All posts tagged: Hunger

Modernist novels that I love and hate

A Conversation Between Two Modernists

I’ve been reading a handful of modernist novels lately. In fact, I picked this as the theme for the book discussion that I hosted for our book club last month. Currently, I’m reading some palate cleansers to resume my modernist streak. But I want to go back soon. It’s evident with my choice of topic for today’s Writing 101 challenge. Write a post based on the contrast between two things — whether people, objects, emotions, places, or something else. Bringing together two different things — from the abstract and the inanimate to the living and breathing — creates a natural source of tension, and conflict drives writing forward. It makes your reader want to continue to the next sentence, to the next page. So, focus on your two starkly different siblings, or your competing love for tacos and macarons, or whether thoughts are more powerful than words, or…you get the idea. Today’s twist: write your post in the form of a dialogue. You can create a strong opposition between the two speakers — a lovers’ quarrel or a …

My Thirty Greatest Books

Thirty Years, Thirty Books

At the moment of typing this, I realize that I’m spending my last couple of hours as a twenty-something hacking at my book shelves and sorting through my memory for my greatest books. I haven’t read a lot yet, but I already have my small personal canon. There are the random books of my childhood, the limited choices in high school, the varied selections in college, and the hordes of them all in the last decade. And before I realize it, I’m already thirty. Actually, the realization has not yet hit me hard (should it?). I look at my shelves and wonder at the space that I could have emptied had I not been a reader. But no, I’m happy to be a reader. I selected my list of greatest books based on my Goodreads ratings and on how important they are to me at multiple points in my life. If you are a keen reader of my blog, I think you will have a pretty good idea on what most of these books are. …

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

The Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Compiled Daily Blogging Topics

This is going to be really long because I’m compiling my posts for the five daily topics. I just learned of BBAW 2012 last Wednesday, so please bear with me. For more info, please visit Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Monday: Appreciation! There are no awards this year, but it can still be hard to navigate the huge universe of book blogging. Share with your readers some of the blogs you enjoy reading daily and why. Most of the blogs that I enjoy reading are the blogs of my book club friends. Check out the link list at the left sidebar of my blog. I can’t say that I visit them daily because there aren’t daily updates on all blogs. Life gets in our way. But since this is BBAW, I’d like to focus on the blogs that have uhm, regular activities in the recent weeks to show our appreciation for the effort that they put. And now, in alphabetical order: The Book Hooligan – this is quite a new blog, around three months old. I enjoy reading …

Thirteen Translations

Quarterly Rhapsody: Translated Books

I almost forgot my quarterly feature, which is a post where I ramble about book-related stuff. Previous topics that I discussed in Quarterly Rhapsody, if you are interested, are: why I blog about books, how I rate my books, following book lists, planning the books to be read, and signed books. So for the third quarter of the year, let’s talk about books translated into other languages. This topic has been bothering me for the past couple of weeks, and we have two books to blame: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo and The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass. For the first book, I have this unquenchable desire to immediately read the translation by Lee Fahnestock and Norman MacAfee, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find a copy. As for the second book, I was going to start reading Ralph Manheim’s translation when by some accident, I found out that he made some omissions from the original text. I put it back on my shelf and asked the local book stores if they have the Breon Mitchell translation …

The Classics Club Monthly Meme: August 2012

The Classics Club is taking a revolution! We recently launched our own blog (it was formerly sitting at A Room of One’s Own), or more like six members joined forces and put up the blog, and they, the moderators, are assigned tasks in maintaining the smooth running of the club. One of the activities is the monthly meme, and yes, I will be participating in each one of them. So here’s the topic for the first installment: What is your favorite classic book? Why? I find this a pretty easy question. Although I love a number of classics, my favorite one still remains: it’s Hunger by Knut Hamsun. It’s also currently my favorite book of all-time, although it’s being threatened by the contemporary Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. But I won’t talk about that. Why do I love Hunger? First, I love how it’s written. The narrative is just crazy. It doesn’t feel like a classic at all. It feels very modern, and I think this quality is what separates a classic from the ordinary …

Hunger by Knut Hamsun

Probably the book that best describes me – Hunger by Knut Hamsun

I really can’t help raving about this. I always thank my lucky stars for that day when I bought this at a secondhand book store without intending to. It must be the universe conspiring with the forces; the book spine stared straight into my eyes. I couldn’t resist; I felt a sense of literary power emanating from the book. It was during that time when I’d just randomly pick a book. After reading this, my impulses were justified. This book became my sort of bible. Not really that, but close. Or maybe it’s more appropriate to say that this book best describes me. There even is something clownish about that statement; I’m a skinny guy and is there any book title that could be more befitting than Hunger? I feel a strong attachment to this like the way a lot of people hold on to their copies of The Catcher in the Rye. I am well-acquainted with at least two. As much as I’d like to lend my copy to my favorite people and force …

Best of 2011

The Best And The Worst Reads Of 2011

Again, I am taking a break from the weekly book write-up to sort of honor the best books that I have read this year. There are already a lot of book blogs with similar posts, and I am tempted to pattern my best and worst list from some. I chose not to because I know I would never finish this post. So what I did is that I thought of a pseudo-award for each book included in my list. Let me just state for the record that 2011 is the most voracious reading year in my life. Ever. Hurrah! That’s 52 books, if you want to know, which is more or less one book a week. I hope to do an encore next year. Or even beat this record. Below is the list of books that I gave five stars, in alphabetical order. They are 12, so I might as well call them The 12 Books of 2011. Titles with an asterisk (*) are books that are in my Top 5. Without further ado here …