September 2016: Required Reading

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 the discussion whether I think Alma and Bird (the brother) are a bunch of weirdos. And I said, yes. A hundred percent weirdos. 

So yeah, we have this book with a bunch of quirky characters, too quirky to exist in the real world! So why the five star rating? It's because I find that they are portrayed so lovingly by Nicola Krauss. That and because there is nothing false about their struggles and desires.  Sure, Leo's and Alma's antics might just be considered as irksome, but what they're feeling are real to me. The pain, the grief, the sorrow, the loneliness. And one cannot say that these characters are not entertaining, at least.

I think The History of Love in all its talk of death and grief and invisibility, it is very life-affirming. It is passionate and vibrant, without it being overly sentimental. That's not to say there isn't some schmaltz because there is. But it's not the kind that will drown you. It's the kind that will make you feel elated, and hopeful, and just a little bit less lonely.   

2. Time's Arrow by Martin Amis - (On hold! Again!) I am sorry Martin Amis. It's me not you. Actually I got to around 20 percent and I am still very much curious to know who Tod Friendly actually is. Or who is inside his body, if it's Patrick Swayze in dire need to do some pottery. But this kind of story has the time all wonky, so you kind of need to be really focused.  Anyhu, I will get back to this! In this lifetime..hopefully.  

September 2016 - Required Reading:

by Marta Hillers, Philip Boehm (Translator), Hans Magnus Enzensberger (Editor) - Our book club's book of the month. And the matter-of-fact tone of the diarist does not in anyway diminish the horrors of rape and war. I have to stop and steady myself during certain parts of this book. It's not because it is graphic, because it isn't. But it is the frankness that is quite brutal. 

Backlog from last month:

2. The Worry Cure: Seven Steps to Stop Worry from Stopping You by Robert L. Leahy, Ph.D.- I think I may have mentioned before that I have trouble keeping my anxiety in check. And I also have trouble seeing a self-help book through the bitter end. So yeah, I don't know what I am doing with this. But who knows? This might be the CURE! Bull. There ain't no cure. And with that said, the title feels a tad hoax-ey doesn't it? I am not saying that the contents of this book is a hoax, because it's not. But yeah, brownie points for the marketing team! Anyway, so far I am doing good with this book. It has an extensive list of destructive habits which I find extremely familiar (and uncomfortable to read, especially when it is so spot on), along with some solid tips on how to put a stop to them. It has a less clinical approach than the other self-help book I've read (er..half-read). I think this may be more attainable for me. All that's missing is my frakking willpower. 

That's it for now! And do talk to me in the comments section below! 


  1. Teenteen!!! Ang sipag mo mag Required Reading. I feel guilty not keeping up with the TFG reads but I'm struggling with my reading life. I'm struggling with life, period. Haha!

    1. LOL! XD I am trying my hardest to keep up with the TFG reads Lynai! And for da first taym, I did not finish one of them on schedule! Kakatapos ko lang nung weekend ng A Woman in Berlin! When I should have finished that one a week earlier. At nakaka chapter 3 palang ako sa The Shinning! Haist. Nag Tatana Fench ka pa din naman diba diba? Keri nayan!

  2. Yes, the long table was soooo long I hardly got to talk to you, and when it was over I had to rush on home! Can't wait for November to see you (and talk to you!) again! :)

    1. I know right?! At ang hina pa ng boses ko! Kinailangan ko pa ng translator! Hahaha!Sa November ulet, Monique! Yeheeey!


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