Required Reading: December 2014

Here are the books that I read last month:

1. Dwellers by Eliza Victoria – (4/5) I think this is one of my favorite Filipino reads this year. (As if I have read a lot. Hehe!) I am looking forward to read more works from Eliza Victoria.

2. All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare – (4/5) My first reading of a Shakespeare play, because of the monologue that we were required to read in our book club’s year-end party. I love Shakespeare’s words. I am going to read more of his plays.

3. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – (4/5) A charming young adult story about family, friendship and love. Likable characters. I also like that a lot of movies were mentioned.

4. Animorphs #32 (The Separation) and #33 (The Illusion) by K.A. Applegate – Loved this 2 stories. The whole Animorph Series is 5/5 stars for me. 🙂

5. What We See When We Read by Peter Mendelsund – (4/5) An interesting exploration on what we see when we read. I also love the images and illustrations in the book. Reading this affected the way I imagine my reading.

Also, I am currently at Volume 4: Saint Denis of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.

And here’s the only book that I required myself to read this month. (Well, aside from the remaining chapters/volume of Les Miserables.)

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The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, a History by Lewis Buzbee – Our book club’s travelling book #2. A celebration of bookstores, readers and books by a former bookseller. This year has been my most bookish year so far. So I think this would be a great book to wrap up my reading this year.

But I’m still hoping that I could read more before the year ends. 🙂

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Required Reading: November 2014

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Another month, another set of required readings. But first, here are the books that I have read last month.

1. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks – (4/5) Our book club’s book of the month. Interesting read about different neurological conditions. I was reminded of the complexity of our brain.

2. Stoner by John Edward Williams – (5/5) At first, I thought this is a boring book but I was so wrong. It was a remarkable reading experience being a witness to Professor Stoner’s life.

3. My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Stephanie Perkins – (4/5) A collection of short stories that I was compelled to read because of Rainbow Rowell. Cute and charming love stories for the upcoming holidays.

And for Les Miserables, I am at Volume 3: Marius. I already met the Friends of the ABC, which makes me sing Do You Hear the People Sing. Like a lot.

Because it’s my goal to finish this Les Miserables tome before the year ends, I am limiting my reading to these short and easy reads:

November.jpeg1. Dwellers by Eliza Victoria – Our book club’s book for the discussion that will happen in the Filipino ReaderCon on November 15.

2. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – This would be my first Perkins book. After reading her short story in My True Love Gave to Me, I finally decided to read this.

3. Animorphs #32 (The Separation) and #33 (The Illusion) by K.A. Applegate – Because I need to move on with my Animorphs project.

That’s my list for November. And I’m excited for the Filipino ReaderCon. Hope to see you there!

Required Reading: October 2014

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It’s the start of the last quarter of the year. Time is passing so quickly. Looking back, it was October last year when I first attended a book discussion with our book club, Goodreads – The Filipino Group (TFG). It’s been a year since I became an active member and I am proud. 😀 Joining a book club helped me read a lot more, and here’s what I read last month:

1. A Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – (3/5) Our book club’s book of the month with another book club, the Flips Flipping Pages. It was fun meeting new bookish people and discussing this book about books.

2. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – (4/5) Another book crossed out on TFG’s recommendation list from last year’s ReaderCon. A funny book about spaceships, aliens and the earth’s destruction.

3. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – (5/5) TFG’s first traveling book. Waiting a year for my turn is definitely worth it. I hope the next reader will love it too.

4. Fall Like Rain by Ana Tejano – (3.5/5) This wasn’t on my reading plan but I can’t resist reading this first book by a friend from our book club.

I also finished Volume One: Fantine of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. (This is a dare from Joy, a friend from TFG.) I’ll resume reading it this month plus these books:

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1. The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks – Our book club’s October book. A non-fiction under the popular science theme.

2. Stoner by John Edward Williams – Another dare read from TFG’s I Dare You to Read Challenge. This is one of Monique‘s best reads last year.

3. Trese: Murder on Balete Drive by Budjette Tan – It’s time to meet the badass Alexandra Trese. A Filipino graphic novel I borrowed from Tricia, another friend from TFG.

There goes my list for October. All the books I mentioned in this post are related to our book club. Haha! Cheers to more years in TFG!

Required Reading: September 2014

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I moved into a new apartment. No DSL connection anymore. And unfortunately, inside is a mobile network dead spot. No calls and text messages. No internet. Unless I stay at the gate or go up and sit on the stairs at the 3rd floor. Effort. 😦 (Guess where I am now.) But I found out last Saturday that there’s a phone signal using the other mobile network provider. Looks like I’ll go back to the other provider very soon. I hope I get to post more aside from this Required Reading meme in the next few days.

Despite being busy with a trip and the process of moving into a new place, here’s what I read last month:

1. Landline by Rainbow Rowell – (4.5/5) I love Rowell’s wit in her writing. This novel is about a married couple so I am kinda surprised that I really like it.

2. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong – (3.5/5) Even though I didn’t like the protagonist in this novel, I still like how this is written. Funny and engaging read despite the explicit words. The book club discussion was fun too!

3. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell – (5/5) This is my first David Mitchell novel, but definitely not the last. We finished it more than a week ago already, but my friends and I are still talking about it. “Revolutionary or gimmicky?” 😛 Among the six stories, An Orison of Sonmi-451 and The Letters from Zedelgheim are my favorites.

4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner – (3/5) A page turner until about 80% of the book. I think I have to take a break in reading dystopian novels.

I  need to make progress in my 2014 reading goals, so for September:

1. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams – A Goodreads-TFG recommendation under the LOL LMAO ROFL category. Let’s see if this will really make me laugh.

2. A Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – A book about books. And a bookstore. This is the book for the first joint discussion of Goodreads: The Flipino Group, our book cluband the Flips Flipping Pages.

3. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff – Our book club’s first travelling book. Finally got my hands on this book after a year of waiting for my turn.

4. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – I was dared by a friend to finish this book this year. Already started reading a few days ago. I hope I could finish this tome before the year ends.

By the way, anyone who wants to read Les Miserables with me? 😀

Required Reading: August 2014

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Last month, I read 8 books. (Some are short and easy reads; I’m not bragging.) These books capped off my Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge of 36 books. Here they are:

1. Wasted by Gerry Alanguilan – (4/5) Another Filipino graphic novel from the same author of the graphic novel I read last June. I felt the rage and the heartache in every page.

2. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick – (4/5) A quick read from Matthew Quick. This is a very good novel for young adults out there, especially to those who are depressed and thinking that they are alone and nobody cares.

3. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – (5/5) This is my first Charles Dickens book and I love it. Another proof that I’m not that much afraid of classic novels anymore. 🙂

4. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – (5/5) I love the prose of this novel. Serene and meaningful. A perfect read during those rainy days when I was just at home.

5. Kikomachine Komix, #1: Mga Tagpong Mukhang Ewan at Kung Anu ano Pang Kababalaghan! by Manix Abrera – (4/5) – A funny comics collection. A lot of students could relate to this, especially those from UP – Diliman.

6. If I Stay by Gayle Forman – (4/5) I read this because there’s an upcoming movie. A heart-rending novel about a major decision in the life (or death?) of the 17-year-old protagonist. I also love that it’s a music-themed novel. I even considered learning how to play the cello. Haha!

7. The Giver by Lois Lowry – (5/5) Again, I read this because there’s an upcoming movie. This novel reminded me to appreciate life and love, even colors.

8. Allegiant by Veronica Roth – (2/5) I only read this because it’s one of the books that I was dared to read this year. This is the last book of the Divergent series and I’m glad that I am finally done with the trilogy.

For this month’s reading plan, I chose these books:

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1. Fear of Flying by Erica Jong – Our book club’s book of the month. A controversial novel about female sexuality. So far, I find the book funny and interesting.

2. Landline by Rainbow Rowell – I am currently reading this with Lynai. We have read all Rainbow Rowell’s novels, so of course we’re not going to skip this.

3. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell – I always hear good things about this book from my bookish friends. Therefore, I feel obliged to read it. After putting off reading this for months, we (Gwaxa, Lynai, Tin, and I) are finally going to read it.

4. The Maze Runner by James Dashner – I’m reading this book because, again, there’s an upcoming movie based from this novel. I watched the movie trailer and it looks promising. Hmm… There’s a lot of movies adapted from books this year, yey!

I hope I get to read more this rainy month of August. Anyway, it feels pleasant to stay at home and read while the rain pours heavily outside.

Required Reading: July 2014

It’s already July. Wait, really? That reminds me, I have to check if I’m on track with my 2014 reading goals. But anyway, let’s first have a look at my reading list last month.

1. Elmer by Gerry Alanguilan – (4/5) This is my first Filipino graphic novel. I really like it and I’m proud of it.

2. Hunger by Knut Hamsun – (4/5) I never imagined until now that a single physical feeling like hunger could be the subject of a novel as captivating as this.

3. Megamorphs #3: Elfangor’s Secret by K.A. Applegate – (3/5) It was entertaining to read about the Animorphs again. And time travel is confusing, as always.

4. Insurgent by Veronica Roth – (3/5) I never wanted to put down this book. I may not like it that much but while reading, I always wanted to know what happens next. A real page-turner.

5. The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan – (4/5) It’s been a while since I read a Percy Jackson book. It’s a nice voyage into and out of the Labyrinth with remarkable encounters with the gods and demigods. One more book and I’m done with the series.

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Since half of the year has already passed, I will start to focus on reading books that are included in my 2014 Reading Goals. Here’s my list for this month:

1. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens – This is our book club’s current book of the month. Another classic, eh? I really hope that I will like this as my first Dickens novel.

2. Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick – This is one of the recommended young adult novels in our book club. I miss reading young adult contemporary novels, so here’s one.

3. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – I hope I will like this book as much as I like Kazuo Ishiguro’s other novel, Never Let Me Go.

There goes my list. I already started with A Tale of Two Cities. And because of good ratings and reviews, I’m already excited to read the other two. 🙂

Required Reading: June 2014

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Hello, June! It’s time to decide what to read this month. But first, here’s a summary of last month’s reading. Actually, I haven’t read a lot because I have been busy with my trip to the lighthouse. Hehe!

1. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf – (5/5) Yes, this is what I meant when I said “trip to the lighthouse”. I’m proud that I finished my first modernist novel. Yahoo! Thanks to Angus for a very substantial discussion, both online and offline.

2. Tall Story by Candy Gourlay – (4/5) I enjoyed reading this book even though it’s considered as a children’s book (or some as YA). One of my goals this year is to read more books from Filipino authors. So far, I can say that I’m satisfied with these books I selected. Okay, I didn’t really choose them but they are recommendations from our book club. Hehe.

3. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen – (4/5) I put this on hold for a while because it’s difficult to read two classic novels at the same time. But tada! I’m glad I finished it yesterday. Then I learned that this is Austen’s first published work when she was still 19 years old. Wow!

Next is my required reading list for June.

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1. Insurgent by Veronica Roth – This is the sequel to Divergent, a book I read last March. After this and I’ll be a book closer to my 2014 Dare Reads goal organized by our book club.

2. Megamorphs #3: Elfangor’s Secret by K.A. Applegate – Another book to cross out from one of my reading goals list, my Animorphs Project.

3. Hunger by Knut Hamsun – I told myself I won’t read another classic this month. But there’s this urge to read this book because of star-studded reviews by my bookish friends and I got interested that this is written by a Norwegian author. (Or maybe I’m just hungry?)  Besides, this is a short novel, right?

4. Elmer by Gerry Alangilan – This is a graphic novel that I borrowed from my dear friend Tricia to expand the variety of works that I’m reading. I decided to start with komiks (Filipino comics) to be familiar with our local artists.

Also, I’m still rereading The City & The City by China Miéville via audio book. It’s my first time to listen to an audio book and I’m enjoying it. I actually tried Lolita before but decided to stick with the e-book. But I can still remember how these words were spoken: “Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. My sin, my soul. Lo-lee-ta”. Haha!

That is all for June. Here’s to hoping that I’ll finish these books!