Essential Reading: August 2013

So this blog have been very inactive lately. There are no reviews and the features have not been updated for quite some time now. But, two things surely remain in the life of this blog. The first is this post regarding the books that I will read for any given month and the second will be discussed in the next post.

Anyway, here were my reads for the month of July:

  • Pastoralia by George Saunders (5/5)
  • No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July (4/5)
  • Varieties of Disturbance by Lydia Davis (4/5)
  • How We Are Hungry (4/5) by Dave Eggers

For my July reading, I only read 3 out of the 5 books that I endeavored to read but I don’t mind. July was an awesome short story month for me.

August is Buwan ng Wika for us Filipinos and, since I am not really adept in writing and in reading something that is in my native tongue (shame on me, methinks), I always consider August as a celebration of the Filipino culture as a whole especially literature. So, in honor of my beloved country, here are my August reading list:


  1. Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn – I’ve always been interested in expatriate Filipino authors and Jessica Hagedorn has always been in the back of my mind when I think about authors whose work I want to read. With her being currently in the literary spotlight due to the launch of an anthology she edited, I think it’s time to read her most well-known work.
  2. Monstress by Lysley Tenorio – Another expatriate writer who wrote this debut collection of short stories and whose title story got nominated for the National Magazine Award.
  3. Manila Noir edited by Jessica Hagedorn – The anthology which I mentioned that Hagedorn edited above which is filled with noir stories with a Filipino flavor and with contributions from writers such as FH Batacan, Lysley Tenorio, Jose Dalisay, Lourd de Veyra and the amazing Trese duo of Budjette Tan and Kajo Baldisimo. I love noir as a genre and I can’t wait to read these stories.
  4. The Best Contemporary Filipino Novelists (Manila Envelope 4) edited by Jessica Zafra – This is technically not a book but more of a literary journal of sorts akin to The Paris Review with stories by Gina Apostol, FH Batacan and Miguel Syjuco(!).
  5. A Question of Heroes by Nick Joaquin – Joaquin is probably my favorite non-fiction writer ever having read and enjoyed the first two books of his Reportage series. Now, his in-depth analysis of the Philippines’ national heroes would be, I think, an appropriate read this time of the year.

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas!

4 Responses to “Essential Reading: August 2013”
  1. Monique says:

    I have yet to read any of those authors, but I’ve always been curious about Jessica Zafra because of Buddy’s influence. Hm. Maybe next time. 🙂

    Happy August, Benny!

  2. Which stories from Manila Noir are good?

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