All posts tagged: Books

Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish

Book Review – Preparation for the Next Life by Atticus Lish

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars. Why? The book is full of vitality. It appeals so much to the senses. You can see the graffiti in the ghettos, hear the noise of New York streets, smell the grease in Chinatowns, taste fast food burgers and pizza deliveries, and feel the sweat and sand and keloids and calluses on the characters’ skins. It’s like the lower class New York is packed within the book. The love story between Zou Lei, an illegal half-Chinese immigrant, and Skinner, a war vet suffering from PTSD, is written in a terse and engaging prose that made me keep going for long stretches of reading time. The novel traces, with such realism and unsentimentality, both the good times they have when they are drinking beer, working out, and making love, and the bad times when Zou Lei is ignored by Skinner during his bouts of depression and anxiety. It both made me smile-laugh and seethe-rage at the things that are going on, especially when Jimmy, the bad guy of the novel, intersected with the lives …

Book Report: January 2016

Book Report: January 2016

The 2016 reading race gave me a bad handicap known as the Slump, which is quite surprising because I usually go through such phases during the middle of the year. In previous years, I was usually enthusiastic about planning what books I’d like to read for the year. Like last year, I planned to read NBCC winners. Of course I failed at it but I really don’t see it that way because I’ve been able to read other books. It’s not like I didn’t read anything; I was merely sidetracked by equally good books. Now that it’s a new year, I can put the NBCC plan back into action, yes? Well, I have another reading plan set up this year but before I babble about that, let me tell you about the number of books that I’ve finished last month. It’s a grand total of zero. Yep, I’m still at the starting point. In fact, I only started reading again last week since November. So that’s roughly two months since I last finished a book. Actually, I wasn’t …

2016 Books, #2

2016 Books, #2

My copy of The Narrow Road to the Deep North (USD 13.14) arrived at a perfect time: on a weekend when I have nothing to do but stay put at home. I was starting to worry that this would be delivered by February. I had to have it ASAP because it’s our book of the month. And I’m not a fast reader. So when I got out of our office, I surreptitiously eyed the deliveries stocked at the ground floor reception area. I noticed the familiar Book Depository package. I asked the guard on duty if the package was for me. Of course it was. In the course of my stay at our office, it seems that I’m the only one who has ever had deliveries from TBD. Yes, I always check out the deliveries at the reception area whether I’m expecting one for myself. I hope I’m wrong because it’s quite sad if I were the only person who works in a building with 35 floors and who orders books online. After a reading slump that lasted …

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 …

2016 Books, #1

2016 Books, #1

I usually take pictures of my book hauls and then post them on Instagram. That’s what I want to do when my latest arrived, except that I don’t have Instagram on my phone anymore. Should I reinstall it? The temptation was too strong but I got over it as soon as I opened the WordPress app. Am I being too hard on myself for going cold turkey on social media apps? Anyway, these books are from a bookish friend who runs Bookulaw, a Facebook store for new and used books. I’ve had three of the four books here reserved for months, so I yeah, I reminded myself to pay for the books despite my (weak) resolve to stop hoarding this year. Burn This Book, edited by Toni Morrison (Php 200.00) – a collection of essays about books, writing, and literature. There’s something by Auster, Gordimer, Rushdie, Updike, Pamuk, and Morrison herself. The Collected Stories of Deborah Eisenberg (Php 340.00) – after being disappointed by some National Book Award winners, I’m considering collecting PEN/Faulkner winners instead. Interestingly, …