh. Talk about being an OC, huh?