BOOKLOVE: December 2013
December is always a fun month since it’s Christmas and all. Plus, I don’t know why but the atmosphere is just perfect for bookish shenanigans. For this month, I have two separate piles of book acquisitions. One contains books that I bought myself and the other contains books that were given to me as presents, further proof that December is indeed a good month.
So for the purchases:
- Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski – Call a writer a “laureate of the American lowlife” like what Time did in 1986 and you will get me interested. Bukowksi’s Ham on Rye, a coming-of-age tale set in Depression-era America, has been on my wishlist for more than a year now and I couldn’t resist being all giddy once I saw the book in one of the shelves of Booksale – Naga.
- Have You Seen…? by David Thomson – David Thomson composes a list of 1000 films that he thinks his readers should watch in this book. It includes films that he has loved and has hated, films that have been part of the conversation of movies for years from past to present. Certainly a great find for a film buff like me.
- Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte – My NYRB Classics purchase for the month of December is this book by Malaparte about his observations during the 2nd World War. It is supposed to be a haunting and well-written account about the horrors of war and the people who suffer under such circumstances. It took me a while to find this but it was worth it.
- Sudden Fiction International edited by Robert Shapard and James Thomas – Last year, I read New Sudden Fiction and I was underwhelmed by it although it did have some good stories within its pages. However, I have high hopes for this similar collection edited by the same duo because it has the works written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Margaret Atwood, Yasunari Kawabata, and the like.
- The Best Filipino Short Stories of the 20th Century edited by Isagani R. Cruz – Short story anthologies like this one are always a good buy because you get different stories written by different authors plus it is spread out across time so you can get a survey of the Philippine short story and have an idea on the difference in techniques, style, and themes per time period and per author. To top it all off, I got this at a discounted price from one the book sales in UP.
For the gifts:
- Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume – from Maria
- Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto – from Ycel through the Blind Elephant Swap
- Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke – from Angus
- Mystic River by Dennis Lehane – From Angus (again!) through the free-for-all book pile.
- A Bottle of Storm Clouds: Stories by Eliza Victoria – from Lynai
So, as you can see, it’s an awesome pile of gifts. What’s more awesome is that they’re from different genres (there’s YA, literary, fantasy, noir, and speculative fiction) and all except one are written by female writers which means that it corresponds nicely to some of my bookish goals this year (read more books written by women and read books from different genres). So, to those who gave me these awesome books, thank you again!
With all these books, I can say that 2014 will be a good year. Reading ho!