August 2016: Required Reading

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. And he does it so well. It gives the story that sense of unease, you don't really know whether what he's telling you is the story, straight up; or is it the story, as seen through his off-kilter vision? The comedy aspect is what hits you first in this novel, but soon enough the tragedy seeps into every little crack. And the killer plot twist is a killer.

3. Mystery Book #3 - (5/5 Stars) The subtlely and calmness of this novel is evident. By that I don't mean sluggish or boring, but restrained in such a way that reflects the views during the 50s, a time where people are not very open to the many gender distinctions, and consider them taboo. It's a lovely and elegant book, altogether. And what I love even more is that there are these moments where the mundane aspects of ordinary life is thrust at you in the most ugly light. I know it sounds harsh, but really those moments took me by surprise because it is so very opposite the elegant prose. And the longing is so piercing, it hurts.

Short Stories:

1. All You Zombies by Robert Heinlein - (3.5/5 Stars) As I was reading this story, I kept waiting for them zombies to pop out! So yeah, I am going to go ahead and tell you that the undead don't make any appearance here. Sad, I know. "Zombies" is the word, playfully used, to refers to an existing being that is not you. Did I get that right? Anyway, I still enjoyed the story. It has humor. And yeah, like the best time stravel stories, it tackles the philosophical issue of having a fixed timeline versus having free will. 

2. The Paper Menagerie by Ken Liu - (4/5 Stars) The familiarity of grief and regret in The Paper Menagerie is tough to take. I always, always wished I had shown love for my own father more, and did not take his love for me for granted. I misjudged this for a whimsical story that showcases flights of fancy more than anything else. I surely did not expect the emotions to run high here.

3. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes - (5/5 Stars) I love the diary entry style. And having those entries depict the progress of Algernon's intelligence is absolutely brilliant. And it's painful to realize how the mentally challenged are perceived and treated. And how much intelligence is significant in how we perceive the world and how the world perceive us back. Man, this story broke my heart to pieces.  

4. The Ones Who Walk Away From Omelas by Ursula K. Le Guin - (5/5 Stars) The story opens with a lively city, all happy, and gay and sunshiney! And them kablam! Kid in the dungeon. I guess nothing is ever simple is in this world no? There is a price for everything. But how much are we willing to pay or not pay? Okay I am being annoyingly, vague. But the moral quandary it presents is perhaps not a question we haven't heard of before, but the way Le Guin laid everything out is worth a read. Just go and read it. Don't Walk Away from Le Guin!    

August 2016 - Required Reading:

1. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss - Our bookclub's book of the month, and it is lovely! It's funny and sad and all sorts of things! I know these are generic stuff, but I'll say more lucid things about it next month!

2. Time's Arrow by Martin Amis - I put this on hold a couple of months back, hopefully I can get to it this time, and to be able to finally complete a line on my TFG Bingo card. But we are told not to count our chickens before they'e hatched! 

 Happy August, All! Do tell me about what you're readin'!


  1. Clue! Clues for the mystery books!

    1. Mystery Book 1 Clue - I cannot talk about it!
      Mystery Book 2 Clue - Dodo Bird!
      Mystery Book 3 Clue - Sugah!

      Very unhelpful clues! Hahahaha!

  2. Naloka ako sa Mystery Books! Akala ko yun talaga ang title hahaha! XD

    1. Lynaaaai! Adik! Hindeeee! Hahahaha


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