Month: April 2013

Robby and Tobias

TFG’s Book of the Month for April: Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead Face to Face Book Discussion Details: Date: April 27, 2013 Place: Hidden Garden Resort, Las Pinas City Time: 3 PM to 11 PM Discussion Leader: Louize (and daughter) Attendees: Me, Aaron, Aenna (late), Alona, Beejay,  Bennard, Celina (and son), Chika, Ella, JL, Mae, Maria (and husband and son), Marian (newbie), Monique, Patrick, Ranee, Tina,  Tricia (late), Veronica Food I Ate: A lot! I even got to take home the excess food. This book discussion is also a celebration of our book club’s third anniversary, which explains why the time extended until 11 PM. Post-discussion Activity: Reading of the participants’ weekly journal entries (I picked Tina’s journal which has entries on her surfing experience and her resolve to be a gracious person). After the Book Discussion: Distribution of our folio entitled There Is a Balm in Gilead: Memories of Hope (my entry is my “coming out” story), awarding ceremony (for fun! I won Favorite Reviewer), pool party, more food (local food and pizza delivery), more drinks (carbonated and alcoholic), more singing (the good and the bad), more goofing around. …

Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

A Spiritual Force – Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

Gilead is a long letter written by Rev. John Ames to his seven-year-old son, whom he begat at a very late age. Rev. Ames believes his death is imminent due to his failing heart so he sets out to write something that his child would read. He does so because he believes that his young son would barely have enough memories of him when he gets older. As Rev. Ames continues to write his letter, the novel becomes a fragmented diary filled with Rev. Ames’s memories of his youth, his family, his loved ones, and his feelings for his son. This is one of the few books that I’ve reread. The first reading was amazing, and this second pass is even better that it demands a second piece of writing. It’s not so much as missing a number of things from the first time as fully appreciating the prose, both in the textual and subliminal levels. This is not to say that I previously misread the whole thing. I firmly believe that it is impossible …

Number9...

Nine + Twenty

I just turned 29 eight hours ago. The moment I wrote this (it’s a scheduled post), I was listening to Bloc Party’s Kreuzberg. The following lyrics kept repeating themselves inside my head: I have decided / At twenty-five / Something must change I know, I know, I was 25 four years ago, but I figure that at my age, something really must change. I’ve been really restless for the past couple of weeks, which explains the lack of activity in this blog. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking but I still couldn’t figure out what things need to change. As far as this book blog is concerned, there’s the review backlog that I need to take care of. And I’m not forgetting the reading plans that I need to follow. I barely have the necessary focus and energy to work on these two, but I’m already considering another blog for personal stuff, just so I could keep bookish posts and personal things separate. No, I won’t resurrect my old personal blog. I want to start anew. …

The Classics Club Monthly Meme: April 2013

I keep forgetting to write this post, and now that I suddenly remember it, it’s best that I should allot a few minutes for it, right? The Classics Club monthly meme for April has something to do about heroes. Why not villains, I hear. Well, that’s not up to me. Anyway, here’s the topic: Who is hands-down the best literary hero, in your opinion? Likewise, who is the best heroine? I actually couldn’t think of literary heroes and heroines, hence, the delay in coming up with a response. The topic says “literary” hero; the character is not required to have come from a classic book, right? Now that I have explained myself, I think I can now properly answer the question. My favorite is Adrian Finn, Tony Webster’s friend in Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending. Why? Because he’s so deep and melancholic, and his ruminations on life and history affected me tremendously. I even gained valuable insights on suicide when I finished the novel. Probably I still have a hangover from our mini-discussion of the …

67 Books I Must Read in 3 Years, and 11 more

It has been nearly two months since I made any post for The Sunday Salon. I’ve been remiss in writing these posts because I couldn’t think of anything interesting to share with you, dear readers and salonists. I’ve been slow in reading and in doing my bookish write-ups, and I’d rather not bore people, particularly people who don’t know me personally, with tales of how bored and anxious I have been in the last couple of months. The first quarter of the year has sped by (that fast?), so I checked the number of books that I’ve read and the kinds of books that I’ve been reading. Currently, I am at a measly 12. Goodreads says that I’m one book behind schedule (target is 52 books). That’s alright, but two of those books are short reads: one is a collection of poems and the other is a short story. Is this a cause for alarm? I admit I panicked a bit, but I think that I could be back on track within this week because …

The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

Not for the Impatient – The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

The English Patient is a novel set in World War II that tells the history of the English patient, a desert explorer who is burned to an unrecognizable toast by a plane crash. He is taken care of by a nurse named Hana. While these two quietly continue to survive, two more characters arrive, characters who would make a small family with the nurse and the patient and who would provide the details of the English patient’s gap-filled story. Intertwining the characters’ past and present, it is altogether a novel of mystery, history, and love that transcends the limits of time and space. However, I got terribly bored with it. It felt like unspooling a thread; you keep on pulling until what’s left is a messy tangle and a hollow tube. Not that there’s such a great mystery behind it; it’s just that after finishing it, you don’t quite know what to do with what you have unspooled. Is this good or is this bad? The prose is quite delectable; it just has this tendency …

A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

Friendship Over – A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

A Passage to India is a novel that explores the tension between the local Indians and the British colonizers. The novel begins with Adela Quested traveling to India to experience the culture of the country. Things go awry when Adela accuses Dr. Aziz, a young Indian doctor, of a crime that he didn’t even attempt to do. The doctor, who is already embittered by the treatment of the British towards the Indians, is further pitted in the horrors of racism as the trial ensues. Will the truth come out, and will Dr. Aziz be judged based on the racial prejudices that the accusation brings up? I have put this write-up on hold for a long time because I believe I may have misread this. Two years ago, I took a new job while I was still rendering my resignation notice period. For a couple of weeks, I juggled between two full-time jobs while reading this with one of my friends. Just imagine the state of my mind and body at that time, me trying to …