Book Rhapsody is a blog about the books that I have read, I am reading, and I plan to read. It is an attempt to capture the experiences I had while reading and recalling those books.
This blog does not seek to be a blog about professional book criticism; it seeks to share the thoughts, views, insights, opinions, experiences, and lessons that I was able to gather during and after reading the books that are blogged about. Thus, it is a blog that ultimately aims to increase the reading activities of people.
Beware, since the upcoming blog entries will be purely subjective. Also, spoilers about the books could be abundant. Under any circumstances, feel free to discuss anything relevant to this blog with the author by commenting on the posts.
Here’s a sampling: a dozen snippets and links to write-ups of some of my favorite books (including the year they were posted).
“The novel explores the wide and relatively unknown repercussions of the words that fall from our lips. The way we perceive things, the way we craft them in our heads, and the way we want to deliver them, whether our intentions came out of spite, out of unconscious jealousy, out of disgust, out of uncouthness, will affect someone, change something. Which is why words are too powerful. The learned person can concoct anything from these: a play, a letter, a love story, a crime.” - Atonement by Ian McEwan (2012)
“Yet in this dog-eat-dog world, there are souls who will do otherwise, holding on to that hope that this world will eat itself up and come up with a new order. Yes, these are only drops of water in the vast ocean of life, and the diarist responds, as the last line of the novel, in a question: Yet what is any ocean but a multitude of drops?” - Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (2012)
“And he writes about this: that if he were to be married to a beautiful woman who would give him ten kids, he would leave them all on Christmas so that he could see his face and that of his mom’s. And that if he never saw him, he would comfort himself with a hope that is borne out from his heart.” - Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (2011)
“It’s pretty disturbing reading this with all our Catholic beliefs imprinted on our minds, but just for the sake of sheer entertainment, a dangerously philosophical one, this novel passes for a must-read. It is not a book that tries too hard. It is bereft of pretense. It doesn’t force you to swallow Saramago’s beliefs.” - The Gospel According to Jesus Christ by Jose Saramago (2012)
“What I think is this. Loneliness visits a person who rarely communicates his thoughts and feelings to others. And lonely people can only communicate so well with the same lonely people. They have the feeling that they are comrades, that they are the only people who could truly understand them.” - The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (2011)
“Which is reasonable, if you ask me. Our thoughts are like midnight trains that make the bridges of our minds tremble with such power, and we fail to feel the trembling just because our half-asleep state renders us incapable of doing so. And once the smoke is all that’s left to see, our thoughts have already escaped us, numbing our minds that are screaming of want. Like our thoughts are never really our own.” - Hunger by Knut Hamsun (2012)
“But really, how can I justify the magnificence of this masterpiece if all I could tell them is that this book is all about sheep? It’s about farmers discussing and debating the different aspects of sheep farming while drinking coffee. It’s about them figuring out how to get rid of lungworm from the flock while discussing a little politics here and there. It’s about them worrying about the coming winter and hoping that their sheep will survive.” - Independent People by Halldor Laxness (2012)
“What we know is not as secure as we want to imagine. Everything is fleeting. A master dies. A kid is no longer seen in the cotton fields. A couple becomes the root germ of a long line of descendants. A sheriff tries to save a life. A white man takes another life. Another white man falls in love with a black woman. Another black woman turns almost mad. And the mad turns to peace.” - The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2012)
“That one may only have scraps for a life, and to want more will just break you apart. And to contain all these will surely wring the inner tumult out of your skin. And after that, a sense of disquiet. A wrangling mix of hope and despair. A stillness, disquiet still, and waiting, waiting.” - Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro (2011)
“Every page is just intense. You cringe at every paragraph. You root for them so hard that whenever they find something to eat, your heart leaps with joy. And when they finally reach the shore only to meet the father’s end, you hold on to the boy. You hope that he would continue to carry the fire that he and his father are always talking about.” - The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2011)
“There may be a lot of books written about New York, and sometimes, it can get exasperating. Aren’t there any places other than New York? But the author saw that this city is teeming with life and that there is always something fresh to be written about it. This book might even qualify as a travelogue for the detailed descriptions it has of every nook and cranny of the city.” - The Stories of John Cheever by John Cheever (2011)
“It has been a dozen years since I read this wonderful novel. The veracity of my account, and memory for that matter, is questionable. I should reread this novel, but with the humongous reading backlog that I have, I would need to put that off.” - To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (2011)