BOOKLOVE: March 2014

Let’s not pretend that I am good at restraining myself when it comes to books, okay? I’m probably the worst book hoarder that I know and, despite being proud about it, being the worst book hoarder that you know is not actually a good thing. For example, being buried alive under a pile of books is now a very real fear and not just an awesome metaphor for how you want to spend the rest of your life.

Anyway, here’s some of my March acquisitions:

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  • Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It by Geoff Dyer – I would really like to get my hands on Dyer’s postmodern work, Out of Sheer Rage: Wrestling with DH Lawrence, but I can’t seem to find a copy anywhere. Meanwhile, I’ve been running into Dyer’s essay collections and I’ve been buying them without a second thought out of frustration for not getting what I really want from this writer.
  • Selected Works by Cesare Pavese – Admittedly, I know nothing about Cesare Pavese but this book is one of the few NYRB Classics that has a rating above 4 stars (4.25 to be exact). I always like discovering new authors to read from different parts of the world so, despite knowing nothing about Pavese, I still wanted this book which I bought from a friend of mine.
  • The Ice Trilogy by Vladimir Sorokin – This is a prize that I got from a good friend when I participated in a raffle  to celebrate the third year of his blog, Book Rhapsody. When I won, I was asked to select a book that I wanted as my prize and I chose Sorokin’s The Ice Trilogy since I really wanted a copy of this tome ever since reading Sorokin’s The Queue.
  • This Is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz – The first book by Junot Diaz that has occupied a place in my shelf. I don’t really have a reason as to why I haven’t read him yet but maybe I just need the right push because I don’t feel interested in his works yet. Maybe this will be my first but I’m wondering if it’s a good idea or not to start with his most recent work.
  • Requiem for a Paper Bag: Celebrities and Civilians Tell Stories of the Best Lost, Tossed, and Found Items from Around the World by Davy Rothbart – I bought this book from my favorite local bookstore, Bookay-Ukay. I’ve been thinking about buying this book when I first saw it in one of the chain bookstores here in the Philippines but it was too expensive for something that I know nothing about except its premise. So when I found it at Bookay-Ukay with a significantly lower price, I snatched it and sequestered it to a nondescript place of my shelf.

However, this is not the end of my BOOKLOVE post because I bought another pile of books that came from the recent sale of the University of the Philippines Press. Here they are:

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  • The Woman Who Had Two Navels by Nick Joaquin – I’ve read two of Joaquin’s non-fiction and I enjoyed them both. However, I haven’t read any of his fiction but I’ve been hearing good things about this particular book which is his most known work. Comparisons with Gabriel Garcia Marquez abound and that’s a good sign for me.
  • Stories by Kerima Polotan – Highly recommended by one of the writers that I follow online, Polotan has a reputation of being one of the foremost practitioners of the short form here in the Philippines.
  • La India or The Island of the Disappeared by Rosario Cruz-Lucero – For some reason, I’m very excited to read this book although I have only read one short story from Cruz-Lucero. In my mind, she gives off a Munro-ish vibe and that may add to the feelings of excitement that I have in reading her works. Anyway, the story of hers that I read, “A Human Right”, was part of the anthology Manila Noir and it was one of the more competent stories from the collection.
  • Bibliolepsy by Gina Apostol – From the stories of hers that I read, I have made the assumption that Apostol is a writer who imbues her works with elements of postmodernism and that is certainly a plus for me. However, this particular book is more of Rhena’s purchase than mine so I don’t really know anything about this particular book although I must say that I’m still intrigued by it.
  • The Distance to Andromeda and Other Stories by Gregorio Brillantes – Esquire Philippines has called Brillantes as the Philippine’s greatest living writer in English. Such a controversial declaration naturally piques the interest of a reader like me so I began looking for his work without much success until I saw a copy, several copies actually, in the shelves of UP Press.

I’m not even going to feel bad about the large number of books that I’ve bought this March. I’m surrounded by them and it’s a good feeling.

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Comments
4 Responses to “BOOKLOVE: March 2014”
  1. As usual, a brilliant set of books there. I’m amazed of the regularity of your blogs about everything you read and buy from the bookshops. It’s something I’ve come to expect to read from the WordPress feed every few weeks.

    I’ve always been intrigued about the Ice Trilogy too. Hope you can write about it after you’re done reading. I’ve always preferred Nick Joaquin over other Filipino fiction writers in English. And Rosario Cruz-Lucero too among the contemporary fictionists.

    You might be happy to know that this particular collection is chock-full of postmodern and magical realist. Too much, in fact, in my opinion, which is why I prefer her earlier collections Feast and Famine and (Her)Story. Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

    • Thanks, Karlo! I’m really flattered by your comments about my blog so thanks a lot!

      I don’t think I’ll read Ice Trilogy soon. Maybe next year when I’m more prepared for it. I loved Joaquin’s reportage as Quijano de Manila and I highly anticipate reading his fiction along with the fiction of Rosario Cruz-Lucero. I’m quite excited in reading her works because I have this feeling that I will like/love it.:)

  2. I won’t be surprised to read one of these days that you sleep on a queen-size bed of books. It’s a better news than being smothered by towers of books. 😄

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