The Book Hooligan Goes 2

I didn’t realize until the yesterday that it’s the time of the year when the little corner of the internet that I claimed for myself as a venue for my frenzied ramblings is turning 2 years old. Well, technically it turned two years old yesterday because it’s August 1 already in the Philippines where I created The Book Hooligan but it is still July 31 here so let’s not be nitpickers and just join me in celebrating this momentous occasion.

I say momentous because I never thought that I’d keep this up for two years without signs of stopping. Yes, I have been quite neglectful with regards to blogging, only maintaining two features alive in this blog (Essential Reading and BOOKLOVE). However, there is much cause to celebrate. For one, the most viewed post in this blog is my review of Noli Me Tangere and you might find that perplexing at first. Yes, dear reader, there are still a lot of people who go to my blog to read a review I have written almost two years ago. Why you may ask? Well, the answer may lie with the fact that the top search engine terms that led to my blog are variations of “Noli Me Tangere Book Review”. I take pleasure in the fact that my review may be an instrument of high school students writing an essay about this book that plagues our secondary curriculum.

Anyway, to celebrate this small milestone, I have decided to do two things. First, I replaced my header with an image that features some of my favorite writers. Perhaps some of you will notice that I replaced some authors that were featured in my previous banner. Such is the case of the reader’s life because a reader will have changing tastes and favorites as time goes by and as he reads more books. I have no doubt that, one year from now, if I would be so inclined to change my banner once again that some if not all of the faces featured above will be replaced.

The second thing that I will do to celebrate is that I’m going to be hosting my very first giveaway. Yes, did I catch your attention now? Anyway, the rules for joining are simple. All you have to do is write in the comment section the title and the writer of a book that you think is underrated, a book that you think is little known and should be read by more people. Along with the title and the author of the book, you should also write a short sentence as to why you feel that such a book should be read by more people.

For practicality and personal reasons, I will only honor the entries of people living in the Philippines. Two winners will be chosen at random at midnight on August 7, Philippine time.  Best of luck to you guys!

21 Responses to “The Book Hooligan Goes 2”
  1. Monique says:

    First of all, wow! I love the new banner! Hello there, George, Jhumpa, and David. Heee. 😀

    Second of all, happy 2nd birthday, Book Hooligan! 🙂

    Last of all, but definitely not least, I think one of the most underrated books is Halldor Laxness’s Independent People. Few people know it, fewer people have read it, but it is truly an epic read. (I hope you get to read it soon, too.)

    More power and cheers to more hooliganisms! 🙂

    • I’ve always wanted to read Laxness ever since you and Angus raved about it. I left my copy at home though so it would be months before I read it but I’m already anticipating a good read!

      Thanks, Monique!

  2. Lynai says:

    Is that Jhumpa Lahiri? Yay! She’s one of my favorites this year (although I’ve read only one of her books — Interpreter of Maladies; I am putting off reading her other books because I want to savor each of her stories first.)

    Now, for the giveaway question. I’m afraid I haven’t read many underrated books (I thrive in the mainstream) but I would really love to push Jhumpa Lahiri’s Interpreter of Maladies (what else? Heh.) to my reader friends. The collection is a perfect introduction to Lahiri’s prose and style and her stories are poignant and will never fail to strike a chord. Every Filipino reader will definitely find a story in this collection to relate with.

    Happy birthday, The Book Hooligan! Cheers to more years! 🙂

    • Yes, that’s Jhumpa Lahiri with her alluring yet petrifying gaze. 🙂

      I would agree that Interpreter is the perfect introduction to Jhumpa and that every Filipino reader should be acquainted with her. The stories in Interpreter, especially the ones that are set in India, are stories in which every Filipino can relate. Also, her stories about the immigrant experience of Indians can also resonate with the own diaspora of the Filipino people.

      Thanks, Lynai!:)

  3. First, Happy Birthday, TBH!

    Second, let me guess the writers at the banner. GGM, Atwood, Saunders, Krauss, Neruda, Lahiri, Mitchell, Munro, Auster, Hustvedt (okay, I had to Google Krauss and Hustvedt). Perfect score? Yes! By the way, I was not able to guess all the writers in your previous banner (the one plucking petals from a flower and the one stretched out on a chair with his hands behind his head).

    Third, I checked the top search engine terms for my blog. Here’s my top result: how to read novels like a professor. LOL!

    Fourth, the first book that came to mind is Independent People. But when I scrolled down, I saw that Monique already pushed for it. Suffice to say that you must find the time to read this Icelandic epic!

    Last, here’s my underrated book: Play It As It Lays by Joan Didion. I just searched for it in Goodreads and my god, nobody among my friends has read it! I am furious, hahaha! Didion is known for her nonfiction, but her fiction is just as precise and as sharp. In terse chapters, her literary scalpel carved out the decadence of the Hollywood life in the 60s like a still beating heart.

    If it’s anything, my review of the book is the fifth most viewed in my blog. Everyone, please read the book. 🙂

    • Thanks, Angus!

      Perfect score on this one! The two you mentioned from the previous banner were Alan Ginsberg and Harper Lee.

      I guess blogs can now be used for research too. I just hope that if they are using our blogs for research that they don’t straight-up plagiarize the content. Hahaha.

      I’ve been meaning to read Play It As It Lays for a long time now but I can’t find a copy in the PH. Because of this, I’ll get a copy here and read it ASAP. Books that make you furious because no one you know has read it is the very definition of an underrated book. Haha. 🙂

    • Wait, not perfect pala! The one you mistook for Krauss is actually Lorrie Moore. However, this made me realize that they do look alike at certain angles. Hahaha.:)

  4. Okay, I don’t anyone from the banner of authors….save for…George Saunders! Just read Civilwarland last month which I quite enjoyed. And to answer your giveaway question, I wanted to say the awesome Tenth of December. But I don’t think it’s underrated considering it just won the Folio Prize. And oh, Angus says Mitchell is on there. Might do Cloud Atlas this month. Wish me luck. Haha.

    Anyway my final answer is We Learn Nothing: Essays and Cartoons by Tim Kreider because the essays were quite perceptive, reflective, funny and witty. And they sort of made me feel like I should be more open minded, and compassionate. To sort of try to be a better human being.

    Happy 2nd Bloggy Birthday, The Book Hooligan!

    • Tenth of December may not be an underrated book since it’s the inaugural winner of the Folio Prize but I still think Saunders is an underrated writer. I have read his three other collections and he gets better with each book.

      I’m curious now with We Learn Nothing. I haven’t heard of the book or of Tim Kreider before but, upon checking Goodreds, the book seems intriguing.

      Thanks, Tin! And good luck with Cloud Atlas. I’m pretty sure that you will like it.:)

  5. Louize says:

    Happy Birthday, Book Hooligan!
    Pretty banner up there, too!

    I think Siri Hustvedt is underrated, viewed from the shadow of Paul Auster, which is rather unfair (even though I do love PA very very much). I’ve been meaning to read her works especially The Blindfold, which she dedicated to PA. Meanwhile, PA dedicated Leviathan to DeLillo; but used The Blindfold’s main character, Iris Vegan as one of his characters on Leviathan. The meta in that is simply enticing, right?

    Here’s to more Book Hooliganism in the future, Cheers! 🙂

    • I agree that Siri Hustvedt is underrated. I have read one book of hers, The Summer Without Men, and it did make me want to read more of her work. It is rather unfair how some people just equates her as Paul Auster’s wife when she can be beyond that.

      Thanks, Louize! 🙂

  6. Maria Ella says:

    Tough. Laslas read that is underrated for me this year is Daytripper by Fabio Moon and his brother (I forgot the name huhu). The colorful continuous panels talked of Death and the worthiness of Living at the moment, describing Carpe Diem at its finest.

    Habibidi to Hooly – the bookhooligan. 😉

    • I’ve read a lot of good things about this graphic novel and you just added to the list. I’ll check out Daytripper soon since the story seems interesting.

      Thanks, Ella!:)

  7. Congratulations on your book blog’s second year. I really enjoy reading The Book Hooligan.

    About the underrated book you may want to check out Outcry: Stories by Lu Xun. There’s this dominant literary dogma against ‘didacticism’ in works of literature but Lu Xun’s fiction easily demolishes these injunctions with their simplicity and truthfulness.

    Keep on reading and writing. Mabuhay!

    • I have seen books by Lu Xun lying around in the book stores that I visit. I always kept a passing interest but, since I really didn’t know the author, I wasn’t really compelled to get a copy. However, your comments changed my mind as my interest is now piqued. I’ll get a copy of his stories if I see a book of his lying around somewhere.

      Thanks, Karlo! 🙂

  8. Maria says:

    Oh crap. I’m poor at author’s faces, so I don’t know who’s who in your new banner. lol

    Happy 2nd birthday, TBH!

  9. Meliza says:

    Happy 2nd birthday to your blog, Bennard! I like your new banner too. Hehe!

    For the underrated book, I recommend A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. This is not actually underrated, it has high average rating in Goodreads. But none of my Goodreads friends have read it yet so I think it is still little known. I hope more people would be able to read this book of love, friendship, family, and faith. It’s strange, funny and dramatic too.

    • I’ve always wanted to read John Irving but I never have had the energy to do so. I have heard good things about The World According to Garp but I might consider A Prayer for Owen Meany as my first Irving because of your recommendation.

      Thanks, Meliza!:)

  10. PnxLee says:

    Congratulations to your blog’s second year. I am frequently here and I really love the way you write and give reviews to the books you read. I am now your fan, 🙂 .
    My answer for your giveaway question is “Sin” by F. Sionil Jose. This book should be read by many people, particularly by Filipinos because it is not only an incest story (though one of the reasons why I read this) but a story that tackles history, politics and our society. It is also the book that piqued my interest in reading.

    PS. The ending of this book always leaves me in shock whenever I reread it.

  11. Biena says:

    Bennard, please read Alan Lightman’s Reunion. If there is a book so underrated, it probably is. For one, some people gave it a single star in Goodreads, but who cares about stars anyway? Even I didn’t give this the perfect score, now I’m wondering why. This book is so beautiful it speaks to you like a work of art, Lightman’s use of language is beautiful in and of itself. I just know it won’t disappoint. Read it and I’m certain you’ll thank me after.

    Happy blogoversary! ^__^

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