My Reading Goals in My 30’s

My Facebook  wall  has still been  inundated with a spate of  heart-warming greetings from my families, friends , and the people I am acquainted with  since Tuesday ,reminding me of that it is now my 30th years of existence in this complicated world.Gee, I am now  in another passage of rite  where every aspect of life may be beyond control. Thus, aside from the fact that it is the time when I have to consider my health, career, and marriage life- if the universe conspires with me – I look forward to reading more books that are more meaningful, more life-transforming.

Ever since I was such a simpleton,  it was typical of me to to be observed in the corner of the living room burying myself in pieces of paper  people might have found academical. If only they knew. I would read any books at my disposal: textbooks, old newspapers, brochures, magazines, notebooks disposed of by a student, bibles- anything I could read. But I never had a good  chance of reading the literary books every child must read such as Hans Christian Andersen ‘s fairy tales, Lucy Maud Montgomery ‘s Anne of Green GablesAlexandre Dumas The Three Musketeers , Shel Silverstein‘s The Giving TreeRudyard Kipling‘s The Jungle Book, to name a few. Nor was I brought along to a book store where I could have been encouraged to choose ones I would have loved to read. Our life at that point was still a hand to the mouth.

My 20’s was the stage of my life when I  took the chance to read the books I could afford. I have got a job which gives me access to this epistemological obsession given the fact that my profession is paid peanuts. Thanks to book stores selling second-hand books. Besides, my enormous enthusiasm for books  has groomed me to be a trying-hard literary critic. I have discovered some famous writers  I wish to have known when I was still   very young, whose works have shaken the world history.At the same time, I wound up in some book club sites where I have met many  book monsters like me who give me ideas of how to write, of how to mold the potentials I had been shrouding in the darkest nooks of  my unconsciousness

In my 30’s, I look ahead to  having crossed out all the books in the 1001-best-books-you-must-read-before-you-die list suggested by  an online  magazine, The Guardian  before making the transition to mid-life crisis. Click here for the list. I fancy having  aged out of  this life period  like a well-read person, young at heart. At that time, I would be such a consummate book bore you might turn your back on. In addition, I will try to be well-versed in other major forms of literary genre I  have not explored yet such as academics since there are many things in the world I want to know more, poetry since I want to write a ala Lang Leav poems you might wince at, dramas since I  could be a masquerader, commentaries since I am a social activist, and what not.

Also, in my 30’s ,I hope I will be able to keep this blog updated, available  till kingdom come . I  will try to be more dedicated to and enthusiastic about writing and sharing all my idiosyncratic and hyperbolic ideas. Most importantly, I hope  I will be able to accomplish my own masterpieces , somehow as critically acclaimed as an immortal writer’s. I am an ambitious frog. Fancy that!

For the meantime, another special friend of mine sent her  love with a  book gift. It is Will in the World.

14045051_10207216413950463_288254016_o

Goodreads Book Descriptions:

Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 4th 2016 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2004)

A young man from a small provincial town moves to London in the late 1580s and, in a remarkably short time, becomes the greatest playwright not of his age alone but of all time. How is an achievement of this magnitude to be explained? Stephen Greenblatt brings us down to earth to see, hear, and feel how an acutely sensitive and talented boy, surrounded by the rich tapestry of Elizabethan life, could have become the world’s greatest playwright.

Also, I  was deeply touched by a special letter from my Korean student. This is one of the best letters I have received thus far.

14074624_10207208817360553_373402626_o

14059944_10207208815600509_1200868940_o

People say that life  is the thing , but I prefer reading. – Logan Pearsall Smith-

JANUARY BOOKS 2016

12695824_10205846971155249_304889605_n

Today, my  fellow Filipino-Chinese countrymen and the  Korean community living in the Philippines have been painting the town red in observance of the New Year according to the lunar calendar. In fact, our President declared Monday, February 08 as a non-working holiday -a long weekend for those who had  no office work this last  weekend , and especially for those voracious readers- to give respect to their most celebrated tradition. Unfortunately, our academy was open ,  par for the course conforming to Korean’s“ workaholic” culture-a custom I have almost adapted to. If I we didn’t have classes, I would definitely   have holed up in my library house the whole day. 😛 I  just want to keep up with the books I have laid on my table for a long time, the wrapped-up books  I scavenged on last year.

With no  further ado, here are the books I  ENJOYED in January because I gave most of them  high ratings:

12660309_10205846964035071_1905022619_n

Book: The Professor’s Daughter

Genre: Comic

Author:Joann Sfar

Rating: 3/ 5 stars

Thoughts: I liked its concept of the story- a dashing  mummy  Imhotep IV  fell in love with an Egyptologist’s beautiful daughter. Besides, its ending is unexpected without clinging to the reality.

salusalo-para-kay-kuya-cove

Book: Salu-Salo Para Kay Kuya

Genre: Children’s Book

Author: Ergoe Tinio

Rating: 3/ 5 stars

Thoughts: A very touching story  that everyone who has the same experience can relate to.

tolits

Book: Tolits

Genre: Children’s Book

Author: Genaro Gojo Cruz

Rating: 3/ 5 stars

Thoughts:  Another Gojo Cruz’s masterpiece which has proved his skills in being a children raconteur.

12674262_10205846965755114_94747904_n

Book: Man in the Dark

Genre:  Dystopian Novel

Author : Paul Auster

Rating: 4/ 5 stars

Thoughts: Auster’s book that endeared me to him more. I want to read his other works more.

11

Book: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Author: Douglas Adams

  Rating: 4/ 5 stars

Thoughts: I belong to the readers who claim his  being a gifted writer. I will re-read it in  paperback.

12714357_10205846968355179_306511131_n

Book: Bread Givers

Author: Anzia Yezierska

Rating: 4/ 5 stars

Thoughts: A toes-curling but important book  we should read to understand immigrant life as well as ridiculous customs we should no longer observe in our modern daily life.

12666423_10205846971035246_233343622_n

Book: Crossing the Water: Eighteen Months on an Island Working with Troubled Boys- A  Teacher’s Memoir

Genre: Memoir

Author: Daniel Robb

Rating: 4/ 5 stars

Thought: A worth reading for educators and an eye-opener for narrow-minded society.

12722111_10205846965635111_947065833_n

Book: The Mercury Reader

Author: Pearson

Rating: 5/ 5 stars

 Thoughts:  A collection of gifted writers’  essays which  can move the world. Follow up with my review of it next week.

In this month, I will try to finish two voluminous novels ( when my tight schedule  permits)  that have still been collecting dust bunnies on my currently-reading shelf: Moby Dick ,The Last of the Mohican ,and S. Vagus’  Kasma Forma.  Probably, I will read at least one of them depending on my   reading condition. But I am determined to read S. Vagus’s ( Grammarian, don’t be confused about the possessive form. I just prefer William Strunk Jr.’ s The Elements of Style.) because I have been enjoying  it so far, especially it is somehow light,  and interestingly, has something to do with philosophy.  In addition,  there are some books in my huge tinned  “ baul” I found more  tempting to read.  Gee, little did I realize that I have been hoarding  a great deal of   books . Most of them   still look new since I no longer desire to read an old, tattered one. So, before they become  as crispy as dried leaves , I have to  keep up with them before the year ends.  Batman ( God ) willing!

Kung Hei Fat Choi, buddies! 🙂

 

The Writers I Met in November 2015

In my imaginary world in November, there I  met some famous writers whose  literary works shattered my illusions. I met a philosopher, an education reformist, a humored tomboy writer, and an Anglicized Filipino joker. They changed the way I look at the world.

First:  Albert Camus. I was into his suprising   novels such as :

  1. The Stranger. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars. It took me time before I drew my review of it. I didn’t want to admit something, that I saw myself in the character. His personality reflected in me. Something entangled deep inside of me was pulled out. The feeling was indescribable, ambiguous until I realized that the pain was trickling off. I could not hold myself any longer. I cried.
  2. The Fall. I did not give a hoot about giving it 5 stars. Who cares about someone ranting if it is as though Camus just scribbled it? Sometimes, in doing so makes sense. My experience was just like the one with whom the conversant struck up . I was all ears ,kept on nodding at his cathartic confession. Ok! Ah! Ok! I see!
  3. The Guest. I liked it , so I gave it 3 stars. I put myself in the main character in bind ,unknowing how to deal with the Guest. Besides, I did not focus on the trivial dilemma of the character much but on the panoramic and picturesque imagination described by Camus. I remembered then the beauty of the Alps described by Johanna Spryi in her novel Heidi.
  4. adulterousThe Adulterous Woman. Although I made a fuss over its title, I still gave it 3 stars. Camus was just so skilled in associating the mystical world with his story.

Second: Willa Cather. The first time I knew Cather was through her novel, Death Comes for the Archbishop. Through   this novel, she impressed me with her august writing skills- pure, original, something  which styles I cannot find fault with. As a matter of fact, her novel My Antonia, for the second time, has made me put her on the pedestal of the best writers I have encountered in my imaginary world. The latter  made me stand and hop in joy. Yahoo! I wish I were in a prairie where I could shout it out that I would give it more than 5 stars.

                 antonia        archbishop

Third, Malala Yousafzai. Malala is now one of the inspiring people I look up to. She has made a big difference to me, to everyone, to society. For me, she is the perfect epitome of a reformist in the modern world  where   conservative ideas still exist. In her autobiography, I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, she showed her  dauntless dignity being in the center of the distorted reality. Her book moved the heaven and earth.

malala

Finally, Elbert Or.I do not much about Or. It is my first time to have read one of  my fellow Filipino’s works. Obviously, his book , The More the Manyer and Other Words of Wisdumb, has something to do with Filipinism, the Filipino English. It deals with the common mistakes  in English among Filipinos. His examples are supposed to be for the heck of  fun with some somewhat funny illustrations. But I do not want to laugh at them, for I am a consummate stickler for correct English grammar and structure.  Look who’s talking?  ( blushing)

 

There the authors  are, in my imaginary world- my nook of comfort  where I read   8 books in November. Not bad. Better than 4 books  which might predispose me to throw into tantrum. I do not want to have this pang  of  guilty feelings again. (laughs)

My prediction last month that I might not be able to complete my 200 reading goals on Goodreads   came true. I really cannot do it. There are many things I have been busy with. But I promise that I will do it again next  year! Hooray!

Happy Reading, buddies! ^_^