April 2016: Required Reading

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 plays but a suporting role in Homer's Odyssey. And I was tickled pink by the whole idea of having the 12 hanged maidens narrate their perspective, in a chorus line. The songs are a macabre hoot!   

3. Animal Farm by George Orwell - (5/5 Stars) I love it when something that I don't expect to blow me away, actually blows me away! I now understand why Animal Farm is considered a classic. This is a such a thought provoking piece of literature that will continue to stand the test of time because it gives us a glimpse of how society works, of how life works. "Life would go on as it had always gone on — that is, badly" It's bleak, I know. But there is some truth to it. And as Orwell tackles big, universal themes such as bondage, oppression, revolution and freedom, his writing is a bit of a contrast because it is simple but at the same time it packs a massive punch. I love this book.   

4. Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman - (5/5 Stars) This book is the most erotic thing I have ever read! My gawd! But save for maybe one or two very, very raunchy scenes, the rest of the sex scenes are quite refined. But geeez consider my sensibilities, shocked! I used to get fun of by a friend for skipping the sex scenes in all those highland romance books she lent me. If you've read you've read them all, that's what I told her. Besides they're horrible to be honest. Sex is noisy and painful that's what those scenes almost always emphasize, and nothing more. There is absolutely zero passion. But with Call Me By Your Name, sure the sex made me cringe and flinch, but by golly this one has passion! Loads of em! But I realized that my flinching is mostly a result of the fact that I couldn't take the level of candidness from the characters. Opening themselves up to each other in an absolute state of vulnerability.

But there is more to this book than the sex! It also captures perfectly the tiny little things that come about then two people are drawn to each other. It's basically a dance, a game. The subtle signals, the unspoken truths, the missed cues, the urges, the obsession. So so many things. And Aciman just covered all those little details. He is brilliant.

Now sexual identity is a common theme in literature but I have read none as open and honest and searing and insightful as this one. (And not to mention sensual! *fans self!*) And there is this bit about parallel lives relating to sexual identity that absolutely killed me.    

April 2016: Required Reading: 

1. The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell - I am happy to be back in Mitchell's world which has grown into such a familiar one to me. It's like a comfortable bed that I am more than happy to jump into. I am thankful to the few book club buddies that roped me into buddy reading Cloud Atlas. And now we have made a tradition of buddy reading Mitchell since! Yay!    

2. Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba - Since Zoet is a massive read, about 400 plus pages, I thought I'd pair it up with a graphic novel, and Daytripper is my graphic novel of choice because I heard it's fabulous. Also this is my entry for the "By a Central /South American" item on our TFG Bingo. Thanks to Monique of Marginalia for paying for this one, as a prize in her blog giveaway!

What reads have you guys lined up this month?


  1. I can't help laughing at your side stories about CMBYN. You would have fainted if you had been at the F2F! :D


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