Ex Libris
Comments 19

Books in the mail and the sale bins

Hunted and Delivered

Every responsible citizen is at his or her designated election precinct and here I am stuck at the house with nothing to do. If you’re wondering why, I wasn’t able to register because the voting registration dates escaped me because I was oblivious to everything that was uhm, newsworthy. Instead of wondering how the national election would turn out, I thought of busying myself by posting my recent book hauls.

[Will You Please Be Quiet, Please?: USD 17.94, May 2, Better World Books]

Will You Please Be Quiet, Please? is Carver’s first collection. It is the last book that I have in my Carver list and, oddly, completes my Carver craving. I am a happy camping completist!

“Filled with glass-sharp details, images and conversations …. Carver has a wicked, ironic imagination. With painful, funny acuteness, he captures the electric currents that shoot through people’s lives and single them indelibly.” – Newsweek

[Emma: Php 97.00, May 6, Book Sale – Makati Square]

Emma is the second Jane Austen that I intend to read mostly because it is the second Austen novel included on the Novel 100 list. Placed at Top 11, it is even ranked higher than Pride and Prejudice (Top 41). Looks promising because I am not crazy about P&P. I hope to love Emma and affirm the statement below.

“Everyone loves Emma.’ – Guardian


[The Year of Magical Thinking: Php 75.00, May 6, Book Sale – Makati Square]

I was having second thoughts about The Year of Magical Thinking. I even remember a discouraging rant from a friend but what the hell, Play It As It Lays is my 2012 novel of the year so I might as well dabble in Didion’s essays. And yeah, I also regret passing on Slouching Towards Bethlehem (I was on a book hoarding ban then). And oops, this got me:

“I can’t think of a book we need more than hers …. I can’t imagine dying without this book.” – John Leonard, The New York Review of Books

[The History of Love: USD 14.20, May 10, The Book Depository]

I ordered The History of Love for three reasons: 1.) I felt that it might be selected as our book of the month (which did not happen), 2.) this is a prize for Monique in my bloggy birthday giveaway (very late, I know, and thanks for the consideration!), and 3.) Maria loves it (and I think it’s time that I pick something that she praises right to my face). The title is a bit misleading (some people think that it is nonfiction) but I am actually excited to read this despite the glaring error at the back cover. I don’t mean to be a Nazi, but look!

“Krauss writers [sic] like an angel.” – Guardian (UK)


[Don Quixote: Php 180.00, May 11, Book Sale – SM Mall of Asia]

Don Quixote is Top 1 at the Novel 100 list. Yes, it is not Leo Tolstoy, James Joyce, Marcel Proust, or Fyodor Dostoyevsky (although all four are in the Top 5), but Miguel de Cervantes who has the bragging rights. I found a nice edition with a little crease at the back cover, but that’s okay because the French flaps and deckle edges make up for it. And this translation by Edith Grossman (with an introduction by Harold Bloom) looks like a winner!

“The Grossman translation blows the dust off Cervantes, leaving his light-footed prose and his sly, gentle mockeries.” – Dallas Morning News

[Man in the Dark: Php 115.00, May 11, Book Sale – SM Mall of Asia]

Because Man in the Dark is Bennard‘s favorite book of 2012 and because Slaughterhouse Five is mentioned in one of the blurbs, I picked this super nice crisp copy. This is going to be my first Auster, unless I fluctuate to go out and read his other works.

“Works beautifully … this is perhaps Auster’s best book. Like Vonnegut’s classic antiwar novel [Slaughterhouse Five], Auster’s book leaves one with a depth of feeling much larger than might be expected from such a small and concise work of art.” – San Francisco Chronicle

[Pan: Php 75.00, May 11, Book Sale – SM Mall of Asia]

Knut Hamsun! Pan! Enough said. I didn’t even bother checking whether or not the copy is clean (slightly yellowed pages, which I don’t mind). And look at what Nobel laureate Singer said about it:

“The story [Pan] tells is as gripping as ever, and its descriptions of nature remain original. The work contains a harmony found only in the highest types of poetry; it is actually poetry set in prose, and boasts the best traits of each.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

[The Way of All Flesh: Php 37.00, May 11, Book Sale – SM Mall of Asia]

I was already marching towards the counter when The Way of All Flesh beckoned to me. It’s cheap and it’s a Modern Library selection, so why not? Besides, I’ve been stalling in completing my required classics reading list, so yeah. And really, I don’t know what other interesting thing there is in this novel. Maybe the title? Oh well, I’m going to end this now. I don’t know what it’s about.



  1. You found the same edition of Don Quixote that I have and you bought it at a significantly lower price! And Man in the Dark, nuff said!:D


    • I buy classics at Book Sale branches because there’s always the chance that they are way cheaper. And yes, I recalled your Auster fandom when I saw it. Almost new!


  2. swright9 says

    Yeah I’m a Carver and Didion fan. You can’t go wrong there. Get them all. I also like Ishiguro too. Paul Auster has a few good ones … eh?


  3. Just don’t read The Year of Magical Thinking if you’re undergoing some midterm crisis or drug-related problems or poverty or death of a relative (or a friend’s friend)… It’s insanely depressing! I was sixteen and I read it and it plays between instruction (how to cope with grief) and destruction. I mean, it’s wonderful, well-written, but it’s just really–how can I put it–it makes you think of life as (for the lack of a better word) bleak or pointless. But in a heartwarming way.


    • I’ve experienced reading a book by Didion unprepared, and I was devastated. So yeah, I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks!


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