Month: October 2011

Blindness by José Saramago

Blindness – José Saramago

Intro Blindness is one of the book selections for this month in our book group, and I am, unfortunately for most, the moderator. I was trusted with the task because almost everyone knows how big a Saramago fan I am. I would say for the umpteenth time that Saramago is like a grandfather to me. So the old man is dead but his novels are still alive. I can only hope that they will outlive us all. The Nobel laureate was a prolific writer despite starting his literary career way past his prime. But they say that life begins at 40. It never is too late then. This book has a film adaptation that features the beautiful Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo. They seem to be always together, huh? That film, The Kids Are All Right? But let’s not talk about that. The Rhapsody Blindness is a dystopian novel that shows us the possible effects if the people of a sound society lose their sense of sight. As much as possible, we don’t want to …

Gone With The Wind Diaries, II

Day 05: Chapters 10, 11, 12 Gerald O’Hara is supposed to take Scarlett back to Tara, but our Scarlett was able to blackmail him for losing a huge amount of money over a game of poker. Which proves that Scarlett is a cunning woman. Which further proves that she is not as stupid as we give her uhm, discredit for. And what the F&H! Scarlett is reading Ashley’s letters to Melanie. Which is fine with me because it made me like Ashley so much more. Which gives me a dilemma. I also like Rhett. The men have similar ideas regarding the war, which baffles our stupid Scarlett, for can a gentleman and a scoundrel share the same thoughts about the war? And the war is superseding the gender roles and customs that aren’t as immutable as they should be. They are starting to go away with the wind. People are coping with the changes that the war is bringing. Which leads us to a question: should there always be a war to make changes? Day …

The Interrogation – J. M. G. Le Clézio

Who bought it: Me. What is it: It is about the philosophical meanderings of a solitary man. If you ask me, it sounds like Albert Camus’s The Stranger. When: October 22, 2011 Where: Book Sale – Walter Mart Munoz Why: It’s supposedly the best work of this Nobel laureate. And I have wanted to buy a copy of this book for months now. I’m glad I have not bought it at a regular book store. How much: Php 145.00

Ulysses – James Joyce

Who bought it: My dearest Huhi! Lest you get it wrong, Huhi is an exclusive term of endearment that I share with one of my closest college friends, Joan Pili David! What is it: It’s about an ordinary day in the city of Dublin. What is so critical about it? I read somewhere that it boasts of verbosity, obscenity, and allusions to Greek mythology. Should be fun, yes? And hard? When: October 19, 2011 Where: Why: There is so much acclaim in this novel. It is Modern Library’s top novel in its list. Time Magazine even bothered to make a disclaimer on why it isn’t included in their list of 100 books. You don’t know why? Time Magazine’s list is only inclusive of novels that were published since the magazine was born. Ulysses is a year earlier, I think. Which isn’t so bad because that makes it the 101st book, right? How much: It’s an early Christmas gift, so I’d rather not put the price. But yes, the receipt is included in the package.

Ship Fever: Stories – Andrea Barrett

Who bought it: Me. What is it: A collection of short stories about the science of love and the love of science. Ship Fever is the carrier single, I mean story. The cover looks nice. Yes, I have started on this habit of quasi-judging books by their covers. When: October 18, 2011 Where: Book Sale – Makati Square Why: Another National Book Award winner. I haven’t failed at seeing one in every Book Sale branch since I started collecting these books. How much: Php 45.00 (Image courtesy of

Gone With The Wind Diaries, I

Day 01: Chapters 01, 02 Scarlett O’Hara spends an afternoon with the Tarleton twins, who are both interested in our protagonist. Scarlett is quite enjoying the attention that the twins are giving her, but she is bored by their war talk. As she steers the conversation towards a barbecue to be held the next day, she learns from the Tarletons that Ashley Wilkes, the object of her desire, is going to announce his engagement to some girl. Scarlett gets agitated. I was like, whoa, you already have twins fawning over you, and you still want another guy? But this other guy is too cerebral for Scarlett. Arts, poetry, books; that’s what Ashley is made of. And the people call that eccentric. Sheesh. Since Scarlett could not find peace, she confirms the piece of rumor to her father. The latter confirms, so our protagonist’s heart is broken. I find the first two chapters promising, which are filled with intrigue and yes, romance! And yes, there is war, there is going to be war. Day 02: Chapters …

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon

Intro I bought this book the same day that I bought my violin. January 30, 2009. My superstitious self tells me that I shouldn’t have bought this book with Karl Johan, my violin; I should have seen it as a portent. A portent of what? That I would not be able to make Karl Johan sing. That I would abandon my classical music pursuit. For the time being, at least. And why am I talking about my violin here? It’s because I don’t know how to start writing about this book. The Rhapsody Thomas Pynchon, as one of my bookish friends pointed out, is an elusive writer. Is he even a real person? We don’t know, but we would like to believe that he is, given the acclaim that he is being regarded with, along with other American literary giants like Cormac McCarthy, Don DeLillo, and Philip Roth. This book is probably his shortest work, and just like the elusive trait of its author, it eluded my understanding. I do not know what this book …