In Gabriela Lee’s first book, Instructions on How to Disappear and other stories, she has meticulously and intelligently reworked numerous genre tropes. Set in future manila, a gleaming metropolis where one’s paranoia may not be exactly unfounded and whose lashing sings tribute to Philip K. Dick, “Stations” takes on the ethical trappings of high technology adoption. “August Moon” relies on a succession of flashbacks to uncover, as well as obscure, the eventual doom of a woman who deems herself a “good wife,” while “Eyes as Wide as the Sky” depicts a post-war world – scorched yet not wholly devoid of hope. These stories insist on the unreal becoming the real, the rational melding with the irrational, familiarity breeding strangeness. An impressive debut.
– Kristine Ong Muslim, author of Age of Blight Continue reading “Instructions on How to Disappear by Gabriela Lee”
For Marie-Laure, blind since the age of six, the world is full of mazes. The miniature of a Paris neighbourhood, made by her father to teach her the way home. The microscopic layers wihin the invaluable diamond that her father guards in the Museum of National History. The walled city by the sea, where the father and daughter take refuge when the Nazis invade Paris. And a future which draws her ever closer to Werner, a German orphan, destined to labour in the mines until a broken radio fills his life with possibility and brings him to the notice of the Hitler Youth.
Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Simon Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.
Isolated by the storm and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer amongst a dozen of the dead man’s enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again…
The Sympathizer is a blistering exploration of identity, politics and America, wrought in electric prose. The narrator, a Vietnamese army captain, is a man of divided loyalties, a half-French, half-Vietnamese communist sleeper agent in America after the end of the Vietnam War. A powerful story of love and friendship, and a gripping espionage novel, The Sympathizer examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in Literature, film and the wars we fight today. Continue reading “Book Review : The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen”
A man thrown backwards by the heartbreak goes in search of an artifact that could unsettle history. A woman carries her husband to a doctor in a suitcase. A Canadian senator begins a new life in a new country, in a company of a chimp called Odo.
I have just recently read and watched The Godfather, and don’t ask me why I haven’t read/watched this earlier since the film was released in 1972, the book in 1969. Well, certain interests come at certain times of our lives. If I have attempted to watch the three movies earlier, I would have pushed the stop button after the first ten minutes of the movie.
The Godfather is about Italian Mafia families living and ruling the underground life of New York back in the early 90’s, Al Pacino as Michael Corleone being the main character.
I liked the book more than the movie as there are more emotions in the former. Well, that’s because when Al Pacino or Michael Corleone shows a passive stone-face on the movie, one wouldn’t know what’s in his head while his feelings & thoughts are well narrated in the book.
This is not a book or movie review by the way, as a review wouldn’t be relevant 45 years after the book/film was released.
I’m just fascinated about the Mafia idea, if it still exists (which I feel, yes, it still exists) and how they operate in this modern era.
I wonder if the rich families like the Ayala, Sy, Gokongwei, etc., do have family feuds as well and if so, to what extent? Perhaps not as bloody and brutal as in the old days? Just wondering.
I am also wondering if anyone has thought of remaking the movie. That would be interesting.
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman
This was my first time to have read a book written by Haruki Murakami. I never knew he was so so good.
This book is a collection of short stories and every time I’m down to the last page of each story, I would stare at the wall and ask myself, what the hell happened? Is the story over? And I would try to recall what actually happened and still, I would be left mind-f@*#ed.
One of the short stories in this book inspired me to write In Case I Don’t Come Back. The title of the story is Man-Eating Cats and it is about a Japanese couple who ran away to Greece, then all of a sudden, the lady disappeared.
The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto
Mitch Albom is one of those authors who will always leave you crying by the end of his novels. However, this one just didn’t make me cry.
This book is about a sad life of a musician – Frankie Presto. This is fiction, I know, but a lot of Frankie’s struggles will surely be the same as the struggles that each musician faces in real life, a sad reality.
The story is beautiful, what else can we expect from Mitch Albom right? But it just didn’t connect with me.
Though this book ignited some fire in the musician in me.
I was so excited (as always) when we went to National Bookstore during my short vacay back home and I immediately went to Fil Books to check out what I can grab.
I saw this weird looking book called LOST. I grabbed it without even opening the plastic cover. I thought, I wanted to be surprised.
And, I was indeed surprised.
I don’t usually judge the book by its cover (ha ha) but I assumed that this book would certainly have a lot of illustrations on it. I didn’t expect though that there would be no text at all. Purely illustrations ha ha.
I don’t know how to feel about it. At one point I felt that I wasted my Php 200 for a comic book. Though I must say, the illustrations are great and to be fair, there’s a story. I just didn’t understand it LOL.
This book isn’t just for the likes of me. Sorry Rob Chan.
This is the first book of Jessica Zafra that I’ve read and I don’t know how I am going to react.
This book is a collection of her essays, personal I guess and a lot about Roger Federer and his winning and losing moments – something I’m not much into.
She’s good, but she’s like alien good. Sometimes I feel like I’m reading an unknown language ha ha!
If I disappointed you with my comments about the books, please be informed that this ins’t your usual book review.
Habang kinakahon ko na ang aking mga libro dahil ipapadala ko na ito sa Pinas, di ko na madadala sa next destination ko eh, pinagkukuhanan ko ng litrato dahil mamimiss ko sila. Harharhar.
Hindi ata aplikable sa akin yung You are what you read. Ang seseryoso naman ng mga binabasa ko pero di nagrereflect sa tunay na buhay o kahit sa panulat.
Anyway, ibabahagi ko na lang itong mga libro ko para dun sa mga naghahanap ng babasahin, baka may makita kayong interesante eh basahin niyo rin he he.
Eto yung mga libro ng mga paborito kong manunulat. Si Khaled Hosseini, sinusulat niya mga istorya tungkol sa Afghanistan, mga pre and post war times. Si Tan Twan Eng naman, yung Garden of Evening Mists pa lang ang nababasa ko dahil kakabili ko lang nung Gift of Rain. Pero yung story niya ay post Japanese occupation sa Malaysia. Si Madam Alice Munro naman ay nakilala ko sa pammagitan ng blogger na si Ate San. Puro short stories naman ang sinusulat ni Madam Munro. Napaka finesse ni Madam Munro magsulat. Si Jonas Jonasson naman, satirical bumanat. Mga libro nya ang nakakapagpahagalpak sa’kin sa kakatawa. Di ko pa nababasa yung Hitman Anders kasi kakabili ko lang pero yung dalawang nauna niyang libro eh panalo.
Art of War naman ang dahilan kung bakit mahilig ako makipag-away. JK. Classic ito at kailangan mabasa ng lahat. Aplikable sa lahat ng aspeto ng buhay.
Sinulat daw ni Pareng Gabo ang One Hundred Years of Solitude sa loob ng siyam na buwan at matapos nun ay tadaaaaa…timeless classic na ang librong ito. Ito ang binabasa ko currently.
Di ako mahilig sa mga Detective Stories. Yung The Cuckoo’s Calling, nadampot ko lang dahil sale sa bookstore, ok naman. Yung Trilogy naman ni Larsson, antagal ko na nakikita yan pero di ko talaga binibili. Pero lagi niya pa ring binabalandra yung sarili niya sa akin kaya isang araw, binili ko na lang dahil sale. Tapos nung nabasa ko yung unang libro, sobrang bagal nung first half then action packed na yung second half kaya natuwa ako. Yung 2nd and 3rd book naman, soooobrang haba ng mga introduction ng sandamakmak na characters, susme. Tapos ung last part medyo nakornihan ako kasi lahat ng diskarte nila ay inaayunan ng panahon. Wala man lang plot twist. LOL.
Non fiction naman itong mga libro na ito pwera lang yung One Night in Winter, pero sinama ko diyan kasi Historical fiction siya and si Simon Sebag Montefiore naman ang nagsulat. Isa siyang kinikilalang historian ngayon, parang mas pinag-aaralan niya ang Russian History kasi may ni-release siyang librong Katherine the Great and the Romanovs na gusto ko ding basahin.
Maganda din yung 3 Cups of Tea, istorya ng isang American na gustong tulungan yung mga nasa remote area ng Pakistan and yung kay Maya Angelou naman, kwento niya kung gaano sila nadiscriminate noon sa America dahil itim sila.
Sa mga ito, maganda yung Honour, kwento about Turkish family, culture and tradition. Yung White Queen maganda, yung Red Queen depressing, tungkol ito sa agawan ng mga British family sa trono. Yung look who’s back, fiction, paano daw kung nabuhay bigla si Hitler sa modern world. Comedy pero tinamad akong tapusin. Yung Girls of Riyadh, obviously, istorya ng mga babae sa Saudi, kultura nila, struggles nila, etc., Yung The Promise Bird, Chinese story, nakakadepress. Para kang nanonood ng makalumang Chinese Film na mahaba at madrama. Yung Joy Luck Club, story ng mga Chinese Migrants sa America at yung Americanah, di ko pa nababasa.
Maganda yung To Kill a Mockingbird, syempre classic saka yung Outliers maganda din pati The Invention of Wings. Yung iba di ko pa natatapos basahin hahaha. Umpisa lang nabasa ko.
Di ko pa nababasa itong mga ito pwera lang sa PS I Love You ni Cecilia Ahern na sana ay hindi ko na dinampot sa bookstore. Sa lahat ng nabasa ko iyan lang yata ang isinusumpa ko hahhaha. Di na nga ako mahilig sa mga love story, sinira niya pa lalo ang maliit na chance na magbasa ako ng Romance Novels. Pero balita ko maganda daw yung movie adaptation.
Classics. Ang nabasa ko pa lang diyan ay Anakarenina (the best), Persuasion at Anne of Green Gables. Yung Great Gatsby, nakakalahati ko pa lang. Ang hirap kasi sa Classics, di pwedeng basahin ng di nakaconcentrate kasi nakaka nosebleed. Eh ang reading session ko madalas pag nasa tren ako, pasok at pauwi. Hindi ako pwedeng madistract pag classic ang binabasa hahha.
Akalain niyo may children’s books ako? Ha ha. Sabik kasi ako sa libro. Lumaki kaming walang masyadong libro sa bahay. Isang malaking dictionary lang, konting fairy tales saka isang set ng encyclopedia na nakakatamad basahin hahaha. Picture lang lagi ng Big Bang Theory ang binabasa ko kasi may picture ng parang naghihiwalay na kambal na sibuyas hahaha.
Siyempre mawawala ba ang sariling atin? Paborito ko diyan yung Para kay B, Responde at Madaling Araw.
I have made a reading goal for this year, and that’s to surpass the number of books that I’ve read in 2014. I’ve completed 20 books last year and my aim is to read 35 books in 2015 but I failed *__*
I’ve read less this year, argh. Maybe I’ll just set an achievable goal in 2016 or maybe just manage my time (and activities) better so I can read more books.
Anyway, here’s the list of what I’ve read and my comments and most memorable lines but no book reviews 😛
I’m just sharing this as you might want to look at some of what I’ve read and maybe find something interesting. And this exercise of reviewing what I’ve read throughout the year will give me a good kick in the butt to read more next year (hopefully).
1.Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
– The very first book I have read this year, a very good start to the year.
2. Responde – Norman Wilwayco
– Full of angst. Full of angas (how do I translate this word?). This book, for me, should be read by mature readers as this is a bit of a Rated PG.
3. Madaling Araw – Inigo Regalado
– For me, as beautiful as Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. A novel that every Filipino should read. A novel that every Filipino should be proud of.
4. Lying Under the Apple Tree – Alice Munro
– As always, a good compilation of short stories by Madame Munro.
5. And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini’s novels are painfully beautiful.
They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.
But time is like a charm, you never have as much as you think.
6. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings – Maya Angelou
This book is about Maya’s experiences being a black girl in America, in the earlier years when, as we all know, equal rights between the whites and the blacks weren’t as it is today.
Colors weren’t true either, but rather a vague assortment of shaded pastels that indicate not so much color as faded familiarities.
7. Persuasion – Jane Austen
For me, not really as good as Pride & Prejudice. Rephrase: I like Pride & Prejudice more.
8. Outliers – Malcom Gladwell
10,000 hours rule
The book is really good and this 10,000 hours rule got stuck in my head (and realized I could have been a great guitarist or writer if I could have practiced for more than 10,000 hours – and maybe now its too late LOL).
9. Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery
A refreshing -feel good- read.
10. The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
This guy, Jonas Jonasson, is just hilarious.
11. The Red Queen – Philippa Gregory
I happen to pick-up Gregory’s The White Queen by accident and I liked her. She writes historical fiction, much about old English Royal Rivalries. However, this book, The Red Queen is just extremely heavy that I had to look for a very light (and hilarious) read afterwards.
12. The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden – Jonas Jonasson
I had to read Jonasson’s book right after a heavy English historical fiction. Another, hilarious book. Seriously, you can’t be serious while reading this.
13. Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
For you, a thousand times over.
This line resonated in my head long after I’ve finished reading the novel. And this is the line that always comes to my mind whenever this book is mentioned.
If by chance you have read this or if you’ll get a chance in the future, you’ll understand why this line is unforgettable.
14. Wag Lang Di Makaraos – Eros Atalia
A good read.
15. Para Kay B – Ricky Lee
I wish I could have read this book when I was still single. My view about love was different I’m curious about how I could have reacted to this novel back then.
But still, this is a very good book. And since I’m not single anymore, I could say – Dahil hindi lang yung mga single ang dinedevastate ng pag-ibig (and a post about this will soon follow – or maybe not too soon ha ha).
16. Rizal Without The Overcoat – Ambeth Ocampo
A book every Filipino should read.
17. Bones of Contention – Ambeth Ocampo
Another book every Filipino should read.
I suggest that before reading Ocampo’s books, you should unlearn all that you know about history or at least all that you have learned from school and start with a clean slate.
The Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd
- I’m currently at it.
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
- It bored me. Sorry, maybe I need to reread the whole book later on with fresh eyes.
Taguan-Pung at Manwal ng Pagpapatiwakal – Eros Atalia
- I dunno. I just felt like I don’t want to continue reading this as of the moment.
Long Walk to Freedom – Nelson Mandela
- I started reading the first few pages (of a very thick book) and I thought I need to read this while seating in a nice quiet corner, and I can’t find that quiet corner as yet.
Look Who’s Back – Timur Vermes
- This book was suppose to make me laugh and it did initially but it bored me out after some time.