Month: July 2013

F2F19: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

TFG’s Book of the Month for July: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez

Love in the Time of Cholera Face to Face Book Discussion Details: Date: July 27, 2013 Place: Gayuma ni Maria, Sikatuna Village, Quezon City Time: 3 PM to 7 PM Discussion Leaders: Bennard and Rhena Attendees: Me, Aaron, Aldrin (with girlfriend May), Alexa, Berna, Camille, Cary, Chika, Emir, Gay (newbie), Ingrid, JL, Mae, Mavic, Monique, Patrick, Pauline (my first recruit; with Alyanna), Ranee, Sheryl, Tina, Veronica, Ycel Food I Ate: Please Be Careful with My Heart (baked chicken with lemon and garlic), Beats Sex Anyday (chocolate cake), I Love My Banana (banana cake), Twisted Pavlova (I stole bites of the three cakes from my seatmates) Post-discussion Activity: Sharing of short anecdotes about love. Enough said. After the Book Discussion: Bookay-Ukay, then dinner and beer at Tomato Kick. Other Nominated Books: The History of Love by Nicole Krauss and The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera Thoughts from the Members: [From Anna:] What I love about this book is its ability to establish the love story, without having the romantic lines. I hate romance books. Love can be everywhere. But this …

Before I store them inside a box.

While I was packing my books

I was reminded of the books I recently bought and haven’t yet reported here. Before I completely forget about them, here they are: Between the Acts by Virginia Woolf – The author’s last novel. (Php 75.00, June 15, Book Sale – Edsa Central) The Homecoming by Harold Pinter – One of the Nobel laureate’s most prominent plays. (Php 50.00, June 15, Book Sale – Edsa Central) The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins – I just can’t resist these Wordsworth Classics! (Php 50.00, June 15, Book Sale – Star Mall) The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever – A homecoming gift from Bennard. Thanks! (June 29) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – A super belated gift from Kwesi. Thanks! (July 13) Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow – Does this have anything to do with The Lion King? (Php 115.00, July 16, Book Sale – Makati Square) See? I’m too occupied that I can’t even properly talk about books. Sigh.

The Classics Club Monthly Meme: July 2013

The Classics Club July meme is a little hard to answer. It requires us to reflect and to think critically. Bad news is I haven’t found an instance since the first of July to do either of the two. Anyway, here’s the topic: What classic book has changed your view on life, social mores, political views, or religion? Hmm. After looking at the list of books that I have read on Goodreads, I still couldn’t decide. The two books that come to mind are This Is Water by David Foster Wallace and The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes. The first influenced my views on the value of real education (and on how to deal with the daily tedium of life). The second completely changed my views on suicide. One can argue that it should be Camus who has influenced my views on it, but I’ve read it through Barnes. However, these are contemporary works. This doesn’t mean to say that I am not picking up anything from classic books. I get a lot of …

Why am I not reading?

These are the things that are happening when my reading gets out of focus: I have too much work that needs to be done (and heavy traffic on the way home) and I just want to hit the sacks early. The problem is, I just lie around doing nothing while waiting for hunger to strike me down. I am looking for a new place. And you know what’s on the top of my list of considerations? Book and shelf space. I am spending way too much time on mobile games and I can’t seem to delete them from my phone. I have an inner turbulence that I have to get through. Fortunately, this does not count now. I am reading more books than I could handle. Infinite Jest, Great Expectations, and Love in the Time of Cholera (and Les Miserables). I realize that I am not a good polyreader. So I am going to finish these three and return to monogamy. I may not be reading a lot of books but I am definitely reading …

The lines were too long

A friend and I went to the anniversary sale of a leading book store here in the Philippines. The books littered at the sale tables weren’t that impressive, but the 20% discount for regular items was appealing. I picked up (and returned) The Pale King, The Collected Stories of William Faulkner, and Kristin Lavransdatter. I didn’t know what to buy, but after seeing the long queue of people, plus their respective carts of books, we decided not to push through. But I made a last attempt. I remembered Vladimir Nabokov, so I asked the crew if they have his collection of short stories. I am willing to line up for it. Fortunately, they have one copy, but unfortunately, they couldn’t locate it. So yeah, we went away and ate somewhere. Chicken steak with bits of bacon in white sauce, garlic rice, corn kernels, lemon iced tea, dark chocolate tiramisu. Yummy. Anyway, this is a bit bothering. Before, I would compulsively buy books thinking that I’ll get around to reading them when I get enough time …

This is an attempt to sort of explain the lack of activities here

I usually don’t do this. In fact, I sometimes raise my eyebrows when I read posts where the blogger explains with so much fervor why he or she hasn’t been around. It’s as if the blogger owes the readers an explanation or the readers are demanding for it. It’s all fine. Probably these bloggers and readers have deeper relationships than I assume. The same is true with me. A lot of my readers are also my friends. I sometimes feel that I have readers only because of my friends. Still, I try my best not to include very personal matters here for fear that it would alienate other people. Besides, this is a book blog. I don’t feel like mashing it up with other stuff. And besides, there is The Sunday Salon as an excuse to post not-so-bookish-but-still-sort-of-bookish stuff. Like what have I been doing as far as reading and blogging are concerned? Have I been reading at all? Why am I not reviewing books lately? Why am I not buying books? I have sunk …

A quick look at my early books. Some of them are not in this photo because they are either lent to curious friends or returned to the gracious owners.

Today is the middle of the year

After 182 days of reading, attending book club discussions, and battling my recurring reading ruts and blogging breaks, here are some of the books that are most likely to end up in my 2013 Books of the Year: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Cathedral by Raymond Carver The Death of the Heart by Elizabeth Bowen Dom Casmurro by Machado de Assis The Fish Can Sing by Halldor Laxness Gilead by Marilynne Robinson Mysteries by Knut Hamsun Paper Towns by John Green A Personal Matter by Kenzaburo Oe Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz This Is Water by David Foster Wallace Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair by Pablo Neruda Ulverton by Adam Thorpe What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver The books that I am still currently reading are not considered in this longlist of 15, but do not be surprised if Great Expectations and Infinite Jest make it through after 182 days. How about you, dear readers? How’s …