Month: May 2012

The toddler got me

Extra Copies and Recommendations

May is not a good month for me as far as book shopping is concerned. Really, I haven’t been going around book stores recently for this a financially difficult month for me. Let’s stop right there, but if you are concerned, I am slowly recovering, yes. Even so, I could barely find anything that interests me when the urge to snoop around book stores becomes unbearable. The case, as usual, is that I already own the books that I find interesting. Anyway, here are the recent books that I unearthed from one book store, one of my favorite Book Sale branches, the one at Makati Square. May 17, 2012 The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara – I already have a mass market copy of this, but this trade paperback is too cheap to let go. It is in very good condition, no creases, vanilla-ish odor, might have never been read, so I bought it since I had nothing else to buy. Php 25.00. May 29, 2012 Mother’s Milk by Edward St. Aubyn – I was …

I think I have this.

eatmebookiebloggie! – Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem

Who is Lionel (line-all) Essrog? Here’s his life story, up to some point: My life story to this point: The teacher looked at me like I was crazy. The social services worker looked at me like I was crazy. The boy looked at me like I was crazy and then hit me. The girl looked at me like I was crazy. The woman looked at me like I was crazy. The black homicide detective looked at me like I was crazy. Why did six people look at him like he was crazy? Well, he is sort of crazy, if one considers a neuropsychiatric disorder as a characteristic of a crazy person. Tourette’s syndrome, yes, that’s it. To prevent you from steering towards Wikipedia, let me just briefly describe what Tourette’s is: it is a disorder wherein a person suffers from involuntary verbal or motor, or both, tics. So let’s say a person, in this case Lionel Essrog, our protagonist, talks to you, he will not be able to control himself from tapping your shoulder. In fact, he might tap your …

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

A Transition – Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

Let me first say that I did not love this just because David Mitchell wrote it. If you really want to know, I think this novel is a departure from the Mitchell that most readers are acquainted with, the one who is daring and experimental and form-defying. This one is a little tame and somehow timid. Some readers might even find disappointment in this novel if they are expecting a structure similar to Cloud Atlas or Ghostwritten. I haven’t read the latter yet, but I heard so much of it. So the novel is written like a monthly diary. Thirteen chapters, from January to the next January, tell the story of Jason, a boy who is at the edges of his childhood and adolescence. We read about his stammering issues, his secret love for poetry, his rise and fall at the popularity ladder of their school, some issues with his family, his misadventures with his friends and enemies, and then his first stumbling at teenage love. This is screaming young adult, no? But it wasn’t …

Illustrations do help the reader's imagination

A Preparation – The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien

I didn’t expect to read this as soon as now. I have always been curious what is it with The Lord of the Rings but I never really got around to it because I am not a fantasy reader. Besides, I was traumatized when I was forced to watch the film adaptation of the third book some good years ago. It bored me to death that I spent 75% of the movie sleeping. And surprise, surprise, last Christmas, I asked my office mate to gift me the whole series. Excuse me for the verb gift, but I think you know what I’m saying. The gift was pretty neat and timely because the first book of the trilogy will be our book club’s upcoming book of the month. I asked some of my bookish friends if it would be better to read the prequel of the trilogy first. It doesn’t matter, they said. But I insist. I should read The Hobbit first. I heard random strangers before complaining of the difficult language that Tolkien employs. I …

The loudest advice

Spoiler Alert! – How to Read Novels Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

I’ve borrowed this book from a bookish friend more than a month ago and I’ve been reading a few chapters of it whenever I’ve already met the minimum reading quota for the day. So yes, I have a reading quota, and yes, I’ve been slugging through this book. Which is fine because I get to sink into the pieces of advice that the author has regarding reading novels properly. By properly, I mean reading it with a more academic behavior, like getting the meanings of certain passages that seem to say something, speculating the themes, and interpreting the style, the diction, the tone, the mood, the narration, the point of view, and all that stuff that literature classes are made of. And the question is, is this really necessary? Well, it is a nice book to read, but I don’t think it’s necessary to do so, especially if one is already a keen and discerning reader. The only complaint that I have with this book is that it tends to spoil novels big time. Here …