I have more books than half of the days of November. It’s like two acquisitions every other day. To be fair, some of these are advance Christmas shopping for myself to avoid the holiday rush. I never really complained about my pathological book hoarding, but after a bad experience with our local customs office, I decided to declare a moratorium on book buying.
I’d rather not discuss what happened at the customs office (which involved intimidation from the customs officer, a shouting match between him and me, and probably graft), but what I want to discuss is the scope of this moratorium. I initially thought of allowing myself one book every after four books that I finish. This is crazy though because I just recently reserved seven books from my favorite online used books store. So that means I have to finish 28 books before I can buy my next book.
Or maybe I should make this effective in 2015. If that’s the case, I should make sure that those seven books should arrive within this month.
You know what? The fact that I’m trying to cheat makes me think that this is just empty talk. So let’s just go ahead to the books that I read last November.
- The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen – 5 out of 5 stars. I’ve meant to read this for a long time. I even attempted a buddy read but nobody was interested. So yeah, I did it on my own.
- Dwellers by Eliza Victoria – 4 out of 5 stars. The raves by my friends on the author’s works make sense. Victoria is a good writer.
- Richard II by Richard Shakespeare – 4 out of 5 stars. How’s that for my first Shakespeare?
- Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace – Currently on page 648 of 1079. It has been over a year since I paused. I even had to reread summaries of the parts that I’ve already read before to refresh my memory. I’m glad to know that I still have a firm grasp of what’s going on. So yeah, I’ll finish this before the year ends, even if it means that it will be my last read for the year.
The Nobel Laureates Group:
- Adrift on the Nile by Naguib Mahfouz – This is supposed to be his best book that is not part of the Cairo Trilogy. (Php 175.00, Undertow Books, November 4)
- Manual of Painting and Calligraphy by José Saramago – I still have a few more titles to cross out to complete my Saramago collection. I don’t even know if all those area available in English. (Php 325, Undertow Books, November 4)
- The Thibaults by Roger Martin du Gard – I almost lost this rare copy to someone who saved it when it was supposed to be mine. Good thing that the bookseller managed to talk that person out of buying this. (Php 90.00, Undertow Books, November 4)
- Letters to a Young Novelist by Mario Vargas Llosa – Because I felt like a young novelist at that time I saw this. (Php 145.00, Book Sale – SM Mega Mall, November 20)
- Electric Light by Seamus Heaney – I want to get a copy of North, his supposedly best collection of poems, but the cover of this one is irresistible. (Php 85.00, Book Sale – Star Mall, November 22)
The NBCC Award Winners Group – These are Christmas gifts to myself. I ordered these when I noticed that I was missing only a few titles to complete my NBCC collection.
- Austerlitz by W. G. Sebald (USD 13.40, The Book Depository, November 20)
- Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (USD 8.25, The Book Depository, November 19)
- Binocular Vision by Edith Pearlman (USD 13.87, The Book Depository, November 20)
- Mrs. Ted Bliss by Stanley Elkin (USD 18.80, The Book Depository, November 12)
The NYRB Classics Group – All are price estimates for the first four because the source tells me that she can’t remember them already.
- The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G. B. Edwards – (Php 350.00, from Monique, November 15)
- Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household (Php 250.00 from Monique, November 15)
- A Schoolboy’s Diary by Robert Walser (Php 350.00, from Monique, November 15)
- The Selected Works of Cesare Pavese by Cesare Pavese (Php 450.00, from Monique, November 15)
- Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig – This is his only novel, which brought a bit of a shock to me because he has a number of novellas published by the same imprint. (USD 17.31, The Book Depository, November)
The Filipino Books Group
- The Butcher, the Baker, the Candlestick Maker by Gilda Cordero-Fernando – A rare collection of short stories from a legendary local writer given to me as a gift. Thank you! (from Monique, November 15)
- Fall Like Rain by Ana Tejano – My book club friend’s first book! (Php 300.00, from Ana Tejano, November 15)
The Special Edition Group
- The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell – First printing of the first edition. Signed and dedicated to me. Hence, the plastic cover. Thank you! (from Monique, November 22)