Be my muse

things I tell myself I'll edit someday

Archive for the ‘Book Whore There’ Category

Books in 2014

leave a comment »

January

  • Batman: Lovers and Madmen – Michael Green
  • The Solitude of Thomas Cave – Georgina Harding
  • Reportage on Lovers – Quijano de Manila
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon
  • How they met and other stories – David Levithan
  • Be More Chill – Ned Vizzini
  • Look at the Birdie – Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Everafter  – Amy Huntly
  • The Magician’s Elephant – Kate Dicamillo

February

  • Desperate Duchesses – Eloisa James
  • Your Scandalous Ways – Lorreta Chase
  • To Seduce a Sinner – Elizabeth Hoyt
  • The Heiress Effect – Courtney Milan
  • This Duchess of Mine – Eloise James
  • The Governess Affair – Courtney Milan
  • It’s in his kiss – Julia Quinn

March

  • Unlocked – Courtney Milan
  • Unraveled – Courtney Milan
  • Unclaimed – Courtney Milan
  • The Viscount Who Loved Me – Julia Quinn
  • A Night Like This – Julia Quinn
  • The Duke and I – Julia Quinn
  • An Offer From a Gentleman – Julia Quinn
  • Romancing Mr. Bridgerton – Julia Quinn
  • Romancing the Duke – Tessa Dare
  • Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake – Sarah MacLean
  • Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart – Sarah MacLean
  • Ten Ways to be Adored when Landing a Lord – Sarah MacLean
  • One Good Earl Deserves a Lover – Sarah MacLean
  • A Rogue by Any Other Name – Sarah MacLean
  • No Duke Goes Unpunished – Sarah MacLean
  • The Sum of All Kisses – Julia Quinn
  • Just Like Heaven – Julia Quinn

APRIL

  • Any Duchess Will Do – Tessa Dare
  • When the Duke was Wicked – Lorraine Heath

JUNE

  • The Lover’s Dictionary – David Levithan
  • Letters – Kurt Vonnegut
  • Slaughterhouse-five – Kurt Vonnegut
  • Transformations – Anne Sexton
  • Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

July

  • The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Rake – Mary Jo Putney
  • The Truth About Lord Stoneville – Sabrina Jeffries
  • A Hellion in Her Bed – Sabrina Jeffries
  • Love Letters to the Dead – Ava Dellaira
  • If this isn’t nice, what is? – Kurt Vonnegut

August

  • On writing – Richard Cawer
  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie – Jennifer Ashley
  • Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage – Jennifer Ashley
  • The Many Sins of Lord Cameron – Jennifer Ashley
  • The Duke’s Perfect Wife – Jennifer Ashley
  • The Seduction of Elliot McBride – Jennifer Ashley
  • The Proposal – Mary Balogh
  • The Suitor – Mary Balogh
  • The Arrangement – Mary Balogh

September

  • Parasol Protectorate: Soulless – Gail Carriger
  • Parasol Protectorate: Changeless – Gail Carriger
  • Parasol Protectorate: Blameless – Gail Carriger
  • How to Love – Katie Catugno

October

  • Naomi & Ely’s No Kiss List – David Levithan
  • Original of Laura – Vladimir  Nabokov
  • Post Office – Charles Bukowski
  • Everything Beautiful Began After – Simon Van Booy
  • The Marriage Plot – Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Letters to the Young Poet – Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Landline – Rainbow Rowell

December

  • The Alcoholic – Jonathan Ames
  • Trip to Tagaytay – Arnold Arre
  • Martial Law Baby – Arnold Arre
  • The Mythology Class – Arnold Arre
  • After Eden – Arnold Arre
  • Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover – Sarah MacLean
  • Shortcomings – Adrian Tomine
  • Daytripper – Fabio Moon
  • Parasol Protectorate: Heartless – Gail Carriger
  • Si Janus Silang at ang Tiyanak ng Tabon – Edgar Calabia Samar
  • Reborn: Journals & Notebooks, 1947 to 1963 – Susan Sontag

Written by Angel Santos

January 1, 2015 at 5:45 AM

Posted in Book Whore There

Tagged with

How I tried to matter and failed: An Abundance of Katherines

leave a comment »

I have meant to finish reading An Abundance of Katherines by John Green in November 2012, but I could not bring myself to because 1.) I have short attention span, 2.) I usually jump from book to book, 3.) I am a productive adult working for money and paying taxes, and 4.) I cannot find myself in the first pages of An Abundance of Katherines (because every book is about me, lol). So, it took me seven months to finally have the strength and patience to read it.

“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.” – John Green

This entry is not a thorough review of this piece of literature or a critique on John Green’s ability to write and to unravel hard-hitting existential issues, because it has been long-established that he is a master of poking old wounds and memories of long-forgotten youth. (Read Looking for Alaska and Paper Towns, and you will know. Also, thanks, Tin Patag, for introducing me to John Green, really, thanks.) However, this is my attempt to relate and to settle the angst I felt while reading it.

Let’s begin with this: Colin Singleton, a child prodigy who wants to matter in the world, goes on a roadtrip with Hassan, his Judge Judy-loving bestfriend, to get his mind off his recent break up with Katherine (K-19). In this roadtrip, he recalls all the other Katherines who dumped him and eventually finds his Eureka! moment by making a mathematical formula about his past relationships. And that’s just about it.

Despite its quirky and nerdy tone, An Abundance of Katherines is boring, and it involves math. These two, plus the fact that Colin is such a whiny and annoying teenager, are enough to make me drop the book and proceed to another. But what really got me into reading and actually finishing it is Colin’s struggle with being a child prodigy, his wanting to matter and to do something remarkable in the world, and his fear of not being enough.

What’s the point in being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable? How very odd, to believe God gave you life, and yet not think that life asks more of you than watching TV.

I am no child prodigy, but I have eidetic memory (which helped me pass my exams in college, and which I stopped “using” after I graduated.) I have no unusual accomplishments, but I acknowledge that I have potential (who doesn’t?!) of being someone, of being good at something. And wanting to matter has always been my problem (which is probably the reason I tried going to law school, a feat that only lasted three weeks.)

Like Colin, I want to leave footprints, to make my mark in the world by doing something great. I want to be a catalyst for change, but I fear that I may not be enough. I fear that I am just a remnant of my college years–the prime of my potential, wisdom, and fierce idealism. I fear that I may not be as good as I was before, that I am just it.

How do you just stop being terrified of getting left behind and ending up by yourself forever and not meaning anything to the world?

I am scared of being stuck, but all I do is rant about how messed up my life is, whine about my mediocrity, drink to my misery, and hope that someday I will find myself amid the hullabaloo of daily life and adulthood. As a result of my fear and my constant whining, I get glued to mediocrity. Colin’s sentiments hit me right through; it burns through the core. (I hate you, John Green, for slapping these realizations in my face; but thanks for writing “quotable quotes” that people like me can’t put in beautiful prose.)

Damn I think I need another roadtrip ktnxbye

Written by Angel Santos

June 20, 2013 at 6:51 AM

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, or how Tucker Max saved me rather too late

with one comment

I was in my senior year when I first saw a copy of Tucker Max’s I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell sitting prettily and enticingly on Powerbooks’ shelf. I remember wanting to buy it then, but I opted not to shell out almost PHP 700.00 for a book, because 1.) I was doing my thesis; 2.) Drinking actual beer was more important than buying a book on binge drinking, sex, and awesome adventures of a drunken person; and 3.) I was broke (I was a college student, what would you expect?)

Anyway, I forgot about this book’s existence as soon as I began writing my thesis under the influence of alcohol (because I was the typical alcoholic college student, okay?) It was only this year that I chanced upon meeting little Tucker Max at Booksale; it was priced at P10.00! Obviously, I bought it and spent a week reading it in between coffee breaks and shuttle rides. It was an easy-read and would not take most of your brain cells.

Upon finishing it, I only came up with the following conclusions:

1. Despite being another misogynistic book, I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell was entertaining. It was the kind of book that could make you laugh out loud and swear in public out of hilarity. It was not because I can relate to his drunken stories or because I wished I had his post-inuman misadventures. It was because his short stories were just plain funny. My personal favorites were The Blowjob Follies and The Most Disturbing Conversation Ever. (Check out http://www.tuckermax.com!)

2. It was also insightful despite Max’s actions and perception on women (pardon him, he was an asshole).

Ladies, let me give you some advice. You can throw all your stupid fucking chick-lit, self-help, why-doesn’t-he-love-me books out, because this is all you need to know: Men will treat you the way you let them. There is no such thing as “deserving” respect; you get what you demand from people. If you demand respect, he will either respect you or he won’t associate with you. It really is that simple.

Had I read this four years ago, it could have saved me from heartaches and disappointments. I saw myself both in Tucker The Alcoholic Asshole and the women (mostly have Daddy and commitment issues) he played with, and realization hit me: I was my own misery.

3. I was a total fucked up. (Maybe I still am.) I was always drunk and not fond of romantic relationships in college (maybe until now, not sure). I did not believe in love or commitment, so Tucker Max, and I had a lot of issues. More than that, I had a penchant for guys like Tucker Max–smart, player, and hopeless asshole, and no matter how much I told myself not to, I kept liking funny jerks, who in the end would always break my faith in committed relationships. Something was (is) wrong with me.

4. This book actually did not deserve to have any review, but 1.) it entertained me; 2.) it made me reflect on my ~past; and 3.) it would save me (I hope!!!) from future disappointments, so there you go.

P.S.:

I found out that Tucker Max has already retired from being the biggest player in the world. He underwent psychoanalysis (good for him!) and made a real progress in being a compassionate human. Google him, and you’ll know.

Written by Angel Santos

June 19, 2013 at 8:09 AM