Sunday, November 15, 2009

On Books and Reading

These are not books, lumps of lifeless paper, but minds alive on the shelves. From each of them goes out its own voice.
- Gilbert Highet

I divide all readers into two classes; those who read to remember and those who read to forget.
- William Lyon Phelps

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sharp Teeth by Toby Barlow

Another gem from my Booksale hunt.

This book has bite and it won't let go of any rabid reader.

Sharp Teeth has gone rogue with werewolves in LA. Barlow weaves the lycanthrope myth in free verse and flows evenly like spoken word poetry.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Girl Who Played Go by Shan Sa

This find really made my day.

I remember being at Bibliarch once and 9 Asian fiction novels were on display, they were released with similarly styled covers. I guess they were being marketed as a novels having the same theme and feel. Three of them were quite popular already and one, Norwegian Wood being a common favorite of the literati. I bought one of the eight - Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. Since Dai Sijie the author is also a filmmaker.  But I also have my eye on Yukio Mishima'sThe Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea in my bookworm radar.

Synopsis: In war-torn Manchuria of the 1930s, a young girl and a Japanese soldier briefly find peace over a game of go.

A lovely photo of the author Shan Sa.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician

I loved the magic realism of Big Fish, this is what lured me in taking a chance in this book by Daniel Wallace and best of all the copy is in large print. Oh my poor eyes...

Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician is a multi-layer fantastical feast told by all the surrounding characters in reference to the main ones in the title, both whom we never really get to hear from. This book has just has too many tricks. Deceptive at times, this novel distorts its own reality like a fun house mirror.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Virgin Suicides and Middle Sex

Two books by Jeffrey Eugenides acquired two years apart from the same Book Sale branch in MCS Makati. Woohoo!

The Virgin Suicides is one of the most unforgettable and lyrical coming-of-age tales ever. Tender and heartbreaking, the dreamy narrative recalls the Lisbon sisters as the objects of desire and fascination of several young boys in a quiet little suburb.

Notably, the film version by Sofia Coppola was successful in capturing the foreboding mood and the dreamy, nostalgic essence of Eugenides' novel.

MiddleSex is a nosedive into the fluidity of sexuality, a tale of two sexes from the point of view of Cal, a hermaphrodite.

These books weren't easy to hunt down, but good things really come to those who wait.