All posts tagged: Book Talk

Nobel aspirants, learn an instrument!

Bob Dylan is this year’s winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature. Help me process this.

I may have been away but I’ve anticipated the announcement of this year’s winner. Which obscure writer would it be? Would there be a chance that this year’s winner is someone I’m familiar with? The announcement, which I streamed from one of my breaks at the office, was first read in Swedish. I heard Bob Dylan’s name. Surely, that wasn’t happening. Bob Dylan’s nomination and frequent appearance at betting lists has been a long-running joke, yeah? So when the announcement was read in English, it was indeed happening. I closed the video without bothering with the cryptic citations and turned to the shit bowl that is Facebook.

Book Report: April 2016

Book Report: April 2016

Before I announce the winner of my birthday giveaway (yes, there are participants), let me just get the monthly report out of the way. Books Finished: Remainder by Tom McCarthy – 3 out of 5 stars. Will try my best to review it after I sort out my life. Currently Reading: Nothing yet. Will probably start reading our book of the month later, The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness. I don’t know what it is about. TFG Book Bingo Progress: So that’s only two squares since January. Gaaah, what am I doing? To be fair, I had gone through an intense ordeal, one that involves real life shit that I hope no one among you will experience. But that’s over now, I guess. I really shouldn’t be talking about it, so let’s just talk about bingo squares? Here are the entries: Pat recommended Nobody’s Perfect by Anthony Lane (About movies) and Juliet Naked by Nick Hornby (About music). Tin recommended Les Liasons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos (Erotic fiction), The Handmaid’s Tale …



The birthday giveaway tradition lives on! But I’m running out of gimmicks. And I’m not exactly in a mood to celebrate. In fact, I just intend to watch as many Mad Men episodes as I can while eating food that I should avoid when I hit the mid-30s. Or if it gets too hot, I’ll run to the nearest coffee shop and finish the book that I’m currently reading, which is something that would let me mark a square on my book bingo card. Hmm. In case you are disoriented, today is my birthday and I’m running a giveaway. The prize is a USD 20.00 book of your choice from The Book Depository. You get a chance at winning the prize by giving me book recommendations for the following categories lifted from my book bingo card: Erotic fiction Speculative fiction Set during a holiday About movies About music I want compelling recommendations. You have to convince me, even in a few words. Or you can refer me to links of your reviews, if you have any. …

Twirling with joy upon receiving a bookish postcard.

Because you are so good at recommending books, you win a book

I posted my traditional bloggy birthday giveaway five days ago, and even though there are only two valid entries (come on, was the prompt that hard?), I’ve got a handful of books that I already want to read. I hope getting my hands on these books will give me my much needed reading boost. I haven’t been reading lately because I’m currently rereading a book that I just read a couple of months ago. It’s book club duty, so until this book discussion blows over, I guess I’ll just wallow in this slump. I digress, as always. So here are the winners. Yes, I decided just a few minutes ago to declare two winners because I can’t make up my mind. And it’s a first! I don’t think I’ve had a tie before. So yeah, I’m torn between roughghost‘s recommendation of The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs by Damon Galgut and TinTin‘s recommendation of CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders. Let me put here how they recommended these two books: The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs Finally, my …

My favorite book store in 2015: Book Kinokuniya in Ngee Ann City, Singapore

Happy Fifth Birthday, Book Rhapsody!

Oh yes, I’ve been blogging, albeit casually, about books for five years. That’s more than half of my blogging life. I started blogging about my juvenile and callow opinions on life back in 2007. Then somewhere along the way, I decided to focus on books instead. And no regrets. That’s because I love books more than anything else, probably even more than my life. This does not mean though that my life sucks, but well, it does not have (yet) the staying power of a wonderful book. And there are so many wonderful books out there. And that’s why I want to give away a wonderful book of your choice worth USD 20.00 from Book Depository. Hopefully it will stay with you for a long time. All you have to do is to recommend five books that I should read this year. Give me compelling reasons for those recommendations. Make me want to get and read those five books as soon as I read your comments, which will remain unpublished until the contest is over. And yes, …

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. …