Goal Completed: Literary Hippies (A Beginner’s Guide)

Another category that I completed from the TFG Filipino ReaderCon 2013 Recommendations List.

photo from Goodreads – The Filipino Group

1. Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell – (5/5) . Read in August 2014. Each of the 6 stories has an exciting plot and can exist on their own. But despite the differences in settings and genre, each is connected to the other. The unconventional structure and the theme of recurrence and connectedness amazed me.

2. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – (3/5) . Read in September 2013. Awful subject but not explicit. Intriguing and interesting narrative. One of my first literary books and I think deserves a reread.

3. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – (3.5/5) . Read in June 2015. A short book about “The Old Man and The Sea”. And the fish. Minimalist prose and plot structure matching the simplicity of the story. The resilience and determination of the main character is exceptional.

4. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides – (5/5) . Read in January 2014. An intersex narrator telling his story that started from his parents and grandparents. Heart-felt narration of pain and confusion. An impressive family saga.

5. The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster – (4/5) . Read in November 2013. Never failed to keep me thinking while reading and more so after each part. Unusual but admirable creation of characters. An intellectual mystery.

With the Infinite Feels category, I suppose these could be two of my favorite genres, as I was more interested and completed them first. But as the title said, with literary books, I still consider myself a beginner.


Book Poll: What Should I Read?

I joined the Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge. Please help me decide what to read for  “A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade”.

These are my three choices:

1. The Sea by John Banville

2. The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

3. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

I plan to read the winning book in July. Thank you in advance. Hehe! 😛

The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge Accepted


To read more diverse books, and to help me decide on what to read next, I decided to join The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge. I will keep track of my progress and the books that I will read in this post. Here is the list of the tasks. I plan to do two per month, book club discussion books not included.

  1. A book written by someone when they were under the age of 25
  2. A book written by someone when they were over the age of 65
  3. A collection of short stories (either by one person or an anthology by many people)
  4. A book published by an indie press
  5. A book by or about someone that identifies as LGBTQ
  6. A book by a person whose gender is different from your own
  7. A book that takes place in Asia
  8. A book by an author from Africa
  9. A book that is by or about someone from an indigenous culture (Native Americans, Aboriginals, etc.)
  10. A microhistory
  11. A YA novel
  12. A sci-fi novel
  13. A romance novel
  14. A National Book Award, Man Booker Prize or Pulitzer Prize winner from the last decade
  15. A book that is a retelling of a classic story (fairytale, Shakespearian play, classic novel, etc.)
  16. An audiobook
  17. A collection of poetry
  18. A book that someone else has recommended to you
  19. A book that was originally published in another language
    • Cain by José Saramago
  20. A graphic novel, a graphic memoir or a collection of comics of any kind (Hi, have you met Panels?)
  21. A book that you would consider a guilty pleasure (Read, and then realize that good entertainment is nothing to feel guilty over)
  22. A book published before 1850
  23. A book published this year
  24. A self-improvement book (can be traditionally or non-traditionally considered “self-improvement”)

Interesting list, right? I am accepting book recommendations (and gifts. Haha!) for this. Or you can join the challenge with me. 🙂

2015 Reading Goals

Last year holds the most number of books that I have read in a year. I have accomplished my 2014 Reading Goals. I have read 55 books (Thanks to the Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge for helping me count.) and three books from the Animorphs Series plus a reread of China Mieville’s The City and the City.

So here I am again setting a new set of reading goals this year. And I am really excited! Here they are:

Goodreads 2015 Reading Challenge

“I have read 50 of 48 books.”

Read All Goodreads – The Filipino Group Monthly Discussion Books

  1. Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool
  2. Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos
  3. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  4. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  5. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
  6. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  7. The Quiet American by Graham Greene
  8. Ubik by Philip K. Dick
  9. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee
  10. Monstress by Lysley Tenorio
  11. Alternative Alamat by Paolo Chikiamko

Read These Specific Titles

  1. The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
  2. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
  3. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  4. Possession by A.S. Byatt
  5. Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
  6. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
  7. Lightning by Dean Koontz
  8. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  9. The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
  10. Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
  11. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  12. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud

Read At Least 4 Short Story Collections

  1. Drown by Junot Diaz
  2. Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
  3. CivilWarLand in Bad Decline by George Saunders
  4. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

So yes, I am participating again in the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Also, as I am currently an active member of a book club, I plan to read all the books assigned each month. I also chose 12 books that I will require myself to read, maybe one book each month of the year. And as I was inspired by The Short Story Station, a team blog by some friends, I will explore more the art of short stories by reading at least 4 short story collections. But the initial choices I mentioned above are subject to change.

Aside from these goals I challenged myself, I’ll be joining The Book Riot 2015 Read Harder Challenge. This sounds fun and will help me discover more books in other genres. I’ll be tracking the tasks in my next post. It is still my ambition to finish the TFG Filipino ReaderCon 2013 Recommendations List and the Animorphs Series. But I am not pressuring myself with a specific number this year.

So how about you? How did you fare in your 2014 reading? Have you set any reading goals this year?

Goal Completed: Infinite Feels

One of my reading goals is to finish reading the books from the TFG Filipino ReaderCon 2013 Recommendations List. This is the first category that I completed:

photo from Goodreads – The Filipino Group

1. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro – (5/5) Journey into the past and an unrealized love. Serene and meaningful. Endearing. Read in July 2014.

2. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell – (4.5/5) Fall in love with the internet security officer who read other people’s e-mails. Charming and funny. I love Beth and Lincoln. Read in November 2013.

3. Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen – (5/5) A young adult romance told in two voices. Cute and wonderful. Helped me to appreciate life and people more. Read in February 2014.

4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – (4/5) A story about a girl shipped off to a boarding school in Paris in her senior year. Teenage life, love, family, friendship. And films. Read in November 2014.

5. What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver – (4/5) A collection of short stories. Snippets of love in real life. Each story lingers. Read in January 2014.

One category down, nine to go. 🙂

2014 Reading Goals

I know it’s already April but I’m posting my 2014 Reading Goals here. 🙂 But first, a summary of last year’s reading. 😀

The year 2013 was the year that I decided to “really” read books again. I just joined Goodreads then and decided to have 24 books in my 2013 Reading Challenge. Proudly, I have read 32 books and 2 Animorphs books plus a reread of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”. This number may be quite few compared to the number of books read by other readers but this is already a big improvement for me since I was just a casual reader before 2013.

Now here are my 2014 Reading Goals…

Goodreads 2014 Reading Challenge: 36 books

“I have read 55 of 36 books.”

Read all Goodreads – The Filipino Group monthly discussion books

1.       The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
2.       What We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver
3.       The Alienist by Caleb Carr
4.       If On a Winter’s Night A Traveler by Italo Calvino
5.       To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
6.       The City and the City by China Miéville
7.       A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
8.       Fear of Flying by Erica Jong
9.       The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
10.     The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks
11.      Dwellers by Eliza Victoria
12.      All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare

Read at least 3 Classics

1.       To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
2.       Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen
3.       Hunger by Knut Hamsun
4.       A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
5.       Stoner by John Williams
6.       Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
7.        All’s Well That Ends Well by William Shakespeare

Read at least 4 books by Filipino authors

1.       Interim Goddess of Love by Mina Esguerra
2.       Tall Story by Candy Gourlay
3.       Elmer by Gerry Alangilan
4.       Wasted by Gerry Alangilan
5.       Kikomachine Komix, #1: Mga Tagpong Mukhang Ewan at Kung Anu Ano Pang Kababalaghan! by Manix Abrera
6.       Fall Like Rain by Ana Tejano 
7.       Dwellers by Eliza Victoria 

Read at least 25 of the TFG Filipino ReaderCon 2013 Recommendations List

“I have read 25 of 50 books.”

TFG’s I Dare You To Read Challenge

1.       Stoner by John Edward Williams
2.       Divergent by Veronica Roth
3.       Insurgent by Veronica Roth
4.       Allegiant by Veronica Roth
5.       Les Misérables by Victor Hugo