All posts filed under: Whatnot

Book rating details

On Book Ratings

I’m a little obsessed with book ratings. They matter to me. A lot. When I check bookish social networks for recommendations, I look at the following details in this order: the average rating, friends’ reviews (if any), the most popular 5-star rave, and the most popular hatchet job. So to contribute to the bookish community, I rate the books that I’ve read and redirect users to a review link, if available. I always think in terms of numbers. Instead of disputing whether I like or love a book,  I decide between 3-stars or 4-stars. I’ve adopted the Goodreads rating system, which I think is pretty decent. This is not true for many people, of course, seeing that they’ve adopted their own rating systems. The most common ones are changing the descriptions of the numerical ratings and the inclusion of half-stars. I have no issues with these, but with regard to the latter, I tend to round the ratings down (i.e. 4.5 to 4, and so on). I often encounter 3.5’s and 4.5’s, but I have yet …

31 is a centered pentagonal number. It is also the 4th lucky prime.

Your Questions, My Answers, and the Winner

First, thanks to everyone for their birthday greetings and wishes through social and telecommunication networks. I am really touched by your gifts and surprises. Why do you do this to me? Yay! Second, thanks to the participants of this year’s birthday contest and giveaway. Please note that the early part of the recording mentions that there are five participants. However, a new participant went through while I was answering the fifth set of questions. So do the math: 5 + 1 = 6. Yay! Here is the recording: I know it’s a long one, so here are the jumps if you are in a hurry: 00:00 – Intro and Participant 1 Who would you rather have dinner with: Knut Hamsun or Jose Saramago? What do you honestly think of fanfic? What is your favorite movement in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony? Ang uod ba, pag namatay inuuod? 05:35 – Participant 2 When are you going to finish your novel? Definite date, please. If you weren’t gay, describe the kind of girl you would love to be with. …

31 is a centered pentagonal number. It is also the 4th lucky prime.

31 Is the 4th Lucky Prime

Fourth lucky prime? Okay. Coincidentally, this post is my fourth time to do a birthday giveaway. I’m doing another one because I’m kind of used to doing it. But I don’t know what to do. To help me decide, let’s review the bloggy and birthday giveaways that I did for the past four years: January 2012 – I asked you to post a memory when you were 12 years old. April 2012 – I asked you to name your favorite post in this blog. And also to guess for my age. January 2013 – I asked you to suggest some reading and blogging resolutions. April 2013 – I asked you to suggest a name for a hypothetical personal blog. Nobody won! January 2014 – I asked you to recommend me a book. And I read one of the recommendations! April 2014 – I asked you to guess what am I saving money for. January 2015 – I asked you to guess my short list of science fiction books for our book club’s August discussion. April 2015 – …

14 out of 20.

The 21st century’s 12 greatest novels (so far)

The BBC Culture section asked several book critics to list the best novels that were published since the first day of this century. It has been 15 years since, and look at the books at the top of a list of over 150 novels. The Top 12: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz (2007) The Known World by Edward P. Jones (2003) Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009) Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (2004) The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (2001) The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (2000) A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2010) Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (2012) Atonement by Ian McEwan (2001) Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006) White Teeth by Zadie Smith (2000) Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (2002) The Runners-up: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2013) Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald (2001) My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante (2011) The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (2004) The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2006) NW by Zadie Smith …

Four

And the winner of our bloggy birthday guessing game contest…

…will be announced after we read the entries. This year, we have eight. We see familiar names and new names (hello there). I usually disqualify first-time commenters because I don’t feel like giving a book to a stranger, but hey, let’s try something new this year to rev up the competition. Anyway, here are the entries, in the order that they were submitted (will also add my comments on the guesses. themisanthropologist (January 7, 2015 at 7:35 AM, January 7, 2015 at 8:41 AM) Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card – Almost everyone has read this. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin – In the longlist. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein – Considered the author’s works. Dune by Frank Herbert – Considered the author’s works. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – This is March 2012’s book of the month. Do Androids Dream Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick – In the longlist. Foundation by Isaac Asimov – Considered the author’s works. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony …