Month: December 2011

Books I Am Excited to Read

Quarterly Rhapsody: Reading Plans

I love plans. Rather, I love plans but I am not crazy about executing them. But really, it depends on the plan that is being planned. There are different types of it, like a fire escape plan. It’s something that most employees must have had to drill with, but really, can people even go with such a plan when fire is licking the fire exit? So I prefer planning things that are achievable. A reading plan sounds nice. To others, it is the act of the obsessed. Never mind that. I figure planning the books that I read actually makes me read the books that are just sleeping in my book shelf. I started plotting and following reading plans maybe the first quarter of this year. I was staring at my pile of books and I was wondering when the hell can I ever get to read all my books. Seems impossible for every bibliophile, but I am dead set at reading all the books that I buy, especially the ones listed on my compiled …

Best of 2011

The Best And The Worst Reads Of 2011

Again, I am taking a break from the weekly book write-up to sort of honor the best books that I have read this year. There are already a lot of book blogs with similar posts, and I am tempted to pattern my best and worst list from some. I chose not to because I know I would never finish this post. So what I did is that I thought of a pseudo-award for each book included in my list. Let me just state for the record that 2011 is the most voracious reading year in my life. Ever. Hurrah! That’s 52 books, if you want to know, which is more or less one book a week. I hope to do an encore next year. Or even beat this record. Below is the list of books that I gave five stars, in alphabetical order. They are 12, so I might as well call them The 12 Books of 2011. Titles with an asterisk (*) are books that are in my Top 5. Without further ado here …

Shadow Country – Peter Matthiessen

Who bought it: Me. What is it: A rewriting of three works, this is a big book about a sugar farmer and an outlaw. And when I say big, it is literally big. Translate that to heavy, almost a thousand pages. When: December 12, 2011 Where: Book Sale – Makati Square Why: A winner of the National Book Award How much: Php 115.00

A Personal Matter – Kenzaburo Oe

Who bought it: Me. What is it: I didn’t bother to know what this is about, but according to one of my bookish friends, it’s about a father and his mentally retarded son. And when I flipped the book to its last chapter, I caught something about a character visiting a gay club. Hmm. When: December 11, 2011 Where: Book for Less – SM Mall of Asia Why: It is supposedly Oe’s masterpiece, and he’s a Nobel laureate. I have rather high expectations for this. How much: Php 198.00

The Executioner’s Song – Norman Mailer

Who bought it: Me. What is it: What is the value of a single life? That is the question that the novel will attempt to answer. It seems so much like Capote’s In Cold Blood. Both are about convicted murderers sentenced to death. When: December 11, 2011 Where: Book Sale – SM Mall of Asia Why: The first copy that I got years ago was devastated by termites. A replacement is needed. And I was not really looking for this one. My neck just jerked to that spot where it was. How much: Php 97.00

Play It As It Lays – Joan Didion

Who bought it: Me. What is it: The words “ennui,” “emptiness,” and “arid soul” makes me think that it is a novel that speaks of a certain generation, which is the sixties in this case. When: December 11, 2011 Where: Book Sale – SM Mall of Asia Why: It’s my first time to find a copy of this, and it is a welcome addition to my collection of Time Magazine’s 100 Books. By the way, Merry Christmas! How much: Php 115.00

The Forsyte Saga – John Galsworthy

Who bought it: Me. What is it: A family saga, a social satire, this is actually three novels with two interludes. So you can only imagine how thick my edition is. Not as thick as War and Peace, but it passes my qualification for a reading diary. When: December 3, 2011 Where: Book Sale – Walter Mart Munoz Why: This work, rather these works, seated Galsworthy as a Nobel laureate. How much: Php 75.00