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Showing posts from 2016

I'm Still Here! Plus, A Love Letter To My Book Club

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But first things first....
To my blog readers (or what's left of em! Sob!): I know, it's been a looong while! Sob! I haven't been reading much lately. I can only manage to read one book a month, half if the book is long. Sob! It's not that I don't have time. Well, perhaps I have less time now than before. But still, I got time. But for the past months I have been burning through all six seasons of the AMC TV series called The Walking Dead, and then I managed to watch the first two episodes of the currently airing, 7th season. And it is not a very good idea to watch this show in succession on account of emotional exhaustion. After that, I finally acquired a copy of the complete fourth season of Doctor Who. It is also not a very good idea to watch this show after The Walking Dead, because this show and I, have a history. And then there's this thing called "movies." So yeah, I am double crossing books for television and film. Sob! So there's that. An…

September 2016: Required Reading

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August 2016 - Required Reading Report:
1. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss - (5/5 Stars) I got to attend the face to face discussion on this! Okay, we were late. And the long table was long so I wasn't able to truly listen to everybody's insights. But it was great! The book is great! Although a few people in our group felt lukewarm towards it. And I get why. Or at least, I think I do. It's kind of fanciful rather than grounded from life. It's a tad telenovela-ish, if you know what I mean. And one of the book club members even mentioned something about Leo Gursky being caricaturish. He's not someone you would encounter in real life, he says. And yeah, he may be right. Krauss sort of strings him along on these antics. Dropping change all over the floor, hassling the shoe sales person, posing nude for an art class. And this guy, he's 80 years old! And then there's Alma, one of the protagonists, who is also on the peculiar side. In fact, I was asked during t…

August 2016: Required Reading

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July 2016 - Required Reading Report:
Okay so remember what I said about me and Meliza moderating a book club discussion sometime this November with the theme: Book to Movie Adaptation? And that I would like to keep the titles a secret until voting day? We'll I am going to keep it that way! Because I am annoying that way!
1. Mystery Book #1 - (5/5 Stars) While I don't think I have fully grasped what this book is truly saying, the writing style is something else. It's brusque and coarse, and with sentences and phrases that repeat all throughout the book. And I mean all that in a positive way. And there is that chaotic, random and trippy feel to the whole thing. But it works because the style doesn't appear to me as gimmicky, instead I find it significant to the kind of story the author wishes to bring to life here. This book is just mental but it's one hell of a thrill ride.
2. Mystery Book #2 - (5/5 Stars) The author's choice of an unreliable narrator is brilliant.…

July 2016: Required Reading

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June 2016 - Required Reading Report:
1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Luiz Zafron (4/5 Stars) - The Shadow of the Wind feels like a really big lunch. It's like say, a particularly chunky, thick stew. A hearty, warm bowl of goodness that left me with the satisfied smile of a well- fed grizzly bear ready for hibernation. Okay bears don't smile, but you get my drift. While this book has indeed the trappings of a 'telenovela', that is, expect some high drama and a great deal of preposterousness. But who cares? Carlos Luiz Zafron spins a really engaging yarn, it's impossible for me not be beguiled by the mystery of Julian Carax and the other slew of colorful characters. Carlos Luiz Zafron, I like your flourishes!
On Hold: 1. Time's Arrow by Martin Amis - I wasn't able to finish The Shadow of the Wind before the month ended, so Mr. Amis would just have to wait. 
July 2016 - Required Reading Report:


1. A Book turned into a Movie! - Nope this ain't no title of a …

June 2016: Required Reading

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May 2016 - Required Reading Report:
1. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness - (4/5 Stars) I was unsure about this during the first few chapters. The whole "wink-wink", meta thing can be terribly annoying. Parodies too can grow tired fast and sometimes turn mean in lesser skilled hands. But I worried for naught because Patrick Ness is an amazing writer. At least for me, he took a risk and he pulled it off. Having the chosen one fantasy story in the background adds texture to the YA contemporary story in the forefront. It made, what could have been a run-of-the-mill coming of age story, less hackneyed. I love the contrast between the plot driven fantasy story of the indie kids, and that of the character driven, internal monologue-y contemporary story of Mikey and his friends. That and the fact that Ness writes such good prose and with much sensitivity. Mikey's experiences with OCD and anxiety felt very genuine to the point of familiarity. The Rest of Us Just Lives …

Rabbitin Turns 5!

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Things have been awfully quite here in my blog, I know. I haven't been putting out posts as frequently as I would like. It's not necessarily that I lack time. I mean I can make time. But it's more like my brain being all over the place. My sister going away for good during the start of the year seems to have put me in a certain headspace that I haven't been to before. Well, I already haven't been blogging that much late last year, so I guess it's not that after all. Bah, what am I saying? See? Brains all over place! Anyhu, I will always do my darnest to keep this blog afloat! Because I love that I got to meet awesome books and people (TFG and Meliza, I hope to see you sometime this year!) through this blog! I love that I always feel comfort and the joy when I am writing in this blog! I will always cherish this darned blog! I love you blog! I love you blog readers! I love you literature! I love you all! BRAINS.ALL.OVER.PLACE.

May 2016: Required Reading

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April 2016 - Required Reading Report:
1. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell - (5/5 Stars) I admit I was expecting Mitchell's spinning, twisting, genre-hopping razzmatazz, so I was very surprised to find a straightforward narrarive this time. Well it has several storylines, yes. But it is more simple in structure than his books prior to this. I say this not as a complaint but as a compliment to his range. And well, every inch of it is still very much a Mitchell book. That is, it touches on big themes like religion and belief, and immortality and reincarnation, and life and death, and supremacism. And as always he spins a fantastic yarn, historically rich, and magical, and grand, and romantic, and saddening. My gawd. Why is he so disgustingly good? 
On hold:

1. Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba - I was supposed to have read this last month, but Thousand Autumns proved to be a lenghty read. And I have to prioritize the above mentioned books because The Rest of…

April 2016: Required Reading

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March 2016: Required Reading Report
1. Siglo: Freedom (Siglo #1) by Dean Francis Alfar (Editor), Michael Vincent Simbulan (Editor) - (3/5 Stars) This is one of those things where "the whole is greater than the sum of its parts". I mean as a collection, I like how varied the stories are, and how it showcases that freedom can mean different things to different people. Individually, however, the stories doesn't seem to hold much weight. There is no strong feelings generated from any of them, not from me, at least. 
2. The Penelopiad by Margaret Attwood - (5/5 Stars) I love how funny The Penelopiad is, which I was quite surprised to find in an Attwood work. But come to think of it, her short story Happy Endings (my first and only Attwood experience) has comedic elements. So yeah, I guess I shouldn't be surprised after all. I love her dark humor, and how she was able to create such a compelling and inventive narrarive from the perspective of a character whom we all know pla…

March 2016: Required Reading

February 2016: Required Reading Report:
1. The Narrow Road To The Deep North by Richard Flanagan - (5/5 Stars) A Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes still remains to be my number one Man Booker Winner read to date, but The Narrow Road is among the top three, definitely. Man, I am changing my views on Booker winners being entirely too stuffy and high brow and whatnot. This particular Flanagan book is such a page-turner. And it is so intense and tumultous and passionate and visceral and lyrical. Although there are moments when the lyricism turns a bit cheesy and unsubtle. But well, in the end, I love how the book made me feel. Which is a combination of disgust and awe and bewilderment and heart-break.     
2. Persuasion by Jane Austen - (4.5/5 Stars) Okay, I was resistant to reading Persuasion to be honest. It has nothing to do with Austen. I had a pleasant experience with Pride and Prejudice. But it's just that I usually find myself being reluctant and lazy when it comes to actually …

February 2016: Required Reading

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Better late than never!

January 2016: Required Reading Results:

1. The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber - (4/5 Stars) I love how reflective this book is, and I realize that the best science-fiction are of this sort. Outrageous worlds and creatures are but secondary. And Faber's most recent sci-fi offering is less concerned about the extraterrestrials and their worlds, but more about the workings of communication, the intricacies of language. And religious faith is also theme to be remarked upon, and Faber has such an open-minded view of Christianity that you don't have to worry things turning entirely too preachy.    

2. Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt- (4/5 Stars) What's amazing aboutGary D. Schmidt's writing is how skilled he is in making the setting the pop. I pretty much got a very clear picture in my head of Malaga Island even down to it's weather. At one point I even felt chilly just reading about the sea breeze. That and becau…

2015: A Year in Reading + January 2016 Reads

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2015 Reading Year:
Fiction: 22 Short Story Collection: 3 Poetry Collection: 1 Essay/Non Fiction: 2  Graphic Novel: 3   Total: 31
I think I did okay in 2015. While I seem to be reading less and less each year, but still 31 ain't too shabby. Besides I read some pretty good stuff. So here's my top ten books of 2015. That is, books read during the year 2015 and not necesarily books released during said year.
Top Ten Fiction Books of 2015:


1. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes - The Sense of an Ending came like a tornado. It sort of upended how I look at life. You know, like after you've read it, you hold your hands up to the heavens and you give a despairing cry of something along the lines of: What does life even mean?! What does my existence mean?! Then thunder, then lightning, then a massive downpour, and then you see Ryan Gosling hauling a canoe, and then you...this is moving in another direction, a different dream. Haha. 
2. Perdido Street Station by China Mieville - Perdido S…