I managed to read 30 books in January (1.03 days per book). I started 9 new series, read 10 books released in 2017, 4 non-fiction books, and knocked 1 off my Next 20s list. I know 1.03 days per book sounds intense, but i usually start a year off really impressively and then my reading peters off as the year continues. It also does help that I usually use January to catch up to my graphic novel backlog from the previous year. Graphic novels aren't a walk in the park to read, but they sure as heck are less doughty than a literary paperback.
Spending most of this week in an interesting lecture series. I need to pre-read for that so this week'll probably be reading-lite. Was pretty busy last week as well, so I took advantage of lag times on Saturday and Sunday to finish two books.
Last Saturday, Kam and I went to the Cultural Center of the Philippines to participate in Pasinaya 2017. Specifically, the Palihan Workshop-All-You-Can day. For 50 Php, anyone could participate in as many music - writing - dance - theater thirty-minute workshops that they could get into. There were SO MANY people; it was really gratifying to see everyone taking advantage of the opportunity that CCP was giving. I had my eye set on the baybayin workshops, but Kam and I missed all three schedules because of the high demand. I did, however, get into the other two workshops I was interested in: a musical theater and a zine-making workshop, respectively. Because there were so many people, I lined up for the zine-making workshop two whole hours ahead, giving me enough time to ~finally~ finish Cloud and Ashes. It was a really great experience, all-in-all, although I wish that more of my friends had been able to come and see what it had been like. After the workshops, Kam and I hightailed it to Mendokoro Ramen and had a very late lunch with Gia, before we went to the mall to do assorted errands.
On Sunday, mum and I had to bring stuff to storage, so I was able to finish reading majority of The Madwoman in the Volvo, while the movers brought everything up and filled the storage unit. We spent the remainder of the day in UPTC, where I indulged my washi tape-related desires in Hey Kessy.
It was a good, productive weekend even though I missed a day of Latin learning. That's going by really slowly, but I found a pretty cool Latin app package in the App store to supplement my textbook. The app's way more readable and a lot more informational than I expected an app to be. It's pretty much on-par with the Go apps I bought a few years back, which have enough kifu to drown an amateur. :)))
Thinking of posting about my bujo again at the end of February, but we'll see what the month brings.
Fig 2. Main poster of Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, a. k. a. The Goblin
Guardian: The Lonely and Great God is a koreanovela that my friends Pat and Gia got me into with their frenzied tweets. I'm not really much of a soap opera buff, but their anguished tweets drew me like a moth to flame. It's only 16 episodes, but at a staggering hour and a half each. (Every person I've told about this series says the same thing, wistfully, "Parang Sherlock, pero may closure.") Firstly, this series is probably the prettiest one I've ever seen. The sets are aesthetic, the actors dress and accessorise like models, and everything is brushed and coiffed within an inch of its life. The story is really arresting, and the character developments are MMMM, so good. I had a bit of a problem with the pacing of each episode, but that might be because I have really shit endurance when it comes to watching things. It took me three days to watch two episodes, but I got my mother into it and because of her we ended up finishing the rest of it three days [my mother actually finished the whole thing the night I showed her a bit from the second episode (even though she promised to wait for me)]. And it was amazing, mum and I cried a bit at the end, and I was mostly pleased by the whole thing. I can't spoil it but suffice to say it's Korean fantasy, with reincarnation!!! and it discusses vengeance and first love and augh, please watch if you like your angst fresh and peppered with occasional bits of silliness. I just really want to know what happened to my child, Deok Hwa. My headcanon is that he becomes a great CEO and then he dies surrounded by nubile young men and women in varying states of undress. Bless him.
Invincible, Vol. 23: Full House by Robert Kirkman, Cory Walker, Ryan Ottley, and Nathan Fairbairn KIRKMAN SURE KEEPS THE MYSTERY ALIVE AFTER ALL THESE YEARS. I couldn't breathe because I was so damn nervous about the way he wrapped the last bit up. It's sad to see that he's putting all the pieces for the finale on the table already. I'm still semi-in denial about the fact that it's ending soon. A lot of the dangling Viltrumite plot threads are getting picked up again, much to the detriment of Mark's already fragile peace of mind. The end of the book has the entire Grayson family gearing up to fight again after volumes of them laying low and attempting domesticity. MMM excited and worried, considering Kirkman ended this volume with a major character death I wasn't prepared for. :C
Cloud and Ashes: Three Winter's Tales by Greer Gilman Okay, I spent a month and half reading this book, and it was mostly worth it. As I've mentioned in previous entries, Gilman's prose takes some getting used to. If I didn't have the reading background I possess, I would even say that it would have been impenetrable. She writes in a very specific way:
"It's pretty clear, even to a linguistics slink-out like myself, that you're mining one particular corner of the English language here. What period and locale are you deriving your language from?Gilman: Yorkshire, mostly, with Cumbrian outliers. Some of it is common to all Northen English, up through the Lowlands of Scotland; some is quite local. My earliest sources are 17th-century."
Link to Interview
I really struggled through it, but I persevered through judicious use of Google and digging through my memories of reading Shakespeare in grade school and high school. By the time I got to the third part of the novel, I was finally comfortable enough to actually enjoy the story. Gilman builds a new mythology and her world-building is intimate and bloody. The novel seems to be a discussion about divine incarnations, the Venn diagram between divinity and humanity and just how much influence humanity has on their gods. There's also a lot of back and forth about freedom and volition, ownership of one's body, and crossing over from maiden to mother. I appreciated the structure and effort of the whole thing, but I'm not sure that I liked it more than usual. I probably should give this another go when I'm in my fifties and see how I feel about it then.
The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones by Sarah Tsing Loh was a chance read. I saw it in Fully Booked when I watched Sunday Beauty Queen and I decided to pick it up on behalf of my mother. I thought that she might like it, seeing as the book is about Loh's experience with perimenopause and menopause, but I got out of it and decided that it isn't for her. I liked it a great deal though, mostly because Loh writes in a familiar, self-deprecating manner that resonates with me. She is shameless, but not vulgar, and her candour makes me feel a great deal better about growing older. Since this book is a biography, it is not really a neat narrative, but I could see that Loh really wanted her readers to get as much out of her book, and her experiences as possible. Very quick read, but I was a little boggled by her descriptions of suburban American life. Much privilege, which she acknowledges, of course.
Atonement by Ian McEwan
Bookburners by Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, Mur Lafferty, and Brian Francis Slattery
Next 20 Reads
1. Sans Moi by Marie Despleschin
2. The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books #2) by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
3. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell
4. The City and the City by China Mieville
5. Rose Daughter by Robin McKinley
6. Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
7. A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
8. Life During Wartime by Lucius Shepard
9. In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick
10. Thank You, Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse
11. Descent of Angels (The Horus Heresy #5) by Mitchel Scanlon
12. Kindred by Octavia Butler
13. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society by Mary Ann Schaffer and Annie Barrows
14. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
15. The Player of Games (Culture #2) by Iain M. Banks
16. Deadhouse Gates (Malazan Book of the Fallen #2) by Steven Erikson
17. Arslan by M. J. Engh
18. Pavane by Keith Roberts
19. Finishing the Hat by Stephen Sondheim
20. Orthodoxy by G. K. Chesterton
See you next week!