Book Reports
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Book Report: March 2014

Book Report: March 2014

WordPress tells me that today is my sixth anniversary as a WordPress blogger. This blog is only three years old. The excess three years were spent on a personal blog that I hid from everyone. It’s inactive, don’t worry, and I haven’t touched it ever since I chose to blog about books.

I don’t really have a point, but I’m thinking that the blogging years don’t matter. What matters in blogging is always now. In the world of blogs, one is only as good as his or her last post. A blog with no fresh content in spite of its age is practically dead. And what do we make of this blog?

You might have noticed that I haven’t posted a book review in nearly a year. I think I may have been jinxed when my bookish friends voted for me as their favorite book reviewer last year (aww, you guys!), which is very humbling. But after that, my book reviews have been scarce.

Don’t worry, I’m forever trying to figure out how to make myself go back to the art of book reviewing. For now, I have a huge book report, mostly on new books. Yes, new books, because I’m a stress shopper. Need I say more?

Books Finished:

  • The Alienist by Caleb Carr – 3 out of 5 stars. The only book that I finished this month. Copy was lent by Maria. Thanks! This is only the fourth book that I finished this year, and yes, it’s also the fourth borrowed book. I have a feeling though that I’m going to finish a book that I own in April.

Currently Reading:

  • The Trial by Franz Kafka – Currently on page 163 of 216. I was going to finish it this month, but alas, I got held up with too many appointments.
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – Currently on page 211 of 604. I didn’t touch it. I tried to but, oh well. I hope it doesn’t get stuck here for a long time

New Books:

  • The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – Some of my friends recommend Atwood, particularly this novel. And it’s added to the recent edition of the Novel 100/125. (Php 175.00, March 19, Undertow Books)
  • If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino – TFG’s book of the month for April. I’m glad to have found a copy because I gave my pre-loved copy to one of my favorite friends. (Php 485.00, March 17, NBS Bestsellers – Podium)
  • Mr. Sammler’s Planet by Saul Bellow – A National Book Award winner. I haven’t read any Bellow book yet, and I have a number of them. (Php 90.00, March 19, Undertow Books)
  • The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer – I lost my mass market copy to termites. I don’t mind that now because this trade paperback copy is nice. (Php 150.00, March 19, Undertow Books)
  • Riders in the Chariot by Patrick White – A new writer friend recommended this when I asked him his favorite NYRB Classics book. He has another favorite but I have yet to look for that. (USD 21.03, March 25, The Book Depository)
  • The Stone Raft by José Saramago – Saramago. Hello?! (Php 200.00, March 19, Undertow Books)
  • Tenth of December by George Saunders – The inaugural winner of The Folio Prize. Now, let me proceed to shameless plugging. I started a book group on Goodreads dedicated to reading this and the future winners of The Folio Prize. In fact, we are reading this book starting today, which means I’ll have to eat my dinner after posting this and start reading the first story. If you want to check out the group and join, click this. (Php 629.00, March 19, Power Books – Shangri-la Plaza)
  • Under the Net by Iris Murdoch – One of Time Magazine’s 100 Best Novels. I’ve read Murdoch before and she’s not bad. On the contrary, she’s very good. (Php 200.00, March 19, Undertow Books)
  • Women in Their Beds by Gina Berriault – A Book Critics Circle winner. I have no idea on who the writer is. (Php 250.00, March 19, Undertow Books)
  • World Light by Halldór Laxness – When I read the blurb, I made the decision to buy it upon reading that the protagonist believes that he will one day become a great poet. And that’s the first sentence. (USD 15.37, March 25, The Book Depository)


  1. I’ve been told I need to read The Handmaid’s Tale as well. Looks like we’ll both be enjoying that one!


  2. You recommended Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. Iheychu! My eyelids are swollen shut from crying and no amount of expensive eye creams will undo the damage. ;)


    • Would you like me to recommend more that would make you reconsider the eye cream brand that you’re using? :D

      BTW, how will you react to Reg’s statement that the tone is gossipy?


    • The tone is like somebody telling her story to a friend, which is not necessarily gossiping. I haven’t read Atonement yet, which I’ll read next as soon as I’ve finished Freedom and Daemon by Daniel Suarez; and The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin.


    • I think Atonement can help in understanding the writing process. And please don’t hate me if it breaks your heart. :D


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