All posts tagged: Quarterly Rhapsody

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 …

A heartwarming message from a wonderful writer

Quarterly Rhapsody: Signed Books

Recently, I joined three of my bookish friends, Kwesi, Maria, and Rollie, for the book signing of a young adult author. The author’s name escapes me now. Lauren Oliver? I am sorry. Regular readers of this blog, which I am confident must be at around five or at most ten, must know that I am not keen at this genre. I will explore it soon, but that is not the point. Why was I there? These three didn’t want to go with our other bookish friends to watch Hunger Games. I cannot be counted to shell out money for something that I am not too interested to watch despite the presence of people that I like. Besides, people are supposed to sit and watch and not chitchat while watching a movie in a cinema, no? So I just joined the three for the book signing of someone I am not familiar with. Besides, I quite approve of this. There’s a feeling of elation when you meet an author that you are particularly fond of and …

Books I Am Excited to Read

Quarterly Rhapsody: Reading Plans

I love plans. Rather, I love plans but I am not crazy about executing them. But really, it depends on the plan that is being planned. There are different types of it, like a fire escape plan. It’s something that most employees must have had to drill with, but really, can people even go with such a plan when fire is licking the fire exit? So I prefer planning things that are achievable. A reading plan sounds nice. To others, it is the act of the obsessed. Never mind that. I figure planning the books that I read actually makes me read the books that are just sleeping in my book shelf. I started plotting and following reading plans maybe the first quarter of this year. I was staring at my pile of books and I was wondering when the hell can I ever get to read all my books. Seems impossible for every bibliophile, but I am dead set at reading all the books that I buy, especially the ones listed on my compiled …

Quarterly Rhapsody: Book Lists

There’s a list for almost everything. There are lists about the best movies, the best tourist destinations, the best of anything, general interests, eccentric interests, and yes, lists on our beloved books. What are these lists for anyway? For one, I could say that these lists are out there for recommendations. A reader who’s looking out to venture to new genres could pore through these book lists. In this aspect, book lists can help in increasing the reading activities of a person. And then, lists bring about healthy, although verbally violent, debates. Which books deserve to make it? Which books should be dropped? Which writer should have a prominent number of works in a list? These debates call for an understanding of what makes a book really worth it. Is it the style? The plot? The techniques employed? The theme? The appeal to the reading masses? The overall effect? Everything comes into play, so coming up with a list of the top books is a herculean task. I am a huge fan of book lists. …

Quarterly Rhapsody: Rating Books

We love reading books. Unfortunately, we don’t love all the books that we read. Every book is obviously different, catering to various people with various tastes. People’s taste on books depends on a lot of factors, which would take more discussions than I have in mind. They also have different sets of criteria in judging books. When I say judging books, I merely mean rating them. Giving them the number of stars you think it deserves is an act of judging, which may or may not affect other readers. One may give a high rating to a certain book just because he loves the genre it falls under. Another may do the same just because he adores the author. And so on. So how do I rate my books? I loosely base my system on rating books from the descriptive text that Goodreads.com has on its rating system. For those of you who are not familiar with the site, I am strongly suggesting you to create an account to expand your reading horizon. Anyway, to make things …