Thursday, May 21, 2009

Summer No-Plans, Plus Some Books

There is a canyon-like divide between the things I would like to do and the things I am doing. But I have a good feeling about the summer. The secret for me, I think, is not to bother with personal goals or plans because they are inevitably waylaid. This isn't so much a complaint as a simple fact and a reminder not to plan, essentially, for frustration. No, lovely readers, this will be the Summer of Catch-As-Catch-Can for your Nesting Ground Mistress.

I've been meaning to mention both what I read while on vacation and which books I purchased (I should note that the book selection at PowerBooks thumped the selection at National Bookstore). I read...

...The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff. Based on a true story, this novel tells the story of a married couple—both are painters—whose male half is the first person to undergo a sex change operation. What this book manages to do, basically, is expand the idea of love: what it is, what it isn't, what it can be. Most of it takes place in early 1900s Denmark, and when we left Boracay, I ended up giving it to the Danish couple we'd met.

...Un Lun Dun by China Miévelle. I don't know why I picked this up, except that I wanted to bring along a variety of books. It's a young adult fantasy, alternate-London-universe type of thing (get it?—"Un-London"), complete with plucky heroine, fighting garbage cans, a guy with a pincushion as a head, flying buses, wicked giraffes, and all manner of wackiness. I almost gave it up a few times, but it turns out I had actually emotionally invested myself in the heroine.

...Mr. White's Confession: A Novel by Robert Clark. I think this is the first novel I've read that falls anywhere near the detective/mystery genre. Mr. White is a sad, lonely, misfit of a man who—perhaps too conveniently—has no memory. To compensate, he keeps detailed journals and scrapbooks that eventually serve to incorrectly finger him in the deaths of two taxi dancers. Oh, poor Mr. White.

My forays into Makati bookstores were unfortunately brief, and I was ever mindful of our already stuffed suitcases (we were comically over the luggage weight limit on the plane to and from Boracay). I had to rein it in. I picked up...

...Kite of Stars & Other Stories by Dean Alfar.
...The Jupiter Effect by Katrina Tuvera
...The Flip Reader subtitled Being a Greatest Hits Anthology from Flip: The Official Guide to World Domination and edited by Jessica Zafra.

I haven't read any of these yet, as I'm saving them like pieces of jewelry to be worn only on special occasions. I also bought many, many children's books including two anthologies of Palanca prize-winning stories: The Night Monkeys and The Golden Loom.

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