Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London. Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.

source – chimamanda.com

 

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Instructions on How to Disappear by Gabriela Lee

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”

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

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.

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Book Review : Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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…

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Book Review : The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen

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”

Book Review: The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel

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.

Continue reading “Book Review: The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel”

The Godfather

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.

 

 

 

Books, Recently

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.

blind-willow-sleeping-woman
Fergy the Frog says hi!

 

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.

Image result for the magic strings of frankie presto
image: https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062294418/the-magic-strings-of-frankie-presto

Lost

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.

Image result for LOST anino comics
http://www.flipgeeks.com/comic-reviews/review-the-adventure-goes-deep-in-lost

Twisted 9

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!

Twisted 9
http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10244746-twisted-9

If I disappointed you with my comments about the books, please be informed that this ins’t your usual book review.

You Are What You Read (daw)

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.

 

Favorites

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

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.

 

Hundred Years of Solitude

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.

Detective

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.

History

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.

Historical Fiction

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.

Halo Halo

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.

Halo-halo 2

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

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.

Children's Classics

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.

Tagalog

Siyempre mawawala ba ang sariling atin? Paborito ko diyan yung Para kay B, Responde at Madaling Araw.