Book Reports
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Book Report: August 2014

Book Report: August 2014

And just like that, it’s already September. From where I live, time speeds up when this month makes its entrance. I’m a little concerned because this has not been a good year for me in terms of the number of books I’ve read. But yeah, I know, that is just a number. It’s just that I wish I could read more.

Anyway, at least I managed to finish three books this month. I’ve actually finished five (the other two, I’ve included in the previous month’s report). Not bad, I guess.

Books Finished:

  • The Conservationist by Nadine Gordimer – 3 out of 5 stars. Quite a difficult book. I’m not sure that I got this at all. I’m still trying to figure out a lot of things in it.
  • One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – 5 out of 5 stars. This is not your conventional Russian literature. This is a great work on injustice, faith, and dignity.
  • Where I’m Calling From by Raymond Carver – 5 out of 5 stars. This is more like a skim and scan because I’ve read most of the stories in this collection. My rating, therefore, is based on the handful of new stories that are included here, which are the selections from his UK-only Elephant.

Currently Reading:

  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel – Currently on page 211 of 604. I know I promised to touch this, right? But no. I got distracted with other projects. Whoops.

New Books:

  • Postcards by Annie Proulx – I’ve always meant to read another Proulx but I don’t which book of hers to pick next. Maybe this? (Php 75.00, Undertow Books, August 27)
  • Palace Walk by Naguib Mahfouz – Because it is on sale and because it is by a Nobel laureate. (Php 87.50, Undertow Books, August 27)
  • Palace of Desire by Naguib Mahfouz – And so is this one. Now I only need Sugar Street to complete The Cairo Trilogy. (Php 87.50, Undertow Books, August 27)


  1. September na…Merry Christmas hahaha. Yes, I have already heard my first Xmas song, 3 days ago…haaay!

    Anyway….still not done with Wolf Hall?? tsk tsk tsk. Next year mo na tapusin, hopefully the 3rd and final book will be out :)


    • Yes! Huy, let’s have coffee before man lang mag Xmas. I haven’t heard my first Xmas song yet. XD

      I was distracted by the other blog eh. Wolf Hall is just forever sitting on my reading stack and I don’t have the heart to chuck it off it.


    • Maybe by the end of the year I can manage to escape for coffee :)

      Punta ka sa SM (malls, Hypermarket, Savemore) kung gusto mo makarinig ng Xmas songs in September.

      Well I would say that you shouldn’t quit reading it, but if you really don’t feel it by now, then I guess it’s ok to move on.


  2. Speaking of Russian Lit, I still haven’t found the inspiration to touch anything from that category. Not since DNF-ing Crime and Punishment. But I will take note of the Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn book because as you said it’s not your usual Russian Lit. Plus, it seems shorter than most of them too. Bennard did mention three names to start with: Tolstoy, Bulgakov, and Sorokin. Their shorter works, he says. I am only familiar with Tolstoy because War and Peace is everywhere, and because James McAvoy is in The Last Station movie. Haha.

    Also how long have you been reading Wolf Hall?


    • Yes, I read Denisovich in one sitting. I think it shouldn’t be that demanding. Regarding Wolf Hall, I haven’t really been reading it. It’s just onmy reading stack so I always put it in the pictures. XD

      James McAvoy is <3 hahaha!


  3. Monique says

    The SSS is a good distraction, yes? :)

    Like Tin, I haven’t really touched Russian lit. But I look forward to reading Master and Margarita soon! :)


  4. Recently discovered Undertow Books on Facebook and they’re selection is indeed surprisingly good! :)

    I liked ‘One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich’. Indeed, many Russian fiction and non-fiction fall under the general heading of prison literature exposing the injustices of the Czarist Siberian camps to the gulags: from Dostoevsky’s ‘Memoirs from the House of the Dead’ to Shalamov’s ‘Kolyma Tales’. Kudos!


    • Whoops, I have yet to read Dostoevsky.

      Other Facebook bookstores that I would recommend are Chapter IX (more fiction) and Wise Guys (more nonfiction). I forget the complete names but maybe Facebook’s autocomplete feature will bring them up.


    • You might find that interesting. That was Dostoevsky’s account of his incarceration in the Czarist prison camps in Siberia.

      Yes, Wise Guys offer lots of Philosophy, Social Sciences, and Literary Theory but I noticed they do have some fiction too.


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