It’s going to be tomorrow, the Filipino Reader Conference! We are now down to the fifth and final installment of this meme. For this week:
August 17 – Celebrating the Best. In honor of the first Filipino Readers’ Choice Awards, let’s talk about our favorites for this year. What are your favorite books in 2012 so far? Have you read any awesome Filipino books in the year? If yes, make sure to include them in your list!
What are your favorite books in 2012 so far? – The first novel that really comes to mind is Joan Didion’s Play It As It Lays. It is not so much the brilliance of its literary aspects as the effect that it had on me. I felt dead after finishing it. I felt like holding the hand of someone who’s eternally depressed. I felt like spending hours alone and reliving the snippets in the novel. If such a novel can make me linger in it long after having finishing it, it truly deserves to be called a favorite of the year.
Interestingly, I don’t rave about it. I feel that it’s not a book for a lot of people. A good friend made a point to read it when she is emotionally prepared. And I agree: the book has the capacity to disrupt the reader’s daily life.
For other amazing reads, I consulted my Goodreads shelves and here are the novels that I read this year with a 5-star rating (with some comments):
- Housekeeping by Marilynne Robinson – made me feel like going to a far-off place and not care about anything else.
- Fatelessness by Imre Kertesz – made me rethink my life and regard my misfortunes as blessings.
- number9dream by David Mitchell – I kept bugging my friends if they know John Lennon’s song with the same title.
- The Piano Teacher by Elfriede Jelinek – an intense reading; I’m prepared to defend this from the bashers.
- Life of Pi by Yann Martel – I felt cheated, but yes, I guess that’s the magic.
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte – no boring moment.
- Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem – fun, wild, crazy!
- Ghostwritten by David Mitchell – what couldn’t Mitchell not do with a novel?
- Home by Marilynne Robinson – the subtle sadness shatters my heart worse than any obvious drama.
- The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides – incandescent, devastating.
Have you read any awesome Filipino books in the year? – Uhm, no. Gosh. But wait, I’m still rereading our national hero’s greatest work, Noli Me Tangere. Every Filipino high school graduate knows this, so I guess it doesn’t count?
Okay, I know it’s terrible that I haven’t read any local books yet, but I will let you in on a secret. I’ve been listing Filipino novels, both in Filipino and English, that I will start collecting once I get 85% of the books that I require myself to own. I’m near the 75% mark, so watch out! I’ll post the list of Filipino novels that I’ll be reading and collecting.
It has been a lot of fun participating in this weekly event. It just goes to show that readers and bloggers of whatever genre can join forces for a good common cause. I have also met a lot of new people from the different points of the Filipino blogosphere.
For the Filipino readers out there, see you tomorrow at the Filipinas Heritage Library, which is somewhere along Makati Ave. Yes, you will definitely see me because at the last minute, I finally decided to volunteer at the registration desk. I’ll try my best to put on a big smile despite the looming lack of sleep. You see, our call time is 6 AM, and I was never the type of person who easily wakes up earlier than that. But that’s just a teeny bit of sacrifice. Let’s do this again next year!